What I'm most excited about in our Wild World of adventure travel for 2014 are new connections and routes throughout Eastern and Southern Africa that now make it possible to easily combine more countries and diverse habitats with the best wildlife reserves allowing us to design exceptional safari experiences befitting your style, interests and time frame.
Our Best of Kenya and Tanzania is a luxury African safari that combines the vast Mara-Serengeti ecosystem straddling both countries to witness the greatest concentration and diversity of wildlife in Africa. Following the natural migratory route of millions of wildebeest and zebras, now it is possible to traverse directly across the unseen border between Kenya and Tanzania without having to travel all day back through the hubs of Arusha and Nairobi. Similarly, a new direct flight right out of the Serengeti to Kigali, Rwanda, takes you on a scenic over flight from the savannah to the Virunga Mountains landing just hours away from the gorilla camp, our base to start tracking gorillas in the spectacular forests of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. See our Savannahs and Silverbacks luxury safari, or we can easily add on a gorilla safari extension to our Serengeti Wilderness Safari, which is especially popular with families. With the introduction of an East Africa cross-border visa, it will be possible in 2014 to travel between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda on one joint visa that will cost $100.
Last May we participated in the INDABA tourism forum, the biggest gathering of safari outfitters, lodges and wildlife concessions in Africa. New safari camps and more local charter flights connecting them have spurred a plethora of possibilities for a growing number of safari itineraries in and between Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. While there, Anne and I traced the route of our Great Wilderness Journey through the contrasting landscapes of Botswana from top-to-bottom. I love starting this safari waking up the first morning in Africa on the banks of the Chobe River in Zambia just before it crashes in the chasm of Victoria Falls. From there it's a hop, skip and a jump on one bush flight to another combining luxury safari camps in the private wildlife concessions of Linyanti in the lush habitat of the Savuti Channel, to the Khwai Camp near the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve, and then on to the flooded wetlands in the Okavango Delta exploring by motor boat and mokoro canoe. Botswana and Zambia are truly wild Africa because here they have invested in low-volume, high-value safaris where a smaller number of visitors are spread out over a wider area of vast private conservation areas with abundant, health game populations.
And now in 2014 Zimbabwe safaris are back in full swing! Renowned for its exceptional safari guides, beautiful landscapes and diverse habitats, our new Wild Zimbabwe Safari offers a full spectrum of African wildlife protected in some of the continent's most long-standing national parks and conservation concessions. A new infrastructure of safari accommodations, roads, remote airstrips and domestic flights facilitate the linking of Zimbabwe safari highlights: historical stone sites like Great Zimbabwe, the colonial charm of Harare and Bulawayo, the renowned Mana Pools National Park along the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, and Matusadona National Park on Lake Kariba.
New direct flights from Livingstone, Zambia at the Victoria Falls to Nelspruit at Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa, and another connection between Hoedspruit at Kruger to Cape Town, now make it ever more easy and expeditious for us to design safaris like our Cape to Kruger Adventure in South Africa combining the wildlife reserves of Sabi Sand, Timbavuti, Mala Mala, Londolozi and other private concessions of the Greater Kruger National Park, with Cape Town, the wine lands, and Victoria Falls in the far north. Of all the places we have been on safari, the wildlife encounters we experience in May 2013 at Sabi Sands were the best: a pride of lions hunting, two males fighting over a female, many leopards, close up of hyena with a cub in their den, rhinos, and many elephants including the closest elephant encounter I ever had when I simply set my camera down to give all my being to that encounter. See my story and pictures: A Time To Put The Camera Down And Embrace The Moment
Next up for South Africa: Early in the New Year watch for our new "Wines and Wildlife South Africa Safari" Anne and I are leading around April 2015. Itinerary forthcoming.
Keeping it wild,