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Posts Tagged ‘Safari’

Adventures in Africa

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Africa Awaits

Exotic Birds and Unique Flora

Exotic Birds and Unique Flora

Africa is truly like no other place in the world. The African continent is far larger than most people imagine. Its size combined exceeds the United States, China, India, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and a handful of other countries. It is far more diverse than North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

 

No Two Countries are the Same

Northern Africa is heavily influenced by the Middle East, which is evident in the culinary dishes, religion and politics. Western Africa is filled with an array of history, including painful reminders of European colonization, particularly the slave trade. Eastern Africa offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world, along with wonderful beaches unknown to most Americans. Southern Africa is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, amazing safari game viewing, archaeological sites including the beginning of humankind, and cosmopolitan cuisine and award-winning wine from world-class cities.

In this five-part series on experiencing Africa, we will share with you why Africa delivers unbelievably beautiful, pristine and awe-inspiring vacation destinations.

 

Tanzania
Parade of Elephant

Parade of Elephant

Home to some of the most amazing natural wonders on the African continent, a visit to Tanzania is an unforgettable journey. It surely will be among the remarkable experiences you’ll ever have.

Mount Kilimanjaro

  • The snow-capped peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro are a sight to behold. It is Africa’s highest mountain. Ascending from the grassy, lush plains, its elevation exceeds 19,300 feet. For those brave enough to attempt a climb, they will travel through five different climatic zones during the 5- to 9-day trip. You might want to start planning because due to the influence of global warming, the ice may be extinct within 20 years.

Ngorongoro Crater

  • It is the world’s largest intact caldera. A geological wonder dating back nearly 3,000,000 years, it is home to a vast array of wildlife. Nearly 25,000 large mammals reside here including black-maned lions, cheetahs, leopards, flamingos, giant-tusked elephants, and a dwindling number of highly endangered black rhinos.

    Great Migration Plains

    Plains of The Great Migration

Serengeti National Park

  • The Serengeti region is most famous for The Great Migration. This is the annual occasion where hundreds of thousands of zebra, wildebeest, and other herbivores cross the plains and rivers, risking their lives as they try to avoid encounters with lions, crocodiles and other natural predators. The ecosystem here is one of the earth’s oldest and has nearly unchanged fauna, vegetation, and climate.

 

South Africa

Most people are familiar with South Africa because of its two Nobel Prize recipients Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. With the dismantling of the oppressive apartheid system, this “Rainbow Nation” has quickly become a top travel destination. South Africa truly has it all. See why South Africa has been voted as a Bucket List vacation.

Three World-class Cities:

Johannesburg, dubbed the “City of Gold”, Joburg is the economic heartbeat of the African continent. It is also a great city for those with an interest in the arts and history.

Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum, an Emotional Journey

Cultural opportunities include:

  • Journey to FreedomSoweto or South Western Township was command central for much of the apartheid struggle. Historic landmarks include Regina Mundi Church, a popular underground meeting place; Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela House. Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world that can lay claim to being the former home of two Nobel Prize winners.
  • Museums Abound – The top choices include the Apartheid Museum, the Museum of Africa, the National Railway & Steam Museum, and the South African Museum of Military History
  • Art – Rosebank Rooftop Craft Market has over 600 clothing, craft, art and ceramic stalls with handmade African items.

 

Durban, with a tongue-in-cheek nickname “Durban the Turban”, is home to the greatest population of Indians outside of India.

  • Walking along the beachfront try to spot dolphins just offshore in the Indian Ocean or experience a rickshaw ride in Victoria Park.
  • Take in a slice of history in Shakaland, with authentic re-creations of the life and times of Shaka, the King of the Zulu tribe.
  • Enjoy authentic crafts, fabric and authentic cuisine at the Victoria Market.

 

Cape Town is referred to as the Mother City since it is South Africa’s oldest. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with both unique beaches and splendid mountains.

  • Walk to Freedom – Her rich history includes Robben Island, the isolated home for political prisoners including Nelson Mandela; The District Six Museum; Langa, the oldest apartheid housing system and the Gold Museum.
  • Sightseeing abounds with visits to:
    • The V & A Waterfront, is a shopping and dining district set along a working harbor. You can purchase locally made beads and other arts and crafts at the Green Market Square, a short world from the V&A.
    • Table Mountain offers panoramic views of the entire city. It can be accessed via the world’s largest, rotating cable car or by strenuous hike for the adventure seeker.

      Baboons at the Cape of Good Horn

      Baboons at the Cape of Good Hope

    • Cape Point is the southwestern-most point on the continent. It’s also home to the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage site that boasts more than 20% of Africa’s flora and comprises eight protected areas. Baboons still roam wild here.
    • Watching the colony of endangered African penguins at Boulders Beach will bring out the kid in everyone.
    • Chapman’s Peak is a 6-mile, picturesque drive that rivals California’s Big Sur.
  • Safari Game Drive & Wildlife Viewing
    • Searching for the Big-5

      Searching for the Big 5 on a Game Drive

      Kruger National Park – Enjoy outstanding wildlife viewing in the world’s oldest national park, as well as in the surrounding private, luxury game lodges.

    • Pilanesberg National Park – Located in a 1.2 billion-year-old extinct volcanic crater, it houses an extensive wildlife population including more than 300 bird species.
    • KwaZulu-Natal Province – Home of the popular walking safari, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve gained recognition for its conservation efforts in saving the white rhino from extinction.
    • Addo Elephant National Park – With prime-viewing opportunities for its 300 elephants, it’s also a great place for bird watchers to try and spot some of the 180 species.
  • Gourmet Food & Wine
    Cape Winelands are Surrounded by Mountains

    The Cape Winelands are Surrounded by Mountains

    • Evenings rich with mouthwatering cuisine and fine wine are abundant in this cosmopolitan city. Guided and self-drive tours of the Cape Winelands’ 13 wine routes are popular ways to experience the up-and-coming wine regions. Located within an hour’s drive of Cape Town are the most famous, Stellenbosch, Constantia, Franschhoek and Paarl. Better yet, stay in one of the well appointed B&B’s, hotels or inns with breathtaking mountain and vineyard vistas.

Return to TheTravelGospel.com for our five-part series. We’ll share more information on must-see points of interest and must-do attractions on the amazing African continent.

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Selecting a Lens for Safari

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Selecting a Lens for a Big 5 Safari Game Drive

 

Use a digital camera with a zoom lenseWhen preparing for your Big 5 Game Drive, a reliable camera with a zoom lens is a given.  On your South African Safari, you’ll experience the thrill of being super close to the animals, but surprisingly, a huge lens is not necessary.  In fact, selecting a lens for safari will not be as difficult as you may believe.

On a typical game drive, you will be within 15-20 feet of the animals.  Frequently, there will be times when you are even closer.  You may even get lucky and capture a lion as she is stalking a Spring Bok, so it’ll be handy to bring a fast lens with F stops between F4 and F2.8.

Many times a zoom lens will not be necessary but if you want to remain ready for any photo opportunity, you can bring one all-purpose lens.  A good lens selection for your Big 5 Safari Game Drive would be all-purpose lens ranging from 70mm-200mm f2.8. Tit Babbler Bird

What Lens  Should I Bring on a Safari Game Drive?

However, if you have space and don’t mind the extra weight, you may bring two lenses, the one mentioned above, as well as a wide angle for landscapes. Also, drop a 1.4 or 2 x converter in your bag.   This will come in handy for shots of the 829 varied bird species of South Africa.  Another alternative would be to bring 200-400 f4. Elephant on Safari Game Drive

Besides the Big 5 animals-Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino, you may get to see giraffe, zebra and perhaps the hard-to-locate Wild Dog.  Just keep an attentive eye and be ready for a quick shot.

Upon returning home, the assortment of remarkable shots you were able to capture on your safari game drive will undoubtedly leave you in awe. South African Wild Dog

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Girlfriend Getaway

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Luxurious Girlfriend Getaway in South Africa

From $5,399 including fuel surcharges and taxes

Begin your luxurious vacation extravaganza at the posh Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa in glorious Cape Town where earth, sea and sky meet.  Poised above the Atlantic waves and flanked by majestic Table Mountain and her Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, the intimate 5-star hotel captures you with its deluxe guest rooms and spacious suites, as well as breathtaking gardens and two ocean-view pools.

Continue with shopping at Access Park, famous for its 50-plus factory shops and Canal Walk.  It’s hailed as one of the biggest shopping centers in the Southern Hemisphere.  Enjoy “Streetwires” a South African tradition of beading and wire art.  In this interactive workshop,  you will produce and keep three items, and then finish the afternoon with high-tea at the famed Mount Nelson Hotel.

Stroll through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with over 3,500 species of Flora and Fauna on a half-day tour.  Then escape to the Auberge du Quartier Francais a small, privately owned inn situated in the French Huguenot Valley of Franschhoek.  This charming inn provides high-end luxury with serene gardens surrounded by the stunning Cape Winelands.

Get pampered! During your two-night stay at Quartier Francais, you’ll spend an afternoon being spoiled at the Zevenwacht Farm near Stellenbosch where the therapists of the Mangwanani Spa have a host of relaxing massage choices for you including their African Revitalization Package.

As though this exquisite vacation getaway wasn’t enough, conclude your well-deserved retreat at the Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Private Game Reserve.  Adjoining the Greater Kruger National Park, Thornybush has one of the world’s premier “Big Five” game viewing areas. Experience game drives in open-safari vehicles with highly trained rangers and trackers.   Enjoy the exciting opportunity to see Africa’s “Big Five” up close and personal.

This vacation escape includes:

·  International Airfare from Washington or New York to Cape Town via Johannesburg

·  Domestic flights as indicated in itinerary

·  All services as specified

·  8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners

·  High tea

·  4 Game drives

·  5-star accommodation in standard rooms

·  Transportation in luxury air-conditioned vehicles with qualified drivers

·  Sightseeing as per itinerary led by experienced, English-speaking guides

·  African Revitalization Package at Mangwanani Spa

·  Entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated

Call us today and we’ll help you plan the girlfriend getaway you’re always dreamed of.


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TASTE & TOUCH SOUTH AFRICA from $4,999

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This package includes 2 nights in Cape Town, a stay in the Winelands, an authentic traditional cooking course and a safari to see the famed White Lion plus much more . . .


Includes:

  • Round trip coach air on South African Airways from New York (JFK) or Washington (IAD) Airport to South Africa OR Tambo International Airport
  • Domestic coach air in South Africa as per the itinerary (Johannesburg – Cape Town – Johannesburg)
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Most meals (7 x breakfasts, 6 x lunch, 7 x dinner)
  • Ground Transfers
  • All park fees and safari activities
  • Cape Peninsula Tour
  • Winelands Tour

These special Fares/Rates are valid for a limited time from May 1-31, 2012 & from Sept. 1-30, 2012.  Act now to reserve your spot.

For dates and a detailed itinerary, give us a call or send us an email with your contact information.  We’ll be happy to discuss this exciting vacation with you.

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Culinary Safari in South Africa 2012

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from $6,024 including international air

South African Cuisine & Cooking on a Culinary Safari
Gourmet Buffet on SafariVisit one of the Top 10 Bucket List Vacation options, South Africa.  Plus, learn to cook indigenous and traditional South African dishes. You’ll have the unique experience of cooking with game. Afterwards, sample the interesting results in a gourmet game lunch.  Experience the unique terroir of South African wines on a picnic lunch.

In the village of Franschhoek located in the heart of the Cape Winelands participate in a cooking demonstration to learn about and cook with, uniquely South African ingredients.  Then take a guided walk through the surrounding countryside accompanied by an interesting, unforgettable talk about indigenous fynbos – ‘fine bush’, which is vegetation unique to the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Culture & Nightlife
In your free time, explore the culture and history of Cape Town and her natural beauty. See the Mother City’s Table Mountain, one of the 7 Wonders of Nature, along with lush valleys and sunset views of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Spend your afternoons relaxing by the breathtaking pools and end your day dining at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or the award-winning restaurant at your hotel resort.

Safari and Fine Dining
Lion Sands Open Air Safari VehicleAt the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park enjoy early morning safari drives and evening game drives in open Land Rovers in search of the Big Five safari animals.  After freshening up after your morning game drive, you’ll join the Chef  to prepare Potjiekos a stew prepared outdoors using Dutch and Malay spices over an open fire, in a traditional round, cast iron, three-legged pot.

Twelve Aposteles TerraceYour stay includes lavish 5-star accommodations at:

  • The luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa lies where earth, sea and sky meet poised above Atlantic waves and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain and her Twelve Apostles mountain range in glorious Cape Town. You’ll escape in the hotel’s two breathtaking pool gardens, which are magically perched above the ocean, and indulge in the Azure Restaurant with its exquisite cuisine while marveling at the  endlessly seductive ocean views.
  • Le Quartier Francais offers a  secluded country bed and breakfast retreat situated in the  heart of the Cape Winelands. Enjoy the elegantly decorated en-suite bedrooms with a rose-filled central courtyard and swimming pool, but yet you are only steps away from the picturesque, historic village of Franschhoek.
  • View on the deck at Lion Sands LoungeLions Sands River Lodge is situated in the southern portion of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park.  The lodge comprises of a private lounge, bar, two swimming pools and a river island viewing deck.   Your air-conditioned thatched bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, romantic outdoor and inside showers and wooden viewing deck, are decorated in a contemporary African-style.

This magnificent vacation escape includes:

  • International airfare from NY or Washington to Cape Town via Johannesburg
  • Domestic flights per itinerary
  • Accommodations as specified
  • Meals as specified– (10) Breakfasts, (5) Lunches, (3) Dinners
  • Game drives as specified
  • Entrance fees as specified
  • English-speaking guides for sight seeing per itinerary
  • Cooking demonstrations of traditional cuisine
  • Souvenir apron and chef’s hat
  • Gourmet wine dinner in the heart of Franschhoek wine country

Call us 619-944-5202 or send an email from Contact Us for more information on this fabulous culinary and safari vacation deal!

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Golf & Safari in South Africa

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Live the dream with this golf and safari vacation adventure

Legends Golf Safari Resort

Explore
Begin your epic journey at the luxurious Table Bay Hotel, situated in Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront with its array of wonderful shops, restaurants and bars. You’ll marvel at the panoramic views across the Atlantic Ocean to Robben Island (Apartheid-era “home” of political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela), with the imposing Table Mountain range soaring behind.

Golf
Play the course at Arabella Golf and Country Club, a 6-star hotel with a championship course and spa. Ranked by Compleat Golfer magazine as the number one golf course in the Western Cape of South Africa, you’ll enjoy the challenges of rolling fairways, deceptive bunkers and tricky water traps. A truly unique golf course set on the banks of the Bot River Lagoon with its indigenous wild flowers.

Golf & Safari
Entabeni Private Game Reserve, “The Place of the Mountain”, is situated in the World Heritage “Waterberg Biosphere” of the Waterberg region. Less than a three-hour drive north of Johannesburg. This malaria-free reserve boasts five eco-systems. The upper escarpment offers majestic craggy rock formations and wide-open grass plains.

The Legend Golf and Safari Resort
The Legend Golf & Safari Resort presents a world first, namely a championship golf course designed by 18 of the world’s top golfers.  This exceptional golf course situated on a luxury estate includes wildlife and spectacular landscapes.  The resort reflects the rich cultural legacy of this ancient part of Africa. The “Big Five” roam free on this 22,000 hectare safari conservancy.

Heli-golf Anyone?
Experience golf like you’ve never before from a tee box that is 1400 feet above the green.  This is a “one-of-kind” experience for all avid golfers.

Standing at the top of the Extreme 19th hole at the Legendary Golf Course

OPTIONAL EXTREME 19TH HOLE
The uniqueness of Legend Golf and Safari Resort is reflected in the spectacular Extreme 19th Hole, which is the longest and most dramatic Par 3 in the world.
Set high up on the impressive Hanglip Mountain and accessible only by helicopter, this par 3 hole is played from a vertical height of 1410 feet. After your short, breathtaking helicopter flight, you will the experience of a lifetime teeing off from one of three tee boxes, high up on the escarpment. With advanced technology in the form of four separate cameras and the latest tracking equipment, you’ll be able to follow and capture the tee shot and the flight of the ball.

The Extreme 19th Hole includes:

  • Helicopter flights to tee box
  • 6 balls – (you may need them)
  • Use of clubs
  • Assistance from the Resident Pro
  • Cap and glove
  • Certificate of Completion

Extraordinary value-added prices from $4,399 including:

  • Round trip international economy airfare from Washington, DC to Cape Town and back via Johannesburg
  • Domestic flights as indicated in itinerary
  • Most meals (12) as listed in the itinerary
  • Dinner for two at the Table Bay Atlantic Restaurant
  • Game drives as specified in itinerary
  • Green fees at Arabella Golf and Country Club
  • Complimentary use of the driving range at Legends Golf and Safari Resort
  • 1 round of golf includes cart and halfway house lunch at Legends
  • Five-star accommodations in standard rooms
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary led by qualified English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees for sightseeing as indicated

Call us for a complete itinerary and travel dates.

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South Africa in Style

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Starting from $2,999 *per person/double occupancy; including taxes and fuel surcharges

Culture

Explore the natural splendors of Cape Town from its landmark beaches, delicious Malay cuisine and rich culture of the Xhosa people.  Shop for beautiful, brightly colored beadwork and baskets of the Zulu tribe or visit Robben Island, political prison from the Apartheid days.  The “Mother City” is dominated by a towering, table-shaped mountain, set on a peninsula of soaring, rocky heights and lush valleys, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans converge. 

Wine

You’ll travel to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, home of award-winning wine farms. Here you’ll spend a half-day in the Cape Winelands, sampling world-class crisp white wines and classic, French-style reds.

Safari

No trip to South Africa would be complete without a safari game drive.  You’ll enjoy both morning and evening game-viewing safaris in search of the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard.  In open-air vehicles, you’ll be led into the bush by a tracker and driver, searching for a chance to spot giraffe, wildebeest, hyena, cheetah or maybe even the elusive wild dog.

This vacation of a lifetime includes:

  • Round trip coach air on South African Airways from New York (JFK) or Washington (IAD) Airport to South Africa OR Tambo International Airport
  • Domestic flights within South Africa per itinerary
  • Several meals including 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • 5-star luxury accommodations
  • Sightseeing per itinerary and much more . . .

* Pricing applicable for the following dates:

  • Feb., Mar., May, & Sept. 2012
  • Other dates are available at slightly higher rates, if these don’t work for you

For more information on this exceptional, value-packed vacation, contact us.

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Botswana Awesome Wetlands

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Prices from $3,419 plus up to $210 for taxes and departure fees*

Victoria FallsYour exciting journey begins when you check-in at your 5-star luxury hotel, where you can relax and get acclimated or head out to the nearby shopping and restaurants. The next day, fly to Victoria Falls where you will stay at a beautiful safari lodge for three nights.  For the rest of your vacation, you will marvel at one of the seven natural wonders of the world, spectacular Victoria Falls.

Elephant crossing the Chobe RiverWitness the vast herds of African elephant and other abundant wildlife as you enjoy two daily safari game drives from the your well-appointed lodge into the national park in open safari vehicles. The game drives follow the routes along the Chobe riverfront, which supports the greatest abundance of wildlife in the game park.

Here’s what is included in your adventure:

  • Round-trip economy airfare from New York (JFK) or Washington DC (Dulles) to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Regional flights to Victoria Falls Airport in Botswana
  • Deluxe accommodations in Johannesburg
  • 5-star accommodations at safari game lodge
  • Morning and evening game drives (6 total)
  • 6 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • Airport arrival/departure transfers
  • Fuel surcharges

Would you like to extend your stay in South Africa? Just give us a call and we can help you plan the vacation of your dreams.

This is not a group tour. Are you interested in a customized itinerary? You can call us to book for yourself and a companion or a group of your choosing.

*Prices are in US dollars and are per person based on double occupancy and include fuel surcharges.  Price reflects travel during specific months. Travel outside of these stated time periods is additional. Contact us for travel date availability.  Government taxes, departure fees and Sept. 11th fee are $210 and payable prior to departure.

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