An African Notebook #1

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An African Notebook KENYA

TANZANIA

RWANDA

ISSUE 1

SEPTEMBER 2018

Luxury travel tips & advice


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Contents 05

Welcome

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Tanzania

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Kenya

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Rwanda

Meet Wide Africa

Home of the Serengeti migration

Vast and wide-open savannahs & plains

Land of a Thousand Hills


Wel


lcome to East Africa After returning from a fabulous trip to Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda with one of my best friends, I knew I had to share our experiences with you. My hope is to inspire you to want to see and feel Africa first hand. So grab a cup of tea or a G&T, the quintessential safari drink, put your feet up and let’s start planning.

Founder of Wide Africa

ABOUT WIDE AFRICA Wide Africa provides travel and safari recommendations guided by personal experience and insight rather than empty rating systems. Whether you want to rough it, travel in the lap of luxury, we will sculpt an itinerary specifically for you. Brigitte Walsh embodies the modern traveller and has built her company on the foundation of exceptional service, style and sophistication, without losing touch with the fundamental experience. Brigitte has a small team of experienced consultants. The intimacy of their interaction ensures that the charm of travel does not disappear from an increasingly internet-driven industry.

Visit our website at www.wideafrica.com or contact us +27 (0) 83 9779 459 brigitte@wideafrica.co.za

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Not all safaris are created equal. They can range from simple camping excursions, to bespoke private luxury lodges and beach villas.

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Instead of choosing a company that sells a one-size-fits-all safari, let us customise your safari experience around your exact needs, with variety and flexibility. Let’s create a once-in-a-life-time memory.


TANZANIA

Home of the Serengeti migration Tanzania has it all. Here you’ll find Africa’s highest mountain, the world’s largest intact caldera (volcanic crater), Africa’s most renowned and the world’s largest game reserve and three of the world’s largest lakes, plus some of the finest beaches! It’s Africa as imagined in your childhood, wild animals, lush rainforest, tribal herdsmen, bizarre rock formations and islands of paradise and warm azure blue waters. Tanzania has long been recognised as the quintessential East Africa “safari” destination. It remains a truly exciting country to visit, with some of the best game viewing opportunities in all of Africa. The wildlife is thriving, the landscapes are stunning and the Tanzanians are truly welcoming. We hope that you will share our enthusiasm for this unique destination. 8


WHEN TO GO:

The best time to go to Tanzania for the Serengeti Migration is between June and October but you’ll need to be in the right place at the right time to catch all the action. General game viewing in the Serengeti and Tanzania’s other parks is at its peak during the dry season. OUR RECOMMENDED LODGES: Due to the vast size of Tanzania, there are number of fabulous lodges to choose from. LUXURY: SINGITA SASAKWA | SINGITA FARU FARU | SINGITA SABORA | NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE & KLEINS CAMP FAVOURITES: CHEM CHEM | GIBBS FARM | LAKE MANYARA TREE LODGE PRIVATE BUSH RETREATS: SINGITA SERENGETI HOUSE & CHEM CHEM FOREST

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Singita Sabora Romance of a bygone era

Expect an unforgettable East African experience, this intimate tented camp is modelled on a 1920s-style explorer’s camp in the middle of the game-rich savannah plains of the Serengeti. Evoking the elegance and romance of a bygone era, the nine tented-suites are lavishly furnished with antiques and Zanzibari treasures.

“Vintage cars are part of the welcome which sets the tone for the experience ahead.”


“Singita is one of Africa’s most iconic safari brands, synonymous with fine travel and unparalleled safari encounters. Their Serengeti Grumeti properties are no exception and each has its own individual character and nuances. Our favourite has to be Singita Sabora.”

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Singita Faru Faru Inspired by a botanist’s camp

With a natural watering hole on site, you won’t ever need to leave as the safari comes to you. The lodge has the carefree ambience of a Zanzibari coastal resort including nine stone, canvas and glass suites with a quirky, artistic thread woven into every decor detail.

Singita Sasakwa Expect the unexpected

From the vantage point of Sasakwa Hill, panoramic views of the Serengeti plains merge with the horizon and provide a sense of immense space and freedom. Built in the style of a stately Edwardian manor house, there are nine private cottages and a villa, each with a private infinity pool.


Our Top Tip: Do a Balloon Safari at Singita Grumeti. This is the most exclusive place to enjoy a hot air balloon over the treetops of the Serengeti. You’ll beat the crowds and have an unforgettable eperience.

The surrounding grassland is so awash with wildlife that guests can lounge in the swimming pool overlooking the waterhole, recline in the Lodge’s elevated viewing decks, or unwind in the comfort of your luxurious room and watch as predators and prey are drawn right up to the lodge.

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The wildebeest migration is a fluid, dynamic affair taking place across two countries - Kenya and Tanzania and subject to the timing of the rains. 14


You may see the wildebeest herds giving birth, courting, moving in great dusty columns, swimming through rivers or simply galloping across the plains. 15


Singita Serengeti House A retreat for family & friends

Situated on the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserve in the heart of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania, this exclusive-use retreat is available for carefree private relaxation in a home-like atmosphere. Activities and meals are tailor made and you can dictate the day-to-day pace and rhythm of your vacation.

- NEED QUOTE


“This exclusive-use villa accommodates up to eight guests and has its own game-viewing vehicle, guide, tracker & chef. It is your own private African escape.�

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Chem Chem

A tangible and sensual experience They call it a “slow safari” but this is hardly what Chem Chem is about. The setting is beautiful and unforgettable moments happen at sunrise and sunset over Lake Manyara. Perfect for a rekindling of love, a proposal or for those seeking something a little different on their safari. There is so much more on offer – but you have to get there first.

“Relax on the tranquil shores of Lake Manyara with a drink in hand after the day's excitement and watch the birds come home to roost.”


4-NIGHT BREAKAWAY PACKAGE COMBINE 2 NIGHTS AT CHEM CHEM LODGE WITH 2 NIGHTS AT LITTLE CHEM CHEM FOR REDUCED RATES: PEAK SEASON: USD 4,581 PER PERSON SHARING, SAVE USD 2,300 HIGH SEASON: USD 3,682 PER PERSON SHARING, SAVE USD 2,079

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Little Chem Chem As busy or as quiet as you like…

Known as the sunrise camp, Little Chem Chem lies on the eastern side of the Chem Chem Burunge Wildlife Management Area. Little Chem Chem is big game territory. There are so many activities to choose from day to night – and lots to keep the children happy too.

“En-route to the camp, we enjoyed a tour to the local school which is supported by the Chem Chem Foundation.”


Forest Chem Chem

Connect with friends and family over a crackling fire Forest Chem Chem is only available on an exclusive-use basis offering two vintage tents and one family tent. The camp comfortably sleeps up to six adults and two children and has been designed to bring people together over the warmth of a crackling fire. It is a place for families and friends to be together and to enjoy the African bush.

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Gibb’s Farm

A sanctuary for the senses A working coffee farm, Gibb’s continuously wins awards. For those seeking something different and a little off the beaten track, then is the place to be. It’s a good break from a safari routine. Set on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater with a 10-acre vegetable farm, Gibb’s Farm offers an authentic farm experience to immerse yourself in the natural environment and take part in the daily farm activities, community involvement and hiking trails.

FARM HIGHLIGHT: The Ngorongoro Crater Rim Walk A wonderful wilderness experience, this walking safari is between 5-7 hours depending on your fitness. A naturalist will accompany you with binoculars and a keen sense of knowledge to share. This is a must-do!

HAVE YOU HEARD? Gibb’s Farm has been voted #1 in Travel & Leisure’s Top 5 Safari Lodges in Africa for the 2nd year in a row. It is also #18 in the Top 100 Hotels in the World.


STAY AT GIBB’S FARM DURING THE FOLLOWING TIMES TO RECEIVE FREE NIGHTS: LOW SEASON: STAY 3 PAY 2 HIGH SEASON: STAY 4 PAY 3

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Ngorongoro Crater Lodge On top of the world

Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. En-suite bathrooms, with a centrepiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs. Floor-toceiling windows ensure breathtaking panoramic views. Depending on the time of year, you may see huge flocks of pink flamingo around the shores of the shallow Lake Magadi, while the surrounding swamp is inhabited by fantastic birdlife.


“It simply has to be said that when in Tanzania you have to see the Ngorongoro Crater and if you want to have the best seat in the house then Ngorogoro Crater Lodge is for you.”

OUR TOP TIP FOR GAME DRIVES: Ask your ranger if you can visit the crater floor in the afternoon to avoid the early morning crowds. The rainy season is much quieter, allowing for far more private game drives. BOOK SEVEN NIGHTS AT ANY COMBINATION OF &BEYOND’S LODGES IN KENYA OR TANZANIA AND ALL FLIGHTS BETWEEN CAMPS ARE FREE. PER PERSON SHARING IN 2018: SEP: USD 9,840 OCT, NOV & DEC: USD 6,180

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Lake Manyara Tree Lodge Remote and romantic

Cradled in the boughs of ancient mahogany trees, ten stilted treehouse suites blend intimacy and romance in cool, leafy surrounds. Crafted from local timber and makuti palm fronds, each treehouse suite features generous decks suspended above the forest floor whilst large windows invite the lush forest inside.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the only permanent lodge set in the remote southern region of the reserve.This means that game drives explore areas of the park that cannot be reached by day visitors and your game viewing is unlikely to be disturbed by vehicles from other lodges.


BOOK SEVEN NIGHTS AT ANY COMBINATION OF &BEYOND’S LODGES IN KENYA OR TANZANIA AND ALL FLIGHTS BETWEEN CAMPS ARE FREE. PER PERSON SHARING IN 2018: SEP: USD 9,840 OCT, NOV & DEC: USD 6,180

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Klein’s Camp

In the heart of Maasai land Klein’s Camp is an intimate, luxury boutique camp that offers magnificent panoramic views over a private 10,000 hectare exclusive wilderness concession from the edge of the Kuka Hills in the Serengeti. With just ten cottages, including one family suite, this camp is ideal for family safaris.

BOOK SEVEN NIGHTS AT ANY COMBINATION OF &BEYOND’S LODGES IN KENYA OR TANZANIA AND ALL FLIGHTS BETWEEN CAMPS ARE FREE. PER PERSON SHARING IN 2018: SEP: USD 9,840 OCT, NOV & DEC: USD 6,180


Unlike other camps, Klein’s specialises in off-road driving, bush walks and night safari drives. The rangers here have mastered the art and science of sensitive driving techniques allowing for close-up wildlife sightings. The camp is within reach of the annual great wildebeest migration.

“I love the exclusivity of the game drives; the limited number of vehicles in the area, making every encounter with the wild life rather personal and magical.”

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KENYA

Vast and wide open savannahs & plains The words ‘Kenya’ and ‘safari’ go hand in hand. It is easy to see why, the country is home to 19 national parks, which span landscapes like the Great Rift Valley and the Kilimanjaro mountain range. Kenya is one of the leading safari destinations in the world with breathtaking scenery, magnificent wildlife and an all-year-round temperate climate. For the size of the country, Kenya packs a lot in; mountains and deserts, colourful tribal culture, beaches and coral reefs, and some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions. The bio-diversity of its natural resources ensures there is plenty to see and do. 30


WHEN TO GO:

Kenya is an all-year-round destination however most safaris are best from June to October when the climate is mild, mostly dry and game viewing is at its peak. The two rainy seasons fall between mid-March to June and November to January. OUR RECOMMENDED LODGES: BATELEUR CAMP | MARA PLAINS | ANGAMA MARA | ALEX WALKER’S SERIAN NGARE

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Bateleur Camp

The glamour of vintage Africa This beloved property has undergone a complete revival and is “a must” for any stay in the Mara. Notably Bateleur is reknowned for its engaging management and staff for whom nothing is a problem. Set among forests on the very edge of the Masai Mara, each elegant tent replicates the style and glamour of vintage Africa with exclusive and intimate individual touches.

“It's their attention to detail that makes the difference between average and exceptional Bateleur is a firm favourite!”

BOOK SEVEN NIGHTS AT ANY COMBINATION OF &BEYOND’S LODGES IN KENYA OR TANZANIA AND ALL FLIGHTS BETWEEN CAMPS ARE FREE. ULTIMATE FLEXIBILITY AT A FIXED PRICE. PER PERSON SHARING IN 2018 - SEP: USD 9,840 OCT, NOV & DEC: USD 6,180


“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne - bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.” Karen Blixen - Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya

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Mara Plains

A refuge among the wild Mara Plains is one-of-a-kind, located in the private 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy, on the northern boundary of the Masai Mara National Reserve. This intimate camp with only seven tents is one of Kenya’s only two Relais & Chateaux properties and blends the finest in wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding.


It is fairly well acknowledged that nowhere else can match the Masai Mara for plentiful animal sightings, especially the cats. Unfortunately vehicle traffic also ranks as some of the busiest so it is important to know which property to visit. By staying at Mara Plains camp you have the flexibility of both the Mara North Conservancy and the Masai Mara Reserve, ensuring the best access to animals with the least traffic.

“The camp is nestled in lush forest on the meandering bends of the Ntiakitiak River, and careful thought has been given to every detail.�

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Alex Walker’s Serian Exclusive and intimate

There are few things more authentic than a safari in a tented camp following the migration. This is what you get when we book one of Alex Walker’s Serian mobile properties which combine both Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti national parks. We simply love the “home from home”, intimate safari experience you get based on the old-fashioned principle of going on safari but with all the mod cons. Each safari-goer has their own guide and vehicle.

“Our fabulous guide,Gladys, is one of the first female Maasai guides.”


NGARE SERIAN CAMP ‘Ngare’ means ‘by the river’ in Maasai language. The idea behind this snug little camp was to transport the serenity of the original Serian camp to the water’s edge. Hugging the banks of the Mara, Ngare Serian is cosy and intimate. It can only be reached on foot, over a narrow rope bridge.

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Angama Mara Suspended in mid-air

As they say; location, location, location and if you want to be flying with eagles, overlooking the Masai Mara, then this is the place for you. The Fitzgerald family, well known within the travel industry, have used their years of experience to create their dream come true. This is where “Out of Africa” happens. You will find two intimate camps with just fifteen tented suites each, with private access to the Mara below.

“Take advantage of the Shamba veggie garden and pick your own ingredients which are transformed into the freshest culinary delights imaginable.”


The Mara Triangle is home to Africa’s greatest animal interaction and days are as actionpacked or as gentle as you choose with game drives, hot air ballooning, walking safaris, expert photographic guidance and cultural Maasai experiences.

STAY 3 PAY 2 DURING STANDARD SEASON 2018: 7 JANUARY - 31 MAY & 1 NOVEMBER - 20 DECEMBER 2019: 7 JANUARY - 31 MAY & 1 OCTOBER - 20 DECEMBER STAY 4 PAY 3 DURING SELECTED PEAK SEASON DATES. 2018: JUNE, SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2019: JUNE & SEPTEMBER STAY 5 OR MORE NIGHTS AND RECEIVE A PRIVATE VEHICLE, FREE OF CHARGE 2018: SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER.

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RWANDA

Land of a Thousand Hills Rwanda is a lush country with endless mountains and lush scenery. In Parc National Des Volcans, the volcanoes form a natural frontier with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. Hidden among the bamboo and dense jungle are some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. It is the opportunity to encounter these contemplative creatures at close quarters that continues to draw visitors to Rwanda. The shores of Lake Kivu conceal some of the best inland beaches on the continent. Deep in the southwest, is the most extensive montane rainforest in the region, and home to many primates including chimpanzees. The capital Kigali is a safe and sophisticated city to use as a base for a fascinating insight into one of Africa’s recovery stories. From a troubled history, to a thriving tourism industry, Rwanda is proving to be Africa’s newest travel destination.

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OUR RECOMMENDED LODGE - BISATE LODGE Other recommended properties include Virunga Lodge and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Before making any bookings, let us talk you through the options..

WHEN TO GO:

The best time to visit is during the short dry season from mid-December to early February or over the long dry season from June to September.

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Gorilla trekking is the main draw card of a Rwandan safari. From the capital city, you are only a few hours’ drive away from Volcanoes National Park.

“Tracking mountain gorillas through the dense forests is a magical moment and a bucket list experience.”

You’ll enjoy incredible views while flying by helicopter from Volcanoes National Park to Nungwe National Park in Rwanda.


Now small groups of privileged visitors can experience one of the most memorable wildlife encounters on earth - gorilla trekking through the pristine Virungas rainforest.


Bisate Lodge

Experience the iconic endangered mountain gorilla The magnificent Bisate Lodge has dramatic views of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcano peaks rising through the forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park. The lodge is easily one of the most sumptuous accommodation options for trekking gorillas and has a long term comitment to responsible eco-tourism. Spend some time in the lodge’s nursery and help in the area’s reforestation by planting a tree.


The aim of Bisate is to be a model of sustainable eco-tourism in Rwanda. Its reforestation and rehabilitation project has each guest partnering with them in contributing to conservation and local community upliftment.This has had a very positive impact on the iconic endangered mountain gorilla. 45


Virunga Lodge A serene hideaway

Virunga Lodge is perched high on a ridge with stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Bulera and Ruhondo to the east. You can expect uniquely decorated rooms in the Rwandese style, fantastic food and exceptional and personalised service.


“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.� Ernest Hemingway - American author and journalist

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Thank you is as powerful, if not more so, than please. When you are thanking somebody you are showing your appreciation. You are showing your appreciation for them, their time, their trust, their investment... and that is how I like to thank each and every client who believes in us, what we do and what we deliver. Your support is our success.

Founder of Wide Africa

Visit our website at www.wideafrica.com or contact us +27 (0) 83 9779 459 brigitte@wideafrica.co.za