• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Escape to Canada’s Maritime Provinces

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Vicki Tester

 

Think of visiting an area of Canada that is really quite close to the UK – a 6 hour flight from London brings you to the compact little city of Halifax Nova Scotia and from here opens up a wealth of just about everything one possibly want of a holiday.

Nova Scotia is one of four Atlantic Provinces – the others being Newfoundland (and Labrador), New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.  Each Province has its own trademark and its difficult to decide which is the best!

The overwhelming feature that binds all four together are their people – there are few places in the world where one would feel truly comfortable talking to anyone and everyone, from the assistant in the fuel station, to the waiter at your table, from the fisherman tending his nets, to the keeper of the little craft shops that line the roadside, from the casual passer by, to the person sitting on the next table in the pub.

NS Lunenburg Harbour Fall

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

Let’s add in a second feature – music! These Maritime Provinces were settled in the 17th Century by the Scots, the Irish, the English and French.  There were ensuing battles between the French and the English, mostly it seems to secure the fishing rights of the Grand Banks. The Scots and the Irish brought with them their very distinct brand of Celtic music, bagpipes, fiddles – the whole nine yards – and today, ceilidhs and concerts abound in most villages.  Music is the very life blood of these areas, and its not uncommon to see a fiddle casually laid on the side just in case someone fancies a little tune.

The seafood in the Maritimes is, without doubt, the best in the world. So fresh, and so delicious.  If you have never tasted lobster – this is the place to do it.  In the early days of these Provinces, lobster was caught in such abundance that it was eaten much as we might eat mince. It was not regarded as a delicacy or a treat at all.

One of the key features is the landscape itself. From the richly wooded interior with Autumn colours to rival anything New England can offer, to the rugged Highlands of Cape Breton Island, from the quaint farmlands and gorgeous beaches of Prince Edward Island to the fly-fishing opportunities of the Miramichi River in New Brunswick and the Margaree River on Cape Breton Island.  From the extraordinary geology that has created Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, to the extraordinary sight of icebergs the size of apartment blocks.  This is an ancient land, sculpted by the forces of plate tectonic movement, ice and the mighty ocean.  What remains is a variety and depth of experiences that rivals anything in the world.

Explore Canada’s best kept secret for yourself, and return a reformed and enlightened being, with the ability to smile at everyone, chat with anyone that cares to chat back.

A quick call or email starts your journey to Atlantic Canada please contact us.

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

NL Western Brook Pond Fjord.

Picture courtesy of Kelley Keefe Atlantic Canada Holiday

A Hidden Gem in Botswana

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Vicki Tester

 

The Mashatu Game Reserve, in the Tuli Block, Botswana has a wealth of experiences to offer the adventurous traveller and has just become easier to get there. They now sponsor connecting flights from Johannesburg and Maun every Wednesday and Saturday. Just one hour from Johannesburg has you landing in “the Land of the Giants”.

The name comes from the locally revered Mashatu Tree that frame the Limpopo River, the big herds of elephants and iconic baobab trees. You have the choice of staying in a lodge or tented camp, both with active waterholes that will keep you entertained. The guides also offer you different ways of experience Africa unchanged.

 

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

 

You can opt for the traditional game drive in 4×4, take to a mountain bike for a closer contact with the wild or perhaps go for the walking safari with sleep outs. Whichever way you choose your guide will ensure your safety, comfort and tailor the safari to the fitness of those involved. For those that are competent horse riders then there is the chance to ride along with the plains animals.

For lovers of history then there is evidence of pre-historic man, the Great Zimbabwe period and the more modern times of colonial rule through to now. Find out from the locals with a trip to a nearby village to learn about life in the Tuli Block.

A different African experience within an hour of one the hub airports of Africa, Johannesburg. For more information please contact us.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

 

The Best of Madagascar….

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Madagascar is the Earth’s fourth largest island, geographically isolated for some 80 million years. It is known to Westerners today as one of the most species-rich places on the planet, it is also one of the world’s most humanly impoverished countries. Madagascar holidays are best spent exploring the island, visiting the attractions, shopping and trying the many activities available here such as snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, bird watching and so much more…..

Some of the must do’s are………………

 

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whale Watching
Every year between July and September, Baie d’Antongil, just south of Maroantsetra, is the site of the migration of hundreds of humpback whales. The whales make their way from the Antarctic northward to the warmer waters around Baie d’Antongil, where they spend the winter months breeding and birthing before the long journey back to Antarctica.

Underwater Beauty
Diving in Madagascar is a real treat; the warm Indian Ocean is attractive to both people and marine life. In these turquoise waters diver can see up to 30m ahead. And what a sight awaits you! A dazzling variety of pristine coral reef, as well its many colourful inhabitants like tropical fish and the rare turtles are a definate highlight. The best times are between December and April. For snorkelling, Nosy Tanikely is great and for diving Tulear, Nosy Be and Sainte Marie are ideal! Either way snorkelling or diving in Madagascar is something that shold not be missed.

Exploring on Foot
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore any area, and in Madagascar it’s probably one of the best ways to experience the magic of this often overlooked holiday destination. The Andringitra Mountains, located in the South East of Madagascar, are a breathtaking feast for the eyes. When hiking you can expect to see many natural wonders. The Andringitra National Park boasts an impressive assortment of wildlife. Over 100 species of birds, 54 species of mammals including lemurs and bats, as well as many reptile species call this area home. The higher lying areas of the park are blanketed by tropical rainforest. The lower lying areas are home to some local settlements. Hiking is the only way to reach the more remote areas of the Andringitra national park. Few hikers attempt to summit the impressive 2600m peak, but the surrounding area is so beautiful its well worth a try!

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpsing the flying beauty

Madagascar’s uniqueness is legendary and this is well reflected in its birds. Of the 280 species known from the island, an incredible 100 plus are entirely endemic to Madagascar and a further 20 or so are shared only with neighbouring South West Indian Ocean islands. Some of the best spots to observe the water birds are along the remote areas of the western and south western coast such as Lake Tsimanampetsotsa. For anyone who loves bird watching then this is an amazing getaway and a truly fantastic destination.

So if Madagascar sounds like that place for you or you would like to build your own bespoke, tailor made holiday with any of the above included, please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Holidays Closer to Home

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Did you know we also offer holidays closer to home?

Whether it is a short break to a classic European city or a week in the Mediterranean sunshine we can help you create your perfect holiday.

We work with a variety of well established companies giving us the ability to offer our clients a wide choice of destinations including the Channel Islands, Croatia, Greece, Iceland and Spain, to name but a few. If a journey on the Orient Express or a cruise along the Norwegian Fjords on an expedition ship is more your cup of tea we can help you plan all of these amazing trips.

Our expert staff can create the perfect holiday tailored to your own personal requirements, arranging travel by any combination of air, rail, car or ferry. So, if you are considering a holiday nearer to home this year please do get in touch so we can start planning your next trip.

Contact us here

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

 

Tijara Beach – Kenya Coast

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Tijara Beach has a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor. As this is an award that is solely in the hands of their clients, it reflects the outstanding service and location of one of our favourite places on the Kenya Coast.
There is an belief that the Kenya Coast is all about big hotels and busy beaches, but Tijara (and others we know about) can give you an experience second to none for a tropical beach holiday.

If you like wildlife and have been on a safari, then a few days unwinding at Tijara will be the perfect end to a holiday to remember. It is not just lazying on the beach as you can join a guide to show you the colourful coral and fish on the reef and explore the caves on the coral headlands.
A day trip to Mombasa is always interesting and if you need to top up your wildlife viewing, then a day or two at the Shimba Hills National Park will give you another chance to see the animals, birds and flora of the region.
With only 4 double rooms, Tijara fills quickly, so get in touch now on Tel: 01232 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

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Caves – courtesy of Tijara Beach

Kenya – the ultimate safari destination!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

The word ‘safari’ is synonymous with Kenya, and with good reason. Not only was it the first safari destination for tourists, but it’s also one of the best with phenomenal game viewing opportunities, breath-taking landscapes and fascinating people. Combine this with the soft white sands and turquoise seas of the coast, and you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable holiday.

With such a fantastic reputation, it’s easy to think that Kenya would be expensive and in truth, there are certainly some luxurious, exclusive options that don’t come cheap. However, there are also options for those keen for the exclusive experience, but without the exclusive price tag.

Our partner in Kenya offers two excellent Adventure Camps, which bring all the benefits of staying in a Wildlife Conservancy teeming with animals but at a small fraction of the price that you’d normally pay to stay at the main, more luxurious camps. All activities are included and conducted at the same standard as is in the main camps.

Their conservancies are vast areas of pristine wildlife-filled terrain where you enjoy day and night game drives in 4×4 vehicles, bush meals and guided walks and stay in comfortable small and exclusive camps. Here guests can observe the wildlife – including elephants and all the Big Cats – where the animals are completely safe, in their natural environment and in a near exclusive setting. No Crowds.

Picture courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris

The Adventure Camps are designed for those for whom the wildlife safari experience is more important than the accommodation and who are prepared to sleep in basic tents – 10 feet square and 6 feet tall – with sleeping bags and a foam mattress on the floor. (Private safari shower and flush wc are behind each tent). All meals are included, prepared by the camp cook. Mineral water is provided in camp and on game drives and the camp bar has wine, beer and soft drinks available for sale at reasonable prices. The Adventure Camps ensure you get all the premium activities and game-viewing normally associated with only the most expensive camps and lodges but at a fraction of the price.

A six night safari with three nights in Selenkay Conservancy (Amboseli region) and three nights in Ol Kinyei Conservancy (Maasai Mara) starts at £1755.00 per person sharing in the peak season for 2018. The single tent supplement is just £108.00. Prices include Full Board accommodation, flights from and back to Nairobi, day and night game drives in 4×4 vehicles, a visit to Amboseli National Park or the Maasai Mara National Reserve, all Conservancy fees and educational nature walks with Maasai guides. These camps are open between July and October – spaces are limited as the camps are small and personal, so please do give us a call to enquire!

Picture courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris

Prices are subject to availability and change. International flights are not included – there are plenty of airlines offering flights between London and Nairobi, some direct and others with a stop en route. For information on international flights, please do let us know your preferred dates and we can provide a price for the most appropriate option.

Consider also spending time in Nairobi prior to the tour, and perhaps time on the coast at the end to relax – anything is possible!

For more information on putting together your own bespoke tailor made Africa Safari please call us on Tel:01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

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