Welcome to the Africa Odyssey Blog

Links Page

Below some links that you may find useful:

Pack for a Purpose: Use available space in your luggage to provide supplies to communities you visit. For 5 pounds (2.27 kilos), you can bring one of the following:

400 pencils, 5 deflated soccer balls with an inflation device, a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band-aids

The Safari Store:  For all your safari packing needs

Tanzania Odyssey: Our detailed microsite for Tanzania Safaris and Tanzania Honeymoons

Tongabezi: One of Livingstone’s finest lodges on the banks of the Zambezi

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Volunteer Work in Africa: Find a wide variety of opportunities to volunteer for free on the Volunteer 4 Africa website.

Pride of the Zambezi:  The Pride of the Zambezi is an up market houseboat berthed on the Chobe River, Botswana offering a Chobe River cruise and safari holiday with a difference.

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Ichobezi River Lodges: Ichingo Chobe River Lodge and the Ichobezi Safariboats make the ideal combination to explore the beautiful Chobe River and the spectacular Chobe National Park.

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Explorer Club Africa: Tour packages in Zambia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Botswana at discounted rates.

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Directory 4

Directory World

Travel Directory A worldwide travel directory featuring travel deals, travel photos and travel blogs.

LondonDirectory.co.uk

http://www.addlinks.org

UK Bridal Directory

Travel Directory

Willgoto, World travel directory and travel guide

Travel Guide and Information

Chemmy Alcott: ‘From our fairytale wedding day to safari honeymoon’

Reproduced from Hello Magazine – 28 JULY 2014

Four times Olympian Chemmy Alcott had always dreamed of a safari honeymoon and last month, following her idyllic wedding day at London’s Syon Park, her wish came true. Here the alpine skier writes exclusively for HELLO! Online on why the trip has left the newlyweds on top of the world.

“There is a lot of pressure for honeymoons to be good. I mean, more of-ten than not, they start within 24 hours of the best day of your life! The fear of an anticlimax after a big and amazing event is always there. The pressure to enjoy your first days as man and wife is colossal.

 

Chemmy Alcott: From our fairytale wedding day to safari honeymoon

Almost 8 years ago when Dougie and I went on our first dates we joked that if we were ever to get married we would go on a safari honeymoon. Now that was coming true. We flowed frantically through the busy happiness of our wedding day, leading such a fast paced life (we both race at around 80mph on a weekly basis) it is the norm. And because there is no time to stop your body and mind becomes used to all the excitement. By the time we landed in Tanzania we were ready for this incredible country to wow us.

Having been frantically caught up wedding planning, we handed all our trust over to Africa Odyssey andBeyond to make the honeymoon a holiday of a lifetime. So nervously landing at Kilimanjaro we realised that we had no clue how we were getting to our first stop. Breathing a big sigh of relief when we saw a lovely man holding a sign with our name, we started our trip.

 

Chemmy Alcott: From our fairytale wedding day to safari honeymoon

I have to admit the itinerary had daunted us at first. There seemed so much travelling. However, safari travel isn’t really travelling – I have heard the Chinese proverb – ‘the journey is the reward’ on many occasions but travelling every second day to a different part of this amazing African country, I finally got it. From the internal, tiny planes where Dougie sat in the co-pilot seat, to the 4 by 4s that snaked through the woods, which weren’t merely methods of getting from A to B – they were an experience in themselves. We will never forget the birds-eye view of perfectly round Masai villages dotting around the country side (one actually was a heart – we saw this as a sign!) to the vast, pink illuminated waters of Lake Manyara (we later found out this wasn’t the sunset but millions of flamingos), nor the rough landings on rustic, dirt packed runways!

Embarrassingly we didn’t even make it into the first national park be-fore we shrieked in excitement asking the guide to pull over so we could take a photo of one lone family of baboons sitting at the side of the road. That ‘airport pick up’ alone we were spoilt by sightings of giraffes, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, ‘Pumba’ (warthogs), flamingos, impala , buffalo and dik-diks.

 

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Exhausted, but buzzing from the animal sightings we arrived at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge – a perfectly hidden, unintrusive gem in the middle of the bush. In terms of being at one with nature and living amongst the trees you couldn’t get any better (although Dougie pointed out it was bizarre that we were staying high up in a tree house in the one area famed for tree climbing lions!)

Giggling like teenagers when we were told we had our own butler for the stay – we felt like we had sneaked into someone else’s life – that evening we were spoilt by a lovely, romantic, candle lit bubble bath (the first of many our butlers would prepare for us). I had been warned be-fore leaving not to expect too much of the food whilst on safari. Well for us at every andBeyond lodge we visited this warning was redundant – the food was not only fresh, it was spectacular – from the marinades to the perfectly tender meats cooked in outside, clay tandoori ovens.

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The one thing about safari that we underestimated was how exhausting it is – and as professional athletes we can handle early morning and full days on the mountains. But you don’t want to sleep in. Dougie and I both suffer from F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) so every morning, how-ever sleepy we felt, we always dragged ourselves out of bed. Watching game waking at sunrise is magical. One of my favourite moments was watching two young zebras playing around. Each in turn would sit down and pretend they were finished playing, to tempt the other to rest as well and up would pop the first back onto its hind legs to be tall, strong and powerful.

Being able to have the chance at Lake Manyara to cycle to the local village and chat amongst the people who live there was unforgettable. Cycling to the school and, despite not fully understanding each other, put-ting on performances (they sung beautifully to us and Dougie and I showed them some pairs circus yoga!) we had an amazing time, which ended in a local football match on the banks of the Lake where Dougie and another family we met challenged all the young children to a game!

 

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Another opportunity to delve into the culture was our visit to the Masai Village where we became the lead in a girls vs boys jump off competition. Being the youngest to take part by a fair few years and also having spent 20 years training in the gym professionally, I enjoyed the admiration and laughs I received when I just kept jumping! The Masai live a very unique life in their family villages but what resonates from the experience is that whatever they do, however they live, it makes them all very happy, as they spent the whole time we were there smiling and laughing! I have travelled the world and been very lucky to be invited to some truly magical locations but andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is definitely the most wondrous place I have ever been to. Warm, opulent, extravagant and yet very comfortable with absolutely breathtaking views across the huge expanse of the sunken volcano. In fact on arrival, whilst indulging in another incredible lunch, we dined just next to a few zebras who had climbed right up to the luscious grass of the lodge to feed.

Whilst the animals on safari wowed us, the staff and the lodges made our honeymoon incredible, and we will never forget some of the amazing dining locations – from poolside candlelight in the jungle, to a private alcove on the white sands of Mnemba Island, to taking in room dining to a whole new level (log fire roaring, hundreds of rose petals decorating the floor!)

 

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Leaving the animals to go and spend 2 days at the beach sounds like a cop out but with all the crazy wedding preparations followed by the fantastic but emotional day itself, we relished the idea to stop. To stop on a beautiful private island like andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge was the icing on the cake!

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When I say ‘stop’ I mean having a great day scuba diving with turtles, free diving with dolphins, paddle boarding around the island and some epicly competitive games of ‘boule’! And then when we felt lazy we just went snorkelling on the unbelievably colourful reef just 1 metre below the surface and only about 50 meters in front of our bed!

 

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The most incredible part of our time on Mnemba though, was when a nest of 103 baby turtles decided that they needed our help to survive. The odds on baby turtles becoming fully grown is only 1 in 1000 So, when the nests are ready, the staff ask guests to help clear the beach and protect the babies from birds and crabs to give them the best possible chance of survival. Since we were on honeymoon we were allowed to escort the first baby turtle to the water where we named him Syon (after our wedding location) and wished him all the luck in the world as he awkwardly battled the shore breaking waves. It was such an incredible experience to witness the first moments of life of these amazingly cute little creatures!

 

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You know a holiday is good when you are already thinking of reasons and excuses to return before you have even left! Well, maybe when I am pregnant, maybe our ten year anniversary or maybe when our children have grown and left home; for whatever the occasion I know we will be back.”

www.africaodyssey.com tel 020 8704 1216 Two nights at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, two nights at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and two nights at andBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge from £4,824 per person on an all-inclusive basis. Price based on two people sharing and includes international and domestic flights and all game viewing activities.

British Travel Awards 2014

We are delighted to announce that we have been nominated for the prestigious British Travel Awards in 2 categories.  If you enjoyed your holiday with us, or our advice at the planning stage, please do take the time to vote for us! There are some great prizes to be won for taking part.

How to Vote?

In the first section (‘…best holiday companies for specific types of holiday’), we are listed under ‘Best Safari, Wildlife and Nature Holiday Company’ (at the bottom).

Under the fourth section (‘…best holiday companies to Africa and the Middle East’), we are listed under ‘Best Holiday Company to Sub-Saharan Africa’, (in the middle).

The easiest method is to quickly find ‘Africa Odyssey’ on the survey page, (using Ctrl F on a PC or Command F on a Mac); we are listed twice.

Short on time? Don’t worry, you do not need to vote in any other category, or fill in the survey afterwards; Just leave it blank, scroll to the end of the page and click ‘submit survey’.

Please see the screen grab below for more help, and click on this link now to vote

Sadly only those with a UK postcode are eligible to vote, Good Luck !

British Travel Awards 2014

Please click on this link now to vote!

Kwihala Camp

Kwihala as part of Asilia

On 1st June Kwihala Camp opened as part of the Asilia family. During April and May we refreshed the soft furnishings and put in place a new menu, but kept the spirit of this popular bush camp firmly intact.

This season Kwihala Camp is in the very capable hands of Sandy Mellet. Many of you will know Sandy from Matemwe where she was our Front of House Manager. Sandy is going into her third season with Asilia.

Guiding this season we will have Lorenzo Roskelly and Festo Rafaelle Ntayaye full time. Pietro Lurashi will be in camp from the 1st July – 1st October and Marius Swart arrives on the 1st November.

What makes Kwihala Camp special

  • Kwihala Camp has one of the best locations in the park, close to the Mwagusi Sand River where the most exciting game viewing happens! In the mornings, Kwihala guests tend to have this area to themselves, allowing them to move on when others start to arrive.
  • The camp has a reputation for excellent guiding and we are pleased to announce that the guides who built this reputation will be continuing to guide in the 2014 season.
  • It is one of the only camps in Ruaha to offer game drives, walking safaris and night drives. NB: walking and night drives do need to be pre-booked.
  • Kwihala is one of the smallest camps in Ruaha. With just 6 tents this means we can deliver the kind of personalised service that Asilia has become famous for.

Why go to Ruaha?

  • Exclusivity: Ruaha is Tanzania’s largest National Park at over 20,000km2. There are approximately 150  tourist beds in the park which means 130km2 of space for each guest!
  • Big Cat viewing: Ruaha is home to 1 in every 10 of the world’s lions and the density of lions per km2 is higher than the Serengeti (0.27 per km2 in Ruaha compared to 0.16 per km2 in Serengeti). Cheetah and leopard are also seen regularly.
  • Elephants: Ruaha is also home to Tanzania’s largest elephant population (aprox 20,000).
  • Diversity: Ruaha is a transition between southern and eastern eco-systems and this is what accounts for its incredible diversity with over 1600 plant species and 500 bird species.

Namiri Plains

We are very excited to bring you the first photos of Namiri Plains. The 6 tents have fresh and contemporary décor, with accents of reclaimed steel and wood to keep it in harmony with nature. Stand out features include bold geometric rugs contrasted against organic, plant print textiles. Bathrooms have traditional bucket showers.

Namiri Plains

 

 

We have also had some incredible game sightings in the last weeks. A recent FAM trip saw a unbelievable 6 species of cat in 8 days.  The 3 big cats; lion (95 different individuals), leopard (6 individuals) and cheetah (20 Individuals including some young cubs), were abundant, but also their smaller cousins were seen: wildcat (3), caracal (2) and an elusive serval. Namiri Plains is living up to its name as the place where the Big Cats Roam.

Namiri Plains

Namiri-Plains-view

The Namiri Team

Namiri Plains will be run by Epimark Mwaklianga who many of you will know from Ubuntu Camp. Epimark has been with Asilia for 9 years and has worked his way through the ranks from waiter to manager. Assisting Epimark and leading the guiding will be Blessed Mpofu, originally from Zimbabwe but who many of you will know from Explore Gorongosa Camp in Mozambique. A Professional Walking Guide, Blessed has worked in camps across Africa.

What makes Namiri Plains special?

  • Exclusivity and remoteness – Serengeti on your own: Namiri Plains is the only camp in the area (and will be for a while) which means other vehicles are a rare sighting in contrast to many other areas in the Serengeti
  • Permanent water source means unrivalled access to fantastic wildlife, especially cheetah, lion and leopard year-round
  • Access to the great migration for a long period of the year (Nov-March and June-July)
  • An amazing variety of Serengeti landscapes: short grass plains typical of the south contrasting with the valleys and rock formations that are more recognisable of the north

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