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

Tips for choosing the Right Safari

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

 

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture Courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

That is all there is to it!

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Gorgeous Gorillas of Uganda

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Vicki Tester

 

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.

Picture courtesy of Bethan Evans
Picture courtesy of Uganda Tourism UK

Winter Sun in Kenya

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Vicki Tester

 

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.

Photos courtesy of Peter Ellis

Around Zimbabwe

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Times are changing fast in Zimbabwe and tourism, which in the recent past has concentrated on the Victoria Falls area, but is now looking to expand across the whole country.

There is much to offer the traveller who has a love of Africa or those that want to visit before too many others arrive. While this itinerary concentrates on the wildlife areas of the country it can easily be built upon to include the cultural and historic side of a diverse and fascinating country.

Summary

Around Zimbabwe

 

Day 1:         Victoria Falls

Day 4:         Hwange National Park

Day 7:         Mana Pools

Day 10:      Bumi Hills/Lake Kariba

Day 12:       Victoria Falls

Description

Description

 

This itinerary gives you the highlights of what Zimbabwe has to offer from the scenery and wildlife point of view. We can easily ensure you have plenty of cultural and historic aspects of the country.

 

Day 1

With Victoria Falls International Airport recently refurbished and more major carriers flying in to it, getting to this town has become easier. On arrival transfer to your hotel either in or close to the town or consider one in a National Park along the Zambezi River.

Over the next couple of days, you will explore the Falls and involve yourselves in the activities that abound here. When in the year you go will determine what type of experience you will have at the Falls. At the end of the rainy season the Falls are in full flood and good soaking guaranteed. However, when the rate of flow drops so the adrenalin activities (such as white water rafting) begin.

Day 4

Transfer to your lodge deep in the Hwange National Park. For a really different way of getting half way there, consider taking the train that runs along one of the boundaries of the Park. There is something magical in sitting in an open sided carriage looking out for the wildlife and with a cool drink close to hand. Your lodge’s 4×4 will meet you at the station and give you a game drive as you head to your lodge.

The next couple of days will have you exploring this huge Park with some of the largest herds of elephants and sable antelopes in Southern Africa.

Day 7

Transfer to Mana Pools National Park on the border with Zambia brings you to one Africa’s most iconic and beautiful spots on the Zambezi River with excellent wildlife around. Getting there could be a long drive and the chance to see the country up close or catch a small plane direct to the Park – and a chance for a different view of Zimbabwe. The Long Pool offers large numbers of crocs and hippo with a host of games animals coming down to drink. This in turn brings in the predators. A true untouched African scene.

As well as being a World Heritage Site parts of the Park are a Ramsar Site so bird watching is at a premium. For the adventurous you can canoe on the Zambezi, join a lion tracking walk or consider a guided and even unguided walking (if you are comfortable with being in a true wilderness) tour.

Day 10

Transfer to the Bumi Hills alongside Lake Kariba. With time to unwind you can go fishing on the lake, make the most of the stunning views from your lodge overlooking the Lake. There is still plenty of wildlife and bird life around the Lake to keep you experiences going.

Day 12

Return to Victoria Falls and your homeward flights.

 

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

Little Gems

Little Gems

Being a few yards from a full grown elephant and on foot (downwind), as you watch as he/she feeds from the bushes and trees.

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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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Posted by:

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

 

 

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

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