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DESTINATIONS

South Africa is often referred as the Rainbow Nation, a term coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe post-apartheid South Africa, after South Africa's first fully democratic election in 1994.

The phrase was soon eleborated upon by President and world icon, Nelson Mandela, in his first month of office, when he proclaimed "Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld - a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world..."

The term 'Rainbow Nation' certainly reflects also the cultural variety in the country as well as the huge difference in landscapes, fauna and flora...from the smallest of 6 floral kingdoms in the world in the Cape to the bushveld in the northeast and the Kalahari Desert in the northwest.

The cherry on the cake is the 'Mother City', also known as Cape Town. And...besides the world famous Kruger National Park, there is much more to offer such as malaria free game reserves in the Eastern Cape, North West Province and some other parts of the country!

 

South Africa

On your way to Sossusvlei - in the heart of the Namib Desert there is a place where time does not exist.
The hand of God paused on these vast plains, touching your senses as never before.
A world of colour, awe inspiring plains, surrounded by magnificent mountains, you can experience tranquillity, silence and solitude.

“Leave nothing but your footprints”, is the most important rule when exploring Namibia. The “nothing” does not only include rubbish of any kind, but also refers to tyre tracks! All Nature parks in Namibia are only accessible with a permit, mostly purchased at the entrance gate. The aim is to control the number of visitors to the conservation area, and to ensure that those who do visit take note of the rules stipulated in the park. Namibia was the first country in the world to include the protection of the environment into its constitution.

Through the Caprivi area in the northeast one can reach the Chobe National Park in Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe!

 

Namibia

Botswana has diverse areas of wildlife habitat. In addition to the delta and desert areas, there are grasslands and savannas, where Blue Wildebeest, antelopes, and other mammals and birds are found. Northern Botswana has one of the few remaining large populations of the endangered African Wild Dog. Chobe National Park, found in the Chobe District, has the world's largest concentration of African Elephants. The park covers about 11,000 km2 (4,247 sq mi) and supports about 350 species of birds.

The Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve (in the Okavango Delta) are major tourist destinations. Other reserves include the Central Kalahari Game Reserve located in the Kalahari desert in Ghanzi District; Makgadigadi Pans National Park and Nxai Pan National Park are in the Central District in the Makgadigadi Pan. Mashatu Game Reserve is privately owned: located where the Shashe River and Limpopo River meet in eastern Botswana. There are also specialised sanctuaries like the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (for Rhinoceros) and Makgadikgadi Sanctuary (for Flamingos).

 

Botswana

Zambia is a landlocked Southern African country, just a little larger than Spain and Italy combined. Zambia is unspoiled by mass tourism, and is rich in wildlife, superb forests and meandering rivers.

Of course it's also where you can see the world's biggest waterfall, the Victoria Falls, or as we call it Mosi-oa-Tunya - the smoke that thunders, which spans the border to our neighbour, Zimbabwe. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world! 

To the broader public, little is known about the treasures in store in Zambia as it boasts some of the best game parks in Africa, providing an unmatched safari experience. South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, Liuwa and Kafue are just some of the National Parks one can visit in Zambia, along with more specialist areas like Kasanka and Bangwelu Swamps.

And what's more, one can easily drive or fly with a short inland flight from the Victoria Falls to the prestine Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe or even for a half or full day excursion to Chobe National Park!

 

Zambia

       

Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in south-central Africa, is slightly smaller than California. It is bordered by Botswana on the west, Zambia on the north, Mozambique on the east, and South Africa on the south.

The remains of early humans, dating back 500,000 years, have been discovered in present-day Zimbabwe. The land's earliest settlers, the Khoisan, date back to 200 B.C. After a period of Bantu domination, the Shona people ruled, followed by the Nguni and Zulu peoples. By the mid-19th century the descendants of the Nguni and Zulu, the Ndebele, had established a powerful warrior kingdom.

The first British explorers, colonists, and missionaries arrived in the 1850s, and the massive influx of foreigners led to the establishment of the territory Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes of the British South Africa Company. In 1923, European settlers voted to become the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia.  After a brief federation with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) in the post–World War II period, Southern Rhodesia (also known as Rhodesia) chose to remain a colony when its two partners voted for independence in 1963.

 

Zimbabwe

With an area of just over 17,000 square kilometres, The Kingdom of Swaziland is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere (comparable to the size of Wales in the United Kingdom, and the state of New Jersey in America). Swaziland covers an area of approximately 193 km from north to south, and 145 km from east to west. Small as it may be, Swaziland is an exciting tourist destination with its art and craft outlets and traditional markets and wildlife reserves.  Swaziland is famous for it’s vibrant art and culture. Colourful arts and crafts are available at a wide variety of local markets.

The area which is now Swaziland has been inhabited by various groups for a very long time – in eastern Swaziland archaeologists have discovered human remains dating back as far as 110 000 years – but the Swazi people themselves arrived relatively recently.

In the great Bantu migration into southern Africa, one group – the Nguni – moved down the East Coast. One clan settled in the area around modern Maputo in Mozambique, and eventually the Dlamini family founded a dynasty. By the middle of the 18th century, King Ngwane III led his people south to lands around the Pongola River.

Swaziland

Lesotho is a world without fences. Breathtaking scenery abounds and every season has unique attractions and colour palets. Visiting Lesotho is a chance to experience traditional Basotho life.

Lesotho is a small independent country, also known as the Mountain Kingdom, is completely surrounded by its big neighbor South Africa.

Thaba Ntlenyana (3482m) is the highest peak in Southern Africa, situated in north Lesotho, and geographically most of the country consists of high mountain ranges, which have been carved out by rivers. All these rivers flow into the well known Orange River and then into the Atlantic Ocean. The summer is the wet season with regular thunderstorms in the afternoons. The winter is the dry season, the temperature often dropping below zero. When a frontal weather system moves through, the mountains are often covered in snow.

Driving in Lesotho is with a 4x4 vehicle and refueling happens at each possible opportunity. Distances in Lesotho must be judged by time and not kilometers for the simple reason that the terrain is quite rough.

 

Lesotho

Mozambique – A country of many sights and sounds, from pristine white beaches to beautiful colonial architecture. Mozambique beckons, with unspoilt, palm-lined beaches, world-class diving and fishing. Take on a Mozambique beach holiday and experience for yourself a coastline fringed by extensive coral reefs, offering natural splendour and an underwater spectacle that is hard to match.  The best time to visit Mozambique is during the winter months from April to September. The southern parts of the country are generally dryer and less tropical than the north. The best months for game viewing are August and September, towards the end of the dry season. The best time for bird-watching is usually November and December, which is the hot, rainy season. A wide variety of fish are attracted to the warm waters of Mozambique, with larger fish populating the waters in summer, and small to medium sized fish in winter, making the coast a good fishing and diving destination.
Domestic air services operate between Beira, Maputo, Nampula, Pemba, Quelimane, Tete and Vilanculos.

Self-drive is not a problem, however it is advisable not to drive beyond Gorongosa National Park as most rental companies do not allow this.

Mozambique

       

Famous to the islands is the Black Parrot, the national bird of the country and protected bird. The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra group. Particularly well-known is the Coco de Mer, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because of the shape of its fruit which, with the husk removed, presents a "double" coconut resembling buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world's heaviest seed pods. The jellyfish tree is to be found in only a few locations on Mahé.

This strange and ancient plant in a genus of its own (Medusagynaceae) has resisted all efforts to propagate it. Other unique plant species include the Wright's Gardenia Rothmannia annae found only on Aride Island Special Reserve.The freshwater crab genus is endemic to the granitic Seychelles, and a further 26 species of crabs and 5 species of hermit crabs live on the islands.

The Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies in the world. In the outer islands Aldabra and Cosmoledo are home to the largest numbers.  The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded.

Since the use of spear guns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers.

Seychelles

The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. Together with Saint Brandon, Réunion and Rodrigues, the island is part of the Mascarene Islands.

These islands have emerged from the abysses as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of kilometres to the east of the continental block made up by Africa and Madagascar.  They are no longer volcanically active and the hotspot now rests under Réunion island. There has been no active volcano on Mauritius island for more than 100,000 years. Mauritius is encircled by a broken ring of mountain ranges, varying in height from 300 meters to 800 meters above sea level. The land rises from coastal plains to a central plateau where it reaches a height of 670 meters, the highest peak is in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Riviére Noire at 828 metres (2,717 ft). Streams and rivers speckle the island, a lot of them are formed in the cracks created by lava flows.  The island of Mauritius is situated some 2,000 kilometers (1242 miles) off the south east coast of the African continent, it is 65 km long and 45 km wide, its land area is 1,864.8 km. Mauritius is surrounded by more than 150 kilometres (93 miles) of white sandy beaches and the lagoons are protected from the open sea by the world's third largest coral reef, which surrounds the island.

Just off the Mauritian coast lie some 49 uninhabited islands and islets, some of them are used as natural reserves for the protection of endangered species.

Mauritius

Malawi may be one of Africa’s smallest countries but when it comes to exploration and adventure, it has tremendous amounts to offer; from grasslands and forests, mountaintops, unspoilt wildlife parks to Africa’s third largest and most beautiful Lake! 

Situated on the Great Rift Valley, Malawi is dominated by Lake Malawi, a magnificent body of water, 365 miles long and 52 miles wide (hence sometimes referred to as the calendar lake!). It’s teaming with life including over 400 species of cichlid fish, a lot of which are endemic to it.

Most of Lake Malawi’s astounding underwater diversity is protected within the Lake Malawi National Park which is a World Heritage site and also one of the first in the world set aside for the protection of freshwater fish. 

The wildlife parks in Malawi are picturesque as well as diverse in game. Also unlike other African parks these have a very exclusive feel to them with only a few lodges operating in each. Reserves such as Majete Wildlife Reserve, are virtually undiscovered by tourists thus visiting it feels more like an expedition; making for unique and exciting safaris. Majete is also the only official Big 5 Park in Malawi. Malawi is not a wealthy country, but there are great riches in the people. 

Malawians are never short on smiles and hospitality; making you feel welcome in the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ right from the start of your unforgettable journey.

Malawi

A country with epic topography, Tanzania is a wilderness and wildlife extravaganza. This vast and sparseley-populated country hosts some of the greastest wildlife experiences on Earth.

From the snow-capped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro the the game-rich Ngorogoro Crater from the endless plains of the Serengti to the baobabs of the tarangire, Tanzania is the safari insider's hot tip. Boasting 14 national parks and numerous game reserves, this is home to the largest wildlife herds on the African Continent, as well as the palm-fringed island of Zanzibar, ideal for post-safari relaxation.

Approximately 38% of Tanzania's land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation.Tanzania has 16 national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In western Tanzania, Gombe Stream National Park is the site of Jane Goodall's ongoing study of chimpanzee behaviour, which started in 1960. Tanzania is highly biodiverse and contains a wide variety of animal habitats. 

On Tanzania's Serengeti plain, white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration. Tanzania is also home to about 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of them strictly endemic and included in the International Union of Nature's Red Lists of different countries. Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation.

Tanzania

       

Get up close and personal with the elusive and highly endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This truly is the wildlife adventure of a lifetime.

Walk on the wild side and visit Africa for a once-in-a lifetime encounter with one of the rarest animals on the planet. Half of the world's remaining mountain gorillas are found in the Bwindi Forest. This dense rainforest is a World Heritage Site with awe-inspiring biodiversity that lies in the southwest of Uganda. Dotted by forest and lakes and dominated by the dramatic world famous Virunga Mountain Range, just under 350 mountain gorillas live and play amongst the mossy undergrowth of the forest floor.

Uganda

With its incredible diversity of landscapes and some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the world - it's no surprise that Kenya is where the concept of safari was born.

Kenya is home to some of the best national parks and game reserves on African soil with diverse ecosystems, including Amboseli, Tsavo, Samburu and Meru.

The jewel in its crown is the Masai Mara, the stage for the anual wildebeest migration when over two million wildebeest and zebra move between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania in search of greener pastures.

Kenya