Things often take a while to happen in Africa so until they are official one doesn’t like to make too many assumptions. I’ve heard today that after 6 years in the making, a new lake reserve has been declared – the Lake Niassa Reserve in Mozambique. More commonly known as Lake Malawi outside of Mozambique, [...]
Tag : climate change
By africansafarisblogadmin on June 20, 2011 in Africa, African Safaris, classic safari, Malawi, Mozambique
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Good morning! It sure was a terrific trip for all of us...thanks to both of you for putting up with my endless emails---I guess I worried unnecessarily! The stay at the Stanley was a perfect introduction to the city, and the hotel is wonderful, well preserved, very helpful and friendly staff, great location. We did the Kazuri bead factory one day, and volunteered the next. We had a really nice dinner in an alley down the road from the hotel...called BoBos which is a Turkish outdoor restaurant. Certainly nothing formal, outdoor seating with few amenities, but very good inexpensive food. Worth a look. Then had Gamewatchers pick us up to begin the safari...our driver Stephen was an excellent guide, full of info, very interactive. Took great care of us. The other driver, Tony, was also very good though I was not in his RangeRover too often. Sweetwaters was a great choice. Nothing negative to say there. Lodging very nice, food good, game sightings excellent, fun nighttime entertainment. We all enjoyed. Lake Nakuru was the following day. Unfortunately, I would say that of all the experiences, this was the least favorite. The lodge was quite good, food good, good location within the park. The lake water was apparently very high for this season due to prior months' rains, so the bird life was marginal. Game viewing ok, but of course nothing like the Mara. Mara Entim was one of the favorites of all the camps. Beautiful location, top quality staff, camping on the river's edge couldn't be beat, though the sounds of the hippos grunting all night long was very disruptive to our sleep! The game drives with the park staff were incredible with awesome sightings, just overall magnificent! We got to the NBO in plenty of time for flight out to EBB. I was very impressed with Gamewatchers and our guides. The only negative was Nakuru and the long drive. I think we would have been better off hitting a different park between Mt. Kenya and Mara making the drive less intense. In Entebbe, as you know, we changed lodging to the Karibu House instead of the Lake Vic Hotel. I would strongly suggest you look at Karibu. It's a guest house with about 6 rooms, excellent ownership, very secure location, great staff, good chef in the kitchen, all in all a perfect stop over. First day was Ndali Lodge which a beautiful setting. The owner is very friendly and spends time with the guests, though his staff is not as well trained as I would have expected given his British background, quality of the lodging. Enjoyed Kibale. Could have passed on the Bigodi walk I think, esp during mid day when very hot. Then QE park at Mweya...what a great setting. We loved it! A perfect end to the travel. The Kazinga channel ride as lots of fun as were the game drives, though I was a bit underwhelmed with the volume and diversity of the game in QE. Especially as I compared to the Mara or Mt. Kenya. The landscape and views are unbeatable, but not many animals. Example no giraffe, rhino, few lions. Despite that, we had a marvellous time there. The setting really is unbeatable. Entertainment at night with tribal dancers was fun. Our Wild Frontier guide was named Ham, and he was outstanding. Very personable, soft spoken, courteous, well informed, etc. I would highly recommend him to future travellers. We all really liked the variety that Uganda gave us after a week in Kenya. The varied terrain and different cultures were educational, and it fulfilled the desire I always had to get to this area of Africa. I would not really change anything on the itinerary except the Nakuru stop. Otherwise all lodging and guides were very well chosen You both did a great job for us....thanks loads. I wish we were headed back to the continent soon, but I fear it will be a few yers. Garth
Jeff,I wanted to let you know that I had the most incredible, dream trip. I can only imagine the work you all put in behind the scenes to make it all happen.Again, I appreciate all you and the team did for us behind the scenes, and also the support you all provided while we were in South Africa. We were able to maximize our limited time there and see a great deal with your help and advice. Please pass on my thanks to everyone in the Cape Town office and anyone else who had a hand in this that we may not have met.I'm looking forward to booking Tanzania next! WooHooo! Judy
Hi Sarah, Xaranna was the most remote place we visited while we were in Southern Africa. It's about 45 minutes by air from Maun to the Pom Pom airstrip, then 10+ minutes by vehicle to the landing and 30+ minutes by water to the camp. The + depends on the wildlife one encounters en route. Our tracker and guide met our plane and the safari began as we drove away from the airstrip. The tents, lounge and dining area were well-designed and decorated, well-maintained and very comfortable. (Special treat: hot water bottles in the beds at night!) Meals were delicious and served beautifully. I am a vegetarian and was impressed with the vegetarian options. Service in all respects was first rate: we were very well cared for. Despite the casual, laid-back feel of the camp, everything ran like clockwork. They were completely flexible about activities, dining arrangements, etc. Our tracker and guide were knowledgeable and did an excellent job. Although, as I understand it, game in the delta at this time of year is not concentrated and still a little leery of vehicles, we saw really good variety on land and got very close to birdlife(and hippos) on the water. & Beyond/Xaranna are involved in a project to relocate hippos to Botswana (Hippos Without Borders). A PhD student from the UK working on the project for the next two years is staying at Xaranna and provided a wealth of information about her research and the project. There is nothing to keep wildlife out of the camp, and wildlife do come through, during the day and at night. While we were there one couple encountered a young elephant on the path outside their tent at mid-day; we had kudus eating leaves from branches just outside the screened wall of our tent in the middle of the night, and on our last evening a hippo grazed alongside the dining deck during dinner. Talk about a real wildlife experience! The warmth and good humour of the staff really struck me. On arrival at the camp we were greeted by perhaps 10 of the staff who were on the dock singing a welcome - in fact, we heard the singing before we saw the dock. Throughout our stay we were treated with warmth and there was lots of laughter. It felt like a large happy family welcoming us to their home. Because the camp is remote, the staff put on the boma entertainment themselves and all the staff participate. They even managed to get the guests up dancing and singing! The manager and all staff are indigenous Botswanans and welcomed questions about their country, their culture and their lives. We were seen off, as we were welcomed, by the staff singing on the dock and waving. It was very touching. I'd go back in a nanosecond. Sincerely, N. Smith
Dear Liesl, I just had to write to thank you for the magnificent planning of our honeymoon - this trip was an absolute dream come true. Steve and I loved every second of it, from Cape Town (where we both want to move to now) to the perfection of Lion Sands - you could not have choreographed a more perfect itinerary. Many, many thanks again for everything - it was such a pleasure getting to meet you in person, and I hope that we'll be able to work on a return trip very soon. All best wishes, Erika
Hi Ilze- Nicole and I are back in the US and wanted to thank you again for all the help that you gave us to make our trip truly fantastic! We're happy to give you some feedback on some places that stood out to us, as well as some learnings for future travelers. I'll also try to address your questions in the respective sections. Below is a quick summary: South Africa
- Cape Town accommodations were fine. Nothing "special" but we knew that going in. It was very comfortable, clean and convenient.
- The lodge in Franschhoek was really nice.
- The Elephant Lodge was a really nice location. Very unique and charming.
- You definitely warned us about the distance between all locations - we probably should of listened. While it was great to see the towns that we did, it was often after a long day of driving only to have to leave again first thing in the morning.
- All in all, the locations and lodges were all lovely in S. Africa.Mozambique
- Everything was amazing! LOVED Islands of Siankaba.
- We've already given feedback here. It was an amazing island. Beautiful, tranquil, etc.
- The Banguerra Lodge had a lot of potential. It was beautiful, the food was good.
Overall Feedback Aside from the above, we were very very happy with all the other elements of our trip (food, boarding, activities, transfers). That said, we thought we’d summarize some things that may have made our trip a bit more seamless so that you can pass along to future customers. Looking forward to connecting at your convenience. Thanks again for your help in planning a truly amazing, life changing trip. I hope the feedback above is helpful, and in the context that it was intended - which is that all in all, we are VERY happy. Have a great day. Colby
- We really loved the Stanley.
- Travel time between parks.