UK +44 (0) 20 8704 1216
USA +1 866 356 4691








Africa Odyssey Blog

Welcome to the Africa Odyssey Blog

Stay Where the Wild Things Are

Stay Where the Wild Things Are

Photo © Bushcamp Company

Part of the wild and adventurous appeal of going on a safari in Africa, involves the possibility of having up close encounters with wildlife.

Game drives, bush walks and boat rides are all great methods of searching for animals in the wild. However, what if you didn’t need to leave camp in order to experience an intimate wildlife sighting? What if the animals came to your doorstep?

Imagine waking up to see a pride of lions outside your window, or having your breakfast interrupted by a herd of elephants. While this may sound too good to be true, this is in fact the reality of many lodges in Africa where they have chosen to forego the fences and allow the wildlife to roam freely throughout the camp. Although just because a lodge doesn’t have a fence, doesn’t necessarily guarantee any wildlife visitors. By nature, animals are wary of humans and will avoid unfamiliar structures. However, there are a few places that are lucky enough to experience regular visits from their wild guests.

These are some of our favourite lodges where the wildlife roams free and animals are known to visit on a regular basis:

Mfuwe Lodge:Stay Where the Wild Things Are

Situated in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, Mfuwe Lodge plays host to a very special wildlife spectacle. Each year between late October and mid-December, staff and visitors at Mfuwe look forward to a special visit from elephant families that have been regular guests at the lodge for three generations. The elephants walk directly through the lodge’s reception lobby, to feast on the fallen fruits from the large Wild Mango (Cordyla Africana) tree in the lodge grounds.

Kanga Camp:

Renowned for the ‘Armchair Safari’, Kanga Camp is located in the most remote part of Mana Pools National Park – Kanga Pan. This pan is the only known water source in the area available throughout the year, making it a hub for wildlife and Kanga Camp is perfectly placed to offer you a front row seat to the wildlife action. From the comfort of the deck chairs, guests might be lucky enough to see elephant, lion, wild dog, buffalo and even leopard drinking in front of the lodge.

Royal Malewane Private Game Lodge:

Royal Malewane is located in Thornybush Private Game Reserve within the greater Kruger region, South Africa. One of the best amenities at the Royal Malewane Private Game Lodge is their private plunge pools that come with each room. It is not that uncommon for an elephant or two to drop by for a drink of water while you’re taking a dip and soaking up the sunshine.

Staying in an unfenced camp is an exhilarating and authentic bush experience, however, due to the obvious safety concerns, these lodges generally have very strict child policies. Guests also need to be accompanied by a member of staff when walking from one area of the lodge to another, especially at night.

Secret Safari Destinations you MUST See

Secret Safari Destinations you MUST See

There’s no denying that Africa’s main attractions such as the Serengeti, Victoria Falls, Masai Mara and Cape Town are all well-worth experiencing. However, if you’re anything like us then you enjoy getting off the beaten track every now and then and seeing what there is to be discovered.

Luckily for us, with a continent as large as Africa, there are countless lesser-known safari gems just waiting to be explored by travelers. Here are just three secret spots worth seeing while on safari in Africa:

Quirimbas, Mozambique

Secret Safari Destinations you MUST See

Photo © Daniel J Allen

Stretching for 400km along Mozambique’s northern coast, the Quirimbas Archipelago consists of 32 coral islands rising from the depths of the Indian Ocean. Due to the remoteness of the islands, they were previously inaccessible however regular flights that have opened this magical world to travelers. Each island has just one lodge, ensuring the ultimate ‘private island’ experience. With its pristine beaches, rich marine-life and unsurpassed exclusivity, we consider this to be one of Africa’s finest beach destinations.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

From beach sand to desert sand, the Sossusvlei in Namibia is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Forming part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossuvlei is a large salt and clay pan surrounded by towering sand dunes. The dunes are some of the largest in the world and form a dramatic backdrop to the stark white pan. During sunrise and sunset, the dunes transform into brilliant shades of orange and red, making the area a photographer’s dream destination.

Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar

Photo © Cool Hunting

One cannot visit Madagascar, without going to explore the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. ‘Tsingy’ translates to ‘where one cannot walk barefoot’, which is an apt name seeing as the reserve consists of razor-sharp limestone pinnacles. Travellers wishing to explore this area can do so using the steps, boardwalks, ladders, cables and suspension bridges have been installed with phenomenal expertise allowing adventurers to explore the Tsingy close up and in safety.

Are your feet tingling for an adventure yet? Get in touch with us for help planning your safari to one of these off-the-radar destinations.

3 of the Best (Ethical) Animal Encounters in Africa

3 of the Best (Ethical) Animal Encounters in Africa

When in Africa, it’s tempting to try and cross off as many bucket list encounters as possible. After all, it’s the trip of a lifetime. Why not make the most of it?

Personal wildlife interactions tend to be quite high up on the list for many travellers. Lion cub petting, walking with big cats and elephant rides are just a few examples of popular wildlife encounters. Sadly, these activities are all highly unethical and rely on the profits of misinformed tourists to keep them going.

It’s always important to do your research before supporting an organisation, but here a few basic tips for choosing ethical wildlife encounters:

• Any facility that breeds wild animals, and offers petting/touching, is not a sanctuary.
• Never ride an elephant. This is never ethical.
• Animals living in captivity should be kept in appropriate enclosures that mimic their natural environment and offer enrichment activities.
• Avoid all circuses that involve animals in their acts.
• Hands-off encounters that benefit both the wildlife and the public are an example of an acceptable activity e.g. reputable sanctuaries.
• Game drives and guided bush walks are a good example of non-intrusive ways to observe animals in the natural habitat.

Fortunately, however, awareness on the issue is spreading like a wonderful wildfire through the world and more and more travellers are starting to reject these unscrupulous activities in favour for more conservation based wildlife experiences.

Here are a few examples of ethical wildlife encounters to add to your bucket list:

Wildebeest Migration:
When in full swing in East Africa, the Wildebeest Migration is an extremely exciting event to witness and can be done from the safety of a game vehicle.

3 of the Best (Ethical) Animal Encounters in Africa

 

Gorilla Trekking:
Encountering the last remaining wild gorillas in Uganda, Congo or Rwanda is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding safari experiences in Africa. The treks are carefully managed and contribute directly to the conservation of these endangered animals and their rainforest habitats.

 

Turtle Hatching:
One of the cutest wildlife encounters there could be is watching baby turtles hatch. Kosi Bay in South Africa is one of the best places to witness this. While a sighting of the hatching can never be fully guaranteed, if you’re in the right place at the right time, watching baby sea turtles emerge from their eggs and escape to the ocean can be an amazing encounter.

If you would like to experience these incredible encounters or discuss what else you can do, get in touch with us!

Save

Save

Save

Save

African Safari: The Trip to Take in Your 30s

African Safari: The Trip to Take in Your 30s

Travel is for everyone, both the young and old, but the Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Awards revealed an interesting trend: People in their thirties are heading to Africa to go on safari.

 ‘Why is an African safari the trip you should really take in your thirties rather than any other decade?’

Well, there are bucket loads of reasons, but here’s the top 9:

1. An African safari is one of life’s greatest adventures.

African Safari: The Trip to Take in Your 30s

© John’s Camp, Robin Pope Safaris

2. The glamping opportunities allow you to rough it without really roughing it.

The trip to take in your 30s

© Ngala Tented Camp

3. You can live your dream of driving a convertible and turn it up a notch.

The trip to take in your 30s

© Tortilis Camp

4. You’ve attended way too many indoor dinner parties.

The trip to take in your 30s

© Govenors’ Camp Collection

5. It’s a chance to spruce up your living room with original, handmade African souvenirs.

trips to take in your 30s

© Tongabezi Lodge

6. You now want your holiday experiences to be more meaningful.

trips to take in your 30s

© Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

7. Relaxation isn’t the only travel goal and discovering a new jig will only help you rock the dance floor at the next family wedding.

trips to take in your 30s

© Cottar’s 1920s Camp

8. You don’t mind staying up late and waking up early if it means tracking a pride of lions.

trips to take in your 30s

©Burrard-Lucas

9. BONUS: Most luxe safari lodges are all inclusive. Translation- You can have as many G&T’s as you’d like!

trips to take in your 30s

© Wolwedans

Ready to shake up your typical 9-5 for an adventurous, authentic and insta-worthy safari holiday in Africa? Botswana and South Africa were popular choices among thirtysomethings according to the Conde Naste Traveller awards, but the clear favourite was Kenya’s Masai Mara.

We’re big fans of the Masai Mara for its frequent predator and Big 5 sightings, as well as the Great Migration that crosses into Kenya from the Serengeti towards the end of June. A few of our favourite camps include Cottar’s 1920s Camp, Governor’s Camp and Rekero Camp.

Get in touch to plan your life-changing Kenya safari with Africa Odyssey.

 

Kruger vs. Sabi Sand: Everything you need to know

Kruger vs. Sabi Sand: Everything you need to know

Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reserve are two of South Africa’s most prized safari destinations. Due to their close proximity to one another, we often get questions like ‘is one better than the other?’ or ‘what is the difference between the two?’

Kruger is South Africa’s oldest, largest and best known National Park. It is claimed as a favourite safari destination by both locals and international visitors, some who return to its wilderness yearly. The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is adjacent to Kruger and shares an unfenced border with the National Park. It is one of the most popular neighbouring private reserves and, together with a few others, forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. While this is valuable information for you to know, the animals are completely unphased and freely roam between the two.

When a planning a safari holiday to South Africa, the decision usually comes down to Kruger versus the Sabi Sand. Knowing that both are world-renowned and home to the Big 5 makes the decision that much harder.

Here is everything you need to know to make an informed safari decision:

1. Size
Kruger National Park is massive and covers over 2 million hectares of wilderness, which is approximately 30 times the size of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Because of its grandiose size and sheer numbers of animals, you could visit the park a hundred times and still discover new flora and fauna. With that being said, the Sabi Sand’s smaller size makes it easier to track wildlife, increasing your odds of ticking the Big 5 off your bucket list in a shorter time span.

2. Access
Day visitors and self-drives are allowed in Kruger National Park and not in the Sabi Sand. Only those staying at one of the private safari lodges are permitted access to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, limiting the number of tourists coming in and providing a more exclusive game-viewing experience. Kruger can become very crowded, especially during peak season, but if you’re an experienced safari goer, the flexibility of being in charge of your schedule, game drive routes and movement can be a real bonus.

3. Affordability
Accommodation in Kruger is extremely affordable compared to its counterpart. You can find public camping sites and self-catering options as well as some luxurious lodges, while the Sabi Sand is most commonly home to Africa’s premier safari lodges, including Londolozi, Singita and Richard Branson’s Ulusaba. A guided open vehicle safari in Kruger will generally cost much less than a similar safari at a luxury lodge in the Sabi Sand.

4. Game drives
While both Kruger camps and Sabi Sand lodges offer guided game drive activities, one of the advantages the Sabi Sand Game Reserve has over Kruger is that the guides have permission to drive off-road in order to track animals and get closer to wildlife. The guides and trackers are some of the best in the safari business, affording guests the rare opportunity to witness up-close sightings you wouldn’t normally get to see ‘on the road.’ The Sabi Sand is also known as one of the best places to see leopards in the wild. Night drives are possible here too.

Kruger vs. Sabi Sand: Everything you need to know

©Londolozi

While the Kruger National Park offers something for everyone, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve fills the luxury travel niche for safari goers looking to visit South Africa. Or better yet, if you simply can’t choose between the two, why not a combination of both? Let us help you plan your perfect South Africa safari holiday.

 

Odyssey Travels Tanzania Odyssey Asia Travels Latin Travels