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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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