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S01 S & E Africa 2012 Supp Start_Layout 1 17/02/2012 15:39 Page 1

All About

Southern & East Africa FFebruary ebruar y 2 2012 012

Your one-stop guide to all the latest news and developments in Southern & East Africa

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www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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Tanzania & Mozambique

fus on

Serena Hotels and Rani Resorts join together to bring you two remote African experiences blended into one unique holiday package 4 nights in the stunning Selous National Reserve

4 nights in unspoilt Mozambique

The Selous is the largest National Park in Africa - four times the size of the Serengeti and larger even than Switzerland! Home to the Big 5 including 70% of Tanzania's elephants and the rare, endangered wild dog.

The remote islands of the Quirimbas in Northern Mozambique - renowned for their natural, cultural and historical beauty.

21 in

Tropical islands with dazzling white beaches and azure waters.

Highlights include guided game drives, and walking safaris.

Snorkelling, fishing, and watersports with coral reefs to ‘dive’ for!

Enjoy sundowners on the river bank and boat cruises on the mighty Rufiji.

The romance of sunset cruises and remote island picnics.

Luxury tents at Selous Luxury Camp or chalets at Mivumo River Lodge on a full board basis.

Matemo Island and Medjumbe Private Island offer unrivalled hospitality and relaxation on a full board basis.

Selous Game Reserve

Selous Luxury Camp

Medjumbe Island

www.serenahotels.com – www.raniresorts.com 2 by 2 Holidays is offering this package from just £3,995 pps, including 4 nights safari at Selous Luxury Camp followed by 1 night at Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa and 3 nights at Matemo Island including flights with British Airways from Heathrow to Dar Es Salaam on a Full Board basis including local drinks. If guests would like even more exclusivity, the Mivumo River Lodge, Pemba and Medjumbe Private Island package is available from £4,495 pps. Valid until Dec 2012.

www.2by2holidays.co.uk / 01582 766 122 / info@2by2holidays.co.uk For further information contact:

eth s marketing

01403 243 619 info@ethosmarketing.co.uk

www.ethosmarketing.co.uk _marketing @ethos_

Matemo Island


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All about Southern and East Africa starts here

W

elcome to the third issue of All About Southern and East Africa, packed with tips to help you sell more of this wonderful region. Remember you can sell Southern and East Africa with confidence, as not only are the hotels and lodges of a high standard, but so are the local guides – and their experience is second to none. “The best holiday of our lives” is what we hear over and over again from satisfied customers. The trend towards customers buying cheaper Claire Farley accommodation has continued this year, so the good news is that holiday prices to the region have come down significantly because of currency weakness and also because many lodges have reduced their prices. This means safari holidays are now more affordable than ever, starting from £1,295 per person for a seven-night, self-drive safari, including flights. In addition to a wide range of luxury hotels and lodges, the region also offers many delightful guest houses and national park rest camps, which are also ideal for delivering great value. There is something incredibly special about experiencing the wildlife of Africa up close, but there is so much more besides – such as outstanding food and wine, many adventure activities, spectacular scenery under warm blue skies and a kaleidoscope of fascinating cultures. So for an enriching and inspiring once-in-alifetime experience, encourage your customers to book their next holiday to Southern and East Africa.

Claire Farley 2by2 Holidays The Africa Specialists Follow 2by2 Holidays on Twitter @2by2holidays

All about Southern & East Africa

CONTENTS South Africa 5

Zambia 17

Namibia 23

Botswana 19

Luxury rail travel 30

Regional round-up 33

Kenya 26

Published by

Lower Ground Floor, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London SW1W 0EX Tel: 020-7834 6661 Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe Written and researched by: Angela Cronin Email: angelacronin2003@yahoo.co.uk Design/Layout: Prashanth AP & Genaro Santos Printed by: Wyndeham Grange Limited Cover Picture: iStock ISSN: 0956-2419

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Lake Rudolf Marsabit

Map

K E N Y A Kisumu

Kirinyaga (Mt. Kenya) Garissa

Nakuru L a ke Victoria

Nairobi

Mwanza

Kilimanjaro Arusha

Voi Mombasa

Kigoma

Tabora

Tanga

yik an Lake Tang

Zanzibar Island

Dodoma

Zanzibar Dar es Salaam

a

TA N Z A N I A Lake Rukwa

Lake Mweru

Mafia Island

Iringa

Kilwa Masoko

Mbeya

Mbala

Pemba Island

Rungwe Mt. Lindi Mtwara

ga M ts.

Kasama

Mu

Mpika Chililabombwe Kitwe

Songea Mzuzu Lake Nyasa

c h in

Lake Bangweulu

Ndola

MALAWILichinga

Pemba

Chipata

Z A M B I A

Lilongwe

Kabwe Mongu

Zomba Blantyre

Lusaka

Mocambique

Nampula

Mutare

Chinde

Maun

Beira

Masvingo

Bulawayo

Lake Ngami

NAMIBIA

Makgadikgadi Francistown

B OT S WA N A

t s e r D e

Damaraland

Ilha do Bazaruto Musina

Serowe

Gobabis Windhoek

Mahalapye Polokwane

Kalahari Desert

Xai-Xai

Rustenburg

Pretoria Maputo Johannesburg Mbabane Vereeniging SWAZILAND

au

Gha ap P

late

Keetmanshoop

L端deritz

Karasburg

Vryburg

Kroonstad

Mont aux Sources Ladysmith Thabana Ntlenyana

Upington Kimberley Port Nolloth

Bloemfontein

REPUBLIC OFDe Aar SOUTH AFRICA Kompasberg

Ben Macdhui

Durban

en ak Dr

Kokstad

Queenstown

East London

Towerkop Oudtshoorn Port Elizabeth

Cape Town

Cape of Good Hope

Pietermaritzburg

LESOTHO

Beaufort West

Spitskop Worcester

Maseru

Mafetang

sb

Springbok

Great Karroo

Inhambane

Gaborone Kanye

e rg

Mariental

Namaqualand

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Quelimane Inhamitanga

Gweru

Brandberg

Swakopmund Walvis Bay

Kadoma

ZIMBABWE

Okavango Delta

Grootfontein

MOZAMBIQUE

Harare

Livingstone Hwange

M o z a m b i q u e

i b e ld m kov a Kao N

Etosha Pan Tsumeb

Lake Kariba

Victoria Falls

Ovamboland

C h a n n e l

Tete Mt. Mulanje

Mossel Bay

Cape Agulhas

All about Southern & East Africa


S02 S & E Africa 2012 Supp South Africa 01_Layout 1 20/02/2012 18:24 Page 5

South Africa

South Africa Global marketing campaigns highlighting the country’s diverse offering is helping to keep the spotlight on South Africa post-World Cup.

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outh Africa can no doubt teach Britain a lesson or two about the pros and cons of hosting a major sporting event. With all eyes on London this year as the capital city prepares to host the 2012 Olympics, there has been a lot of talk about how putting Britain on the global stage for a whole month in the summer will be extremely beneficial for the inbound tourism market. However, VisitBritain has forecast that 30.7million visitors will head to Britain next year – roughly the same number who are recorded as visiting in 2011, citing the Olympics as much of turn-off for some potential tourists as they are a reason to travel for others. South Africa had a similar experience when it hosted the World Cup; while visitor numbers were definitely up on 2009, they weren’t as high as they had hoped. With experience showing that hosting global events can often lead to a slump in visitors in following years, South Africa has refused to rest on its laurels, and post-World Cup, the tourism authorities have been really busy working to build on the tournament’s success. The legacy left behind by the World Cup is impressive with improvements to accessibility and infrastructure across the whole country. Some £15.7 million was invested in the road infrastructure All about Southern & East Africa

alone, a new airport was opened at La Mercy, just north of Durban, along with enhancements to Johannesburg and Cape Town airports. Commenting on the World Cup legacy, Roshene Singh, chief marketing officer, South African Tourism said: "We cannot underestimate the impact the World Cup has had on South Africa's tourism industry. The 2010 World Cup allowed us to show the world that South Africa is capable, equipped, experienced and ready to provide visitors with an incredible, unique and thoroughly unforgettable holiday experience." To keep the momentum going, South African Tourism in the UK launched a nationwide ‘My Mission’ marketing drive last year with the objective of showcasing the variety of experiences available in the country. The crux of the campaign was the focus on four celebrities, Jamie Theakston, Chris Packham, Gloria Hunniford and Monty Don, who each travelled to South Africa to pursue their own particular dream holidays. Their experiences were relayed through a consumer campaign launched to give four couples the chance to follow in the celebrities’ footsteps, using TV, cinema, print and social media. The ‘My Mission’ campaign formed part of a global ‘Leave Ordinary Behind’

promotion aimed at introducing the world to South Africa’s lifestyle tourism that complements its wildlife, luxury and adventure travel offerings. UK agents are playing a crucial role in helping SAT achieve its goal of boosting visitor numbers to 13.5 million by 2015. At the same time, SAT knows how valuable agents are to them, so they ensure that travel consultants have as much help with selling holidays to South Africa as possible. The Southafricaexpert.com dedicated training site for agents is set to have a new edition that will act as an intuitive point-of-sale tool for those planning itineraries for their customers. In addition, several fam trips and roadshows are planned for 2012, although dates have yet to be confirmed. SAT has also teamed up with Africa specialist 2by2 Holidays to offer a lucky agent the chance to win a tailor-made holiday for two to South Africa. To find out how to enter, log on to www.2by2holidays.co.uk Over the next 10 pages, we look at what this diverse country has to offer visitors, along with news from hotels, the airlines and experience providers. We start off with the province of the Zulu Kingdom of Kwa-Zulu Natal, which is proving very popular with first-timers and repeat visitors. ■ 5


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South Africa

2by2 Holidays teams up with SAT to launch £5,000 competition Africa specialist 2by2 Holidays has a lot to celebrate this year. The operator won the prestigious £25,000 South Africa Tourism Ubuntu marketing award and has used the money to launch a consumer and agents’ competition, which will run from 20 February to 25 March and give the lucky winning agent a tailor-made holiday to South Africa, worth up to £5,000. Second and third prizes are two places on a fam trip to South Africa. The Feel Different competition will ask agents to log on to 2by2 Holidays' website (www.2by2holidays.co.uk) where they will find a link on to the competition site. To enter,

agents must tell 2by2 Holidays how they want to feel different, for example, I want to feel… relaxed and de-stressed because I juggle many roles and spend a lot of time away from home in a demanding industry. Each week, for five weeks, five finalists will be chosen and put forward to the ultimate final. At the end of five weeks, a winner and two runners-up will be selected from the 25 finalists. Meanwhile, 2by2 Holidays is offering clients the chance to watch the England rugby team take on the Springboks in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth as part of the summer tour. Prices start at £1,195 excluding flights.

Get the facts Getting to South Africa: South African Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate direct services to Johannesburg and Cape Town. The flying time is 10-andhalf-hours to Johannesburg and 12 hours to Cape Town. The time difference is two hours in the UK winter and an hour in the summer. Most of the other major airlines also fly to South Africa via their hubs, including Air France, KLM, Swiss, Lufthansa, Iberia, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Etihad and Qatar. How to get around: By road: South Africa has a first-class road infrastructure and the majority of visitors opt for self-drive holidays. However, transfers between hotels/lodges and escorted tours are also very popular. By air: the internal flight network is comprehensive and makes it easy to have a multi-centred holiday around the nine provinces. By train: There are some trains that can also be used to get from one place to another. The luxury Blue Train and the equally luxury Rovos Rail trains are icons of 6

rail travel. Alternatively there is the Shosholoza Meyl that has a variety of routes to choose from. Do I need a visa? No. Languages: there are 11 different languages but English is the most widely spoken. Weather: South Africa is a yearround destination. The Western Cape has a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers, and cooler winters. The further north and east you go, the weather becomes warmer, particularly in KwaZulu Natal, where conditions are quite humid. In Mpumalanga, the province visitors are most likely to go to see Kruger National Park, the best time to visit is the dry season from June – September. Inoculations: all your vaccinations must be up to date and malaria tablets are required for Kruger, Limpopo and northern KwaZulu Natal. Regional highlights Western Cape: Cape Town, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point, Winelands and whale watching at Hermanus. Eastern Cape: Garden Route, Tsitsikamma

National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, private game reserves, Grahamstown, the Karoo and the Wild Coast KwaZulu-Natal: Drakensberg, Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu battlefields, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Greater St Lucia Wetlands, Durban and spectacular coastline. Mpumalanga: Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands and the Panorama Route Limpopo: Kruger National Park, lots of private game reserves, Waterberg and Mapungubwe National Park. Gauteng: Johannesburg, Soweto, Cradle of Humankind, Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, Sandton and Pretoria. Northwest Province: Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Sun City, Madikwe Game Reserve and Magaliesberg Mountains. Northern Cape: Kimberly, rafting on the Orange River, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Augrabies Falls National Park. Free State: Bloemfontein and Golden Gate National Park.

For more information: Southafrica.net For agent online training: Southafricaexpert.com All about Southern & East Africa


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South Africa

The lowdown on Kwa-Zulu Natal

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f it’s awe-inspiring scenery that floats your boat, then KwaZulu-Natal is the place to set sail for. From the Drakensberg mountains and the rolling midlands, to the outstanding beaches of Durban, the scenery provides a fantastic backdrop to a holiday experience full of adventure and culture, underpinned by the legacy of the warrior tribe of the Zulus. Its warm climate makes it an all-year-round destination, so let’s check out what there is for visitors to see and do in this province. The great outdoors Durban: known as surf city and the gateway to KwaZulu Natal, Durban is home to the Golden Mile of sun-drenched beaches. Rocktail beach: on the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve in northern Kwazulu-Natal, Rocktail and Thonga beach are particularly impressive for their diving and whale watching . Drakensberg Mountains are the place to head to if you love hiking, horse-riding and bird watching. These mountains are also famous for their ancient San Bushmen rock art paintings.

Accommodation on the block: Granny Mouse is a country-house hotel country with a spa in the Natal Midlands Meander, at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains. Room rates start at £145. Ghost mountain Inn is situated at the foot of the Ghost Mountain in Mkuze and is a good base from which to explore Maputaland and the Elephant Coast. Room rates start at £99. Packages 2by2 Holidays offers a 16-day Durban, Drakensberg, Zulu Battlefields, Hluhluwe safari and St Lucia (iSimangaliso) self-drive from £1,995 including fights. ■

The wildlife iSimangaliso Wetland Park: South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, it has major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, 526 bird species and the area’s largest population of hippos and crocodiles.  Aliwal shoal: a rocky reef just off the coastline, it is a popular spot with divers as it is famous for tropical fish and turtles. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: a game reserve on the Elephant Coast, which is world renowned for its white rhino conservation project. The culture The Battlefields: if one of your favourite movie moments is Michael Caine as Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead in Zulu, then KwaZulu Natal is the place for you. The province, also known as the Zulu kingdom, is highly regarded for the military tactics of its Zulu tribe, successfully employed in wars against the Boers and the British. There are lots of tours available so visitors can immerse themselves in the Zulu culture at villages in the province, while there are a number of battlefields tourism routes. Durban: as well as its mile of beaches, Durban is a cultural melting pot, which is home to a rich Indian culture as well as the Jumma Mujid, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere. There are plenty of activities to immerse yourself in, from the marine life at uShaka Marine World, to the water slides at Water World, fishing charters and sundowner cruises. All about Southern & East Africa

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South Africa

Cape Town and beyond Whether you are visiting Cape Town on a mini break or as part of a South African adventure, there is no denying that this city by the sea ticks all the right boxes when it comes to holiday expectations. From stunning scenery, adventurous experiences, sophisticated nightlife and if you want to, the chance to squeeze in a short day on safari even if you are on a flying visit.

Out and about

Robben Island

Table Mountain is a must as the 360 degree views of Cape Town are spectacular. If you buy the tickets online before you go, the 10-minute return trip in the cable car to the top of the mountain costs £14. If you fancy a bit of a challenge, you can walk up to the summit by following some of the hiking routes, or if you really want to awaken your senses, then try rock climbing up to the top.

A visit to Cape Town isn’t complete without a trip out to Robben Island, the home to Nelson Mandela for 27 years. Without question Mandela is the world’s most famous political prisoner, and he lived in a five square metre prison cell on Robben Island for nearly a third of his life. Now a World Heritage site, the island is a popular tourist attraction so it is advisable to book your tickets in advance of your arrival.

Museums There are a number of museums to while away a few hours in. These include: the Iziko Museums, an amalgamation of national museums located near the city centre, along what is called the Museum Mile; and District Six Museum looks at the history of a vibrant community that was forcibly removed in the apartheid era. There are also more than 100 art galleries.

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Victoria and Alfred Waterfront South Africa’s most visited destination, the V&A Waterfront offers a combination of stylish shops, restaurants, nightlife and tourist attractions including museums.

The Winelands Route Again as a self-drive or as part of an escorted tour, many visitors opt to head 45 minutes out of town to experience the vineyards of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. If you find a wine that you particularly like, then the winery will be more than happy to ship it to the UK as you can only bring two bottles back home. Many visitors also stay in the winelands for a couple of nights. Stellenbosch, which is the second oldest town in South Africa is also home to a university, and so has a well-developed café culture, and bar scene. Franschhoek holds to its French roots, and is now the gourmet capital of South Africa.

Kirstenbosch Gardens Declared a World Heritage site in 2004, these botanical gardens are set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak and are home to more than 22,000 indigenous plants. There is a conservatory, herb gardens, historic ponds and fountains and a cycad garden.

Cape Town packages

Cape Peninsula

2by2 Holidays offers a nine-night Cape Town and Kruger National Park safari from £1,895 including flights.

Cape Peninsula is a popular day trip that can be done as a self-drive tour or as part of an escorted tour with stop-offs at the upmarket towns of Clifton, Camps Bay and Hout Bay. Also, a visit to Boulders Beach, home to a colony of African penguins, is a must.

All about Southern & East Africa


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South Africa

The Garden Route Starting with Route 62, the world’s longest wine route and one of the most spectacular drives around, continue to Oudtshoorn in the Karoo and on to the scenic Garden Route. It normally takes around seven days, but you can extend the trip by driving the route at a leisurely pace taking in more sights along the way. Where does it start? Stretching more than 530 miles along the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape, the journey begins in Cape Town and finishes in the beautiful coastal city of Port Elizabeth. Highlights: the drive from Cape Town to Knysna, is gorgeous as it passes through

many small, picturesque towns. Stop in at Swellendam to experience Cape Dutch architecture at its best. Several hours south of Cape Town is the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. The journey to Cape Agulhas will take visitors through the scenic Overberg, along the Whale Coast. If you fancy getting up close to some whales, take a detour to Hermanus, a town famous for its whale-watching excursions. Also, there are the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn, the Tsitsikamma Forest and the Swartberg Mountains to explore.

The Kruger Factor Stretching from the Blyde River Canyon to the Kruger National Park, the Kruger2Canyon Nature Reserve is renowned for its spectacular landscape that encapsulates four million hectares of savannah, woodlands, montane grasslands and afromontane forests. A UNESCO-recognised biosphere, the Kruger2Canyon region provides a lot of opportunity to get the adrenaline pumping with some adventurous activities or for the more laid-back among us, there is the option to kick-back and take in the wildlife from the back of a 4x4.

Fast facts What is there to do? Perhaps the most famous game reserve in the world, Kruger is home to a wide spectrum of safari lodges, from three star to five star. Visitors hope to see all of the big five and more, which they can do on lodge game drives in open-top vehicles, on guided walking tours, or by hiring their own vehicle and using SANParks rest camps in the Kruger Park. What about the Blyde River Canyon? At 16 miles long and 2,500 deep, it is one of the world's most spectacular canyons. Full of lush vegetation it is also one of the world's greenest canyon. Visitors should make the most of their surroundings and try out some of the activities on offer in the region. These include: river rafting, mountain biking, microlighting or rock climbing. More sedate options include birdwatching, stargazing, fly fishing, golf, hot-air balloon rides or a picnic by a waterfall. How do I get to Kruger? You can either drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria, or fly to Mpumalanga Airport, Hoedspruit Airport or Phalaborwa Airport. Best time to visit: this destination is good any time of year but April to September are perfect months when the grass is lower and the animals visit the water holes to drink so they are easier to find. How much? 2by2 Holidays offers a 14-night Kruger Park, Cape Town and Garden Route package from £1,595 including flights. 10

Anything for adrenaline junkies? Oh yes. Shark cage diving in Gansbaai, sea kayaking in Knysna, hiking along the Otter Trail, ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn, bungee jumping at Bloukrans Bridge in Nature's Valley, and scuba diving along the East Coast. When you arrive at Port Elizabeth, there are plenty of beaches to enjoy before heading out to the malaria-free game reserves of the Eastern Cape. Prices: 2by2 Holidays offers a 16-night Cape Town, Garden Route and East Cape safari holiday in the Amakhala game reserve from £1,795 per person, including flights.

Wheelchair-accessible safaris 2by2 Holidays offers a wide range of wheelchair-accessible holidays. The Africa specialist’s strong relationships with ground handlers, accommodation providers and tour guides in southern and east Africa allow the operator to arrange wheelchair-accessible accommodation, arrange accessible transfers and tours in specially adapted vehicles and arrange accessible activities such as ascending Table Mountain in a wheelchair by cable car, or going on safari. 2by2 Holidays sales and marketing director Claire Farley says “We do our outmost to offer clients who need wheelchair accessible holidays the same experience we offer everyone else. “Often it is the very small things that we do that matter the most, for example, going to an elephant park where visitors can touch an elephant; touch a cheetah at a wildlife park; or see penguins on the beach.”

All about Southern & East Africa


S02 S & E Africa 2012 Supp South Africa 01_Layout 1 20/02/2012 18:25 Page 11

South Africa SAA adds new Airbus A330 South African Airways has introduced a new Airbus A330-200 aircraft on its route from Heathrow to Cape Town. All aircraft feature a two-class configuration: business class and economy class, with 180-degree fully flat-bed seats in business. Also, new In-flight Entertainment technology has been integrated into the seat structure with all seats in economy offering a selection of on-demand movies, TV shows, and games. SAA operates daily nonstop flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town from Heathrow. SAA has also started flying from Johannesburg to the Rwandan capital of Kigali and onwards to Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. These flights are now available for reservations in the global distribution systems and via flysaa.com. The route from Johannesburg to Kigali and Bujumbura will be serviced three times a week by an SAA’s A319 aircraft. SAA has also started flights to Ndola in Zambia.

Wildlife and Winelands package Riding safari specialist Horizon Horseback has unveiled a new nine-day Wildlife and Winelands horse-riding package. The experience combines four days’ of horse riding among herds of South African wildlife in 25,000 acres of bushveld in the Waterberg Biosphere, followed by four days of riding

in the Cape Winelands Biosphere with the days in the saddle peppered with wine tasting, fine cuisine and spa pampering. 2by2 Holidays offers this10-night, full-board riding safari from £2,995 including flights.

Come & visit us at the Travel BulleƟn Southern & East Africa Showcase event at Shaka Zulu on Tuesday March 6th and learn more about the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN for short) in South Africa. This immediately puts you in with a chance to WIN a place on an amazing fam trip deparƟng on the 19th March and returning on the 27th March to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa!

To learn more, join our short training course – www.kwazuluexperts.com Register bookings with SAA flights that include KwaZulu-Natal and be in with a chance to WIN a holiday for 2 to KZN!

All about Southern & East Africa

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South Africa

Hotel hotline From city to safari, we spoke to the experts to get some recommendations for places to turn up, tune in and drop out

Eastern Cape Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve Location: the five-star Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve is located on a four-mile stretch of private beach overlooking the Indian Ocean, just outside the fishing village of Port Alfred, halfway between Port Elizabeth and East London. Accommodation: 10 private suites make up this safari lodge. The main lodge has three rooms connected to a game room complete with pool table and shuffleboard, while the Ocean suites each offer a king-sized four-poster bed and his and hers bathrooms. The Private Oceana House also has three bedrooms with en-suite baths, a private kitchen complete with a personal chef. Anything else? Oceana’s USP is the fact that it is one of the few private game reserves on the beach in South Africa, so guests can combine surfing, snorkelling, and swimming in the ocean with daily game drives on the reserve. The resort has a gym and steam

room overlook the infinity swimming pool, a fully-service spa, two treatment rooms with heated treatment beds and whirlpool baths. How much? Room rates start at £325 per person per night

The Winelands Babylonstoren Location: Babylonstoren is a 250hectare wine farm on the crossroads of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek where the first vines were planted 300 years ago. Accommodation: six onebedroom suites, two one-bedroom cottages and four two-bedroom cottages. Anything else? Guests can enjoy guided walks around the farm through the vineyards and orchards, cycling, canoeing/rowing and fishing on the farm dams. How much? £247 per night based on two sharing.

Limpopo Province Location: Garonga Safari Camp is a small, intimate retreat in the Makalali game reserve. Accommodation: Garonga has just six safari tents, so it has a real boutique feel. Anything else? All meals, drinks, guided game drives and walking safaris are included in the price along with special elements such as the Garonga Soul Safari, the romantic bush bath for two under the stars and the overnight sleep-out deck experience in the reserve. How much? All-Inclusive rates from £207 per person per night and no single supplement. ■

Kwa-Zulu Natal Oaklands Country Manor Location: Oaklands Country Manor is a small, family-run country hotel between Johannesburg and Durban. High up on Van Reenan’s Pass, it boasts some spectacular views and is perfectly placed for the first stop on a self-drive from Johannesburg to Drakensberg. Accommodation: the hotel can accommodate 32 guests. It has five en-suite rooms facing the garden, four family suites that can accommodate four guests and the Hilltop House which sleeps six. 12

All about Southern & East Africa


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South Africa

Anything else? Perfect for those who love mountains and the great outdoors, the hotel is in the perfect location for walking, cycling, birdwatching, canoeing, fishing and horse-riding in its own polo club. Tennis and volleyball are also available. How much? £75 per night based on two sharing.

Cape Town Pepper Club Hotel and Spa Location: Pepper Club is a luxury hotel in Cape Town and its beach club, situated on the Camps Bay beachfront, is perceived to be a ground-breaking concept in the South African hotel industry as it combines a luxury hotel with a beach club. Accommodation: the 20-storey hotel consists of 210 residences, including the penthouse suite. Anything else? The hotel features an Odeon cinema, swimming pools with panoramic views, beach restaurant and bar, a gym, the Cayenne Spa, 24-hour concierge service and security. How much? A two-night stay as part of a special offer that is available from 1 April to 30 September costs £549 per person. Taj Cape Town Location: situated in the cultural heart of Cape Town close to St. George's Cathedral (the former base of Desmond Tutu), the

oldest church in South Africa, Groote Kirk, the SA Museum, the Slave Lodge Museum, and the city’s art galleries. Accommodation: the Taj has 177 rooms with a focus on opulence and luxury. The Heritage suites have more of a colonial feel, whereas the Tower rooms have a contemporary edge. Anything else? Taj Cape Town has carved out a reputation for its restaurants, which include the Bombay Brasserie, a finedining Indian Restaurant, Mint, an all-day informal restaurant as well as the seafood and champagne bar The Twankey. The hotel’s Jiva Grande Spa draws on ancient Indian healing wisdom of Ayurveda. It also has a fitness centre and business centre.


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South Africa

Hotel offers city and safari deal Luxury Cape Town hotel Cape Grace has teamed up with Tswalu Kalahari game reserve to offer a Cape Town/safari adventure package. The seven-night package includes two nights’ bed and breakfast at Cape Grace with a third night free plus four nights’ full board on safari at Tswalu Kalahari, return flights to the game reserve from Cape Town, transfers and a Malori night under-the-stars experience. Prices lead in at £6,160 per room and includes accommodation, transfers and charter flights to and from Tswalu Kalahari. The Cape Grace is also offering guests a Rare and Extraordinary Experience package in partnership with luxury jewellery brand Platandia. Guests who stay in the hotel’s top suites will have the

opportunity to access diamonds, rare tanzanite and other stunning gems from the privacy of their own room alongside a bespoke consultation with the Plantandia’s Master Goldsmith. Platandia is also offering the gift of a ¼ carat diamond valued at 10% of the room rate as a parting gift. Prices lead in at £919 per double room per night and are based on a minimum stay of three consecutive nights, transfers, a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, home-made chocolates in-room on arrival, luxury chauffeur transfer to Platandia for a private viewing of gemstones or choose to have the viewing in Suite.

Sun International adds to portfolio South African luxury hotel chain Sun International has added to its portfolio of properties with the acquisition of the Wild Coast Sun resort in the Eastern Cape and the Grayston Hotel in Johannesburg and Although located in the Eastern Cape, the Wild Coast Sun is just a mile south of KwaZulu-Natal and is set in 640 hectares of tropical gardens that overlook the Indian Ocean. It also has a championship golf course. Since it acquired the property in 2009, Sun International has embarked on a major refurbishment of the property, investing

£33 million in increasing the resort’s accommodation offering by 150 rooms, bringing the room total to 396. The hotel’s casino,restaurants and bars have been revamped and a new water park, Wild Waves has been introduced. All the work is due to be completed early this year. Meanwhile, Sun International has also started work on its new Johannesburg property, the Grayston Hotel, with a major refurbishment of the property’s 346 rooms and public areas already underway. The hotel group hopes to reopen the property as a four-star-plus under the Sun

Jaci’s refurb

It’s a family affair as Drakensburg hotel offers spa treatments for the whole family

Jaci’s Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve has celebrated its 12th birthday with a refurbishment. Owners Jan and Jaci Van Heteren enlisted the help of Sally Barnard and her colleague Adele from The Beach House interiors in Hermanus to do the interior design. The Beach House introduced textured plain colours, fabrics with prints that picked up the surroundings of both the animals, and the fabric designs used by the locals. The refurb took two months to complete and the final product was unveiled at the end of last year. 14

International brand early next year. A landmark Sandton property in Johannesburg's Square Mile, the Grayston is a popular stopover point for both leisure and business inbound visitors who arrive from abroad en route to other properties around the country, especially Sun City, Cape Town and Livingstone. It is a prime location given its close proximity to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, The Sandton Convention Centre, the commercial and retail district, the Gautrain and significant landscaped gardens that surround the hotel.

A resort in the Drakensburg mountains is offering an eco-friendly spa experience package for the whole family. Located high in the dramatic landscape of the Cathkin Peak region, the Drakensburg Sun Lifestyle Resort has launched the Spoilt Green Eco Spa, which uses chemical-free Esse Organic Skincare products. The family spa experience includes treatments for the whole family, with prices starting at £11 for an express facial, which is suitable for children.

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South Africa

Ellerman rolls out health package

Ulusaba offers free night deal Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve Ulusaba in Kruger National Park is offering guests the chance to stay four nights for the price of three. The offer, which also applies to reservations of five nights which are available for the price of four, is valid for any new arrivals before 31st July. There are three categories of lodges at Ulusaba, safari lodge, rock lodge and cliff lodge. Prices start at £395 per person per night for stays at safari lodge, £574 for rock lodge and £1,048 for cliff lodge. Ulusaba also has a kids-go-free offer until 18 December. Up to two children travelling with one or more adults can stay at Rock Lodge at no extra charge.

It’s child’s play with Kurland A boutique hotel in Cape Town has launched a health and lifestyle initiative. Ellerman House’s Healthy Living programme encompasses healthier alternatives for all meals, exercise, spa treatments and relaxation options with a healthy living concierge on hand to assist guests in designing a plan to suit their individual needs. The hotel is located in vast private gardens in Bantry Bay and is close to walking, running and cycling routes in and around Cape Town that guests looking for some exercise can make the most of. Prices start at £380 per room per night and include private, chauffeur-driven airport transfer; complimentary shuttle to and from Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, breakfasts, a fully stocked in-room bar, guest pantry and in-between meal options and sunset cocktails.

A family hotel on the Garden Route is offering kids-stay-free packages in low and high seasons, excluding the Easter and Christmas holidays. The rate applies to children under 12, with room rates for adults leading in at £100 per person per night. The price includes breakfast, use of the Therapy Suite’s sauna, steam room and gym, transfers to Nature’s Valley beach, wifi, use of quad and mountain bikes and tennis courts, and children’s pony rides. Situated near the beach town of Plettenberg Bay, Kurland consists of 12 suites. The luxury and family suites have loft rooms that can accommodate up to four children. The hotel also has playrooms, swings and swimming pools with nannies provided to look after the children while the parents relax. Kurland is situated within the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve so families can enjoy equestrian activities, forest walks, unspoilt beaches in Nature’s Valley National Park and water sports such as surfing or scuba diving, whale and dolphin watching and even extreme activities such as bungee jumping or sky diving. They can also visit nearby farm-style shops, the world’s largest free flight bird sanctuary and Monkeyland, the world’s first free-roaming multi-species Primate Sanctuary. Kurland also boasts its own championship polo ground, private stables and tuition centre.

Sabi Sabi rolls out new fly-in packages for 2012 A safari lodge located in the Sabi Sabi game reserve has introduced a special offer for 2012. The Bush Lodge has put together a threenight fly-in deal staying at its bush lodge from May to July for £1,324 per person based on two people sharing. This package includes either a one-way or return internal flight from Johannesburg, accommodation, open Land Rover safaris by day and at night accompanied by qualified rangers and Shangaan trackers, environmental awareness walking safaris,

All about Southern & East Africa

sundowner drinks, selected beverages, South African house wines and local taxes.

Meanwhile, Earth Lodge in Sabi Sabi has recently been renovated. It has 13 suites, private plunge pools, en-suite glass fronted bathrooms, outdoor showers, butler services and viewing decks. Also, the spas in the Earth Lodge and Bush Lodge have introduced a new treatment that features innovative treatments from Babor and Africology. At the Bush Lodge Spa, a menu of treatments have been developed specially for children. These include the elephant foot print and the busy bee. 15


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Victoria Falls, Zambia

brand activation 68383B

North West Province, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

A N U N FO RG E TTAB L E J O U R N E Y T H RO U G H A N I N C R E DI B L E L A N D. Discover the beauty and delight of unspoilt Africa as you follow the sun on its travels across the southern tip. Indulge in 5-star luxury and sophistication on your journey from vibrant cosmopolitan surrounds, through an ancient African kingdom and into the untamed thunder of Victoria Falls. Each step you take is made in unparalleled comfort, enjoying all that three of the world’s premier 5-star hotels have to offer. To discover more about the Route of the African Sun call +44 (0) 1491 419600 or email marketinguk@suninternational.co.uk

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Zambia

Zambia

Norman Carr Safaris offers walking safaris along the Luwi dry river bed

If waterfalls, wildlife and wonders of the world are high on your must-do list, then head to Zambia, home of the walking safari, for an experience of a lifetime

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ike most of its African neighbours, Zambia ticks all the right boxes when it comes to game reserves teeming with wildlife and luxury safari camps, but one thing that this stunning country can claim that most of the others can’t is being home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Described as “the smoke that thunders” by David Livingstone, the intrepid explorer who discovered them, a visit to Southern Africa isn’t complete without spending a day or two at the magnificent Victoria Falls. Accessible from both Zambia or Zimbabwe, the falls set the theme for an African experience that differentiates itself from others. Zambia is home to 18 waterfalls and as a country has the largest water resources in the whole of southern Africa with five huge lakes and a number of rivers, the most famous of which is the Zambezi. As a consequence, the experiential tourism providers in Zambia have made the most of the country’s huge supply of water with lots of activities that visitors can enjoy. These include: tiger and fly fishing; canoeing safaris; houseboating holidays; white-water rafting; kayaking and river surfing; rafting; bungee jumping into the deep gorge below the Victoria Falls; abseiling; canoeing down the Zambezi; elephant back trails and walking with lions – the list is endless. So let’s find out what Zambia is up to in 2012. Baines River Camp Baines’ River Camp located on the All about Southern & East Africa

northern bank of the Zambezi River, in the Chiawa Partnership Park has put together four specialist workshop packages. The camp, which is just across from Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools World Heritage site, with the Lower Zambezi National Park only a 20-minute boat ride away, is offering guests the chance to take part in elephant workshops, photographic safaris, fly-fishing clinics and birdwatching. The five-night Vanishing Giants of Africa elephant workshops allows guests the opportunity to explore the world of the elephants and observe them with experienced guides and wildlife vet Johan Marais. The workshops run from 27 August to 1 September and the 10 September to 15 September. Photographer and travel writer David Rogers and guides will escort keen snappers on the photographic safaris that take in the Zambezi River, its islands and bush. These courses will run from 16-21 April and 16-21 July. The fly-fishing clinics are hosted by Keith Clover of Tourette Fishing and Baines guides, with guests getting top tips on fly-fishing the African way. The bird-watching workshops are led by ornithologist David Johnson and will focus on the Zambezi Valley. All of the packages cost £2,052, except the fly-fishing clinics, which cost £2,368. Wilderness Collection The Wilderness Collection is offering guests staying three nights or more at its Busanga Bush Camp, Kapinga or Shumba Camps the chance to enjoy hot-air

ballooning trips over the Busanga Plains during August, September and October. Meanwhile, the group has introduced beds raised on elevated wooden platforms under star-studded skies to its Kalamu Starbed Camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Guests arrive at the platform before sunset and have a private dinner, usually departing soon after dawn the following morning by driving, boating or walking back to the lodge. Royal Chundu Luxury lodge Royal Chundu Luxury Zambezi Lodge is pulling out all the stops to make sure families can make the most of their safari breaks. Staff at the lodge, which has 14 suites on the banks of the Zambezi river, meet guests on arrival to discuss activity options with the family, giving each child a river safari adventure pack containing small gifts. The children are then treated to a welcoming treasure hunt to help them familiarise themselves with the Royal Chundu staff and surroundings. Mfuwe Lodge Guests at Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge in the South Luangwa Valley of Zambia have been treated to some close encounters with some of the wildlife in the reserve recently. Elephant Wonky Tusk and her brood have been strolling through the reception at the lodge and their regular sightings inside the reception have proved to be a real hit with the guests. 17


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Zambia

Norman Carr Safaris has also put together an eight-night privately guided Luwi River Trail safari adventure. The camps only have four rooms each and are powered with solar energy. Guests are able to set their own pace and create their own adventure with a guide and scout. ■

Victoria Falls

Wonky Tusk strolls through the reception at Mfuwe Lodge

An 11-day trip to Zambia including accommodation at Mfuwe Lodge and two of Bushman Company’s other camps leads in at £4,055 per person. This price includes international flights and taxes, all internal flights and transfers, all meals, drinks and all guided safari activities. Norman Carr Safaris Safari specialist Norman Carr Safaris is offering guests the chance to take a walk on the wilde side with a sleep-out-underthe-stars experience in the Luwi dry river bed in South Luangwa. The camp-out will offer safari goers the chance to experience the thrill of the first safari pioneers as they sleep out with just a bed roll and a mosquito net. Guests venture out from the remotest bushcamp on foot in mid afternoon, find a spot to camp, make the camp fire for a game rangers’ dinner which they help to cook themselves.

Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It can be accessed from either Zambia or Zimbabwe, but one of the advantages of visiting from the Zambian side is visitors get to swim in a natural pool just before the edge of the upper falls. When is the best time to go? July to September is best. Avoid October and November as the Zambian side is dry. December to March is rainy. Where should I stay? There are a number of lodges to choose from, including Tongabezi Lodge, Sindabezi Island and the Royal Livingstone Hotel. What can I do when I am there? There are a few ways to visit the falls. Victoria Falls walk: facing the falls is a wall of basalt cushioned by a rainforest. A path along the edge of the forest offers some amazing views of the falls Viewing locations: the Knife Edge bridge, the Victoria Falls bridge and the Lookout Tree are great vantage points. A helicopter ride over the falls will give you some great photo opportunities, while a boat ride down the Zambezi river is a popular option. For the extreme: bungee jumping, white water rafting, horse riding and elephant-back safaris are also available. Package: 2by2 Holidays offers a nine-night South Luangwa National Park and Victoria Falls holiday from £2,295 including international flights.

The Royal Chundu Luxury Zambezi Lodge

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Botswana

Botswana From safaris that reflect on the pioneers of the past to cruising down the Zambezi, Botswana promises to give visitors a big bang for their buck

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he landlocked southern Africa country of Botswana has established itself as a safari destination that delivers low-impact tourism and exclusive experiences. We catch up with some of the country’s safari lodges and experience providers to get the lowdown on what is happening in the country that boasts a vast and varied landscape, 38% of which is dedicated to national parks and reserves. Pangolin Photo A new venture designed to equip photographers of all levels with the skills and equipment they need to capture those elusive shots has launched in the Chobe region of Botswana. Pangolin Photos was set up by photographers for photographers and will offer guests the chance to ride in a specially designed Unimog to access remote areas and difficult terrains. The vehicle has eight photographer’s seats with optimum viewing potential and mounting for zoom lenses. On the water, Pangolin operates a boat specifically adapted for wildlife photography. Onboard, cameras are custom mounted and attached to seats that rotate a full 360 degrees. Offering photography enthusiasts tailor-made courses to suit their individual requirements, courses can either be incorporated into an existing visit to the region, or be booked separately as a more comprehensive safari spending time in the bush and on

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the river capturing amazing wildlife moments. The courses can accommodate groups of up to eight photographers both overland and by boat, top he of the range cameras and special lens are provided at no extra cost. Selinda Canoe Trail Wilderness Safaris is offering adventurous visitors the opportunity to enjoy a four-day canoe experience along the Selinda Spillway. The high waters flowing through northern Botswana in 2009 and 2010 caused the Selinda Spillway to flow in a way that it has not done for nearly three decades. This has enabled adventurers the opportunity to experience a rare first – the Selinda Canoe Trail. The Selinda Canoe Trail will navigate along the 28-mile Selinda Spillway over four days, camping along the banks of the river at the end of the day. The area is well known for elephant, buffalo, roan antelope, and wild dog. Other possible sightings include cheetah, lion, leopard and variety of other species. It is also a birder’s paradise with some 300 species to be seen. The canoe trail starts at the Selinda Airfield where all participants meet at around midday before travelling nearly three hours westward until they arrive at the starting point. This three-night safari comprises roughly two full days and two half-days (the first afternoon and the last morning) of paddling to cover the distance. All three nights will be spent in

See the wildlife from the water on the Selinda Canoe Trail

fly camps along the way at no particular pre-arranged site. Each canoe has two guests, their bed rolls and bags and participants paddle their own canoes each day. No previous paddling or canoeing experience is needed as tuition will be given. At the end of the trail, guests are transferred to the Selinda Airstrip in the late morning for their departure or onward stay at either Zarafa or Selinda camps. Prices for the canoe trail start at £1,116 per person for the four days and include camping accommodation, meals, scheduled activities, conservancy fees, return airstrip transfers (Selinda airstrip), alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages Wilderness Collection The Wilderness Collection, a new brand from Wilderness Safaris, was launched recently following the signing of the operating and marketing contracts for Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta. The accommodation at Abu Camp includes six private villas, all with extended private decks overlooking the lagoon. During the day guests can enjoy an insightful elephant experience with the Abu elephant herd, many of whom have been rescued from captivity, abandonment or injury. An extensive new camp library has also been introduced along with the one-of-a-kind ‘star bed’ in the elephant boma Also, the Chitabe Lediba Camp has recently reopened following a refurbishment that includes an entirely 19


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...redefining safari

MORE THAN N

just a safari, Botswana is a complete experience. Botswana Tourism 6 Stratford Place, London, W1C 1AY +44 (0)207 647 1018

Email: dparr@botswanatourism.org.uk www.botswanatourism.org.uk

,


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Botswana

new décor and design shift that now mirrors its sister, Chitabe Camp. Each room has sliding doors and outdoor showers, there are two family rooms and each room has its own en-suite facilities. In the main area, improvements include a new swimming pool with expanded decking and thatched gazebo. Meanwhile, visitors who want to explore the Okavango Delta might be keen to make the most of the Delta Adventurer, which allows guests the chance to explore the area on foot, by traditional mokoro and on game drives. The first camp, Xigera Mokoro Trails, is set up on an island in the remote Xigera area, exposing the permanently flooded inner Delta. Here the islands and waterways enable close encounters with many bird species and diverse wildlife. A light aircraft charter takes guests to Khwai Discoverer Camp just north of the Khwai River where woodland meets floodplains, wetlands and grasslands, home to an array of large mammals and predators. Camp Kuzuma Just four miles outside the town of Kasane in the Kuzuma Forest Reserve, Camp Kuzuma has opened overlooking a regularly frequented waterhole and open plains of the Kuzuma Pans. The camp pays homage to the explorers of the1800s, such as Henry Stanley and David Livingstone with five luxury tented camps that are reminiscent of the days of David Livingstone. The luxury suites’ bathrooms offer high-back Victorian baths, double basins, double inside showers and outside showers.

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Baines Baobabs - these seven giant trees were named after the artist/adventurer Thomas Baines who painted them back in 1862

Camp Kuzuma has a spa with a variety of treatments, a large main area, dining room, bar and lounge/library with wooden decks leading to the infinity swimming pool overlooking a natural watering hole. Guests can use the lodge as a base to explore the surrounding areas such as the Chobe reserve, the Chobe River or the Victoria Falls. Guests staying for two nights can get a third night free with prices leading in at £253 per person per night. African Bush Camps African safari specialist African Bush Camps has a number of properties and experiences in Botswana that it is keen to promote to the trade The first experience is the Linyanti

Walking Safari in the Chobe enclave, which is well known for its large populations of elephant and buffalo. This is a mobile tented camping safari experience focused on walking within the private concession in the Chobe Enclave part of the Linyanti. Experienced guides move the camp to where all the wildlife action is, so how much the camp moves is dependent on the amount of activity there is. Accommodation is in stand-in spacious tents with beds and en-suite private bathroom facilities. African Bush Camps also has a small 12-bedded tented camp on the banks of the Linyanti marshes in a private reserve, which borders the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave. The camp is limited to small

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Botswana

elephants, lions, leopards, herds of buffalo and antelope, hippos and crocodiles in the waters alongside. A two or three-night stay on Zambezi Queen includes all meals; drinks with meals and during game drives; waterbased game viewing on smaller boats; land-based 4x4 game viewing in Botswana’s Chobe National Park; tiger fishing in season; bird watching from smaller boats and land-based cultural tours of local villages.

groups who seek a personalised experience in a private concession away from the main tourist’s routes. Activities from the camp consist of game drives, walking, game viewing by spotlight and hides. Located on the sands above the ancient river bed, African Bush Camps’ Saile Tented Camp is an intimate camp with four Meru-style tents, each of which has en-suite bathroom facilities and bucket showers. The focus here is on an authentic and wild safari experience and this area’s relative remoteness makes it a favoured wild safari destination. The company also runs a mobile tented camp in Nxai Pan National Park. Once thought to be the largest saltpans in the world today, Nxai Pan, situated just southeast of the Okavango Delta, is a flat grass-covered pan dotted with islands of clustered acacia atortilis trees and mopane woodland, which is home to an array of wildlife including springbok, giraffe, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, eland, greater kudu, red hartebeest, spotted hyena, cheetah, leopard, jackal and brown hyena. Tuli Safari Lodge A safari lodge in the eastern-most 22

corner of Botswana is offering visitors the chance to enjoy an overnight stay for a lead-in price of £76 per person per night. Tuli Safari Lodge is set in spacious grounds along the banks of the Limpopo River against a backdrop of sandstone outcrops. It has eight lodges, a swimming pool and a number of gameviewing points Guests can make the most of their surroundings by going on guided game drives and walks, discovering hides tucked away in the bush (where you can even sleep out over night), enjoying horse rides in the wild and visiting local communities. Zambezi Queen If you would prefer to see the wildlife of Botswana from the comfort of a luxury river boat, then you should consider the Zambezi Queen. The five-star river cruiser, with 10 suites and four master suites, operates two and three-night itineraries from Kasane in Botswana along the Chobe River or from the Impalila air strip in Namibia. Guests on board the boat will be able to relax and take in the wildlife that flock to the river banks, which includes

Footsteps in Africa The largest circuit of independent camps, lodges and services in Botswana, Footsteps in Africa banner offers a onestop shop of experiences in Botswana with a number of lodges in key tourism areas in the north, including Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pans, Central Kalahari, Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park. All of the properties under Footsteps’ umbrella are small and independently owned and are classified into three main categories: superior, which includes spacious, en-suite accommodation; classic, which offers comfortable accommodation with an emphasis on the area the camp is in; and rustic, which offers basic, dome-tent accommodation. Footsteps also owns a charter company, Delta Air that services all these areas. ■

Get the facts Capital: Gaborone Language: English and Setswana Currency: Pula Population: 1.8 million Time difference: +2 hours When to go: the months between April and November when animals migrate towards the waterways of the Okavango Delta, is the best time to go. Visa: none required Health: typhoid, polio, tetanus and yellow fever are advised along with antimalaria tablets. Getting there: fly from London via Johannesburg and then on to Maun, the gateway to the Okavango Delta. Visitors then travel to lodges by light aircraft. All about Southern & East Africa


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Namibia

Namibia Namibia looks to capitalise on its growing popularity with global marketing campaigns and initiatives for 2012.

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ike many destinations over the last few years, tourism to Namibia has fallen foul of the global economic recession with the country seeing a slight decline in visitors from the UK in 2010. But the Namibia Tourism Board is not resting on its laurels. Last year, the NTB launched global campaigns and initiatives to increase its tourism arrivals following the launch of its new slogan, Namibia – Endless Horizons. In the UK for 2012, NTB is set to have an increased focus on social media and online, integrating Facebook into all of its campaigns. It is increasing its activity with the trade, with agent roadshows across three UK cities which will include agent training and event workshops, product manager meetings and the opportunity for delegates to win a high profile trip to Namibia at each event inclusive of flights. There is so much to learn about Namibia and what makes it stand out from the safari crowd? Travel Bulletin has put together a must-read guide to this spectacular country to help you get to grips with this amazing destination. From its spectacular desert ecosystems and wildlife to its richly coloured sand dunes, vast plains, savannahs teeming with African game and rugged mountains, Namibia promises to enliven all your senses Etosha Etosha National Park is one of Africa’s premier reserves. This large park, largely All about Southern & East Africa

free of human influence, covers over 8500 square miles. of the northern landscape, and has as its central feature the Etosha Pan (a dried-out saline lake), surrounded by grasslands and bush. Etosha is known for its huge elephant population, while zebra, blue wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok also roam the plains, and lions are common. The black-faced impala and Damara dikdik are distinctive to the area. Damaraland The Damaraland Wilderness Reserve is a privately operated area full of beautiful, arid and mountainous scenery. Wildlife can be sparse, but desert elephant, black rhino, lion, desert-dwelling giraffe and Hartmann’s mountain zebra inhabit some of the reserve. Fish River Canyon The huge Fish River Canyon follows the Fish River to the Orange River, which then flows to the Atlantic. Varied and unusual wildlife and vegetation complement the spectacular scenery and an abundance of red aloe gives an otherworldly feel to the landscape. Rock dwellers like mountain zebras, rock rabbits, baboons, klipspringers and ground squirrels inhabit the area and Kudus and leopards are also present, but are more elusive. Northeastern Reserves The Caprivi Strip, bordered by Botswana to the south and Angola and Zambia in the north, has three reserves: Mudumu,

Caprivi and Mamili. Mudumu and Mamili, unlike many other Namibian parks, allow open vehicles and walking safaris. Mahango Game Reserve is a scenic landscape dotted with striking, majestic baobab trees. The park surrounds the Kavango River and is adjacent to the Caprivi Reserve. The wildlife includes elephant, bushbuck, reedbuck, impala, tsessebe, kudu and the rare sitatunga, there are also spectacular birds like the fish eagle, and wattle and crowned cranes. The Caprivi Game Reserve features lechwe, sable antelope, hippo, roan antelope, buffalo and crocodile, as well as a variety of waterfowl. Namib-Naukluft The Namib-Naukluft National Park in southern Namibia combines the former Namib Desert and Naukluft Mountain Zebra parks. The park, known for its diamonds, is one of the world’s largest. Mountain zebra, gemsbok, springbok and ostrich roam the region and the dunes house unique creatures like the shovelnosed lizard, the golden mole and the translucent Palmato gecko. The Sandavis area includes the coastline and bays where fresh water seeps under the dunes and runs into a saltwater lagoon. The mountainous landscape of the Naukluft region has many picturesque rock formations and a variety of beautiful hiking trails. Mountain zebra, rock rabbits, klipspringer, black eagles, baboon, cheetah and many other creatures inhabit the area. 23


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Namibia

SWAKOPMUND Swakopmund is the resort town that is in the centre of Namibia’s coastal region. Located between the Skeleton Coast and Namib-Naukluft parks and surrounded by the spectacular Namib Desert, the town has some beautiful German colonial architecture.

Activities and Adventure

WINDHOEK Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is found in the central highlands. The city blends the flavours of German, English and Dutch colonists with the native African cultures. Its sights include the three Windhoek castles, built between 1913 and 1918, and the State Museum at the Alte Feste, and Windhoek’s city centre also has the sprawling gardens of Zoo Park. The government seat is the beautiful and historic "Ink Palace". ■

Namibia offers a range of activities from the extreme to the relaxing including water sports, golf, diving, hiking, hot air ballooning, skydiving, sand skiing, paragliding, abseiling and stargazing. One popular activity is Birding. Namibia is home to over 630 bird species. While the majority of these occur in the water-rich northeastern regions of Kavango and Caprivi, and at the coast, a considerable number are found in the desert, such as Dune lark and Hartlaub's francolin.

Air Namibia boosts fleet with A319-100 Air Namibia has added to its fleet with the recent addition of the Airbus A319100, which will serve routes between Windhoek and Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Luanda. The new A319 offers a two class configuration of business and economy across 112 seats, 96 in Economy and 16 in Business class. Air Namibia’s improved frequency on its regional network, new routes and

aircraft, allow for new tours and improved access to Southern Africa. Last year, the airline acquired three ERJ 135 aircraft as part of its fleet renewal process and replaced the former Beechcraft model used on its domestic and regional flights. This allowed the airline to introduce two new routes from Johannesburg to Walvis Bay and Windhoek to Rundu, as well as increase the frequency of

many of its former routes such Walvis Bay to Cape Town and Windhoek to Luanda. Air Namibia serves the UK market via feeder flights with British Airways and onward connections to Windhoek via Frankfurt. Air Namibia’s departure and arrival times six days per week offer the best connections from the UK and allow passengers a full day upon arrival and departure.

Namibia Hotel News Dolomite camp opens in western Etosha Namibia Wildlife Resorts has officially opened the Dolomite camp in the ecologically significant western part of Etosha, an area previously closed off to tourism. Nestled in the dolomite outcrops of the western Etosha National Park, it is hoped that Dolomite Camp will increase tourism traffic in and around western Etosha, Damaraland and the Great Kunene Region. Etosha National Park is Namibia’s second largest park and is also the oldest and best known of Namibia’s 22 protected areas. The Namibia Wildlife Resorts operates four camps inside the northeastern section of the park – Okaukuejo Camp, Halali Camp, Namutoni Camp and Onkoshi Camp – and Dolomite Camp is the first inside the western part of Etosha. The Camp has a lounge, bar and restaurant area, from where a walkway leads to thatched, en-suite chalets of which two have their own plunge pools. With 15 waterholes nearby, Dolomite Camp offers a number of places from which to spot wildlife. 24

Windhoek’s first all-suite hotel opens The Olive Exclusive, Windhoek’s first all-suite luxury hotel, has opened. The property has: four premier suites, each with their own private plunge pool and views over the olive trees and mountains; three junior suites that are suitable for families; an in-house restaurant; and a swimming pool. Wilderness gets the massage out Wilderness Safaris has introduced some new treatments at spas at two of its camps in Namibia. Guests will be able to call on the services of a massage therapist at Wilderness’s desert retreat of Little Kulala in Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert and Serra Cafema, which is located in the northwest of Namibia on the banks of the Kunene River in the Hartmann Valley. Meanwhile, Wilderness Adventures has added guided quadbiking on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, which allows guests the chance to see the reserve from a different perspective.

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Kenya The Royal connection, golf, carnival and festival events, and lots for wildlife lovers and adrenaline junkies alike mean record-breaking visitor numbers in 2011

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f you asked tourism officials to sum up 2011 for Kenya, the phrase “it was a bit of a rollercoaster ride” would not be far from their lips. The year got off to a good start for the East Africa country, when it bathed in the spotlight of the great royal proposal. Prince William popped the question to Kate Middleton while the two were on holiday at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which proved to be great PR for Kenya. Fast forward a few months and Kenya was back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The high-profile kidnapping and murder of a British couple holidaying on the island of Lamu by Somali pirates had a momentary effect on bookings. The incident prompted the Foreign Office to advise against all travel to the Kenya-Somalia border regions, but the popular tourist areas of Mombasa and the parks and game reserves are safe locations to visit so it’s business as usual. And while arrival figures for the last six months of 2011 are not yet available, if the first six months are anything to go by, then figures for last year look set to be well up on 2010 – January 2011 alone was 40% ahead of January 2010.

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Also, this year will see another Royal connection for Kenya as the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. It was 60 years ago that Princess Elizabeth arrived in Kenya, only to hear the sad news about her father, King George VI’s death, and return to the UK as Queen Elizabeth II. The Kenya Tourist board will be keen to focus on the strong links between Kenya and the UK – its largest overseas market – and over the next four pages, we will be getting the lowdown on some of the KTB’s plans for this year, as well as what is happening in the hotel scene in Kenya as well as what the country has to offer visitors besides sun, sea and safari, Golf Kenya has emerged as a significant player in the competitive field of international golf tourism and the Kenya Golf Marketing Alliance has produced a brand new Kenya golf guide for visitors to the country to discover its many spectacular courses and facilities. The Kenya Open Golf Championship takes place in March and April, with 150 competitors. The tournament, played at the Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, makes

up part of the PGA European Challenge Tour. www.kenyaopengolf.com MICE The country is also carving out a place for itself in the meeting, incentive, conference and events (MICE) market, which accounts for 14% of annual tourism to Kenya. As a result, the government is planning to enhance the country’s business infrastructure with new convention centres to be built in Mombasa and Kisumu in 2012. Magical Kenya Travel Expo The KTB organised a two-day Magical Kenya Travel Expo in Nairobi in October and 150 travel agents, operators and media from around the world, including 10 managers from UK operators. The event is expected to become an annual expo and will eventually incorporate the entire East African region. Kenya Airways The country’s flag carrier has confirmed that it will take delivery of nine new Boeing 787-7 Dreamliners in the last quarter of 2013. The airline has placed a firm order for nine aircraft with an option to take four more as part of its fleet modernisation and route expansion capacity, replacing its Boeing 767 aircraft and opening up new long-haul routes. Kenya Airways has also increased the number of flights between Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam from four to five a day as well as unveiling plans to introduce new routes. These include services to Eldoret, Kilimanjaro, Abuja, Beirut, Mauritius, Malakal-S.Sudan, Cape Town, Mwanza, Windhoek and Lamu. Meanwhile, the airline has also added to its reservations team at Heathrow. Rita Platt, Karen Chandra and Manisha Varsani have joined as reservations agents, while

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Kenya

Royal Mara Safari Lodge refurbished

Alexis Charalambous has been appointed to the role of group sales executive. Kenya Airways offers 10 flights a week from Heathrow to Nairobi and now offers 55 connections to destinations throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Exclusive African Treasures has recently completed a refurbishment on the main lodge area of its Royal Mara Safari Lodge on the banks of the Mara River, in the Western Koyiaki conservation area. The river is home to more than 200 hippos and guests can now sit in the restaurant and bar in the main lodge area and watch the hippos in the river. The lodge offers a blend of the classic tented safari camp with the amenities of a lodge and is located directly on the great wildebeest migration route. Room rates start at £135 per person per night full board. It is also just 10 minutes from leopard gorge, the location for the filming of the BBC’s Big Cat Diary. Exclusive African Treasures’ property Mutamaiyu House in Mugie Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia, a district in northern Kenya, has seen its rhino conservation project go from strength to strength, with 26 black rhino in the conservation area. Room rates for Mutamaiyu House lead in at £200 per person full board including drinks Two new leopard cubs have been born at Exclusive African Treasures’ Oserian Conservancy bringing the total number to 26 in the conservancy.

Etihad Airways The Abu Dhabi airline is to start a daily service from its hub to Nairobi – the airline’s first east Africa destination. The service will be operated by a two class A320 aircraft with 16 business class and 120 economy seats. ■

FACT BOX Time Difference: +3 hours GMT Location: bordered by Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Somali Republic, with 300 miles of Indian Ocean coast. The Equator runs through the centre of the country Capital: Nairobi Language: English. Currency: Kenya Shilling, dollars, pounds and euros also widely accepted Climate: With pleasant overall conditions all year round, temperatures are consistent throughout the year and cool for an equatorial region, ranging mostly from the high 20°Cs to low 30°Cs. Passport / Visa information: All visitors are also required to obtain an entry visa either from the Kenya High Commission in London or purchased on arrival. Getting there: Virgin Atlantic, Kenya Airways and British Airways offer a large number of flights out of Heathrow. Qatar Airways also offer scheduled flights to Nairobi from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham Airports via Doha, as well as Swiss via Zurich, Emirates via Dubai and KLM via Amsterdam. Charter services are available into Mombasa on the coast. Flights from the UK take approximately eight hours.

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Kenya

Hotel hotline From safari to sun, sea and sand, we caught up with the experts to get the lowdown on the hotels, lodges and resorts available in Kenya

On safari Joy’s Camp Location: an oasis in the arid lands of Samburu; Joy’s Camp is built on the site of Joy Adamson’s tented home in Shaba National Reserve in northern Kenya, a 15minute drive from Joy’s Camp Airstrip. Accommodation: seven doubles and three twin tents – all en suite. The tents can fit two extra beds, to accommodate children under the age of 16 only. Activities: day and night game drives, guided bush walks, bush breakfasts along Ewaso Nyiro River and Gorge, sundowners and cultural visits to a Boran Village. What makes it special? it is the very site where conservationist Joy Adamson lived with her animals and reintroduced Penny the leopard to the wild and wrote her last book, Queen of Sheba. The camp incorporates a small museum of Joy Adamson memorabilia. Cottar’s Private Conservancy Location: situated in Olderikesi, South East Masai Mara, in a concession bordering the Serengeti and Loliondo reserves. Accommodation: six 1920s-style white en-suite tents, four family tented suites and one private house that can accommodate up to 10 guests. Activities: day and night game drives, guided bush walks , bush meals, sundowners and cultural visits, river swimming and fishing. What makes it special? more than 90 years of history, with a focus on luxury and quality incorporates original safari antiques from the 1920s. Elsa’s Kopje Location: in Meru National Park. Elsa’s Kopje is almost invisible to the eye as you approach its home on Mughwango Hill. Accommodation: nine open-plan cottages, seven doubles and two twin rooms, all 28

with en-suite bathrooms, one Honeymoon Suite and Elsa’s Private House. Activities: day and night game drives , guided bush walks , bush meals, sundowners and cultural visits to the Tana river and fishing. What makes it special? Elsa’s Kopje is a great upmarket location to view rhino in their natural habitat in Kenya.

What makes it special? Kinondo Kwetu caters for all levels of scuba diving enthusiasts and the reef is located so close to the coast, that dives can be taken as near as 5 minutes away by boat. The resort also runs yoga retreats. It also has its own stables and 5 horses so guests can go horse-riding along the beach.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Location: Lewa Safari Camp is situated within the wildlife/rhino conservancy, with game viewing from camp and views of Mount Kenya to the south and the arid lowlands to the north. Accommodation: 12 en-suite tents and three rooms can fit an extra bed for children. Activities: game drives, guided bush walks, swimming pool, bush breakfasts, sundowners, horse-riding, and educational talks on the history and the day to day operation of the Conservancy What makes it special? As if the Kate and William effect isn’t enough to attract the crowds, guests at Lewa can expect to be involved in its community-based conservation projects specifically for the black rhino and the endangered Grevy’s zebra.

Tijara Beach Location: a luxury hideaway situated a short distance south of Mombasa Island in Pungu. Accommodation: only four individually situated cottages in gardens close to the beach Activities: snorkelling along the reef, bird watching or beach and cave walks. Plus, for keen golfers, Tijara Beach is close to any of the three Mombasa courses. What makes it special? Its intimate, exclusive feel makes it a perfect spot for honeymoons and couples that want the ultimate chill out hotel to relax in. The owners are a married couple who worked in the corporate world for many years and decided to quit the rat race in search of peach and tranquility, so they really have created a haven from the outside world in Tijara Beach.

On the beach Kinondo Kwetu, Galu Beach, South Coast Location: on a private beach south of Diani, just outside Mombasa. Accommodation: seven suites in the Mama Taa Villa, three double cottages, one double storey cottage and the Mama Tina Villa with one double room with ensuite bathroom and 2 single rooms. Activities: scuba diving lessons, snorkelling, sailing, canoeing, kite surfing, deep-sea fishing, wind surfing, water skiing, boat excursions, cultural visits to Kinondo village and game drives in Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Lantana Galu Beach Location: on Galu beach south of Diani, just outside Mombasa. Accommodation: there are 47 rooms comprising of one, two and three-bed apartments and villas. It has two pools and a beach-side restaurant Activities: diving, snorkelling, kite surfing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, dolphin safaris, jet skiing, micro-light flights along the coast, quad biking and cycling. What makes it special? it’s new to the UK market and offers great water sports and spa facilities too. ■

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Kenya

Did you know?

Cheli and Peacock rolls out booking incentives

Royal connections It’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year, but did you know she found out she was to become Queen while she was in Kenya? Following her stay at Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park, on the 6 February 1952, the royal couple returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, in Mount Kenya, where Queen Elizabeth was told the tragic news of her Father’s death. Big game expert, James Corbett, who was acting as a guide for the royal couple later wrote the famous lines in the Treetops visitor book, “For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into a tree one day a Princess and after having what she described as her most thrilling experience she climbed down from the tree next day a Queen”. The Disney effect Filmed in Kenya’s dramatic Masai Mara National Reserve, Disney’s African Cats will be on general release in cinemas across the UK from 20 April. African Cats follows two cat families as they fight for survival on Kenya’s vast African plains. Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, the film focuses on Sita and her cheetah cubs and Laila the lioness with her daughter Mara as they embark on their journeys through Kenya.

Cheli and Peacock have launched a range of 2012 booking incentives across its safari lodges and camps in Kenya. The six-night circuit incentives offers a 10% discount on daily rates for six nights or more at a combination of C&P Portfolio properties. The 10-night circuit incentive includes a 15% discount. The five-night longstay incentive is book five nights at any one of the C&P Portfolio properties, excluding Kinondo Kwetu, and receive a 15% discount off accommodation. The seven-night, long-stay incentive applies to seven-night bookings at Kinondo Kwetu and includes a 10% discount off daily accommodation rates. Meanwhile, Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp opened the doors to its new private house at the beginning of this year. The luxury private house in the Masai Mara sleeps 10 guests in five en suite bedrooms and has its own staff of eight. Tortilis Camp in Amboseli recently opened its new family tent so the property now has two family units – the private house and family tent.

Hotel update Hemingways is opening a new Nairobi luxury hotel in August, situated in the suburb of Karen. The hotel is a plantation-style building with 45 suites overlooking the Ngong Hills. The iconic Treetops Lodge, (pictured below) in Aberdare National Park has reopened following its refurbishment, which improved guest facilities and services. Basecamp Explorer who hosted Barak Obama and his family during their visit to Kenya, have opened a new camp. Lying in a secluded valley within the private 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy, this eco-lodge is home to just 10 tented suites and offers guests an opportunity to get close to the wildlife while being

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immersed in the Masai culture and folklore. The new Amani Tiwi Beach Resort, near Diani beach in Mombasa, with 209 rooms, has opened. The resort’s 197-metre-long outdoor swimming pool will be the largest in Mombasa. It will also have its own beach and is a hotspot for turtle watching.

Sun Africa Hotels has announced the soft opening of Sovereign Suites, an aristocratic colonial-style, all-suite hotel 20 minutes’ drive from Nairobi. Sovereign Suites has a two-acre private fish dam surrounded by tea plantations and flower farms. The hotel offers 16 suites, and a penthouse.

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Luxury on the rails One of the best ways to explore Africa is the old-fashioned way – from the comfort of a train carriage

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f you thought going on safari was all about jumping in the back of a 4x4 and tearing around a game reserve tracking down rhinos and cheetahs, then think again. Luxury African rail operators Blue Train and Rovos Rail have some awe-inspiring journeys that are guaranteed to make you wish that you let the train take the strain more often. Luxury South African rail operator Blue Train is inviting all agents who sell Southern Africa to participate in a new interactive, online Blue Train training programme. Agents who complete the module will receive a complimentary gift and the chance to win a trip on board the Blue Train in South Africa between Cape Town and Pretoria for two people. The experience is worth more than £1,200. Consultants who are interested in taking part in the on-line training need

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to contact Blue Train’s UK representative Ethos Marketing for the link and a password to access the training course, which includes seven short modules and ends with a short multiple choice quiz at the end which gives them the chance to win the trip. Meanwhile, the luxury train operator, which operates a 27-hour overnight service between Pretoria and Cape Town, also has a number of packages for 2012, including a last-minute one for couples. The offer means partners will pay just half price in a deluxe suite on The Blue Train, which means a saving of more then £480 per suite. So a suite that would normally cost £1,900, now costs £1,500. To get this offer, the journey must be booked and taken by the end of March. Blue Train has also teamed up with a number of hotels to offer packages that include complimentary nights.

The Blue Train has launched a new package giving guests the choice of a complimentary night at the Sheraton Pretoria, the 131 on Herbert Baker Boutique Hotel or the Westin Cape Town. Rovos Rail Luxury train operator Rovos Rail has a selection of journeys available to book this year. Its epic offering for this year is its 14day Cape Town to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which has two departures – 30 June to 13 July and 29 September to 12 October. Starting in Cape Town, the Pride of Africa heads through the historic village of Matjiesfontein, the diamond town of Kimberley and the capital city of Pretoria, before arriving in Madikwe Game Reserve for a two-night stay. The train then passes through Botswana into Zimbabwe where guests overnight at the Victoria Falls Hotel. After crossing the Zambezi River, the train travels northeast through Zambia where guests can enjoy a bush walk at Chisimba Falls. The train continues the climb towards the Zambian/Tanzanian border, almost the midpoint between Africa’s two Great Rift Valley lakes. Descend into the Rift Valley itself and witness spectacular scenery as the train negotiates the tunnels, switchbacks and viaducts of the escarpment. Early on the last day, the train passes through the Selous Game Reserve. Prices for the journey lead in at £7,680 and include a three-night pre-train tour of Cape Town with a stay at the Cape All about Southern & East Africa


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Grace hotel, 14 nights in a Pullman Suite on board the train, meals, drinks and excursions. Rovos’ nine-day Namiba Safari leaves Pretoria for Swakopmund on 26 April, returning on 6 May. The Pride of Africa departs from Pretoria for Kimberley, centre of one of the world’s most famous diamond rushes before traversing the vistas of the arid Northern Cape into Namibia at Ariamsvlei. There is an excursion to the Fish River Canyon before the train continues across the Kalahari Desert to Namibia’s capital, Windhoek for a short city tour. Guests then fly to the Sossusvlei, a stunning pan in the Namib Desert surrounded by enormous red sand dunes. After a night’s stay with desert drives and a bush dinner, guests rejoin the train in Windhoek and continue overnight to Tsumeb. A night is spent at the Mokuti Game Lodge on the eastern edge of the game-rich Etosha National Park. The journey then continues on to Swakopmund, a perfectly preserved 19th-century German Hansa town set between the dunes of the Namib desert and the Atlantic Ocean. Prices lead in at £3,540 and include accommodation, meals, drinks and excursions. The nine-day African Golf Collage also has two departure dates – 17 May and 8 November. Leaving Pretoria, the train winds its way to journey’s end in Cape Town and includes a golfing and safari on the way. Prices start at £3,540 and include accommodation, meals, drinks and excursions. Finally, the three-day Durban safari experience is available until September 30 and explores the beauty and culture of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Prices start at £1,066. ■

Fast facts Blue Trains • There are actually two Blue Trains to ensure there are regular scheduled departures. These are very similar in décor but have a slightly different composition. • Train 1 sleeps 74 guests, including a paraplegic suite. • Train 2 sleeps 58 guests. It has an observation car/conference facility at the end, with windows on three sides for maximum enjoyment of the passing scenery. • Both trains offer a choice of deluxe and luxury suites, the main difference being that the luxury suites are a meter longer and have a full-sized bath rather than a three-quarter. Deluxe suites come with a choice of either a shower or three-quarter bath. • The journey: Blue Train mainly runs between Cape Town and Pretoria in either direction, with occasional alternative routes to Durban, Pilanesberg and Kruger. It can also be chartered for incentives or corporate functions such as product launches 32

Rovos Rail

Fast facts A champagne reception is provided for all departures. Each sleeper carriage, accommodates five Pullman suites or three Deluxe suites or two Royal Suites. Deluxe and Royal suites have permanent beds made up 24 hours a day. Pullman suites have couches which can be converted to single or double beds. Two comfortable chairs per suite in Royal and Deluxe Suites with daytime couch in Pullman. Bar fridge in each suite and all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. Royal suites have full bathtub and separate shower. Meals are at one sitting allowing guests to linger as long as they choose. The Observation Car at the rear of the train has an open deck. The train travels at a maximum speed of 38 miles per hour to allow for greater comfort and scenic appreciation.

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Regional round-up

Regional round-up From Malawi to Mozambique, we get the latest update on hotels, safari lodges and airlines Tanzania/Mozambique Serena Hotels has teamed up with Rani Resorts to launch two Tanzania and Mozambique Fusion packages. The offer, which is valid until 31 December, combines four nights in the Selous National Reserve with four nights in Northern Mozambique, 3 of which are on the islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago. There are two packages available: four nights at Mivumo River Lodge followed by 1 night at Pemba Beach Hotel and Spa and three nights at Medjumbe Private Island, with prices leading in at £3,015; or four nights at Selous Luxury Camp followed by one night at Pemba Beach Hotel and Spa and three nights at Matemo Island, which starts at £2,598. The packages including all scheduled internal flights, airport transfer, fullboard accommodation including beverages except in Pemba where it includes B&B only. Also included are activities such as game drives, game walks and boat excursions in Tanzania and non-motorised activities/equipment in Mozambique. International flights are excluded. Ras Kutani A boutique beach retreat on the All about Southern & East Africa

southern Tanzania coastline just 20 miles from Dar es Salaam is making a name for its self with the conservation attempts of its owner Charles Dobie. The Ras Kutani is set within 100 acres of tropical coastal forest along Tanzania’s coastline, and it is thanks to the efforts of Dobie that this forest has been saved, cultivated and is now continuously patrolled in order to protect it and retain its natural beauty. The forest boasts 132 different species of trees, including mango trees and the Marula tree. Guests at Ras Kutani can learn all about the conservation efforts with the From Tree To Tree self-guided tour. Accommodation at the resort includes nine open-fronted cottages, each with en suite bathroom, large verandah with a covered sand floor, seating area, hammocks and views of Indian Ocean. &Beyond Luxury adventure and safari provider &Beyond has launched a new package in Tanzania designed for first-timers to the safari experience or small groups of family and friends. The seven-night Guided Group Safaris are the first in a series of planned set departures that will leave on the first

Sunday of every month with scheduled flights from Arusha Airport. Guests spend one night in Arusha and two nights each at three of &Beyond’s lodges in Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (pictured above); Lake Manyara Tree Lodge; Klein’s Camp; Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp; and Serengeti Under Canvas. All departures are accompanied by a &Beyond safari guide. The tour leads in at £3,770 per person for a seven-night trip and includes accommodation, transfers, full board, park fees and daily safari activities. Singita Game Reserves Singita Game Reserves has launched the Singita Explore, a mobile safari experience through the Singita Grumeti Reserves, a private concession situated along the western corridor of Tanzania’s Serengeti. The Singita Explore can accommodate between two and 12 guests and its route is set in accordance to nature, rainfall patterns, vegetation and game movements that include the annual wildebeest migration. The camp will be fully staffed at all times with a private guide and game viewing vehicle, chef and camp host. Guests will return from game drives 33


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Regional round-up

to en-suite hideaways with canvas wall frames and contemporary details. Luke Bailes, CEO of Singita Game Reserves, says: “With Singita Explore we see the return of raw authenticity to days spent in the bush and nights under canvas in the wilderness. Luxury is still there, but we’re doing it differently.” Singita Explore also offers equestrian mobile tented safaris. Fully inclusive rates for Singita Explore lead in at £584 per person per night, and require a minimum of two persons per booking and a minimum stay of two nights in any one mobile location. Precision Air Tanzanian airline Precision Air has increased its fleet size to 11 with the delivery of its second Boeing 737-300. The new aircraft has helped the airline to increase capacity on its existing flights and look to add new destinations to its route map. The carrier has also launched a new

flight to Johannesburg from Dar Es Salaam, increasing the number of times it flies there a week from four to five. Precision Air has started flying to the Comoros Islands, bring the total number of destinations it serves to 14. The airline has also revamped its website to make booking flights easier. The site can now accept visa payments. Zanzibar A luxury retreat on Pemba Island has launched a special package for 2012. Guests staying for four nights at the beach lodge of Fundu Lagoon only pay for three as long as they visit from now until 15 April, 15 June to 30 June, 1 November to 22 December and 1 March 2013 to 15 April 2013. This offer is valid on all room rates. The hotel is situated on a remote beach on the south western side of the island and is only accessible by boat, making it the epitome of a bare-foot paradise. There are 18 rooms that consist of designer tents and thatch

roofs all with sea views. The focus of the resort is on enjoying the peace and quiet of the surrounding environment. Mozambique An island resort has recently reopened on Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago after a six-month renovation project. The Azura at Qulialea now has a new water sports centre to fully embrace the island’s diving, a refurbished front of house with bar and relaxation area, a state-of-the-art TV and media room and a new kitchen in which to recreate Azura’s renowned five-star cuisine. The nine villas have been expanded and revamped with three categories for guests to choose from; sunrise villas with stunning sea views, sunset villas with a beachside sala and refreshing outside shower and Villa Quilalea, which is located on the cliff top with a plunge pool. Prices start from $595 per person per night.

The boutique beach retreat of Ras Kutani on the southern Tanzanian coast

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Regional round-up

The White Pearl resort comprises chic and contemporary all-suite accommodation and it is aimed at guests seeking an active beach break, a post safari 'chill out' or a relaxing and restorative retreat. The resort features 22 ocean-facing suites with private plunge pools, indoor and outdoor showers and terraces for dining and lounging; a restaurant and beach bar; beach shop and dive centre. Malawi Majete Wildlife Reserve, situated in Malawi’s lower Shire valley is on its way to becoming a big five park, having undertaken wildlife reintroduction programme. More than £1.5 million has been invested in introducing 2,550 head of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, sable and black rhino to the park since 2003 The plan to gradually introduce big cats back into the park started last October with the introduction of two leopards re-located from the Kruger National Park with six more planned as part of the Majete restocking programme, which will culminate in the reintroduction of lion in 2012. Robin Pope Safaris Safari experience specialists Robin Pope Safaris is introducing a new itinerary in April to South Luangwa National Park in Malawi. The new five-night itinerary will allow visitors to explore small gullies by boat during the high waters as well as being able to visit parts of the national park almost exclusively on their own as many of the roads are unpassable during this time of the year. Prices for the five-night experience lead in at £1,177 per person. Uganda A new five-star resort has opened in Uganda on the banks of the Munyanga river facing the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to a large number of mountain gorillas. The Mahogany Springs offers guests mountain views and all-suite accommodation, which each have their own private terraces together with en All about Southern & East Africa

Guests staying at Mahogany Springs in Uganda get to encounter gorillas in the mist

suite bathrooms and advanced mosquito net system. Guest at the hotel can take part in a Gorillas In The Mist - Tracking, which will give them the opportunity to spend an hour with the primates. Swaziland Swaziland is pulling out all the stops to increase the number of visitors it attracts this year. The Swaziland Tourist office is launching a new optimised website with Googles maps and regular news feeds, providing updates combined with a trade download area and social media integration. Meanwhile, national airline Swaziland Airlink has acquired a Embraer 135 jet aircraft as well as increasing its flight frequency between Manzini and Johannesbug. There is now a service every three hours. Hotels are also raising the bar in Swaziland. Veki’s Guesthouse in Mbabane has added two new self-catering cottages, while Foresters Arms Hotel, a short drive from Mbabane, is now offering free wifi, has launched a new website along with signing up to Facebook and Twitter and has introduced some new dishes to its menu. Mananga Club in Tshaneni is now offering sunset cruises on the Sand river dam and has upgraded its golf

course, while Assegai Inn has added a seventh room to its hotel. Zimbabwe African Bush Camps is launched an air taxi type initiative in April to promote travel to Zimbabwe. Safari Logistics is aimed at making air travel to some of Zimbabwe’s top wildlife and safari areas more cost effective. These destinations include Victoria Falls, Hwange, Lake Kariba in Matusadona and Mana Pools. There will be three scheduled departures a week from Victoria Falls at 8am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Areas served by the route will include Manga, Bumi, Kariba, Hwange, Mana, Dandawa and Victoria Falls. The schedule is run on a first book first serve basis and seats are limited. Prices will start at £184 one way. African Bush Camps has also opened a family-friendly lodge in the heart of Hwange National Park, which is known as the land of the giants for its big elephant herds. Somalisa is an authentic bush camp, a blend of old African charm and elegance offering guests an exclusive safari experience. The camp consists of six furnished canvas tents with en suite bathrooms, flush toilet and alfresco bush showers. The main decking area includes a small splash pool overlooking the natural pan. ■ 35


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Southern & East Africa Supplement 2012