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

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

Bay-300x199

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

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

 

Botswana – The Northern Parks and Wildlife Areas

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Africa’s largest inland delta, the Okavango, is the centre of any holiday to this part of Botswana. This wetland has always been a haven for animals and birds and is now mostly protected as National Park or Game Reserves. Large areas of the Delta are under private concessions who work closely with the locals to offer you a quality experience which you share with just a few other travellers. With the options of traditional game drives, boat tours, mokoro (dugouts) trips, night safaris and walking safaris you have the chance to see the flora and fauna from so many different angles – not forgetting the light aircraft transfers that give you an eagle’s eye view of this fascinating country.

Summary

The Northern Parks and Wildlife Areas

 

Day 1:              Chobe National Park

Day 3:              Moremi Game Reserve

Day 5:              Okavango Delta

Day 8:              Nxai Pan National Park

Day 10:            Maun

 

Description

Description

 

This itinerary takes to you the World famous areas of Botswana and is a feast of wildlife and wild scenery. With a mixture of the wetland of the Okavango Delta and the dryness of the Kalahari Desert you have a real African adventure of contrast.

 

Day 1

Your flight in to the first camp will be in a small aircraft and will give you a great overview of the Delta and then Chobe National Park. On arrival you will be met by your guide and transferred to your lodge located on the Chobe River. Famous for the size of the elephant and buffalo herds you will have a chance to see these (and all the other animals) both from your 4×4 vehicle and also from a boat on the river. Sipping a sundowner and watching the wildlife coming down for their evening drink and the sun setting behind them.

2 nights Chobe National Park

 

Day 3

A short flight takes you to your next camp in the Moremi Game Reserve, the first conservation area in the Okavango set up by the local tribes. Set in the flood plains of the Delta, this area is rich in wildlife and has recorded over 400 types of birds. Following the re-introduction of rhino to the area, it is truly Big 5 country with wild dog also present. Again you have the choice of boat or vehicle tours of this amazing area. You also will appreciate how fewer tourists are to be found here. Often you will have the wildlife experience with just your vehicle/boat in attendance.

2 nights Moremi Game Reserve

 

Day 5

Another transfer by air or possibly by road has you deep in the Okavango Delta and your third camp site. You will be deep in the Delta and the chance to head out in a mokoro (dugout that is powered by your guide with a long pole). This gives you another, more intimate, way of seeing the wild and bird life here. The silence of your approach means you should have excellent viewing and not disturb the animals. For the intrepid you could elect to have a night or two wild camping further in to the bush.

3 nights Okavango Delta

 

Day 8

Catch your next small plane flight out of the Delta and then in to the Kalahari Desert. You leave the green of Okavango behind and enter the vastness of this huge desert. Your next destination is the Nxai Pan National Park which, depending on the time of year, is a grassy plain with clumps of trees around waterholes. The wildlife is abundant during the rainy season then sparser and inhabited by the residents such as bat eared fox. Your camp here is most likely around one of the few waterholes and with views over the plains. Perhaps take a quad bike tour out over the desert/saltpan and experience the flat and hugeness of this area.

2 nights Nxai Pan National Park

 

Day 10

Fly back to Maun for your connection back home or onwards to Victoria Falls or different parts of Botswana (see our other itineraries for Botswana).

 

Botswana - Leopard

Picture courtesy of Helen Wibley

Botswana

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Botswana

Picture courtesy of Helen Wibley

Botswana

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Being punted through the reeds and waterways of the Okavango Delta by an experienced guide and never quite sure what you will see next – hippo pod, elephant bathing or drinking or the beautiful, tiny Malachite kingfisher perched on a reed.

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Horse Riding with the Zimbabwe Wildlife

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Vicki Tester

 

Seeing the wildlife of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is a stunning experience on its own but Imvelo Safaris have just announced the start of horse riding from two of their lodges. This would be a completely different way of seeing the wildlife of visiting the village close by for a genuine cultural experience.

There are different experiences to take in to account experience – and yes there is an option for beginners or novice riders. The options are:

  1. Beginner Bush Experience – approximately 1 hour for beginners and novice riders
  2. Hippo Sunrise – approximately 3 hours for experienced riders
  3. Cultural Ride – approximately 5 ½ hours for intermediate riders
  4. Sundowner Ride – approximately 2 hours for intermediate riders
  5. Full Day Safari Ride – approximately 8 hours for experienced riders

In line with Imvelo’s ethos, this new activity has been brought to life in partnership with the communities. It has provided new jobs and will support Nganyana Village close to Camelthorn through guests participating in the cultural ride! During your visit the villagers will gladly show you the different ways they try make an income including basket weaving, beading and jewellery making – riders are welcome to try their hand at these crafts too!

The magnificent and expansive savanna vleis that border Camelthorn along with the Ngamo Plains make for the best safari riding areas in Zimbabwe and guests will now be able to enjoy leisurely strolls or more adventurous rides all led by experienced horse guides! The sense of freedom, silence and tranquillity, with a touch of adrenaline thrown in too, brings you closer to nature than you may have ever been before.

If this is for you and would like to make it part of your own bespoke tailor made itinerary to Africa then please contact us for fuller details and to start your safari plans – call on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Picture courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

Along the Limpopo River, South Africa and Botswana

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Vicki Tester

 

This is a different side to both South Africa and Botswana which has the mighty Limpopo River as its main theme. The river and its tributaries support a huge variety of animals and birds. Add in evidence of human history that goes right back to our earliest times to give you another interest while here. A different type of safari in a different South Africa and Botswana.

Summary

Southern Africa and Botswana – Along the Limpopo River

 

Day 1:              Johannesburg

Day 2:              Madikwe         

Day 4:             Mashatu, Botswana

Day 7:              Limpopo

Day 8:              Kruger

Day 11:            Panoramic Route

Day 12:            Hazyview

Day 13:            Johannesburg

Description

Description

 

The northern border of South Africa is often described as a different experience of this country – wilder and more remote. Combining this with the Tuli Block in Botswana, known as the land of Giants for its elephant herds and huge baobab trees, and you have a smorgasbord of the unexpected and the best of the wild Africa.

 

Day 1: Johannesburg

Stay overnight in Johannesburg and consider a tour of the city, taking in Constitution Hill with its fort and the Constitution Court, a trip to Soweto to see the Apartheid Museum and a visit to the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners have lived (Mandela and Tutu).

One night Johannesburg

 

Day 2: Madikwe

Drive towards the Botswana border. Your first stop is Madikwe Game Reserve home to the Big 5 and wild dog and with a mixture of plains, forest and rocky hills to vary your experiences. Being malaria free adds to the attraction of this Reserve and many of the lodges here are family friendly.

Two nights Madikwe

 

Day 4: Mashatu, Botswana

Head to the North West South African border with Botswana at Pontdrift and cross the Limpopo into the Tuli Conservation area of Botswana. Your days here focus on the wildlife that is abundant in this region, particularly large herds of elephant and good sightings of leopard, lion and cheetah. Take time to join a walking safari or take to mountain bikes and follow your guide as you negotiate the rough terrain and the wildlife you will encounter. Also make time to explore the history of the region going back to the beginning of man, the Great Zimbabwe era and the colonial past.

Three nights Mashatu

 

Day 7: Limpopo

Return to Pontdrift and then drive along the Limpopo towards the very northern part of the Kruger National Park. Break the journey with an overnight stay at one of the lodges that have views over the Limpopo River.

One night Limpopo

 

Day 8: Kruger

Enter the Kruger National Park by its most northerly gate – Pafuri. The river is a great attraction for animals and birds and sitting on a platform watching the coming and going at the river is a good way to spend a few hours. Your guide here will take you out through the Park to see a whole host of wildlife and stunning scenery such as the Fever tree forest (glows in the moonlight) and stone tools fashioned by stone aged people. If you enjoy birding this region has much to offer in the way of rare specimens.

Three nights Kruger

 

Day 11: Panoramic Route

Leaving the Kruger behind you will start your journey along the Panoramic Route. There are many attractions along the way to ensure you do not rush it, such as the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, God’s Window and a number of waterfalls.

One night Panoramic Route

 

Day 12: Hazyview

End the Panoramic Route with a night in Hazyview and time to relax.

One night Hazyview

 

Day 13: Johannesburg

Return to Johannesburg for the end of your trip.

Africa

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Africa

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Africa

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Africa

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Stand on an outcrop looking down on a herd of elephant as they make their way to a waterhole in the near distance while shaded by a baobab tree carved with the initials of Cecil Rhodes and his paramour, and sipping a sundowner.

What our client says

Client Feedback

 

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