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What's Happening in Africa As Wildland's Africa Program Director I have some exciting news from Southern Africa and new opportunities to share.  South African Rand Exchange Rate: The ZAR is trading at nearly 10.5 to the dollar (up from 8 in 2012) offering some excellent opportunities in South Africa and Namibia, compared to 16-18% tax and permit fee increases on tourism related services in other popular safari destinations including as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Flights: Refurbished airports and new flight schedules are making it easier to link up wildlife parks and to move throughout Africa. Here’s some important ones: Skukuza Airport (SZK) near Kruger National Park reopened making a direct and seamless connection between Cape Town and the famed private concessions bordering the park. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (VFA) is building a new runway that should be complete by April 2015 allowing for large aircraft opening up this vital gateway for better access to...

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Delving Deep into Southern Africa This April and May I spent three weeks on safari covering a huge swath of Southern Africa from Zimbabwe to Zambia to Botswana to South Africa. While clocking over 1 year total in combined time on various trips to Africa I had not yet been to some of the famed parks of Southern Africa and to be honest I was bit unprepared for how impressive this part of Africa would be and the lasting memories I’d take home. I've written a series of blogs highlighting some of the destinations I found most interesting during my safari, I saw way too much to squeeze into one blog.   Unique Habitat and Exceptional Game on Safari in Hwange Favorite Lodges and Awesome Fishing in Mana Pools Victoria Falls: Zambia vs Zimbabwe Your guide to safaris in the Okavango Delta In addition, I created a photo gallery from my trip: Keeping it wild, Jeff...

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Your guide to safaris in the Okavango Delta Flying over the Okavango Delta is an incredible experience. The sheer size of the delta is hard to grasp when viewing it on a map or Google Earth and it seems endless when viewing it in person. When fully spread out it covers an area nearly 155mi by 95mi with 290 billion gallons of water. The elevation change over this huge area is only about 215 feet so that means the water slowly creeps in over months to reach its furthest extent. What would otherwise be flat Kalahari dessert is a rich mixture of grasslands, woodlands and papyrus swamps which consume some 60% of the waters with the rest mostly lost through evaporation. It’s heaven for wildlife and a real treat for any visitor. I traveled around extensively within the area and instead of getting lost in the details of each area I’d like to provide some basic observations about...
Unique Habitat and Exceptional Game on Safari in Hwange After a quick flight or drive from Victoria Falls on your safari in Africa you'll find one of the most famous and largest National Parks of Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park. What struck me about this area is how dry and flat it is. The soil is comprised of coarse grayish white Kalahari sand which gives off hardly any dust when you drive, a rarity on safari. It holds in very little heat so the daily temperature swings are extreme and can easily be over 35 degrees Fahrenheit. In the morning you’re bundled up and by mid morning you’re stripping off layers. The unique feature of this area and why it’s become a renowned national park is its high water table which in turn leads to standing ponds of water called pans. When water is plentiful the wildlife disperses into the teak and mopane woodlands to forage for food, but in...
Favorite Lodges and Awesome Fishing in Mana Pools On a recent safari in Zimbabwe I took a short flight from Victoria Falls (You can also fly from Hwange) to the Zambezi Valley and Mana Pools National Park, where the waters of the mighty Zambezi River make their way east from Lake Kariba to Lake Cahora Bassa before diving Southeast into Mozambique and the Indian Ocean. As our plane banked for a turn over the river I found it exhilarating to be seeing Zambia out the left window and Zimbabwe out the right.  Ruckomechi Camp is in a private concession owned by Wilderness Safaris within the greater Mana Pools National Park and was one of my favorite places to have visited during my 3 week journey. The area is vast with lots of areas to explore and the camp is situated right next to the river which gives you a wide diversity of activities, from game walks and drives to...
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