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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4 Exclusive Luxury Kruger Safari Villas for Hire
Dec01

4 Exclusive Luxury Kruger Safari Villas for Hire

There’s certainly a place in this world for private and exclusive safari experiences. Discerning guests and small groups of travellers who have little desire to mix with others; and who want a safari experience tailored to their needs, should think about booking out one of these luxury Kruger safari villas. Hiring out a villa is a wise choice for celebrities who want to fly under the radar, families that want quality time together, celebrations and private parties; groups wanting control of their experience. Most of the luxury Kruger safari villas come with bush walks, game drives during peak predator hours, private chefs, boma dinners and sundowners. Depending on the villa, you will no doubt have various options and add-ons for your unique elite safari sojourn. Walkers Bush Villa Walkers Bush Villa is located in the game-rich Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on land belonging to Howard and Ingrid Walker. Sharing unfenced borders with the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and the Kruger National Park, means that wildlife roams freely throughout. The villa has a luxury country house feel and the interiors are plush and artistic. A huge wrap-around patio overlooks a swimming pool and expansive garden that extends all the way down to the waterhole and river. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo often congregate at the waterhole. There are 4 bedrooms in the villa and the entire experience is fully-catered. A highly-qualified chef is at your disposal, and surprise bush dinners, sundowners and other tailor-made bush experiences are the order of the day at Walkers Bush Villa. Just recently the team at Walkers hosted a 60th birthday bash. The group enjoyed their exclusive safari experience, proving that this villa is ideal for celebrations of all kinds. Singita Private Villa Collection Singita is the brand synonymous with exceptional luxury spaces in wild locations. Singita has a range of perfectly designed villas, each striking the delicate balance between exquisite luxury and functional design. All villas have a full staff complement which includes a host, chef, and private guide with vehicle. Although schedules and itineraries are completely up to your time schedule, it is worth heading out on game drives at the recommended time of day. Trained field guides have experience in knowing when the predators are most active. The These are Singita’s private Kruger villas : Singita Castleton : This is an exclusive use lodge that oozes a country charm, but boast impressive facilities. Located in the world-renown Sabi Sand, Castleton is certainly perfectly placed for game viewing. Let’s chat about those facilities ! There are perfectly manicured lawns at Castleton, a swimming pool, wine cellar, tennis court, fitness centre, spa and...

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11 Night Guided Conservation Adventure in the Congo Basin
Oct28

11 Night Guided Conservation Adventure in the Congo Basin

This 11 night professionally guided conservation adventure in the Congo Basin offers a unique way of exploring one of Africa’s forgotten places. Designed to appeal to those seeking a deeper and somewhat more intellectual safari experience, this adventure is ideal for conservationists, ornithologists, primatologists and those with knowledge of the area. It’s a hands-on, insightful journey into the depths of Africa’s ancient jungles under the guidance of two visionaries : Paul Telfer and Rod Cassidy. In the 90s Paul Telfer worked as a primate specialist in the relatively unchartered regions of Sierra Leone and Gabon. Paul spent a large portion of his time researching and investigating the link between HIV and primates; and other primate related viruses. He is currently the CEO of the the Congo Conservation Company that drives low-impact tourism in the Congo Basin through research, community and conservation. Renowned ornithologist, Rod Cassidy, hails from South Africa. His first visit to the rainforests was back in 1999, and nearly ten years later he purchased Sangha Lodge. In Sep 2009 the first guests were welcomed. The lodge is now home to a rehabilitation centre for wildlife and is part of many research projects in the area. To date, Rod and his team have successfully rehabilitated over 70 pangolins. This adventure experience is the brainchild of the Congo Conservation Company, who have adopted an innovative approach to low-impact and conservation friendly tourism. This perfectly laid out itinerary introduces eager primatologists and environmentalist to an untouched, unexplored environment in one of the most exceptional parts of the world. The Congo Basin is equatorial middle Africa, a region dripping with jungles and rich with primate activity. It’s completely remote, untouched and untravelled. A rather significant area in terms of wildlife. Did you know that the rare okapi is one of 1,500 animal species endemic to the Congo Basin? The Congo is not only famed for its plethora of wildlife, but also for its exceptional music scene. To best way to understand the Congo, is to visit the area. Should you decide to join this 11 night intrepid journey, you will be accommodated at Sangha Lodge, Ngaga Camp, Lango Camp, and Mboko Camp. Ngaga is gorilla central, and is located outside the park boundary in the Ndzehe concession overlooking an ancient jungle forest. There are several groups of western lowland gorillas in the area. Sangha Lodge is the perfect place for conservation and rehabilitation activities, and the grounds of the lodge comprise a main area with bar and a total of 7 well appointed bungalows. Lango Camp offers driving, walking and boating activities in the midst of pristine surrounds. Lango’s 6 guest...

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4 Perfectly Placed Masai Mara Lodges for the Migration
Oct27

4 Perfectly Placed Masai Mara Lodges for the Migration

The annual migration is Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, and one of the main reasons why nature lovers and photographers descend upon East Africa. The migration happens year-round, and sees thousands strong herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope  following a continuous loop snaking its way through the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The herds are at the mercy of the weather, and tend to follow the rains. The rains replenish landscape and provide nutritious laden grazing grounds, and ample supplies of water which is much needed in the otherwise brutally dry savannah. Because of the high concentration of plains game, big cats wait in the wings – especially during Spring time when the ungulates calve. Not only do visitors descend upon the area for spectacular migration sightings, but also for the prolific big cat kill.  Wildebeest are notoriously erratic and often veer off course, making it impossible to predict where herds will congregate at a particular moment in time. For migration timelines, we tend to look at upcoming weather patterns, birthing season and previous years movements. It gives good insight and allows us to create a rough route of where wildlife is located at any given point.  The river crossings are the most sought after periods of time during the migration, and they tend to happen on the banks of the Mara River. There are points along the river where the herds are able to cross without too much difficulty. The organised chaos at the river crossings tends to happen between July and August; which is also the most productive time of year to watch predators flush out prey. It’s important to note that the bustling Mara River is hugged by the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve, which are open to the public and day visitors. If you want a sense of exclusivity then it’s advisable to stay in a private conservancy. We’ve selected our top 4 perfectly placed Masai Mara Lodges ideal for the Migration in Kenya. Sala’s Camp Sala’s Camp brings a sparkle of elegance to the bushveld. This luxury tented safari camp is ideally located on the convergence of two mighty rivers inside the Masai Mara National Park. Each of the 7 safari tents are located in the thick of the riparian vegetation on the banks of the river. In total, the camp can accommodation 18 guests, and there’s even a spacious honeymoon tent available. This is exclusivity personified. Rooms have sitting areas, and views of the Kenya’s untouched savanna. Deep set copper baths, plunge pools and power showers are just a few of the added value extras...

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4 Good Reasons to Spend Christmas & New Year on Safari
Oct06

4 Good Reasons to Spend Christmas & New Year on Safari

It’s the time of year when half the population turns to Pinterest for their Christmas decor inspiration and menu planning, while the other half makes a quick U-turn out of the tinsel-strewn shopping mall and scans the web for any last minute flight specials to somewhere remote! We aren’t all cut from the same cloth, and while the bustling shops and festive music might give some people the warm and fuzzies, others start to dream of wide open spaces and silence instead. Sure, family time is the best time, but so are midday gin and tonics by the pool with absolutely nothing being asked of you for at least four hours. We get it; you’re torn between spending a week in near-pyjamas tripping over Christmas lights, and absorbing the African warmth under a big sun hat and a view of elephants parading across the savanna. Here are four good reasons to spend Christmas and New Year on safari. You’re welcome.     All the feasting without the cooking or cleaning Safaris are synonymous with overeating, in the best possible way. There is so much good food going around at every time of year and over the festive season, safari chefs really start churning out the special treatment. From early morning homemade rusks and shortbread, to fluffy frittatas, fresh fruit and mince pies, charcuterie platters and big, hearty flavours across the board, you’re definitely not going hungry. Food is so much a part of feeling nurtured and satisfied, and when you’re on safari – over Christmas time or not – you’re eating home-cooked meals that not only deliver in terms of comfort and flavour, you’re 100% on the receiving end and 0% on the prep! A safari Christmas means you have no kitchen duties assigned to you whatsoever, so forget the devilled eggs and the stewed fruit pudding you’re responsible for this year, and put those feet up! Where? Chinzombo Camp A rather appealing absence of (human) crowds We generally love our own humans, and the festive season allows absent aunts, uncles, and cousins to spend quality time together and lighten the load on parents of tots! But with long overdue family catch ups comes the exponential growth in general human traffic. A quick run for an emergency litre of milk on Boxing Day morning could turn into an hour-long affair with a few thousand people in the same predicament. Long queues of people in dire need of coffee with overtired kids in tow isn’t our idea of morning fun, but what we DO kind of like the sound of is birds. The deep, resonating drum of the ground hornbill enters...

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Where to Stay in Magical Malawi
Sep20

Where to Stay in Magical Malawi

Magical Malawi is fondly referred to as the warm heart of Africa. This is a country rich in culture, atmosphere and enchanting natural beauty. This landlocked, humble destination is best known as being the home of Lake Malawi, a gigantic inland sea boasting an array of water sport opportunities. However, the palm-fringed shores of the lake is not the only drawcard of Malawi. There’s the Shire River, the only winding river from the lake that snakes its way across floodplains and cuts through rolling carpets of green hills of the Shire region. Palm savannah, riparian thickets and giant baobabs provide a magnificent bio-diverse region home to over 650 species of bird.  Combine the beauty of the Shire region with the contrasting hazy aquamarine waters of Lake Malawi with the pristine wildlife-rich region of Liwonde National Park; and you have yourself a diverse safari and tropical holiday. Malawi needs to be on your Africa bucket list. We’ve selected our top lodge in each popular tourist destination in Malawi. Kaya Mawa Lodge in Lake Malawi  Kaya Mawa sits on the sandy golden beach gracing the shores of the lake. It’s a luxurious and secluded lodge located on the private Likoma Island. The lodge has with a light and breezy feel, where fresh air wafts through the wide open spaces. Accommodation comprises 12 thatched-roof houses constructed by hand using local materials. There are sunken bathtubs for end-of-day relaxation, private terraces to take in the sublime surrounds of magical lakes, baobabs and mango trees. Each house has its own small splash pool where guests can relax and catch a few rays. After signing up for scuba diving, kite surfing and canoeing activities; there’s only one thing left to do : Book a spa treatment on the rocks in the lake. Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde National Park Mvuu Lodge is certainly not short of safari activities, and certainly has every type of adventure safari activity covered. Boat trips down the Shire River, bush walks, bike rides through the park, twice daily game drives and visits to the local community are just a few things guests can expect while staying at Mvuu. Liwonde National Park is home to the largest elephant population in the country, and also has two breeding black rhino. Hippos litter the waters of the Shire, and seeing large bloats congregating on the shores is not uncommon. Three incredible species thriving naturally in Mvuu’s surrounds. What stands out most about the national park is that it’s Malawi’s top spot for birding activities. The lodge overlooks a tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River, and there are even starbeds overlooking the floodplains. Accommodation...

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