03 August 2014

Featured African safari tour: Highlights Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is often not the first safari country to visit for first time African safari guests. South Africa with Kruger Park and Tanzania in East Africa are usually on top of the list and probably more known than Zimbabwe. Guests often turn to safari destinations like Zambia and Zimbabwe when they have been to Africa before and fell in love with safaris and wildlife. Then they venture into seeing more.

Zimbabwe is an outstanding safari destination and it is less busy than Kruger or the Serengeti. It offers beautiful landscapes and great wildlife together with excellent regions like Mana Pools at the Zambezi River with its magical trees as a great backdrop for wildlife photography.

The featured
African safari itinerary takes guests to Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools, all highlights of Zimbabwe and must see safari destinations. The 8-day safari tour is compact and uses light aircraft transfers to get around to the different safari lodges and camps, which saves time and makes this amazing tour within just about one week possible. All camps are very good with great service and excellent guides. The quality of the game drives is essential for the safari experience and the chosen camps provide just that.

Inspired to explore the safari destination Zimababwe?
View and download the itinerary

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

What is the best time to visit the Great Migration?

Now? The Great Migration is a year round event in the Serengeti with the big herds of wildebeest and zebra moving through the different parts of this amazing national park, following the rains for best grass. There is actually no best time to see the migration, well all times outside the short and big rains. One only needs to keep in mind when planning the safari where the herds are at what time of the year.

Nonetheless August seems to be high season or the best time to see the Great Migration, but why? From the middle of July until the beginning of September the Great Migration is in the northern part of the Serengeti, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. In the Masai Mara the big herds cross the Mara River and these spectacular river crossings are what every visitor wants to see. Hundreds and thousands of animals dramatically cross the river where strong currents make it hard for them to swim and crocodiles wait for the feast of the year not to speak of the steep river banks they have to go down and up. It is perhaps the most impressive sight one can have on
African safari and the most spectacular event for all wildlife photography enthusiasts.

However it is also the time of the year with the most safari vehicles and people and one needs to be prepared to share a Mara River crossing with 40 other vehicles. This is the downside of it, but the event makes it all worthwhile. Words can hardly explain how it feels to be out in the Mara for the whole day, spending often long hours waiting at the crossing for the herds to decide to go and then when finally hundreds or thousands of wildebeest make the move and the drama unfolds, all the waiting is forgotten and the most impressive safari sighting is offered to the patient visitor. African wildlife rewards patience and safari sightings require often a lot, but are so worth it.

Choose your own best time to see the Great Migration. Maybe it will not be the Mara River crossing, but the calving of the wildebeest in February or the big herds in Grumeti. Or go at times when only few people go and have the wildlife for yourself.

Happy safari travel!

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

How to plan your South Africa round trip

South Africa is a big country with numerous sights one might want to see during one holiday. In order to do that, plan at least a three weeks trip and still you will not be able to see all the country has to offer.

Essential destinations in South Africa are the Kruger National Park, the Garden Route and Cape Town. Ideally to get around quickly are flight transfers and there are reasonably priced flights available to connect Cape Town with Kruger and further to Port Elizabeth for the Garden Route. Using all flights it is possible to see even more regions of the country. However, many people love to do self-drive to explore South Africa their own way. Three weeks will be sufficient to drive from Johannesburg to Kruger for the
African safari experience, then down through Swaziland to the Indian Ocean coast of Kwazulu Natal for beach, watersports and safaris and with a short flight from Durban to Port Elizabeth to carry on either in the Eastern Cape with more safaris or to continue directly to the Garden Route and further to Cape Town, maybe with a short visit to the Karoo in between. That sounds a lot? Yes, it is, but it is possible and all places are wonderful.

It makes sense to plan a round trip through South Africa in a flow. It is not working to plan driving Kruger, then Kwazulu Natal and then Transfrontier Park. The distances are huge and there are not everywhere good roads for fast driving. Driving at night is not an option and driving times need to be planned carefully. In some areas like Kruger Park the GPS will do funny things. Have a map and get directions to lodges, rather than relying on electronic devises. For the main roads GPS is fine or even Google maps, but the dirt roads in the bush will not work with that.

Plan rather longer stays of a minimum of 3 days than being constantly on the move. The driving is tiring and it is just nice to be able to really unpack and rest for a while. Rather choose a home base in a region from where you explore what you want to see. And also here, be aware of the distances and that they are measured in hours, not in kilometers in Africa. Planning your South Africa round trip carefully will make sure you have a wonderful holiday with amazing wildlife sightings and fantastic landscapes.

Enjoy South Africa holiday travel!

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Featured African safari tour: Boswana Explorer

Botswana is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. Famous regions like the Okavango Delta provide outstanding wildlife sightings and incredible safari experiences, waterborne and land game drives. Wildlife photography enthusiasts will love it, as it provides the best light together with the awesome wildlife. It is one of the best African safari experiences to travel by 4x4 safari vehicle through the bush and spend the nights in luxury mobile camps with en-suite bathrooms, excellent service and delicious food. This ultimate bush experience is offered with the Botswana Explorer, a small group safari and private mobile camps on the best concessions in Botswana. Not more than 6 guests will be on the tour and everyone will have a window seat on the bush proofed 4x4 vehicle. A professional guide will make sure the guests won’t miss anything and have the safari of a lifetime.

This 10-Day African safari is a fantastic way to see Botswana. It is very nice for families, friends and also for single travellers, who want to join a group.
View and download the safari itinerary

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa