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

Making the most of the Wild Rockies

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

We know how appealing the Rockies of both the USA and Canada are. Many of our clients return time after time to explore further. It is a year round destination if you like your skiing and winter activities.

One of the attractions is being in the pristine mountains and with all of the wildlife around you. Camping out for a night enhances the getting back to nature feel. For those wanting more of this, there is the chance to join a horse pack trek of 3 or 4 or more days through beautiful country, with mules bringing up your camping equipment and food.

What could be better than stretching out by the camp fire after a day in the saddle, feeling well fed and gazing up at a host of stars above you? You will certainly see much of the wildlife that lives here but if you wanted to learn more about it, you could join a trek on which the guide will teach you about tracking and seeing these animals and birds to your best advantage.

For more information on making this part of your own bespoke tailor made holiday call us on – 01323 446550 or email info@expereinceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

Great Value Kenyan Safaris

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

One of Kenya’s premier safari companies, Gamewatchers Safaris, is keen to see a greater return of British clients to the treasures of this beautiful country. Towards this end they are offering some truly special prices for 6 or more day safaris.

Most cover the key wildlife areas of Kenya such as the Masai Mara, Amboseli, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Nairobi National Park. These include flights between these key locations and you will be staying in Porini Safari Camps which are small, exclusive and run on environmentally sound principles.

Prices start from US$2,765 per person (Just over £2,000 per person) which includes all the flights, meals and most drinks as well as game drives in each location. There are a number of permutations for types and lengths of safari to include all that Kenya has to offer and building a safari to suit your needs is what we and Gamewatchers love doing.

However, because the camps are small in size, places go fast and the special offers will not be here for long.

For more information on this fantastic Kenya Safari offer please contact us on: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kenya

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Horse Riding with the Zimbabwe Wildlife

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Seeing the wildlife of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is a stunning experience on its own but Imvelo Safaris have just announced the start of horse riding from two of their lodges. This would be a completely different way of seeing the wildlife of visiting the village close by for a genuine cultural experience.

There are different experiences to take in to account experience – and yes there is an option for beginners or novice riders. The options are:

  1. Beginner Bush Experience – approximately 1 hour for beginners and novice riders
  2. Hippo Sunrise – approximately 3 hours for experienced riders
  3. Cultural Ride – approximately 5 ½ hours for intermediate riders
  4. Sundowner Ride – approximately 2 hours for intermediate riders
  5. Full Day Safari Ride – approximately 8 hours for experienced riders

In line with Imvelo’s ethos, this new activity has been brought to life in partnership with the communities. It has provided new jobs and will support Nganyana Village close to Camelthorn through guests participating in the cultural ride! During your visit the villagers will gladly show you the different ways they try make an income including basket weaving, beading and jewellery making – riders are welcome to try their hand at these crafts too!

The magnificent and expansive savanna vleis that border Camelthorn along with the Ngamo Plains make for the best safari riding areas in Zimbabwe and guests will now be able to enjoy leisurely strolls or more adventurous rides all led by experienced horse guides! The sense of freedom, silence and tranquillity, with a touch of adrenaline thrown in too, brings you closer to nature than you may have ever been before.

If this is for you and would like to make it part of your own bespoke tailor made itinerary to Africa then please contact us for fuller details and to start your safari plans – call on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

New African Rail Route announced by Rovos Rail

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail, one of our favourite carriers for that ”extraordinary” way to see Africa, have just announced a new 15 day trip that takes in Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. It has taken patient diplomatic negotiations to arrange permissions along the whole route and it has taken over 2 years.

The inaugural trip sets off on July 16, 2019 from Dar es Salaam (a city familiar to Rovos Rail as it has been running its 15-day Cape to Dar trip since 1993), and includes a game visit in the Selous Reserve, a fly-in two-night safari in the South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) and a city tour of Lubumbashi (DRC). Thereafter, it joins the Benguela line for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history with journey’s end in Lobito. The voyage is available in reverse departing from Lobito (Angola) on August 2, 2019.

Rates, which start at US$12 820 per person sharing, vary according to suite type and are fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, all alcoholic and other beverages, room service, laundry, an on-board historian and doctor as well as excursions and the fly-in two-night safari (accommodation, meals, bottled water and a limited wine selection). Not included are pre- or post-tour accommodation, flights and transfers.

A wonderful way to see parts of Africa that are often difficult to access or combine. Give us a call to be one of the first to experience this amazing train journey – it will fill fast and places are limited.

If you would like to find out more and incorporate this in your own bespoke tailor made trip then please contact us for further details on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

 

The Cuba Experience with Peter Ellis

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Cuba is a destination that is hugely popular at the moment, the increase partly due to changed relations with the US, and this in turn spurring on potential visitors to explore the island before it changes beyond recognition. Peter and his wife Julie visited for a holiday last month, and loved it! Below is their report.

With direct scheduled flights from Gatwick to Havana, and charters from both Gatwick and Manchester to Holguin, Cuba is easily accessible and well worth considering for your next Experience Holiday.

Havana
We stayed in B&B accommodation for almost the entire trip and they are recommended – better presented and family run. However there are good 5 star hotels with more on the way should this be your preference. The B&B’s are good value and often well located – ours was very central making everything very walkable for the Old Town.

You should consider a 4 night stay here particularly if the plane gets in late. There is so much to see and do and it is very worthwhile having a guided (themed) tour as many of the best sites are not obvious or easy to find. Added to which you will be shown the less touristy side of the city. Every kind of method of getting around from donkey carts to old Russian trucks squeeze through these streets so keep your eyes peeled. Certainly try getting around on a biki taxi, a coconut taxi and for sure book at least a 3 hour tour of the city and Hemingway Finca in a Classic convertible also taking in the fortress (the biggest in the New World).

We have a list of “Paladars” which are privately owned/run restaurants which are excellent but often fill quickly – so book some of them for the trip. Rum cocktails abound, especially mojitos which it is claimed were invented here.

Havana is a very safe, walkable place with huge contrasts in architecture and levels of renovation – from ruins next to renovated.

 

Guama, Bay of Pigs to Cienfuego
We took the long way down to Cienfuegos to take in the wilder Zapatas Peninsula which is a RAMSAR site and a big National Park. We stopped at a crocodile breeding centre (for the endangered Cuban croc) which was interesting and also the place to catch your boat to Villas Horizintes Guama. This is a good eco lodge deep in the Park and worth a night or two.

Bay of Pigs is the site of an abortive invasion of Cuba in 1960 but there is little to see here. It is also where you find “sink holes” connected to sea which are full of colourful sea fish. Take your swim suit so you can take a dip in one or to snorkel off shore. A good diving spot as well.

Cienfuegos is worth a one night stop as it has plenty of history, is very clean and some interesting architecture – Palacio de Valle is perfectly placed for outstanding views of the Bay and city. Cruise ships come in regularly, so get your sightseeing in early. The casa particular that we stayed in was eclectic and fun and had good food.

 

Trinidad and the drive there
Not too far to go from Cienfuegos but we detoured in to the mountains, Sierra del Escambray so that we could undertake a 3 hour hike through the mountains. There are caves, waterfalls, plenty of bird life and a chance to cool down in any of the cool clean pools you find along the trail. Well worth doing on the way to Trinidad.

Trinidad is a must see destination – a really well preserved Spanish/Cuban city which is very easy to wander around. Plenty to see and do, including dancing lessons and every evening dancing on the steps of the Casa de Musica. Live music is everywhere in Cuba and most of it is good. While here take the train to the sugar growing Valle Los Ingenios – slow but fun with a bar on board if you are missing your mojitos. Here visit the eighteen century mansions of the sugar barons and their slave quarters and learn about the sugar trade and those that worked for it.

On the Beach – Varadero
Finish a trip to Cuba on the beach. We went to Varadero which is well developed with large hotels and nothing like the rest of Cuba. The beach here is beautiful white sand, kept very clean and the water crystal clear. A great place to unwind and relax. Most hotels are all inclusive. All have entertainment and there are places away from the hotel to eat out at (one is Al Capone’s old home).

There are a number of other beach destinations which have their own appeal depending on your interests and preferences.

For more information on Cuba, give us a call or send us an email – we’d be more than happy to chat through ideas and possibilities with you.

Suggested itinerary link – Cuba Itinerary

   

All pictures courtesy of Peter Ellis.

Star Clippers – Discover the Hidden Wonders of Thailand

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Star Clippers who offer a different sailing experience with the character of traditional sailing but still with the comfort and luxury found on most modern cruises, are offering an adventurous cruise around the hidden parts of Thailand and Malaysia.

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

These sailings explore some of the most iconic and beautiful parts known as the “Pearl of the Orient” with un spoilt beaches and islands that form part of the

National Marine Park here. The people are friendly, the water beautifully clear and the marine life amazing.

 

Nor do you have to bring your own snorkel and flippers, they are provided. If you need other activities as you sale around the islands and along the coast, you can try sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking – all complimentary.

 

 

 

For 7 nights cruising, 2 nights pre cruise in the Sala Hotel in Phuket and flights the cost is from £2179 per person and always subject to availability.

Please call us for more information on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Travel in Style across Peru

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Travelling across Peru in style has become easier with the launch of the Andean Explorer Train. This is seriously comfortable train travel with your own cabin and off train excursions to some of Peru’s most iconic sites. The journey has the following itinerary:

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Day 1

Board the train in the ancient city of Arequipa, settle in to your cabin and acclimatise to the unforgettable style of the train as you start the journey towards Puno. Join your fellow travellers in the bar car before sitting down to a refined Andean dinner in the dinner car. All the while the scenery changes as you settle in to luxury train travel

Day 2

The sun will be rising over Lake Titicaca as you awake and then head for breakfast before a day of exploration. Time to explore the world’s highest navigable lake, firstly in a traditional boat out to Uros, a man made island constructed of interwoven reeds. The people that live on the island also construct their homes, ships and tools from the same reeds.

From here you will head to Taquile Island with its stunning terraced agricultural strips. The inhabitants here live by the same social code that has been in place for the past centuries. Their hand woven fabrics are regarded as the best in Peru. Enjoy lunch on the Collata Beach followed by a performance of local dancers and a chance to watch artisans at work.

Return to the train for a delicious tea and relax as the train heads towards to Cusco.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Day 3

Breakfast this morning is accompanied by stunning views as the train heads sets off from Marangani. You will have an off train excursion to Raqch’I archaeological site of a once important Inca settlement.

 

All too soon you will be arriving At Cusco, the former Inca capital. Time to bid farewell to the train crew and the start of your next Peruvian adventure.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

 

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Cape Town to Victoria, South Africa or Vice Versa

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Visiting these two iconic African locations is now easier. South African Airways are now flying direct between these two prime Southern African cities. The flights are daily, except Saturdays, departing Cape Town early (08:30) and arriving at Vic Falls at 11:15.

The return flight leaves at 11:45 and arrives in Cape Town at 14:40.

You could be soaked by the spray from The Falls and on top of Table Mountain all in one day!

Victoria Falls

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Cape Town

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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