Welcome to Qorokwe Camp, a late 2017 addition to Wilderness Okavango Collection
Jan17

Welcome to Qorokwe Camp, a late 2017 addition to Wilderness Okavango Collection

The Okavango Delta is one of Botswana’s most popularly visited areas. It is not likely that we’ll arrange your tour of Southern Africa without suggesting (or insisting) that this iconic and unique region of Botswana is featured on your itinerary! We love the mokoro experience, which offers a glimpse into the age-old means of travel between islands, and the tranquility of the waterside lodge locations are perfect for balmy African evenings, and the game viewing goes without saying! We are overly excited to sink our teeth into the Delta’s newest offering, which was launched late last year by the renowned Wilderness Safaris. Welcome to Qorokwe Camp! Located in the southeastern region of the Okavango Delta bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, Qorokwe Camp is situated on an enormous private concession measuring over 26 000 hectares, which has not been utilised in 4 years. This element of untouched wilderness is even more exciting because it gives us a look into how the vegetation and the animal and bird life has moulded itself without any human input over years. There is plentiful game in the area and water all year round, keeping the wildlife fed and watered through all seasons and offering Qorokwe guests front row seats to some epic Delta safari experiences. Qorokwe means “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water”, which describes the activity of large buffalo herds in the camp’s immediate location. The vast floodplains are home to these great, formidable beasts, and to the lions that stalk them endlessly, while the interspersed acacia woodlands feed herds of giraffe and zebra, and brings biodiversity to the area. The local lion pride is presently numbered at about 15, and is spectacularly impressive to watch while sitting silently in the embrace of a kitted out game viewer. The lodge itself is a testament to environmental sustainability, as all Wilderness Safaris projects are. As such, the camp is solar-powered, and you can be prepared to put down your mobile phone because Qorokwe is blissfully Wi-Fi-free! There are 8 elegant tented suites with indoor and outdoor showers (a real safari treat), and a very spacious family suite with a private splash pool to cater for parents travelling with children. The main lodge area is also equipped with a swimming pool, surrounded by wooden decking and loungers that overlook the view of the lagoon and floodplains. There is also a library, lounge, dining area and bar, which all make the most of the abundant views and sense of solitude in this very special place. Qorokwe Camp is now open and welcoming guests who are in search of ultimate quietude...

Read More
Where are you going in 2018? We have some suggestions…
Jan17

Where are you going in 2018? We have some suggestions…

Bucket list destinations for 2018! If you’re looking for some inspiration on your first day back in the office, planning your adventures for the 2018 holidays might be a good place to start – to remind yourself why you work in the first place! This week we’re sharing our list of wild and wonderful places we have put on our travel bucket lists this year. These are some of the most awe-inspiring spots on the African continent and in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and they are bound to enchant you and set your soul on fire. First up: Fish River Canyon, Namibia. This is the largest canyon in Africa and the longest inland river in Namibia, stretching for 160km in total. Today it is a string of pools located in the vast ravine and is one of southern Africa’s most astonishing hiking trails. Entirely unique, heart-stoppingly beautiful, and certainly unmissable. Visit Fish River Canyon Lodge for views like this! Next up on our 2018 travel bucket list is Zambia’s tremendous Kafue National Park, where the eerily misty Busanga floodplains draw a blanket of rising fog over the bright light of the rising sun, illuminating the sky and rose-tinting the entire scene. This safari secret burns brightly on our 2018 calendars, and we can already feel the excitement and hint of unease spreading through our veins as we explore this wild animal kingdom shrouded in a disorienting haze. What a sight to behold on safari in this majestic place with Busanga Bush Camp. On our journey to discover 2018’s top spots, we’ve chosen this secluded island of smooth boulders and leafy trees in the waters of Lake Malawi National Park. Mumbo Island Camp is remote bliss, 10km across the water from Cape Maclear, which is this island’s nearest road access and the reception for the camp. The isolation of Mumbo Island is reason enough to spend at least a few days swinging in your hammock overlooking the clear, fresh water, but it offers so much more than just peace and quiet. The scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking activities are sublime ways to enjoy the unique biodiversity of this great lake, and Mumbo Island’s tented or thatched chalets are the perfect places to spend silent nights and in between days of sun-filled fun. Breezing through our bucket list items brings us to a celebrated World Heritage Site; a place we have bestowed with a title that represents the natural integrity of an area, enhancing its value and protecting its precious existence. This elephant paradise is Mana Pools National Park on the banks of Zimbabwe’s historic Lake Kariba. The...

Read More
Part 2 of African Parks’ Unknown Wildlife Conservation Areas
Jan12

Part 2 of African Parks’ Unknown Wildlife Conservation Areas

In a previous post we celebrated the news that Prince Harry had been appointed as President of African Parks and introduced the first 4 of 12 conservation areas under the organisations management. For many nature lovers and adventure seekers, the wildlife reserves and national parks protected by African Parks are unheard of. These places were decimated by civil war, human-wildlife conflict, poaching, and neglect, and through agreements between local authorities and African Parks, conservation has become a priority, and work is being done to enforce law, provide employment, and nurture both the natural environment and the people who rely on it. In this 3-part series, we are introducing the 12 lesser known destinations that are being rehabilitated rebuilt into the magnificent, ecologically unique wilderness that it once was. Garamba National Park Northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bordering South Sudan DRC’s only population of Kordofan giraffe Largest and last stronghold for elephants in all of DRC UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980 and one of Africa’s oldest National Parks Part of 12500 sq. km Garamba Complex African Parks, and the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) entered into a partnership in 2005 to manage the park. Then and Now Northern DRC and South Sudan are notoriously war torn, and the wildlife of Garamba has suffered significantly as a result of uncontrolled poaching for bushmeat and ivory over the decades. In the 1970s, there were estimated to be as many as 22 000 elephants in the 4900 sq. km national park, and today elephants number only 1300. Hostile conditions across the country during years of war and intense pressure from the Lord’s Resistance Army left Garamba as a shadow of its former self, while surrounding local communities suffered under the same conditions. Now, under African Parks renewed management, Garamba National Park is responsible for the employment of over 1000 people, while strict law enforcement is in place to protect the park’s assets. Highly trained anti-poaching units are in place to protect wildlife, while schools, a hospital, mobile healthcare facilities, and environmental programmes are providing much needed support to communities. Just last year, the number of collared elephants grew to 47 and a number of rare Kordofan giraffe were born, while improved protection has been provided to Garambas rangers and endangered species, signalling the success and committment to conservation. Liuwa Plain National Park Western Zambia Location of the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa 19th Century conservation story of King bestowing the land to his people  Home of the famous lioness, Lady Liuwa In 2003, African Parks entered into a partnership with the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW)...

Read More
Meet the Olympic Athletes of the Safari World
Jan12

Meet the Olympic Athletes of the Safari World

The athletes of the safari world are the undisputed champions of speed, agility and strength. Being a top class athlete means being proficient in the art of physical activity, having a competitive streak and genetics that ensure you’re pre-disposed to specific sports. We have plenty of athletes in the animal kingdom, and it’s impossible to list each species’ specific skill-set, but there are those that stand out from the crowd – and these are the animals that we tend to spot on a regular basis while on safari. These are the animals that we consider the Olympic athletes of the safari world, the ones that have mastered the art of speed and are our natural born Usain Bolts. Of course, special mention needs to go to the animals that reach unexpected speeds while on the move. The cumbersome hippo can give chase, despite its size. The endangered wild dogs are endurance runners that keep a steady fast pace while giving chase to their unfortunate quarry. The top 5 awards for the category of speed and sprints goes to : Ostrich The ostrich is the largest flightless bird native to Africa and is commonly spotted throughout most of South Africa. Seen in bushveld regions and nature reserves in coastal regions, the ostrich is quite an adaptable bird. The ostrich can reach average maximum speeds of up to 70 km per hour and maintain this top speed for up to 2 km. Spotted : Throughout southern Africa Peregrine Falcon Although not a land animal, we had to make special mention of this graceful yet ruthless raptor that is the fastest bird in the world. These birds breed in cliffs and ravines, and are most likely spotted in areas where rocky landscapes are prevalent. The peregrine falcon can reach speeds of up to 410 km ! Its diving speed is well over 240 km and it attacks its prey while in the air. Their intended victim doesn’t see what’s coming and the Peregrine is often referred to as the “bird-killer” of the birding world. Quite a reputation ! Spotted : Throughout southern Africa Cheetah It’s common knowledge that the cheetah is the world’s fastest sprinter, and would no doubt bring home the gold in any Olympics. They can reach speeds of up to 120 km per hour and need an open area relatively obstacle free before taking chase. Their long tail acts as a rudder and also provides the much needed balance when high speeds are reached. Cheetah need to take a breather shortly after conducting a kill because they have no energy left to eat. Strength and fight they don’t possess,...

Read More
Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand
Jan11

Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is world-renown big five safari destination in the Greater Kruger, and is a major drawcard  for a host of international guests seeking a discerning safari experience with a focus on luxury accommodation and wild, wild surrounds. Sabi Sand is famed for its leopard sightings and has an abundance of drainage lines, access to water and is rich with food sources. The Sabi Sand is the perfect place for viewing big cats. The Londolozi Private Game Reserve offers guests a choice of five safari accommodation options, all with the same access to  34,000 acres of untamed landscape. The format of a private safari experience is standard, but may vary from lodge to lodge. Morning wake-up happens at sunrise and a guided game drive takes place in an open-topped game viewer. Late afternoon drives combined with sundowner sessions take place at roughly 15:30 – 16:00 and evenings are spent dining under the stars and around the campfire in the boma area. Londolozi employs only the top guides and rangers that excel at tracking and sharing their wildlife knowledge with guests. Camps at Londolozi vary in price according to quality and size. The Londolozi Private Granite Suites are fit for royalty – and the thing that most delights and enthrals us is the outdoor bath perched on the private wooden viewing deck. Each suite has its very own heated swimming pool and is cocooned by tumbling granite boulders. Sounds like heaven? It is ! Londolozi Pioneer Camp and Tree Camp are the next level in luxury compared to the contemporary villa style granite suites. The 6 suites at Tree Camp are hugged by a canopy of leadwood trees and provide an idyllic escape with designer flair. While the outside provides the rustic, the interior provides a splash of Hollywood with its Ralph Lauren wallpaper and private swimming pools. Pioneer Camp is on par with the Tree Camp but offers a completely different atmosphere and is one for the die-hard romantics. It’s classic safari style with elegance shrouded in history – think bygone era meets modern grace. * Children under the age of 6 aren’t allowed at these elite camps unless booked on an exclusive only basis. Londolozi Varty Camp and Founders Camp are the largest camps and ideal for families. These two child-friendly camps have a unique covered skywalk that interlinks rooms without any danger from the elements outside. Camps accommodate children 6 years and older, and families will delight in the knowledge that elephants can be viewed in the riverine below. Founders Camp has an elevated wooden deck where yoga classes are held – the perfect place for...

Read More
5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday
Jan07

5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday

It goes without saying that first time visitors to South Africa and southern Africa should go on safari. The national parks and private reserves dotted across the unique landscapes are home to a wealth of wildlife that thrive in their natural habitat which varies from coastal splendour to riverine forest, dry savannah, mixed acacia woodlands, sparse arid deserts and rocky terrain dominated by tumbling boulders. A standard safari includes either a self-drive trip into the Kruger National Park or stay at a lodge in a private reserve with guided daily game drives. There are a few standard components to a safari holiday that are consistent across most lodges – two game drives a day, sundowners and dinner around the campfire in a traditional boma. But, what if you want something different? Something to spice up a standard safari holiday? There are plenty of distinct safari options that incorporate either a hobby or sport into your conventional safari. These options are ideal either for the adventurous or the second time safari-goer that wants something different, but still wants to ogle over wildlife and track the big five. So, here are our 5 distinct safari ideas for your 2018 bushveld holiday. A Water Safari in a Traditional Mokoro in the Okavango Delta The network of waterways and channels of the Okavango Delta make for the ideal place for a water safari. The open channels are home to huge bloats of hippo, breeding herds of elephant and plenty of other wildlife. The birdlife is exceptional, and there are over 450 species of bird in the area. The best way of seeing wildlife is at “ground level, making a mokoro the perfect vessel for a water safari. A mokoro is a dug-out canoe made from the wood of a sausage tree (some are fibreglass) and is used by locals as a means of transport. Most of the camps in the Delta will offer daily mokoro trips, but it will depend on water levels and activities on offer at your chosen camp. Recommended for Mokoro Safaris : Delta Camp, just south of  Chief’s Island Guided Walking Safari in the Kruger There are numerous Kruger walking safari outfitters in the Kruger and it’s yet another way to see wildlife. Trained trails guides will lead you on foot through the Kruger, teaching you how to track for wildlife by following spoor, scat direction and various natural indicators. Walking safaris also allow for guests to learn about the medicinal uses of plants and how the variety of flora is used in the animal kingdom. A knowledgeable trail’s guide will teach you the etiquette of bush walking –...

Read More
Always Stop for Birds in the Okavango Delta
Jan06

Always Stop for Birds in the Okavango Delta

Wonderful photographic captures by the talented Kevin MacLaughlin who spent time on safari in Botswana last year and brought back a collection of images that truly showcase the enigmatic wealth of this wild country. The birdlife of the Okavango Delta is spoken about around the world, with keen birdwatchers coming from far and wide to discover both the rarely seen and the overly abundant species that flock to the waterways. This is a black-winged stilt, and rather a regularly seen wader of the shallows. Take a look at this deeply captivating shots and be transported to the seat of a mokoro gliding through the Okavango Delta. Inspired by the birth of the new year, we’re ‘taking flight’ and sharing images that capture the beauty of birds. These elegant creatures might not rule the wild kingdom with deadly teeth and reverberating roars, but they occupy a crucial role in nature, and we personally can not get enough of them! In our previous image, a black-winged stilt tested the waters first thing in the morning, while the next featured images capture great white egrets as they fan their wings in combat, challenging each other at a crowded site during breeding season. The Okavango Delta is the location of countless heronries and breeding grounds for water birds, and so bird watching becomes a safari activity well deserving of admiration. Twitchers for life! A lilypad-hopping waterbird possessing incredible grace considering the size of its feet; the African jacana is one of the firsts to be spotted on an Okavango Delta birding tour and will quickly become a favourite. It is endlessly entertaining to watch as this little bigfoot pads along gently, scrutinizing the surface of the water for little creatures to prey upon. Some birds have boggling behavioural displays, and often these ‘performances’ revolve around the breeding season when the males of the species put on their best, most elaborate shows in order to impress the female and be granted mating privileges. It’s animal nature and it is quite fascinating to watch! This particularly impressive sight is of a pink-backed pelican, perched on top of a communal nesting tree along a waterway in northern Botswana. During the breeding season these trees are heavy with the number of pelicans inhabiting it. Seeing double: a diminutive African pygmy goose skims over the surface of mirror-like Delta waters before splashing out with an eventual landing. Immense pleasure can be found in the quiet activity of bird watching, and when you’re ready with your camera in focus, you capture moments in time that celebrate the individual movements and expressions of the birds behind the lens. Pygmy geese are notorious...

Read More