• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

North Tanzania During the Short Rains

Posted on:
Posted by:

Kirsty Saunders

 

This must be one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa with the wildebeest/zebra migration in the Serengeti being one of the star attractions. Visiting North Tanzania during the short rains around November means you can experience all this amazing region has to offer without having to share it with a crowd of other people. This can only enhance the experience. The trick here is selecting a camp site that is remote, wild, still very Africa but with all the amenities that you need with excellent service and guiding as standard.

If you are willing to take the chance of going during the short rainy season, then you will improve the quality of your safari. Yes, you may experience an African thunderstorm (dramatic, noisy and spectacular but usually over within the hour) but the experience has benefits. Seeing the plains and trees turn green, then having all the wild flowers coming out and seeing the baby topi’s and impala add something in the way of a big extra.

We also know a company that will ensure that your campsite is exclusive, in a special location and far from the other travellers you may have seen during the day. Their aim is to give you such a good experience that you will start planning your return before too long. They will look after you from the moment you land to the time you depart – in style.

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North Tanzania During the Short Rains

This must be one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa with the wildebeest/zebra migration in the Serengeti being one of the star attractions. Visiting North Tanzania during the short rains around November means you can experience all this amazing region has to offer without having to share it with a crowd of other people. This can only enhance the experience. The trick here is selecting a camp site that is remote, wild, still very Africa but with all the amenities that you need with excellent service and guiding as standard.

If you are willing to take the chance of going during the short rainy season, then you will improve the quality of your safari. Yes, you may experience an African thunderstorm (dramatic, noisy and spectacular but usually over within the hour) but the experience has benefits. Seeing the plains and trees turn green, then having all the wild flowers coming out and seeing the baby topi’s and impala add something in the way of a big extra.

We also know a company that will ensure that your campsite is exclusive, in a special location and far from the other travellers you may have seen during the day. Their aim is to give you such a good experience that you will start planning your return before too long. They will look after you from the moment you land to the time you depart – in style.

The following is a suggested itinerary for your safari in the short rainy season to Northern Tanzania:

 

Day 1: Arusha/ Kilimanjaro Airport

Day 2: Tarangire

Day 6: Central Serengeti

Day 9: North Serengeti

Day 13: Return to Arusha – depart

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Description

 

Day 1 – Arusha/ Kilimanjaro Airport

Currently there are no direct flights to Kilimanjaro Airport but there are plenty of choices for indirect flights at very reasonable prices. Depending on the time that you arrive you could head for your first camp or stay overnight in or around Arusha. There is plenty of choice for the overnight from 5 star luxury to staying on a coffee farm.

Consider adding a day here to explore the little visited but a jewel of a National Park – Mount Meru National Park with its perfect caldera offering a sanctuary to its wildlife on the floor of the volcano and beautiful rain forests throughout the Park.

 

Day 2 to 5 – Tarangire

After breakfast you head towards Tarangire National Park along good tarmac roads before turning off to a private concession that exists along the border of the Park. Tarangire is famed for its giant Baobab trees and big herds of buffalo and elephant. You camp is located along the dry riverbed and is just 10 tents in all. The waterhole right in front of the pool and dining room is very popular with the local wildlife, particularly elephant. You could be sipping your G&T by the pool watching the eli’s jostling for their drink.

We suggest 2 or 3 nights here to explore the Park and see the wildlife that lives in the Concession. The swamp in the Tarangire is a mecca for birders and huge herds of buffalo and elephant. Being on a Concession allows you to take a walking safari of a night drive. Then snuggle up in your warm bed to the sound of lion and/or hyena calling.

 

 

Day 6 – 9 – Central Serengeti

If you have time you could add in a couple of nights staying in a camp or lodge on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and having a full day down in the crater. This is a world of its own and has all the big 5 here to see as well as flamingo on the lake at certain times of the year.

You have the option of driving to the Serengeti perhaps stopping at the Olduvai Gorge to learn about our very earliest ancestors or catching a 45 minutes flight to Seronera Airstrip where your next guide will pick you up. You are in the centre of this huge National Park (30,000 square kilometres or a quarter of the size of England) and well placed to follow the ever going migration of wildebeest and zebra. This migration is one of the largest in the world and is governed by the rain fall and water availability in the Serengeti and Masai Mara in Kenya.

Your game drive starts immediately you leave the airstrip and if the migration is in the central area (very likely at this time of year) you will see huge herds of zebra, wildebeest and the other plains animals. Along with them come the predators – lion, cheetah, hyena, leopard and all the attendant birds such as vultures and scavengers like jackal. Where we recommend staying is in a hidden valley with no passing traffic, apart from the animals, and peace and quiet for the perfect sundowner, delightful meals and sleep only interrupted by lion roars and hyena calls. It really is worth planning this part of your trip carefully. Having passing vehicles in front of your campsite takes a lot away from the experience.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

While here, plan a balloon trip at dawn for an experience of a lifetime. The captains of the balloons are very experienced and will give you varying height chances to photo the plains, kopjes and animals. Finish with a champagne breakfast under an acacia tree on the plains that you have just flown over. Exhilarating and unforgettable.

 

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

Day 9 – 12 – North Serengeti

Have a game drive to the northern part of the Park and notice the change between savanna and lightly forested hills. Here the Grumeti and Mara rivers dissect the Serengeti here and at the right time of the year you could witness the famous river crossings by the migrating herds. The rivers are full of hippo and crocs and you can see why the animals hesitate to be the first to jump into the murky water. This region has everything to offer with leopard often seen resting on the rocks, waiting for darkness.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ellis

Your camp site here is tucked into the rocks of one of the kopjes that dot the plains here and give stunning views across the plains and acacia forests. The service, meals and ambience are second to none. A great place to end your safari.

 

 

 

Day 13

This morning you will fly back to Arusha and make your connection for the return flight home.

 

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Little Gems

Sitting quietly on the Serengeti Plains watching a cheetah, sitting on an anthill, surveying the herds close by and deciding whether to hunt or not. Just the sounds of the wildlife and birds as your backdrop to a scene that is eons old.

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Rhythms of The South

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Atlanta is a city of gleaming skyscrapers, the home of Coca Cola and a shopping Mecca to equal New York! Nashville is home not only to country music but also to a much broader spectrum of music for everyone. New Orleans is a strange mixture of Jazz, Creole and Cajun food.  Memphis is a city of music with the famous Beale Street of entertainment with its bars where budding musicians play.

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Rhythms of the South

Welcome to America’s South – an old world of sophistication with a modern touch, a land of warmth and romance, of food, music and much more.

Day 1 – UK to Atlanta

Day 4 – Atlanta to Chattanooga

Day 5 – Chattanooga to Nashville

Day 8 – Nashville to Memphis

Day 10 – Memphis to Greenwood

Day 11 – Greenwood to Vicksburg

Day 12 – Vicksburg to Natchez

Day 14 – Natchez to New Orleans

Day 17 – New Orleans to UK or Delta Queen.

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Description

Day 1 – UK to Atlanta

Fly to Atlanta. Visit the Coca Cola Museum, CNN News, the Martin Luther King Museum and shop!

Three nights Atlanta

 

Day 4 – Atlanta to Chattanooga

Drive through Red Top Mountain State Park to the river side town of Chattanooga, made famous by Glen Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo.

One night Chattanooga

 

Day 5 – Chattanooga to Nashville

Drive to Nashville home to the famous Grand Ole Opry where the radio regularly transmits live music to the 52 States. Visit one of the many honky-tonk bars where budding musicians try to make their names.

Three nights Nashville

 

Day 8 – Nashville to Memphis

Drive to Memphis where Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others recorded at the Sun Studios. For Elvis fans, a visit to Graceland is a ‘must do’. Visit the famous Peabody Hotel where the ducks parade twice a day.

Two nights Memphis

 

Day 10 – Memphis to Greenwood

Drive South through Mississippi to Greenwood. Stop off en route at the Delta Blues Museum at Clarksdale.

One night Greenwood

 

Day 11 – Greenwood to Vicksburg

Discover rural Mississippi, which will lead you to Vicksburg. Visit the vast Military Park or the Old Court House Museum.

One night Vicksburg

 

Day 12 – Vicksburg to Natchez

Take the Natchez Trace Parkway to the delightful little town of Natchez where you will see sprawling plantations, majestic townhouses, colourful gardens and riverboats that float along the Mississippi.

Two nights Natchez

 

Day 14 – Natchez to New Orleans

Continue to New Orleans – famous for riverboats, jazz and Creole cuisine. Take a stroll through the French Quarter.  Ride the famed streetcars and because the city is below sea level, no visit is complete without the cemetery tour!

Three nights New Orleans

 

Day 17 – New Orleans to UK or Delta Queen.

Delta Queen Steam Boat Company

The famous steamboats of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company offer some of the finest cruises along the Mississippi on the unique paddle steamers that ply the waterways of the USA.

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Picture courtesy of Yvonne Dann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Gems

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Ontario in Summer

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Posted by:

Avatar

 

Known for the cosmopolitan city of Toronto and stunning Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada has far more to offer as this itinerary demonstrates:

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Ontario in Summer

Day 1: Arrive Toronto
Day 4: Kingston
Day 6: Ottawa
Day 8: Huntsville
Day 12: Blue Mountain Resort
Day 14: Depart Toronto
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This is just one idea for a 2 week self drive holiday around the beautiful Province of Ontario in Canada. This can be adapted to suit your exact requirements and links well to its neighbour Quebec province. Ontario also has a good rail network and some of this holiday can be achieved by rail. Call us for more ideas

Day 1: Arrive Toronto
Fine shops, rivalling those of New York, and fantastic restaurants await. Spend time on Toronto’s waterfront, take a leisurely boat cruise and visit the many sights that this vibrant city has to offer, climb the CN tower and brave the ‘Edge Walk’… Take a day tour to see the magnificent Niagara Falls and include a boat trip on the famous ‘Maid of the Mist.
Three nights Toronto
As an alternative, why not pick up you hire car a day earlier, drive to the Falls, then spend a night in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Day 4: Kingston
Collect a hire car and drive west to historical Kingston. Meander along the waterfront admiring Kingston’s architecture and explore the 1000 islands on a boat tour. Drive, walk or cycle the beautiful 1000 Islands Parkway.
Two nights Kingston

Day 6: Ottawa
Drive northwards to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Watch the familiar sight of the ‘Changing of the Guards Ceremony’ outside the Parliament Buildings and walk or cycle along the banks of the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Visit Byward Market, a centre for fashion, music, art and tourist sights.
Two nights Ottawa

Day 8: Huntsville
Head west to the Muskoka Lakes region, an area full of wonderful lakes and fantastic scenery. Take scenic drives and explore Algonquin Provincial Park, a wilderness park and home to wildlife such as the illusive Moose.
Four nights Huntsville

You may consider adding in a true wilderness adventure here with opportunities for canoeing and hiking – camp or stay in a log cabin in the heart of Algonquin

Day 12: Blue Mountain Resort
Drive south to Blue Mountain Resort. A ski resort during the winter months, in the summer the resort offers a wide range of activities including mountain biking, hiking and tennis. Or take a short drive down to the resort’s own private beach on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay – relax on the sandy beach or paddle along the peaceful shoreline.
Two nights Blue Mountain Resort

Day 14: Depart Toronto
Drive back to Toronto where you will drop off you hire car in time to check in for your return or onward travel arrangements.
Photographs courtesy of Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership

Maid of the Mist - Credit as Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Credit Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Dorset

Credit Ontario Tourism

IslBG

Credit G Briand

Algonquin Provincal Park

Credit Ontario Tourism

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Little Gems

Niagara on the Lake is a step away from the cosmopolitan life of the town at Niagara Falls.  You’ll need a car to reach it as it is not on the public transport network, but as a base to explore the falls, it is superb.
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‘I was not sure what to expect from Niagara Falls – a magnificent natural feature, or a huge commercialised resort.  Whilst the commercialised resort is there, it does not detract from the beauty and magnificence of the Falls themselves.  We got totally soaked on our boat trip, but it was worth it!’
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