Zambia South Luangwa Visit June 2018

June is one of my favourite times of year in this part of Africa. Lovely warms sunny days with temperatures in the mid-twenties are complimented by cool evenings. Colours are still bright and the bush still green following the rains which usually finish around March.

By June, dwindling water supplies are drawing the wildlife closer to Zambia’s beautiful rivers providing excellent and easily accessible game viewing.

On this trip we visited Zambia’s three best known reserves, South Luangwa National Park in the East, Lower Zambezi in the south and Kafue in the centre area.

Compared to other top safari locations, Zambia’s parks are relatively unknown, visitor density is low and there are just a few relatively widely spaced safari camps, particularly outside of the central Mfuwe area of South Luangwa so you really do feel as though you are pioneers in wild Africa.


This large park is Zambia’s flagship national park …

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POSTED BY: on 09/07/2018

Botswana May 2017 visit

The purpose of this trip was to acquaint ourselves with the new camps and areas that have opened up to photographic tourism since my last visit five years ago. Botswana banned all forms of hunting in 2014 following on from the trophy hunting ban that was put in place a couple of years ago and new areas have been leased out for photographic tourism as Botswana endeavors to take advantage of the tourist boom and worldwide interest in the country.

Flying over Northern Botswana it is incredible to see the vast swathe of pristine wilderness below and know that despite the building of new lodges in the former hunting concessions the Botswana Government policy of low impact/high value tourism will keep these areas pristine for the foreseeable future.  With a few exceptions and despite the fact that Botswana’s tourist industry is running at capacity you will probably not see any other …

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POSTED BY: on 14/06/2017

Gorilla Permits for Rwanda now US$1500

Kigali, 6 May 2017 – The Rwanda Development Board today announced an increase in the price of Gorilla Permits from US$ 750 to US $1,500 for all vnew permits issued from today.

A new exclusive package for tourists who wish to book an entire family of gorillas was also introduced at US$ 15,000, and will receive exclusive personalized tour guide services. How this will work in practice is unclear.

Tourists who visit other national parks (Nyungwe and Akagera) for a minimum of three days, in addition to gorilla trekking will receive a discount of 30%.

The rate hike coincides with the opening of some very expensive, high end lodges in Volcanoes and Akegera National Parks in line with Rwanda’s high-end tourism strategy, the price increase aims to strengthen conservation efforts and contribute more to the development of communities living around the Volcanoes National Park.

Also last week 15 black rhino were introduced into …

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POSTED BY: on 08/05/2017

Christmas Newsletter 2016

We hope all our guests both past present and future have enjoyed lovely Christmas and wish you a prosperous new year.  We look forward to having you travel with us again soon.

Few holiday experiences can compare with the thrill of getting up close and personal to wildlife in its natural surroundings. At Safari Club, we pride ourselves on giving you an unforgettable safari holiday combining the best wildlife viewing and guiding with attractive pricing.  We hope you will enjoy our latest newsletter.

Gorillas Express

We are delighted to note that Rwandair will be commencing overnight flights from London Gatwick to Kigali in Rwanda and Entebbe in Uganda from March 2017. This opens up the enticing prospect of short tours or long weekends specifically targeted at seeing the highly-endangered mountain gorillas.  If of interest, please see our “Lord of the Forest” and “Gorilla Express” tours.  Perfect for guests to experience top …

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POSTED BY: on 24/01/2017

A Road Less Travelled – Hwange National Park

Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s finest reserves and is probably Africa’s premier park for elephant.

Bordering Botswana, Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s largest game park with an area of 14,600km². Its sheer size means that its scenery, vegetation and game vary hugely, ranging from the semi desert scrub on the edge of the Kalahari in the south, to forests, granite hills and valleys of mopane woodlands in the north.

Despite Zimbabwe’s widely publicized differences with Western countries and the subsequent meltdown in the economy Hwange has been well maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and the park authorities and is a very safe place to visit.

The park has an excellent road network and it is only two hours to the nearest park gate from Victoria Falls Airport making it very accessible. There are also reasonably priced charter flights into the reserve.

The “Big Five” plus cheetah and wild …

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POSTED BY: on 15/12/2016

Wildlife Versus Humans

Two recent tragic incidents of human/wildlife conflict have served to bring into sharp focus the issues that face wildlife and an expanding human population living close to protected and remote wilderness areas.

The victims in both cases were lions, famous as the stars of recent wildlife documentaries.

First came the tragic news that three members of the Marsh Pride stars of the BBC documentaries “Big Cat Diary”  had died after feeding on the poisoned carcass of a cow.

Whilst the perpetrators of this act are unknown, the poisoning of carcasses is not unknown in the Maasai Mara.  The local Maasai people have given up some of their traditional grazing rights in return for a not inconsiderable stipend from the local authorities and conservancies. The Maasai use that money to buy more cows, a traditional measure of wealth in Maasai society, but they have less land for those cows to graze on. The resulting …

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POSTED BY: on 09/12/2016

Autumn 2016 Newsletter

Our newsletter this month features some of the more unusual and adventurous safari activities, most of which can be stand-alone trips or part of a longer wildlife safari.

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The deep sense of personal achievement you will feel on reaching the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain is immense. Our partners in Africa run set departure treks of nine nights’ duration with a minimum of two and maximum of eight guests. Seven nights are spent on the Mountain. Guests on these fully serviced treks are accompanied by a team of fully trained mountain guides, a chef and an experienced crew of porters. The Kilimanjaro Treks follow the most scenic routes up the mountain and are unhurried with plenty of time to acclimatize and admire the view. Our aim is to ensure that every guest reaches the summit whilst fully enjoying the experience. A reasonable level of fitness is required. Private departure …

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POSTED BY: on 14/11/2016

Kafue South to North

Have you ever wanted to visit an African Game Reserve where you will see few if any other vehicles reminiscent of the raw, wild continent seen by the first European visitors and by myself on a first visit to Zambia in 1975?

Kafue National Park, was during the eighties and early nineties neglected, mismanaged and suffered from poaching. Most visitors to Zambia choosing to visit South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi two other outstanding wilderness reserves but that is now changing.

For most of its length the Kafue River runs along the edge of the park with other major tributaries the Lunga and Lufupa Rivers also providing a lifeline for game. Lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard are found throughout the park and both wild dog and cheetah are also present in healthy numbers.

Following some major investment in the past ten years in anti-poaching and tourist facilities Kafue is now …

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POSTED BY: on 14/10/2016

What Makes Botswana Special?

Take a look at the sightings report for July 2016 below and we think you will agree Botswana is worth every penny.

Kwara Private Concession – Okavango Delta

Boat cruises are a lovely relaxing activity – perhaps getting to see a hippo, maybe a crocodile, and if lucky elephants coming to drink or cross. But their main focus is to see the beauty of the waters, birdlife and aquatic plants – to experience another side of being on safari. The Okavango Delta being what it is, always has a surprise up its sleeve… a morning boat ride along the channels into the Moremi Game Reserve came across three large male lions contemplating a swim in the chilly winter waters, standing on one side of the channel. They seemed intent on getting to the other side, but a lot of thought was being put into this. Eventually, two stopped ‘pussy-footing’ around and …

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POSTED BY: on 21/09/2016

500 Elephants Translocated in Malawi

In early July 2017 one of the world’s largest and most significant elephant translocations began in Malawi as 150 elephants made the 350km journey to their new home, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

The elephants are being moved from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve, in southern Malawi, where there are too many jumbos, to a new home close to Lake Malawi in central Malawi. This first group of elephants, the first of 500, are amongst a host of animals being transferred to Nkhotakota National Park. Nkhotakota supported over 1500 elephants twenty years ago but currently has less than 100. It will provide a safe home in an area which has suffered from neglect and poaching in the past but which is now very much on the mend.

Due to the dense human population in Malawi there are no natural corridors between the parks. Also with Majete and Liwonde parks suffering from elephant …

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POSTED BY: on 17/08/2016

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