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Africa Odyssey Blog

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Surfing Safaris – Best Beaches for Surfers in Africa

Surfing Safaris – Best Beaches for Surfers in Africa

With a coastline of over 19,000 miles, Africa boasts some of the world’s best beaches and surf spots.
While the surfing industry is still relatively young on the continent, Africa’s beaches are an attractive option for surfers who enjoy a little bit of adventure with their waves.

Here are a few of the best places for a surfing safari in Africa:

Skeleton Coast, Namibia
With six long, perfect, left-hand pointbreaks, including one at Skeleton Bay, Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is renowned for providing some of the best barrels in the world. Despite the remoteness of Namibia, and near-inaccessibility of some of the surf spots, if you get it right, this is one of the most rewarding places to surf in Africa. But be warned, the water is freezing, the current is fierce, and the tubes can be relentless – so if you’re not an experienced and confident surfer, rather give this one a miss.

Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Jeffreys Bay in South Africa is one of the premier surf spots in the world, and arguably the most famous surfing destinations on the continent. Famous for having one of the world’s best right-hand point breaks, pro surfers from all over the world flock here during its surf season (June to August) for the Billabong Pro Surf Contest. While the wave can get a little crowded at times, there are plenty of other quieter spots just outside of town that offer excellent surfing opportunities for those who enjoy a less crowded wave experience.

Surfing Safaris – Best Beaches for Surfers in Africa

Tofinho Point, Mozambique
With its world-famous right-hand reef break, Tofinho Point in Praia do Tofo is considered the best surf spot in Mozambique. Boasting warm waters, friendly locals and swells suitable for both beginners and advanced surfers alike, Tofo is a charming surfing safari destination. The best time for surfing is in winter (June – August), which happens to coincide the annual humpback whale migration!

Madagascar
Situated just off the coast of South Africa, Madagascar is undoubtedly one of the best-kept surfing secrets in the world. With a coastline of 4,828 km, there are new surf discoveries being made all the time and it is rated as possibly one of the world’s last unspoiled surfing destinations. Some of the best surfing spots in Madagascar are found near Anakao, where the waves break several kilometers offshore on an outer reef. The best time for surfing in Madagascar is from March to September.

Surfing safari in Africa

Ready to start planning your surfing safari to one of these exciting destinations? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you.

Tips for Spotting Wildlife on a Self-Drive Safari

From flexibility to freedom, there are many benefits to going on a self-drive safari. However, for many travellers, one of the biggest concerns about embarking on a self-drive safari, is not having the in-depth knowledge of a nature guide on hand. While its true that guides and rangers are trained in reading the bush, spotting wildlife with an untrained eye is not as challenging as you might think.

Tips for Spotting Wildlife on a Self Drive Safari

Here are a few guidelines to help get you spot wildlife while on a self-drive safari:

Be Patient: Patience plays a major role in spotting wildlife. Make sure to drive slowly to make sure you don’t miss anything and keep your eyes peeled at all times.

Look and Listen: Nature often speaks to us through sounds, if you know what you’re listening for. Stop the car every now and then for a few minutes and just listen to your surroundings. The bark of a baboon could signal the presence of a leopard, and the call of the ox-pecker is a good indication that buffalo are nearby.

Look ‘Backwards’: Instead of scanning the bush from left to right, the way we would read a book, try looking from right to left. This forces your brain to work just a little bit harder and increases your chances of spotting animals hiding in the bushes.

Spend time around water sources: While it might be tempting to drive around searching for animals all day, it sometimes pays to just sit still and wait for the animals to come to you. Positioning yourself near a waterhole and waiting patiently could provide you with some stunning sightings of animals coming to drink or cool down.

Go at the right time of day: Many African animals are most active in the early morning and late afternoons, so these would be the best times to be looking for wildlife. Depending on the reserve rules, try and get onto the road as early as possible to catch the last of those nocturnal critters! Predators also often hunt in the early morning and evenings, when the heat of the day has died down a bit.

Be Respectful: When watching an animal in the wild, be mindful that you are in their territory. Be respectful of their space and always keep a safe distance from the wildlife. Make sure that you keep quiet and don’t startle the animals.

Ready to start planning your self-drive safari? We can help get everything sorted and ready for you, just get in touch with us! 

A Baboon in the Bedroom

We are delighted to announce that one of our clients has written a fascinating book

A Baboon in the Bedroom is a chance to explore places in Africa that are now too dangerous to visit. With Tony & Patricia Scobie experience life on the road travelling from London to Cape Town in a Land Rover and enjoy a time when you truly could get away from it all.

‘After many years reporting on the politics of African countries, I never thought I would fall for a travelogue from the continent. But I did. This book is tremendous – full of love, family and adventure.’

Mark Doyle former BBC Africa Correspondent.

To read please see Amazon

Swoon-worthy Safari Star Beds

Sleeping under the stars, and waking to the African sunrise, is a must-do while on safari. Here are a few of our favourite star beds and sleep out decks that will make you want to pack your bags and book a safari to Africa:

Chalkley’s Treehouse, Lion Sands Safari Lodge – South Africa

Swoon worthy Safari Star Beds

Lion Sands has a few luxurious tree houses, but the most popular is Chalkley’s Treehouse. Built around an ancient Leadwood tree, this lavish treehouse provides all the creature comforts one could wish for, while still offering a truly wild and authentic African experience. It’s the perfect place to soak up the sunset with some drinks, followed by a delicious picnic dinner before climbing into the dreamy four-poster bed for a night under the stars.

Garonga Safari Camp, South Africa

Swoon worthy Safari Star Beds

Garonga Safari Camp’s “Sleep Out” is a treetop deck overlooking a waterhole where guests can spend a night under the stars in a four-poster bed. The deck is about a 20-minute drive from the main camp, and guests are dropped off just before sunset with some drinks, a wonderful picnic dinner and radio for communication to the camo. This experience is so popular at Garonga, that guests need to book it well in advance to ensure they get to experience this during their stay.

Mkululamadzi Lodge, Malawi

Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of private concession within Majete Wildlife Reserve, Mkulumadzi enjoys an idyllic location at the confluence of two rivers shaded by giant leadwood trees. The lodge offers guests a stylish and contemporary retreat set amidst rugged and untouched bush land. It recently built a brand-new sleep out deck which literally gives guests that ‘in the middle of nowhere’ feeling.

If you’d like the chance to stay one of these stunning star beds, then get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect safari.

Ngorongoro Crater

Any safari to the North of Tanzania should include a visit to Ngorongoro Crater. Voted in 2013 as one of the Seven Natural Wonders in Africa, Ngorongoro Crater is situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is itself a protected area and a world heritage site. It is in fact, one of Africa’s most famous sites.

Lush Grasslands and Plentiful Water

Only 180km from Arusha, the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. The crater ranges between 16 to 19 km in diameter, with the walls of the crater varying in height between 400 meters and 600 meters high. The floor of the Crater is 260 square kilometres and comprises a number of different habitats. These include lush grassland, swamps, forests and Lake Makat (Maasai for ‘salt’) – a central soda lake filled by the Munge River. The Lerai Stream drains the forests to the south of the Crater, feeding the Fever trees(Acacia xanthophloea) in the Lerai Forest on the crater floor.

The other major water source in the crater is the Ngoitokitok Spring that is situated near the eastern crater wall. In this area there is a picnic site open to tourists, adjacent to the huge Gorigor Swamp that is fed by the spring. Here visitors can enjoy lunch in the company of large numbers of hippos that call this swamp home. The walls of the crater are comprised of montane forest on the steep, eastern walls and Euphorbia trees on the western boundaries. Only once you visit the Ngorongoro Crater, will you understand why it is such a strong candidate for any list of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Geological Splendour

The Crater is renowned for its geological splendour, but it is primarily famous as a natural reserve. The Ngorongoro is home to some of the densest, large mammal populations found anywhere in Africa. Boasting numbers of up to 25,000 large mammals, a trip to Ngorongoro Crater is guaranteed to offer spectacular sightings.

Because of the enclosed nature of the crater, it gives the impression of being a natural enclosure for most of the game that reside in that area and has almost formed its own ecosystem. However this is not the case, as almost 20% of the Wildebeest population and 50% of the Zebra population vacate the crater during the rainy season. During this time the reverse happens, with Eland and Buffalo and herd numbers increase with the rainy season.

The spectacular mineral-rich bowl that forms the floor of the crater, produces lush and nutritious grasses. These attract ungulates such as Buffalo, Thompson and Grants Gazelles, Zebra, Wildebeest, Waterbuck and Eland. But it is not only grazers and the crater is also home to East Africa’s best population of Black Rhino. Breeding herds of Elephants are occasionally seen passing through the crater, but it is the large Elephant bulls residing within the area that attract attention. These bulls are considered to be some of the biggest tuskers left in the Africa today. Unfortunately Giraffe and Impala are not present in the Crater and this is possibly due to a lack of open woodland favoured by these species.

Habituated Lions

As one would imagine, such a large population of herbivores will attract large populations of predators. The Ngorongoro Crater has one of the densest known population of Maasai lions. But numbers have varied over the years, due to the effects of the Natural Enclosure. This can reduce the amount of traversing between areas available to the male lions and makes them more susceptible to diseases. Due to the large number of ever-present vehicles, the lions have become habituated to the presence of game drive vehicles. As a result, they will hunt in close proximity to vehicles or even take advantage of the shade provided by the vehicles!

Spotted Hyaenas are very common here and they are often seen competing with Lions for their hard-earned kills. The numbers of Cheetah in the Crater are growing and Leopards are seen occasionally too, while the elusive Serval is a common sight in the crater. Jackals are spotted following the Lion prides for whatever scraps they can scavenge and Bat-eared Foxes are a rare treat!

The only down side is the numbers of other vehicles and tourists that you will encounter. Every visitor to Tanzania wants a glimpse of this amazing natural wonder and the diversity of game within its confines.

 

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