New Kruger Walking Trails Camp for Simbavati
Jan08

New Kruger Walking Trails Camp for Simbavati

Simbavati is known for its brand of stylish safari lodges, all of which offer an authentic and refreshing sense of luxury within prestigious private game reserves in South Africa. The Simbavati Lodges are wedged in the heart of the rugged big five reserves in the Greater Kruger, but they are best know for their lodges in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. The brand is due to launch a back-to-basics, ground level walking safari trails camp. And we could not be more excited, given the excellent reputation of this safari brand that certainly doesn’t compromise on the feel-good elements of a luxury safari getaway. The Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails walking safaris carved the path and paved the way for many other lodges’ to follow suit when it comes to trail based safaris in Kruger. Simbavati’s unique selling point is that it brings a touch of simple and classic luxury to your “camping” experience. The camp is set-up in a pocket of secluded wilderness in the Timbavati and borders a wilderness area of 11, 000 hectares in the Kruger National Park. There’s nothing better than experiencing the wonders of a safari at ground level. Not only do you track wildlife while on foot, but you also learn how to identify tracks, and the uses of various flora. When you see a species of wildlife while on foot, it is a humbling experience. Giraffe are that much taller, elephants are amazingly graceful and kudu are powerful. Signing up for walking trails is an inimitable and immersive experience – one that is unforgettable. Of course, walks are guided by a professional trails guides who will safely lead you through the bushveld while teaching you about the wild. Walks are roughly +/-4-hours and you’ll stop for snacks and drinks en route. You will return back to base camp for lunch and then head out for another 2 hour afternoon walk after a sugary “high tea” session. Your afternoon walk flows gently into an inspiring sundowner session where you are encouraged to soak up the splendour of golden hour. A game drive bumble will escort you back to base camp, a time during which you can search for nocturnal predators. This trails camp isn’t mobile – your base is your base, which means you can settle into your surrounds and return to the same spot each day. There are 4 Meru style safari tents, which means the camp hosts a maximum of 8 guests. Bathrooms comprise bucket showers, and are all en suite. There is no electricity at camp, nor cell reception. It’s a wild experience, tainted with elements of luxury synonymous with the...

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4 Unusual Activities for Kids in Cape Town
Jan07

4 Unusual Activities for Kids in Cape Town

Cape Town is a veritable hive of adventure, cultural and outdoor activity. There are  the regular tourist activities to enthral kids, that include trawling malls for ice-cream shops and toys, going to the beach and other nice-to-do activities. But these are pretty stock standard. There are actually so many hidden corners of the Mother City offering unusual activities for kids in Cape Town, that plenty of locals don’t know about. Today we’re going to explore 5 of these activities so that tourists and locals can plan for the somewhat lengthy and tiresome school holidays. Reptile Rehabilitation Centre and Scone Shack in Cape Point The snake park that was previously located at Imhoff has now moved to the ostrich farm located just outside the Cape Point Nature Reserve. The farm is a working ostrich farm  and is the perfect place for the snake park and reptile rehabilitation centre. The ostrich farm is now a full wildlife experience for kids and families in a central hub in one of the most beautiful natural places in Cape Town. The Reptile Rehabilitation centre houses an array of unique species of snakes and reptiles. Here you’ll find pythons, tortoises, bearded dragons, cobras, iguanas and a Nile crocodile – to name but a few. Reptiles are rehabilitated and moved into the wild; and conservation is at the heart of this centre. It’s an ideal activity for budding little herpetologists and kids expressing an interest in the natural world. There are “mini-mo” shows available for private functions and birthday parties. Job shadows and volunteers are also welcome. Reptiles and ostriches in an awe-inspiring setting. What more could you want? Located next door to the ostrich farm is the Scone Shack. This has become a local highlight and was recently featured in a few online articles. After checking out the reptiles and ostriches, we suggest you take those kids of yours to the scone shack. It’s a makeshift artsy and quaint shack serving unbelievable homemade scones and jams (there’s also items like carrot cake with a lemon zest and Pecan pie on the menu). On the grounds of the Scone Shack you’ll find free roaming pigs, geese, ducks and chickens – an ideal place for kids ! A little place that you need in your life. Check out the websites here :  Cape Point Ostrich Farm  Reptile Rehabilitation Centre  Scone Shack Cape Point Stand Up Paddle Board on the VA Waterfront Canals Located on the canals of the VA Waterfront in the fun-filled Battery Park area is SUP Cape Town. Battery Park is on the outskirts of the VA Waterfront and is accessed by taking the first...

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Gorilla Trekking Increases Population Numbers in Uganda
Jan05

Gorilla Trekking Increases Population Numbers in Uganda

A recent census of the wild mountain gorillas of Uganda’s verdant Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the neighbouring Sarambwe Reserve in DR Congo revealed positive statistics with regards to primate numbers. These gorillas once faced extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, disease and natural threats. Wild mountain gorillas live in the rainforests of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda and are currently facing a bright future thanks to conservation efforts and funds made from gorilla trekking permits. Thanks to over 30 years of conservation efforts, gorilla numbers have now increased. A census of the mountain gorillas living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park of Uganda and Sarambwe wildlife reserve of DRC revealed an increase from 400 to 459 gorillas from the last census. The census covered an area of 340 km2, where 459 individual gorillas were found in 50 groups and 13 solitary individuals. A team of conservationists, rangers and scientists formed part of the survey teams that had the arduous task of tracking gorillas, counting and collecting genetic data over a period of time spanning March – May 2018 and October – December 2018. Coupled with current numbers of mountain gorillas living in Rwanda and Congo’s Virunga mountains (over a 5 year period there was an increase from 480 – 404 individuals), the number of mountain gorillas have escalated to 1 063. Fantastic news for our wild mountain gorilla population. With the involvement of multiple stakeholders, governments and increase in gorilla trekking tourism; we should see this number increase hope to see this number increase in the future. Do come gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi region – your money from the gorilla permits and support of these treks gets put straight back into education and conservation of these enthralling primates. We recommend these Ugandan gorilla trekking lodges : Luxury and eco-friendly Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge  The contemporary Bwindi Lodge The authentic Gorilla Safari Lodge on the outskirts of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. * “The survey was conducted by the Protected Area Authorities of Uganda and DRC (Uganda Wildlife Authority and l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, respectively) under the framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration with support from Rwanda Development Board and many other partners and donors.” *...

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8 Safari Themed Books to Read Before Going to Africa
Jan04

8 Safari Themed Books to Read Before Going to Africa

It’s pretty standard behaviour to pour over a few novels and guidebooks prior to arriving at your holiday destination. And there’s nothing more inspiring than reading something that transports you straight to your dream destination. There are numerous folklore tales, non-fiction books, autobiographies, and novels written about Africa. Africa inspires – it’s a raw, wild, tumultuous and mind-blowingly beautiful continent. A continent that has inspired many classics and inspiration for movies. If you’re coming on safari to Africa, then we urge you to dust off your bookmark and get your nose stuck into these 8 safari themed books. We’ve also suggested lodges to stay in close proximity of where the novel There are so many novels out there that we haven’t mentioned – we’ve just focussed on safari novels for today. But if you’d like to add a few more to the list we suggest : No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, The Long Walk to Freedom, Cry, the Beloved Country, Jock of the Bushveld, Heart of Darkness, Ghost and the Darkness, Power of One, Disgrace, Things Fall Apart, Circles in a Forest, Dark Star Safaris and I Dreamed of Africa. Out of Africa : Karen Blixen Out of Africa is probably one of the most popular memoirs of time spent in Africa. Written by Danish author Karen Blixen under the pseudonym Isak Dineson, Out of Africa is a real-life romance of Karen’s adventurous time on her 4 ooo acre coffee plantation in the foothills on the outskirts of Nairobi. The novel tributes those who impacted her life during her stay in East Africa and chronicles her time in Kenya, in a flamboyant and colourful manner. A true classic and window into colonial life during the reign of the British Empire. Out of Africa hit the big movie screens in the early 80s, making it one of the most recognised titles in the world. Karen Blixen’s original home is now a museum and is located 10 km outside of the centre of Nairobi. Stay : The Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages. This is a former farmhouse belonging to the Blixen family, a stone’s throw away from the museum and the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant and Rhino Orphanage. The Elephant Whisperer : Lawrence Anthony The novel – The Elephant Whisperer – is set in the heart of South Africa’s safari kingdom, and became a bestseller within a short space of time. It’s an endearing novel of loyalty, love, conservation and mutual respect between man and pachyderm. Conservationist Lawrence Anthony accepted a herd of “rogue” elephants onto his private game reserve in Zululand (Thula Thula). This herd were destined for the bullet, and Lawrence...

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Safari Train Between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo
Jan02

Safari Train Between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo

We do love it when a new safari product is launched  – especially when its based in a rugged, game-rich wilderness region in a sought after destination. The latest product on the market is the desirable safari train journey between Victoria Falls and Bulawayo. The safari train is the brainchild of Taylors Africa Mobile Safaris (TAMS), a Zimbabwean based mobile safari company that organises safaris to Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Matobo National Park. Each of the pre-designed routes include safaris into world-renown national parks teeming with predators. Details of the Safari Train : The train has six compartments, and carries a minimum of 10 and maximum of 12 guests. Taylors Africa are flexible in terms of guests’ needs and will quite happily arrange a special set-up if there are more guests. Trains are just like mini hotel rooms and contain running water, showers, beds, ablution facilities and electricity. You will sleep on the train, which means linen and all bedding is provided. Beds will be configured for travellers. There is a classic dining car with an old world charm, offering guests a place to eat, drink and socialise. You can start in either Victoria Falls or Bulawayo, and the scenic journey introduces you to the landscape of the area. Opt for a one-night stay, one-way trip or two-night round trip option. Whatever route you choose includes a full day’s game drive into either Hwange National Park or Matobo National Park. These stops are inclusive of food, drinks and sundowners. Do add the safari train to your African safari holiday.  ...

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