The vast red sand expanses of the Kalahari Desert rise up to meet us as we touch down in our 7-seater plane in the heart of Tswalu Private Game Reserve – the largest privately owned reserve in South Africa. At over 100 000ha, Tswalu is an endless sea of undulating sand dunes, grassy knolls and rocky outcrops, and the location of The Motse camp, our home for the next 24 hours.
Rhinos Without Borders is a big, bold and ambitious project launched and managed by two of our most credible travel partners, Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond. Their goal is to move a hundred rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to safer, military-protected reserves in Botswana giving the species a chance to recover and form a new breeding nucleus. Our former CEO Gary Lotter particpated in the first rhino capture for relocation: This is his remarkable story of a momentous, bittersweet rescue effort.
After three thrilling days exploring Odzala National Park's lush rainforests – and having one of the most authentic wild encounters with a family of western lowland gorillas – we journeyed to Odzala’s open savannah plains, meandering rivers and towering swamp forests. Our home for the next two nights was Lango Camp.
As Africa Safari Experts, we’ve had the privilege of meeting some of Africa’s most iconic people – the fiercely distinctive Maasai and Sambura in Kenya, the red-hued Himba of Namibia, and those consummate survivors, the San of the Kalahari.
As African Safari Experts , we spend every day doing what we love: helping our clients live out their dream African vacations in magical destinations. But it’s not all fun and games – to reach expert level we have to pass serious written examinations (just like college) and personally visit every destination we recommend. In fact, we’re can't advise our clients on a destination until we’ve passed the exams and actually been there. After mastering South Africa – which really is ‘a world in one country’ with every sort of attraction from whales and wine to the Big 5 and resorts like Sun City – we started working on our next destination, Botswana.
African Safari Expert, Anza Snyman, wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Zambia. Her previous safaris in Botswana and the Kruger National Park had set the bar high – how would Zambia compare? After all, it is a country that has only recently returned to the international safari scene and many people would struggle to find it on a map, let alone name its national parks and reserves.
The scene that greeted us as we drove out of Cape Town made it hard to believe we were in Africa. Lit up by the soft light of a September morning, the city’s surrounding mountains were dusted with snow and the vineyards that lie below them glowed with good health. My daughter and I were stunned into silence by the beauty of it all, but we didn’t dilly-dally: we had a rendezvous with sea monsters.
South Africa’s Western Cape welcomes spring in a colourful riot of blooming wild flowers. At the height of flower season, between August and September, the west coast abandons its normally somber semi-arid attire and dresses up for the homecoming queen’s welcome parade.
Guides say that if you see 1% of what sees you in the African wilderness, you are very, very observant. This is mostly because every living creature makes use of camouflage, whether to hide from predators or sneak up on prey. It is also because guides know that our over-stimulated and under-utilized city senses are pretty much good for nothing in the jungle.
Taking a road trip through Kenya is a great way to explore this iconic destination. My safari begins in the lush rainforest of Mount Kenya National Park where I discover that a good guide can turn an uneventful stroll into a magical experience. What more could you ask for: the haunting skull of a forest buffalo, monkeys whooshing through the canopy, and mid-morning tea served in a woodland clearing?