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, 25 September 2013

Okavango Delta on track as World Heritage Site

UNESCO culture specialist Damir Dijakovic said that the nomination process normally takes two years and that the Okavango Delta's application is on course.

A team of experts from the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) are scheduled to visit Botswana next month as part of an assessment exercise towards the proposed nomination of the Okavango Delta for being declared a World Heritage Site. This came to light at a media seminar on the World Heritage Convention and nomination of the Okavango Delta held in Maun. The experts will arrive in Botswana on October 13.

Dijakovic noted that one of the key considerations for listing includes integrity which addresses issues relating to protection, clear identification of boundaries, management of the site, community involvement and potential threats to the site. He cited an example of the recently-listed World Heritage Namib Sand Sea site in Namibia, which has ensured that the communities already living there with their livestock continue to have access to land rights and resources. Kgosi Oleyo Ledimo, who welcomed the participants, reminded them that the residents of Ngamiland must be given credit for preserving the pristine delta on behalf of Batswana. “We have worked hard to conserve the delta and we have been co-operative with relevant departments to ensure that the listing comes into reality,” he said, adding that the delta is vital to the local economy as the communities make a living through fishing and other natural resources.

The seminar heard though that some development activities are incompatible with the listing of a site and this includes uncontrolled and unmonitored tourism ventures leading to overcrowding as well as mining within the site's core and buffer zones. In regard to tourism development, the Botswana nomination dossier proposes a maximum of 1,300 or 700 beds in the core area, and a maximum 24 beds per lodge. Clearly for mining development, the listing effectively does away with any prospecting or mining activities in the entire listed site.

During her presentation, the principal curator in the Department of National Museums and Monuments (DNMM), Gertrude Matswiri, noted that the overall objective is that there will be “no prospecting and/or mining licenses issued within the delta and panhandle. No new prospecting and/or mining licenses are issued within a buffer of 15kms of the delta and panhandle.”

Existing licenses that are a concern from a conservation perspective will have to be withdrawn by the government as soon as they are relinquished by the current license holder, she added. Meanwhile, Botswana’s only World Heritage Site, Tsodilo Hills is reportedly making positive developmental strides, registering close to 20 000 visitors annually, particularly after a generous injection of a much-needed P10 million funding from the Debswana-run Diamond Trust. The Tsodilo Community Initiative has come as God send for this community of 200, which does not qualify for government infrastructural development as a village. The initiative is now able to generate income through entrance fees, craft shop and a camping site. Two boreholes have been drilled for the community - complete with water reticulation for the village and many of the residents are working on the project. Matsweri disclosed that there were plans to build two lodges near the site, and to drill an additional borehole for watering residents’ livestock. Tsodilo, which one of Africa’s premier rock art sites with more than 4 500 images dating back to between 850 AD and 1100 AD was declared a National Monument in 1927 and a World Heritage Site in 2001. Another treasure in western Ngamiland, Gwxihaba Hills, was also declared a National Monument in 2006.

For more info on safari holidays please call: 01227 753181

Friday, 30 August 2013

King Cheetah Cubs born at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre


We are very proud to be able to introduce two new baby King cheetahs to the world!

The magnificent and rare King Cheetah was first discovered in 1926, where it was thought to be a completely new and exciting species – a strange hybrid between a cheetah and a leopard. Although we now know that it is not a new species, but in fact just a pattern variation of a normal spotted cheetah, no one can dispute the fact that the King cheetah is possibly the most beautiful of Africa’s wild cats.

King cheetahs have been reported in the wild, including a sighting in the Kruger National Park in 1974, but are incredibly rare, even in captivity. As the distinctive fur pattern is caused by a rare mutation of a recessive gene, both parents must carry the ‘King gene’ in order for the offspring to show off the spectacular markings of a King cheetah.

Tilla, mother of the cubs, is not a King Cheetah but carries the recessive gene, while father Tristan is a King Cheetah. Two cubs being born to the same litter is.

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. Cheetah Conservation is one of their core disciplines.

The Centre is actively involved in:
• The breeding of endangered, vulnerable or rare animal species
• The release and establishment of captive-bred cheetahs to the wild
• The treatment and rehabilitation of orphaned or injured animals which are brought to the Centre
• The education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation activities
• Eco-tourism
• A hands-on Student's Programme to conservation and adventure enthusiasts from around the world.

Please call: 01227 753181 for more information on safari holidays and reservations.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Sanctuary Swala now offers walking safaris.

Put on your walking shoes and experience beautiful Tarangire National Park from a different perspective with a walking safari at Sanctuary Swala. With our professional walking guide and armed ranger, guests can now explore the grassland around camp in one of the most secluded areas of the park. Our qualified guides have a wealth of knowledge and will explain how to understand animal behaviour while tracking a variety of game. You may encounter zebra, waterbuck, impala, ostrich, elephant as well as a number of birds. Sanctuary Swala is one of only a few camps within Tanzania's Northern Park that is able to offer walking safaris which is at an additional cost.

For more information on Safari or Zanzibar Holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753180

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Client Feedback: Safari and Beach Honeymoon.

Hi Lucy,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The return to the real world proved quite hectic!

However, I cannot even begin to explain how good our honeymoon was. We loved every moment of it! The safari was absolutely amazing! Our guide, Gabriel, from safari legacy was absolutely amazing and went way above and beyond to ensure that we had an amazing time and saw everything.....and we did see everything. The big five, the migration, cheetah, hippo, giraffe, hyena etc etc. amazing!

The accommodation on the tanzania leg of our trip was absolutely great. Beginning in the safe Arusha lodge and slowly progressing to sleeping in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti was an incredible way to do it and an experience we will never forget. Walking to our tent with an elephant right beside us and waking at 3 am to the roar of a lion outside our tent was unforgettable!!!

Then moving on to Zanzibar we had a great time relaxing. You know I fought long and hard to include the residence and it was great. However it is still dealing with some teething issues and so Baraza topped it. It was absolutely amazing! I would highly recommend going all inclusive in both resorts. I really feel it was the most cost effective way of staying and meant we didn't have to think about money whilst there! It must be said that the residence is still getting used to its all inclusive policy and we often got handed the wrong menus and staff were unsure what was included and what wasn't. 

We really did have the trip of a lifetime. It was perfect in every way and so thank you for all your helping in making it possible. I know that I did not make it easy for you. Thanks for sorting a great itinerary, for all your help in the run up to the trip and I guess also for the extra weight we are now both carrying having ate so much whilst away!

Thank you

Thomas and Helen

For more information on Honeymoons to Tanzania or any of the properties mentioned please follow the links or call: 01227 753181

Friday, 5 July 2013

Client Feedback: Selous Riverside Camp

Hi Lucy,

Sorry for the late reply, have had a hectic week!
I hope you are well?

We just wanted to let you know how much of a fantastic time we had on our honeymoon, it was perfect. Thank you for your recommendations. This is a bit of a long email!

Firstly, the safari at Selous Riverside Camp was just out of this world. We were picked up off the airstrip by Vincent, our guide and within minutes we had seen giraffe and we weren't even on our safari! We were taken straight to camp to freshen up and get sorted which was great after so many hours travelling. We then went on a private sunset boat safari where we saw loads of animals, hippo, baboons, beautiful birds etc. really beautiful.

The next day we had a full day safari which was amazing, saw giraffe, lioness, buffalo, zebra, impala.... Everything except the elephants (which I was secretly disappointed about but knew we were out of season to see them) we had a private lunch on the banks of the Rufiji, watching the hippos swimming in the river

David, our butler arranged a private evening meal on our veranda which was so thoughtful.

Our next day, we woke up to baboons playing right next to our tent-they were so close it was unreal. We decided to do the village tour and then the half day safari. It was such an insight going around the school and village, we event went for a drink in the local 'pub' with Vincent where we learned about his life as a Masai. The afternoon safari Vincent was on a mission, I think he could tell that I wanted to see the elephant so he asked if we were happy to go far out on the safari, which we were... And he found me my elephants! So happy to see a mother with her two calfs, just on the opposite side of the Rufiji river. Elated, we came back to a wonderful meal, played with the bush babies at the camp bar and watched the baboons slurping the water out of the swimming pool.

We thought the Selous Riverside was perfect for us, the food was amazing - better than at the hideaway to be honest. The service was fantastic, David really looked after us. Vincent too was brilliant, we couldn't have asked for better.

We were left in peace when we wanted it, and were treated like kings the whole time. The accommodation was really nice, tho some of the tents were being upgraded to have private plunge pools which looked like they will be a great addition.

We wouldn't change anything about the safari camp - on reflection we would have liked just one more day here as our fourth day was spent travelling so we only went into the safari park twice instead of the three times.


Thank you so much for your help in booking this for us. We really had an amazing time.
I am trying to talk Brian into booking another safari... :)

Take care,

Amanda and Brian

Sent from my iPad

For more information on travel to Tanzania or arranging a Honeymoon to Africa please follow the links or call: 01227 753180

Zanzibar airport raises airport tax.

Zanzibar airport taxes will be raised from $35 to $40 with immediate effect.

For more information on travel to Zanzibar please call: 01227 753180

Monday, 24 June 2013

Tanzania voted as 'Best Safari Destination in Africa'.

A few days after the Deputy Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu declared that the country was now aiming at attracting two million tourists annually; Tanzania has jusat been voted the best Safari Destination on the continent.

The votes were cast by more than 1,000 safari travellers and industry experts who took part in the largest survey of its kind to reveal the best safari country in Africa.

The results are now out and Tanzania came out the outstanding winner. The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu, said that Kenya's days as the leading tourism destination in the region were numbered and that "very soon Tanzania will take the lead."

It was just a matter of hours and now Tanzania has been voted in the lead, followed by Botswana. Kenya came third, Zambia fourth and the best of the victory was derived from the fact that South Africa, the best known country in Africa, finished in the fifth position.

"SafariBookings.com," an online marketplace for African safari tours, had conducted a two-year-long study, gathering reviews from more than 1,000 safari-goers and reputable industry experts to see which African country is best for African safaris. With a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars, Tanzania took the spotlight as the most outstanding winner, beating Botswana by about a tenth of a point.

Rounding up at the top five were Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. The study was based on 2,305 reviews from safari travellers and 756 reviews from industry experts, most of whom are reputable guidebook writers working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer's, Bradt and Footprint.
"More than half of the safari travellers have undertaken multiple safaris and have a good idea about what's offered. This secures the fact that Tanzania deserves this top spot," reads a release from "Safari-bookings" which was sent to Arusha over the weekend.

"Tanzania was rated the best tourism spot because it is home to two of the most famous safari destinations in the world, the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater," reads the release. Ngorongoro and Serengeti were both declared the new Seven Wonders of Nature early in February when Tanzania produced three out of the Seven winning features the third being Mount Kilimanjaro.
"Both parks offer stunning scenery and some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. Serengeti National Park is primarily known for the annual migration of more than 2.5 million wildebeest and zebra." The Ngorongoro Crater is a popular safari destination because the wildlife viewing in its immense volcanic caldera is superb throughout the year and sightings of game species such as lion, hippo and rhino are almost guaranteed.

For more info on this or any other African Safari destination please follow the links or call: 0044 (0) 1227 753180

Client Feedback: Chumbe Island and Essque Zalu

Hi Bruce

The service we got from you was exemplary. From when we were first in touch by phone, your timeliness, suggestions and clarity of communication was excellent. You were always upfront and clear about prices, and helped us put together a great itinerary to match our budget.

What particularly impressed and pleased me was that when we needed to switch the order of our Zanzibar holiday, you arranged this all for us, at no cost. This was a huge relief; given all the planning that had gone in to our honeymoon, only to have it potentially scuppered by 1time going bust, it was a great relief that you replanted things so we could still enjoy both locations of our Zanzibar break.

Everything worked absolutely perfectly in terms of logistics. The only exception being that there was no one waiting for us or to take us from International arrivals to Domestic Departures at TNZ. Not the end of the world, we just hopped in a taxi but you might want to contact your local supplier about that FYI.

The flight to Zanzibar was smooth and fine, as were all other connections. The Drivers were all on time and very friendly and nice. The cars are not exactly luxurious but they're fine for their purpose, so long as like us, expectations aren't for a brand new Merc or suchlike.

Chumbe Island was just amazing. 2 nights was the right amount of time for us. Though if you really do just want to relax 'in paradise' you could enjoy longer. The staff were excellent and the food was some of the best we had on our honeymoon. Great snorkelling, and interesting walk round the island, and some fun spotting the Snow crabs. It was really the perfect way to start our Honeymoon.

Only point for you to note about the Island was the interesting 'transfer' at the end. I think it was because the tide was out, but we had to wade a fair distance in the sea that was above our waists. Although the staff carried our bigger cases, it was still quite difficult carrying our smaller bags and having dressed ready for the drive, we weren't really expecting to be soaked! It wasn't a  problem for us, but I can imagine that some guests (thinking for example of my parents) would really struggle with this. It probably needs to be better explained on the morning of departure, and the staff should arrange to help carry all bags so you can just focus on not falling over in the sea!

Essque Zalu is amazing, truly spectacular. Staff all fantastic, and just an incredible Hotel. The food was excellent. Dinner was literally Michelin standard every evening. We went to the town for dinner one night and whilst it was nice, we wished we hadn't missed dinner at the Hotel for it. There is a turtle sanctuary 3 minutes walk from the entrance to the Hotel. It's not advertised though and we happened on it by chance.  But you can swim with the turtles and they are very friendly and inquisitive. It was one of the highlights of our Honeymoon and would recommend you mentioning this to anyone visiting Zanzibar and certainly who are staying at Essque.

We used a dive company called Poisson Divers I think. They're on TA if that name isn't quite right. They were also excellent and arranged a taxi to pick us up each morning which was good as cheaper than if arranged through the Hotel.

Eithopia airlines were OK, no concerns on that front and got us to SA just fine.

All in all it was a brilliant holiday and the perfect start to our Honeymoon. Wouldn't have changed a thing and would do it all again tomorrow!

Thank you again for your service and very best regards,


For more information on any of the properties mentioned please call: 01227 753180 and ask for Bruce.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Client Feedback: Breezes Beach Club and Spa

Hi Jennifer,

Now  back from Breezes ,Zanzibar (Monday) &thought I would get in touch to say what a marvelous holiday we had. Everything ran smoothly, save for 4 hour delay & rerouting via Kilimanjaro on the outward journey but which was just one of those things & soon forgotten when we were immersed in the beauty of Breezes resort.

So glad we were steered towards this lovely hotel with it’s wonderful ambience ,décor ,food & service. Our de luxe room was in the most perfect position right on the beach front . It was all very exotic & romantic as well as being reasonably priced for drinks/lunches.  We chose to dine at Tides on  the day of our silver anniversary  (the restaurant for two on the beachfront) and which we can thoroughly recommend for a special occasion. We were well treated & so sad to leave.

Full marks for organization your end inc pickups which ran like clockwork. We will return to Zanzibar & will not hesitate to choose & recommend Pure Zanzibar. So a big thank you to you & your colleagues.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Zanzibar Towns to Have Solar Power Installations.

Zanzibar — Almost all major streets in Zanzibar towns on Unguja and Pemba Islands will have solar powered lights should the current discussion between Zanzibar and financiers (China government) succeed.

"The discussions have been progressing well on the project -- that envisages installing solar streets lights. "We expect that the stalled project will proceed soon in Zanzibar Stone Town and its suburbs before shifting to towns in Pemba," said the Minister of State for Finance, economy, and development planning.

The statement was an additional answer to the question asked by legislators who wanted to know whether the project would extended to Pemba Islands. According to Dr Mwinyihaji Makame Mwadini, the minister responsible for Municipal Development, the street lighting project supported by Chinese financiers, started as a pilot project in some parts of the Zanzibar Stone Town.

Mwadini said that since the pilot phase has shown success the government requested China to support the implementation of the entire project including Pemba towns of Chakechake, Mkoani and Wete.

He said that the project would also help the municipal council to minimize costs of using traditional lights from hydroelectricity through the National Grid. The House was informed that the Zanzibar Municipal Council owes the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO) more than 200m/- for the streets lights.

For more information on travel to Zanzibar or Safari Holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753181

Sunday, 16 June 2013

US taxpayers face $76m bill for African trip.

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have scrapped a safari during their trip to Africa because of the costs of snipers needed "to neutralise cheetahs, lions and other animals if they became a threat", it has been claimed.

The couple will end a week-long tour of Africa in Tanzania, but austerity measures in the Secret Service mean they will not head into the wilderness.

US taxpayers will foot the bill of up to €76m for the trip, only Mr Obama's second to the continent of his father's birth since he became president.

But even with the overall costs involved, their afternoon visit to a Tanzanian wildlife sanctuary was judged too expensive, 'The Washington Post' reported.

It was dropped in favour of a tour of Robben Island – where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned – during the Obamas' visit to South Africa before they fly to Tanzania.

The safari "would have required the president's special counter-assault team to carry sniper rifles with high-calibre rounds that could neutralise cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat", the paper reported, citing a leaked Secret Service document.

The logistics of any presidential trip are costly, but arranging visits to three developing countries with poor security infrastructure and limited medical resources could be the most expensive foreign excursions of Mr Obama's time in office.

Military cargo planes will airlift 56 vehicles including 14 limousines, ambulances equipped for chemical and biological attacks and radio-jamming trucks to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.
A US aircraft carrier or amphibious warship with a full medical trauma centre will be anchored just offshore in case of emergencies during the trip, between June 26 and July 3.

Steve Atkiss, the special assistant for operations to former president George W Bush, said: "Even in the most developed places of western Europe, the level of support you need for mass movements by the president is extraordinary. As you go farther afield, to less-developed places, certainly it's more of a logistical challenge."

Because the visits happen one after another, three separate security, medical and logistics teams will be dispatched, one to each country. At least 445 Secret Service and White House agents will be involved.

Mr Obama's trip comes three months after Xi Jinping, China's new premier, toured South Africa, Tanzania and the Republic of Congo.

The president is reported to be travelling with more than 500 American entrepreneurs and investors, who will discuss commercial opportunities in each of the African countries.

Mr Obama has spent less than 24 hours in sub-Saharan Africa during his time as president – a visit to Ghana in 2009. His office has stressed that his pending visit is purely business. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

For more information on African Safaris or Zanzibar Holidays please follow the links or call: 01227 753180

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Client Feedback: Breezes Zanzibar

Dear Bruce

Thank you for your email.

The trip to Zanzibar was fantastic. Thank you for all of your help.

Breezes did not disappoint.
Staff were very good and service excellent.

Zanzibar Unique were great with the transfers. All on time. My only observation is that there private excursion costs are too high. We wanted to take a day trip to Prison Island and the Spice farm. There quote was some $150 more that the hotels.

Overall great trip.

Will certainly be recommending your company to all.



For more information on Safari Holidays or Trips to Zanzibar please follow the links or call:  01227 753180