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

Swaziland becomes ESWATINI

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Vicki Tester

 

King Mswati, while celebrating the 50th. Anniversary of the country’s independence at the beginning of July, announced that the country will now be known as the Kingdom of Eswatini. This means “place of the Swati people in the Swazi language”.

Eswatini remains a year round destination for stunning scenery, fascinating cultural experiences, safaris and adventure activities.

A new name to add to your bucket list!

 

 

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Uganda, new destination video

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Vicki Tester

 

Here is a short clip featuring a number of Uganda’s unique attractions including Murchison Falls, Kibale, Bwindi, Lake Mburo, Lake Albert and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Another and Quieter side to Tanzania

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Vicki Tester

 

Most people know about the plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater and the wildlife spectacle to found there. But there is so much more to explore in Tanzania and much of it is untouched and incredibly diverse.

If you would like to see and hear Africa at its unspoilt best then consider heading to places like the Gombe Stream National Park and walk in the footsteps the British primatologist, Jane Goodall, in search of the descendants of her favourite chimps – Frodo, Merlin and David Greybeard.

On the banks of Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in Africa, is Mahale National Park, another place to see primates such as chimps and Colobus monkeys in their natural habitat. End up on your own private beach to cool down and then around the camp fire with more stars above you than you could imagine.

Katavi National Park, Tanzania’s third largest Park, is ideal for the traveller looking for a truly remote experience away from regular tourist routes. In this park, you will find animals curious and unfamiliar to human contact. Herd sizes of buffalo and other plains animals are massive, often in the thousands and this in turn brings in good numbers of predators. With hardly anyone else around and a great lodge to retire to, you will feel like a true explorer.

For more details please contact us.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

More reasons to visit Namibia…

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Vicki Tester

 

Namibia is a destination that has so much to offer tourists, particularly if you like your wildlife, geology, spectacular scenery, sea life and adventure. With 4 different deserts, each with its own ecosystem that would keep most desert lovers happy.

But here are some new ideas for when you are there and a new camp on the Zambezi River in the Caprivi Strip.

Firstly, the Zambezi Mubala Camp and Lodge are located under tall, shady trees on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, about 40 km east of Katima Mulilo. Eight safari tents, equipped with four beds each, ensuite bathrooms, self-catering kitchens and verandas invite you to linger along the river. Traditional campers are also welcome to pitch their tents on one of the ten campsites with private sanitary facilities.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Guests to Zambezi Mubala Lodge are transferred by boat from Zambezi Mubala Camp to the lodge. As they are only allowed to do transfers on the Zambezi River during daytime, guests are kindly require to arrive at least one hour prior to sunset.

The next adventure gives you a bird’s eye view of the Namib Desert. As from 1 May 2018, the Namib Desert Lodge offers Powered Paragliding to its guests. The Gondwana Collection partnered with Wild Air Safaris to provide guests with an adventure of a lifetime. The 20-minute flights can be booked and paid directly at the Namib Desert Lodge and are subject to availability. Safety is our priority and flights are only offered on the motorized paragliding flights in perfect weather conditions.

Walking part of the Fish River Canyon (the World’s Second Largest Canyon).  On 20 April the 12 participants of this season’s first Klipspringer Trail made their way through the Fish River Canyon in the wilderness area north of the main viewing point. Luggage and equipment are conveyed between the overnight camps, so participants only need to pack water and snacks for the day’s hike. Each overnight camp offers cooking and bathroom facilities. The self-guided Canyon Klipspringer Trail (4 nights/3 days) covers altogether 30km, hikers are equipped with a detailed map.

For fuller details or to learn more about Namibia, please contact us.

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

When you are in Victoria Falls

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Vicki Tester

 

For something extraordinary to do while staying at Victoria Falls, consider catching the Bushtracks Express. This is a step back in time as you board the steam train and travel out on to the famous bridge that links Zimbabwe to Zambia.

The train stops on the bridge to allow you to enjoy a 5 course dinner as the sun sets and the African night closes in – with the sound of the Victoria Falls in the background. You will have time between courses to step off the train to take photos of the Batoka Gorge and the stunning scenery about. Around 9.30 the train steams back to the Zimbabwe station and a short walk or drive will have you back at your hotel.

The same company provides river safaris on the Zambezi above the Falls. As they use shallow drafted boats with jet propulsion you can venture closer to the Falls than any other boat can – quite safely. A wonderful way to see the African sundown with a chance of an elephant or two coming down to drink their sundowner at the same time.

To find out more about these amazing tours and making them part of your own bespoke tailor made holiday please contact us

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Balloon Safaris Take off in Ruaha, Tanzania

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Vicki Tester

 

Until now, balloon safaris in Tanzania have only been possible in Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks, with the beautiful landscapes and the possibility of a bird’s eye view of the great migration.

We are delighted to inform you that in 2 months time, from 15th June 2018, balloon safaris will be operational in the Ruaha National Park for the first time.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Covering some 20,000 sq km in Southern Tanzania, Ruaha National Park is the country’s biggest National Park. Ruaha is a far cry from the busy tourist circuits of northern Tanzania and it boasts a baobab-studded landscape and excellent game viewing by vehicle or on foot and as such, will soon offer a very different flying experience to the Serengeti.

The Balloon flights operate from 15 June to 31 October and would be a real bonus to your holiday in South Tanzania.

Information on Tanzania and suggested itineraries that can be made bespoke to you and incorporate this amazing trip please see our Tanzania pages or contact us.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

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

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

Namibia – A Wonderful Destination

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Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Not so long ago Namibia seemed to be on the TV all the time and it was a destination that many were considering (and some went). But it seems to have slipped in to the background now.

Personally, Namibia is one of my favourite destinations in the world and have managed to go there 13 times in the last few years, I cannot wait to get back there again soon. And this from someone who was born and grew up in Kenya (still one of my favourite destinations).

So what makes this country so special? For me it is the huge contrasts in so many areas of life, wildlife and scenery. It starts with the fact that there are 4 deserts to visit and each one is distinct from the others. Visiting all four is a holiday in its own right and all the geographic sights in between each make you wish you had paid more attention in the Geography class at school. If deserts are not your thing, then the lush river country in the north of Namibia should tempt you.

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

The wildlife is stunning, varied and often set against amazing backdrops. Seeing first the head, then the neck and then the body of a giraffe emerging through the heat haze of the Etosha Pan is interesting to say the least. Looking for elusive desert adapted elephants and rhino in Damaraland is truly exciting. Getting up close and personal with a seal in Walvis Bay or following otters along the river in the Caprivi Strip is another experience to be talked about when you get home.

But it is the people that truly make Namibia a holiday that should be on your list. The chance to meet Himba and San people in their own backyard and without the feeling of over stepping the line is always interesting. But you are going to be welcomed by almost everyone you meet, no matter what tribe or place in society – they are genuinely a welcoming nation who enjoy having visitors in their country.

So move Namibia to the top of your agenda and give me a call to discuss how, when and where to go on Email: peter@experienceholidays.co.uk or Tel: 01323 446550

You could also visit our Namibia webpage to see some of our suggested itineraries.

 

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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