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Found 121 results

  1. The top holiday destinations that you should not miss on a Tanzania Safari is Serengeti National Park Zanzibar Mount Kilimanjaro Lake Manyara Mafia Island Here you can find the specialities of these top places https://www.slideshare.net/angelinamary/tanzania-safari-holiday-destinations
  2. A Wilderness's Rebirth : As a group of wildlife enthusiasts in India, it is truly inspiring to witness the transformation of a lesser known yet an extremely important wilderness of the country turn into a major attraction for not only nature lovers but for a layman as well. Umred Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary, now popularly known as UKWLS, is currently the most sought after wildlife destination in the country. It is a tremendous achievement for the wilderness given its location and its close proximity to some of country’s most famous National Parks and Tiger Reserves. Situated at a distance of 50 kms approx.(an hour by road) from the city of Nagpur, in the Indian State of Maharashtra, the forest was declared as a wildlife sanctuary back in June 2012. The main reason being the presence of the king of Indian Jungles, the Bengal Tiger. It was a delightful news for all the wildlife savvy individuals, mainly those , in the western part of the country. For the first 1.5 – 2 years, UKWLS had a sluggish start as it was always considered as an optional add on for majority of the wildlife lovers who visited this part of the country for the more recognized National Parks or Tiger Reserves like Tadoba, Pench or Kanha due to a couple of reasons (a.) the area was comparatively less; 189 sq kms looks way too tiny when compared to Tadoba (700 sq kms of core area) and the other National Parks around and (b.) the scarcity of good accommodations in the area. Then came the turning point in the history of UKWLS. A male tiger named Jay, touted to be Maharashtra’s largest Tiger at the moment, and some say he may well be in for the top slot as the country’s largest Tiger too, made a superstar like appearance in UKWLS. Whether or not, he is indeed the largest Tiger in the country or in Maharashtra, is something we would leave it up to the wildlife experts and big cat enthusiasts to debate on, however what was important was his huge size and his sudden presence in the sanctuary. To top it all, this enormous brute was more than happy to oblige the visitors with a glimpse of his royal behaviour more often than not. In fact he made it a point to welcome or see off the Safari vehicles by sitting bang in the middle of the Safari track. UKWLS already had 4 tigers before Jay’s arrival, with an equal male-female ratio. As expected, Jay pushed the 2 resident males out of the core territory due to his towering size and became the only dominant male in this vast wilderness. It is believed that he also lured a tigress from the Pench Tiger Reserve taking the female tally to 3. The scene was now set for Jay to stamp his dominance over his newly acquired territory that was spread across 180 odd sq kms, way larger than an average male tiger, but Jay was no ordinary Tiger. In a span on the next 6 months he spent ample amount of time with all 3 tigresses and Jay’s next generation was well on its way. Within no time, there were 13 tigers in UKWLS which included Jay, the 3 tigresses and 9 cubs. With no other male in the surrounding area there wasn’t much of a threat to these cubs. They started growing and so did UKWLS’s popularity. They quickly started following their father’s footsteps and were very bold right from a tender age to face the tourists and the safari vehicles. That was the triggering point that shot up UKWLS as a dream destination for the wildlife lovers. Today UKWLS is a Tiger hub, with the cubs now around 15-20 months old they have acquired huge sizes, and even at this tender age almost all of them dwarf their mothers. They have now started actively participating in the hunts and it is one hell of a sight to see these large groups of Tigers take down prey as large as a Gaur or a Nilgai with ease. The prey base is now in check and with the reduction in the grazing rate, it may well improve the soil holding capacity of the forest thereby making it healthier in terms of the eco-system. Visitors throng the sanctuary to get a glimpse of these wonderful creatures and they are not disappointed at all. This is once again, a classic example of the tremendous importance a Tiger holds in the entire ecosystem and how its presence benefits the entire jungle. As the cubs will turn into adults in the next 6-8 months they will venture out in search of their own territories and thus benefitting the surrounding vegetation as well. It may be safe to say that Jay could well be the game changer as far as UKWLS’s fortunes are concerned and who knows, Maharashtra would boast of another Tiger reserve in the State. In any which way Jay has given a re-birth to UKWLS and we wish the sanctuary continues to prosper.
  3. I've about finished editing a few hundred images from my 15 days in the Kalahari and will shortly begin my trip report. Meanwhile, this video is a short 'tease' of the trip. https://youtu.be/6FfiXWzteEY I hope you enjoy this 3 minute overview. I promise to begin the tale shortly.
  4. Having had a fantastic safari last year in Tanzania( Selous, Ruaha, Katavi, Serengeti - report posted in Trip reports , Tanzania ), we have now decided our next safari will be ( provisionally ) to Zambia in 2017. We are thinking of two weeks -most likely to include South Luangwa and Kafue. We have never been to Zambia before ( other than Victoria Falls), so would welcome comments, advice , suggestions, tips, etc , regarding locations, camps,time of year , etc. Early days yet but two things are decided for definite, we will be booking it with ATR and the maximum budget, excluding international flights, will be £6000 ($9000) per person. Obviously I can get a lot of info from ATR's website but would also prefer to have, as well, the advice of those of you who have been there. All suggestions welcome, please.....
  5. Hi All It’s took 44 years to get myself into a position to start planning my first actual Safari and although I am very excited and “buzzing”, I am also very nervous too. Nervous about making the wrong choices in regards to travel, parks and camps. Also nervous about security (safari security as opposed to Country security!). Also taking my 13 year old Autistic Son too so it is important I get this trip as perfect as possible for him too The above is the reason why I have joined this forum – to try and obtain as much guidance and advice as possible from both professionals Safari companies and independent travellers alike to enable my Son and I to have the best time possible on our first trip. After all due to health and finances, it may be my only opportunity. I may not be able to repeat this type of trip again, so I have one shot at getting this right. Therefore, any help, advice and guidance anyone can offer would be very much appreciated. So, the type of advice I am looking for is the following: · Camps – Looking for solid structure accommodation as opposed to a tent that looks like it has “been thrown into the middle of a field”. Also customer service has to be second to none. Absolutely hate staff who cannot be bothered or have a poor attitude. · Masai Mara or Serengeti? – Everything considered, which one do people prefer? I suppose on my trip the importance is the “Big 5” as not really a bird fan. · Fly or drive transfers between airport and camps? Pro’s and Cons for both? · How strict are Safari link on baggage allowance? If my bag weighed 18kg (for example), would they turn a blind eye to the extra 3kg, make me pay for the extra 3kg or insist that I reduce the weight by 3kg meaning I will have to “bin” some items? · Best to book the whole lot (flights, camps, transfers etc) with a tour operator or use separate airline and Safari companies (if so, any recommendations)? · What can I actually expect on my first Safari as opposed to public perception? · Anything you think I may need to know that I may not have thought of to make my trip enjoyable? Any help, guidance or advice would most appreciated Thanks
  6. Any chance that TO / Camp owners, on their website, when promoting camps, lodges etc, actually concentrate on giving details and using photo's of the actual camp / lodges rather than dozens of photo's of lions, buffalo's, wildebeest etc.? I get the fact that most, if not all of us, are there for the wildlife, but there are thousands, if not millions of photo's of Wildlife on the internet, but not necessarily so of the camps, which I believe is important to actually help the traveler on where to stay. Not sure if it is just me or not, but i always feel that if you cannot "show off" or explain / promote your camp / lodges correctly then there is something to hide, which of course, I appreciate, may not be the case.
  7. Good people of Safaritalk! It's time to shed some light on what is going on in terms of wildlife and safari life in the Warm Heart of Africa, namely Malawi. A lot of us have been following the work of African Parks for many years now and they have done some extraordinary things in the name of conservation in Africa. Majete Wildlife Reserve is the first project that they took on and managed to pull off the mighty achievement of restoring and rehabilitating a depleted and barren reserve, putting it back in its former glory and providing a safe haven for all life that lives there. I work as a guide for Robin Pope Safaris, and in 2016 I was offered the opportunity to move to Majete and practice my passion and interests in this beautiful part of Africa. It has been almost a year now and I think it's time for me to share with you all the wonders that this place has to offer. I'm truly privileged to work for a company like RPS and be able to pass on their great legacy. Together with the guides, managers and the rest of the team at Mkulumadzi Lodge, we are striving everyday towards excellency in everything we do and to promote this up and coming new safari gem that is Malawi. I will let the photos speak for how the season has been: The view from our lodge over the Shire River. Majete is home to the beautiful Nyala. Big old elephant bull. Lichtensteins Hartebeests are thriving in the reserve. Nothing gets your heart pumping like a Black Rhino sighting! Waiting in line at the water hole. Our beautiful Majete lions. We now have 8 lions in the reserve. Two brothers see to the protection of the pride. This is Chimwala ( the Big Rock ) And this is Sapitwa (Don't Go There) with the pride's newest addition. Talk about a sighting! A Python that just swallowed a Warthog piglet! It's always special to see a Sable Antelope. Grysbok! A tricky one to find. Dark-Backed Weavers. Lots of Bateleur eagles. Simply beautiful beyond belief. There are plenty of leopards in Majete but they are still not habituated to people and vehicles and are not yet ready to share their secretive lives with us. We lucked out on a night drive and came across a female with two cubs, so they are obviously doing well. Mean old buff. So this has been a tiny little taste of what Majete is all about. To think that in only 14 years this place has been transformed from from an empty piece of land to a thriving wildlife reserve for Malawi to be proud of! That to me is what makes this place special. As humans we are capable of eliminating other species from the face of the Earth, but where there is heart and will, extraordinary things take place and we can give back what we have once taken out, little by little. Stay tuned for more updates from Majete and don't hesitate to get in touch to find out more about this place. Warm greetings from the Warm Heart of Africa. /Erik Nyman
  8. This may seem a silly question, but it is something that I have been trying to find out for years..... A hungry Lion / Leopard etc. Open sided Safari vehicle stuffed with delicious Safari goers. If the predators are that hungry, why do they not attack the Safari vehicles / people that are driving through their territory, or do they but we just never get to hear about it?
  9. Am kenneth Karuhanga Director of Bushmemories Safaris, i was born and raised in Uganda the pearl of Africa. I was very lucky to have been born to Perie kakuliremu who had passion for travel and nature.We visited many parks and places in Africa when i was young.This made me have many Bushmemories.IAt university i did Environmental science , this helped me to know more a bout nature.I got change to work with both local and international organisations,during this time i world with mountain gorillas in bwindi national park with ecotourism projects and got involved in habituation of mountain gorillas and this earned me the name Bushman since then my life has never been the same. This lead to the birth of Bushmemories Safaris .Am happy my mum now 76 years(18/05/2013) can see me my dream come true and all my clients once in the Bush always in the Bush. Now i run a small camp site at the base of rwenzoris and named it after my son Hunter called Eco-hunters planet. Below is a brief info to get to know more. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF BUSHMEMORIES. Travel in East Africa encompasses a vast array of experiences, many memorable moments are expected from any of our safaris from this magnificent part of the magical Africa, that continues to bring smilies.Its a time of discovery and wonderment, were unlimited wildlife, culture and people delights both parent and child from dawn to dusk. BUSHMEMORIS is the manufacture of quality adventure tour packages, truly a unique tour operator offering African Tours with a special flavour to experience the real Africa with a full range of possibilities from traditional safaris with game viewing, birdwatching, mountaineering, to specially designed tours for a greater immersion into African nature, culture and traditions. As a company that truly believes in sustainable tourism, we aim to preserve the beauty and character of Africa with emphasis on the unique character of its heritage ecology and art, making tourism a way to protect and support the areas we visit instead of altering and transforming them, thus our Moto CONSERVATION THRU SUSTAINABLE TOURSIM. We respect local cultures and make sure that our visitors will understand and appreciate the African way of living, its incredible closeness to the roots, the lack of stress, the joy, the simplicity and the complete acceptance of life that all Africans seem to have. Our proudest calm in all our destinations is that BUSHMEMORIES has been there our Safari specialists have stayed at the Campsites, Tentedcamps, Homes, and Hotels, walked the Trails, Tracked the game and snapped the photos. Our dedication and long established relationships with local guides and wildlife managers through out the region has earned us a great deal to our clients, were you come as guest and leave as friend. Our passion about Africa is our promise that you will have a life time experience which you will never forget. Please join us for one or combination of those special safaris where your holiday makes a difference to you, the people and the place you visit, enrich the mind and stir the soul for years to come thus you craft BUSHMEMORIES to last a life time. Safari enjema Ken Bushman. Director. Why BUSHMEMORIES? It is our aim to provide you with the experience of a lifetime in East Africa. To ensure this all personal itineraries are carefully planned in accordance with your individual requirements. You may consult our team to make alterations to your itineraries or ask any questions. BUSHMEMORIES Safaris guarantees: Fast, Personal responses to enquiries Expert, English Speaking Guides Superb Safari Food Quality Service Many people go to Africa and then wish that they had talked to someone who knew the area in question first. Our staff provides a friendly, up to date source of information prior to your departure. Several of the team has worked out in the bush on scientific research expeditions, giving them even deeper insight into Eastfrica incredible diversity. All our East Africa safaris are private. We provide a high staff: client ratio, ensuring personal service no matter what size your group. Each member of safari staff speaks good English and has been carefully selected for their professional experience and detailed local knowledge, from bird watching to botany. Bush memories Safaris will take you to remote, ecologically and culturally important locations, which have been developed in cooperation with local communities. Many of these are offered exclusively by Bushmemories Safaris and are always the highlight of our clients' trip. There will also be the option of having a photographer on hand to help you how get the best from your photographs. There is even the option of having a digital or slide photo-documentary made of your holiday. We issue safari certificates and our prices are competive, there are no hidden costs, no surprise, no options sold thus excellent value. Dinning is an important and delight full part each day in Africa, while on dinner every night we invite a guest speaker normally a Naturalist or wildlife Manager to talk to clients . As a company we are dedicated to the promotion of conservation, community education and sustainable resource use. Your tailor-made East African safari will directly help fund Various projects around East Africa. It is possible to visit many of these projects in action, just asks your personal safari agent for more information. OUR MISSION: At BUSHMEMORIES we provide holidays with a focus on adventure, conservation and sustainable tourism. We are unique in that we can also arrange for you to undertake volunteer work at local organizations. This will allow you to fully experience the country you are visiting, while supporting local communities in Africa. We are very aware in how our choices impact wildlife and the planet; we therefore promote and encourage making sound ethical travel choices. Our business is the result of our passion for life and our inherent love of nature and wild places. We will arrange for you to explore the most fascinating corners of Africa in the way that suits you best. Just a few of the experiences that we can provide are: Gorilla trekking White water rafting Relaxing beach holidays Kilimanjaro climb Classic safaris Family holidays Honeymoons In short, we aim to give you more than just a holiday in Africa. We aim to give you an experience, to make you feel the wonder and beauty of the continent, to give you extraordinary memories as well as photographs to take home, and we aim to do this in a way that benefits local communities and sustains the environment. Sustainable tourism is our primary commitment. Sustainable tourism is achieved by working closely with local communities and making the best use of local resources. We are in open talk with the governments and international organisations to make sustainable tourism an important consideration for African economies. We are fighting to keep Africa beautiful, unspoiled and real, not to turn it into a giant amusement park. We love Africa and we hope the service we provide will make you love it too. You don't need to be a religious institution or a non-profit organisation to actively help development, conservation and prosperity in Africa. At BUSHMEMORIES we want to prove this - help us rise to the challenge! . I would love to hear from any one who is interested to know more a bout my country or any topic a bout nature ,conservation and safari around the world. Thankyou. Ken Bushman +256775123140 kenneth@bushmemories.net www.bushmemories.net
  10. Self-Drive Safari Trip Report Namibia-South Africa-Botswana-Namibia September 10 - October 27, 2016 "Are you ready to rumble?" It's time for all you arm-chair safari-goers to get up from your easy chair and join my DH and me as we drive together through some animal-rich parks in southern Africa. The days are short and the temperatures cold, (well, at least on the northern side of the equator) the tank is full and the world is round, so buckle up, - oh wait, no need to buckle when going game-driving speed - here comes your winter safari fix! ​ ​This is your ride, so hop in or ride on the roof rack I'm also writing this trip report as a resource with tips in order to help any future self-drive safari goer to plan their adventure. When we first started, I was grateful for all the help and advice I gIeened from experienced safari enthusiasts. I know, some of you will skip the text and go straight to the pics, hey, whatever works for you. Just a warning: I'm totally in love with lions of all ages, so there WILL be lots of lion pics. We did see 157 lions, after all and no, there will NOT be 157 lion pictures. ​Next post will describe our car rental experience, the drive from Windhoek to Solitaire and from there to Sossousvlei,
  11. Panamwe Tours and Safari is a very well experienced safari and tours operator located in the Island of Zanzibar, in beautiful Tanzania. We offer variety of touring opportunities for tourist and take care of them throughout their experience in Zanzibar. Our staffs are well informed and are well spoken in English, Italian, Swahili and French. Our transport busses from either the airport or ferry port are well equipped with air condition and WiFi for you to relax and connect with friends and family. tour excursion price.pdf
  12. For anyone interested in a safari to the Kafue National Park in Zambia check out our new video which should hopefully give those of you who have always wondered what it might actually look or feel like a glimpse in to what is on offer in this truly wild, truly world class wildlife destination... We still have space have space for the 2016 season (although September/October is all but full) and as such if you need a little nudge to get away on safari this year and are looking for something a little different to the 'norm' then feel free to contact me for more information and for special offers... With warm regards from the Kafue! Tyrone McKeith info@jefferymckeith.com www.jefferymckeith.com +26 0974173403 tyrone.mckeith (skype)
  13. I have an upcoming trip to northern Namibia. It will be four of us, all serious photographers. It is a short trip. I originally planned 1 night Windhoek, 2 nights in Erindi and then 2 nights Halali and 2 nights in Okaukuejo I added time 3 nights in Kunene (1 night Grootberg and 2 nights in Khowarib) and in doing so I'v eaccientally decreased my stay in Okaukuejo to one night. Flights are booked so we can't change duration. My question: - should I keep my two nights at Erindi and accept I lost one night at Okaukuejo? - should I adjust reservations to one night at Erinidi and reschedule to 2 nights Halali and 2 nights Okaukuejo? Remember photography (and waterhole night photography as well) is the purpose of this short trip. Thanks for the advice.
  14. Hi everyone! I want to share my wildlife watching (mostly mammal watching) safari to South Africa from October, 2016. I had made a list of 20 species I really wanted to see, some of which are considered very rare. But I gathered info on where best to see all of them, and I managed to see about 13 of them, and loads of other species. Enjoy it! It's really long... but I think it has some good information, both for species I saw and for those I missed, for wildlife lovers and mammal watchers :-) Cheers, Tomes Trip Report to South Africa.pdf
  15. In the tourism industry there are refurbs – and then there are REFURBS … and Garonga’s recent three-month makeover has on all accounts been more like a rebirth! As Garonga Safari Camp enters its 20th year of operation it has undergone a complete transformation – keeping all the special touches and elements that make Garonga “Garonga” – but giving the whole experience a significant lift. The whole lodge has been redecorated and redesigned to feel fresh and current while maintaining that special feel to it and blending seamlessly with the surrounding bush. The walls throughout are now what we are calling a “wet elephant” green in colour as opposed to the previous terracotta. The six safari tents have new black shade nets over the current canvas rooves, brand new decks and new outdoor showers that have real “wow” factor! Small mini-bars have been added to the room, beautiful wooden headboards and a bathroom of note! Yoga mats are now in each room to give Guests a chance to spread their “magic”. The softs have all been updated and the rooms are proof that you can in fact, improve on perfection! The changes have not only been cosmetic – Bernie has invested an incredible amount of time and resources into the human element or “soul” of the Garonga experience. While the refurb has been underway key staff members have enjoyed fantastic opportunities to build on their skills and experience under the mentorship of hospitality guru Tony Romer-Lee and have come back full of inspiration and enthusiasm after spending time gaining work experience in Cape Town at top establishments. Garonga’s Head Chef, Reineth, spent some time working at the Taj Hotel Cape Town, Hogs Head Restaurant and Spier Hotel – whilst Robert, recently promoted to Manager of Little Garonga (previously Head Waiter) also gained experience at the Taj Hotel, The President, and Spier. Our whole dining experience has been overturned by Executive Chef Trainer, Lee-Ann, who will continue to come out 3 times a year to oversee the high standard of cuisine. The displays and presentation of food now looks even more incredible. All safari Guides have also been on an intensive year-long training programme to hone their tracking and guiding skills. They also have the latest guiding equipment ensuring guests will enjoy maximum comfort whilst out on game drives searching for Africa’s Big 5 (Black Rhino were reintroduced into the reserve 2015, so now we have Black as well as White Rhinos). A new pack of Wild Dogs have also decided the Makalali Conservancy is “the place to be” in 2016 - which is great news! So the safari experience will be better than ever – to match the swish new lodge! Little Garonga has also had some interior changes made including a lovely big window added to the spare (Children’s) bedroom of Hambleden Suite, giving additional light. Access to Garonga has never been easier with daily direct Federal Air flights into Garonga from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. Garonga also collects guests from both Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit airports. Short air hops from Kruger Mpumalanga airport are also available using Odie Air. On the “Green Front” Garonga has massively upgraded its Solar System, and heater pumps for the rooms, so now we are in the forefront of “Eco-Friendly Lodges in South Africa”. To remind you what we already have - a Water Filtration plant to renew “Grey water” to drinkable water for the animals which avoids having to use Fresh water from the Borehole, the heater pumps that save 60% of power usage, our own bottled water plant that removes the use of plastic water bottles, and our Veggie Garden. New images can be viewed on our online gallery with the new website (www.garonga.com) is launching in July 2016 – plus Bernie has a few more surprises on their way! Watch this space!
  16. 1) Name of property and country: Grootberg Lodge, Namibia 2) Website address if known: http://www2.grootberg.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Green season, February, 2015 4) Length of stay: 2 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I read fantastic reports on TA about this property, their amazing view and their Himba tour. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I did the initial research an then contacted Discover Namibia. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 times 8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No, we were warned to be careful 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 16 cabins 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had a triple room with a breathtaking view over the valley. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were comfortable and simply furnished. We enjoyed our time mainly at the communal area enjoying the views, drinks and snacks. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was fantastic and we left we recipes. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes there were different things on offer. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables, no hosting. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Very good and sufficient. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open 4WD. 19) How many guests per row? Up to 3 in each row. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Game drives were varied and depended on where we wanted to visit. We only went on a Himba tour which was approximately 5/6 hours. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Drives were concentrated mainly in the early mornings but they could be all day affairs if trekking rhino or elephants. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Very little activity in the area 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? yes 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. N/A 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings. Excellent desert adapted elephants and rhino. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: Friendly, helpful, informative. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The staff were extremely helpful and happy during our stay. They genuinely seemed happy to assist, were proactive in their duties and enjoyed the guests company. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, it is run by the conservancy and all money raised goes back to the people. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Grootberg Lodge offers by far the best and most professional service of any of the lodges that I visited in Namibia (and I visited 15!). This is evident as soon as you enter the property. The view is to die for and makes you easily forget the "interesting" drive up to the camp. The food/service/staff/rooms are fantastic. We loved our tour to the Himba Village and would thoroughly recommend this, our guides were brilliant too! The views from the communal area were the highlight of our stay and just sitting down with a sundowner makes you question why Namibia is not busier with so many brilliant places/experiences/animals. Thank you to all the staff who assisted us during our stay. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. https://vimeo.com/144664241
  17. Hi I came across this article this morning and thought it was worth sharing. http://mintonsunday.livemint.com/news/the-ugly-side-of-wildlife-photography/1.0.1386835189.html There are so many questions this article raises and certainly some disturbing incidents, especially in India. However, think referring to everyone who take photos of animals as "wildlife photographers" is misguided. One group should know better, the other, especially first-time safari goers, need to be educated by guides dan rangers. Curious what others think of this...
  18. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sands, South Africa 2) Website address if known: http://www.lionsands.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Sept 2015 - Peak season is approx Dec 18-Jan 3 We did get a special offer of 2 free nights in Capetown 4) Length of stay: 4 days, 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? The safari was only a part of what we did in SA. We chose here based on almost guaranteed sightings of cats/tripadvisor reviews, no kids, and we wanted to relax in a luxurious room after being on numerous flights and over 30 hours of driving to and from places. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Direct - yes 7) How many times have you been on Safari? First time 8) To which countries? NA 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? NA 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? Yes 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 20 rooms 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? I think #4. It was not connected to another room. There is a lodge layout on their website. Our room overlooked the Sabi River. Fantastic view!! Across the river we saw elephants, impala, and kudu. One afternoon I woke up for a nap and saw a lioness hunting! 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Extremely comfortable. Well stocked bar with alcohol and chocolates. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes! There was so much delicious food you won't be in danger of going hungry. The desserts were ok, everything else was superb. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Breakfast menu was the same each morning, though it offered at least 7 options. Lunch and dinner were varied. I am not vegetarian and can't comment. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at meal times? Depends on the meal. Breakfast and dinner were usually communal (no guide) and lunch was single table (no guide). One day out of 3 there was a traditional south african theme night with a bonfire. We sat with our guide and vehicle group while the staff sang and danced. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? NA 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. open safari, 4WD. Pic to come 19) How many guests per row? 3 rows, stadium seating. 2 guests per row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? I don't have the best sense of direction but yes there were varied routes taken. see 21 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Set game drives: morning game drive 0530 to 0830, evening game drive 1630-1930. The morning and evening drives we stopped for a sundowner outside the vehicle. Private vehicles available, not sure of the cost 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Private conservancy. Lion Sands limits the vehicles that traverse the property. The most we saw at a sighting is 4. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes. No off-road driving in Kruger 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. I'm not sure if there is a specific policy. If we spotted something, we'd observe on our own, then use the radio to call others. When others radioed us, we'd get a decent position, then get a better position as others left. There were never more than 4 vehicles to a sighting. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Big 5, including leopard. Did not see cheetah. Excellent sightings including leopard on 2 days out of 3, a lion with his tooth hanging out, and a lion and lioness with 2 cubs. Also saw baby giraffe, baby elephant and rhino. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Very good. We had the head guide, Landon, and he was in constant radio contact with other guides. The only frustration was we didn't seem to have much say in what we pursued for the game drive. Our vehicle wanted to see cats but since we had seen so many already we were taken to buffalo and rhino. None of us spoke up so not sure if that would've made a difference. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? NA 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: He had thorough knowledge of the animals and their history. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Definitely! With a smile, nothing was too much trouble though we are not high maintenance guests 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Pack for a Purpose - guests bring suitcases packed with basic yet necessary supplies as listed on the Pack for a Purpose website Save the Rhino Foundation - anti-poaching rhino Bhubezi community projects - educate and provide car for children, create jobs for disadvantaged http://www.lionsands.com/more/responsibility/ 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: no children under 10 allowed. Management has set the bar for this property. Service and friendliness were better than our honeymoon at the St. Regis in Bora Bora. I loved everything about it and would definitely go back. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Pics to come
  19. Which is your favourite safari destination and why? Take the poll above and then share your reasons below. Just click on the reply button, say which you voted for and what it is about that place that puts it on the top of your list!
  20. Travelling to Zimbabwe/Botswana What better way to get to know you than to spend some time together at our camps? We want to make sure you get the most of your stay. We have plenty of camps to experience, but we want to help you find which one best suits you. You might want to look at our Seasonal Calendar in regards to finding the best time of year for you to visit one of our camps! This is a helpful tool provided by us to make your stay personal and unique. http://www.africanbushcamps.com/seasonal-information/ There are plenty of specials being offered right now that could be specific to you and your stay depending on who you are going with and when you would like to safari. http://www.africanbushcamps.com/safari-specials/ safari× specials× African Bush Camps× Africa× Zimbabwe× Botswana× season× travel×
  21. Hey there! I am booked along with 2 other people on a Tanzanian safari, 8 days (7 nights) Its with Agama Tours and Safaris. My friend recommended me and also they have good reviews. If we get more people to join us the price can go more down. It starts June 29 morning in Arusha. Safari details: Day1 Tarangire, overgnight at Panorama Safari Camp Day2 Lake Manyara, overnight at Panorama Inn(hotel in Karatu) Day3 Hadzabe, Datoga tribe, overnight at Coffee Resthouse bordering Ngorongoro Conservation Area Day4 Coffee Plantation Resthouse, cultural day. Coffee Resthouse Day5 Serengeti, camping Day6 Serengeti, camping Day7 Serengeti, camping Day8 Ngorongoro Crater, back to Arusha If anybody's interested to join please let me know! -Tom tommyb0317@yahoo.com
  22. ......something catches your attention out the corner of your eye. Your brain goes into automatic mode and spits out a warning 'Birds circling, slowly. Has to be a kill. Go and see what is there' It takes a few seconds for you to realise: a) you are in Europe b ) you are sat at your desk c) you are located in the outskirts of a major city and finally d) they are in fact seagulls Please tell me I am not the only one who goes into automatic safari mode at odd moments. If you are also so afflicted, please feel free to share your experiences
  23. Lake Chala Safari Camp is place of nature and tranquility at slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, near Moshi town. Moshi is a basecamp tourist town whereby Kilimanjaro climbing trips are prepared. Lake Chala is located about 10 km from Moshi town. Lake Chala is a volcano crater lake in a caldera on the borders of Tanzania and Kenya on the eastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Underground streams flows from Mount Kilimanjaro and fill up water of Lake Chala. Lake Chala Tented Lodge, location has marvelous view volcanic Kilimanjaro backdrop, hence is the perfect place to prepare for trek and absorb the serenity and tranquility of this romantic piece of African. Tourists can overnight at Lake Chala Camp after successful climb Kilimanjaro to summit or just before trek begin. Adventure travel packages climbing Kilimanjaro can be prepared to include One or more overnight at Lake Chala. It depend on Kilimanjaro route tourist choose, here are some Kilimanjaro adventures for trekking Kilimanjaro booking.
  24. Hi everyone, Something a little special came to our team at Captured In Africa recently, namely a gentleman by the name of Herbert Brauer. Of course many of you will have heard of Herbert, having filmed Lady Liuwa for the acclaimed documentary The Last Lioness in Liuwa Plain. Herbert is running his own private safari tour to Liuwa, not only to spend time with Lady Liuwa (who is getting on in age now) and her new resident pride, but to spend time with ourselves, to spend time with nature and in appreciation of what special lands we are fortunately enough to travel and what precious wildlife we are privileged to see. My colleague Drew Abrahamson and I feel privileged and honoured to work with Herbert on this tour. Equally so, a pleasure to listen to his words of wisdom from his experience in filming, but also his philosophy on our self, nature and wildlife. The safari to Liuwa plans to be truly special.... personally, I'd love to join this one The below was a quick Q&A I did with Herbert recently, so I hope you enjoy reading Herbert; Lady Liuwa Filmmaker Herbert Brauer Takes You on Safari Every so often, a film comes along which we connect with. A documentary which uncovers and explores not just a story, but a moment in time that is so emotionally driven, that we cannot help but fall in love with nature & wildlife - The Last Lioness, the story of a single lone lioness in Zambia’s Liuwa Plain - is one of those defining moments in wildlife film. Herbert Brauer filmed the Last Lioness on Liuwa Plain when Lady Liuwa was the sole remnant of lions in this area. Wildlife cameraman Herbert Brauer, who filmed THE LAST LIONESS in Liuwa National Park, now offers a unique, fully serviced 7 night safari program in Liuwa National Park in November 2016. He guides participants to authentically expand their awareness, and consciously connect deeply with Nature. This remote wilderness area in western Zambia truly captures one's heart and supports personal growth to those who seek it. Captured In Africa spoke with Herbert in the build up to announcing this one-off itinerary; Q: How did you first become aware of Lady Liuwa and what made you want to film her and the situation in Liuwa? “We were told by the parks manager at the time, Tom Turner, that there was one single lioness in Liuwa National Park who had survived the poaching massacre and that IF we'd see her, could try our luck filming her. The manager preceding Tom has only seen her the first time two days before his two year contract ended.... So it was unexpected that we not only found her on my first day of my very first assignment as professional cameraman, but also filmed her for an extended period which forms part of an important sequence in ‘THE LAST LIONESS’.” Q: Were you ever in serious doubt of Lady Liuwa's (and future lion inhabitants) survival in Liuwa Plain? “African Park Networks' approach, commitment and tenacity has ensured that I never doubted Lady Liuwa's survival on the plains. They are supported by much forward thinking donors and local people who recognise their work. I was and am concerned about lion's future survival, especially in large unfenced wilderness areas. It is in these areas where lions should be able to manifest everything that makes them a truly wild species on every level. This counts for all species that we do not consciously habituate. We as humans became the single largest force on our planet. Most of us don't know that. I guess it's difficult to quantify but it can certainly be experienced consciously. That doesn't mean we have developed into a species that can function disconnected from the natural flow of the forces on our planet, and of the universe. We are in a situation where a critical mass of twenty first century humans needs to consciously recognise that the fundamental building blocks and elements of Nature outside of us are also inside of us, and what we do to Nature we do physically and energetically to ourselves. The stress we put on our environment is the stress we feel inside ourselves. So my view is that as humans we collectively need to once again recognise that BECAUSE we are human, we have a relationship with Nature. We absolutely have to take individual responsibility for that if we don't want to learn lessons much harder than our imaginations can create!!! We cannot leave the wellbeing and conservation of everything we call "wild nature" in the hands of a few concerned citizens acting as conservationists, filmmakers, educators etc. We cannot dump our responsibilities with regards to our environment in the hands of our minister of environmental affairs as little as we'd relinquish our relationships with family and friends in the hands of the minister of social affairs.” The new generation of lions in Liuwa Plain © Will Burrard-Lucas Q: Captured In Africa are deeply involved in conservation efforts and responsible tourism, so respecting boundaries between man and wildlife is important to us when on safari. You yourself showed this in the film when Lady Liuwa seemed to court your attention, yet you kept a respectful distance and didn't cross that boundary - how important is this for you and for responsible safaris/travel in general? “Often our love for nature can overwhelm us. We are feeling the freedom and good energy in the wild to the point that we need to make sure we still recognise and respect everything, including wild nature and her species for WHO THEY REALLY are. I never came across any other lion to whom I felt intuitively connected as deeply as Lady Liuwa. My interaction with her was unique and yet I had to make sure I respect her wild instincts. After all, that's what we wanted for her: To live life as a completely wild predator in Africa. It is really important to allow wild animals their space. How much that distance is, is is a matter of being educated and trained, and one's intuition if well developed.” Q: What has been the highlight for you, following your years in Liuwa and what is your hope for Lions in the wild? “My understanding of what has happened in Liuwa keeps deepening. Right now I must admit that one of my highlights happened when I was interviewed for THE LAST LIONESS. I became emotionally overwhelmed and recognised in that moment how Lady Liuwa is not merely the amazing individual she is. She humbly, strongly and convincingly reveals the essence of our Mother Earth's intelligence. Although much harm was done to her when her pride was killed barbarically by our human species who regard ourselves as the apex of intelligence on this planet, she never retaliated. We witnessed her lying in high grass, never attacking the local children walking past her a few metres away. Instead she followed me around camp at night, like our Mother Earth does each and every moment: forgiving, wanting to reconnect with a human, and to be respected for who she really is if I wanted to fully embrace, if not merely survive our special, profound relationship. That changed my understanding of what we call "Life" or "Nature" and my Vision forever.” Herbert filming Lady Liuwa, careful to not cross that invisible ethical boundary of becoming too close to wild animals Herbert, in partnership with Captured In Africa and Norman Carr Safaris, are offering an amazing opportunity to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime safari and journey of self-discovery to Liuwa Plain. In Herbert's own words: "My fundamental intention for this safari is that we expand our awareness to develop a deeper connection to our natural environment and at the same time, with our true selves. We create a better understanding of who we essentially are. The process is never ending. What is important for me is that our experiences and growth are authentic. We'll search for Lady and her new pride and spend quality time with them. We won't recreate the physical companionship I've had with Lady as documented in THE LAST LIONESS, but connect with her and different kinds of life forms and manifestations in Nature.” View this limited safari and enquire, by clicking below; THE LAST LIONESS SAFARI WITH CAPTURED IN AFRICA Captured In Africa give thanks to Herbert Brauer, Norman Carr Safaris and Will Burrard-Lucas. Any questions, you can drop me an email: paul@capturedinafrica.co.za
  25. This is the second part to my trip report from November/December, 2015. This was a last minute visit to East Africa which included two new places for me which were Ruaha and Zanzibar. I would have to say a big thank you to everyone who wrote about Ruaha because these trip reports on SafariTalk were the stimulus for my visit. After visiting Asilia's Naboisho Camp in the Naboisho Conservancy for 9 nights (trip report on the Kenya thread coming soon), I decided at the very last minute to tack on a visit to Ruaha and Zanzibar. The ever patient Troy from True Africa was brilliant in organising these add ons and to get me out to Kwihala for 6 nights with 6 nights at Matemwe, Zanzibar. I was able to take advantage of the shoulder/green season rates and their special stay 3 pay for 2. I stayed at the Transit Airport Motel, Dar es Salaam before my flight out to Ruaha and used free transfers/local taxis to cut down costs as much as possible. I thought I was organised but unfortunately I forgot my additional memory cards so I ended up concentrating more on photography and less with my videoing to not use as much memory. I also spent plenty of time just waiting and watching because I really wanted to observe animal behaviour and to enjoy the scenery that I knew Ruaha was famous for. I arrived in Ruaha on the 23 November with only 3 other guests in camp. I think I waved hello to @@Jaycees2012 when they were heading back to the airport and I too had the Umbele Tent during my stay as well as having Alex as my guide. It was a pleasure to be welcomed by Tam and her excellent team at Kwihala. I was hoping to meet the Italian head guide Pietro because I was interested in having a foreign guide who had come to love Africa and the bush so much that they stayed. I really thought that they must be extremely passionate and dedicated to do something like that. The tent was very large with an attached bathroom, which had a flushing toilet, running water, a bucket shower and toiletries. Water for the showers were provided after lunch and evening. Due to the hot weather I chose to have showers with no hot water added. The bed was extremely comfortable, additional seating was provided, a desk and chair for catching up with trip reports and an undercover patio with seating and a birdbath outside to attract visitors. The tent was hot during the day so I spent most of my downtime up in the communal areas where a breeze would pass by and I had access to cold drinks and ice. I was fortunate to have to only share a car for the 1.5 days during my stay and was alone in camp for 2 days as well. My guide for the first 4 days was Alex who is a very experienced Asilia floating guide who moves around the different properties to where he is needed. He knew all of my previous Asilia guides in Tanzania so we were able to share lots of great stories. He was accompanied by a trainee guide during my time who was a lovely young man who was a little quiet but came out of his shell during my stay. Alex also accompanied myself and two other guests on a walking safari during my stay which was lead by Hamza. Hamza also guided me on my last 1.5 days when Alex left for his break. Hamza was permanently based in Kwihala and was able to share some wonderful stories about some of the famous leopards in the park. He was a real character and a brilliant mimic of animal sounds which were very entertaining throughout the evenings. The weather was extremely hot during the day, with storms circling the park but not necessarily bringing rain to the Kwihala Camp. The park looked a patchwork of brown and green from above as well as from the ground as we drove around really highlighting where rain had recently fallen. During my stay we had two drives affected by heavy rains, strong winds, lighting and thunder. This only lasted a maximum of 2 hours and brought a lovely fresh feel to the camp. The rain assisted in providing new smaller sightings for myself including emperor scorpions, a smaller clear/white scorpion (I can’t remember the name), red baboon spiders, many different types of flying insects which flooded the sky around the lights in camp and of course frogs. With everything in abundance it meant that the birds and lizards were having a field day with so much food around. Due to the rains we didn’t have daily lion sightings because I was told they normally head to the higher areas to stay dry. I did manage to see lions on 3 out of the 6 days but they were very inactive due to the heat. I had 3 spectacular leopard sightings and then an additional 3 from afar. I spent a day tracking wild dogs after the rains (when the lions headed to higher grounds) without any luck (we found spoor and scat) but then we found the dogs the next morning and spent the morning and afternoon drives with them with some brilliant photo opportunities for everyone including the Ruaha Wild Dogs Conservation researcher. The elephants congregated along the dried rivers digging holes to find water because there was not enough rain to even produce a trickle in the dry riverbeds. Giraffes were present but skittish and had what I remember as fungal infections around their knees which resulted in them having large hard inflammations which were supposedly contagious. Researchers and vets were trying to understand this disease and how to treat it. I was able to enjoy a wonderful walking safari and saw elephants, giraffes, kudu, impala and learnt about different flora in the area. I loved my time at Ruaha and was very impressed with the fantastic management, staff, lovely tents, communal area, my favorite the bush tv as well as the wonderful park and its animals. I loved the authentic bush feel, the landscapes were amazing and the sightings were wonderful. It is a park that requires great guides to track spoor and to find animals in the bush and it is extremely rewarding when everyone in the car is trying to help out. There are pockets of tsetse flies but we generally chose not to drive in these areas unless there was a great sighting. It certainly didn’t detract me from my time at Ruaha. I will definitely revisit this camp because I found it to be the type of camp and park that offers a true safari experience.

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