Call me on 0449 689 447 or contact Ucango Travel on 07 5451 8600 and ask for Peter. Or drop me an email. peter.emery@ucango.com.au

Queensland Registered Travel Agent Licence No 3181 385

Friday, December 6, 2013

Great Migration Safari 2014

Hello again everyone.

Due to newly released special offers I've been able to reduce the cost of this great fully escorted safari by $2000 per person, making the cost $11495 per person twin share. The single supplement is now $1700.

I have now finalised the itinerary for the Great Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania for 2014.
This year we will be flying with Qantas and South African Airways. This option may be a little dearer, but last year we found that Kenya Airways did not really provide the service we expected and their connection times were too long.


We have two nights at Nairobi Tented Camp. Full board with game drives.
Two nights at Serena Mountain Village near Arusha. Full board with game drives.
Two nights at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. Full board with one six hour game drive.
Three nights at Nasikia Mobile Camp, Serengeti. Full board with game drives.
Three nights at Sekenani Camp, Masai Mara. Full board with game drives.
One night at Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel with breakfast.

I have also cut out some of the driving that we had to do in rough, dusty conditions on the 2013 Great Migration Safari and replaced these sectors with flights. Indeed, the only way to get into and out of Nasikia is to fly. Again this has increased the cost over last year, but will make the entire safari more comfortable.


The great wildebeest migration usually makes its way from the Northern Serengeti to the Masai Mara in August, crossing various rivers on the way. For this reason we will stay a total of six nights in the area to give us the best chance of witnessing a crossing. This is wild Africa at its unpredictable best, and even if we are not fortunate enough to witness a crossing, the herds of animals are still an moving and unforgettable sight. The herds are of course attended by all the big predators - lion, hyena and if we're lucky leopard. Then there is also a bewildering array of general game including elephants, hippos, giraffes and various species of gazelle and antelope, not to mention the incredible birdlife.


I have chosen comfortable, reasonably priced accommodation, naturally, all with en-suite facilities.
You will find the both the quality and quantity of food excellent and wine, beer and spirits are available throughout and are by no means expensive.



So to sum up. The inclusions are - flights as listed in economy class, all meals, all games drives in two specially adapted four wheel driver vehicles, transfers as required in Africa, 13 nights accommodation in 4 star lodges, tented camps and hotels, professional driver/guides throughout and accompanied from Brisbane by yours truly.

The cost per person for this once in a lifetime experience is $11495 per person twin share. The single supplement is $1700.

The details are as follows.
Wednesday 6 August
Qantas flight QF597                                              Depart Brisbane 1610     Arrive Perth 1950
South African Airways flight SA281                    Depart Perth 2350

Thurday 7 August
Arrive Johannesburg 0545
South African Airways flight SA184            Depart Johannesburg 1010     Arrive Nairobi 1510 

Met by your Driver  and transferred to the Nairobi Tented Camp for a safari orientation.
Full board accommodation at Nairobi National Park Tented Camp.

Friday 8 August
After breakfast met by your Real Africa Safaris Guide for a game drive & Tour of Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. 


In Kenya a tiny elephant nursery situated in Nairobi under the auspices of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, overseen by Dr. Daphne Sheldrick, whose elephant experience spans a lifetime, and with the cooperation of the Kenya Wildlife Service, for the first time ever now offers hope for any orphaned elephant fortunate enough to be found alive.

It took Daphne Sheldrick 28 years of trial and error during the years that her husband was warden of Kenya's largest and most important elephant sanctuary, Tsavo East National Park, to perfect the milk formula and complex husbandry necessary to rear the orphaned infant African elephants.

Saturday 9 August
After breakfast transfer to Namanga Border by road.  Change vehicles and proceed to Arusha to arrive in time for lunch. Afternoon at Leisure.
Sunday 10 August
Breakfast  & proceed on game drive in Arusha National Park.
Monday 11 August
After breakfast we check out and proceed to Ngorongoro Conservation area in time for lunch. Afternoon at leisure. Accommodation for 2 nights at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

Tuesday 12 August
Breakfast followed by a six hour game drive and crater tour.

The Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania, 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 m 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. Endangered black rhino are protected within its rim, giant tusked elephants wander the forests, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands, and flamingoes crowd the soda lakes. An estimated 25 000 large mammals are resident in this bowl of plenty, including a population of approximately 6 000 resident wildebeest, 16 highly endangered black rhino and around 70 lions. Cheetah move in and out of the Crater, while leopard are most often encountered in the spectacular Lerai Forest

 
Wednesday 13 August
After breakfast we transfer to Lake Manyara Airstrip. From here we fly to Serengeti National Park. We then transfer to Nasikia Mobile Camp. Here we will spend three nights with two game drives per day

Nasikia’ offers prime locations for game driving and wildlife viewing – even night game drives and wilderness walks.  Reading, dreaming, drawing, painting, writing and simply contemplating life is just some other activities where ‘Nasikia’ offer you the ultimate surrounds for creativity.



Famed for its vast tree-less grasslands and excellent wildlife sightings, the endless open plains of Tanzania’s magnificent Serengeti National Park boast 35 species of plains-dwelling game and prolific birdlife. The annual movement of wildebeest and other herbivores across East Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. Over two million animals participate in this great migration, with some 200 000 zebra ahead of and 500 000 Thomson’s gazelle behind the main players – one and a half million wildebeest. The wildebeest spend the wet season on the south eastern Tanzanian plains and the Serengeti’s dry season on the plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara.


Saturday 16 August
Breakfast and with packed lunches, transfer to the local airstrip.  Fly scheduled flight to Tarime.  At Tarime transfer by road to Mogori via Isebania Border.  At Migori fly a scheduled flight to Masai Mara.  On arrival at the local airstrip you will be met by your guides and transferred to Camp .

3 nights at Sekanani Camp, Masai Mara with 2 game drives per day.

Masai Mara National Reserve is the northern extension of Tanzania’s famous Serengeti Plains and is usually called “the Mara”. Reachable by road or air from Nairobi, the Mara is Kenya’s premier place for seeing wildlife. Two sizable rivers, the Mara and Talek, wind through the landscape, flanked by gallery forests and seasonal marshes. The Mara hosts resident populations of elephants, hippos, topis, hartebeests, buffalos, giraffes, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, Kirk’s dik-diks, and a few black rhinos. Predators are plentiful, notably cheetahs, leopards, and unusually large prides of lions.


Tuesday 19 August
Depart after breakfast for a road transfer to Nairobi. Afternoon & evening at leisure at The Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel.

Wednesday 20 August
For those guests not staying on for additional arrangements you will be met by your driver at the hotel and transferred to Nairobi International Airport for your departing flight.

South African Airways flight SA185          Depart Nairobi 1600     Arrive Johannesburg 1915
South African Airways flight SA280          Depart Johannesburg 2205

Thursday 21 August
Arrive Perth 1325
Qantas flight QF594                                     Depart Perth 1625     Arrive Brisbane 2240

Below are links to our accommodation websites.

http://www.nairobitentedcamp.com/
http://www.serenahotels.com/serenaarusha/
http://www.sopalodges.com/ngorongoro-sopa-lodge/overview
http://www.nasikiatanzania.com/index.php/nasikia-camps/mobile-camp
http://www.sekenani-camp.com/
http://www.tsogosunhotels.com/hotels/nairobi/pages/overview.aspx#.UqKCp-LpJ2A

 
For further information on this amazing adventure 
please contact me either through Ucango Travel on
 07 5451 8600 or call me direct on 0449 689 447. 
My email address is peter.emery@ucango.com.au



















 








 




  





  










  


                  
































Thursday, October 31, 2013

Great Value Luxury

Hello everyone, and welcome to my November newsletter.  I'm still working on the Great Migration Safari for 2014, trying to figure out how to improve on a safari that seemed almost perfect in 2013. There will be one or two changes of accommodation, but the overall itinerary will remain roughly the same. I should have all the details for you shortly.

Meanwhile I'd like to share with you a lovely itinerary put together by The Africa Safari Company. It's a 10 day Luxury South Africa safari and includes a journey on the stunning Blue Train. Here is the full itinerary.

10 Day Johannesburg to Cape Town Luxury Accommodation & 5 star Train Journey.
 
A classic safari combining Big 5 game viewing in the legendary Kruger National Park, staying at exclusive and private Game Lodges, leisure time to explore Cape Town—the beautiful Mother City and a journey aboard the unique Blue Train—it is not merely a train but the luxury of the world’s leading five star hotels within the charm of train travel.

Blue Train suite

Day 1: Australia – Johannesburg. Depart Australia for Johannesburg. Courtesy shuttle bus to to the Peermont D’Oreale Grande Hotel for overnight, including breakfast.

Day 2: Johannesburg – Kruger National Park. Depart Johannesburg on a short flight to Kruger National Park. Transfer to your lodge for 3 nights accommodation, including all meals and game activities. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in open safari vehicles and return to the lodge for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Lion Sands River Lodge/Shumbalala Game Lodge. Including all meals, park fees, scheduled game activities.

Lion Sands bedroom
 
Lion Sands lounge

Days 3-4: Kruger National Park. Enjoy early morning and late afternoon game drives in the beautiful African bush in search of the “Big Five”.

Amazing game viewing at Lion Sands.

 Day 5: Kruger National Park – Pretoria. Morning game drive and breakfast before transfer to airport for flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, transferred to Pretoria. Accommodation: 131 on Herbert Baker Hotel, including breakfast and transfers.

 Day 6: The Blue Train – Cape Town. Early this morning, take the courtesy shuttle to Pretoria Station for your night on the Blue Train, travelling in style to Cape Town. Imagine watching the moon rise over the Karoo and waking up to find yourself surrounded by vineyards. The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey of 1,600 kilometres, through some of the most diverse and spectacular sceney offered by the African sub-continent. Includes all meals, drinks and activities.

 Day 7: Cape Town. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for 3 nights accommodation. Accommodation: Cape Cadogan Hotel/Franschhoek Country House, including breakfast daily.

Spectacular Cape Town


 Days 8–9: Cape Town. Next two days are spent at leisure discovering the beautiful “Mother City” of Cape Town (optional day touring can be prearranged at extra cost).

Day 10: Cape Town – Australia. Leisurely morning before departure transfer to airport for flight back to Australia via Johannesburg.

The cost is only $7895 per person twin share including return flights from Australia.

Price includes: Return airfares & taxes (ex SYD, MEL, ADL, PER, BNE), 1 night in Johannesburg and 1 night in Pretoria, including breakfast and transfers, 3 nights at Game Lodge with all meals, park fees, scheduled game drives, Blue Train with all meals, local brand drinks and activities, plus 3 nights in Cape town, including breakfast and transfers.

Valid for departures: Between 01 Jan and 30 Aug, 2014. Subject to availability and scheduled tour dates.

 *Conditions apply. Single room rates upon request. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for card payments which vary. Prices correct at 31 August, 2013 but may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Offers subject to availability. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. A deposit of 30% per person is required within 7 days of booking. Packages may be withdrawn without notice. Vaccinations, visas and travel insurance are not included.

As you can see, one of the options you have is to stay at the beautiful Lion Sands private game reserve. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of nights there in July this year and I can tell you that the accommodation is beautiful, the food is five star quality and, most importantly the game viewing and guides are superb.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Greatest Show On Earth

 THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH SAFARI
29 January - 14 February 2014

Please join me for an incredible wildlife safari in Tanzania. I will be escorting a small group (maximum 10 passengers) to witness a very special annual event that takes place in the Southern Serengeti.  All your comforts and safety is taken care of and I personally escort the group from Brisbane.

At last. Everything is confirmed and I have ten front row seats at one of the most amazing natural wonders this planet has to offer. I am talking about the mass birthing of wildebeest calves in Tanzania's Southern Serengeti.  The great wildebeest migration reaches the Ndutu area in January and February and here they give birth to their offspring who will quickly grow strong on the lush grass before their migration back towards the north continues.  These huge herds of animals are attended by the predators of the plains, lions, cheetahs and hyenas. This is something everyone should witness at least once in their lives.

The Ndutu region of the Serengeti is the climax of this amazing small group safari, but we will be visiting other great wildlife viewing areas and witnessing some of Africa's most beautiful scenery before having a few relaxing days on the spice island of Zanzibar.  Accommodation is in four to five star hotels, lodges and tented camps with en-suite facilities.  The safari vehicles are two 4WD specially adapted vehicles. Each passenger will have a window seat and the vehicle's roof opens for the best possible game viewing experience. Each vehicle is driven by a professional driver/guide.


 Here is a run down of the basic itinerary.

29 January 2014
Qantas flight QF505                            Depart Brisbane 6am       Arrive Sydney 8.35am
South African Airlines flight SA7701 Depart Sydney 10.35am   Arrive Johannesburg 3.35pm
Transfer to Peermont Mondior Hotel for 1 night accommodation including breakfast.

30 January 2014
Transfer to Johannesburg Airport.
South African Airlines flight SA186  Depart Johannesburg 9.30am   Arrive Dar es Salaam 2pm
Regional Air flight                              Depart Dar es Salaam 4.30pm  Arrive Arusha 5.50pm
Transfer to Hatari Lodge for a pre-safari briefing and 2 nights at the lodge including all meals, game drives in Arusha National Park and a short walk to the waterfall.

Hatari Lodge

01 February 2014
We depart for Tanangire National Park for 2 nights at Balloon Camp including all meals and game drives.
Balloon Camp

03 February 2014
Today we drive to the rim of Ngorongoro Crater - another of the great natural wonders of Africa. Here we stay for 3 nights at the Sopa Lodged perched on the rim with stunning views of the crater itself. We will have 2 six hour game drives in the crater and all meals are included.

 Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

06 February 2014
We drive to the Ndutu region of the Serengeti National Park to spend 3 nights at Nasikia Camp with game drives to see the great herds of wildebeest giving birth to their young, the predators and all the other wonderful general game. All meals are included.

A cheetah thinking about lunch 

09 February 2014
We have a final game drive to the airstrip.
Regional Air flight                             Depart Ndutu 11.35am   Arrive Zanzibar 2.35pm
Transfer to the Zanzibar Serena Inn for 3 nights accommodation including breakfast, a morning historical walking tour of Stone Town and an afternoon Spice Tour.

The Serena Zanzibar Inn

12 February 2014
Transfer to Zanzibar Airport.
Coastal Airlines flight                        Depart Zanzibar 1pm   Arrive Dar es Salaam 1.20pm
Transfer to Southern Sun Dar es Salaam.
1 night at Southern Sun Hotel Dar es Salaam including breakfast,

13 February 2014
Transfer from hotel to airport.
 South African Airlines flight SA189  Depart Dar es Salaam 6.45am
Arrive Johannesburg 9.25am
South African Airlines flight  SA7700 Depart Johannesburg 5.50pm

14 February 2014
Arrive Sydney 2.45pm
Qantas flight QF540                             Depart Sydney 5.05pm    Arrive Brisbane 5.35pm

(Please note that the flights from Sydney to Johannesburg and back are code share flights operated by Qantas aircraft and crew.)

Total cost for all of the above is $11470.00 per person twin share.

Now here is the full accommodation list.
Peermont Mondior, Johannesburg.           
Hatari Lodge, Arusha.                      
Balloon Camp, Tanangire National Park.                     
Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater.  
Nasikia Camp, Serengeti National Park.                     
Serena Zanzibar Inn, Zanzibar.           
Southern Sun Hotel, Dar es Salaam.  


For bookings or more information please call me - Peter Emery on 0449 689 447 or drop me an email. peter.emery@ucango.com.au



                      



Friday, September 6, 2013

Join Me In Tanzania In February

I've been back from Africa for about ten days now and I miss it already. I was there escorting a wonderful group of people on my annual "Great Migration Safari" through Tanzania and Kenya. It proved to be a huge success despite a rather inauspicious start when the arrivals terminal at Nairobi Airport caught fire just before we landed.  Our plane touched down smoothly and taxied off the runway only to stop in the taxi way.  The pilot's voice came over the intercom.

  "Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Nairobi. If you look out of the left side of the aircraft you will see that the terminal is on fire. We will just wait here until the fire service has put out the blaze, then air traffic control will tell us which gate we can use."

Four hours later we were finally allowed to leave the plane. The fire service were unable to control the blaze and the terminal was severely damaged. However, the Kenyan authorities did an amazing job under very difficult circumstances. They set up a temporary customs and immigration desk in the nearby cargo terminal and processed passengers there and within a couple of hours we were all at our Nairobi hotel sipping cold beers and having lunch. Imagine what would have happened at an airport in the USA, Britain or Australia. We'd still be there waiting for security clearance. As it happens we were rather lucky, being the last plane to land before the airport had to close. Subsequent inbound flights were diverted to various points around East Africa depending on the size of the aircraft. Some went to Mombasa, some to Entebbe, some to Kilimanjaro. What a nightmare that must have been for the passengers.

Anyway, things have settled down now and Nairobi Airport is functioning again. There is a new terminal being built in any case and they are trying to fast-track that. Meanwhile travelers flying in and out of Nairobi can, for the time being expect a few minor delays.

Once the safari was under way we saw some amazing things including a rarely sighted (if rather gruesome hyena kill. There were leopards, cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos and all manner of antelope and gazelle and vast herds of wildebeest in the Maasai Mara National Reserve - a truly awe inspiring sight.  Below are some of our photos.  The accommodation was excellent throughout and the food was of the highest quality. I can't wait for next year. In fact I am currently putting together a small group safari to visit the southern Serengeti in February when the massed herds of wildebeest will be calving. This is another great natural event attended by predators, and once again great game viewing is all but guaranteed. As soon as I have firm details I will post them on this blog.  Meanwhile, as promised here are a few images from this year's Great Migration Safari.

Dik dik antelope, Lake Manyara, Tanzania.

Olive baboons sharing an intimate moment in the middle of the road, Lake Manyara.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Don't let anyone tell you that you don't get close to the animals on safari.
 Ngorongoro Crater.

Handsome fellow, Ngorongoro Crater.

Spectacular crowned cranes, Ngorongoro Crater.

Maasai village school between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Tanzania.

Great hairstyle. Serengeti, Tanzania.

Where's dinner Mum? Serengeti.

In a waterhole, Serengeti.

Leopard up a tree. Serengeti.

The Maasai Mara, Kenya.

Topi antelope, Maasai Mara.

Resting in the shade. Cheetah, Maasai Mara.

A minute part of the 2-3 million wildebeest spread out across the plain of the Maasai Mara.

Mother and calf, Amboseli, Kenya.

Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park.

Finally, the obligatory African sunset shot. Amboseli National Park.

Now then, for those of you who for some inexplicable reason do not wish to visit Africa, here is a great special from Thai Airways for flights from Brisbane to Bangkok return. The cost is $892 per person including tax. It is a companion fare, so two people must travel together.  It is available for sale until October and seat availability is limited so be quick.
 
Please call me for bookings or further information.
 
PETER EMERY
Africa Travel Specialist & Home Based Travel Consultant
Mobile - 0449 689 447
Office - 07 5451 8600

 Qld registered travel agent licence number 3181 385


 















Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sabi Sand

Welcome to my August newsletter.  Boy was I lucky with the weather in Great Britain recently. It was absolutely stunning for the entire week I spent there attending a family wedding.. Certainly much better than the weather I left behind in the so called Sunshine Coast, as my wife Jacky pointed out with more than a hint of envy upon my return.

I travelled to London via South Africa in both directions in order to look at four game lodges that I had not previously seen in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park.
All were fantastic and all had a unique atmosphere. Firstly there was Lion Sands, with it's views over the Sabie River. Lovely rooms, tastefully furnished. Great food and very professionally run. Check out the tree houses on their website. http://www.lionsands.com/

Lion Sands accommodation

Lion Sands lounge

Next I moved on to Mala Mala, probably one of the most famous of the reserves in the Sabi Sand area. The rooms have fantastic views over the Sand River, which is more open in nature than the Sabie River and consequently it is easier to view game as they come to drink at the water's edge. The rooms here are massive, the largest of any of the four lodge in which I stayed. Again the food was absolutely beautiful and the place was impossible to fault.  http://www.malamala.com/

The rooms at Mala Mala are enormous.

The view of the Sand River from my private deck at Mala Mala.

Next came Londolozi - another famous lodge, and probably the most upmarket of the four. Again, I had a beautiful room, though it did seem a little small after the one I had at Mala Mala. It was a little over-furnished too I thought. The food there was glorious and the staff, as in all the lodges could not do enough for the guests. I did however get the feeling that Londolozi is primarily a resort and wildlife viewing is a bit of an afterthought.  Having said that, there was some nice wildlife viewing to be had without leaving the lodge. Again, there are great views over the Sand River with it's pods of hippos and herds of elephants which come to drink in the late afternoon. http://www.londolozi.com/en/?gclid=COaog9nM2LgCFYQhpQod0U0AFg
Over furnished room?  Londolozi

My private plunge pool. Londolozi

Finally. on the way home I had time for two nights at Nottens Bush Camp. I guess this was the most rustic of the four, and the rooms really didn't look that great from the outside. However, inside they were large and more than comfortable. The only power available in the room was one socket in the corner which serviced the emergency telephone, but this socket could be used for charging batteries etc. Lighting in the room was with lovely oil lamps and this really added to the charm of the place.

Nottens Bush Camp accommodation

The food here was perhaps a step down from the haute cuisine of Londolozi, but was fantastic nonetheless in a home made wholesome kind of way. I loved it. The other thing I loved about Notten's Bush Camp was that they had so many staff who had been there for more than ten years. My guide Joseph had been there for thirty years and he really new his stuff. http://nottens.com/

UP CLOSE WITH THE WILDLIFE OF SABI SAND

So, what next? On August the 6th I leave for Africa once again. This time to escort a really lovely group of people to see the great wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania. This proved to be a very popular concept and I will certainly be repeating it in 2014.

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Fancy a cruise? A serious cruise?  Here's a great deal on a Round the World trip on The Norwegian Star.  Prices start from $6499 per person twin share, and lets face it you can barely get a decent round the world airfare for that these days, let alone accommodation all meals and entertainment too.
http://ucango.com.au/offers-1/whip-around-the-world

Okay, that's it for now. See in you September when I'll start to organise next year's Great Migration Safari.