Have you ever heard a hippo underwater? Probably not. Surprisingly, up to 80% of communication between hippopotamuses occurs while they are actually beneath the surface. A combination of squeals, grunts, and clicks, as well as the familiar wheeze-honk noise, makes up the hippos’ melodious underwater chatter. Click on the link below, courtesy of The Bushcamp [...]
African Safari Consultants (ASC) is also on Twitter! Make sure to follow us @SafariConsults to get all the latest travel news on southern African safaris. Stay up to date with our blog posts, as well as interesting news from around the travel world. Check us out now, and thanks for following!
Another incredible collection of photos from photographer Stephen Raffay! This week, we have 2 more breathtaking photos from Stephen, a former (and current) ASC client, using our services to plan his yearly trips to Africa where he captures the beautiful images that you see below. His portfolio is stunning, and Stephen was nice enough to [...]
The following story comes from one of ASC’s own. Vanessa, an intrepid traveller and African Safari Consultant team member, dragged her husband off to Namibia on a site inspection trip. The catch? She was 6 months pregnant at the time! She said it was their last trip alone together before their life changed forever. They [...]
It’s hard not to love all of the big 5, but there is something very unique about the leopard. This large, beautiful cat roams the savannah alone; and while it’s general demeanor lounging in the trees or playfully taunting its soon-to-be dinner might give off a sense of carefree laziness, leopards have a very real [...]
Starting May 1st, South African Airways will offer round-trip nonstop service between New York’s JFK and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airports. This new nonstop service will eliminate a once-necessary stop in Dakar, Senegal on the northbound flight, making the trip more comfortable while also eliminating more than 90 minutes. More than ever SAA is the premier [...]
Sanctuary Zebra Plains Camp is opening June 1st, 2011! Book now for this ultimate walking safari experience in Zambia’s remote South Luangwa National Park. This is the ultimate exclusive bush adventure by foot, without forsaking personalized service or comfort. Here is a chance to be guided by one of the most respected and long serving guides [...]
The newly rennovated Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge is opening again on February 1st. In celebration, they have put together a special opening offer that combines a stay in a historic safari lodge with the epic game viewing that the South Luangwa in Zambia is so known for. The old roof structure was replaced, but the original [...]
This might be the best “Pic of the Week” we’ve had yet! This week, we have photos from renowned professional wildlife photographer Stephen Raffay. Stephen is a former (and current) ASC client, using our services to plan his yearly trips to Africa where he captures the beautiful images that you see below. His portfolio is [...]
Make the most of the Kurland Hotel’s Family Special, located at The Crags in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. As part of the special, children under the age of 12 stay on a complimentary bed and breakfast basis when sharing in a luxury or superior suite with a loft. Their rates provide excellent value and include [...]
Don’t mess with lions because it will come back to bite you. Literally. An incredible scene unfolded in Botswana’s Duba Plains when a group of three lionesses pounced on a crocodile after the croc attacked one of the pride’s cubs. Instantly, the protective lionesses sprang into action to deter the angry reptile. During the brawl, [...]
Tripadvisor recently launched the top food and wine destinations in the world and competition was fierce! The Cape claimed 2nd place, and topped the likes of Florence, Chicago, San Francisco, Siena and Melbourne. Tripadvisor stated: “South Africa’s most popular tourist destination offers the urban thrills of Cape Town, its adjacent wine country and an aura of the rich [...]
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Hi Liesl, Sorry this took so long, I arrived home with a bad sore throat and have been recovering. So here are some notes about our trip. First of all, you did an amazing job of arranging everything. We were met by someone every step of the way. 1. D’Oreal Hotel was great for our first night, had a very nice dinner. 2. Victoria Falls: The helicopter ride was great (but not the $30 they wanted for a video of us, which nobody bought), and the falls of course were beautiful. Thanks for the Victoria Falls Hotel, we really liked it. The dining room where they serve breakfast is beautiful, as is the dining room on the terrace, our room, and all of the public rooms. 3. Chobe Under Canvas: great service, excellent food (amazing what they can cook out in the bush) and the tents are very comfortable. Took a while to adjust to doing everything by the light of a dim lantern, but the warm shower and the down covered bed were much appreciated. We were teamed up with a couple from Canada for our game drives and meals, and it turned out that we had the first 3 of our safari lodges in common with them, so we became friends. It was nice to just have the 4 of us for game drives, since Ershun was concerned about getting his photos. Saw lots of animals! Easy to charge batteries in the vehicle, and we loved how they had blankets in the vehicles for the chilly morning drives. Weather was great – pretty chilly in the morning, but warming up nicely. The game viewing was excellent – saw a big variety, including a leopard that our guide tracked from our camp. The guide was very good. 4. Savute under Canvas: Hotter and drier than Chobe, and overall the game viewing was not as good. Of course we have been spoiled by the great herds of the Serengeti, in Savute we would see one wildebeest, one Tsessebe. Also, the guide we had here was not as good as Chobe. He was full of interesting facts, but not the greatest at finding animals. We did luck into seeing 3 leopards because other vehicles were there already. The tents were the same as Chobe, food not always as good. I think that since the water in the area was almost all dried up, our experience was not as good. 5. Linyanti Ebony Camp: We were surprised to find that Linyanti Bush Camp and Linyanti Ebony are 2 halves of the same place. They expanded the original lodge, and gave the 2nd part another name, we suspect so that each can be marketed separately as small and intimate, which is the “hot” thing now. Anyway, due to a fire in one of the kitchens, all the guests share one common dining room/sitting room/bar. The tents are large and permanent, which allows for more elegant furnishings. Huge beds, nice bathroom facilities, a deck outside the back of the tent overlooking the lagoon. The deck was a great place to sit in the afternoon and watch the baboons playing nearby. Food was rather uneven, very good sometimes, and sometimes not. Game drives were very mixed, depending mostly on the guide. Two of the 4 guides were awful, and we found very few animals. One guide was excellent, and not only found lots of animals but also was full of enthusiasm and good information. The 4th was pretty good. This was not an & Beyond facility, and except for the really nice tent, it did not measure up. Only place that did not have blankets in the safari vehicles (we get spoiled so easily!) 6. Nxebega Okavango Tented Camp- wow, this place was amazing! The service, the food, the tent, everything was really first class. The game drives were good, the only place where we had a spotter as well as the guide. They were willing to do anything to please their guests. The only thing I wasn’t especially fond of is their habit of extending the late afternoon game drive until after dark so that we drive back to the lodge with a spotlight looking for animals (which doesn’t happen much) and then we arrive back in time to go straight to dinner. Otherwise, this was a wonderful place. Oh, by the way, they did not know about us needing to get to Maun in time for our flight to Johannesburg, so we had to ask them to change our flight to Maun to an earlier time. Just a glitch somewhere I guess. But when we arrived at the Maun airport we were pleasantly surprised by a rep from & Beyond who met us and escorted us through checkin and security. Very impressed! Before going on to Cape Town, Ershun and I want to comment on the Botswana safari experience. While we certainly had some excellent experiences in Botswana, we would most likely not go back. It’s very difficult to figure out the best time to go, because if you want to see animals, the best time is July-Aug because then the bushes have lost their leaves and it is easier to spot animals, but then the weather is cold, it is very dry, dusty and windy. Sept-Oct is good for seeing animals, but it is very hot, dry, dusty, and the animals are sometimes suffering from lack of food and water. (We were given this information by several different guides at several different camps). We seemed to have picked the best time weatherwise, but it was very easy for animals to hide in the thick bushes. At least Nxebega had some open grass lands, which helped with finding animals. For anyone going to Africa for the first time, Botswana would be fine, but we are used to the huge herds of the Serengeti or the Mara, and the variety in Ngorongoro Crater. Yes, you get more people, but there is a reason for that. Of course, there are small, private places to stay, but you still get more vehicles running around. 7. Cape Town - love your city! Everyone is so friendly, the food is excellent, and we felt safe. The Welgelegen was a great choice, lovely hotel. We had the best room, 2nd floor, across the whole front, with a lovely enclosed porch across the front. The owner and employees are so nice, and the location is good. We used the hop on – hop off buses, and were lucky our first day to get to Table Mt while it was sunny and clear, only day it was like that during our stay. We enjoyed the bus trip around Camps Bay, Clifton, etc. as well as Kirstenbosch Garden and Groot Constantia. One day we rented a car and drove to Cheetah Outreach at Somerset West (excellent) and to Boulders Beach for the penguins. We drove part of the way down towards Cape Point but I wasn’t feeling well so we headed back. We really enjoyed Miller’s Thumb, but Bizerka Bistro was amazing! We never made it to Baia the last night because of how I felt, so we had takeout from a local Italian restaurant. The car service from the airport when we arrived, and again back to the airport to go home, was excellent. Even the Cape Town airport was good – they did a great job fixing it up for the World Cup! Wish I could say the same for Johannesburg – that airport is awful. Bad layout, lots of walking, annoying hustlers, and the charging plugs all were broken at the gate. They even made us all get up and line up for a 2nd security inspection, including pat-downs for some passengers. Well, that’s about it. I’m finally feeling better, and we have lots of good memories. Thanks again for all you did. Regards, Carole & Ershun
Hi, Johannesburg: the spa day at M'Mangwanani; totally relaxing and excellent way to prepare for trip after long journey to South Africa. Zambia: Zambezi River Islands of Siankaba; loved the accommodation( Bob was uncomfortable with the swinging bridge, I liked it); the cuisine was probably the best we had anywhere throughout our trip. Dinner was served for us under the stars with delightful artistic touches from our waiter. The rhinoceros walking safari allowed us to see all eight of the rhinos. Bob enjoyed chatting with our guide. This walking safari was one of his highlights. The swim in "devil's pool" was a great experience. I have already documented the unfortunate behavior of our guide who was compelled by one of our group to "dump" the rest of us. This tourist works in Lesotho, is from Europe, has done this swim before but wanted a private tour and refused to leave the pool when the next group of tourists w guide arrived. Ultimately we asked a different guide if we could leave. Our guide was giving a private tour of the falls to the demanding tourist. Botswana: everyone said we would love it and we did. The camp was wonderful; the food very good with good variety and well prepared. The staff was so pleasant. Our guide was amazing finding many opportunities to enjoy animals. Bob enjoyed it but ultimately felt we had been on safari in Tanzania and did not need to repeat the game drives. The walking in Zambia he enjoyed. Victoria Falls leaves me wanting to return at a different season to view it again. Zimbabwe: the Hide was an unusual camp. My biggest concern was the night we lost power. I wondered how they would manage our wake-up coffee. Answer: they put another log on the fire. We saw honey badgers and bush babies. The people of Zimbabwe are very interesting to meet. Cape Town: we disappointed David, "that is your luggage"? Despite his initial disappointment we did enjoy our tours and chats with him. Either we did not have enough time in Cape Town or the weather was less than cooperative, I do not have a strong impression. Table Mountain was very foggy, the Cape much the same, Kirstenbosch closed greenhouse early. Probably needed more time and better weather. High tea was wonderful at Nelson Hotel and our accommodations at Four Rosmead excellent. Grootbos: very relaxing place, beautiful accommodations, too bad it rained so much though that fact did allow us to see the whales cavorting which they did not do when it was sunny. Going to southern most point was important, our guide excellent, and we found orchids, Satyrium carneum, orchid along road to Agulhus, blooming along the side of the road. Riding, a horse, into the hills was special for me. The hikes were interesting. Again, weather and time precluded our enjoying more of these activities. Wine country and penguins: excellent. We do enjoy our penguins. We did enjoy the wine especially at our first stop. Lise, thank you for all the champagne which helped this anniversary trip celebration. The people we met throughout our trip were a pleasure. Many of the guides have led interesting lives. It was our privilege to meet them. The staff of each accommodation were pleasant, helpful, made our trip special. Wake-up coffee is my favorite. Bob enjoyed meeting people and the walking at Grootbos and in Zambia. He definitely looked very relaxed and happy at the day spa in Johannesburg. What was best for me? Probably the very nice people we met throughout the trip. Showering under the Milky Way in Zimbabwe; dinner under the stars at Islands of Siankaba; meals enjoyed outdoors; swimming at Victoria Falls; Grootbos; coffee in the morning! Thank you, Lise, for all the special arrangements. Thank you, Jeff.
Hi Jeff and Lise – I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time on our trip to Tanzania (I travelled with the Haurand party). Our accommodations were great, and our guide, Solomon was simply the best! I don’t know how else to describe him – to say that he was great, or wonderful, or professional or knowledgeable simply doesn’t do him justice! He was all of that and more! When I return (and I’m already thinking about how and when to return to Africa), I’ll definitely request Solomon as our guide again! I’ve attached a few photos, and I’ll send a subsequent email with a few more. I have ‘friended/liked’ your page on Facebook, and I’ve posted more pictures on my FB page if you’d like to see them. I invested in a new camera for this trip, and it was a good investment!! Thank you again for your assistance, and your attention to detail, and for everything that you did! Sandra
Hi Liesl! Livingstone and the Riverclub were wonderful. Victoria Falls is one of the most breath-taking sites we've ever seen! No one minded getting a little wet and we got some fabulous photos. The market there was fun for the girls. The staff at the Riverclub were top notch! We really enjoyed getting to know everyone. The highlight there has to be the hippos - the sundowner boat trip was so fun, we did it both evenings. In Mombo, we got to see the leopard Legadima and her cub AND one of the white rhinos with her 3 week old baby! We were told that there hadn't been a rhino siting in a few months so we were thrilled. We're still going through our thousands of photos (we had 5 cameras between the 4 of us), re-living the fun! I know that Kevin and I will be looking to do a few more safari holidays while we're still in Africa. So, we may be in touch for help with that.. Here's wishing you all the best for the New Year! Thanks for all your help! Warmest Regards, Dana
Thank you very much!I can’t begin to explain to you how wonderful everything was. To be honest, even though I had agreed to everything, I was still a little skeptical about some of the recommendations you had made. Turns out, some of the things I had been most skeptical of (Cape Town, Victoria Falls, San Camp) were the absolute highlights. You and your team did a remarkable job and Milena and I have already begun trying to figure out a way to get back. If there is ever anything that we can do to help you all convince prospective clients that this is something that they need to do, we’d love to help.As far as pictures go, Milena and I are far from good. However, that didn’t stop us from taking ~2,000 photos. I’ll send you an invitation to our Snapfish folder. Additionally, I’m a fan of African Safari Consultants on facebook. I’m not sure if that gives you access to my photos, but if it does, we’ve got a bunch of them posted there as well. Again, most of them are pretty bad, but if you happen to see anything that you’d like to use, they’re all yours.If I get some time later today or over the weekend, I’ll try to put together a more thorough review of everywhere we went/stayed. Needless to say, we were impressed by everything and we only have good things to say.Thank you all so much for everything you did.