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Archive for May, 2010

The Okavango Delta is an intriguing collage of islands and floodplains, channels and floating papyrus all melded together to form a fascinating wilderness of wildlife and plants. Lying on the sands of the Kalahari Desert and fed by a river that rises in the highlands almost two thousand kilometres away the Okavango Delta is truly a wonder of the natural world.

The water from the Angolan Highlands takes almost six months to reach the delta, resulting in the phenomenon of the annual flooding of the delta occurring during the dry season. The local rainfall has a limited affect on the water levels although it must be said that in some years the high local rainfall does raise the water table considerably.

The Okavango Delta offers water and land based activities including gliding through the channels on traditional dugouts or Makoros, boating, walking and game drives. The original African elephant-back safaris are based in the Okavango and horse safaris are a popular way of experiencing the delta.

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It’s done! Leaving Cape Town to Durban on the 8th of July -> 11 days to drive anywhere between Durban,  Swaziland, Mozambique and the Krugerpark, as long as we drop off the car in Johannesburg on July the 19th, since we’ll fly to Livingstone, Zambia from there.

Besides the Victoria Falls, there are plenty of interesting places to visit in the 6 days we’ll spend in the area..Kafue National Park, The Okavango delta in Botswana for example, and probably lots of other stuff I haven’t heard of yet:-P
After a quick stop in Johannesburg, we’ll fly straight back to Cape Town on the 26th of July, and on the 27th..it’s time to go home again…

Although I can’t wait to go out there and discover more of Africa, I must say that I’m glad to have another month in Cape Town.
My thesis is in desperate need of additional information and I also need to collect and process the results of the survey I conducted.
The plan is to graduate in August, which means that, leaving July out, I have just a little over a month to finish it all.

It’s obviously not going to be just hard labour from now on..It’s Cape Town;  it should remain a holiday destination.
I’m going to a Rugby match on June 12th! Not just á rugby match…South-Africa — France! which is supposed to be quite important;)
Of course the World Cup will keep me occupied as well (attending Holland- Cameroon on june 24th) , a helicopter flight over the city will take place soon and there are plenty of parties coming up as well!

If anyone feels like sharing stories, adding things I forgot to tell you about, anything…Feel free to comment!

Cheers,

Ivo

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Please note that this is a suggested itinerary only … if this does not suit your needs, then we can tailor an itinerary that does.

Day 1
On arrival in Nairobi you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will spend one night at the Nairobi Serena Hotel or similar.
Day 2
In the morning you will be met by your driver guide for the start of your scheduled group safari. Depart Nairobi and make your way to the Masai Mara National Park. Have lunch on arrival followed by an afternoon game drive.

Spend two days in the Masai Mara staying at the Mara Serena Lodge or similar enjoying daily morning and afternoon game drives where you can spot the Big 5 as well as other wildlife such as wildebeest, zebra and more. If you are here at the right time of year you may even be lucky enough to see the wildebeest migration.
Day 4
You will go on a morning drive to Lake Nakuru, one of the Great Rift Valley Lakes. After lunch, enjoy a game drive in the Lake Nukuru National Park. Spend a night at the Great Rift Valley Lodge.

Day 5
Leave the Lake behind you and head towards the Amboseli National Park where you will enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon game drive.

Spend two days in the Amboseli staying at the Amboseli Serena Lodge or similar enjoying daily morning and afternoon game drives where you will view plenty of wildlife from elephant to lion, giraffe and more. You will be at one of the best places to see Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Day 7
After a morning game drive the tour will leave for Arusha in Tanzania. On arrival you’ll have lunch and then continue to Lake Manyara National Park. Spend a night at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, a fantastic hotel with incredible views of the lake below.
Day 8
After a morning game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park, the tour will continue onto to the Serengeti National Park. The drive goes through the Ngorongoro Conservation area and southern Serengeti so you will have the opportunity to view plenty of game en route to your lodge.
Spend two days in the Serengeti staying at the Serengeti Serena Lodge or similar enjoying daily morning and afternoon game drives where you can spot plenty of predators such as lion and cheetah, as well as other wildlife such as antelope, herds of hundreds of zebra and more.

If you are here at the right time of year you may even be lucky enough to see the wildebeest migration.
Day 10
Drive via Olduvai Gorge to Ngorongoro Crater with a picnic lunch en route. Spend the night at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or similar.
Day 11
Descend down into the crater below for an exciting game drive followed by lunch back at the lodge. In the afternoon you have the chance to visit a traditional Masai village, or join a guided nature walk on the crater rim. Spend another night at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or similar.
Day 12
Your final stop on your safari will be the Tarangire National Park where you will enjoy a game drive on arrival and spend your last night at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge or similar.
Day 13
Drive to Arusha for lunch and then continue to Nairobi for dinner before your onward travel arrangements.

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Stretching 400 km along the eastern border of South Africa the Kruger National Park is arguably Africa’s most iconic wildlife reserve. Scenically spectacular, with gorges, grasslands and mountains, the park carriesone of the continent’s greatest species diversities including more than 100 species of Mammals and almost 500 species of birds, providing an unforgetable Kruger Safari

Unlike many wilderness areas in Africa the Kruger National Park is easily accessible, providing for everybody who wants to visit. The park can be accessed by two wheel drive vehicle, has a range of accommodations from camping to six star luxury lodges, and is the best park on the continent for a Family safari catering for children of all ages.

The Kruger National Park is considered one of the best managed wilderness areas in the world and with a new policy of sustainable tourism development the park is set to benefit many communities in the vicinity who were previously denied any benefit.

For a tailor-made Kruger safari, have a look at our suggested itineraries and accomodations.

Kind regards,

Ivo

African Travel Experts

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Debate rages at African Travel Experts as to the perfect African Safari or Holiday.  Cape Town, Kruger National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, The Migration in East Africa, Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda,  the Beaches of Mozambique.

We can’t decide on what is the ultimate experience, so we have left it up to you.  Please answer the 3 questions in the survey below, tell us your dream African vacation and stand a chance to win a nice bottle of  South African wine!

Don’t forget to fill in your e-mail address!

Click here to take survey

Cheers,

Ivo

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Just when everyone thought winter had arrived, the sun showed up and Cape Town was treated with 23 degrees celcius again:)
The weeks are flying by.. only 22 days to the World Cup! As the picture above shows, the Dutchies in Cape Town are getting ready for the first match! The “Orange Capetonians” on the picture rented a VW Beetle and decided it needed a paint job..

If you’re curious about the way this Beetle got its professional-looking shiny new paint, check out the movie on http://34gradenzuid.nl/!

Not only the Dutchies are preparing to “welcome the world”, so is the city of Cape Town. Buslanes are constructed, Central Station is being renovated, it’s basically a mess all around the city and I highly doubt it’ll all be ready on time.
Luckily, Table Mountain is watching over the city as a “beacon of hope”, so i’m not worried at all;)

I’m leaving Cape Town right after the Semi-Final for a 3-week trip. Capetown to Durban..a rental car will hopefully take us to Swaziland –MozambiqueKrugerpark and to Johannesburg.
From Jo’burg I still need to book an overland tour to Victoria Falls, from which we will fly back to Cape Town on the 24th of july.

Until then, plenty of things to do! Finishing my thesis for example;)

More news next week!

Cheers,

Ivo

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Please note that this is a suggested itinerary only … if this does not suit your needs, then we can tailor an itinerary that does.

Day 1

Depart Nairobi and drive south to Selenkay Conservancy (a four hour journey), arriving at Amboseli Porini Camp before lunch. Enjoy afternoon tea, followed by an escorted walk with Masai warriors to a village to get an insight into their fascinating culture and way of life. Return to camp for a shower, dinner and overnight.

Day 2

After an early breakfast, drive to Amboseli National Park for a morning game drive within the Park to see the elephants close up, followed by a picnic lunch.

In the afternoon you will return to Porini Camp for a rest and then an evening game drive in Selenkay Conservancy, ending with a sundowner at a scenic spot. Return to Amboseli Porini Camp for dinner after which there will be a night game drive using a spotlight to seek out some of the nocturnal animals such as aardvarks (antbears), serval cats, bat-eared foxes and possibly even the elusive leopard. Overnight at Porini Camp.

Day 3

Wake up for an early breakfast and then drive into Amboseli Park and on to the airstrip to catch your chartered flight to Samburu, arriving by 1pm for lunch at the Samburu Intrepids Club, which will be your home for two nights. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in Samburu National Reserve.

Day 4

Spend the day relaxing in between morning and afternoon game drives in Samburu and overnight at Samburu Intrepids Club.

Day 5

Wake up for an early morning game drive and then after breakfast you will fly from Samburu to the Mara to stay the next two nights at Mara Porini Camp. In the evening you will take a game drive to explore the area around the camp and to seek out the wildlife for which the Mara is famous.

Day 6

Spend a full day in the Mara with a picnic lunch during which you can expect to find lions as well as many of the other species found in the Mara which include leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephant, rhino, topi, eland, wildebeest, zebra, hippo and buffalo.

Day 7

Transfer to the airstrip for the 11am flight back to Nairobi, arriving around 12.15pm.

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Luangwa Safaris

For many years I heard rumours of a valley of boundless wildlife drawn to a river and its oxbow lagoons – a valley called Luangwa. The mere mention of the valley brings excitement to the faces of many oldtimers. ‘Have to see it to appreciate it’, and so it is with the Luangwa Valley.

Luangwa Valley is described by numerous Africa connoisseurs as the best safari experience in Africa. As with many legendary wilderness areas it is a river that forms the centrepiece of the valley and the Luangwa River, a major tributary of the Zambezi, is the lifeblood of what is one of Africa’s exceptional wildlife areas.

The Luangwa Valley is home to the South and North Luangwa National parks, two wilderness areas with vastly different landscapes and histories but both nonetheless legends in their own right. As with all of Zambia the Luangwa Valley is enjoying its revival in fortunes.

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Having lost everything that was left of my suntan, there is no way back now; winter is coming in Cape Town
It’s rainy and windy and wearing a jacket is now every-day life.
Too bad, but inevitably; things change…and so do seasons.

Almost 2 weeks have gone by since I moved to my new place in Gardens, and I realized that I have “only” 76 days in Africa left!

Last weekend was great; celebrating the birthday of one of my new roommates at !Khwa ttu, a San cultural and educational  centre, 70 km north-west of Cape Town. In this somewhat deserted place, you have the chance to be introduced to the world of  the descendants of the first indigenous people of southern Africa.
Unfortunately, there was no possibility to take the tour, so we decided to light the Braai instead:)

On our way to Cape Town, our VW Chico needed some maintanance, but we made it home safe late in the afternoon.

Btw, I’m going to a Worldcup match! Holland – Cameroon on june 24th. Also, there’s a chance that I’ll be going to the Semi-Final on july the 6th..Would be nice to watch Holland play then;)

As mentioned before, I’ll leave Cape Town on the 8th of July to Durban, from which I will start my 3-week trip with a friend to Swaziland, Mozambique and Victoria Falls!

More news (and photo’s) next Tuesday!

Cheers

Ivo

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Day 1

Upon arrival in Johannesburg on an early morning flight you will have time to connect to your flight to Maun, Botswana.
In Maun you will be met and transferred to your charter flight into Chobe.

Spend two nights unwinding and taking in the sights of the Chobe River at Chobe Chilwero.

Day 3

A light aircraft transfer will get you into the heart of the Okavango Delta. There are numerous options with regards to accommodation here but one of the most famous areas for game viewing is Chief’s Island. Here a three night stay at Chief’s Camp will show you the magic that can be found in Botswana.

Day 6

A short charter flight back to Maun gives you time to pick up the afternoon flight to Johannesburg, getting you back to the city of gold in time to enjoy the beautiful sunset and one of the top restaurants for dinner.

You can choose to stay close to the airport or you can choose to stay in the hub of Sandton. A couple of our favourite spots include The Peech Hotel or The Westcliffe for some of that old school charm.

Day 7

You will get a morning transfer back to Johannesburg airport to catch your flight to Vilanculos or Pemba – depending where you would like to stay in Mozambique.

If you are heading to Vilanculos then we would recommend a stay at either Bazaruto or Benguerra Island. There are a number of beautiful lodges here and you will really find yourself getting away from the world. You can choose from the luxury eco-retreat of Azura to the resort style and Spa of Indigo Bay.

Should you wish to travel slightly further north, the Quirimbas Achipelago will be your destination. Generally the further north one goes the more remote the destination. There are a few choices of islands here and your choice of lodges – from private islands like Medjumbe to historic islands like Ibo Island, to all-out barefoot luxury atVamizi Island.

Day 11

After four nights it is time to head back to reality. Your transfer back to Pemba or Vilanculos will get you to the airport in time to connect with your flight back to Johannesburg.

Again, depending on your international flights you may need to spend a final night in Johannesburg. This will give you a chance to catch up on any souvenir shopping and anything else you may want to take home with you as a memento of your African stay.

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