Game Parks and Sites | J’burg to Uganda Gorillas & Nairobi
Uganda – Jinja, Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls, Owen Falls Dam Nile River
Jinja, Uganda overlooks Lake Victoria, one of the largest lakes in the world. The White Nile flows north from the lake towards Egypt. Owen Falls Dam blocks the river below which are the Owen Falls. On and around the river you can; white water raft, canoe, horse ride, bungee jump, jet boat, quad bike and help with local community projects.
Uganda – Lake Bunyonyi
The lake in the west of Uganda is our base while groups are off trekking to the mountain gorillas. It’s a highland mountain lake in quiet surroundings where you can row around the lake, swim and bird watch.
Kenya – Rift Valley Lakes
In the Great Rift Valley there are a number of beautiful lakes, full of birds, wildlife and other natural wonders.
A large shallow lake surrounded by a park on the edge of Nakuru town. The big three here are pink flamingoes – sometimes millions of them, rhino and tree sleeping lions. Also living in and around the lake are; pelicans, cormorants, leopards, baboons, giraffe, waterbuck, rock hyrax and birdlife.
We camp by this large freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley. You can take boats out on the lake to see hippos relaxing in groups in the water and the hundreds of different types of birds. The hippos come out of the lake in the evening and graze around the shore into the night. Around the lake are a few side trips you can take.
Green Crater Lake
A jade green coloured lake set in a small volcanic cone.
Hell’s Gate National Park
One of the few parks you can walk or cycle through, no lions here but you can see giraffe and antelope many wild animals but superb volcanic scenery. There a geothermal power plant on the edge of the park which you can see up close.One of the few parks you can walk or cycle through, not too many wild animals but superb volcanic scenery.
Elsamere Conservation Centre
The old home of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lion of ‘Born Free’ fame. Take afternoon tea on the lake shore with black and white colobus monkeys swinging through the thorn trees above.
Kenya – Masai Mara
Kenya – is set on the southern border of Kenya some 4 hours drive from Nairobi on a massive plain. The animals you are most likely to see are; lions, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, zebra, gazelle, hyenas, wildebeest and some rhino. The most impressive site in the park is the great migration of the wildebeest from July to October.
Kenya – Nairobi, Langata Giraffe Centre
Here you can hand feed giraffes while you stand head high with the giraffes. It’s a side trip in Nairobi with an entry fee of $7 plus a charge for giraffe food.
Kenya – Nairobi, Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage
Stand with baby elephants and rhinos which have been rescued from the wild; normally their mothers have been poached and are now fed from the bottle. It’s a side trip in Nairobi with a $5 entry and its open in the morning, every day at 11:00.
Tanzania – Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater
Arusha is Tanzania’s safari hub. From here, you can take a trip to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. The Serengeti plains are the Africa of the movies. Immense herds of zebra and wildebeest migrate here to and from Kenya’s Masai Mara. Leopards and lions are often spotted. All the big five can be found in the park. That’s if luck is with you. Your campsite is rustic offering the rare opportunity to fall asleep (or lay nervous and sleepless awake) to the sounds of lions or hyenas. Breakfast and box lunches are provided during the day and dinner is prepared for you by your cook at night. After game driving in the park, you’ll head out, past Masai villages and Olduvai Gorge, to the Ngorongoro Crater.T he next morning, you’ll wake up early and do a game drive in the unique ecosystem of the crater where there are plenty of lions, black rhino and elephant.
Zambia – South Luangwa National Park
A lightly forested park on the Luangwa River in the south east of Zambia. Animals normally seen are; hippos, elephants, crocodiles, antelopes, water and bushbuck, wild dogs, lions, and buffalo. We camp on the river bank beside the park. You can do both day and night game drives into the park. Leopards can sometimes be spotted on the night drives as the park has one of the highest concentrations of them in Africa. The road up to the park is dirt and the park is part of vast swamp system.
Zimbabwe & Zambia – Victoria Falls
The Zambezi River drops 100 metres over a mile wide chasm creating one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world. When the river is in full flow, the water roars and sends a cloud of spray 500 metres into the air. Victoria Falls is on the border of Zimbabwe (Victoria Town) and Zambia (Livingstone). Adventure activities here are; bungee jumping, white water rafting, game-viewing on horseback, canoeing, light aircraft or helicopter flights over the falls and the sunset cruise on the Zambezi, walk with lion cubs.
Uganda – Mountain Gorillas
There are less than 800 mountain gorillas in the wild, we see the biggest primate in either; Uganda, DR Congo or Rwanda. Trekking to see them is expensive however well worth it according to everyone when they return from sitting beside the woolly giants. There are four parks you can visit the gorillas in three different countries. Three of the parks form a super park meeting on the borders of the three countries.
Uganda – Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Rwanda – Volcanoes National Park
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Most of the gorillas live in Bwindi, which is where we try to see them. The parks are covered in rainforest and thick bamboo. Aside from the gorillas other animals you might see while trekking to the gorillas are colobus monkeys but the thick forest makes game spotting hard. The trek to gorillas can take; if you’re lucky less than an hour up to all day long. The trekking is done with ranger guides who follow the gorillas from their previous night’s nests. (They do build nests in trees or on the ground every night to sleep in). Once you reach the gorillas you sit with them for an hour while they normally feed or relax a short distance from you. There are a number of rules to follow when you’re around the gorillas which the guides show you how to follow.
Tanzania – Zanzibar
You can take two hour ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar Islands for a few days
Stone Town a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old slave market, the spice growing areas, Jozani Forest with Red Colobus Monkeys and in the evening visit the seafood cafes and have dinner on the wharf.
Africa House – Enjoy cocktails and maybe a water pipe as you watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean from the balcony of this historic hotel. Zanzibar Stone Town!
Night Market – Browse the stalls for seafood and sugar cane juice. Definitely have a Zanzibar Pizza made while you wait.
Spice Tour – Tour historic Stone Town and the slave chambers. Visit the local market as well as spice plantations. Have a traditional meal in a local’s home. Add the Jozani Forest to the day’s activities and see the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys.
Night Market – Browse the stalls for seafood and sugar cane juice. Definitely have a Zanzibar Pizza made while you wait.
Snorkeling – Take a dhow out to the reef that lies off a private island. Snorkel the reef and then sail back to a secluded beach for a fresh fish meal before returning to Nungwe.
SCUBA Diving – If you’re a certified diver, visit one of the dive centres and check out the dive sites. If you’re interested in learning, start your dive course here
Deep Sea or Reef Fishing – Hire local to take you reef fishing in a dhow or go with a professional outfit for deep sea fishing.
Visit one of two natural aquariums. Feed the resident sea turtles and even swim with them during high tide.
Sunbathe and relax on the beach. Catch up on your diary or book. Swim in the warm waters.
Beach Bars – Start early or spend a late night at one of the beach bars.
Tanzania – Mikumi National Park
On the Great North Road, in southern Tanzania. Its covered by savannah woodland. As we follow the highway through the park we often see elephants and antelopes.
Malawi – Kande Beach
Lake Malawi; it’s is a special beach resort orientated to budget beach activities. Snorkel around Kande Island. If you’re feeling fit, swim the 800 meters out. If you want to take it a bit easier, rent a paddle boat or canoe. If you’re up for an all day cooking job, bargain with the locals for a pig and spit roast it. SCUBA Dive in the freshwater lake. Lake Malawi is home to countless beautiful, endemic fishes. PADI certifications also available here. Horseback ride through forests and villages with Kande Horses. All skill levels are catered to. Take your horse for a swim in the lake with you after a 2 to 4 hour ride. Have a drum circle with the local boys and get exposed to a little Malawian culture. Shop the wood carvings market or take a village tour
Botswana – Chobe Park
All our Southern Africa regional trips include a boat cruise on the Chobe River with an optional game drive. Chobe National Park is the second largest national park in Botswana covering 10,500 square kilometres, with the greatest concentrations of game found in African. The park is divided into four distinctly different ecosystems: Serondela with its lush plains and dense forests in the Chobe River area in the extreme north-east; the Savuti Marsh in the west about fifty kilometres north of Mababe gate; the Linyanti Swamps in the north-west and the hot dry hinterland in between. Chobe’s elephants are the largest surviving continuous elephant population which range over northern Botswana and the northwest of Zimbabwe, over 120,000 strong. The Chobe elephant are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 kilometres from the Chobe and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains.
South Africa – Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is one of the largest parks in Africa; you should see the big 5 here. On the border of Mozambique. Great for day and night game drives. Lots of; elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo and still rhino.
Tanzania – Karatu
Karatu is a colourful bustling town and the gateway to the Ngorongoro Highlands. It’s a fun place to visit to practice your bartering for souvenirs.
Dusty but absolutely delightful, the main street is wide and always vibrant with people in brightly coloured clothes chatting, laughing and going about their daily activities.
Outside Karatu, rolling hills merge into the Ngorongoro Highlands. Here, mountainsides are covered in thick forest and cultivated areas are filled with farms and coffee plantations with villages scattered in between. Waterfalls tumble over rocks, sunbirds flit from flower to flower and elephant and buffalo follow ancient paths through the vegetation to rivers to drink and to mineral rich caves to extract salt.
South Africa – Blyde River Canyon
South Africa Blyde River Canyon is the 3rd largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon in USA & Fish River Canyon in Namibia, unlike the other two it’s a green canyon due to its lush subtropical foliage, and has highest cliffs of any canyon in the world. It’s 26 kilometres long and some 800m deep
Zimbabwe – Great Zimbabwe Monument
An ancient city built of stone, consructuted by the Shona people. The name Zimbabwe means ‘stone houses’ in Shona. Built almost a thousand years ago over a period of 300 years, the ruins are unique in the region as few stone building were built in the early era.
The city was an important trading centre from the Middle Ages onwards, at its peak was home to 20,000 people. The country of Zimbabwe is named after this monument.
Zimbabwe – Hwange Park
This large park in Matabeleland was for 13 years the home of Cecil a rare black-maned lion who had lived in the park was legally hunted , with a bow and arrow by a dentist from Minnesota, in 2015. The killing of this popular lion promoted the conservation of commercially hunted animals in Africa. Though sadly, in 2015, Cecil’s son Xanda was also killed by hunters.
The park is covered in light woodland and is on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. in the park you will find; elephants, leopard, hyenas, cape wild dogs, cheetah and gemsbok.
Zimbabwe – Matobo National Park
Matobo National Park (originally Rhodes Matopos) is outside of Bulawayo town. It’s a series of granite hills; like islands surrounded by wooded valleys. The park has an unusual air about it with distant views combined with a close valley. Many religious activities and rituals were held here in pre-colonial times. Cecil Rhodes is buried in a granite hill in the park is a place known as world view.