TOP SAFARI RESORTS!
NAMIBIA SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS
Namibia is predominantly a desert country and the range of wildlife that can be seen throughout much of the country reflects this. Species best adapted to the desert conditions include oryx, springbok, ostrich, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, meerkat and Hartmanns mountain zebra. Nocturnal species (only likely to be seen on night drives) can include shy creatures such as Brown hyaena, Cape fox, aardvark, aardwolf and caracal.
In the north-west of the country, in particular northern Damaraland and southern Kaokoland, desert elephant and desert rhino survive in surprisingly harsh conditions. Rhino are more limited in their range but ongoing conservation efforts are continually extending their protected habitat. It is possible to track black rhino on foot, a rewarding and potentially thrilling experience.
Key predators include lion, leopard and cheetah, though outside of the protected big game regions such as Etosha National Park, predator populations are relatively sparse. Cheetah and leopard do actually roam throughout the country, often coming into conflict with local farmers. For an interesting predator-based experience, Okonjima in the Waterberg region is home to the Africat Foundation and offers various predator orientated activities.
Along the coast, Cape fur seals can be seen in large numbers, with the seal colonies at Pelican Point (Walvis Bay) and Cape Cross being particularly accessible. Heavyside dolphins can be seen on boat cruises from Walvis Bay. Sighting brown hyaena would be a major highlight along the any stretch of the coastline.
In Etosha National Park, a wide range of wildlife can be enjoyed. In particular, the floodlit waterhole at Okaukuejo Restcamp is very productive in the evenings, with many rhino visiting to drink in the dry season. Lion will also use the waterhole as an ‘ambush point’ during the height of the dry season when game has little choice but to drink there. The elephant are particularly large, and Etosha is also home to the rare black-faced Impala. At first glance, Etosha in Namibia looks an odd choice for a safari, especially during the bone-dry winter months when most travelers visit. Its primary feature is a vast salt pan shimmering in the bright sun, fringed by grasslands, camel thorn trees and waterholes. But these waterholes draw a breathtaking variety of wildlife, including some of Africa's biggest elephants, endangered black rhinos, zebra, wildebeest and antelope among many other species. Lions roam the surrounding grasslands and there's also a good chance of seeing cheetahs and leopards.
In the short summer rainy season, Etosha becomes a verdant oasis and a haven for birdlife, with flocks of flamingos drawn to the glimmering pools of algae. In Etosha, there is a vagrant blue crane population. The different regions offer very specific and individual birding opportunities.
Self-drive safaris are possible during the drier winter months (although inadvisable in the summer, when the ground is wet with rain), and several luxury lodges and camps ring the park offering inclusive guided safaris.
Meerkats exist throughout much of Namibia, but are not prolific and are very difficult to get close to. Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, near Mariental, has a habituated family which is arguably the best option for seeing them in Namibia.
The Caprivi region is much less arid, with several great rivers bringing a vast amount of water through the region, and this is the best part of Namibia to see more aquatic species such as hippo and crocodile, and wildlife that relies more heavily on water, such as buffalo. Wild dogs can also be seen in this region.
Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Volcanoes Bwindi adventure lodge in Uganda offers a truly unique Uganda jungle safari experience. Separated by nothing more than an idyllic stream, the gorillas themselves are frequent visitors to the finest lodge in Bwindi.
each room comes with an assistant to help you sort out a jungle trek and western amenities to make you feel at home—better yet, since your stay comes with complimentary laundry and shoe cleaning, given how gorilla tracking can take a toll on your clothes.
Climb a Volcano
Guests staying at Virunga Lodge or Gahinga Lodge have easy access to the Virunga chain of volcanoes, which offer challenging hikes and stunning panoramas. The three most popular volcanoes to climb are Mt. Gahinga, Mt. Sabyinyo, and Mt. Muhavura. These hikes are of varying difficulty and typically take a full day. The treks starts at 7:00am from the park headquarters, from where visitors drive to the base of the volcano.
This internationally supported hospital is a beacon of hope to the local communities. Walkable from Bwindi Lodge, guests are welcome to visit the hospital and learn about the daily challenges and successes of the institution and remarkable staff.
Also, see the transformation of coffee beans into delicious Ugandan coffee – all done by hand, by local community members – and even get to sample the finished product for yourself. At the end of the tour guests are given the opportunity to purchase some of the cooperative’s coffee, which makes a great souvenir and supports the local community.
The Kazinga Channel is a 32-kilometer long channel, rich in wildlife, that links Lakes Edward and George. Boat trips down the channel depart from Mweya Safari Lodge (about an hour’s drive through the park from Kyambura Gorge Lodge) and last 3-4 hours. The boat cruise provides a wonderful opportunity to photograph the many animals that come to cool off at the waters’ edge, including lion, buffalo, hippo, elephant, and leopard.
A cool and contemporary cocoon inspired by its exquisite natural setting. Situated on a private concession in the magnificent Okavango Delta, Sandibe boasts exclusive traversing rights over a vast stretch of land adjacent to the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. Inspired by nature and celebrating its stunning setting, the lodge features the best the Delta has to offer in terms of outstanding design, outstanding wildlife viewing and warm local hospitality.
Set in a cool forest canopy of wild palms and gnarled fig trees, this flagship lodge blends seamlessly with one of Africa’s most breath-taking landscapes. Behind the lodge, golden-grassed floodplains inhabited by a staggering variety of wildlife stretch into the distance, framed by lush palm islands and the spires of giant termite mounds. A channel of clear, cool waters runs directly in front of the elevated guest suites, offering unrestricted views over the shimmering beauty of the Delta.
Credit: andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
&BEYOND MATETSI RIVER LODGE FAMILY SUITES
Matetsi River Lodge is a fantastic destination for group and family travel. The lodge’s two family suites each consist of an adult’s room joined to a children’s
room by a passageway; offering convenient access to loved ones. Each suite features two ensuite bathrooms, a private veranda and a sparkling plunge pool.
As with all of our lodges, your children will have the opportunity to embark on our very exciting WILDChild programme,
which is filled with fun, interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Little ones can enjoy adventures such as learning to make a fishing rod, fishing and baking biscuits in an interactive kitchen.
WHITE WATER RAFTING
With names like Judgement Day, The Terminator and Stairway to Heaven, the rapids on the mighty Zambezi River are guaranteed to offer one of the greatest white water rafting experiences on the planet. Just downriver of the plunging torrent of the Victoria Falls, the rushing waters of the Zambezi are compressed between the rocky walls of Batoka Gorge, resulting in some of the best white water action in the world. Descend deep into the craggy canyon and hang on for a wild ride as you set off on a fully guided river rafting adventure in the domain of the river god Nyaminyami.
&Beyond Benguerra Island
A magical Indian Ocean destination where time stands still.
An exquisite piece of paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, &Beyond Benguerra Island is a luxury beach holiday destination where time stands still and legends come to life.
Situated on the second largest island in the sunny Bazaruto Archipelago off the coast of Mozambique, the lodge is set in a protected marine conservation area and offers pristine beaches and unspoiled coral reefs teeming with marine life. Looking out onto a sandy beach and set on a deep lagoon unaffected by the tides, this exclusive beach getaway is ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Surrounded by premier diving sites, the lodge is the gateway to an underwater wonderland for divers, with a rich variety of tropical fish species complemented by Africa’s only population of the rare dugong. The deep Mozambique Channel, which runs alongside the island, is renowned for its game fish and Benguerra Island offers some of the world’s best catch-and-release deep sea fishing and fly fishing opportunities.
Credit: andBeyond Benguerra Island
Contact: +27 11-809-4300
Location: Benguerra Island Beach, Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Family fun with a conservation message
With multi-generational travel consistently on the rise, families across the globe are looking to reconnect in distant, faraway places. They want to explore new destinations, have authentic experiences, learn about local cultures, witness unique wildlife and have the opportunity to give back to our planet and help safeguard its future. This growing need to disconnect oneself from reality and bond as a family is becoming more and more important to today’s time-pressed, wifi-addicted families.
&Beyond understands the importance of family travel and for 25 years we have been designing fun-filled, informative and inspirational adventures to help get families away from their screens and out into the great outdoors.
With its warm heart, welcoming people and sunny skies, Africa is a dream destination for a family holiday with children of all ages.
A place where time slows down, it offers the luxury of a leisurely pace, ideal to reconnect and renew relationships among families, as well as grow friendships between the children and land, animals and people of Africa.
&Beyond’s WILDChild programme, designed especially for children visiting our safari lodges and camps in Africa, is filled with fun, interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Deeply rooted in the love for the African bush, it not only creates a series of unforgettable moments for the whole family but forges strong bonds between our young guests, our planet and its people.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has officially named Botswana’s breathtaking Okavango Delta its 1 000th World Heritage Site. A natural wonder, the Okavango Delta is a maze of sparkling lagoons, meandering channels and overgrown islands teeming with wildlife. Known as “the river that never finds the sea”, it lies like a glittering jewel at the heart of the Kalahari Desert.
&Beyond boasts four exquisite lodges in the Okavango Delta where guests can explore this magnificent World Heritage Site by mokoro (dugout canoe), on foot, on game drive or by helicopter. The landscape is nothing short of miraculous, the game experience truly unique and the sunsets to die for. You haven’t fully experienced Africa until you have spent time in the Delta.