Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Make Your Friends Jealous

This post is aimed at all the lovely people who are joining Jacky and I on our Great Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania in August.

It contains photos and websites for the hotels and lodges we will be staying at to whet your appetite and to make your friends so jealous that they'll want to join next years adventure or one of our other wonderful safaris.

Southern Sun Mayfair Nairobi          http://www.tsogosunhotels.com/hotels/nairobi/pages/overview.aspx

Kirurumu Tented Lodge Lake Manyara       http://www.kirurumu.net/kirurumu_manyara_lodge.html

Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro          http://www.sopalodges.com/ngorongoro/home.html

Serena Lodge Serengeti          http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaserengeti/default-en.html

Ashnil Camp Masai Mara          http://www.ashnilhotels.com/masaimara/index.asp

Not bad eh?  Well, the tour is fully booked this year. We'd love to see you in 2014  if you missed out this time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Luxury Gorillas & Mount Kenya Safari


11 February 2014: Nairobi
Met on arrival and transferred to the hotel. Lunch and dinner not included. Overnight at The Sarova Stanley including breakfast.
12 February 2014: Nairobi
After breakfast proceed on full day tour: Visit Daphne Sheldricks Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Center, Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Bead Factory with lunch at Carnivore Restaurant. Dinner not included. Overnight at The Sarova Stanley including breakfast.
13 February 2014: Laikipia District
This morning drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Lunch and afternoon game drive included. Overnight at Sweetwaters Camp including Dinner.
14 February 2014: Samburu Game Reserve
Drive to Samburu Game Reserve. Lunch and afternoon game drive. Overnight at Larsen’s Camp including dinner.
15 & 16 February 2014: Samburu Game Reserve
Two full days in Samburu Game Reserve with morning and afternoon game drive. Overnight at Larsen’s Camp including all meals.
17 February 2014:  Mount Kenya National Park
After breakfast drive to Central Kenya. Lunch and afternoon at leisure. Overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge including dinner.
18 February 2014:  Mount Kenya National Park
Breakfast and day at leisure. Overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge including all meals

19 February 2014: Nairobi - Kigali
After breakfast drive back to Nairobi. Transfer to Jomo Kenyata Airport for your flight to Kigali. Departing from Kigali you will be welcomed by your expert guide who will provide knowledge and assistance throughout your safari. Your journey takes you through the beautiful terraced hills that characterize much of Rwanda's landscape. Climbing gradually to the base of the spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga range, the five nearest peaks rising high above the verdant countryside, you arrive at the magnificent Lodge. Overnight at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge Lodge including lunch and dinner.
20 February 2014: Parc National des Volcans
Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans, through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga range, is a magical experience. Once you reach the gorillas, you can spend an hour with them and be back at base in time for a late lunch! Some gorilla families can be more elusive, and tracking can take a full day, especially if it is wet and muddy. Overnight at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge Lodge  including all meals
21 February 2014:
Either go gorilla tracking again (additional permit required, subject to availability), or choose from one of many options. There is much to explore here including tracking the endangered golden monkey or trekking to Dian Fossey’s grave and the gorilla cemetery, the final resting place of her favourite gorilla, Digit. Other popular excursions include visiting the local school and community projects supported by the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust; the Roz Carr Imbabazi orphanage and meet some of the hundreds of children helped by this uplifting project. Alternatively relax on the shores of Lake Kivu, home to some of the finest inland beaches in Africa, or take a guided walk to Lake Bulera and experience local village life. Overnight at Volcanoes Virunga Lodge Lodge including breakfast and lunch

22 February 2014:Departure
Your safari ends with your journey to Kigali. Before transferring to the airport, there may be time to tour the city and visit the genocide memorial, a moving testimony to this country’s past that it has courageously overcome. Return to your hotel or transfer to the airport in time for your return flight. 


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Safaris To Die For

2013 and 2014 are going to be very busy years for me. I will be escorting a number of incredible, luxurious African wildlife adventures. I just can't wait to get going.  Here is a rundown of what's happening.

August 2013
Great Migration Safari. Escorted by me - Peter Emery.  Max group size 12.
We visit Kenya and Tanzania to witness the annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. We also visit Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.  4 Star lodges and hotels.

September 2013
A luxury tour of South Africa, staying in some of the very best accommodation and sampling some of the planet's best food and wine. Highlights include - The Palace of the Lost City, Shamwari Private Wildlife Reserve and the Blue Train. Escorted by by me - Peter Emery. Max group size 20.

The Blue Train lounge bar

October 2013
Photographic Safari of Nambia. Escorted by Tony Kay. Proprietor of Noosa Camera House.
Max group size 12.  Experience the stark beauty of Namibia as well as her abundant wildlife. Perhaps one of the best places in the world to take photographs. Stunning clarity of light and gorgeous earthy colours.
Luxury camping, lodges and hotels.

 Desert scenery Namibia

February 2014
Gorillas and Mount Kenya.  Escorted by me - Peter Emery. Max group size 6. Luxury.
Trek to see the highland gorillas of Rwanda and visit the tropical desert environment of Kenya's Samburu National Park with it's beautful scenery and wildlife. Then finally stay in a luxury lodge on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

Highland gorilla, Rwanda.

April 2014
Wildlife and Wineries.  Escorted by me - Peter Emery.  Max group size 6. Luxury.
This wonderful, luxury South African safari visits Madikwe Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands Private Reserve adjoining Kruger National Park, amazing, spectacular, historic Cape Town and the nearby wine region.

Endangered African wild dogs in Madikwe Private Game Reserve.

June 2014
Delta and Falls.  Escorted by me - Peter Emery. Max group size 6. Luxury.
Visting Zimbabwe and Botswana. Luxury accommodation at Victoria Falls. Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, Lion Encounter and "Flight of Angels" helicopter flight over Victoria Falls. Scenic light aircraft flight to the unique Okavango Delta with seven nights accommodation in luxury tented camps with all meals and game drives.

 Victoria Falls. (The Smoke That Thunders.)

August 2014
Great Migration time again.
Great Migration Safari. Escorted by me - Peter Emery.  Max group size 12.
We visit Kenya and Tanzania to witness the annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. We also visit Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.  4 Star lodges and hotels.

East Africa's Great Migration

October 2014
Chobe National Park, Zambia and Victoria Falls,. Escorted by me - Peter Emery Max group size 6.
Luxury safari visiting Botswana and Zambia. See Victoria Falls from the Zambian side at Livingstone. Sunset Zambezi Cruise and Flight of Angels, helicopter flight over Victoria Falls.  Luxury Lodge accommodation in Chobe National Park and beautiful, luxury tented accommodation in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park.

Puku Ridge tented camp, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Please express your interest by calling me at Ucango Travel on 1300 822 646 or email me. peter.emery@ucango.com.au

Monday, December 17, 2012

Luxury South Africa Tour Huge Reduction


I have re-negioted rates for this tour and am now able to offer it for $9995 per person twin share. This is a reduction of $2995 per person. No changes to the itinerary, just huge savings. This incredible saving is valid for bookings made an deposited by 31 March 2013.

Roll on September 2013. I can't wait. I'll be escorting a group of lucky people to South Africa to sample some of the finest things the nation has to offer.

We start at the Palace of the Lost City - one of the most amazing resorts I've ever seen. It's heaps of fun. Great accommodation, fine food and wine, wonderful art works everywhere you look, a theatre, casino and a huge wave pool.  It is set in some beautiful countryside and has two fantastic golf courses complete with crocodiles in the water traps. At night the whole thing is like something out of an Indian Jones movie.

The Palace of the Lost City

Another highlight will be Shamwari - a  world famous private game reserve in the Eastern Cape. More great food, wine and scenery, but most importantly this is a "Big Five" reserve, so you have an outstanding opportunity to see lions, elephants, leopards, cape buffaloes and rhinos in their natural environment as well as dozens of species of general game.

Game drives at Shamwari

Cape Town is simply fantastic. The best city in Africa. We'll be staying at the historic Victoria & Alfred Hotel at the Waterfront.  It is the perfect base from which to explore this spectacular city.  Having done that we will visit the winery region and stay at the beautifully located luxury Grand Roche Hotel.

Table Mountain and Cape Town

Our final treat will be The Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria. This is one of the most luxurious rail journeys on earth. The stupendous food and fine wines are included on this overnight journey. Our accommodation is in beautiful sleeper cabins.

Accommodation aboard the Blue Train
Blue Train Cuisine

The cost per person is now only AU $9995 per person twin share and includes economy class airfares from Brisbane on South African Airlines. Most meals and touring, professional guides and drivers and any assistance that I can offer.

The view from The Grand Roche Hotel

You can view the details of this amazing tour, which includes so much more than those items I've outlined above, by clicking on the following link. http://ucango.com.au/offers-1/luxury-south-africa

Call me on 1300 UCANGO or drop me an email for further details - peter.emery@ucango.com.au

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Help Save The Rhino

There are people in Asia who believe that ingesting rhino horn will cure erection problems and cancer. This is of course utter garbage. Rhino horn is keratin. Yes, that's the same stuff that your own fingernails are made of. In other words, if your willy's a bit.......ahem........tired, chew your fingernails. It'll have exactly the same effect - none whatsoever, unless of course you have some sort of fingernail fetish. It's not going to cure your cancer either I'm afraid, despite the claims of certain folk who should know better. The President of Vietnam for example says it cured him. It didn't of course, but the silly bugger saying it did increased demand and consigned more African rhinos to a horrible death.

Basically there are two species of African rhino - the black and the white. White rhinos can be divided into two sub-species. The Southern White and the Northern White. The latter are now thought to be extinct. There were recently a few in a remote part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but despite a courageous effort to save them by the late, great Lawrence Anthony who quite literally put his life on the line to save the animals, the last few Northern White Rhinos on earth were taken by poachers amid the chaos created by corrupt governments and the Lord's Resistance Army. I thoroughly recommend that you read Lawrence Anthony's book The Last Rhinos.

So what's the difference between a black rhino and a white rhino? It's not as obvious as it seems. Both are grey actually, or the colour of whatever dust or mud they've been rolling in. "White" rhino springs from the dutch word weit meaning wide. It refers to the animals mouth which is indeed wide. Black rhino's have a kind of prehensile hooked lip, perfect for curling around the branches and twigs of the low shrubs and trees that form the greater part of it's diet. The white rhino is perfectly adapted to munching on grass. Basically, it is an armoured lawn mower. They hold their head lower and consume grass by the kilo. It's quite easy to tell which animal has passed by when you look at their droppings. White rhino dung is almost exclusively grass, while a close inspection of black rhino dung reveals leaves and twigs all chomped at a forty five degree angle. African dung is fascinating.

 White Rhino

Black Rhino

There are other differences too. Black rhinos are much more aggressive and secretive despite being smaller than their white cousins, although white rhino cows can be very dangerous if they have calves. They are even different in the way they retreat from threats. White rhino cows will run away behind their calves, thus protecting their offspring from threats from behind as they flee across the grassy savannah.  Black rhinos will run away ahead of their calves, clearing a way through the scrubby habitat that they favour.

Everyone knows that the rhino is one of the "Big Five" along with the elephant, the lion, the leopard and the cape buffalo. They were originally so called because they are the most dangerous animals to hunt, but actually you haven't officially seen the Big Five unless you've seen a black rhino. However, since they are not easy to find we'll forgive you for claiming the big five if you've seen a rhino of either kind.

Anyway, if you really want to help to preserve these beautiful animals, please visit Africa. Go and see them for yourself. Not only will you enjoy a life changing adventure and a wonderful holiday, but you will reinforce the fact that a live rhino is far more valuable as a sustainable resource than a dead one with its horn hacked off. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hug A Hyena

I think it's time to shatter a few myths about African travel.

1. It's dangerous.
Wander around the wrong parts of Johannesburg or Nairobi and you could get into trouble, but the same can be said of almost every city on the planet.  Most of your African Safari will be spent in the bush. You are safer there than in your own home, unless you try to hug a hyena or something.

2. I'm likely to be robbed.
Nope. You are more likely to be robbed on a Caribbean holiday, or on a trip to Florence, Rome, Prague, Budapest, Mexico or Thailand.

3. The food will be terrible.

  Impodimo Lodge Cuisine, Madikwe Game Reserve,
 South Africa.

4. The accommodation will be uncomfortable and primitive.

Idube Lodge, Sabi Sands, South Africa.

5. You get closer to the animals at the zoo. 
On safari in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve.

Okay, So now you'll have to think of another excuse. Visit Africa. It WILL change your life for the better.