For those of you that are looking to add some beach after your safari and have decided to head for Zanzibar, then I would recommend that you should consider some time in the fascinating capital of the Island – Stone Town.
With history that relates to Zanzibar is reflected in the architecture and historic artefacts to be found in the museums and hotels. With the Sultans of Oman having Zanzibar as one of their main trading posts in East Africa for several centuries, indeed it was the capital of their empire for a while; there is a strong Arab influence on the island. Of course there is a huge Swahili feel along with the British and Portuguese buildings to be found, particularly in Stone Town.
I would certainly recommend that you should stay a couple of nights to allow you time to explore and immerse yourselves in the vibrant colours and culture. There are a good number of hotels to choose from, from backpackers to boutique to 5 star hotels – so plenty of choice.
Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis
One of the best ways of getting to know the town is to take a guided walk through the maze of narrow streets, designed to be wide enough for 2 donkeys and very anti car. The buildings are in all states of repair with the Omani influence very much in evidence but the real stars to keep you reaching for the camera are the ornate doors. Here are carvings of scripts, both religious and secular, flowers and animals of all kinds and beautiful brass studs and nails.
The walk takes you to the Sultans Palace (now a museum), the House of Wonder and the very moving museum of slavery and its statue of commemoration. Then the walk takes you in to the vibrant and hugely colourful fruit, vegetable and general market. Add in the colour of the Zanzibari women’s clothes and you have a feast for your eyes.
Alternatively catch a dhow out to one of the sandbars that emerge as the tide drops and spend a happy couple of hour’s snorkelling while your crew cook you a fresh from the sea lunch.
Everyone recommends that you watch the sun set and the received wisdom is that Africa House is the place to do this. This is a very buzzy place with all sort of travellers gathered to toast the setting sun. For those wanting a quieter location, and with the same view, then the bar at the Zanzibar Serena Hotel is just as good and has an excellent restaurant which is right on the waterfront.
Book your place to explore the doors, museums, markets, meet the friendly people and drink your sundowner watching the dhows beating their way to the harbour by contacting us at Experience Holidays.
Triple Creek Ranch is a truly gorgeous mountain hideaway and perfect for a special occasion – a luxury all-inclusive resort nestled in the Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies, close to border with Idaho. This year round resort, a member or the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection, has an exceptional level of service, incorporating luxury private log cabin accommodation, fine dining and world class wines.
Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch
Surrounded by incomparable scenery and wildlife, the ranch offers a wide range of activities from which to choose. In spring, the meadows are alive with wild flowers, in summer the sun-filled days are perfect for horseback riding, fishing, hiking, float trips and rafting. Autumn brings stunning fall colours – bright blue skies and crisp cool evenings. In winter, enjoy cross-country or Alpine skiing – just 30 minutes from the resort is the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort – with an average yearly snowfall of 300 inches of powdery snow this is skiing without the long lift lines and crowds. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing or horseback riding through unspoiled snow-covered wilderness are also on offer. Then spend your evenings relaxing in front of a cozy fire.
Situated midway beteen Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, a stay at this fabulous ranch fits perfectly into a holiday to this stunning region.
In 2019 South Africa’s Blue train relaunched its classic train journey between Pretoria and Cape Town (in either direction) now making this a two-night experience. This will allow guests to relax more and soak up the scenery. The Blue Train has always been considered the epitome of luxury, hospitality and leisure.
The train now departs at 4pm and arrives at its destination at 10:30 two days later. The cabins compare well with the finest hotels, with en suite bathroom or shower (depending on level of cabin you choose) and the attention of your personal butler. The Observation Cat at the end of the train has windows on 3 sides allowing you to make the most of the passing scenery.
There is also a 2 ½ hour ‘off train’ excursion to the Kimberley Open Mine Museum and visit to the Big Hole.
This journey would make a great addition to any trip to South Africa and a wonderful way to see part of this amazing country. If you would like to find out more then please contact us.
For all lovers of iconic train journeys, a trip aboard one of Rovos Rails trains to different parts of Southern Africa is a must. As at the end this month the company will have been operating for 30 years and is offering eight trips around Southern Africa; varying in length from 48 hours to 15 days. At any given time, the Company will be offering 5 out of the 8 journeys will be running. In addition, they have taken over, and overhauled, Shongololo Express to add to their portfolio.
Copyright to Rovos Rail Tours
The trains are exceptional to look at, comfortable to travel in and offer a service that is second to none. You are well looked after the moment you arrive at the station of departure – bags whipped away to be unpacked in your cabin/suite while you have a welcome drink and introduction to a Rovos Rail trip. They stop at many of Southern Africa’s outstanding sites and offer you a tour around – be it the Big Hole at Kimberley or a National Park in the countries visited.
It is a perfect way to celebrate an occasion or to see a country from a different perspective. Please contact us for further details.
Safaris are a holiday that most people want to experience once in their lives. There are several things to think about before deciding on where and when you go on safari and the following are some of the questions to ask:
Choose your destination with care. You will be very disappointed if your favorite animal is a rarity in the country that you choose.
Check the right time of the year to go. Parts of Africa have heavy rain making getting around very difficult.
Choose a conservancy for an exclusive experience with wildlife and not fight for position with tour buses for a glimpse of a beleaguered animal. Many of the eco lodges have the benefit of being right in the bush with the wildlife passing right in front of your tent.
Stay longer in each destination for a fuller experience of that Park or Conservancy.
If you can afford it, fly between parks and camps. This particularly applies when the alternative could see you spending 6-8 hours on the road.
Choose accommodation that offers the authentic African experience with the wildlife and local people at the heart of its being.
Pick the right time of the year to see the migrations – animals, birds and whales. There is no guarantee with wildlife but there are norms.
Pack with the right safari clothes and do not pack too much. Many lodges and camps offer laundry facilities.
Read up about your chosen destination and ask someone who knows the area well for advise re the above.
As a tour operator who enjoys putting together amazing itineraries for our clients to New Zealand, we feel we have an important role in introducing the Tiaki Promise concept to visitors. To keep New Zealand’s landscapes and environment well cared for, they have introduced the Tiaki Promise to ask visitors to look after their country during their time there.
Tourism New Zealand have put together 5 main elements that they would like their tourists to respect so they can keep their country as the special place it is today and for many years to come, giving enjoyment to many generations from all over the world.
Tiaki means to care for people and place. New Zealanders have a special connection to the land and want to help visitors travel safely and conscientiously. The Tiaki Promise has a set of guiding principles for visitors to follow, showing them how to contribute to preserving and protecting our land.
To learn more about the Tiaki Promise then please contact us.
If you have been watching Michael Portillo travelling on the trains in Alaska recently, you will have gathered how diverse and wonderful a State (country almost) it is. It truly is a destination in its own right and adding a cruise up the Inner Passage ensures a holiday full of contrast.
This destination should be on anyone’s bucket list and if it is near the top just give us a call to get the plan started contact us
Every year Cruise America and Cruise Canada offer one way trips in their brand new RV’s and at reduced prices to clients. This allows them to move their new stock to the locations that they are needed in for the summer while allowing clients a chance to cross these two countries at a fair price. It is early in the year – typically April and May and the weather cannot be guaranteed.
However it is a great way to travel and at a quiet time of the year! Peter has done this 3 times over the past years and would recommend taking advantage of the offer. However, there are limited numbers of vehicles and they go on a first come first booked basis.
Please contact us if you like the idea of freewheeling across either country and would like more information.
Peter has been off on his travels again, this time he visited Uganda. Our local agents in Uganda, Great Lakes Safaris, are currently celebrating as the Mountain Gorilla’s status has now been moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered. This is thanks to conservation efforts from the wildlife authorities of Uganda and its neighboring countries Rwanda and Republic of Congo.
In 2008 the Mountain Gorilla population was about 680 individuals and now, as of November 2018, this has increased to over 1000 the highest ever recorded. So now is a better time than ever to visit Uganda and their Mountain Gorillas. Uganda is an amazing place and a wonderful holiday destination with so much to see, why not contact us and start your safari amongst the Gorillas? Peter will be sure to write up about the great tails from his trip and we look forward to sharing them with you all very soon.
It has just been announced that Qatar Airways is offering flights to Mombasa via Doha at very reasonable prices. This makes some winter sunshine very affordable and the chance to add a short safari to your itinerary as well – speak to us about the choices or take a look at our suggested itinerary.
Mombasa and the Kenya coast has long been an option for a winter getaway and Qatar have just made it a destination to consider.
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