• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Relocating New RV’s in the USA and Canada

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Vicki Tester

 

Every year Cruise America and Cruise Canada offer one way trips in their brand new RV’s and at reduced prices to clients. This allows them to move their new stock to the locations that they are needed in for the summer while allowing clients a chance to cross these two countries at a fair price. It is early in the year – typically April and May and the weather cannot be guaranteed.

However it is a great way to travel and at a quiet time of the year! Peter has done this 3 times over the past years and would recommend taking advantage of the offer. However, there are limited numbers of vehicles and they go on a first come first booked basis.

Please contact us if you like the idea of freewheeling across either country and would like more information.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis
Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia’s Caprivi Strip

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Vicki Tester

 

There is another side to Namibia which is greener, with wide rivers running through it and giant trees fringing the banks. This is home to about 70% of Namibia’s population and a fruitful land that supports both the people and its diverse bird and wildlife. This itinerary is a self drive one but could just as easily be a fly in or guided tour option. It also lends itself to combining with a visit to the Victoria Falls.

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Caprivi Strip

 

Day 1:              Okonjima

Day 2:              Rundu

Day 3:              Mahango

Day 6:              Mudumu/Lianshulu

Day 8:              Katimo Mulilo

Day 9:              River Cruise

Day 11:             Victoria Falls or Windhoek

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Description

 

This itinerary captures some of the iconic but less visited attractions of Northern Namibia. All along the river the giant trees and fast flowing waters attract a host of wildlife and birds. It is also home to 70% on Namibia’s population giving you the chance to meet and learn about the culture of Namibians.

 

Day 1

Pick up your vehicle and drive due north to Okonjima, the home of the Africat Foundation and a farm that has now become a leading animal conservation point in Namibia. Join in one of the activities that are on offer here, such as leopard tracking, learning about Africat or a night drive.

1 night Okonjima

Day 2

A long drive as you head due north until you reach Rundu which on the Kavango River and the border with Angola. Your stay will be overlooking the river and a cruise will bring the first of the crocodiles that you see. Local fishermen will be out with their nets and the different sized kingfishers coursing up and down the waters. Being on the river at sundown is a magical way to end the day.

You are now in a birder’s paradise with about 450 species found here.

1 night at Gondwana Hakusembe River Lodge

 Day 3

Today’s journey is a relatively short one but very different from other drives in Namibia in that you will pass through many villages, well tended fields and see so many more people. Ensure that you have a picnic lunch at the Popa Falls which is more of a cascade than falls but just as interesting. The shade from the big riverside trees will be welcome. Your destination is a lodge based on the river in or close to Mahango Game Park.

Explore this Park both by boat from the lodge or in a vehicle to make the most of your time here. Pods of hippo will be in the river close to the lodge and you could have otters rummaging about outside your room. Explore Bwabwata National Park (formerly Buffalo Park) which is not easy to find but well worth the effort. Good numbers of elephant and buffalo are found here as well as herds of roan and sable antelope. This area was the Special Forces area of the Apartheid regime and you come across deserted buildings and very overgrown cemeteries.

3 nights at Lianshulu Lodge

Day 6

Cross over the narrow Caprivi Game Park that is sandwiched between Zambia and Botswana watching out for game along the way. Your next stop is at the other end of the Strip in Mudumu National Park which has the Kwando River as its border. Again your stay will be besides the river and with a bigger Park to explore, the chance of seeing plenty of the same kind of game. Mudumu does also have sitatunga antelope living in the marsh areas. Take time to visit Nkasa Lupala National Park which has the feel of the Okavango Delta to it with oxbow lakes, channels, reed beds and islands particularly in the flood season.

2 nights at Camp Kwando

Day 8

Drive to Katima Mulilo and have a final night in the Caprivi Strip in one of the lodges along the river.

1 night at Caprivi Mutoya Lodge

Day 9

Drop off your vehicle at the airport and catch a flight to Victoria Falls, You have the option of either the Zambian side of the Falls or the Zimbabwe side. The latter has the biggest and most scenic portion of the Falls although the Devil’s Pool and Livingstone Island are on the Zambian side. The choice is down to what you want to see and do here. For those that like an adrenalin rush then the Zim side offers white water rafting (at certain times of the year), bungee jumping and a host of other such attractions. Both offer wild life experiences and perhaps finish your river odyssey with a night or two on a river boat cruising.

2 nights on the Zambezi Queen or Hotel at Victoria Falls

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Namibia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Gems

Quietly following a pair of otters as they forage through the river banks and islands of the river. Hearing them whistling to each other and their excited cries when they find something to eat is fascinating. Then having to give way to a male hippo as we encroached upon his territory and he objected with a charge through the water.

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Namibia Deserts

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A bespoke itinerary providing the opportunity to explore four totally different deserts in one country.

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Namibia Deserts

An itinerary providing the opportunity to explore four totally different deserts in one country.

Day 1: Kalahari
Day 3: Nama Karoo
Day 6: Succulent Karoo
Day 8: Namib Desert
Day 11: Windhoek
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Description

Day 1: Kalahari
From Windhoek, collect a hire car and head south. You will soon start to see the wildlife of Namibia with warthog, baboon and possibly kudu near the road. You will notice how well maintained the roads are and how empty they are in comparison to what we are used to. Some 250 kms from Windhoek will bring you to the Kalahari, your first desert. Here the dunes are in wave formation and some stretch 250 kms. The tops are bare red sand with the sides and troughs having grass and trees growing up them. Between the dunes, grassland supports a wide variety of wildlife and birds. Stay here for two nights at least to give you time to recover from your flight and to explore the surrounding desert. An evening sundowner drive is a must.
Two nights Kalahari

Day 3: Nama Karoo
The next part of the journey is a drive of 4 to 5 hours; you may find that the first half is a little monotonous but the bird life along the roadside is interesting. The scenery becomes more and more dramatic the nearer you get to the Fish River Canyon, with boulder strewn mountains and vast vistas. A stop to see the Quiver tree Forest and the Giants Playground is a rewarding detour and an ideal place for lunch. You may expect to see zebra, springbok and oryx.  The Canyon looks at its best in the morning sunlight. We would suggest two to three nights in this area; available activities include horse riding, sundowner drives, walking trails and scenic flights.

For the intrepid there is the chance to join a trek in the canyons leading to the Fish River Canyon and time down in the main Canyon. Camp out for 2 nights with your guide cooking you meals and mules to carry the heavy stuff. Truly getting away from modern life.
Three nights Fish River Canyon area

Day 6: Succulent Karoo
The next desert on this itinerary is one of the top 20 most important biomes in the world. The flora is rare and worth having an expert along to explain how it all interacts. With a backdrop of massive granite mountains and sweeping desert plains this is a land of far horizons. Added to the usual desert wildlife there are also the Namib Desert Horses to be sought out. Their ancestors made their break for freedom from the armies of the First World War and they have flourished ever since.
Two nights in Succulent Karoo

Day 8: Namib Desert
The fourth and final desert is famous for its red dunes and it is not long before you will see the first of these in your drive north. This is a wonderful scenic drive, which will tempt you to stop and take photos along the way.  There is plenty to do and see here; Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, Sesriem Canyon – this is a photographer’s paradise, with the early morning being the best time to visit. Almost all the Lodges offer game drives and sundowners and you could see decent size herds of springbok and if really lucky, cheetah. Balloon over the dunes, quad bike or just simply relax.
Three nights Namib Desert

Day 11: Begin your return to Windhoek or onward
Head back towards Windhoek and your flight home (we would suggest a night or two as you wend your way back) or explore the Namib Desert even further by making your way to Swakopmund and the sea.

Fish River Canyon      Africa, Namibia. © 2004 Jan Jepsen / NTB

Peter - our Namibia expert      star dunes namib desert

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Little Gems

Early morning in the Namib desert is a very special time.  The park gates open at dawn and you need to be the first in to get those all important sunrise shots of Dune 45 and of course to enjoy sunrise with your breakfast picnic. Pick up your entrance ticket the night before.
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The Lighthouse Route of Nova Scotia, Canada

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Vicki Tester

 

Region: Atlantic Canada

 

Come and celebrate the timeless romance of the sea, in the stunning scenery of Atlantic Canada. The Lighthouse Route journeys through an unforgettable landscape of coastal beauty and historic charm that has captured the hearts and minds of travellers for generations. Imagine the landscape as it was when Champlain and de Monts first arrived here four centuries ago. Follow shoreline roads past rugged, wave-carved headlands and tranquil, island-studded bays. Discover historic towns and weathered fishing villages where legends of the sea come alive and the rhythm of life moves in harmony with the tides.

The Lighthouse Route follows Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where the past is a part of everyday life. You’ll find it along quiet country roads where ox teams still haul lumber, and coastal villages where fishermen still row wooden dories out to sea. Explore towns like Liverpool, with its privateer legends, and Lunenburg, where a working blacksmith still plies his trade amidst the beautifully preserved buildings of the old town district. And yes, they do have lighthouses, over twenty of them, from the dramatic beauty of the famous lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove to Yarmouth’s towering Cape Forchu light.

This is a wonderful self drive destination, with B&B and small hotels along the way to make your journey special. The owners of these places will be more than happy to suggest places to visit locally and where to enjoy the local produce. Summer is the key time to go but late spring and early autumn are also well worth considering.

Call or email us for more information on tailor made holidays to Canada: Tel: 01323 446550 or Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Shelburne on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Lunenburg waterfront on Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

Picture courtesy of Nova Scotia Tourism Culture and Heritage

Country: Australia

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Australia – Tailor made holidays and adventure travel

Variety, variety, variety… in terrain, weather and experiences – that is Australia and here a destination that truly offers something for everyone. Cosmopolitan cities with world-class culture, shopping, cuisine and wines, Outback adventure, Tropical Rain Forests, Unesco World Heritage sites, Coral Reef’s … the list goes on and on.

Sit back and enjoy a coach tour, or experience one of the world’s great train journeys – the legendary Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, or the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney across the Nullabor Desert.

Self-drive by car or camper/motorhome giving you complete flexibility and freedom or venture off the beaten track with a 4WD. Whether this is your first exploration, or a return visit, Australia has so much to offer. Explore with us each State in turn. Fit a bit of each into your itinerary, or given the time, see each region properly – click into each for further guidance.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney

Credit Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country: USA

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From the crystal glaciers in Alaska, to the mighty Colorado River as it carves its way through the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Bryce Canyon. From untouched Oregon to New England in the Fall. From the rugged coastline of Maine to the beautiful Carolinas and Virginia. Combine these with a city break to Boston, New York, San Francisco, or Las Vegas.

The biggest, the deepest, and the most colourful — Holidays in America and Alaska will capture your imagination, your sense of adventure, the cowboy in you, the retail therapist, the photographer. We can create that special holiday in America you’ve only dreamed possible.

 

USA & Alaska holidays stars and stripes flag

Credit Peter Ellis

 

USA & Alaska Holidays Mount Rushmore

Credit Peter Ellis

 

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

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Vicki Tester

 

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

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Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

There are two key routes to choose between – the Coastal Drive and the Heritage Drive. In description, we have suggested an itinerary for the Coastal Drive.

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Description

Day 1: Sydney

With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights Sydney

Day 4: Wollongong

Take the stunning Grand Pacific Drive down the coast today. Starting south of Sydney at the entrance of the Royal National Park, this drive passes through picturesque seaside villages, coastal rainforests and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. With plenty of un-crowded beaches, a relaxed café culture and a plethora of activities on offer, Wollongong is a great place to stop along the way.

Two nights Wollongong 

Day 6: Jervis Bay

The Grand Pacific Drive continues south, through Shell harbour and Kiama before ending in Shoalhaven. Continue on to Jervis Bay – this is a beautiful marine park with stunning white sand beaches. Dolphin watching cruises are popular here, and you may be lucky enough to see migrating humpback and southern right whales (June/July and September to November).

Two nights Jervis Bay 

Day 8: Narooma

Continue down the coast to Narooma – from here explore Bateman’s Marine Park, or visit the Montague Island Nature Reserve and view the wildlife there – shearwaters, little penguins and fur seals.

One night Narooma

Day 9: Mallacoota

Crossing into Victoria today, for an overnight stay in the pretty coastal town of Mallacoota. Explore Croajingolong National Park and the many walking trails in the region. Gypsy Point is well worth a visit – a beautiful peninsula home to plenty of kangaroos.

One night Mallacoota 

Day 10: Lakes Entrance

Continue along the coast to Lakes Entrance. This is located on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach, where the Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean. Boating is a key activity of the area – take a cruise on the lakes, or enjoy some of the amazing fresh seafood that this region is known for. Explore the quaint seaside village of Metung and try your hand at fishing.

Two nights Lakes Entrance

Day 12: Wilsons Promontory

Drive towards Wilsons Promontory today. This park is a haven for native wildlife and has a plethora of walking trails. It’s the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria, and is home to kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and emus amongst others.

Two nights Wilsons Prom 

Day 14: Phillip Island

Drive on to Phillip Island today. Here, see the little penguins as they come ashore at dusk, or explore some of the islands many cycle and walking trails. Phillip Island is also home to fur seals at certain times of the year, as well as koalas.

One night Phillip Island

Day 15: Melbourne

Complete the drive to Melbourne today. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 18: Depart Melbourne

Depart Melbourne today, for the onward or homeward journey.

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

 Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks - Tourism Australia

Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks – Tourism Australia

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah - Tourism Australia

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah – Tourism Australia

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg - Tourism Australia

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg – Tourism Australia

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz - Tourism Australia

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz – Tourism Australia

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

Australia's Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby - Tourism Australia

Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby – Tourism Australia

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst - Tourism Australia

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst – Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

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Little Gems

Why not experience the exhilaration of a helicopter flight.  See Sydney’s most famous landmarks bathed in the glow of the setting sun above the glistening waters of Maroubra Beach and tracking north over the water at 500 feet for approximately  25 min.

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Hiring a Houseboat while in Western Canada

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Vicki Tester

 

One of the favourite holidays that are booked through Experience Holidays has to be a trip around Western Canada.  Some of our clients go back time after time.  It is a wonderful self drive destination giving you a great mixture of culture, wildlife, amazing scenery, hospitable people and easy driving.

Why not take a break on your journey and have a few days on a houseboat on the beautiful ShuswapLake, North Okanagan. About half way between Calgary and Vancouver it lends itself to taking a break with a difference. With sun drenched beaches, waterfalls and the comfort of home from home on the houseboat. You beach the craft where you fancy and step ashore to explore, go swimming or try your hand at fishing. Click here for info website.

For those wanting more energetic pursuits you can hire mountain bikes, water ski or even play a round of golf.

A wonderful way to take a break in the middle of your bespoke, tailor made tour. 

For the full details call us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Tourism BC

Picture courtesy of Tourism BC

The Texas State Fair: A Must Experience For Autumnal Travellers to the USA

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Thinking about heading to Texas in autumn 2016? Whether you are planning on embarking on tailor made holidays starting in Amarillo and ending in Las Vegas or Santa Monico, if you are heading in the direction of Texas in autumn 2016, it’s more than worth experiencing the Texas State Fair.

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

Held annually every year since 1886, the Texas state fair starts on the last Friday in September in Dallas, and runs on right through for a full show stopping 24 days. Until that is, even the locals have started to get weary of eating deep fried Oreos while taking in the sights, sounds and aromatic scents of the fair, from the vantage of the fair’s own dedicated gondola ride.

Of course, stereotypical USA overindulgence isn’t something which is going to be on everyone’s holiday bucket list of potential travel itineraries. However, the Texas State Fair is the most highly anticipated of state fairs in America. Even better, the fair represents a once a year opportunity to sample almost every facet of American culture.

From professional American football, to car shows, amusement park rides, rodeo events and world class entertainment line ups, the Texas State fair allows people to experience America in all its pomp and flamboyancy, just without having to visit everywhere in America to do so.

The best part? With our self drive tailor made holidays, you will have the flexibility to visit the Texas State Fair for as little or as long as you like. Moreover, if following route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, adapting travel itineraries slightly in order to sample the State Fair can make for a truly spectacular build up to finally heading further north ready for your once in a lifetime grand canyon experience.           

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