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Safari Newsletter Dated December 16, 2014

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

In this newsletter, I'll tell you about some of the outstanding wildlife experiences that await on safaris in east and south Africa. They range from seeing huge numbers of zebras on the move during the Great Migration to trekking mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

Many safari travelers seek the "Big Five" -- lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinos. Some of the best places to see these animals, and many other species, are Kruger National Park in South Africa, the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

Ngorongoro Crater, also in Tanzania, is another superb site for spotting the Big Five. It's home to more than 25,000 large animals and the greatest concentration of mammalian predators in the world. My family and I spent time at Ngorongoro Crater on our first safari in Africa, and we were amazed by the density of wildlife. On one game drive, we saw rhinos, hippos, lions, hyenas, jackals and herds of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and buffalo.

Some safari-goers like to time their visit with the Great Migration, the annual progress of nearly 2 million creatures, primarily wildebeest and zebras, between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara preserve. While the exact timing of this movement can't be precisely predicted, there is a general pattern (the link above will lead you to a description of their path).

Some game parks are notable for their populations of specific animals. You'll have a good chance of spotting rhinos in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and Namibia's Etosha National Park. For close-up looks at pachyderms, consider itineraries that visit Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa or Chobe National Park in Botswana. Chimpanzees and other primate species thrive in the evergreen forests of Kibale National Park in Uganda.

Endangered mountain gorillas are the star attraction in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park and Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You'll trek through thick forest with a guide to locate family groups of these majestic creatures, then spend time observing them.

Birdlife flourishes in Kenya's Lake Nakuru National Park, which draws thousands of flamingos as well as cormorants, pelicans and hornbills, and in Zambia's Lower Zambezi National Park, where you might spot fish eagles and Meyer's parrots.

And at Cape Point Peninsula in South Africa, there are opportunities to see marine life. Itineraries that spend time in Cape Town may venture to Boulders Beach to observe penguins or Seal Island to see fur seals.

And finally, many lodges and safari camps offer incredible opportunities to see wildlife up close. For example, each October and November, a family of elephants parades through the open-air lobby of the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia; they're en route to a large wild mango tree on the property. Elephants, buffalo and lions are drawn to a waterhole right outside the Ark Lodge in Kenya.

While staying at the Royal Livingstone hotel on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zambia, I saw zebras and baboons on the grounds and hippos and crocs in the water. A troupe of mischievous vervet monkeys lived there, too -- one even snagged a candy bar from a guest room where the door had been left open.



Top 10 Africa vacations

1) East African Explorer, 13 days with SITA Tours. Begins and ends in Nairobi with visits to Lake Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Save $350 to $500 per couple. Starting at $4,845. Departures from January 3 through September 19, 2015.

2) Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure, 14 days with G Adventures. Begins and ends in Nairobi with visits to Lake Naivasha, Kalinzu Forest Reserve and Jinja. Starting at $2,649. Departures from January 9, 2015 through February 5, 2016.

3) Namibia Getaway, 15 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins and ends in Windhoek with visits to Sossusvlei, Etosha National Park and Grootfontein. Starting at $2,762. Departures from May 2, 2015 through December 17, 2016.

4) Namibia Wing Safari, 10 days with Alluring Africa. Begins and ends in Windhoek with visits to Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Ongava Game Reserve. Starting at $3,385. Daily departures from January 11 through March 31, 2015.

5) Tanzania: The Serengeti & Beyond, 10 days with Globus. Begins and ends in Arusha with visits to Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Serengeti National Park. Starting at $3,609. Departures from January 14, 2015 through March 9, 2016.

6) Southern Africa Unplugged, 16 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Victoria Falls with visits to Mlilwane National Park, Hlane Royal National Park and Maputo. Starting at $3,700. Departures from March 8, 2015 through December 4, 2016.

7) Kenya Private Safari, 10 days with Monograms. Begins and ends in Nairobi with visits to Amboseli National Park, Samburu National Reserve and Masai Mara National Reserve. Save $400 per couple. Starting at $4,049. Departures from January 3 through December 26, 2015.

8) Splendors of Africa, 12 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg with visits to the Kruger National Park area, Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park. Starting at $5,345. Departures from January 5 through December 14, 2015.

9) East Africa Lodge Safari, 12 days with G Adventures. Begins and ends in Nairobi with visits to Aberdare National Park, Masai Mara Game Reserve and Serengeti National Park. Starting at $5,949. Departures from February 11 through December 14, 2015.

10) Signature Uganda, 9 days with Abercrombie & Kent. Begins and ends in Entebbe with visits to Kibale National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Save $1,000 per person when you book four or more people. Starting at $7,195. Departures from January 7 through October 23, 2015.

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Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@africasafari.com and I will respond the same day.

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Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go


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