Safari Newsletter Dated August 20, 2018
Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
For most travelers on safari in Africa, the wildlife is the main
attraction. But often the accommodations selected by safari operators
are unique experiences in their own right.
For example, your safari might feature accommodations in tented camps -- but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be roughing it. There are many deluxe properties where well-appointed guest tents have en-suite bathrooms, high quality furnishings and private verandas. For example, at Kirawira Serena Camp in Tanzania, tents are on raised platforms and have four-poster beds, Edwardian-style furniture and mahogany-paneled bathrooms with twin marble basins and hot and cold running water. The tents are made of canvas, with mosquito netting for windows and a front door that zips open to a wooden front porch.
Other examples of tented camps include Sanctuary Olonana in Kenya's Masai Mara Game Reserve, Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Bayethe Tented Lodge in Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa and Jacana Camp in Botwana's Okavango Delta.
Tented camps and bush lodges don't have walls or fences to keep out the wildlife, and animals can and do wander onto the grounds. One evening at Tarangire Sopa Lodge in Tanzania, I saw two elephants barreling through the brush no more than 50 feet away.
In October and November, the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia welcomes a parade of elephants -- right through its lobby. To the delight of human guests, this family of pachyderms regularly walks up some steps and through the reception area en route to a large, enticing wild mango tree on the hotel's grounds.
The Ark Lodge in Kenya is adjacent to a large salt lick and waterhole that draws elephants, rhinos, buffalo and lions. Decks overlook the site, and a ground-level bunker provides excellent up-close photo opportunities. It's illuminated by floodlights at night, and a buzzer in your room can be set to alert you when there is something special to see, like a leopard that's approached the waterhole. (The buzzer, which is sounded by a game-spotter on duty, can be switched off if you don't wish to be disturbed.)
Similarly, the Serena Mountain Lodge in Kenya has a tunnel leading to a hidden game-viewing shelter situated next to a popular watering hole for local wildlife.
The accommodations at Kulala Desert Lodge, near the red Sossusvlei dunes of Namibia, have rooftop decks for sleeping under the stars.
Many safari accommodations have stunning natural settings. The Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is carved into the circular rim of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Balconies overlook the floor of the caldera, which lies 2,000 feet below and contains an unbelievable array of wildlife.
The Royal Livingstone in southern Zambia also boasts an incredible location. It looks out over the crocodile-infested waters of the wide, blue Zambezi River (here, there is an electric fence and rock barrier to separate guests from whatever might crawl out of the water). Downstream, the river drops out of sight and becomes part of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The cascades plunge 360 feet into the gorge and send up a mighty spray that can be seen from the hotel's lawn.
The Arusha Coffee Lodge is built on the grounds of Tanzania's largest working coffee plantation. Coffee makers are provided in each suite, so guests can make fresh brew from beans that were plucked right outside their windows.
A lack of electricity creates a rustic yet romantic ambiance at Ndali Lodge, perched at the rim of a volcanic crater in Uganda. Its eight thatched-roof bungalows have solar-powered lights -- which last long enough for guests to shower and get into bed in the evening -- but the main lodge and dining hall are illuminated only by candlelight after dark.
Top 10 Africa vacations
Simply South Africa,
7 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town
and ends in Johnnesburg. Starting at $2,025. Daily departures from
January 1, 2019 through March 24, 2020.
2) Tanzania & Zanzibar Adventure, 9 days with G Adventures. Begins in Arusha and ends in Stone Town. Starting at $1,849. Departures from March 2, 2019 through February 8, 2020.
3) South African Surprise, 15 days with African Travel. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. Starting at $2,625. Departures from September 9 through December 9, 2018.
4) South Africa from the Cape to Kruger, 14 days with Cosmos. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg. Save $100 per couple. Starting at $3,119. Departures from January 20 through December 1, 2019.
5) Gorillas & Game Parks, 16 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Save 15%. Starting at $3,120. Departures from October 13, 2018 through February 9, 2019.
6) Wilds of Botswana & Victoria Falls, 10 days with Monograms. Begins and ends in Johannesburg. Starting at $4,469. Daily departures from January 1 through December 30, 2019.
7) Namibia Explorer, 14 days with Trafalgar. Begins and ends in Windhoek. Save up to 10%. Starting at $4,832. Departures from June 15 through November 30, 2019.
8) The Plains of Africa Kenya Wildlife Safari (Explorations), 14 days with Collette. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Save $200 to $450 per couple. Starting at $5,221. Departures from May 2, 2019 through April 23, 2020.
9) East African Explorer, 13 days with SITA Tours. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Starting at $5,600. Departures from January 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.
10) Tanzania: A Grand Family Safari (BBC Earth Journey), 10 days with Tauck. Begins and ends in Arusha. Young travelers receive $500 per person off family departures. Starting at $7,790. Departures from June 5 through December 20, 2019.
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