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Kalahari Game Reserve

KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

This is one of the remotest and most unspoilt , but also harsh parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, especially during the summer rainy season, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana. The flat grasslands team with thousands of gemsbok and springbok, To be compared with the Serengeti in Tanzania. The Kalahari Game reserve is the largest reserve in Botswana, covering an area of 52, 8000km2. Its location is in the centre of Botswana. The Kuke fence run along its northern border, and the Khutse Game Reserve borders it in the south.

The Kalahari Game Reserve was initially set aside for the use of people who choose to continue their traditional hunting-gathering way of life. The San and the Bakgalagadi. The San have lived here for about 30 000 years. The reserve was established in 1961 to protect the resources on which these lifestyles depended.

Vegetation consist mainly of Acacia woodland, Acacia scrub and sandveld scrub. The two main Acacia species are Bastard umbrella , resembling the Umbrella thorn and Blackthorn. Around Piper Pans the succulent-like wild sesame bushes provide stunning scenery, especially when bearing the trumpet like flowers. Among the most notable shrubs are the Trumpet thorn and the yellow - flowered Western rhogozum. Also common during the rainy season is the yellow flowered ground creeper – Devil’s thorn.

The Kalahari Game reserve is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana. This is where Mark and Della Owens conducted their research for their book on the Brown Hyaena “Cry of the Kalahari”. During the rainy season, November to January, this desolute area is transformed into a green paradise, teeming with thousands of Gemsbok, Springbok and Wildebeest. Lion, cheetah and jackal are also plentiful.

DECEPTION VALLEY NORTHERN CENTRAL KALAHARI

The Northern area of the Central Kalahari Reserve – Deception Valley to Piper Pans is one of the most spectacular areas to visit. During the rains – November to January \ February, vast herds of gemsbok and springbok congregate in this area taking advantage of the sweet sprouting grass. This time there is also an abundance of predators, lion, cheetah, brown hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and other species. Bird life is also spectacular, especially around piper Pans. Other interesting places in the Central Kalahari Reserve is Sunday Pan, Passage Pan an Motopi, the traditional Bushmen settlement at Molapo And the biggest Bushmen settlement in the Kalahari – at Xade.

 

 

 

 

 

Kalahari, Botswana

The Tuli Block

 

Tuli Block is 10 – 20 km wide and 350 km long, stretching from the point where the Limpopo and Sashe rivers meet in the east, to the Notwane River, north of Olifant’s Drift, in the south - west. Tuli Block consists mainly of privately owned farms, but a section of the eastern corner up to the Motloutse River has been declared a game reserve. The entire conservation area, including the adjacent safari area bordering the Tuli circle comprises about 120 000 ha.

Tuli Block is different from anywhere in Botswana as it is generally Hardveld due to the multitude of rocky outcrops, abundance of rocks, stones and pebbles of various shapes and sizes, the network of dry riverbeds. The larger rivers support gigantic trees along the edges and game is plentiful. The Tuli reserve is In the eastern extreme . The Tuli Block is set on the Limpopo Mobile belt, the oldest known mobile belt in the world, with rocks varying in age from 2 700 million years to 3 700 million years.

The vegetation in the area, especially during the rains, is spectacular. The trees along the Limpopo are gigantic – in particular the Nyala trees – the local name Being The Mashatu Tree. There are Fever Trees, an abundance of Wild Sesam And on the rocky outcrops two species of Euphorbia, both being very poisonous and is said to cause blindness.

Game viewing is not as spectacular as in the northern part of Botswana, but is nevertheless still excellent. There are hundreds of elephant and numerous other game species, although predator numbers are dwindling due to pressure of the surrounding farms. In this area, klipspringer and dassies are plentiful and birdlife is teseming and the area is reported to be one of the best bird viewing spots in Southern Africa.

Botswana

Lower Zambezi National Park

The Lower Zambezi National Park is situated in a scenic river valley on the northern banks of the magnificent Zambezi River in Zambia.  Beyond Kariba Gorge, the Zambezi River flows through a wide and game-rich floodplain hemmed in by towering escarpments in both Zimbabwe and Zambia.  The Lower Zambezi Valley forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and areas on both sides are protected reserves. Animals tend not to respect man-made borders so the whole valley has become like one big park, an unspoilt area with stunning scenery and varied wildlife. There are large concentrations of game between the escarpment and the river, on the alluvial plain. This is dominated by mature acacia and mopane forests and grassland, where the game viewing is excellent.

The shoreline in Zimbabwe has protected safari areas and Mana Pools National Park, a World Heritage Site renowned for its large concentrations of elephant, buffalo, lions, leopard, large antelope species and smaller mammals.  Similarly the shoreline in Zambia has private conservancy areas, game management areas and the relatively unexplored Lower Zambezi National Park. This region is heavily populated by hippos and crocodiles, and is renowned as a birder's paradise with over 300 species recorded. The Lower Zambezi Valley birdlife includes several species such as kingfisher, fishing owl, fishing eagle, stork, Bishops birds, and cranes, among others.

The Lower Zambezi is an excellent safari destination.  On foot or by boat, there are numerous opportunities to see wildlife.  Fishing is a popular activity in the Lower Zambezi River.  Canoeing is a great option, not only to explore the wildlife, but to enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the area.  The Lower Zambezi Valley plant life is rich and fertile, with a range of aquatic plants, thick fringes of foliage and large mahogany, acacia and baobab trees, as well as inland floodplains lined with mopane forest and interspersed with winter thorn trees and reed islands harbouring a plethora of wildlife.

Zambia

Cecil John Rhodes

Cecil John Rhodes, business man, mining entrepreneur and a politician in Southern Africa – his legacy and memory still lives on.... Cecil John Rhodes will always be known as an aspiring leader. He was extremely fascinated by the beauty of Zimbabwe as well as the potential it held and saw Zimbabwe as a truly extraordinary region. Born in England, he relocated to a warmer Africa as his health improved in a drier climate of South Africa. Cecil John Rhodes lived to be 49 (5 July 1853 – 26 March 1902) and was buried in Zimbabwe on top of a magnificent mountain in the area now known as the Matopos National Park.

He may not have lived very long but he accomplished a lot of amazing achievements in his short life; he started the successful diamond company called ‘De Beers’, founded the state of Rhodesia(which was split into 2 areas and is now known as Zimbabwe and Zambia), was elected into the Cape Parliament in 1881, became the prime minister of the Cape in 1890 and founded an abundance of enterprises in Zimbabwe.

Nearing his death, Cecil John Rhodes requested that he would like to be buried on top of the flat mountain near his land (in Matopos National Park). He was unaware that this was sacred ground belonging to the Ndebele... The Ndebele referred to this mountain ‘Malindidzimu’ which means ‘dwelling place of the generous spirits’. They allowed Cecil John Rhodes to be buried on top of this Zimbabwean Mountain (a month after his death) but requested that instead of a gun salute they would pay their respect to him with a ‘Hayate’ (a respectful silence)… he was the only European to ever be given this tribute.

Cecil John Rhodes also wanted his burial site to be called “view of the world” as he thought it was the most magnificent site around; overlooking the matapos rocks, massive boulders and exquisite scenery.

In the Bulawayo museum there is a copy of his original will which hangs on the wall. Above this is a plaque that states that Rhodes was a perfect example of someone who, in a short lifetime, accomplished many works. The plaque also points to one goal that Cecil John Rhodes followed throughout his life, it reads: "to render myself useful to my country." Visiting the grave of Cecil John Rhodes is highly recommended; the calmness overwhelms you, the views are amazing and the grave site is spectacular.

Have a look at our Zimbabwe safaris below... There are also other Zimbabwe attractions below that you might want to visit on your Zimbabwe Safari.

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Chinhoyi Caves

The Chinhoyi Caves are a group of caves near the town of Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. They are located approximately 8 km north of the town of Chinhoyi, and 128 km north-west of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. The Chinhoyi Caves are the most extensive cave system in Zimbabwe that the public can access, and were designated a National Park in 1955.

The Chinhoyi Caves are named after a local chief who used them as a refuge from Ndebele raiders. Until a few years ago the remains of Chief Chinhoyi's grain bins could be seen in some of the underground passages. Excavations in and near the caves have revealed that people have stayed in and near the caves from early times. Pottery and human remains were unearthed from the area which radio-carbon dated around AD650.

The Chinhoyi Caves are composed of limestone and dolomite, and consist of a system of tunnels and caverns, the extent of which is still unknown. With time and erosion, it is clear that this system is slowly collapsing. This can be witnessed by the sink holes and depressions within the surrounding areas.  The main feature of the Chinhoyi Caves is known as “The Wonder Hole”, which is in fact a large cavern with a collapsed roof.  The walls (or sides) of the Wonder Hole drop vertically down for 150 feet to “The Sleeping Pool” or Chirorodzira (Pool of the Fallen). The descent to this pool, with its sparkling cobalt surface is very impressive.

Research has revealed that the depth of the water in the Sleeping Pool varies between 80 metres and 91 metres. This fluctuation in depths is attributable to the amount of rainfall received in a particular season. Several under water passages have been found leading from the Bat Cave, a sub-chamber of the Dark Cave, to another room known as the Blind Cave, but all of these so far explored lead back into the Sleeping Pool.  Diving is fantastic in the Chinhoyi Caves all year round, with temperatures never below or above 22 - 24 Degrees Celsius, with zero thermo`cline. Visibility is incredibly good; 50 metres and above is not unusual.

Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe

The Tuli Block

Tuli Block is 10 – 20 km wide and 350 km long, stretching from the point where the Limpopo and Sashe rivers meet in the east, to the Notwane River, north of Olifant’s Drift, in the south - west. Tuli Block consists mainly of privately owned farms, but a section of the eastern corner up to the Motloutse River has been declared a game reserve. The entire conservation area, including the adjacent safari area bordering the Tuli circle comprises about 120 000 ha.

Tuli Block is different from anywhere in Botswana as it is generally Hardveld due to the multitude of rocky outcrops, abundance of rocks, stones and pebbles of various shapes and sizes, the network of dry riverbeds. The larger rivers support gigantic trees along the edges and game is plentiful. The Tuli reserve is In the eastern extreme . The Tuli Block is set on the Limpopo Mobile belt, the oldest known mobile belt in the world, with rocks varying in age from 2 700 million years to 3 700 million years.

The vegetation in the area, especially during the rains, is spectacular. The trees along the Limpopo are gigantic – in particular the Nyala trees – the local name Being The Mashatu Tree. There are Fever Trees, an abundance of Wild Sesam And on the rocky outcrops two species of Euphorbia, both being very poisonous and is said to cause blindness.

Game viewing is not as spectacular as in the northern part of Botswana, but is nevertheless still excellent. There are hundreds of elephant and numerous other game species, although predator numbers are dwindling due to pressure of the surrounding farms. In this area, klipspringer and dassies are plentiful and birdlife is teseming and the area is reported to be one of the best bird viewing spots in Southern Africa.

Botswana

Okavango Delta

 

The Okavango is a labyrinth of lagoons, lakes and hidden channels covering an area of over 17,000 square km and the largest inland delta in the world. Trapped in the parched Kalahari sands it is a magnet for the wildlife who depend on the permanent waters of this unique feature.
Sometimes called a 'swamp', the Okavango is anything but. Moving, mysterious, placid, gentle and beautiful, from a wide and winding channel it spreads through tiny, almost unnoticeable channels that creep away behind a wall of papyrus reed, into an ever expanding network of increasingly smaller passages. These link a succession of lagoons, islands and islets of various sizes, open grasslands and flooded plains in a mosaic of land and water. Palms and towering trees abound, throwing their shade over crystal pools, forest glades and grassy knolls. The Okavango's water is remarkably clean and pure and this is almost certainly due to the fact that it passes through very sparsely populated areas on its journey from Angola. Despite this, a staggering 660 000 tons of sediment a year are delivered to its great alluvial fan.

The overall length of the Delta from the border to the Thamalakane River is a little under 300kms and so the core of the Delta is approximately 200km from end to end. 
In the lush indigenous forests of the delta and its islands, and along the floodplains spawned by this great marriage of water and sand, more than 400 species of birds flourish.
On the mainland and among the islands in the delta, lions, elephants, hyenas, wild dog, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles congregate with a teeming variety of antelope and other smaller animals - warthog, mongoose, spotted genets, monkeys, bush babies and tree squirrels. Although fishing can take place anywhere in the Delta, if one wants it 'big, mean and fierce', the deeper and faster waters of the major fishing camps in the north of the Delta, in the Panhandle, are probably a better area.

No camps can be reached by road and visitors will be flying by light aircraft from Maun (or Kasane) to the camp of their choice. 

Fishing, bird watching, game viewing, photography or simple relaxation; indulging any of these in the Okavango are experiences without parallel and the safari camps specialise in these pursuits.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Linyanti And Selinda Wildlife Reserve

 

In the far northern part of Botswana, between the Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, lie the Linyanti and Selinda Wildlife Reserves. Each of these is a large protected area or 'concession,' a private game reserve with a few small safari camps. The reserves are generally unfenced, so animals move freely, according to season, habit, and available resources.

The Linyanti Wildlife Reserve is a large (1,250km2) district immediately west of the Chobe National Park. The northern boundary of the concession is the Linyanti River, with its lagoons and marshes. Cutting through the middle is the Savuti Channel, a usually-dry riverbed, which today is an open, grassy area, home to a variety of wildlife. The varied vegetation of the reserve also provides a welcoming environment for game and birds.

The Selinda concession, a 1,350km2 expanse west of Linyanti and north of the Moremi Game Reserve, includes a large portion of the Magwegqana Spillway, a typically-dry waterway that links the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti swamps. The mouth of the Spillway is mostly made up of open floodplains, and offers a hospitable setting for wildlife.

Safari camps in the concessions are remote and accessible only by air. You will not be game viewing with a crowd of people and vehicles. Generally, you will be able to follow the game off-road, take night drives and enjoy game walks. In addition, some camps also offer water-based game activities.

Safari camps operate to a high standard, with comfortable beds, lighting, private facilities, excellent guides and good food. Your choice of camp will depend on the activities you seek, the season, the size and style of camp you choose and the degree of luxury you prefer. Our staff will be pleased to discuss your requirements.

Linyati, Botswana

Makgadikgadi National Park

 

The Makgadikgadi pans are roughly located between the Nata – Maun road and Francistown – Oraka- Rakops road, in line with Nata in the north eastern corner. They comprise an area of an estimated 12 000km2. It is extremely difficult to describe the magic and atmosphere enfolding this vast expanse of nothingness and mystique surrounding the Pans. The Makgadikgadi Pans is a relic of what used to be one of the biggest inland lakes of Africa, consisting of two main Pans, namely Ntwetwe and Sowa Pan. Both are surrounded by a myriad of smaller Pans.

The Pans were initially state land, but in 1970 it was declared a game reserve. In 1992 the boundaries were extended to cover its present 4 900km2 and was given National Park status. The complete reserve was possibly once submerged beneath the ancient Lake Makgadikgadi and the Boteti River forms the western boundary of the park.

The Makgadikgadi National Park has diverse vegetation habitats, namely riverine woodland, scrubland, pure grassland and salt pans supporting Palmtree woodland on its edges. Of the most beautiful parts of the park, is the eastern boundary, where thick Palmtree groves are interspersed by tall yellow grassland.

These same species are found in the Delta. Other species are succulents and prickly salt grass. The interior of the reserve comprises grassland and scrub with a few “islands” of trees in between. The scrub is mainly blueish- grey trumpet thorn. On the Boteti river side of the park very thick sand borders the river valley and the tree species are mainly Camelthorn, Black – thorn, small Sour plum and Silver terminalia as well as other sandveld species.

From April to November the game make a gradual move from the Pans area of the reserve to the Boteti River side of the park. The Boteti river borders the park on the western side, making up about three quarters of its border. This is a beautiful heavily-wooded area with bushbuck, duiker and other animals, and during November especially, numerous Zebra.

THE CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

This is one of the remotest and most unspoilt , but also harsh parts of Africa. At certain times of the year, especially during the summer rainy season, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana. The flat grasslands team with thousands of gemsbok and springbok, To be compared with the Serengeti in Tanzania. The Kalahari Game reserve is the largest reserve in Botswana, covering an area of 52, 8000km2. Its location is in the centre of Botswana. The Kuke fence run along its northern border, and the Khutse Game Reserve borders it in the south.

The Kalahari Game Reserve was initially set aside for the use of people who choose to continue their traditional hunting-gathering way of life. The San and the Bakgalagadi. The San have lived here for about 30 000 years. The reserve was established in 1961 to protect the resources on which these lifestyles depended.

Vegetation consist mainly of Acacia woodland, Acacia scrub and sandveld scrub. The two main Acacia species are Bastard umbrella , resembling the Umbrella thorn and Blackthorn. Around Piper Pans the succulent-like wild sesame bushes provide stunning scenery, especially when bearing the trumpet like flowers. Among the most notable shrubs are the Trumpet thorn and the yellow - flowered Western rhogozum. Also common during the rainy season is the yellow flowered ground creeper – Devil’s thorn.

The Kalahari Game reserve is one of the prime game viewing areas of Botswana. This is where Mark and Della Owens conducted their research for their book on the Brown Hyaena “Cry of the Kalahari”. During the rainy season, November to January, this desolute area is transformed into a green paradise, teeming with thousands of Gemsbok, Springbok and Wildebeest. Lion, cheetah and jackal are also plentiful.

DECEPTION VALLEY NORTHERN CENTRAL KALAHARI

The Northern area of the Central Kalahari Reserve – Deception Valley to Piper Pans is one of the most spectacular areas to visit. During the rains – November to January \ February, vast herds of gemsbok and springbok congregate in this area taking advantage of the sweet sprouting grass. This time there is also an abundance of predators, lion, cheetah, brown hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox and other species. Bird life is also spectacular, especially around piper Pans. Other interesting places in the Central Kalahari Reserve is Sunday Pan, Passage Pan an Motopi, the traditional Bushmen settlement at Molapo And the biggest Bushmen settlement in the Kalahari – at Xade.

Kalahari, Botswana

Mt Kilimanjaro

 

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.

Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).

Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates, and their memories.

But there is so much more to Kilimanjaro than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. 
Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.

Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.

About Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 1668 sq km 641 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.

Getting there
128 km (80 miles) from Arusha. 
About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.

What to do
Six usual trekking routes to the summit and other more-demanding mountaineering routes. 
Day or overnight hikes on the Shira plateau. Nature trails on the lower reaches. Trout fishing. Visit the beautiful Chala crater lake on the mountain’s south-eastern slopes.

When to go
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September.

Accommodation
Huts and campsites on the mountain. 
Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.

NOTE:

Climb slowly to increase your acclimatisation time and maximise your chances of reaching the summit. 
To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.

Moshi, Tanzania