Tag Archives: African safari tour

Animal Spotlight: The Black Mamba

Arguably the world’s deadliest snake, the black mamba has been the focal point of many exaggerated African legends, making its name feared around the world. Known for its cunning speed, aggressive behavior, and ability to inject potent venom into its prey, the black mamba is not something you’d want to provoke.

Found across the African savannahs and in rocky areas of southern and eastern Africa, the black mamba is a popular snake to witness on an African safari tour. Although they are dangerous, you are extremely safe within your vehicle with your highly knowledgeable and certified guide.

Here are the real facts behind the black mamba:

  • The black mamba is actually grey, but gets its name for the blackish-bluish color inside of its mouth that is displayed during aggression.
  • Reaching up to 14 ft. (4.3 m) in length, the black mamba is Africa’s longest venomous snake.

  • Black mambas are difficult to out-run as they’re one of the fastest snakes in the world—they can reach speeds up to 12 mph to be exact. And surprisingly, they do not use this incredible gift for speed to attack their prey. Instead, they use it to escape threats.
  • Left untreated, the black mamba’s venom has a fatality rate of 100%.
  • The black mamba is so strong that it can raise its 1/3 of its body off of the ground.
  • A black mamba will spend hours on a branch waiting for its prey, which are usually reptiles, amphibians, and rodents.
  • Using its long black tongue to smell, the black mamba will frequently display its tongue when it senses something approaching.
  • Females can lay up to 17 eggs in a nest beneath the ground or in a hollowed tree hole and they will hatch in approximately three months.     

For a closer look at the black mamba and research being performed on it, view this fascinating PBS video.

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Walking Safaris in South Luangwa: Nothing Beats The Element of Surprise & Mystery

Walking_in_LuangwaWalking_Safaris

Known for its exceptional walking safaris and unspoiled wilderness, South Luangwa in Zambia is the premier destination for travelers looking for a new and unique perspective on Africa’s mesmerizing wildlife. Walking safaris allow you to view the world from the same perspective as the animals, which means you are able to get closer to nature than ever before. Even though you are closer with nature and its creatures on a walking safari, our expert guides ensure travelers are 100 percent safe on their excursion.

Differing greatly from game drives, walking safaris boast feelings of exploration, discovery, and intense curiosity. Walking safaris focus on the exploration of the details of nature and the natural processes of Africa’s multiple eco-systems. With so much more to see than large game, walking safaris are celebrated for their element of surprise, plethora of discoveries, and their ability to stimulate all the senses. Safari vehicles also don’t have the same ability as walking safaris to bring you up close and personal to nature.

As you quietly search and listen for clues to the hiding spots of lions and cheetahs, the sound of the safari vehicle engine is nowhere to be heard, just the pure sounds of Africa’s bush. Walking safaris’ abilities to open your ears to the crisp sounds of nature cannot be matched by any other African safari tour.

In order to find the stealth creatures of Africa, such as the lion and cheetah, you must first hone in on all of your senses. The sounds of snapping twigs, whistling birds, grunting hippos, and monkeys swinging from tree to tree, as well as the distinct scents and sights of the African bush are enough to keep you on your toes as you search for some of the world’s most intriguing animals. Walking safaris are famous for bringing the detective side out in everyone.

Expert guides are the key to an exceptional walking safari and are an invaluable resource as they provide some of the most spectacular facts about South Luangwa’s fauna and flora, and uncover the most hidden elements of Africa’s bush. Highly knowledgeable guides detect and teach you the fascinating signs pointing to a creature in the nearby area, including a fresh kill, a distant roar, the sly chuckle of a hyena, and animal tracks and droppings. Expert guides who know the land inside and out, the exact tracks of the region’s animals, and the callings of wildlife will open your eyes to the hidden elements of nature.

Hills of Africa travel provides clients with only the best guides in Africa. These guides are licensed, highly educated, and skilled in detecting animal tracks and the direction animals are heading, as well as the exact sounds of animal callings, and what the callings signify. Professional guides walk side by side with travelers to ensure they see the hidden surprises of the bush. Once the guide spots signs of an animal in the area, it’s off to finding more clues to the creature’s location.

The discovery of a lion paw print embedded in the dusty ground has the power to change your course immediately. Stunning birds singing in the trees, swinging monkeys, branch-imitating pythons, and grazing elephants will try to distract you from your quest to find a vanishing lion or cheetah. But, this element of surprise is what makes these safaris that much more exciting.

After a long and exciting day taking on a detective roll in the African bush, retreat to your private tent to shower, and cool off with a refreshing cocktail. After washing up, enjoy a delightful dinner prepared by the camp’s talented chef. Westernized cuisine is almost always available for the more conservative eaters.

Whether you’re looking to devote your time to walking safaris while staying in South Luangwa, or just want to enjoy a day or two of walking safaris, all camps in South Luangwa offer walking safari tours to fit your individual needs. Game drives and night drives are also popular activities in the area, which many South Luangwa camps offer.

Recommended Camps to stay at while visiting South Luangwa:

Robin Pope Safaris‘ luxurious Nkwali Camp, which has five rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. Nsefu camp boasts six luxurious suites with thatched roofs. And Tena Tena Camp is a tented camp that can accommodate up to ten guests.

Norman Carr Safaris‘ lavish Kapani Lodge is located on the banks of the Luangwa River and can accommodate up to twenty guests.

Shenton Safari‘s absolutely stunning Kaingo Bush Camp, which has twelve beds, and Mwamba Bush Camp, which offers thatched chalets, and six beds.

Sanctuary Lodges’ Puku Ridge Camp is small and intimate, built unobtrusively close to the wild. With 6 spacious walk-in canvas safari tents and a wraparound view of the flood plains, you may never leave your tent.

If you’re looking to experience a more remote and exclusive side to South Luangwa, there are several camps located off the beaten path. These camps are usually a three to four hour game drive from the main South Luangwa park gate, but are a real treat to experience.

Within the past five years, Zambia has received much appraisal for its exceptional walking safaris and for this reason has become an extremely popular tourist destination. The most crowded times of the year are during the months between June and October when the climate is delightful and game-viewing is exceptional.

Discover a unique insight into some of the world’s most extraordinary wildlife on a South Luangwa walking safari tour. Let Hills of Africa Travel create a detailed and customized itinerary for you around your every individual preference. Contact us today at 800-940-9344. We’re looking forward to making your dreams come true . . .

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Victoria Falls: Experience One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World

River cruise on Zambezi RiverVictoria_Fallsvic falls elephant back

Experience what it must have been like for David Livingstone to have discovered Victoria Falls over 100 years ago when you travel on an African safari tour to Zimbabwe. Picture Niagara Falls twice as tall and twice as wide and you still won’t be prepared for the spectacle of Victoria Falls. The locals refer to Victoria Falls as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the smoke that thunders.

At Victoria Falls, you’ll witness the mighty Zambezi River hurling itself off the top of a 300-foot cliff into a gorge below—one of the most fantastic sights of the natural world. The spray from the falls can be seen up to 50 miles away, making Victoria Falls one of the most incredible phenomenon to witness. Whether on an African family safari, honeymoon safari, or any safari in between, Victoria Falls is a must-visit destination for those looking to enjoy a luxurious safari trip of a lifetime mixed with adventure and relaxation.

Victoria Falls provides those on a romantic African honeymoon safari or family safari with adventure around every corner:

* Enjoy a once in a lifetime experience as you walk with the lions. The Lion Walk is an extremely safe activity and is supervised and managed by an experienced and qualified team who has been working with lions for over 20 years.

* Experience living on the wild side on Livingstone Island—an island perched on the edge of the Falls. This island is as close as you can get to the grumbling water catapulting over the Fall.

* Ride an elephant through the African terrain for an unforgettable experience.

* Take advantage of an exhilarating white water rafting trip—sure to be one of the most exciting activities of your life. Spectacular rapids and warm water make this a must-do activity.

* Seek adventure on the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. Experience 364 feet of pure adrenalin rush off the bridge that crosses the Zambezi River, connecting Zimbabwe with Zambia.

* Free fall 230 feet above water on a gorge swing in Victoria Falls on a trip to South Africa.

* Take a running leap into thin air over the Victoria Falls gorge on a flying fox. This amazing activity allows you to soar horizontally through the air over the raging Zambezi waters below.

* Travel at a speed of 50 miles per hour, hurtling 1,395 feet across the Victoria Falls gorge, while suspended 364 feet above the Zambezi river on a zip line or foofie slide.

* Experience the Flight of Angels in a small, four-seat airplane, helicopter or microlight above the falls. Enjoy the rare opportunity to observe the rapids from a bird’s-eye view as you fly through the mist and enchantment of the Falls.

Although known as the Adrenaline Capital of the World, Victoria Falls uniquely combines adventure and relaxation for the ultimate African safari vacation:

* Take a sunset cruise along the Upper Zambezi River and marvel at the beauty, witness game quenching their thirst in the evening, watch the mesmerizing sunset, and enjoy a cocktail as you peacefully float down the Zambezi.

* Visit a local village and interact with the village people as you gain insight into their daily lives.

* Shop for locally made crafts and stone carvings at the traditional craft markets.

* Relax as you fish on the Zambezi river.

* Enjoy a delightful river cruise for breakfast, lunch, or watch the captivating sunset on an evening cruise.

* Experience ultimate pampering at one of the many luxurious spas scattered throughout the Victoria Falls area.

Uncover the adventures and beauty of Victoria Falls on a Zimbabwe family safari or romantic honeymoon safari.  Let Hills of Africa Travel create for you the perfect itinerary crafted around your every personal preference. Contact us today at (800) 940-9344. We’re looking forward to making your dreams come true . . .

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Rusthof Country House: Elegant Accommodations in the Heart of Historic Franschhoek

Rusthof_Country_HouseCape_Winelands

Immerse yourself in South Africa’s breath-taking countryside, infinite vineyards, and local culture in its “Food & Wine” capital, Franschhoek’s historic French Huguenot Village. Stay at one of Franschhoek’s finest estates in the heart of French Huguenot Village, the exclusive Rusthof Country House. This classic Cape Dutch styled home’s premier location on the main street of Franschhoek allows you the freedom to walk through the historic Village and explore charming shops, quaint bistros, art galleries, and exceptional restaurants.

Accommodating a maximum of 16 guests, Rusthof’s private and intimate atmosphere ensures guests receive the finest amenities, rooms, and services.

The Rusthof Country House boasts:

• Luxurious double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and pure cotton bed linen.

• Delectable country breakfasts made from the freshest, local ingredients and served in the elegant French Provencal dining room.

• Relaxing amenities, including a lavish pool, spacious lounge, and private patio.

• Exceptional service and extremely friendly staff, who strive to make certain your experience at the Rusthof Country House is above and beyond your expectations.

Besides offering guests the very best accommodations, Rusthof also celebrates a spectacular list of activities:

• Relax by the Estate’s tranquil pool surrounded by blossoming gardens and spectacular views of the mountains and wine country.

• Step outside the front grounds of the Rusthof Country House and soak in the old-world charm of the historic French Huguenot Village, observing all-encompassing classic Cape Dutch style architecture, and spectacular sight-seeing.

• Golf at Jack Niklaus legendary golf course.

• Take an intimate wine tasting tour through prestigious wine vineyards of Franschhoek on horseback. Visiting only the vineyards you want to see, you can be certain you’ll experience the most personal, accommodating, and exceptional wine tasting tour you’ve ever had.

• Walk or hike along the many winding trails of Franschhoek and take in the scenic beauty and serenity of the countryside. Whether you’re looking to delight in a peaceful evening stroll or a hike to some of the region’s most fantastic vineyards, the surrounding trails are there for your pleasure and convenience.

• Enjoy private, delectable lunches and picnics at exclusive wine estates and talk with the masters of winemaking themselves.

• Dive with great white sharks if you dare at Gaansbaai. Mind you: this is for those who are looking for an adrenaline rush of a lifetime!

Discover why Franschhoek, South Africa is considered one of Africa’s most spectacular destinations to visit while on a South African honeymoon vacation or family vacation. Let Hills of Africa Travel send you on the African safari tour of a lifetime. Contact us today at (877) 845-4802 and let us create a completely personalized itinerary for you and your loved ones. We’re looking forward to making your dreams come true . . .

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Ruckomechi Camp: Discover the Extraordinary Beauty of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools

Ruckomechi_deck_view

If you’re looking to experience rich cultural diversity, witness some of the world’s most intense natural beauty, and stay in one of Africa’s finest accommodations, Mana Pools in Zimbabwe is the destination for you.

Known for its ideal location in the Mana Pools and on the Zambezi River banks, and its unique placement beneath mahogany and acacia trees, Wilderness Safaris’ Ruckomechi Camp is the perfect place to stay while on a Zimbabwe family safari or honeymoon safari. The view of the sprawling mountains of the Great Rift Valley, the Mana pools, and the Zambezi River can be enjoyed from all areas of the camp, making it one of the most highly acclaimed accommodations in all of Africa.

Renowned for its relaxing, luxurious, and comfortable ambiance, the Ruckomechi camp brings the utmost satisfaction to those on an African safari trip. Downtime is one of the most wonderful parts of the day, when guests can watch the sunset behind the mountains, and wind down with a glass of wine or cup of tea.

Ruckomechi Camp features . . .

• Nine tented units each equipped with en-suite amenities including indoor and outdoor showers, and an outdoor “bath-with-a-view.” Each unit boasts extraordinary views of the mountains, floodplains, and the Zambezi River.

• A dining area, bar, library and lounge, which are connected by low-level walkways.

• Rich vegetation that attracts Africa’s largest resident—the elephant. Elephant sightings are very frequent throughout all of the camp grounds.

• A star gazing deck where guests can soak in Africa’s nighttime breeze and beauty.

• An infinity pool where guests can go to cool down, sun bathe, or enjoy a relaxing swim.

• Solar powered hot water and lighting systems in support of Wilderness Safari’s eco-friendly tourism practices.

The exceptional wildlife viewing in the Mana Pools National Park has given Ruckomechi Camp an excellent reputation. The four pools that make up the Mana Pools attract a wide spectrum of wildlife including lions, leopards, buffalo, warthog, impala, zebra, and hippo, as well as several bird species, such as the collared palm-thrush, racket-tailed roller, and black-throated wattle-eyes.

Bird lovers are in for a real treat when visiting Ruckomechi Camp, since the area boasts exceptional water birds. Birds frequently observed in the surrounding pans and river includes western banded snake-eagle, green-capped eremomela, African golden oriole, African finfoot, southern carmine bee-eaters, and more.

Observe Mana Pools’ wildlife and pristine beauty from a variety of perspectives. Whether on a game drive, game-viewing cruise, or nature walk, visitors to the Ruckomechi Camp see a wide spectrum of wild game, aquatic species, and forest dwelling species. Once you experience some of the world’s most spectacular creatures from such a close proximity you’ll never want to leave.

Explore the unforgettable, riveting beauty of Zimbabwe while on an African family safari or honeymoon safari. Let Hills of Africa Travel send you on the African safari tour of a lifetime. Contact us today at (877) 845-4802 and let us create a completely personalized itinerary for you and your loved ones. We’re looking forward to making your dreams come true . . .

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Why is Africa not on every traveler’s radar?

fttsa-hp-pic3fishhoek_fishermenVictoria_Falls

We want to take you on an in-depth tour of Africa and inspire you or your friends to travel to this magical destination. Africa is not even on the radar screen of many, many American travelers and we believe they are missing out on THE best African safari vacation of their lives.

There are 2 reasons Africa falls under the radar screen as a number 1 priority travel destination

1. Travelers UNDER estimate the greatness and variety of travel experiences on offer in Africa. From going on an African family safari and witnessing the planet’s largest animals and watching them in their natural habitat, to the winelands of Cape Town, tasting world class wines that have never touched American soil because it’s too difficult to compete on price with California wines, to shark cage-diving in Hermanus, to the surf in Durban and the tropical waters of Mozambique. A journey to Africa is so much more than going on a safari – but even the safari is incredible.  We at Hills of Africa Travel want to show you how much more there is to an African vacation.

2. Travelers OVER estimate the “dis-comfort” factor. Is it safe to travel without a group (Absolutely)? How many shots will I need (none!)? What will the food be like (better than AND as sophisticated as the finest New York restaurants)? We are a paranoid nation and many people expect it to be like a war-zone. We want to bring to you the reassurance that it is one of the most charming, endearing places you will ever visit with an element of warm hospitality you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

From Hills of Africa Travel, you will be exposed to the beauty and charm of Africa. We will discuss the rich and fascinating culture, history, fabulous food and fine wines of that area. You’ll learn about the safari lodges which are luxurious, that cater to your every need, and have drop dead gorgeous decors.

The United States has lifted its travel ban to Zimbabwe! It’s always been one of the greatest safari destinations in the world. Nothing changed during the 7 or 8 year travel ban – the wildlife is still outstanding, the country grooms the BEST guides in the world, the diversity is amazing…and right now, you cannot beat the price.

But the incredible travel deals won’t last long. Travel inquiries are flooding in to places like Victoria Falls and the lodges of Hwange National Park. So we want to educate you and help you be in front of the curve.

Please let us know if there is an area you’d love to learn more about!

Call us today on 1-800-940-9344 or email us at hoainfo@hillsofafrica.com and let us share the magic of Africa with you.

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Chobe and Linyanti Reserves: Discover the Botswana Safari Trip of a Lifetime

linyanti_3_imagesAn authentic Botswana safari trip combined with luxurious accommodations is the perfect fusion of ingredients for an African safari vacation of a lifetime. Home to some of the world’s most exotic birds, game, reptiles, and amphibians, the Chobe and Linyanti National Reserves in Botswana are just as pristine and untouched as they were when the first European explorers visited the region centuries ago.

Heavily filmed by National Geographic, the Chobe and Linyanti National Reserves are prime areas to observe some of the world’s most spectacular creatures and landscapes, and are arguably the best places in the world to observe elephants. Visitors on an African family safari or honeymoon safari to the Chobe and Linyanti Reserves observe a wide spectrum of animals, thanks to the diverse natural surroundings of each river system. The varying terrain boasts a plethora of diverse eco-systems including marshes, waterways, riverine forests, dry woodlands, and the infamous Savuti Channel.

Connecting the Linyanti River and the Zibadianja Lagoon, the Savuti Channel is one of Botswana’s most gorgeous havens for birds and wildlife. Since two-thirds of the Savuti Channel is private reserve, guests observe wild game from exclusive and private locations.

Botswana safari tour guests choose from a handful of safari trips:

  • A Chobe River cruise safari is an excellent way to observe wildlife in luxury. Offering adventurists a fresh perspective on animal behavior, the intricate Chobe River provides a place for animals to bathe, play, and drink from. Buffalos and elephants are the primary attractions on this type of safari, as well as African skimmers, kites, and eagles.In addition to observing animals behaving in a different environment, a Chobe River cruise safari boasts a large variety of water-dwelling animals, including crocodile, monitor lizards, and hippos. Nothing is more relaxing than the thrill of birds flying overhead, crocodiles lurking in the waters, and hippos charging, all from the comfort and luxury of a river cruise safari. The evening is the perfect time to enjoy a Chobe River cruise safari since it’s the best way to unwind from a long day in the sun and sip a chilling cocktail.
  • Game Drives through the Chobe and Linyanti National Reserves are some of the most rewarding experiences for visitors on a Botswana safari trip. The Chobe Reserve celebrates large populations of buffalo, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, roan, zebra, and more, while the Linyanti Reserve is famous for its high concentrations of sable, lion, leopard, wild dog, hippo, zebra, buffalo, and antelope.Game drives in the morning are the perfect time to observe nature take its course as predators stalk their prey in the bush. Visitors to the Chobe and Linyanti region frequently see leopards attacking baboons and cheetahs stalking lechwe.
  • Walking safaris through the National Reserves provide guests with a rare insight into the surrounding eco-systems. For those itching to show-off their photography skills, a smooth and slow-pace walking safari offers visitors the perfect opportunity to snap images of nature in motion. Visitors have the chance to capture over 350 species of bird on film, as well as large herds of elephants, bathing and playing around the river systems.

Don’t miss the bountiful opportunities that await you on a Botswana safari tour. Let Hills of Africa Travel plan the perfect, tailored itinerary for your next African family safari or honeymoon safari. Contact us today at (877) 845-4802, and experience an unforgettable journey. We’re looking forward to making your dreams come true . . .

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