Client Feedback : Spotting the Big 5 in Kruger
Oct10

Client Feedback : Spotting the Big 5 in Kruger

Natasha’s clients visited a few nature and visited Bushwa Game Lodge, Honyeguide Khoka Moya Camp and Klaserie Sands River Camp. Bushwa is a luxurious five star lodge but it is not located within a big five reserve, and should be considered more of a local getaway in nature, as opposed to a game-laden game reserve. From the gentle retreat of Bushwa, the moved onto spotting the big 5 in Kruger.  Here is their feedback : Hi Natasha, Yes, we are back after these 10 days which passed very fast. Hereafter, a short summary of our feelings on our stay. Concerning the 3 lodges, we are very satisfied. They are all different, very comfortable with excellent locations and very nice staffs. However we have a preference for Honeyguide due to its authenticity (having many animals, including elephants, a few steps away from our tent was quite unusual…). Concerning the game drive, I must say that we have been quite disappointed with Bushwa. If we would have known that the reserve have so few animals, we would have asked you to change the camp. Spending three days in Bushwa to see the same group of sable antelopes, the same group of buffalos and some giraffes was a bit frustrating. Therefore we booked game drives in neighbouring reserves with the hope to see more animals and, in particular, the big five… Fortunately, Honeyguide and Klaserie were much more exciting. Especially at Honeyguide, where, meeting elephants when going to our tent or to the restaurant is an experience that we will remember. In these 2 reserves, enjoyed our competent and interesting guides who gave us the chance to see all animals we were expecting (except wild dogs).  They were not very abundant groups (perhaps because of the changes of the weather?) but we really enjoyed to see cheetahs, leopards, lions and rhinos as well as a lot of very beautiful birds. Globally, this trip has met our expectations and we thank you for the good memories we bring back home. I will send you some pictures using we transfer. With our best regards Nicole &...

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5 Facts About Africa’s Big 5 Animals
Oct10

5 Facts About Africa’s Big 5 Animals

The Swahili word for journey is “safari”. The word is derived from ancient Arabic and loosely translated means “to travel”. The word safari is associated with Africa, and conjures up images of a bushveld sojourn in remote areas tracking wildlife and rare moments that don’t make the guidebooks. Discovering the big five is part of the safari experience. These animals are probably the most well-documented group of wildlife in Africa, and are arguably the most popular animals to spot while out on game drive. Of course, we always encourage our eager safari goers to relish in any opportunity to research and get excited about all the other rare birds and beasts dwelling in the wild. The big five is actually an  old term to have emerged from a bygone era when hunting big game was the norm. The big five proved to be the most difficult of all the hunt while on foot and also the most dangerous. The term has since evolved to mean something far less notorious, and is commonly used in reference to safari holidays in Africa. We thought we’d furnish our readers with a fact about each of the big five – just so that you know before you go! Here are 5 facts about Africa’s big 5 animals. Buffalo : Revengeful and Obstinate Buffalo look similar to cows, but they’re far from the gentle giant bovids we perceive them to be. Buffalo give little indication about their mood and don’t give any warning signs before stampeding. They have steely glare that makes them look like they area part of the Mafia and will win any stare down competition. Don’t be surprised if the entire herd stares at you while you’re taking a photo. However, the herds aren’t the ones to be feared. The most dangerous of all are the older bulls that have been ousted from the herd. They’re moody, insecure and prone to bad moods. Buffalo kill more people in Africa than any of the other big five. Elephants : Emotional and Protective Elephants are highly emotive and intelligent animals. They remember and process pain, death and happy events. They often visit grave sites of fallen giants to pay their respects, and there’s plenty of joyous trumpeting when there’s a birth. Elephants are raised in matriarchal herds, which means they enjoy the protection of the herd. Herds comprise related females and their young, and all the females take turns in looking after and mothering the young calves. Lions : Powerful and Regal Lions live in prides made up of females and their young. Male coalitions tend to rule over the pride but most...

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3 Beachfront Hotels in Cape Town
Oct10

3 Beachfront Hotels in Cape Town

We’ve scoured the peninsula for 3 beachfront hotels in Cape Town that deserve a mention. These 3 hotels aren’t 100 metres from the beach, and they’re not located on clifftops overlooking the blue expanse of ocean. These beachfront hotels are literally on the beach. We’ve hand selected a few accommodation options in each of the major beach areas of Cape Town. We have Tintswalo Atlantic tucked away at the base of Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most scenic drives. The closest area to Tintswalo is Hout Bay. Then there’s the Last Word’s Long Beach Hotel, which is located on a wide stretch of sandy beach on Noordhoek – the relaxed side of Cape Town! On the azure ocean side of Cape Town – the Atlantic Seaboard stretch – we’ve selected The Bay Hotel, a favourite among locals and international visitors for its prime location on the shores of the palm-fringed Camps Bay Beach. Tintswalo Atlantic at the Base of Chapman’s Peak Drive Tintswalo Atlantic is one of our favourite boutique beach hotels. It reminds us of a secret unobtrusive hideaway that flies under the radar. This haven of luxury is tucked away in a small bay beneath the world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, and rests on the shores of a private bay. The hotel’s wrap around balcony is the perfect place to watch the huge breakers rolling onto the beach. The rooms are nothing short of exquisite and each of the 10 luxury Island suites, offer superb finishings and sophisticated decor. A world-class fine dining restaurant, swanky beach cocktail bar and class wine cellar provide the perfect escape for purveyors of fine dining. There’s even a small pool surrounded by wooden decking – the perfect place to put your feet up and unwind. The Last Word’s Long Beach Hotel in Kommetjie, Cape Point Route There’s a stretch of kilometres long sandy beach that curves all the way from Noordhoek to Kommetjie, offering a wild beauty and powerful seas. Horse riding is popular on Noordhoek beach, and it’s not uncommon to witness scenes of cantering steeds framed by icy powerful waves and endless views of the ocean. This part of Cape Town is accessible via the Cape Point Route side of the mountain. Noordhoek lies at the base of Chapman’s Peak opposite to the Hout Bay side. Long Beach is situated on this Noordhoek Kommetjie stretch and is a well-known local surfing spot. The Last Word is comfortably perched on top of fynbos smothered dunes on the sandy beach. The views from the Long Beach are mind-blowing. Endless horizons greet the huge expansive of blue ocean with their brazen sunsets, and...

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Client Feedback : Botswana to Cape Town
Oct10

Client Feedback : Botswana to Cape Town

Michelle’s clients enjoyed an incredible safari to Botswana, and combined it with a coastal trip to Cape Town and the winelands. They explored the game-rich areas of the Savuti in the Chobe National Park and the ever popular Moremi Game Reserve in the pristine Okavango Delta. Both areas offer the best of land based and water based safaris. They took a trip out to the whale watching town of Hermanus to try spot the marine 5 and ended their African adventure with a relaxing holiday in Stellenbosch, the wine capital of the Cape! Michelle crafted the perfect Botswana to Cape Town itinerary.  Here is their feedback :  Michelle, I have left a 5 star review on Safari Bookings. We are all still flabbergasted by the experiences we had in Africa and we all want to return. I have attached just a handful of the many amazing photos we took. We saw the Hyena family within 15 minutes of landing at Sango camp on the first stop of our safari. The woman in the next picture is DK, she was our Guide at Sango and she was terrific. We felt blessed to spend time with her and to have a female guide. We never saw another female guide, the rest of the time on safari! We came across the two young male cheetahs on our very last morning game drive at Savuti. The elephant greated me about 7am in the morning at Oddballs, as she began grazing on a small tree growing less than a meter from the toilet I was sitting on! The final picture is an Eland hanging out at the Cape of Good Hope!   During the time at the three camps, we saw four of the big five, no Rhinos, and just about every other animal that we could imagine. The three different topographies of the camps was great, as we were able to see different animals in different types of settings.   Chronologically here are our impressions: Peermont Mondior, Johannesburg – A good place to stay if you need to be near the airport. Breakfast was very good, and hotel staff was helpful. Sango Camp, Khwai River– Our overall favorite camp! Everything from our fabulous guide, D.K., to the great staff, campfire gatherings and delicious meals, Sango was thoroughly enjoyable. We would, however, suggest that when guests are leaving late morning, there is still time for an early morning game drive on the way to the airstrip! Oddball’s Enclave, Moremi Game Reserve – The  Mokoro rides gave us the opportunity to get a different perspective of the animals we were viewing (crocodile, hippos, Cape buffalo), as well as the chance to...

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Client Feedback : Bob and Family Spot the Big 5 in Kruger
Oct09

Client Feedback : Bob and Family Spot the Big 5 in Kruger

Natasha’s clients enjoyed a family safari in the Kruger, and stayed at Kambaku River Sands the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and Simbambili Game Lodge in Sabi Sand. Here is their feedback :  Hi Natasha, Thanks for the email, I meant to follow up with you. All went well. Flights were good, we were picked up on time, accommodations were super. Food excellent and wildlife viewing was as we hoped. We did see the big 5. The staff at our first lodge went out of their way to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday. They were a fun group. Lodges at the second were beautiful. And staff also very good. The final judge is my wife and she said it was probably our best vacation ever. Thanks for the effort putting this together. Well done. And our daughter’s wedding was beautiful. I’ll send you some pictures. Thanks again,...

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Two Houseboat Safari Options in Zimbabwe and Botswana
Oct09

Two Houseboat Safari Options in Zimbabwe and Botswana

Iconic images of game viewers framed by brazen sunsets and surrounded by arid savanna are a constant reminder of the safari life in Africa. Coupled with these popular game drive images we are also rewarded with numerous safari style images of mokoro trips, boat cruises and wildlife swimming in pristine bodies of water. We are familiar with these typical safari scenes, but there’s a different style of safari that pretty much flies under the radar in terms safari holidays in Africa. We’re talking about the much-loved experience of a houseboat safari! Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe/Zambia is probably the most popular and well-documented destination for a houseboat safari, but the mighty Chobe River in Botswana is also an exquisite option for this category of safari. Lake Kariba rests on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and is the world’s largest man-made lake. It is actually in the Zambezi Gorge, spreads out over the Zambezi Valley and is surrounded by pristine nature reserves teeming with game. The lake is dotted with floating hotels and has numerous small islands. In terms of wildlife, there’s plenty to see. Big game is fairly prominent, with a major highlight being the herds of elephants happily swimming between the fertile islands. This is always quit a sight to behold – elephants use their trunks as a snorkel and love nothing more than to indulge in swimming sessions. The Chobe River is one of the most popular safari destinations in Botswana and the shores are a playground for high concentrations of elephant. Chobe is home to hippos, crocs and a menagerie of other wildlife. Waders and birds of prey also frequent the area, making it an absolute heaven for birders. When you hire a houseboat for a safari you have the option to charter for a set period of time. It’s standard for a crew to accompany you for the duration of the hire. Amenities are all on board and – depending on the boat you hire – you can either charter the boat with the self-catering or private chef option. With the houseboat there are tender boats. These boats are used for navigating narrowing areas of water and for game viewing and fishing. The tender boats have a crew and don’t tend to traverse too far from where the houseboat drops anchor. The Big Daddy As its name suggests, this is the big daddy of houseboats. This is a mobile water mansion and the daddy Warbucks of Lake Kariba.  It comes complete with a splash pool on board, sundeck area and even braai facilities. Well-appointed cabins completely kitted out with bathroom amenities and all the luxuries...

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The Ultimate Africa Safari Route : Lions, Gorillas, and Whales
Oct08

The Ultimate Africa Safari Route : Lions, Gorillas, and Whales

Africa is a continent home to diverse landscapes, rich cultures and colourful capitals. It’s the home of the endless horizon, the safari, rural areas and coastal splendour. Whether it’s the dilapidated third world town centres, business capitals of cities, game-rich bushveld regions, arid savannah, coastal luxury or remote craters on the edge of the wild; Africa has heart. Africa has an unrefined natural beauty, and is a continent deserving of a visit.  The majority of tourists come to Africa for a safari experience, but nailing down the countries to visit can be tricky. Your time frame and budget also needs to be taken into consideration. If you have an extensive budget, and aren’t restricted to time, we suggest you follow our ultimate Africa safari route.  These are the most popular destinations worth a visit, but certainly aren’t the only countries in Africa to visit. The below is our ultimate Africa safari route!  The Greater Kruger in South Africa The Greater Kruger is home to a number of private reserves, and the national park. It’s a destination popular because of its close location to the scenic coastal hub of Cape Town, and its overall accessibility. Guests often combine the Kruger with Cape Town for the perfect beach and bush combination. There are a number of flights serving major airports in the area, and the international airport of OR Tambo is also easily accessible. Choose from reserves teeming with the big five, stay at lodges on the banks of rivers and indulge in luxury bushveld walking trails, sundowner sessions and game drives in big five reserves. If you’re pressed for time, combine a safari to Kruger with a trip to bold and brimming Cape Town. High End : Ulusaba Cliff Lodge in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve Affordable : Kapama River Lodge in the Kapama Private Game Reserve Okavango Delta in Botswana The Delta is one of the most spectacular water wonderlands in Africa. The sparkling emerald waterlogged region is surrounded by a unique and arid savannah, rich with birdlife and predators. This alluvial fan comprises open waterways, reed-lined tributaries and tranquil channels. Floodplains, grasslands, reeds and grasslands make-up a unique ecosystem that is the Okavango Delta. The most popular region in the Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve, a state-run reserve and privately managed concessions home to a high concentration of big game. This is the home of the water safari, and offers its visitors unique opportunities to enjoy traditional mokoro rides and cruise across pristine waters. The bold and shimmery sunsets of the Okavango Delta are hypnotic! High End : andBeyond Sandibe Lodge in Okavango Delta Affordable :...

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