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

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Rhino poached in Serengeti

We regret to bring you this news. But perhaps the life and death of this one unfortunate rhino will be the tipping point in the decision to stop the Serengeti highway.

Last May, there was celebration as five black rhinos were translocated from South Africa to the Serengeti National Park. President Kikwete himself went to hail the occasion.

The rhinos were introduced into the very area where the new highway is to be carved out.

Now one of those rhinos is dead, the victim of poachers, it's horns likely on the way to a shop in China. The introduced rhinos were supposed to be carefully protected with satellite tracking and special guards. Donors are questioning whether to bring up the 32 other rhinos that are scheduled for relocation in the Serengeti.

The Frankfurt Zoological Society reported:

"Though the rhinos are all under 24-hour surveillance by the special Serengeti Rhino Protection Unit and were equipped with radio transmitters prior to their release, George has none-the-less fallen claim to the brutal actions of poachers - he was shot dead and found with his horns sawed off."

Read more on how to stop the Serengeti Highway

Lawsuit filed against highway

A Kenya organization, African Network for Animal Welfare, has filed an injunction to stop the Government of Tanzania from constructing the Serengeti highway. Lawyer Saitabao ole Kanchory of Kanchory & Co Advocates, representing ANAW, last Friday filed the case at the East African Community chambers in Arusha.

Besides an interim injunction, ANAW asks that the court declare the road unlawful under provisions of the East African Community Treaty.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


The vast migratory herds of zebra and wildebeest have now settled in the Southern Serengeti in the Ndutu region. The Serengeti Under Canvas camps are perfectly situated at Ndutu, within close range of the impressive herds. The enormous herds are overwhelming and the sightings have been unbelievable. Watch this space for more updates in the New Year! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and an exciting new year ahead.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Namibia Elephant Population Dynamics Project

Update from the Wilderness Trust

During the past year, aerial photogrammetry of elephant herds was conducted at several localities in Namibia including Etosha, Kaudum, and the Kunene. These areas are characterised by differences in local rainfall, incidence of disease and human impact and can thus be used to adequately describe and compare the response of the elephants' regulating mechanisms to variation in rainfall and disease.

Where possible, post-mortem examinations were also carried out on elephant and cause of death noted. Results from these post-mortems together with photogrammetry-determined demographic data are under analysis. Preliminary data analyses show significant differences in recruitment in the respective areas.

The assessment of the age structure of elephants in Etosha was done by means of fixed-wing and helicopter surveys across the entire Park from west to east. This provided a sample size in excess of 600 elephants, which is representative of approximately 25% of the estimated number of elephants in Etosha. A helicopter survey of Kaudum and the Nyae Nyae Conservancy provided a sample size in excess of 1 500 elephants, which represents approximately 50% of the estimated elephant population in this area. A dedicated helicopter survey of elephant numbers and demography of the ephemeral river systems and adjacent areas of the Kunene Region provided a sample size in excess of 200 elephants.

If you would like to visit Namibia or donate to the Namibia Elephant Population Dynamics Project please contact one of our safari holiday experts on 01227 753181

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The FIFA World Cup tourism boom in South Africa

The successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup brought a tourism boom to South Africa between June and July of this year and gave SA new look on the international stage.

It is from this triumph that South Africa aspires to restore a reputation for being a tourist destination of choice to visitors across the globe.

According to results from a research study conducted by South African tourism there has been a radical change of mindset from tourists who visited the country during the tournament - most of whom were sceptical about the country before the World Cup because of what they had read in the media about the country before they arrived.

It is this swaying of minds, probably more than any of the other achievements, that will be the legacy of hosting the event. Just over 300,000 tourists visited South Africa to watch the FIFA World Cup, an impressive figure for the country especially during a time when South Africa's local authorities were worried that the global financial crisis might put off people from travelling to the country.

Amongst other things, the tourism report noted that most people who visited the tip of the Southern African continent are keen to come back and explore the country further as tourists.

Nine cities hosted the finals in South Africa, but out of those, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban were the most popular spots for tourists. Johannesburg is the business hub of South Africa, while Cape Town and Durban remain prime tourist destinations.

Approximately 90 per cent of tourists who attended the 2010 FIFA World Cup mentioned that they would consider visiting South Africa again in the future and nearly all were willing to recommend the country to their friends and relatives.

According to the report, a total of 309,554 foreign tourists arrived in South Africa for the primary purpose of attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup between June and July and those tourists spent about R3,64 billion during their stay.

The study also revealed that:

1. The average person who visited the country during the event spent just over ten nights in South Africa. There were a number of issues contributing to time spent in the country. Some fans returned home after their teams were eliminated and some arrived in South Africa during the event following the success of their teams.

2.Out of the places fans visited, Gauteng (Johannesburg, Pretoria), Western Cape (Cape Town) and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) were the most visited provinces.

3.Shopping and enjoying nightlife were the two most common activities which tourists engaged in, apart from watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

3. The total awareness of South Africa as a leisure destination increased by nine per cent after the FIFA World Cup.

4.Tourists also found their experience in the country much better than they expected before arriving.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup did help improve the negative perceptions South Africa has on safety and security issues and as a value-for-money destination.

Even though the tournament was held in winter, the Fan Parks were a popular choice for many supporters. The most visited Fan Parks were also in Gauteng , KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape.

About five per cent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tourists indicated that they visited other African countries during their trip to South Africa

In general, more than two-thirds of the tourists who attended the event perceived South Africa as a great host, and more than half who had attended previous FIFA World Cups felt that South Africa was a better host than the countries that hosted the event in the past.

Writen by ATTA

If you would like to visit South Africa please contact our Safari Holiday experts.

Botswana Feature

Vast conservation areas, abundant wildlife of all shapes and sizes, and luxury camps and lodges are just some of the things that make Botswana the ideal destination for a safari holiday, says Brian Jackman.

Early morning in Deception Valley, the brief desert rains are at an end but the sweet valley grasses are still green enough to attract large herds of antelope. Most noticeable are the gemsbok, handsome beasts with faces like African tribal masks, and I watch entranced as a herd canters past – until something catches my eye.

A lion is standing at the edge of the plain, his shaggy head raised above the grasses, and at once it’s clear he isn’t just any lion. This is a full-on Kalahari male in all his glory, and probably the finest lion I’ve ever seen. (read full article)

Recommended by the BBC

Please see the link below for our recent feature in BBC Wildlife Magazine within their eco-friendly wildlife travel section.

BBC Wildlife Magazine

If you would like further information on wildlife safaris please follow the link or call 01227 753181 to speak to one of our safari holiday experts.

Special Offer

Save an extra 15% at Sand Rivers in the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania.

Book before 31st Jan 2011.

Call: 01227 753181 or follow the link: http://www.puresafari.co.uk/Safari/Hotels/Sand-Rivers

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Governors Camp Game Report

Govenors Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

The early part of the month was very dry as the rains came a little later than expected and the only grass of any substance in the immediate vicinity was around the Marsh. This was where the elephant families were spending most of their time. As the grass in many places has been eaten down to stubble length the elephants have taken to getting most of their nutrition from trees. This is obvious in their dung (which is very dark due to the high tannin level in trees - their dung is usually light in colour when they eat lots of grass) and the state of some of the trees in the area. Elephants are not tidy eaters! Our Masai walking guide is very upset about this as the giraffes' food source is being disturbed. Giraffes are highly revered by the Masai!

Despite the lack of rain early in the month, there are still many zebra and wildebeest around. River crossings were still being seen at the end of the month. We think that their extended stay is due to good rains earlier in the year.

Towards the middle of the month we had good, consistent rain bringing a profusion of green growth. Suddenly everything seemed pregnant, with zebra fit to burst and lots of animal mothers walking with difficulty due to the extra weight they were carrying. First the topi calves arrived, skittering around and eventually taking off at full speed in all four directions of the compass at once. Then came the impala. It was a sad part of reality for guests to watch two black-backed jackals taking a three day old impala kid one morning. In the walking area two giraffe calves were born in quick succession, both of their feathery sets of horns proclaiming their innocence. At the moment the Mara seems like a nursery!

The five males of the Marsh Pride of lions are still finding easy pickings between Lake Nakuru and Rhino Ridge while the three sisters were seen mating with two males near Ol Duruki. The Paradise Pride has been spending most of their time near the Serena Crossing taking advantage of the late traffic of wildebeest and zebra in the area. Notch, five other males, six females and ten cubs of eleven months old were all seen together in this area on a wildebeest kill near the end of the month. Interestingly, there has been a major take-over of the Acacia Pride (in the walking area). Two big males (possibly who followed the migration) fought off the three original males and sadly killed eleven of the prides' cubs. These are two of the biggest lions we have ever seen!

Rhino sightings have been really good over the last two months, with one rhino being seen almost once a week. A big male was visible for about an hour around the Little Governors Marsh in the middle of the month and there was another sighted between Il Moran and Governors Camp towards the end of the month.

The resident female leopard of our area was seen regularly this month. In the walking area there is a particular favourite tree that a big male leopard likes to use. It is exciting to think that when guests are having breakfast in the walking area, they are very possibly no more than 300m from a slumbering leopard!

The female cheetah and her cub, in very close proximity to the three brothers, were seen around our airstrip recently. Maybe we'll have some more small cubs soon!

All in all the Mara is "greening up" beautifully. There is a profusion of youngsters, fresh grass for them to eat and, on the harsher side of life, a huge amount of food for the predators to eat. Many of the Eurasian migrants have returned, making birding a pleasure. The ever cycling seasons are revolving as they should and we are continuing to show our guests the wonders of the wild.

We hope to share the magic of our corner of the Mara with you sometime soon.

To make a booking at Governors Camp please contact our safari holiday experts on 01227 753181

Client Feedback

hi susie.

just wanted to drop you a mail to thankyou for aranging such an amazing holiday for us to the selous and zanzibar. everything ran like clockwork and it didn't rain on us at all!

thanks again, hope you have a great christmas.

james and kym.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Did you know?

Ruaha wildlife park is the second largest National Park in Africa.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Royal Footsteps Honeymoon Safari

This wonderful luxurious and very romantic itinerary follows in the footsteps of Royalty, following the same itinerary as was recently followed by Prince William and Kate Middleton. Lewa Safari Camp is the location where the young Prince chose to propose marriage! Come and see for yourself why this was the perfect choice of location for this historic moment.

See and book the same itinerary as the happy couple: Royal Footsteps Honeymoon Safari

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Attempted military coup in Madagascar

FCO have released the following update following reports of an attempted military coup in Madagascar

"There is continuing political unrest in Madagascar. The situation is volatile and you should avoid demonstrations and political gatherings. You should exercise particular vigilance in Antananarivo and throughout the whole country following the referendum on 17 November.

The situation in the centre of Antananarivo remains unstable and potentially volatile. The Ambohijatovo, Lac Anosy, Antaninarenina and Analakely areas, as well as military barracks, are potential flash points and have been subject to such gatherings and outbreaks of violence. Further disruption is expected in the coming days.

On Wednesday 10 November 2010, there were disturbances in the Antanimena area, including the burning of vehicles. The unrest extended to Behoririka, Ankadifotsy and the Pochard market areas. Tear gas was used to disperse the demonstrations and some barricades were erected. You should avoid these areas where possible, including the Malacam stadium and Magro site in Antanimena."

The African Travel & Tourism Association ATTAK Newsletter - http://www.atta.travel

Tuesday, 16 November 2010



Prince William and Kate Middleton have just announced their engagement and will marry next year. The couple got engaged on the Lewa Conservancy in Kenya in October.

Romantics and honeymooners can follow Prince William and Kate Middleton to Kenya, and stay at Lewa Safari Camp on the Lewa Conservancy.

Please contact our Safari Experts now.

Call: 0044 (0)1227 753181

Monday, 15 November 2010

Pure Safari in Tatler

Need more info? Please contact our Safari Experts now.

Call: 0044 (0)1227 753181

Kenya – VISA fees back to $50 per person in 2011

The temporary reduction in fees for Kenya visas will come to an end from January 1, 2011. The fees will revert back to $50 per adult and $25 per child. The government had temporarily halved the fees following problems with violent protests in early 2008 after the national elections, but prices will go back to previous amount from January 1st 2011.

Tanzania – Miracle rescues by hippo in Serengeti

We would like to share this really sweet and tender story with all of you, what we believe might be the first ever recorded rescue of a baby zebra and wildebeest by the same hippo on the Mara River close to Lemala Mara Camp. Both were rescued within space of 10 minutes as they crossed over from the Lamai side, by mid October.

The photos and videos were captured by guests at Lemala Mara Camp as they were watching a major wildebeest crossing at the time.

The hippo was watching as the wildebeest herd swam past. As soon as the calf jumped in, the hippo swam up to it and pushed it along all the way across until it had reached safety on the other side. It then went back and did the same for a zebra foal just minutes later.

The wildebeest and zebra continued then moving down in large numbers from the Maasai Mara across the Lamai plains and crossing the Mara River.

Pure Safari in GQ

Keep your eyes peeled for Pure Safari in the January GQ magazine.

The Tides Beach Lodge - Pangani

The Tides is an exclusive, friendly and unpretentious beach resort located in the spectacular and untouched coastline in Pangani, combining the experience of the bush with rustic luxury accommodation.

The cottages at The Tides are situated right on the beach, in a tropical setting surrounded by palms, each cottage offering its own private sunbathing area.

Together with the relax and exclusivity created by the privacy and the boutique style of The Tides, guests may enjoy activities such as snorkel or scuba dive on the pristine coral reefs of the Maziwe Island Marine Reserve. Swimming, sailing, fishing or kayaking are some of the activities available.

The Tides is a family owned business: James & Alex Balfour own The Tides, and they sympathetically renovated the hotel after buying it in 2004.

It is a great place not only for the beauty of its simplicity and the great food and service but also because of the way The Tides participates with the local surrounding communities.

The Tides employs 30 people from the local village of Ushongo, donates books to the local school and makes a monthly contribution to the village directly linked to the number of guests staying at the hotel. The Tides also encourages its guests to make contributions to benefit the village and busy as much as possible from the local community, and harvests the coconuts grown at the hotel plot and donates the proceeds to its staff. Moreover, The Tides Lodge financially supports a conservation project at the Maziwe Marine Reserve, which preserves marine life and provides income for the local fishermen in a sustainable way.

The Tides Lodge is small and intimate, offering a high level of personal service in an unobtrusive and unpretentious manner.

Facilities include a beach front bar, where lunch, cocktails and a full range of drinks are served; a fine dining restaurant over looking the ocean; recently built swimming pool and shop with internet facility.

The restaurant and bar are right on the beach. The restaurant boasts excellent cuisine as well as excellent views of the Indian Ocean. Freshly caught seafood is one of the specialties. Alternatives are available for those who are vegetarian or do not eat seafood.

The cottages, which are set amid the palms lining the beach, are spacious, bright and breezy and have large well appointed bathrooms.

Accommodation consists in just 9 rooms (including 2 suites)
with bright, spacious and stylish interiors. All the cottages have modern ensuite bathrooms, and fresh tropical flowers are placed in guests rooms every day. Rooms features include king size beds with mosquito nets, electric fans, solar heated hot water and fresh drinking water, as well as locally made soaps, bathing robes and beach towels. Each room enjoys private verandahs with superb and relaxing sea view and private sunbathing area.

Activities are also one of the key features to the hotel and there are a wide range to choose from including snorkeling and SCUBA diving on nearby Maziwe Island Marine Park, game fishing, cultural tours of Pangani, beach walks and village tours, kayaking, and other water sports.

The Migration Movement Update!

The wildebeest are currently quite dispersed due to the rains in both Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park.

Clients have had great sightings at Mara River with various river crossings as well as the rhino and 2 leopards. Nevertheless, the migration is also as far down as Lobo already and clients are seeing wildebeest in their hundreds. Soon they will be in the Seronera Valley!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Did you know?

There are 52 tribes in Kenya, each with their own tribal language though most people will also speak Kiswahili and English.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Client Feedback

Hi Nick

I hope you are well. I have just come back from my honeymoon at the Neptune Pwani Hotel in Zanzibar, as booked through yourself. We just wanted to send an email thanking you. We both had a wonderful, memorable honeymoon, at a hotel recommened by yourself.

Your help and attention paid to us during the booking of this holiday was fantastic, and of an extremly high standard.

Seems rare to find companies now that really do seem to have a genuine interest and concern in their customers requirements, yet you and your colleagues did that on each occasion we spoke.

I would have absolutly no problem in recommending you and your company to anyone that i can.

Should we think of returning to Zanzibar in the future, you will be the first phone call i make!

Again we both thank you, and wish you all the best for the future.


Matt Hyne.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Shompole Lodge - Eco Luxury at its best.

Nguruman Escarpment - Rift Valley - Kenya
Shompole Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge situated on the edge of the Nguruman Escarpment overlooking the Great Rift Valley in south-western Kenya. It is located 120 miles south of Nairobi on the Tanzanian border, near Lake Natron on a 35,000 acre core conservancy, surrounded by 140,000 acres of the Shompole Group Ranch which provides a With its stunning location lying on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, Shompole is a creation of the imagination. Constructed to emphasize the beauty of natural materials, the lodge combines flowing water and smooth white walls.

Shompole consists of six stylishly furnished minimalist rooms that incorporate elements of nature such as white quartz stone, thatch, fig wood and flowing water. The smooth white walls and the use of natural forms blend effortlessly with the natural rugged surroundings of the indigenous bush. The lodge overlooks the great sun baked plains of the Great Rift Valley and the rooms are spacious and shaded, having been designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. Each of the en-suite rooms has its own uniquely shaped “cool pool” and informal seating area with roll up canvas windows on all sides with spectacular views of the local scenery. The food is prepared from the finest fresh ingredients and you can enjoy your dinner in the main thatched dining room or in the privacy of your own room under the stars.

The local Maasai people are fully involved in the running of the lodge and welcome visitors to the camp and the local villages, an experience that adds an interesting cultural element to the clients´ stay. Each tented room provides a very spacious, shady oasis in this arid environment. With privacy, comfort and relaxation in mind, each room has its own cool-pool and informal sitting areas, a bathroom with a view and a specially designed tent that includes vast windows and a high canopied roof.

The main lounge and dining area consists of a high thatch roof overlooking Mount Shompole and the Rift Valley. Various levels accommodate seating areas and a lofted recess high in the roof provides an additional quiet area.

Little Shompole is composed of 2 luxury suites situated within a few minutes’ walk of the main lodge, commanding striking views across the Great Rift Valley. Complete with 9'x9' double beds, large cool pools, sun-deck, lounge and spacious bathroom with his and hers washbasins, these rooms are the ultimate in stylish privacy. The rooms also share an exclusive lounge and dining area and a 37m horizon / lap pool that looks out across Lake Natron. For clients looking for an even more exclusive and private getaway, guests of Little Shompole can enjoy the privacy of a dedicated team of staff, private guide and butler service.