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AFRICAtime

Packed with tips and information Issue 1

On Safari what to wear

Top tips for Honeymoons Wine Tasting Recipes

Cape Town Our 5 favourite restaurants H O L I D A Y S OVER

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Somak family values Suresh Sofat, Chairman

Somak was founded in 1968 by Mr Suresh Sofat, and is still a family-run business with a personal touch. It has grown from strength to strength, firstly in East Africa and increasingly now also in Southern Africa. Our success is due, in no small part, to the family values that guide us. The Sofat family along with the teams in the UK and Africa are dedicated to bringing you a friendly and personalised service, a wide choice of options and exceptional value for money. From our beginnings in Kenya, we have expanded into a truly African organisation, offering holidays to East and Southern Africa. Our years of organising holidays to these areas have resulted in building superb relations with all of our partners, which allows us to buy at extremely competitive rates, which in turn means we can pass on these great rates to our customers. Somak is the leading ground handler for tour operators featuring Kenya, and the envy of the country’s tourism industry, with highly experienced staff, a large fleet of safari vehicles and a modern office complex in Nairobi, conveniently located close to the international airport. Ever mindful of our guests’ comfort and enjoyment, Somak is the only travel company in Kenya to offer a guest lounge where all of our guests passing through Nairobi are welcome to relax whilst waiting to transfer to the airport or to a safari, have a shower, a bite to eat and store luggage. Our safari vehicles are driven by highly qualified and experienced driver-guides, for whom we constantly receive fantastic feedback from happy guests. Somak microbuses and four-wheel drive vehicles in Kenya have game viewing hatches and are equipped with a cool box for drinks. Exclusive vehicles can also be booked. Southern Africa is incredibly diverse, and is sometimes described as ‘the last paradise on earth’. Each individual country within the region contrasts with the next, and offers something special for everyone. With a mixture of exciting cultures, stunning scenery, safaris and wildlife, a holiday in Southern Africa is much more than that, it is a magical experience. Easy to get around and value for money combined with wonderful weather and no jet-lag, it is easy to see why so many people return time and time again. Self-drive tours and guided small group tours are popular ways to see the region, however, planes, trains and boats may also be included. In Southern Africa we work extremely closely with specialist partners to give you the very best that this continent has to offer. Our teams in the UK and Africa are close knit and experienced, working together to ensure memorable holidays, and we continue to thrive thanks to our commitment to ensuring that every individual receives personalised attention from us.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Inside 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 31 32 34 36 37 38

Meet the team

Happy Travellers

The Flip Side of South Africa Cape Town Top 10 things to do Cape Town Favourite Restaurants Delicious Recipes

Zambia’s National Parks

What’s New in Kenya

Travel Designers’ Commitment Safari Driver Guide Interview Guests’ Experiences Honeymoons Top Tips & Destinations Zanzibar Things To Do Best Beaches in East Africa Bush Meets Beach Gorilla Trekking Family Favourites

Aviation Matters

What to Wear on Safari

What to take

Why Travel Designers & Somak? Issued November 2013 H O L I D A Y S

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Meet the UK team Somak Holidays is an award-winning specialist holiday company, founded and run by a Kenyan family. Established in 1968, Somak has over four decades of experience in arranging holidays to Africa. Our teams in the UK and Africa are close knit, working together to ensure every holiday is fantastic and provides memories of a lifetime. In the UK we continue to thrive thanks to our commitment to ensuring that every individual receives personalised attention from us. We love nothing better than hearing about your dream holiday plans, advising and discussing and turning these dreams into reality with the excitement and passion that we know every holiday to Africa will bring.



Hello, I'm Anil, Commercial Director of Somak Holidays. I have a deep respect and passion for the land and people of my birthplace, Kenya. I have travelled the length and breadth of Kenya and Tanzania on my frequent visits to my family in East Africa. The people of Kenya and Tanzania are remarkable; their enterprise and resourcefulness is something I marvel at and, indeed, learn from; but by the same token I am keen to get involved in helping local communities in any way that I can. With my wife and two young children I also enjoy travelling to all corners of the world. Outside the office I enjoy watching most sports and playing squash, cricket and football.

“Hello, my name is Ash and I am the Chief Executive Officer at Somak Holidays. Somewhere in my genes is this passion to travel around Africa; probably ignited by the fact that I was born and brought up in Kenya, I found it only natural to establish and develop a division of Somak that provides bespoke holidays to Kenya and Tanzania. Furthermore, I am lucky to be working with people who share the same passion for Africa as I do – our strength, our heart is in East Africa – we understand the many operational challenges that exist, we know which areas to go to, we understand the geography and culture of the region. Apart from going on Safari, I play golf (badly) and enjoy watching sport (usually live); I am a regular spectator at Lords.”

Hello, I’m Sanjay, the  Operations Director. I have been part of the Somak team since 1986, in various roles. My love for travel has given me an insight into what our guests expect from their holidays and to make them as perfect as possible from start to finish. I have made frequent visits to Kenya and Tanzania and this familiarity makes it easier to advise on these destinations, with a passion. To relax away from the office I like to watch sports, in particular cricket and football, or just watch a good film at the cinema with the family.



 Hello,

I’m Stuart, Somak’s Managing Director. My passion for Africa was kindled over 20 years ago when I visited my parents who at that time were based in Zimbabwe with VSO. I have been fortunate to be involved in the travel business all my working life, which has helped me explore many parts of Africa. To have seen close up and to have been involved in the development of this amazing continent continues to be a rare privilege. I enjoy watching live sport, especially Gloucester Rugby and Newcastle United FC (when we win!).

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 “Hello, I'm Amanda, a member of the reservation team since 2000. My passion for, and interest in, Africa for the past 12 years, have given me the expertise to make tailor-made holidays to both East and Southern Africa to fit exactly our customers' requirements. Part of my work recently has involved working closely with consumers and travel agents that are based abroad – it is intriguing how the needs of different nationalities can vary. When I'm not booking dream holidays for our guests, I enjoy going to the theatre with my group of close friends. Travel to the African continent is my absolute pastime of choice.”

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk




 “I am Barbara and I have been part of the Somak Holidays reservations team for 13 years and my travel experience has involved visiting different parts of Africa many times; this has given me first hand and in-depth experiences to help you tailor-make the perfect holiday to East or Southern Africa – as you can see from the photograph above: there really isn’t a safari experience that I haven’t had! Away from booking holidays I like to go to the cinema and theatre.”

“My name is Kiran and I have been a reservations consultant with Somak since 2004. One of my passions is travelling and finding out about different cultures. My close work with travel agents has involved attending client evenings and training sessions; this has enabled me to meet customeres of all ages and backgrounds. It is always my aim to design the best possible holiday for each individual who travels with us to Africa, which is high up there on my favourite destinations list. Away from the office I am very active and enjoy a host of sports, singing and cooking.”

“My name is Meeta and I have worked in the reservation team since 2007 (a relatively new addition to the team!). My husband, two young children and myself travel to Africa frequently, hence I have become an expert at knowing exactly where to visit and stay as a family. When I am not creating tailor-made holidays I enjoy sporting and outdoor activities with my family.”



 “Hello, I'm Jigna and I have been with Somak since 2003. My travels around the world have left me in no doubt as to what is important to our customers. As an Operations Executive I always look at situations from a traveller’s point of view – analysing and optimising processes is something that I enjoy and seem to do quite well. As well as travelling, I enjoy outdoor activities with my children. I also take a keen interest in art and design.”

“Hello, I’m Nilu and I’ve been with Somak since 2007. My extensive travel throughout the world has helped enormously in my role as an Operations Executive. One of my latest projects has involved organising tours for the Danish market and it still amazes me that their travel habits and requirements are remarkably similar to that of the British consumer. Apart from travelling to exotic destinations, I love to experiment with diverse cuisine. I also enjoy reading and listening to music.”

 “Hi



I’m Nishma, a member of the reservations team since 1996. I was born and grew up in Kenya, which is where my passion for East Africa stems from. Over the last 17 years I have used my first hand knowledge and own experiences when advising on, and putting together, dream tailor-made holidays to both East and Southern Africa. When I am not booking holidays I like to watch nature documentaries and listen to music. I still enjoy travelling to the African continent on a regular basis to update my knowledge and experiences.”

“I’m Minal and I have been part of the Somak Holidays reservations team since May 1995. I was born in Tanzania and brought up in Kenya, hence I have travelled extensively in Kenya. In the past 5 years I have also travelled to north and south Tanzania including Zanzibar. Part of my work lately has been organising and constructing tailormade itineraries for schools and colleges; this has been an interesting learning experience and is certainly something I can share with you all. I visit Kenya with my family at least once a year – holidays to East Africa are truly a way of life for me. Apart from booking holidays I love outdoor activities with my family.”



“Hello, I'm Upasana ‘Sona’ and  I've been with Somak since 2008. My love for travel has helped me enormously in my role as a Commercial Executive, to not only understand our product in depth, but also to understand the needs of all of our guests when travelling abroad. The safari market is unique and to understand the needs of the safari traveller you need to have worked for Somak – it’s a skill that has been crafted over the past 45 years (....my words....not my boss’s...!!!). Apart from travel, I enjoy listening to music and reading.”

As a team of experts dedicated to planning and organising perfect African holidays, we look forward to sharing our experience and knowledge of Africa with you. H O L I D A Y S OVER

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Happy Travellers It is our privilege and pleasure to organise the best holiday we can for each and every customer. Whether it’s a safari in East Africa, a tour in Southern Africa, a beach only holiday, or a complex tailor-made holiday, we have the expertise to deliver. Many of our guests kindly take the time to send positive and complimentary feedback about their holiday.

‘‘ Hi Amanda,

I just had to write and say the hugest thank you to you and your team at Somak. We returned yesterday from our trip and have to say it was absolutely amazing, it really was the holiday of a lifetime for us. Cape Town was wonderful, what a lovely city and we luckily made it up Table Mountain the day we arrived (as the following day it was shutting for several weeks for its annual maintenance – how lucky for us that our Thompsons driver from the airport to the hotel told us!). The next day we took the blue tour bus around Cape Town and the third day we hired a taxi which took us to see the penguins on Boulders Beach and down to the Cape of Good Hope. Ngala was absolutely stunning, service was above and beyond anything we had imagined and we saw so many animals that we were all quite overwhelmed. Our children have learnt so much about Africa, its people, their way of life and the animals and environment. It was lovely to have a little time to relax in Zambia in their winter (25 degrees was perfect and so was the pool!!) and being able to walk to Victoria Falls from the hotel was wonderful, as are the Falls themselves. The sunset river cruise along the Zambezi was another highlight of our trip and seeing so many hippos as we cruised along was really special. We really don't know how to thank you all, your organisation of our trip was superb and transfers etc were brilliant. It really is a trip we shall remember for the rest of our lives. Thank you! Karon, Phil, Lois and Morgan

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


‘‘ ’’ My husband & I returned from our holiday yesterday, & I thought I would let you know what a wonderful time we both had, from start to finish the Tour/Safari guides in both Kenya & Tanzania were first class, the lodges were excellent & the service first class. The resort in Zanzibar was beautiful & again the service first class. I will certainly recommend your company & use you again in the future. Your Company gave us a great holiday. Regards Sandra & Dean Martin

‘‘ ’’ ‘‘ ’’ ‘‘ ’’ ‘‘ Dear Somak team, On a camping trip to the Masai Mara we came across one of the Somak minibuses in the early morning. The very friendly driver pointed out some lions we had missed. A non Somak vehicle had gone off road to get very close (disturbing the lions). Your driver had not done so. He then told us about another lion just up the road and offered to show us where it was, so we followed him. At one point we got our car stuck and the Somak driver readily offered to tow us out. He was such a cheerful person and an absolute credit to your company. We did not get his name, sadly. He had two passengers who were very happy for him to help us. I would appreciate it if you could let him know how grateful we were for his help. If all your staff have the same attitude I would highly recommend your company to family and friends coming out to visit us. Best wishes Donna Love

I am writing to you to say a BIG Thank You to Somak for looking after our clients on their recent honeymoon to Africa. The feedback we had from them today was tremendous it makes me feel my job is worthwhile especially putting our faith in Somak to deliver and exceed clients, and our, expectations. Samantha Godfrey

Jambo! Just wanted to write to thank you so much for our wonderful holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. It was an amazing experience, thanks to Somak's great organisation and staff. We would particularly like you to pass on our thanks to our driver, Francis. We will definitely recommend Somak and use you on our next trip! Asante sana! Jane and Mark Peach

Sorry to hear about the fire in Nairobi airport. Was concerned over one of your employees. I was in Kenya over the last two weeks. One of the first faces I saw in the arrivals hall was a Somak representative. She was helpful even though I wasn’t her client, and went out of her way to assist. Great advert for your company. I think her name was Casey (or similar). She had short hair, spoke precise English with a hint of American. If you could tell me she is OK, or pass this email to her, I would be grateful. Regards, and trust Nairobi will get back to normal soon, George

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The Flip Side of South Africa There is so much more to South Africa than Cape Town, Safaris, and sightseeing in the Garden Route. Here we describe some ‘off the beaten track’ and unique places to visit and things to do in South Africa.

Johannesburg CITY OF GOLD It’s not known as the city of gold for nothing. Johannesburg has a number of exceptionally fine jewellers who specialise in South Africa-inspired designs – what more indelible memory to take home, than a piece which speaks of this extraordinary land.

MAHLATSE ARTS AND CRAFTS WORKS OF ART Oils and water colours, clay and glass. Works of art from Africa, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Jo’burg has many of the continent’s top fine-art galleries, and whether it’s for investment, sentiment, or for little mementos, a personalised trip around three or four galleries will be a wonderful journey through the eyes of our artists.

AFRICAN ARTEFACTS From large imposing African sculptures to traditional fabric, select stores in the City stock extraordinary African artefacts – each item has a personal history, and with that piece, you’ll take an African story home with you. It’s worth a visit.

Set on one of the most famous roads in Soweto, Vilakazi Street, famous for having been home to Nelson Mandela, and still home to Desmond Tutu. Close to the Hector Pieterson Museum – and including two popular restaurants – this is a modern day trip back in time. From art to the art of survival, you’ll feel it in your feet.

ORIGINS MUSEUM Conceptualized by academics and designers from WITS University, the museum provides you with a unique experience of Africa’s rich, complex history. From rock art to the earliest images of humans found in South Africa, this is for the history, culture and curious buffs.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Durban LICK YOUR LIPS Bunny Chow for a late-night snack? A real Durban curry to beat the heat? Durban has fine-dining a plenty, but for the real Durban … you need to know the hot spots.

WET, WET, WET … AND DRY If you’re a water baby, or would like to be, you may want to do more than wallow in the warm waves. Learn to surf, learn to kite surf, swim with dolphins or scuba dive, it’s all possible in Durban. And for mountain bikers, there are scores of scenic tracks and trails for the energetic and the less so.

POTS, PAINTERS AND AFRICAN CRAFTS Durban, home of South Africa’s Zulu nation, is rich with talent, whether it’s found at the African Art Centre, the Artisan Contemporary Art Gallery, or the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts Gallery (KZNSA) – here you’ll find home-grown jewellery, artwork, beadwork, basketry, you name it. Robin Opperman of Umcebo Design, drives this creative design business, where beadworkers dream up everything from glam chandeliers to garden ornaments. Glorious gifts and fine art, designed to fit into a suitcase or two. They’re minutes apart, so a morning trip is ideal.

The Garden Route TASTE So many little tucked away creative cooking gems in Knysna … like Brett Garvie in his home, a wooden cottage, serving up vegetarian dinners; or the Phantom Forest Boma, where you’ll be served up a six-course African meal, surrounded by an indigenous forest and eyed by the bird and wildlife. Then there’s a cheese-maker in Plettenberg Bay, who’ll show you how, then let you tuck into a great lunch; or close to Plett, sit in a little haven among nearby vineyards, and enjoy Mediterranean tapas and mezze platters.

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Top 10 things to do in and around Cape Town

Cape Town is renowned for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Situated at the base of Table Mountain, it is the capital city of the Western Cape. Whether you are looking for history, natural beauty or a cosmopolitan lifestyle, the 'Mother City' has it all. There is such a diversity of attractions and activities you will not be disappointed with your city experience.

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CAPE TOWN CITY TOUR

ome with us on the ultimate ‘Mother City’ experience, designed to orientate and give you a full colour insight into the extraordinary magic of Cape Town. We’ve chosen iconic buildings, snatches of its history, and experiences unique to this city. First, it’s the cable car to the summit of the legendary Table Mountain (payable locally and weather permitting); from there, you’ll be able to see to the end of our world, including the city and surrounding layout of this southernmost tip of Africa. We visit the country’s oldest building, The Castle, and a short distance away, the Company Gardens, both historically fascinating and well conserved. Our drive continues past Parliament Buildings, City Hall and the Slave Lodge, and you’ll sense the depth of history via their distinctive architecture. Colonial then changes to colourful, as we move up the cobblestoned hills to the Malay Quarter, and marvel at the ice-cream colours of the quaint BoKaap homes. Our day ends on a sparkling note, as we trace the moves of a professional diamond cutter, as he creates every girl’s dream stone. Perhaps you’ll be taking one home… From £30

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CAPE POINT TOUR

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t’s wild, it’s rugged, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most memorable coastlines you’ll have encountered: the Cape Peninsula, and the splendour of Cape Point. We begin our journey cruising along Millionaire’s Paradise – ogle the glamorous homes and beautiful people of Clifton Beach and Camps Bay – and you’ll be in no doubt as to how it earned its title. From there, we wind our way towards the charming coastal town and working harbour of Hout Bay, then hug the cliffs as we snake along the legendary Chapman’s Peak Drive, with its breathtaking views, towards the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park and its rugged, intriguing landscape. An optional trip from here, is to Boulders Beach penguin colony (payable locally), a fascinating excursion, before we move on to the historic naval port of Simon’s Town. It’s a wonderful half-day spent on the wilder side of this exquisite Cape coastline. From £75

Fact: The only str eet in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners is in Sowe to. Nelson Mandela and Arch bishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vi lakazi Street, Orlan do West.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


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STELLENBOSCH WINELANDS TOUR

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istorical, glorious Stellenbosch with its Cape Dutch architecture, is the warm and wonderful heart of the Cape Winelands, and is surrounded by stunning wine estates. It’s truly the prettiest town, home to one of the country’s prestigious universities. You’ll love exploring the fine art galleries, the architecture, the history, and the curious and quaint shops. But first, we take a leisurely drive to acquaint you with the beauty of this world-renowned region, before inducting you into the wine-making process in a fascinating cellar tour. And when the wine’s made, it needs to be tasted, so we’ll twist your arm to test and taste… and no doubt, you’ll leave with a favourite bottle or two under your arm. Stellenbosch is arguably one of the Province’s most beautiful towns – but you be the judge. From £40

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WALK TO FREEDOM TOUR

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xperience the wonderful raw energy of the Townships in one unforgettable morning. An opening history visiting District Six, leads to the oldest township, Langa and its people. Strolling through Langa Township, pop in to a ‘shebeen’ (pub). Then from Langa to Khayelitsha, the largest township in the Western Cape. Large scale developments abound, housing, schools, shopping malls, clinics and many private organisations doing a marvellous job in providing social and other skills to the people. For those who have the time, do extend to a full day tour – a visit to Robben Island in the afternoon, home of Nelson Mandela for so many years. From £60

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WINELANDS TOUR

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superb day dedicated to celebrating the glorious grape, the exceptional winelands region, and the heavenly scenery – like the breathtaking views from the historic Taal Monument near Paarl. The area’s rich history can be felt as you move through the region to experience a wine cellar tour and tasting, where you’ll learn all about the process of winemaking. Visit the exquisite little town of Franschhoek, pass by the impressive Huguenot Monument, and in a town with a reputation for gourmet fare, where else could we choose to enjoy lunch (payable locally). Wind your way to the heady heights of the Helshoogte Mountain Pass to the charming university town of Stellenbosch on the other side. Ample time to stroll through this little town, absorbing the quaintness, and sneaking into the odd shop or two! A trip to the Winelands isn’t complete without a wine tasting, so we have organized two at different wine estates. And of course, you’ll be able to purchase your favourite wine to take back home! From £60

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HERMANUS TOUR

(Only operates Jul-Nov during Whale Season) he once quiet little fishing village of Hermanus has an ace up its sleeve – the best shore-based whale watching in the world! Drive along the coast, lapping up the glorious ocean view, eyes peeled for the southern right whales at play. These massive mammals are an awe-inspiring sight, and the excitement will undoubtedly leave you with an appetite for a good lunch (payable locally). Time permitting, visit a penguin colony (payable locally) on our return to Cape Town via the pretty apple-

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growing region of Elgin. Then wind our way through Sir Lowry’s Pass – spectacular views – and back into the Mother City. From £95

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PENINSULA TOUR

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ou’ll soon see for yourself where and why it earned its name as the fairest cape. Sit back and relax, whilst cruising along the exquisite stretch of coastline known as Millionaire’s Paradise – from Clifton to Camps Bay, to the exclusive beach hamlet of Llandudno – towards the charming working harbour of Hout Bay. You can embark on an up-close-and-personal Seal Island cruise (payable locally). Back on terra firma, we wind along the legendary Chapman’s Peak Drive, hugging the cliffs and relishing the breathtaking ocean views, before arriving at our lunch spot of choice (payable locally), the wild and beautiful Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park, an integral part of the world-renowned Cape Floral Kingdom. Meander back along the coast towards the city, visiting the historic naval port of Simon’s Town and the endearing penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach. The Fairest Cape of All, that was Sir Francis Drake’s opinion, and we’re sure you’ll agree. From £45

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FEATHERS AND FINS TOUR

world of family excitement in Cape Town awaits with feathered friends and fishy fun! Join this scheduled tour for an adventure with your children. This entertaining trip includes a visit to the Hout Bay World of Birds where children can get up close and personal with nature, over 400 different species to discover including birds, reptiles and mammals, and don't forget to visit the walk through monkey jungle! The tour continues with some of the finest beach views on the coastal drive to the Two Oceans Aquarium on the famous Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where the magical underwater awaits. Your children will learn about mysterious deep-sea creatures, dangerous predators and see a real ‘happy feet’ family. Touch pools and tidal walks are part of the fun while puppet shows and play areas are on the entertainment menu. Older children are not

forgotten, with interesting facts, fascinating discoveries, shark encounters and the discovery of what really lies beyond the pond. Bring your family on this fun tour to see, touch, learn and play. From £80

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A DAY SAFARI

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he Big Five near Cape Town? A mere two hours from the city, and we'll be tracking them at The Aquila Private Game Reserve. An early morning start on the scenic drive to Aquila, but refreshments and a full welcoming breakfast will ensure we're fully awake, before setting off on a game drive. Transferred into a 4x4 safari vehicle and accompanied by an experienced game ranger, cameras and binoculars at the ready, searching for signs of lion, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, rhino, ostrich, baboon, warthog, springbok and many other wild animals, birds and fauna. Spend two to three hours relishing the sightings, before returning for a buffet lunch and time to relax around the pool (summer) or settle cozily around a fire (winter). Back to the coach for the return trip to Cape Town. A wild day to remember! From £280

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ROBERSTON WINE VALLEY DAY TOUR

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ead out to Roberston, travelling via Paarl and Worcester. The Robertson Wine Valley has so much to offer, including free wine tasting at any of the 47 wineries, olive tours and tasting, cheese shops, and short river cruises on the Breeder River. The Breeder River is the lifeline of the area, supporting the main industry and agriculture, and there is plenty to do on and around the river. The Bird Park is ideal for families and children, with over 260 exotic birds, monkeys, crocodiles and ponies. The town is also home to the famous Brandy Distillery called Klipdrift. You can pop in for a distillery tour and brandy tasting and get an idea of how brandy is made. Remember to stop by at least one of the ‘padstalles’ offering local goods to nibble, on your way back. Stroll down any of the small towns’ main streets to see the local works of art and craft, taste locally roasted coffee, or buy wines from the area at cellar door prices. From £230

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Favourite Restaurants in Cape Town When you visit the beautiful city of Cape Town you'll discover that there is an overwhelming number of restaurants available, and a plethora of places which serve everything from traditional Cape Malay cuisine to specialised springbok dishes. If you're after traditional meals and fine dining, combined with experiences you'll never forget, then you should look no further than the following five restaurants.

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CAPE MALAY – BO KAAP KOMBUIS August Street, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town If you’re looking for a traditional Cape Malay meal, the appropriately named Bo Kaap Kombuis, located within the heart of the original Malay settlement in Cape Town, will fulfill all your requirements. Here, a tapestry of flavours is woven together, and ‘must try’ items include the traditional Cape Malay roti served with curry, sosati chops that have a sweet and sour appeal, and denningvleis, which consists of lamb chops marinaded and caramelised. If the above sounds a bit too adventurous for your palate then the savoury platter provides a selection of local tapas with spring rolls, samosas, and daltchies. Other dishes to consider include the crayfish curry, butter chicken, and Malay boboti, while for dessert, koeksisters (plaited dough that is deep fried and drizzled with honey or golden syrup), the banana boat, and artepil porring (potato pudding with fruits) will round off your experience. Please note the restaurant is closed on Mondays. Average prices: Starter – R25 (£1.70), Main Meal – R75 (£5), Dessert – R25 (£1.70)

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SUMPTUOUS SEAFOOD – SEVRUGA Quay 5, V&A Waterfront It would be a crime not to taste some of the fish dishes available in Cape Town, especially as almost every restaurant along the coast serves freshly caught items that range from hake to kingklip. Those seeking a seafood dish worth salivating over should definitely visit Sevruga – an upmarket seafood restaurant that overlooks the harbour. With the outdoor tables offering a view of Table Mountain and the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, and the indoor tables offering opulent décor, a gargantuan wine display, and an intimate setting, you'll happily spend time browsing the foods on offer. Popular times to visit are between 12pm – 6pm, when sushi and cocktails are half price, and if you aren't in the mood for a meal, spend time lounging in the bar, and choose one of their 200 wines. Menu items to keep an eye out for include their crayfish, kingklip, and prawn dishes. Average prices: Starter – R70 (£4.60), Main Meal – R220 (£14.60), Desserts – R50 (£3.30)

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


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AFRICAN EXTRAVAGANZA – THE AFRICA CAFÉ Shortmarket Street, Cape Town Central With the scent of spices permeating the air of The Africa Café, you'll enter and discover an incredibly colourful restaurant that provides a diverse menu with foods from African countries such as Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa. The handwashing ceremony is a memorable experience, the live music is entertaining, and the traditionally dressed staff provide friendly service along with good cheer that is frankly, quite infectious. The menu is changed seasonally. The meal range is quite extensive, and you can enjoy popular items including Congolese spinach, Mozambiquan chili dip, Botswana seswaa masala, and Egyptian koshery. Once you've finished your meal, feel free to browse the adjoining gift shop that has a range of African trinkets and ceramics – and if you choose to buy, you'll be benefitting the local community, as 75% of the items are sourced from local empowerment projects. Set-price menu R200 (£13.30) per person

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HISTORIC WINE ESTATE – LA COLOMBE Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate This much lauded restaurant is regularly recognised (both nationally and internationally) for its high standards, beautiful setting, and absolutely divine meals. The dining area overlaps the interior and exterior seating with views of the quaint courtyard and fountain. You'll be charmed by the attention to every detail, from the soft ambient lighting, to the crisp linens on the tables, and the well placed country-styled décor. The food consists of a French approach to cooking (seasonal items only), combined with Asian offerings. Starters include a homemade gravadlax on a blini with crème fraîche, a terrine of foie gras, smoked quail, and Asian styled beef tartare with a hoisin dressing and coriander pesto. The tasting menu and wine pairing is a delight to try, and main menu items include chalmar fillet with truffle and wild mushroom, a herb crusted loin of Karoo lamb, and pan fried line fish with quinoa salad. Average prices: Starter – R75 (£5) Main Meal – R120 (£8) Desserts – R65 (£4.30)

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WORLD CLASS – PLANET RESTAURANT Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town Central For an international dining experience, you would do well to visit the beautiful Planet Restaurant, located within the stylish Mount Nelson Hotel. It boasts elegance, class and sophistication, coupled with a trendy, laid-back ambience. You will certainly be dining with the stars, though if local celebrities aren't around, then the twinkling lights, galaxy-themed carpet, and planetary chandelier will certainly suffice. The waiting staff are discrete, but have a knack of anticipating your needs, so rest assured you'll be in good hands. Menu items worth trying include exotic delicacies such as smoked crocodile, pan-fried sweet breads, and beetroot and elderberry glazed springbok. The wine list is superb, and the adjoining Planet Bar is perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail. If you're hoping for a lunch, then the daily high tea, served in the plush lounge and terrace will provide you with an array of sweet and savoury options, and the tea selection is incredibly large with several exotic blends. Five courses – R330 (£22) per person

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African Cuisine African food is diverse and full of flavour and with thousands of different ethnic groups across Africa, there are plenty of unique recipes. The varied climates throughout Africa means that the majority of the ingredients are grown locally, ensuring superb freshness.

Ashnil Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya CREAM OF PUMPKIN SOUP WITH COCONUT MILK

Ingredients 4 potatoes – peeled and diced 4 medium onions – cut into even sizes 3 pieces fresh garlic – crushed 1 kg pumpkin – peeled and portioned 2 ltrs vegetable stock 500 ml coconut milk 100 gm butter Salt and pepper

4. Let the mixture cool down before blending. 5. After blending strain mixture using a fine sieve to make a smooth texture. 6. Add the coconut milk and correct the seasoning. If desired, the soup can be garnished with coriander. Serves 12

Method 1. Place the butter, onion and garlic into a hard bottomed cooking pot on a medium heat until cooked. 2. Add the potatoes and pumpkin and cook for about 10 minutes. 3. Pour in the vegetable stock and let it simmer in the pot for 35 minutes.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House, South Africa Monneaux has been in the country's Top 100 list for six consecutive years, on the Top 10 list for two years and has won the American Express Platinum Award for fine dining.

RACK OF LAMB WITH CURRIED LENTIL SALAD, HOMEMADE VEGETABLE ATCHAR, MINTED YOGHURT

Ingredients 1 Lamb Rack (4 bone) 1/4 cup plain yoghurt 50g chopped fresh mint CURRIED VINAIGRETTE 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup wine vinegar 2 tbsp. sugar Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper Ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. dry mustard 1/2 tsp. turmeric 1/2 tsp. coriander CURRIED LENTIL SALAD 1 cup dried lentils 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup capers 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

Method 1. Wash lentils. Cook in boiling water until just tender. Test after 2 minutes. Rinse and drain well. 2. Combine lentils with vinaigrette. 3. SautĂŠ onions, capers and raisins and add the dressed lentils. 4. Sear Lamb Rack and cook to preference.

5. Combine yoghurt and mint. 6. For the atchar: Your choice of thinly sliced vegetables. Make a reduction of white wine vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaves, cloves, curry paste, turmeric and salt, to your taste. Strain hot reduction over vegetables, enough to cover them. Cool, then refrigerate overnight.

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Zambia’s National Parks Zambia is Africa’s second largest country and provides some of the best opportunities in the world for wildlife safaris. Whether you want to game drive by vehicle, on foot, or in a 2-seater canoe, this is an ideal safari destination. If you want to get away from human encroachment and discover a wild, untrammelled Africa – Zambia is the place.

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The nature of the experience depends largely on where you choose to go. The most visited part of Zambia is Victoria Falls. Although the town on the Zambian side is called Livingstone, it is as close to the waterfalls as Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side. This is the place for adventures, with helicopter and microlight flights, whitewater rafting and canoeing, and safaris on an assortment of animals, from elephants to horses. Next is South Luangwa, a far more tranquil experience, where the great African walking safari was pioneered. Norman Carr and Robin Pope became disillusioned with the conventional vehicle-based safari and realised that you saw more – and experienced more – when you travelled on foot. They worked out a way of doing this safely – which is not as easy as you think amongst so many predators – and never looked back. The Luangwa experience is thus ultimately close to nature, with gentle days spent strolling between different tented camps, tracking wildlife and making very close encounters. If you’d like an even more exclusive experience North Luangwa is a far less visited park. No permanent camps are permitted and only a few operators are licensed to run mobile tented safaris in the area. Bliss. The Lower Zambezi National Park is where you can take to the water in two-man Canadian canoes. Canoe Safaris generally last three days – though they can stretch as long as ten – as you drift with the current down one of the world’s greatest rivers. This is a great way to meet wildlife, though crocs and hippos, in particular, often get rather closer than is comfortable. Amidst towering

baobab and marula trees the birdlife is spectacular, elephant herds large and untroubled, and predators plentiful. Kafue is Zambia’s largest national park and one of the most underrated, it’s also the second largest in all of Africa. There are huge prides of lions, and more species of antelope than in any other park in Africa. The Kafue River in many ways matches the Zambezi, but is far less visited. Elephant numbers are recovering and accommodation is in small, intimate lodges that really capture the remote atmosphere of the African bush. Best of all, it’s just a couple of hours drive from Lusaka, so easy to fit into your itinerary. In such a huge country there are bound to be parts that are overlooked, and in Zambia’s case it is the north. Bangweulu Lake has vast seasonal floodplains that rival neighbouring Botswana’s Okavango Delta, fed by 17 rivers but drained by one. Kasanka National Park is lulled by the sound of endless bats streaming overhead. Then there’s Liuwa Plain, near the border with Angola, where there are no roads, lodges or facilities; perfect for a mobile tented safari. This is where to go for Zambia’s answer to the Mara’s Great Migration; in November vast herds of blue wildebeest arrive from Angola, following the rains in search of grazing. Zambia may lack the glamour of Botswana, the infrastructure of South Africa and the beaches of Kenya and Tanzania, but in many ways it’s Africa at its most pure. For the ultimate African Safari Zambia is a great choice.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Fact: The Scottish explorer, David Livingstone, nam ed the Falls after his ruling queen, Victoria. Victoria Falls – Africa’s Adrenaline Centre Some travellers only allow a day or two at Victoria Falls, dismissing them as just an impressive sight to crown an African Safari. This is a mistake – there is so much more to do and see, in fact you could spend a few weeks here and do something different each day. Take in the view from the ground Just seeing the Falls provides a bewildering choice. From the Zimbabwean side there’s a small game park on your way to the Falls and then one set of stunning views. The Zambian side tends to offer a few more retail opportunities (carved wooden animals, bright African art) and another set of stunning views, all totally different, shimmering with countless rainbows by day and moonbows by night. Days could be spent taking small paths to unexpected viewpoints, soaking up the atmosphere of one of the world’s greatest, wildest waterfalls. Take in the view from above You can take scenic flights by small plane, helicopter, microlight or ultralight, generally known as ‘Flight of the Angels’. The pilots here fly several flights over the Falls each day, every day, and know exactly where they can or cannot fly. For the passenger it’s always a breathtaking experience where awestruck exhilaration is mixed with a certain amount of sheer terror. Get jumping There’s less of a view from a bungee jump, but even so queues of visitors wait their turn to leap off the iconic road bridge that crosses the international border. But if you want a touch of

controlled vertigo there’s the ‘Gorge Swing’. The Zambezi has moved over the millennia, and a couple of miles from the Victoria Falls is a dry gorge carved out a few eras ago. An enterprising company have strung a cable across this and tied a rope to the middle. What you then do is strap on a harness – and step off the side. The weight on the rope pulls you away from the side of the gorge and you swing towards the other side – but miraculously stop just before you make contact. As your swing settles down you’re lowered gently to the ground, dignified and upright. Feel the rush Down from the Falls the Zambezi rapids are world-famous. Whitewater rafting is refined to an art, tempering excitement with experience to make it exhilarating but safe. A string of rapids each provide thrills of their own, with vertiginous drops, furious whirlpools and vast boulders interspersed with more tranquil drifts along quieter patches, as the river readies itself for the next surging drop. With lunch by the riverside and a steady climb out, this takes a whole day. Something a bit different This is Vic Falls, so of course whitewater rafting was not quite exciting enough for some. ‘Why don’t we’ thought some nameless lunatic ‘try to surf the rapids?’ So they shipped in some small, stubby surfboards and started to chuck volunteers into the water alongside the rafting Zodiacs to see if they’d get knocked unconscious, drowned or eaten by crocs. There were no obvious casualties so riverboarding was born.

Go wild Back in Vic Falls there are more activities on hand. It used to be said you couldn’t train African elephants, but the past few decades has proved this wrong; the rescued orphaned elephants at Vic Falls are quite happy to walk with, or carry you, through the bush. A very rewarding and refreshingly gentle experience in this adrenalinefuelled place. Sign an indemnity and you can also walk with lions. Don’t worry, you’ll be given a stick to distract any lion who forgets they’re meant to be tame (and followed by a man with a gun). Allow half a day for this, covering several miles of bush – it comes highly recommended. Upstream from the Falls, the Zambezi should be more sedate and dignified, though the Vic Falls spirit doesn’t always let it stay that way. There’s a Jet Boat that powers up the river through the Batoka Gorge, and some of the evening cocktail cruises can be rowdy affairs that would terrify even the largest croc. But you can still find tranquil boats for a gentle drift through the serene waters that lattice the jungle. Keep binoculars handy for birds, elephants and hippos, though for much of the time the loudest sound might be the clink of ice in your gin and tonic. Victoria Falls, perhaps, at its best. A typical 7 day itinerary: 5 nights South Luangwa National Park – Flat Dogs Luxury Camp 2 nights Livingstone – Chundukwe River Lodge From £2200 pp, excludes international flights From £3160 pp, includes international flights

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What’s New?

t 100 s can ea potamu in a night. o p ip h Fact: A f grass ounds o to 150 p

Somak has secured an exclusive saving at Ashnil Mara Tented Camp and Ashnil Samburu Tented Camp. Flying safaris are a superb way to combine different game parks without spending too much time travelling. These flying safaris offer incredible journeys incorporating the more remote parts of Samburu and the worldfamous plains of the Masai Mara. After some exciting wildlife viewing, relax on a beautiful beach on the coast of Kenya.

Cheetah Safari upgraded to 4x4 vehicle

In November 2013 we upgraded our most popular safari, the Cheetah Safari, to a 4x4 vehicle on all departures. We carry a maximum of six guests in the Toyota Landcruisers, guaranteeing that everyone gets a window seat and standing space for game viewing through the pop-up roof. This is a 7-night classic safari visiting Samburu, home to unique wildlife, followed by the Rift Valley Lakes. The final destination is the Masai Mara, home to vast numbers of plains game and spectacular big cats.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Ashnil properties 3 stunning properties in 3 equally stunning locations

Staying at any of the Ashnil properties, you will benefit from a fantastic wildlife experience. It is possible to stay at any of the Ashnil properties for as many or as few nights as desired, to fit in with your itinerary. For a great experience, we recommend a combination of 3 nights at each camp. Here are just a couple of examples:

3 nights Masai Mara & 3 nights Samburu

3 nights Tsavo East

Day 1: Arrive at Nairobi International Airport. Met and transferred to the Somak Lounge, where you can freshen up and store any excess luggage. Transfer to Wilson Airport for the flight to Samburu National Park.

Day 1: Arrive at Mombasa International Airport. Met and transferred to Tsavo East National Park.

Spend the next 3 nights at the Ashnil Samburu Camp on full board basis including game drives. Day 4: Transfer to the airstrip for a flight to the Masai Mara. Spend the next 3 nights at the Ashnil Mara Camp on full board basis including game drives. Day 7: Transfer to the airstrip for a flight to Wilson Airport. From £1570 pp, excludes international flights From £2670 pp, includes international flights

Spend the next 3 nights at the Ashnil Aruba Lodge on full board basis including game drives. Day 4: Transfer to your chosen hotel on the Mombasa Coast. From £645 pp for 3 nights Ashnil Aruba Lodge, excludes international flights From £1760 pp for 3 nights Ashnil Aruba Lodge + 7 nights Travellers Club, Mombasa (all inclusive), includes international flights

Mara Balloon Offer £99 per person Book by 31 January 2014 For balloon flights between 8 Apr – 30 Jun 2014 and 1 Nov – 10 Dec 2014. Valid for new bookings only. Must be booked in conjunction with a Somak safari (by road or air). Available only from certain lodges and on the following safaris: Kili Safari Thorn Tree Safari Cheetah Safari Heritage Flying Safari H O L I D A Y S OVER

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Travel Designers’ commitment With over forty years’ experience, Somak is a family-run business with a personal touch and family values. It is our aim to provide each and every guest with the holiday they wish for, and so much more. Your comfort and wellbeing are very important to us, and with this in mind we built the Somak Safari Lounge. It is the only one of its kind in Kenya, and all guests who have time to spare as they pass through Nairobi can take advantage of its facilities and services. There is a comfortable air-conditioned lounge area where you can watch television, take advantage of the wi-fi, or just relax whilst enjoying the refreshments. Showers and towels are available for guests wishing to freshen up before their onward journey. The Safari Lounge is located in the Somak Safari’s headquarters in Nairobi, approximately 10 km from the airport.

Family-friendly Eastern Cape, South Africa Kariega is a family-owned and operated game reserve in 22,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, near Port Elizabeth, making it a natural extension to Cape Town and the Garden Route. This is the perfect place for memorable family safaris. The delightful Kariega Main Lodge has just 21 log chalets which sleep 2 adults and 2 children under 12. There is a swimming pool, a restaurant, boma, bar, curio shop, spa and a gym. Prices include three nights at the Kariega Main Lodge, return transfers from Port Elizabeth, two game drives per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. From £450 per adult From £300 per child

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Excursions from Nairobi & Mombasa If you have time to spare in Nairobi, we have a wide range of excursions, which are definitely worth a visit. Dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant, feeding giraffes by hand at the Giraffe Centre, a three hour visit to a Kenya village, or a full day at the lakes, these are just a sample of what's available. They all offer a great way to pass your time in Nairobi.

Many safaris include leisure time in Nairobi, which is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of some of the excursions which are available. Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage – orphaned baby elephants from all over Kenya are looked after here. Visitors are allowed daily 11am-12pm. Donations are welcomed. £25 The Carnivore Restaurant (lunch or dinner) – famous for its succulent steaks and mouth-watering barbecue dishes, including local game meats. £32 Karen Blixen Museum & Giraffe Centre – set in beautiful grounds, Karen Blixen’s former home is now a museum. The Giraffe Centre is dedicated to the protection of the endangered Rothschild giraffes which can be fed from a raised observation platform. £44

We also offer a large selection of excursions from Mombasa. If a full safari is not what you're looking for, we have a choice of mini safaris from 2 nights in Tsavo, to 3 nights in Tsavo and Amboseli game parks. You can even spend one night in a Treehouse, or take a half-day city tour, or enjoy a truly romantic Tamarind dhow dinner cruise.

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interview

Driver-guide, Martin We think that our driver guide, Martin Weru has possibly one of the best jobs in the world – he gets to witness some of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet on a daily basis! If anyone knows the ins and outs of safari, it’s Martin. He’s also a keen photographer, so we’ll be sharing his experiences on our Facebook page and keeping you up-to-date with the wildlife action in Kenya.

How long have you worked as a DriverGuide for? I have worked as a driver-guide for Somak Safaris for 9 years. What languages do you speak? I speak English, Spanish and Italian. What’s the best thing about your job? I love my job because it’s a great opportunity to meet new people from different parts of the world and get to learn about their culture. What is the most spectacular thing you have witnessed on Safari? The most spectacular thing I have ever seen while on safari was when a troop of baboons were attacked by a pride of lions. When the baboons spotted the lionesses, they ran to the nearest tree they could climb. Unfortunately, one climbed a short tree which was not a problem for the lioness who caught and ate him. This was at Samburu National Reserve mid last year.

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When is your favourite time of year to go out on safari? The best time to come to Kenya on safari is any time, but my pick is in July-October because of the annual migration of the wildebeest from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania in to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and vice versa. If you are lucky you may get to witness the crossing of the Mara River, where the wildebeest and accompanying zebra fall prey to crocodiles – it’s quite spectacular. What’s the most useful thing to take on Safari? The most useful things to carry while on safari are a pair of binoculars, a camera and guide books, e.g. if your interested in birds or plants it would be best to have those books.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Somak vehicles are a common sight on safari in East Africa. Each vehicle is driven by a friendly, informative, expert driver–guide, with extensive knowledge of the region and wildlife, who will accompany you throughout your safari. Their role is not only to spot the big game, but notice all the sights, the sounds, the smells, the subtle changes in animals’ behaviour – it is the small details that make a day’s game viewing truly magnificent. Here are just a few of our many Kenya drivers.

Samuel Adoyo W ith 11 years se rvice with Somak, Samuel is a graduate of Utalii College, ma jor ing in flora, fauna and animal behaviour. He is passionate abou t Kenya and has received very good feedb ack from guests. He also speaks Japanese.

itawa Jonah Mwak and Japanese Jonah, English r–guide, joined speaking drive d . His charm an Somak in 1998 life ild w of e dg le immense know y has ensured and or nitholog s plus new repeat busines . mmendations co re h ug customers thro

urism King’oo stigious to Lawrence talii, a pre U as 19 h m , o s’ fr te ce, ‘King n re A gradua w La Kenya, as many ak. He h college in with Som e speaking ic rv ch n se years h and Fre lis g n E a d ie and faun very satisf his flora s a ll ge of e d w le s vast know guests. A a s a h s ge, King knowled y. g ornitholo

Dedan King’ori , , this 36 year old English Fondly known as ‘Baba’ a is de, gui er– aking driv French and Italian spe h Kenya Professional wit der hol el Lev nze Bro n. Dedan also has a atio Safari Guides Associ a vel Operations and is Diploma in Tours & Tra certified ornithologist.

Ahme Guests who ha d Mohamme ve toure d Sheik describ d wit e dressed him as “an im h Ahmed macula and very tely Fondly courte known as ‘Majo ous man”. Utalii tr r’ , Ahmed East Afr ained, is a m is ember ican W of the ildlife S been w ociety, ith Som and ha ak for 1 s extrem 6y ely kno wledge ears. He is a b le flora an about th d fauna e of East Africa.

Oguta d, we have Modakyo e we all ha tim r pe su a “What memories to wonderful ts lovely and tisfied gues tract from sa Ex has e .” H re i’. su trea ith ‘Mod his on safari w on p To . who went 96 ak since 19 m tly So en rr ith cu w is been ling. He ies is travel tween be se ur list of hobb co ge ean langua taking a Kor safaris.

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Exciting Education Kenya – there is not a more captivating classroom! In August 2012 a group of 18 students and teachers travelled to Nairobi in Kenya and began a 13-day trip around this wonderful country. Minal, a member of Somak’s sales team, took careful account of what the group wanted to see and where they wanted to go. She used her excellent knowledge of Kenya to ensure that distances travelled were manageable, interesting and safe.

“We had three excellent guides, George, Ahmed (Major) and Ken (Kennedy). They were all excellent and safe drivers, taking no risks on the very busy roads. They took time to listen to what we wanted to do and went out of their way to ensure that we did it. Their knowledge of wildlife brought the whole trip to life, ensuring that we appreciated not just the large game, but the birds, flowers and fauna of Kenya.” “The Somak Lounge is a great place to shower and have a quick snack after the overnight flight. The briefing provided by the team is detailed, informative, but not over-long. The late lunch that was provided on our return to the lounge prior to our flight home was excellent and a great choice – fish and chips, with seconds really hit the spot! ”

The first night was spent in the bustling city of Nairobi and the second in a tented camp in Nairobi National Park. Nairobi has the distinction of being the only capital city to be bordered by a national park. The group progressed through Kenya’s national parks visiting the Central Highlands, which is particularly beautiful, featuring a mountain range, streams and waterfalls, together with a variety of mammals and birds. Then onto a mountain lodge on the slopes of Mountain Kenya, where the forest walk is a delight. They then travelled to Samburu where the dramatic, rugged landscape is home to the colourful Samburu people and a host of animals, including some species rarely seen elsewhere. “The location of the camp provides easy access to an excellent range of game viewing. We were fortunate enough to see lions mating during our two night stay.” The next stop was Lake Nakuru. The park provides sanctuary to one of the largest populations of rhinos in Kenya. It was here that “a pride of lions walked past the wall of the outside dining area

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whilst we were having breakfast. You are perfectly safe as Masai guard the area and guests 24 hours a day.“ Then a night at another lake, Lake Naivasha where over 450 species of birds have been recorded in and around this freshwater lake. Whilst staying here some of the group were lucky enough to witness three hippos eating the grass outside their room at night. The last port of call on this superb journey was the magnificent Masai Mara, where countless species including the ‘big five’ make their home. The location of Ashnil Mara Camp provides quick and easy access to the river and hence ensures that viewing the wildebeest migration, in particular the river crossing, is as likely as anywhere in the Mara. Some of the party were lucky enough to see one crossing from the bar of the camp. The group in total saw three crossings in four days! “Our great guides arranged for us to have both a bush dinner and breakfast here – the breakfast being a carefully kept secret until we arrived!” The group agreed that “the trip was perfect from start to finish, aided by the excellent Somak team in Kenya who, throughout the entire holiday, ensured it was the trip of a lifetime.” From £3920 pp for 13-night safari in Kenya, full board and game drives on safari, including international flights

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Two countries one magical holiday A never to be forgotten experience! If you want complete flexibility to choose game parks, accommodation, departure days and duration, then a tailor-made itinerary is the simple answer. The Somak team have the expertise and knowledge to assist in the design of your ideal holiday. In February 2013 Valerie and Gilbert Gall embarked on their 17th holiday with Somak – we really must be doing something right! As seasoned travellers to East Africa, they knew just what they wanted to see and decided on two very different reserves, Samburu in Kenya and Ngorongoro in Tanzania.

Mr and Mrs Gall flew from Edinburgh to Heathrow then on to Nairobi on British Airways. They were met and transferred to the Southern Sun Mayfair in Nairobi for the night. After a nights sleep they drove north to the Samburu National Park, where they spent 6 nights at the Samburu Game Lodge. Samburu, in northern Kenya, is a magnificent area for wildlife. The waters of the Ewaso Nyiro River flow through the reserve creating a riverine haven for elephants, buffaloes and reticulated giraffes. Lions, leopards and cheetahs were regular sightings. Mrs Gall said the highlights for her were spotting the elusive caracal and African hunting dogs.

“Our early morning and evening game drives were spectacular and each one different. You never know what you will see! Our driver-guide, Francis Mbuthia, was first class. His knowledge of all species encountered and their ecology was superb. An evening sundowner at the Crocodile Bar on the edge of the river was simply the perfect end to a perfect day. Magnificent sunsets with elephants crossing the river are often in my minds eye now I am home.” After a tearful farewell to Samburu, Mr & Mrs Gall returned to Nairobi for a short flight to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, for overnight at the spectacular old colonial Mountain Lodge near Arusha.

The next day they travelled to southern Serengeti in time for lunch at the Ndutu Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro, where they spent the night. Mrs Gall observed that “February is the peak time for wildebeest to give birth to their calves and the Ndutu region is the perfect area to capture this.” The final destination was Lake Masek Tented Camp overlooking Lake Masek. It was here that our guests encountered the wildebeest migration: “It was very difficult to look in any direction and not see wildebeest.” It was also here in the Serengeti that Mr Gall enjoyed his highlight of the holiday. His son and daughter, with the help of Nishma, a member of Somak’s sales team, had arranged a surprise balloon flight over the Serengeti, which he thoroughly enjoyed: “Views of the Serengeti and her wildlife were breathtaking – a never to be forgotten experience.”

“Any safari is amazing, you never know what you will see. I have travelled with Somak on safari in every month of the year, in wet and dry seasons, and the experience of each will stay with me forever. What is my best tip you may ask? Well, the best two tips actually! Firstly, choose Somak to arrange your safari! Secondly, remember to look! It can be so important to capture all of what you see on camera or video or to see close up through binoculars or scopes, but never forget to come out from behind all your gadgets and simply look! The visions you capture will stay with you for a lifetime.” Val Gall

From £5010 pp for 12-night safari in Kenya & Tanzania, full board and game drives on safari, including international flights

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Top Tips for Honeymoons Where? When? How Much? A honeymoon is a holiday of a lifetime. It needs to be stress free for the couple and perfect from start to finish. Booking a honeymoon has to be an enjoyable experience.

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Call Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 and speak to one of our dedicated staff. Our knowledge and experience can help plan the perfect honeymoon. Decide on the location. Zanzibar, Mombasa are amazing honeymoon destinations and can work well with a safari.

> When deciding the destination and duration, take into consideration the long flights and time difference. > Establish the budget. This helps us to create the perfect itinerary that is feasible for the couple. > Decide on the departure date. Most of the destinations we feature offer an overnight flight, so if the wedding is on Saturday, honeymooners may want to depart the next day.

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> Decide exactly what is desired, adventure, relaxation, spa or a bit of everything. This will help us to put different packages together. > Properties offer different meal plans. Decide on whether accommodation should be all inclusive or bed and breakfast. Many properties also offer special honeymoon packages with extra benefits; this will help narrow down the options. > To confirm a booking a deposit of ÂŁ150 per person is required. Occasionally, higher deposits may be required due to the hotel/flights; this will be indicated at the time of booking. Full payment is required eight weeks prior to travel. > Note all visa requirements, vaccinations, travel insurance and any erratas that may appear on the itinerary.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Top honeymoon destinations 2

EAGLES CRAG – SOUTH AFRICA

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f you are looking for complete luxury and a place where the rich and famous escape to – then this is the place for you. Eagles Crag is tucked away within imposing mountain cliffs and offers complete seclusion. Honeymooners can easily spend their stay relaxing in the stunning spa or in their luxurious lodge, complete with private plunge pools. There are also plenty of activities including photo safaris, game drives, or why not do something worthwhile and volunteer at Shamwari Conservation Park. From £925 pp for 3 nights full board, excluding international flights

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I LEWA SAFARI CAMP – KENYA

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his is a beautiful, small, intimate camp with outstanding game viewing, and spectacular views of Mount Kenya. There are just 12 safari tents each with a thatched roof, verandah and a full en suite bathroom. Lewa Safari Camp is perfect for couples who want the romance of a sundowner in the bush coupled with the excitement of game drives in the private wildlife conservancy. From £1295 pp for 3 nights all inclusive, excluding international flights

KILINDI – ZANZIBAR

f a luxurious boutique beach retreat is more your style, then this could be the perfect place for you. Known for being a ‘lovers’ paradise’, this hotel has been crafted for couples. The resort consists of a series of stunning suites scattered throughout 35 acres of lush gardens – all with spectacular sea views over the Indian Ocean, private pools and rainfall shower, and all just a stones throw from the beach. From £1800 pp for 7 nights all inclusive, excluding international flights

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TIJARA BEACH – MOMBASA

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or the ultimate in beach seclusion, you may want to consider the Tijara Beach. It’s completely exclusive with only eight guests staying at the retreat at any one time. There are just four comfortable cottages dotted within the stunning gardens, with uninterrupted views of the ocean from every room. From £1305 pp for 7 nights all inclusive, excluding international flights

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&BEYOND XUDUM OKAVANGO DELTA LODGE – BOTSWANA

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tay in the heart of the Okavango Delta in just one of nine secluded suites. All have private pools and unique roof hideouts with the chance to see cheetahs, elephants, antelope and much more from the privacy of your room. There is also the chance to experience a romantic night under the stars. From £1200 pp for 3 nights full board including air transfers, excluding international flights Pics: Top to Bottom, Left to Right Kilindi, Lewa Safari Camp, Eagles Crag, Tijara Beach, &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge

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In and around Zanzibar Apart from some of the best beaches in the world, Zanzibar also boasts a host of attractions that are sure to fascinate and appeal to an adventurous spirit.

Zanzibar beaches are among the best in the world. Coconut palms and powder soft sands are lapped by the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. With more than 25 fantastic beaches, some so peaceful and remote that the only sound that can be heard is the ocean, it is simply paradise. Scattered along the coast are picturesque fishing villages, where a simple way of life, unchanged over the years is still the norm. Some of the world's best diving can be found in the Zanzibar archipelago. The waters around the island are teaming with colourful sea life. Good visibility (20-60 metres) and a year-round average water temperature of 27째c ensure an enjoyable Zanzibar diving experience. Diving in Zanzibar isn't restricted to beginners. Experienced scuba divers can enjoy exciting wall dives, night dives and drift dives. In deeper waters, lush coral gardens often stretch as far as the eye can see, and large game fish such as barracuda, kingfish, tuna and wahoo hunt together with large Napoleon wrasse, graceful manta rays and sharks.

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Shallower waters are the playground of tropical fish, including a huge variety of Indo-Pacific marine fauna. Despite many years of isolation from the outside world, Pemba Island is receiving a small but growing number of foreign visitors. Beautiful beaches, natural forests and outstanding diving are just some of the attractions on offer. A few kilometres from Stone Town are several smaller islands such as Mafia, Chumbe and Chapwani, where good accommodation is available. Bawe and Prison Islands are good for day trips, with excellent snorkelling available. Mnemba Island is located near the northeast coast and features luxury accommodation. Although Mnemba is a private island, it is surrounded by a rich coral reef, which is great for scuba diving and snorkelling and is visited by several water sports centres in the area. Easily accessible by small aircraft or by boat, these secluded islands offer a perfect haven for honeymooners.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


The old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, Stone Town, is little changed in the last 200 years. This port city on the western coast of Zanzibar, is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets where Arab mansions and former palaces hint at a more opulent era. The magnificent brass-studded, carved wooden doors are testament to the extravagance and oneupmanship of the original owners. The Old Fort which was built in the 1700s to fend off the Portuguese, now hosts local performances, a café and an art gallery, it’s a great place to while away a few hours. Bustling bazaars, filled with exotic spices, local goods and souvenirs are a real attraction. Just offshore from Stone Town is Mafia Island Marine Park, superb for snorkelling the local reefs. A host of tours are available from both the beaches and Stone Town. Visit the colourful market as part of a Stone Town tour, whilst The Spice Tour will reveal a myriad of tastes and smells in the rural areas where farmers produce some of the world’s most exotic fruit and spices.

Watch the antics of the rare Colobus monkey on a Jozani Forest tour. A trip to Prison Island, in a small motorized wooden boat, is a must whilst in Zanzibar. A Dolphin Tour will take you to the fishing village of Kizimkazi along the southwest coast of Zanzibar. There is a fair chance you will get to swim near these enchanting creatures. Dhow Cruises either during the day or at sunset are charming ways to experience the total peace and relaxation pervading the area. A Fishing Trip offers the unique opportunity to sail out to sea with a Zanzibari fisherman and see what ‘fishing for a living’ is all about. Forget fishing in a modern fishing vessel with the latest in reels and rods and fighting chairs, this is local Zanzibari style fishing. A North Coast Excursion leads you through a spice farm, Mangapwani Slave Caves and Chambers, and on to the beautiful white sand beaches of Nungwi. A wonderful place to relax and unwind after the dust and humidity of Stone Town. Pack your swimwear and enjoy a cool drink in paradise. From £445 pp for 7 nights half board at Ocean Paradise, excludes international flights H O L I D A Y S OVER

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Best Beaches in East Africa 1

WATAMU Just a few hours north of Mombasa, Watamu offers excellent coral reefs with some of the best diving in Kenya. The beach has been regularly voted one of the best in Africa. The best time to go is between December – March.

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ZANZIBAR NUNGWI This is one of the most popular beaches in Zanzibar, and what was once a small ramshackle fishing village has now become a hub of activity. The resort has maintained its charm and and attracts visitors in search of a beautiful white sand beach with plenty of amenities.

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ZANZIBAR MATEMWE Matemwe is an unspoilt stretch of coastline with few hotels and little development, making the beach an exclusive destination. The beach boasts pristine white sand and a stunning coral reef, a perfect destination for diving and snorkelling and a relaxing escape.

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MNEMBA According to CondĂŠ Nast, this is one of the top three most romantic beach destinations in the world! Mnemba is a private island in the Zanzibar Archipelago and offers the best snorkelling in Zanzibar. You can also watch whales, see dolphins and swim with whale sharks.

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MOMBASA DIANI BEACH The coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm-fringed white sand beaches, where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet beautiful coral reefs. Days are filled with sunshine and nights are balmy and warm with gentle sea breezes.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Bush Meets Beach

Located in the centre of the historic triangle of Bagamoyo, Pangani and Zanzibar, Saadani National Park covers 1100 km2. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea. It offers a unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna in a culturally fascinating setting. About 30 species of larger mammals are present as well as numerous reptiles and birds. Many species of fish, green turtles, humpback whales and dolphins may also be present in the ocean nearby. Saadani National Park is a fabulous, unique combination of beach and big game – the best of two different types of holiday. Saadani is dominated by acacia woodland and coastal thickets. It also protects a large area of mangrove swamps along the coastline north of the Wami River. Accommodation is in the delightful Tent With A View Camp, which is a secluded tropical haven, with raised treehouse-style bandas secreted among the coconut groves, just outside the park's northern boundary on a delightful stretch of deserted, driftwood-strewn beach. The bandas, which are well-spaced out, have verandas and hammocks and are directly on the beach. From £850 pp for 3 nights full board at Tent With A View Camp including activities and transfers from Dar es Salaam, excludes international flights

Gorilla Trekking Described as 'the land of a thousand hills' Rwanda is a land of great diversity and beauty and enjoys six volcanoes, 23 lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the great River Nile. Rwanda boasts a variety of wildlife; the Parc National des Volcans in the north is home to one third of the world's population of endangered mountain gorillas. The gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat at very close range. A gorilla visit can be anything from a one to four hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their lives living in or close to the forest. The enchanting trek will have you weaving through overhanging vines, moss-covered hagenia trees and giant lobelias.

Gorilla trekking is a very special experience and it is important to preserve these fantastic endangered animals, so only a limited number of permits are available. Every visitor must obtain a permit before they can embark on the trek. Anyone that embarks on a gorilla trek must be fit and in good health as reaching the gorillas in their natural habitat can be tough, arduous and wet. To reach the gorillas requires trekking through thick forest at heights of up 3,000m with some difficult terrain. Flash photography is strictly prohibited when spending time with the gorillas. Only one hour is allowed with the gorillas, at a distance of 7 metres. From ÂŁ1810 pp for 3 nights Rwanda + 1 Gorilla Trekking Permit, excludes international flights H O L I D A Y S OVER

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Family Favourites Family holidays are about the parents and children spending time together and having a carefree, fun-filled holiday. Generally, when the children are happy, the parents are happy, so here we feature just a sample of our lodges, camps and hotels in East and Southern Africa where children are given a warm welcome. Africa is a fascinating playground for children where they can see a multitude of animals on safari, delight in the surrounding nature, learn about the different tribes, have fun on the beaches – whilst all the time learning about this glorious continent. Many of the properties have children’s clubs, pools, activities, meals, entertainment and babysitting services. In the properties listed below accommodation will be in family rooms which sleep two adults and two children up to the age of 12 years.

SOUTH AFRICA CAPE TOWN Southern Sun Waterfront The hotel is in a prime position, nestled between the majestic Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. Families are accommodated in rooms with 2 double beds. 2 adults + 2 children from £120 per night Waterfront Village Overlooking the marina, the Waterfront Village offers guests a luxurious home away from home. Stylishly furnished waterfront apartments ranging from studios to threebedroom apartments provide a perfect setting for families. 2 adults + 2 children in a 2-bedroomed apartment from £175 per night Camps Bay Resort Camps Bay is a favourite spot for family holidays, and Camps Bay Resort is dedicated to making every family holiday an unforgettable experience. The family apartments have satellite television with 24-hour Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel. 2 adults + 2 children from £97 per night

KRUGER Fitzpatrick's Lodge at Jock This is a 3-room stand-alone lodge offering families personal service in an intimate atmosphere. A host of children’s activities include: junior ranger training while on kiddies drive, play dough, mini chefs, puzzles, books and more. 2 adults + 2 children from £520 per night Kapama River Lodge Located with the spa suites, the family rooms have triple balconies, along with spacious bedrooms that can accommodate an additional two beds for children sharing with their parents. 2 adults + 2 children from £450 per night Thornybush – Serondella An intimate lodge accommodating eight guests in varied accommodation. This is an ideal safari destination for families. 2 adults + 2 children from £540 per night

EASTERN CAPE Kariega Main Lodge This is perfect for unforgettable family safaris, with its 3 bedroom chalets, all en suite, and spacious African-styled lounges. Children 3 years and under stay free and children 12 years and under receive 50% off the usual rate. 2 adults + 2 children from £445 per night Riverdene Lodge – Shamwari A very family-friendly property where children are well catered for. They can take part in various social, sporting, arts and cultural activities under the supervision of our children’s coordinator. 2 adults + 2 children from £710 per night

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


KENYA MASAI MARA Main Governors Camp Governors’ Camp offers extra beds in tents and rooms, flexible timetables, early meals and sole use of game drive vehicles (subject to availability). Guides are in tune with the unique interests of younger travellers – footprints, bugs, Masai traditional stories, interesting plants, animal families – children will be enthralled. 2 adults + 2 children from £840 per night Mara Intrepids A family programme provides fun and exciting opportunities for the kids to learn about the wild from our Masai naturalists. Children will enjoy various activities and facilities on-site, including an obstacle course that portrays the challenges wild animals face. 2 adults + 2 children from £560 per night

MOMBASA Serena Beach Hotel & Spa Quality family time is a priority at Serena Beach, where parents can relax, secure in the knowledge that the children are having a great holiday. 2 adults + 2 children from £240 per night Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa Children are especially welcome at the Sarova Whitesands. There is a team of trained staff that keep them entertained from morning until evening. A wide variety of indoor activities are available at the Ozone Club, plus outdoor activities such as swimming, beach walks and nature trails. 2 adults + 2 children from £206 per night Voyager Beach Resort The Adventurers’ Club for children ensures that days are filled with fun, exciting and educational activities that will turn children into true Adventurers. The experienced staff and animation team are enthusiastic and dedicated to providing the best all round experience for the children. 2 adults + 2 children from £255 per night

TANZANIA ZANZIBAR Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa Being a family-owned group of hotels, Bluebay appreciate the need for parents to have a beautiful holiday with their kids – yet with enough time 'away from the children'. For the little ones between 3 and 13 years there is a well run Children's Club. There are highly trained children's animators who are responsible for the care and wellbeing of all the children. 2 adults + 2 children from £205 per night

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Aviation Matters Aviation has come a long way since Somak began in 1968 – aircraft types and their range, the frequency of flights, schedule flights vs charter flights, airports, security and so on...much has changed and will continue to change, and it’s hard to imagine that the rate of change will, in the future, be far quicker than we’ve seen in the recent past. However, one thing is for certain: air travel is set to become greener and much more competitive; the value that consumers can expect is far greater than ever before despite the increase in fuel prices and those very unfair government taxes. The choice of airlines is far greater now and with our experience and extensive knowledge of the market we are able to offer the most competitive airfare to the destination that you are flying to. We’ve highlighted a selection of airlines to some of the destinations that we feature. These are some examples of prices per person including taxes: London Heathrow – Nairobi – London Heathrow Departure Date: 5 May 2014 – Return Date: 12 May 2014 Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) £496 Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa) £580 Kenya Airways (Direct) £699 British Airways (Direct) £703 London Heathrow – Mombasa – London Heathrow Departure Date: 11 September 2014 – Return Date: 25 September 2014 Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) £554 Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa) £623 Kenya Airways (via Nairobi) £733 London Heathrow – Zanzibar – London Heathrow Departure Date: 1 July 2014 – Return Date: 10 July 2014 Ethiopian Airlines (via Addis Ababa) £631 Qatar (Via Doha & Nairobi) £876 Kenya Airways (Via Nairobi) £1149 London Heathrow – Cape Town – London Heathrow Departure Date: 1 February 2014 – Return Date: 8 February 2014 South African Airways (via Johannesburg) £617 (special offer fare) Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) £836 British Airways (Direct) £907 Emirates (via Dubai) £937 Given that slightly more than half of UK long-haul holiday-makers travel from the regions (and increasing rapidly), it has become ever more important for all airlines to serve that market properly. The nett result has meant that the regions are enjoying far more convenience and better prices!! Here are some examples: Manchester – Johannesburg – Manchester Departure Date: 11 June 2014 – Return Date: 25 June 2014 Emirates (via Dubai) £783 British Airways (via Heathrow) £863 Glasgow – Nairobi – Glasgow Departure Date: 15 June 2014 – Return Date: 23 June 2014 KLM code share flight with Kenya Airways (via Amsterdam) £629 Emirates (via Dubai) £770 Glasgow – Zanzibar – Glasgow Departure Date: 1 April 2014 – Return Date: 10 April 2014 KLM code share flight with Kenya Airways (via Amsterdam and Nairobi) £795 Emirates (via Dubai and Nairobi) £882 Birmingham – Kilimanjaro – Birmingham Departure Date: 1 May 2014 – Return Date: 11 May 2014 Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul) £660 Kenya Airways code share flight with KLM (via Amsterdam and Nairobi) £770 KLM (via Amsterdam) £855 The airfares quoted above are correct at the time of going to press and are subject to change at the time of booking. For further details and additional prices, please contact our highly qualified reservations team on 020 8423 3000.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


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What to wear on safari It’s hard to be sartorially elegant, when you’re being bitten by mosquitos, are in plus thirty degree climates and risk channelling the overly keen explorer look (pith helmet included). We have put together your go-to guide for all of your sartorial needs when on safari, whether it be in the vast expanse of the Laikipia district or the vast plains of the Masai Mara National Park.

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THE UTILITARIAN ON SAFARI

AT THE LODGE

When on safari, pack light. It seems imperative to take options for all potential changes in weather, and whilst it’s a smart idea to dress in layers, there is no need to burden yourself with an overly heavy rucksack to tote around all day. Start with lighter layers, silk and cotton string vests are a great leading point in building a practical, yet stylish, base to work around, add a pair of trousers in a natural tone to cement the basics of your outfit to build upon. Regional climates vary greatly throughout the season, so prepare for both hot and cold temperatures. Begin layering your outfit, crisp linen shirts in neutral tones of sand are both functional and chic, avoid hues of white and cream to obviate any potential of looking as though you’ve been rolling around in the waterhole with the wildlife (it will get very dirty).

Here’s your chance to get a bit more creative, taking inspiration from surroundings and wildlife alike. Nobody is suggesting for a second that clashing zebra and leopard prints are a must-do trend, however, small and subtle hints of colour and print can be injected into your safari wardrobe when done correctly. A tribal print bikini is the perfect glamorous introduction to this look, try putting a silk kaftan or shirt over the top to set the look in place.

LUGGAGE Whether you are doing a driving or flying safari, you are recommended to take soft sided luggage, which will enable it to fit in the vehicles and will avoid someone being bumped on the head by a hard case whilst going over bumpy terrain. If you are going on a flying safari, then your luggage can be no heavier than 15kg.

For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


Check List As a guideline we have compiled a checklist of things that you might need to take with you on holiday. Naturally, you will have your own ideas on what you need, so please remember that this is only intended as a guide and you don’t need absolutely everything on this list. Some items may not be readily or cheaply available abroad.

THE ESSENTIALS

 Travel laundry detergent

 Passport  Airline ticket & travel documents

 Video recorder, camera and memory card Make sure you are familiar with your camera before you set off, especially if it is new. Take an ample supply of spare camera batteries.

 Visas where necessary

 Sunglasses

 Travel insurance details Make at least 2 photocopies of your passport, airline ticket and insurance policy. Take one copy of each document with you and leave one copy with a friend or relative at home.

 Binoculars

 Cash  Credit cards  Vaccination certificate – if applicable  Travel documents/vouchers  Airport and check-in details  Driving licence

 Travel plug/international adaptor  Sewing kit  Travel alarm  Moist/handy wipes MEDICINES, LOTIONS, ETC. Always keep medicines in their original packaging. Prescription medicines should always be carried in clearly labelled containers which identify the contents and the patient.

 Holiday itinerary

 Insect repellant with a high DEET content

ESSENTIAL FOR SOME SAFARIS OR TOURS There are certain items of equipment that you will need on some safaris or tours and not on others. Check your holiday itinerary for specific luggage requirements such as the following:

 Lip balm

 Comfortable walking shoes/boots These are useful for any holiday. If you are joining a tour that involves hiking, comfortable footwear with good ankle support is essential. USEFUL EQUIPMENT These are items that, whilst not essential, we think most travellers will find useful.  Travel pillow Worth considering for long drives, overnight train journeys and camping trips.  Money belt or pouch  Torch and batteries Especially on camping safaris or travel to remote areas.  Plastic bags Useful for keeping cameras dust free and for your dirty laundry.

 Suntan lotion and sunblock  Personal medical supplies (Aspirin, plasters, antiseptic cream, etc.) It is also advisable to consult your doctor regarding suitable diarrhoea medication.  Calamine cream If you react badly to insect bites.  Ongoing medication If you are taking any medication or have a condition that needs specific medicines (e.g. asthma) you MUST take all necessary medicines with you.  Contact lens solution (it is often difficult to obtain locally)  A spare pair of glasses. If you wear contact lenses, dust can be a big problem. If you are on a long trip you should also take the prescription for your glasses. A safety cord for your glasses is also a good idea.

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Why Travel Designers and Somak? We are the African experts, and as such, we aim to bring you inspiring holidays in superb locations in Africa. For over 40 years we have arranged holidays for hundreds of thousands of passengers, who have chosen one of our safaris, a beach break, a self-drive holiday or a tailor-made holiday. Many travel to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary, and many couples have married on a beautiful beach or in the African bush. Above all we are a family-owned and run company. That means we are solely focused on the holidays we sell, and not on appeasing shareholders. We continually inspect hotels and airlines, and test itineraries in order to improve some aspect or another. We enjoy innovating and bringing you different options, be they new hotels or lodges, or new itineraries.

Great value We work hard to ensure that we bring you the best value for holidays in East and Southern Africa.

Range of Holidays We offer a comprehensive range of safaris, tours, beach holidays and a full tailor-made service, plus weddings, honeymoons and groups.

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For further information and how to book contact Travel Designers on 020 7720 8484 or email nick@traveldesigners.co.uk


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H O L I D A Y S O V E R F O RT Y Y E A R S O F E X C E L L E N C E

The Safari Specialist

BOTSWANA KENYA MALAWI MOZAMBIQUE NAMIBIA RWANDA SOUTH AFRICA TANZANIA UGANDA ZAMBIA ZIMBABWE

We provide a comprehensive service to ensure you always get the holiday you wish for:

TAILOR-MADE SAFARI TOUR BEACH MULTI-COUNTRY FAMILY HONEYMOON WEDDING

Telephone: 020 7720 8484 Email: nick@traveldesigners.co.uk Website: www.traveldesigners.co.uk

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