“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer

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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, everyone is looking for an imaginative way to impress the one they love. There can be no more romantic a gift than time spent together exploring the natural wonders of Africa and relaxing in each other’s arms in one of the continent’s most luxurious retreats.

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It is the month of red roses & chocolates; the season when people go out of their way to please or do something different for the one they love. It’s a time filled with anticipation and romance.

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Are you looking for something a bit more special than roses and chocolates this Valentine’s Day? Whilst cupid packs up his bow and arrow, the nation’s couples are arranging dinners at their local cosy restaurants or beginning their search for that perfect little piece of jewellery, but what could be more romantic than a wild African safari with your loved one? East Africa is definitely one of the most romantic Valentine’s destinations; the exclusive romantic retreats & activities on offer will convince you there really is not much to top it. Why not experience something that will last forever this Valentine’s Day — make charming memories on a romantic Valentine’s getaway. 

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If you are an adventurous couple and want to pull out all the stops, then why not indulge in a romantic getaway to East Africa? Your trip could involve tracking and tracing the big game through private nature reserves during the day, and sleeping under the star-strewn skies at night while listening to the calls of nocturnal animals. Kenya & Tanzania are countries where life is a romantic tale; a place to relax, discover and let love soar with a wide variety of exciting activities and places to visit.

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Kenya & Tanzania are known for their safaris, diverse climate & geography, expansive wildlife reserves and national parks, world heritage sites and beautiful white sandy beaches with crystal blue azure seas.  It is a fact that Kenya & Tanzania enjoy some of the world’s greatest environmental diversity resulting in unparalleled species and sub-species varieties. They are lands of contrasts and extremes: countries with an extraordinary variety of landscapes and locations, all of them striking in their own particular way. 

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The Indian Ocean coastline and coral fringe reefs; which are home to a colourful plethora of marine life, can be explored by dhow, yacht or powerboat.  Dive, snorkel and swim in the clear balmy waters over fabulous coral beds; hunt for Marlin, Tuna and Sailfish or explore the mangrove swamps and creeks where the cycle begins.  The coast is home to a striking mix of people and cultures with beautiful ancient architecture contrasting with the modern day bustle of the 21st century.

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Origins Safaris can arrange a spectacular luxury safari to Kenya’s iconic game reserves or parks as stand-alone experiences or in combination with relaxing beautiful idyllic beach holidays – the ideal getaway destinations for couples.

SAFARI ROMANCE

A safari is definitely a must-do for any adventure-loving couple or a couple that’s willing to try something new. Experiencing the adventure and romance of the great outdoors as you enjoy a view of the diverse wildlife and incredible landscapes these beautiful countries have to offer is something you will never forget. Whether it’s exploring iconic national parks, taking a balloon ride over the vast expanses of Africa or sitting on the rift valley escarpments watching the sun set, we’re sure an African romantic safari will leave you wowed and create everlasting memories that will follow you for generations to come, as well as re-ignite love and romance for those in need of a break from life.

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Kenya & Tanzania are simply the best wildlife viewing destinations in Africa.  People from all over the world are drawn here by their essence: the chance to immerse yourself in the spectacle of the big game:  the predators and the prey ritually entwined in a cycle of life and death. They boast every known landform and a wealth of animal and bird life which owes its very existence to the contrasts in both country’s terrain.  You do not have to be an ornithologist to enjoy its one thousand species of birds or a zoologist to be amazed by its variety of animals.  Kenya’s birds range from the beautiful to the bizarre and its wildlife from the weird to the wonderful…

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East Africa has considerable land area devoted to wildlife habitats, including the Maasai Mara & the Serengeti, where blue wildebeest and other bovids participate in a large scale annual migration. The “Big Five” game animals of Africa – that is the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant –can be found in the Masai Mara & the Serengeti in particular. A significant population of other wild animals, reptiles and birds can also be found in the national parks and game reserves.

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What not to miss on safari

A Safari Game Drive – A game drive soaking up some fresh air as you enjoy everything the diverse wildlife Kenyan parks have to offer is exhilarating and life-affirming.  Expect the unexpected – anything can happen out in the wild.

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A Walking or Riding Safari Adventure. If you want to take your safari adventure further than being cooped up in the car then entrust your knowledgable guides to take you on an adventure beyond anything you’ve experienced before. In most people’s minds the concept of the ‘African Safari’ probably evokes the idea of game viewing by vehicle, and indeed this is likely to remain the most popular activity undertaken in East Africa. But going on ‘Safari’ doesn’t have to mean driving around in an open-topped or open-sided vehicle. Walking or riding lets you connect with the bush in a completely different way. Not all parks offer the chance for walking or riding, but in those that do, be sure to take advantage of these opportunities in private conservancies. Experiencing the bush on foot or on a horse is an unparalleled experience.

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Hot Air Balloon Dates. Float several hundred meters above the never-ending Masai Mara plains as the sun rises and the quiet sounds of the African morning awaken. It doesn’t get more romantic! There is nothing quite like it. The absolute peace of immense vistas, muted colours and crisp fresh air… and the ever present promise of something wild…. as the balloons float you silently above it all “like a dream come true”. The Balloons lift off at dawn and the one hour flight will give you a bird’s eye view of the best East Africa has to offer in the magnificent setting of the Great Rift Valley. After you land, a champagne breakfast in the bush adds to the buzz you will get from the early morning air and the sights and sounds that only an eagle ever sees.Early morning is the ideal time to see wild animals on the plains, and in the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya it is an experience you will never forget.

Flying over the meandering rivers and forests of the Mara.

Watch An African Sunset. This is a magical experience sure to blow your mind. It is often said that the sunrise and sunset in Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world and East Africa creates a compelling case as to why the sunsets of Africa are the most vibrant and colourful in the planet.

Home to the Maasai Giraffe, completing your trilogy of giraffe races.

Romantic Bush Dinners. Dine under the stars in front of a bonfire to ward off the chilly nights. This will have you talking as the cool breeze whispers in your ears or the birds sing their beautiful evening choruses.

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Sleep under the Stars. With lodges now offering sleep-outs featuring gigantic four-poster beds, mosquito nets, luxury bathroom facilities, and complete privacy, you can experience a night under the stars without sacrificing any of your favourite luxuries. For a Valentine’s Day to blow all other romantic days out of the water and to gain some serious relationship points with your partner, book a stay in a star beds. Fall asleep watching the stars twinkle and wake up to the sun rising, accompanied by a warming beverage and a promise of wildlife-filled activities awaiting you.

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BEACH ROMANCE

Experience the tranquil environs of the Kenyan & Tanzanian coastline – the splendid white sandy beaches, cool breezes, water sports and exclusive beach resorts. The Indian Ocean offers unique, exotic settings for intimate, unforgettable and whimsical romantic getaways. Our exceptionally beautiful and memorable East African destinations are as diverse as the continent itself and can be experienced as stand-alone destinations or in exciting combinations with each other.

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Have you come to realize that there are few things that can bring a romantic getaway to life as perfectly as the combination of a tropical island covered with pristine white sandy beaches? Imagine a destination overlooking crystal clear blue waters and sunrises that will take your breath away. If you are looking for a destination and romantic getaway that provides all the above and much more then look no further than Kenya or Tanzania. What better way to sweep your loved one away on Valentine’s Day than a trip to this amazing coastline.

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The amount of thought and planning that it takes to prepare a romantic getaway can leave you feeling stressed. You start to realize as you plan that you are faced with decisions, decisions …and more decisions! Thoughts run through your head as you are faced with searching for the perfect destination and romantic accommodation. Will the choice of food be the right one? Will she or he like the scenery if you choose to go outdoors, and so much more. It’s true to say then that there are a few factors to consider when planning the perfect Valentines getaway. East Africa offers many reasons to visit that will strengthen the bond with your loved ones this Valentines. 

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Here are a few of them…

Amazing Food: They say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach and this can hardly be argued. One of the joys of a romantic visit to the Indian Ocean will be putting a smile on your loved one’s face with some of the finest cuisine in the world. You will appreciate this melting pot of African, Arabic and Indian cooking styles that takes full advantage of each country’s rich bounty of fresh fish, fruits and vegetables. African cuisine uses plenty of spices and is fragrant, rich and exotic. There is so much to enjoy ranging from the famous fresh seafood to spicy curries.

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Picturesque Landscapes: From the moment you arrive at your choice of romantic destination, you will notice one thing about the Indian Ocean… the natural beauty of its great landscapes. From the stunning marine parks that boast an interesting array of sea life to the charm of the local people – all things guaranteed to leave lasting memories. Dip in the warm tropical ocean then lie down with a cocktail, relax and do nothing at all on the picture perfect sandy beaches…pure bliss!

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Romantic Adventures: For those couples who love to mix relaxation and adventure, the Indian Ocean destinations offer activities such as snorkeling and diving to observe the incredible sights and experiences under water. You can also look forward to dhow cruises, swimming with dolphins, wind surfing, kite surfing, sky diving or simply take a romantic walk down the endless pristine beaches. Who says you can’t mix fun and romance.

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A day at the spa: After an adventure filled afternoon of activities and tanning in the golden sunshine by the beach there is no better feeling than enjoying a body and soul lifting day at the spa. This is a perfect way to spoil your loved one this Valentines. A combination of luxury and peacefulness will leave you feeling relaxed and content. 

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A Origins Safaris, we understand the amount of planning that it can take to prepare a romantic getaway and we’ll be more than happy to tailor-make the perfect romantic holiday package for you; guaranteeing you memories that will last a lifetime! Origins Safaris exclusive tailor-made retreats to East Africa ensure that every aspect of your romantic escape is perfect, from the venue, to the food, to the wine. We’ll find you the perfect spot for a proposal or to rekindle an old romance, creating an unforgettable experience to sustain your relationship through the years. Why not contact us to help you pick the perfect Valentines getaway on www.originsafaris.com

Origins Safaris – Authentic African Experiences Since 1963

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sahara & Zakouma - Chad

 

March…2019 (4 places left)

Chad has is a country full of adventure and an experience that visitors never forget – Chad is ‘Africa for the hardcore’. Travel here is tough – many of the roads are broken due to years of conflict and lack of maintenance. There are few comfortable hotels and added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting.

So why bother, you may ask? Well, we could list the sublime oases lost in the northern deserts, tell you about the stampeding herds of wildlife in the national parks or the deep blue lure of a boat trip on Lake Chad. But let’s be honest about it, these things alone aren’t why people come to Chad. Chad offers an opportunity to break emphatically with a comfortable Western world and come to a place that promises experiences, good and bad, that you’ll be recalling forever.

The Ennedi desert is an adventure through remote and breathtaking landscapes that sums up our ethos, and takes you to places that few western travellers have ever been. This part of the Sahara offers a vast collection of sandstone mountains sculpted by the wind and sand over millennia into stunning rock formations and arches. Here, you can enter the land of the Tubu; one of Africa’s most traditional and least known people, who live amongst a myriad of petroglyphs and rock paintings from generations before. A video for you to watch is on this link: Watch Video

Nearby the Zakouma National Park is a park of extremes and abundance – we encounter flocks of tens of millions of red-billed quelea flying to roost, and is the last stronghold of a thriving population of Kordofan Giraffe, Roan Antelope, Tiang and a host of other somewhat unusual antelope species being hunted by a healthy Lion population. Herewith a link to a video on Zakouma:  Watch Video

Click here for more Information about Chad

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Lowland Gorillas & Forest Elephants, RCA

 

3 March 2019 – Space Available (With Zakouma extension)
21 April 2019 – Space Available
22 March 2020 – Space Available (With Zakouma extension)

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a country with staggering rare natural beauty and some of the world’s most amazing wildlife. It’s one of the best places in Africa for encounters with forest elephant and lowland gorillas, and the best places in the world, some say, to see butterflies. It’s also one of the most impoverished and least developed countries on the continent.

Dzanga Bai is a Garden of Eden in the dense Central African Rainforests. It is a clearing in the middle of nowhere, with a tree platform, where large herds of Forest Elephant (especially bulls in musth ready to fight and looking for fertile females) and other species, such as Sitatunga, Bongo, Red Forest Buffalo and even Lowland Gorilla come to drink, feed, search for salt and socialize. It is quite an amazing spectacle for even the most seasoned African traveller.

Click here for more Information about The Central African Republic

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Cultural & Tribal Group Trip, Ethiopia

 

5th – 24th July 2019

Nowhere in the world is as well-endowed with traditional and tribal cultures as Ethiopia. Our typical cultural expedition takes you into this remote region of the African continent where you will be immersed into an array of tribal lifestyles and biblical-like living museums. You will also enjoy ‘street level culture’ with a fascinating blend of cafes, bars, sidewalk musicians, small galleries and bistros; where it is hard to draw the line between participant and observer, or between creativity and its creators. This trip will include the following incredible attractions: the picturesque and historic town of Lalibela (The Coptic Christian’s “New Jerusalem”), the colourful town of Harer (Africa’s most holy Islamic city), the night-life of Addis, the Dassanech Dimi Ceremony, the Suri Stick Fighters, Hamar bull jumping, The Mursi & the cradle of mankind, the Nyangatom, and the Kara – masters of paint.

After several years of “no foreigner access” to the amazing Donga stick sighting of the Suri in Ethiopia, I am thrilled to say that this door has now re-opened, and all of our trips to the Suri this last season (June to August) have all been lucky enough to experience this awesome spectacle.  A quick video clip: Watch Video

So, why not join Origins on the most amazing cultural expedition of your life, to see people and lifestyles totally unaffected by the western world. You will feel nothing but sheer privilege at being able to travel amongst them. HOWEVER, if you are inconvenienced by spartan accommodation or are apprehensive in unfamiliar situations, then this expedition is not for you!Top of Form

This is on my bucket list. Please send me details of a safari that includes this component

Click here for more Information about Ethiopia

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Gerewol Ceremony, Chad

4th – 23rd September 2019

This is possibly Africa’s most spectacular tribal festival. Every year, after the rainy season, the nomadic Bororo (Fulani) people, with roots lost in prehistoric times, meet in secret areas of the Sahel, straddling Niger, Chad and Cameroon, to celebrate. The men devote their time to show off and display their best physical features and celebrate. This is a crucial time to exchange news, make friends, and have love affairs. Click on the link for a quick video clip: Watch Video

Click here for more Information about Chad

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Tigrai by Helicopter, Ethiopia

2nd – 28th October 2019

During October 2017, Origins Safaris will be positioning Phil Mathews with his EC130 B4 Eurocopter in the Tigrai region of Northern Ethiopia, providing an exclusive opportunity to guests travelling in the region over the optimum season.  Our exceptional itinerary highlights the spectacular scenery, endemic wildlife and lesser known historical sites that remain exclusive to travel by helicopter.  These will not only include the historic and picturesque town of Lalibela, the spectacular Tekezze Gorge, the Mountain churches of Tigrai, the inaccessible regions of the Danakil Depression, but also full overnight stops on the top of The Simien Mountains, and the caldera of Erta Ale Volcano, to totally immerse yourself in such a spectacular region. Herewith a video of a helicopter ride in Ethiopia: Watch Video

This is on my bucket list. Please send me details of a safari that includes this component.

Click here for more Information about Ethiopia

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About Benin

 

The birthplace of voodoo and a pivotal platform of the slave trade for nearly three centuries, Benin is steeped in a rich and complex history still very much in evidence across the country.  A visit to this small, club-shaped nation would therefore not be complete without exploring the Afro-Brazilian heritage of Ouidah, Abomey and Porto Novo, learning about spirits and fetishes.  But Benin will also wow visitors with its natural beauty, from the palm-fringed beach idyll of the Atlantic coast to the rugged scenery of the north. The Parc National de la Pendjari is one of the best wildlife parks in West Africa. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants and hundreds of other species thrive here.

In fact, Benin is wonderfully tourist friendly compared to most of its neighbours. There are good roads, a wide range of accommodation options and ecotourism initiatives that offer travellers the chance to delve deeper into Beninese life. Now is an ideal time to go because the country sits on the cusp of discovery.

Benin has varied resources of wildlife comprising flora and fauna, which are primarily protected in its two contiguous protected areas of the Pendjari National Park and W National Park. The former is known for many species of avifauna and the latter park is rich in mammals and predators.

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About The Central African Republic

 

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a country with staggering rare natural beauty and some of the world’s most amazing wildlife. It’s one of the best places in Africa for encounters with forest elephant and lowland gorillas, and the best places in the world, some say, to see butterflies. It’s also one of the most impoverished and least developed countries on the continent.

The Central African Republic is a landlocked nation within the interior of the African continent that consists of flat or rolling plateau savanna.  In the south west, where the Sangha River flows close to the Republic of Congo, exists a truly unique and special expanse of rainforest.  This is the world of the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park – this protected area has gained international importance and it contains the last unlogged forest and intact fauna in the country.
 
The Central African Republic is home to many different species from the beautiful blue headed doves to the sleek and slender serval.  In the savannah regions you can find lions, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, antelope, buffalo, and other species of insects, amphibians and reptiles.  In the dense Congo jungle you can find the smaller forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, and other primates.  Located in the rivers you cannot forget the crocodiles, hippos and large variety of fish species. A special population of “Bili” apes is also established within the Congo region; this particular type of chimp is larger than their cousins and they also build their nests on the ground instead of in the trees. The Black Rhino also inhabits the area, one of the last niches this rare species can be found.

 

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About Chad

 

Chad has always been someplace where travellers wave goodbye to their comfort zone and say hello to adventure. Put simply, Chad is a country and an experience that visitors never forget. If Ghana and Gambia are ‘ Africa for beginners’, Chad is ‘Africa for the hardcore’.  At the moment terrorism and violence has put the dampeners on even the most ambitious travel adventures here.

Even when at peace, travel here is tough. Many of the roads are broken due to years of conflict and lack of maintenance. There are few comfortable hotels and added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting and travel costs can be astronomical.

So why ever bother, you may ask? Well, we could list the sublime oases lost in the northern deserts, tell you about the stampeding herds of wildlife in the national parks or the deep blue lure of a boat trip on Lake Chad. But let’s be honest about it, these things alone aren’t why people come to Chad. Chad offers an opportunity to break emphatically with a comfortable Western world and come to a place that promises experiences, good and bad, that you’ll be recalling forever.

Chad is best described as having broad, arid plains in the center, desert in the north, mountains in the northwest and lowlands in the south.  Chad’s animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. Chad is home to an abundance of different animals. There are 134 species of mammals -17 of which are becoming endangered – and 588 species of birds in residence. While Chad is primarily composed of deserts in the north, to the South there are fertile grasslands which provide a suitable habitat for grazing animals such as buffalo, rhinoceroses, giraffes and antelopes to dwell in. The birds that live in Chad range from the flightless ostriches to the wetland dwelling herons.

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About The Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Of all the countries of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the closest to “Tarzan’s Africa”. You can very easily imagine him swinging on a vine right in front of you as you travel through this country, visited more by adventurers than tourists. No one goes there to rest and sit in a chair for a couple of weeks. Congo is an experience and asks for active people who (with respect for nature and local culture) like to learn, observe and have no objection against social contact.

Located in central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo covers more than 2.3 million square km. More than half of the country is covered by dense rainforests. It is two thirds the size of Europe with only 450 km of paved road – an area of vast jungles and dark corners, scattered outposts and tribal strong-holds, equatorial rainforests and active volcanoes – truly one of the most untamed countries on the surface of the earth.

The rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo contain great biodiversity, including many rare and endemic species, such as both species of chimpanzee: the common chimpanzee and the bonobo (also known as the Pygmy Chimpanzee), mountain gorillas, okapi and white rhino. Five of the country’s national parks are listed as World Heritage Sites: the Garumba, Kahuzi-Biega, Salonga and Virunga National Parks, and the Okapi Wildlife Reserve. The civil war and resultant poor economic conditions have endangered much of this biodiversity. All five sites are listed by UNESCO as ‘World Heritage In Danger’.

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About The Republic of Congo

 

A land of steamy jungles hiding half the world’s lowland gorillas, masses of forest elephants, and hooting, swinging troops of chimpanzees; the Congo (not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo across the Congo River) is on the cusp of becoming one of the finest ecotourism destinations in Africa. Parc National Nouabalé-Ndoki and Parc National d’Odzala are two of the most pristine forest reserves on the continent and between them they are arguably the highlight of the whole of Central Africa.

The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) is a surprising Central African gem with seemingly endless pristine tropical forest and fingers of moist savannah covering its interior. Nearly 150 distinct ethnic groups exist in the Congo and the region’s Ba’Aka people are among the most well known representatives of an ancient hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Their lives and well-being are linked intimately with the forest. A mosaic of rivers, forests, savannahs, swamps and flooded forests, the Congo Basin is teeming with life. There are approximately 10, 000 species of tropical plants and 30 percent are unique to the region.

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About South Sudan

 

Although South Sudan is one of the lesser-known nations in the world, the very fact that South Sudan is so undiscovered is what makes it likely to attract the first intrepid visitors here.  Tourism in South Sudan is a very new field, however the rewards for those adventurous spirits who are up to the challenge, are immeasurable. South Sudan is a diverse country boasting a wealth of tribal groups and is an anthropologist’s dream. Wildlife buffs can get excited over the vast numbers of large mammals that appear to have survived the decades of war relatively unharmed, trekkers may take on the challenge of the Imatong Mountains on the bountiful border of Uganda, whilst other travellers may dream of following the White Nile across the length of the world’s newest country and its unique splendour.

The White Eared Kob migration in Southern Sudan is one of the biggest animal migrations in the world and has been described as more spectacular than other migrations on the African continent and that its scale may exceed that of Tanzania’s Serengeti.  Boma National Park provide a habitat for large populations of kob and topis (two types of antelope), buffalo, elephants, giraffes, Hartebeests (another antelope), and lions. Southern Sudan’s forest reserves also provided habitat for bongo (also an antelope), giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys.

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About Kenya

 

“Jambo na Karibuni” (“Hello & Welcome”). This friendly Swahili greeting will be your introduction to all the new friends and acquaintances you make on safari in Kenya. As you plan for the safari ahead we suggest you run through the information that follows so that you get the very most out of your safari. Kenya is rightfully described as “All of Africa in One Country”, and it is exactly that. It is a fact that Kenya enjoys some of the world’s greatest environmental diversity resulting in unparalleled species and sub-species varieties.

Kenya is simply the best wildlife viewing destination in Africa. People from all over the world are drawn here by its essence: the chance to immerse yourself in the spectacle of the big game: the predators and the prey ritually entwined in a cycle of life and death. Kenya straddles the Equator with geography ranging from snow capped Mt. Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, to lush tropical rainforest and golden sands at sea level.  Kenya is a land of contrasts and extremes: a country with an extraordinary variety of landscapes and locations, all of them striking in their own particular way. It has earned the epithet ‘the cradle of mankind’ for the discovery of archaeological evidence of the earliest origins of mankind. Kenya not only boasts every known landform but also a wealth of animal and bird life which owes its very existence to the contrasts in the country’s terrain. You do not have to be an ornithologist to enjoy its one thousand species of birds or a zoologist to be amazed by its variety of animals – birds range from the beautiful to the bizarre and the wildlife from the weird to the wonderful…

We are among the last generations to have the opportunity to experience the vanishing cultures of East Africa. Kenya is the tribal home to 40 different ethnic groups, many still living exactly as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. You can immerse yourself in the ways and culture of some of Africa’s proudest and most striking tribes.

 Kenya has 480 kilometres of Indian Ocean coastline and a coral fringe reef, which is home to a colourful plethora of marine life.  You can explore its balmy waters by dhow, yacht or powerboat; dive, snorkel and swim in the clear azure waters over fabulous coral beds; hunt for Marlin, Tuna and Sailfish or explore the mangrove swamps and creeks where the cycle begins.  The coast is home to a striking mix of people and cultures with beautiful ancient architecture contrasting with the modern day bustle of the 21st century.

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About Tanzania

 

Tanzania is a true wilderness. Over a quarter of this magnificent country is dedicated to incredibly wild and beautiful national parks and reserves – it is East Africa at its best. Tanzania is a land of superlatives: the deepest, the highest, the largest, and the oldest. Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Loliondo – which make up the famed “Northern Circuit” – tempt you with a million-strong Wildebeest migration, a huge volcanic caldera, a flamingo-rimmed lake, rhino, buffalo, black-maned tree-climbing lions and elephant bathing in rivers. Experience the Ngorongoro Crater, a unique ecosystem isolated from the rolling savannahs that surround it.

Tanzania is dominated by Kilimanjaro; one of the world’s most massive extinct volcano’s and Africa’s highest mountain. It soars some 15,000 feet above the surrounding arid plains, and 2.5 square miles of its surface ascends to over 18,500 feet.

Tanzania is home to 35 species of antelope and over 1.5 million wildebeest – over 80% of the total population in Africa…. Famous parks such as the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offer some of the best safari opportunities in Africa. The Serengeti plains alone support over 3 million animals whilst the Ngorongoro Crater hosts the greatest concentration of large mammals in Africa on the floor of an extinct volcano; a natural refuge for big game. Whilst these two parks are the best known, there are many others that offer more diverse opportunities for the more adventurous. Parks such as the Ruaha and Selous Reserve are huge and relatively untouched. The incredible wilderness of the Miombo woodlands in Southern Tanzania offers dramatically changing scenery and wildlife. And the exotic lure of the islands; Pemba & Zanzibar, are incredible ‘getaway’ destinations.

Lying between Lake Natron and Lake Eyasi the Olduvai Gorge is one of East Africa’s most amazing archaeological hotspots, where Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo Habilis (Handy Man); a 1.8 million year old fossil, whose bones were discovered in the wall of the Gorge. Early hominid footprints, estimated to be 3.5 million years old, were discovered at Laetoli by Dr Mary Leakey here in 1979.

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About Chad

 

Chad has always been someplace where travellers wave goodbye to their comfort zone and say hello to adventure. Put simply, Chad is a country and an experience that visitors never forget. If Ghana and Gambia are ‘ Africa for beginners’, Chad is ‘Africa for the hardcore’.  At the moment terrorism and violence has put the dampeners on even the most ambitious travel adventures here.

Even when at peace, travel here is tough. Many of the roads are broken due to years of conflict and lack of maintenance. There are few comfortable hotels and added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting and travel costs can be astronomical.

So why ever bother, you may ask? Well, we could list the sublime oases lost in the northern deserts, tell you about the stampeding herds of wildlife in the national parks or the deep blue lure of a boat trip on Lake Chad. But let’s be honest about it, these things alone aren’t why people come to Chad. Chad offers an opportunity to break emphatically with a comfortable Western world and come to a place that promises experiences, good and bad, that you’ll be recalling forever.

Chad is best described as having broad, arid plains in the center, desert in the north, mountains in the northwest and lowlands in the south.  Chad’s animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. Chad is home to an abundance of different animals. There are 134 species of mammals -17 of which are becoming endangered – and 588 species of birds in residence. One of Chad’s most prominent mammals is the Red River Hog, or Bush Pig, along with the African Bush Elephant, the Cape Hyrax, and a type of old-world monkey called the Mantled Guereza. While Chad is primarily composed of deserts in the north, to the South there are fertile grasslands which provide a suitable habitat for grazing animals such as buffalo, rhinoceroses, giraffes and antelopes to dwell in. The birds that live in Chad range from the flightless ostriches to the wetland dwelling herons.

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About Uganda

 

Uganda – “The Pearl of Africa” – is one of East Africa’s better kept secrets.  It has long been a favourite haunt for back-packers.  Uganda has it all: remote wilderness areas, breathtaking scenery, extraordinary cultural diversity and incredible wildlife.  Uganda is one of East Africa’s better kept secrets.  It has long been a favourite haunt for back-packers.  In the past its tourism strengths have often been ignored in favour of its sexier neighbours… in fact Uganda has it all: remote wilderness areas, breathtaking scenery, extraordinary cultural diversity and incredible wildlife.

It is a lush, green country straddling the equator.  The country’s dominating feature is water: the vast blue of Lake Victoria, the ever-flowing river Nile, Lakes Edward, George and Albert, and the expansive network of wetlands and marsh. Dramatic mountains punctuate the landscape: the snow- capped Rwenzori Mountains (Ptolemy’s famous ‘Mountains of the Moon’), the volcanic ranges of the southwest, and the massive Mount Elgon in the East of the country.

Uganda is a shameless cross-dresser – here lush tropical rainforest and ‘jungle’ snatch your attention away from miles of arid savannah on par with its more famous rivals the Mara & Serengeti. Tourism musts include: Murchison Falls, the Mountains of the Moon and Africa’s greatest river; The Nile – all form part of the mystique that drew explorers, pioneers and settlers from across the world to compete for this beautiful country in the famous ‘Scramble for Africa’ in the 19th century.

Uganda is where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in this impossibly lush country can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a mountain gorilla? Certainly, Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelopes. And this verdant biodiversity is further attested to by Uganda’s status as by far the smallest of the four African countries whose bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark.

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About Rwanda

 

Rwanda is a mountainous country with a moist, temperate year-round climate. Its conical mountains and shrouded equatorial jungles have helped it earn the well-deserved nickname as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”. Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa and the country carries the burden of recent history following an infamous civil war.  Mention Rwanda to anyone with a small geopolitical conscience and that person will no doubt recall images of the horrific genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. But since then a miraculous transformation has been wrought and today the country is one of tribal unity, political stability and a promising future.  Visitors to Rwanda are now openly amazed at how far the country has come and how willing its people are to talk about and regret the terrible happenings of the past.
 
Rwanda has a number of unique delights to offer travellers: Parc National des Volcans in the Virunga volcanoes is home to the Mountain Gorillas to which Dian Fossey dedicated her life.  Nyungwe Forest National Park is one of the world’s most majestic and pristine mountain rainforests. It is believed to be one of Africa’s oldest and largest forests remaining in Central Africa. Home to chimpanzees and 12 other primates species (including a 400-strong troop of Ruwenzori Black and White Colobus Monkeys as well as a rich variety of orchids. Akagera National Park is central Africa’s largest protected wetland and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. The rolling highlands, vast plains and swamp fringed lakes of this north-eastern territory contain a rich biodiversity and are home to a number of rare species, such as the shoebill stork. With more than 12,000 large mammals and 482 bird species, this breath-taking landscape is every nature lover’s wildest dream. Finally Lake Kivu is one of a string of huge fresh water lakes which lie along Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Lake Kivu is Rwanda’s largest lake, and the sixth largest lake in Africa that is home to a large variety of birds.

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About Ethiopia

 

Nowhere in the world is as well-endowed with traditional and tribal cultures as Ethiopia. Our typical cultural expedition takes you into this remote region of the African continent where you will be immersed into an array of tribal lifestyles and biblical-like living museums. You will also enjoy ‘street level culture’ with a fascinating blend of cafes, bars, sidewalk musicians, small galleries and bistros; where it is hard to draw the line between participant and observer, or between creativity and its creators. So, why not join Origins on the most amazing cultural expedition of your life, to see people and lifestyles totally unaffected by the western world. You will feel nothing but sheer privilege at being able to travel amongst them. HOWEVER, if you are inconvenienced by spartan accommodation or are apprehensive in unfamiliar situations, then this expedition is not for you!

A journey through Ethiopia’s historic route is a trip back in time. From the reign of King Solomon, Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia) was the epicenter of religious mystique and the supposed resting place for the Arc of the Covenant. Rumours and mystery are interwoven with history and heritage: the Knights Templar, the so-called Crusaders, came here in search of their Holy Grail.

Although Ethiopia’s rich cultural history may be the primary focus – the sheer breathtaking beauty of this country’s scenery overwhelms your senses and embeds itself in your mind’s eye. Every journey is a visual feast. The spectacular highlands are a haven for endemic and endangered species such as the Simien Wolf, the Walia Ibex, the Gelada Baboon and the Lammergeyer Vulture.

Your journey becomes a quest to absorb and understand the myths and religious crusades that have dominated this land: from the incredible rock-hewn underground churches of Lalibela (‘A prayer in Stone’) and the numerous festivals that happen throughout the year, to the dizzying heights of the Simien Mountain Range (described by one writer as ‘the chess pieces of the Gods’) or the spectacular Danakil Depression – the hottest place on earth. The Ethiopian experience is multi-dimensional and intense.

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Kenyan Guides

 

 

STEVE TURNER
The Turner’s have a long and established history with Africa. Steve’s upbringing in the wildernesses of East Africa fostered a very special and dedicated interest and extensive knowledge in not only natural history, but also the communities who live within these rich environments. He has travelled widely throughout the region with and without guests searching for similar experiences – including a massive 25,000 kms photographic expedition taking some 6 months across north, west and central Africa. His passion for culture, wildlife and nature has taken him and his guests throughout the African continent, and as far afield as Australia, Asia, The Amazon, The Arctic and Antarctica. He is one of the few Gold certified guides in East Africa.

 

SELEMPO EDWIN LESOINE
‘Known as Selempo’ for short, (pronounced – “Sell–em-po”), Edwin is a Maasai, and is one of Kenya’s top ornithological guides with massive experience and knowledge of bird species in the more remote areas of East Africa; he currently leads birding safaris in Kenya and Rwanda. Additionally Edwin is an all round guide with great knowledge on the smaller creatures that are often ignored in the shadow of big game, reptiles, amphibians, dragonflies, butterflies and wild flowers. Multi-talented, mild and a fascinating guide and raconteur, Selempo is one of the few Gold members of the Kenya Professional Guides Association (KPSGA). As a member of the board of directors, he regularly sits on the examination committee to set and invigilate.

 

STANLEY KARITHI
Stanley is Kikuyu by tribe and grew up on his family farm in Nakuru in the Great Rift Valley. He is one of our top guides: a fully qualified, silver member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. Stanley enjoys the diversity of cultures and influences that his job exposes him to – he strongly believes that he learns something new with every trip he guides from the clients in his group. He is an extremely sought after and popular guide – a true ‘people person’. He enjoys meeting visitors and sharing stories of his upbringing, culture and typical family life in Kenya also sharing traditional songs in Swahili.

 

ZACHARY METHU MBUTHIA
Zachary Methu Mbuthia is from North Kinangop and is a Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) silver member. Zachary joined Origins Safaris in 2005 as an expert in ornithology and an accomplished all-round driver-guide. Due to Zachary’s love and passion for nature, he has proved to be a wonderful guide in all the other areas of guiding, which include wildlife, culture and history of Kenya.

 

 

PETER LIECH ADEDE
A love for Africa and its wildlife is in Peter’s blood. Peter is an accomplished naturalist with broad knowledge of birds, mammals’ and plants. He also has a larger than life personality and transforms each game drive into fun, vibrant, informative and life changing experience. He is one of the few Kenyan guides leading anthropological trips to the Northern Kenya – where the Giants trod, for the last of the dying cultural experience, and exploration of origins of mankind sites that yielded hominoids like the 1.5 million years Homo Erectus skull. He is a member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and holds a Silver medal.

 

FELIX WAMBUGU
Felix is Kikuyu by tribe and specialises in leading professional photography clients throughout Kenya. He is a member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and has achieved Silver Level accreditation. Felix is an excellent guide, he has good people skills, a sense of humour and a deep knowledge of the bush, the wildlife, the culture and the different eco-systems.

 

 

JOSHUA SONKOYO
Joshua is Maasai by tribeand is now qualified as a bronze level guide with the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association. Joshua is currently studying for his Silver level exam. Joshua’s upbringing gives him deep insight into the Maasai tribe, which he delights in sharing with clients on safari. His knowledge and familiarity with wildlife throughout Kenya and particularly in the Mara makes him an extremely accomplished safari guide.

 

 

HENRY MIWANI
Henry is Maasai by tribe and joined Origins Safaris in 2003. He enjoys the variety of clients that he now accompanies on trips. He also enjoys giving Maasai Cultural talks to his clients. He is a member of Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) and has achieved the Silver Level certification.

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Big Game Safari – Kenya

Any Time of Year

Kenya is rightfully described as “All of Africa in One Country” and it is exactly that – it is a fact that Kenya enjoys some of the world’s greatest environmental diversity resulting in unparalleled species and sub-species varieties.

Kenya is simply the best wildlife destination in Africa. People from all over the world are drawn here by its essence – the chance to immerse yourself in the spectacle of big game; the predators and prey ritually entwined in a cycle of life and death. Kenya is known for its safaris, diverse climate & geography, expansive wildlife reserves and national parks.

On your luxury Big Game Safari to Kenya you will be visiting some of the most contrasting examples of our Kenyan parks in order to see the extensive range of wildlife and scenery, with stop-overs in Nairobi at either end of your safari, where you will be able to visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage.

You will visit the following:

  1. Meru National Park – a wild, beautiful, lesser-known and more private park, beloved of the late George Adamson and his wife Joy.
  2. Samburu National Reserve – a rugged, remote park with some of the most colourful game viewing and 6 species rarely seen elsewhere – Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Somali Ostrich, Gerenuk, Guenther’s Dik Dik and Beisa Oryx.
  3. Ol Pejeta – an award-winning catalyst and model for community conservation and home to a remarkable variety of wildlife including White & Black Rhino.
  4. Maasai Mara National Reserve – a park of wonderful volcanic scenery, rolling grasslands and plenty of game especially during the Great Migration; an amazing spectacle of nearly 2 million zebra & wildebeest move through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem searching for grass and water.

Join us on an exclusive trip of a lifetime with Big Game Safaris.

This is on my bucket list. Please send me details of a safari that includes this component. 

Click here for more Information about Kenya

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About Benin

 

The birthplace of voodoo and a pivotal platform of the slave trade for nearly three centuries, Benin is steeped in a rich and complex history still very much in evidence across the country.  A visit to this small, club-shaped nation would therefore not be complete without exploring the Afro-Brazilian heritage of Ouidah, Abomey and Porto Novo, learning about spirits and fetishes.  But Benin will also wow visitors with its natural beauty, from the palm-fringed beach idyll of the Atlantic coast to the rugged scenery of the north. The Parc National de la Pendjari is one of the best wildlife parks in West Africa. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants and hundreds of other species thrive here.

In fact, Benin is wonderfully tourist friendly compared to most of its neighbours. There are good roads, a wide range of accommodation options and ecotourism initiatives that offer travellers the chance to delve deeper into Beninese life. Now is an ideal time to go because the country sits on the cusp of discovery.

Benin has varied resources of wildlife comprising flora and fauna, which are primarily protected in its two contiguous protected areas of the Pendjari National Park and W National Park. The former is known for many species of avifauna and the latter park is rich in mammals and predators.

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About Chad

 

Chad has always been someplace where travellers wave goodbye to their comfort zone and say hello to adventure. Put simply, Chad is a country and an experience that visitors never forget. If Ghana and Gambia are ‘ Africa for beginners’, Chad is ‘Africa for the hardcore’.  At the moment terrorism and violence has put the dampeners on even the most ambitious travel adventures here.

Even when at peace, travel here is tough. Many of the roads are broken due to years of conflict and lack of maintenance. There are few comfortable hotels and added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting and travel costs can be astronomical.

So why ever bother, you may ask? Well, we could list the sublime oases lost in the northern deserts, tell you about the stampeding herds of wildlife in the national parks or the deep blue lure of a boat trip on Lake Chad. But let’s be honest about it, these things alone aren’t why people come to Chad. Chad offers an opportunity to break emphatically with a comfortable Western world and come to a place that promises experiences, good and bad, that you’ll be recalling forever.

Chad is best described as having broad, arid plains in the center, desert in the north, mountains in the northwest and lowlands in the south.  Chad’s animal and plant life correspond to the three climatic zones. Chad is home to an abundance of different animals. There are 134 species of mammals -17 of which are becoming endangered – and 588 species of birds in residence. One of Chad’s most prominent mammals is the Red River Hog, or Bush Pig, along with the African Bush Elephant, the Cape Hyrax, and a type of old-world monkey called the Mantled Guereza. While Chad is primarily composed of deserts in the north, to the South there are fertile grasslands which provide a suitable habitat for grazing animals such as buffalo, rhinoceroses, giraffes and antelopes to dwell in. The birds that live in Chad range from the flightless ostriches to the wetland dwelling herons.

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About The Central African Republic

 

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a country with staggering rare natural beauty and some of the world’s most amazing wildlife. It’s one of the best places in Africa for encounters with forest elephant and lowland gorillas, and the best places in the world, some say, to see butterflies. It’s also one of the most impoverished and least developed countries on the continent.

The Central African Republic is a landlocked nation within the interior of the African continent that consists of flat or rolling plateau savanna.  In the south west, where the Sangha River flows close to the Republic of Congo, exists a truly unique and special expanse of rainforest.  This is the world of the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park – this protected area has gained international importance and it contains the last unlogged forest and intact fauna in the country.
 
The Central African Republic is home to many different species from the beautiful blue headed doves to the sleek and slender serval.  In the savannah regions you can find lions, cheetahs, leopards, baboons, antelope, buffalo, and other species of insects, amphibians and reptiles.  In the dense Congo jungle you can find the smaller forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, and other primates.  Located in the rivers you cannot forget the crocodiles, hippos and large variety of fish species. A special population of “Bili” apes is also established within the Congo region; this particular type of chimp is larger than their cousins and they also build their nests on the ground instead of in the trees. The Black Rhino also inhabits the area, one of the last niches this rare species can be found.

 

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About South Sudan

 

Although South Sudan is one of the lesser-known nations in the world, the very fact that South Sudan is so undiscovered is what makes it likely to attract the first intrepid visitors here.  Tourism in South Sudan is a very new field, however the rewards for those adventurous spirits who are up to the challenge, are immeasurable. South Sudan is a diverse country boasting a wealth of tribal groups and is an anthropologist’s dream. Wildlife buffs can get excited over the vast numbers of large mammals that appear to have survived the decades of war relatively unharmed, trekkers may take on the challenge of the Imatong Mountains on the bountiful border of Uganda, whilst other travellers may dream of following the White Nile across the length of the world’s newest country and its unique splendour.

The White Eared Kob migration in Southern Sudan is one of the biggest animal migrations in the world and has been described as more spectacular than other migrations on the African continent and that its scale may exceed that of Tanzania’s Serengeti.  Boma National Park provide a habitat for large populations of kob and topis (two types of antelope), buffalo, elephants, giraffes, Hartebeests (another antelope), and lions. Southern Sudan’s forest reserves also provided habitat for bongo (also an antelope), giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys.

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Migration Safari - Tanzania

 

July – October 2019

Tanzania is a true wilderness – over a quarter of this magnificent country is dedicated to incredibly wild and beautiful national parks and reserves. It is East Africa at its best. Tanzania is also a land of superlatives: it has the deepest, the highest, the largest and the oldest.

Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Loliondo, which make up the famed “Northern Circuit”, tempt you with a million-strong Wildebeest migration, a huge volcanic caldera, a flamingo rimmed lake, rhino, buffalo, black-maned tree-climbing Lions and elephant bathing in rivers. Experience the Ngorongroro Crater with its unique ecosystem isolated from the rolling savannahs that surround it.

You will also visit Arusha on your you will also visit Arusha on your luxury Migration Safari, which is the gateway to the safari circuit; a small bustling town that exudes a great sense of anticipation and excitement, which sprawls beneath the massive bulk of Mount Meru filled with craft shops selling local artisans’ work.

Our exclusive Migration Safari will let you experience the integral and complete wonders of Tanzania.

 

Click here for more Information about Tanzania

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The Sudd Migration, Gambella

 

27 March 2019 – Space Available.

The Sudd wetlands of southern Sudan and western Ethiopia, nourished by tributaries of the White Nile, are home to an astounding number of white-eared kob – hundreds of thousands of animals – Africa’s second-largest mammal migration. Join us on some of the pioneering expeditions into these road-less and inaccessible swamps.

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The Wonders of Voodoo, Benin

 

29 Dec 2018 – Fully Booked.
5 Jan 2019 – Fully Booked.
19 Jan 2019 – Space Available.

“If you want to plumb the secrets of Voodoo you’ll have to wait for the end of the world”. These are the words of a Voodoo song. Voodoo is one of the least understood religions of the world. There are fifty million believers just in West Africa alone, but few westerners understand many of its beliefs, which go back thousands of years.

Click here for more Information about Benin

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The Cradle of Mankind, Kenya

 

Space available on “overland group departure”, 5-15 Feb 2019.

Private independent departures by helicopter, fixed wing and 4×4 are available throughout the year, pending guide availability.

At Kenya’s UNESCO World Heritage sites in the dramatic dusty north of Kenya on the shores of Lake Turkana and the Chalbi desert you can explore “where we all originated from”. Where fossils, millions of years old, literally litter the ground – for this the birthplace of our ancestors. Or immerse yourself in the traditional cultures of the tribes who make this dramatic landscape their home.

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The Heart of Africa – Zakouma, Chad

 

9 March 2019 – Space Available (With Dzanga Bai extension)
16 March 2019 – Fully booked (although space on Kob Migration extension)
28 March 2020 – Space Available (With Dzanga Bai extension)

Zakouma is a park of extremes and abundance, we encounter flocks of millions of red-billed quelea flying to roost, tens of thousands of waterbirds on dwindling pans, and thousands of black-crowned cranes flying into the sunset. The big game is plentiful too. The park is the last stronghold of a thriving population of Kordofan giraffe. Roan antelope, tiang and a host of other somewhat unusual antelope species are common, and the parks healthy Lion population, live alongside large herds of Central African Savannah Buffalo. The uniqueness of a safari in Zakouma, is that you are in an untouched part of Africa that few other westerners have experienced

Click here for more Information about Chad

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Black Pharaohs, Khartoum

 

Space available:
Overland, ex Khartoum October 5, 2019.
By Helicopter, ex Khartoum November 18, 2019.

Sudan is simply the original, mysterious and unique destination, still unknown to the most, this is the area where the African and Arabic culture meet. Its ancient history is very much connected to the Egyptian one, where the Nile Rivers meet and then cross the Sahara Desert and along its valley lay interesting archaeological sites of the Egyptian and Meroitic civilizations, most of them are World Heritage protected by Unesco. This is the Land of Kush, home to the Black Pharaohs who’s kings and queens built “more pyramids than Egypt” (220 vs 11). The astonishing landscape of the three deserts, associated to the beauty of the Nile Cataracts, the hidden Nubian villages and the welcoming people make of this place an innovative, unexpected destination for the modern day explorer.

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