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

Kenya Railways – Nairobi to Mombasa or Vice Versa

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, launched the revitalised/ new Standard Gauged Railway between Nairobi and Mombasa last week. This has cut the travelling time to just over 4 hours for the trip and with prices set at US$9-00 for economy class and US$30 for First Class this has become a real alternative to flying or buses.

There are plans to include a Business class carriage as well but these have yet to be delivered from China.

 

Kenya Lion

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

This gives travellers another option for travel between thee two popular cities but you could also use the train for access to Tsavo East and West National Parks and the Taita Hills with the train stopping at Voi and Mtito Andei. Providing the service is maintained this is another way to see this beautiful country without the experience of some of the rough roads.

For expert advice on your tailor made holiday to Kenya call us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Sunrise Turtle Landing

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Today we received a quick newsletter from one of our suppliers AfriAsia.  This we thought was a wonderful turtle sighting and experience, and something that you yourself could witness if staying at this luxury resort in Malaysia:

 

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

 

 

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

 

 

 

 

This special early morning visit took place on the beach right under one of the resort’s sun umbrellas as the sun began to rise.
Once her eggs had been safely laid, this majestic creature returned to the South China Sea.

The Turtle Hatchery currently holds 25 nests and a total of 2274 eggs – of these, two batches of hatchlings have already been released. Guests have enjoyed witnessing this amazing experience and the Nest Adoption programme has become a great hit.

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

Picture courtesy of YTL Hotels and TanJong Jara Resort

Iceberg Alley – Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

When it comes to viewing icebergs, Iceberg Alley is one of the best places in the world. On a sunny day, view these 10,000-year-old glacial giants from many points along the northern and eastern coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador in every shape and size. The colours of each iceberg differs ranging from snow-white to the deepest aquamarine.

There are a number of ways to experience these amazing natural spectacles. Go on a boat tour, paddle along in a sea kayak or hike along parts of the 29,000 km of coastline and watch a sparkling spring berg parade down Iceberg Alley.

 

Quirpon Island Zodiac Iceberg

Picture courtesy of ACTP

 

To mark this occasion an Iceberg Festival takes place every June on the Great Northern Peninsula. It celebrates the coming of spring in the north and the annual arrival of icebergs. The festival features music, food, entertainment, history, culture, great hospitality and of course icebergs. Dip your toes into the North Atlantic! Have a dance! Eat seafood fresh from the sea! If you want breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, fantastic fare and good company, you belong at the Iceberg Festival!

Nor is that all you can do while in this beautiful region. Here nature is very much to the fore and the scenery is spectacular. The people very welcoming and it is still one of those places that is well off the well trodden holiday destinations.

If you would like more information on tailor made holidays to Canada then please call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Green Gardens, Gros Morne National Park

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Iceberg Near Triton Island, Green Bay

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Puffins

Picture courtesy of ACTP

Why you should consider Hwange National Park for your Safari

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

There are very good reasons to consider Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, for your safari destination and the key ones are as follow:

  • Hwange is close to Victoria Falls which is easy enough to reach by a number of airlines. The airport there is becoming a bigger International destination which will make it even easier to fly in to the region.
  • Hwange has about 43,000 visitors per year which gives a density of 3 people per KM2 per year. This compares with the Serengeti density of 23 people per km2 per year, Kruger at 85 and Masai Mara at 912.
  • It is home to about 46,000 elephants and during the dry season it is not unusual to see herds of hundreds at waterholes. None of the other Parks can boast such large numbers of elephant. In fact there are more elephants than visitors.
  • It has the some of the densest numbers of sable antelope, cheetah, wild dog and lion in Zimbabwe
  • Your guides here serve an apprenticeship of 5 to 10 years and their professionalism is considered amongst the best in Africa. They will take you on walking safaris within the Park and teach you about all that you see, including tracks, flora and fauna. This will enhance your African experience immensely.
  • Hwange Park lodges and camps are small and personal. On average 8 rooms serving 16 clients

 

Elephants

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Africa

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Elephants

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

If you would like more information about a tailor made safari to Hwange and Victoria Falls or Safaris in South Africa then please contact us on – 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

A little gem – Pumba Private Game Reserve

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

We’ve been thinking about ‘little gems’ in the office – places or experiences that provide a ‘wow factor’ of some kind during a holiday. For me (Angie), several come to mind and below is one of them.

Pumba Private Game Reserve is located on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and works perfectly at the end of a self-drive holiday from Cape Town and along the Garden Route. The Eastern Cape has a number of game reserves, which have the advantage of being malaria free, but what makes Pumba stand out over the others is that it is home to the rare white lion.

 

White Lions pumba

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

A recessive gene gives white lions their unusual colour, making them appear even more majestic than a tawny lion. Easier to spot, the white lion cannot rely on camouflage when hunting – which makes it harder for this beautiful animal to survive in the wild. Luckily for Pumba’s pride, a couple of years ago a female gave birth to not only white cubs, but also a tawny cub. This tawny lion will be integral for the survival of the pride – whilst the white lion distracts the game, the tawny lion will pounce.  

There are two lodges within the game reserve. Bush Lodge is built in front of a waterhole, which attracts a wide range of animals. During my stay, a whole herd of elephants came to visit, with the babies playing in and around the water. The accommodations are of an exceptional standard, with outdoor showers and private plunge pools. 

The second property is Water Lodge – accommodations are of the same standard but slightly different in style, and still with outdoor showers and private plunge pools. The lodge overlooks Lake Kariega, which is a regular haunt for hippo and good for bass fishing too.

 All in all, Pumba Private Game Reserve offers an incredibly special experience, and one that I would highly recommend! For more information, give us a call on 01323 446550 or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Pumba water lodge - lake

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Elephants at Pumba

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

Mozambique as a Family Destination

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

One of our favourite lodges on the coast of Mozambique has decided to streamline its cost base and make going there better than ever. Nuarro Lodge has just offered a 5 night stay for families at US$ 125-00 per person per night. This includes the following: Vehicle transfers to and from Nampula Airport/ Nacala Airport / Ilha De Mocambique, accommodation in the chalets with three meals, coffee & tea, snacks, unlimited shore diving for advanced diver buddies, unguided snorkelling, kayaking, mountain bikes and one massage per booking.

indaba and moz Mozambique

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The fact that it is in a wonderful location with pristine seas to explore and truly idyllic beaches makes this a wonderful family get away. Visit their website www.nuarro.com to see what you could be doing! 

One of things that has put off clients going to Mozambique is the difficulty of getting there. The good news is that the Government of the country is opening up the country by asking for tenders for flights in and around the country. Hopefully this will make it easier for future travellers to this beautiful country.

indaba and mozambique

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

indaba and mozambique

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Air Canada introduces Premium Economy for certain routes

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline and the largest provider of up to 70 non-stop flights per week this summer to seven major Canadian cities scheduled from London Heathrow Terminal 2.

The airline is updating its international fleet with state-of-the-art, fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners. With the conversion of existing Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, Air Canada has introduced a much-desired Premium Economy Class on select international flights from London Heathrow to Toronto, Montréal, Calgary and Vancouver.

Great Lakes Safari

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Premium Economy offers superior comforts in a dedicated cabin, a larger seat, more recline and extra legroom compared to Economy Class. Passengers in Premium Economy can also enjoy a premium meal service, enhanced amenities and priority airport services.

If you are planning a tailor made holiday to Canada this summer, then please get in touch to discuss your flights and ground arrangement.  Call us on Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Great Lakes Safari

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

New Flights to the USA

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Norwegian, the low cost carrier, has announced the following new destinations:

A service to Denver, which starts on September 16, will run year-round, operating twice-weekly (on Tuesdays and Saturdays) during the summer season but increasing to a three-times-weekly service in the winter, with an additional Thursday departure.

From September 17, the low-cost carrier will commence a year-round service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Four weekly flights will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Fares for both routes start from £199.

Both routes will be serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has up to 344 seats in two cabins – Economy and Premium.

Norwegian, which also flies from Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports, flies to Boston, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, New York (JFK) and Oakland.

The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets of any airline, with an average age of 3.6 years, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737-800s

This makes the USA more accessable and at very competative prices.

Denver Skyline

Picture courtesy of Visit Denver

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

This year has been a good one for rains in Southern Africa (well for most places) which is good news for farmers and the wildlife. The abundance of rain has seen the rivers well up which in turn has led to the amount of water flowing over the Victoria Falls being spectacular. There is nothing quite as awe inspiring as seeing and feeling the thunder of the Falls. You are also guaranteed to receive a good soaking from the spray – which can be seen from miles away.

Victoria Falls

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

This time of year is often portrayed as being one to avoid coming to this part of the world, but there are very good reasons to consider it. Yes, the game viewing will be more difficult as the wildlife has dispersed and the vegetation will be at its highest but this is the time that many animals have their young and the birds are in courting and nesting mode.

There is also the advantage of boat safaris in places such as South Luangwa and the flood in to the Okavango should be high allowing you the choices of travel in this unique environment.

It is all about planning – and taking advantage of the good rates for these areas at this time of year.

Give us a call or email to plan your trip to this amazing area on Tel: 01323 446550 – Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Victoria Falls

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Victoria Falls

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 2 – Further Afield

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania 2 – by Peter Ellis

 

So having had a couple of days to explore the City of Hobart and now with your hire car in hand then consider the following destination. To ensure you have seen a Tasmanian Devil I would strongly recommend that visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they are working hard to ensure these much maligned creatures have a future – along with many other orphaned or damaged wild animals. The Devils numbers are down by 90% due to a virus that has spread through them but the good news is that scientists have found a vaccine that is seems effective and there is also evidence that the remaining wild animals have built their own immunity.

Tasmanian Devil, Hobart, Tasmania

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kangaroo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have a chance to see most of the other indigenous Tasmanian wildlife and even feed the kangaroo who are very friendly. A short drive from here brings you to Richmond which truly has a feel of being back in the UK. The Gaol here was built in the 1820s to provide slave labour for the booming farming community. It is still almost intact and well worth a visit.

For another full day out, drive down to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, the destination of many of the convicts from Great Britain. Built as a modern and ground breaking penal institute it became a town in its own rights. Many of the buildings are ruins while others have been restored to their former glory – particularly the homes of the officers. There is much to see and do here so plan to be there early. Also ensure you join the cruise of the Bay taking you past Point Puer Boys Prison (for convict aged below 17) and the Island of the Dead. The staff play there parts convincingly and the exhibits are well thought through and very hands on. For the brave there is ghost tour in the evening. Do NOT get left in the isolation cell – not a chink of light anywhere and pass through 4 doors to get there.

One evening when the weather is clear, drive to the top of Wellington Mountain for spectacular views over the city and harbour.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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