Over the past few weeks our Botswana Group was blessed with some of the best wildlife sightings (and photo-ops) we have seen on any tour. Three locations - Chobe/Khwai/Nth Tuli - all delivered beyond expectations. All of the usual culprits were seen and digitally captured, but the stand-outs were : 2 different cheetahs in the same area with both having 4 cubs each in tow !!! / 2 unrelated packs of wild dogs, one with many pups / elephant shrews with attitude / and the list goes on....... We are looking forward to August next year when we take our East Africa Safari group to the migration and beyond ...... !!
Over the past few months our staff have been travelling to Madagascar, Ethiopia and Namibia in order to finalise a range of exciting new groups and varied private itineraries for our clients.
We are operating 3 groups in 2020.
* Ethiopia in February
* East Africa , including the "Migration" in August
* A combination of Ethiopia and Madagascar in October
See our "Group Tours" page and email us for the full itineraries.
Time to start hopping ..... we are now taking bookings for our "Journeys Ethiopia" small group tour departing on the 10th February 2020 and also for our "Two Amazing Worlds" tour of Madagascar/Ethiopia which departs on the 17th October 2020.
Email us for the itineraries on both of these : email@example.com
Shortly, further details of our India Wildlife (April) and East Africa (August) tours will be available.
(Ethiopian Wolf photo courtesy of our Ethiopian Partners)
We are pleased to announce that we are operating two group tours to Ethiopia in 2020. The first one is totally Ethiopia, and departs on the 10th February 2020. (Contact us for details)
In October 2020 we will operate a combination tour of Ethiopia with Madagascar, two amazing destinations rolled into one experience........
With “Ethiopia’s travel and tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018.” ( World Travel & Tourism Council) ...... join us soon, before the rest of the world wants to ! !
Next year will be a special year as we launch group tours to Ethiopia. This destination has been on our radar for a long time, and with the new Prime Minister (Abiy Ahmed) driving change and rejuvenation of the nation, the time is right to offer this exciting destination to our clients in 2020. ( We are currently working closely with our Ethiopian ground operator to finalise these tours)
We will offer an Ethiopia Culture & History tour in the early part (February) of 2020, plus a combined highlights of Ethiopia joined with the highlights of Madagascar towards the end of the year (Oct/Nov) Both tours are targeted at times when the weather is favourable (n all locations) and the tourist numbers not overwhelming.
In addition Dennis will be revisiting India after a few years absence and focusing on the outstanding wildlife found there. The last of these tours was booked out, so if it appeals let us know soon. This tour will be late March/early April.
As always we will be undertaking a group tour to Africa in July-August. This is to coincide with the annual Migration. More details to come.
Should you have any interest in any of our tours please email us soon and register - this will ensure that you receive full details and be able to take advantage of any early-bird discounts that we offer.
Email to :: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just one room left on our Botswana safari - designed for photographers. I have been travelling to Bots for over 34 years and it is definitely THE amazing wildlife destination in Southern Africa. When I designed this trip I thought..... what combination of locations would provide outstanding opportunities ..... This is the result. I can only keep this room until the end of January and then it is taken back by the operators, so if you are considering Botswana I do ask you to review this option now...... https://www.wildlife-safari-consultants.net/group-tours-2019-botswana.html Join me and my small group next August....... maybe to spend time with the "Wild Dogs" that are commonly found there, shown here a shot from my last visit. If you haven't seen the BBC "Dynasties" documentary on "Painted Wolf", try to ..... stunning !!
We have a few spaces left on our 2019 Botswana photographers group tour, so act soon if you wish to join this very special photo safari.
A few more chapters of our daily journey through Madagascar have been added to our other website - follow the journey at www.madagascar-travel-centre.com.au/lemur-tales
On our Madagascar Travel Centre website, a new series of posts has commenced. Designed to take you day-by-day on a journey across Madagascar, following the route that our group tours take.
Due to the very high demand for accommodation in Botswana in 2019 we will have to finalise bookings for our group tour before the end of this year !!! Yes, that is how popular Botswana is, so if you are thinking about safaris to Botswana, and if you love photography, join our August 2019 group as soon as possible. https://www.wildlife-safari-consultants.net/group-tours-2019-botswana.html
2018 ...... the year that so many wildebeest decided that the grass was greener on their side. The heavy rainfalls across Kenya and Tanzania earlier this year resulted in so much food and moisture being available in Tanzania that the expected million wildebeest didn't arrive in the Masai Mara during the peak migration time. Disappointing ?? Not really, for those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the Mara this year, the predator activity was outstanding - maybe because they had less to choose from ? Overall indications are that 80% of the migrating herds stayed well within the Serengeti. An unusual year, but the region is so well endowed with non-migratory wildlife that outstanding experiences were still had.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking Trivago to the Federal Court, alleging the hotel booking comparison site made misleading hotel price representations in TV and online advertisements. "Increasingly, people are putting their faith in comparison websites, and we have increasing concerns that those websites aren't working in the interest of consumers,"
It's something that concerns us for not only our safari business, but for our general travel through "Journeys Unlimited". Some very wise comments from the ACCC - read the news reports at these locations:
Over three weeks in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia rewarded this group with sightings that were very special - marauding Black-Maned Lions, 4 cheetah hunting together, crocodiles fighting one another over an impala kill, newborn antelopes everywhere ....... we could go one and on, but the only way to experience the excitement that accompanies a sighting is to be there yourself. Join us in 2019 on one of our three expeditions.
Sometimes we come across amazing stories from the African bush. In this instance an old guiding friend of mine, Chad Cocking, tells a tale of his encounter with the widely feared Black Mamba. It is wonderful for him to share that experience, but the video made of the capture of the Mamba is a great education into snakes and we would really recommend that you not only read Chad's story, but watch the video too. Chad guides at Tanda Tula Lodge, which is a fantastic place to visit and proudly owned and operated by Don and Nina Scott. For photographers we highly recommend Tanda Tula, where Chad can add his vast photographic experience to a great safari. Phone or email us to start your Tanda Tula experience.
Read and Watch:: http://www.tandatula.com/blog/posts/video-there-is-a-mamba-under-my-bed
We're back from a scouting trip in Africa and there are lots of new ideas and places to visit.
Details of our group tours for 2019 will be released over the coming weeks. Expect groups to:
* Namibia in July
* Botswana in August
* Madagascar in September
Also in 2019 we will be offering Ethiopia as a new destination, and very special packages which bring together Ethiopia + Madagascar as a unique combination.
The image below courtesy of our new Ethiopian partners....
In a few days time we will be attending "Indaba", Africa's largest travel industry expo. This allows us to be well informed on new tours, operators, lodges, hotels and air routes. Most countries also deploy their tourism management to provide updates on what is happening across their nation. Indaba ensures that we have the latest offerings and deals to present to you. We have forged close relationships with owners and management of these companies over the past 25 years and renewing those acquaintances is essential when seeking the best for our clients.
After Indaba we will once again be visiting Madagascar, to scout out new destinations and options for our growing operations there. One of the areas will be the (seen above) "Marojejy National Park" - a great wilderness area in the north of the country where hiking is a special feature. See our website at Madagascar Travel Centre.
A big congratulations to SA Airlink !!!! Today their brand new Embraer 190 (ZS-YAD) lands in Madagascar for the first time. This is the fourth 190 in their fleet and the upgrade of aircraft has made the Johannesburg-Antananarivo service faster and smoother flying. Well done Airlink !!
2018 has become a crazy year for visiting Africa. Securing bookings for this year became difficult back in the last quarter of 2017 and has been trickier ever since. A surge in the number of tourists from USA and East Asia has been one of the prime factors behind this demand pressure. In most instances we are still able to find accommodation and safaris for this year's season, but it is limited.
We still have one single room and one double room available in our Africa group tour departing in July. We will be closing bookings for this tour on April 30th.
Our Madagascar group has a closing date of May 31st.
The India "Visa on Arrival" system is working well, but the Government of India has recently distributed the following information which is important to know:
"Government of India does not appoint any authorized agents to apply for e-Visa on behalf of any applicant. Do not fall prey to such fake e-Visa portals claiming to provide Express e-Visa services by charging a hefty amount for same. The official website of Government of India for e-Visa and related visa services is www.indianvisaonline.gov.in " (Niraj Sharan, Asst Director General , Ministry of Tourism, Delhi)
Should you do a Google search for e-Visa online you will find many of these unauthorized portals - please beware.
Further it needs to be understood that many tourists assume that Indian Visa is arranged on arrival in India and make arrangements to travel. They then turn up at the airport where they will be denied boarding until they secure a visa BEFORE they travel.
You are advised to visit this site and apply for e-Visa and print the confirmation which normally comes with in 48/78hrs and bring this along to board the flight. A valid Passport for more than 6 months, air ticket and e-Visa confirmation is must to board a flight to India.
It is with some pride that we celebrate 25 years of assisting our clients to Africa, India and beyond. When we commenced we would not have envisaged still being in business in 2018, but here we are. Thousands of happy travelers have used our services (in partnership with our general travel arm ..... Journeys Unlimited) and we have formed strong relationships with many of them. We still arrange travel for one of our clients we helped in the very beginning of 1993 !!!
A Happy New Year to you, Thanks for working with us, and we look forward to a fabulous 2018.
In our blog dated 1 June 2017 we commented on TripAdvisor and the confusion that its new format and direction were causing to users.
It is disturbing that what used to be a great forum for users has now become a marketing tool and loses its unbiased value. TripAdvisor now has a new "tool" which properties use ("This business uses tools provided by TripAdvisor [or one of its official Review Collection Partners] to encourage and collect guest reviews, including this one."), where the properties solicit reviews from clients for TripAdvisor ("Review collected in partnership with this hotel"). These are noted on each review as such.
Amazingly we have yet to see one of these where the recommendation is "Poor" or "Terrible" .... and we suspect we never will since it is now pre-filtered by the property, and then by T.A. (as part of their "partnership" agreement).
We are finding T.A. becoming increasingly biased and the value from user reviews has diminished hugely. What a pity.
Our sister agency, Journeys Unlimited is operating a "Culture & Cuisine" small group tour to India in February (departing 31 Jan). We designed this tour to cover the highlights of northern and southern India, but added special features along the way. Seeing some of the lesser known parts of Delhi and being shown how to prepare an Indian meal the authentic way are just the start. Being at The Taj at the right time of day, seeing the ghats of Varanasi before the tourists flood the area, or ensuring 2 nights stay in the backwaters of Kerala to see what life is really like there ..... simple features that we have learnt from the past 25 years of operating groups in India.
There are a few rooms left on this tour so be quick and phone us to be included in this special tour. Bookings close 1 December, if not sold out before. Journeys Unlimited : 02 9939 5660
Dennis Jones writes.......