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

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

Kenya – the ultimate safari destination!

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Vicki Tester

 

The word ‘safari’ is synonymous with Kenya, and with good reason. Not only was it the first safari destination for tourists, but it’s also one of the best with phenomenal game viewing opportunities, breath-taking landscapes and fascinating people. Combine this with the soft white sands and turquoise seas of the coast, and you have the perfect recipe for an unforgettable holiday.

With such a fantastic reputation, it’s easy to think that Kenya would be expensive and in truth, there are certainly some luxurious, exclusive options that don’t come cheap. However, there are also options for those keen for the exclusive experience, but without the exclusive price tag.

Our partner in Kenya offers two excellent Adventure Camps, which bring all the benefits of staying in a Wildlife Conservancy teeming with animals but at a small fraction of the price that you’d normally pay to stay at the main, more luxurious camps. All activities are included and conducted at the same standard as is in the main camps.

Their conservancies are vast areas of pristine wildlife-filled terrain where you enjoy day and night game drives in 4×4 vehicles, bush meals and guided walks and stay in comfortable small and exclusive camps. Here guests can observe the wildlife – including elephants and all the Big Cats – where the animals are completely safe, in their natural environment and in a near exclusive setting. No Crowds.

Picture courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris

The Adventure Camps are designed for those for whom the wildlife safari experience is more important than the accommodation and who are prepared to sleep in basic tents – 10 feet square and 6 feet tall – with sleeping bags and a foam mattress on the floor. (Private safari shower and flush wc are behind each tent). All meals are included, prepared by the camp cook. Mineral water is provided in camp and on game drives and the camp bar has wine, beer and soft drinks available for sale at reasonable prices. The Adventure Camps ensure you get all the premium activities and game-viewing normally associated with only the most expensive camps and lodges but at a fraction of the price.

A six night safari with three nights in Selenkay Conservancy (Amboseli region) and three nights in Ol Kinyei Conservancy (Maasai Mara) starts at £1755.00 per person sharing in the peak season for 2018. The single tent supplement is just £108.00. Prices include Full Board accommodation, flights from and back to Nairobi, day and night game drives in 4×4 vehicles, a visit to Amboseli National Park or the Maasai Mara National Reserve, all Conservancy fees and educational nature walks with Maasai guides. These camps are open between July and October – spaces are limited as the camps are small and personal, so please do give us a call to enquire!

Picture courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris

Prices are subject to availability and change. International flights are not included – there are plenty of airlines offering flights between London and Nairobi, some direct and others with a stop en route. For information on international flights, please do let us know your preferred dates and we can provide a price for the most appropriate option.

Consider also spending time in Nairobi prior to the tour, and perhaps time on the coast at the end to relax – anything is possible!

For more information on putting together your own bespoke tailor made Africa Safari please call us on Tel:01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

 

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

Fly-fishing in Botswana and Zambia

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Vicki Tester

 

 

The Zambezi River flows through and borders Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The area is unique, not only as a game-viewing area, but also as the home of the famous Victoria Falls, complete with its history both recent and not so recent. 

Our Guides are highly experienced and knowledgeable – Lee Whittam in particular is also an accomplished wildlife photographer and a keen fly-fisherman.  Wherever possible he will be guiding trips.  In his words:

The areas in which we concentrate are the Okavango system in Botswana and the Zambezi river system in Zimbabawe and Zambia. The main target species would be the Tiger fish and the many Tilapia species (or Bream as they are locally known). Both species readily take a fly and with the tiger fish being a ferocious predator – large baitfish imitations are the order of the day.  The Tilapia species are also generally predatory and similar flies although slightly smaller than those used for Tiger fish will be savagely taken by most bream species.  Sight fishing is the most rewarding way of targeting these two species and this is particularly true in the Okavango in Northern Botswana.  The crystal clear waters of this system offer the angler pristine wilderness coupled with fantastic fishing.

When fishing the Zambezi River a completely different approach is needed. This impressive  river system, which in some areas (lower Zambezi) can be up to 3 km wide,  is most productive on the fast flowing sections of river.  The tiger fish wait on the outskirts of the main channel and pick off fish as they come past. Apart from the Bream and the Tiger fish there are over 80 fish species in each system and most are catchable on fly, this coupled with the fact that you are fishing in areas where the wildlife roams freely makes for a truly unique fly fishing destination. 

Green headed bream -Okavango Delta Botswana

And for the non-fishermen:  The facilities at the lodges insure that for the non fisherman there are plenty of options in the form of game-viewing walks, bird-watching, boat trips and in some cases cultural tours of neighbouring villages to be enjoyed while “the other half” fish.

The Itinerary:  Your itinerary will typically include three nights in the Delta, three nights on a house boat in the ‘pan handle’ and three nights on the shores of the Zambezi.  Including your flights in both directions, this creates an 11 night holiday, however, this can be extended or curtailed to your requirements.

So what else could we add:

Victoria FallsNo visit to this part of the world would be complete without a visit to Victoria Falls.

Game Viewing in the Linyanti or Selinda Reserve: Without doubt, the Linyanti and Selinda Reserves located to the western edge of the Chobe National Park offer the best game viewing in the world.

Makgadikgadi Pans:  Extend your holiday with a two or three night stay at the salt pans.  This area, the size of a small country is the result of the extraordinary changes that have taken place geologically over the millions of years.  Once an inland sea, the pans are now dry, leaving one of the flattest places on earth – so flat that the curvature of the earth can be seen with the naked eye.

A touch of pampering:  After your fly-fishing holiday and game viewing experience, round off your holiday with a few days rest and relaxation, some excellent wines and fine dining and perhaps a little pampering.

 

 

Great Value Kenyan Safaris

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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

Tailormade Namibia Itinerary Ideas

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Here are some of the reasons to visit Namibia with our tailormade Namibia itineraries…

  • Drive through four deserts and learn how different each one is and just how much life exists in what at first appears to be such a harsh environment.
  • Visit one of Africa’s prime National Parks in Etosha which has a string of waterholes around its massive salt pan. These are a life saver for a huge variety of animals.
  • Track desert adapted elephants and rhinos in Damaraland.
  • Visit the colourful Himba tribe who have maintained their way of life.
  • Learn to read the signs of the bush from a genuine San tracker.
  • Quad bike over some of the most colourful dunes in the world.
  • Come face to face with a seal and see the diverse sealife found in Walvis Bay.
  • Kayak with seals and dolphins for close company.
  • Watch hippo below your accommodation on the great rivers in the northern provinces.
  • Trek for three/four days with mules in the Fish River Canyon – the second largest canyon in the world.

Below is just a small sample of the varied itineraries we can offer in Namibia. Whether your interest lies in wildlife, photography, spectacular scenery, geology, history of you a planning a family adventure, let us help you plan the perfect trip.

Tailormade Namibia - Himba Girl Namibia Northern Tour
This sample itinerary tours Northern Namibia taking in some of the most well known parts of this fascinating country. Guided or self-driven…
Highlights
Okonjima (home of the Africat Foudation, world renowned Etosha National Park, Damaraland, Erongo Mountains

ITINERARY
Drive the Four Deserts of Namibia
In this self-drive itinerary idea, explore the magical, unique and enthralling southern parts of Namibia; this could be a stand alone trip or part of a bigger experience…
Highlights: Kalahari, Fish River Canyon, Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, Namib Desert, Sossusvlei, Deadvlei

ITINERARY
Tailormade Namibia - childres Tribes and Wild Camping
In this unique itinerary you will be taken to parts of Namibia travellers rarely have the opportunity to experience. You will meet the Himba people and camp in spectacular wild and remote locations.

ITINERARY

South Namibia and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
For those that like exploring the different kinds of deserts found in Namibia then this itinerary should satisfy their interests. It is an ideal self drive trip with stunning scenery and wildlife.ITINERARY
Namibia Namibia Caprivi Strip
There is another side to Namibia which is greener, with wide rivers running through it and giant trees fringing the banks.ITINERARY

 

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