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Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa

Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa

1. Angama Mara, Kenya

If the epic views from Angama Mara provoke a sense of déjà vu, it might be because you have seen them before on the silver screen. Taking its name from the Swahili for “suspended in mid-air”, the mesmerising vista of the remote Mara Triangle is the same as the one depicted in the 1985 film Out of Africa starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. This new camp, which opened last year on the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment, is the culmination of the work of safari lodge veterans Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, who have many years of African hospitality between them. There are two camps of 15 tents created by one of the continent’s finest tent-makers with a contemporary, minimalist chic look that incorporates 33ft-wide, floor-to-ceiling windows. The lodge is also committed to the local community; among other features, there is an in-house artisan workshop where Maasai women create beaded jewellery.

Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya . Doubles from $825 (£570) per person, full-board.

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2. Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is back on the safari map. Peeping out from the shade of acacia and mahogany trees, right on the banks of the Zambezi river, the 10 rooms of Wilderness Safaris’ Ruckomechi Camp reopen later this month with a new look. It is set in the Mana Pools National Park; this part of the country is known for its large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland, which can be seen on wildlife drives, walks or afternoon boat trips on the river. In July a new, smaller satellite camp, Little Ruckomechi, will open further downstream, with just three tented rooms.

Ruckomechi Camp, Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. Doubles from $702 per person, full board.

%name Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
 

3. Makanyi Lodge, South Africa

One of the newest arrivals on South Africa’s safari scene is this seven-suite lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on the edge of the country’s vast Kruger Park. The Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – proliferate here and there are game drives as well as bush walks, birdwatching, painting, guided stargazing and photographic safaris. Each of the rooms is designed in rustic yet slick safari style with a main lodge and an infinity pool, which proves the ideal place to lounge after a dusty drive.

ALSO READ  World’s Top 10 Countries That Save The Most (3 Countries from Africa make the top 10)

Makanyi Private Game Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kruger Park, South Africa. Doubles from R8,000 per person, full board including game drives.  

 
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4. Limalimo Lodge, Ethiopia

The jagged, gasp-worthy peaks of Ethiopia’s Unesco-listed Simien Mountains National Park are one of the country’s natural highlights. So too are the large colonies of Gelada monkey that populate it. Opened in January, the Limalimo Lodge is its newest place to stay, with just 12 guestrooms constructed in the vernacular style using rammed earth, wood and thatch. Guests can spend their days exploring the vastness of the surrounding landscape with its walia ibex, leopards and Ethiopian wolves.

Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park, Debark, North Gondar, Ethiopia. Doubles from $200, full-board.

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5. The Highlands, Tanzania

Tanzania’s Unesco World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most spectacular and richest wildlife spotting areas on the continent. Both the Big Five and countless other species live and visit this vast caldera that formed two to three million years ago.To escape the crowds fully, check into Asilia Africa’s newest camp, the appropriately named The Highlands, set on the slope of the Olmoti volcano. When it opens on 5 June – in good time for the spectacular annual wildebeest migration between July and October – it will become the highest of all the camps fringing Ngorongoro. There will be just eight futuristic looking, luxuriously decked-out domed canvas tents. You can be down on the crater floor for dawn safaris, enjoy bush picnics and just revel in the isolated tranquillity of the setting, when the sun begins to set over the African wilderness.

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The Highlands, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Doubles from $710 per person, full-board.

 

Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

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Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa !!

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Parts of Africa are highly volcanic, especially the East African Rift Zone. Ethiopia alone has 50 volcanoes that are still active. However, other countries like South Africa, Tanzania, Cameroon and DRC also have volcanoes.

So how dangerous or deadly are these African volcanoes? Below is the top 10 most dangerous volcanoes in Africa!

 

10) Dabbahu, Ethiopia

The Dabbahu Volcano is also known as Boina, Boyna, or Moina locally. It is an active volcano in the Afar region in Ethiopia and is part of the Rift Valley volcanic system. An eruption in 2005 created a fissure in the earth with a length of 60km.

 

Ash of the eruption reached villages up to 40km away. An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 hit three days after the eruption started. In total 11,000 people fled the area due to the eruption and earthquake.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

The eruption created a massive fissure in the earth – Image credit to Anthony Philpotts

 

9) Marion Island, Prince Edwards Islands, South Africa

Marion Island is the top of a 5000m high shield volcano (similar to Hawaii) that rises 1242m out of the Indian Ocean. The volcano is active and erupted in 1980 and 2004 and is the only active volcano in South Africa. The only inhabitants are a changing crew of approx. 50 scientists who can only escape by boat.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

The Marion Island shield volcano

 

8) Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania

Ol Doinyo Lengai means “Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. An eruption in 2007 caused a number of earthquakes. The strongest of these had a magnitude of 6.0. Older eruptions caused ash fall as far away as Loliondo which is more than 100km away. The volcano remains highly active with eruptions in 2008, 2010 and 2013.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Ol Doinyo Lengai erupting in March 2008 – Image credit to Cessna 206

 

7) Manda Hararo, Ethiopia

The Manda Hararo is a group of volcanoes that first erupted in 2007. There were no warning signs according to the local population. The violent eruption continued for three days while the local people fled the area. In 2009 the volcano erupted again and lava flows were seen up to 5km away from the Volcano. No casualties were reported.

The volcanic field around the two main volcanoes is considered the most active volcanic field in the world.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

The Manda Hararo volcano system – Image credit to Earthweek.com

 

6) Mount Cameroon

Mount Cameroon is the most active volcano in West Africa. Locally it is also known as Mongo ma Ndemi or Fako. It is one of the largest volcanoes in Africa with a height of 4040m. In 2000 lava flows caused by two eruptions came very close to the town of Buea. In 2012 there was a small eruption, but this time it mostly produced ash that posed no danger in the area. It did however injure two guides that were on the mountain at the time.

With around 500,000 people living or working on the flanks of the volcano a larger eruption would cause catastrophic damage.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Mount Cameroon – Image credit to Savannawood.com

 

5) Nyamuragira, Democratic Republic of Congo

This is the most active volcano in Africa. It erupted roughly every two years for decades. However, it has been fairly quiet since 2011 when the last major eruption occurred. In 2014 the volcano became active again creating a lava lake in the caldera (crater) with a depth of 500m.

There are no villages close to the volcano fortunately. However, its lava flows could still be dangerous as the volcano lies only 25km north of Lake Kivu. A large lava flow into the lake could lead to lake overturning. Lake overturning is when a sudden change in the lake brings CO2 and other dangerous gasses to the surface. In 1986 this caused the death of around 1700 people at nearby Lake Nyos.

Lake Kivu is almost 2000 times larger and around 2 million people live around the lake. An event like that at Lake Nyos could have a devastating effect. The chance of this happening is luckily quite low as the CO2 concentrations in the lake are not as high as in Lake Nyos.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Nyamuragira volcano eruption in 2014 – Image credit to MONUSCO Photos

 

4) Mount Fogo, Cape Verde

After a few days of increasing seismic activity the eruption of Pico de Fogo started on the 23rd of November, 2014. Local villagers spend the first night outside because of the strong earthquakes. Evacuations started once the eruption got underway. The eruption only stopped after a total of 77 days. By that time two villages were destroyed and over 1500 people had been evacuated. Fortunately there was no loss of life.

The entire island of Fogo is part of the volcano that has a diameter of 25km. A major eruption would give the 37,200 people living on the island little chance to escape.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Mount Fogo – Image credit to Aldo Bien

 

3) Karthala, Comoros

Mount Karthala (or Karthola) is an active volcano with a height of 2361m above sea level. It is one of two volcanoes that form the Grande Comore Island. With more than 20 eruptions since the 19th century it is considered highly active and dangerous.

After a long quiet period the volcano blasted into action in April 2005. The large lava flows and deadly volcanic gases that were spewed out by the volcano caused the evacuation of 30,000 people. In 2006, 2007 and 2012 the volcano erupted again, but these were much smaller than in 2005.

With over 300,000 people living on the small island a large eruption would cause massive damage and loss of life.

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Mount Karthala is very active – Image credit to Afrotourism.com

 

2) Nabro, Ethiopia/Eritrea

On June 12, 2011 the Nabro volcano erupted and spread its lava and ashes over hundreds of kilometers. The eruption caused a series of earthquakes with the strongest reaching a magnitude of 5.7. The ash plume reached a height of 15km and reached a size of 50km by several hundred km. The ash cloud severely disrupted air travel in the region.

Afar, a state in Ethiopia, felt the brunt of the impact. By the time the eruption ended at least 31 people had died and thousands had been evacuated.

The worst part is that this was the first eruption in recorded history. The volcano was considered extinct so very little research was done before 2011. This means that the danger of the volcano is not known.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Image showing the massive size of the 2011 Nabro Volcano eruption – Image credit to Phil Plait

 

1) Mount Nyiragonga, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragonga is the most dangerous volcano in Africa. Since 1882 it has erupted at least 34 times and at times remained active for years. The lava from Nyiragonga is very fluid and lava flows can reach speeds of 100km/h when racing down the mountain.

In 1977 an eruption cracked the walls of the crater and the lava lake inside was released in just one hour. The lava reached speeds of up to 60km/h, destroying villages and killing at least 70 people.

In 2002 another massive eruption happened. A large fissure quickly spread from the volcano that reached the nearby city of Goma. Lava flows between 200 and 1000m wide with a depth of 2m streamed through Goma. 400,000 people were evacuated. A combination of noxious gasses, earthquakes and lava flows killed around 147 people. At least 4500 buildings were destroyed (about 15% of Goma) and around 120,000 people were left homeless.

Another danger of this volcano is that carbon dioxide seeps from the ground. When this can’t be spread by the wind (like in buildings) it can cause death by asphyxiation. This has happened to several children very recently.

The most dangerous part of this volcano is that Lake Kivu is very close. In 2002 lava flows reached the lake causing fears that the lake could see a similar event as that at Lake Nyos in 1986. Fortunately this did not happen, but scientists are still monitoring the situation.

The 1986 Lake Nyos disaster killed 1700 people. Lake Kivu is about 2000 times larger and over 2 million people live closeby. A ‘Lake Nyos event’ could cause damage on an unimaginable scale.

%name Ol Doinyo Lengai named as one of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in Africa

Mount Nyiragonga lava lake – this is the most dangerous volcano in Africa – Image credit to Cai Tjeenk Willink

SUPERMOON Extraordinary Sight

SUPERMOON Extraordinary Sight
 
The supermoon will look especially big because it’s so close to Earth at the moment it reaches its fullest point. Share this sight with someone special, because we won’t see a supermoon this close until 2034.
 
About the Supermoon-From NASA
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supermoon

NASA/Bill Ingalls
 
The moon is a familiar sight in our sky, brightening dark nights and reminding us of space exploration, past and present. But the upcoming supermoon—on Monday, Nov. 14—will be especially ‘super’ since it’s the closest full moon to Earth since 1948. We won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034.
 
The moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical, so sometimes the moon is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it is known as a supermoon. At perigree—the point at which the moon is closest to Earth—the moon can be as much as 14 percent closer to Earth than at apogee, when the moon is farthest from our planet. The full moon appears that much larger in diameter and 30 percent brighter.
 
The biggest and brightest moon for observers in the United States will be on Monday morning just before dawn.

Uganda Implements Online e-Visa

Uganda Implements Online e-Visa & cuts single entry visa fee in half to $50

Nature Bound Africa would like to notify their valued clients and trade partners that Uganda has Implemented Online e-Visa & cuts single entry visa fee in half $50. Guests wishing to visit Uganda must now apply for their visas online by following the link below:
https://www.visas.immigration.go.ug/

Step 1: Choose the type of visa: “Ordinary” (single entry) and East Africa Tourist Visa (valid for travel between Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda) are the most common.

Step 2: Upload clear copies of current passport, yellow fever certificate and a passport photo. For an East Africa Tourist visa, a travel itinerary and proof of return ticket must also be submitted.

Step 3: Once the online application form is completed and submitted, the applicant will receive a bar-coded email notification of approval. This can take 3 or more days. Once received, this bar-coded email should be printed and brought to Uganda for presentation upon arrival.

Upon arrival at any border (entry point), the bar-coded email along with passport and original yellow fever certificate must be presented. The Immigration officer will scan the barcode, take fingerprints and a photograph and collect the $50 visa fee ($USD cash only, in excellent condition and dated 2006 or later). The visa will be printed and pasted into the passport.

NOTE: The online system and obtaining visas on arrival are working CONCURRENTLY. Visas will be available on arrival until July 31, 2016. After this date, all visas must be obtained online using the E-Visa system. [Update July 27: While it has widely been reported that visas will be available on arrival only until July 31, 2016, Nature Bound Africa, have confirmed with the Ministry of Internal Affairs that the online system & visas on arrival will work concurrently until further notice, until the E-Visa system is working flawlessly. However, we recommend your guests utilize the E-Visa system moving forward to be safe].

Here is the official statement from Uganda Immigration regarding the $50 single entry visa fee:
Press2BStatement2BImmigration Uganda Implements Online e Visa

“Maji Moto” Hot Springs

“Maji Moto” Hot Springs

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Maji Moto
– Water Hot, literal translation.
– Hot Water, English translation
– An oasis 2 hours away from Arusha

One of the best and memorable places to swim. The water is actually not hot, it’s a temperature that isn’t too warm or too cold. You could stay in it forever and never feel the need to get out and reheat yourself.

The water holds a beautiful sapphire color and is crystal clear to the bottom. A natural current runs through, and though there are certain parts which can be hard to swim against, the main pool is the easiest place to relax.

It’s truly a blissful spot in the middle of totally unexpected terrain, and for anyone staying in Arusha – We highly recommend a visit.

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