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

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

World Lion Day

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

August 10 was World Lion Day and it is worth taking stock on how these magnificent animals are doing in the wild.  With Cecil the lion, and his untimely death showed, many people around the world hold lion in deep affection.

The current situation is a mixture of good and bad news.  To deal with the bad first, the number of  lion in Western, Central and East Africa have decreased by 60% over the past 21 years. However the better news is that their numbers have  increased by 12% over the same period in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

It is encouraging that Rwanda realises the value of having lion in its National Parks and has re-introduced 15 lion to their Akagera National Park – the last time lion were seen here was 15 years ago. 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The King of the Jungle needs all the friends it can get.  If you want to discuss seeing these beautiful animals in their natural habitat just get in touch.

 We have lots of ideas on how to incorporate this into your own bespoke, tailor made holiday and many other places/parks that are a must visit on your trip.  We will also advise on the best time of year to visit and the length of time you need in each place therefore making the most of your time and money, whilst making the best memories!

Please contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

A flight of about 12.5 hours will find you In Namibia – a country that has something to offer for all tastes and expectations.

Whether you want adventure or activities or safari you will certainly find them all here.  Land, air and water experiences include quad biking, 4×4 off road driving, hiking, bird watching, skydiving, kayaking, windsurfing and kite boarding. And the list could go on.

On safari there is an endless variety of self drive adventure packages to fit any budget.  You can stay in various accommodations from guesthouses to campsites to remote lodges and all can be tailored to your own need and specifications whether its game packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert. 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

No matter what you choose to do here you will have an unique experience that will live with you and the family for ever. And it is a family friendly environment 

There really is so much to do to make your holiday one to remember and can be easily tailored to you own specific bespoke needs, so why not contact us and speak to someone who know this country very well and can offer expert advice. 

Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia Tribes

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This itinerary takes you on a guided camping trip to visit Namibia tribes and to deep in to the heart of the very north of Namibia.  This is a truly wonderful way to explore an area not accessible to regular travellers and to learn first hand how these tribes live in this harsh environment.

Summary

Tribes and Wild Camping in Namibia

This itinerary takes you on a guided camping trip deep in to the heart of the very north of Namibia.  This is a truly wonderful way to explore an area not accessible to regular travellers and to learn first hand how these tribes live in this harsh environment.

Day 1: Damaraland
Day 2: Opuwo
Day 3: Kunene River 
Day 6: Kaokoland
Day 9: Damaraland
Day 10: Windhoek

Description

Description

 

This itinerary takes you on a guided camping trip deep in to the heart of the very north of Namibia.  This is a truly wonderful way to explore an area not accessible to regular travellers and to learn first hand how these tribes live in this harsh environment.

Day 1: Damaraland
 From Windhoek, begin the journey to Damaraland in the north west of the country. Almost immediately you will see wildlife at the edge of the road as warthogs and baboons forage along the road edge.  Relax with a sundowner looking out over the waterhole with the birds flocking in to the reeds as the darkness falls.
 One night Damaraland

Day 2: Opuwo
An early start as you head north to Opuwo, keeping your eyes alert as there is a good chance of seeing the desert adapted elephants on the early part of the journey. The guides will set up the tents and then head off into town to buy the provisions for the next few days.
Take this opportunity to go with them and to wander through the town. Here the Herero and Himba tribe mix and many of them are in their traditional dress. The Herero women in their Victorian style long dresses and magnificent head dresses and the Himba with not much more on other than their beautiful jewellery, a skirt and wonderful red coloured skin (you will learn more about how they maintain this colour later in the trip).  A somewhat incongruous site is seeing a Himba lady wandering down the street in full costume and on the mobile phone!
 One night Opuwo Camping

Day 3: Kunene River
Today you head to the very north of the country and the Kunene River, which marks the border between Angola and Namibia. Here you will camp for the next three days with the Epupa Falls thundering in front of you and crocodiles sunning themselves on the little islands in the river.
During your stay here you will visit the Himba villages with a guide to learn about their nomadic life, their values and their way of life. The guide ensures that you are welcome and the tribe benefit with the food, snuff and other items given to them. This ensures all benefit from your visit.
 Three nights Kunene River Camping

Day 6: Kaokoland
The next part of your journey takes you in to the really wild parts of this region as you begin your search for the animals that have adapted to the desert. You will still occasionally come across Himba villages and Himbas herding their cattle, sheep and goats as you move from one valley to the next. The scenery is stunning and the wildlife beginning to return in numbers.
Here you will have a mixture of camping totally in the wild with the occasional stop at a camp site with shower etc. Your days start with the sunrise and end when the wine bottle is finished. You will be tempted to take many photos, particularly of the elephants, rhino (if you are really lucky) and other animals that are re-colonising the area.
 Three nights Kaokoland Camping

Day 9: Damaraland
Heading back towards civilisation, stop overnight in Damaraland, having had a final day’s game drive. A chance to take those final sunset photos of Damaraland. Leaving the peace of the true wild may be difficult.
 One night Damaraland

Day 10: Windhoek
Return either to Windhoek for your final night or to Swakopmund if you intend adding to your itinerary to this fascinating and diverse country.

We can offer an alternative journey that will give you time with the San people and this is combined with wild camping in the west of the country and then on to the Caprivi strip.

Namibia tribes - camp      Namibia tribes - Himba Girl

 

Namibia tribes - Himba Tribesman      Namibia tribes - Orumpembe

Little Gems

Little Gems

This itinerary is a little gem in itself – an opportunity to get close to and to understand people living in much the same way that they have for many years but with the odd modern convenience!

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Country: Namibia

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Namibia is one of those blessed countries that do not often feature in the news and indeed is one of those places many people have difficulty finding on a World Atlas. It nestles quietly on the western coast of Southern Africa, bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the east, Angola to the north and the cold South Atlantic Ocean to the west. At roughly four times the size of the UK and with a 2 million population, crowds are a rare occurrence.

Namibia is a land of superlatives – the oldest desert, the highest sand dunes, the most cheetahs, and the largest meteorite and so it goes on. With daily flights via Johannesburg or Frankfurt, Namibia is easily accessible from the UK and is a year round destination.

This is a country for visiting for many reasons and is still a well kept secret, although gaining in popularity. Add in the fact that it has stunning scenery, is one of the safest countries in Africa, has well maintained infrastructure, drives on the left, has English as its official language and friendly people to assist you and we believe this is a destination for almost everyone.

Please note that an International Driving License is now required for Namibia.

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

Dune 45, Namibia - credit Jackie Appleton

Dune 45, Namibia – credit Jackie Appleton

 

 

 

Top Tips for Namibia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

  • Ensure you have a good dust proof holder for your cameras – the dust gets everywhere.
  • If your interest is in the tribes of Namibia, ensure your itinerary includes meeting with the Himba (in the NW of the country) and San (along the Kalahari Desert)
  • You will take a lot of photos. Have plenty of memory or down load your photos on to your laptop/stick at regular intervals.
  • Have patience when watching a waterhole and let your eyes wander across the whole scene. It is amazing how a big animal can just disappear in to the background. A twitch of an ear or swish of a tail on the edge of your eye could produce a lion that you had missed when you first arrived.
  • Watch the behaviour of the animals. If they are looking in one direction then check to see what is interesting them.
  • Once your fuel tank registers half empty think of filling up. Petrol stations are few and far between.
  • Sleep with the windows open. Hearing a lion roar or hyena call at night adds to the experience of Namibia.
  • Don’t just tear across the sand dunes when you go quad biking. Go with a guide that knows what lives in this harsh environment and what can be found hidden in the shifting sands.
  • Wear plenty of layers of clothes when you go out for your early morning game drive. You can peal of each layer as the sun warmth rises.
  • Check out the bakeries. The German influence on the baking is very evident and delicious.

Namibia is a wonderful country with so much to offer, contact us and let us open your eyes with a bespoke, tailor made holiday just for you – call 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Tales from the Waterhole – actually from the River Bank

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

 

The morning had started early with a swift but fulsome breakfast and then set of from the camp on a walking safari deep in the South Luangwa National Park. There were just the two of us with guide, ranger and deputy guide. The adrenalin was high from the very beginning as we set off straight towards three lions and a lioness. The ranger and the guide had a quick chat, agreed that lion love was in the air and all would be OK. And so it proved but it had us all awake very quickly.

We had a truly exciting morning walking along the side of the river and then inland through the ebony trees. It was hot and the stop for tea in the shade was very welcome. We had a view across a fast shrinking pool in a bend in the river that was full of hippo and crocs. Hippo tempers frayed and fights kept breaking out causing disturbances across the length and breadth of the pool. Water flew and enraged bull hippo tried to bite chunks off rivals. Meanwhile crocs were feasting on a dead hippo, again sending spray in to the air as they spun to pull hunks of the carcass.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Finally, and within half a mile of our next camp, we came across a leopard at the base of the ebony tree were she had stashed her kill. She watched us watching her and even allowed photos to be taken before climbing in to the thick branches of the tree.

A shower and a light lunch later saw the two of us in safari chairs, in the shade watching the slow trickle of the river between sand banks. Birds a plenty were to be seen including skimmers and a steady stream of antelope came down to drink. The puku knew about crocs (and they were right to be wary as we could see some crocs in the shallows) but were tempted by the sparse green grass found on some of the island in the river. To minimise the risk they made huge leaps across the water and we spent many a happy minute trying to catch the leap on camera with mixed results.

What a memorable day and there was still the evening game drive to look forward to.

To find out more, or plan your bespoke, tailor-made holiday in this exiting country, please call 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Tales from the Waterhole 2 – by Peter Ellis

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

When we drew up to the waterhole it looked interesting. There were two areas of water about 100 metres apart and it is a man made waterhole. The solar pump was hidden behind a high elephant proof circular wall. As we stopped the engine we could see an excellent mix of zebra, kudu, red hartebeest, springbok, oryx and a few ostrich taking their turn to walk up to the water.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Our attention was on the rival male zebra fighting about how close bachelors are allowed near a harem. Zebras fight dirty with vicious bites and powerful kicks used to make a point. However we also noted that all the animals kept a very wary eye on the compound that housed the water pump. With good reason. A bit of manoeuvring gave us sight of four lion cubs trying to sleep in the shade.

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

After a few minutes they became restless and started circling the pump compound, calling as they went. Suddenly a female lion leapt up on to the wall and was soon joined by another. After surveying the scene, they dropped to the ground and walked over to the nearest waterhole. Two more cubs appeared and then finally a large male made his entrance from some bushes a few hundred metres away.

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

The other animals gave them a wide enough berth but continued to drink from the other waterhole. The cubs played with the water and their mother’s tails while the male walked off with a youngster trying to attach his tail. A swift cuff put him in his place and sent him back to the rest of the pride.

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

We sent a happy hour watching this inter play between cubs and mothers and the tension between the other thirsty animals wanting to access the water. As we drove off the largest part of the pride were heading for the shade of mopane trees some way off and a small herd of elephant were arriving to claim their time to drink.  

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Tales from a Waterhole 1 – by Peter Ellis

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

The team here at Experience Holidays ask me why Africa is my favourite destination. Apart from the fact that I was born and raised in Kenya and have a life long love of wildlife, I love the fact that every time you go out in to the bush you are not sure what you will see or encounter.

I had a 3 week holiday in Namibia last November and I thought that a few tales of what we saw while travelling would help explain why I keep going back.

We arrived at a big waterhole in central Etosha National Park where we had seen a male and female lion on a baby giraffe they had just killed. The lions had gone and the remains were being squabbled over by a couple of hyena and half a dozen jackel. On the other side of the waterhole a small herd of kudu were nervously drinking. An alarm bark from one of them made them all scatter. One of the youngsters leaped forward straight in to the mud in the centre of the waterhole and sank up to its chest. The more it thrashed to get out the deeper it sank. 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 The rest of the herd left with barely a glance backwards.

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

One of the jackals saw an opportunity for fresh, uncontested meat and leapt across the water and on to the drying mud. We held our breath as it approached the rear of the kudu (images passed through my mind of a rhino we had to put down in 1962 in Kenya when it got stuck in mud in the Nairobi National Park and the hyena could reach its rear end) but thankfully the jackal started to sink in to the mud. It backed off quickly and lay down to await developments. Then a hyena walked around the waterhole and began to wade out but the water was too deep and anyway it had a belly so full it was waddling.

All the while other game came to drink and ignored the drama. The kudu kept on struggling and slowly began to break through the mud until finally with a huge effort it was free and on the bank. A huge cheer went up from the people in the 4 vehicles watching this drama.

The mud covered kudu looked lost for a moment and then tagged on to another herd of  kudu that were just leaving the waterhole. 

Keep an eye out for my next tale coming soon. 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Peter’s Namibia Trip..

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Peter has recently been off travelling to his birth place of Africa and this time visiting Namibia.  Due to the Telegraph Travel Show this weekend Peter has been very busy and unable to put his trip to this exciting part of Africa into a blog, but as I was downloading some of the pictures he took I just couldn’t wait to share some of them!!

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is such an amazing place and I cant wait to share Peter’s blog soon.  If you like the look of an adventure to Africa to see all the amazing wildlife then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk where we can give you first hand experienced advice on making your dream, bespoke, tailor made holiday to Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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