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Safari Newsletter Dated July 18, 2016

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

In this newsletter, I'll tell you about the five best destinations for an African safari. Click the links below to see itineraries that visit that destination, with departure dates and rates.

1) Tanzania

The 5,700-square-mile Serengeti National Park in this east African country is perhaps the world's most famous game reserve. It's one of the best places on the continent to view prides of lions. Southeast of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area -- also called "Africa's Garden of Eden" -- is home to a dense population of animals, including zebras, wildebeests, gazelles and their predators. It features a caldera formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano, and safari participants descend nearly 2,000 feet into the crater to see the wildlife.

Tanzania safaris are available year-round, but many safari-goers like to time their visit during the Great Migration, the annual movement of nearly 2 million animals, primarily wildebeest and zebras, between the plains of Tanzania's Serengeti and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. 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).

Click here to see all safaris that visit Tanzania.

2) Botswana

This Southern African nation is nearly the size of Texas but has only 2.2 million residents. Its wildlife reserves in the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert are vast and remote, and one must fly bush planes to visit them. Chobe National Park protects an enormous elephant herd, while Moremi Game Reserve has an incredible predator population of lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is the second-largest reserve in the world and was originally set aside in 1961 for the San people, or Bushmen, as a place where they could continue their traditional methods of hunting and gathering. Most of the San have moved on, and now it's a prime spot for viewing elands, giraffes and ostriches.

Botswana safaris are available all year, but you'll find that the best game-viewing periods are during the winter dry season of May through August and the spring months of September and October.

Click here to see all safaris that visit Botswana.

3) South Africa

The wildlife in South Africa ranges from waddling penguins to the "Big Five" -- lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants and rhinos. It's home to one of the world's first conservation areas, Kruger National Park, which was established in 1898 and is South Africa's largest reserve. Kruger boasts a rich abundance of animals, including about 150 mammal species and more than 500 bird species. Smaller preserves surround Kruger, including Sabi Sabi, also host to the Big Five and many smaller animals such as hyenas, jackals and cheetahs.

In the bustling city of Cape Town, two oceans meet at Cape Point Peninsula, and the mingling warm and cool waters support a diverse cast of marine life. Many South Africa itineraries include a stop at Boulders Beach, where the aforementioned penguins dwell.

South Africa safaris are offered throughout the year. Game-viewing in northern preserves is best during the winter season of May through August, when temperatures are mild and animals gather at water sources. Peak travel in the southern regions takes place during the summer months of October to March.

Click here to see all safaris that visit South Africa.

4) Kenya

The Masai Mara National Reserve is a top destination in Kenya. It's on the route of the Great Migration; the animals make their way to this preserve typically in August or September. You'll find the Big Five here, along with hippos, crocodiles, impalas, hyenas and cheetahs.

Amboseli National Park is the place to seek big game like elephants, lions and cheetahs, while Samburu National Reserve on the Uaso Nyiro River boasts rare species like the Grevy's zebra, beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe. More than 450 bird species have been identified at Samburu, too.

Thousands of flamingos flock to the alkaline waters of Lake Nakuru National Park. Cormorants, pelicans and hornbills also can be viewed at the lake, along with black and white rhinos.

Kenya safaris are available year-round. The prime game-viewing periods are during the dry winter months of May through August and the warmer spring months of September and October.

Click here to see all safaris that visit Kenya.

5) Namibia

This southern African country is known for its surreal yet beautiful landscapes. The red sand dunes at Sossusvlei are the tallest in the world, their lines and shadows shifting against the blue skies. Fish River Canyon is bested in size only by the Grand Canyon; hot springs on the canyon's floor form pools of water that attract waterbirds like Egyptian geese and black storks. The Skeleton Coast is eerily sparse -- foggy and littered with shipwrecks and giant whale bones.

Etosha National Park is home to endangered black rhinos, and it's also a popular destination for nighttime wildlife viewing. The preserve contains a shallow, 75-mile-long salt pan known as the Etosha Pan. Though dry for most of the year, the pan collects water after heavy rains and attracts a variety of game, including elephants, lions and antelope.

Our Namibia safaris are offered throughout the year. May through September (winter) is best for game-viewing. Winter temperatures can dip below freezing at night, though, and spring or fall months (October or April) are the mildest.

Click here to see all safaris that visit Namibia.

Top 10 Africa vacations

1) Simply South Africa, 7 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg. Save $200 per couple. Starting at $1,500. Departures from August 3 through December 21, 2016. 

2) Tanzania Camping Adventure, 7 days with G Adventures. Begins and ends in Arusha.  Save 15%. Starting at $2,049. Departures from September 3 through October 29, 2016. 

3) Kilimanjaro & Serengeti Adventure, 16 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Marangu and ends in Nairobi. Starting at $4,370. Departures from August 6, 2016 through December 16, 2017. 

4) Botswana Safari Experience (National Geographic Journey), 10 days with G Adventures. Begins and ends in Victoria Falls. Starting at $5,149. Departures from September 21, 2016 through December 27, 2017.

5) Kenya & Tanzania: The Safari Experience, 15 days with Globus. Begins in Nairobi and ends in Arusha. Save 5%. Starting at $5,769. Departures from January 7 through November 4, 2017. 

6) Splendors of Africa, 12 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg. Save $1,000 per couple. Starting at $5,945. Departures from August 9 through December 13, 2016. 

7) Pearl of Africa, 8 days with African Travel. Begins in Entebbe and ends in Kigali. Starting at $6,865. Daily departures from August 12 through December 30, 2016. 

8) Kenya Private Safari with Gorilla Trekking, 14 days with Monograms Travel. Begins in Nairobi and ends in Entebbe. Starting at $7,739. Departures from August 7 through December 25, 2016.

9) Wildlife and the Falls, 13 days with AmaWaterways. Begins and ends in Johannesburg. Starting at $11,695. Departures from March 12 through November 19, 2017. 

10) The Great Migration Safari in Style, 14 days with Abercrombie & Kent. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Starting at $13,595. Departures from January 11 through December 14, 2017.

Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-291-3346. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

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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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Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go

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