Experience the stunning beauty, the unimaginable vastness, the isolation, the incredible contrasts, the rich culture, and the prolific wildlife of the best kept secret in Africa – Botswana.
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With almost half of the country’s surface dedicated to national parks and game reserves, it is clear why Botswana is one of Africa’s top safari destinations. It is a country that includes iconic safari destinations like:
• Chobe National Park, with its huge numbers of African Elephants (80,000 at last count)
• Savuti, with its big carnivore populations, especially Lion and Spotted Hyaena
• the rugged and unspoilt Mashatu Game Reserve, offering horse-back safaris, cycling safaris and walks in the wild
• the famous one-of-a-kind Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• the diverse and bird-rich Moremi Game Reserve, also a hotspot for African Wild Dog
But Botswana also has the alien landscape of the Makgadikgadi saltpans and the semi-desert red dunes and grasslands of the Kalahari. All in one country!
Whether your thing is old school open vehicle safaris, mokoro(dug-out canoe) rides, birdwatching, wildlife photography, camping (or even glamping), quad biking, fishing, or 4×4 off-road adventures you are sure to enjoy yourself in Botswana. It truly has something for everyone.
Botswana’s fauna include 164 mammal, 589 bird and 150 reptile species. The country also boasts 2500 species of plants and 650 species of trees. Truly remarkable diversity!
Just 2 hours away by air from Cape Town or Johannesburg, Botswana is an easy African safari choice for both the discerning traveller and the hard-core adventurer. Furthermore, it is the safest country in Africa to visit according to the worldwide Travel Risk Index.
“Oh Uganda, land of beauty” is the opening line of this east-central African country’s national anthem, and it is certainly true! But apart from beautiful green landscapes, pleasant tropical climate and richly diverse fauna and flora species, Uganda also offers friendly people, a safe travel environment and good tourism infrastructure.
Our 12-day, small-group, expert-guided Uganda Wildlife Safari features the famous African Big 5, as well as Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees and other primates, along with superb birdwatching, incredible scenery and much more!
The trip starts and ends in Entebbe and features some of Uganda’s premier safari and wildlife destinations, covering
• Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda and a successful private-government conservation cooperation project
• Murchison Falls National Park – named for the stunning waterfall where the Nile river crashes through a narrow gorge, but also home to fantastic birds and mammals
• Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve – one of the hidden gems of the Albertine rift valley, blessed with incredible views of Lake Albert and the Blue Mountains
• Kibale National Park – home to an incredible 13 species of primates, and the best place on earth to see our closest relative, the Chimpanzee
• Queen Elizabeth National Park – famous for its 95 mammal species, 500 bird species and dramatic volcanic features
• Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and most notable for its population of about 400 Mountain Gorillas
• Lake Mburo National Park – the smallest of Uganda’s savannah national parks and home to 350 bird species and stunning wetland scenery
For your chance to join us on this amazing adventure in the “Pearl of Africa” in August 2020, enquire directly email@example.com we’ll get back to you right away. Also, check out the details of theUganda itinerary for more information.
World Rhino Day is today, September 22, and it celebrates all five species of rhinoceros: Black, White, Indian, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.
In 2010 it was apparent that the plight of the rhinoceros wasn’t known to people around the world, and most people didn’t know just how close we were coming to total extinction of this majestic species. So it was that the WWF-South Africa announced World Rhino Day in an effort to save the world’s remaining rhinos, an effort that grew to be an unprecedented success. World Rhino Day has since grown to become a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organisations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world!
World Rhino Day celebrates Rhinoceroses and generates awareness of issues regarding their well-being. In recent years, rhinos have been threatened by poaching, urbanisation and pollution, which have left certain rhino species on the brink of extinction while leaving other species severely endangered.
World Rhino Day activities vary from one participant to the next. Donors and partners are able to contribute to the organisations and initiatives of their choosing. Peaceful demonstrations, classroom projects, fundraising dinners, social media awareness (#WorldRhinoDay and #RhinoDay), auctions and poster displays are just a few examples of what we all can do. There is even a World Rhino music playlist on Spotify!
We here at the Nature Travel group have a special love for the Black Rhinoceros.
The “rainbow nation” of South Africa is world famous for its multi-ethnic society, encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. It has one of the best constitutions in the world and is a beacon of hope at the southernmost tip of the mother continent of Africa.
Some of the tourist highlights of this amazing country include:
• Picturesque natural landscapes;
• 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites;
• Excellent infrastructure in terms of transport and accommodation options;
• a Generally temperate climate;
• Diverse cultural heritage and rich history;
• The Mother City of Cape Town with her myriad of attractions;
• Highly regarded wines, olive oils, whiskey, brandy(cognac) and “Rooibos” tea;
• Some of the best game reserves (over 100 at last count) and national parks (20 in total) on the continent, the most famous being the Kruger National Park.
South Africa is without a doubt one of the top nature and wildlife destinations, not just in Africa, but the entire planet. The country boasts an incredible array of diverse habitats, including:
• a 2,500 km (1,553 mi) long coastline along two oceans (the South Atlantic and the Indian) with an array of habitat found in this long stretch
• an almost flat inland plateau with an altitude of between 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and 2,100 m (6,900 ft) surrounded by the Great Escarpment that includes the spectacular Drakensberg mountain range
• the arid Karoo in the western parts of the country
• the almost Mediterranean-like Cape Peninsula area in the southwest corner
• the Kalahari desert with its red sand dunes in the far northwest
• the bushveld savannah in the north
• the Lowveld area to the far northeast of the country
This diversity of habitat has led to an incredible amount of fauna and flora having been recorded in South Africa. In fact, the country is ranked 6th out of the world’s megadiverse countries.
Some of the species include:
• 22,000 Different higher plant species (9% of all the known species on Earth), including 130 different Protea species and the species of the endemic Fynbos biome.
• 297 Species of mammals occur, including the famous Big Five (Lion, Leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), African Wild Dog, Cheetah, several endangered golden mole species, the critically endangered Riverine Rabbit and numerous species of whale and dolphin.• a bird count of 858, including almost 40 endemic species; special species include Blue Korhaan, Knysna Turaco, Ground Woodpecker, Southern Bald Ibis, Cape and Drakensberg Rockjumper, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird and many more.
• 447 Species of reptile have been listed, including Angulated Tortoise, Qudeni Dwarf Chameleon, Augrabies Flat Lizard, Yellow-bellied House Snake and many others
• Amphibian diversity is also high (132 species) with highlights being Western Leopard Toad, Spotted Shovelnose Frog and the critically endangered Table Mountain Ghost Frog.
Many of these fantastic species can be seen in South Africa’s parks and wildlife reserves. Some of the most famous and often visited of these are
• The huge Kruger National Park, one of the true great parks of Africa. Kruger has more mammals than any other park anywhere in the world, along with incredible landscapes, 500 bird species, a wide variety of accommodation options and a rich history.
• The innovative Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park straddling the border between South African and Botswana. It has red sand dunes and sparse vegetation, but abundant and varied wildlife.
• The diverse Addo Elephant National Park close to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province that contains five of South Africa’s seven major biomes (vegetation zones). It is the only park in the world to have the “Big Seven” (Big Five plus whales and Great White Shark) in their natural habitat.
• The province of Kwazulu-Natal’s Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, famous for its hilly topography, lots of rhinos, the Big Five, several rare species of fauna and flora (Nyala, Suni, Pink-throated Longclaw, Shelley’s Francolin) and for being the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa (1895).
We would love to take you on safari in South Africa. Our current set-itinerary trips include several Kruger National Parksafaris, but we can customise your trip to include any of the country’s parks, reserves and tourist attractions, depending on your preference. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work out the perfect South Africa safari for you.
One of Africa’s best kept wildlife secrets occurs annually between October and December, when about 10 million African Straw-coloured Fruit-bats (Eidolon helvum) descend into the tiny patch of evergreen Mushitu forest inside Kasanka National Park in northern Zambia.
The huge bats arrive from throughout the moist, tropical forests of the Congo basin with the first rains in Kasanka, which prompts the ripening of the fruit upon which they feed.
While the Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest in east Africa is one of the best known wildlife phenomenons in Africa, this Zambian bat migration is actually the largest migration of mammals on earth, and is unique to Kasanka. The sheer numbers of bats darken the skies and it is an audiovisual spectacle that every wildlife and nature lover should add to their bucket list.
At dusk each night, the bats begin to fly and the sky becomes thick with big flocks as they prepare to spend the night indulging on a feast of fruit. The bats are large, with wingspans of a metre, and each bat can eat up to twice its own body weight. During their time in Kasanka, they can consume a mind boggling 5,000 collective tons of fruit each evening!
Apart from the astonishing bat migration, Kasanka is also famous for fantastic other mammal sightings (including Sitatunga, Blue Monkey, Puku, African Elephant and many more), as well as excellent birdwatching (more than 400 species have been recorded in the park), combined with incredible scenic surrounds and dramatic African landscapes.
Madagascar, off Africa’s eastern coast in the Indian Ocean, is the world’s fourth-largest island and sits at the top of many nature lovers’ bucket list of places to visit on the planet. The combination of unique wildlife, stunning reefs and pristine beaches, fascinating culture, over 100 endemic bird species, delicious local cuisine, amazing scenic diversity, 750 species of endemic orchids, some of the best chocolate in the world and of course, the famous lemurs, makes Madagascar an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Following the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula around 88 million years ago, allowing the fauna and flora to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on earth! The island boasts a remarkable array of endemic flora, reptiles, frogs, birds and mammals, the famous lemurs and two-thirds of the world’s chameleons. This is the reason Madagascar has often been called an “alternate world” or “a world apart”, or even the “Eighth Continent”.
The diversity of Madagascar’s peoples, its incomparable natural beauty, its unbelievable fauna and flora and other major attractions will undeniably leave an indelible mark on each and every visitor for the rest of their lives.
As one of the seven natural wonders of Africa and one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world, the Serengeti ecosystem in Northern Tanzania is one of the oldest and most scientifically significant ecosystems on the planet. Its weather patterns, fauna and flora are believed to have changed very little for as long as a million years or more, giving the area an incredible prehistoric presence.
The region contains the Serengeti National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Tanzania and several other game reserves, and spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) of stunning African landscapes.
The Serengeti has become world-famous for its annual wildebeest migration, an iconic and dramatic scene in wildlife documentaries for decades, and a true bucket list experience.
The migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. Over a million wildebeest can be witnessed running across rivers and fields as they fight for their lives from the possibility of getting attacked by various predators including crocodiles.
Even though one can get fully mesmerized by watching the wildebeest, the Serengeti has a prolific array of other wildlife; and big game at that approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found there.
This high diversity is a function of diverse habitats, including riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands. Packs of African Wild Dog, prides of Lion (the population here is over 3000), Cheetah, Leopard and Spotted Hyaena are often seen tailing the herds of wildebeest, Plains Zebra and Thompson’s Gazelle. The Serengeti is also home to a diversity of grazers, including African Buffalo, African Elephant, Common Warthog, Common Eland, Waterbuck, and Topi. With so much on the go, it’s not hard to see a full spectrum of African wildlife whilst on safari.
The local Maasai people have a name for the Serengeti; ‘Siringet’ or ‘the land that goes on forever’. Great stretches of grassland dotted with flat-topped Acacia trees give the Serengeti that classic “Out of Africa” feel. Many people claim that the sunsets in the Serengeti are the most spectacular on earth, with the sky turning a palette of pinks, purples and oranges before disappearing over the horizon. The dust that had been kicked up from the migrating wildebeest and the threatening rain clouds sometimes even add to the whole scene. Truly magical!
The Serengeti is blessed with a world of variety not just in its wildlife but also in its accommodation facilities, ranging from basic tents to luxury campsites and bush lodges to suit even the most discerning traveller’s tastes.
We here at Nature Travel Africa love Kibale National Park in western Uganda, not just for the chimps, but for so much more! Let’s learn more about this fantastic park!
The park was gazetted in 1932 and formally established as a National Park in 1993 to protect a large area of forest previously managed as a logging reserve. The park forms a continuous forest with Queen Elizabeth National Park to the southwest. This adjoining of the parks creates a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wildlife corridor, in which African Elephants move freely.
Simply put, Kibale National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Africa for chimpanzee trekking. Kibale’s 766 square kilometres (296 sq mi) contain one of the most beautiful and most varied tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Africa. The varied altitude (1,100 metres (3,600 ft) to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) above sea level) holds up different varieties of habitat, ranging from moist evergreen forest (wet tropical forest) along the Fort Portal plateau, then through the dry tropical forest (moist semi-deciduous), and then to the woodland & savanna along the rift valley floor. Over 35o species of trees have been registered in Kibale.
However, the reason most people come here is for the primates! The density and diversity of primates in Kibale National Park are the highest in the whole of Africa. The most well known of its 13 species are the Chimpanzee, our closest living relative. Kibale’s 1450 Chimpanzee is by far Uganda’s biggest population of this threatened primate.
Additionally, Kibale is home to the uncommon L’Hoest’s Monkey as well as East Africa’s biggest population of the endangered Eastern Red Colobus. The Guereza, Red-tailed Monkey, Blue Monkey, Olive Baboon, Grey-cheeked Mangabey and Potto are among the other primates. Other mammals are also present, though they are hardly seen. These consist of African Buffalo, Leopard, Bushpig, African Elephant, and even Lion. A sharp observer will also see many species of amphibians and reptiles and a colourful variety of butterflies.
The park is also home to 325 variety of bird species, including 6 that are endemic to the Albertine Rift valley. These are Dusky Crimsonwing, Black-capped and Black-collared Apalis, Blue-headed and Purple-breasted Sunbird and Red-faced Woodland Warbler. Other Kibale specials are the Green-breasted and African Pitta, Black Bee-eater, Olive Long-tailed Cuckoo, Crowned Eagle, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Western Nicator, Abyssinian Thrush, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Brown-chested Alethe, Grey Parrot, Brown Illadopsis, and many others.
Kibale lies 310km (193mi) west of the capital, Kampala, and is a superb addition to any of our Ugandan itineraries. Visitors can venture into the forest and go chimpanzee tracking, hiking, birdwatching, or meander along cultural trails that culminate with stops at the Batooro and Bakiga villages that surround the park. Get in touch with us at email@example.com for more info about a visit to Kibale National Park.
Serengeti: One of the seven natural wonders of Africa, as well as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.
The Serengeti ecosystem in Northern Tanzania is one of the oldest and most scientifically significant ecosystems on the planet. Its weather patterns, fauna and flora are believed to have changed very little for as long as a million years or more, giving the area an incredible prehistoric presence.
The region contains the Serengeti National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Tanzania and several other game reserves and spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi) of stunning African landscapes.
The Serengeti has become famous for its annual wildebeest migration, an iconic and dramatic scene in wildlife documentaries for decades. The migration begins in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of the southern Serengeti in Tanzania and loops in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti National Park and north towards the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya. This migration is a natural phenomenon determined by the availability of grazing. Over a million wildebeest can be witnessed running across rivers and fields as they fight for their lives from the possibility of getting attacked by various predators including crocodiles.
Even though one can get fully mesmerized by watching the wildebeest, the Serengeti has a prolific array of other wildlife; and big game at that. Approximately 70 large mammal and 500 bird species are found there. This high diversity is a function of diverse habitats, including riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands. Packs of African Wild Dog, prides of Lion (the population here is over 3000), Cheetah, Leopard and Spotted Hyaena are often seen tailing the herds of Wildebeest, Plains Zebra and Thompson’s Gazelle. The Serengeti is also home to a diversity of grazers, including African Buffalo, African Elephant, Common Warthog, Common Eland, Waterbuck, and Topi. With so much on the go, it’s not hard to see a full spectrum of African wildlife while on safari.
The local Maasai people have a name for the Serengeti; ‘Siringet’ or ‘the land that goes on forever’. Great stretches of grassland dotted with flat-topped Acacia trees give the Serengeti that classic “Out of Africa” feel. Many people claim that the sunsets in the Serengeti are the most spectacular on earth, with the sky turning a palette of pinks, purples and oranges before disappearing over the horizon.
The dust that had been kicked up from the migrating wildebeest and the threatening rain clouds sometimes even add to the whole scene. Truly magical!
In terms of accommodation, the Serengeti is blessed with a world of variety. Options range from basic tents to luxury campsites and bush lodges to suit even the most discerning traveler’s tastes.
You can also embark on an active adventure by joining our Nature Travel Active team to run the Serengeti marathon in November this year. To get more information about the event, which is combined with a safari, you can talk to a Nature Travel Active expert at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.naturetravelactive.com.