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    Cruising on a cargo ship might seem unusual if not absurd. But travellers do tag along for the ride on working vessels that frequently are transporting cargo and stopping at sometimes mundane ports.

    Mundane might not sell cruises, but that word also could suggest an absence of gaudy tourism. Exotic, unspoiled attractions sometimes exist a short distance from an ordinary port city, and freighter cruise passengers generally have more time at a port for exploration.

    So for the more adventuresome travellers among us, freighter cruises provide opportunities the vast majority of cruise passengers never experience.

    ‘One of the most remote inhabited islands in the world’

    St Helena is one of the world’s last “undiscovered” destinations. The island is 2 000 kilometres from Africa, the nearest landmass, and boasts a spectacular variety of landscapes and vistas.

    With between 400 and 502 endemic species, and impressive marine biodiversity, it is on the United Kingdom’s list for possible future UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

    The clear and unpolluted waters around St Helena provide ample opportunities for divers of all abilities, and the island’s seafaring history ensures there’s plenty to explore…

    Once there you will find hiking trails that cut through multi-hued volcanic hills; historic stone fortifications perched high over churning seas; Napoleon’s estate and tomb; huge whale sharks in gin-clear water; and, of course, that spectacular diving where ancient wrecks and reefs abound.


    • Cape Town to St Helena
    • A British outpost in the South Atlantic
    • Steeped in history
    • Dramatic coastal scenery and enchanted landscapes
    • A unique way of life

    Day 1-5:

    Board the RMS in Cape Town and sail to St Helena. Enjoy the on board activities, learn about the early explorers who came to the island in much the same fashion as you are doing today.

    Day 6-13:

    Explore this stunning island, so full of natural beauty, wonderfully friendly people and an abundance of activities to enjoy. Visit the Napoleonic sites of Briars Pavilion, Longwood House and Napoleon’s Tomb and walk on pastures once occupied by prisoners of war during the Boer Wars. Meet Jonathan the tortoise, possibly the oldest tortoise in the world, enjoying life amongst the magnificent gardens of Plantation House, the Governor’s official residence. Of course, no visit to St Helena would be complete without taking in some of the magnificent coastal and inland walks, which can be guided if you prefer. Botanical and Endemic Plant and Fauna Tours are available locally and the St Helena Conservation Group and National Trust arrange guided walks throughout the year.

    Take a leisurely tour in the island’s only Charabanc, a highlight of which is a stop at the top of Jacob’s ladder with tremendous views across Jamestown.  Whilst in Jamestown, a visit to the museum is highly recommended. Here you can see the history of Britain’s second oldest colony laid out before you, including issues of the current day that are helping to shape the future of the island. For those wishing to be more independent, cars can be rented and we suggest that reservations should be made prior to arrival on the island.

    Day 14-18:

    Leave the island for the return journey to Cape Town.

    Day 19:

    Arrive in Cape Town. Tour ends.

    Did you know?

    Until now, the remote tropical British territory of St Helena has only been accessible by ship. The advent of commercial flights has reduced journey times from days to mere hours.  Today you can experience an extraordinary tale of history, nature and culture, in a place of unique character and unspoilt beauty.

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    Cycle Malawi is working to promote cycling tourism as positive force for responsible travel in Malawi. They provide different cycle tours from race events, charity challenges to custom-designed interactive cycling tours to support community development projects in partnership with local communities, NGOs and tour operators in Malawi.

    Embark on leisurely five days mountain biking on a light route passing the scenic landscapes of Malawi’s southern mountain forestry, wildlife wilderness and crystal lakeside waters. From exploring the winding trails of Zomba’s Plateau. Visit the dramatic wildlife contrasts of wet grassy marshlands Liwonde National Park and up pass along the shire rivers tributaries into the clear Cape Maclear’s gateway to Lake Malawi’s pristine and deserted islands.

    DAY 1
    Through the breath-taking abundance of natural waterfalls, idyllic reservoirs and green pines head north from the foothills of Zomba Plateau descend to a peaceful night’s sleep under moonlight skies. Towering pines illuminating and casting shadows across the age old trees and historical old architecture. Enjoy a delicious chef cooked menu, leisurely game of darts and rejuvenate over a drink underneath the starlight Plateau.

    • Transfer from Blantyre to Zomba
    • Bicycle collection and preparations
    • Accommodate for the night at Pakachere Backpackers
    • Cycle Zomba Plateau with a half day or full day guided tour (Afternoon / Morning)

    DAY 2
    After breakfast depart north and cycle north for a medium 65.7km trekking across the valleys leading into the beginning of the shire river. Passing peaceful countryside and backgrounds of distant highlands that dip and create beautiful stretches of ridges and sweeping views across the horizon. Crossing into a vast plain at the tip of Liwonde N.P

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours for 65.7km to Bushman’s Baobab
    • Wildlife game viewing cycling the banks of the shire river
    • Accommodate for the night in a luxury tent surrounded by tranquil river wildlife

    DAY 3
    Cycle further northwards into Liwonde National Park. A beautiful 560km stretch of abundant games plain etched with wildlife sightings of hippos’ and crocodiles co-existing within the bordering river marshlands. Elephants, black rhino , antelope, lions and leopards. Not forgetting the fascinating birdlife and home to Pel’s Fishing owl just one of the many wonderful birds to keep yours peeled out for.

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours for 50.1km to Mvuu Lodge/Camp
    • Boat safari and game drive included/cycle through wildlife trail’
    • En-suite tented decks overlooking the Shire river

    DAY 4
    Disembark after a mesmerising sunset of marsh and silhouettes of the wild. Set your cycle to a new contrasting landscape as you make way following the river to the eastern shores of Lake Malawi, overlooking a distant giant wall of mountains on the northern shore of the lake. A blanket of clear blue unveils its gracefully setting the sky a wondrous purple orange just before dawn.

    • Cycle 4-6 hours for 82km to The Makokola Retreat,
    • Rejuvenate and re-energise with non-motorised sports, spa and lake side pool views
    • Secluded beach rooms just a few steps from the lake

    DAY 5
    Onward to where the parting of the eastern shores converges to Cape Maclear, your gateway to Lake Malawi’s National Park. Here pristine & deserted islands lie between an oasis of water sporting adventure activities, fisherman boats and serene shoreline lodges. Uncover a haven tucked away beneath the extended valleys and tropical heat reaching across the bay and dip into the coastal water of Mumbo island after a short ferry across the freshwater lake.

    • Cycle 3- 5 hours to Cape Maclear Kaya Africa & transfer by boat to Mumbo Island
    • Enjoy water sports such as kayaking , snorkelling & and cycle around the island
    • Overnight on a island remotely located 2 hours ashore

    DAY 6
    Return by boat to Cape Maclear dusting of the sand from your bicycle and shoes. Time permitted enjoy a cycle through the picturesque village and narrow streets of Cape Maclear, grab a gin until your final return transfer to your departing flight or further travel arrangements.

    • Depart by boat from mumbo island 06h00 – 06h30
    • Transfer from Cape Maclear to Blantyre
    • Bicycle drop off and luggage collection (if any)

    Total distance cycled: approx. 248KM
    Level of difficulty: Light – Medium
    Suitable time: May – November

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    Experience the breath-taking beauty of the Serengeti National Park on a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon flight. At dawn, rise as the sun greets the day and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. At other times you will probably ascend to 1000′ or more to see the vast magnificence and spectacular panorama of the Serengeti. At intervals the pilot will put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is a tranquil silence apart from the natural sounds below.

    A Serengeti balloon safari is an extraordinary opportunity to relish a bird’s eye-view of the phenomenal sweeping plains below. Tiny little dots rove across the diverse landscape and as you get closer you are spectator to the most magnificent view of dramatically striped black and white zebra, sashaying enormous grey elephants meandering to a waterhole, wiry warthogs foraging in the grassy scrub and subtle swishes of puffed golden tails reveal lions lolling under shady trees.

    Gently bob through the air and your eye darts to every possible corner, euphoric on adrenalin this stunning approach to absorbing the home of the wild things is truly an overwhelming experience, where very little can hide from you here.

    Sleep in the boughs of an ancient forest, camp on the Serengeti plains, bathe in rose petals at the Ngorongoro Crater and relax on a private island.

    Your journey at a glance
    Indulge in the drama of East Africa’s most beautiful landscapes, from the romance of classical safari to the wonder of breath-taking landscapes and the barefoot luxury of a private island. At Lake Manyara you will share a cosy tree house in the heart of a scenic landscape, where lions lounge in the forks of trees and pink flamingo wade near the lakeshore.
    Enjoy a taste of adventure combined with the ultimate luxury on the open plains of the Serengeti, where Persian carpets and fully sized beds are separated from the African night by only a thin sheet of canvas and the light of lanterns sparkles on silver and crystal as your private feast is served in the open air.

    Transfer to Lake Manyara Day 1
    Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by your transfer team who will assist you to your scheduled flight to Manyara Airstrip. On arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by a representative from Lake Manyara Tree Lodge for your first game drive to the lodge.

    Overnight in Lake Manyara Day 1-3
    Spend two nights at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Accommodation is in an elegant, stilted treehouse, which is cradled in the boughs of mahogany trees. Your room is built of timber and makuti (palm fronds) and has a spacious sitting area, viewing deck and a lovely ensuite bathroom.

    Find tree-climbing lions Day 2
    Game drives from Lake Manyara Tree Lodge explore areas of the park that cannot be reached by day visitors and are undisturbed by others. Each morning and afternoon set off in the company of your guide and tracker in an open 4×4 safari vehicle with a canvas canopy. Together you will explore the diverse habitats of the park, stopping on the lakeshore to admire the different bird species and look for pink flamingo. You will traverse a mosaic of acacia woodlands, grassy floodplains and tall forest in search of wildlife, including Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions and family herds of elephant.

    Bicycle ride through Mayoka village Day 2 - afternoon
    Guests at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge can enjoy a scenic guided bike ride through the Mayoka community. Drive to Mayoka to collect your bicycle and begin. Cycle through this bustling village and interact with the friendly people, including the nomadic Mang’ati tribe, adorned with traditional animal skin cloaks, skirts and colourful beads. A picturesque bike ride brings you to the lakeshore, where you can admire bright pink flocks of flamingos. If the birds are close enough, put on some gumboots and walk out to observe and photograph them. All proceeds go directly to the Mayoka community.

    Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Day 3
    Enjoy an early morning breakfast before a safari vehicle drive back to the Manyara airstrip, where you will be met by a representative from Ngorongoro Crater Lodge who will drive you to the lodge.

    Overnight in Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Day 3 - 5
    The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, within the Serengeti, is home to more than 30 000 protected animals. It is an area of spectacular beauty and excellent game viewing, a truly unique safari destination in Africa. The Ngorongoro Crater, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 metre deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. Fresh springs and a large soda lake quench the thirst of all the inhabitants. Black rhino are protected within its rim, giant tusked elephants wander the forests, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands, and flamingos crowd the soda lakes.

    Spend two nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Accommodation is in a suite with ensuite bathroom with bath and shower.

    Dine in an ancient volcano Day 4
    Indulge in a gourmet feast served in one of the most unique settings in Africa. Descend into the scenic landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy the incredible density of wildlife before making your way to a private picnic spot on the Crater floor. Tables set with snowy tablecloths and sparkling silver cutlery are laden with the most delectable of dishes. An army of butler’s spring into action to attend to your every wish as you indulge in a mouth-watering meal served against the backdrop of groups of zebra strolling along the Crater floor.

    Transfer to your flight to the Serengeti Day 5
    Tuck into a sensational breakfast feast before your drive back to the Manyara airstrip for your scheduled flight to Serengeti Under Canvas.

    Overnight in the Serengeti Day 5 - 8
    Spend three nights at Under Canvas in an ensuite tent. Your stay includes accommodation, meals, scheduled activities, laundry, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and return airstrip transfers.

    Float above the Serengeti Day 6
    Experience the breath-taking beauty of the Serengeti National Park on a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon flight. At dawn, rise as the sun greets the day and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. At other times you will probably ascend to 1000m or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.

    Get front row seats to the Great Migration Day 7
    Game drives are tailored to suit your preference, with a choice between shorter, twice-daily drives or one full-day game drive, with a stop for a picnic lunch. The game drives are carefully planned to anticipate the progress of the Great Migration, so you should not have to travel too far to see the vast herds. However, if the Migration has moved off, or the dramatic river crossings are in progress, you may choose to spend more time on the vehicle in order to maximise your chances of seeing this incredible phenomenon. When the Migration herds are not within easy reach, the properties are perfectly situated in some of the most remote and beautiful corners of the Serengeti, with game drives setting off in search of the exceptional resident game. Game drives are conducted in the Serengeti National Park, so off-roading and night drives are not permitted.

    Flight to Zanzibar Day 8
    Depart by road to the Airstrip, where you will board your scheduled flight to Zanzibar Airport.

    Transfer to Mnemba Island Day 8
    On arrival in Zanzibar you will be met by a representative who will assist with your road transfer to the crossing point for Mnemba Island. Here you will be met by a boat for your transfer to Mnemba Island Lodge.

    Overnight on &Beyond Mnemba Island Day 8 – 11
    Spend three nights at Mnemba Island Lodge in a Banda. Your stay includes accommodation, meals, soft drinks, house wines, local beer, local brand spirits, snorkelling, kayaking, salt water fly-fishing, windsurfing and scuba diving (guests must provide proof that they hold a valid diving certificate, alternatively diving courses are available at an additional cost.

    Immerse yourself in a world beneath Day 9

    Zanzibar boasts a variety of pristine coral reefs, particularly off Unguja Island, the main island of Zanzibar, as well as Pemba Island and Mnemba Atoll. Boasting calm waters and a wide variety of colourful marine species, these are some of the top dive sites in the world. Keen divers will find diving off Zanzibar an absolutely breath-taking experience, with some of the healthiest reefs in the Indian Ocean. An average water temperature of 26ºC / 79º and visibility of 30 to 40 metres / 100 to 130 feet, as well as truly staggering range of marine wildlife, make this an unforgettable diving destination.

    Paddle along the beach Day 10 - morning
    Explore the warm Indian Ocean waves in utter tranquillity in a deep sea kayak built for two. Ask one of Mnemba’s Dive Instructors for a quick tutorial session or set off with your partner on the quiet waters protected by the island’s surrounding reefs. Paddle along the beach to admire the changing features of the shoreline or head out into deeper waters in the hope of encountering a pod of dolphin or some sea turtles.

    Reawaken your soul and relax your body Day 10 - afternoon
    Seize the wonderful opportunity to rejuvenate and heal in true African style. Embrace wide ranging wellness and spiritually awakening activities that draw inspiration from the breath-taking scenery of this unique and colourful island.

    Delight in massages and wellness treatments by professional masseurs and therapists from East Africa, Thailand, Bali, and India. Be sure to try traditional cures and reflexologies, as well as an island inspired henna tattoo.

    In addition to wonderful wellness treatments, indulge in a spiritual based activity from India. Channel your energy and increase your self-awareness with a yoga class placed against the background of a clear ocean. Classes are plentiful and can be accommodated to fit all levels of experiences and preferred styles.

    Transfer from Mnemba Island to Zanzibar Airport Day
    Depart by boat to the crossing point, where a member of the &Beyond team will meet and transfer you to Zanzibar International Airport for your flight to Dar es Salaam Domestic Airport. On arrival at the Domestic Terminal of Dar es Salaam International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to the International Terminal for your outbound flight.

    Rates:    11 Days, 10 Nights  From USD 10 365 per person sharing.

    Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you with a comprehensive itinerary

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    You’ve travelled all the way to Africa, to see the amazing nature and abundance of wildlife so why not make it that much more special by going on a hot air balloon ride in some of the most picturesque places on the planet? Here are some of our favourite places in Africa to have this incredible experience.



    Hot air balloon adventures in Sossusvlei promise a most memorable and truly romantic way to experience Namibia’s brilliant vista. This soul-satisfying journey offers excellent photographic opportunities and lifelong memories.

    Awaken before dawn and set out in the early morning moonlight to a designated launch site, where you can watch excitedly as the balloons are brought to life. Giant, hot bursts of flame slowly inflate the brightly coloured nylon, strung to robust baskets that rest on their side. As the sun’s first rays peek over the scarlet sand dunes, the hot air balloon drifts slowly upward, revealing the undulating landscapes of Sossusvlei.

    This sensory experience will let you see the world from a true bird’s-eye view as you sniff the cool, fresh air, feel the wind caress your hair, touch the warm pockets of air created by gusts of flame overhead and taste the champagne victory upon landing, a longstanding tradition among balloon pilots. As you float amongst the clouds, the sun rises dramatically over the horizon, throwing hues of gold and rose across the vast sky. Marvel at the wide expanse of sand dunes that seemingly never end.

    Watch as mighty herds of gemsbok shrink in size below you and spot the enigmatic fairy circles, which stand out as indented circular patches devoid of vegetation and are an intriguing phenomenon of the Namib Desert. These mysterious rings have been the subject of many theories that include, dragons, gods, and UFOs.

    The balloon soars at varying heights and gradually rotates with the morning breeze, constantly giving you a new perspective of the desert. Many animals gaze up at the neon ball in surprise and curiosity as it passes overhead. The seasoned pilot will eventually select the perfect landing spot, just in time for a grand celebratory bubbly breakfast, where you can recap the morning’s bucket list moment as you savour a delicious morning meal.


    Take a breather from your hectic schedule and reconnect with yourself and with nature at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

    Surrounded by the mountains and sand dunes of the Namib Desert, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is an escape to the world as it should be. Sheer silence, total tranquillity and romantic luxury. From stargazing to intimate picnics in the desert, this is an extraordinary desert wilderness.

    Nestled deep in the heart of Namibia’s ancient Namib Desert in Southern Africa, the lodge is a secluded and serene oasis that overlooks awe-inspiring dunes and stony outcrops. A world of vast spaces, endless horizons and rugged mountain heights, the utter tranquillity and extraordinary clarity of light make this area one of Africa’s most compelling landscapes.
    In this spectacularly beautiful location, spacious and serene suites envelope guests in pure indulgence, complete with an outdoor shower and a dramatic skylight over the bed for late night star gazing.

    If you’re up for something more active, quad biking adventures, hikes and walks will let you explore the surrounding scenery and satisfy your sense of adventure.

    Why we love it

    • Unforgettable dune dining, guided nature walks and hiking trails
    • Scenic Nature drives in open 4 x 4 safari vehicles, 4-wheel all terrain motorbike excursions and San rock paintings
    • Excursions to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon in closed air conditioned vehicles
    • Stargazing at a sophisticated observatory, accompanied by a resident astronomer, early morning hot air ballooning and scenic flights
    • Perfect for honeymooners, couples, photographers and families

    Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you with a comprehensive itinerary

  • Lake Jozini, Home of Shayamanzi Houseboats
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    Lake Jozini, Home of Shayamanzi Houseboats
    Experience the only Game Viewing and Tiger Fishing Houseboats in South Africa on one of its largest dams, Lake Jozini. Situated on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, 3.5 hrs drive from King Shaka International Airport. On-board the Shayamanzi Houseboats you will experience a unique combination of luxurious and wonderfully staffed accommodation, whilst enjoying the calm serenity of the open Lake Jozini waters.

    Enjoy soaking up the stunning scenery of the Lebombo Mountains and superb wildlife of the Pongola Game Reserve on the shores of the lake, plus the exceptional and safe Game Viewing in the heart of the Zululand bushveld with the chance to participate in the thrill of Tiger Fishing.

    On board the Shayamanzi houseboat there are 6 luxury cabins, each sleeping 2 passengers, which are en-suite with shower, basin and toilet. The cabins are large and airy with large sliding window doors as your boundary to the water. There are another 4 comfortable en-suite pontoon cabins on the lowest deck with port sized viewing windows. These cabins have a double bed and a small sitting area, which is convertible for additional bedding for young children.

    A Shayamanzi Houseboats cruise begins from the spectacular Jozini Tiger Lodge which is situated along the banks of the picturesque Jozini dam near Pongola. Situated in the heart of the ‘Kingdom of the Zulu’ with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty, Lake Jozini is an exciting holiday destination offers a perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature.

    Typical Routes
    Day 1: Tiger Lodge to Hippo Bay.
    Day 2: Hippo Bay to Nkwazi Bay.
    Day 3: Nkwazi Bay to Tiger Lodge.

    The Game Reserves surrounding Lake Jozini host many animal species which can be seen in herds from Shayamanzi’s decks: White and Black Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Common Reedbuck, Red Duiker, Grey Duiker, Waterbuck, Steenbuck, Suni Antelope, Black Backed Jackal, Hyena, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Cerval Cat, Warthog, Bushpig, Banded Mongoose, Legavaan, Terrapin and the occasional sighting of Leopard which roam the slopes of the Lebombo Mountain Range. The muddy plains and reed banks provide excellent breeding grounds for the waterbirds which can be seen in thousands – Whistling Duck, Yellowbilled Storks, Spurwing and Egyptian Geese, Commorants, various Herons, Kingfishers, and several Fish Eagles.

    Along the entire Western bank is the magnificent Lebombo Mountain Range. One of the evening anchorages may be a night in the Gorge. Here the Mountains rise either side of you, covered in indigenous cycads and ferns and where the glo-flies make a spectacular show along the shoreline.

    Other overnight anchorages are in the River and at Mosquito Bay; both great fishing areas and very well positioned for game viewing.
  • Zambezi Queen, Chobe River, Botswana
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    Zambezi Queen, Chobe River, Botswana
    Deep in the heart of the African wilderness, where the mighty waters of the Chobe River run through Namibia into Zimbabwe falling over the iconic Victoria Falls in a dazzle of thunder and spray, you’ll find the Zambezi Queen, a floating hotel that combines the best of luxury and elegance with the wild essence of Africa.

    The view is ever-changing: elephants wading in the shallows or crossing in merry groups, fish eagles wheeling overhead, sunsets that will take your breath away. Experience it all from your private suite aboard the luxury 45 metre houseboat, surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the wilderness.

    Embarking from her base in Namibia, the Zambezi Queen cruises along the Chobe, taking in a huge variety of wildlife both on the shore and in the river itself. Guests can enjoy unparalleled photographic opportunities, whether viewing game from the deck or by tender boat – a unique chance to get up close to wildlife on the river’s banks.

    This leisurely safari allows you to experience the thrill and tranquillity of a bushveld adventure, with all the civilized comforts of a luxury hotel. Just 80km away by road, you’ll find the Victoria Falls, one of the great wonders of the natural world. Many guests choose to combine a stay on board the Zambezi Queen with a visit to this incredible sight.

    The Matusodona accommodates 10 Suites and 4 Master Suites - all are en-suite with private balconies, king size beds and are furnished to the highest level. Two of the four Master Suites have their own private deck with outdoor furniture and the remaining two having superb panoramic views with doors and windows on two sides.

    2/3 night itineraries available with rates from:

    • Standard suite pp sharing from USD 1485
    • Master suite pp sharing from USD 177

    This includes: Accommodation; All meals; All soft drinks, mineral water, coffee, tea, beer and wine; water based game viewing and bird watching on smaller tender boats; land based cultural tour of a local village; tiger and bream fishing in season; arrival & departure road transfers from Kasane airport to Kasane immigration; boat transfers between Kasane immigration and the Zambezi Queen

    Excludes: Premium beverages (spirits, sparkling wine and dessert wine); visa fees, gratuities and curio shop; purchases; Chobe NP game drive - can be arranged at additional charge; travel insurance.
  • The Matusadona - on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
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    The Matusadona - on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
    Lake Kariba is the largest artificial lake in the world, measuring approximately 220 km from East to West and up to 40 km wide, covering almost 5,600 square kilometres. The Dam was built in the 1950’s for hydro‐electric power generation and was officially opened in 1959. Besides wildlife, a large number of families were relocated and homed in new towns and villages, now on the shores of the Lake such as Kariba, Binga, Mlibizi and Siavonga. The filling of the Lake between 1958 and 1963 caused more than 20 earthquakes of greater than 5 magnitudes on the Richter scale. The Lake soon became a tourist attraction on both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side of the Lake, frequented by local and international visitors. Kariba has many mooring opportunities both on the main land and on islands and offers romantic spots with idyllic waterfalls in places like the Sanyati Gorge.

    The Matusadona National Park is the centrepiece in this beautiful landscape surrounding the lake. Kariba also has the most incredible birdlife to be found, rivalled only by the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the land around Lake Kariba on the Zimbabwe side is full of big game, such as: Lion; Elephant; Rhino; Leopard; Cheetah; Impala; Kudu and Eland.

    Meticulously built over a number of years the “Matusadona” house boat is the ultimate of style and comfort on Lake Kariba. She is finished in African hardwood timbers and furnished with rich fabrics, leather and Egyptian cotton; Matusadona has been described as “an intimate luxury lodge on the water”. With spacious air-conditioned cabin accommodation for up to seven passengers, situated right on the waterline, you’ll feel at one with nature. The gentle lapping of waves, the frequent grunt of the hippos, the distant lion’s roar, the cough of a leopard, the eerie cry of the Fish Eagle and all the attendant sounds of Africa – you’re in the real bush whilst cocooned in the lap of luxury.

    Attached to her is a speed-boat for transfers and a game-viewing pontoon geared for water-based game viewing. Matusadona offers a completely different experience to land-based game viewing, watching a herd of elephants coming down to drink, so close you can almost touch them, their calves frolicking in the water with their mothers suspiciously standing by, is a truly memorable experience.

    On sweltering summer evenings, sip on refreshing cocktails in the Jacuzzi under the stars, or at the bar, and on the odd chilly African evening, warm up with a Cognac in the cosy saloon and watch a variety of wildlife documentaries.

    Travelling to a different and secluded mooring every day, you will always awaken to a new experience, be it on one of the numerous islands, up one of the rivers, or in the Matusadona National Park, these are experiences that many can only dream about.

    Matusadona is perfect for an amazing family holiday, a romantic honeymoon or simply a break from ‘real’ life.
  • Desert to Delta birds and mammals
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    Desert to Delta birds and mammals

    This trip is designed for 6 participants only with over 20 Namibian near-endemics including Rockrunner.  Guests experience the Namib Desert and Skeleton Coast and the world-famous Etosha Pan mammals.  Spend 3 nights in Botswana on the Okavango River which is the best place for Pel’s Fishing Owl and view the Carmine Bee-eater breeding colonies.  Possible other sightings included are 9 species of owls, 6 species of bustards and 12 species of eagles.

    Tour focus

    This tour has been designed to have the best chances to see Namibia’s endemics, near endemics and regional specials, including the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl, plus a wide diversity of African mammals and reptiles.

    You will see from the itinerary that there are multiple opportunities to find some of the tricky bird species (especially the desert larks and other desert-adapted species), giving us the best chances of success. The reason we have done this is to avoid the temptation of rushing around trying to get the biggest list. Instead we allow you to focus on the birds that you will always remember and can only see here. However, having said that, we will be in some of Africa’s best birding areas and when birding we'll focus on all the available species (within reason) and will see a huge diversity.

    A species list will be handed as part of your tour booklet and is available beforehand upon request. This is a dedicated birding tour with early starts and lots of time in the field. We will also search for and watch mammals and reptiles; Namibia has a fantastic diversity and we are likely to have some great sightings. Lion, African Elephant, Southern Oryx, Burchell’s Zebra, Hippopotamus, Banded Mongoose, to name a few, and perhaps even chameleons, geckos and many other creatures may capture our attention.

    The tour is timed to coincide with the presence of mammals and large flocks of sandgrouse at the Etosha waterholes, the breeding season of Southern Carmine Bee-eater and the return of the summer migrants. The day may be hot, cooling off in the evening and we’ll travel in an air-conditioned mini-bus.

    Meet the Tour leader:

    Tertius Gouws leads birding tours in 9 African countries and has a special interest in mammals, volunteers as a wildlife vet and is an accomplished bird photographer. He has that rare balance between showing people good birds and sharing his photographic insights. His sharp eye and gentle nature are key in making his tours such a success.

    Itinerary summary

    On this Birding Africa Namibia Okavango Tour, we'll explore the scenic Erongo Mountains for Hartlaub’s Spurfowl, Short-toed Rock-thrush and the endemic Rockrunner, before driving west to Walvis Bay with its abundant shorebirds on one of Africa’s richest estuaries.   Here we’ll stay for two nights.

    We’ll then head north east via Spitzkoppe, premier site for Herero Chat, and the Brandberg inselberg where the surrounding gravel plains are home to a variety of endemics including the recently described Benguela Long-billed Lark.   We may also be lucky enough to glimpse the rare desert-adapted African Elephant.

    From here we continue north to Etosha National Park for four days (staying in rest camps within the park or just outside the park, depending on availability), before heading north towards Rundu and the well-watered Caprivi region. Crossing the border into Botswana, we will stay three nights at Shakawe on the Okavango Panhandle (one of the best places to see Pel’s Fishing Owl).

    Finally, we’ll visit Mahango Game Park and the Waterberg Plateau Park before our journey concludes at Windhoek airport.

    When: Dates (17-day tour) 15 Sep - 1 Oct 2017

    Cost: Guaranteed Price: From $5460.00 per 2 pax and $590.00 for a single, including transfers, drinks and tips.

  • A unique coastal birding hotspot, South Africa
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    A unique coastal birding hotspot, South Africa

    One of Hartley’s favourite destinations is a luxury eco-reserve close to the Southern tip of Africa tucked between mountains, forest and sea.  With 118 different bird species, Grootbos is uniquely positioned to offer both avid birders and curious novices a rich and varied birding experience. Glimpse the vivid orange of a Sunbird’s breast, see a Cape Sugarbird sipping on nectar or spot a rare Black Harrier.

    Cool Afromontane forests, the rocky coastline and serene estuaries provide a magnificent backdrop to our birding outings. Our experienced guides will share fascinating facts while helping you spot rare and endemic birds feeding and breeding in these different ecosystems.

    What’s on offer?

    • A dedicated birding tour, walk a short trail or simply spot birds from your suite.

    • Look out for the Black Harrier, Knysna Woodpecker, Southern Tchagra and Cape Rock Thrush.

    • Upated bird lists and bird books are available.

    Standard 3 nights Package

    Day 1 - Overview

    After a celebratory drink on arrival, enjoy a delicious lunch either in our restaurant or on the deck outside. After lunch, check in to your suite and make yourself comfortable before taking a trip to the pristine nearby Walker Bay beach, where dramatic rock formations and a vivid blue ocean provide the perfect backdrop to your historical cave tour. Back at Grootbos, enjoy the most decadent six-course dinner paired with award-winning local wines.

    Day 2 - Overview

    Enjoy breakfast in our restaurant or on the outside deck, before gearing yourself up for a morning of adventure. Experience the adrenalin rush of a personal encounter with a great white shark during a once-in-a-lifetime shark cage diving excursion. Alternatively, experience the Marine Big 5 first hand on a boat based trip when you spot whales, sharks, penguins, dolphins and seals. In the afternoon, embark on a horseback adventure through the reserve before ending your day with another sumptuous six-course dinner.

    Day 3 - Overview

    Explore the unique Cape Floral Kingdom on a revitalising 4x4 tour through the reserve as you soak up the fresh air and natural beauty that surrounds you. During the trip, our specialised guides will tell you facts about this rare flora in ways that will amaze and fascinate you. After lunch, learn more about our Green Futures and Growing the Future Colleges which help with the upliftment of local communities. After a busy morning, relax with a full body massage in our Forest Spa, surrounded by ancient Milkwood trees. End the day off with another six-course dinner and retire to your suite sun-kissed and sated.

    Day 4 - Overview

    On your last morning at Grootbos, join one of our guides on an early morning walk through the magical Milkwood forest as the dappled light and gnarled ancient branches create a mysterious setting. After a final breakfast in our restaurant, depart Grootbos with a host of memories you won’t soon forget.

    Cost: From R 9100.00 per night per 2 adults sharing in a luxury suite

    These rates include luxury 5 star accommodation ; full English breakfasts,3 course lunches and 6 course dinners; guided walks and hikes;  nature, marine & coastal drives; horse-riding; and a variety of land-based guided adventures.

    Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you

    with a comprehensive itinerary including flights and transfers

  • Birding on Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania
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    Birding on Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania

    Lying in the southwestern corner of Lake Victoria, the whole of Rubondo Island is given over to conservation. It is Africa’s largest island national park (26 kilometres long and varying from 3 to 10 kilometres wide). Over three-quarters of its 25 000 hectares are blanketed in untouched equatorial forest – an unusual protected habitat for Africa’s wildlife.

    It’s a rare privilege to set foot on Rubondo. Bar a handful of park wardens, wildlife researchers and camp staff, the island is uninhabited by humans and has been set aside as a refuge for threatened chimpanzees, families of elephant and the shy sitatunga antelope. The surrounding waters of Lake Victoria are a crucial breeding ground for tilapia and the enormous Nile perch. This unique corner of Africa is a sanctuary to be enjoyed by only a handful of fortunate – and intrepid – travellers.

    The camp – the only lodgings on this verdant island – immerses you in this lush and unspoilt ecosystem. From its lakefront location to the eco-friendly design of the eight fabulous cottages, the camp offers unrivalled access to this one-of-a-kind destination, where elephant roams wild, colourful birds and butterflies flit through the pristine indigenous rainforest and the waters teem with hippo, crocodile and the iconic Nile perch.

    Birding Itinerary

    East Africa’s birdlife is quite simply stunning and very plentiful. This itinerary will take you through vibrant swamps and mighty rivers to discover the water birds before moving to the higher altitude of the Upper Rift Valley and then to the rolling grasslands of the Serengeti. Explore the lakeshore of Rubondo Island, an ornithologist’s dream, before ending in Ruaha to view both northern and southern species in the same area.

    Itinerary offers:

    • View the pelicans and pink-hued flamingo of Lake Manyara

    • From November to March spot the rare Eleonora’s falcon in Ruaha

    • Tick off both water and forest dwelling species at Rubondo Island

    Days 1 & 2: Rivertrees Country Inn, Arusha

    Once an old coffee estate, Rivertrees is now a charming country inn nestled in abundant foliage with the Usa River flowing by. Set in the foothills of Mt Meru, conveniently close to Kilimanjaro International Airport and a short drive to Arusha, its location proffers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. 

    Activities: Game drives; Canoeing; Mountain biking; Cultural & community visits.

    Days 3 & 4: Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire National Park

    Discover Tarangire, a park with over 500 recorded species of birdlife. With varied habitats ranging from vibrant swamps to rolling grasslands and acacia woodlands there is a bird diversity to match, and ashy starlings and yellow-collared lovebirds, endemic to Tanzania, can both be found here.

    Activities: Game drives; walking safaris; Fly camping

    Day 5: Serena Manyara, Lake Manyara National Park

    Stop off at Lake Manyara, a water-birdlover’s paradise that’s home to herons, egrets, storks and spoonbills. And of course the elegant pink flamingo that congregate around the shores of the shallow, alkaline lake of the same name, alongside huge populations of pelicans.

    Activities: Game drives; Boating; Cultural & community visits

    Day 6: Plantation Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    With easy access to the world-famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Plantation Lodge is a wonderful base from which to discover the birds of the Upper Rift Valley. The tropical gardens around the lodge also attract colourful birds and butterflies for some viewing closer to home.

    Activities: Game drives; Cultural & community visits

    Days 7 – 8: Dunia Camp, Central Serengeti

    Explore the heart of the Serengeti from Dunia, a tranquil tented camp with expansive views of the pristine wilderness. With a varied habitat of grasslands dotted with acacia groves and the vast granite protrusions, the Moru Kopjes, the resident birdlife is superb and sightings spectacular.

    Activities: Game drives; Balloon safaris; The Great Migration (May/June and November/December)

    Days 9 – 11: Rubondo Island Camp, Rubondo Island, Lake Victoria

    Explore Africa’s largest island National Park, Rubondo, and the phenomenal birdlife hiding in the equatorial forest and lakeshore papyrus. Over 400 endemic and migratory species have been recorded on its shores, and darters, cormorants, egrets and pied kingfisher are common.

    Activities: Game drives; Forest walks & hikes; Canoeing & boating; Fishing

    Day 12: Onsea House, Arusha

    Just outside Arusha on the drive from Kilimanjaro Airport is Onsea House. Owner-managed and run, the house has an intimate and friendly feel. Add to this the superb staff and a reputation for culinary excellence and Onsea House is a wonderful place to spend your first night in Tanzania.

    Days 13 – 14: Kwihala Camp, Ruaha National Park

    The last stop is the iconic Ruaha, a park with 580 species of recorded birds and an interesting mix of northern and southern species. Of note are the substantial populations of black-collared lovebirds and ashy starlings as well as a number of water birds on the banks of the great Ruaha River.

    Activities: Game drives; walking safaris

    Cost: From US$ 11 042.00per person sharing

    Please click here to contact one of our consultants to assist you

    with a comprehensive itinerary including flights and transfers

SATSA No. 207

Hartley’s Safaris is registered with Southern Africa Tourism Association Registration number 207.


Hartley’s Safaris
South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Reg no: 2001/006019/07
United Kingdom
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris SA

Okavango Explorations (UK) Ltd
T/A Hartleys Safaris
Registered in England No. 2348880
Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris UK

SATSA No. 207

The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Our ATOL number is ATOL 3958. Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website.

Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected.

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