Game Parks and Sites | London to Cairo Trans Africa
Namibia – Cape Cross Seal Colony
Namibian Atlantic Coast. This is where the first European explorers landed in the 15th century. It is now more famous for the seal breeding colony. It might not smell great, but the sight of so many Cape Fur Seals is quite impressive. The scene varies from season to season. Certain times males are fighting for mates. Pupping season brings not only adorable seal pups but ravenous jackal taking advantage of the weak newborns or, as they see them, easy meals. Cape Fur Seals are really a type of sea lion only found along the coast of Southern Africa.
Namibia – Etosha Pan National Park
Namibia’s Etosha pan is a large salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin.T he dry lakebed is 120-kilometers long (75-miles). During the day we drive through the park in the truck to various waterholes where animals may congregate. We may see elephants, rhino, lion, leopard, springbok, oryx, kudu, mongoose, and even the elusive giraffe and zebra. In the evening, walk from the campsite to the illuminated waterhole, it’s very busy with animals coming to drink especially in the dry season.
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.
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.
Namibia – Kamanjab Cheetah Park
Kamanjab, Namibia. Cheetahs are a threat to livestock which is a major industry in the area. Farmers and ranchers will often kill this endangered animal when one is suspected of taking down cattle, goat, or sheep. The family that runs the Cheetah Farm doesn’t like to see that happen and instead catches problem animals and releases them onto their expansive but enclosed property thereby saving the cheetahs and the livelihood of local ranchers. You can pet and play with the tame cheetahs up at the ranch house. In the afternoon, ride out to the fields to see the cats feed.
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
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
Botswana – Okavango Delta
Maun is a small town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. It’s starting point for the Mokoro (dugout canoe) trip into the Delta. As you glide through the waterways, you will see a fantastic array of wetland wildlife, birds in particular. You will come across hippos in the water and elephants drinking from the shore. You can go on a walking safari to look for giraffe, buffalo and rare antelope – the overnight stay is a great wilderness. We bush camp and cook over open fires. Toilet facilities consist of specially dug hole behind some bushes. After returning to Maun you can take the scenic flight over the Delta. See the extra wildlife that you didn’t realize were so close to camp.
South Africa, Namibia border – Orange River
The river forms the border with South Africa. You can spend the afternoon canoeing on the river.
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.
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.
Namibia – Swakopmund
Namibia adventure activity base.
Sand-boarding – Like snowboarding but down the big Namib sand dunes. Great way to see the dunes while having fun. Stand up or lay down toboggan style.
Skydiving – Jump out of a plane and plunge towards the red sands with one of the experienced skydive instructors strapped to your back. It’s another great way to see the desert.
Quad-biking – Take an intense 2 hour venture into the Namib desert. Ride the roller-coaster like dunes in control of your own off road vehicle while following an experienced guide. Not to be missed! Both mild and wild quad-bikers are catered to
Other Activities Include: Deep Sea Fishing, Dolphin and Seal Champagne Cruise, Horseback Riding, Scenic Flights, Massage / Facials, Cinemas, Casino, Nightclubs
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.
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.