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

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

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

 

New African Rail Route announced by Rovos Rail

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail, one of our favourite carriers for that ”extraordinary” way to see Africa, have just announced a new 15 day trip that takes in Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. It has taken patient diplomatic negotiations to arrange permissions along the whole route and it has taken over 2 years.

The inaugural trip sets off on July 16, 2019 from Dar es Salaam (a city familiar to Rovos Rail as it has been running its 15-day Cape to Dar trip since 1993), and includes a game visit in the Selous Reserve, a fly-in two-night safari in the South Luangwa National Park (Zambia) and a city tour of Lubumbashi (DRC). Thereafter, it joins the Benguela line for short walking tours detailing Angola’s recent history with journey’s end in Lobito. The voyage is available in reverse departing from Lobito (Angola) on August 2, 2019.

Rates, which start at US$12 820 per person sharing, vary according to suite type and are fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, all alcoholic and other beverages, room service, laundry, an on-board historian and doctor as well as excursions and the fly-in two-night safari (accommodation, meals, bottled water and a limited wine selection). Not included are pre- or post-tour accommodation, flights and transfers.

A wonderful way to see parts of Africa that are often difficult to access or combine. Give us a call to be one of the first to experience this amazing train journey – it will fill fast and places are limited.

If you would like to find out more and incorporate this in your own bespoke tailor made trip then please contact us for further details on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

Picture courtesy of Rovos Rail

 

Wildebeest Migration

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

For all of you that loved and marvelled at Ben Fogle’s ITV programme on the wildebeest migration and would like to find out more about seeing this amazing event, then please get in touch.

Whether you see the herds in Kenya or Tanzania it does depend upon when you can get away and for how long. Both countries have much to offer relating to the migration and all that happens around it and also with other wonderful Game Parks and scenery.

Certain parts of the migration are very popular to watch, particularly the river crossings, so finding accommodation and/or places can be difficult and expensive.

As always try to plan in advance to ensure your seat at this spectacle and to minimise costs.

Please contact us for more information and advice on building your own bespoke, tailor made holiday to see this spectacular – Tel: 01323 446 550 or email: info@experinceholidays.co.uk

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

 

Free Safaris for children under the age of 12

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

SkySafari, one of the companies that we love booking with, provides once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences, for the young as well as for the young-at-heart.

Families find their 8-day SkySafari the perfect solution to avoid long transfers as their direct flights between the lodges & camps of the Elewana Collection allow you and your family to spend more time searching for The Big Five.

With the Easter Holidays just around the corner, why not take your children on an 8-day SkySafari in either Tanzania or Kenya?  And what’s more, children under 12 years of age will travel free of charge until mid-June 2016.

SKYSAFARI HIGHLIGHTS

  • Each of the Elewana Collection lodges & camps is geared for family groups and offers a unique perspective and diverse activities specific to each age group
  • Our passionate and informative guides will explain all about the flora & fauna encountered 
  • Your children (and you) have the opportunity to learn about the traditional values of some of East Africa’s oldest tribes
  • Small lodges or camps in private reserves – away from the crowds

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

  • KENYA – 1 night Hemingways Nairobi | 2 nights Tortilis Camp Amboseli  |  2 nights Elsa’s Kopje Meru  |  2 nights Sand River Masai Mara
  • TANZANIA – 1 night Arusha Coffee Lodge | 2 nights Tarangire Treetops | 2 nights The Manor at Ngorongoro | 2 nights either Serengeti Pioneer or Migration Camp
Elsa's Kopje Meru - Luxury Open Cottage - Courtesy of SkySafaris

Elsa’s Kopje Meru – Luxury Open Cottage – Courtesy of SkySafari

 

Tortillis Camp - Courtesy of SkySafaris

Tortillis Camp – Courtesy of SkySafari

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • No charge for children’s accommodation, meals, drinks, activities and transfers in our luxurious Executive-Class Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft
  • Park & Concession fees for children are payable (USD 155 in Tanzania and USD 370 in Kenya)
  • Only applicable to the 8-day Classic SkySafari itineraries. SkySafari Plus extensions are excluded. 
  • Valid for bookings made from today to the date of travel
  • Valid for any SkySafari  departures between today and 15 June 2016
  • Maximum 2 children under 12 years sharing a room with 2 adults

 Truly an exceptional offer and a wonderful introduction to Africa for the children.

Serengeti Migration Camp - Bedroom Tent - Courtesy of Skysafaris

Serengeti Migration Camp – Bedroom Tent – Courtesy of Skysafari

 

Tarangire Treetops - Courtesy of Skysafaris

Tarangire Treetops – Courtesy of Skysafari

Late deals to one of East Africa Highlight Safaris

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

If you have had enough of winter and want to get away soon for some sun and wildlife experiences that are unique then we have the answer for you – East Africa.  Our ground handler in Tanzania has just a few places available on two of their best safaris going in early to late March. For those of you wanting just a quick get away then there is their 5 day/4 night safari taking in Mount Meru National Park, Tarangire NP and the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. The variety of habitat and wildlife on this short safari is amazing and at less than £840 per person (excluding flights).

For those of you with a little more time and wanting to see the wildebeest and zebra migration masses in the south of the Serengeti – arguably as good as seeing the migration in Kenya in August/September – then join their 6 day/5 night safari is for you. this tour takes in the Mount Meru NP, Lake Manyara (famous for its tree climbing lions), the Serengeti and Ngorongoro NPs.

Truly a feast of iconic wildlife and scenery especially as the wildebeest will have their spindly legged youngsters with them. The price for this safari is £1,330 per person (excluding international flights)

Act fast if you are interested as there are very few places on these safaris, contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

East Africa - Sundry animal photos 017

Courtesy of Peter Ellis


East Africa - IMG_5773

Courtesy of Peter Ellis

Country: Tanzania

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Perhaps a bit more expensive than its neighbour, Kenya, but equally as rewarding to visit. The country splits in to two main areas, the northern circuit and the south.

Up in the north, and using Mount Kilimanjaro as a back drop, there are a number of iconic National Parks. The sweeping plains of the Serengeti, rightly one of the world’s wonders when covered with hundreds of thousands of ungulates, the spectacular view in to the Ngorongoro Crater, the tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara and big herds of elephant dwarfed by baobab trees in Tarangire are just some of the reasons to come here.

Again the size and quality of the accommodation does vary to suit all needs as does the experience. If there was one thing to say about the northern circuit, it would be – do not rush it. Better to visit 2/3 Parks and spend time there rather than rush from one to the other.

Down in the South you will find the Selous National Park which has all the game of the north but needs keener eyes as it is shyer here. Add in the Rifiji River with its pods of hippo and crocs along the bank and you have an extraordinary combination.

To either of these wildlife adventures you can add a completely different experience by heading to the beach either on the mainland or the magical islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. All of them are steeped in the history of the region and have much to offer in the way of exploring the sea life, the wildlife, local customs and farms (spices feature heavily). For those of you willing to explore the past, there is plenty of evidence to found in places like Stone Town, Zanzibar. Again, what a great way to finish your East African holiday.

 

 

EA buffalo

Credit Peter Ellis

EA beach

Credit Peter Ellis

East Africa

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East Africa – the lands that spawned the safari, drawing such luminaries as Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemmingway. The original safaris were all about trophies to hang on your wall and the excitement and near misses you had endured (the truth is that the hunter with you would never let you come to harm – he would never work again if anything happened). It was for the elite and the wealthy.

Then after the war came the change in emphasis, using the camera and making safaris more accessible to others. Some would say that it went too far with too many tourists around a pride of lion or any other spectacle. But the truth is that the countries of this part of the world are huge, the wildlife abundant and the safari experience can be as individual and as private as it ever was. Your guides/rangers are more knowledgeable and understand the need to conserve the ecosystem.

East Africa is more than the wildlife/sea life, spectacular as it is. It is believed to be the cradle of man and there are a number of excellent sites to visit, such as the Olduvai Gorge. There are any numbers of adventure trips that can be arranged, the favourite being climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and with more than 50 tribes in Kenya alone; there are many cultural experiences to be explored.

To get the most out of your trip, talk to us, with the experience of the countries we can help you plan a trip to be remembered.

Lake Turkana

Credit Kenya Tourism


Wildebeast Crossing River

Credit Kenya Tourism


Giraffe

Credit Peter Ellis

                    

 

The Tanzania Beach and Safari Sandwich

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

A mixture of beach and wildlife covering one of Africa’s iconic destinations.

Summary

The Tanzania Beach and Safari Sandwich

The great thing about this sandwich is that you can reverse the “filling” to have either the safari or the beach in the middle. It also a wonderful answer to those of you that want to mix your stay in this fascinating country, but have never been on safari and are not too sure how long you want to spend out in the bush. This option allows you to have a taste without committing to whole holiday of safari.

Day 1: Zanzibar

Day 7: Arusha

Day 8: Tarangire

Day 9: Ngorongoro

Day 11: Serengeti

Day 13: Lake Manyara

Day 14: Pemba island

Day 20: Depart Pemba

Description

Description

Below is a suggested itinerary that will take you to the World famous parts of Tanzania and some that are off the beaten track.

Day 1: Zanzibar

Zanzibar has much to offer as well as some of the best snorkelling and diving in the region. Most water sports are catered for at Lodges at the higher end of the market or can be arranged when there. Alternative there are trips to the spice farms on the island and a huge variety are grown here. Perhaps add on a trip to swim with the dolphins on the north coast of the island.

Stone Town is fascinating both architecturally and historically. For centuries it was the centre for the slave trade to the Middle East and was a powerful sultanate that controlled much of the trade in East Africa. The museum of the slave trade is moving and well worth a visit. The town itself is narrow winding place that you can feel lost in very quickly. The doors on the various town houses are ornate and fascinating. Certainly having a sundowner overlooking the harbour is a must and, for the daring, have your supper down in the harbour – an experience of taste, fun and “real” Africa.

Six nights Zanzibar

Day 7: Arusha

Today, fly to Arusha in North Tanzania. If you’re lucky Mount Kilimanjaro might be out from the clouds whilst you are here in the North of Tanzania. It does make a good backdrop in some locations.

One night Arusha

 Day 8: Tarangire

Depart for Tarangire National Park, named after the river that flows through the length of the park and provides a constant water source for the thousands of animals making their home here. Enjoy a late afternoon game drive. Tarangire is famous for good herds of elephants and buffalo and its Baobab trees. The river will be a magnet for the animals at most times of the year as other sources of water often have dried up. 

One night Tarangire

Day 9: Ngorongoro

Enjoy an early morning game drive before breakfast. Mornings are a great time to see wildlife as most are active and some of the night animals are still to be found. After breakfast, depart Tarangire and drive over to the Ngorongoro Conservation area, allegedly the birthplace of man. It is also home to the unique intact caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater. Whilst the big game is mostly in the crater, the rim has an abundance of monkeys, baboons and small antelope. Descend 2000 feet below the rim of the crater for game viewing. The crater is home to abundant game, including the “Big Five,” plus black rhino, jackal and Cape buffalo.

Two nights Ngorongoro

Day 11: Serengeti

This morning drive to Ol Duvai Gorge for a short visit to the site of the remains of prehistoric “Nutcracker man.” You will then continue your journey to one of the world’s best-known parks, the Serengeti. Named after the Masai word, “Siringet” for endless plains of short and long grass, the Serengeti is well known for its large prides of lion, cheetah and packs of wild dog and for nearly a million or so wildebeest, zebra and other antelope that migrate around this Park and the Masai Mara in Kenya. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a game viewing drive.

Two nights Serengeti

Day 13: Lake Manyara

After breakfast you will drive to Lake Manyara National Park via Ngorongoro conservation area. This Park is located on the edge of the Rift Valley and one of the hotels has views down in to the Park. Lake Manyara is home to numerous birds, elephant, its famous tree-climbing lions (to get away from the flies), hippos and buffaloes.

One night Lake Manyara

Day 14: Pemba Island

Enjoy an early morning game drive before breakfast. Later you will drive back to Arusha for a flight to Pemba Island.  This island is well off the usual tourist track and is famous for supplying about a quarter of the world’s cloves. The sea and the coral are protected and should be in very good condition and ideal for snorkelling and diving.

Six nights Pemba Island

Day 20: Depart Pemba

Today you’ll return to the airport for the onward or homeward journey.

Leopard 2 - PE

Courtesy of Peter Ellis


IMG_8810

Courtesy of Peter Ellis


Elephant drinking - PE

Courtesy of Peter Ellis


Lion 3 - PE

Courtesy of Peter Ellis

 Little Gems 

Little Gems

Watching the Wilderbeest migrate across the sea of grass in the Serengeti.

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Safaris with a difference

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It is magical to be in a vehicle watching wildlife. Whether you are self driving or being taken around in an open sided vehicle by your guide the excitement of spotting an animal or bird and then watching it does not diminish.

However here are some suggested other ways of seeing wildlife and experiencing all that the bush has to offer:

Walking Safaris

This has to be one of the nicest ways of seeing wildlife at a pace that suits you. It is also a chance to see the smaller things that you miss when in a vehicle. Your guide and ranger (armed) have excellent eyes for spotting all sorts of things and enjoy interpreting the tracks and signs along the way. Your heart rate will rise when you see lion or a herd of elephant but your guides ensure that you are not in any danger.

These types of safari could be for a few hours or for several days, usually starting after an early breakfast and taking breaks during the heat of the day. Distances are not great but can be extended if you have to go round an animal. Moving quietly through the bush brings you close to many animals and gives you a chance to study their actions. The beer at your camp is always welcome at the end of the day!

Walking safaris are in some of the best wildlife areas in Africa and come highly recommended.

Riding Safaris

This is another great way of seeing wildlife and enjoying the thrill of horse riding in the bush. Having a certain amount of skill at riding helps and those who are confident will enjoy the freedom of riding over the veldt or through bush. Other animals seem to accept horse and rider as something not to worry about, allowing you to ride close to them.

As with walking you can spend half a day or be in the saddle for a few days. In the latter case the crew ride on ahead of you to set up camp so that when you arrive the fire is lit, the kettle is boiling and the tents are up. The horses are very well looked after are usually as keen as you to head out.

For those that are not so comfortable on horses, there are places that will accommodate your skill levels and set a time table that allows time to recover from each ride – perhaps visiting the area’s wildlife on a game drive as an alternative.

This activity is available in many African destinations so has different scenery and wildlife opportunities to consider.

Mountain Biking Safaris

As cycling has become more popular so the advent of the mountain bike safari has come in to being. Some lodges/camps have offered this for a number of years but the scale, length of the safari and locations have grown. As with walking and riding, decide on how much time you want to spend in the saddle and tailor make your trip accordingly.

Presently there are not as many longer distance cycling safaris as with horse riding but this is changing. Picking the right time of the year (and this applies to walking and riding) is important and the amount of your holiday that you want to spend doing this activity.

It is all about the planning and the options available and of course the time you have and the price you want to pay.

Kayaking Safaris

This is another completely different way of seeing wildlife. Many Lodges and camps based on or very near water offer trips on lakes and rivers in boats of varying sizes. This is a terrific way to see things like hippo, crocs and a host of birds up close and having the chance of seeing rarities such as otters. One of the best moments must be when you are on the water watching the sun go down and a herd of elephant come down for their evening drink.

Now picture yourself in a kayak on a river or lake doing the same trip. Somehow it seems more magical and personal. There are options to kayak for a few days or just for a day or less.

Sea kayaking can be just as much fun with inquisitive seals coming to check you out and dolphins tempting you to try to race them.

Photo courtesy of Isibindi Africa

Photo courtesy of Isibindi Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Island Hopping Dhow Safaris

In places like Mozambique and Madagascar where there are so many different islands to explore, then taking a dhow safari is the best way of travelling between them. With the option of taking to kayak to explore further afield or to visit the mangrove swamps there is always something to do and see.

Diving off the dhow to go snorkelling or to swim to shore ready to help set up camp for the night on a deserted beach helps to leave the modern world behind. There is something special when you sail in to a bay, drop anchor and then snorkel over pristine coral. Later sitting around a fire made of drift wood and with the waves on the beach as a backdrop symphony as you discuss the day’s events is unique.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Holidays

Not all game lodges are welcoming of children and it is worth discussing this with your advisor. For those with concerns about health there are places that are malaria free and have just as good wildlife to offer. There are a good number of lodges that welcome families and in some places the adults’ are envious of their children’s activities. Who would not want to make a bow and arrow and then go in to the bush tracking!

Looking to older children’s requirements there are places that have options to be involved in work with animals in crisis or learn about conservation. For those contemplating a Gap Year careful planning will ensure that you have a truly worthwhile experience, which should look good on a C.V. Getting value for money is important and researching each option is vital.

Historic Safaris

If your interest is in the history of Africa or archaeology then there are places that will take you back to the dawn of man or to the battlefields of a number of wars – WW1, WW2, Boer, Zulu and a host of places relating to the wars for independence. There are many places to see Bushman art and to learn about a prehistoric hand axe and even try making one yourself. The museums found in East and Southern Africa are an overlooked but hugely interesting source of information. Adding in these to your safari itinerary will enhance the whole experience.

Safaris to see a given animal/bird

The obvious type of safari in this category is trekking to see the mountain gorillas of Rwanda but if you long to see a leopard or rhino or a host of different birds then careful planning is required. There is never any guarantee when wildlife spotting but your chances of seeing something in particular is enhanced by being in the right place.

There are migrations that go on all year but being at pinch points such as river crossings or just in the right part of the migration ensure you have the best view of this amazing spectacle. The same applies to birding – seeing the birds in their mating plumage are seeing them at their best – so pick the right time of the year.

Which ever type of safari you have in mind it is always worth talking to an expert about what, where, when and how to go. It will always pay dividends. 

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