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October Newsletter 2017

The enduring fascination of a safari holiday is that no two safaris are ever the same. wildlife, culture, scenery vary from country to country and park to park and season to season. Is it the anticipation before setting out on a game drive, boat safari, or walk, never knowing quite what you will find but secure in the knowledge that there is a very good chance that you will experience something new and wonderful?

As a veteran of more than fifty safaris with visits to most of Africa’s great parks the feeling of excitement anticipation starts from the moment I start planning my next trip and doesn’t leave me until I board the final charter flight at the start of my journey home. If you have been to Africa with Safari Club you will know the feeling, many of our guests return year after year forsaking the trappings of Western civilization …

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POSTED BY: on 24/10/2017

Zimbabwe June 2017 Visit

CATEGORY: Zimbabwe

This was my second visit to Zimbabwe in the last two years and the trip reinforced my view that Zimbabwe is undoubtedly a very enjoyable and safe country to visit.

We found the Zimbabwean people incredibly friendly and helpful and guides have a reputation as the best in Africa.

After a long period in the doldrums due to the political situation the country seems to be undergoing a renaissance and all the parks and safari camps we visited seemed to be doing very nicely. There are no obvious shortages and the camps seem to have everything they need to operate as top-class tourist destinations.

In June the weather was warm and sunny during the day and cool at night with nighttime temperature in Hwange National Park dropping into single figures. Conditions for safari are just about perfect.

We visited the four most popular areas for overseas tourists Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Mana Pools …

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POSTED BY: on 19/06/2017

Botswana May 2017 visit

CATEGORY: Botswana

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

May Newsletter 2017

New wildlife documentaries featuring African destinations keep on coming, a sure sign of the interest in this vast and spectacular continent from tourists from around the world.

Luangwa Valley
The spectacular Luangwa Valley in Zambia recently warranted its own three part ITV documentary “Lion Country”, which showcases perfectly the beauty and sense of timeless Africa that you get in this raw and compelling wilderness. Safari Club have sent many guests to this exciting destination and look forward to sending many more. If you would like to visit the Luangwa Valley take a look at our 2017 “Land of the Big Cats” itinerary.

Zambia
Zambia is an increasingly popular wildlife destination and now that the government is taking tourism seriously we have noticed an increased level of interest in areas outside the usual circuit of South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Victoria Falls. Other attractions include North Luangwa which is only …

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POSTED BY: on 22/05/2017

Gorilla Permits for Rwanda now US$1500

CATEGORY: Rwanda

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

African Wild Dogs in Zimbabwe

CATEGORY: Zimbabwe

African wild dogs are one of Africa’s most endangered large predators and are considered a top sighting by many safari enthusiasts, Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is one of the best places to see them. Alison Dewar visited in November 2016 and had a memorable experience.

“Seeing Painted Dogs has been an ambition of mine for many years. Bar one fleeting glimpse in Mana Pools National Park in 1995, the dogs have remained an elusive dream ever since.

When my husband Craig and I began planning for a return trip to Zimbabwe (the first for 16 years) it was time to get serious with working out how and where our best opportunities for viewing the dogs would be.

A chance discovery led me to the Painted Dog Conservation  and the excellent Vintage Camp, which supports PDC, and is just a short drive away and boasts excellent food and …

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POSTED BY: on 04/05/2017

Botswana Sightings Report 2017

CATEGORY: Botswana, News & Offers

Kwara Concession

A frequently seen female cheetah with her three cubs continued to be a highlight during March. This particular animal has always been relaxed and now it seems that her cubs have picked up on her confidence, using our vehicles for their games of hide and seek, to the delight of the guests. This entertaining family were often found in the Bat Eared Fox Den area where the female was successfully killing impalas, one after the other. Mostly the cubs accompanied her, but we noticed that sometimes she tired of their distracting play and left them behind so that she could get on with the serious job of hunting without them disturbing the prey. On one occasion this family group were seen wading through the flood water – in the Okavango Delta even the cats have to get their paws wet from time to time. A male cheetah, in …

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POSTED BY: on 18/04/2017

Christmas Newsletter 2016

CATEGORY: Features, News & Offers

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

CATEGORY: Zimbabwe

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

CATEGORY: Kenya, Namibia

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

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