Page 1

AFRICA & THE INDIAN OCEAN NAMIBIA SOUTH AFRICA BOTSWANA ZAMB IA MALAWI MOZAMBIQUE TANZANIA KENYA UGANDA RWANDA MADAGASCAR SEYCHELLES MAURITIUS

TA I LO R - M A D E J O U R N E Y S

FOR

THE

D I S C E R N I N G T RAV E LL E R


Dear Traveller Africa is one of the earth’s most exciting continents, with some of the world’s greatest wildernesses, richest cultures and most awe-inspiring wildlife. Our Africa team and Audley travellers never tire of visiting, and it seems that the more people see, the more they want to see, for Africa represents a never-ending source of adventure. Keeping up with developments is always a challenge in Africa. Not only do camps and lodges change regularly, but game fluctuates in and out of areas depending on the rains and vegetation available. There have recently been a lot of exciting changes in Africa. Of particular note is the opening up of the eastern country of Mozambique as a safari destination. Zambia’s South Luangwa is becoming more accessible in the rains – a wonderful time to see nurseries of tottering impala, birds in bright breeding plumage and increased predator action. Namibia remains a spectacular self-drive destination and new camps along the Caprivi have made possible an excellent two week self-drive safari. Finally, many of the islands we feature in Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar are nesting sites for turtles. What better way to finish a trip to Africa than on a sandy beach littered with turtle tracks? Our Africa team is highly experienced and we travel to the reserves frequently, keeping abreast of not only the accommodation but also the game and birdlife in a particular region. Whether your interest lies in seeing leopard, wild dog or ring-tailed lemurs, we can suggest the best places to find them.

Craig Burkinshaw Managing Director

2


Introducing Audley fter developing a real passion for travel in the early 1990s Craig Burkinshaw founded Audley, or Asian Journeys as we were then called. Craig wanted to make it possible for others to share the same experiences and, from these small beginnings, the company was born. Audley offers a new type of travel – individual journeys, designed to match the traveller’s interests, tastes and budget, created with an absolute commitment to quality, authenticity and a passion for travel. Today Audley is one of the UK’s most highly regarded specialist tour operators, providing tailor-made trips throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Australasia, Antarctica and the Arctic, Canada and Alaska.

A

Tailor-made journeys

Planning your trip

The beauty of tailor-made travel is that every trip is unique. Whether you want to stay in simple or luxurious accommodation, have great guides on hand or explore under your own steam, travel for one week or five, we can create a trip to match your tastes and budget. We can also design trips for a special occasion, where added touches can change an adventurous journey into a spectacular honeymoon, anniversary or birthday celebration. Your trip can be tailored to suit your particular interests, such as wildlife, photography or diving, and we have the specialist knowledge to match. Throughout the brochure you will find suggested itineraries and some of our favourite places to stay. These are included purely to offer inspiration and give you a flavour of what is possible, as each journey is created individually to give you the opportunity to experience a destination in exactly the way you choose.

Once you have some ideas for your trip, or if you just want some general guidance, call one of our Africa and Indian Ocean specialists on 01993 838 500. They can offer advice and discuss your plans with you, before creating a detailed itinerary, which will be forwarded to you together with maps, accommodation information, colour photographs and a price. Your specialist can then continue to refine the plans until you are completely satisfied. They will be on hand from the start of the planning process to your return and are always available to answer questions and offer sound advice.

Contents Introduction

2-9

Specialist knowledge

Namibia

10-25

Our Africa and Indian Ocean specialists have all travelled extensively throughout the countries we feature and in many cases lived there, so you can rely on their extensive first-hand knowledge. They regularly return to see the accommodation, meet our guides – many of whom are firm friends – experience all the excursions and activities, and keep up-to-date with local developments. They pride themselves on having an honest ‘tell it how it is’ approach to planning your trip and, as well as their own extensive knowledge, are able to draw on the considerable collective experience of their colleagues. We believe this approach is unique to Audley and the only way we can genuinely offer you a tailor-made service.

South Africa

26-27

Botswana

28-41

Zambia

42-55

Malawi

56-61

Mozambique

62-71

Tanzania

72-91

Financial security

Rwanda

110-111

Madagascar

112-127

All travel arrangements in this brochure that include a flight are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 4817. Please see our booking conditions for more information. If your arrangements do not include any flights they are protected by a separate financial scheme, for further details please visit www.audleytravel.com/protect

Zanzibar Kenya Kenya’s beaches Uganda Gorilla tracking

Madagascar’s beaches

84-87 92-105 102-104 106-107 108-109

122-126

Seychelles

128-137

Mauritius

138-142

Useful information

143

Introduction 3


Choosing where to go hoosing a trip in Africa can be confusing given the array of countries, lodges and camps on offer. Below you will find an overview of each country giving the highlights and types of safari and other experiences they offer the traveller. For further details, please browse the individual country sections of this brochure or call our Africa specialists.

C

Boat trip from Chiawa Camp, Zambia

Viewing wild dog in Botswana

Namibia

Malawi

Namibia offers desert scenery as well as big game. The network of gravel roads is easy to navigate and most people drive themselves around. It is a good country for first-time visitors to Africa thanks to the variety of scenery, wildlife and activities to enjoy. Namibia is one of the least expensive African countries to visit and trips can be tailored to suit all budgets. See pages 10-25.

Malawi is a small country dominated by the glittering Lake Malawi, which can either be enjoyed as a ‘beach’ add-on to Zambia or as a destination in its own right. Visitors are normally driven around the country exploring the lake and Liwonde National Park and perhaps enjoying hiking in the mountains in Southern Malawi. See pages 56-61.

South Africa

Mozambique

South Africa is well-suited to first-time visitors to Africa, as well as families. The majority of visitors combine Cape Town with time in the Wine Regions, Garden Route and Kruger National Park. We have an extensive South Africa programme, covered in a separate brochure. For a copy please call our South Africa specialists on 01993 838 550. See pages 26-27

Mozambique has an idyllic coastline. There are two archipelagos, Bazaruto in the south and Quirimba in the north, both of which have a small number of boutique hotels. These can be added on to safaris in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia or used for a beach only stay. The two national parks of Niassa and Gorongosa would not be suited to people wanting to tick off big game but are ideal for experienced safari hands looking for a wilderness experience. See pages 62-71.

Botswana Botswana is often viewed as the ultimate safari destination. Wildlife here is some of the best on the continent and camps are small and exclusive. Many camps are set in private reserves and you will see few other vehicles on game drives. Botswana is famous for its Okavango Delta, a beautiful wetland area with colourful birds as well as big game. Botswana is one of the most expensive countries to visit in high season, but you certainly get what you pay for. See pages 28-41. Children in Malawi

Zambia

Tanzania Tanzania has some of Africa’s most famous parks such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. It also has lesser-known reserves including the Selous and Ruaha which offer equally good game viewing. Due to its terrific wildlife densities and Indian Ocean islands such as Zanzibar and Mafia it makes an ideal safari and beach combination. We prefer to stay away from the busier areas and make use of quieter parks and islands. See pages 72-91.

Zambia is one of our favourite countries as the parks are wild and game concentrations good. The camps are small, many with only three or four rooms, and ingeniously constructed. It is the best place in Africa for walking safaris and night drives are rewarding for leopard sightings. It will not suit nervous travellers but is ideal for those looking for a wild safari. Zambia combines well with Lake Malawi, providing a safari and ‘beach’ option. See pages 42-55. Ring tailed lemur, Madagascar

4


Kenya

Seychelles

Mauritius

People often imagine minibuses and busy beaches when they think of Kenya. This is true in the eastern Mara and Mombasa, but outside these spots, the country offers large wilderness areas. The western side of the Mara is much quieter with excellent game densities and is ideal for first-time visitors to Africa. In the north of the country you can walk with Samburu tribesmen on the Laikipia Plateau. Time on safari is easily combined with the Kenyan coast or the island of Zanzibar. See pages 92-105.

The Seychelles are well-known as an idyllic set of islands and their picture-perfect beaches with white sand and palm trees do not disappoint. You can tailor an island-hopping holiday or visit as an add-on to a safari. There are a range of properties from simple guesthouses to luxury hotels so trips can be tailored to suit most budgets. See pages 128-137.

Mauritius is a large island ringed by sandy beaches. There are a number of hotels and guest houses on the island and it can be hard to know which to choose. We have selected a few properties on quiet stretches of beach as well as some in the mountains to create an original itinerary. Whilst service levels are high, prices are competitive and offer value for money. Mauritius is easy to combine with a safari in either Southern or Eastern Africa. See pages 138-142.

Uganda & Rwanda Uganda and Rwanda are famous for their mountain gorillas which you can track in the Virunga Mountains. Both countries are relatively small and a week in Rwanda and ten days in Uganda is normally sufficient to see the highlights. See pages 106-111.

Madagascar Madagascar is unique and offers an experience that is quite unlike other African countries. The main attraction is the lemurs which are viewed on foot. Walking in Madagascar’s virgin rainforest, you see chameleons, frogs and all sorts of weird and wonderful insects, and the forest is easily combined with the beach. Hotels are not very luxurious on Madagascar so it will not suit everyone, but for those who love an adventure, we cannot recommend it highly enough. See pages 112-127. Sossusvlei at sunrise

01993 838 500

â—?

Introduction 5


Wildlife he focus of most trips to Africa is the wildlife. Whilst game is found across the continent, there are some specific areas that are particularly good for certain species. We have included a rough guide here to get you started on where to find some of Africa’s bigger game. Do call our specialists who can advise you in much greater depth.

T

Red lechwe, Okavango Delta

Lion

Buffalo

Lion are usually not hard to find on any safari as they tend to enjoy lying around for large parts of the day. Of particular note are Kenya’s Masai Mara, where the stars of the Big Cat Diary series can be seen, and Botswana’s Duba Plains where you can watch lion stalking buffalo on an almost daily basis. We also always find the Ruaha in Tanzania rewarding for large prides.

Buffalo are at their most spectacular in large herds and Katavi National Park in Western Tanzania and Duba Plains in Botswana have probably the biggest concentrations. From June to October, Katavi’s herds number around 3,000, making for an impressive sight of snorting, dust and fluttering oxpeckers. Duba Plains has a herd of around 1,000, hounded every day by lions, giving rise to spectacular photographic opportunities.

Leopard The best place for leopard is Zambia. Night drives have been operating in both the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks for many years and the guides know a number of leopards and the places they tend to frequent. Other good areas for leopard include Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve and the Masai Mara in Kenya.

Tree climbing lion in Uganda

Cheetah With open plains and an arid environment, Namibia holds 40% of Africa’s cheetah population. They can be found in Etosha, or for a close-up experience you can visit the Africat Foundation based in Namibia’s Northern Highlands. Tanzania’s Serengeti Game Reserve is also well suited to cheetah.

Elephant Elephant can be found in large numbers in most of the reserves we feature. Of special interest are the desert-adapted elephant which roam freely in Namibia’s Damaraland region – seeing them against a backdrop of dunes and gravel plains is spectacular. Chobe in Botswana is known for its huge population and hundreds come to the Chobe River to drink. Finally, the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania has some large bulls with impressive tusks.

Rhino Both black and white rhino have been heavily poached in Africa, but thanks to increased protection many are thriving. Black rhino can be found roaming freely in northwest Namibia and guests can track them on foot with Save The Rhino trackers. Namibia’s Etosha National Park also has good numbers of both black and white rhino.

Mountain gorilla Mountain gorillas are found in the Virunga Mountains which straddle Rwanda and Uganda. On the Rwandan side the mountains are protected by the Volcanoes National Park and on the Ugandan side by the Mgahinga National Park. We feel that gorilla tracking is best from the Rwandan side as there are a greater number of gorilla groups and walks are shorter.

Klipspringer, Namibia

Mountain gorilla

6


Young elephant

Chimpanzee Chimpanzees can be found in the Mahale Mountains in Western Tanzania and Kibale Forest in Uganda. In both places they are tracked on foot.

Lemurs Lemurs are endemic to Madagascar and once you are in the country’s national parks, they are not hard to find. There are a number of both diurnal and nocturnal species which can be seen on day and night walks. Lemurs can often be observed from close quarters as they are naturally curious animals.

Whales Humpback whales can be seen migrating up Africa’s east coast from June to early September. They are particularly easily seen on boat trips from Ile Ste Marie in Madagascar and the Quirimba Archipelago in Mozambique.

Mongoose

Spotted hyena

Responsible travel We’re passionate about travel but also deeply aware of the responsibility we have to the people and places we visit. We believe that a visit from an Audley traveller should have a positive impact on the destination and, wherever possible, bring real benefits. We always endeavour to use locally owned hotels, work with local guides and operators, and promote community and wildlife projects. Our Traveller’s Code offers tips and advice you can use to ensure your trip does not threaten the sustainability of the places you visit. We carbon offset all our staff flights and you can choose to do the same, please speak to your specialist about this or follow the link on our website www.audleytravel.com/offset. Our commitment to responsible travel has been audited by AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) and we have

been awarded five stars, the maximum achievable. We also support a variety of social and environmental charities and projects around the world. Our Africa safari team has funded a water pump for Aitong Village in Kenya, supports a tree-planting project in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley and sponsors two elephants in the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. In addition to this we funded the building of a bio-gas until, which turns manure into cooking fuel for a village on the outskirts of the Masai Mara, eliminating the need for villagers to venture into the bush to collect firewood, where predators are present, and also helping to prevent deforestation. Should you wish to visit one of these projects during your trip, please speak to one of our Africa specialists.

Cheetah in Botswana

01993 838 500

Wildlife 7


Choosing a Safari he majority of visitors to Africa will want to experience a typical wildlife safari on which you enjoy seeing lots of big game as well as Africa’s smaller mammals and birds. Game viewing can be enjoyed from open vehicles, in boats, canoes, on foot or even from hot air balloons. Exploring the bush in a variety of ways allows you to focus on different elements – walking safaris are good for examining tracks and listening to bird calls; game drives for approaching elephant, lion and buffalo from close quarters; and boats are best for hippo, crocodile and waterbirds. Whatever your interest, be it a particular animal or bird or a way of exploring, we can suggest the right parks and activities. As well as typical wildlife safaris, here is a flavour of some of the more specialist safaris we can arrange.

T

A special family meal at Kapani Lodge

The Luangwa House, Zambia

Safari & beach combinations

Family safaris

Combining a safari with some relaxation on the beach is very popular. This could not be easier in Africa, as many game reserves are just a short flight from the coast. Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve is a short light aircraft flight from Zanzibar, making it possible to enjoy a morning game drive followed by lunch on the island. Kenya has an idyllic coastline just a few hours’ journey from the Mara, or if you want to go further afield it is easy to combine Kenya with the Seychelles. In Southern Africa, Zambia’s South Luangwa Park is a morning’s journey from Lake Malawi so this makes an ideal combination. Namibia and Botswana combine well with Mauritius and Mozambique, however due to flight times a night en route in Johannesburg is required. Finally, many of Madagascar’s reserves stretch right down to the beach, so it is possible to enjoy a hike in the forest followed by a swim in the sea. It doesn’t get much better than kicking off your hiking boots on the sand and running into the Indian Ocean to cool off.

If you think your children would like to learn to track game, pick mangos from a wild mango tree or bake crocodile cakes in the kitchen with a friendly chef, then a family safari might be just the answer. In recent years many camps have built special family tents and houses in order to accommodate every member of the family comfortably. Activities can be enjoyed in private vehicles, or parents and children can head off in separate directions under the watchful eyes of professional guides. Dining can be early or late, together or apart, in the house or on a sandbank in the middle of the river. There are swimming pools to enjoy, wildlife certificates to be achieved and relaxation for parents. Speak to our Africa specialists who have visited all the family houses and can discuss the options with you.

Learning about meerkats in Botswana

Snorkelling at Nkwichi Lodge, Mozambique

8

Honeymoons Africa has a number of fabulous places to explore on honeymoon. You can sleep out under the African night sky on a star-bed in Northern Kenya, enjoy a bush-breakfast on a sandbank in the heart of the Okavango Delta or simply snooze on the deep-cushioned sofas of your private villa in Mozambique. Our country specialists have travelled all over Africa to find the best places for a honeymoon and will give you lots of ideas and suggestions. We offer a specialised service for those who would like to have their honeymoon as a wedding list, and wedding guests can contribute via our website or by telephone.


Walking in the South Luangwa National Park

Walking safaris A wonderful way to explore Africa’s wildlife is on foot. Walking safaris can vary from gentle morning rambles to two or three day hikes. They were pioneered in Zambia in the 1960s and this is still one of the best countries for walking. Small groups are escorted by guides and scouts and explore areas with no roads. On a typical morning walk you might track elephant, listen to birds, or have a picnic above a lagoon full of hippo. Madagascar is another excellent place for keen walkers as all of the activities are done on foot here. Walks explore virgin rainforest, alive with lemurs, chameleons, frogs and geckos. Finally, for walks in dramatic desert scenery, Namibia is the place to go. You can climb sand dunes at Sossusvlei, scramble up rocky hillsides in the Naukluft Mountains and track black rhino across desert plains in Damaraland.

Lovebird

Photographic safaris With its dramatic landscapes, exciting wildlife and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, Africa is a photographer’s dream. Whilst the whole continent offers superb opportunities, Zambia is one of the best places for the keen photographer. In the South Luangwa there are several camps that have specialist guides and hides above busy waterholes. There are also a number of guided photographic safaris each year, lead by professional photographers.

March) when birds are in bright breeding plumage and courtship displays are common. Also worthy of note is June in Zambia’s South Luangwa when large parties of spoonbills, yellow-billed storks, saddle billed storks and fish eagles gather into ‘fishing parties’ to scoop fish out of drying lagoons. October sees the arrival of beautiful carmine bee-eaters which nest in Botswana’s Kwando and Zambia’s Luangwa riverbanks. East Africa is no less spectacular with the Selous river and lake system home to a myriad of brightly coloured waterbirds all year round. Of particular note is Lake Nakuru in Kenya which is home to more than a million flamingos at certain times of year. Finally, in the southeast trade wind (May to October) around 800,000 pairs of sooty terns arrive to nest on Bird Island in the Seychelles. This is just a fraction of what Africa has to offer the keen ornithologist – please speak to our specialists for further details of specialist birding safaris.

Birdwatching There are thousands of bird species in Africa of every shape and size, from secretary birds to hammerkops and saddle billed storks to pygmy kingfishers. In Southern Africa, keen ornithologists will enjoy the Green Season (November to Photographing elephant in the Luangwa Valley

Yellow-billed stork fishing

01993 838 500

Safaris 9


Namibia

amibia is a country of vast blue skies and endless horizons. It contains one of the world’s oldest deserts, its highest dunes and its second largest canyon. In the north of the country, Etosha’s silvery salt pan and surrounding plains teem with game. Damaraland’s desert-adapted elephant and black rhino roam freely and can be tracked on foot or in open vehicles. Flying along the

N

10

Skeleton Coast, you will find hundredthousand strong seal colonies, skeletal shipwrecks and flocks of pelicans and flamingos. Some of the most spectacular scenery is found in the south. Climbing a dune at Sossuslvei at sunrise, it is easy to see why Namibia is a photographer’s dream. The dunes are enchanting, totally unspoilt, and best of all you have them to yourself.

Whilst Namibia’s scenery is some of the most dramatic in Africa getting around the country could not be easier as there is an excellent network of gravel roads. Set off at dawn and spot gemsbok and kudu from your car, stop for a snack under an acacia tree and arrive at your destination by lunchtime. With virtually no traffic and spectacular scenery this is a wonderful way to explore.


Audley in Namibia 10 9 7

8

5 6 1

4

2 3

Namibia is an easy country to explore with well maintained roads, a variety of comfortable properties and good food. A good way to get around is on a self-drive trip with a reliable car, clear set of directions and a map. Traffic is light and you can always pull over to enjoy the view. We have driven around Namibia many times and know the roads and lodges well from first-hand experience. As distances are large, it is crucial to plan a trip carefully so that you spend only a part of your time driving and the majority of it enjoying what the country has to offer. If you don’t want to drive, you can fly by light aircraft or be driven from lodge to lodge. Both are good options and suit different travellers and budgets. Namibia works well as a stand-alone destination, however it can be combined easily with Cape Town or the Okavango Delta in Botswana. If you would like to end your trip on a tropical beach, we recommend Mozambique or Mauritius.

Accommodation

1 Sossusvlei The world’s highest sand dunes and a place of spectacular beauty. 2 NamibRand

Nature Reserve One of Africa’s largest private reserves encompassing plains, vegetated dunes and the Numib Mountains. 3 Fish River Canyon

The world’s second largest canyon and a good place for hiking. 4 Lüderitz

A colonial town in the south, close to the deserted diamond mining settlements of Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay.

Lion in Etosha

5 Swakopmund A quaint German colonial town where the desert meets the Atlantic. 6 Pelican Point A sandy peninsula with a colony of around 300 Cape fur seals, accessible by kayak.

7 The Skeleton Coast With desolate beaches, mountains and canyons this area is home to seals, jackals, giraffe and desert-adapted elephant. 8 Damaraland The place to track desertadapted elephant and rhino and home to some of Africa’s finest rock art. 9 Etosha National Park Namibia’s key wildlife area, centred around the shimmering Etosha salt pan. 10 Caprivi Strip Fringing the Okavango Delta, this region has rivers, waterways and swamps as well as prolific elephant, buffalo, hippo and crocodile.

Namibia has probably the widest choice of accommodation in Southern Africa. In the towns there are hotels, boutique properties and guesthouses. Out of town you will find remote tented camps, lodges and farmhouses. One of our favourite properties, Wolwedans Dune Lodge, is built on top of a sand dune. On any itinerary we would recommend that you stay in a mixture of properties to make your trip varied and interesting. Staying at an owner-run guestfarm gives a fascinating insight into farming in Namibia whilst tented camps allow you to explore remote areas. If you are a keen walker we can recommend trails where you stay in dome tents or camp beds under the stars. Simply let us know the sort of accommodation you like and we will make suggestions to suit you.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Namibia, please see pages 24-25. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Namibia specialists 01993 838 525

Picnic at the Skeleton Coast

Namibia 11


Dead Vlei

Sossusvlei & Sesriem In southern Namibia at Sesriem, the Tsauchab River has carved a wide path into the dunes towards the coast. The river never reaches the sea as its path is blocked by mountains of sand. Instead it spreads into pans, surrounded by curving dunes. This area is known as Sossusvlei; the towering dunes are apricot at sunrise, crimson at sunset and all colours of the spectrum in between. Near Sossusvlei are other ‘vleis’ (valleys or pans) – Dead Vlei with a silver floor and skeletal trees and Hidden Vlei with dusty acacias. It’s superb for photography and a place of spectacular beauty. Many think deserts are lifeless, but walk amongst the dunes and you will soon see the tracks of tok tokkie beetles criss-crossing the sand, shovel-snouted lizards darting into nara bushes and perhaps even the spoor of a wildcat. We recommend arriving at Sossusvlei early in the morning so that you can climb one of the hundreds of dunes and watch as the colour of the sunrise is blazed onto the magical landscape.

LITTLE KULALA, KULALA WILDERNESS RESERVE

Sossus Dune Lodge

SOSSUS DUNE LODGE, SOSSUSVLEI

Little Kulala is located in the dry Auab river bed on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a 35-minute 4x4 trip from Sossusvlei. Sandy paths lead through skeletal trees to eight luxurious and spacious chalets, each decorated in a desert style with clay pots full of dune grass and outdoor showers in twisted trees. There is a plunge pool for the heat of the day and a star-gazing platform on the roof. Views of the dunes shimmering in the distance can be enjoyed from everywhere.

Sossus Dune Lodge is situated within the Namib Naukluft Park close to Sossusvlei. The lodge comprises 25 thatched chalets. Each is canvas sided, with wood floors and large glass windows to make the most of the views of the dunes. As the lodge is within the park, guests can reach Sossusvlei before sunrise and stay after sunset giving the opportunity to experience the dunes with few other people.

DESERT HOMESTEAD, SOSSUSVLEI

Little Kulala

The Desert Homestead is a pretty lodge on a grassy plain in the shadow of the Tsaris and Naukluft Mountains. There are 20 stone and thatch cottages, a cosy living area with comfortable leather sofas, soft African fabrics and a cool, shady dining veranda where farmhouse cooking is served. As well as trips to Sossusvlei it is possible to go horse riding or camping for a night. Desert Homestead

12

Barking gecko


Wolwedans Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Lodge

Sossussvlei Mountain Lodge

WOLWEDANS DUNE LODGE, NAMIBRAND NATURE RESERVE

SOSSUSVLEI MOUNTAIN LODGE, NAMIBRAND NATURE RESERVE

Wolwedans Dune Lodge has six chalets which are built on top of a vegetated sand dune. All of them are open on one side allowing you to watch the sunrise from your bed. The lapa has leather sofas and chairs, a library and a cellar built deep into the sand. There is also a small pool set back in the dunes. As with all the Wolwedans properties, the food is excellent and the camp guides some of the most knowledgeable in Namibia.

This lodge has ten suites, built into natural rock at the foot of a mountain, each one looking onto an expansive plain leading to a dune sea. Raised bedrooms with skylights overhead enable guests to gaze at the stars from their bed, and steps lead down from the bedroom to a lounge. Activities from the lodge include drives and walks in the reserve as well as excursions to Sossusvlei. At the end of the day the night sky can be viewed through the lodge’s high-powered telescope.

Sunrise in the NamibRand Nature Reserve

The NamibRand Nature Reserve The NamibRand Nature Reserve lies to the south of Sesriem and borders the Namib Naukluft Park. Covering over 2,000 square kilometres, it is one of Africa’s largest private reserves and is certainly one of its most beautiful. A place of contrast, it encompasses vegetated dunes, yellow plains and the Numib Mountains where Hartmann’s mountain zebra can be found. The NamibRand has some of Namibia’s best guides and is therefore a good place in which to learn about the flora, fauna and history of the desert. We recommend the full-day drives, on which you explore many parts of the reserve and have a large picnic lunch. On your return to camp at night you’ll find the lanterns lit, the fire roaring and a delicious dinner prepared.

WOLWEDANS DUNE CAMP, NAMIBRAND NATURE RESERVE This beautiful tented camp is built on a dune and has spectacular views of the plains and mountains. The six tents are simple but stylish with rush mats, comfortable beds, tables and private bathrooms. The main lapa (dining area and lounge) is open on one side with far reaching views. The food is excellent and the camp staff warm and welcoming. Wolwedans has some of Namibia’s best guides and they will lead you on half and full day excursions to explore the reserve. Hartebeest in the NamibRand Nature Reserve

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 13


Gemsbok in the Naukluft Mountains

The Naukluft Mountains The Naukluft Mountains are about an hour’s drive to the northeast of Sossusvlei and make an ideal stop on the way to or from the dunes. This is superb walking country with rocky outcrops, deep river valleys with wild olive trees, sycamore figs and freshwater springs where you can swim when the weather is hot. There are lots of wild animals including baboon, steenbok, kudu, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and klipspringer. Leopard are present but rarely seen. Over 200 bird species have been recorded and the Naukluft is the southernmost limit of many species of the northern Namib, including Ruppell’s parrot and the pretty rosy-faced lovebirds. The air is crystal clear, you won’t meet another person all day, and sunsets over the mountains are spectacular.

ZEBRA RIVER LODGE, NAUKLUFT MOUNTAINS

Zebra River Lodge

This small stone lodge – a converted farm – is set high up in the mountains. There are just nine rooms, some of which lead off a wide veranda covered in flowers. Inside, the rooms are large and have cool stone floors, large beds with African print covers and en suite bathrooms. The main building houses a cosy dining room where dinner is served. Activities include nature drives, sundowner excursions and visits to the local natural springs. There are also several walking trails which can be explored at your own pace.

Walking in the Naukluft

CORONA GUESTFARM, NAUKLUFT MOUNTAINS Corona Guestfarm is surrounded by mountains in a remote wilderness area. Driving to the farm, you pass a number of dry river beds where kudu and springbok are often found. Accommodation consists of ten en suite rooms and four safari style tents, all individually decorated. Apart from relaxing by the swimming pool or under the jacaranda trees, there are a number of optional activities including game drives, horse riding and self guided walks, one of which visits some interesting rock art. Corona Guestfarm

14

The Naukluft Mountains


Kolmaskop, ghost town in the desert

Fish River Lodge

Houses in Lüderitz

Fish River Canyon

Lüderitz

In the far south of the country, the Fish River Canyon, second only to the Grand Canyon in size, is spectacular and deserted. At its base, the Fish River twists and turns, its clear water tumbling over rocks. We recommend taking an early morning ramble along the canyon where the bark of baboons echoes around the rocks and klipspringers dart up gullies. The view from the top is breathtaking and there are no shops or kiosks here, just a bench in the shade. On a busy day you may meet someone else, but the chance of finding a rock to sit on and of having the view to yourself is high.

Klein Aus Vista

KLEIN AUS VISTA, AUS

On the coast, the town of Lüderitz is fascinating, a real outpost with turn of the century architecture and the ghost towns of the diamond boom nearby, preserved by the sands of the desert. There’s also the penguin colony at Halifax Island to visit and we recommend walking with the flamingos on the beaches south of Lüderitz. There, you will find shells and ghost crabs and are unlikely to see another soul.

An hour outside Lüderitz, the little Klein Aus Vista guesthouse has a wonderful location. Small rock chalets are tucked away amongst granite boulders with views of the desert. As well as trips to Lüderitz, guests can explore the gentle hiking trails, climb the extinct volcanic mountain or search for the wild Namib feral horses, present in this area for seven generations. With welcoming hosts and plentiful food, this is a tranquil and comfortable place to stay.

FISH RIVER LODGE, FISH RIVER CANYON Fish River Lodge has a stunning situation on the lip of the Canyon with far reaching views. The 20 contemporary stone chalets are stylishly decorated inside; stepping outside, you are immediately in the desert, an area of gravel plains dotted with quivertrees. This lodge is the only one in the area that offers guided hikes in the Canyon. After a morning walk, return to the pool to cool off before enjoying a big lunch on the shady veranda.

Fish River Canyon

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 15


Kayaking at Pelican Point

Swakopmund

Pelican Point

The old town of Swakopmund perches between the sands of the Namib Desert and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. With misty morning fog, its climate is a contrast to the inland areas and refreshing after days in the south. The streets are wide and lined with palm trees, the buildings fascinating examples of old German architecture. There’s an array of curio and antique shops as well as some particularly good seafood restaurants serving fresh crayfish and Skeleton Coast mussels. A couple of hours’ drive north of Swakopmund you will find the seal colony at Cape Cross, home to around 200,000 Cape fur seals. South of Swakopmund – and equally worth a day’s trip – is Walvis Bay. Pelicans sweep over the dunes to the sea, whilst hundreds of flamingos, avocets and other waders can be found in the water.

One excellent way to spend a morning is on a gentle kayaking trip around Pelican Point. Run by Jean Meintjies, these trips start early in the morning when she drives you out to Pelican Point, a sandbar near Walvis Bay. Jean has a number of sturdy sea kayaks and she guides you to three colonies of up to 300 Cape fur seals each. The seals love to swim around the kayaks and sometimes even jump over them! It is possible to see dolphins, and flocks of gulls and cormorants are often overhead. There is a stop on a beach for warm rolls and coffee for elevenses. No previous kayaking experience is needed.

SWAKOPMUND GUESTHOUSE, SWAKOPMUND This upmarket guesthouse is located in the heart of Swakopmund, only five minutes’ walk from the main shopping streets and beach. There are plenty of quiet areas in the garden and the main house in which to relax and read a book. The twelve rooms have been individually furnished with crisp linens, large canvas wall art and en suite bathrooms decorated with beach pebbles to add a little character. The Borgs can help you to arrange excursions as well as giving you ideas for exploring at your own pace.

Pelicans at Walvis Bay

16

Swakopmund Guesthouse

CORNERSTONE GUESTHOUSE, SWAKOPMUND This small and friendly guesthouse occupies a quiet corner of the old town near the marine museum and the old brewery. It is a few minutes’ walk to the Atlantic Ocean and The Tug, one of Swakopmund’s best restaurants. There are five en suite rooms and an airy breakfast room where a choice of fresh fruit, juices, yoghurts and eggs and bacon is served. On warm days, breakfast can be enjoyed on the sunny veranda.

Cornerstone Guesthouse


Exploring the Great Dune Sea in the Northern Skeleton Coast

Skeleton Coast Safaris

Himba girls

The Skeleton Coast North of Swakopmund the Skeleton Coast National Park stretches up to the Kunene River. It is a barren area and particularly aptly named. Strong currents, treacherous fog and shifting underwater sandbanks ensured that many early explorers’ ships were wrecked here, their remains still visible many metres from the shore. The landscape of the Skeleton Coast, whilst stark, is stunning and rock formations such as the Ugab Formations defy belief. There are clay castles at the Hoarusib Canyon, dunes that roar and reverberate, and gravel plains covered with ancient welwitschia plants. Dry river valleys are home to desert-adapted elephant, giraffe and brown hyena. The majority of the park is not accessible to vehicles, but there are two companies that operate fly-in safaris to the area. Lasting three to four days, these are regarded by experienced safari-goers as some of the best trips in Africa.

Started in the sixties by Louw Schoeman and now run by his family, Skeleton Coast Safaris run three night flying safaris to the Skeleton Coast. The Schoeman brothers do most of the guiding, and it is hard to find better guides anywhere. Using light aircraft, trusty Land Rovers and your own two feet, you will explore the Skeleton Coast’s fragile ecosystem. There’s the chance to slide down roaring dunes, explore ancient bushman settlements and walk along inaccessible beaches past the skeletal remains of longwrecked ships. Each night you will stay in a different camp, of which there are three. All are tiny, but though this safari is not about

Flying over the Skeleton Coast

accommodation, your comfort is never compromised. More often than not you will dine under a tree, hot bucket showers will be filled for you and there will be a roaring camp fire in the evening.

SERRA CAFEMA, SKELETON COAST Serra Cafema is a beautiful camp situated under large albida trees on the banks of the Kunene River. The camp is in a wild area frequented by gemsbok, ostrich, desert-adapted elephant and nomadic prides of lion. Time is spent exploring the beautiful Hartmann Valley in 4x4s, the Great Dune Sea on quad-bikes and the mountains on foot. Boat trips on the Kunene River are relaxing as you float along watching birds overhead and large crocodiles basking on sandbanks. Serra Cafema

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 17


Rhino tracking in Northern Damaraland

Damaraland Damaraland has a wild and rugged landscape and is one of Namibia’s least populated areas. Southern Damaraland’s great attractions include the Gross Spitzkoppe and Brandberg Mountain, both home to a wealth of rock art. Twfelfontein has hundreds of engravings (mostly depicting animals) and is perfect for a few hours’ exploration. Driving to and from these you will often encounter donkey carts and tiny roadside stalls that sell gemstones and seed pod mobiles. In Northern Damaraland there are thriving populations of wild game including gemsbok, kudu, springbok, Hartmann’s zebra, desertadapted elephant and black rhino. Here, tracts of land have been designated ‘concession areas’. These areas are huge, dotted only with the

DESERT RHINO CAMP, NORTHERN DAMARALAND

Dinner at Desert Rhino Camp

Desert Rhino Camp is situated in the impressive Palmwag Concession, an area of flat-topped mountains, huge yellow plains and wild river valleys. Save the Rhino Trust are monitoring a population of black rhino here, and guests at Rhino Camp are able to go out and help with their research work. Lion frequent the Agab riverbed (and are often heard roaring at night), mountain zebra are numerous and vultures seem to roost in every tree. The camp itself is comfortable, with six large en suite tents and good food that tastes even better

occasional village and visitors are strictly limited. Operators work in conjunction with the local communities, creating camps with local guides and giving a proportion of all income straight to the community. They are excellent initiatives and give you the opportunity to explore the area with those who know it best.

DORO NAWAS, SOUTHERN DAMARALAND Doro Nawas is built on a small kopje on the edge of the dry Aba-Huab River. From camp you can see the Etendeka Mountains to the north and the red cliffs of Twyfelfontein to the south. There are 16 beautiful rooms with polished stone floors, large windows and en suite bathrooms. Outside, shady terraces with deep squishy chairs allow you to relax and enjoy the views. Doro Nawas

18

Shovel snouted lizard


Khoraan

Desert adapted elephant in Northern Damaraland

Camp Kipwe

Damaraland road

CAMP KIPWE, SOUTHERN DAMARALAND

MOWANI MOUNTAIN CAMP, SOUTHERN DAMARALAND

Camp Kipwe is located in a superb position in Damaraland with panoramic views over rocky kopjes, valleys and hills. The eight rooms are situated amongst the boulders giving you total privacy but you will also have plenty of opportunity to meet your fellow guests in the camp lounge area. For a spectacular sunset, make your way up the 100 steps to the sundowner view point – having a cold beer or glass of wine and watching the sun set over Damaraland is an experience not to be missed.

Mowani Mountain Camp is stylish and comfortable. There are 12 safari tents that have been built unobtrusively to ensure minimum impact on the natural environment. Inside, tents have double beds, soft cream fabrics, whitewashed floors and stylish bathrooms. All the tents face east so you can see the sunrise from your bed. The main lodge has a pool carved out of the rock and a sundowner bar on top of the kopje with sweeping views. Just an hour from Twyfelfontein and with plenty of guides, it’s a luxurious base from which to explore.

Mowani Mountain Camp

ETENDEKA CAMP, ETENDEKA CONCESSION, NORTHERN DAMARALAND Lying on the open Etendeka lava plains, Etendeka Camp is small, simple and set in dramatic scenery. Owned by Dennis Leibenberg – who pioneered community involvement in tourism initiatives – this is a thriving camp whose excellent guides know all the birds, plants and insects as well as the mammals. Days often consist of nature walks, afternoon drives and perhaps a short trip up to a mountain top to enjoy a sundowner.

Giraffe in Northern Damaraland

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 19


Road in Southern Namibia

Self-driving in Namibia A self-drive trip is a wonderful way to explore Namibia as the roads are well maintained, they wind through spectacular scenery, and there is little traffic. You can explore entirely at your own pace and drive to the camps and lodges we have prearranged for you. Namibia’s roads Namibia’s main roads have tar surfaces. These include the roads from Windhoek to South Africa, Swakopmund and north to Etosha and the Caprivi. The rest of the network is gravel. The gravel roads are well graded and generally in good condition in the dry season. In the rainy season, however, rivers can occasionally flood across the road. All the gravel roads are well signposted and as there are only a few roads to choose from, it is very hard to get lost.

Driving distances and times Distances are large in Namibia and we recommend you set off early in the morning and drive at a leisurely pace, enjoying the journey as you go. By leaving early you can enjoy the first part of your drive in the cool of the day, and we have often seen animals on or beside the road at this time. You can aim to arrive at your next lodge in time for lunch and then have the afternoon either to relax, explore at your own pace or join a guided activity. We will give you a guide to distances and times with your itinerary so you can plan your days accordingly.

Cars It is possible to drive around the country in an ordinary car however we usually recommend a 4x4. We will discuss with you what type of car you’d like, taking into account the number of people in your party, how much luggage you have and the route you are taking. In the rainy season we would always recommend a 4x4.

Road sign in Damaraland

Game viewing in Etosha

As you drive along, you will find a number of designated picnic spots. These have an area to park, picnic table and benches – set in the shade of large trees where possible. As there is very little traffic, however, you will find that you can always stop at the side of the road whenever you wish, to enjoy the view or to take a picture.

20

Etosha Self-driving is a great way to see Etosha’s big game as you can decide which waterholes you want to head for and can spend as long as you like viewing the wildlife. The speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour as you could encounter game of all sizes on the roads. You will find many of the animals are accustomed to vehicles and you will get some superb photographs from your car. If you prefer not to self-drive, we can arrange organised game drives for you.


Driving in Damaraland

Transparent Namib dune gecko

Traffic is light in Windhoek

Self-driving with Audley We have been arranging self-drive trips to Namibia for years and offer a few small touches to make your trip easier and more comfortable. Seal at Cape Cross

Planning All our specialists have driven extensively around Namibia. We will plan a route carefully taking into account what you’d like to do and keeping an eye on the driving distances and times. Maps On arrival in Namibia you will be given a fully annotated map with your route highlighted and your lodges marked.

Phones It is always useful to have a mobile phone and Namibia’s network coverage is improving each year. We can provide you with a phone with all the numbers of your lodges programmed into it as well as our contact numbers. We provide a phone card for you which you can top up as you need. Cool boxes We always recommend that you carry water and a few snacks in the car. To enable you to keep your drinks cool, we will supply you with a cool box at the start of your trip which we ask you to return at the end.

Donkey cart on the road

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 21


Breeding herd of elephant in Etosha

Etosha National Park Etosha is one of Africa’s largest game parks. Much of it is covered by the silver Etosha salt pan that shimmers in the heat, but to the south are open grasslands, woodland and waterholes that act as magnets for game. In the dry season the game congregates around the water sources, leading to some phenomenal game viewing. On Etosha’s grassveld it is easy to find grazers, including Burchell’s zebra, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and black-faced impala. Kudu are found on the margins of the woodland, whilst giraffe nibble the acacias and eland come to drink. Etosha’s cats are thriving, with large populations of lion, leopard and cheetah. Elephant are found in hundred strong herds whilst black and white rhino are also found, particularly in the west of the park. Etosha

has over 340 bird species and it is common to see ostrich and secretary birds on the open plains. There are over 35 species of raptor, including the yellowbilled kite, steppe eagle and pygmy falcon. To explore Etosha you can either self-drive from camps inside the park or enjoy both self-drive and guided trips from one of the private reserves outside the park gates. Lion on the road from Okaukuejo

ONGAVA TENTED CAMP, ONGAVA RESERVE, SOUTHERN ETOSHA

Ongava Lodge

ONGAVA LODGE, ONGAVA RESERVE, SOUTHERN ETOSHA

Small, intimate and comfortable, the Ongava Tented Camp has eight tastefully decorated tents with en suite bathrooms with an indoor and outdoor shower. Each tent overlooks the busy waterhole, which attracts a wide variety of mammals and birds and is floodlit at night. Tasty home-cooked meals are served in the open-sided dining room and guests sit together at a large table. There is a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with guests chatting late into the night around the fire.

Ongava Lodge is situated within the private Ongava Reserve adjacent to Etosha. The lodge comprises of 14 en suite air-conditioned chalets, attractively built out of rock and thatch. Every chalet has a deck for afternoon reading or enjoying the view, if you’re not inclined to take a dip in the pool. Activities include walks, night drives and rhino tracking on the reserve as well as game drives into Etosha. Zebra at a waterhole in Etosha

22

Ongava Tented Camp


Secretary bird

Mushara Outpost

Giraffe on Etosha’s grasslands

Namutoni Restcamp

Mushara Bush Camp

The pool at Onguma Tented Camp

OKAUKUEJO, HALALI AND NAMUTONI RESTCAMPS, ETOSHA

MUSHARA BUSH CAMP, EASTERN ETOSHA

ONGUMA TENTED CAMP, ONGUMA RESERVE, EASTERN ETOSHA

These three restcamps are run by the government and offer accommodation with basic facilities within the park. Okaukuejo is in the west of the park, Halali in the centre and Namutoni in the east. Surrounded by game fences, each camp has an array of bungalows, a restaurant, shop and pool. Whilst the accommodation is simple, the real attraction is the waterholes beside which the camps are built. These are exciting at night when elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion appear out of the dark to drink.

Mushara Bush Camp offers a down-to-earth tented experience which is well suited to independent travellers exploring Etosha. The 16 custom-made tents are spacious and airy and each has a shower looking into the bush. The main area is thatched and has a true camp feel to it, as early evenings see a fire lit around which guests sit and exchange stories of the day’s wildlife sightings. Dinners are served outside on the veranda and food is both plentiful and delicious.

Onguma Tented Camp is situated in the private Onguma Reserve around a natural waterhole that attracts giraffe, zebra, oryx and occasionally lion and rhino. The camp has seven luxury tents built out of wood and stone and furnished with natural textiles. The infinity pool looks over the waterhole and has comfortable sunloungers where you can relax and read a book or watch the game coming to drink. Guests can either drive into the reserve or enjoy guided game drives.

MUSHARA OUTPOST, EASTERN ETOSHA This luxury tented camp is situated on the banks of a dry riverbed on Mushara’s private land. Each en suite tent is built on a wooden deck and has glass windows and doors with built in fly-screens to keep some of the smaller local residents outside. For the hottest days, there is air-conditioning. The main building has the style of an old farmhouse with tall walls, an iron roof and wrap around veranda. Both scheduled and private game drives into Etosha are possible.

Gemsbok and ostrich at a waterhole

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 23


Tailoring your trip The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests. Please call one of our Namibia specialists to start planning your itinerary. Telephone: 01993 838 525

Getting around

Hippo in Caprivi

Kudu in Mudumu National Park

Lianshulu Lodge

The Caprivi Strip

LIANSHULU LODGE, MUDUMU NATIONAL PARK

In northern Namibia the Caprivi Strip stretches east along the top of Botswana and is quite unlike the rest of the country. Thanks to its relatively high rainfall it has lush vegetation, and many small villages with children herding goats and cows. Game parks support high densities of elephant, buffalo, lion and hippo, and crocodile are ever-present in the wetland areas. The permanent rivers, reedbeds and riverine forest host a large number of bird species, including those not commonly found in other parts of Namibia, such as kingfishers, darters, herons and gallinules. As a trip across the Caprivi takes around two weeks, we recommend that you only drive one way, ending your trip at Victoria Falls.

Lianshulu Lodge is situated on the banks of the Kwando River in the Mudumu National Park. The surrounding area is a wilderness of riverine forest, marsh and open woodland, and game densities are high. The lodge has 11 thatched chalets, stylishly furnished with polished wooden floors, large beds with crisp linen, inside and outside showers and viewing decks overlooking the river and flood plains. There is also a small pool which is perfect for hot afternoons.

NDHOVU SAFARI LODGE, MAHANGU GAME RESERVE This lodge is situated two kilometres from the Mahangu Game Reserve, which is ideal for game viewing and a birder’s paradise. There are eight safari tents overlooking the river, where elephant often come to drink. All the tents have twin beds and en suite facilities. At night you can hear the hippo grazing close by. Activities from the lodge include boat trips, game drives and birdwatching.

When to go Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Namibia has a sub-tropical desert climate, characterised by low rainfall and large temperature fluctuations between day and night. During the dry season, which runs broadly from April to October, the skies are blue with rarely a cloud in sight. In November the rain clouds start to build but rain tends not to fall until early December. Then, through the rainy period there will typically be a downpour for around an hour on some days, before the skies and the atmosphere clear again. Time difference: GMT+1 hour

Elephant in the Chobe River

Flight time from UK: 12 hours and 30 minutes

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Namibia on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans. Ndhovu Safari Lodge

24

The main way to explore Namibia is on a selfdrive safari. You will collect your car in Windhoek and our agents will brief you fully on your journey, providing maps and driving directions. The majority of roads are gravel but they are usually well graded and always well signposted – with a good map it is hard to get lost. A 4x4 is essential in the rainy season, however, at other times of year an ordinary car can be used. When you reach your destination you can leave your car and set out to explore on guided excursions. We have suggested two self-drive itineraries here but these are a tiny fraction of the trips we can arrange. An alternative to driving is flying around the country using the scheduled light aircraft flights that go to the Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Etosha regions. You can choose how many days you’d like to stay in each place and we can tailor the trip to this.


Suggested itineraries ANGOLA

ANGOLA

ANGOLA

Livingstone Rundu

Northern Damaraland

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park

Southern Damaraland

Swakopmund

Mahangu Game Reserve

Central Highlands

Swakopmund

Windhoek

Kasane

Etosha National Park

Windhoek

Windhoek

BOTSWANA

Mudumu National Park

BOTSWANA Sossusvlei NamibRand Nature Reserve

Sossusvlei

NAMBIA BOTSWANA

NAMBIA

NAMBIA

Highlights of Namibia

Desert Flying

Caprivi Explorer

This itinerary is a self-drive circular trip of Namibia’s highlights. You will have the chance to enjoy the dunes at Sossusvlei, kayak to the seal colony at Pelican Point, track desert elephant in Damaraland and enjoy Etosha’s big game. Many of the lodges have guides who will take you out to explore. We will provide you with maps and information so all you have to do is hop in the car and go.

See Namibia’s spectacular scenery from the air. On the trip you can explore the NamibRand Nature Reserve before heading up to Sossusvlei to climb the world’s highest dunes. In northern Namibia you will track rhino in Damaraland before ending your trip in Etosha. This trip is suited to those looking to enjoy Namibia’s highlights from luxurious camps with expert guides.

The Caprivi Explorer starts in Windhoek and ends at Livingstone in Zambia and would suit wildlife enthusiasts. There is the chance to see big cats at Okonjima before heading into Etosha. In the Caprivi, the environment changes, with rivers and wetlands alive with water birds. Game here can be viewed from boats as well as open 4x4s. The trip ends in Livingstone, from where you can visit the Victoria Falls.

Day 1 Day 1

Fly from the UK to Windhoek via Frankfurt.

Day 2

Arrive in Windhoek. Road transfer into Windhoek for one night at The Elegant Guesthouse.

Days 3-4

Collect car and self-drive to Sossusvlei for two nights at the Sossus Dune Lodge. Explore the dunes at Sossusvlei.

Day 5

Drive to Swakopmund for two nights at Cornerstone Guesthouse.

Day 6

Morning kayak trip to Pelican Point.

Days 7-8

Drive to Southern Damaraland for two nights at Camp Kipwe. Explore Damaraland on guided game drives.

Days 9-10 Drive to Etosha National Park for two nights at Okaukuejo Restcamp. Game viewing in Etosha National Park. Day 11

Drive to Windhoek and leave the car at Windhoek Airport. Fly from Windhoek to Frankfurt

Day 12

Fly from Frankfurt to London. Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer If you would like to end your trip with some relaxing time on a beach then we suggest adding on a week in Mauritius. A lush tropical island, Mauritius is quite a contrast to Namibia. We can recommend a handful of delightful hotels with good food in quiet locations. All are set above picture perfect beaches and have beautiful pools, small spas and extensive water and land based activities. After time in Mauritius you can take a direct flight back to the UK.

Day 2 Days 3-4

Days 5-6

Days 7-8

Fly from the UK to Windhoek via Frankfurt.

Day 1

Transfer into Windhoek for one night at The Olive Grove.

Fly from the UK to Windhoek via Frankfurt.

Day 2

Road transfer into Windhoek for one night at The Elegant Guesthouse.

Day 3

Self-drive to the Central Highlands for one night at Okonjima Lodge. View cheetah on guided drives.

Days 4-5

Drive to Eastern Etosha for two nights at Mushara Bushcamp. Game viewing in Etosha National Park.

Day 6

Drive to Rundu for one night at Hakusembe River Lodge. Afternoon boat trip.

Days 7-9

Drive to the Mahangu National Park for three nights at Ndhovu Safari Lodge. Game viewing in the Park.

Fly to the NamibRand Nature Reserve for two nights at Wolwedans Dune Lodge. Explore the NamibRand on game drives and walking safaris. Fly to the Kulala Wilderness Reserve for two nights at the Kulala Desert Lodge. Explore Sossusvlei on nature drives and on foot. Fly to Northern Damaraland for two nights at Rhino Camp. Rhino tracking and game viewing on foot and by vehicle.

Days 9-10 Fly to the Ongava Reserve for two nights at Ongava Tented Camp. Game viewing on the Ongava Reserve and in Etosha National Park. Day 11

Fly to Windhoek and connect with your flight to Frankfurt.

Day 12

Fly from Frankfurt to the UK, arriving in the early morning.

Stay longer Fly from Windhoek to Maun in Botswana and spend four nights in the heart of the Okavango Delta. In contrast to Namibia, here you will be surrounded by twinkling rivers, waterlilies, birds and butterflies. Spend the days exploring by boat or mokoro and on morning and afternoon game drives to seek out Botswana’s big game. At night, enjoy drinks around the campfire before a dinner lit by lanterns and candles.

Day 10-12 Drive to Mudumu National Park for three nights at Lianshulu Lodge. Further time on safari. Days 13-15 Drive to Kasane and leave car. Road transfer to Livingstone for three nights at Waterberry Lodge. Enjoy boat trips on the Zambezi River. Day 16

Fly to Johannesburg and then the UK.

Day 17

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer From Ndhovu Safari Lodge, drive south into Botswana and stay at Nxamaseri Lodge in Botswana’s Panhandle region for three days. In this wetland Delta environment, you can enjoy walking safaris as well as boat trips on which you will be surrounded by hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds. After three days, drive back into Namibia and continue your trip along the Caprivi.

www.audleytravel.com/namibia

01993 838 525

Namibia 25


South Africa outh Africa is a diverse and beautiful country with a huge amount to offer from cosmopolitan cities and superb safaris to historic battlegrounds and picturesque vineyards producing excellent wines. Among the highlights are the lagoons and dunes of the Garden Route, the iconic outline of Table Mountain, the aloes and cracked rocks of the Klein Karoo and expansive battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal. South Africa has excellent wildlife with the big five resident in the Kruger National Park. Other lesser known reserves such as Madikwe, Phinda, and the private reserves of the Eastern Cape offer just as good game viewing with fewer visitors. Those interested in marine life can enjoy whale watching off the Cape Coast from July to November. Due to excellent flight connections with the UK and variety of accommodation, trips can be tailored to suit all interests and budgets.

S

Table Mountain

1 Cape Town

The iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point are two dramatic features of this culturally diverse city. 2 Winelands Stellenbosch and Franschhoek are the heart of the wine region, famous for food and drink.

5

3 Whale Coast

7 8 6

From July to November, Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world. 4 Garden Route

A route winding through

2

1

4 3

Cape Dutch Farmhouse

26

mountain passes, pretty towns and beautiful wilderness areas. 5 Kruger National Park

Home to the Big Five and a wide range of safari camps. 6 Drakensberg Mountains The highest mountain range in Southern Africa, excellent for hiking. 7 Battlefields Professional tours to the sites of the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer Wars are spell-binding. 8 Elephant Coast

In KwaZulu-Natal, this coastline has beautiful beaches and excellent diving.


Audley in South Africa South Africa has a good road network, traffic is generally light, and driving is on the left – all of which make it an ideal self-drive destination. Many of our travellers choose this option, and we provide good quality cars with comprehensive sets of maps and directions. For those who don’t want to drive, we work closely with a number of guides and drivers who can drive you around the country. A fun way to explore is on a rail journey, and we can book seats on both the Blue Train and Rovos Rail. Our specialists have explored the country every possible way themselves and can advise on the best option to suit you.

Accommodation

Leopard in the Kruger National Park

The Cape Region

Safari

Cape Town is a city on everyone’s must-see list. As well as being a vibrant hub with great shopping and restaurants, it is also a good base for exploration of the region, particularly the Cape Peninsula. The nearby Winelands can either be visited from Cape Town, or a few days can be spent based at a vineyard in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch. East of Cape Town, Walker and Gans Bay are two of the best locations in which to see whales, in season. The Garden Route is ideal for a few days spent exploring the lagoons, wandering along sandy beaches, or walking through forested hills. Towards the end of the Garden Route you encounter the Wild Coast, an unspoilt area of deserted beaches fringed with mangrove jungle – arguably the most beautiful area of South Africa.

Safari is a huge draw in South Africa. There are four key areas: the Greater Kruger Park, the Eastern Cape, Madikwe and the reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. With the exception of the Kruger, all are malaria-free making them excellent options, particularly for families. The Kruger is the largest of all the parks with fantastic game viewing. It offers every type of accommodation from basic self-catering chalets to some of Africa’s most opulent lodges. The Eastern Cape reserves work well for those exploring the Garden Route as they are within easy reach. These areas are especially well suited to families, and offer safari activities for children. The Madikwe Reserve bordering Botswana is a wild reserve with few lodges; it offers a quieter experience and is suited to the safari purist. Finally, the reserves in KwaZulu-Natal offer everything from the oldest game park in Africa to award-winning parks with stunning accommodation and the big five.

KwaZulu-Natal The province of KwaZulu-Natal justifies a trip in its own right. The towering Drakensberg Mountains are within easy reach of Durban and are popular with those keen on hiking and photography. Nearby, the famous battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are a must for history enthusiasts. There are a few lovely, homely lodges complete with expert guides to recount tales on the sites of the battles themselves. If birding and safari are of interest then the region does not disappoint, as it contains the wetland ecosystem of Lake St Lucia, full of aquatic birds, and the surrounding bush is home to the big five. No trip to this area would be complete without a few days’ relaxation on some of the dramatic beaches that stretch north from Durban to the Mozambique border.

Accommodation in South Africa is varied and there are endless options. We have travelled extensively throughout the country and have hand-picked a selection of properties for their character, hospitality and service. We tend to avoid the large chain hotels and prefer lodges and guesthouses. These are small – normally about five to ten rooms – and are owned and run by people we know personally. We find that this ensures the utmost attention to detail for our travellers, with the added advantage that the owners themselves are a wealth of local information. We also work with some of South Africa’s leading hotels, as well as safari properties ranging from simple tented camps to opulent lodges.

Our South Africa Brochure We have a brochure dedicated to South Africa. Please call our specialists on 01993 838 550 for your copy.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in South Africa, please see see our website or request our South Africa brochure. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our South Africa specialists 01993 838 550 Zulu girl

South Africa 27


Botswana

ver a thousand miles from Botswana, rain falls in Central Africa. Big drops drip from trees, rush into streams, down gullies and into rivers. Slowly the Okavango River forms, and flows, not to the sea, but into the rippling sands of the Kalahari where it disperses in a myriad of waterways and twinkling lagoons, creating a delicate web of life. This is the

O

28

Okavango Delta, a world of glittering water. Whispering palm islands are criss-crossed with animal tracks, the surrounding lagoons carpeted with lilies beneath which silver fish dart to and fro. Iridescent kingfishers dive, hippos grunt and papyrus rustles in the breeze. Elephant and giraffe feed in the shade of waterberries whilst on open grasslands buffalo, tsessebe,

zebra and wildebeest are watched by the eyes of lion. Red lechwe fly across emerald green floodplains and in the distance a fish eagle cries. As night falls the clink of the reedfrogs begins. Fruitbats squeak and spirals of wood smoke rise from the glowing embers of a fire. The ink black sky is littered with stars and the shining haze of the milky way.


Audley in Botswana Botswana is often viewed as the ultimate safari destination in Africa. Game is excellent, there are a small number of camps and the scenery is unparalleled. The country is famous for its beautiful Okavango Delta and we would recommend spending time here. The central Okavango has deep water areas with papyrus-lined channels, floodplains and palm islands. It is an ideal environment to enjoy boat and mokoro trips in search of hippo, crocodile and birds. At the fringes of the Delta the water meets the dry plains. Here some of Botswana’s most impressive game can be enjoyed from open 4x4s as well as boats and on foot. Whilst the Okavango Delta is often top of the list for travellers to Botswana, other regions such as the Linyanti Wetlands, Chobe National Park, Makgadikgadi Pans and Central Kalahari, should not be overlooked. It is also easy to visit the Victoria Falls either before or after a safari.

5

7

4 6 1 2

3 10 8

9

Accommodation

5 Chobe River This large river is renowned for providing drinking water to large herds of elephant. Giraffe, buffalo, zebra and big cats are often found on the floodplains. Meerkats in the Makgadikgadi Pans

1 Central Okavango Delta An area of tranquil waterways and lagoons lined by papyrus and covered with waterlilies, best enjoyed from a mokoro. 2 The Okavango Fringes

Waterways meet dry land areas and give rise to prolific game. A good range of safari activities includes walks, mokoro trips and game drives.

6 The Duba Plains Known for the thousand-strong herd of buffalo and five large lion prides that hunt them on a daily basis. 7 Linyanti Wetlands

A beautiful area encompassing plains and lagoons. One of the best places in Africa to see wild dog.

Flying over the Delta

8 Makgadikgadi Pans Stunning other-worldly scenery, unrivalled remoteness and clans of meerkat make this a unique place to explore. 9 Central Kalahari

The desert blooms after the rains and attracts large numbers of zebra and other plains game as well as hyena and blackmaned lion.

3 Moremi Game Reserve At the heart of the Delta encompassing Chief’s Island this is one of Africa’s finest big game areas.

10 Nxai Pan This stark desert environment supports good game densities and is home to one of Botswana’s most iconic sights, the Baines Baobabs.

4 Chobe National Park

Famed for huge herds of elephant and buffalo, this is also a good area for big cats.

Botswana has been extremely careful in the development of its camps and as a result there are only a small number of properties in the country. All the camps are unique in both character and location - some built up in trees and others on stilts above the floodplains. None of the camps are fenced so don’t be surprised to find elephant outside your tent. Botswana has a reputation for being expensive and the most luxurious lodges are not cheap. However you do get what you pay for – a beautiful camp in a pristine environment. If you do not have the budget for the higher end camps we know lots of other ways to explore the country. Mobile camping safaris are an excellent option, as are some of the lesser-known camps in the national parks. We know all the camps from personal experience and can tailor an itinerary to match both your interests and budget.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Botswana, please see page 41. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Botswana specialists 01993 838 530

Game viewing in Chitabe Concession

Botswana 29


Mokoro trip in the Central Okavango

The Central Okavango The Central Okavango has some of Africa’s most beautiful scenery. There are deep blue channels, emerald-green floodplains and palm islands. The waters are covered in thousands of flowers, with carpets of orange riverlilies, pink waterlilies and water lettuce. Tiny reed frogs cling to papyrus and in open lagoons only the flick of a hippo’s ear or the corrugated back of a crocodile stirs the water. The waterways are home to some spectacular birdlife. As the mist rises from the water in the early morning it is possible to see little bee-eaters perched in fluffy groups on the papyrus. Malachite, pied, woodland and pygmy are just some of the kingfishers you may see, whilst on the floodplains, wattled cranes, saddlebilled storks and slaty egrets catch tiny silver fish and frogs. From the deep channels, squashed reeds indicate a hippo track leading up to the dry land of a palm island. Here you will find elephant, giraffe, zebra, tsessebe, bushbuck and baboon. At night, fruit-bats squeak and bushbabies leap in the trees. The Central Okavango is spanned by the Moremi Game Reserve as well as private reserves including the Jao, Xigera, Nxabega and Xudum Reserves. These have a number of small camps ranging from luxury chalets to tree top houses. All offer a variety of activities including game drives, walks and night drives, but boating and mokoro (dug out canoe) trips are the highlights.

KANANA CAMP, NXABEGA RESERVE, CENTRAL OKAVANGO

Arriving at Kanana airstrip

Elephant in the Okavango

Lilac breasted roller

30

Kanana Camp is set in the Nxabega Reserve near the Xudum River. The area is dotted with fig, palm and waterberry trees, providing valuable shade and lookout points for predators, who gather to spot their prey on the floodplains. Kanana has eight en suite safari tents which can be opened up completely, giving a lovely airy feel during the heat of the day. Outside on the shaded veranda there are a couple of safari chairs, ideal for sitting with your binoculars and a book. The camp is built around a large tree with steps down to a sandy boma where a fire blazes at night. Activities from Kanana include mokoro trips, boating, walking and game drives.

Kanana Camp


BOTSWANA

Frog on a lily pad

XIGERA CAMP, XIGERA RESERVE, CENTRAL OKAVANGO

Nxabega Okavango Camp

NXABEGA OKAVANGO SAFARI CAMP, NXABEGA RESERVE, CENTRAL OKAVANGO Flying into the Nxabega Reserve, you see the deep winding Bora River and twinkling channels crisscrossed with a network of hippo paths. Though you won’t spot it from the air, Nxabega Camp is tucked into the riverine vegetation, overlooking a shallow channel. There are ten tents, spaced well apart in the trees, each containing beds with fluffy duvets, desks with porcupine-quill lamps and big white candles for lighting at night. Food is particularly good at Nxabega with dining outside under the stars. Whilst game drives are possible it’s the boat and mokoro trips that are the highlights of a stay here, accompanied by an expert guide to help you explore the Xou Lagoon and perhaps even try a spot of fishing.

Xigera is built in one of the most beautiful corners of the Okavango. The camp is surrounded by deep water and offers mokoro and boat trips as well as walks and drives on nearby islands. There are eight spacious tents with large beds, rush matting on the floors, wooden wardrobes and en suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers. The rooms are built within a shady grove and overlook a floodplain and a waterhole which is frequented by elephant, lechwe, buffalo and lots of birds. Meals are enjoyed in an open-sided dining room with views of the river. There’s a plunge pool for hot afternoons and a roaring campfire at night. In an area with no other camps, Xigera is an ideal base in the heart of the Okavango.

Xudum Delta Lodge

XUDUM DELTA LODGE, XUDUM RESERVE, CENTRAL OKAVANGO Xudum Delta Lodge offers privacy and exclusivity and is one of the most luxurious properties in the Delta. The nine split-level safari suites have large bedrooms with king-sized beds and bathrooms with bathtubs and outdoor showers. A private plunge pool and a lofty viewing platform offer magnificent Delta views. During your stay at Xudum you can enjoy walking safaris and game drives. Night drives are good for spotting owls, civet, wild cats and bushbabies. As the lodge is in a permanent water area you can enjoy water activities all year round. Sit back and relax as you are gently poled through the lily and reed waterways in a traditional mokoro.

Xigera Camp

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 31


Buffalo on the Duba Plains

The Northern Okavango Fringes

SHINDE CAMP, SHINDE RESERVE, NORTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES

At the northern fringes of the Delta the waters of the Okavango meet the dry plains and give rise to an area of both spectacular beauty and extraordinary game. The environment encompasses sweeping floodplains, islands of strangler figs, forests of tall mangosteen and open grassland where game congregates. Plains game such as zebra, tsessebe, impala, giraffe, wildebeest and large herds of buffalo are found in large numbers in the dryer areas. On one plain, known as Duba, there are hundreds of buffalo that are hunted daily by large prides of lion.

Shinde Camp is situated on a large palm island in the northern Okavango Delta. It is surrounded by clear waterways bursting with birdlife and plains where game can be found. The camp has eight spacious safari tents raised up on decks overlooking a large plain. The open sided central lounge is built on raised wooden decking on various levels, rising towards a bowed canvas roof, a little like an old ox-wagon. Shinde boasts a wide variety of activities, including game drives in open 4x4s and walking safaris. Mokoro trips are also a highlight and boat trips to Gadikwe Island heronry can be enjoyed during the nesting season. Duba Plains Camp

Lagoons such as the Kaparota are spectacular at sunset when herds of elephant come to drink, moving their feet to create waves that keep crocodiles at bay. Forests are home to leopard and hyena, and jackal and wild dog can also be found. The seasonal channels and glassy pools are magical, with crystal clear water and tiny silver fish darting below. Pied kingfishers flit above the waters and black crakes dart into the reeds. The northern fringes of the Delta are shared by the Moremi Game Reserve and a number of private reserves including the Shinde, Kwara, Vumbura and Duba. With seasonal flood waters flowing in and out of these areas, game drives are possible all year round and boat trips begin when the floodwaters have arrived, from May onwards.

DUBA PLAINS, DUBA RESERVE, NORTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES The focus at Duba is game drives which follow the battle between the huge resident buffalo herd and prides of lion. The guides know every lion and can tell you about them in depth. This is an excellent camp for photographers. The camp has six tents situated on a shady woodland island, each with lovely views over the floodplains. The main boma is raised up on stilts and houses a small lounge and bar area. The adjoining dining area has a communal dining table and there’s usually a sociable and lively atmosphere at meals. At night the camp comes alive with noises of fruit bats, cicadas and reed-frogs. Dining at Shinde Camp

32


Hyena pup

Waterlily flower

Malachite kingfisher

Cheetah in the Vumbura Concession

LITTLE VUMBURA, VUMBURA RESERVE, NORTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES

CAMP OKUTI, MOREMI GAME RESERVE, NORTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES

On a tiny island surrounded by floodplains, Little Vumbura is a real hideaway accessed by boat through channels flanked by towering papyrus. When in camp, shaded by wild date palms and overhung with long creepers, you feel as though you are tucked away in a jungle. There are seven tents, a central lounge and a small pool, all surrounded by bush.

Camp Okuti is positioned under shady trees at the edge of Xakanaxa Lagoon and within close range of shallow floodplains, papyrus swamp and dense riverine forest. The design of the seven chalets is unique, with large domed reed roofs, polished wooden floors with cowhide mats and local art on the walls. The main area is built of mud and thatch and has the feel of a traditional house from the outside but is luxuriously kitted out on the inside. There is a large mahogany dining table and fire deck with safari chairs allowing you ample opportunity to swap stories with fellow guests. A telescope is set up for viewing birds and distant game. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities from Okuti including game drives, boat and mokoro trips.

At night the whole camp reverberates with the sound of reed frogs and hippos. The outdoor deck is a wonderful place in which to sit around the fire and gaze up at the stars. Activities at Little Vumbura include game drives in the dry land areas and mokoro excursions which offer particularly good birding. Night drives allow you to spot bushbabies, honeybadgers and leopard.

Bathtub in Kwara’s honeymoon suite

KWARA CAMP, KWARA RESERVE, NORTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES Kwara is a compact camp with eight tents situated on a small palm island. Each tent is raised on a wooden platform and has a deck at the front and en suite bathroom with outdoor shower to the rear. The main lodge is under thatch and houses a dining room, lounge and bar. There is always a camp fire lit at night. This area has good game densities and the lodge offers lots of activities from power boat trips into the Delta to mokoro trips along tranquil waterways. These adventures are in addition to the land based activities which include game drives and nature walks.

Dusk at Little Vumbura

A room at Camp Okuti

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 33


Game viewing from Chitabe Lediba Camp

The Southern Okavango Fringes

CHITABE LEDIBA CAMP, CHITABE RESERVE, SOUTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES

The southern fringes of the Okavango are home to some large islands with rich game densities. Huge elephant bulls trundle through pink hippo grass to thick forests of real fan palms. Here they shake the trees, trunks raised, until palm nuts rain down. Troops of baboon pick through the leftovers, yellow mongoose run under wild sage bushes and sometimes in the first light of morning you can see honey-badgers darting into the tall grass. Many grazers such as tsessebe, impala, zebra and buffalo can be found on the open plains whilst giraffe and kudu are found on the forest fringes.

Chitabe Lediba Camp is located on a palm island overlooking a natural waterhole. Sandy paths lead through the trees to five large tents with en suite bathrooms and shady verandas with views of the savannah. The main dining and bar area overlooks the waterhole where elephant come regularly to drink. Meals are always social and fun at Chitabe with many being taken outdoors under the stars. During the day game drives offer superb photographic opportunities and walks are exciting. With a small plunge pool for the heat of the day the camp has everything you need.

Though lion are often seen, it is the leopard and wild dog that hold perhaps the greatest attraction. Leopard sightings are frequent, with some relaxed cats happy to be followed by flurries of squawking guineafowl and quiet vehicles. When the floodwaters arrive in June the Santantadibe River swells and spills over into floodplains that are quickly carpeted with water gentians and colonised by frogs to the delight of the saddle billed storks. Lechwe fly through the water, spray in their wake and fish eagles screech from the trees. The southern fringes of the Delta are protected by the Moremi Game Reserve as well as the Chitabe and Stanley’s private reserves, where game drives are the main focus.

SANDIBE SAFARI LODGE, CHITABE RESERVE, SOUTHERN OKAVANGO FRINGES Sandibe Camp has been built in a grove of jackalberry, fig tree and ilala palms. In the main boma, thick tree branches extend through the walls, and tree trunks hold up the high thatched roof. It’s not unusual to look up from lunch and find an inquisitive baboon high above having a good look at you, while fruit bats roost up in the beams in the evenings. Paths meander through the forest to eight clay and thatch chalets, each with a North African feel. Outside each chalet, steps lead up to a raised deck with table and chairs and views of the Santantadibe River and floodplains. At night the plains light up with thousands of flickering fireflies.

Sandibe Safari Lodge

34

Chitabe Lediba Camp


Zebra in the Linyanti region

Spotted hyena on a kill

Observing white backed vultures

Lioness and cubs, Linyanti Wetlands

The Linyanti Wetlands

from the river, forests of jackalberry and birdplum trees are alive with large troops of baboon. Roan, sable, kudu, impala and buffalo can be seen shading under apple-leaf trees and warthogs forage in the grass. Predators are ever-present, with large resident prides of lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah, and several packs of wild dog. The Linyanti Wetlands are protected by three of Botswana’s most exciting reserves. The Kwando Reserve stretches along the northern reach of the Linyanti River and is renowned for its large packs of wild dog. The Selinda Reserve stretches towards the Delta and has cheetah as well as lion that hunt hippo. The Linyanti Reserve has the Savute Channel running through it and is known for large herds of elephant as well as predators.

The Linyanti Wetlands lie northeast of the Okavango Delta, on the border with Namibia’s Caprivi Strip. This huge wilderness area stretches from the winding Linyanti River and encompasses papyrus swamps, shady forests and open grasslands fragrant with wild sage. Such diverse habitats support varied and prolific game. The region is superb for elephant, at their most spectacular along the Linyanti River, where breeding herds in their hundreds can frequently be seen crossing. There are some pretty drives along the floodplains where red lechwe, impala, zebra, waterbuck and giraffe can be found amongst a wealth of colourful birdlife including little beeeaters, glossy ibis and pinkbacked pelicans. Away

LEBALA CAMP, KWANDO RESERVE, LINYANTI WETLANDS Lebala is located on a peninsula of land jutting into the Linyanti marshes and is accessed by a small wooden bridge leading over a permanent channel of water. The attractive main boma is raised up on stilts above the waters and has a large lounge area with a high ceiling and views of floodplains. Game often grazes near camp, especially in the dry season. Lebala’s eight large tents are connected by sandy paths and set amongst the shady riverine trees. Each has an outdoor shower to the rear of the tent and a large sunny veranda at the front. Activities focus on day and night game drives in open 4x4s.

Duma Tau

DUMA TAU, LINYANTI RESERVE, LINYANTI WETLANDS This camp is built up on high decks so that hippo can pass undisturbed underneath. Wooden walkways (which squirrels run along) lead to ten thatch and canvas rooms where there are thoughtful touches such as wildlife books, flowers, and animal check lists. The main lodge is an open sided tented structure with squishy sofas set by the wooden bar and a communal dining room. A sandy area beneath the trees has a camp fire which is lit every night when guests return from game drives. The numerous activities include morning and afternoon game drives, boat trips in the middle of the day, walks and a choice of two hides to watch game from.

Lebala Camp

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 35


Khwai Adventurer Camp

Mobile camping safaris If lying in bed watching the tent shake because an elephant is scratching itself on it, or waking up to the sound of hyena eating a saucepan appeals to you, then you are probably the perfect candidate for a mobile camping safari. Not for the faint-hearted, mobile camping safaris are a ‘back-to-basics’ way of exploring Africa. As safari camps get ever more luxurious, we find that many travellers want to escape from the cut glass, fluffy towels and butler service and are keen to immerse themselves in the true spirit of safari. Leave behind the plush tents and get back to camping on the ground, dust in your hair and proper bush around you! Lunch on a mobile camping safari

Guides, Vehicles & Camp Crew On a scheduled departure the group sizes are restricted to eight people. When driving from camp to camp or on game drives you will travel in a modified land cruiser with four rows of seats and open sides. Each trip is led by a professional guide and backed up by a full camp crew. The crew are the masters of the mobile camp, erecting tents in minutes, producing three course meals from a kitchen under an acacia tree and heating water for bucket showers over an open fire. They are incredibly good at looking after your every need, from a hot-chocolate outside your tent on a chilly morning to a glass of red wine around the campfire at night.

Scheduled Departures We work closely with two mobile operators in Botswana who run scheduled trips across the country. There are a number of departure dates – usually a couple a week – thus offering flexibility to fit into your travel dates. The mobile safaris as a general rule start in Maun and explore the Okavango Delta, Linyanti Wetlands and Chobe National Park, ending at Livingstone from where you can enjoy the Victoria Falls. Similar trips run in the opposite direction. Trips tend to last for around ten days, and it is easy to add on more time either at the start or end of your trip. A tent on a mobile camping safari.

36

Campfires are lit each night


Watching elephant from a mokoro

return from game drives. A word of warning though – don’t leave your sponge bag outside the tent as hyenas can be rather partial to soap and toothpaste!

Hot water bucket shower

Camping Each night you stay in a mobile tented camp in a private campsite. One of our favourite sites is under a huge jackalberry tree beside the Linyanti Lagoon. At night the sound of the frogs is deafening and you often have a hippo near your tent.

Private departures If you are a family or travelling in a group of four or more it is often both cost-effective and great fun to take a private mobile safari across the country. The beauty of this is that you can tailor the trip exactly to your interests, staying in private wilderness spots across Botswana. You will have a private guide and vehicle as well as camp crew to erect camp, cook and look after you. There is nothing quite like having a tiny camp on a palm island in the middle of the Okavango all to yourself.

Whilst wild, the mobile camps are by no means uncomfortable. A full camp crew builds the camp which consists of large dome tents with camp beds and duvets. A small bedside table gives space for your book and torch. Basic en suite facilities are provided with a canvas basin of water, en suite bush loo and bucket shower, which will be filled with hot water when you

Zebra on the floodplains

A typical mobile camping safari Days 1-3

Fly from Maun to the Xigera Reserve, Central Okavango Delta for three nights. Game viewing on foot and by mokoro.

Days 4-5

Fly from the Xigera Reserve to the Moremi Game Reserve for two nights. Game viewing in open 4x4s.

Days 6-8

Game drive to the Linyanti Reserve for three nights. Further time on safari.

Day 9

Game drive to the Chobe River, boat cruise on the Chobe River. Afternoon drive to Livingstone for one night.

Day 10

Morning trip to Victoria Falls. Your safari ends at lunchtime for onward arrangements.

A walking safari

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 37


Elephant in the Chobe River

with herds of both seeing mammoth proportions. Elephant numbers are estimated at 40,000 to 60,000, so you are constantly surrounded by these gentle giants. In the dry season, thousands line the banks and cross the Chobe River, and boat trips at this time provide excellent photographic opportunities.

Crocodile on the banks of the Chobe

The Chobe National Park Encompassing an impressive 10,700 square kilometres of wilderness, the Chobe National Park stretches from the tip of Northern Botswana to the fringes of the Okavango Delta. It has a wide range of distinctive landscapes, from the emerald floodplains of the Chobe River to the sweeping grasslands of the Savuti Marsh and the skeletal leadwood trees of the Savuti Channel. In a region with such varied environments and habitats, there is a magnificent array of wildlife. A profusion of palatable grass species attracts a variety of herbivores, including wildebeest, impala, kudu, waterbuck, giraffe and tsessebe. The puku is found here, as is the endemic Chobe bushbuck. Predator sightings are good, with leopard, cheetah, wild dog and large prides of lion that hunt elephant. From servals to side-striped jackals, the list is endless. Chobe is famous for its elephant and buffalo populations,

CHOBE UNDER CANVAS, CHOBE NATIONAL PARK Chobe Under Canvas is a semi-permanent camp with five spacious walk-in tents, each with en suite bathroom facilities. While the accommodation at the camp is fairly simple, the service, quality of safari guiding and standard of food are absolutely superb and equal to those found at any of Botswana’s more luxurious permanent lodges. The camp is ideal for those seeking a return to the more traditional safari without compromising on quality. However camping is an adventurous way to experience Botswana and is not recommended for the faint-hearted!

Chobe Under Canvas

38

The viewing deck at Muchenje

MUCHENJE SAFARI LODGE, CHOBE NATIONAL PARK Muchenje Safari Lodge is perched high on the forested escarpment overlooking the plains of western Chobe. The lodge accommodates 22 guests in 11 thatched chalets, all sited on the escarpment edge with unique views. There is a pool built amongst natural rock formations which provides a perfect setting for chilling out during the heat of the day. Activities at Muchenje include walking safaris where you can learn more about the bush and study the behaviour of animals, plants and insects. Game drives are rewarding and the lunchtime river cruises are good opportunities for watching elephant, hippo, crocodiles and birds.


Brown hyena and pups

Watching meerkats in the Makgadikgadi

Bushmen

Flying over the Makgadikgadi Pans

The Makgadikgadi Pans, Kalahari

CAMP KALAHARI, MAKGADIKGADI PANS Camp Kalahari is nestled amongst the acacias and mokolwane palms of Brown Hyena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans. The camp offers an excellent Makgadikgadi experience for those who want a bit of adventure without sacrificing comfort and style. The six simple meru tents have comfy beds, crisp cotton sheets and hot water bottles in the winter. The lack of electricity means that the camp retains a rustic edge. Activities include walking with Bushman trackers, exploring the pans on quad bikes and visiting the famous Chapman’s Baobab. You can also meet the habituated meerkats and enjoy sleeping out under the stars.

The Makgadikgadi Pans are a place like no other. Mile upon mile of shimmering white salt pan stretches endlessly to the horizon, fringed with coarse grasses blowing in the wind, ancient baobabs reaching to the sky and vultures soaring on the thermals. There are prehistoric beaches, Stone Age remains and salty whirlwinds spinning over cracked earth. The pans are the relics of Africa’s ‘super-lake’ that covered the Kalahari several million years ago, and are littered with the fossils of the changing ecosystems that followed. Nowadays, the wildlife is both hardy and highly nomadic. Meerkat, mongooses, brown hyena, aardvark and aardwolf are present all year round. Secretary birds, ostrich and korhaans step through the grass and bateleurs soar overhead. When the rains arrive, a dramatic change takes place. Pink clouds of flamingo come to feed, herds of zebra and wildebeest are found on the savannah and the sound of frogs fills the air. There are only a few camps in the Makgadikgadi, and whether you stay in the dry or rainy season they all offer an experience that is unique and unforgettable.

The mess tent at Jack’s Camp

JACK’S CAMP, MAKGADIKGADI PANS Jack’s Camp has nine eclectic tents located on a small palm island near the Pans. With Persian rugs, antique chests inlaid with brass, four-poster beds and panelled bathrooms, the camp is one of a kind. The main dining tent has antique glass cabinets full of stone tools and fossils, there are photos of Bushmen, silver jugs of iced lime juice, and a library of old books. Activities from Jack’s are led both by guides and researchers. There’s the chance to sit surrounded by meerkats, walk with the Bushmen, explore by quad bike and lie on a salt pan watching the stars. Camp Kalahari

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 39


Game viewing in the Kalahari

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the world’s largest. It dominates the centre of Botswana and is Africa at its most remote and esoteric; a vast sand sheet punctuated by a few huge open plains, occasional salt pans, and fossil remains on ancient riverbeds. The Kalahari comes into its own during the rains from January to March. At this time the fresh grass attracts hundreds of migratory grazers such as springbok, zebra and wildebeest. Predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard and jackal follow. On rare occasions, wild dog and the secretive brown hyena are also observed. Birdlife is varied, with the world’s heaviest flying bird, the kori bustard, frequently spotted and the amusingly coiffed secretary birds regularly seen strutting across the plains. Later in the year the animals tend to move away from the open valley

Tau Pan Camp

40

KALAHARI PLAINS CAMP, CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

Black backed jackals

areas, making game viewing more challenging. However, it is at this time of year that you experience the true wilderness of the Central Kalahari, with other visitors few and far between.

Kalahari Plains Camp is set in the remote northern sector of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. There are ten en suite tents with outstanding views across open grassy plains, vegetated dunes and seasonal pans. Each tent is comfortably furnished inside and has a unique rooftop sleeping platform. With no light pollution the night skies in the Kalahari are stunning, so you can lie in a cosy bed looking at the stars of the Southern Cross and Milky Way above you.

TAU PAN CAMP, CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE Tau Pan Camp has eight custom built desert chalets, constructed under thatch in order to remain cool even during the heat of the day. The rooms are large and spacious, positioned on a ridge so that they catch the breeze and have magnificent views down to the man-made waterhole and Tau Pan beyond. Each room comes with either a twin or double bed, an indoor and outdoor shower and outside deck with comfy chairs. The camp also has a small swimming pool and a lovely central lodge area where you will generally sit down with your fellow guests and enjoy communal dining at the end of an adventurous day.

Kalahari Plains Camp

Gemsbok on the plains


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip

ZAMBIA

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

Kasane

NAMIBIA

ZAMBIA Livingstone Victoria Falls

Shinde Reserve

NAMIBIA

Kwando Reserve

Kwara Reserve

ZIMBABWE

ZIMBABWE

Moremi Game Reserve Nxabega Reserve

Maun Maun

Please call one of our Botswana specialists to start planning your itinerary.

BOTSWANA

Telephone: 01993 838 530

BOTSWANA

Getting around

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

There are two main ways to get around Botswana; flying by light aircraft or travelling in a 4x4 on a mobile safari. There are a number of light aircraft flights originating in Maun and Kasane and zipping to, from and between Botswana’s camps. Flights between camps tend to be in the middle of the day meaning you can enjoy an early morning game drive, fly to your next camp and be there in time for a cup of tea and evening game drive. If flying is not your thing then you can either take road transfers to the more accessible parks such as Chobe or take a private or shared mobile safari. These use 4x4s to navigate Botswana’s sandy tracks and each journey is a game drive in itself. Botswana is easy to combine with a trip to the Victoria Falls.

When to go Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

Classic Okavango

Emerald Season Explorer

This trip is ideal for those who want to enjoy some of Africa’s best game viewing. You will have the chance to stay deep within the Okavango Delta as well as on its fringes. Mokoro trips are the highlight of the Central Okavango as you can glide down peaceful channels and into lagoons. The dry land area of the Delta fringes provide a total contrast and you’ll enjoy drives in search of big game. Lion, elephant and buffalo abound, as do many other species. The trip ends with a couple of nights at Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world and a perfect end to an exciting safari.

This trip is tailored to be at its best during Botswana’s green season from November through to March. It starts in the Central Kalahari which comes to life at this time of year with zebra migrating into the area, followed by lion, hyena and leopard. From here you head into the Delta to an area of water and dry land. You can explore rivers and lagoons by boat and the plains in open 4x4s. The trip ends in the Linyanti region, an area renowned for large elephant herds and packs of wild dog. All the camps have been chosen for their excellent guides, meaning that you will get the absolute maximum out of your safari.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Maun via Johannesburg.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Maun via Johannesburg.

Days 2-3

Arrive in Maun and fly to the Northern Fringes of the Okavango Delta for two nights at Camp Okuti. Enjoy game drives, boat and mokoro trips.

Days 2-4

Arrive in Maun and fly to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve for three nights at Tau Camp. Enjoy game drives and walking safaris.

Days 5-7

Days 4-5

Fly to the Nxabega Reserve for two nights at Kanana Camp. Enjoy game drives and boat trips.

Fly to the Kwara Reserve for three nights at Kwara Camp. Further time on safari.

Days 6-8

Fly to the Shinde Reserve for three nights at Shinde Camp. Further time on safari.

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Botswana has a subtropical desert climate characterised by low rainfall and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night. It has a dry season from May to October and a rainy season from November to April. When planning a trip to the Okavango Delta, flood levels must be considered. The floods tend to arrive in June creating flooded plains, deeper lagoons and hundreds of channels. The waters recede around November and more dry land is exposed. These affect some boating activities at camps. Our specialists can advise you on the best camps to go to during the different seasons of the year. Time difference: GMT+2 hours Flight time from UK: 13.5 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Botswana on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Days 9-10 Light aircraft flight to Livingstone for two nights at Tongabezi Lodge. Explore the Victoria Falls, visit local village and take boat trips on the Zambezi River. Day 11

Fly from Livingstone to the UK via Johannesburg.

Day 12

Arrive in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer A week on the beach is a great way to end a safari, and Botswana combines well with the Quirimba Archipelago in Northern Mozambique. This string of coral islands has hidden coves and soft sandy beaches where green turtles nest. You could stay on a private island with nothing more to do than relax on the sand or could choose to explore Ibo Island and wander in its ruined Swahili city. With just a handful of characterful lodges and excellent seafood cuisine, these islands are ideal for a week of luxury and total relaxation.

Days 8-10 Fly to the Kwando Reserve for three nights at Lebala Camp. Enjoy game viewing in open 4x4s. Day 11

Fly to Maun and fly to the UK via Johannesburg.

Day 12

Arrive in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer A good way to start a trip to Botswana is with a few nights at Victoria Falls. After a long international flight there is nothing nicer than arriving in Livingstone and going straight to a small lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River. By lunchtime you can be enjoying a meal with the sounds of the hippos in the river. You can enjoy sunset boat trips, a morning visit to the Victoria Falls and perhaps even take a picnic to an island in the middle of the river. After a couple of nights of real relaxation you can head off, fully refreshed, for your safari.

www.audleytravel.com/botswana

01993 838 530

Botswana 41


Zambia

hattering and throwing palmnuts onto the roof of your cottage, the monkeys start your day before the sun does. Emerging into the misty morning, a cup of coffee in hand, you watch as the sun rises over a broad snaking river. A breeding herd of elephant soundlessly descends the dusty bank to drink. The sun turns the glassy water pink, crocodiles stir and a fish eagle’s screech

C

42

pierces the air. Welcome to Zambia – you have arrived in the wild heart of Africa. Zambia is the home of the walking safari, and its prolific game is especially exhilarating when encountered on foot. Elephant, lion, wild dog, spotted hyena, giraffe and puku are just some of the game you will see. Beware: once you’ve approached a hundred-strong herd of buffalo on foot,

game-viewing from a vehicle may never give quite the same thrill. At night there are drives to search for leopard, the spotlight seeking the reflection of feline eyes in the undergrowth. From the tree-climbing lions of the Busanga Plains to the hundred-strong hippo pods of the South Luangwa, Zambia is untamed, little-explored and as wild as it has ever been.


Audley in Zambia

8 7 2

1

5

3

4

Zambia is one of our favourite countries in Southern Africa and our extensive knowledge of it comes from many years of travelling and operating safaris in the region. Our chosen camps are small and run by friendly and capable Zambians whose welcome is always warm. They are also delightfully close to nature – you might have a vervet monkey on the roof of your banda or a hippo grazing the lodge lawn at night. The country’s main game areas; the Luangwa Valley, Lower Zambezi and Kafue, are all reached by a good network of flights. Travellers usually spend time in one or two areas to enjoy the contrasting scenery and game. There are several good trip extension options: a few days in Livingstone to see the Victoria Falls, or Lake Malawi is a short flight away. Zambia is easy to travel around but don’t let this persuade you that it is a tame country – it is one of the wildest in southern Africa.

6

Accommodation

5 Busanga Plains

Vast floodplains and the centrepiece of the Kafue. Home to plains game, tree climbing lions and cheetah. Dusk at Busanga Bushcamp

1 South Luangwa

National Park The home of the walking safari and one of the best parks in Africa for leopard sightings. 2 North Luangwa

National Park A wild park with only two camps and numerous lion and buffalo, excellent for walking safaris.

6 Livingstone Livingstone offers beautiful riverside lodges from which to see the Victoria Falls. 7 Shiwa Ng’andu

An incongruous stately home built in the remote north by eccentric Englishman Stewart Gore Browne.

African hoopoe

8 Bangweulu Wetlands Seasonally flooded grass plains that support a rich diversity of water birds. Shoebill stork and black lechwe are found here.

In the national parks, a lodge and a handful of satellite bushcamps are usually owned by one safari operator, often a family business. The lodge will have around six rooms and is often a good place in which to start your safari. The satellite bush camps tend to be in remote areas and focus on walking safaris. Typically, they have three simple chalets made of reed and thatch. Overlooking rivers or waterholes, the dining room might be under a sausage tree and the open air bathrooms visited by a tree frog or two. All accommodation is unfenced so it’s common for wildlife to wander through camp. Livingstone’s beautiful riverside lodges are the ideal place in which to start or end a safari; from here you can enjoy Victoria Falls and fall asleep to the sound of hippos grunting in the water.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Zambia, please see page 55.

3 Lower Zambezi

National Park One of Africa’s most scenic wildlife areas, concentrated around the Zambezi River. The park supports high densities of big game.

www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

4 Kafue National Park A huge wilderness encompassing rivers, picturesque woodland and open floodplains.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Zambia specialists 01993 838 505

Elephant in the Lower Zambezi

Zambia 43


Watching elephant on a walking safari

South Luangwa National Park The South Luangwa National Park is tropical, wild and beautiful. Situated in a wide rift valley, the park is flanked by the Muchinga escarpment to the west and the meandering Luangwa River to the east. Its lush and diverse vegetation is home to a wide variety of game and rich birdlife. Much of the game is found near the river, with herds of elephant and buffalo descending the banks to drink. Large crocodiles laze on sandbanks and at dusk hundreds of hippo leave their pools and lumber up the banks to graze. Impala and puku are common and Thornicroft’s giraffe can be seen in the forests. Cookson’s wildebeest, Crawshay’s zebra, waterbuck, bushbuck, grysbok and oribi are

also found. Predators abound, with lion and spotted hyena common, while the leopards are always a highlight. Finally, there are over 400 species of bird, with specialities including flocks of crowned cranes, colonies of carmine bee-eaters and a breeding colony of yellowbilled stork. Walking safaris are a speciality in the Luangwa. Accompanied by guides and scouts, walks explore the riverbanks and pretty dambos with their green Nile cabbage and crocodiles. There are also day and night drives in open 4x4s.

KAPANI LODGE, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Kapani Lodge is a welcoming lodge located in a wildlife area adjacent to the South Luangwa

National Park. It has six cottages overlooking a pretty lagoon which attracts a wide variety of game. With shady gardens, a small pool and chattering vervet monkeys, it’s a perfect start to a safari. Walks and drives in the park are led by experienced guides. Kapani works well in combination with a few of its satellite bushcamps (Luwi, Nsolo and Kakuli), which are located deep within the park.

LUWI, NSOLO AND KAKULI BUSHCAMPS, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK These three bushcamps are situated along the Luwi and Luangwa rivers and you can ramble from one to the other on a guided walk. Luwi is tiny and delightful, with four simple reed rooms under mahogany trees. Nsolo has beautiful raised chalets with polished wooden floors and open air bathrooms. Finally, Kakuli overlooks the confluence of the Luwi and Luangwa rivers and a noisy pod of hippos in the water below.

MCHENJA BUSHCAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Mchenja Bushcamp stands in an ancient ebony grove – a favourite of baboons – on the banks of the Luangwa. It is one of the most picturesque sites in the park for a camp. There are four spacious tents, with polished wooden floors, large decks and en suite bathrooms. Activities from camp include walking safaris and game drives. Dining at Nsolo Bushcamp

44


Young male lion in the Luangwa

Watching puku on a game drive

Chamilandu Bushcamp

CHINDENI BUSHCAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Chindeni has one of the most stunning locations in the South Luangwa, nestled on the apex of a permanent oxbow lagoon in the shadow of the magnificent Nchindeni Hills. Watching the sunrise over the hills in the morning is a wonderful way to start the day. Sitting on wooden decking, Chindeni’s four en suite tents have raised verandas, ideal platforms from which to view the resident game. Chindeni is only six kilometres from one of its sister camps, Bilimungwe, so you can enjoy an early morning walk between the two.

Leopard in the South Luangwa

CHAMILANDU BUSHCAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

KAPAMBA BUSHCAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Chamilandu is situated in a remote spot on the Luangwa River. The décor of the two-metre high tree house chalets is a tasteful blend of wrought iron and brass. Open to a 180° vista, the front of each tree house chalet provides the frame for all of the Luangwa Valley’s wildlife, and the four poster beds enjoy a bird’s eye view over the waters of the Luangwa River. A series of seven ox-bow lagoons around Chamilandu yield diverse habitats and attract abundant wildlife. This is a wonderful place to explore both on foot and in 4x4s.

Kapamba Bushcamp is a beautiful camp with views over the Kapamba River. There are four stone and thatch chalets, which are open on one side allowing you to step out into the bush from your bedroom. Each chalet has an en suite bathroom with large tub. At night your bathroom is sometimes shared by a couple of small frogs, who will sit and watch you clean your teeth! There is a large deck in the centre of camp where you can sit and enjoy breakfast in the sun and campfires in the evening.

KUYENDA BUSHCAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Kuyenda sits on the banks of the Manzi River. The accommodation consists of three rondavels made entirely of local material – reed, thatch and wood. The chalets are rustic but comfortable and offer an authentic bush home. En suite bathrooms have bucket showers and guests can order hot water in advance – this is a true safari experience. Kuyenda is in a good walking area and some walks are guided by Phil Berry, who has unmatched knowledge of the Luangwa Valley, having spent the last 30 years here.

Kapamba Bushcamp

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

Zambia 45


Lioness beside the Luangwa River

TAFIKA CAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Tafika Camp stands on high banks above the Luangwa River. Owned by John and Carol Coppinger, it prides itself on having some of the most experienced guides in the park. The camp itself is comfortable, with five large bungalows. Once across the river, you are in a pristine wildlife area of the park where there are no roads or other camps, so it is well suited to walking safaris. John owns a microlight and will take guests up into the air at dawn. Skimming low over the Luangwa River and watching crocodile splash into the water is an exhilarating experience. Tafika combines well with a walking safari to its satellite bushcamps, Chikoko and Crocodile.

LION CAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Lion Camp is located in an area away from other camps so guests enjoy a private and wild safari experience. The camp overlooks a lagoon and is unfenced so it is not unusual for antelope, elephant and hippo to wander through the camp during the day. Linked by raised wooden walkways are nine luxurious canvas and thatch chalets. The centre of camp has a large deck where dinner is often eaten under the stars. It is one of the few camps in the park to have a small pool, very welcome in the hot summer months.

Mobile walking safaris

A chalet at Tafika

NKWALI CAMP, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK Nkwali Camp is located in an area of ebony woodland and open grass plains. Elephant often cross the Luangwa River near to the lodge and crocodiles can be seen lazing on the sandbanks. Nkwali has six luxurious chalets overlooking the river and a large bar built around an ebony tree. Dining is often outside under a tree, and sometimes on a sandbank in the middle of the river! Nkwali combines well with its sister camps Tena Tena and Nsefu.

One of our favourite places to start a three day walking trail is Tafika Camp. On a typical trail you would set out from Tafika for a morning’s walk through a pristine wilderness area to the first camp, Crocodile Camp, only accessible on foot. A day or so can be spent at Crocodile before taking a morning walk to Chikoko Bushcamp. After a couple of nights at Chikoko, you can then enjoy a walk back to Tafika. The beauty of this trail is that it can be tailored to your interests and pace, whether you enjoy long or short walks, or a mixture of both. The camps are delightful with simple reed and thatch chalets and hot bucket showers. You will dine under sausage trees, shower under the stars and sit around campfires.

The campfire at Lion Camp

46

Zambia is renowned for its walking safaris, which were pioneered in the Luangwa Valley. There are two ways to enjoy walking safaris – either on morning and afternoon rambles out and back to the same camp or on a three or four day dedicated walking trail.


Lion pride

Viewing buffalo on a walking safari

Carmine bee-eaters

Walking along the Mwaleshi River

North Luangwa National Park

MWALESHI CAMP, NORTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

The North Luangwa is a wild park with virtually no roads and thus the focus is on walking safaris. The small Mwaleshi River runs through the park, with clear shallow waters and low banks, perfect for rambling along. Game gravitates towards the river, particularly in the dry season when it is common to see buffalo, lion and hyena in healthy numbers by the water. There are some particularly pretty dambos covered in brilliant Nile cabbage with a hippo or two only visible by their flickering ears. A short flight from the South Luangwa, we recommend adding this park onto the end of a safari there and suggest that you stay at least four days to fully explore this peaceful wilderness.

Crawshay’s zebra

Mwaleshi Camp is one of our favourite camps in Africa. Taking a maximum of six guests, its reed chalets overlook the Mwaleshi River. Early mornings and evenings are spent walking along the banks of the river, looking at everything from elephant-shrew tracks to lions, determined dung beetles to exquisite seed pods. In the heat of the day it is possible to paddle in the clear, shallow river in front of camp, which has tiny silver fish but apparently no crocodiles!

Shiwa Ng’andu House

Shiwa Ng’andu Shiwa Ng’andu is an old English manor house, built deep in the African bush. A flight from the South Luangwa, it is remote but well worth making the journey for. Perfect avenues of eucalyptus lead to a graceful stately home with sweeping staircases, panelled libraries, Persian rugs, muskets, chests and a clock tower topping the slate tiled roof. Built by Sir Stewart Gore Browne in the early 20th century and brought to public attention by Christina Lamb’s book ‘The Africa House’, it is steeped in history and a living memorial to the life and work of Sir Stewart. A stay here amply rewards the intrepid traveller and could not provide more of a contrast with Zambia’s safari camps.

Sundown at Mwaleshi

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

Zambia 47


Observing wild dog on a game drive

The Lower Zambezi National Park Once over the Zambezi escarpment, your pilot will begin to lower the aeroplane and the vast rift valley of the Lower Zambezi will unfold before you, with curving oxbow lagoons and the sandy waters of the great Zambezi River. Pods of hippo litter the water, clumped herds of buffalo can be seen on the floodplains, and elephant move, ears flapping and trunks up, through the trees and away from the sound of the plane. With its floodplains, grasslands and tall forests, the Lower Zambezi Valley supports fantastic game densities. Impala are everywhere and kudu, eland, waterbuck, zebra and wildebeest are also common. Elephant are often seen swimming the Zambezi River to feed on the grassy islands where buffalo graze. The sandy river banks are home to iridescent carmine bee-eater colonies while kingfishers and African skimmers flit above

Breakfast at Chongwe River Camp

48

the waters. Predators include leopard, large prides of lion and packs of wild dog. From walking safaris to drives, boating and fishing, the Zambezi has so much to offer that we recommend a stay of at least three days to explore it fully.

CHONGWE RIVER CAMP, LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK Chongwe River Camp is set under a canopy of winterthorn acacias on the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers. The nine tents all face the river and are cool and comfortable. A pod of hippos occupy the river in front of the lodge and crocodiles often laze on the opposite riverbank alongside storks, herons and geese. Activities from camp include game drives, walking safaris, boat trips, canoeing and tiger fishing.

SAUSAGE TREE CAMP, LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK Sausage Tree Camp is a luxurious camp perched on a high sandy bank where bee-eaters nest. There are seven stylish tents which have large beds, antique telephones (the network extends as far as the bar) and open air bathrooms. There is an airy living room with lots of books and a dining room where excellent meals are served. Activities from camp include game drives, walking safaris and boat trips and Sausage Tree also operates a canoe trail up the Zambezi River. Canoeing by day and sleeping on islands by night is an exciting way to experience the wildlife.

The honeymoon suite at Sausage Tree Camp

OLD MONDORO, LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK Old Mondoro is small and simple, surrounded by good walking country, making it the ideal camp from which to enjoy walks as well as game drives. There are four chalets with double beds, en suite bathrooms and timber decks outside. At night, lanterns lead from the chalets to the dining room, where you can sit around the fire and discuss the day’s events. Set deep in the park, the camp is surrounded by excellent game densities, making drives, walks and boat trips very rewarding.

Old Mondoro


Waterbuck in Mana Pools National Park

Young leopard

Canoe safari in Mana Pools

Rukomechi Camp

The pool at Rukomechi Camp

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe Directly across the river from the Lower Zambezi National Park is Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Reached by a three hour road and boat transfer from Lusaka or via a short flight, this is a great alternative to a safari in the Lower Zambezi. In its heyday, Mana was one of the most sought after and exclusive parks in Zimbabwe, and as few visitors have travelled there in the last ten years, the park remains unchanged. The presence of scouts and rangers has meant that it has been unaffected by poaching, and game densities are as high as they’ve ever been. Visitors are now returning to the park, accessing it from the Zambian side and enjoying one of Southern Africa’s premier wildlife destinations, with the added bonus of having to share it with few other visitors.

Mana Pools covers 2,000 square kilometres of total wilderness, much of it with no roads, so it is ideal for exploration on foot. This stretch of the Zambezi River is famous for its four pools: Main, Chine, Long and Chisambuk, which are remnants of channels of the river which stopped flowing years ago. These, and smaller seasonal pools dotted further inland, hold water all year round, drawing a wide variety of game. The area is renowned for having large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are regularly sighted and the birdlife is superb. There are only a couple of small camps in the park as well as a number of guided canoe trails. It is an excellent addition to a trip to Zambia and suited to those looking for a pure safari experience.

RUCKOMECHI CAMP, MANA POOLS Ruckomechi Camp sits in a grove of acacia and mahogany trees on the banks of the Zambezi River. There are ten spacious tents, all with double or twin beds and en suite bathrooms with hot showers. The central dining and lounge areas face the Zambezi escarpment and a separate deck has an infinity pool for the hot afternoons and a cushion-strewn star gazing deck for night. Activities from the camp include game drives, boat trips and walking safaris, although it is often unnecessary to leave the camp to see game, as elephant frequently wander in to snack on the fruit of the albida trees.

MANA CANOE TRAIL, MANA POOLS This three night canoe trail explores one of the most beautiful stretches of the Zambezi River. The whole trail covers a distance of 65 kilometres, and each day you’ll canoe a stretch of river before stopping for lunch on an island or sandbank. There is the chance to explore the park on foot in the afternoon before camping each night on the banks of the river. The trail is led by an experienced guide and support vehicles and staff set up camp each day on your arrival. It is an ideal trip for the fit and adventurous traveller who wants to encounter wildlife from close quarters.

Tents on a Mana canoe trail

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

Zambia 49


Dawn on the Busanga Plains

zebra, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, blue wildebeest, oribi and sable antelope. Cheetah stalk through the stubbly grass and prides of lion relax along the branches of fig trees. With clouds of open billed storks overhead, you are surrounded by wildlife. This variety of environments can be explored on walking safaris, boat trips and day and night game drives.

Lufupa River Lodge

The Kafue National Park At over 22,000 square kilometres, the Kafue National Park is a huge magical wilderness. It has tropical rivers filled with hippo, vast floodplains with herds of grazers, and twisted fig trees among whose branches lions are found. With few visitors, it is wild and untamed. In the north, the Lufupa and Lunga Rivers twist and turn, and boating along these you will see the corrugated backs of crocodiles gliding silently under overhanging trees. Elephant come to the small sandy beaches to drink along with bushbuck, defassa waterbuck, eland and more. Deep in the park, the Busanga Plains are a highlight. Seasonal floodplains, these immense grasslands are only accessible from June to October. Here the new shoots attract large herds of puku, red lechwe,

50

LUFUPA RIVER LODGE, KAFUE NATIONAL PARK

Hot air ballooning over the Busanga Plains

Situated on the banks of the Lunga River, this small lodge is welcoming and comfortable with twelve canvas chalets looking out onto the water. There’s a small pool and bar deck on stilts above the water – perfect for sundowners in the warm evenings. Lufupa offers a variety of activities including boat trips, walks, and day and night drives.

Hot air ballooning

BUSANGA BUSHCAMP, KAFUE NATIONAL PARK Busanga Bushcamp sits on a fig tree island on the Busanga Plains. The four tented rooms have gauze netting walls permitting fabulous views over the Plains. There are en suite open air bathrooms which allow you to shower either with the sun beating down on your back or under the stars. Dining is under canvas and there’s always a campfire in the evenings. Activities focus on day and night drives on the Busanga Plains as well as hot air ballooning.

A fascinating way to experience the Busanga Plains is from the basket of a hot air balloon. You will take off before dawn and rise up into the air with the sun. The balloon will float where the wind takes it – over grasslands, fig tree islands, rivers and wetlands. Wildlife looks different when viewed from above – you can see birds roosting at the tops of trees, the patterns of herds on the plains and the backs of hippos and crocodiles in the water. Accompanied by the mist that often rises off the plains in the early morning, these trips are visually stunning and excellent for keen photographers. On landing, a champagne breakfast is served before a leisurely game drive back to camp.


Elephant in front of the Luangwa House

Zambia’s safari houses The concept of the safari house, now popular across Africa, was pioneered in Zambia. The country has a number of beautiful houses, all built in the middle of the bush, with spacious living areas, characterful bedrooms and luxurious bathrooms. On stepping out through the front door, however, you might encounter puku on the lawn or an elephant drinking from the swimming pool. These luxurious houses are booked exclusively and are ideal for small groups. Luangwa House and Robin’s House are located in the heart of the South Luangwa. Chongwe River House and Kigelia House are located in the Lower Zambezi and Tangala House is close to Livingstone, on the banks of the Zambezi River and near a rather noisy pod of hippos. The safari houses are ideal for families, which the Zambians welcome with open arms. The houses come complete with guides and activities that can be tailored to each specific family. Game drives can be enjoyed by parents and children together, or the children can enjoy their own special safari programme. There is a range of activities for young guests, from walking out to collect seed pods to tracking lessons. For younger children, the kitchen and gardens are a highlight and they can bake cookies, collect hens’ eggs and pick pineapples.

ROBIN’S HOUSE, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK

Chongwe River House

CHONGWE RIVER HOUSE, LOWER ZAMBEZI NATIONAL PARK Chongwe River House has a secluded setting on the banks of the Chongwe River. The house has furniture made from winterhorn trees and its ceiling contains pebbles from the Chongwe River. The four bedrooms have spectacular views, and the en suite bathrooms have taps carved from bone. Outside there is a small pool and the lawn is ideal for al fresco dining.

Robin’s House is situated on the banks of the Luangwa River and shaded by ebony trees. Stone steps lead up into a cool central living room with squashy sofas and views of the river. The living room has two bedrooms leading off it, each with an en suite bathroom with shower and bathtub. A short walk away from the house there is a pool that is shared with nearby Nkwali Camp. The house comes with its own staff, including a private chef and a guide.

LUANGWA HOUSE, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK The Luangwa House overlooks a seasonal lagoon, frequented by elephant and giraffe. It is built with ancient leadwood trees, stone and thatch. There are four bedrooms, two upstairs and two downstairs. The centre of the house is dominated by a stunning open plan living room with views out to the waterhole. Outside there is a plunge pool and a walkway out to a viewing deck above the waterhole. In the dry season this is a particularly exciting place to sit, as herds of elephant come to drink.

Robin’s House

A bedroom in Luangwa House

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

Zambia 51


Victoria Falls

Livingstone & Victoria Falls One of the natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls is known as the ‘smoke that thunders’ in the local language. It is an apt name given the thundering roar that resounds as the sparkling Zambezi River pours great cascades of white water over the lip of the Falls. Walking along little paths to view this phenomenon of nature, you see trumpeter hornbills dart out from dripping trees to fly across the water. Vervet monkeys and baboons chatter and a rainbow forms across the spray when the sun comes out. There are excellent views from the Zambian side, where you can also cross Knife Edge Bridge to an island surrounded by water. Ten kilometres from the Victoria Falls, Livingstone town has sprung to life with lots of small guesthouses, lively markets and operators offering every possible activity from helicopter rides to exhilarating whitewater rafting trips and gentle boat cruises on the Zambezi. We recommend staying outside the

A chalet at Waterberry

52

town in one of the quiet lodges on the Zambezi River, from where you can visit the Victoria Falls as well as go on sunset boat trips, walks and visits to village markets.

TONGABEZI LODGE & SINDABEZI ISLAND CAMP, LIVINGSTONE Tongabezi is situated on the banks of the Zambezi River. Rooms are large with polished stone floors, cream fabrics and en suite bathrooms with Victorian baths and shining brass taps. There’s a pool built into the rocks and sunloungers in the shade. Tongabezi combines well with a stay at its sister camp, Sindabezi. Sitting on a little island in the middle of the river, Sindabezi is a tranquil spot with white fronted bee-eaters flitting from the trees. The rooms are luxurious and the welcome warm – it is one of our favourite camps in Zambia.

WATERBERRY ZAMBEZI LODGE, LIVINGSTONE This pretty lodge is located on the banks of the Zambezi about 45 minutes’ drive from the Victoria Falls. There are seven thatched cottages overlooking either the river or gardens. A split-level main building houses a dining and lounge area and looks over the water. A great place to relax, Waterberry also offers a range of activities including a guided trip to the Victoria Falls, a sunset cruise on the river, and a particularly interesting visit to a nearby village with one of the local staff.

A room at Sindabezi Island Camp

TOKA LEYA, LIVINGSTONE Toka Leya has 15 canvas rooms on the banks of the Zambezi River. All rooms are connected by wooden walkways, allowing game to pass through the camp uninterrupted. The main lodge comprises of an open sided lounge with comfortable sofas and tables for private or communal dining. The bar has views onto the river, and there is a shady deck where you can enjoy lunch. The pool and small spa make this an ideal place to relax before or after a safari.

Toka Leya


The Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls Town

Malachite kingfisher

Dining at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe

THE VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL, VICTORIA FALLS TOWN

VICTORIA FALLS SAFARI LODGE, VICTORIA FALLS TOWN

This historic hotel overlooks the Victoria Falls Bridge and the gorges below. Situated in acres of private garden, the charm and tranquil atmosphere has long been a favourite with visitors. A walk along the hotel’s pathway will bring guests out at the top of the gorge and provides views of the bridge. With colonial prints and antique furniture, history surrounds you at every turn. The colonial heritage extends into the 184 rooms and suites which all have four-poster or canopy beds. The hotel’s famous Stanley’s Terrace is the place to enjoy afternoon tea watching the spray rise up from the water.

The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge is set high on a plateau, four kilometres from town. The plateau forms a natural boundary to the unfenced Zambezi National Park and there are fantastic uninterrupted views from the hotel. A waterhole in front of the lodge attracts a variety of game during the dry season, including elephants, buffalo, impala and kudu. With the feel of a large safari lodge there are 72 en suite rooms with hardwoods, thatch and vibrant colours, all facing across the park. As well as visits to the Falls you can enjoy guided bushwalks on the surrounding reserve.

The small town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is less than two kilometres south of the Zambezi River and the border to Zambia. Until Zimbabwe’s political problems surfaced, it was the place to stay to see the waterfalls and the town was buzzing and vibrant. Whilst the past few years saw troubled times for the country, Victoria Falls Town was one of the few areas that managed to retain a semblance of a tourism industry. Recently the town has begun to come to life again with hotels receiving refurbishments and new restaurants opening. The streets are now busy and everything from washing powder to wooden curios is readily available. The town has a number of hotels, including the famous Victoria Falls Hotel which was always, and still is, the place to have tea on the terrace. You can walk to the Falls from many of the hotels and enjoy a leisurely morning exploring the rainforest pathways with the backdrop of chattering monkeys. Easily reached from the parks in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Victoria Falls Town is once again, a wonderful start or end to any safari.

ILALA LODGE, VICTORIA FALLS TOWN Ilala Lodge enjoys a secluded location close to town. It is the nearest lodge to the Falls and from the gardens you can hear the roar of the water. The lodge borders the Victoria Falls National Park and it is common to see wildlife wandering across the lawn. A wide verandah wraps round the front of the hotel providing a shady area where you can relax and look out across the pretty gardens. There are 32 en suite rooms, a pool with a thatched bar area and a good restaurant that is popular with hotel residents and locals alike.

Ilala Lodge, Victoria Falls Town

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

Zambia 53


Luangwa in the Green Season

Zambia’s Green Season

Young impala

In Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, the time from November to May is known as the Green Season. Heavy rains arrive, promoting lush growth that sparkles green under hot skies. Plains are carpeted with tall grasses and the land is flushed with thickets and forests in full foliage. The rains are welcomed by the locals as it is good for the surrounding farms. Days are beautiful and warm between showers, many of which occur in the afternoons or at night. With the downpour of rain the Luangwa River swells and bursts its banks, flooding lagoons which fill with hundreds of waterbirds. Herbivores give birth and birds are in breeding plumage. The only creature that is notable for its absence is the visitor. With parks empty of vehicles and prices a fraction of those in high season, this is a magical time for the safari enthusiast.

Wildlife in the Green Season In the Green Season you will not see the great numbers of game congregated at water sources that you would in the dry season. However, the rains bring abundant food and many animals give birth. There are nurseries of tiny impala tottering around on wobbly legs and baby warthogs sprinting to burrows. Proliferation of vulnerable animals brings about increased predator activity and sightings can be extraordinary. In early May packs of wild dogs are seen. Birding is exceptional with an influx of migratory birds arriving in the valley. Spirals of migrating storks fill the air, heronries are formed and colonies of weavers’ nests hang over lagoons. Birds adopt colourful breeding plumage and mating displays are common.

Special interest safaris The Green Season lends itself to a number of specialist safaris. It is an excellent time of year for photographers as there is less dust and the air is crystal clear. The skies begin the day blue before building up in the afternoon with spectacular clouds and light. Two photographic workshops are run in the South Luangwa allowing amateur photographers to improve their skills. Two migrations arrive in Zambia at this time; blue wildebeest to the Liuwa plain in early November and ten million bats to Kasanka in late November. Mobile safaris run to each migration. Finally, around early May two wild dog safaris are run in the Luangwa to see these endangered animals.

Safaris in the Green Season Because of water levels, fewer camps are open during the Green Season. Those that do remain open include Kapani Lodge, Kakuli Bushcamp, Nkwali, Nsefu, Mfuwe Lodge and Kapamba Bushcamp. These camps have a good network of all-weather roads making game drives possible. In addition to game drives many camps offer boat trips on the Luangwa River. As visitor numbers are low, you can often enjoy private guiding from some of Zambia’s top guides. Masked weaver displaying

54


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

ZAMBIA

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

South Luangwa National Park

ZAMBIA

South Luangwa National Park

Lusaka

Lusaka

Please call one of our Zambia specialists to start planning your itinerary.

Lower Zambezi National Park

Telephone: 01993 838 505 Livingstone

ZIMBABWE

ZIMBABWE

Getting around Zambia’s four main game areas are the Kafue National Park, Lower Zambezi National Park and the North and South Luangwa Parks. Distances between the parks are large and roads poor. For this reason we will fly you from one to the other, using a network of light aircraft flights. On arrival at the airstrip you will be met by your guide with an open 4x4 and taken to your first camp. A typical itinerary will usually incorporate a number of camps in one park. Travelling from one to the other can either be done by game drive or on foot, as many of Zambia’s camps are deliberately spaced at walking distance apart.

When to go Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

Classic Zambia This itinerary combines a stay on an island near to the Victoria Falls with a week on a wild safari in the South Luangwa National Park. On tiny Sindabezi Island, in the middle of the Zambezi River, you can relax and enjoy boat trips on the river. A spectacular flight across Zambia takes you to the heart of the South Luangwa National Park. Here we’ve chosen a series of small camps in a remote area of the park. You can spend your days game viewing from open vehicles or on foot, and as darkness falls, there is the chance to search for leopard, honey badgers, bushbabies and porcupines on a night drive. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Livingstone via Johannesburg.

Days 2-4

Arrive in Livingstone for three nights at Sindabezi Island Camp. Explore the Victoria Falls, visit local village and take boat trips on the Zambezi River.

Days 5-7

Fly to the South Luangwa for three nights at Chamilandu Bushcamp. Enjoy game drives, night drives and walking safaris.

Days 8-9

Walk or game drive from Chamilandu to Chindeni Bushcamp. Further time on safari.

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Zambia is situated in the tropics and receives strong sunlight and good rainfall. Its seasons can broadly be divided into two periods, the dry season which runs from May to the end of October and the green season which run from November to April. In the dry season you can expect clear blue skies and sunshine. The months of July and August can be cold at night but are hot during the day. As the dry season progresses the temperature rises with September and October seeing temperatures of over 30°C. From November onwards, Zambia receives high rainfall. This leads to many areas becoming inaccessible and the camps in the Kafue and Lower Zambezi close. Some camps in the South Luangwa stay open and offer good boat safaris. The vegetation explodes, animals give birth and bird numbers swell with an influx of migrants. Time difference: GMT+2 hours Flight time from UK: 10 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Zambia on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Days 10-11 Game drive to Kapamba Bushcamp for two nights. Further time on safari. Day 12

Game drive from Kapamba to the airstrip. Fly to Lusaka for one night.

Day 13

Fly from Lusaka to the UK. Arrive back in the UK in the early evening.

Stay longer The South Luangwa combines easily with a beach stay on Lake Malawi. A light aircraft flight takes you straight into Lilongwe from where you can drive or fly onwards to the lake. We recommend staying on colourful Likoma Island, with its small fishing and farming villages and easy pace of life. With no traffic, the roads are ideal for cycling and there is plenty to see, from the golden beaches to the impressive cathedral on the centre of the island. Stay a week or so at Kaya Mawa, an idyllic property perched up on rocks above crystal clear waters, and spend your days relaxing beside the pool, on the beach, snorkelling, sailing and diving.

Luangwa & Lower Zambezi Explorer This itinerary uses three camps with prime locations in their respective parks. Combining the Luangwa and Lower Zambezi provides a good contrast in scenery, activities and game and gives a rounded safari experience. Starting in the Luangwa at Kakuli Bushcamp you can enjoy day and night game drives before walking along the river to your next camp, Muchenja. After time here, a spectacular flight over the Zambezi escarpment brings you to the Lower Zambezi. As well as day and night game drives and walking safaris, the Lower Zambezi is particularly good for boat trips. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Lusaka.

Days 2-4

Arrive in Lusaka and connect with a flight to the South Luangwa for two nights at Kakuli Bushcamp. Enjoy game drives, night drives and walking safaris.

Days 5-7

Walk or game drive to Mchenja Bushcamp for two nights. Further time on safari.

Days 8-11 Game drive to the airstrip. Fly to the Lower Zambezi for four nights at Sausage Tree Camp. Enjoy game drives, night drives, walking safaris and boat trips on the Zambezi River. Day 12

Fly to Lusaka and on to the UK. Arrive back in the UK in the evening.

Stay longer Complete the safari with a trip to the Kafue National Park. This spectacular wildlife area has few camps and is wild and unexplored. From Lufupa Lodge enjoy boat trips, walking safaris and game drives. Then, take a trip up to the Busanga Plains to stay in Busanga Bushcamp and take to the air in a hot air balloon.

Viewing hippo on a walking safari

www.audleytravel.com/zambia

01993 838 505

53 Zambia 55


Malawi

n a cleft of the Great Rift Valley, Malawi is dominated by the huge sparkling waters of Lake Malawi which provide the lifeblood of this small country’s fertile lands. In addition to the lake, Malawi boasts a diversity of scenery and activities to rival those of her better known neighbours. In the south of the country, visitors will find vibrant green tea plantations and the lofty

I

56

Zomba Plateau, ideal for a few days’ hiking in the clear mountain air. Here also is Liwonde National Park, home to sable antelope, waterbuck, impala and bushbuck. The palm fringed Shire River twists through the park and has noisy pods of hippos in its calm waters. Elephant come to the river to drink and colorful birds flit amongst the riverine forest. To the north,

the highlands of the Nyika Plateau are grazed by zebra and roan antelope. At the heart of it all lies the ‘Lake of Stars’ whose clear waters and beautiful lakeshore are ideal for those seeking either watersports or pure relaxation. If you are looking to get off the beaten track, Malawi’s striking landscapes, warm-hearted people and rich cultural history are the answer.


Audley in Malawi

1

The chef at Nkwichi Lodge

3 4

Malawi is a small and friendly country that offers a variety of scenery and activities. Visitors can enjoy hiking in the mountains, exploring tea estates, bicycling through villages and snorkelling amongst cichlid fish. On safari you will be able to view elephant, sable antelope, waterbuck, impala, zebra, hippo and crocodile, and there is a huge diversity of bird species too. Malawi can be enjoyed as a destination in itself, and to see the country’s highlights will take around two weeks. However, for big game such as lion, leopard and buffalo, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is a short flight away. We think that a week’s safari in the Luangwa followed by four or five days on the beach at Lake Malawi is an ideal combination.

Accommodation

Bohm’s Bee-eater

2

5

6

1 Lake Malawi With sparkling waters stretching for 500 kilometres, the lake is fringed with idyllic sandy beaches. 2 Cape Maclear A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most picturesque areas of Lake Malawi.

5 Liwonde National Park Malawi’s premier game viewing destination, dominated by the winding Shire River.

6 Thyolo Region A beautiful rural area with vibrant green tea estates and Malawi’s highest peak, Mount Mulanje.

Malawi is a fairly new travel destination and some visitors may find that its standards of accommodation are still catching up with the country’s more developed neighbours. However several new lodges have opened in recent years, while others have upgraded their facilities, and there are now some excellent options. The accommodation ranges from simple bush and beach camps, friendly guesthouses and pretty beach lodges through to more luxurious safari lodges and beach retreats. Our specialists have visited all of the hotels, lodges and camps and will be able to advise you on their favourites.

Kaya Mawa, Likoma Island

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Malawi, please see page 61.

3 Likoma Island A tiny unspoilt island with rocky promontories, golden beaches and huge baobab trees.

www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

4 Manda Wilderness On the Mozambique shores of the lake this untouched wilderness stretches down to white sand beaches.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Malawi specialists 01993 838 540

Girl selling fish at Cape Maclear

Malawi 57


Kaya Mawa, Likoma Island

Lake Malawi The waters of Lake Malawi stretch across roughly one-fifth of Malawi making it the country’s defining feature. It is often known as the Lake of Stars due to the reflection of the night sky in its clear waters; watching the moon rise slowly over the lake or the sun dipping down into its waters at the end of the day is an unforgettable experience. The shores of the lake vary from golden beaches to steep cliffs and its waters contain brightly coloured tropical fish. There are barefoot beach lodges and tiny islands offering delightful hideaways for those seeking relaxation and watersports. Swimming in the clear water, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking or simply swinging in a hammock and enjoying the views are just some of the ways that you can while away the peaceful hours at the Lake.

Likoma Island and the Mozambique Lakeshore Towards the northeastern corner of the lake lies tiny unspoilt Likoma Island, with its rocky promontories, golden beaches and tall baobab trees. This sleepy island is steeped in colonial history and its small town is home to the impressive, and slightly incongruous, St Peter’s Cathedral, built by missionaries who came to the island inspired by the words of David Livingstone. Mozambique is only a short distance away across a stretch of water and can be reached by speedboat from Likoma Island. Here visitors will find the untouched Manda Wilderness area encompassing baobab forest and white sand beaches.

KAYA MAWA, LIKOMA ISLAND Kaya Mawa means ‘maybe tomorrow’ and its name sums up the relaxed atmosphere of this unique lodge. Built on a rocky promontory, it has a maze of twisting pathways and steps leading to stone chalets with views over the water. There are two romantic honeymoon chalets, one located on its own tiny island. The main lodge is raised up overlooking the lake and has a bar, dining area and a small plunge pool. The snorkelling is superb and you can also explore the island on foot, by boat or by bicycle.

A room at Kaya Mawa

58

The lounge at Nkwichi Lodge

NKWICHI LODGE, MANDA WILDERNESS Nkwichi Lodge is an ecolodge located on a beautiful white sand beach. The lodge takes its name from the local name for the beach, Mchenja Nkwichi, meaning ‘squeaky sands’, inspired by the sound that the powdery white sands make as you walk barefoot across them. The lodge was constructed by local people from natural materials which blend with the environment. Tasty, fresh meals are eaten on the beach, or perhaps under a giant baobab tree. Guests can enjoy swimming, snorkelling, boat trips and kayaking or visits to the community projects which are sustained by the lodge.


Pounding grain

Meeting local children

Growing sunflowers at the Nkwichi Farm

Mumbo Island

The Southern Lakeshore & Cape Maclear Cape Maclear is a beautiful headland that juts out into crystal clear waters on the southern lakeshore. The tree-clad cape, its surrounding waters and a miniature archipelago of twelve islands were declared a national park in 1980 in order to protect the unique diversity of tropical fish here, and later became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This remote area is reached by a rough, winding road (which can become impassable in the rainy season) or by light aircraft. Visitors to Cape Maclear can stay in Chembe, a small fishing village with golden beaches on the lake shore, on one of the headlands or on one of the tiny islands.

The Mufusa

PUMULANI, CAPE MACLEAR The luxurious Pumulani is set high up on the hillside with fabulous views out over the lake. A winding wooden pathway and steps lead down to the swimming pool area and a pretty golden sand beach where you can relax and enjoy a drink at the tiny beach bar. The ten villas are set on the hillside and have been designed to blend into the environment. They are spacious and have a bedroom, huge bathroom and airy living room all designed in a chic, modern style.

Pumulani, Cape Maclear

DANFORTH YACHTING, CAPE MACLEAR Danforth Yachting is a homely guesthouse run by Howard and Michelle Massey-Hickes who are excellent hosts. The guesthouse is set in pretty gardens running down to the lake, where their yacht, the Mufusa is moored. With eight rooms and a relaxed atmosphere this friendly place is ideal for families and watersports enthusiasts with lots of activities available. Day trips or sunset cruises on the yacht are a highlight of any stay and longer yacht charters can be arranged.

MUMBO ISLAND, LAKE MALAWI NATIONAL PARK Mumbo Island is a secluded camp located on a private island. The island has rocky coves and a forested interior and is accessed either by kayak or boat. There are five en suite safari tents located on a little outcrop and reached by a wooden walkway, and one family unit on the main island. The atmosphere at Mumbo is relaxed and friendly. Activities include kayaking, snorkelling, diving or, best of all, swinging in your hammock listening to the waves and the fish eagles. Snorkelling from Mumbo Island

Danforth Yachting

www.audleytravel.com/malawi

â—?

01993 838 540

â—?

Malawi 59


Elephant in Liwonde National Park

MVUU WILDERNESS LODGE, LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK Mvuu Wilderness Lodge is on the confluence of the Shire River and a small tributary. There are eight safari tents each raised up on wooden decks looking out over the water, one of which is a romantic honeymoon suite. The main lodge has a plunge pool, dining and lounge area and excellent views of hippo in the river and warthog and antelope on the plains.

Mvuu Lodge

Liwonde National Park Liwonde is Malawi’s premier game viewing destination and while the game here does not match Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, it is nevertheless impressive. The park is dominated by the vast borassus palm-fringed Shire River, home to large hippo pods and crocodiles who bask on its banks. The game in Liwonde includes elephant, sable antelope, waterbuck, impala, and bushbuck, and the birding is excellent. In the centre of the park is a protected area which provides a safe haven for the black rhino, buffalo and zebra which are being reintroduced to the park. Activities in Liwonde include game drives, walks and boat trips which enable you to get up close and personal with the elephant herds bathing in the river and the hippos wallowing in the shallows.

MVUU CAMP, LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK Mvuu Camp is also located on the banks of the Shire with great views over the river. This is an ideal option for families and larger groups and offers simple but comfortable en suite accommodation in twelve chalets and rondavels, as well as a nearby campsite. The camp has a central dining and bar area and a large swimming pool.

Dinner at Mvuu Camp

60

Waterlilies in the Shire River

Zomba Plateau and the Thyolo Region In the south of Malawi you will find Zomba, a magnificent table-top mountain covered with forests, streams and waterfalls. It towers above the former capital of Malawi, an old colonial town of the same name. The plateau is a lovely place to discover on foot or by bike and it makes a good base from which to explore the old town’s faded colonial splendour and bustling market. Beyond Zomba is the Thyolo Region, an area of fertile land dominated by vibrant green tea estates. Here Malawi’s highest peak, Mount Mulanje, rises over 3,000 metres above the tea estates, woodlands and rivers. There are not many accommodation choices in this region, but a good option is to stay at one of the tea estates in a simple guesthouse.


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip

Tea plantation in Thyolo

The itinerary shown is designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and is a route that works particularly well. We can use this as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests. Please call one of our Malawi specialists to start planning your itinerary.

Lake Malawi

ZAMBIA

MOZAMBIQUE MALAWI

Mumbo Island

Lilongwe

Cape Maclear

Telephone: 01993 838 540

Liwonde National Park MOZAMBIQUE

Getting around

Satemwa Chawani Bungalow

Ku Chawe Inn

KU CHAWE INN, ZOMBA PLATEAU Ku Chawe Inn is located high up on the Plateau with commanding views of the valley below. It is about a twenty-minute drive from Zomba Town up a steep and winding road, surrounded by dense woodland. The brick built low-rise hotel is surrounded by lush, well-tended gardens and has comfortable en suite rooms with balconies and log fires to keep out the evening chill.

SATEMWA TEA ESTATE, THYOLO REGION Satemwa is one of Malawi’s longest established tea and coffee estates, owned by the same family for three generations. The main house, Huntingdon House, and adjacent Chawani Bungalow, have been sensitively renovated to retain their historical charm and now offer characterful en suite accommodation for visitors. Outside, there are rolling manicured lawns, 100 year old trees and colourful gardens, perfect for long walks. Guests can explore the estate on foot or by mountain bike, discover the teas produced and hear the fascinating history of the Satemwa Estate.

There are no direct flights from the UK to Lilongwe but daily flights go via either Nairobi or Johannesburg. As Malawi is a relatively small country, visitors have the option of exploring either by light aircraft or by road in a private vehicle with a Malawian driver-guide. While flights offer spectacular views, many choose to explore the country by road in order to have the option of stopping off at points of interest. Roads in Malawi range from smooth tarmac to rutted dirt tracks so a transfer can be an adventure, and fun with a good guide. It is easy to combine Malawi with Zambia as flights go each day between Lilongwe and Mfuwe, the airport outside Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park.

When to go Jan

~

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

~

Malawi Explorer This trip is a circular one around Southern Malawi, seeing all of the country’s highlights. You will have the chance to enjoy a variety of activities including game viewing in Liwonde National Park, sailing on the Lake, kayaking around tiny islands and swimming and snorkelling. Travelling around, you will have the opportunity to barter at local markets and meet local people, accompanied by your guide, who will give you valuable insights into the country. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Johannesburg overnight.

Day 2

Arrive in Johannesburg and fly to Lilongwe for one night.

Days 3-5

Guided drive to Liwonde National Park for three nights at Mvuu Camp. Game viewing in Liwonde National Park.

Days 6-8

Guided drive to Cape Maclear for three nights at Danforth Lodge. Sailing, swimming, snorkelling and relaxation beside Lake Malawi.

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

~

~

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Malawi has two broad seasons – dry and wet. The dry season is from May to October. May until August is a cooler time of year with bright sunshine and fresh evenings. Temperatures start to rise in September and remain high throughout the rainy season which runs from November until April. In recent years the heaviest rains have fallen in December, January and February. Because of Malawi’s varied landscape, regional variations in weather are significant. The lower lying lakeshore areas are warmer all year round while temperatures in the highlands are refreshingly cool with chilly evenings particularly in the winter. Time difference: GMT+2 hours

Days 9-11 Boat trip or kayak to Mumbo Island for three nights. Kayaking, swimming and snorkelling from Mumbo. Day 12

Guided drive to Lilongwe. Fly from Lilongwe to the UK via Johannesburg.

Day 13

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer For a big game experience, fly by light aircraft from Lilongwe to the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia and stay at Kapani Lodge. Spend the mornings and evenings exploring the park, renowned for both its plains game and its big cat populations.

Flight time from UK: 12.5 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Malawi on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans. Coffee beans

www.audleytravel.com/malawi

01993 838 540

Malawi 61


Mozambique

ozambique is wild, beautiful and undeveloped. Miles of palm-fringed white beaches stretch along the coast. Tiny villages on the edge of the sand have papaya trees shading grass huts and dhows moored up in the mangroves. Offshore, idyllic archipelagos such as Bazaruto and Quirimba are surrounded by coral reefs with beaches that are breeding sites for turtles.

M

62

The islands of Ibo and Ilha de Moçambique, once bustling Swahili trading posts, now have colonial houses overtaken by strangler figs, eerie and enticing in equal measure. Until recently, the mainland has remained completely off limits for all but the most intrepid of travellers, but the two game parks of Gorongosa and Niassa are now open to visitors. Newborn lodges are finding

their feet and are real gems with original ideas and outstanding service. Elephant roam unfettered by boundaries, lion can be heard roaring at night, and with no light pollution to hide them, the stars sparkle against an ink black sky. With an increasingly good network of flights, Mozambique is slowly coming to life – in our opinion, this is an ideal time to visit.


Audley in Mozambique

6

4 1

5

2

We have been operating in Mozambique for many years and have seen it grow from a beach-only destination with two lodges to the safari circuit it offers now. It is currently one of the most exciting African countries as national parks are becoming accessible, flight networks taking shape and tented camps opening. We can recommend three types of itinerary: a stand-alone beach holiday, an island hopping trip or a safari and beach combination. If you’d like a week on the beach there are lots of options, from ecolodges to luxurious hotels. For island hopping, the Quirimba Archipelago is perfect, as you can combine time spent soaking up the history and culture of Ibo Island with a stay at a beach retreat such as Medjumbe. Those wanting to combine safari and beach can fly with ease between the coast and the Niassa Reserve and Gorongosa National Park. Both are wild reserves where the emphasis is on walking and exploring rather than ticking off the big five.

Accommodation 3

1 Niassa Game Reserve One of Africa’s wildest reserves. Spectacular scenery and good walking country. 2 Gorongosa

National Park A legendary park in the 1960s before the civil war. An extensive relocation programme is leading to increasing game numbers.

4 Quirimba

Archipelago A breathtaking collection of coral islands. Luxury accommodation and excellent diving.

6 Ibo Island An ancient Swahili town with now-crumbling mansions, forts, churches and markets. Eerie and atmospheric.

5 Ilha de Moçambique

Each year new camps and lodges are opening in Mozambique. We find this a bonus as they tend to have fresh designs, original ideas and staff with lots of enthusiasm. On the coast, accommodation ranges from exclusive private islands such as Vamizi to simple ecolodges such as Guludo. Mozambique is the master of the ‘barefoot boutique’ hotel with several properties such as Azura, Coral Lodge and Benguerra in this bracket. All offer excellent cuisine and a high standard of accommodation. The two reserves of Niassa and Gorongosa only have one tented camp in each to date although we are expecting this to change. Both camps offer knowledgeable guides, comfortable tents and are in remote wilderness areas.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Mozambique, please see page 71.

The former capital of Mozambique and largely unchanged since its construction three hundred years ago. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

3 Bazaruto Archipelago An archipelago formed by sand dunes rising from the sea. A stunning beach destination with world-class diving and snorkelling.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Mozambique specialists 01993 838 560

Quirimba beach

Local Ibo lady

Mozambique 63


Songue River wetlands, Gorongosa

Gorongosa National Park In the sixties, Gorongosa was considered one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa. However, during the protracted civil war, the park suffered badly and game numbers plummeted. In 2004 Gorongosa’s fortunes began to be reversed when an ambitious relocation programme started. Today the project is well underway and wildlife populations are steadily increasing. As you head out into the park on foot through fever tree forests the bush comes alive. Waterbuck, oribi and impala dart across floodplains and indented in the earth you can see lion spoor, among other tracks. Sable, reedbuck, nyala and Lichtenstein’s hartebeest all occur in good numbers as do buffalo and zebra. Leopard are present but shy, so seen infrequently. In the north of the park the Songue River and surrounding wetlands are filled with every

Elephant herd in Gorongosa

64

Explore Gorongosa tented camp

imaginable waterbird. Elephant come to drink, pods of hippos bask in the water and crocodile can be seen on the sandbanks. Sunset here is a magical way to end your day of discovery.

Walking safari in Gorongosa

EXPLORE GORONGOSA, GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK Explore Gorongosa is the first camp to open in the park since the regeneration and has an excellent position above the seasonal Mussicadzi River. There are four large, semi-permanent tents with double beds and en suite bathrooms with open air hot bucket showers. This is camping in comfort without going over the top on luxury, perfect for an area that is so wild and remote. The camp places strong emphasis on personalised experiences, conservation and taking time to explore the park. Game viewing is done on foot as well as from vehicles and guests can also take mokoro boat trips at certain times of year. Impala on the floodplains


Elephant in the Niassa Reserve

Grey tree frog

Niassa Reserve The Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique is one of the largest and most untamed reserves in Africa. Majestic granite hills rise from miombo woodland, and two snaking rivers, the Lugenda and Rovuma, are flanked by riverine forest. The wildlife in the reserve suffered during the civil war, but this is still home to the highest concentrations of game in the country. There are large herds of elephant and buffalo while kudu, impala, hartebeest, wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, bushbuck and reedbuck are regularly sighted. Hyena, lion and leopard are also there, though sightings are not as common. Niassa is suited to those looking for an active safari. The excitement begins on arrival, as flying low towards the airstrip you skim over the Lugenda River and spot hippo and crocodile in the sluggish waters. Game drives are part of your stay but it is the other activities that give Niassa the edge. Paddling a canoe down the river, you glide silently past African skimmers, yellow-billed storks and all types of kingfishers. Climbing one of the granite inselbergs requires stamina but the far reaching views across the reserve make it worthwhile. Game drives allow you to spot bigger game and night drives reveal civets, genets and porcupines nosing out of their daytime hiding spots. Dozens of nightjars flit across the headlights’ beams as the smell of warm dust fills the air.

Lugenda Camp

Impala in Niassa

LUGENDA CAMP, NIASSA RESERVE Lugenda Camp is situated under sycamore figs. When the trees are in fruit, elephant enjoy coming into camp to eat the fallen figs and you often don’t have to leave your tent to enjoy some big game. There are eight luxury tents with en suite bathrooms at the back and shady verandas at the front. In the centre of camp a dining and lounge area built of wood and thatch has open sides looking out to the bush. You can also dine in the outside boma area around an open camp fire. Lots of activities including game drives, night drives, walking and canoeing keep you busy in the morning and evening. For the heat of the day, the small pool is ideal for relaxation with a good book.

EXPLORE NIASSA EXPEDITIONS, NIASSA RESERVE Explore Niassa Expeditions run four to seven night mobile camping safaris in a remote area of Niassa. The trips will suit active people wanting to immerse themselves in the wilderness with an expert guide. All safaris start at Lugenda Camp and follow the Lugenda River either on foot, by canoe or occasionally by vehicle. At night, the fly camps will have been set up for you by a camp crew awaiting your arrival. Camps are unfussy but comfortable, with hot water, cold drinks, delicious meals and cosy beds. After dinner around the campfire nothing beats lying in your dome tent, listening to a distant lion roar or the whoop of a hyena.

Niassa viewpoint

www.audleytravel.com/mozambique

01993 838 560

Mozambique 65


Dhow in the Bazaruto Archipelago

The Bazaruto Archipelago The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five dune islands strung out in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Two of the islands, Bazaruto and Benguerra, have lodges whilst the islands of Santa Isobel, Santa Carolina and Magaruque have no accommodation. Declared a national park in 1971, these islands are idyllic, with sugar white beaches whose sands squeak underfoot. Palm trees give way to lush vegetation, in which samango monkeys, green coucals and blue-cheeked bee-eaters make their home. Little villages are tucked away, shaded beneath orange and cashew nut trees. However, it is the sea that holds perhaps the greatest attraction. Warmed by the waters of the Mozambique Stream, the waters are clear with mile upon mile of reef. It is hard to beat the diving and

INDIGO BAY RESORT, BAZARUTO ISLAND

A suite at Indigo Bay

snorkelling here as the coral is pristine and variety of fish superb. You will find three species of turtle, including the loggerhead that nests on the islands, while spinner and humpback dolphins and dugong are also seen.

Indigo Bay Resort is situated on a perfect crescent of white sand on Bazaruto Island. It is a large resort by Mozambique standards and has 44 air-conditioned rooms. There are two restaurants, one serving Ă la carte Mozambican and Portuguese cuisine and the other dishing up African bush-style dinners under the stars. A pool bar serves snacks throughout the day. Indigo Bay has plenty to offer the active. There are two pools, and diving, snorkelling, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, horse-riding and 4x4 trips can be arranged. It is an ideal resort for families with plenty to do for the children whilst parents can enjoy a relaxing treatment in the new spa.

BAZARUTO LODGE, BAZARUTO ISLAND Bazaruto Lodge is set on the edge of a long white sandy beach in the north of Bazaruto Island. It is a simple lodge, ideal for those looking for a quiet hideaway in which to focus on the beach, snorkelling and walking. The 40 thatched bungalows are dotted beneath palms in the garden and along the beach. The dining room, bar and swimming pool all have sea views. Crab, crayfish, calamari, prawns and fresh salads feature on the menu. While dinner is taken in the dining room, lunch is usually by the pool, or you can take a picnic to the beach.

Bazaruto Lodge

66

Indigo Bay Resort


Turtle in the Bazaruto Archipelago

A casita at Benguerra Lodge

The beach at Benguerra Lodge

Pansy Island

MARLIN LODGE, BENGUERRA ISLAND

BENGUERRA LODGE, BENGUERRA ISLAND

On Benguerra Island, Marlin Lodge is built into the dunes above a broad sandy beach. It is a friendly and relaxed lodge with an unpretentious atmosphere. Wooden decks lead to 17 chalets which vary in size from simple rooms to luxury suites. All have spacious bedrooms, en suite bathrooms and shady verandas, with a private sandy path leading from your chalet onto the beach. Activities at the lodge include diving, snorkelling, game fishing and 4x4 trips exploring the dunes. Or, if it’s relaxation you are after, you could try their spa.

This lodge has 12 beautiful casitas and cabanas shaded by milkwood trees overlooking the sandy shore. The rooms are raised on wooden platforms and have king size beds and en suite bathrooms. All have a private plunge pool. There is a North African feel to the décor and the main lounge has wide chairs with colourful cushions. The dining room has a deck overlooking the garden and meals are often served under the trees or on the beach. Activities at Benguerra include fishing, diving and snorkelling trips with stops at Pansy Island for lazing around. There’s also the chance to explore the island by 4x4 and have a picnic on a deserted beach. For the less active, the small spa is a delight.

Room at Azura

AZURA, BENGUERRA ISLAND Azura is a luxurious retreat on the northwest of Benguerra Island. The 14 air-conditioned villas are built in a style that combines traditional African with modern luxury. Each villa has a large bedroom, en suite bathroom and private plunge pool. On arrival a bottle of French wine will be waiting for you in your room and a butler is available to look after your every need. Spa treatments are available in the privacy of your villa. There is a main swimming pool as well as a PADI dive centre and a well equipped fishing centre. The lodge’s Azura Rainbow Fund runs a variety of local projects supporting the community as well as the Dugong Protection Foundation. Marlin Lodge

www.audleytravel.com/mozambique

01993 838 560

Mozambique 67


Dhow sailing from Medjumbe Island

MEDJUMBE ISLAND RESORT, MEDJUMBE ISLAND This boutique hotel, located on Medjumbe Private Island, which at just one kilometre long and 350 metres wide, is a tiny hideaway. There are twelve modern chalets on the edge of the beach, with private plunge pool, air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms. The active can enjoy diving, snorkeling, boating and picnics on nearby Quisanga Island whilst those seeking to relax can climb into the hammock on the veranda and have a snooze.

A chalet at Matemo Island Resort

A room at Medjumbe Island Resort

The Quirimba Archipelago The Quirimba Archipelago is made up of 32 coral islands just off the coast of northern Mozambique. Some of the islands such as Medjumbe, Matemo, Vamizi and Ibo now have tiny boutique hotels, while others including Rongai, Tecmagi and Metundo are home only to nesting turtles and seabirds. Pristine and largely unknown, these islands are visited by just a handful of guests. Tangled green creepers tumble to the water from low coral cliffs and white sandy beaches are littered with shells. There are butterflies, tropical flowers, monkeys and birds, but – apart from the local fishermen there are few people. The turquoise waters are a marine sanctuary, rich with coral and fish, green and hawksbill turtles, humpback whales and the rare dugong.

The pool at Matemo Island Resort

MATEMO ISLAND RESORT, MATEMO ISLAND Matemo Island Resort sits on the corner of Matemo Island on a curving sandy beach and has 24 modern air-conditioned chalets with pretty verandas overlooking the beach. The main lodge has a dining room with views of the sea and a pool set into the rocks. Many activities can be enjoyed, including snorkelling, diving, deep sea fishing and trips to Ibo Island. Snorkelling from Medjumbe

68


Ibo Island street

Quirimba girl

A villa at Vamizi

The beach at Vamizi Island

VAMIZI ISLAND LODGE, VAMIZI ISLAND

GULUDO BEACH LODGE, MOZAMBIQUE MAINLAND

Vamizi Island is a little slice of paradise with a soft white sandy beach littered with shells. Turtles nest on the beach from December to May and humpback whales pass by in July and August. Vamizi Island Lodge is the most luxurious lodge in Mozambique and has 13 large villas. Each has a bedroom with ocean views and a living room with sofas, books and wooden chests full of cold drinks. Fresh buckets of crabs are bought from the local fishermen and prepared for dinner which is served on the beach and lit by lanterns. The days can be spent swimming, snorkelling, diving and exploring other islands.

Facing the Quirimba Archipelago, Guludo Beach Lodge is located on a 12 kilometre beach on the mainland. Its owners Amy and Neal have created a sustainable lodge that directly benefits the local communities. The lodge is simple but beautiful, all the staff are from the local villages and many community projects are underway as a result of money generated from the lodge. Accommodation is in reed and thatch bandas and dining is under thatch or on the beach. There is a wide variety of activities including diving, snorkelling, village walks, and boat trips to Rolas Island.

Ibo Island Lodge

IBO ISLAND LODGE, IBO ISLAND This quirky lodge is made from two refurbished mansions each over a century old, with high ceilings, wide verandas and heavy wooden doors. They are furnished with mahogany day beds and antiques and soft African fabrics, all produced by skilled local craftsmen. The fourteen rooms are individually designed and have en suite facilities and there is a pool in the pretty garden. The lodge makes good use of its waterfront location, with meals served up on the rooftop overlooking the sea. The menu features home grown organic vegetables as well as tiger prawns, game fish and crab. When staying on Ibo, you can explore the island’s town, with its crumbling colonial architecture, or can take trips to nearby sandbanks for snorkelling and picnics.

Access to the islands is by light aircraft

View from Guludo Beach Lodge

www.audleytravel.com/mozambique

01993 838 560

Mozambique 69


Beach at Nanantha Bay

The Nacala Region

NUARRO LODGE, NANANTHA BAY

On the mainland, Nacala and the surrounding area have until recently been too remote for any other than the hardiest of backpackers to reach. There is only one tarmac road leading to Nampula, where a small airport is located. Off this, rutted sandy tracks lead to villages where the Macua people live from subsistence farming. The coast is unspoilt, with endless beaches backed by mangroves and subtropical bush. Offshore there are un-dived reefs and shipwrecks underneath the waves. Humpback whales pass through on their annual migration from July to September. One of A chalet at Nuarro

the most exciting places to visit in this region is the Ilha de Moçambique. Once the capital of the country, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Reached by a long bridge, this tiny island is two miles long and 500 metres wide and has a city of narrow streets, beautiful churches, trading houses and a hospital. Many of the buildings are now being carefully restored. South of Ilha de Moçambique, La Varanda is a private nature reserve that encompasses mangrove forests, dunes and white beaches and has one small lodge. North of Nampula, the remote Nanantha Bay is crescent shaped and backed by baobab trees. Fishing villages are dotted along the shore and dhows are a common sight. The one small lodge here is an ideal base from which to explore. Ilha de Moçambique

70

Nuarro Lodge is built on the point at the end of Nanatha Bay, where the beach stretches for several miles and is backed by bush and baobab forest. The lodge is run on strong ethical principles and the community is active in building the business. Nuarro has twelve chalets tucked into the dune vegetation, each with a hammock on the veranda. There are a number of family chalets which have a mezzanine level for children. PADI diving instructors are on hand to take you on dives whilst non-divers can enjoy snorkelling, dhow sailing, fishing and whale watching, in season. On land there are eco trails to enjoy by bike or on foot as well as village visits and trips to Ilha de Moçambique.

LA

C O R A L L O D G E 1541, VARANDA NATURE RESERVE

This lodge is situated at the tip of a peninsula with a lagoon on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. The lagoon is sheltered and clear and its coral reefs make it ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are ten villas at Coral Lodge, built on top of the dunes to maximise the views of the sea and to enable circulation of the sea breeze. Cuisine is a highlight, with only local ingredients used – fresh fish and shellfish bought from local fishermen each day. After a big meal there are plenty of land and water based activities to help you work off your lunch!


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip

TANZANIA

TANZANIA

Guludo Beach Lodge Niassa Game Reserve

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

Ibo Island Pemba

MOZAMBIQUE

Please call one of our Mozambique specialists to start planning your itinerary.

MOZAMBIQUE

ZIMBABWE

ZIMBABWE Benguerra Island Vilanculos

Telephone: 01993 838 560

Getting around Johannesburg

Johannesburg

As distances are large in Mozambique it is best to fly around the country. South African Airlink flies from Johannesburg to Pemba, where you can pick up light aircraft flights to access the Quirimba Islands and the Niassa Reserve. Travelling between the islands can either be by plane or boat, depending on the distances involved. Linhas Aereas de Mocambique has services between Johannesburg, Vilanculos, Pemba, Maputo, Nacala and Beira from where you can access Gorongosa National Park. Finally, Pelican Air, a small airline, flies regularly between Johannesburg, the Kruger National Park and Vilanculos. From here you can take a light aircraft across to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago.

Mozambique Explorer

Bazaruto Beaches

The Mozambique Explorer will suit those who want to do more than sit on a beach. This trip allows you to enjoy some wild game viewing, explore the ruined city on Ibo Island, integrate yourself into the community at Guludo, and, of course, swim and snorkel as much as you choose. You will hop between each location in light aircraft, enjoying spectacular views as you go. Seafood is excellent on the islands and you’ll enjoy some wonderful meals.

This itinerary allows you to spend time in one of the most unspoiled beach destinations in Africa. Basing yourself at Marlin Lodge, you will be able to enjoy endless activities. Both divers and snorkellers can marvel at the diverse coral and sponges as well as a myriad of reef fish and turtles. Sunset dhow cruises with a bottle of chilled wine are very relaxing, as is time in the spa at Marlin Lodge. You may wish to visit the market at Vilanculos, climb a sand dune or take a picnic to a remote beach.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Johannesburg overnight.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Johannesburg overnight.

Days 2-5

Fly from Johannesburg to Pemba. Fly to the Niassa Game Reserve for three nights at Lugenda Camp. Game viewing in the Niassa Reserve.

Days 2-9

Days 6-8

Fly to Ibo Island for three nights at Ibo Island Lodge. Explore Ibo Island, swim and snorkel from sandbanks and coral islands.

Fly from Johannesburg to Vilanculos Road and boat transfer from Vilanculos to Benguerra Island for eight nights at Marlin Lodge. Swim, snorkel and dive on the offshore reefs. Walk and enjoy picnics on Benguerra Island.

Day 10

Boat and road transfer to Vilanculos Airport. Fly to Johannesburg and then to the UK overnight.

Day 11

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

When to go Jan

~

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

~

~

~

✓✓

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Mozambique has a warm tropical climate with significant regional variations. Northern Mozambique has a dry season that runs from May to November, although there can be a few rain showers in September. Temperatures are lowest in July when it is typically about 28C, and highest in November when it can rise to over 30C. The rains begin in December and last until the end of May, with February and April being the wettest months. Southern Mozambique has a dry season which runs from April to October. The coolest months of July and August have temperatures of about 25C whilst October can be about 30C. The rains start in November and run to the end of March with the rainiest months being January and February.

Days 9-11 Boat transfer to Guludo Beach Lodge for three nights. Swim, snorkel and relax at Guludo. Day 12

Day 13

Road transfer to Pemba and fly to Johannesburg. Fly from Johannesburg to the UK overnight. Arrive in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer Mozambique combines well with a safari in Botswana, Namibia or Zambia. You can spend a week or longer in the large game reserves in any of these countries before flying to Mozambique. A night in Johannesburg is required in between, and we minimise your time here, flying you into Jo’burg at dusk and out to Mozambique at dawn. Due to good flight connections you can be on safari in Botswana in the morning and enjoying a large seafood lunch in Mozambique the next day.

Stay longer The Bazaruto Archipelago combines well with time in the Gorongosa National Park. Most people like to enjoy a safari before time on the beach so we would suggest flying from Johannesburg to Gorongosa. The tented camp, Explore Gorongosa, has outstanding guiding and service. You will be able to enjoy both game drives and walking safaris as well as learning about the game relocation project currently underway. After time in the park, you can fly directly to Bazaruto for your beach stay.

Time difference: GMT+2 hours Flight time from UK: 14 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Mozambique on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Dining on the rooftop at Ibo Island Lodge

The pool at Lugenda Camp

www.audleytravel.com/mozambique

01993 838 560

Mozambique 71


Tanzania

anzania contains the very best of East Africa’s attractions, combining large national parks and dense animal populations with pristine beaches. It is vast, vibrant and a photographer’s paradise. To the north, wildebeest and zebra flood the Serengeti plains each year. Flamingos blanket the lakes in shimmering pinks, herds of elephants roam the savannah,

T

72

and Maasai herders walk with their cattle. The snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest point. To the south lie remote reserves, where wild dogs make dens, thousands of buffalo graze and lakes and rivers house hippos and crocodiles. Away from the savannah, towering mountains are entangled in thick rainforest. Emerald leaves drip with dew, birds and

monkeys cackle and shrieks of chimpanzees slice the air. Perfect for post-safari relaxation are the tropical islands and colourful villages of the Zanzibar and Mafia archipelagos. Miles of white sand are flanked by coconut palms, small fishing villages tucked underneath. Dhows sail over turquoise waters, whilst iridescent tropical fish swim around the rich coral reefs.


Audley in Tanzania

1 2

7

5 6 4

3

Tanzania is a vast country with a dizzying array of options. It is impossible to see everything that the country has to offer in one trip, so we recommend focusing on just one or two areas. In northern Tanzania the parks such as the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti are well known and can be busy. Through extensive travel in this region, we have found a way to avoid other visitors and stay in quiet areas. Whilst many visitors simply drive around, we give you the freedom to explore on foot along paths that only the Maasai know, and to camp in magical spots surrounded by game. In southern Tanzania, we know the Selous and Ruaha inside-out. We have hand picked camps with the best locations and expert guides and can seamlessly combine all the parks with Tanzania’s beaches and islands. On Zanzibar we work with local guides and a small number of hotels whose owners we know personally. Small lodges on the Mafia Islands and the coast of northern Tanzania are ideal for those looking for a really remote place to stay on an idyllic beach. Whatever you’d like to do in Tanzania, our team can tailor a trip suited to you.

Accommodation

1 Serengeti National Park

Throughout Tanzania, we use a variety of lodges and camps, ranging in comfort but always in a good location so that you can enjoy the wildlife and stunning views. Our preference is for the smaller properties, where you can be assured of personal service and attention to detail. We can find you an authentic safari camp in which to experience the magic of waking to the sunrise in your tent, or if you’d prefer, a luxurious tree-top lodge. On the beach, we have found simple cottages perched on vast stretches of white sand as well as stylish lodges on private islands.

Tanzania’s most famous national park, where the Great Migration herds roam for most of the year. 2 Ngorongoro Crater A volcanic caldera where you can enjoy some of the best game viewing in Tanzania in a short timeframe. 3 Selous Game Reserve With Tanzania’s largest wild dog population and huge herds of elephants, this is a superb and wild area to explore on safari. Mongoose

4 Ruaha National Park Another gem in Southern Tanzania with vast open plains, huge buffalo herds and good lion populations.

7 Zanzibar Archipelago Beautiful spice islands with idyllic sandy beaches and accessible coral reefs for snorkelling and diving.

5 Mahale Mountains

For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Tanzania, please see pages 90-91. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, rainforest-clad mountains provide a refuge for chimpanzees.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Tanzania

6 Katavi National Park One of the country’s wildest and most remote national parks. Lion in the Serengeti

Find out more

specialists 01993 838 545

Lovebird

Tanzania 73


Sunset in the Serengeti

Serengeti National Park The Serengeti is synonymous with stamping hooves of wildebeest, vast golden savannah plains, and some of Tanzania’s most prolific wildlife. This is Africa’s most famous and fabulous game reserve. Subject of countless documentaries, the Serengeti does not disappoint in reality. Each year, up to two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle snake their way across the plains following the promise of rain, forming one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Even without the migration, the Serengeti’s wildlife is unparalleled. Lion are practically a certainty, often seen lounging on the rocky kopjes. Cheetah pace the plains or stand atop termite mounds, and leopard lounge in the dappled shade of the sausage trees.

Ballooning in the Serengeti

74

OLAKIRA MOBILE CAMP, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK A classic mobile safari camp, Olakira moves around the Serengeti throughout the year in order to be best situated for the Great Migration herds. Large walk-in tents with proper beds, lights and en suite bathrooms with bucket showers make this a comfortable place to rest after an exhilarating day on safari. Lunches are served under the boughs of an acacia tree, enjoying uninterrupted views across the vast savannah. This is one of our favourite camps, offering great food, knowledgeable guides and, most importantly, a superb location for your safari in the Serengeti.

Olakira Mobile Camp

Cheetah


Bateleur eagle

Game drive in the Serengeti

Giraffe browsing

Leopard climbing a tree

NOMAD SERENGETI SAFARI CAMP, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

KLEIN’S CAMP, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

With only eight luxury tents, this specialist mobile safari camp offers a wonderfully comfortable base for exploring the Serengeti. Moving around the park throughout the year to follow the migration, it is always well placed for game viewing. The camp provides each couple or group with a private guide, allowing you to plan your days around your interests. This is particularly useful for keen photographers as it allows ample time for wildlife photography. In the evenings, stories of the day’s adventures are shared around the campfire before a hearty dinner under the African sky.

Bordering the northeastern edge of the Serengeti, Klein’s camp sits on a hillside overlooking the valleys and plains that stretch to the Kenyan border. With only ten thatched chalets, this is one of the smallest and most exclusive camps in the park. It offers guests the chance to explore not only on daytime game drives, but also night drives and guided walks in the camp’s private reserve. The area is superb for elephant and large buffalo herds, and really comes into its own during July and October when the migration herds pass through.

Sayari Camp

SAYARI CAMP, SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK Overlooking the Mara River in the far north of the Serengeti, Sayari has a commanding position and sweeping views. The luxurious tents are vast, based on wooden platforms, and stylishly designed with real attention to detail, down to the cosy daybed on your balcony, just perfect for relaxing and enjoying the wildlife as it wanders past. This area of the national park is quiet and unspoilt, allowing you to enjoy the wildlife with only the sounds of birds to disturb you. It’s a very tranquil place to stay and ideal for those looking to really get away from it all. Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Klein’s Camp

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 75


Migrating zebra and wildebeest

The Great Migration The savannah plains stretching from Kenya’s Masai Mara to Tanzania’s Serengeti set the scene for one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles; the annual migration of more than two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena wait in great anticipation for the arrival of the herds, ready to single out a weak or vulnerable animal for an easy dinner. This is the Africa that wildlife documentaries are made of, and no matter whether you have been on one or a dozen safaris, there is little to compare to the spectacle of the migration herds and the drama that surrounds them.

herds, these camps offer the best chance of finding them during your safari. Due to the impermanent nature of the camps, don’t expect the ultimate luxury. This is all about an authentic safari experience and getting as close as you can to the wildlife. Your tent will have a comfortable bed, en suite bathroom with a bucket shower, a basin with a jug of warm water each morning and evening and hurricane lamps at night. As well as giving you an excellent location, sleeping under canvas and waking to the sunrise is one of the best ways to enjoy the magic of the Serengeti. Game driving amongst the herds

Practicalities for your Great Migration safari The migration can either be viewed from Kenya from about July to October or Tanzania from November to June. Although you may think it

would be difficult to miss two million wildebeest, sightings of the migration herds can never be guaranteed as the herds’ movements depends on their biological clock, the level of grazing, and timing and amount of rainfall. Whilst they follow a rough annual pattern it can change all the time. That said, our team knows the parks well and can choose camps in the correct location to maximise your chances of finding the herds. Mobile camps Staying in one of the Serengeti’s mobile safari camps is one of the best ways to see the migration. Moving every couple of months to locate themselves as close as possible to the

Jackal on a wildebeest kill

76

River crossings The wildlife documentaries make watching a river crossing look easy. In reality, filmmakers spend months and even years waiting to be in the right place at the right time to capture the moment. Whilst seeing a river crossing is really the icing on the cake for most safari-goers, it’s important to be aware that the herds often spend weeks at the riverbanks contemplating the crossing. So unless you have endless time and money to spend waiting patiently, you will have to rely on luck and good timing if you hope to catch a crossing. If you want to maximise your chances of this, we would recommend staying in the Northern Serengeti in July, or in the Masai Mara in August or September.


The Migration Calendar December to May – Breeding and Calving The cycle begins each year in the warm, dusty plains of the southern Serengeti, where almost half a million wildebeest are born between December and March. Up on their feet almost the moment they hit the ground, they ready themselves for the greatest journey of their lives. During these months, the herds are not on the move, but are gathering strength, grazing on the Ndutu Plains before the long rains arrive in April and May, turning the park green overnight. June – The Journey North As June arrives and the rains cease, the herds begin to sweep steadily through the savannah. Long ribbons of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle snake their way through tall grass, weaving their way towards the Grumeti River. Here, enormous crocodiles lie in wait, snapping their jaws on the riverbanks, a terrifying prospect for the herds to overcome. July – Crossing the Mara River As the plains become increasingly parched, thousands of stampeding hooves march northwards to the Masai Mara, where the great wall of the rift valley traps any final drops of rain. By July, the front-runners of the herds are preparing to cross the Mara River, whilst the rear-guard may be as far south as the Grumeti. The Mara River brings the herds to a halt, whilst they contemplate their fate. Strong currents, crocodiles and hippos provide a serious obstacle to reaching the lush grass on the opposite riverbank – this is the ultimate test for the herds. The animals can often wait for two weeks before crossing, approaching the river and turning back at the last moment with a kick of the heels and a puff of dust. Eventually, one brave wildebeest will take the plunge, followed swiftly by thousands, swimming desperately across the river. Wildebeest crossing the Mara River

Lion on a kill

August to October – Grazing in Kenya’s Masai Mara By August and September, the migration is safely in the Masai Mara in Kenya, where the water provides fresh grazing throughout the lean months of the dry season. The herds move around the reserve, crossing the Talek and Mara rivers constantly in search of water and grass. This is also a feasting time for the big cats of the Masai Mara, making it a truly exciting time to be on safari here. November – The Journey South November brings the short rains, and new life to the grasslands of the southern Serengeti. The wildebeest, able to detect rain from more than 50 kilometres away, return south, completing the circle. The two million pairs of hooves thunder through the Loliondo, Lobo and Piaya regions of the Northern Serengeti until they finally reach the rich volcanic soil of the Ndutu Plains once again.

Wildebeest waiting to cross the Mara River

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 77


Zebra in the Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and one of the most evocative landmarks of the Great Rift Valley. It provides an extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest populations of large mammals. This is the best place in Tanzania to see black rhino, against the dramatic backdrop of the 600 metre high crater wall. The grassy plains host thousands of zebra, buffalo, wildebeest and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. Elephant roam the Lerai Forest, and lion and leopard complete the big five. The wildlife here has to be seen to be believed, and makes the Ngorongoro Crater an unmissable part of the northern safari circuit.

GIBBS FARM, NGORONGORO HIGHLANDS

NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE, NGORONGORO CRATER

Surrounded by coffee plantations in the heart of the Ngorongoro Highlands, this is a working farm on which acres of organic fruit, vegetables and flowers are grown. Eighteen luxurious cottages are dotted around the farm, all enjoying views of the lush vegetation and tropical flowers. Each has been tastefully decorated with bright African fabrics, fireplaces to ward off cool evenings and spacious bathrooms with outdoor showers. Aside from visits to the Crater there are plenty of activities ranging from walks in the forests to visits to local Iraqw villages.

Easily one of East Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has a commanding position perched on the edge of the crater rim. The twelve lavish suites in North and South camp and the six suites in Tree Camp are fitted with antique furniture, thick rugs, chandeliers and claw footed baths in oak panelled bathrooms. Each suite is complete with a personal butler to light the fire, put fresh water in the flowers and serve drinks. The views from every suite and the opulently designed dining rooms are simply breathtaking.

PLANTATION LODGE, NGORONGORO HIGHLANDS Plantation Lodge is a charming small property tucked away in the Ngorongoro Highlands near the colourful village of Karatu. There are 16 rooms spread out amongst the pretty gardens, and all are spacious and comfortable. The staff are friendly and welcoming, and the swimming pool offers a lovely place to relax when you’re not out on safari. Food is tasty and home-cooked, and both the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara are easily accessible as day trips from the lodge.

The pool at Plantation Lodge

78

The dining room at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge


Black rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater

Flamingos on Lake Manyara

Game drive in Tarangire National Park

Dwarf mongoose in Tarangire

LAKE MANYARA TREE LODGE, MANYARA NATIONAL PARK Tucked away in the lush forest, this small luxurious lodge is the only accommodation within the park. Guests stay in one of ten treehouses, sitting high in the mahogany trees, with large verandahs, polished hardwood floors and pure cotton linen. Service and food here are excellent, with sumptuous meals eaten by candlelight in the open air boma. This is one of our favourite properties in Tanzania and is certainly a highlight for any safari.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Manyara National Park One of Northern Tanzania’s smallest but prettiest national parks, Lake Manyara is situated at the base of the Rift Valley Escarpment. The alkaline lake is often covered in clouds of pink lesser flamingos, and is surrounded by marshland where hippos and buffalo wallow in the shallows. The diversity of vegetation here is remarkable, with grassy floodplains, acacia woodland and hot springs. Manyara is most famous for its tree-climbing lions, but has plenty of other wildlife to enjoy too, including prolific elephant, buffalo, zebra and giraffe. Birdlife here is also superb, with almost 400 recorded species including iridescent bee-eaters and silvery-cheeked hornbills.

Tarangire National Park Tarangire really comes to life in the dry season, with water-seeking wildlife attracted to the abundant Tarangire River. The most impressive of the migratory mammals is the elephant, which congregates in large herds along the riverbanks – it is possible to see more than 500 in a day. Buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, eland and impala are all found in good numbers on the grassy plains and the lush swamps are a year-round attraction, particularly for birdwatchers, with more than 550 recorded species. Ancient baobab trees dot the plains and in the distance, the Ol Doinyo L’Engai volcano makes a dramatic backdrop for photographers.

OLIVER’S CAMP, TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

Lovebirds

Located in the heart of Tarangire, Oliver’s Camp offers an excellent base for exploration of the park. With just eight luxury tents, this is a small and intimate camp where guests enjoy dining under the stars and waking as the sun rises over the park. As well as game drives, guided walking safaris can also be arranged to fully explore this stunning park. The mess tent is full of comfortable chairs and a cup of hot tea or a glass of ice-cold gin and tonic is always on hand after a long day on safari.

Oliver’s Camp

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 79


Lion in a tree

The Selous Game Reserve The Selous stretches for over 45,000 square kilometres. It is Africa’s largest game reserve yet visited by few. Meandering through the plains and woodlands, the Rufiji River gives rise to a labyrinth of streams, channels and pretty lakes in a delicate water paradise. Skeletal leadwood trees stand in glassy lagoons where terrapins ripple the surface. There are pods of hippo, rainbow-coloured birds and flitting butterflies on yellow cassia flowers. It is a vast wilderness area and superb for photography. The reserve is home to abundant game, with Africa’s largest buffalo and lion populations, numerous leopard and thriving packs of wild dog. Wildebeest, zebra, impala, hartebeest, greater kudu and eland are all common. In the heat of the afternoon, herds of over fifty giraffe drink from the lakes whilst elephant herds cross the channels to the lush islands. Boat trips are a speciality in the Selous and floating quietly along on the water is magical. You will see yellow-billed storks nesting in borassus palms and white-crowned plovers cleaning the teeth of crocodiles. The riverine forest is perfect for gentle rambles in search of blue samango monkeys and black and white colobus. Driving in open 4x4’s you will see plenty of game but no other vehicles, as the Selous is a very peaceful park with only a handful of small camps.

SELOUS IMPALA CAMP, SELOUS GAME RESERVE

Selous Impala Camp

Selous Impala Camp is set among borassus palms and tamarind trees on the banks of the Rufiji River. As there are no fences, game is free to wander through the camp and therefore guests are escorted to their tents in the evenings by Maasai warriors. The camp has eight luxury tents set on high wood decking with views of the river and the forest beyond. They are furnished in a colonial style and have bedrooms, a dressing room and an en suite bathroom. In the centre of camp the thatched boma houses a dining room and bar. Nearby is a sheltered swimming pool. Activities include boat trips, game drives and walking safaris.

LAKE MANZE CAMP, SELOUS GAME RESERVE This camp has 12 simple tents on the shores of Lake Manze. Shaded by doum palms and terminalia trees, all are well spread out and have lake views. Inside, each tent is furnished with double or twin beds and has an en suite bathroom with flush toilet and hot shower. A patio at the front of each room is the perfect spot for reading a book in the early afternoon and watching the hippos and herons at the lakeshore. The camp is ideal for first time visitors to Africa as guests can enjoy a variety of activities including game drives, boat safaris and early morning walks. Game drive from Lake Manze Camp

80


Kudu in the Selous

Hyena on a buffalo carcass

Hippo beside the Rufiji River

Dining at Beho Beho

Elephant in the Selous

BEHO BEHO CAMP, SELOUS GAME RESERVE Set up amongst the hills, Beho Beho has a unique vantage point overlooking the Beho Beho Plains. It is the most luxurious camp in the Selous with large stone cottages beautifully designed and furnished with no expense spared. At the front of each cottage a huge open window has no gauze or glass – just panoramic views. Guests can choose to leave this open to the stars at night or have thick canvas drapes tied down to feel more secure. The true magic of Beho Beho however is not the lodge but the exceptional quality of the guides. After each game drive you’ll come away knowing something new. Selous Safari Camp View from a room at Sand Rivers

SELOUS SAFARI CAMP, SELOUS GAME RESERVE

SAND RIVERS, SELOUS GAME RESERVE

Selous Safari Camp was one of the first camps in the Selous and has one of the prime positions in the park on the fringes of Lake Nzelekela. The 12 luxurious tents are some of the largest in Africa, tailored specifically for the camp with huge gauze windows looking onto the lake. Inside, the tents are elegantly furnished and have well-appointed en suite bathrooms with outdoor showers. The lounge and dining room are raised above the trees on stilts to maximise the breeze in hotter months and there is a small pool tucked into the bush. With plenty of activities on offer, this is one of our favourite camps in the Selous.

With eight rooms, Sand Rivers is the smallest camp in the Selous. Situated on a wide curve in the Rufiji River, all the rooms look over the water. Each room is open on one side and has large beds, nets and en suite bathrooms with polished stone floors. It’s not unusual for birds to flit in and out and look at themselves in the bathroom mirror. During a stay at Sand Rivers, a private guide is always provided. You can take a boat trip up to Steigler’s Gorge, walk on the open plains, swim in the Tagalala hot springs and enjoy trips by open 4x4 vehicles. Boat trip from Sand Rivers

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 81


Zebra on the plains

The Ruaha National Park In the heart of southern Tanzania, the Ruaha National Park has a hot dry climate and dramatic scenery. The Ruaha River runs along the park’s southeast border, tumbling over boulders and flanked by riparian woodland. Lion can be seen stretched out in the sun on the sandbanks, elephant drink from the water. Flocks of yellow-collared lovebirds swoop from bush to bush. Game is prolific with many ungulates present, including impala, waterbuck, bushbuck, giraffe, zebra and buffalo. Both greater and lesser kudu are here, as are roan and sable antelope. There are large prides of lion, spotted and striped hyena, several packs of wild dog, and leopard. The birdlife is particularly colourful and it is not unusual to spot many species while sitting in camp, such as emerald spotted doves, brown parrots and crested barbets. Activities in Ruaha focus on game drives although walking is also possible.

Kwihala

82

MWAGUSI CAMP, RUAHA NATIONAL PARK Mwagusi Camp is a small tented camp on the banks of the dry Mwagusi River. Owned and run by naturalist Chris Fox, this camp is comfortable but the focus is not on frills and luxury. Chris’s passion is for wildlife and this is what this camp is all about – it’s ideal for experienced safari hands and animal enthusiasts. The nine tents are shaded by thatch and have beds, nets, en suite bathrooms and verandas with comfy chairs. It is lovely sitting on your veranda and watching the birds hopping about in the trees above you. Activities are well organised at Mwagusi with both guides and spotters on the game viewing vehicles, and guiding of a high standard.

KWIHALA, RUAHA NATIONAL PARK Kwihala offers luxury in Ruaha, and has six spacious safari tents. There are plenty of charming small touches in the tents, from the hand-printed baobab bedspreads to beaded door handles. Outside, a covered veranda area is insect-proofed and protected from the elements by a fly sheet. The spacious mess tent is the main social centre of the camp. Separate dining and relaxing areas create a homely feel although canvas walls and open sides leave you with no doubt that you’re in the bush. With good guides this camp is ideal for those looking to explore Ruaha from a comfortable base.

Mwagusi Camp

MDONYA OLD RIVER CAMP, RUAHA NATIONAL PARK This wild camp has 11 tents situated under sycamore fig and acacia trees. With no electricity, it has the feel of an original safari camp, and is lit at night by candles, paraffin lamps and a camp fire. The dining and lounge tents overlook a dry river bed which acts as a busy wildlife corridor. There are currently two prides of lion living close to camp which can often be heard at night – this camp is not therefore suited to nervous travellers.

Mdonya Old River Camp


Chimpanzee with baby in the Mahale Mountains

CHADA CAMP, KATAVI NATIONAL PARK

Chada Camp

Katavi National Park Deep in western Tanzania, the Katavi National Park is extremely wild. Arriving by light aircraft, you’ll pass over the Katasunga Plains before landing. Spread out before you are yellow grasslands covered with thousands of zebra, topi, buffalo and giraffe. Lions lie on the fringes, watching and waiting, shaded by mahogany trees. With only two tiny camps in a million acres, Katavi sees few visitors and you can have an immense wilderness all to yourself. Katavi is a classic dry season reserve. From June to October, buffalo herds of up to 3,000 graze on the plains. Game drives offer superb photographic opportunities whilst walks beside sluggish rivers are exciting, with large crocodiles hiding in mudholes. As the sun falls low in the sky, a visit to the hippo pool, where 600 hippos live, is perfect for a sundowner.

Chada Camp is hidden by sausage trees and overlooks the plains. The six safari tents have high beds, simple furniture and are decked with bright East African fabrics. Outside each, there is a simple tin basin and small washstand. A little way behind each tent is a private bathroom, made of reed, sticks and soft grass. The main dining area is under canvas and strewn with books, maps, seedpods and a big chest full of drinks. Not fenced, it’s wonderfully wild and old-fashioned. Accompanied by top guides, both walks and drives are excellent.

Mahale Mountains Park Shadowing the dusky blue waters of Lake Tanganyika, the Mahale Mountains are dramatic and imposing. Jagged peaks of over 2,000 metres soar into the clouds and are covered in canopy woodland and thick montane forest. Shafts of sunlight pour through the trees into tiny gullies where pink and yellow butterflies flit and you can see each and every pebble in the crystal clear streams. The Mahale Mountains are the best place in Africa in which to track and observe wild chimpanzees. There is a population of around 1,000; one troop of which, the Mimikire clan (around 70-100 individuals), have been habituated to humans and can be tracked and observed from close quarters. Climbing up the leafy tracks in the

misty morning and hearing your first chimpanzee shriek is something you will never forget. Crouching low, you can watch them grooming, drinking and playing. After a morning of chimpanzee tracking you return to the shores of Lake Tanganyika, where sugar-white beaches slope into gin-clear waters. There are over 500 species of cichlid fish in the lake, and snorkelling and floating amongst them is the ultimate in relaxation.

GREYSTOKE CAMP, MAHALE MOUNTAINS Greystoke Camp is situated on an idyllic white beach on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Cream safari tents under palms have deep chairs, comfy beds, tin washbasins and buckets for washing the sand off your feet. At sunrise your breakfast is cooked over a fire on the beach, after which trackers lead you into the forest in search of chimpanzees. In the afternoons you can snorkel from the camp’s beautiful dhow or enjoy a snooze on the warm deck.

The dining room at Greystoke Camp

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 83


Zanzibar beach

The Zanzibar Archipelago

Zanzibar Island

Fifty islands make up the Zanzibar archipelago, which lies in aquamarine seas under a blazing equatorial sun. Just 20 miles off the Tanzanian coast, the archipelago is easily accessible and therefore ideal for a relaxing end to a safari. The two large islands of Zanzibar and Pemba are well known and have a bustling island life, with ancient towns, small villages, spice plantations and miles of sandy beaches. Surrounding these two large islands are numerous tiny coral atolls with names such as Chumbe, Chapwani, Bawe and Mnemba. Some of these, such as Mnemba, have exclusive hotels whilst others are home only to seabirds and nesting turtles and can be reached by relaxing dhow trips. The seas are littered with reefs, with pink sea anemones swaying in warm currents and butterflyfish, angelfish and parrotfish darting between the corals.

The largest of all the islands in the archipelago, Zanzibar Island is 80 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide. It is covered in coconut plantations, spice farms and lush vegetation. Pretty roads run through avenues of mangoes and the forest at Jozani, where endemic Kirk’s red colobus can be seen, while the coastline has picture perfect beaches. Miles of white sand lead into shallow turquoise water lined with offshore reefs. Small fishing villages have nets hanging from crooked wooden racks and chickens and ducks waddling about. At high tide all the dhows sail in and lively bartering for the day’s catch ensues. Zanzibar has more than just beaches, however. Monsoon winds blowing from Persia, Arabia and India have led traders to these islands for over 2,000 years. In Zanzibar’s Stone Town, labyrinth alleys lead to sultans’ residences with thick stone walls and intricately carved doors. Inland, there are spice plantations where piles of curling cinnamon bark and nutmegs lie in the sun. Zanzibar is spectacular at sunset, as hundreds of dhows set sail for the night, their billowing white sails tinged pink by the sun. Relax, unwind and enjoy the view, as the warm breeze blows around you. Just a short flight from some of Tanzania’s wildest parks, Zanzibar is perhaps the ultimate finale to any safari.

Seaweed farming on Zanzibar

84


The game of bao

The beach at Breezes Beach Club & Spa

Fresh fish for sale

Fishing dhows

BREEZES BEACH CLUB & SPA, BWEJUU, ZANZIBAR

BARAZA, BWEJUU, ZANZIBAR Baraza is a unique 30 villa resort built in a distinctive Zanzibari style and is an ideal place for families or groups of friends wanting to enjoy a bit of luxury. All the air-conditioned villas have one or two bedrooms, living room, dressing rooms and en suite bathrooms with a free standing tub. They are elegantly decorated with beautiful fabrics and hand-carved furniture. Outside there are shady terraces, sunloungers and a private plunge pool. Facilities at Baraza are extensive and include a swimming pool, spa, tennis court, watersports centre, PADI dive centre and boutique. Snorkelling excursions, trips to spice farms and more can all be arranged.

This pretty resort has 70 rooms but manages to feel like somewhere half its size thanks to its low-key, friendly atmosphere. It stands on an idyllic stretch of beach on Zanzibar’s southeast coast. Rooms at Breezes are set in the gardens and are tastefully decorated in ivory tones, with cotton throws, teak and Zanzibari carvings. All are air-conditioned and have en suite bathrooms. There are plenty of activities on offer including diving, snorkelling, sailing and windsurfing. Those looking to relax can do so at the pool, on the beach or with a treatment in the spa. With several excellent restaurants, this hotel is very popular and many guests return year after year. Villa at The Palms

THE PALMS, BWEJUU, ZANZIBAR Situated in tropical gardens The Palms provides some of the most luxurious accommodation on Zanzibar. The hotel has just six villas, each wonderfully large and containing a bedroom, living room, dressing room and en suite bathroom. On the veranda, a silk-draped four-poster Zanzibari bed sits alongside a sunken plunge pool. The Palms prides itself on its cuisine and the restaurant, The Plantation House, serves excellent Swahili and international dishes. The adjacent Spice Bar is perfect for relaxing with a sundowner drink. Guests can also enjoy all the facilities at the neighbouring sister property Breezes. Bar, Breezes Beach Club & Spa

Baraza

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 85


Kirk’s red colobus monkey in the Jozani Forest

UNGUJA LODGE, KIZIMKAZI, ZANZIBAR

Drying seaweed

Cottage at Echo Beach Hotel

ECHO BEACH HOTEL, BWEJUU, ZANZIBAR

This boutique hotel is set amongst baobab and mango trees which are popular with red colobus monkeys. Run by Elies Hagedoorn along strong ethical principles, this lodge is not only welcoming but well integrated into the local Kizimkazi community. There are ten villas, a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and Five-Star PADI dive centre. All the villas have a bedroom, sitting room, en suite bathroom and a second floor where children can sleep. Private terraces overlook the sea or gardens. The lodge is ideally suited to families or those wanting to enjoy lots of activities including diving, snorkelling, dolphin watching and guided village tours.

Echo Beach Hotel is small, simple and will suit those looking for a quiet hideaway. It sits in five acres of gardens on Bwejuu, one of Zanzibar’s prettiest beaches, and has 12 rooms in whitewashed cottages under coconut palms. Each has a shady terrace or balcony where you can sit with a drink and watch the dhows bobbing on the horizon. The kitchen is overseen by the owner Andrew and meals are tailored to the fishermen’s daily catch, with fresh fruit and vegetables from the market also used. The lodge is ideal for those looking to relax beside a pool, although diving, dhow trips and visits to spice farms are easily arranged. Schoolgirls walking home

86

The pool at Unguja Lodge


Stone Town from the sea

Fresh nutmeg

Arabica Room at the Zanzibar Palace Hotel

Stone Town, Zanzibar

ZANZIBAR PALACE HOTEL, STONE TOWN

Flanked on two sides by the sea, Stone Town is a place that divides opinion. Many are enchanted by the heavily laden dhows that sail in and out of port, and the tall crumbling buildings and labyrinthine streets lined with tiny shops. Others dislike the bustle of so many people, the dirt, noise and commotion. Whatever your opinion, it is likely to be a strong one – Stone Town leaves nobody ambivalent. Much of the town was built in the 19th century and remains unchanged to this day. A maze of alleyways lead between tall houses and palaces whose intricately carved wooden doors have brass studs and heavy locks. There is no room for cars in these streets so exploring is done on foot. There is plenty to see, from museums to the early morning market which is as busy as it is colourful. Hessian sacks overflow with black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and vanilla and traders sell everything from fresh ginger to huge fish. At the end of the day, you might choose to stroll to the Forodhani Gardens. As the sun sets, street vendors light fires and braziers, on which they grill squid, octopus and lobster. Enjoy a snack or two before heading off to one of Stone Town’s excellent restaurants.

Tucked away in the Kiponda area of Stone Town this hotel is in a beautifully restored Zanzibari house. Owners Co and Frans aim to provide a personal service, getting to know guests themselves and making sure they are well looked after. Each of the nine bedrooms has its own character, but all are decorated in Swahili style. Carved dark wood, stained glass, and jewel-coloured drapes are dotted around the hotel, giving it a modern-day Arabian Nights feel. The hotel is close to the main shopping streets and is within easy walking distance of some good local restaurants.

BEIT AL CHAI, STONE TOWN Beit Al Chai has been sympathetically converted from its original use as a Swahili teahouse. It is located on a corner in Stone Town’s pretty Kelele Square which is shaded by hibiscus and tamarind trees and is a peaceful spot. The hotel has six en suite bedrooms furnished with antiques dating back to the days of the Swahili Empire. There is a small breakfast courtyard, and drinks are available in the living room. If your feet are too tired from exploring to go out for dinner, the hotel has a new restaurant with an Arabic theme, offering an upmarket dining experience.

Zanzibari door

Room at The Serena Inn

SERENA INN, STONE TOWN The Serena occupies a prime location perched between the town and the sea. It is an attractive building converted from the old doctor’s house. There are polished marble floors, sweeping staircases, a lovely seaview restaurant and big swimming pool. The rooms are comfortable with air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms and large balconies. At sunset, dhows frequently sail past the hotel.

Beit al Chai

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 87


School girls on the beach

FUNDU LAGOON, PEMBA ISLAND

A beach suite at Fundu Lagoon

Pemba Island About 80 kilometres northeast of Zanzibar, Pemba is quiet and undeveloped. It has a gentle hilly landscape and has always been seen as a more fertile place than its larger neighbour. The early Arab sailors called it ‘El Huthera’, meaning ‘The Green’. Travelling across Pemba, you are immediately struck by the number of rural farming and fishing villages. At harvest time, great swathes of cloves lie drying in the sun and fill the air with their scent. Mangos in piles over six feet high wait by the roadsides to be trucked to the port at Mkoani and then shipped over to the mainland. Fields are dotted with women in bright kangas attending to crops while wooden pirogues and dhows glide gently over the turquoise seas. Pemba has few lodges and nearly all of the beaches are deserted. Offshore, coral islands have white sand and nesting turtles at night. The deep Pemba Channel is rich with coral reefs and offers some of the best diving in East Africa.

Fundu Lagoon is a stylish property that is ideal for honeymooners looking for a quiet hideaway. Situated on a long beach flanked by mangrove, it has a large jetty stretching over the water with a bar halfway along it. There are eighteen designer tents, set under makuti roofs on wooden decks. The rooms have stylish décor and en suite bathrooms with a selection of aromatherapy soaps and lotions. Fundu’s main areas are all built under thatch and are large and airy, overlooking the sea. There is a dive centre, small spa and infinity pool on the hillside with spectacular views over the coast.

Manta Resort

88

MANTA RESORT, PEMBA ISLAND Manta Resort is situated on the northern tip of Pemba on arguably its best beach. It is a stylish, 20 bedroom property set in pretty gardens. The best rooms overlook the sea and have large airy bedrooms leading onto sunny verandas. This is a wonderful place to relax, either with an ice cold drink in the heat of the day or a glass of wine at night. In the centre of the resort, a small spa offers relaxing treatments and the good sized pool is ideal for relaxing beside with a book. There are plenty of activities including diving, snorkelling and dhow sailing. As the sun sets you can make your way to the quirky beach bar on the sand for a cocktail before dinner.


The beach at Kinasi Lodge

The Mafia Archipelago

KINASI LODGE, MAFIA ISLAND Kinasi Lodge has 14 rustic bungalows situated in idyllic gardens sloping down to a small sandy beach. Each bungalow has big beds, old chests, cool stone floors, spacious bathrooms and large shady verandas with big hammocks. The central lodge houses a bar, dining room and extensive library. There’s a small pool, dive centre and a few sailing boats, while activities on offer include diving, snorkelling and swimming trips.

The Mafia islands lie quietly in the Indian Ocean just a 40 minute flight from Dar es Salaam. Virtually unknown, the names of Bwejuu, Mbarakum, Juani, Jibondo and Mafia mean little to most people. Yet these islands make up a beautiful archipelago, tiny jewels resting in an azure sea. Covered in rich rainforest, thick grasslands and giant baobab trees, the islands are dotted with tiny villages. Sunbirds flit through the trees, five species of endemic butterflies can be found and bushbabies call at night. On the coast, sandy beaches are flanked by mangroves and fishermen sit on the white sand mending nets or making coconut coir rope. Strings of drying octopus blow in the breeze and dhows sail from island to island, carrying children to school at sunrise and back home at sunset. All that said, it is in the turquoise waters that you will find the islands’ biggest attractions. Unspoiled barrier reefs surround the islands, rich in soft corals, sea anemones and sponges and attracting a dazzling array of fish. Potato groupers, hump-headed parrotfish and giant batfish are just some of those you might see while snorkelling, and turtles, rays and dolphins are never far away.

Pole Pole Lodge

POLE POLE LODGE, MAFIA ISLAND The clock on the wall at Pole Pole always says a quarter to eight, and quite aptly so, for at this lodge, time is unimportant. Seven sleepy bungalows stand on a small hill, shaded by palms and overlooking white sand and the sea. Inside, the bungalows are spacious and stylish and have large beds with Italian linen, muslin nets and bathrooms with brass fittings. The main dining area is open-sided and serves excellent food, with fresh seafood, mangos and honey pancakes just some of the specialities. Activities at Pole Pole are relaxed. There is an old dhow – Sayari – that floats gently to reefs and sandbanks for lazy mornings of snorkelling, diving and swimming.

Arriving on Mafia Island

Kinasi Lodge

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 89


TANZANIA

Zanzibar Dar es Salaam Selous Game Reserve

Selous & Zanzibar Explorer This itinerary combines a wild safari with time on the beach. It is ideal for first time visitors to Africa or those looking for a relaxing trip with plenty of wildlife but minimal travel. Four nights in the Selous Game Reserve enable you to enjoy game viewing and a number of activities including boat trips, game drives and walking safaris. The Selous is a short flight from Zanzibar, where your beach time begins. Seven days is an ideal length of stay on Zanzibar as it gives you plenty of time to relax and to enjoy the activities that the island has to offer.

Viewing lion on a game drive

Tailoring your trip The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests. Please call one of our Tanzania specialists to start planning your itinerary. Telephone: 01993 838 545

Getting around Tanzania’s safari areas can be divided into the northern, southern and western ‘circuits’ and there are different ways to explore each. The ‘northern circuit’ comprises the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Lake Manyara parks. Tar and dirt roads connect them all and a typical way to explore is with a guide driving you from one to another in a modified Landrover. A typical one week itinerary would explore Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and end in the Serengeti. Rather than retracing your steps afterwards, we would then recommend flying out to the coast or on to further wildlife areas. The ‘southern circuit’ comprises Selous and Ruaha and as distances are large and roads poor, the best way to combine them is by flying between the two. Light aircraft fly to these reserves each day and operate a ‘bus stop’ system, picking up and dropping off at camp airstrips. A typical safari in the south might include four or five days in the Selous followed by three in the Ruaha. Numerous flights go from both parks to Zanzibar and the Mafia Islands, making it easy to combine the south with the coast. The ‘western circuit’ comprises Katavi National Park and the Mahale Mountains. They are hundreds of miles from anywhere so access is always by light aircraft. Planes are scheduled each week to access these parks.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Dar es Salaam overnight.

Days 2-5

Arrive in Dar es Salaam. Fly to the Selous Game Reserve for four nights at Lake Manze Camp. Explore the Selous on game drives, walking safaris and boat trips.

Cheetah in the Serengeti

When to go Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

~

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Tanzania has a pleasant tropical climate. As it is near the equator, there is little temperature fluctuation between summer and winter, with temperatures ranging from about 25C to 30C all year round. There are regional variations, however, with the coastal belt being hotter and more humid, inland areas dryer and cooler, and the mountains sometimes chilly at night. Tanzania has two rainy seasons, the short rains in November and December and the long rains from February to March. The heaviest downpours occur in April and May and many lodges close during this time.

Days 6-10 Fly to Zanzibar for five nights at Echo Beach. Swim, snorkel and relax beside the pool or on the beach. Day 11

Road transfer to Stone Town for one night at the Zanzibar Palace, Stone Town.

Day 12

Fly to Dar es Salaam and then in to the UK. Arrive in the UK in the early evening.

Stay longer If you would like to extend your trip, one of the easiest ways to do it is by adding three nights in the Ruaha National Park at the start or midway through. Ruaha is a good contrast to Selous as it is largely a dry reserve with big herds of buffalo and particularly large prides of lion. The game in the dry season congregates along the Ruaha River making drives on the river banks rewarding.

Time difference: GMT+3 hours Flight time from UK: 9 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Tanzania on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans. Zebra in the sunlight

90


Suggested itineraries Serengeti National Park Ngorongoro Crater

Arusha Arusha

Lake Manyara Mahale Mountains Airstrip

TANZANIA Zanzibar Dar es Salaam

Zanzibar

Mahale Mountains Dar es Salaam Ruaha National Park

Dar es Salaam

Katavi National Park

TANZANIA Selous Game Reserve Mafia Island

TANZANIA

ZAMBIA

Classic Northern Tanzania

Classic Southern Tanzania

This trip is a classic exploration of Tanzania’s most famous parks. It is ideal for a first time visitor to Africa as it encompasses dramatic landscapes, prolific wildlife and a variety of different activities. A guide will drive you in a modified Landrover into Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Game Reserve. Each reserve is different both in terms of landscape and the wildlife found there. En route you’ll have the chance to stop off at local towns, barter in markets and visit Maasai in their traditional villages. After an adventurous safari in the north, you fly to Zanzibar where you can spend a week relaxing on the beach.

This trip explores Selous and Ruaha in Southern Tanzania and is suited to wildlife enthusiasts. The camps have been chosen for their locations in the heart of the parks and their excellent guiding. The Selous offers fabulous birding and boat trips whilst the main focus of Ruaha is big game viewed from open 4x4s. The trip ends at Kinasi Lodge on Mafia Island which is particularly good for snorkelling. Sail out to the reefs in Chole Bay by dhow and see parrotfish, potato groupers, batfish, butterflyfish, angelfish and more. This is a wonderful trip for those looking to immerse themselves in the wilderness.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Nairobi overnight.

Day 2

Arrive in Nairobi and fly to Arusha. Meet your guide and drive to Onsea House for one night.

Day 3

Guided drive to Lake Manyara National Park for a full day game viewing. Onward drive to Plantation Lodge for two nights.

Day 4

Full day’s game viewing trip to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Days 5-7

Drive to the Serengeti Game Reserve for three nights at Olakira Camp. Explore the Serengeti on game drives.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Dar es Salaam overnight.

Day 2-4

Arrive in Dar es Salaam and fly to the Selous Game Reserve for three nights at Selous Safari Camp. Explore the Selous on game drives and boat trips.

Day 5-7

Day 8-13

Day 14

Fly to Ruaha National Park for three nights at Kwihala. Game viewing in Ruaha National Park. Fly to Mafia Island for six nights at Kinasi Lodge. Time relaxing or enjoying activities on Mafia Island. Fly to Dar es Salaam and on to the UK. Arrive in the UK in the early evening.

Chimpanzees of Western Tanzania Western Tanzania is extremely wild and well suited to people who have been to Africa before. Travel to the west is not cheap, but a trip here is a once in a lifetime experience. Katavi has herds of thousands of buffalo, rivers with mud holes full of enormous crocodiles, and pods of hippo by the hundred. The beauty of Mahale defies belief: virgin rainforests filled with chimpanzees drop to white sand beaches and the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika. After time in the west we have suggested four nights at one of Zanzibar’s luxurious beach retreats – a perfect end to the trip. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Nairobi overnight.

Day 2

Connect with a flight to Arusha and drive to Onsea House for one night.

Days 3-5

Fly to Katavi National Park for three nights at Chada Camp. Explore Katavi on game drives and walking safaris.

Day 6-9

Fly to Mahale Mountains Airstrip and take a boat to Greystoke Camp for four nights. Chimpanzee tracking in Mahale Mountains.

Days 10-13 Fly to Zanzibar for four nights at Matemwe Bungalows. Swim, snorkel and relax beside the pool or on the beach. Day 14

Days 8-14 Fly to Zanzibar for seven nights at Breezes Beach Club & Spa, Zanzibar. Swim, snorkel and relax beside the pool or on the beach. Day 15

Fly to Dar es Salaam and then on to the UK. Arrive in the UK in the early evening.

Stay longer Instead of ending your trip on Zanzibar, you could fly to the Mafia Islands instead. These islands are ideal for a really peaceful hideaway. Whilst the beaches are not as spectacular as those on Zanzibar, the snorkelling and diving is some of the best on the East African coast. You can immerse yourself in village life, meeting the residents or watching the local dhow builders at work. At night, look across Chole Bay where fuzzy faced fruitbats leave their roost on Chole Island to feed on the fruit trees of Mafia and other islands.

Stay longer One way to extend this itinerary would be to add three nights at a beautiful beach lodge on the Tanzanian mainland. Ras Kutani is a 20 minute flight south of Dar es Salaam and is the ideal place in which to recover from an international flight. The lodge has beautiful rooms with ocean views, and a long sandy beach. Cuisine is excellent at Ras Kutani, with an emphasis on seafood. and fresh lobster, crab, squid and prawns are often on the menu.

Fly to Dar es Salaam and on to the UK, arriving in the early evening.

Stay longer Before flying to the west of Tanzania, enjoy some time on safari in the Serengeti. From December to May thousands of wildebeest converge on the southern plains of the park to breed and calve before starting the long journey north to the Masai Mara. Watch this spectacular sight from a mobile tented camp placed in the heart of the migration. The Serengeti provides a real contrast to both parks in the west and makes an ideal addition to this trip.

Wild dog in the Selous

www.audleytravel.com/tanzania

01993 838 545

Tanzania 91


Kenya

enya is the country of wildlife documentaries and the home of the safari. It is everything you imagine Africa to be, with vast plains covered in thousands of wildebeest and gazelle, cheetah sitting on termite mounds, lions flat on their back in the sun and giraffe in the shade of acacias. Mingling with the animals Maasai herdsmen, clad in bright red shukas lead

K

92

cattle across the plains to dusty waterholes to drink. Over recent years Kenya has gained a reputation for being a mass-market destination, but while there are busy areas, these are few and easily circumvented. Kenya has huge tracts of wilderness where vehicles are scarce and safaris are on foot or even by camel. Samburu warriors herd cattle across desolate plains, the huge reserves of Laikipia

protect a number of endangered species and the grasslands of the Mara are traversed by Maasai herders. Kenya has a beautiful coastline with beaches stretching for miles. Offshore, the islands of Lamu and Funzi are a delight. With old Swahili towns, dhows sailing across the water, donkeys pulling old wooden carts and quiet beaches to enjoy, these are ideal places in which to end a safari.


Audley in Kenya Kenya has a reputation as a mass-market destination. True, there are some busy areas, but with expert advice and insider knowledge, they are easily avoided. With our years of experience in Kenya, personal friendships with lodge owners, and love of the wilderness, we have made it our goal to seek out some of Kenya’s most remote camps and charming beach lodges. The vast majority of our trips involve light aircraft flights, making even the most distant areas accessible. In each lodge or camp a professional safari guide will introduce you to the wildlife of the area, showing you the sights, sounds and smells of the bush.

4 7

Accommodation 6 5

1

2

3

The range of accomodation in Kenya is varied, from Robinson Crusoe hideaways at the beach to deluxe tented camps. As Kenya is famed for its stunning natural environment, the primary focus is on bringing the outside in. Each lodge or camp makes the most of its location, be it a luxury camp overlooking a waterhole, or a rustic beach lodge just yards from the Indian Ocean. Creature comforts are not overlooked, and even the simplest of camps will have a good bed, and a bathroom with a toilet and bucket shower.

8

Pelican in Lake Nakuru

1 Masai Mara Africa’s most famous reserve, with large numbers of leopard, lion and cheetah and the location for the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.

5 Lake Naivasha One of the three permanent lakes in the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is a beautiful and peaceful place to start or end your trip.

2 Mara River Thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle cross the Mara River on their great migration.

Often carpeted with clouds of pink flamingos, the lake is surrounded by a national park with good black and white rhino populations.

3 Lamu archipelago

6 Lake Nakuru

7 Laikipia Plateau A wilderness area dotted with Samburu villages and traversed by elephant and other game. 8 Funzi Keys A tiny island tucked in the mangroves with white sandy beaches and offshore reefs excellent for snorkelling.

Topi in the Masai Mara

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Kenya, please see page 105.

A cluster of exotic islands with a small Swahili town and plentiful donkeys, dhows and sandy beaches.

www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

4 Samburu Reserve Home to some of Kenya’s rarer species including Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Kenya specialists 01993 838 510

Lunch in the Mara

Kenya 93


Elephants in Governors' Camp

Little Governors' Camp

Masai Mara National Reserve The Masai Mara National Reserve covers an area of 1,800 square kilometres and is Africa’s most famous wildlife area. The fertile grasslands, dominated by russet oat grass, are rich feeding grounds and each year millions of wildebeest and thousands of zebra, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, eland and impala swarm into the area. Elephant stroll across the savannah, trunks curling to sniff the wind. Vast prides of lion stalk grazing herds, and hyena lurk behind them hoping to snatch a tasty morsel. Male topi stand sentry on termite mounds, keeping a watchful eye for predators, and pods of hippo grunt and snort in the rivers. By night, leopard stalk the silvery plains and the shrieks of startled baboons echo through the camps.

LITTLE GOVERNORS’ CAMP, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

GOVERNORS’ CAMP, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

Little Governors’ has 17 tents set on the edge of a natural wetland. For birders and wildlife lovers, the camp is paradise. Animals flood in from the surrounding area to take advantage of the water, and tiny malachite kingfishers hover on the reeds around the waterhole. Elephants are regular visitors to camp, and it’s not unusual for meals to be delayed while they pass through. Activities from Little Governors’ focus on game drives, but it’s also the base for early morning hot air balloon flights. Taking off at dawn and ending with a champagne breakfast, these are a particularly special treat.

Governors’ was one of the first safari camps in the Masai Mara, and had the pick of the locations. The camp is right in the heart of the Musiara area, home to the legendary Marsh Pride of lions. The Big Cat Diaries team are based nearby and sightings of all three big cats are regular. To take advantage of this, Governors’ offer three game drives per day, although it’s not unusual to find the game coming to you. Governors’ has 38 tents, half of which overlook the Mara River and the other half the plains. With long-standing staff and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, this camp will suit couples and families alike.

IL MORAN, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE Il Moran is one of the most luxurious options in the Mara. Set along the banks of the Mara River in the shade of the riverine forest, ten large and comfortable tents are made of sand-coloured canvas, with carved wooden beds, rugs on the floor and en suite bathrooms with traditional roll-top baths. Game viewing in the area is spectacular, so the camp includes three game drives each day, and can also arrange walking safaris in a private reserve outside the park gates.

Il Moran

94


Leopard in the morning sun

A guided bushwalk from Kicheche

Cheetah on a termite mound

Zebra on the grasslands

KICHECHE BUSH CAMP, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

Naibor Camp

NAIBOR CAMP, MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

Located in the Olare Orok conservancy, one of the quietest and most remote areas of the park, Kicheche Bush Camp offers safari as it should be. There are just six traditional safari tents, all spread well apart from each other. The soft khakis, greens and creams of the camp ensure that it blends effortlessly into the bush, so you’ll hardly notice it until you’re upon it. The wildlife is free to come and go through the camp and eagles soar in the skies above. Game drives are in open safari vehicles and walks are also possible. For less energetic moments, there is a mess area with comfy chairs and a hammock outside each tent.

Naibor Camp sits in the heart of the Mara on a meander of the Talek River. The seven cream canvas tents are light, airy and spacious. The sides of the tents can be rolled up to let the breezes in, and the soft, muted colours of the fabrics echo the bush outside. The central mess of the camp houses both dining and sitting areas, and a handful of canvas safari chairs are perched on the bank, overlooking the resident pod of hippos. This is the perfect spot for a cool drink before lunch, listening to the hippos as they hiss and splutter in the water. Activities from Naibor include game drives guided by Maasai guides and walking safaris.

Karen Blixen Camp

KAREN BLIXEN CAMP, GREATER MARA CONSERVATION AREA Karen Blixen Camp is one of the newer camps in the Mara, but it is quickly establishing itself as a firm favourite. It has one of the prettiest locations of any of the Masai Mara camps, on a bend of the Mara River. A resident pod of hippos floats on the water’s surface, impala graze the nearby grasslands, and elephant are regular visitors to the opposite banks. There are 19 luxury tents set along the riverfront, with a further three raised up on stilts behind. The tents themselves are very comfortable, with polished wooden floors, rugs and en suite bathrooms. This is an ideal option for first-time safari-goers, with all of the adventure and romance of sleeping under canvas, but a few creature comforts too.

Kicheche Bush Camp

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

01993 838 510

Kenya 95


Early morning balloon flight

Hot air balloon safaris Ballooning over the Mara A wonderful way to see the Mara is on a hot air balloon safari. Floating in a balloon above the plains gives you a totally different perspective on the park. You can see birds roosting in the tops of trees, giraffe hiding under the forest canopy and the backs of hippo pods and crocodiles in the snaking rivers. As you balloon at sunrise you see the mist rising from the plains and light spreading over the park. Dawn in the Mara is one of the most beautiful sights in Africa.

The flight You will be woken before dawn (usually around 4am) and taken from your camp to the hot air ballooning starting point at Little Governors’ Camp. On arrival at the site you can enjoy a cup of coffee and watch the balloons inflating. When they are ready you clamber into the basket and your pilot will give you a short briefing. Then, as the sun rises, so does your balloon. The direction you take will depend on the wind and you may float over forest, plains or rivers. Your pilot will point

Topi

out the game below and there are ample opportunities for photography. After around an hour you will land on the plains, possibly with a bump and certainly ready for breakfast. Champagne breakfast On landing, breakfast will be set up and served for you in the middle of the Mara. You can enjoy a glass of champagne whilst the table is laid and sausages cooked for you. Sitting on a camp stool, tucking into breakfast and watching the birds soar overhead is a magical experience. After breakfast you climb into your safari vehicle and enjoy a game drive back to camp. View from the basket

96


Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha & Lake Victoria

MFANGANO ISLAND LODGE, MFANGANO ISLAND, LAKE VICTORIA

One of the three permanent lakes in the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha’s shores are surrounded by flower farms, old colonial properties and small villages of clay and thatch houses. The birdlife is beautiful and includes fish eagles, ospreys, lilytrotters and black crakes. With a number of animals grazing by the shores, it is an ideal place to relax for a few days.

Mfangano Island is a peaceful hideaway on Lake Victoria among fishing villages, beautiful birdlife and large fish in the waters. Mfangano Island Lodge blends perfectly with its environment, with massive fig trees growing up around the rooms and even through them in some cases. Dinners are always special, with lake fish – caught that day – served on a table by the shore or on the jetty, lit by lanterns.

A few miles further north (and within easy reach for a day trip from Naivasha) is Lake Nakuru. The first thing you will see when approaching the lake is a roseate cloud along the shoreline. As you draw near, the pink mass turns and forms the shape of millions of flamingos. This is one of the iconic sights of East Africa and a spectacle of immense beauty. A game reserve has been created around the lake where black rhino are protected and can be seen along with many antelope, giraffe, lion and hyena.

Rhino in Nakuru National Park

LOLDIA HOUSE, LAKE NAIVASHA A few days at Loldia is the perfect way to start or end any safari. The house retains the colonial feel of its original occupants, early Kenya settlers who travelled all the way from South Africa by ox-cart. Life here continues in many ways as they lived it, with drinks in the drawing room before dinner and afternoon tea served on the lawns overlooking the water. With a charming host in Peter Njoroge, Loldia makes an excellent base for exploring Lake Nakuru National Park, taking gentle game walks and visiting the nearby farm and school.

Mfangano Island Lodge

Lake Victoria is the second largest body of freshwater in the world. Although only a tiny percentage of the lake is located in Kenya, there are a number of islands scattered throughout the waters. Easily accessible from the Mara, it is also a wonderful place to relax before or after a safari. Other activities include trips to local villages and nearby islands and excellent birdwatching. Loldia House

Waterbuck

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

01993 838 510

Kenya 97


Game drive in the Lewa Conservancy

Laikipia Plateau Stretching over a vast area from the foothills of Mount Kenya to the shores of Lake Baringo, the Laikipia Plateau is one of Kenya’s lesser-known wildlife areas, yet it harbours more endangered species than anywhere else in East Africa. This is the place to see Grevy’s zebra, sitatunga, Jackson’s hartebeest and wild dog. Many northern species are found, including reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx and gerenuk. There are large elephant populations, thriving lion, leopard and cheetah and numerous impala and gazelle. The land on the plateau is divided into huge ranches, most of which are devoted to wildlife conservation. The large conservancies of Lewa, Ol Pejeta and Lekurruki have all been instrumental in research and education on this vital subject, and as a guest you can learn about the ongoing projects. Far from the beaten track, they are also ideal for those looking to relax in

View from a room at Sabuk

98

WILDERNESS TRAILS & LEWA SAFARI CAMP, LEWA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY

Lewa Safari Camp

total wilderness. You might track elephant on foot, ride a camel across rugged plains or watch the sunset from the top of a kopje. The game is wild and unfettered and the earth is brick-red, stretching as far as the eye can see.

Wilderness Trails is a charming homestead run by Will and Emma Craig, whose family started the conservancy. There are eight pretty cottages, each spacious and comfortable. The food is particularly good with organic home grown fruit and vegetables. Not far away, the neighbouring camp Lewa Safari Camp has 12 tents overlooking a floodlit waterhole favoured by elephants and both black and white rhino. Both camps offer game drives, night drives and walks with the Samburu.

SABUK LODGE, EWASO NG’IRO RIVER Sabuk Lodge is perched above a gorge where the Ewaso Ng’iro thunders through the rocks. There are seven stone and thatch cottages, with open air baths and views across the gorge. The service is excellent and the atmosphere friendly and relaxed. The game, including greater kudu, reticulated giraffe, klipspringer, eland, lion and leopard, make for rewarding drives and walks. As you are in the heart of Samburu country, guides are often from local villages and can teach you about their culture as well as leading you on camel safaris. Giraffe in front of Lewa Safari Camp


The starbeds at Loisaba

Giraffe

Camel safari

LOISABA WILDERNESS, LAIKIPIA PLATEAU

LOISABA STARBEDS, LAIKIPIA PLATEAU

Loisaba Wilderness has a collection of little cottages perched on the edge of an escarpment with fabulous views of the bush and Mount Kenya. Its rooms are very comfortable and there is a lovely pool tucked into a sunny courtyard, as well as a tiny spa. During the day you’ll sometimes see kudu families coming into the gardens to eat the plants and even take a quick drink from the pool. Other activities include game drives, walking safaris and horseriding.

The Loisaba Starbeds are two camps run by the local Koija community. Each camp has a simple communal dining area and three Starbeds, which are four-poster double beds placed on halfthatched, raised platforms. Each night the beds are wheeled out so that you can sleep under the night sky. Drifting off, you listen to the sound of elephants in the nearby dam or the gentle chatter of your Samburu hosts. Waking, you are greeted by an African sunrise like no other.

Kicheche Laikipia Camp

KICHECHE LAIKIPIA, OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY Kicheche Laikipia is a new camp in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This area of Kenya is one of the few places where all of the big five can be seen in one place and the excellent guiding team are on hand to help you spot most, if not all, of them. Day and night game drives take visitors across the conservancy, and for the adventurous, there’s also the chance of an early morning walk. At the end of a rewarding day in the bush, there are six luxury safari tents to return to. A campfire is lit in front of the mess, and guests recount the day’s adventures as the moon moves across the sky. Loisaba

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

01993 838 510

Kenya 99


Tracking elephant on foot

Walking safaris in the Karisia Hills For those wanting to get out of a vehicle and into their walking boots, a three to five day walking safari in the Karisia Hills in Northern Kenya might appeal. Easily tailored to fit into a trip around the country, these offer a contrast to more traditional safaris and are a good way to see big game as well as examining all the smaller animals and birds. Walking through the bush, you’ll spot the signs that a leopard has recently passed by or learn to identify a dik-dik’s territory. Herds of frightened guinea-fowl scatter amongst the thorn bushes, and giraffe canter gently away from unexpected visitors. Guides & camp staff The walking safaris we recommend are lead by Kerry Glen who grew up in Africa and is now raising her own family in the bush. She is accompanied by a team of guides and camel handlers, all of whom were raised in Northern Kenya. One of the great characters of the team is Shillingi, a Maasai elder. In the past he hunted elephants on foot with a bow and arrow, and now uses these skills as a formidable tracker. Whilst many of the camel handlers and camp crew don’t speak English or Swahili they’ll always be delighted to show you a bird that has perched on a nearby bush or play (and win) a game of football when in camp.

Sleeping tent

A Karisia walking safari

The pack camels

100

A day on a walking safari Each safari starts with a briefing from Kerry or head guide Gabriel. You then head off on foot following the guide and five or six pack camels. Spending a morning walking is thirsty work, and there are stops under shady acacias for drinks. You’ll reach camp around lunchtime to find tents set up by an advance camp crew. After a meal and a snooze you’ll set off on an afternoon walk. More often than not you’ll climb a kopje and settle down with delicious ‘bitings’, a cool drink and all of Africa spread out below you. After the sunset you amble back to camp for a hot bucket shower, dinner under the stars and a well earned sleep in your tent. Accommodation on a walking safari Accommodation is in small dome tents, large enough for a double mattress, blankets and pillows. Torches and drinking water are supplied. The tents have netting at the front so when you wake up, you can see the sun spreading across the sky. Bucket showers and toilets are to the rear of camp. Meals are taken in a central mess area, with comfortable canvas safari chairs. There is always a campfire at night. Each day the crew packs up the camp and puts it on the backs of the camels who carry it to the next spot.


Samburu girls at a village near to Sasaab

Mongoose

Gazelle in Samburu

Elsa’s Kopje

Samburu National Reserve

Meru National Park

The Samburu Reserve stretches stark and rugged towards the Chalbi desert. The country here is empty and wild, a place of baked brown earth and parched vegetation. The silence is almost eerie and at first you might think this an empty landscape. Stay for a while, however, and you will find yourself in one of Kenya’s most rewarding reserves. Running through Samburu, the Ewaso Ng’iro River is surrounded by a permanent ribbon of green, with tamarinds, doum palms and acacia providing respite from the sweltering sun. Elephant, buffalo and waterbuck frequent the woodland, impala herds graze under the trees and Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk can all be found. Lion, leopard and cheetah are never far away while up above, martial eagles, bateleurs and pygmy falcons patrol the skies.

Meru National Park is one of Kenya’s least known reserves. A few may know of it as the home of Joy Adamson and her lioness, Elsa, but otherwise it remains relatively unheard of. With thirteen rivers running through the park the game viewing is excellent, and yet visitors largely have the park to themselves. Game in the park includes buffalo, elephant, rhino, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, lesser kudu and gerenuk. Prides of lion snooze beneath trees, tiny dik-diks scamper amongst the acacia thorns and bataleur eagles float on thermals in the sky. The baboons and vervet monkeys are a delight and the river is a sanctuary for hippos and crocodiles.

ELSA’S KOPJE, MERU NATIONAL PARK

Gerenuk browsing

SASAAB, SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE SaSaab is situated just outside the park on Samburu community land. It sits on a high rocky ridge above the Ewaso Ng’iro River and has views extending to Mount Kenya on a clear day. Accommodation is in nine luxurious Moroccan tents set under makuti thatch roofs. Each has a bedroom, lounge area, en suite bathroom and private plunge pool on the outside deck. Activities include day and night drives, walking safaris, camel treks and cultural visits to the local communities.

Elsa’s Kopje sits high on a hilltop overlooking Meru National Park. It was named for Elsa the lioness, and even now it is possible to lie in bed at night and hear lions roaring across the park. There are ten stone and thatch cottages, each slightly different, but all open-fronted to take advantage of the stunning views. The pool is the real highlight of a stay at Elsa’s and guests can sit for hours with a cold drink, watching the sun go down and the eagles glide over the landscape below.

SaSaab

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

01993 838 510

Kenya 101


Dhows on a Kenyan beach

Kenya’s beaches Kenya has an idyllic coastline, with miles of soft white sand fringed by palm trees giving way to aquamarine seas. Small fishing villages bask in the sun, nets hang to dry on bleached sticks alongside huts tucked under cashew nut trees. There are beaches backed by tall dunes into which green turtles clamber to nest, and the many offshore marine parks protect long coral reefs. A short distance from the coast there are a number of beautiful archipelagos; Lamu with its dhows and donkeys, Funzi with mangrove channels and sand banks and Kiwayu with miles of deserted sand. With temperatures averaging 28C and around eight hours of sunshine a day, it is easy to see why Kenya’s beaches have become so popular. Market in Lamu Town

Swahili dining

102

Picnic on Manda Island

Picnic at Funzi Keys


Dhows of the Lamu archipelago

The Lamu Archipelago The Lamu archipelago lies a few miles off the coast of Northern Kenya. Transport is by donkey or on foot, beaches are deserted and the most common sounds are the wind in the grass or the creak of a dhow. There are two main islands in the archipelago, Lamu and Manda. Sprinkled about these in the turquoise sea are tiny coral atolls and white sandbanks, while below the surface are coral reefs rich with vibrant life. Most visitors to the archipelago base themselves on Lamu. At 16 kilometres long and seven kilometres wide, it resembles a miniature version of Zanzibar but is much quieter. On the northeast coast, the magnificent Swahili settlement of Lamu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Venturing further afield you will find a 12-kilometre beach on the south coast and the pretty fishing village of Shela. A short boat ride away, Manda Island is quieter still, with beaches just made for picnics, barbecues and relaxing in the sun.

The pool at Peponi

MANDA BAY, MANDA ISLAND Manda Bay is an exclusive hideaway tucked into the shady vegetation on Manda Island. There are ten rustic chalets, each with a large bedroom and bathroom and decorated with bright East African fabrics. Although the lodge is remote and only accessible by boat, there is plenty to keep you occupied. Sail to Lamu town to explore, dive and waterski or set off to Manda Toto Island for a day of swimming and snorkelling with a large picnic lunch.

Lamu chef

PEPONI HOTEL, SHELA, LAMU ISLAND Peponi is a family-run hotel on the fringes of Shela Village. Owned and run by the Korschen family since 1967, and having once been a house, it has a warm established feel. Peponi overlooks the Lamu Channel and the 24 rooms either have sea views or look onto the gardens, bursting with flowers. There is a small pool in the shade of two baobab trees and a lovely sandy beach. Peponi is renowned for its excellent cuisine, with seafood a speciality. Lobster, giant prawns and fresh rock oysters are frequently on the menu.

The pool at Manda Bay

Manda Bay

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

â—?

01993 838 510

â—?

Kenya 103


Diani Beach

Funzi Island

Diani Beach, Kenya Coast

Funzi is an unspoilt island at the tip of Kenya’s south coast. Though only a 15 minute flight from Mombasa it may as well be in another world. Arriving by air you see turquoise waters, slivers of white sand and dense tropical vegetation. Dhows sail on the waves and underneath the surface, a marine park harbours numerous coral reefs. Once on the ground, a grass runway has small paths winding into the trees. A wooden walkway leads onto the island, for there are no roads here. With one exclusive lodge and no neighbours for miles around, this is as remote a beach destination as you’ll find anywhere.

Diani Beach is a popular beach on Kenya’s south coast. It has a long stretch of white sand fringed by palms and other indigenous bush. Although there are a number of hotels, private homes, shops and restaurants here, most of them are low-rise and set in large properties with gardens and trees. There is still a nice sense of nature, the atmosphere is relaxed so you can walk along the sand without meeting too many people.

The pool at Funzi Keys

ASHA COTTAGE, DIANI BEACH

View from a Funzi Keys chalet

FUNZI KEYS, FUNZI ISLAND On the southern tip of Funzi Island, Funzi Keys faces onto a small sandy beach and is one of the most exclusive hideaways on the coast. The rooms are very private and have four-poster beds, fine linen and a Jacuzzi. A 50 metre pool is set amongst the mangroves and surrounded by sunloungers and beanbags, the ideal spot to relax during a hot afternoon. The owner Alessandro prides himself on the cuisine which includes everything from Swahili dishes to sushi. There are lots of activities on offer including snorkelling, sailing and trips to sandbanks for picnic lunches. Funzi Keys

104

Asha Cottage is a pretty family-run guesthouse. John and Dominique have five rooms with white-washed walls, tiled floors and traditional Swahili furniture. The rooms look out onto the pool, set in tropical gardens. Cuisine is excellent with chef Kennedy deciding on the menu only once he knows what the day’s catch is. With a relaxed atmosphere, this property is particularly well suited to families.

Asha Cottage


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

Laikipia Plateau

KENYA

KENYA

Nairobi

Nairobi Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve Lamu

Please call one of our Kenya specialists to start planning your itinerary. Telephone: 01993 838 510

TANZANIA

TANZANIA

Getting around

Zanzibar

Many safari companies drive their guests around Kenya in Land Rovers or mini-buses. We feel that this limits which camps you can reach and as roads are pot-holed, journeys can be long and uncomfortable. There also tend to be stops at strategically placed curio shops. We prefer to fly our travellers around the country making use of the extensive and reasonably priced flight network. Flights land at small airstrips in the heart of parks where we will have your guide waiting, ready to drive you to camp. The flight network extends to the coast with regular flights to Lamu, Diani Beach and Funzi Island. As flying is much quicker than driving, the focus of your holiday will be on game viewing, meeting local communities and relaxing, rather than on travelling.

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

~

~

Kenya & Zanzibar Explorer

Classic Kenya is a comprehensive trip around the country exploring the wild north, game-rich Masai Mara and exotic Lamu archipelago. In the north we’ve chosen Sabuk Lodge, perched on a rocky kopje. This area receives few visitors and the focus is on walking, camel trekking and meeting Samburu communities. In the Mara we suggest Little Governors’ Camp, situated on a wetland that attracts elephant and buffalo throughout the day. The trip ends with five nights of relaxation on the beaches of Lamu Island.

This relaxing trip combines two areas; a safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara followed by a week on Zanzibar’s palm-fringed Bwejuu Beach. Naibor Camp is located above the Talek River in the Mara. There is a noisy pod of hippos in the water and morning and afternoon game drives explore the surrounding plains, rich with game. After early morning starts on safari, Zanzibar’s Echo Beach Hotel is the perfect antidote. Enjoy a lie-in followed by a breakfast of tropical fruit before setting out on relaxed snorkel trips from a traditional dhow.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Nairobi overnight.

Day 2

Arrive in Nairobi for one night at Giraffe Manor.

Days 3-5

When to go Jan

Classic Kenya

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Kenya is a dry country with 75% of its area classed as arid or semi-arid. The climate can be divided into two belts. ‘Inland’ Kenya (including the Rift Valley and Central Highlands) has an idyllic climate with daytime temperatures averaging 20C and cooler nights. The short rains fall from October to December and the long rains from March to May. The coastal strip is hot and humid all year round, with daytime temperatures ranging from 26C to 32C and 70% humidity. However, the heat is pleasantly tempered by the monsoon winds. Due to its temperate climate, Kenya can be enjoyed nearly all year round, the only period to avoid being the long rains from the middle of March to the end of May.

Days 6-9

Fly to the Laikipia Plateau for three nights at Sabuk. Explore on game drives, visit Samburu villages and enjoy walking safaris. Fly to the Masai Mara for four nights at Little Governors’ Camp. Explore the Mara on game drives and walking safaris.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Nairobi overnight.

Days 2-5

Arrive in Nairobi. Fly to the Masai Mara for four nights at Naibor Camp. Explore the Mara on game drives and walking safaris.

Day 6

Fly to Nairobi for one night.

Days 7-12 Fly to Zanzibar for six nights at Echo Beach. Swim, snorkel and relax beside the pool or on the beach. Day 13

Days 10-14 Fly to Lamu for five nights at Peponi Hotel. Explore Lamu on foot, enjoy dhow trips and relax beside the pool or on the beach.

Fly to Nairobi and on to the UK overnight.

Day 14

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Day 15

Fly to Nairobi and on to the UK overnight.

Stay longer

Day 16

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer Instead of ending your trip on Lamu Island, fly to the Seychelles for a week. Mahé is a three hour flight from Nairobi, making it easy to combine the two countries. With luxury hotels and some of the world’s most iconic beaches, the Seychelles is a breathtaking end to a wild safari.

Before flying into the Masai Mara, stay at Lake Naivasha for a few days at the start of your trip. Naivasha is a scenic three hour drive from Nairobi. Stay at a converted colonial house on the shores of the lake and enjoy game drives, walks and trips to Lake Nakuru National Park..

Time difference: GMT+3 hours Flight time from UK: 8.5 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Kenya on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans. Young lion in the Masai Mara

Children's activities at SaSaab

www.audleytravel.com/kenya

01993 838 510

Kenya 105


Uganda ganda is a land of diversity, with lush forests echoing with the hoots of chimpanzees, open savannah plains, vast tea plantations and the steep-sided Rwenzori Mountains. It offers the opportunity to come face to face with a mountain gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and boasts some of the most diverse and abundant birdlife in the continent, including the rare shoebill stork. Although the wildlife was heavily poached during Idi Amin’s era, the national parks and reserves are now providing an important sanctuary for ever-increasing populations of game, including elephant, buffalo, lion, and even leopard. If you think Africa has no surprises left for you, Uganda may well prove you wrong.

U

Tree climbing lion in Queen Elizabeth National Park

3 Queen Elizabeth

National Park The main area for a traditional safari with populations of lion, elephant, buffalo and more.

4

Batwa man in Ntandi village

1 Bwindi Impenetrable

4 Murchison Falls Dramatic waterfalls where the River Nile is forced through a narrow gap in the Great Rift Valley.

Forest This montane forest is home to the mountain gorilla.

5 6

2 Kibale Forest One of the best places in Africa to see chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Boats on the Nile River

2 5 Semliki Game Reserve One of the best places in East Africa to see the shoebill stork.

3

6 Jinja The source of the River Nile, and Uganda’s adventure capital with white water-rafting and mountain biking trips.

1

Ankole cattle by the roadside

106


Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Audley in Uganda

One of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to Uganda’s largest population of mountain gorilla and is understandably a highlight of any trip to the country. Dense rainforest mixed with bamboo and nettles covers the steep ridges of the hills and valleys in this national park which forms the eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. The trek to reach the gorillas is challenging and can take as long as five hours. However, your first glimpse of a gorilla is unforgettable and easily ranks as one of the world’s greatest wildlife experiences. Whilst here, keep your eyes peeled for black and white colobus monkeys whose fluffy tails stand out against the dark green canopy. Shoebill stork

All our tours to Uganda are private, giving you the flexibility to set the pace of your safari here. A driver-guide and 4x4 vehicle will stay with you throughout your trip, allowing you to stop to explore a busy fruit market, take a photograph or introduce yourselves to the local people. Most roads are unpaved and travelling times depend on the weather, so a relaxed attitude is important. The scenery is ever-changing, making the travel from place to place a fascinating journey in itself. The majority of the national parks are located in the southwestern sector of Uganda, and we tailor trips to form a circuit so you will never retrace your steps.

Kibale Forest

Accommodation

Kibale Forest National Park has dense and diverse vegetation which provides food and sanctuary for 13 species of primate. It is an excellent park for exploration on foot as paths lead deep into the forest. It is one of the best places in Africa to search for chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as well as blue monkey, L’Hoest’s monkey and grey-cheeked mangabey. Nearby, the Bigodi wetlands are a birder’s paradise, boasting a colourful array of marsh-dwelling birds and clouds of butterflies. Kibale is also surrounded by dozens of pretty crater lakes, which offer superb walking opportunities for the more active traveller, as well as tea plantations which blanket the countryside in verdant greens.

The majority of accomodation in Uganda is in small lodges and safari camps in or near the national parks. In Entebbe and Kampala, however, we use a range of small guesthouses and larger international-style hotels. Visitors should bear in mind that tourism is still relatively new to Uganda, so there is not always a great choice of accommodation in each area, and standards of service and food are usually good but not exceptional, even in the more luxurious properties. We have hand picked a selection of properties where the staff are always friendly and eager to please. They may not anticipate your needs in the same way as elsewhere in Africa but if you do need something, just ask and they will gladly help.

Queen Elizabeth National Park The Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated in the west of Uganda and has savannah plains interspersed with euphorbia candelabra. Hippos line the Ishasha River and lions can be found lounging in the low boughs of the fig trees in the southern plains. Further north, the Kasenyi Track is home to a wide variety of antelope including Uganda kob, bushbuck, reedbuck and topi. Elephant and buffalo are prevalent throughout, and the shores of the Kazinga Channel linking Lake Edward and Lake George are lined with fish eagles, pied kingfishers and African skimmers. More than 600 species of bird can be found here, and for those keen to explore on foot, the Maramagambo Forest is a real highlight.

Gorilla eating a nettle

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Uganda, please see our website. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Uganda specialists 01993 838 575

Uganda kob in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda 107


Young gorilla eating a nettle

Gorilla tracking There are only 700 mountain gorillas remaining on earth. The majority live in the Virunga Mountains that straddle Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo whilst a smaller number live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda. Hunted and pushed out of their dwindling habitat, the montane forest is now heavily protected. Most of the 700 individuals live a wild existence, far from human reach. However, a handful of groups have been habituated and can be tracked and observed by small numbers of visitors under the watchful eyes of park scouts. Tracking mountain gorillas is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife adventures. After scrambling up muddy paths and crawling through vegetation tunnels, the first sight of a mountain gorilla takes your breath away. They observe you from nests in the misty trees and you realise that you are now guests in their world. Crouching low in the dripping vegetation, you can watch silverbacks crunching on wild celery and nettles, youngsters chasing each other around clearings, and babies leaping from low branches before being scooped up by their mothers. Looking deep into the eyes of a gorilla sends a shiver down your spine, an experience you will never forget.

108

Trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Permits Permits must be obtained to visit the gorillas and, as only eight are granted per gorilla group each day, they are extremely limited. We will secure permits for you as far in advance as possible and at least four months before you intend to travel. The permits currently cost around US$500 per person, which entitles you to one hour with the mountain gorillas. This money goes towards conservation of the habitat, anti-poaching efforts and education of the local communities.

Trekking and clothing Gorillas live in montane forest and treks to see them are at altitude and pass through varied vegetation and terrain. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to clamber up muddy slopes and through thick growth. When setting out you should expect to get muddy and rained on, so a waterproof jacket is essential. The exertion will keep you warm, so layers are best. We have found it a good idea to wear long trousers to protect your legs against nettles, and a T-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt over the top. A waterproofed daypack is essential for your camera, water bottle and snacks. For a small fee, porters can be hired to carry your daypack and help you up the steeper slopes. Rwanda or Uganda? There are two main locations in which to view the mountain gorillas, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. In each place, a number of groups are habituated but the experience does differ significantly. Here is a guide to each, to help you select where you would like to go in order to see these fabulous animals.


Rwanda Rwanda is a much smaller country than Uganda, so lends itself better to a short trip in combination with a safari or beach stay elsewhere in East Africa. The Volcanoes National Park is only two hours’ drive on tarmac road from Kigali and the international airport. For one visit to the gorillas, you will need a minimum of two nights’ stay, and three nights would be ideal. Rwanda has more than twice the number of habituated mountain gorilla groups than Uganda and so permits are generally more easily available. Rwanda gorilla groups There are currently seven main groups that can be tracked in Rwanda; the Susa, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Hirwa, Kwitonda and Group Thirteen. The groups vary in number from around 9 to 39 individuals and all currently have at least one silverback male. Of the seven groups, there are a couple that tend to be found on the saddle between Mount Sabyinyo

SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Breakfast at Sabyinyo

This is our favourite lodge in Rwanda, and has eight cottages perched on the lower slopes of the mighty Sabyinyo Volcano. As this is a community lodge, your stay contributes directly to the local village’s health and education projects. With spectacular views over the chain of volcanoes, spacious cottages where fires are lit before your return from a day’s trekking, and hot baths to soak your weary limbs, this is a wonderful base from which to explore.

and Mount Gahinga which is around a two hour walk from the park entrance. Whilst it is not possible to book a permit for a specific group, your chances of having a shorter walk are higher than in Uganda. Nothing is guaranteed though and you may find yourself tracking a group such as the Susa, first studied by Diane Fossey and often found on the slopes of Mount Visoke, a five hour hike away. Young gorilla

Uganda Uganda is a larger country to explore than Rwanda, and it takes two long days of driving to reach the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest from Entebbe, broken up with an overnight stay halfway at Lake Mburo. Once at Bwindi we would recommend three nights before continuing your safari around Uganda. Uganda gorilla groups There are four habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi and none tend to be found near to the park entrance. The groups are called the Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Nkuringo and range in size from 10 to 20 individuals, each with one or two silverbacks. The terrain in Bwindi means that you sometimes start your trek at the top of the hills, descend on foot into

Gorillas in nests in the Virunga Mountains

BUHOMA LODGE, BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

Buhoma Lodge

Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Buhoma Lodge is a small, friendly lodge only five minutes’ walk from the park headquarters where you start your gorilla trekking. Built on the hillside, each of the eight cottages has a private balcony overlooking the forest canopy. This is a rustic and charming lodge with friendly staff, tasty home-cooked meals and stunning views.

the valley to see the gorillas, and then climb up the slopes at the end of the day, which can be more arduous. In short, Uganda tends to be a harder option than Rwanda.

Gorilla in the Virunga Mountains

Gorilla tracking 109


Rwanda ocated in the heart of East Africa, Rwanda is one of the continent’s smallest and most beautiful countries. The main attraction is provided by the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains but the country has so much more to offer. Rwanda’s scenery comprises rolling hills covered in a patchwork quilt of fields, the expanse of Lake Kivu and the lush montane vegetation of Nyungwe Forest. The horrors of the genocide in 1994 affected every family and memorials are seen throughout the country, but the nation has repaired itself and is an astonishingly welcoming and friendly place to visit. The sense of community is overwhelming; on the monthly volunteering day, even the President helps to sweep the streets and clear litter, making Kigali one of Africa’s cleanest capital cities!

L

Local boy at the Kings Palace

1 Volcanoes National Park

Home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. 2 Lake Kivu A beautiful lake whose sandy shores are perfect for relaxation after gorilla tracking. The outskirts of Kigali

1

3 Gisozi Genocide

Memorial The museum in Kigali dedicated to the 1994 genocide.

3 2

4

4 Nyungwe Forest Home to chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys and a profusion of birdlife. Mountain gorilla

Village scenery between Kigali and Ruhengeri

110


Volcanoes National Park

Audley in Rwanda

The Volcanoes National Park protects the Rwandan side of the Virunga Mountains which stretch into Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The craggy peaks offer a dramatic backdrop to the surrounding farmland and are one of the most striking sights in East Africa. The rainforest which covers the slopes is home to around 300 mountain gorillas, as well as buffalo, forest elephant and several troops of golden monkey. Around half of the gorillas living in this ecosystem reside on the Rwandan side of the mountains and gorilla tracking here is one of the wildlife highlights of Africa.

We operate completely private tours of Rwanda, tailoring them to your interests and timeframe. You are met at the airport by a driver-guide who will be with you for the duration of your stay and will take you from place to place in a 4x4, offering fascinating insights into Rwandan cultures and traditions. Because of the compact size of the country, it is easy to visit the main areas, including Kigali, the Volcanoes National Park and Lake Kivu, in a week-long trip. If time is limited it is possible to spend just a few nights in Rwanda to see the gorillas before heading on to Kenya for a safari or time on the beach. Our specialists have all tracked the gorillas, and are passionate about sharing this incredible experience with you.

Golden monkey in the Volcanoes National Park

Nyungwe Forest

View of the Volcanoes National Park

Situated in the far south of Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park protects one of Africa’s oldest forests. The dense vegetation is a refuge for thirteen species of primates including chimpanzees and L’Hoests monkeys. The birdlife is stunning, and with a little patience, many unusual forest species can be found here. Highlights include a sighting of the colourful blue turaco, and the eerie sound of the forest hornbill calling in the distance.

Lake Kivu Only two hours by road from the Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s largest body of water, Lake Kivu. Three towns lie along the lakeshore – Gisenyi to the North, Kibuye in the middle and Cyangugu to the South. The lake’s sandy shore stretches for miles, and is bordered by steepsided hills, making for some stunning scenery. Most people visit the lake for a couple of days of relaxation after gorilla tracking. It is possible to take boat trips out onto the lake and your guide can accompany you to explore one of the traditional, bustling Rwandan towns.

Accommodation Rwanda is still very much off the beaten track and it is important to recognise this when planning a trip here. The range of hotels is limited, and in some instances the only option is a simple guesthouse. At the Volcanoes National Park however, there are several options to choose from, ranging from basic camps to beautiful luxury lodges with sweeping views of the Virunga Volcanoes. Standards of service and food will vary, and visitors should bear in mind that although eager to please, hoteliers and staff in Rwanda may not have the same amount of experience as their counterparts elsewhere in Africa.

Intore dancing at Iby’Iwachu Cultural Village

Driving around Rwanda

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Rwanda, please see our website. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Rwanda specialists 01993 838 580

A tea plantation

Rwanda 111


Madagascar

million years ago, Madagascar broke free from Africa and drifted 400 kilometres out into the Mozambique Channel. Geological forces thrust up dramatic mountain ranges along the spine of an island a thousand miles long. Isolated from the rest of the world, wildlife evolved along its own distinct path; of Madagascar’s 200,000 species, more than

165

112

80 percent are endemic. The most famous are the lemurs. This is the place to hear the eerie wail of the indri echo across misty rainforests, see sifakas leap across ochre earth and spot the outline of a bamboo lemur in the fork of a tree at night. Walks through the forests will reveal more than lemurs, however. Pushing past wild ginger ferns and over buttress roots, you will see a

kaleidoscope of chameleons, frogs and butterflies. Birds screech in the trees and uncharted insects march through the leaf litter. Finally, Madagascar is surrounded by a halo of small islands. The beaches are long and sandy; small fishing villages are shaded by mango and breadfruit trees. Kick off your walking boots, lie back and watch the frigate birds soar overhead.


Audley in Madagascar 3

2

1 4 5

6

7

There is no doubt that Madagascar’s infrastructure is a few years behind that of its African neighbours. Flights can be subject to delays, roads are rutted and accommodation in some areas can be extremely basic. Our Madagascar team is extremely experienced and, because it is a complex country to operate in, have spent years researching in the country, seeing all the possible accommodation options and finding ways around transport problems. We have carefully picked a team of guides with extensive knowledge and more than a bit of initiative. Provided a trip is planned carefully, Madagascar is a wonderful place in which to travel. You can revel in the colour and vibrancy of the villages and towns, wonder at the beauty of the rainforests, and laze on some of the pristine beaches. The country is not for everyone, but if you have a relaxed travelling attitude, it is hard not to fall in love with this beautiful island.

Accommodation Accommodation in Madagascar is of a lower standard than on mainland Africa. There are no luxurious lodges, large operators or hotel chains. We love this, as it means that there is a wonderful array of places to stay, each different from the next. In the rainforest there are small camps where chickens cluck around the garden and their eggs are collected for breakfast. In villages and towns you can stay in old colonial homesteads, and on the coast you can choose from tiny guesthouses or boutique hotels. While the standards of comfort may vary, food is generally good. Madagascar has a high standard of cuisine that blends Malagasy, French and Asian influences. Zebu steaks are a speciality, as are prawns, crab and fresh fish.

9

8

1 Anjajavy Nature Reserve A private reserve with deciduous forest and sandy beaches. Easily viewed lemurs and sifakas.

4 Masoala National Park An extremely remote virgin rainforest dropping to deserted beaches. Abundant lemurs, chameleons and frogs. 5 Nosy Mangabe A small island with dense rainforest, home to the aye-aye. 6 Ile Sainte Marie

Female panther chameleon

2 Nosy Komba An idyllic island off the northern tip of Madagascar. Ideal for relaxation, snorkelling and swimming.

A colourful and vibrant island with white sandy beaches. Perfect for relaxing and whale watching in season.

Local girl

7 Andasibe National Park

Home to the indri as well as other easily viewed lemurs and chameleons. 8 Ifotaka Forest The sacred forest of the Antandroy people with a number of tombs hidden in the trees. 9 Isalo National Park

3 Amber Mountain

A beautiful park encompassing vast savannahs and sandstone cliffs. Excellent for hiking.

National Park Dense rainforest with abundant lemurs, chameleons and frogs.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Madagascar, please see page 127. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Madagascar specialists 01993 838 585

Mantella frog

Madagascar 113


Dusk in Antananarivo

Mouse lemur in Andasibe

Brown lemur in Andasibe National Park

Andasibe National Park Andasibe, also known as Perinet, covers an area of montane rainforest at altitudes between 930 metres and 1,040 metres. It is the best park in which to see the indri, the largest lemur, with two of the 62 resident groups having been habituated. There are eight other species of lemur in Andasibe and the most commonly seen include the grey bamboo lemur, brown lemur and woolly lemur. Nocturnal walks are excellent for sightings of mouse lemurs and the greater dwarf lemur. There are some wonderful chameleons in the reserve including the two-foot long Parson’s chameleon and the tiny nose-horned chameleon. Frogs are plentiful and birding highlights include blue and red-fronted coucals and the Madagascar long-eared owl. All exploring is done on foot along trails that weave through the forest: expeditions can vary in length from one hour to five. Walks are particularly rewarding in the early morning when indri calls echo through the air.

A cottage at Vakona Forest Lodge

114

Pavillon de l’Emyrne

VAKONA FOREST LODGE, ANDASIBE

PAVILLON DE ANTANANARIVO

L ’E M Y R N E ,

Vakona Forest Lodge is situated on a hillside that drops down to a lake. The combination of luxuriant vegetation and fresh mountain air is wonderful, the peace disturbed only by the sound of forest frogs. Dotted around the hillside, 14 basic bungalows each have their own decks. A number of marked trails leave from the lodge and thread into the heart of the primary forest.

Pavillon de l’Emyrne is a charming colonial house in the Isoraka area of Tana. The house is set in pretty gardens and has lots of character, with wood-panelled corridors, high beamed ceilings, open fireplaces and antique furniture. Located near to some of Tana’s nicest restaurants, it is ideal for an overnight stop.

Antananarivo (Tana) Antananarivo is built on a series of hills. The King used to have his palace on the tallest hill and from there he would look down over the smaller hills where his wives lived. The city grew from these origins and modern day Tana now sprawls across the hills in a disorganised but relatively attractive fashion. Tana is a working African city with totally chaotic traffic. Taxi-brousses zip along roads that are also home to zebu-carts, people pushing homemade wheelbarrows, and street traders. There are paddy fields in the suburbs where zebu graze and cattle egrets mix with ducks and chickens. In the centre of town, colonial houses, cobbled streets and modern office blocks all sit alongside each other. Nearly all trips to Madagascar require at least one night in Tana. We recommend staying in the centre of town and enjoying a meal in one of the city’s excellent restaurants. Indri – the largest lemur species


Ring-tailed lemurs

Madagascar’s wildlife One of the joys of Madagascar is that none of the wildlife is dangerous to humans, and you can explore the parks on foot. Rambling along the soft paths of a rainforest you will pass lush vegetation which, on close inspection, is alive with creatures. Chameleons the size of your thumbnail, leaf geckos camouflaged against the bark and tiny frogs the size of paper clips can all be found. Of course, the lemurs are the highlight, with numerous species readily seen. Madagascar’s wildlife is weird and wonderful – a fascinating mix of endemic creatures that have taken their own evolutionary paths over the millenia. Lemurs Madagascar is famous for its lemur species, of which there are 53 currently known varieties. Lemurs are prosimians, or pre-monkeys, and share characteristics with early primates. Whilst other prosimians are found in Africa, namely bushbabies, lemurs are endemic to Madagascar. Lemurs are particularly appealing animals, with soft fur, bright inquisitive eyes and a naturally curious nature. They are easily habituated to humans and can often be viewed at close quarters. Probably the best known are the ring-tailed lemurs which are found in southern Madagascar. Other lemurs of particular interest are the indri and the sifaka. The indri, the largest of the species, is found in Andasibe

these and are seen incredibly easily. They range dramatically in size, with Parson’s chameleon measuring two feet long and the pygmy stumptailed chameleon reaching just 33 millimetres. With bright colours, funny noses, curly tails and rotating eyes these wonderful creatures can keep you occupied for hours.

Chameleon

National Park and is known for its eerie call that echoes across the forest. Sifakas are famous for their unique upright leaping across the ground, making them resemble a triple jump athlete. Effortlessly graceful in the trees, they are almost comical on the ground but provide one of Madagascar’s great sights. Aside from these, two of the most delightful groups are the dwarf and mouse lemurs. Dwarf lemurs are relatively slow moving whilst mouse lemurs are lively. The smallest of the mouse lemurs is the pygmy mouse lemur, a creature so tiny it could fit inside an egg cup. As some lemurs are diurnal and others nocturnal, walks occur in both day and night time, allowing you to see the maximum number of different animals.

Whilst Madagascar has no lizards, it does have some interesting geckos. Of particular note are the day geckos with coats of emerald green. The most extraordinary are the leaf tailed geckos, camouflaged to look exactly like bark. Your eyes can be a foot away from one and still you will not see it. Luckily, our guides are extremely good at picking them out! The final reptile worth noting is the snake. There is a total absence of venomous snakes in Madagascar and the snake you are most likely to see is the slow moving boa.

Reptiles & frogs Madagascar currently has 340 known reptile and frog species, 90 percent of which are endemic. Chameleons are the most striking of Frog on a leaf

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 115


River running through Ranomafana National Park

Ranomafana National Park Ranomafana National Park is part of the lush chain of rainforest that runs down Madagascar’s east coast. The steep hills are covered in thick vegetation, occasionally broken by waterfalls and mountain streams. The park’s star attraction is the golden bamboo lemur, often found grazing amongst the bamboo thickets. Eleven other species of lemur found here include diademed sifakas that leap through the canopy during the day, and tiny mouse lemurs that race up and down tree trunks by night. Heading deep into the park, you may hear the calls of cuckoo rollers, catch a glimpse of a leaf-tailed gecko or stumble upon the graves of the Tanala, the ‘people of the forest’. It is well worth spending a few days hiking around this enchanting park.

SETAM LODGE, RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK

The realities of travel in Madagascar A trip around Madagascar is very different from one on mainland Africa. It is important not to expect a polished safari but to approach your trip with a relaxed attitude and sense of humour. Accommodation is in all sorts of buildings from converted colonial houses to A-frame reed and thatch chalets. All are unique in character and some have more than a few quirks. Internal flights can be subject to delays and more than one member of our team has flown with a crate of noisy chickens in the back of the aircraft. The airports are small and often quite chaotic but surprisingly tasty hot samosas and cold drinks can be found in the tiny restaurants. There is rarely a dull moment in a Madagascar airport as the arrival and

departure of planes often attracts local children. The Malagasy people are welcoming, but there may well be a language barrier as English is not always widely spoken. It is useful to have a basic grasp of French and we advise that you take a phrasebook. Despite the challenges of travel in Madagascar, we can’t recommend it highly enough! The guides are knowledgeable, the wildlife is exciting, and it is refreshing to be out of a vehicle and exploring on foot. Now is an excellent time to visit the country before it has been ‘discovered’ by the masses. Our advice would be to revel in the chaos, the colour and the wildlife – and just don’t bother to take your watch.

Setam Lodge comprises a handful of clean and simple bungalows built into the hillside just outside Ranomafana National Park. The lodge has spectacular views over the park, so guests awake each day to the sight of the early morning mist rising from the rainforest. Setam is the closest lodge to the park gate, making it an excellent base from which to explore.

Setam Lodge

116

Giraffe weevil


Isalo at sunset

Brown lemur in Isalo

Red bellied lemur

Satrana Lodge

Bara tribe sacred burial site

Isalo National Park

RELAIS DE LA REINE, ISALO NATIONAL PARK

SATRANA LODGE, ISALO NATIONAL PARK

Cleverly hidden amongst the rocks of Isalo, Relais de la Reine has the feel of a Mediterranean farmhouse. The thick stone walls provide a shelter from hot summer days and crackling open fires warm chilly winter nights. As is the case wherever you are in Isalo, views are magnificent. Sitting on the terrace for sundowners is a delight, as the setting sun paints darker shades on the golden-pink cliffs above.

Satrana Lodge is a new addition to the Isalo area and has 40 safari tents tucked beneath a sandstone massif. Each of the tents is set on a raised platform and is stylishly furnished inside. The en suite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers. The dining area in the lodge makes the most of the impressive scenery via its huge bay windows and offers excellent Malagasy and French cuisine. There is a small library and a good sized swimming pool.

Isalo’s golden sandstone cliffs can be seen rising from the plains from many miles away. The national park is home to some of Madagascar’s most stunning scenery, and is a sacred place for the Bara tribe, whose burial sites are marked by countless mounds of tiny stones. Hiking up to the massif, visitors enter a barren wonderland of twisted rock formations and extraordinary plants, shimmering in the heat of the plateau. Squat elephant’s foot plants cling to the rocks, a few dry grasses blow in the wind, and succulent aloes thrive. Wildlife concentrates in the numerous shady gorges and cool running streams that carve through the massif. Deciduous woodland grows in each canyon’s higher levels, and it is here that Isalo’s lemurs are most often found. Brown lemurs feed amongst the branches, Verreaux’s sifakas leap from rock to rock, and troops of cheeky ringtails wander along the pathways. Deeper in the gorges, only a few shafts of sunlight penetrate to the streams, and dripping mosses and ferns line the walls. Occasionally the streams become blocked, forming tiny tropical pools amongst the rocks. The clear air, tumbling waterfalls, and cool water make a wonderful respite from a hot day’s hiking over the plateau.

Relais de la Reine

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 117


St Luce Bay, Manafiafy

MANDRARE RIVER CAMP, IFOTAKA COMMUNITY FOREST

Wrestling match in Antandroy Village

This pretty camp has six tents set under tamarind trees on the banks of the Mandrare River. Each comfortable tent has a large bedroom and en suite bathroom with hot bucket shower. The sun rises directly in front of the tents, giving breathtaking early morning views. At night, there being absolutely no light pollution, the stars are the best you’ll see anywhere in Africa. With some of Madagascar’s best guides, this camp is well suited to wildlife enthusiasts.

The Ifotaka Community Forest The Ifotaka Community Forest is as remote as it is wild. It covers a huge expanse of gallery and spiny forest and has been protected by the Antandroy, one of Madagascar’s fiercest and most traditional tribes. Their ancestors are buried in the sacred forests: guarding their graves, the Antandroy have also preserved pristine wildlife areas. Species including ring-tailed, mouse, sportive and sifaka lemurs are all readily seen, as well as many bird species. Many tombs are hidden in the forest undergrowth, and your guide will explain the traditions and rituals of ancestor worship. It is possible to visit the ombiasy (traditional healer), learn how to use the piletse, a zebu-hide slingshot, and take a zebu-cart to the colourful market at Fenaivo.

118

View from chalet, Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge

sweeten the air. Nowadays, local fishermen paddle their dugout canoes through the calm waters to the open ocean beyond. The sandy beaches are backed by forests where lemurs, chameleons and geckos can be seen. Offshore there are coral reefs rich in marine life and humpback whales pass by from mid June until early December.

MANAFIAFY BEACH AND RAINFOREST LODGE, MANAFIAFY Mandrare River Camp

Manafiafy Manafiafy is a sleepy fishing village on the bay of St Luce in southern Madagascar. This was where the first Portuguese landed in Madagascar in 1613, as the bay’s sheltered waters provided safe anchorage. The village has changed little since those times and the smell of cloves and vanilla

This lodge has an idyllic setting, surrounded by azure blue seas, lush verdant forests, and distant mountains. There are six comfortable bungalows tucked into the forest overlooking the beach. Each has a large bedroom which opens onto a shady terrace with sun beds, a hammock and table and chairs for outdoor dining. The lodge prides itself on its cuisine, with seafood a speciality. Fresh mussels, oysters, crab, lobster and fish are bought from the fishermen daily and exquisitely prepared for candlelit dinners on the beach.


Verreaux’s sifaka

The beach at Ambola

Baobab in Tsimanampetsotsa

The village at Anakao

Anakao

ANAKAO OCEAN LODGE, ANAKAO

Anakao is a Vezo fishing village around 50 kilometres south of Tulear. The terrible roads make boat the best way to reach Anakao, and fleets of pirogues line the shore. The inaccessibility of the village means that modern development has largely passed Anakao by. Most of the villagers are fishermen and shortly after dawn each morning you’ll see tens of tiny sails flutter across the water. Anakao has some pretty beaches. Offshore, the tiny island of Nosy Ve has a white sandy shoreline, and is home to hundreds of tropicbirds. The reefs offer good diving and snorkelling with a myriad of fish including surgeonfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, groupers and rays. On the outskirts of Anakao village you will find some interesting tombs and once you are clear of the populated areas you start to see wildlife including ring-tailed lemurs, tortoises, chameleons, geckos and other lizards.

A suite at Anakao Ocean Lodge

Anakao Ocean Lodge is a ten minute boat ride from the village. It has 25 thatched stone rondavels built in two rows along the back of a long sandy beach. The main lodge is a large, round, stone building housing the bar and restaurant under a soaring thatched roof. From the restaurant, it’s possible to see straight into the kitchen, where the chef cooks French and Malagasy food, often using fish from the sea nearby. Outside there is a small terrace, where guests eat lazy lunches and listen to the waves.

HOTEL AMBOLA, AMBOLA Located on one of the most majestic beaches in the region, this small hotel has just five rooms. Each is simple but is imaginatively decorated with traditional woodcarvings. En suite bathrooms have showers and hot water is available on request. The hotel has a well located restaurant overlooking the lagoon. Here you can very happily while away some time reading a book and observing the local fishermen sailing past in their pirogues. The hotel is particularly lovely from June to September when humpback whales can be seen offshore.

Ambola & Tsimanampetsotsa National Park Ambola is a small and typically Malagasy coastal village at the end of a magnificent stretch of white sand in a very remote and beautiful part of Madagascar. Here you can enjoy the beach and also some of the fascinating flora endemic to the south – it is a perfect little place for a short stop. Ambola is also the place from which to explore the Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. Amongst the spiny forest you will get the chance to see some extraordinary baobabs, a salt water lake full of flamingos and an endemic species of fish that is entirely blind.

Female panther chameleon

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 119


Red-ruffed lemur

Masoala National Park Masoala National Park is Madagascar’s largest park and one of its least visited. Primary rainforest covers a range of mountains and drops down to the deserted beaches of Antongil Bay where humpback whales come to breed and calve. The Masoala rainforest is beautiful, with tall palisander trees, vines, wild ginger plants, ferns and orchids. Chameleons are easily found: the most commonly-seen species include the panther chameleon, hooded chameleon and several species of stump-tailed chameleon. Masoala is the last refuge of the red-ruffed lemur, who you will often see sunning on the tops of trees in the morning. At night, eastern woolly lemurs can frequently be seen sitting in the tree forks, and white-fronted brown lemur, brown mouse lemur and the aye-aye are also resident. On the ground a surprising number of lowland streaked tenrecs (small hedgehog-like creatures) rustle through the vegetation in their endless search for insects.

Tree boa

MASOALA FOREST CAMP, MASOALA NATIONAL PARK Masoala Forest Camp is built on a golden-sand beach where the rainforest meets the sea. There are five tents on raised platforms, each with a hammock where you can relax on hot afternoons, watching the birds and geckos. The chef, Estrina, is particularly good, conjuring up wonderful meals using fresh, local ingredients. Activity options include wildlife walks in the rainforest, snorkelling and kayaking along the coast.

sanctuary for the endangered aye-aye which was introduced in 1966. This is the best place in Madagascar to see these fascinating creatures and an overnight stay is recommended to give you the chance to search by torchlight. Other lemurs on the island include black and white ruffed lemur, white-fronted brown lemur and the brown mouse lemur. As there is no accommodation on the island, the only way to stay overnight is to camp, and as paths through the forest can be steep, it’s a place for keen walkers.

CAMPING SAUVAGE, NOSY MANGABE The camping on Nosy Mangabe is referred to as camping sauvage and this is an accurate description. You will stay in simple dome tents on a rudimentary campsite that has only the most basic washing facilities. Whilst the camping is wild, the experience is wonderful. At night, the forest rings with the calls of frogs and at dawn, an atmospheric mist hangs over the trees.

Nosy Mangabe Nosy Mangabe is a small island located in Antongil Bay two kilometres offshore from Maroantsetra. The island has a rich history of piracy, and as you arrive by boat, it looks exactly like a pirates’ hang-out. Dense vegetation drops to large boulders and hidden coves – one of which has a rusty shipwreck emerging from the shallows. The island is a rainforest reserve and Masoala Forest Camp

120

Camping on Nosy Mangabe


Tomato frog

Crowned lemur

The Cascade Sacree Waterfall, Amber Mountain

Amber Mountain National Park Amber Mountain National Park is situated in the far north of Madagascar, 40 kilometres south of Diego Suarez. Whilst Diego can be hot and dry, Amber Mountain is always cool and fresh with mists hanging over the huge strangler figs, quinine trees and enormous birds-nest ferns. Even non-birders are amazed by the spectacular species found here, including the Madagascar crested ibis and the paradise flycatcher, with its long trailing tail feathers. The park is rewarding for walkers, with several beautiful trails threading through the forest. Two trails lead to waterfalls, the Cascade d’Antomboka and the Cascade Sacrée. On foot you have the chance to discover all the smaller

Female panther chameleon

wildlife such as the leaf-mimic chameleons, tree boas, leaf-tailed geckos, butterflies and pill millipedes which curl up into perfect balls. There are seven lemur species in the park, including the crowned lemur and Sanford’s brown lemur, and hikers usually see at least one if not two of the diurnal species. There is no accommodation in the Amber Mountain National Park itself, but the nearby village of Joffreville offers a flavour of rural Malagasy life and is a good base from which to explore.

THE LITCHI TREE, JOFFREVILLE In 2007 a young Frenchman called Hervé Dumel began renovating the old Admiral’s House which had stood empty for years on a hill overlooking Joffreville. Hervé lovingly restored it to its former glory and turned it into an upmarket boutique hotel. Grand stairs lead up to the house and into an elegant dining area, library and lounge. At the back of the house, the stable blocks have been converted into bedrooms. With lots of character and good food this is an enjoyable place to stay.

NATURE LODGE, JOFFREVILLE Nature Lodge is located on a hill two kilometres south of Joffreville, centred around a restaurant that serves local food, and a small sociable bar. Accommodation is in 12 simple thatched chalets made from local wood, each with a deck that is perfect for taking in the superb views of Diego Suarez and the Indian Ocean beyond.

Tsingy at Ankarana

Ankarana Special Reserve Ankarana is a four hour drive from Amber Mountain and is one of the best places in Madagascar to see limestone tsingy. The tsingy rises up from deciduous forest and although a few tiny succulent plants cling to the rocks, they are largely bare and spiky. A few pathways wind through the tsingy, and hiking is challenging but rewarding, with some spectacular views. Several caves stretch for miles into the rocks and are inhabited by colonies of hundreds of bats. Walking in the caves, you’ll see twisted limestone formations glint in the torchlight. The deciduous forest is home to crowned and Sanford’s brown lemurs. Two nocturnal lemurs; the grey mouse lemur and the northern sportive lemur are also present.

Nature Lodge

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 121


The beach at Tsarabanjina Island

Madagascar’s beaches Madagascar is fringed by sandy beaches and a number of beautiful islands. Some, such as Nosy Be, are well known and others, such as Ile Sainte Marie, Nosy Komba, Tsarabanjina and the Radama Islands, are lesser known and much sleepier. Here, it is easy to find deserted beaches with soft sand and clear water. Hermit crabs scuttle through the dense undergrowth at the back of the beaches and – particularly in the north – frigate birds can be seen soaring overhead. Many of the islands have villages on or nearby them and you become accustomed to the daily sight of fishermen paddling wooden pirogues, or dhows sailing past, often so filled with thatching palms, grain and cows that they float just inches above the water.

Chilli peppers at the local market

The islands are easy to access and could not be more ideal for relaxation after some strenuous hiking in the rainforest. Nothing is better than hanging up your hiking boots and sinking your toes into warm sand. Days can be spent snorkelling, diving, pottering around on a bicycle or just snoozing in a hammock.

Pirogue off Ile Ste-Marie

122

Local girl on Nosy Komba


La Crique Beach, Ile Ste Marie

Ile Sainte Marie

PRINCESSE BORA LODGE, ILE SAINTE MARIE

Ile Sainte Marie is a sleepy island off Madagascar’s northeast coast, ringed by deserted beaches with soft sand and palm trees, traditional fishing villages, and just a handful of small lodges. The island is renowned for its seafood and is the best place in Madagascar to eat crab. If you are brave you can also sample the island tipple – coconut milk enlivened by a large measure of Pastis. Ile Sainte Marie is about 60 kilometres long and five kilometres wide and has a colourful history: through the 17th and 18th centuries it was a popular base for the Indian Ocean’s pirates. It has just one town, Ambodifotatra, with a couple of cafés, a large church and a busy market. Numerous villages dotted around the island have bamboo huts, fat ducks crossing the road and geese swimming in rainfilled potholes. Mango, clove, cinammon and breadfruit trees line roads

The jetty at Boraha Villas

Princesse Bora Lodge is situated in a grove of palm trees on the south-west side of the island. The beach has white sand shelving into a sheltered lagoon and faces west, ideal for spectacular sunsets. Accommodation is in 20 villas with decks and hammocks, there is an infinity pool and a dining room serving good French and Malagasy cuisine. The lodge is particularly pretty at night when it is lit by paraffin lanterns. A villa at Princesse Bora Lodge

that are never far from the beach. If you cycle through the villages in the evening, you will smell the food being cooked, hear music playing from the radios, and there is often a group of men playing boules under a tree in Volihava village. Ile Sainte Marie can be visited from April right through until December, but is particularly rewarding from July to September when groups of humpback whales come to breed and calve in the calm waters of the Indian Ocean. The cloves are harvested in November and the mangos and litchis come into season in December: only the months of January to March are marred by the cyclone season. With all these enticing features just a short flight from Antananarivo, it is surprising that this island has remained so thoroughly unspoiled.

BORAHA VILLAS, ILE SAINTE MARIE Boraha Villas is a small lodge located on a hilltop on the east coast of the island. The 13 bungalows have hammocks and ocean views. The lodge is well known for its food and the crab is a speciality. You can eat in the dining room or, better still, on the end of the jetty, surrounded by the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.

Boraha Villas

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 123


Pirogue offshore from Anjajavy

Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve

A N J A J A V Y L’H Ô T E L , A N J A J A V Y PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE

With an idyllically remote location on Madagascar’s northwest coast, Anjajavy is reached only by air. Flying towards the airstrip you pass thick forest that stops abruptly at the sea, shading white sand coves separated by limestone headlands. A handful of dhows and pirogues bob in the water and in small clearings you see the thatched huts of the Sakalava fishing villages. The Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve covers an area of 450 hectares and is predominantly dry deciduous forest. There are over 1,800 floral species to be found here, most endemic and several medicinal. Wildlife is prolific and a walk through the forest reveals chameleons, frogs and spore of bush-pigs and the elusive fossa.

Sifaka

There are two diurnal lemur species, the common brown lemur and Coquerel’s sifaka, both of which are easily seen. Nocturnal species include sportive and mouse lemurs. A stay at Anjajavy is as much about the coast as the forest. Boat trips explore the mysterious islands of Moramba Bay, where there are sacred baobab trees and Sakalava tombs tucked high in caves and on ledges in the limestone cliffs. Running the length of the reserve is a series of small coves, each one more beautiful than the last. Paths lead from one to the other meaning that you can take a picnic and your snorkelling equipment and spend an afternoon on your own private beach.

The pool at Anjajavy L’Hôtel

124

Anjajavy is set in extensive tropical gardens, backed by thick forest and looking out over the turquoise waters of the Mozambique Channel. There are 25 air-conditioned rosewood villas, all of which face the sea and are a step away from the beach. Early in the morning, Madagascar lovebirds, red fodys and Madagascar wagtails flit about the gardens. In the afternoons, groups of brown lemurs and Coquerel’s sifakas leap through the trees to the forest behind. The atmosphere is warm and relaxed at Anjajavy and it is a perfect place to lounge by the pool, explore idyllic beaches and savour the excellent food, especially the freshly-baked pastries. There are also plenty of active options, including walks in the forest, village visits, boat trips in the mangroves, sailing, snorkelling, and kayaking. We recommend that you stay for at least five days to really explore this remote and idyllic area.

A rosewood chalet at Anjajavy L’Hôtel


One of Anjajavy's beaches

Baobab Beach

Tsara Komba, Nosy Komba

TSARA KOMBA, NOSY KOMBA

View from a chalet at Tsara Komba

Nosy Komba

Tsara Komba is a characterful little property set above an idyllic beach on Nosy Komba. Granite pathways flanked by beautiful tropical flowers lead you from the beach up to the eight thatched bungalows dotted around the hillside. Each bungalow has a large bedroom and bathroom and shady veranda with stunning sea view. Also perched on the hillside are the restaurant and bar, shaded by thatch but open to the sea breeze. The restaurant serves excellent Malagasy and French food with the emphasis on seafood. There is a good selection of wine as well as Tsara Komba’s famous coconut rum punch.

Baobab Beach Baobab Beach is a remote stretch of coastline on the furthest tip of the Anjanojano Peninsula, only accessible by boat from the small fishing village of Ankify or the island of Nosy Be. There is a long stretch of beach, backed by forest and dotted with baobab trees. The forest is home to a number of lemurs including a troop of fifty which are seen most days. Turtles use the beach to nest and visitors can often watch the young turtles hatch. Offshore, humpback whales may be seen during the seasonal migration from July to September and dolphins are present year-round.

EDEN LODGE, BAOBAB BEACH

Nosy Komba is a beautiful island a few kilometres away from the mainland, known for its population of habituated black lemurs. Hills fold dramatically into the water, creating sandy coves and sheltered harbours for fishing villages. The island’s main settlement is Ampangorinana, where the villagers now have a keen eye for business: the dusty lanes are lined with embroidered tablecloths, woven baskets and wood carvings. Outside the village, island life is quiet. There are numerous deserted coves to explore as well as paths that lead through tavy farms and into the hills where you will find birds, chameleons and black lemurs.

Eden Lodge is built on the edge of Baobab Beach in grounds of 20 acres. It prides itself on its eco-credentials with 90% of its energy provided by solar panels. There are eight tents set under makuti thatch. At the front of each tent, a shady veranda has ocean views whilst at the back, an en suite bathroom opens onto a private massage area. An open air dining room serves good Malagasy and Oriental cuisine. Snorkelling from the beach at Eden is particularly rewarding as there is abundant healthy coral and a good number of turtles. Chameleons and lemurs are readily seen in the gardens.

Eden Lodge

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 125


One of Tsarabanjina’s beautiful beaches

The Nosy Mitsio Archipelago The Nosy Mitsio Archipelago is a long way from the mainland and accessible only by speedboat. Skimming over the water, you often glimpse bottle nosed dolphins and green turtles coming up for air. The arrival is breathtaking, as your boat slows amongst tiny islands, lush with tropical vegetation and ringed with powder-white beaches. Few parts of Madagascar suffer from light pollution and this is no exception: at night the stars glitter brightly over the water. The archipelago is made up of about a dozen islands. La Grande Mitsio is the largest with the small farming villages of Antakarana and Akalava on it. Tsarabanjina is beautiful with volcanic rocks, palms and badamier trees and four gently shelving beaches. Nosy Ankarea is surrounded by coral reefs, while Les Quatres Frères is made up of four imposing silver basalt rocks, covered by hundreds of nesting seabirds.

Bungalow at Tsarabanjina Island

126

Sailing in Madagascar

Coral, Tsarabanjina

TSARABANJINA ISLAND, NOSY MITSIO ARCHIPELAGO As soon as you step off the boat from Nosy Be onto Tsarabanjina Island, you will be handed a mask, snorkel and flippers. Then you walk barefoot to your villa, hop into your hammock and relax – your stay has begun. Tsarabanjina Island covers just 22 hectares, with 18 guest bungalows linked by sandy paths that weave in and out of the coconut palms and reach four beaches, all with powder white sand and turquoise waters. Days can be spent snorkelling, diving, kayaking and enjoying the excellent French cuisine served up by the chef in the beachside restaurant.

Chartering a yacht allows guests a unique opportunity to explore totally untouched islands off Madagascar’s northwest coast. You can sail to Nosy Komba, the Nosy Mitsio Islands or the fabulously remote Radama Islands. We will design a route to match your interests, be they snorkelling, diving, fishing or visiting private beaches. At the end of the charter, the skipper will drop you off at your next hotel. We can arrange for you to charter one of seven vessels, ranging in size from small yachts for two or four guests to catamarans sleeping eight or more. The yachts come with an experienced skipper and chef and can be chartered for anything from three days to a few weeks. The yachts are well priced making this a very affordable option.


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip Ankarana Nosy Komba

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

Joffreville

Ile Sainte Marie Antananarivo

Antananarivo Antsirabe

Please call one of our Madagascar specialists to start planning your itinerary.

Ranomafana Ambalavao

Telephone: 01993 838 585

Ambola

Isalo National Park

Anakao

Getting around There are two main ways to get around Madagascar, by air or in a car driven by an Audley guide. As a general rule, people tend to fly around the north and drive in the south. In Northern Madagascar, distances are huge and roads poor and for this reason it is best to fly. Air Madagascar has a network of domestic flights, all of which originate in Antananarivo and radiate to airports in the north where you will meet your Audley guide and head off to explore. The main road south from Antananarivo, the Route 7, is a tar road winding through a number of villages and towns. It’s a scenic route and a trip exploring the south takes around ten days.

When to go Jan

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

~

~

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Northern Madagascar Explorer

This is a journey through the towns, villages and diverse national parks of Southern Madagascar. Meeting your guide at the airport, you enjoy an evening in Antananarivo before heading south at a leisurely pace. As you travel, you will see paddy fields, zebu carts and colourful roadside stalls. In the parks you will hike in the rainforest, across plains and to rock pools and waterfalls. You should see numerous lemurs as well as chameleons and frogs. The trip ends with four days relaxing on the beach.

The Northern Madagascar Explorer starts with a relaxing three days on the island of Ile SainteMarie. From here you fly to Amber Mountain to hike in the rainforest before driving to Ankarana National Park with its striking limestone tsingy. From Ankarana a beautiful drive through villages and cocoa and ylang ylang plantations takes you to the tiny port of Ankify. Leave your guide here and sail to the idyllic hideaway of Tsara Komba for three days’ relaxation on the beach.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Antananarivo via Paris overnight.

Day 2

Arrive in Antananarivo for one night at Pavillion de L’Emyrne.

Day 3

Guided drive to Antsirabe for one night. Afternoon exploring Antsirabe.

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Classic Southern Madagascar

Madagascar runs across several latitudes and its climate varies. Broadly speaking, the north is hot and tropical, the west temperate, the east wet and the south dry. In April, May and June there are some heavy downpours, but these are interspersed with sunshine. The country is green and fresh after the rain and lemurs and reptiles are active and readily seen. June, July and August are cool and dry and ideal for exploring. The whales arrive on Ile Sainte-Marie in July and remain until the end of September. September, October and November are particularly lovely as the weather is warm, the jacarandas are in flower and many lemurs have young. The most rain falls from January to March and these are the only months in which we advise against travel. Time difference: GMT+3 hours Flight time from UK: 12 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Madagascar on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Day 4-5

Guided drive to Ranomafana for two nights at Setam Lodge. Wildlife walks in Ranomafana with your guide.

Day 6

Guided drive to Ambalavao for one night.

Days 7-8

Guided drive to Isalo National Park for two nights at Relais de la Reine. Wildlife walks in the Isalo with your guide.

Day 1

Fly from the UK to Antananarivo via Paris overnight.

Days 2-4

Arrive in Madagascar. Fly to Ile Sainte Marie for three nights at Princesse Bora Lodge. Explore Ile Sainte Marie.

Day 5

Fly to Antananarivo for one night at Pavillion de L’Emyrne.

Days 6-8

Fly to Diego and meet your guide. Drive to Joffreville for three nights at The Litchi Tree. Wildlife walks in Amber Mountain with your guide.

Day 9

Guided drive to Ankarana for one night at Relais de Ankarana. Afternoon hike in Ankarana National Park.

Days 9-10 Guided drive to Anakao for two nights at Anakao Ocean Lodge.

Days 10-12 Guided drive to Ankify. Boat transfer to Nosy Komba for three nights at Tsara Komba.

Days 11-13 Boat transfer to Ambola for three nights at Hotel Ambola.

Day 13

Boat transfer to Nosy Be and fly to Antananarivo. Fly to Paris overnight.

Day 14

Fly to the UK. Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Day 14

Fly to Antananarivo and then Paris.

Day 15

Fly from Paris to the UK. Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Stay longer Stay longer You can extend your trip by flying up to Anjajavy Private Nature Reserve. Stay for three nights and explore the forests on foot and the idyllic coastline by boat. Every afternoon, tea is taken in the ‘Oasis’, a beautiful garden where Coquerel’s sifakas and brown lemurs leap through the trees. With fabulous cuisine and unparalleled service, Anjajavy offers a luxurious end to a trip around Madagascar.

From Tsara Komba take a private yacht charter around the islands off Madagascar’s northwest coast. Sail to the remote Nosy Mitsio Archipelago or Radama Islands. You can spend each day as you choose; snorkelling, fishing, exploring deserted islands or visiting tiny fishing communities. At the end of each day, you can enjoy a seafood barbeque on a private beach of your choice, before enjoying a drink under the stars on the cool of your deck.

www.audleytravel.com/madagascar

01993 838 585

Madagascar 127


Seychelles

oft white sand squeaks underfoot as you walk along the beach. Ghost crabs scuttle to and fro and white fairy terns flutter overhead. There is no sound apart from the lapping ocean and the wind whispering in the coconut palms. Save your own, there isn’t another footprint to be seen. Pale blue skies drift overhead and azure waters stretch to the horizon: this can only be the Seychelles.

S

128

This idyllic archipelago consists of 115 granite and coral islands scattered just below the equator, 30 of which are inhabited, and 85 completely untouched. Here, thousands of sooty terns, white-tailed tropic birds, frigates and boobies nest, mottled eggs lying in soft sand. Turtles lumber ashore to lay their eggs before returning to the safety of the water, where

vibrant coral reefs support thriving shoals of fish and visiting pelagic species. The beaches are superb, immortalised in countless films, and the Seychelles have always been a favourite for honeymooners. With new hotels ranging from simple guesthouses to luxury spa resorts these paradise islands are one of the world’s great destinations for ‘barefoot luxury’.


Audley in the Seychelles 7 8

9 2

3

5 6 1

At first glance the Seychelles look like a number of similar islands. In fact, there are a number of differences between the islands and weather can have a dramatic effect on the sea and beaches. Some islands such as La Digue can only be explored by bicycle whilst others such as Praslin and Mahé are ideal for a day’s exploration in a car. Trade winds can dramatically alter east-facing beaches in Praslin and Mahé but the beaches of Denis, Desroches and Bird are the same year round. Our team have travelled around all of the islands so we understand the subtleties of each. We have discovered particularly good reefs for snorkelling, small guesthouses that are known to few, and can tell you the best place for a fresh lobster lunch. We can tailor a relaxing beach holiday, island hopping adventure or beach time after to a safari in East Africa.

Accommodation

4

1 Anse Source D’Argent The Seychelles’ most famous beach. Picture-perfect white sand and granite boulders.

7 Bird Island On the edge of the Seychelles Bank, Bird Island has 800,000 pairs of breeding sooty terns from May to October.

2 Vallée de Mai

National Park A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the place to see coco de mer palms growing in magnificent profusion.

Fairy terns on Bird Island

5 Praslin

A granite island with lush rainforest, pretty coves and gently shelving beaches. 6 La Digue

A sleepy island where transport is by bicycle and ox cart. Iconic beaches with white sand and granite boulders. Diving in the Seychelles

3 Iles aux Cocos Deserted small islets surrounded by reefs, excellent for snorkelling.

8 Denis Island

A small idyllic flat coral island with giant tortoises, coconut plantations and sandy beaches.

There is a wide range of accommodation in the Seychelles, from small Creole guesthouses to deluxe five-star hotels with many room types and every type of facility. For those looking for a really exclusive getaway then there are a number of private islands. We have stayed in all types of accommodation and can make recommendations from personal experience. Because of the wide variety of properties on offer, we can tailor a trip to suit both style and budget. Whether you want to stay in a converted plantation house on La Digue, a luxury spa resort on Praslin or would like your own exclusive private island, we can find somewhere to suit you perfectly. Please refer to our website for in-depth details on all of the properties that we feature.

9 Aride & Curieuse

Islands Nature reserve islands with thousands of seabirds and nesting turtles.

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Seychelles, please see page 137. www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

4 Mahé A dramatic island of granite outcrops and mountains, fringed with beaches. The capital, Victoria, is on the east coast.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Seychelles specialists 01993 838 515

Turtle hatching on North Island

Seychelles 129


One of the beaches at the Constance Lémuria Resort, Praslin

Praslin

CONSTANCE LÉMURIA RESORT, ANSE KERLAN, PRASLIN

Praslin is one of the larger islands, being 12 kilometres long and five kilometres wide. It is exceptionally pretty with thick emerald vegetation, sugar white beaches and pale turquoise waters. Offshore, coral reefs surround the island and small atolls are visited by seabirds and nesting turtles. The pace of life on Praslin is gentle and unhurried. Small villages bask in the sun, rainbow-coloured shops sell banana bread and smoked sailfish sandwiches, and bulbuls babble in the trees. Whilst a sleepy island, there is plenty to see and do. In the centre of the island is the Vallée de Mai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the place to see a profusion of coco de mer palms. Diving and snorkelling are lovely, with reefs surrounded by haloes of butterflyfish, sweetlips, damselfish and more. You might want to take a boat trip to the nature reserve islands of Cousin, Aride or Curieuse with their thousands of seabirds, or simply snooze on a beach with a picnic on the sand beside you.

Snorkelling off Praslin

130

Constance Lémuria Resort is a five-star resort situated above a cluster of beaches at Anse Kerlan. The resort has been carefully designed and has 105 suites and villas, accessed by palm-lined paths. Each suite has a sense of space and is fitted with every facility including air-conditioning, television, CD players, and bath and shower in the en suite bathrooms. Facilities in the hotel include three swimming pools, floodlit tennis courts, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, sailing and diving plus several excellent restaurants. A room at Lemuria Resort

Walking in the Vallée de Mai National Park


St Pierre Island off the coast of Praslin

Local fruit stall

Evening meal at the Paradise Sun

Paradise Sun, Coco D’Or Beach

LA RESERVE, ANSE PETIT COUR, PRASLIN

L’Archipel

L’A R C H I P E L , A N S E GOUVERNMENT, PRASLIN

La Reserve is set above a private beach with white sand, granite boulders and views of Curieuse Island. Snorkelling directly off the beach is particularly good with a coral reef within easy swimming distance. The hotel itself is pretty, with a cluster of two-storey Creole style buildings, each housing four rooms. Rooms are comfortable with four-poster beds, air-conditioning and spacious en suite bathrooms. Outside, the sea-facing balcony or terrace is a lovely place to relax. The restaurant at La Reserve is built on a jetty and catches the sea breeze. There is plenty to do at the hotel, from swimming in the large pool, cycling, snorkelling or enjoying boat trips to Curieuse Island.

L’Archipel is set on a palm-studded hillside above a private stretch of beach in northern Praslin. Built in colonial style, cool cream and green villas contain 30 guest rooms and suites ranging in size from large to downright enormous. All are comfortable, with king-size beds, polished tile floors, antique tables, elegant writing desks and orchids in glass vases. Breakfast is served on large private verandas with ocean views and birds hopping about in search of croissant crumbs. There is plenty to do at L’Archipel including snorkelling, diving, fishing and trips to nearby islands.

Superior Room, Paradise Sun

PARADISE SUN, ANSE VOLBERT, PRASLIN Paradise Sun is a large hotel located at the end of Anse Volbert. There are 80 rooms in two-storey bungalows arranged in crescents around the lawns. The hotel is particularly well suited to those wanting to do lots of activities. There is a swimming pool, volleyball court and watersports centre from which you can arrange snorkel trips to the island of St Pierre and dive trips further afield. There are two restaurants and each evening a small band plays, creating a sociable and fun atmosphere. The hotel is excellent for families as swimming is in a sheltered bay and there are plenty of activities for children.

The pool at La Reserve

www.audleytravel.com/seychelles

01993 838 515

Seychelles 131


Banyan Tree, Intendance Bay

Mahé Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles and home to the capital, Victoria. 27 kilometres long and eight wide, it is a dramatic island of granite outcrops and mountains rising from the sea, the tallest of which – Morne Seychellois – is often topped by a dusting of mist. Mahé is surrounded by coral reefs which protect the beaches and ensure tranquil seas and azure lagoons. The coastline is crinkled with picturesque coves, stretches of sugar-white sand and beaches crisscrossed with bird footprints and littered with shells. Coconut palms stretch over sculpted granite boulders and fairy terns can be heard babbling in the trees. There is much to see and do on Mahé. If you ever tire of the beaches there are walking trails in the mountains and along the coast. Victoria is fun for a morning, with its vibrant markets, leafy streets and colourful harbour. Offshore, there are coral reefs for snorkelling and little islands to explore. After a day of activities there are tiny Creole restaurants waiting for you with their tables on the sand where you can enjoy a cold drink and a spicy samosa. This is the perfect island for a relaxing stay.

View from a villa at Banyan Tree

Banyan Tree

BANYAN TREE SEYCHELLES, ANSE INTENDANCE, MAHÉ Situated above the beautiful beach at Anse Intendance, Banyan Tree Seychelles is stylish and luxurious. The 60 villas are dotted around the hillside and beach, ranging from hillside pool villas to presidential villas and varying in size from large to enormous. Inside, you will want for nothing with king-size beds, big sofas, fresh flowers and sunken baths in the en suite bathrooms. Outdoors, each villa has a private pavilion with sunbeds, swimming pool and (in some villas) a Jacuzzi. The hotel prides itself on its food, with three restaurants serving a variety of Creole, Asian, Thai and European cuisine. With a refined and luxurious spa and plenty of activities, Banyan Tree Seychelles provides everything you need for a luxurious stay. Suite at the Banyan Tree

132


North Beach, Constance Ephelia Resort

Frangipani flowers

A villa at the Four Seasons Resort

CONSTANCE EPHELIA RESORT, PORT LAUNAY, MAHÉ Constance Ephelia Resort is set in 120 hectares of lush vegetation sloping gently down to two crescent shaped beaches. It overlooks the marine park of Port Launay, with its turquoise waters and coral reefs. The resort has 267 suites, but because they are spread across such a large area it feels like a hotel half its size. All the suites are spacious with a large bedroom, sitting area and en suite bathroom. They have every facility including air-conditioning, television, CD and DVD players, iPod connection, WIFI and even a pillow menu! Nearby, an extensive spa village has 18 treatment rooms and a wide variety of relaxing treatments. The resort has superb facilities including five restaurants, four swimming pools, and a well-equipped watersports centre.

Constance Ephelia Resort

Victoria Market, Mahe

HILTON SEYCHELLES NORTHOLME RESORT AND SPA, BEAU VALLON, MAHÉ

The Four Seasons Resort

This hotel is located on the popular Beau Vallon Bay in northern Mahé. It has a friendly atmosphere and a feeling of understated luxury. The villas are beautiful with all the facilities you need and a large balcony with sea view. Those looking for relaxation will enjoy the infinity pool and the spa, which offers a comprehensive range of treatments. For the more active, diving, snorkelling and other watersports are available from the nearby Scuba Centre. At the end of the day enjoy an al fresco drink at the Ocean View Bar, positioned to make the most of the sunset.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SEYCHELLES, PETITE ANSE, MAHÉ This resort has 67 villas perched in lush vegetation above the bay of Petite Anse, regarded by locals as one of the most beautiful bays on Mahé. The villas are built in a traditional Creole design featuring natural timber and brick. Some are set in the gardens whilst others are perched on the rocks and have panoramic sea views. As you would expect from a Four Seasons resort, the villas have every comfort you could wish for including a private plunge pool on the veranda. Facilities at the resort are extensive and include two restaurants, a swimming pool, watersports centre, PADI dive centre and beautiful spa situated right at the top of the hill. The Hilton Notholme Resort & Spa

www.audleytravel.com/seychelles

01993 838 515

Seychelles 133


Desroches Island

Denis Island

Desroches Island

Denis Island is a flat coral island about two kilometres in diameter, 95 kilometres northeast of MahÊ and surrounded by white sandy beaches. Protected by offshore reefs, the water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. On the northern tip of the island there are 25 bungalows set under casuarina trees on the edge of the beach. Each one is spacious and elegant with high-beamed ceilings, four-poster beds, air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms. There is plenty to do on Denis Island, with criss-crossed pathways accessing all the beaches. Due to the island’s situation right on the edge of the Seychelles Bank, the coral walls here plummet to 2,000 metres, resulting in a wide choice of exciting dive sites. Fishing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking are readily available, while those looking for spots to snooze on the warm sand under a palm tree will be spoilt for choice.

Desroches is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all island, with palm trees, white sand and turquoise waters. There are no cars here, and on arrival your bike is waiting outside your room, complete with water bottle and a basket for your swimming things. You can cycle through the coconut plantations to deserted beaches and pretty snorkelling spots. Desroches Island Resort offers supreme comfort in this idyllic setting. There are 20 suites, set just back from the beach in the shady gardens. Each room is beautiful, with expanses of polished wooden floors, cream linens and large paintings. They have every facility including king-size beds, air-conditioning, satellite television and en suite bathroom with freestanding bath and outdoor shower. In the centre of the resort, the pool, bar and restaurant all overlook the sea. There are also a number of four-bedroom villas on the opposite side of the island which are perfect for families or groups. Whilst many come to Desroches to relax, plenty of activities are available if you’d like to explore. There is a dive centre, kayaks and windsurfers and a large boat which can be chartered on a daily basis.

The lounge at Denis Island

Giant tortoise on Desroches

The pool at Denis Island

134

A chalet at Desroches


Fairy terns

Viewpoint on North Island

View from Villa 11, North Island

Turtles hatching on North Island

Bird Island On the edge of the Seychelles Bank, 105 kilometres northwest of Mahé, Bird Island lives up to its name. During the southeast trade wind (May to October), around 800,000 pairs of sooty terns nest on the northern tip of the island. Large numbers of lesser and brown noddies wander around, fairy terns are in abundance and many waders can be seen on the sand spits. Hawksbill turtles come to the beaches to lay eggs and, offshore, coral reefs are rich in marine life.

Dusk at North Island

The pool at North Island

North Island

North Island is a leading example of responsible tourism. A research centre, that guests are welcome to visit, is monitoring the turtles and nurturing rare indigenous seedlings with the aim of restoring the island’s habitats. Other activities include diving, snorkelling, sailing, private picnics on deserted beaches and relaxing treatments in the spa.

Bird Island Lodge is set on the southern side of the island, a friendly and relaxed place with 24 simple bungalows overlooking the beach. It is a simpler property than on many of the private islands but rooms have spacious interiors, with four-poster beds, ceiling fans, separate living areas and en suite bathrooms. There are plenty of activities on Bird Island including walking, snorkelling, diving and boat trips.

Diving off North Island

A room at Bird Island

Located 30 kilometres northwest of Mahé, North is one of the most exclusive private islands in the Seychelles. Just over two kilometres long and one across, it has small granite hills with fabulous viewpoints, hundreds of coconut palms and takamaka trees, and giant tortoises wandering about. There are four gently sloping white beaches where both green and hawksbill turtles nest. Situated on the eastern beach of the island are eleven villas that are arguably the most beautiful in the Indian Ocean. Palm frond roofs stretch low over stone and wood cottages with rosewood floors, driftwood designs and fabrics in cream and earth colours. Bathrooms have sunken baths and both indoor and outdoor showers. Outside there is a large deck and private plunge pool.

www.audleytravel.com/seychelles

01993 838 515

Seychelles 135


Arriving at La Digue by helicopter

La Digue La Digue is a sleepy island where life is relaxed and nobody is ever in a hurry. Creole houses nestle under papaya trees, with flowers overflowing from window boxes and plant pots. Fishermen dawdle along the road with fish hanging from sticks, and ox carts and bicycles are the principle forms of transport. Whilst small – just five kilometres long and three kilometres wide – La Digue is not short of exquisite beaches. The coast is lined with pretty coves, the soft white sand interspersed with granite boulders that turn pink at sunset. The beaches are flanked by coconut palms, where fairy terns and white-tailed tropicbirds are a common sight. Offshore, La Digue is surrounded by coral reefs. Here, snorkelling will reveal corals, sponges, and all manner of marine life from emperor angelfish to starfish and turtles. Although La Digue is ideal for relaxation there are gentle activities to enjoy as well. Take a bike ride along the coast, visit the coconut plantation and ramble to viewpoints and deserted beaches. Hundreds of black paradise flycatchers are protected in La Digue Vev Reserve, a lovely spot to while away a few hours wandering gentle trails through takamaka and badamier trees. Finally, you can take boat trips to the islands of Iles aux Cocos, Marianne and Les Soeurs, all of which are even quieter than La Digue.

FLEUR

Fleur de Lys

L A D O M A I N E D E L’O R A N G E R A I E , LA DIGUE La Domaine De L’Orangeraie has a cluster of beautiful villas set in tropical gardens. Although the property does not overlook the sea, it is only a five minute stroll or a two minute bike ride away. The villas are very comfortable and contemporary in design, each with a bedroom, living room, bathroom and leafy terrace where meals can be enjoyed. Shared facilities include a pool and restaurant which serves excellent Creole cuisine.

Le Domaine De L’Orangeraie

136

DE

LYS, LA DIGUE

Fleur de Lys is set back from the beach along a leafy road with tall takamaka trees. It is a two minute cycle ride from the centre of the village and a five minute ride from the beach. This tiny property has only eight pretty and spotless chalets set in a little garden. Each has a small living room with well equipped kitchenette, as well as a bedroom and en suite bathroom. The chalets can be booked on a self-catering or bed and breakfast basis according to your preferences. This is an excellent value property and is ideal for those who enjoy some independence and want to explore at their own pace.

Fisherman on a bicycle


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip KENYA

The itineraries shown are designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and are routes that work particularly well. We can use these as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests.

Praslin To Mahé

Nairobi La Digue

Please call one of our Seychelles specialists to start planning your itinerary.

Masai Mara

From Nairobi Victoria

Telephone: 01993 838 515

TANZANIA

MAHÉ

Victoria MAHÉ

Constance Ephelia Resort

Getting around Flying to the Seychelles for an island hopping trip or relaxation after a safari is easy. Air Seychelles operates flights from London and there are daily flights from Johannesburg and Nairobi which cover Southern and Eastern Africa respectively. Once on the islands, you can base yourself at one hotel or you may wish to island hop, staying on two or three islands. Travel between the islands is simple, as there is an excellent network of flights and small ferries. We can tailor an itinerary with any combination of islands and seamlessly transfer you from one to the other.

When to go Jan

~

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

✓✓ ✓✓

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓ ✓✓

La Digue & Praslin Island Hop This island hopping trip explores two of the larger islands in the Seychelles; La Digue and Praslin. La Digue is a very sleepy place with a relaxed pace of life. Staying in a small guesthouse, you can set out each day on your bicycle, picnic and swimsuit in the basket for lazy days on the beach. A short ferry ride takes you to Praslin where you can stay in a boutique property on a hillside with stunning sea views. Hire a car for the day to explore the island, or take a snorkel trip to a nearby reef. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Mahé overnight.

Days 2-5

Fly from Mahé to Praslin. Ferry transfer to La Digue for four nights at Fleur de Lys. Explore La Digue by bicycle and ox-cart. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling.

~

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Situated just south of the equator, the Seychelles have a warm tropical climate, with day time temperatures ranging from 24C to 31C all year round. From May to October, a southeast trade wind can bring marginally cooler weather and fresh breezes. At this time of year beaches on some islands can be affected by seaweed – speak to our specialists who know all these beaches and which ones to avoid. The northwest monsoon wind blows from November to March, typically raising temperatures and humidity. December and January are the wettest months, but the rain falls in short sharp bursts before the sun comes out again. With such consistently warm tropical weather, the Seychelles are a good year-round destination. Time difference: GMT+4 hours

Days 6-12 Ferry transfer to Praslin for seven nights at L’Archipel. Explore Praslin by car and relax at the beach or beside the pool. Day 13

Road transfer to Praslin Airport. Fly to Mahé and then the UK overnight.

Day 14

Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Mara & Mahé Explorer This itinerary gives you the very best of both worlds; a safari in Africa’s most famous game reserve followed by time on an idyllic beach in the Seychelles. Stay in the heart of the Masai Mara and enjoy the prolific game including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, giraffe and lots more. Moving from the Mara to Mahé, the pace of life slows considerably and you can’t avoid relaxing into island life. Stay above two crescent-shaped coves on Mahé and enjoy swimming, snorkelling, luxurious spa treatments and of course, time snoozing on the beach. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Nairobi overnight.

Days 2-5

Arrive in Nairobi. Fly to the Masai Mara for four nights at Little Governor’s Camp. Explore the Mara on game drives and walking safaris.

Day 6

Fly to Nairobi for one night.

Days 7-13 Fly to Mahé for seven nights at the Constance Ephelia Resort. Explore Mahé by car and relax at the beach or beside the pool. Day 14

Fly from Mahé to the UK overnight.

Day 15

Arrive back in the UK in the morning.

Stay longer

Stay longer

The Seychelles combines well with a safari in Kenya or Tanzania. Spend a week or more in the large game reserves in either of these countries before flying to the islands. A night’s stay in Nairobi is required in between, and we minimise your time here, flying you into the city at dusk and out to Mahé at dawn. Due to good flight connections, you can be on safari in the Mara in the afternoon and enjoying a large seafood lunch on the beach in the Seychelles the next day.

End your trip in the Seychelles with a stay on a private island. Fly from Mahé to Denis Island for a Robinson Crusoe style hideaway. Take time to ramble around the island, visiting the coconut plantations, giant tortoises and deserted beaches. Sip a glass of wine on your villa terrace and admire the sea views, enjoy seafood barbecues on the beach, and fall asleep to the sound of the waves and wind in the palm trees.

Flight time from UK: 11 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Seychelles on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Arriving on Bird Island

www.audleytravel.com/seychelles

01993 838 515

Seychelles 137


Mauritius

ocated 20 degrees south of the equator, Mauritius is a warm, welcoming and tropical island. Many visitors are surprised by the diversity of the island’s scenery, as aside from the beautiful coastline there are soaring mountains, subtropical forest and plains full of sugar cane. The island is surrounded by coral reefs offering some of the richest diving spots in the Indian Ocean.

L

138

Tiny fishing villages in hidden coves wait to be discovered, and restaurants peer out over azure coastlines. The diverse cultures that have settled here have had a strong influence on the cuisine, which is of a high standard. Mauritius is a wonderful place to visit, especially when the weather in the northern hemisphere is cold and wet. The island has a superb array of hotels

ranging from small mountain hideaways to coastal boutique hotels and luxurious resorts. We have found a number of beautiful properties ranging from affordable guesthouses to sumptuous villas. All have a wide variety of activities from mountain biking to snorkelling and many have spas – perfect for pampering and some serious relaxation.


Audley in Mauritius

The botanical garden of Pamplemousses

4

3

The majority of companies featuring Mauritius will do so as a ‘fly and flop’ beach destination. However, knowing the island from personal experience as we do, our recommendations go beyond merely spending two weeks on the sunlounger. There are many undiscovered corners of this island; pretty fishing villages, sugar cane plantations with private houses on them, and mountains where you can hike amongst stunning scenery. We often suggest combining two hotels, one in the mountains and the other on the coast. This allows you time to enjoy the diversity of scenery and means that you get a greater understanding of the Mauritian culture. We choose hotels from our personal experience and tailor unique trips to suit individual tastes. As there are good flight connections to both East and Southern Africa Mauritius makes an ideal beach add-on to a safari.

Accommodation 2

1

3 Île aux Cerfs A beautiful little island off the east coast that is ideally explored by catamaran. 4 Grand Baie

A pretty Mauritian village with some excellent restaurants and boutiques. Port Louis, Mauritius

There are two main types of hotel on Mauritius – small mountain hideaways and luxurious coastal resorts. In the mountains we have hand picked lodges tucked away in the tropical vegetation and close to walking and cycle trails. The focus here is on good food, fresh mountain air and relaxation – ideal for recovering after an international flight. On the coast there are numerous large resorts. We have carefully picked just a handful, those we believe to be the best that Mauritius has to offer. Our selected hotels are tastefully blended into the sub-tropical surroundings in quiet locations, with good food and impeccable service. Our specialists, who know Mauritius well, will speak to you about your preferences and will suggest hotels to suit you perfectly. We have extensive details about all the hotels and guest houses we recommend on our website: www.audleytravel.com/mauritius

Find out more For suggested itineraries and practical information about travel in Mauritius, please see page 142.

A room on stilts at Le Prince Maurice

1 Le Morne Peninsula A beautiful peninsula in southwest Mauritius with lovely fishing villages in pretty coves.

www.audleytravel.com Interactive maps and features, further suggested itineraries, accommodation, climate information and articles written by our specialists.

2 Chamarel Mountains

With superb hiking and birding, these can be visited on a day trip or while staying at the Lakaz Chamarel villas.

☎ Discuss your plans with our Mauritius specialists 01993 838 520

Sailing on the Magic Sails catamaran

Mauritius 139


The beach at Maradiva Villas

Chamarel Mountains

Tamarin Bay

In southwest Mauritius, the Chamarel Mountains are protected by the Black River Gorges National Park, and are one of the most pristine and undeveloped tracts of land on the island. Undulating subtropical forest, waterfalls and streams make this a world apart from the better-known coastline. Hiking and cycling can be enjoyed in the national park and traditional Mauritian restaurants nestle in the hills, with sublime views. Whilst radically different from the coast, this area is in fact only fifteen minutes from some of the most undeveloped beaches in Mauritius. You can therefore spend a morning hiking followed by an afternoon swim in the Indian Ocean.

On the sheltered west coast of Mauritius, Tamarin Bay sits in one of the island’s prettiest locations. The turquoise waters of the bay lap at the vast, powdery white beach, with the verdant mountains of the Chamarel Range as backdrop. As the bay is on the southwest side of the island, it is in lee of the southeast trade winds, and therefore maintains a lovely climate throughout the year. Both the mountains and the nearby Le Morne Peninsula are worth a day’s exploration either by car or taxi.

MARADIVA VILLAS, TAMARIN BAY Le Morne Mountain in southwest Mauritius

LAKAZ CHAMAREL, CHAMAREL MOUNTAINS This luxurious boutique hotel has a peaceful setting in the Chamarel Mountains. It has a recently installed spa, two swimming pools and a stylish lounge area where you can sit and while away the hours with a book. The luxurious villas are thoughtfully decorated with antique French furniture and each has a private plunge pool surrounded by sub-tropical vegetation. As you sit and relax in your garden, only the sound of the birds will disturb you. Manager Frederique serves excellent food in the main lodge, and is on hand to help you make the most of your stay. Lakaz Chamarel

140

Maradiva Villas sits in large tropical gardens above one of the most iconic beaches on the island. No detail has been overlooked, with interiors inspired by French colonial, Indian and Arabic design. The 65 individual villas are sumptuous, and superbly laid-out with extensive outdoor seating areas around a lovely plunge pool. Every possible facility is provided, from walk-in wardrobes to flat-screen plasma televisions and 24 hour butler service. Choose from relaxed beachside dining or refined restaurants serving Pan-Asian and Indian cuisine. There are extensive sporting facilities and the Indian spa is of world class quality.


The beach at Constance Belle Mare Plage

A junior suite at Le Prince Maurice

Dinner at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Le Prince Maurice

East Coast Mauritius Mauritius’ east coast has long white sandy beaches forming perfect half-moon coves. Sheltered lagoons and accessible reefs make for superb snorkelling and diving. Inland, you find a melting pot of Hindu and French culture; traditional villages with leafy squares, small markets, cafés and shops. The hotels in this region employ the majority of their staff from the nearby villages and as a result feel very Mauritian in character. The service is excellent and by chatting to the hotel employees you can learn about the area as well as gaining an understanding of everyday life on the island.

CONSTANCE BELLE MARE PLAGE, EAST COAST MAURITIUS

Junior Suite at the Belle Mare Plage

LE PRINCE MAURICE, EAST COAST MAURITIUS This wonderfully designed property has all the luxuries of a five-star hotel and presents them tastefully, with an air of understated elegance. It stands in 60 acres of private land with a calm lagoon, well tended gardens and an idyllic sandy beach. There are 89 suites, housed either in thatched villas around the garden or stilted villas above the lagoon. The suites have a classy, French feel which works beautifully. They are well equipped with king-size beds, soft cream chairs, television and DVD systems and large en suite marble bathrooms. Each suite has its own private balcony or terrace. The facilities at the hotel include a pool, library, extensive boathouse, wide variety of watersports and a nearby golf course. A luxurious spa and a floating restaurant complete the list of highlights.

Suite on stilts at Le Prince Maurice

The Constance Belle Mare Plage is spread out amongst leafy subtropical vegetation, and is perfect for families and couples looking for extensive facilities and relaxation in the vicinity of gorgeous beaches. There are 256 rooms set in two-storey houses around lush tropical gardens, each with their own private balcony or terrace looking out onto the gardens or beach. The hotel has excellent sporting facilities including two championship golf courses, five swimming pools, floodlit tennis courts and a profusion of watersports including water skiing, windsurfing, laser sailing and snorkelling. After a day of activities, choose from a range of excellent restaurants serving Creole and international cuisine.

The links course at Belle Mare Plage

www.audleytravel.com/mauritius

01993 838 520

Mauritius 141


Suggested itineraries Tailoring your trip The itinerary shown is designed to give you a flavour of what is possible, and is a route that works particularly well. We can use this as a basis to plan your trip or can design a completely different itinerary to suit your tastes and interests. The Residence Hotel

The Residence

Please call one of our Mauritius specialists to start planning your itinerary. Telephone: 01993 838 520

Lakaz Chamarel

Mauritius Airport

Getting around Mauritius is easy to access both from the UK and Africa. There are direct flights from Heathrow to Mauritius several times a week, usually overnight. Several flights a day depart from Johannesburg to Mauritius making it simple to combine a safari in Africa with time on the island. Travel around the island’s excellent network of roads is easy and we will transfer you from one hotel to another in a private car. If you would like to explore the island yourself, car hire can be arranged.

When to go Jan

~ The beach at The Residence

THE RESIDENCE, EAST COAST MAURITIUS Blending tastefully finished colonial architecture with breezy, open spaces, The Residence has a lovely airy feel to it. Facing one of the most sublime east coast beaches, and with an extensive outdoor pool area, this hotel is a pleasure to wander around. Marble floors lead to the hotel’s 163 rooms and suites. All are luxurious and well equipped with king-size beds, television, telephone, air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms with bathtub and shower. Shuttered windows and French doors lead out onto large balconies. There is a lovely spa offering relaxing and soothing treatments, and tennis courts and windsurfing, waterskiing and sailing are available for the more active.

Ocean Front Room at The Residence

142

Feb Mar Apr May Jun

~

✓✓ ✓✓

Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

✓✓ ✓✓

✓✓ The best time to travel. ✓ A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.

~

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.

Travel is not recommended.

Mauritius has a warm subtropical climate. In the dry season from May to October, temperatures range from 20C to 25C, and cooling trade winds from the southeast keep down the humidity levels. From November to April the climate becomes hotter and more humid and temperatures range from around 25C to 30C. The rains fall at this time, with the peak rains – and sometimes cyclones – occurring in January and February. Time difference: GMT+4 hours Flight time from UK: 12 hours

Prices We offer trips to cater for a wide range of budgets. You can find up-to-date guideline prices for your trip to Mauritius on our website, alternatively please call our specialists to discuss your plans.

Walking in the Chamarel Mountains

Mountains and Coasts This itinerary allows you to explore the best of both worlds in Mauritius. The first few days are spent in the mountains, an ideal antidote to an international flight. Stay in a villa with your own private pool and spend days hiking, cycling, reading or enjoying a pampering treatment in the spa. From the mountains, drop down to the coast and stay at one of Mauritius’ most elegant hotels, The Residence. On an idyllic crescent of white sand, this hotel has every facility necessary to make your stay supremely comfortable. Day 1

Fly from the UK to Mauritius.

Day 2-4

Arrive in Mauritius. Private car transfer to Lakaz Chamarel for three nights. Walk in the Chamarel Mountains.

Day 5-11

Private road transfer to The Residence for seven nights. Swim, snorkel and relax beside the pool or on the beach.

Day 12

Private car transfer to the airport. Fly from Mauritius to London overnight.

Day 13

Arrive back in the UK in the early morning.

Stay longer It is easy to combine a safari with a trip to Mauritius. After a week or more in Namibia, Botswana, South Africa or Zambia, nothing beats a stay on this beautiful island. With daily flights departing from Johannesburg, you can choose the length of time you’d like on safari before heading to the beach. Speak to our specialists who can tailor a trip to suit you.

Breakfast at The Residence


Useful information

Snorkelling in Lake Malawi

Cheetah in the Vumbura Reserve, Botswana

Viewing rhino in Meru National Park

Group tours

As there is little time change, whilst tired after an international flight you will not have to grapple with jet-lag.

AITO Membership

We offer a comprehensive programme of guided small group tours, typically no more than 16 travellers. Not only does this make for a sociable group but it also enables us to use smaller and more characterful accommodation and venture away from the large tour groups. We offer regular tours to countries across Africa which have become very popular and are an alternative to a tailor-made itinerary. www.audleytravel.com/groups We can also arrange private tours, whether this is for a group of friends, those with a special interest or a fundraising trip for charity. For larger groups we may be able to offer discounts or a free place to the organiser. See our website or call us to discuss your plans.

Flights

Audley is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. Audley abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter which can be viewed on www.aito.com.

In Southern Africa there is a direct flight into Lusaka in Zambia and numerous flights into South Africa’s Johannesburg and Cape Town airports. Namibia can be reached either via Frankfurt or through Johannesburg. Both Botswana and Malawi are usually reached by connecting through Johannesburg. Flying direct into Southern Africa usually takes around eleven hours. Nearly all flights are overnight and there is little time difference meaning jet-lag is not a problem.

Photography in this brochure We would like to thank the following photographers for the images used in this brochure:

The Indian Ocean islands have good flight connections with direct flights to both the Seychelles and Mauritius. There are excellent connections through Paris to Antananarivo in Madagascar. Many Indian Ocean flights are overnight.

A number of airlines fly directly to Africa from London Heathrow. We choose from these airlines based on current airfares and taxes, your preference for travel and your itinerary. Connecting flights from regional UK airports can also be arranged so please tell us if you’d like to fly from your local airport as this may influence the airline we choose.

However you chose to reach your African destination there are usually a number of options. Our specialists will discuss all the options with you and advise you of the best route to take for your trip.

East Africa is easily reached with direct flights going to Nairobi in Kenya, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Entebbe in Uganda. Rwanda is easily reached through good regional connections in Nairobi. Flying to East Africa usually takes around nine hours and most flights are overnight.

Your booking is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Audley Travel, which we will include with your personalised itinerary and can also be found on our website. It is vital that you have adequate travel insurance and we are able to suggest a number of policies either for the duration of your trip or on an annual basis.

Ariadne Van Zandbergen, Afripics, Alamy, Istock, Dana Allen, David Rogers, David Fettes, Daryl Balfour, Gary Cook, Javed Jafferji, Jamie Marshall, Judy Hurd, Larry Flinner, Scott Hurd, Michael Poliza, Mike Myers, Wilderness Safaris, Russell Friedman, Michael Benadi, Caroline Culbert, Dave Hamman, James Rawdon, Thomas Savage, Raymond Sahuquet, Spike Williamson and members of the Audley Africa team. All images used in this brochure were obtained in good faith by Audley Travel Group Limited and in the belief that all necessary consents and clearances were obtained for their use. However, if you believe that unauthorised use has been made of an image belonging to you please contact us on 01993 838 040.

Terms & Conditions and Travel Insurance

Visit our offices

www.audleytravel.com

If you would like to discuss your travel arrangements in person we welcome personal visits, please call in advance to arrange an appointment with one or more of our country specialists. Our offices are at the New Mill, a 17th-century converted wool mill on the outskirts of Witney, ten miles west of Oxford, on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Our website is packed with information, features and advice covering all our destinations across the globe. On the site you can browse by theme, special interest or region as well as viewing additional accommodation options and itineraries that are not featured in this brochure. You can download all our brochures online or contact us via the website where there is the option to tell us about your plans so that we can start tailoring your itinerary.

www.audleytravel.com/visit-us

www.audleytravel.com/africa

01993 838 500

Useful information 143


New Mill, New Mill Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 9SX, United Kingdom Telephone: 01993 838 500 • Fax: 01993 838 010 Email: africa@audleytravel.com • Website: www.audleytravel.com

This brochure has been printed on paper from well managed forests, approved by the Forestry Stewardship Council, using vegetable inks. Our printer holds ISO 14001 and FSC environmental accreditations. Should you wish to dispose of your brochure, we kindly request that you recycle it.

Audley - Africa & The Indian Ocean  

Audley - Africa & The Indian Ocean

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you