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Issue 65 (Winter 2013/14)

So you want to see a lion, do you? What it's like, and why they're fighting for survival • How to choose a lodge • Sea and Safari in South Africa • Self-drive in Kenya • Explore Tuli Wilderness • Malawi's Majete National Park • Namibia's Kalahari region... and much more!

Spoilt for choice
Luxurious lodges, romantic camps, remote campsites, quirky treehouses… there are masses of wonderful-sounding places to stay on safari. So how on earth do you choose? If you want to be certain of finding accommodation that suits your interests, fits your budget and makes a positive contribution to conservation and community development, you’ll need to do some careful research – or consult a travel specialist you really trust. Emma Gregg is here to help you on your way.
So you want to see a lion, do you?
Of all the big cats, the lion is the easiest to encounter on safari. While leopards remain elusive and cheetahs live at low density, lions roar often in the night, males march across the plains, lords of all they survey, and prides routinely pass the daylight hours if not in full view then in easily accessible pools of shade. Lions are cats of few mysteries, one of scant species in the wild that can afford to be visible and at rest. And yet, lions are in trouble.
Land of dust and giants
The Tuli Wilderness in southeastern Botswana truly feels like a place where time has stood still. The land has remained largely unfenced and untouched, leaving the wildlife to wander as instinct dictates. So what better way to explore this enchanted land of dust than in the footsteps of the giants who call it home. Tabby Mittins and photographer Villiers Steyn step into the tracks of elephants to find out what this beguiling region has to share.
From poachers’ playground to thriving game reserve: at last some positive news for Africa’s wildlife. Aaron Gekoski and Gemma Catlin visit Malawi’s Majete National Park to discover a conservation success story in action.
The road less travelled
Kenya is not usually the first destination you’d choose for a self-drive safari. So when wildlife photojournalists Steve and Ann Toon decided to tour its wildlife reserves in a restored but rusting 1970s Toyota Land Cruiser, it was sure to be an epic adventure...
A journey through African history in just 20 stops
It is fair to say that most visitors come to Africa to see its wild animals and explore its vast wilderness. Compared to Europe, Asia or South America, the birthplace of humankind is a little short on ancient ruins and grand cultural centres. Nonetheless, from fossil beds and the Pyramids to rock-hewn churches and 20th-century museums, Africa has plenty of sites to fascinate history addicts. By Phillip Briggs.
Secret stars
The Kalahari region of southeast Namibia is home to none of the country’s major tourist hotspots. Its greatest claim to fame used to be a spectacular sandstone masterpiece known as God’s Finger; but this geological anomaly collapsed way back in 1988 and the area has languished off the safari circuit ever since. Intrigued to find out whether there are any other notable attractions secreted amongst the dolerite boulders and red Kalahari sands, Stephen Cunliffe decided to set out and explore. The off-the-beaten-track highlights he discovered among the region’s sprawling sheep farms and wide open spaces don’t feature in any tourist brochures. Yet.
Zambia Safari Planner Highlights
Like several other safari destinations, Zambia offers visitors diverse attractions and a great choice of facilities, many with specialist skills or locations. It is not surprising, therefore, that we are often asked to recommend itineraries or lodges. However these decisions can be very personal, and no one knows each business as well as the owners. So to help you learn more about the services available in Zambia, we extended an open invitation to accommodation providers and tour operators to tell you, in their own words, what they have to offer you. Below you will find the Zambia Safari Planner Highlights and a handy factfile.
Essential Africa: South Africa
Thanks to its spectacular diversity, South Africa offers more holiday possibilities than any other nation on the continent. We asked Carrie Hampton, who has visited more than 200 safari lodges and dozens of beaches, to let us into the secrets of its best bush and beach destinations.
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