March 2010

Dear Reader,

So can anyone answer........ What has happened to Spring? The snow was lovely while it lasted and that was a great excuse for cold weather, but now the cold and dreary days must be making you dream of sunnier climes? STOP PRESS: do you know I started composing this Newsletter last week! And can you believe it SPRING appeared over the weekend - let's enjoy.

2010 is well underway and by all accounts the Economic climate is beginning to recover. The travel industry was one that was certainly hit quite hard by the recession with many people either postponing their trip, or shortening the tme away or changing to more local destinations. Indications are that holidays are back on many people's to do lists and the lodges are looking forward to welcoming guests back. Many of our partner lodges took the quiet time last year to do refurbishments and updates which are sometimes difficult to do when they are running at good occupancy rates. Facelifts all round............


                  from this                        to                           this 

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within."  Lillian Smith

 What's in this issue:

How To Be an Eco-Tourist in Africa

Green Tourism Means Respecting Wildlife and Cultural Diversity


International travelers visit Africa to appreciate the scenic beauty and diverse wildlife found on this vast continent. How can the environmental impact be minimized?



Eco-tourism is not just about watching the wildlife, it implies giving something back to the environment. When practicing tourism habits that do not harm the environment and natural resources, the broader environment can benefit. "Sustainable tourism is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems". (United Nations World Tourism Organization)



How Does Eco-Tourism Benefit the Community?


The Eco-Tourist gives economic benefit to the local communities and helps to sustain development and resources. This includes respecting and not wasting resources that are scarce in areas in Africa but perhaps abundant elsewhere such as water. It also includes being aware of sensitive plant, insect and animal species as well as the communal activities and practices of local indigenous peoples.

Eco-tourism is of utmost important to the African tourism industry and it ensures that not only do visitors, foreign and local, enjoy the spectacular natural attractions, but also get to learn something new culturally. In other words, Eco-Tourists can help save the world’s most precious places by visiting them in a responsible manner.


So? How To Be a Responsible Tourist in Africa


  • Prepare carefully before leaving home. Know your African destination intimately: research its wildlife, unique environment, Eco-Tourism opportunities and certified participating agencies and operators. Andrew Muir, CEO of The Wilderness Foundation believes that “Tourism operators have an inherent responsibility to manage the environment through best practice”. Let tour operators/hotels know that you are a responsible consumer. Before you book, ask about their social and environmental policies.
  • Ask questions before booking a trip – find out if the Company or Operator actually does maintain a low-impact and sustainable business. Get details on such questions as excursions and waste management. Find out if tourists get an opportunity to interact with the local population and whether local communities have a share in development projects and profit sharing. Ask if local traditions and customs are respected by the hotel/lodge/operator. Do not be afraid to ask operators or hotels if their employees are local citizens and/or if they use local guides.
  • Lower expectations – while it is true that the trip will probably cost a lot of money and expectations are high – be mentally prepared to help in ways such as conserving water. Be careful not to litter in any way. Remember that fresh produce, drinks etc have to be flown or trucked in to very remote areas in Africa.
  • Respect the natural environment. Never touch or harass animals. Always follow designated trails and obey the rangers' instructions. Support conservation by paying entrance fees to parks and protected sites and be scrupulous in not buying crafts or products made from protected or endangered animals or trees. Many times in coastal areas for example, local people will try to sell large shells to tourists which is usually illegal, and which shells they harvest from local reefs.
  • Try to support the local guides and tour operators so that money you spend will benefit the local economy and make a donation if possible to an African wildlife conservation program or a local community project. Support locally-owned restaurants and/or hotels. Learn a little about the language and customs of the people and inter-act with them for an enriching experience.
  • Traveling responsibly and respectfully will result in a fabulous African vacation to that dream destination and will ensure that any dollars/euros spent will benefit the environment and community.




click here for more information

An amazingly interesting tour combining the best of Kenya's wildlife, culture and lodges

Day 1      Nairobi, Giraffe Manor  >>>>>>>>

The Giraffe Manor is an elegant, personally hosted, small and exclusive hotel, famous for its resident herd of giraffe. The Giraffe Manor offers a rich blend of welcoming accommodation, highly trained and friendly staff, as well as one of Nairobi's finest kitchens.

The Giraffe Manor is surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Kenya's capital, Nairobi. As well as the giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck.

Day 2-6    Chyulu Hills, Ol Donyo Waus   >>>>>>>>

For over 20 years Ol Donyo Wuas Lodge was the Africa cognoscenti’s dream destination. Tucked away in the spectacular Chyulu Hills, above the heat and malaria, and far away from the tourist circuit, Ol Donyo Wuas was a model for many of the ‘bush lodges’ that were to follow.

Day 7-9    Laikipia,  Lemartis    >>>>>>>>

Lemarti’s Camp is an unforgettable safari hideaway in Kenya’s breathtaking northern Laikipia Plateau, one of the last frontiers of virgin wilderness and home to the majestic Samburu people. The twist here is that while the local Samburu community owns the land, the camp itself was built and run by a local Samburu guide - Loyapan Lemarti - and his Kenyan-based fashion designer wife, Anna Trzebinski. This unlikely duo met on safari - he was her guide - and were later married. Their dream camp emerged, nestled in an oasis in a spectacular setting beneath a grove of palms and centenary fig trees

Day 10-14  Mara, Naibor Camp

Naibor Camp, originally designed by Anthony Russel, is a luxury tented camp, a striking combination of contemporary style and comfort, in the heart of Kenya’s world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. The camp is hidden in a grove of riverine woodland on the banks of the Talek River and consists of sweeping pale canvas tents, king sized beds made from local fig-wood, wide sofas furnished with bolster cushions, and wool rugs - a luxurious base from which to explore the Mara.

Day 15-19  Zanzibar, Kilindi

Kilindi is a 15 unit piece of functional art scattered along a picturesque-perfect stretch of Northern Zanzibar. Designed by Neil Rocher in conjunction with some long-serving Tanzanian specialists, Kilindi brings a welcome dash of pizazz to the island. Standing watch over the time-honoured Dhow Routes, along a crescent of coral-bright sand, each of the fifteen pavilions embrace cascading rain-water pools, lush tropical gardens and domed private spaces of rest, indulgence and well-being.



14 nights safari combining the excitement of the Victoria Falls with Zambia’s best game-viewing destinations plus the tranquility and beauty of Lake Malawithis great lake's tropical waters are the habitat of more species of fish than any other lake on the Earth!


This exceptional 14 night safari taking in the most exclusive owner operated camps in Zambia and Lake Malawi.


1 night - Tongabezi Lodge     >>>>>>>>


Built over 20 years ago Tongabezi was one of the true pioneers in African safari lodge design and was one of the first to entertain guests in open fronted rooms. Tongabezi Lodge is a romantic hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream of Victoria Falls.



2 nights - Exclusive Sindabezi  Island in the Zambezi River

Sindabezi Island Camp is a small, shady, private island paradise surrounded by the waters of the Zambezi, upstream of the Victoria Falls. Sindabezi Island is unique as the only island lodge on the Upper Zambezi River in the Victoria Falls area and offers magnificent views overlooking other islands and a nearby floodplain of the Victoria Falls National Park.   >>>>>>>>




3 nights - Sausage Tree Camp in the Lower Zambezi

Sausage Tree camp is located on the banks of the Zambezi River at the heart of the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia.  This exclusive safari camp specializes in the very best game viewing with the highest international standards in luxury and service. Accommodation at Sausage Tree is in six luxurious, white Bedouin-style tents, dotted discreetly along the river bank



5 nights - Norman Carr Safaris camps in South Luangwa

The Luangwa Valley has long been regarded as one of Africa's finest wildlife destinations. Its unspoilt natural beauty and abundant game make it an ideal destination for an African safari holiday. The late Norman Carr started the first safari company in 1950 and 60years on they are still leading the way in Zambian wildlife safaris. Norman Carr Safaris offers Kapani Lodge and a selection of the best Zambian bushcamps. Guests enjoy a definite sense of adventure combined with a little luxury in the heart of the wilderness.



3 nights - Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi


Rated by Condé Nast Magazine as one of the planet's ten most romantic destinations, Kaya Mawa is located on the south-western tip of Likoma Island in the far north-east of Lake Malawi, close to Mozambique. The island is covered with mango trees and ancient baobabs and encircled by glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves. Likoma Island is the larger of two small islands situated in the far north of Lake Malawi, on the east of the Lake and very close to the Mozambique coastline.  



Tour available from May 20th to November 5th 2010


starting at just £5399 pp (excludes International Flights)


Samara Private Game Reserve has once again been featured in the exclusive Conde Nast Traveller magazine


“Leaving behind the coast of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, Peter Browne explores the quiet towns and wide open spaces of the Great Karoo.

……….. choosing to leave with one abiding memory: Sibella the cheetah lying free and proud atop Kondoa Mountain, with all Camdeboo before her”


 Peter Browne in his own words ' turned his back on the Indian Ocean and headed The Great Karoo, an indelible place in the hearts of South Africans.'

'Before the settlers arrived, these open plains and fertile valleys were rich in wildlife. There are tales of springbok migrations in the 19th century involving thousands of antelope; of herds of elephant and Cape Mountain zebra, of plentiful kudu, black wildebeest and eland. Outside the national parks, they are all long gone,...recently a number of game farms have opened....genuine outfits with sound ecological credentials such as Samara Private Game Reserve.'  READ MORE>>>>

Mark and Sarah Tompkins had a dream of turning old farming ranches in the Karoo back to their natural condition. Down came the fences, and the Samara private game reserve began. Samara, land of serenity, has had as its aim, the realization of the land’s potential, not only as an area of outstanding natural diviersity, but also as home to an ambitious programme of game reintroduction. Herds of springbok, black wildebeest, zebra, oryx, eland and blesbok amongst others “pronk” and run again on the Plains of Camdeboo. Rhino and giraffe now meander across the veld. Nearly 125 years after it was last seen, the cheetah reigns again. It is now one of the largest private gaming reserves in South Africa.



Voted Conde Nast Traveller Hot Spots List 2009
Voted Conde Nast Traveller Hot Spots List 2008
Voted Harpers Bazaar The 15 Greatest Safari experiences in Africa March 2008
Voted Tatler Top 101 Hotels in the World December 2007
Voted Conde Nast Travelers Hot Spots 60 New Hotels in the World May 2006
Voted Travel and Leisure Top 50 Romantic Destinations in the World February 2006

 More about SAMARA


Some ADDITIONAL EXCUSES for your Holiday


Festival of Gorillas date set for 5th June in Rwanda

The annual naming ceremony for newly born mountain gorillas has been set for 5th June, which coincides with World Environment Day. The eighth such festival, ‘Kwita Izina 2010’ will feature the theme: ‘Raising Global Awareness of Biodiversity Conservation, as we give Names to our Gorilla Babies’. A number of events are planned to take place in Rwanda – contact us for more.


African Investor Tourism Awards

Zimbabwe was declared the ‘up and coming tourism destination of the year


Earth Hour

It has been announced that Saturday the 27th of March will mark another ‘Earth Hour’ initiative, during which hotels and businesses will agree to switch off all unnecessary lighting. Promoted by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the initiative is aimed towards creating heightened awareness as to the need to combat global warming.


Ngorongoro visitor numbers growing rapidly

It is estimated that during 2010 555,000 visitors will experience the crater, placing ever increasing pressure on the environmental stability of the area. As a result, talks are being held with regard to plans to ‘cap’ the numbers of visitors entering the crater per month.


South Africa The 10 best days of 2010 - Knysna Oyster Festival

The Knysna Oyster Festival offers food lovers the chance to shuck, slurp and sip their way through 10 days of fun, flavoursome food and wine-related events, with a generous helping of off-the-wall sports and adventure activities to further warm up winter.

Date: 02 July 2010 - 11 July 2010


Here's a selection but check out our Specials section on the Website as well - click here>>>>

SAMARA - KAROO LODGE May & August Special

£259 pp sharing (normal price £330)

Tariffs Include: • Luxury en-suite accommodation • Three meals • Tea and coffee

• Two game drives daily in open game viewing vehicles with experienced

rangers • Nature walks with experienced rangers • AardvARK children’s programme

• Local spirits, beers, soft drinks and house wines • Laundry services • Return transfers from the Samara



Amakhosi Lodge - KwaZulu Natal South Africa

welcomes children of all ages and their rates during the August UK summer holidays drop to as little as £200 per adult and BREAKING NEWS is that they have agreed to waiver the charge (usually £100) for children under the age of 12 years from 14 July until 30 September 2010 in the two Luxury Family River

Suites. These suites have a separate lounge area with fold-out beds for children. The days are hot and sunny, whilst evenings are chilly and ideal for snuggling up around a camp fire under the stars. The best time of year for game viewing!

So that’s just £400 per night for a family of 4!



Seven days in Heaven!  


Seven days away from all the crowds! Delight in Alex Walker’s Serian a collection of intimate East African bush camps; that allow you to flee the bustle of contemporary life & experience a blend of untamed Africa in traditional tented splendour!


3 nights Serian • 1 night Suguroi Hill • 3 nights Nkorombo Mobile


£5,500 per couple sharing

Valid until 30th June 2010 - All inclusive of International Flights with BA; air transfers Nairobi to Mara return, all activities, park and conservation fees; full board and full bar.



Honeymooner Specials: Valid March 01st to July 15th 2010


  • Bride gets 50% discount on accommodation
  • Complimentary HALF HOUR couples massage at the OASIS Spa
  • Complimentary flowers, fruit basket and a bottle of wine on arrival
  • FREE SUNDOWNERS on their room Verandah
  • Special Honeymooners Gift on departure
  • Complimentary sea food lunch at either the BAHARI Beach Restaurant or at the famous Beyt al Chai Restaurant in Stone Town (transfers excluded)
  • 1 FREE HENNA Tatoo per person
  • 10% Discount on all PADI Courses






  • 3 nights at Cybele Forest Lodge and Health Spa in a private cottage
  • Breakfast & Dinner daily at Cybele
  • R200.00 spa voucher per room
  • 4 nights at Garonga Safari Camp
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily at Garonga
  • All drinks (except special wines & champagne)
  • 2 Game drives per day, bush baths & sleep-outs
  • 45 minute massage per person
  • Laundry


This package is valid from 1st April - end December 2010 (excludes the Soccer World Cup period)

Minimum 2 people (no single rate)

Subject to availability

Excludes Tourism levy where applicable, gratuities and extras.


Amazing value at (excludes International Flights) 

£1375.00 per person sharing (1st April to 30th September 2010)

£1779.00 per person sharing (1st October to 31st December 2010)




Take advantage and CONTACT us NOW

"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see."  G.K. Chesterton