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

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. 

Southern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar

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This itinerary provides a great combination of safari and beach – perfect for both first timers and experienced safari aficionados. Spend 5 nights in Selous National park with a few days at a hotel or lodge on a beautiful beach on the island to allow you to relax and enjoy the Indian Ocean. 

Summary

Southern Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar

Day 1: Selous National Park

Day 2-5: Selous National Park

Day 6: Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 8: Beach, Zanzibar

Day 12: Depart Zanzibar

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

Day 1: Selous National Park

From Dar es Salaam, take a small plane flight to the Selous National Park. On approach to the airstrip look for pods of hippo in the Rufiji River and possibly elephant making their way down to drink. The safari vehicle will be waiting to meet you together with a cool drink and refreshing hand towel. The drive to the lodge will be the first game drive of the trip stay here. Late afternoon will see you meeting your guide for the time here and a drive in to and around Selous Park. The lodges and camps here are small in size and are usually overlooking the Rufiji River. Most have wildlife passing through their areas so you will be escorted to and from the tent.

Five nights Selous National Park

Day 2 to 5: Selous National Park

Game drives early in the morning and again in the afternoon taking you to different parts of the Park, visiting lakes, plains and along the river – even a dip in a hot pool that bubbles out of the ground in the middle of the bush. Alternatively there is an excellent river cruise up the river. This gives great views of the hippo, crocs of all sizes along the banks and, if really lucky, a leopard sunning itself on the rocks of the ravine. The chances are that you will have a sundowner on a sand spit in or alongside the river, watching distant elephants (and other animals) coming down for their evening drink.

Day 6: Stone Town, Zanzibar

After a final game drive and breakfast, return to the airstrip for a flight back to Dar es Salaam and then on to Zanzibar Island. Once again you will be met and transferred to your hotel right in the centre of Stone Town. With views of the sea and the dhows and other boats entering and exiting the harbour you are in centre of activity. Stone Town has so much history to see, fascinating markets, beautiful doors and a wealth of interesting people. Two nights here gives time to explore the sights and scenes of Stone Town.

Two nights Stone Town

Day 8: Beach, Zanzibar

Finally, spend a few days at a hotel or lodge on a beautiful beach anywhere on the island to allow you to relax and enjoy the Indian Ocean. Where to stay will depend on your preference of size of hotel you prefer. There are choices from large to boutique hotels and all offer activities on the island or on/under the sea. Or just lay back and drink up the sun, sand and beach. Four or Five nights here will put the finishing touches to your bespoke Tanzanian adventure.

Four nights Beach

Day 12: Depart Zanzibar

Depart from Zanzibar today for the onward or homeward journey.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Cruising up the Rufiji River looking for leopards, with crocs and hippos all around is a real highlight in this itinerary.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tanzania Northern Circuit

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This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Summary

Tanzania Northern Circuit

This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. If you are free to choose when you go, ensure that you are in the Serengeti when the wildebeest and zebra migration is there. But this is an itinerary that has a feast of wildlife, bird life and stunning scenery practically all year.

Day 1: Mount Meru

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

Day 9: Lake Manyara National  Park

Day 11: Kilimanjaro

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Description

Description

This itinerary takes you to some of the wildlife capitals of the world; the best known being the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. If you are free to choose when you go, ensure that you are in the Serengeti when the wildebeest and zebra migration is there. But this is an itinerary that has a feast of wildlife, bird life and stunning scenery practically all year.

Day 1: Mount Meru

Begin with a stay not too far from Kilimanjaro, in MountMeruNational Park. Here there is a chance to see those animals that like the forest areas such as the black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo and the occasional elephant. The scenery is stunning especially the small but perfect Ngurdotu Crater. The flora is special with red hot pokers being a feature as, hopefully, good views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

One night Mount Meru

Day 2: Tarangire National Park

Today, arrive into the TarangireNational Park for two night stay. This Park is famous for its giants – big herds of buffalo and some of the biggest herds of elephants in East Africa and groves of Baobab trees. The river that flows through the length of the Tarangire is a lifeline to the animals during the long dry seasons. Game drives will be early morning and then again after the heat of the afternoon. Perhaps elect to travel further afield by taking a picnic and heading deeper in to the Park.

Two nights Tarangire National Park

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

The next destination is the World renowned SerengetiNational Park. Aim to be there at the right time of year, and in the right part of the Park, to see the huge wildebeest and zebra migration. With up to a million and half animals on the move, the vast plains will be filled with ungulates. This in turn attracts the hunters and the river crossings are something that we have all seen on our televisions. This truly one of the must see sights in nature. The Park is still very good at all times of the year and has good numbers of all animals, particularly the Big 5. Spend three nights here, or more if time allows.

Three nights Serengeti National Park

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

Start the return towards Arusha with the next stop being the Olduvai Gorge to see where palaeontologists found evidence of the earliest man. Then continue on to the Ngorongoro Crater and a lodge overlooking the caldera. Two nights here will provide a full day down on the Crater which is full of wildlife and with a good chance of seeing all of the Big Five. Flamingo may well be found on the lake in the centre of the Crater.

Two nights Ngorongoro Crater

Day 9: Lake Manyara National   Park

The final stop of the safari will be at LakeManyaraNational Park located right beneath the edge of the Rift Valley and home of tree climbing lions. The lodges overlook the Park and are perched on the edge of The Rift Valley. Two nights here will provide time to take some final game drives and to relax.

Two nights Lake Manyara National Park

Day 11: Kilimanjaro

Drive back through Arusha and then on to the airport for the onward or homeward flight.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Aim to be in Serengeti at the right time of year, and in the right part of the Park, to see the huge wildebeest and zebra migration.

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Getaway on Safari in Tanzania – Now

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Vicki Tester

 

On Safari in Tanzania – If the latest cold front and the rain is getting you down and you can get away from work for a week or so, then why not settle for something completely different (and 20%cheaper).

Our ground handler in Tanzania has a few places available on safaris of either 6 or 5 days duration. Both take in the World famous Ngorongoro Crater and then you have the choice of either seeing the large herds of elephant in Tarangire National Park or watching the wildebeest migration as it concentrates in the south of the Serengeti National Park.

Both tours start with a night in Mount Meru National Park which gives you a different type of experience with the forest of the mountains all around.

If you have time, add in a week on the beaches of Zanzibar or Pemba if you want to get away from the crowd and go somewhere well off the usual route.

The places on the safaris will go fast so please call as soon as possible to book this bespoke tailor made holiday.

 Please contact Peter on Tel: 01323 4465500 or email peter@experienceholidays.co.uk

Safari in Tanzania - Giraffe

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

Safari in Tanzania - IMG_9215

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Safari in Tanzania - IMG_9002

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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