African Safaris – Covid 19 requirements by Country

African Safaris  – COVID-19 Entry requirements by country

The sheer expanse, diverse beauty, wide open spaces, fresh air, sunshine and open vehicle game drives,  make the African bush the best post-lockdown destination for travellers who are looking for a much needed breakaway well away from large crowds and all the stress from the last year.  An African Safari is just what the doctor ordered.

It can be exceptionally overwhelming trying to keep up with the constant changing entry requirements and protocols for each country, and we would like to assist with taking the stress out of your travel planning by laying out each countries current COVID-19 entry requirements.  We’ll keep this post updated as the requirements change.

South Africa 

Table Mountain, Cape Town

All international travellers from around the world can now visit South Africa and will be allowed entry, subject to certain conditions. Visitors should note that there is currently a curfew in South Africa between 00h00 and 04h00. If your flight arrives within the curfew hours and you are stopped by law enforcement officials en route to the airport, hotel or home, all you need to do is present proof of your boarding passes or tickets for your flights.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arrivals must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure for South Africa. In order for the PCR test to be considered valid, it must have the name and signature of the certified medical practitioner who conducted the test. Your test result must be printed (not on your phone) and in English.
  • Arrivals will be screened for signs of COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the coronavirus.
  • Arrivals will be asked to download the free COVID Alert South Africa mobile app.
  • All foreign nationals must have travel insurance. Make sure that your travel insurance covers the cost of any coronavirus testing or quarantine measures

Mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine is not required, unless:

  • You fail to present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test. Should this be the case, you will be required to enter mandatory quarantine at your own cost and remain there until (1) you have either tested negative for COVID-19 or (2) the quarantine period of 10 days has been completed.
  • You show any COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person in which case you will be required to take a mandatory COVID-19 test at your own cost. If the test result comes back positive, you will be required to enter a 10-day quarantine period at a designated site at your own cost.

Namibia 

Damaraland, Namibia

Namibia’s borders are open to travellers from all countries.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arrivals must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of boarding their international flight to Namibia.
  • Upon arrival in Namibia, all travellers will go through a health screening and temperature testing procedure and will be required to submit their full travel itinerary.
  • Visitors to Namibia are NO LONGER required to retake the COVID-19 PCR test five days after entering the country.

Mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine is not required, unless:

  • A visitor’s PCR test is older than 72 hours but less than seven days. In this event, the traveller will be required to submit to a supervised quarantine of seven days.

Zimbabwe 

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

While land borders remain closed, Zimbabwe’s international airports are open to leisure travellers from all countries.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arrivals must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test that is not older than 48 hours from the time of departure for Zimbabwe. The PCR test must be obtained from a recognized facility in order for it to be considered valid.
  • Upon arrival, all travellers will undergo health screening and temperature testing protocols.
  • A fee of $60 will be levied on travellers tested at ports of entry.
  • Standard social distancing protocols, regular hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine on arrival is not required, unless:

  • Arrivals show symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • Arrivals don’t present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate upon arrival.

In both these cases, the traveller will be required to (1) quarantine at their own cost at a designated isolation facility for seven days, and then (2) self-isolate for a further seven days at their own cost.

Other measures

The current 30-day national lockdown which came into effect on 2 January 2021 has very little impact on holidaymakers and leisure travellers. Inter-city and inter-provincial holiday travel are permitted between 06h00 and 18h00. National parks and designated tourism facilities are open from 06h00 and 18h00, too. If you are travelling between destinations, you may be asked to provide documentation of your accommodation or national park bookings. While there is mandatory lockdown business closure, hotels and lodges in Zimbabwe are exempt

Zambia 

Zambia, like Zimbabwe, is also open to all foreign visitors. Depending on nationality, some travellers to Zambia can enter without a visitor visa while others can either obtain a visitor visa on arrival or apply for an e-visa before travelling to Zambia. Consult the Zambian Department of Immigration website for more information or ask your African Welcome Safaris travel consultant for details.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arrivals must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 7 days of arriving in Zambia.
  • Arrivals will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry and are required to adhere to standard COVID-19 infection mitigation protocols like social distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene for the duration of their stay in Zambia.
  • Visitors will be asked to monitor themselves daily for two weeks post-arrival in Zambia for coronavirus symptoms and, if they start showing signs, report to the nearest health facility.
  • Visitors leaving Zambia will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate only when flying with an airline or to a destination that requires such a certificate.

Mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine is not required, unless:

  • An arrival is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 infection, in which case, they will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Botswana 

Mokoro Safari, Okavango Delta

On 9 November 2020, air travel resumed at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Maun, and Kasane International Airports. Airlines servicing these three airports are Airlink and private charter flights.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Travellers must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result that was conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana.
  • Upon arrival in Botswana, travellers will undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.

Mandatory quarantine

Visitors showing COVID-19 symptoms will be required to:

  • Undergo a PCR test, and possibly self-isolate and or quarantine for 14 days.

Tanzania

Great Migration, Serengeti

Tanzania has been open to travellers from all countries since 18 May 2020. When the ban on international flights into and out of Tanzania was lifted, the government directed all tourism entities to designate and adequately train Covid-19 officers to liaise with the country’s Health Ministry. All hotels and tourist facilities went through a COVID-19 certification process and new standard operating procedures were introduced to provide a safe environment for locals and tourists.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Visitors are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival UNLESS the airline they are travelling with or their country of origin requires a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure for Tanzania.
  • Visitors will undergo temperature scanning on arrival and must complete and submit a Health Declaration form upon entry.
  • Face masks are mandatory in all public places and social distancing is required at all times.

Mandatory quarantine

If visitors show symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival, they may be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Please note

While the government of Tanzania has removed mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements for visitors on arrival, as well as the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test, the airline you are travelling with may require a negative COVID-19 certificate, or your country of origin may require a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure.

Travellers who need to undergo COVID-19 testing before leaving Tanzania should plan to get tested 5 days prior to departure to allow enough time for test results to be received.

COVID-19 PCR testing is available in

  • Dar Es Salaam ($100 per person per test). Test results are available between 24 and 48 hours.
  • Arusha ($100 per person per test). Test results are available between 48 and 72 hours.
  • Zanzibar ($120 per person per test). Test results available between 48 and 96 hours.

Kenya

Masai Warriors, Masai Mara

Kenya reopened its borders for international travellers on 1 August 2020. Depending on the country of origin, some travellers may be required to quarantine (see the section “Mandatory quarantine” below for further details).

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • If you travel to Kenya you will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test (NOT a negative rapid test) result taken within 96 hours of flying. If on arrival, you present the Kenyan authorities with a negative rapid test result, you will need to enter mandatory or voluntary quarantine for 14 days, depending on an assessment of your ability to quarantine.
  • Upon receiving your negative COVID-19 PCR test result, and before arrival in Kenya, you will need to go online and upload your negative test certificate onto the Trusted Travel or Global Haven website. You will receive a QR code which, together with your negative test certificate, you will need to present to the Kenyan authorities upon arrival in Kenya.
  • Prior to travel, you also need to fill out an online “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” for the purposes of contact tracing. Make sure you print the QR code here, too, so you can show it to the authorities on arrival in Kenya.
  • You will be screened on arrival.
  • If you are displaying the symptoms associated with COVID-19, you will be required to quarantine in the place you are staying for the first 14 days of your stay. Passengers travelling in the two rows surrounding you on the flight will be traced and required to quarantine for 14 days.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Some travellers may be required to enter mandatory quarantine, depending on their country of origin.
  • A list of approved states and territories whose travellers are exempt from quarantine can be found here.
  • Travellers displaying COVID-19 symptoms will be required to quarantine for the first 14 days of their stay. Passengers travelling in the two rows surrounding them on the flight will be traced and required to quarantine for 14 days, too.

Other COVID-19 safety measures

  • There is a nationwide curfew is in place between 22h00 to 04h00.
  • Face masks must be worn in public places and social distancing etiquette must be observed.
  • Social distancing rules apply when using private vehicles. This means that anyone driving a car may fill only 50% of the vehicle’s seat capacity.
  • Passengers leaving Kenya for destinations and transit airports that require PCR tests must have a Trusted Travel (TT) QR code for their COVID-19 test certificates.

New E-Visa protocols

Kenya’s Immigration Services is in the process of fully automating its visa issuance process. As such, from 1 January 2021, visas will no longer be issued at the airport or any immigration border. Instead, all passengers from countries that require a visa to enter Kenya will be required to apply for and obtain an e-visa online before boarding their flight

Rwanda

Kigali International Airport remains open.

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arrivals must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure for Rwanda.  The PCR test must be obtained from a recognized facility in order for it to be considered valid.
  • Upon arrival, all travellers will undergo health screening and temperature testing protocols.
  • All travelers arriving in Rwanda must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload the negative COVID-19 test certificate before their departure to Rwanda. The Passenger Locator Form is available here.
  • Travelers will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at Kigali International Airport. The payment for the test at the airport is $60 ($50 for the test and $10 for specific logistics at the airport). The payment is to be made online or by cash upon arrival.
  • All travelers are required to wait 24 hours for the results of their COVID-19 test in a designated hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24 hour waiting period. A list of the designated transit hotels is here.
  • Business travelers who plan to be in Rwanda for a short stay (less than seven days) and international tourists scheduled to visit national parks will not be required to undergo the seven day quarantine. Proof of such plans will be verified upon entry at Kigali International Airport. Note that for travelers exempt from the seven-day quarantine, departure procedures to include a negative PCR test within 120 hours of departure still apply.
  • Transit passengers who are not leaving the airport, and those who will leave the airport to go to the designated transit hotels for less than 24 hours will be screened upon entry and are not required to test upon arrival.
  • If a traveler’s test result is positive for COVID-19 (even if asymptomatic) while in Rwanda, they will be treated as indicated in the National COVID-19 Management Guidelines until they have fully recovered. All treatment is at the expense of the traveler.
  • Travelers departing Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV2 Real Time Chain Polymerase (RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours before departure. All other tests are not permitted. Travelers are encouraged to book and pay for their tests at least two days prior to departure through the online platform here.
  • All requests for visa extensions for residents and/or tourists should be addressed to the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration. Their website is here.
  • Standard social distancing protocols, regular hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Other measures

Curfew in place  between 9:00 PM and 4:00 AM until 30 March  2021 

In Africa, we always have time …

We are looking forward to welcoming overseas visitors to our shores and we can’t wait to take you on that bush-break safari or island-style getaway you’ve been dreaming of. In light of the global pandemic and the changing face of how we travel and interact, we would like to remind you to relax and enjoy “African time “- which operates in much slower and more relaxed pace

Visitors can expect to be asked to follow standard Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing, wearing face masks in public places, regular hand washing and sanitising. They, like all citizens of the country they are visiting, may also be asked to complete health questionnaires and submit to temperature testing and health screening on arrival at airports and on checking into their safari lodge or boutique hotel, when visiting shops, entering restaurants and taking in tourist attractions.

This may lead to delays. Our suggestion is to take a deep breath, enjoy the moment and remind yourself that you are on holiday….there is no rush…… it is Africa and it is waiting for you  !!

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

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Tswalu Kalahari Adventure

AFRICAN WELCOME SAFARIS SIGHT INSPECTION REVIEW  Author – Alex Simon – Co Director

I started writing this review whilst flying in the luxurious Pilatus PC 12 Jet belonging to the wealthy South African Oppenheimer family.

The flight path was from Tswalu in the Kalahari to Cape Town. My partner and I accepted the invitation of a two-night all-inclusive sight inspection visit to Tswalu Kalahari. When my partner told me that we had been invited, I was not quite sure what to expect as its reputation was only exceeded by its own.

To have experienced this magnificent and opulent journey to Tswalu first-hand has given me a great understanding of what next level luxury is. Let me say here that the Southern African Safari product is huge. Thousands of fabulous, well run, elegant and intimate Safari lodges spread out over many great wilderness reserves compete for business. Tswalu Kalahari , however , has always just stood out. Towering high above the rest.

Portraying a magical ring of exuberant and opulent luxury, deep within the distant solitary red sands of the mystical Kalahari. Tales of pangolins with elegant scales, majestic black maned lions and fascinating meercats drew fantastic imagery in my mind. Visions of a place born of great wealth filtered through my thoughts. Diamond fortunes that glitter alongside the mountains of pure gold. Diamonds that have been transformed and returned to its ancient parent. The dry African sand drinks thirstily from these shining gems. Vast desert lands fatigued by exploitative carelessness. Gently allowing this restorative energy to soak back into its billions of ancient grains. Allowing its living companions to thrive magnificently in all their glory. A place fit for Sultans and Kings to indulge in the splendid lands of the Kalahari.

OUR EXPERIENCE AT MOTSE TSWALU

We packed the night before and set out at 05h45 the next morning to the airport for our 06h50 check in time. We enter the plush Execujet lounge and are immediately welcomed by the staff. Filled croissants, fresh fruit kebabs and coffee are served. Four Americans arrive and we introduce ourselves.

They had spent 4 nights in Cape Town, then they had planned  4 nights at Tswalu Tarkuni and then the Kruger Park. They were from Cape Cod and were thoroughly enjoying South Africa. A short time later our Pilot introduces himself and announces that we are ready to board. Our bags are whisked off as we make our way across the tarmac. I saw some tired looking jets first, thinking we may be flying on one of them. Then as we made our way I thought “oh my goodness “when the pilot showed us the Pilatus. The fabulous sleek and stylish shining silver Pilatus PC 12 stands ready for take-off. The 4 Americans with us looked as delighted as they board. On entering we are met by a very plush interior with polished wood and leather seats.

The Americans take the 4 seats facing each other and we take the other two behind them. The pilot settles us in and points out the snacks and drinks area. Some safety talk and he takes his controls with the co-pilot seated next to him. A smooth and agile take-off sees us climb in the pressurised aircraft to cruising altitude. It is quite remarkable that this direct flight 2 hour takes one from a big city to such a remote place in such a short and convenient way. After a smooth and very luxurious flight , the pilot announces to fasten our seatbelts.

He starts his decent and the aircraft gets heaved and bumped around by the heat air pockets coming from the desert. Tswalu has a private 2030-meter tarred runway that allows us to land smoothly in the middle of the red sand desert. As we say our thanks to the pilot, we feel the 35-degree dry heat in the air. A welcome temperature after leaving a cold and rainy Cape Town. A short walk across the tarmac takes us to a thatch roofed lounge area where we are warmly greeted by the staff on duty. Hot towels are immediately offered, and a bar area filled with small quiches, biltong and dried sausages, a local delicacy. Immaculate and luxurious bathrooms are found just behind the bar area. Part of the Tswalu experience, which is included in the price, is a private land rover ,tracker and ranger for each party. We say our goodbyes to the Americans as they board their Land rover. They are going to stay at the exclusive Tarkuni Lodge.

Our tall ranger then comes to us and introduces himself as Kalamari. Quite a unique name ! He introduces us to our tracker Ben, who then takes the tracker seat on the front end of the bonnet. They will stay with us for all the game activities. I have been on a few Safaris before, but never had exclusive use of a vehicle. I must say that it is quite a treat. A sense of comfort in that privacy sort of takes over. We settle into the raised seats behind Kalamari. I did not know then, how well we were all going to get to know each other. Kalamari tells us that a 40-minute drive will take us to Motse Lodge.

 Motse Lodge

Feeling a little tired from all the excitement we arrive at Motse and are met by smiling staff offering hot towels to freshen up. Then a soothing cocktail is handed to us. We make our way to the lounge area which is meticulously designed to blend in with the Kalahari. High thatch roof with big wooden beams and then luxurious couches are available throughout the deck area.

My eye sweeps across the two crystal clear swimming pools surrounded by the red desert sand. A short distance further is a waterhole where two warthogs and a couple of large antelope are quenching their thirst. We too quench our thirsts as this unique environment captivate our beings.

The endless red sands, toughened antelope walking across the desert, then the silence that flows from this most isolated place. A sense of peace makes one feel at home. The charming manager then shows us to our room. There are only 9 rooms at Motse Lodge and ours was everything I was expecting and more.

Again, a lovely thatch roof, four poster bed, and a viewing deck overlooking the waterhole. I really liked the outdoor sunbed that allowed for an afternoon nap. At night it is used for star gazing. One found a fully stocked bar in the room (all drinks are included in the price ), a great selection of Darjeeling Tea, rusks, dried sausage, complimentary cakes and a welcoming letter.

The two staff members who had also assisted us to our room asked what our drinks of preference were. As we were unpacking, they left and returned a short while later and re stocked the fridge and bar with our preferred beers and wine. As we have an appetite after the journey to Tswalu, we ordered an excellent Croque Madame which we chose to eat on the deck of our room. It was brought to us promptly and done to perfection topped with a Sauce Mornay and a pickled red onion salad. Whilst lunching we saw a large herd of wildebeest coming to drink from the waterhole.

A great sense of peace came about us as we indulged in this fantastic landscape, as the afternoon sun warmed the air. I then chose to have a nap on the large and very comfortable sunbed draped with shade cloth , which was a refreshing choice after an exciting journey so far.

 OUR KALAHARI SAFARI EXPERIENCE WITH KALAMARI

 To have a private Land rover available to you exclusively allows for a wonderful sense of privilege. A large 4×4 Land rover perfectly suited to the loose sands of the Kalahari.

Twice daily three-hour Safaris made sure we had ample time in the bush. We would meet our Ranger at the agreed time for each Safari Kalamari at the wheel, large rifle resting on the dashboard and our tracker Ben perched on a seat on the front end of the bonnet. Off we drove into the vast desert, in anticipation of the days game viewing.

It is almost a spiritual time as one reflects on the quietness of the desert compared to rambunctious traffic snarl ups of a big city. We would embark on long conversations with Kalamari, ranging from his upbringing, past work experience, the Oppenheimers to politics. Then we would pass a herd on Gnu. Kalamari enjoyed verbalising the name of the animal in exaggerated fashion by raising the tone of his voice and slipping out GGGnnnnnuuuuu ! This became part of our game drive experience each time we saw Gnu. The Kalahari reserve is divided into two sections.

The larger covering about 100 00 ha where the species range from Pangolin to Meerkats. The smaller one at about 20 000 ha has the black maned lion. There is a public dirt road that runs between the two and one needs to go through a set of gates to enter the reserves.

Our game drives alternated between the two. Kalamari was an excellent driver who showed complete control of his vehicle as he navigated it through thick sand at a good speed to allow for our passage not being bogged down by the sand. Sliding from side to side as we climbed a steep dune.

As the sun set, Kalamari stopped the vehicle at the summit of the dune which offered sweeping views over the desert as far as the eye could see. It was sun downer time. Ben jumped off his trackers seat and went to the back of the vehicle to fetch a cooler box. They set up a table at the front of a vehicle and Ben poured me an ice-cold beer. My partner was offered some good red wine. Then lovely canapes and biltong were brought out for us all to enjoy. Small quiches and cucumber and salmon sandwiches. An excellent chocolate desert followed. The moment was magical, as we all watched the sun set in a display of deep reds and oranges.

My beer had gone down with such savour that I was quite ready for another. Kalamari swiftly reached into the cooler bag and offered it to me with his charming and gracious smile. If I were to compare the other Safari regions I have visited, such as Kruger, this experience was quite different. I much preferred this one.

Unique terrain, which I should repeat, was simply breath taking with its red sands and pastel colours. Unlike Kruger the Safari felt significantly more relaxed, with less anticipation of seeing the Big 5. We were very alone out there with no other vehicles to be seen allowing for such a sense of privacy.

Our venture out was to engage with all manner of creature to be found and one would marvel at its unique survival skills in dry and hot environment. Kalamari and Ben would discuss with us what viewing interested us. We decided that Lion, cheetah, pangolin, wild dogs and meercats would be the species that we would look for. Our rangers were specialist trackers and would be able to work through square kilometres of an area allowing for the animals to be found.

 WILD DOGS

 On our sunset Safari drive, Kalamari was in contact with the land rover the Americans we flew up with were on.

They had found a pack of wild dogs on the hunt. The other vehicle came close to ours and the Americans looked at us with a smile. One of the American men pointed at us in surprised recognition and said quite loudly “Alex and Kathi? “in his inimitable American jarl. This caused some laughter at this recognition as we smiled and waved at each other.

The pack was some 15 dogs strong and were cruising almost effortlessly across the dunes. Kalamari explained that their long thin legs moved in such a sophisticated way which was designed to conserve their energy. Again, the moment was infused with wonder for us, as these dogs prowled this surreal landscape. We followed them for quite some time, until they disappeared into inaccessible terrain. Kalamari told us that in the past he had seen the pack attack a large warthog. Stopping the car, he asked Ben to show us the clip he had taken on his phone. It was quite gruesome to see the relentless and precise attack taking place. We carried on into the night back towards Motse thinking about this time we had spent with this pack of wild dogs. Visions remain of the pack moving effortlessly across the desert night after night in search of their meal.

 MEERKATS AND THE MALORI SLEEPOUT

 On our morning Safari drive, we asked to see the Meerkats. They have a habituated colony that was to be found not far from the Malori sleepout.

As we passed the sleepout, we asked if we could stop and have a look. Kalamari explained that the sleepout had to be booked in advance and then great preparations were made to create a most romantic and unique sleeping environment. Raised on a deck with a thatch roof, guests have a king size bed and can spend the evening alone in the middle of the desert. One is brought there by your ranger and then snacks, and sundowners are served. A chef then prepares a private dinner to be had under the stars.

One is then left to enjoy the evening. The outdoor toilet caused us a laugh, as it was free standing facing the great expanse. Although this toilet is far more luxurious than digging a hole in the ground! It must be a magical experience to have such a sleep out.

A short drive later, we are greeted by a solitary ranger wandering through the warm desert. Kalamari explains that as we spoke the day before about the meerkats the ranger had been sent to keep track of the Meerkats for us.

We disembark and walk through the thick red sand towards this delightful colony some 20 strong. The morning temperature is a good 30 Degrees Celsius already. What a wonderful experience it was to see these most active and alert creatures going about their daily business. The mobs and gangs of meerkats chirruped and growled as they dug furiously with their claws.

We were told that their fingers were long claws that were used in combination with their strong tail for balance. The dark rings around their eyes protected them from the harsh sun. Membranes on their eyes protected them for the dirt being dug up. Every moment one would stop digging and look around with great intensity for any danger. Clearly, we were not a threat as they paid us no attention. What lovely photo opportunities there were with the red hues of the sands, fawn coloured meerkats and magnificent camelthorn trees.

BLACK MANED LIONS

 The next morning Safari plans were to track down the lions. This meant crossing into the smaller of the two Kalahari reserves owned by Tswalu.

We arrived at the gate with its hundreds of kilometre long fences on each side. Crossing the sand road, Ben jumps off the tracker seat and unlocks the other gate. A sense of excitement emerges as we are now in lion country! We notice that the terrain is rockier than the other reserve as we swerve through the loose sands.

After some driving and more Gnuuuu, Ben points towards a thicket of Camelthorn trees in a depression some way away. Ben tells us there are lions there. I squint my eyes in the direction and I just cannot see any lions. Amazing eyesight these trackers! As we round a corner, a steep mountain of thousands of red rocks sweeps upwards to the blue sky. Suddenly a terrified warthog scrambles ahead of us, tail pointing upwards like a radar. The animal then ascends the mountain with such incredible survival skills as its hooves rapidly find perfect landing places.

Up it scurries, and in no time its more than halfway up. Next moment we see an enormous black maned lion appears ahead casually following the warthog. The lion ignores us as we see it intently watching the warthogs progress. Kalamari explains that the warthog had made it to safety, as the lion would not be able to climb the mountain. The lion disappears into the bush as we try get closer. A short drive later we encounter the main pride lying in the shade of a Camelthorn tree. A sense of excitement rushes over us as we move towards the sleeping pride.

Kalamari navigates the car to a safe distance from the cats, but close enough to feel part of the pride. This Kalahari moment was once again magical as my mind momentarily drifted to my normal life in Cape Town behind my desk. Here we were in this most unique place spending our Friday morning with these magnificent beasts.

The hunting male has now returned to the pride as his massive frame drops onto his sleeping companion as if he were claiming his spot. This caused the sleeping lion visible irritation as he struck out with his claws and let out a thunderous roar. Nearly jumping out of my seat, the roar had such power that the hair on my neck crawled. A depth of sound that can only come from primal vocal cords. I was completely humbled by it. The desert became quite again, so incredibly quiet, as the lions settled down. After a good half hour, we bade farewell to the pride and made our way back to Motse Lodge. Looking forward to breakfast.

HORSE RIDING

 Kalamari had asked what we would like to do in the afternoon, and we asked if we could do a horse ride. Once again, he immediately arranged everything, and we set out in the afternoon towards the stables that were to be found somewhere in the red desert.

Kalamari then enquired if we had any riding experience. We told him we had spent a limited amount of time on horseback and he assured us that we would not mount the horses they used for fast rides. We arrive the stables which were neatly set out amongst the dunes, once again being greeted smiling stable staff.

The staff issued us with the correct gear and helped us mount the horses. Our guide told us that we would do a circuit through the dunes which would take an hour or so. Off we trotted as we came to adjust to the swaying roll and tumble of the mounts. Ahead, we saw a rather steep looking dune that looked like it required more than our riding experience to negotiate. Our guide assured us that we would be fine as he swept up the dune effortlessly. My partner was next, and she struck the sides of her horse with her boots and thundered up the dune like a cowgirl.

My turn now as I summoned the necessary courage. I felt the power of this steed as it glided up the dune with such force as I desperately tried to stay in the saddle. Next thing I was at the top of the dune in one piece as the others gave me a smile. By now dripping in sweat,  we again settled into the sway of the journey in the middle of this great desert.

Again, this sense of timelessness gripped me as I marvelled at the array of pastel colours and clarity that only the Kalahari offers. We passed countless skulls, and on enquiring, our guide said this was cheetah country. As we arrived back after a wonderful experience, we said our thanks and Kalamari took us back to Motse in time for high Tea.

DINING AT MOTSE LODGE

 We were aware that we would also be in for a gastronomic treat !  As the Michelin stared chef Jan Hendriks was involved in the menus. With Breakfast, lunch, high tea, and Dinner on offer each day The breakfast is served after the morning Safari and is a thorough treat with a selection of freshly baked breads made with timeless Kalahari recipes held by the locals.

Smiling staff who are always at the ready and offer wonderful selections of cooked breakfasts and creative and delicious cheeseboards. We chose a lovely table on the deck with a view of the endless desert and dusty waterhole. After breakfast one has time to relax and we chose to sit on the deck of our room and watch the game go by.

Lunch is an informal affair, and when one is ready, one makes their way to the Lodge deck and takes a table. The staff will offer you a variety of delicious sounding meals that are served with such grace and friendliness. High Tea was a treat we came to really look forward to. This is served on the deck in that late afternoon, and again charming staff begin to prepare the buffet table with a wonderful selection of sweet and savoury delicacies. Attentive staff took our coffee and tea order and announced that High Tea would soon be served.

A selection of delicious savoury and sweet treats was brought out and laid out neatly on a table. Goats cheese quiche, lamb meatballs in a wonderful sweet sauce and a host of other delectable. As we indulged in this delicious feast, a young gentleman came over and introduced himself as the front of house manager. I picked up his Turkish accent and he confided that it was his first day and had just arrived from Istanbul. It was also his first time in Africa. He seemed very overwhelmed by finding himself in such a remote area and that there were lions to be found as well ! After tea we were looking forward to our afternoon/evening Safari with Kalamari and Ben. On returning from an exciting Safari we went to freshen up and prepare for dinner with a good appetite after driving around the Kalahari.

What we liked about the dining area was its informal but Kalahari chique style. We chose an outside table on the deck overlooking the desert. A magnificent sun set further prepared us for a much-anticipated dinner. Without having to ask, our waiter brought a bottle of wine of my wife’s choice as well as my preferred beer! Our Turkish friend immediately welcomed us and asked with fascination about what animals we had seen. He was quite fascinated as we relayed our encounter with a large pack of wild dogs on the hunt. The lodge manager came to join us for a drink at our table as the sun set in its inimitable African style. The view of the stretching Kalahari was timeless. The manager outlined his daily life and past work experience. He had worked at many high-end lodges in Kruger, and this was his favourite.

After an interesting conversation he carried on with his duties. Our attentive waitress showed us the menu. A selection of starters was offered and my favourite main course, the Karoo lamb was available. Karoo lamb is fabled in Southern Africa for its tenderness and juicy flavours. Without asking we received fresh warm bread as well as a side of the most perfect French fries. This came with a bowl of the most delicious mayonnaise I had ever tasted. Creamy, just the right proportions of mustard, salt, and vinegar with a touch of lemon juice. It was such a treat to dip the fries into the mayonnaise as the Belgians love to do! I asked our manager friend for the recipe which he gave to us neatly typed out in a sealed envelope. After a sumptuous meal we were served the most delicious berry tart with fresh cream.

My wife who normally not a desert person could not resist it.

All of this was served in an elegant and unobtrusive way. We had a feeling that the staff really loved their work and the kindness and smiles went a long way to furthering our magical experience. Our last interaction of the evening was a young man who came to ask if we had enjoyed the evening. We gave all due compliments. On asking how long he had worked here, he replied he just returned from a stint in Kruger and was not feeling at home there. He said the sands started calling him and he left with a big smile.

The next evenings dinner was at the Boma. Kalamari asked if he could join us, and we accepted immediately. A large fire was burning in the centre of the Boma and the tables were laid out in a circle around the fire. There was a large buffet table with another barbeque going with a team of chefs watching carefully over their fare. With such a choice of excellent cuts of meat and fantastic selection of vegetarian sides prepared in South African style, we chose what we could manage. We spent a memorable evening with Kalamari and I realised that after quite a few hours together we had started forming a bond.

TARKUNI LODGE

For our last morning game drive, we asked Kalamari if we could see the exclusive Tarkuni Lodge which was once the private homestead of the Oppenheimer family.

He made the arrangements with the Tarkuni staff to expect us, and off we went again into the desert with or rangers’ navigational skills showing once again, where I would get lost a thousand times. En route, he pointed out their new home which they had built as a replacement to Tarkuni. It was quite stupendous in its quiet and elegant glory.

After a few twists and turns we arrive at Tarkuni to be met by a herd of large buffalo drinking at the resident waterhole. The Buffalo carefully monitored us as we exited the Land Rover and made our way along the wooden walkway. A magnificent building appeared with a large deck for al fresco meals and the wonderful thatch roofs that we became accustomed to.

A smiling lady welcomed us and offered us refreshments on the deck as we watched the buffalo. She then took us on a tour of this most luxurious and exclusive lodge. With five bedrooms it is perfect for a private family’s accommodation. One has a butler, cleaning staff, fully equipped kitchen preparing sumptuous meals and a private Land rover and ranger for the activities. After being most impressed, we said our farewells and made our way back to Motse for our last breakfast and check out.

FAREWELL TSWALU – THE GEM OF THE KALAHARI

The manager was on hand to check us out as we filled in the guest comments book and settled our gratuity to the staff.  Kalamari had already loaded our luggage in the Land Rover as we said our thanks and bid all farewell. A sense of sadness gripped me as we drove out as this had been such a most special and wonderful few days we had spent here.

Getting to know Kalamari and Ben, the lovely staff, the magnificent accommodation, the unbelievable game drives, and this most special place of our world the majestic Kalahari.

As we arrived at the airstrip the beautiful Pilatus was standing at the ready on the runway in its shining silver armour. We were slightly taken aback as we were told we would be the only passengers for the return flight private jet and all, which allowed us into the world of the extraordinarily rich for two hours !

We said our farewell to Kalamari and Ben promising to stay in touch. The Pilatus jets roared in preparation of the take off and as we jetted along the runway lifting off, I saw Kalamari standing tall and straight at the edge of the runway with his hand in salute to us , and off we went. I must say that this was another emotional moment that I figured out could only be the part of the magical energy and experience of this great and mystical place, the Kalahari.

Farewell Kalamari and thank you for showing us your great land.

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

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Why a South African Safari Should Be on Top of Your List

Why a South African Safari Should Be on Top of Your List

Diversity

South Africa is a land of contrast, and there are few other countries in Africa (and the world over in fact) where you can enjoy the same scenic and cultural diversity, not to mention diverse experiences with wildlife and natural beauty. South Africa offers the best of both a real ‘African’ style safari along with gorgeous coastlines waiting to be explored along the magnificent Garden Route, some World Heritage Sites, mountains and forests. You’d be missing out to overlook the range of experiences a safari here offers.

Value

A safari in South Africa is not merely a luxury travel experience. It is an investment in yourself. You will be making memories to last you a lifetime and enjoying the exhilaration of immersing yourself in all this beautiful country has to offer. Favourable exchange rates make South Africa a highly sought-after destination among Foreign International Travellers simply because of the calibre of experience that can be enjoyed so affordably. 

People

It’s been said that people make a place and a visit to South Africa will prove this to you with each return trip. Those who come here are overwhelmed by the warmth and friendliness of the South African people – from the 5-star lodge staff to tour guides and the average man or woman on the street. South Africans are notorious for being welcoming and approachable, and it’s this vibe that will make you want to come back again and again. 

The Scenery

Pictures are worth a thousand words (and videos perhaps ten thousand!), but you will find that the opportunities to drink in and capture, incredible scenery – much of which just cannot be found anywhere else in the world, is a massive drawcard for a South African safari. Keen on photographing the Big 5? No problem. How about a sunrise snap on top of Table Mountain, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World? We can arrange it.  Interested in Whale Watching in pristine waters to take in the glory of these creatures in their natural habitat? You can do that too. The memories will not only be indelibly burned into your heart and mind, but you will have ample photographic and video evidence with which to amaze and entice your friends and family back home when you share them. 

The Cuisine

South Africa is a mecca for foodies, and you will find that no matter what your preferences, catering in this country is sure to tickle your taste-buds at every turn. Explore traditional South African cuisine around a boma at your safari lodge in front of a roaring bonfire or dig into dishes you’re more familiar with if you prefer. Again, the diversity of the country and its cultures means there quite literally is something that appeals to everyone on the menu. And when you book your dream safari with us, you can rest assured that your every dietary requirement will be met – with creativity and enthusiasm.

Questions?

Get in touch with our friendly, professional team of expert consultants who will assist and advise you on every aspect of making your dreams of Africa a reality; call +27 21 797 4905 or email tours@africanwelcomesafaris.com

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

Don’t believe us, read independent reviews from past clients.

AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

10 Best Spas on Safari in South Africa

10 Best Spas on Safari in South Africa

Enjoying the luxury of an African safari experience is as much about the sights and sounds of the bush and its spectacular wildlife, the authentic warmth of the culture and the people and incredible cuisine as it is about being pampered and truly being able to relax in a setting unlike any other. We understand this and that’s why our itineraries feature some of the most exclusive private lodges offering some of the most indulgent spa treatments available.

According to TripAdvisor rankings, the following safari lodge spas are highly rated and may be construed as the 10 Best Spas in South Africa that you could enjoy on your African Safari.

The first five of these are located in the Kruger National Park but the others can be found in the Eastern and Western Cape, North-West Province and Kwa-Zulu Natal. You’ll be spoiled for choice!

Kapama Southern Camp Spa – Kruger National Park

Located in the world-renowned Kapama Private Game Reserve,  after a day out in the wild, you will be able to enjoy a luxuriant pampering at the River Lodge Spa which is considered one of the finest safari spas in Africa. Lounge by their spa pool or get a quick workout in before handing yourself over to their highly trained and experienced beauty therapists for one of their distinctly African treatments.

Tintswalo Safari Lodge Spa

Named ‘Bush Willow Spa’, after its namesake tree that grows in abundance in the reserve, the wellness facility at Tintswalo Safari Lodge was completely rebuilt in 2017 and presents a haven for those in search of complete relaxation amidst the soothing sounds and invigorating scents of the African wilderness.  The spa’ s philosophy centres around the traditional healing power of trees – and with more than 336 species, including some Baobabs that are estimated to be over 4,000 years old, the Kruger region presents a veritable Garden of Eden.

Elandela Private Game Reserve

The Elandela Private Game Reserve nestles within the Greater Kruger National Park region of South Africa’s Limpopo Province and is renowned for its white lion breeding program and its work with orphan rhinos. The spa experience provides safari lovers with an indulgent, sensorial escape in an exclusive, intimate setting to restore balance and enhance the relaxation of your safari holiday.

King’s Camp Timbavati Spa

Kings Camp offers an array of indulgent massages and exquisite treatments to choose from so that you can relax & unwind in this one-of-a-kind Timbavati spa. Treat yourself to an array of treatments – from body, skin and beauty rituals to revitalising massages – a must in completing your all-round rejuvenating safari experience.

Kariega Game Reserve

Relax and rejuvenate body, mind and soul at the Kariega Game Reserve – how does an African Scalp Massage sound to you? Perhaps a 90-minute Big 5 Treatment? Or maybe you find the idea of a full Kariega Spa Journey appealing… Whatever your need and preferences, the accomplished team of therapists have an offering to suit you and lull you into ultimate relaxation at the rivers’ edge.

Aquila Private Game Reserve

The award-winning Spa at Aquila Safari in Cape Town is a leading luxury Spa in South Africa, pampering guests with African natural products that harness the medicinal powers of indigenous plants, flowers and herbs and are free from petrochemicals, synthetic ingredients, colourants and preservatives. Featuring; 2 large heated indoor pools, steam room, sauna, nail bar, 10 treatment rooms, a couples or group treatment room and an outdoor pool.

Amakhosi River Spa

Besides the tranquillity of the magical outdoor setting, at Amakhosi River Spa you can expect  the use of Africology, which is the leading natural, eco-friendly and holistic spa and Skincare Company in South Africa,  based on natural ingredients, which are inspired by the wisdom of Africa’s traditional healers and celebrate Africa’s vibrant heritage, communities and plant life.

Mhondoro Safari Lodge and Villa

Whether for just you or for you and your beloved, the Mhondoro Safari Lodge Massage Suite offers a quiet and secluded haven for those seeking inner peace. Indulge in the moment and enjoy a deep tissue massage, a hot stone massage or an aromatherapy treatment in true African tradition with the use of locally produced luxury natural product range from Rain Africa.

Ivory Tree Lodge

In the Pilanesberg, Amani Spa at Ivory Tree Game Lodge was awarded the Safari Spa Award at the prestigious Les Nouvelles Esthetiques in 2007 and 2013 and when you visit here, its easy to understand why. Begin your journey with a hydrating body polish followed by an aromatherapy massage, a rhythmic, gentle full body massage using therapeutic aromatic plant oils to relax the body and a luxurious facial, a conditioning and nourishing manicure and pedicure duo complete your Amani Royale treatment journey… divine!

Shepherd’s Tree Lodge

The sister spa in the same malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve, at Amani Spa Shepherd’s Tree Lodge you can relax in the lap of luxury at this Spa which was the winner of the prestigious Les Nouvelles Esthetiques 2010 Spa Awards. It offers three spacious private treatment rooms that command an impressive vista of the expansive bushveld amphitheatre, where you can enjoy holistic rejuvenating Spa rituals, relaxing massages, facials and beauty treatments. For an intimate retreat, experience the couples suite with its hydro bath.

Questions?

Get in touch with our friendly, professional team of expert consultants who will assist and advise you on every aspect of making your dreams of Africa, a reality +27 21 797 4905 or tours@africanwelcomesafaris.com

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

Don’t believe us, read independent reviews from past clients.

AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

3 Reasons to Indulge in a Safari at Dulini

3 Reasons to Indulge in a Safari at Dulini

3 Luxurious Lodges to Choose From

The Dulini Collection offers something unique in that each of its three lodges cater to the needs of the sophisticated traveller but although each situated adjacent to each other, they are all three distinguishable and suited to differing tastes and requirements.

Leadwood Lodge for example, is the perfect secluded cocoon of African opulence for newly-weds or for those who prize privacy above all. The three magnificent thatched suites it offers are ideal for couples or for exclusive group experiences as they have been carefully distanced from each other to ensure that guests more than comfortably avoid encroaching on one another during their stay. Should groups require slightly more room along with sole use of the lodge, there is a fourth suite at their disposal made available on the premise that up to 8 guests then enjoy the safari vehicle at a time – (as opposed to the lodge’s usual policy of taking no more than 6 guests on a vehicle at a time). This policy means that you have ample opportunity to get to know your highly knowledgeable guides and to fully immerse yourself in your bush experience.

Dulini Lodge is the main lodge and also offers six exquisite thatched suites on the banks of the Mabrak River. Each suite is elegantly decorated in understated modern African safari style and comes with its own private plunge pool, perfect for a cooling dip during balmy bush days.

River Lodge is the third lodge on the reserve with its own unique look and feel described as exuding ‘…a sense of indulgence true to the long-standing safari tradition.’ The elevated positions of the suites on the banks of the Sand River make for spectacular views over the river towards the savannah beyond.

Privacy and Exclusivity for the Sophisticated Traveller

Each of these lodges cater for the discerning safari guest, but there can be no higher praise than from discerning guests themselves whose reviews echo with descriptions such as ‘exceptional’, ‘world-class’ and ‘life-changing!’. We are of the opinion that when your work speaks for yourself, you don’t interrupt – so we let the reviews of our safari guests speak for themselves.

Location, location, location

You’ve heard it so often that it may sound cliché, but the location of the Dulini Collection is what makes it something truly special. It is not unheard of to quietly witness leopard crossing the riverbed from the convenient vantage of the viewing deck for example. Reputed to be one of Africa’s finest safari destinations, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is home to Dulini and with no boundary fences between Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park, a great diversity of wildlife is found here, including the Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.

Aside from the incredible opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat, you will also be treated to all the five-star comforts of Dulini including their on-site wine cellar, fully-equipped gym and at the end of each day you can relax around the fire in the boma under African skies to enjoy sumptuous fare prepared by their highly accomplished and creative chefs. You may also wish to indulge in a little customary gift shopping as is the African tradition, in the Dulini safari shop. 50% of the profits from purchases made here are directly donated to the EsiDuini Community Trust which helps to alleviate poverty in the area.

Questions?

Get in touch with our friendly, professional team of expert consultants who will assist and advise you on every aspect of making your dreams of Africa, a reality +27 21 797 4905 or tours@africanwelcomesafaris.com

INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

Don’t believe us, read independent reviews from past clients.

AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

Best of The Kruger National Park

Best of The Kruger National Park

Royal Malewane Kruger Park

10 BEST THINGS ABOUT THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

1.One of the largest reserves in the world!

At a whopping 20 000 square km, Kruger is bigger than many countries! It will take you 18 hours by car driving from the North Parfuri Gate to the South Malalane gate. It’s not a highway though, one will encounter many wild animals on the way!

2.Teeming with African wildlife!

Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard and Elephant rule the roost. Just the Elephants number at over 15 000.The animal’s territories are expanding, as the Kruger National Park continues to grow. Due to the merging of neighbouring parks and private concessions. The fences are lifted allowing for thousands of new square kilometres of park each year.

Kruger Park Leopard

3. Driving in Kruger is very exciting!

One never knows what is around the next corner. It can appear as a family of enormous steel skinned Rhino, a pride of savage salivating lions or a sounder of waltzing baby warthogs. A 4×4 car is not necessary, a small one will do. Although a bigger car will offer better protection from a thundering Rhino charge! Do drive slowly on the dirt roads, as they can present challenges, especially after the rains. It can get edgy if your tyres sink into a mud patch with the Rhino now at full throttle, in a murderous black mood! This is where a deep physical strength will surface, allowing you to heave the car out, racing off in the nick of time! Use common sense when navigating a herd of Elephant, not getting too close. Quite a few cars have been over turned in the past! The sheer force of these beasts is evident as the tusks find the bottom of the car as the trunk flips it over like a dead tree blocking its path. The same common sense applies to any animal encounter, as they remain wild! Distances are also deceptive. In a city, 10 km may take a few minutes on a good road, in Kruger it can take a few hours. Lion sightings create much excitement, attracting all in the area. This can block the road for quite a time. The speed limit is 40 km/h on dirt roads and 60 km/h on the tar roads. Its best to have a careful plan in place for the next day. Choose exactly what route you will take and stick to it.

4. Magnificent scenery!

With seven beautiful rivers running through the park. Having a sundowner overlooking a river as the sun sets is a wonderful moment. Massive sharp toothed Crocodiles populate the river beds, proud grunting Hippos wallow gently in the river pools, crafty baboons saunter by in troops as herds of heavy footed buffalo come to quench their dry mouths. The smell of the barbeque will invite your appetite to the thatch roof restaurant. The fires flames are ready to offer an excellent Sirloin, served with a Madagascan green pepper sauce and a good bottle of South African Merlot. After the meal, retiring to the campfire to sip on a Muscat D`Alexandrie.The hunting activity of the bush intensifies as the night blackens. Hideous howls penetrate deep into the black night, whistling furiously along the lengths of the land, echoing off the rock mountains. Then a quite silence grips the land, until the next furious battle in the bush escalates into another crescendo of terror.

Elephant Charge

5.The Safaris!

These are in open vehicles with armed rangers. The rangers carry heavy calibre rifles if there is an emergency, such as a lion attack or Elephant charge! This is not common though, as the Rangers are skilled in the ways of the bush. The Safaris operate in the early morning or late afternoon. This is when the predators are on the hunt for food. For city dwellers, this is a unique experience. It ranks high on the list of many. The early morning Safaris leave before dawn. Hot coffee and rusks are served, whilst one bundles up, as it gets very chilly at that time. Setting off in powerful 4×4 open vehicles, the thrill of the chase begins. The afternoon/evening Safari allows for sunset drinks in the bush as a viewpoint. Once the dark descends, the rangers scan the bush from left to right with high illumination beams mounted to the vehicle. As the car ploughs through the thick thickets, one may encounter a family of elegant Giraffe, or a hunting pack of wild dogs. The eagle-eyed ranger may point out a four metre Black Mamba lying menacingly in the branch above. Ready to launch a rapid split second devastating bite of lethal poison. Imagine the scene if the snake drops into the car! Returning in time for dinner is always welcome, as one enters a civilised environment for the evening. Just don’t walk around the camp at night alone! Leopards are known to make quick work of the fences, if your camp has them!

6.Wonderful accommodation!

The Rest Camps in the park offer a variety of rustic accommodation. A river view bungalow allows the opportunity to have a barbeque with a magnificent view. Be aware that the smell of meat on the fire attract many predators at night. One can then walk to the perimeter fence and shine a strong torch. A thousand sets of glaring yellow eyes meet yours. You may be feeling outnumbered by now. Then, deadly, threatening roars from hungry throats encircle you. The days of cavemen ancestors come to life! Best to move away at this point. Try control the urge to run for your very life, as this may provoke an attack! Walk backwards slowly to the bungalow, your hair will be standing on end. The threat slowly subsides as the welcome lights of your hut brings you to relative safety. Now is a good time to have a stiff drink! Nasty experience that, as the ice cubes crackle and melt into your glass. The 5-star lodges offer the utmost in bush luxury. Many themed on the classical Livingstons Africa. Four poster beds, African art, thatch roof, private deck with plunge pool. Outside shower. Twice a day Safaris as well as a bush walk. Meeting fellow travellers, recounting the day’s activities around the fire at night. Outstanding Haute Cuisine!

Kruger Park Accommodation

7.Being at the beginning of time.

The stark contrast to bustling cities is tangent. In Kruger the eerie still silence is only interrupted by the sounds of chirping birds, the bellow of the hippo, the trumpet of the Elephant. The thunderous roar of the lion that carries many miles into the dark depths of the night. In Kruger the ancient terroir sits heftily in its timeless place, pondering over the next many millions of years to come. Basking in the hot African sun like an earthy lizard. Drinking thirstily from the quenching waters that fall from the sky. Flowing deep into its belly, allowing its floral and tree children to thrive .Allowing its legged and winged creatures to walk and fly freely over its vast ancient terrain.

8.Sitting on your deck when Elephant come to graze!

A surreal experience, especially if from a big city. After time one becomes accustomed to the Elephants presence and will enjoy the time with them. The long trunks snake themselves around the branches, ripping off the leaves with gliding precision. Munching down the thicket gathered. They may move closer to your balcony, at which point it is good practice to move into the lounge. Now that you are out of reach, choose to ignore the long trunk slurping up your Whisky! Another word of warning though, a couple entered their suite to find a leopard in the lounge! They promptly barrel rolled out and called the ranger! They chose to sleep with the windows closed that night.

9. A Lion kill in the dead of night!

Everyone whispers instinctively. The sheer force of these animals can only be seen with one’s own eye. The hunting strategy escalates to the chase, where the Lions adrenaline rises to its peak, as its 200 kg mass explodes into furious motion. Massive claws ripping into the ground, as their muscles expand and propel them like a spread winged eagle swooping down with deadly precision. By now you are thrown back to your earliest ancestor’s lives. The savage call of the past rings in your ears with a deafening reality. The hunted is running for its life, hooves slipping and sliding, as the animal craves its escape. Saliva drooling out its mouth, eyes wide with terror. The Lion is now at its hunting peak, operating with savage intent. The prey is now within reach. Feeling the strangle of the lion, the animal is brought down. As the lions then feast for their own survival.

Lion Kill

10.The Africa Bug Bites!

After one has experienced the Kruger National Park, its often only when one returns home that one feels the impact of the experience take hold. Back in the traffic, the shopping malls, the crowds. A silent yearning begins to grow inside. A pull takes hold. A pull that stems from that ancient terroir. A pull that feels magnetic. It stretches into your very core. When the Africa bug bites, you will yearn for the great plains, the people, the sunsets, the food, the animals, the old world feeling. You will know when that happens! Karen Blixem aptly wrote in her “Out of Africa “memoires…

“HERE I AM IN AFRICA, WHERE I BELONG “

Written by Alex Simon – Co Director of African Welcome Safaris

African Welcome Safaris offer solid custom planning when travelling to Southern Africa. Highly specialised in arranging your dream “Out of Africa “vacation or honeymoon. Drop us an email, Whatsapp or call if you would like to discuss how we could show you the best of the Kruger Park – details below.

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INDEPENDENT REVIEWS

Don’t believe us, read independent reviews from past clients.

AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS

Let us design your African safari with a variety of safari destinations – Our expertise includes travel and safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania.

PERSONALISED SERVICE

African Welcome Safaris offers a highly personalised service. With a dedicated travel consultant catering to all your travel needs. Our passion is creating your holiday of a lifetime.

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