If you have any questions or would like further information on anything contained within this blog or some general advice on travel to Africa please call us on: 0044 1227 753181 or email info@puresafari.com

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Villas at Benguerra

Benguerra, Mozambique
The Villas at Benguerra is an extension of the award winning Benguerra Lodge, which is an established luxury lodge that has been around for over 20 years. The fantastic addition to the property embraces Benguerra's unique blend of safari chic with Arabic flair and grandeur, while emphasizing privacy, warm intimate hospitality, fine service and pristine beauty. The Villas offer their guests sophisticated barefoot luxury on secluded white beaches in an unspoilt natural environment all infused with the classic East African safari experience.

Nestled in the privacy and seclusion of a natural milkwood forest each 900 m² luxury Villa is fringed by swaying palm trees and commands exquisite views of the sea and the tropical island environment.

Each luxury Villa features:
Four romantic, elegantly appointed en-suite bedrooms, a central living area with sala, lounge, bar and dining room, a private rim-flow pool overlooking Benguerra Bay, and enclosed lounge with satellite television, audio system and book collection, a rooftop terrace with Bedouin shade, a fully-equipped kitchen.

From your private deck, the beautiful white beaches of Benguerra Island are only a step away.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Singita's 2010 Professional Photographic Safaris

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania
Led by world-renowned wildlife photographer Adrian Steirn, Singita will next year once again offer Professional Photographic Safaris at their lodges in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. These safaris cater for small groups and all skill levels. The first 4-day safari will take place at Singita Pamushana Lodge in Zimbabwe's pristine Malilangwe Game Reserve from 3rd - 7th March 2010. Rates are fully inclusive.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

FIFA World Cup 2010

2010 World Cup
With 15 days to go, fans all over the world are holding their breath in anticipation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw. Taking place on December 4th at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the 32 teams that have qualified to participate will receive dedicated schedules and locations for their matches. For fans wanting to be close to the hub-bub of activity, some Classic Retreats properties still have availability - we will send a detailed update in next month's newsletter. For those wanting to escape the crowds, lodges and bushcamps in Zambia, Kenya and elsewhere offer great value and exceptional experiences.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Weddings abroad - Island Style

Benguerua Island, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Marlin Lodge is located amidst pristine island shorelines and idyllic dhow sails of Mozambique’s Benguerua Island. Comprising 17 chalets, it provides the ideal location for an intimate wedding abroad. The private, en-suite chalets each have their own veranda and a wooden walkway leading to the beach in front of each unit. The wedding ceremony can be held on the beach or in the lodge’s dining area. Weddings are tailor-made and there is no additional charge, apart from additional or specific requests that the lodge does not stock or cater for.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Waterberg Meander

Limpopo Province, South Africa
The Waterberg Biosphere recently launched the new Waterberg Meander. The 350km route across the Waterberg plateau guides guests to accommodation in the area such as Makweti Safari Lodge, as well as self-drive visitors through the Waterberg. Visitors will enjoy the scenic landscapes while also having access to environmental, geological and historical information, referenced by signed sites along the route. The investment in conservation over the past 15 years and the area’s status as a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve establishes it as an international destination.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Interest in Zimbabwe on the increase

Malilangwe Game Reserve, Zimbabwe
Local ground handlers are reporting that overseas travel agents and tour operators are increasingly encouraging travel to Zimbabwe. This is attributed to numerous factors: the country’s conversion to US dollars, making trade easier; the lifting of travel advisories by the USA, UK and Germany; improved political stability after the implementation of a power-sharing government and the efforts of Zimbabwean tourist bodies. Singita's Pamushana Lodge in the protected Malilangwe Trust has reported an increased interest from agents, especially as a honeymoon destination.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The migration returns to Singita Grumeti Reserves

Serengeti, Northern Tanzania
Sabora Tented Camp, located in the wilderness plains of Singita Grumeti Reserves in northern Tanzania, is yet again in the midst of an annual migration! Enormous wildebeest herds are returning from the northern Serengeti to join existing populations of zebra, Thompsons gazelles and topi. At this time of the year the herds are typically further north. East Africa has however been experiencing an extended dry spell and last month's early rains in the Grumeti Reserves created a spectacle more reminiscent of the migration seen during the months of June and July. On the left is the view from Sabora Tented Camp across the plains.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ellerman turns contemporary

Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Having recently completed a refurbishment, complemented by a new website, Ellerman House & Villa are planning further exciting developments. Housing the most extensive private collection of South African art, the new 'Ellerman Contemporary' gallery is due to open in December 2009. As the space is destined to become a dynamic venue for promoting South African contemporary art, only the latest technology will be used. This includes sensory faculties for the precise control of light, a high-resolution projector for presentations and state-of-the-art surround-sound system.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Giraffe Manor Update

Nairobi, Kenya
Giles and Jessica Pattison will be joining the management team at Giraffe Manor in a full time role as of 1 November this year. Rudy will be involved with the important role of keeping back of house operations running smoothly, together with a wider role within Tamimi. Marianne will remain at the front of house, with day to day hosting of guests. Important to remember for early arrival guests is the Study at Giraffe Manor. This snug area offers the use of Internet, a great selection of books and a warm fire, ensuring guests' comfort should their room not be ready on arrival. It is also available as a private dining option for romantic meals for two.

Conservation & Community drive in the Luangwa

Luangwa Valley, Zambia
For many years safari operators in the Luangwa Valley have been working with local conservation associations. A voluntary new Luangwa Conservation & Community Levy (LCCL) will ensure the long term future of these essential projects. In this way guests staying at The Bushcamp Company and Remote Africa Safaris are able to make a direct contribution to the ongoing survival of wildlife and development of local communities. Half of the funds collected will go to the South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) and the remaining half to various community programmes, mainly associated with education.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Hope springs at Sasaab

Samburu, Northern Frontier, Kenya
Despite the severe drought that is affecting Northern Kenya, Sasaab has recorded fantastic sightings including a herd of over 200 endangered Grevy Zebra and 80 elephant. In addition, a friendly female leopard (named Osiligi by camp staff, meaning ‘Hope’ in Samburu) with two young cubs is living in the cave just behind the lodge and is seen daily. Although very aware of the recent security threats to visitors to the Samburu area, Sasaab managers Tony and Ali have advised that security is now better than it has been for many months. Sasaab is fortunate in that it is part of a joint community initiative and located outside of the main reserves.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

New special offers at the Islands of Siankaba

Livingstone, Zambia
The Islands of Siankaba have released 2 new special offers: (1) Stay 2 nights and receive a free Livingstone Island breezer trip; and (2) Stay 3 nights or more and choose between the above OR a 12 minute helicopter flight over the Victoria Falls. Activities are subject to availability with suppliers; should the offered activities not be available, another activity of the same value will be offered. These are valid now to 28 February 2010. The Honeymoon Offer, comprising a complimentary upgrade to the honeymoon chalet (valued at US$154 per couple per night; booked on a 'first come, first served' basis), has also been extended until 28th Feb.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Zambezi Queen prepares for launch

Chobe River, Botswana/ Namibia
Zambezi Queen, Africa's newest luxury riverboat safari, is making good progress. All items for the boat are on site and they are working long hours to keep to the first cruise date of 9 November. Level 1 and 2 windows have been installed and the top deck will follow shortly. Generators have been fitted and are running smoothly. Developments on the reservations front include a live availability system that will be online soon. New photography of the boat and surrounding areas will take place this month by top South African photographer Micky Hoyle.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Kurland a haven for young and old

The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
Kurland nestles on a private estate on South Africa's spectacular Garden Route. For guests wishing to explore the area, Kurland is perfectly located. Literally on its doorstep are the Elephant Sanctuary (guests can walk with as well as ride these magnificent creatures); Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre (wild cats can be viewed in a natural setting); a primate reserve (offering guided walks with rangers); the spectacular and private Nature's Valley beach (Kurland will organise generous picnic baskets).

Sunday, 27 September 2009

New addition at Singita Pamushana.

Singita Pamushana, Malilangwe Game Reserve, Zimbabwe
Singita Pamushana is one of few safari lodges in Africa with access to a private dam. The addition of a new luxury range 3G aluminium pontoon boat will further raise the existing level of exceptional guest experience. The pontoon is fully decked out with lush marine leather bench seats, marine grade carpet, plenty of storage space and most importantly, a quiet four stroke engine, which allows great low impact game viewing from the water. Often referred to as ‘one of Southern Africa’s best kept secrets’, the lodge was recently included in Condé Nast Traveler's ‘Hot List’ for 2009.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Benguerra Lodge 2010 Closure

Benguerra Lodge, Mozambique
Benguerra Lodge will be closed from the 25th of January until the 26th of February 2010. This time will be used for general refurbishment and to give our fabulous staff a well deserved month's break after the busy Christmas and New Year season.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Destination Guide – Kenya

Kenya is one of the world’s great tourism destinations, known for its remarkable diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures. From sweeping savannahs to tropical beaches and coral reef, dense equatorial forests to mighty snow capped mountains and more, Kenya is a world unto itself.

Kenya is Africa’s oldest safari destination, attracting explorers, adventurers and travellers for centuries.

Time to Travel
Kenya is a fantastic year round destination with the vast majority of the year being hot and dry. The wet season, which usually runs from March to May, offers reduced rates and fewer crowds in what would normally be busy areas. Game viewing is also fantastic as the rain rejuvenates the planes and many animals take this opportunity to calf.

If you can choose when to visit opt for June to October as arguably the game viewing is at its best. Plus there is always the possibility of witnessing the great migration, one of nature’s greatest spectacles.

The official currency is the Kenya Shilling.

The written abbreviation is either KSh or using /= after the amount (ie 500/=)

Available Notes are 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings.

Available coins are 5, 10 and 20 shillings.

Visitors to Kenya should change foreign currency at banks, bureaux de change or authorized hotels. The easiest currencies to exchange are US Dollars, Pounds sterling and EURO.

Travellers Cheques are widely accepted, and many hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants accept Credit Cards. Most Banks in Kenya are equipped to advance cash on credit cards.

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that can be brought into Kenya.

Before departure, travellers are advised to convert any excess Kenya shillings into foreign currency at a bank or bureau de change before departure. Departure taxes can be paid in local or foreign currency.

Anyone wishing to take more than 500,000 Kenya Shillings out of the country will require written authorization from the Central Bank.

Tipping is not mandatory in Kenya. Guides, drivers, waiters and hotel staff can be tipped at your discretion.

Kenya has a single time zone- which is GMT+3.

The electricity supply in Kenya is 220/240 v 50hz.

Plugs are 3 point square.

Kenya has good Internet Service Providers.

Email and Internet services are offered by many hotels and lodges. In most towns, there are plenty of private business centres and cyber cafes offering email and internet access.

Kenya has a good network of telephone, cellular and satellite connections. Work is under way to expand this network and introduce fibre optic cables.

Most hotels and lodges offer International telephone and fax services. In larger towns, private telecommunication centres also offer international services.

If you have a mobile phone with a roaming connection, then you can make use of Kenya’s excellent cellular networks, which covers most larger towns and tourist areas.

When calling Kenya, the International code is 254+ local area code.

Friday, 18 September 2009

New member at Giraffe Manor

Nairobi, Kenya
Giraffe Manor recently received an addition to their resident herd of Rothschild Giraffes. It was a very exciting moment when Daisy II approached the Manor and stood in the garden to give birth to Daisy III. This amazing natural spectacle was enjoyed by guests at the hotel who watched from the sitting room and terrace. Daisy III is developing well and they are now awaiting the birth of another from mom-to-be Lynne!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Boardwalk to Karkloof falls completed

Midlands of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
One of the many activities at the award-winning Karkloof Spa is a trip to the spectacular 106 meter Karkloof Falls. The only access to the base of the falls is on Karkloof Spa’s property. A 9km game drive into the Karkloof Valley is followed by a short walk into the lush terrain to the wooded boardwalk. Hugging the narrow river valley up and over boulders for approximately 1km, one reaches a viewing deck at the base of the falls. A mere 24kms from Pietermaritzburg and 90kms from Durban International Airport, Karkloof Spa comprises a luxuriously spacious yet intimate boutique lodge and an extensive world-class Spa.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Bushmans kloof honoured with ‘World Savers Award’

Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape, South Africa
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat has been named Global Winner of the Wildlife Conservations Program (2009) in the prestigious 3rd annual Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Awards. This honour was bestowed in recognition of its exceptional wildlife conservation projects and the replenishment of wildlife in the area. These include providing a sanctuary for the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra and Clanwilliam Yellow Fish, as well as its support of the Cape Mountain Leopard project and the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree project.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Whale watching now available at Marlin Lodge

Benguerua Island, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Humpback Whales have recently been spotted east of the reefs of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Marlin Lodge is now offering seasonal whale watching trips. The Humpbacks feed in polar waters, giving birth during winter months in warmer tropical waters. These whales can reach 16 meters in length and weigh up to 36 tons. The cost per 3 hour outing is US$95 per person, for a minimum of 4 guests per boat. The whale watching trips are available until the end of September. Marlin Lodge has a 'Stay for 4, Pay for 3' offer valid until 10 December.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Spasaab - Serenity on Safari

Samburu, Northern Kenya
Sasaab's new state-of-the-art 'SpaSaab' is nestled in the rocks on the edge of the Ewaso Nyiro River. From the two funky treatment rooms and wrap-around pool guests can enjoy sweeping views across the riverbed abundant with wildlife. A wholly organic skincare range has been developed by highly regarded Liz Earle incorporating herbs and plants from the natural environment in keeping with Sasaab’s strong environmental policies. The SpaSaab Salt Scrub incorporates frankinsence oil harvested in Northern Kenya, known for its cleansing and purifying properties; opt to include an indulgent hour long massage.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Benguerra Lodge, Mozambique

Benguerra Lodge, Mozambique
Winter is the time when guests can enjoy beautiful, sunshine days which lead up to the most magnificent sunsets. The evenings are slightly cooler and guests enjoy their pre-dinner drinks in comfort around the fireplace on the deck.

This July, quite a few fortunate guests were treated to Dugong sightings. Many people live for years in the area without ever seeing one of these rare and endangered mammals, which makes this a very special experience. Pods of dolphins were also regularly spotted, swimming in the bay.

Benguerra Lodge, Mozambique

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Undisputedly the most desired address on the Garden Route, Kurland provides the perfect escape for families. Situated in an area full of fun activities, from visits to Monkeyland and the Elephant Sanctuary nearby, to pony rides, quad biking and spa treatments on property, Kurland is sure to keep everyone entertained. Valid 1 October to 30 November 2009 is the Family Special offer: children under 12 stay on a complimentary B&B basis if sharing with parents in a Luxury or Superior Suite with Loft.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Franschhoek, Cape Winelands, South Africa

Franschhoek, Cape Winelands, South Africa
As of 1 August Le Quartier Français will have 10 Auberge Rooms (entry level rooms) and 2 new room categories (3 Grande Rooms and 2 Petite Garden Suites). These 5 rooms have wonderful new bathrooms and a whole new look and feel. The Grande Rooms are ideal for honeymooners and the Petite Garden Suites for those looking for the privacy of their own small garden and patio. These are an alternative to the Auberge Suites and the Four Quarter Suites for those wanting something more!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Grumeti Reserves, Serengeti, Northern Tanzania

Grumeti Reserves, Serengeti, Northern Tanzania
Three luxurious, 1920’s-styled tented suites have been added to the 6 existing tented suites at Singita's Sabora Tented Camp, increasing capacity from 12 to 18 guests. The new tented suites are air-conditioned and offer all modern luxuries emulating the style of the existing suites. Each is en-suite with a fully equipped bathroom, newly designed open-air showers, period baths and larger viewing decks with uninterrupted views of the Serengeti plains. A second tented lounge has also been constructed and an integrated ‘health and fitness’ facility added.

Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Bantry Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
The landmark Ellerman House & Villa in Cape Town's prestigious suburb of Bantry Bay reopened last week after an extensive refurbishment. The remainder 5 of the 11 bedrooms from last year's upgrade have all been refurbished with new colours, plasma TVs and all soft furnishings. Eight of the 11 bathrooms have been upgraded with new chrome fittings. The bathrooms in the gym area have been completely renovated and the Villa also underwent a soft refurbishment. The whole house has been repainted, ready for a busy season ahead.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Bushmans kloof voted number 1 hotel in the world

Cederberg Mountains, Western Cape, South Africa
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat has been voted 'Best Hotel in the World' in the 2009 US Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards reader’s survey. The 5-star wilderness retreat at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, 270m north of Cape Town, also took pole position as Number 1 Lodge/Resort in Africa and the Middle East. Since its inception in 1996, Bushmans Kloof has consistently received worldwide recognition for its renowned hospitality, service and facilities, as well as its dedication to restoring and preserving the beauty of the 7500 hectare reserve.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Londo Lodge

Quirimbas, Mozambique
Quirimbas based Londo Lodge is pleased to extend their amazing specials until the end of the year.

With yet another villa upgraded with a private island deck and a beautiful ocean view outdoor bathroom overlooking our azure Indian ocean waters. Guests can choose between a Standard Ocean view villa or an Ocean view suite which offers more space: bedroom, living room, bathroom and a private plunge pool. Superb diving, excellent game fishing, game walks, outdoor Africa Spa and an award winning restaurant. The ultimate boutique hideaway in authentic Mozambique.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Quirimbas Archipelago

Ibo Island, Mozambique
This magical destination consists of 27 stunning offshore islands strung along a magnificent coastline parallel to Pemba mainland. Some of these islands now house discerning unique, world class luxury eco lodges set amongst lush vegetation, white sandy pristine uninhabited beaches; clear, turquoise waters and some of the most un-spoilt, unexplored and important island reef ecosystems in the Indian Ocean. The Quirimbas Archipelago is one of the most unspoilt destinations left on the planet.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Leopard study at the Welgevonden game reserve

Welgevonden Game Reserve, Limpopo Province, South Africa
A leopard research project is underway in the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The objectives of the study are to determine the population characteristics of leopards, their feeding ecology and social organization. The importance of the Welgevonden leopards to the stability of the leopard population in the Waterberg area is crucial. A stay at the exclusive Makweti Safari Lodge, offering the ultimate personalised safari experience, will offer guests the opportunity to view these illusive predators.

Updates from Luangwa

South and North Luangwa National Parks, Zambia
Chikoko and Crocodile bushcamps as well as Mwaleshi Camp opened in June, as always newly built with some improvements. Reed mats replace the canvas roofs of the chalets at Chikoko, making for better aesthetics as well as cooler temperatures during the hot months. The C210 aircraft is in full swing, moving guests around the valley, and is positioned at Lukuzi airstrip near Tafika. The cooler months of July and August create perfect walking conditions and game viewing is excellent.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Zambezi Queen on track to launch in September

Chobe River, Caprivi Strip, Namibia/ Botswana / Zambia
Experience the thrill of an African safari aboard a luxurious 45 meter riverboat on Namibia and Botswana’s great Chobe River. Chobe National Park is teeming with wildlife and sprawls across some 11, 000 km² of lush African bush. It is home to the largest populace of elephants in the world. Owners Tony Stern and Brett McDonald are delighted to announce that the Zambezi Queen, African's newest and most luxurious riverboat safari, will be operational from end September this year.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Athol Place expands culinary offering.

Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Athol Place has recently appointed Marc van Rooyen as Executive Chef. Marc studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London and has a Pastry degree from Switzerland. Past work experiences include the Lanzerac Manor in Stellenbosch, the world renowned Singita Game Reserves and more recently Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge. AtholPlace’s new adventure in cuisine will be based on a classic European style fused with clean-cut and contemporary South African flavours that diners can relate to. Using only the freshest organic produce available, menus will be designed daily according to foods in season.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Benguerra Lodge

Bazaruto Archipelago Moçambique
Moçambique boasts some of the finest saltwater flyfishing on the continent and Benguerra has experienced, professional guides whose knowledge of the archipelago’s waters is unsurpassed. The catch and release of all species are encourages and some species are tagged for research purposes, thus ensuring that we preserve this exhilarating experience for future generations.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Jaci's Safari Lodge & Jaci's Tree Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve South Africa
An exciting indigenous tree nursery project has been initiated by Jaci’s - by teaching the community to collect seeds and germinate indigenous trees for resale both within and outside of the game reserve. This project has gained significant success and has generated valuable funds to be used within the greater scheme of the community driven waste management solution, including the benefit of planting over 300 trees in the game reserve.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Garonga Safari Camp

Makalali Conservancy South Africa
Garonga Safari Camp ensures all rubbish is separated and foodstuffs used for Warthogs and Kudu in Winter. We also have a water system whereby all used water is pumped into Filtration Pits and after 2 years is released into the Bush and can be drunk by Animals. We have now started to grow our own Organic vegetable garden (baboon Proof at the moment). Hopefully in the next few months we will be able to utilize at the Camp and also supplement Staff Rations.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Destination Guide - Botswana

Planning Your Trip
Ideally you need to plan your trip with a safari specialist that has experience and has visited the areas you plan to travel, this may be a Tour operator/agent or even just a well travelled friend. Travel in Africa is not as simple as in more developed areas, with 'African time' being one of the major complicating factors! It is recommended that you book through a tour operator that can present you with a well planned and informative itinerary that has taken time to listen to what your expectations and interests are and tailored a safari to suit. The main points to decide initially are: when can you visit (based on your available time), how long can you visit, what points of interest are you wanting to particularly meet, what level of accommodation are you looking for and how does that suit your budget. An experienced operator will be able to offer advice to assist you with making these choices.

In addition, the more research you do prior to travel the more informed your choices will be; resulting in a rewarding lifetime experience.

Time to Travel

When you visit will largely depend on when you are available to travel, but if you have flexibility to choose then it becomes a matter of what you are looking for from your trip and the seasons affect both wildlife movements and your comfort level - both influencing factors in deciding when to travel. The Botswana Safari season in Botswana runs from March 1 through November 30.

Some camps close over December - February which is the wet season in Botswana, whilst others remain open, as a general guide Edo's Camp is open in February as this is one of the best times to visit the Kalahari area after the summer rains.

Contact our reservations office for current details. As a general guide you may expect the following weather patterns in Botswana, the seasons are as per the Southern Hemisphere and of course is a guide only.

June, July and August are the winter months, marked by cloudless days and mild temperatures, average temperatures ranging from 7-27 degrees C. The landscapes outside the Okavango Delta begin their drying process, gradually fading from lush green to dry khaki colours. In the delta, the floodwaters from Angola start to fill the countless lagoons and streams.

September and October can be compared to spring in the Northern Hemisphere a delightful time of year to visit Botswana, however October can be very hot particularly towards the end of the month. Temperatures average 15- 31 degrees C and you may experience the occasional rain shower towards the end of October. Any discomfort from the heat is offset by the excellent game viewing at this time of year due to the lack of thick vegetation and the water holes are drying up

November, early December and March are considered summer months, with average temperatures ranging from 16-32 degrees C. These months border the rainy season (Jan & Feb), when you may encounter brief but occasionally heavy rain These months still afford visitors excellent game viewing and you may be lucky to witness the miracle that the rains bring, transforming the dry land to a vibrant abundance of lush greenery.

April and May are both delightful months to visit Botswana marked by moderate temperatures, with average temperatures ranging 15-31 degrees C. For the best advice in planning the time to visit, contact our reservations department with your date options, advising of any special interests or requests that can assist our consultants in making suitable recommendations for you.

What to bring


  • Good binoculars
  • Camera equipment
  • Flashlight - optional (provided in all Ker & Downey camps, only necessary if you go to other camps or camping)
  • Reading materials
  • Pen and paper, or writing journal/diary
  • Locks for luggage

Travel documents

  • Passport with appropriate Visas
  • Health Certificates as recommended by your physician for your specific destination(s)
  • Airline tickets (always reconfirm reservations 72 hours in advance)
  • Traveller's cheques, credit card or cash (amount depending on your itinerary, please discuss with your consultant if you are unsure - please note that although commonly accepted, not all places in Africa have access to credit card machines so it is recommended to carry a back up of traveller's cheques or cash in addition).
  • Customs registration (cameras, videos, binoculars and expensive watches)

Suggested photo equipment

  • 35mm camera with flash (standard or digital)
  • Standard lens, 35-50mm range
  • Wide angle lens, 24-35mm range
  • Zoom lens, 70-200 or 100-300mm range
  • Long lens, 200-400mm range, with f3.5 or f4 speed if possible
  • Cigarette lighter battery charger

Additional points:

  • A tripod may be useful when photographing outside the vehicle: otherwise a small beanbag will stabilize your camera on the side arm rails on safari vehicles.
  • Spare batteries for cameras flash and motor drive.
  • Camera cleaning equipment (dust can be a problem)
  • Pack your equipment in a good, soft-sided case, and carry it on the plane with you. Africa can be dusty and you should protect your equipment well. Plastic 'ziplock' bags or cloth pillowcases are ideal means of covering and storing your photographic equipment during your safari.

Packing Checklist

Suggestion/guide only suited to a 7-14 day safari, please note that there is a laundry facility provided free of charge in most camps which alleviates the need to bring too many clothes. Due to the generally warm and dry climate you will find that most washing has same day return.


  • 6 Shirts-3 long and 3 short sleeved
  • 2 Pairs of shorts
  • 1 Pair of lightweight slacks or jeans (women may prefer skirts or culottes)
  • 1 Wind-breaker or bush jacket
  • 1 Warm sweater for evenings and early mornings
  • 1 Pair pyjamas or sweat suit for sleeping
  • Swimsuit
  • Sun protective hat
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 Pair of comfortable walking shoes, tennis shoes or lightweight hiking boots
  • 1 Pair flip flops
  • 1 Pair of light shoes for evenings
  • 5 Pair socks
  • Underclothing, for the ladies a sports bra is recommended for bumpy roads!
  • 1 Lightweight rain jacket (November - April) OR a warm/windproof jacket and warm gloves/hat/scarf (May - August)


  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Chapstick or lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Band Aids
  • Extra pair or prescription glasses or contact lenses
  • Anti-diarrhoea medicine
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Eye and nose drops/moisturizer
  • Antihistamine if you suffer from allergies/hay fever as the grass and dust levels can be quite high
  • Shaving kit (not electric unless the battery is long lasting)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Insect repellent (containing DEET)


How safe is Botswana?

Botswana is considered a safe travel destination. It is both financially and politically stable. It has been spared much of the unrest and turmoil, which plagues so many countries in Africa. As is the case elsewhere, the larger cities and population centres generally have the most crime, but once you are on safari, such problems are all but nonexistent. It is, however, a good idea to leave your valuables (expensive watches, jewellery, etc.) at home, thus eliminating the temptation for possible theft. Luggage locks are always advisable when flying.

What type of travel documents do I need?

A valid passport is a requirement for any international travel, when travelling into Southern Africa your passport needs to be valid for a minimum requirement of 6 months after your entrance date as well as 2 blank pages. Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain visas for entry into Botswana. As this list of countries changes from time to time, it is important to check with your travel consultant regarding current visa requirements, well in advance of your departure. Please note that it is your own responsibility to ensure all necessary visas are obtained prior to entry (unless available on entry, such as Zimbabwe at current time).

What type of clothing will I need on safari?

Depending upon the time of year you safari in Botswana, lightweight clothing of cotton and cotton/blends are most suitable. During the winter months it can be very cold and a warm jacket will be needed for early morning and evening game viewing activities. During the summer months bring a lightweight water/windproof jacket in case of rain, but otherwise temperatures are very warm. For evenings bring lightweight long sleeved clothing as protection from mosquitoes. Neutral colours such as khaki, beige/cream or olive green are appropriate, and are less conspicuous to the animals. Laundry is done daily in camp, so it is not necessary to over pack. Consult our packing list as a general guide before you travel.

It is recommended that on your international flight to Botswana you carry a change of clothing (e.g. t-shirt and underwear), any prescription medicines and your valuables (documents, camera, wallet) in your hand luggage in case of lost luggage or luggage delays from connecting international flights. In the case of lost luggage, we will assist where possible in calling the airlines to monitor progress in your luggage claim which, in most cases, arrives the following day, however please note that it is often beyond our control and your best precaution is the essential items being packed in your hand luggage.

What about tipping?

Tipping is not obligatory. It is, however, appropriate if you feel that the measure of service you received warrants a show of your personal appreciation, this is purely discretionary. The average tip amounts are approximately $10 per guest, per day. Customarily, $5-10 per day will go to your driver/guide directly and $5 per day can be placed in the Tip Box provided in the camps, Camp Managers distribute the latter among the camp employees. It is a fair distribution system ensuring that the 'behind the scenes' staff are also rewarded.

How much baggage can I bring on safari?

Since most safari travel is done in small aircraft, each passenger is limited to one soft-sided bag, weighing no more than 20 kg, plus a typical sized camera bag. Bear in mind the door to the luggage pod is only 70 x 25 cm. Soft type duffel bags are ideal and are required. Excess baggage be may subject to additional baggage/charter charges and please note it is optional to store your excess baggage in our Maun office at no extra charge until the end of your safari (this option is only available if your safari starts and ends in Maun, otherwise alternate arrangements will need to be made).

How much money will I need?

Most major currencies are accepted throughout Botswana. You will not need large sums of cash while on safari, as our programs are all inclusive. However, some guests enjoy shopping in Maun. Selected camps have a small gift shop stocked with various curios, safari items and film, credit card can be used (Master or Visa cards). Otherwise, you may need money for any accommodations, meals and shopping before or after your scheduled safari as well as for visas (Zimbabwe etc) and taxes. The amount needed, of course, is your personal decision.

What about insects or snakes?

Surprisingly, there are very few snake problems in Botswana, normal common sense avoids contact with snakes (i.e. don't go crawling through dense bushes!). Insect repellent is provided in all tents and safari vehicles. However, for your personal comfort, we recommend you bring some insect repellent of your own and take malarial prophylaxis (please consult your local travel medical specialist for the medication best suited to you). It is also a good idea to bring some sunscreen as even in the winter months the days are warm and clear and as you spend a large part of the day outside on activities, there is a risk of sunburn.


Always consult your doctor prior to travel.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Motswari Private Game Reserve - News

Timbavati South Africa
Motswari’s Fair Trade in Tourism accolade is tangible evidence of their commitment to the land and its people. Motswari was particularly commended by Fair Trade in Tourism for their investments in community health and education and the maintenance of a family-friendly staff village, which is a critical strategy for combating HIV/AIDS in the game lodge industry.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Ant's Nest & Ant's Hill

Waterberg Biosphere Reserve South Africa
The objective of the Ant Collection is to create sustainable tourism by means of conserving the environment around us, enriching the lives of our guests and staff alike as well as uplifting the community and providing as much skills development to the locals as possible.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Whale Watching - South Africa

South Africa is one of the best destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals, whether from land or boats. Each year Southern Right whales migrate into the coastal waters of the Western Cape to calve and nurse their young, providing unsurpassed viewing opportunities between June and November. Be sure not to miss this incredible experience and make the most of the special accommodation offers currently available.

Monday, 29 June 2009


The beginning of May saw the start of luxury walking Safaris in the Gorongosa National Park. Explore Gorongosa is the first private operator in Mozambique's flagship National Park. Their safaris are unique in the sense that guests get the opportunity to explore the wild wonders in the park with professional guides, while being accommodated in a semi permanent tented camp.

This venture is the first of its kind within the park, and a great opportunity to introduce the world to the visionary and extraordinary restoration project underway at Gorongosa. With excellent flight connections, it is quite easy to combine this walking safari with a relaxing Beach holiday at Benguerra Lodge. (These safaris are offered between May and December.)

Please contact us if you would like more information, or if you would like us to assist you with a costing for this completely Mozambican Bush and Beach experience.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


Atholl, Johannesburg, South Africa
AtholPlace, Johannesburg's new luxury boutique hotel, offers complimentary transfers in and around the Sandton CBD area.

A visit to owner Sumari Krige's nearby interior design showroom can easily be organised. La Grange Interiors offers décor accessories, soft finishes and distinctive furniture, handpicked from Sumari's travels around the world. Its style blends old and new: antiques with casual rattan of superb quality, enhanced by a wide range of accessories including mirrors, lamps, pots and exquisite glassware.

Saturday, 20 June 2009


Nairobi, Kenya
Known for its quirky interiors and traditional 1930's furnishings, Giraffe Manor is now open after an extensive refurbishment. Having closed in April for an annual general maintenance, this year the decision was made to invest in new décor as well as structural enhancements to ensure that all rooms have en-suite facilities. The fresh new design complements The Safari Collection's portfolio of properties, representing East Africa's finest destinations. To view their new website click here.

Friday, 19 June 2009

SA Airlink to start Wednesday direct flights JNB-POL !

From the 1st of July we will see yet another direct flight into the Quirimbas, north Mozambique.

SA Airlink will operate 2 flights Joburg - Pemba - Joburg per week, every Saturday and Wednesday.

Contact Londo Lodge reservations or book direct on www.flyairlink.com

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Waterberg, Limpopo, South Africa
In the heart of the malaria-free Waterberg Plateau, with close proximity to Johannesburg, Jembisa's 3000 ha reserve offers an unspoilt wilderness area. A great diversity of wildlife and birdlife make this the ideal retreat for an exlusive-use bush home experience, ideal for families with children of all ages or a group of friends. Activities are tailor-made to suit guests and include guided bush walks with instructions on tracking, spoor identification and bush lore.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Benguerua Island, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

Situated on the southwest shore of Benguerua Island, Marlin Lodge is in the midst of a marine reserve and offers some of the finest scuba diving sites in the world.

The months of June through October offer excellent diving and fishing opportunities. Dolphin have recently been in abundance and are relaxed enough for guests to snorkel among them, offering a truly rare experience. Marlin's 'Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3' special offer is available from now until 10 December 2009.