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document.write(unescape(\"%3Cscript src=\'\" + gaJsHost + \"google-analytics.com/ga.js\' type=\'text/javascript\'%3E%3C/script%3E\")); ]]> Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::read_file() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 13 Deprecated: Non-static method arrays::explode_key() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_entry.php on line 254 Deprecated: Non-static method fileio::strip_extension() should not be called statically in /usr/www/users/zest24/blog/scripts/sb_fileio.php on line 41 Welcome to Claire's travel blog! 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Contact Africa Tamed should you wish to experience one of these superb destinations. We will design and coordinate a memorable African adventure to suit you and your needs.

Africa Tamed is a successful tour operator based in Cape Town, South Africa, offering personalised luxury travel packages throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.

To read more about Africa Tamed, go to our Home Page .

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Lake St Lucia

We arrived at Bushwillow Lodge in the Kuleni Game Park with relatively high expectations of its quality and value for money, which were based on a number of comments made by previous visitors to the lodge on the TripAdvisor.com website. Well, it was magical! Bushwillow Lodge by far exceeded our expectations. With only 3 beautifully appointed ensuite rooms, we had sole use of the lodge. The rooms lead off from the main living area along raised wooden walkways. The kitchen, dining and lounge area opened to a large wooden deck sheltered by indigenous bushwillow trees. The deck included an outside dining area and a small splash pool and overlooked a small watering hole frequented by various wildlife species. The lodge offers a choice of a catered or self-catering option of which we chose the self-catering option.


Bushwillow Lodge

The reserve itself, 150 hectares of indigenous sand forest, is home to a number of wildlife species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, zebra, warthog, numerous antelope species and a delightfully colourful, melodious and diverse bird habitation. None of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) are present allowing visitors the freedom to safely enjoy the plentiful walking trails throughout the reserve.


Hippo Yawn - copyright to Claire Dinnie

Natal north coast offers a wonderful selection of fun outdoor activities. Game viewing is definitely a highlight with Hluhluwe Game Reserve being Africa’s oldest game reserve offering a diverse wildlife experience including spotting the Big 5. Mkuze Game Reserve and various Private Game Reserves complement it. Snorkeling and scuba diving to explore the magical coral reefs at Sodwana Bay less than 1 hour’s drive away are a definite must! Ocean safaris include whale and dolphin sightings. Boat cruises and kayaking on Lake St Lucia are a wonderful way to explore this beautiful estuary and its inhabitants. The pristine golden beaches, lapped by the warm Indian Ocean and a subtropical climate can be enjoyed on those lazy summer days. Dumazulu Cultural Village offers an in-depth insight into the Zulu culture.


Giraffe Greeting - copyright to Claire Dinnie

Much of the north coast in fact forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first World Heritage Site. The 332 000 hectare Park consists of three major lake systems, eight interconnected ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25 000 year-old coastal dunes – some of the highest in the world. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which appropriately describes this exceptional destination.

Sadly, September 2010 marks the Kwa Zulu Natal Province’s seventh year of water shortages. With fond memories of Natal’s tall abundant sugar cane fields and lush green vegetation, it was heartbreaking for me to see how dry and barren the land has become. Lake St Lucia is the lowest I’ve ever seen it, Mkuze and Hluhluwe Game Reserves closely resemble dust bowls. This I believe forms part of a global challenge that we face at the moment with floods, droughts, earthquakes and other natural disasters happening all over the world. We need to stand together as a human race and with compassion and love, help one another.

Bushwillow Lodge found a place in our hearts and we will certainly be returning some day soon to again be surrounded by peace and quiet, lulled to sleep by the beautiful call of the Firey-necked Nightjar and Thick-tailed Bushbabies and then awoken by the melodious song of Natal Robins and Gorgeous Bushshrikes.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed .
Your Southern Africa Travel specialist!

For other Kwa Zulu Natal self drive options check out an Authentic Bush and Beach Safari at Makakatana Bay Lodge .

]]>
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Picnic Lunch with Makakatana Bay Lodge

Kwa Zulu Natal is a lesser-known tourist destination within South Africa, but its fast becoming popular for quality, value-for-money holidays. It offers fabulous bush and beach itinerary combinations complemented by a lovely subtropical climate.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park, previously known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, encompasses 5 major ecological zones:
- Marine Ecosystem: Warm sea and coral reefs teaming with fish, whales and dolphins.
- Eastern Shores Ecosystem: Golden beaches flanked by some of the highest vegetated sand dunes in the world, grassy plains and a variety of wetlands.
- Lake St Lucia: Africa's largest natural estuary, populated by hippopotamus, crocodile and water birds.
- Mkuze Swamps: A reed and papyrus wetland.
- Western Shores: Dry savannah and thornveld with rich deposits of fossils and a variety of game species


Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Less than 1 hours drive away is the Hluhluwe/ Umfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest game reserve in Africa. A great diversity of fauna and flora and excellent big 5 game viewing is offered within its 96000 hectares. This park became world renowned for its successful white rhino conservation.

With all this in mind, Makakatana Bay Lodge is in a fine position to offer both a bush and beach experience all in one. Tranquil boat cruises on Lake St Lucia are added value to this lovely property. The small and cosy lodge offers only 6 colourful and spacious luxury suites, each with large windows and terrace doors that open up to private viewing decks. Delicious cuisine is lovingly prepared by their dedicated chef and served at different dining venues depending on the weather: the Boma for bush dinners, the outdoor dining deck and indoor dining room.


Makakatana Bay Lodge Private Suites

The owners, Hugh and Leigh-Ann Morrison are passionate about their lodge and intimately involved with every aspect. The lodge reflects their individuality and personal style. Standards and service are of top quality, with emphasis on guests’ comfort, relaxation and enjoyment of this authentic African experience.


Tea time at Makakatana Bay Lodge

Brought to you by Africa Tamed
Your Southern Africa Travel Specialist!

Check out our fun Escorted Tours , Self Drive Packages and Fly-In Safaris .]]>
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The Motse

Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve , the largest private game reserve in Southern Africa, offers one of the most exceptional luxury travel experiences. Limited to 30 guests at any one time, only 6 game drive vehicles traverse an area of 100 000 hectares. It is a vast, remote, pristine wilderness that show cases some of southern Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife species including desert black rhino, Kalahari black-maned lions, frequent cheetah sightings and rare antelope species such as roan, sable and tsessebe. In the evening, the Kalahari comes alive with more elusive creatures such as aardvark, aardwolf, bat-eared foxes and brown hyena.


The Motse - suite

With two luxury lodges on the reserve, The Motse and Tarkuni, Tswalu Kalahari offers superlative comfort from which guests can experience this spectacular private reserve. Exceptional cuisine with a unique Kalahari flair, consummate hospitality from friendly unobtrusive professional staff, beautifully appointed spacious suites each with their own private decks looking over a frequented waterhole, you could not ask for more! The day’s itinerary is made to suit each client and includes a diverse selection of activities including game drives, walking safaris, horseback safaris, donkey cart rides, tracking rhino, hot air balloon trips and sleeping under the stars. Photographers will find unending possibilities, a walk to an ancient archaeological site will reveal rock engravings create by bushmen up to 380000 years ago, some of the oldest art on earth. The Kalahari has been the ancestral home of the San people, or Bushmen, for thousands of years. Their culture and beliefs are rich and deeply rooted in this land.


Meerkat family

Expert field guides and trackers accompany all of the activities that are offered and each of them personally contributes to research and conservation in the reserve. This shows some of Tswalu Kalahari’s real commitment to conservation. Tswalu Kalahari runs a number of conservation and social upliftment programmes throughout the reserve. The last decade shows much hard work and dedication to restoring the land to its natural state and reintroducing many wildlife species that once roamed the land.


Cheetah

Unlike most African safari lodges, Tswalu Kalahari welcomes children of all ages. This can be the most brilliant and stimulating place for families. An important part of Tswalu Kalahari’s mission is to excite the next generation about their conservation vision. They offer a Junior Ranger Programme and activities include archery (where you will make your own bow and arrow), spoor identification and casting, as well as tracking on foot, which is hugely educational. Every child receives a backpack full of guides and tools which they make use of during the programme. Their children’s menu caters for any individual preferences and their special children’s boma allows them to cook their own bush dinner. Free babysitting is also available around the clock.


Dining out

This remote off-the-beaten-track destination offers a unique authentic experience that is proudly South African, one that I happily recommend to those intrepid travellers seeking a luxury escape.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed

We offer exciting fly-in safaris, escorted tours and self drive packages throughout southern Africa.



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The low-lying outer areas are now known as the townships and in Cape Town particularly, the Cape Flats. A very popular activity for international tourists to South Africa is a guided township tour. The desire to learn how the different communities live, to meet the people and to learn of South Africa’s history is of great interest to them.



As a resident Capetonian from the “other side” of town, I decided it was time I ventured out of the comforts of my home environment into the townships of the Cape Flats. You must understand that this is not a common thing for a white South African to do. The perception of the townships is that they are dangerous, areas where violent crime takes place and where white faces are not welcome. Well, for the most part, this is a huge misperception.



African Eagle Day Tours escorted me on a half-day guided tour, which incorporated a visit to the District Six Museum, Langa and Khayelitsha. The District Six Museum, established in December 1994 (when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa), works with the memories of the communities that used to live in District 6 and with the history of forced removals more generally. This allows a deeper understanding of the people and of the townships you visit on the tour. Langa and Khayelitsha are two of the older townships on the Cape Flats.

Our tour guide, Songs, a wonderful quiet natured Xhosa gentleman who lives in the Langa Township, accompanied us. Songezo, his full name, in Xhosa means late addition, being the last child of his family. Songs introduced us to another side of Cape Town.



An eye-opening stroll through the littered streets laced with the smell of barbequed sheep’s head, had me captivated (the insides a delicacy enjoyed by the locals). Small children decently dressed playing a cheerful, lively game of soccer; colourful, neatly assembled corrugated iron shacks with communal ablution facilities and water points and a mass of loose electrical wires running between homes and electrical points, any electrician’s nightmare! Most of all, what I noticed was the friendliness and welcoming attitude of the people. We attracted many young children who posed eagerly for photographs wanting in return to see themselves in the digital photo. During South Africa’s progression to democracy, the communities have learned to welcome tourists as they realise that tourism is a good form of income for the communities as a whole. African Eagle Day Tours, merged with Grassroute Tours, is a Black Economic Empowerment company that offers informative township tours and cultural experiences in a non-invasive sustainable way, bringing benefits to the communities it visits.



Almost all of the communities of the Cape Flats remain, to one degree or another, poverty stricken. A wide range of community empowerment organisations work non-violently to combat poverty, crime and health problems and the role of civil society in many parts of the area is relatively strong.

Wonderfully creative business developments can be found the in townships. Vicky’s B&B in Khayelitsha, included on the itinerary for the township tour, is a homely colourful engaging overnight stop for travellers from all over the world. This offers the opportunity to live in the townships and really feel the vibe!

Mzoli’s Place in Gugulethu is another great example of a creative business blossoming out the townships. Mzoli’s is actually a butchery but has been expanded to include a pub next door where one can enjoy a couple of cold ones with the locals while feasting on some deliciously braaied (barbequed) meat. Its festive, its lively, its likely to have you partying until late! I was delighted to experience Mzoli’s on the evening that Bafana Bafana played France in the FIFA World Cup Soccer. What a magnificent vibe there was! What cameraderie and passion for South Africa! A truly memorable experience!

Visiting the townships is a wonderful eye opening experience allowing you to more fully and tangibly grasp South Africa and her people. I happily recommend it!

Brought to you by Africa Tamed
Your southern Africa Travel Specialists!

Check out our other fun travel articles on our Travel Blog. ]]>
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Three Tree Hill Lodge Battlefields tour

As we sat there on the top of Spieonkop some 110 years after the battle, Omri, our specialist battlefields guide, had us hanging on every word as the story unfolded. What a mess! What a disaster of a battle! Even for someone that always hated history at school, I was dumbfounded at this story. And a story is what it is. The battlefields of Natal are not only for historians, the British or the Boers. If its told in a story like Omri unfolded for us, it’s a journey that anyone can enjoy.


Three Tree Hill Lodge

Three Tree Hill Lodge offers a wonderful base from which to explore the Anglo-Boer battlefields of Spioenkop and Colenso. Passionately run by owners Simon and Cheryl Blackburn, the lodge exudes a homely, comfortable atmosphere. The spacious dark green corrugated iron chalets give off a British colonial feel from something out the old gold mining days. Beautifully decorated inside with warm colours, the finest linen and lovely colonial furniture, the chalets show the attention to detail. A private wooden deck extends from each chalet overlooking a spectacular view of the Spioenkop Nature Reserve and Spioenkop itself. The peace and silence is breathtaking.


Three Tree Hill Lodge suite

Another great attraction that this area offers is the spectacular, dramatic Drakensberg Mountain range. Within an hour’s drive from Three Tree Hill Lodge is the uKhahlamba National Park (formerly the Royal Natal National Park), Cathedral Peak and the Champagne Valley, all of these offering superb hiking trails and breathtaking views. Take a delicious pack-lunch lovingly prepared for you by the chef at Three Tree Hill and enjoy a days hike.


Drakensberg Mountain range

The cuisine at Three Tree Hill Lodge is simple but wonderfully delicious and wholesome and is served at a large communal wooden table in the dining room or on the patio, allowing you to mix with fellow travellers and chat about the days activities. While staying at Three Tree Hill all meals are included. They also have a large selection of excellent South African wines, which can be enjoyed over dinner.


Three Tree Hill Lodge - dinner on verandah

In my opinion, Three Tree Hill Lodge is well worth a stay offering great value for money, a minimum of 2 nights is recommended and the drive up from Durban is a mere 2hrs 30min.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed
Your southern Africa Travel Specialists!
Allow us to coordinate your next dream holiday. Contact us now . We offer exciting Escorted Tours , Self drive packages and Fly-in Safaris .

To read other fun travel articles go to Africa Tamed Travel Blog ]]>
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Overland campsite at Spitzkoppe

After a tasty breakfast of French toast, hot tea and cereal prepared by your guide, with communal effort, camp is packed up and you board the overland truck to head off to the next exciting destination – Etosha National Park. Many hours are spent travelling on board the overland truck, its kind of part of the overlanding experience. Rough gravel roads, dust, the rattle and shake of the truck, African tunes of “The Best of Johnny Clegg” playing in the background, a competitive card game enjoyed by your fellow travellers, as you watch the African savannah pass by. As you enter Etosha National Park in northern Namibia, the pace slows right down and everyone grabs a window seat to start the game spotting in this popular game reserve. Here your guides experience and knowledge of wildlife is brought to light. If she is worth her salt, she will be interpreting the signs of the bush to you, not only identifying the animal, bird, tree, rock, insect, snake species but giving you some background on their habits and habitats. Being a Field Guide means being able to interpret the African bush and all overland guides are registered field guides.


Overland Truck

Overland Safaris are not for everyone and a clear understand should be obtained before heading out on one. They are adventurous, active and continuously on the move. It’s a wonderful way to experience the major highlights of a few countries. Large distances are covered and you will travel with a relatively large group of people. You will get dirty, some camps don’t have showers and you will need to be prepared to rough it. The tour does not always run to schedule, sometimes a flooding river will stop you in your tracks or your guide will have to test the trucks 4x4 abilities and sometimes get stuck, which then requires your assistance to push. The guides have a great ability to create excellent teamwork within the group and most of the time these safaris are excellent fun!


Overland campsite

Southern and East Africa offer a diverse range of exciting overland safaris aimed at the budget traveller. These range from 7 to 56 days long and can traverse multiple countries. Contact us for more information.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed
Your southern Africa Travel Specialists!
Allow us to coordinate your African Overland Safari. Contact us now .


To read other fun travel articles go to Africa Tamed Travel Blog
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Richard, Simon, Monique and our game drive vehicle

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a very special place for those searching for a remote luxury wilderness experience. Spectacular scenery has one in awe of nature’s beauty. The reserve offers a huge 54 000 hectares of rugged landscape, fascinating geology, unusual vegetation and brilliant, diverse game viewing! It is the closest authentic Big 5 safari experience to Cape Town being approx 3hrs30min drive away. The diversity of game is excellent and I was fortunate to see a large selection during my 2 nights stay. To diverge a little, I shared the game drive vehicle with 2 other clients staying at Sanbona’s Gondwana Lodge. Monique and Simon were a young couple full of fun and laughter who worked on board a cruise liner and were here taking a break from their crazy lives. We experienced a wonderful sighting of a large breeding herd of elephants, we spotted the tawny and rare white lions, we experienced tracking down a cheetah on foot and found her with her 2 young cubs, and we spotted black rhino a number of times. These and many other species kept us enthralled.


Sanbona elephants at sunset

With many years of game ranging experience, Richard showed great passion and enthusiasm towards nature and we were delighted to be the recipients of his excellent knowledge and expertise. I’ve always strongly believed that it’s imperative for a game lodge to have good knowledgeable game rangers because as clients you spend a lot of your valuable holiday time with them. They can make or break your experience. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, as do the other Mantis Collection properties, understands this.


White lions with game drive vehicles

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers a choice of only 3 lodges within this 54 000 hectares, limiting the number of game drive vehicles traversing the reserve and therefore adding to that remote exclusivity it offers. All the lodges in my opinion are wonderful and all offer a completely different experience. Tilney Manor, with only 6 suites, offers privacy and tranquillity with a wonderfully welcoming staff complement seeing to your every need. The huge and beautifully appointed suites offer space and complete luxury and the manor house a touch of history supporting old photographs of the original farm owners. Tilney Manor is the oldest of Sanbona’s lodges with Dwyka Tented Camp and Gondwana Lodge being relatively new additions.


Sanbona vegetation

Gondwana Lodge is the child friendly lodge with 12 suites cleverly appointed to suit families travelling together. It offers a “kids on safari” program allowing the adults of bit of time to relax, unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. The kids on safari program offers a great selection of kids entertainment including a games rooms, an outside play area and documentary DVD’s,

Dwyka Tented Camp is also very luxurious, situated at the base of a fascinating rock cliff where majestic Black Eagles (Verreaux Eagle) nest. Each of their tents is a separate unit with its own private balcony and plunge pool offering complete privacy. Dwyka Tented Camp offers an atmosphere of pioneering adventure and therefore seems to attract guests that appeal to the adventure. Each of the camps is surrounded by an electric fence making it safe to walk around the lodges at any time of the day without an armed escort.


Sunrise drive

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers complimentary transfers to the lodges from the main gate. The drive is approximately 45min to 1 hour and is on a dirt road. The road is very accessible by car, though it can be a bit corrugated and possibly a little too rough for low-lying sports cars. I would recommend the transfer as it adds to the all round hospitable service one gets from Sanbona. This also prevents you from taking the wrong turn and getting yourself lost in 54000 hectares of rough wilderness!

All in all Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers a fabulous experience, one I would gladly recommend.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed
Sanbona is a wonderful addition to a holiday itinerary with Cape Town and the Garden Route or Cape Town and the whales at Hermanus .

We offer exciting Escorted Tours , Self drive packages and Fly-in Safaris.

To read other fun travel articles go to Africa Tamed Travel Blog ]]>
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Sikhululekile docked at Robben Island

The island itself is relatively small at only 570 hectares and was used predominantly as a maximum-security prison for both political prisoners and convicts. In the 19th century it was used as a leper colony. Back in 1892, it was believed that leprosy was contagious and those with leprosy were banished to the island. Today one can see the graveyard of the remaining bodies. During World War 2, the island was fortified and guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town.


Scenic bus tour of Robben Island


Shipwreck on Robben Island with views of Cape Town

All 285 passengers embarked the waiting tour busses to partake in a 45 min scenic tour around the island, each with its own tour guide offering an informative commentary. The busses then pulled up outside the maximum-security prison and we were taken inside on a journey of desperate struggle, of harsh labour and terrible living conditions. (The large group of 300 tourists were again split up into smaller groups). Our guide, Muthe, an ex-political prisoner, described many horrific scenes that he encountered first hand and still remembers vividly today. I could sense an intense anger in him over South Africa’s past, how things used to be, how black people in our country were treated only because of their colour. I wondered if Muthe felt there had been in a change in our country over the last 19 years (since the final release of all the political prisoners in 1991) or since South Africa became a democracy (1994), or did he still hold anger and blame towards South Africa’s apartheid era? Muthe and the other ex-political prisoners, are a product of decades of violent conflict, one that will probably take many years still to change at core level.


Robben Island maximum security prison

Robben Island became a museum in 1997 and a World Heritage Site 1999. Robben Island signifies the “Triumph of Freedom” and although one tends to come away from the 3hr30min tour with a dreadful feeling of desperate struggle having being adversely affected by the horrific stories of our ex-political prisoner tour guide, it tries to reveal the positive change. Sikhululekile, the apt name chosen for the ferry, means, “We are Free” and commemorates the release of all political prisoners. Large blue writing on the sides of the busses called out “Driven by Freedom”. A quote by Ahmed Kathrada, a Robben Island political prisoner (1964 – 1982) is displayed on the island and at the Robben Island Gateway Museum; “We want Robben Island to reflect the triumph of freedom and human dignity over oppression and humiliation”


The release of political prisoners in 1991


Robben Island maximum security prison A section

This year 11 February 2010, South Africa celebrates the 20th anniversary of our much-respected former president, Nelson Mandela’s release from more than 27 years of imprisonment. Nelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990 from the low-security Victor Verster prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, in the Dwars River valley near Paarl, Western Cape. Mandela had been relocated from Robben Island to the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town's southern suburbs in 1984, and a few years later he was moved to a private house within the prison walls of Victor Verster.
The tour is a fascinating journey, one I would recommend to all South Africans, let alone all international tourists. It’s imperative for us to be aware of, and understand, our past and move forward together as a nation.


Robben Island Gateway Museum and clocktower

The Robben Island tour is a weather dependant activity and should Robben Island need to cancel the trip due to high winds, rough seas or rain, you will either be refunded for your ticket or placed on a tour the following day.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed , your Southerm Africa travel specialists!
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Private Walking Safaris South Luangwa National Park

Robin Pope grew up in Zambia and has been guiding private walking safaris through the South Luangwa National Park and surrounds for the last 24years. His knowledge of the African wildlife is unsurpassed and he is known and revered by many as the best wildlife guide in Africa. The unspoilt South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is home to one of the greatest collections of wildlife in the world - including leopard, lion, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo and more than 400 species of birds.


Game Drives in South Luangwa National Park

Robin Pope Safaris not only offers Private Walking Safaris, Photographic Safaris, Birding Safaris and unique special interest safaris such as the Kasanka Bat Safari and the Shoebill Safari, but they also have 3 intimate camps offering a true wilderness luxury experience, situated on the banks of the Luangwa River in South Luangwa National Park. With this combination of top class wildlife guides, impeccable hospitality and delectable cuisine, going on safari with Robin Pope Safaris makes for an unforgettable experience not to be missed! The emphasis is on guests’ comfort, relaxation and enjoyment of an authentic African experience in the Classic tradition.


Sundowners on Mupamadzi River, South Luangwa National Park

Their three luxury camps , Nkwali, Nsefu and Tena Tena, win regular praise in the press with Tena Tena recently being described by The Times of London as "altogether beyond superlatives… one of the best safari camps in the whole of Africa". Robin Pope Safaris and their camps are members of Classic Safari Camps of Africa . Classic Safari Camps of Africa is an association of independent, privately owned camps and lodges in some of the most beautiful wildlife and wilderness areas in East and Southern Africa. Each of these unique establishments offers genuine hospitality and an intimate knowledge of Africa’s natural environment, and is dedicated to conservation and the involvement of local communities sharing and conserving the spirit of Africa.


Tena Tena Camp, South Luangwa National Park

A wonderful travel idea would be to combine private walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park with a canoeing safari in Lower Zambezi National Park, or with cosmopolitan Cape Town in South Africa, known as one of the best cities in the world!

These and more exciting travel ideas brought to you by Africa Tamed Tours and Travel , your southern Africa travel specialists! ]]>
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The Robertson Wine Valley represents more than 50 wineries in the 'Big Five' towns namely Ashton, Bonnievale, Montagu, Mc Gregor and Robertson, among them big cellars (Van Loveren and Graham Beck) and small family owned estates. They all offer free wine tasting and can provide you with informative details on how their wines are made.

The Robertson Wine Valley has blossomed with the growing international media attention over the past couple of years and offers superb quality of life. Exceptional wines, gourmet cuisine, an array of fun outdoor activities and a fantastic selection of accommodation ranging from basic self-catering to 5 star luxury.

Here are a few wonderful things to do during your stay in the Robertson Wine Valley:

Viljoensdrift Wines, River Cruises and picnics
Everyday except some Sundays, departs at 12h00
Cruise is approx 1 hr long.
R40 per adult, R15 per child under 16 yrs
Bookings essential
Viljoensdrift has beautiful well-kept green lawns that are great on which to enjoy a picnic lunch. The Viljoensdrift Deli has a very large and tasty selection of breads, cheeses, olives, sundried tomatoes, humus and other delicatessens. Your picnic should of course be accompanied by the excellent Viljoensdrift wines.

Rafting Route62
A fun day outing on the Breede River paddling downstream enjoying one or two small rapids and a diverse birdlife. It includes a picnic lunch on the banks of the river.
Departs every day min 2 pax, you will raft 12km of Breede River
R350 per adult, R250 under 13years
Including rafts, equipment, picnic lunch and in-trip transport



Montagu Tractor trips
Departs every wed and sat 10h00 and 14h00
R70 per adult, R35 per child under 18 years
A fun adventurous trip for the whole family is this tractor-trailer ride to the top of the Landeberg Mountain to an altitude of 1500m. The views are spectacular of the valleys below, of the rugged mountains and the indigenous fynbos vegetation that is endemic to the Western Cape.



Kolgans River Cruises
A relaxing and fun cruise on the Breede River accompanied by superb Afrikaans folks who will prepare authentic tasty Afrikaans cuisine for you.
Daily for breakfast, lunch and early evening booze cruise

Soekershof
Soekershof is an interactive and whimsical exploration of mazes and gardens in a 10-hectare estate. It offers a place of peace and serenity in one of the world's largest and most unusual mazes and gardens dedicated solely to the preservation, culture and display of cacti and other succulent plants. A guided walkabout portrays the spiritual diversity of South Africa in mazes, a cactus labyrinth and philosophers garden.
Tours depart 11h00
Enjoy the Visitors Centre, which offers creative local arts and crafts
R60 per adult
R40 under 12 yrs



And then, of course, don’t forget the wine tasting! Since there are so many great wine estates to visit and you so often have little time to get to see all of them and taste their wines, still remembering after the 5th glass whose wines in fact you are tasting, I have offered some of my favourites to give you a place to start. They are Viljoensdrift Wine Cellar, Van Louveren, Arabella Estate, Fraai Uitsig, Excelsior, Graham Beck wines and Rooikloof Winery. The best idea actually is to go to the Robertson Tourism Office and collect a detailed map of the Robertson Wine Valley, which not only shows where each and every wine estate is but also many activities and attractions, accommodation establishments, restaurants and coffee shops and more. It’s a wonderfully detailed map.
Tours with a dedicated driver can be arranged should you not want to drink and drive. To add a romantic touch, a horse and carriage can also be arranged.

I think then that you will agree that Robertson Wine Valley is a wonderful add-on to your South Africa travel itinerary. I would recommend at least 2 nights here to soak up some of this superb quality of life.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed Tours and Travel .
Your southern Africa travel specialists!
Designing and coordinating personalised, tailor-made holiday packages throughout southern Africa.

We offer exciting Escorted Tours , Self drive packages and Fly-in Safaris
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African horseback safaris - Delta Dash!

Imagine cantering along through a shallow flood plain next to a herd of giraffe, you watch in amazement their slow motion cantering gait and wonder to yourself, how else would you experience something of this magnitude in this remote wilderness! The close encounters with wildlife you experience from the saddle allow you to feel part of the natural wilderness.


African horseback safaris - Galloping with giraffe

African Horseback Safaris is an award winning horseback safari operator based at Macatoo Camp on the western side of the Okavango Delta. The camp features 7 large, classic African safari style tents, each with twin beds and their own en-suite shower and loo. Centrally there is a large mess tent with sofas, books and games, a terrace from where you enjoy the spectacular sunsets and tucked away, a private pool. Meals are cooked on the open fire and are delightfully tasty. It is here that horse-mad people from all over the world meet to share this magnificent wildlife experience.


African horseback safaris - Listening to the African bush

To be able to join a horseback safari in a Big 5 wilderness area (lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and buffalo territory), you have to be pretty proficient on horseback. You will need to feel confident about keeping up with the group, capable of riding at all paces; rising to the trot and controlling your horse at the canter. You may be required to gallop out of trouble, so beginners will not be allowed to ride. However you are still welcome at the camp if you are not a proficient horse rider. Other game activities are offered to the partners of those horse-mad people.


African horseback safaris - Buffalo ride

Going on safari on horseback means that you will be riding between 4 and 6 hours a day into the wilderness viewing various game species from the back of your horse. A maximum of 7 guests will join a safari. The horses are well trained, sure-footed and fit and you will be matched up with a horse of good size and temperament for you.

Qualified experienced field guides will lead you on horseback through the delta interpreting the intricate language of the African bush, reading tracks and signs left by wildlife and following them for that classic close up sighting. The guides have many years experience of living in the bush and when something goes bump in the night, its always nice to know they are nearby to save you.

Macatoo Camp is a remote wilderness camp within the Okavango Delta and getting there can only be done by light aircraft flight from Maun or Kasane. Combining this safari camp with a few nights at the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe allows for a wonderfully varied itinerary.

Images copyright to African Horseback Safaris

Brought to you by Africa Tamed Tours and Travel
We offer exciting Escorted Tours , Self drive packages and Fly-in Safaris

Related article: On Safari in Botswana ]]>
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Africa has something special to offer even the most discerning traveler. It welcomes you with open arms, climbs into your heart and never lets go. It will have you returning to her again and again each time leaving you with unforgettable memories.

Personalized safaris in southern Africa are incredible rewarding experiences. Contacting a local tour operator and asking them to put together an African safari to suit you I believe is the best way to travel. Have a safari designed according to your budget, the number of days or nights that you have and including activities on the itinerary that suit your style of holiday, whether it be active and adventurous or passive and pampered, whether it be staying in luxurious 5 star lodges or comfortable tented bushcamps. The more detail that you can supply to the specialized tour operator the more personalized your safari becomes.



Budget is a very important aspect of a personalized safari as there is a huge range of different experiences available to you at differing price ranges. Lets take for example a one night stay at one of my most favourite 5 star game lodges in the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park. It offers ultimate luxury, consummate hospitality, delectable cuisine and some of the best game viewing experiences in Africa. Londolozi Private Game Reserve’s Tree Camp goes for R8950 per person per night all-inclusive (valid 2010). This includes all meals, teas/ coffees, local house wines, beers, soft drinks, twice daily game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles, guided bush walks and laundry.
Then take another example of a game lodge situated in northern Sabi Sand Game Reserve called Arathusa Safari Lodge, which offers great value for money, wonderful homely service, tasty food and excellent game viewing. This goes at R2400 per person per night all-inclusive (including all meals, teas/coffees, twice daily game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles and guided bush walks). A considerable difference in price wouldn’t you say?



Most of us avid travelers may only find the time and money to travel once a year, maybe only once every three years. So make the next one a memorable one! Make it a personalized safari to southern Africa.

Brought to you by Africa Tamed Tours and Travel

Check out our all-inclusive vacation packages or allow us to design and coordinate a personalized tailor made safari just for you.
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Samara Private Game Reserve - Eland herd

I was lucky to be invited to come and stay at this exclusive game reserve and experience this spectacular part of our country. Samara Private Game Reserve offers a wilderness experience where time stands still, inviting you to pause, breathe and reflect. It offers a charm that washes over you slowly and then steals your heart and before you know it, you’re so comfortably at home that you don’t want to leave. The exceptional service offered by the staff who go the extra mile to ensure your comfort is refreshing. To give you an example of the things they do: after a chilly and wet afternoon game drive we returned to our room to be welcomed by a hot, candle-lit bath immersed in bubbles.

Samara has won many awards over the last couple of years, the latest being “One of The 15 greatest safari experiences in Africa” Voted Harper’s Bazaar, March 2008.
Samara offers 2 superb 5 star luxury lodges. The décor is a tasteful fusion of traditional Karoo style and modern African influences. Surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of mountains, the lodges sit in perfect serenity with the reserve’s pristine wilderness.


Samara Private Game Reserve - Manor House

The lodges are booked on a fully inclusive basis, including all meals, selected drinks and the game activities in the reserve, namely: Early morning and late afternoon game drives, with the evening drive ending in a spot lit search for the elusive nocturnal Aardvark. Guided bush walks and visits to sites of historical and paleontological interest are also offered. Professional, local rangers guide all the activities. Guests are welcome to choose not to join an activity and rather relax at the lodge and take advantage of the luxury spa facilities instead.


Samara Private Game Reserve - Michael, our ranger

Your ranger will take you across vast open plains where you will discover large herds of Eland, Black Wildebeest, Oryx, Zebra and Springbok. Samara’s unique commitment to conservation and the rehabilitation of this land offers guests sightings of some of South Africa’s most endangered and elusive species, including Cheetah, Cape Mountain Zebra, Black Wildebeest, White Rhino, Blue Crane and Aardvark. One of the game drives will include a challenging 4x4 drive to the top of the plateau for that awe-inspiring view over the Camdeboo Plains. A cup of welcoming hot filter coffee prepared by your guide accompanied with a delicious cake of some sort from the Karoo Kitchen, rounds off this wonderful experience.


Samara Private Game Reserve - Plains of Camdeboo

Privileged to be home to the highly endangered Cheetah, Samara also hosts a remarkable individual. Born a wild cheetah, Sibella’s life nearly ended at the hands of hunters. After being savagely treated in captivity, she was fortunate enough to be rescued and underwent life-saving surgery and rehabilitation at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust. In December 2003, Sibella started a new chapter in her life when she, along with two males, was released into Samara Private Game Reserve. Despite suffering the occasional twinge from her previous injuries, Sibella has proved herself to be a capable hunter and has successfully reared 18 cubs in the time she has been at Samara. As such, she epitomizes the spirit of Samara as she plays a vital role in the rejuvenation of a once endangered existence. This exceptional cat has now contributed to 2% of the wild cheetah population in South Africa. Some of the cheetah on Samara are collared and constantly monitored. Your guide can therefore offer you a cheetah tracking experience and if successful can allow you the opportunity of a close up sighting of this beautiful animal.


Samara Private Game Reserve - Cheetah mom and cubs

There are a number of quality game reserves in South Africa that offer a superb Big 5 game experience (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino) such as Shamwari Game Reserve or Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Samara is not one of these. It’s important to understand this before you arrive. Samara offers peace and tranquility in a spectacular wilderness environment accompanied by luxurious comfort, delectable cuisine and consummate hospitality.

Brought to you by
Africa Tamed Tours and Travel
Your Southern Africa Travel Specialists!

Check out our exciting All-inclusive Vacation Packages !
]]>
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View over the mist covered plains from Long Lee Manor

After a pleasant 4-hour journey by road from George we arrived at the large, solid entrance gate to Shamwari Game Reserve. The friendly gate guard welcomed us in and directed us to our lodge where we would stay for the next 2 nights. We pulled up at the front door of Long Lee Manor, friendly faces, hot damp hand towels and refreshing welcome drinks greeted us. Efficiently and with a smile we were assisted to our rooms, our car and luggage taken care of and the daily programme discussed with us.


Baby elephant at Shamwari

Long Lee Manor, the largest of 7 lodges at Shamwari, with 18 suites, offers guests a distinctive colonial experience, it’s restored Edwardian Manor House dating back to 1910. Gracious and stylish, it offers refined comfort, congenial service and enticing cuisine. It is situated on a hill overlooking wide-open plains where wildlife grazes unhurriedly under the African sun.


Rhino mom and calf at Shamwari

So you may ask what happens at a game lodge? Well, they’re mostly booked on an all-inclusive basis and will run a daily programme, which will include 2 open 4x4 vehicle game drives per day each of approximately 3 hours long and accompanied by a professional experienced game ranger. The game drives take place at dusk and dawn, which are the best times to view game. It’s when they are most active. The game ranger is trained to interpret the African bush to you, discussing everything from trees and plants, to bird life, the Big 5 game species to the smallest of creatures, star gazing and rock and soil types. You see how much time in one day you spend with your game ranger, minimum 6 hours. It is therefore imperative that game lodges choose their rangers carefully, rangers that are qualified and experienced as well as knowing how to communicate their passion – the African bush. Shamwari certainly understands the importance and their rangers are excellent. This of course offers the guests much more depth to their game lodge experience.


Shamwari Game Drives

Ever dreamed of following in David Attenborough’s footsteps? Well, now you can. SAFARICAM offers wildlife enthusiasts the once in a lifetime opportunity to star in their own documentary at Shamwari Game Reserve. Shamwari allows you to explore this untamed African landscape with interactive game drives in a private 4x4 land rover with your own personal ranger and professional cameraperson. So whilst you’re enjoying your ultimate safari adventure in the wild terrain, the crew will capture your encounters and special memories on film making you a star in your own wildlife documentary. The film footage will then be edited into a 30– 40 minute broadcast quality DVD with high quality music and graphics. It’s the ultimate Safari souvenir that will last a lifetime. You get to experience this unique offering at the additional cost ranging from £950 for a one-to-two night stay at Shamwari, and a separate cost of £200 per additional night stay.

Shamwari Game Reserve has won numerous awards including the World’s Leading Conservation Company and Game Reserve for many consecutive years. One of the big conservation projects was opening the two Born Free Animal Rescue and Environmental Education Centres. Here you will find African big cats getting a second chance at life. All of the animals were rescued from horrific conditions all over the world and are now living in large bush enclosures in their African sanctuary. The latest exciting news is that three leopards from Limassol Zoo, Cyprus, have been relocated to their new home at the Jean Byrd Centre, one of the Born Free Foundation’s sanctuaries in Shamwari Game Reserve. The female leopard named Leda and her two daughters, Roxanne and Rhea, which were previously kept in cramped conditions at the Limassol Zoo are now residing in a 1,25 hectare natural bush enclosure at the centre.


Cheetah at Shamwari

Born Free’s founder Virginia McKenna commented on this relocation, “We are privileged to be deeply involved with the Born Free Foundation at Shamwari and with this specific successful leopard release. Such events reinforce our underlying philosophy of responsible and ecologically sensitive tourism. We aim to make the public more aware, to make them understand the fine balance between humanity, animals and the environment.”

Shamwari truly offers a well-rounded experience, each of its luxurious lodges presenting a different character, world class spa facilities are available at some of the lodges, and there are even lodges specifically catering for families with young children.


Me and my folks

Our 2 nights in lavish luxury passed too quickly and we were back on the road to our next destination – Samara Private Game Reserve (next edition). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would easily recommend Shamwari Game Reserve for your African wildlife experience.

Your Southern Africa Travel Specialists!
Africa Tamed Tours and Travel

Check out our exciting all-inclusive Vacation Packages !

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You may ask what South Africa’s highlights are and maybe the first thoughts that jump to mind are Cape Town and the Kruger National Park. Well, can I take this opportunity to tantalize your taste buds?

Cape Town and Kruger National Park are the biggest selling destinations in South Africa, but wow, there is so much more to explore in this beautiful country! Let me divulge on its “must see and do’s”.

Cape Town, Western Cape Province
Just recently been voted “ the 3rd Best City in the World ” by US Travel and Leisure Magazine 2008. Cape Town offers a huge diversity of things to do including culture activities and theatre shows, great shopping, casino entertainment, outdoor adventures and scenic nature tours, historic tours, wine tasting, beer tasting and brandy tasting. You will find a number of things here to keep you entertained. She’s beautiful, she’s vibrant and she’ll leave you with lasting memories.

Cape Winelands, Western Cape Province
The Cape Winelands refers to the beautiful wine growing area stretching from Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch all the way over the Hottentots Holland mountain range to Montague and Robertson showcasing over 200 different wine estates. These world-class estates offer wine tasting and some offer cellar tours providing a fascinating insight to the winemaking industry. The scenery is magical with dramatic mountain backdrops and endless vineyards that change colours with the changing seasons.

Hermanus, Western Cape Province
Known as the best land based whale-watching destination in the world, Hermanus is visited by Southern Right Whales between May and December every year. Moving north from the cold Antarctic, attracted by the warmer waters along the South African coastline and the calm waters of the protected bays, they come to mate and calve. The most spectacular close up sightings of these gentle giants can be seen from the rocky coastline or from a licensed chartered boat offering exhilarating boat-based whale watching. Witness them skyhopping, lobtailing or breaching, typical actions that when seen close up leave you breathless. September month seems to attract the majority of numbers and this is also when you can experience the colourful Hermanus Whale Festival, festivities celebrating the return of the whales.

Garden Route, Western Cape Province
The coastal area stretching from Mossel Bay to Tsitsikamma is known as the Garden Route . A beautiful area made up of rugged rocky coastline, long white sandy beaches, fairytale evergreen forests, protected endemic fynbos vegetation and botanically rich lakes and estuaries. The popular coastal towns of George, Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay attract a huge number of tourists every year who come for the temperate climate, natural beauty and numerous outdoor activities.

Game Reserves of the Eastern Cape Province
Africa is well known for its exciting wildlife but also for its malaria. The Eastern Cape offers excellent Big 5 game viewing in a malaria free zone, a big draw card, especially for families travelling together with young kids.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park, Kwazulu Natal Province
Listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty. Covering about 240,000ha, with a further 84,000ha in, on or under the sea, this is a large chunk of sub-tropical paradise stretching 220km along the East Coast from St Lucia to the Mozambique border. As well as a mind-blowing range of natural systems, ranging from dune, swamp and coastal forests to rocky and sandy shores, coral reefs and submarine canyons, mangroves, savanna grassland and the largest protected wetland in southern Africa, it is a culturally fascinating area and has immense fun potential. Game drives, bird watching, hippo and crocodile cruises, cultural tours, fishing, canoeing, scuba diving, snorkelling and whale watching are some of the activities that can be enjoyed.

Kruger National Park, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Province
World renowned as an exceptional wildlife destination, Kruger National Park is approximately 2 million hectares in size and is South Africa’s largest game reserve. Unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga Province
The Sabi Sand Reserve is the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in Southern Africa, and is the oldest of all the private reserves in South Africa. It has only ever been a wilderness area and is home to a vast wildlife population, including The Big Five, and a number of endangered species too. Flanking the Kruger National Park, animals pass unhindered between the reserves. This is where you will find some of the oldest and well-known private game reserves such as Londolozi, Mala Mala and Singita offering their exclusive luxury lodges and the authentic all-inclusive African safari experience.

Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng Province
The Cradle of Humankind Site covers 47 000 hectares of land, mostly privately owned and is made up of 12 dolomitic limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids. The dolomite in which the caves formed, started out as coral reefs growing in a warm shallow sea about 2.3 billion years ago. The Maropeng Visitors Centre , an internationally acclaimed tourist attraction, highlights, by means of interactive, visually stunning exhibits, the universal relevance of the Cradle of Humankind as our ancestral home. A fascinating display and a definite “must see”.

Soweto, Gauteng Province
Soweto - melting pot of South African urban culture, rich with the history of the struggle against apartheid. Soweto is the most populous black urban residential area in South Africa with a population count of close to 900 000. The name Soweto is an acronym for South Western Townships, a cluster of townships sprawling across a vast area 20km south west of Johannesburg. Soweto is best visited accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will not only give a real sense of its history but help you understand its ongoing evolution. A tour to Soweto would normally include the Mandela Museum, where Madiba once lived; a stop at the Hector Pieterson Memorial; a drive down Vilakazi Street, the only street in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize winners (Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu); Freedom Square, where the ANC's Freedom Charter was proclaimed to thousands in 1956; and the Regina Mundi Church, the "Parliament of Soweto", where the bullet-marked walls are witness to ex-security-police brutality.

These suggestions offer a basic insight to South Africa’s ability to “wow” her visitors but there are many more hidden gems under her veil. The “off the beaten track” areas are sometimes even more spectacular so be sure to investigate these. Also combining a visit to a neighbouring country like Botswana, Namibia or Mozambique adds great value as well. So is South Africa a great travel destination? I believe you will find it absolute fabulous!

SOUTH AFRICA, TURNING HEADS!



Allow us to create and coordinate an awe-inspiring, memorable African adventure for you.

Africa Tamed Tours and Travel
Your Southern Africa Travel Specialists!

Designing and coordinating Luxury Vacation Packages for the discerning traveller.]]>
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Cape Town, South Africa

· 3rd Best City In The World - US Travel And Leisure July 2008
· Best City In Africa & Middle East - US Travel And Leisure July 2008
· 4th Top City In The World – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
· Best City In Africa & Middle East – Conde Nast Readers’ Choice October 2008
· 3rd Best City In The Top 10 World Food Cities - Lonely Planet Blue List 2008
· Best Destination, Africa - World Travel Awards May 2008
· Best City To Live In, Africa & Middle East - Mercer Quality Of Living Survey 2008
· One Of The “Places Of A Lifetime” – National Geographic Traveler, July 2008
· One Of The World’s Most Sustainable Cities - Ethisphere Institute, Sept 2008
· Boulder’s Beach: World’s Best Family Beach - UK Telegraph March 2007
· Cleanest City In SA - DEAT Annual Cleanest Metro Awards March 2007
· #1 Uk Long Haul Destination - UK Trends And Spends Survey 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
· One Of The World’s 5 Bluest Sky Destinations - Expedia.co.uk July 2006
· Favourite Foreign City - UK Telegraph 2004, 2005
· Ideal Travel Destination - Markinor-Sunday Times Top Brands Survey 2005
· Africa’s Leading Destination - World Travel Awards 2008
· Best Tourism Investor City of the Year - AI Tourism Investor Awards 2009


Cape Town, Table Mountain

Cape Town offers a diverse menu for everyone: from extreme outdoor adventure activities to the quiet indoors, from budget backpacker accommodation to ultimate 6 star luxury, from cultural to theatrical entertainment and vast gastronomic experiences accompanied by some of the best wines in the world. Cape Town is a destination that for a traveller requires an absolute minimum of 3 nights stay to be able to grasp its diversity.

Cape Town is a popular venue for many international sports events such as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Race (109km road race), Two Oceans Marathon (56km), the start of the ABSA Cape Epic Mountain Bike Challenge (800km over 8 days with approx 16 000m of climbing!) and the start of the biannual Cape to Rio Yacht Race. Cape Town hosted the 2005 Rugby World Cup and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. Cape Town is also host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place from 11 June to 11 July 2010. South Africans in general are great sport enthusiasts and Capetonians certainly play their part in this role.

Generally Capetonians are known by the locals of other South African cities to be very laid back and easy going. Compared to the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg for instance where life is upbeat, fast and social, things happen in order and on time. Well, mostly, we need to keep in mind that this is Africa after all! All in all, South Africans are known to be very friendly and welcome travellers from all over the world.


Local kids

Cape Town is an excellent gateway to the rest of southern Africa and a visit here can be combined with world-renowned wildlife safari destinations such as Sabi Sands Game Reserve west of the Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the malaria free Eastern Cape game reserves. Amongst other travel options to combine with Cape Town, is a desert wilderness experience in Namibia or a luxury tropical beach experience in Mozambique.


African wild dog pups

Having travelled extensively all over southern, east and north Africa and abroad (mostly Europe) I made my home in Cape Town. A home in a city I am very proud of and don’t intend leaving at any cost at this stage of my life.

Motto: Living and Loving Cape Town

Come and visit and see for yourself…

Happy travels,

Cheers
Claire

Africa Tamed Tours and Travel
Your Southern Africa Travel Specialists!
Designing and coordinating Luxury Vacation Packages for the discerning traveller.
We offer exciting Escorted Tours , Self drive packages and Fly-in Safaris

Check out all the activities that are available to you during your stay in Cape Town: 35 Exciting Things to do in Cape Town and Surrounds

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Namibia Escarpment

Experiencing a harsh arid desert is not for everyone, but for me the experience was overwhelmingly beautiful. The peace and solitude reconnected me with nature, the abundance of space, the eerie stillness reminded me of the infinity of life in the universe. The contrasting colours of the landscape allow incredible photographic opportunities. The deep blue mostly cloudless skies, rugged brown lunar landscape sparsely dotted with unusual desert-like plant species, massive ever-changing earthy-orange sand dunes sculpted by winds of time. You will return home with a different perspective of life. This landscape leaves you with a feeling of peace and tranquillity.


Namibia escarpment

As my intention here is to enlighten you on a true Namibian wilderness experience, I would like to channel your attention to the far northwestern corner of Namibia to a remote luxury wilderness camp situated right on the banks of the perennial Kunene River. The Wilderness Safaris camp, Serra Cafema is a premier camp offering you a true desert experience in the lap of luxury. A relatively small camp accommodating a maximum of 16 guests in beautiful chalets raised on wooden platforms made of thatch, canvass and wood blending into their natural surroundings. Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa and getting there is best via light aircraft from Windhoek unless you have a couple of days to spare, a 4x4 and an adventurous spirit.


Serra Cafema - luxury chalet


Serra Cafema - main living area overlooking Kunene River

Once you arrive at Serra Cafema camp after a 45min drive from the airstrip, you are pampered by gracious, most caring, happy, bubbly staff that add to the experience of this remote camp. All meals deliciously prepared are included as are the activities such as nature drives in the Hartmann’s Valley in open Land Rovers, boating trips on the Kunene River, nature walks in the valleys and visits to the working Himba village should the nomadic people be in the area. Professional, experienced field guides accompany you on these activities. One of the highlights is a guided quad biking excursion that allows you to experience the untouched desert wilderness areas. The emphasis here is on providing information to you on the surrounding environment, on the endemic fauna and flora that blend so harmoniously into their environment and on a life of sustainable living within this balanced ecosystem.


Serra Cafema - quad biking excursion


Serra Cafema Camp is leased from the 300 000-hectare Marienfluss Conservancy, which is comprised primarily of local Himba people, one of the last semi-nomadic peoples on earth. Numbering approximately 12 000 individuals, the Himba live an isolated existence that has allowed them to preserve their culturally rich lifestyle.

Himba girl with crafts

Like all Wilderness Safaris camps, Serra Cafema really embraces unity amongst the local people, including those found on the Angolan side. The Himba community visited not only benefits in terms of direct employment but are also being supplied with staple foods like maize meal from the camp. This lifestyle, so different from many others', is fascinating to visitors and it is important, when meeting the Himba, to maintain the delicate balance necessary to be able to share this insight without impacting negatively on the people and their customs. Wilderness Safaris' Serra Cafema and Skeleton Coast Camp are both situated within Himba territory, and have approached the Himba people with respect, creating a positive relationship between the camps and the community.

An all year round destination, Namibia’s weather creates a variety of fascinating moods. Namibia receives the majority of its rain in February with an average of 25 to 30 ml/a. The rains bring with it the most incredible transformation of stark desert into lush green grasslands and colourful flowers that last only a couple of weeks and then return to hibernation until the next year.

Namibia has become a popular destination for its fly-in safaris and combining a couple of days on a desert wilderness experience with a big 5 authentic game viewing destination such as Kruger National Park in South Africa, would contribute to a very exciting African adventure.

Happy travels until next time.

Cheers
Claire

Africa Tamed Tours and Travel
Your Southern Africa Travel Specialist!
Designing and coordinating Luxury Vacation Packages for the discerning traveller.

Check out our recommended Luxury Vacation Packages !



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