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Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa

Uncategorized 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.

 Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
 

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.

 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.

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

 
 Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
 

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.

 Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
 

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.

 Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
 

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

 

National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

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When you visit a country for safaris, you want to get the best of all it has to offer when it comes to adventure in safaris. Africa is without a doubt one of the best places you can visit for safaris. There are very many countries in Africa that you can visit for safaris. Each country has its own unique features that make it ideal for safaris. Kenya is one of the best places to visit in Africa. There are very many national reserves and national parks in Kenya that make safaris a one of a kind experience

The national parks and reserves in Kenya are found in various places around the country. Some are small in size while others are very big in size. Some are known throughout the world while others are just famous locally but all for really good reasons.

Tourists visit Kenya all year round to have a taste of the safari experience in Kenya. Safaris in Kenya are usually fun packed with tourists having a lot of activities and adventure during the safari. The national reserves and national parks in Kenya have various accommodation facilities that tourists can use whenever they visit want to go on safaris.

Tourists visiting Kenya for safaris can either choose to use safari camps, safari lodges, hotels or tented camps. There are very many of these facilities around the country. Some are in the national reserves or national parks while others are outside the perimeter of the national parks and national reserves.

The prices in these hotels, lodges and safari camps vary from place to place. There is no fixed rate for accommodation. These prices also vary throughout the year. Hotels change their rate depending on what season it is. There are high and low seasons when it comes to tourism in Kenya. The high season always experiences an influx of the number of tourists visiting the country while the low season experiences a low turnout compared to the high season.

During the low seasons, the rates of different accommodation spots usually drop by a considerable margin. It is usually very significant that many tourists choose to visit Kenya during this period to take advantage of the low charges. Other camps usually choose to close down temporarily until normalcy resumes in the parks.

Top National Reserves and National Parks in Kenya

Balloon Safari National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

So what are the most famous national reserves and national parks in Kenya? If you are planning come for safaris in Kenya, it is important that you know what the best places are to visit and what activities to expect when you visit these places.

You have a big decision to make because unless you have all the time to spend on holiday and all the money, you can never visit each national reserve and national park in Kenya. You will have to do a good research on your best destinations to visit and make sure they fit on your holiday timeline. While making these decisions, it is important that you also consider your budget for your holiday.

Below are some of the most popular national reserves and national parks in Kenya that you need to consider when visiting Kenya. These are ideal destinations for safaris and are famous among tourists who visit Africa.

The Masai Mara National Reserve

masai mara National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

The Masai Mara National Reserve is found in Masai Mara. Masai Mara is in Rift Valley province and the closest town to the Masai Mara National Reserve is Narok Town. The native inhabitants of the area the Masai people and therefore the area gets its name from the Masai people and consequently the national reserves’ name is coined from the name of the place.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is the most popular safari destinations in Kenya and it is also quite popular in Africa. This is home to countless wildlife species and therefore a great place for safaris and adventure in Kenya. It is home to the big 5, that is, the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.

There are also other very many interesting animals that call Masai Mara home. These include cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, gazelles, giraffes and many others. When you go for game drives in the Masai Mara, these animals can be easily seen and if you have a good guide, you will be taken to various spots famous for various animals you are interested in.

The Nairobi National Park
nairobi ntl park National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

The Nairobi National Park is one of the most interesting national parks in the world. This is because it is the only national park that is found with a city. Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and the busiest of all the towns in Kenya. Nairobi is a metropolitan with all walks of life residing in the city.

The National Park is about 7km from the city’s CBD and just a few minutes ride will get you to the entrance of this national park. From the Nairobi National Park, you can see the tall buildings of Nairobi town and it is usually a great experience even to the city dwellers. It is convenient in that you do not have to travel long distances to see the big 5 or other animals on safari.

The animals are kept within the park’s perimeter by a fence but many times some of the animals make it out of the perimeter and cause a buzz around the neighboring areas. Just a few months back photos made rounds around the world. Some lions made it out of the national park to cause a snarl up of traffic as motorists got a rare treat of the wild beasts wrestling it out on the usually busy Langata Road.

The Lake Nakuru National Park

Nakuru ntl park National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

Lake Nakuru National Park is also in Rift Valley. The national park gets its name from the Lake Nakuru that is found in the area. The lake is famous for its pink flamingo cover. It is an ideal place for bird lovers and the serenity of the area makes it an ideal destination for holidays.

There are other very many animals you can find in the park including the rhino of course other water animals and fish like Tilapia. There are very many hotels and lodges in Lake Nakuru that tourists can use when they visit the area. Nakuru is close to Nairobi and therefore offering a bit of convenience especially to domestic tourists.

The Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks

Tsavo National Park Kenya National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

These twin national parks are found in the coast province. You can access these national parks from Mombasa, Voi or Malindi. The area is generally semi arid and dusty but is very rich when it comes to wildlife. This is the place to visit if you are particularly interested in seeing elephants.

The Tsavo East National Park and the Tsavo West National Parks are separate National Parks and therefore one cannot simply hop in and out of both. There are very many attractions in these parks including springs and Tsavo is also rich archeologically. There are also countless activities to do in Tsavo including rock climbing among other adventurous activities.

The Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

The Mount Kenya National Park is one of the best places for adventurous safaris in Kenya. There are very many activities that tourists take part in when they visit the Mount Kenya National Park. This national park is found in the central province of Kenya and get its name from the Mount Kenya, the tallest mountain in Kenya and the second tallest in Africa.

Apart from the wildlife in the park, tourists also get the rare treat of climbing Mount Kenya. There are different peaks that you can climb but each has its own fair share of challenges to deal with. It is always a thrilling experience to make it to the top and back and that is why Mount Kenya National Park gets tourists visiting the area all throughout the year.

The Amboseli National Park

Amboseli ntl park National Reserves and Parks in Kenya

Amboseli is also one of the most popular spots for safaris in Kenya. It is just south of Masai Mara and is rich in both flora and fauna. However, it is most famous for its scenic views of the Mount Kilimanjaro. From various safari camps and safari lodges in Amboseli, you have a great view of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro which has its foot in Kenya.

There are very many animals to see including the big 5. The Amboseli has the Savannah vegetation and the weather in the area is just about right for safaris. The Amboseli National park is also famous for elephants and therefore is an ideal safari destination if you are particularly interested in elephant’s activities.

There are other very many national reserves and national parks in Kenya. These include Kakamega Rain Forest National Reserve, Hell’s Gate National Park, Meru National Park, Sibiloi National Park and Buffalo Springs National Reserve among others. All these national reserves and national parks in Kenya make safaris in Kenya a memorable experience and will surely leave you wanting for more.

Packing Light

Here are 10 general tips on how to pack light.

packing light Packing Light

* Particularly when  it comes to clothing, keep this old chestnut in mind:  “Lay out everything you think you need, then pack only half of it.” For instance, if you think you’ll need four shirts, you’ll probably do fine with two. (However, if you lay out so much that half still equals a mound the size of a small-town landfill, you’ll definitely have to check a bag.)

* Another way to look at the above rule: “If in doubt, leave it out.” You can always buy a needed — or wanted — item at your destination.

* Open your (carry-on sized) suitcase and pack your absolute essentials first (nothing terribly valuable, of course, in case you have to gate check your bag or leave it in an overhead bin that’s out of sight; valuables go into your “personal” carry-on, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, or briefcase that will fit under an airline seat).

Once you’ve packed your essentials — and I’m talking shoes (preferably one pair, while you wear the other en route), underwear, one or two shirts, a pair of trousers (you’ll wear the other on the plane), a few socks if you’re wearing shoes other than sandals), toiletries with TSA-approved small-sized containers, a crushable hat or cap for sun protection, and some specific items for women and men that I’ll get to in subsequent posts — then you can add borderline items only if there’s space. For example, you may want to pack bulky computer cords or charging equipment in this bag if you’re reasonably sure it won’t be out of your sight.

* Take advantage of “miracle” fabrics that can be washed out and dry easily overnight or even while you’re eating lunch. That means you can wear them over and over, even if they get sweaty, and they are much lighter and more breathable  than wool, cotton, etc. I have a down “sweater-jacket” that can roll up into a small stuff bag that’s easily crammed into the corner of a suitcase. It fits snugly and provides warmth, especially if worn under an outer jacket if needed.

* Use packing cubes. Rather than digging around in your suitcase for an elusive pair of socks, pack your shirts (or underwear, trousers, etc.) in packing cubes — nylon containers that fasten with Velcro or zippers and keep your clothes neat and unwrinkled. You don’t even need to unpack them at your destination — just remove a piece of clothing as needed and if it’s still clean after wearing, fold and return it to the packing cube.

*Use compression packing bags. These are bags you fill with dirty clothes (usually) and then roll them up as a one-way valve pushes out the air, forming a flattened pack that takes up much less space and keeps your dirty clothes separate as well.

* Use every inch of space. Stuff extra socks or anything you can roll up into a small ball (such as a belt) inside packed shoes or anything hollow.

* Wear your heavy jacket, blazer, or heavier pair of shoes onto the plane so you don’t have to pack them. Fill pockets with extra handkerchiefs, Kleenex packs, etc.

* Remember that in general, as a leisure traveler you won’t be expected to be as turned out and stylish as you might be at home. Still, there are easy ways to look good (tips on those to come in subsequent posts).

* This may seem obvious, but it’s commonly overlooked amid all the other last-minute travel arrangements:check the weather at your destination before you pack. If it’s going to be dry and sunny, leave your rain gear at home. (It’s always prudent to carry a compact, fold-up umbrella, however.) If the weather is going to be cool and you’ll be nowhere near a beach, sandals are probably dispensable.

* Be sure that your personal carry-on — where you carry your passport, wallet (or extra wallet — more on that in the men’s tips post) or little purse, any other valuables, prescription medications, electronic equipment (laptop, tablet, cell phone, charger, etc.), reading material — is large enough to hold what’s needed and that your passport, cash, and a pen (for filling out forms) are readily accessible. Having shirt or jacket pockets while traveling is also extremely handy.

Readers, if you have any favorite packing tips that I haven’t covered, please feel free to add by leaving a comment — thanks!

Top Archeological Sites in Kenya

Kenya is a magical land with rich history that dates back to several million years ago. This is evident through the numerous archeological sites located in different parts of the country.

Lake Turkana

 Top Archeological Sites in Kenya     Activities in Lake Turkana kenya Top Archeological Sites in Kenya
Most of these sites provide historians with the opportunity of studying the behavioral pattern of early man. Light is also shed on some of the ancient civilizations to inhabit this part of the earth.
The Leakey’s family is largely credited to the success of discovery and excavation of many of these significant sites. Mary and Louis plus their son Richard have unearthed plenty of fossils and artifacts.
Here are some of the top archeological sites in Kenya that act as attractions to historians and tourists alike.

Lake Turkana, Rift Valley

Lake Turkana is the largest alkaline lake and permanent lake located in a desert in the entire world. Located along the Rift Valley, this lake is the outlet for three other lakes namely: Kerio, Turkwel and Omo. Since it lacks an outlet, evaporation is the only method of water loss.
Lake Turkana is home to Nile crocodiles, carpet vipers, scorpions, hundreds of bird species and more than 50 species of fish. The banks are grazed by mammals such as zebras, gazelles, rhinoceroses and elephants. Predators such as cheetahs and lions are also present. Hominids inhabited the area three million years ago when it was more fertile.

Hyrax Hill, Nakuru

Hy Top Archeological Sites in KenyaIn 1926, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the Hyrax Hill. Excavations started a decade later which led to the conclusion that Neolithic presence there dates back to 1500 B.C. There is a fortress and several tombs.
Of all the findings, six Indians coins must’ve been the most amazing. These coins date back to 500 years ago with no logical explanation of how they ended up there.
According to oral history, women were more politically powerful than men in that society. This is why they were buried with grave items such as mortars, pestles and dishes.

Koobi Fora, Koobi Fora Ridge

Koobi Fora is an important site with vital info on the hominid species that dates back to 4.2 million years ago. Numerous terrestrial mammals and stone tools have also been discovered in the area. Two species of the Australopithecus and three species of the Homo co-existed in the area. While the Australopithecus species vanished, the Homo species continued to evolve thereby bringing forth new species of man.
The excavation process was quite challenging so Richard Leakey mobilized locals and trained them. The team was known as ‘The Hominid Gang’.

Pate Island, North Coast

Human activity on Pate Island dates back to the 7th century. The area was largely inhabited by the Arabs and served as an important port in the 14th century. The town prospered in fine art producing amazing goldsmiths, weavers, carpenters and musicians.
Chinese porcelain artifacts discovered in Pate proved that Chinese explorers traded with the locals there centuries ago. Some even intermarried which is why some of the people there have Asian features. History also reveals that the Chinese explorers from the Zheng He’s voyage were shipwrecked at Pate. Tombs from the Ming Dynasty have been discovered there.

Kariandusi, Nakuru-Elementaita Basin

It was discovered in 1928 but its history dates back to 1 million years ago. Geological evidence proves that much larger lakes existed in the basin.
The area is currently covered by the Elementaita and Lake Nakuru. Plenty of tools and weapons have been discovered in the riverbed. This led archeologists to believe that rising levels of the previous lakes might have been a contributing factor to migration.
The popular tool of choice in this Lower Paleolithic site was the hand axe. The tool was also discovered in other parts of the world like South Africa, France and England from the Acheulian period.

Olorgesailie, Eastern Rift Valley

Olorgesailie is not only a significant site for archeology but also for geology and paleontology too. Excavation on the site began in 1943, several decades after it was discovered.
The hand axes were in abundance which suggested the Acheulian period. Some of the animal fossils found include those of giraffes, gazelles, zebras and hippos.
The findings also included fossils of some animals’ species that are now extinct. The first human fossil unearthed from Olorgesailie in 2003 was the skull of a Homo erectus. Volcano ash helped in preserving the fossils.

Lamu

Lamu, Lamu Archipelago

Lamu town was established in 1370. It is the oldest town in Kenya to be continually inhabited. An invasion by the Portuguese in 1505 forced Lamu’s King to pay them royalties.
A century later, the Oman helped locals from the town in successfully resisting the Portuguese. This consequently led to the ‘Golden Age’ of Lamu which was under the Omani protectorate. In the 17th century, the town prospered in trade, crafts, politics and poetry.
Notable landmarks in the area include: Lamu Fort, Riyadha Mosque and the Donkey Sanctuary. Swahili architecture is on brilliant display there.

Gedi Ruins, Malindi

Kenyafp fort jesus mombasa kenya all2810260 Top Archeological Sites in Kenya     
Excavation expedition in Gedi began in 1948 and lasted for a period of 11 years. Artifacts from Spain, China, India and Venice suggested a cosmopolitan population which was approximated at 2,500.
The architectural designs of houses in Gedi were quite complex. This is especially when taking into consideration that the town existed from 13th century to 17th century. The houses had flush toilets and modern drainage systems. There was also a palace and a mosque.
The Oromo from Somalia invaded the town in the 16th century driving out the original inhabitants.

What to Consider When Planning a Safari for your Family

What to Consider When Planning a Safari for your Family

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Looking for ideas for your next family holiday?  Forget Disney World why not consider something fun and educational at the same time.  Take your children miles away from TV, video games and computers and get back to nature with an African safari with natureboundafrica.com. Not only will children will be exposed to incredible wildlife but also a vastly different culture. Imagine your children seeing a magnificent Maasai warrior for the first time or learning to make a fire from wood and stone!

What may appear to be a daunting process, planning a safari for the whole family is not as difficult as it may first appear. Here are some things to consider before booking:
1.Countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania have more experience in dealing with families so they should possibly be your first port of call.

2. The safari peak season is June to Oct. If you are looking to save a few pennies and you are tied to travelling during the European school holidays (ie the peak season), consider visiting Rwanda or Uganda which are the exception – having their low season during these months.

3.If you are worried about long flights consider East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) where the flights are shorter (around 8 hrs from Europe).  In saying that, an overnight flight and with the time difference either 1 or 2 hours (depending on time of year) there is no jet lag to contend with.

4. Not all safari lodges take children or allow them onto game drives. You may need to consider a private vehicle or babysitting services. Nature Bound Africa know’s the lodges which are child friendly offering specially tailored child-centred activities which will give parents a break and provide endless hours of fun and learning for the children.

5. Consider which East African countries require vaccinations and malaria tablets.

6. Don’t plan for too long on safari, if you are away for 2 weeks combine your safari with a beach break in the likes of Zanzibar or Mombasa. Most of the resorts or hotels on the beach offer kid’s clubs, brilliant activities and water sports as well as family rooms.

7. Nature Bound Africa has experience in planning family holidays to East Africa in order that it is expertly organized.

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