Susie is Climbing Kilimanjaro - 2011!
As all of you know, I have decided to tackle Kilimanjaro next year. The highest mountain in Africa! I have had a fantastic response to the invitation I sent out, and it looks like we might have to put two separate trips together for this one. But believe me, I will only be climbing once! We are going to be using the Rongai Route, which is one of the quietest and best acclimatisation routes. It’s a seven-day trek – with 5 nights on the mountain. What a challenge and what an experience. Wish more of you could come – there is always next time and maybe Rich can even be convinced to climb it then? To check out the Kili itinerary CLICK HERE. If you are interested, please contact us and we can see if there is any space available in the group/s.
Up & coming - Mana Pool Canoe Trip
Rich is going to be heading to Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park for an exploratory safari of this remote region in the Zambezi River Valley. This will be one for the adventurous at heart and will most lightly mean leaving behind the laptops and hairdryers folks. The purpose of the safari is to get close to nature and connect with this magical landscape. Expect to get up close to some of Africa’s larger inhabitants in both canoes and on foot. The wilderness areas of the park are ideal for walking, and canoeing the quiet stretches of the Zambezi means getting closer to the bush than you may have thought possible. It is important to select good specialist guides who know this area and understand what is needed to safely negotiate the park. Over the coming months, African Avenue will be meeting with specialist guides and safari companies to select one that we know will provide the very best in terms of professionalism, safety, and of course adventure.
Yoga on Safari
Would you ever put yoga and safari together? Well, Lynette Chase, from Gypsy Yoga Studios www.gypsyyogastudio.com has done just this. With our interest in the safari aspect and Lynette’s interest in yoga, we have put together an unforgettable trip for all those yoga and nature-lovers out there. The trip consists of 10 days in some fabulous settings… yoga in the bush, and on wooden platforms overlooking sandy riverbeds… spiritual meditation on ancient granite rocks with different locations chosen to maximise and deepen this spiritual journey of mind and body. Having exclusive use of camps and enjoying well-prepared, healthy meals will add to the experience. Labyrinths, spas, instructed yoga sessions, game-drives, bushwalks, and dinners under the stars. A magical experience incorporating the true essence of yoga into the areas of our country we know and love. A chance to find your inner soul and recharge your batteries. Check out the yoga safari itinerary HERE.
Winter day, in the bush
2010 - New Year!Our New Year began in the remote mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Discovering this exciting country, which is actually “locked” within South Africa, was amazing. We had never visited Lesotho before and we loved it. Such a laidback and relaxed atmosphere. Unbelievably beautiful scenery with highlights including great hiking and horse “pony” trekking. We stayed at a rustic lodge called Maleyaleya, www.malealea.co.ls in the Lesotho Highlands. You can choose between a scenic two-hour ride and a six-day pony trek, where you stay in villages en route and interact with the local people. It’s an off-the-beaten-track experience with plenty of adventure to be found. We woke up to a magnificent new-year rainbow. A special time spent with our family and our newborn nephew William (so, yes, it is child-friendly).
May is on its way!
How times flies when you are having fun! Can you believe African Avenue has been running for well over a year now? Our initial baby-steps have turned to full-strides and we find ourselves moving ahead with Going Africa at our side. We have already got to know so many great people in the African travel industry: incredible guides and trackers whose intimate knowledge of the environment has opened our eyes to new and exciting things; chefs who prepare cuisine and waiters who deliver service that goes way beyond their warm and genuine smiles; camp managers who dedicate their time to ensuring the success of the lodges they run and help to nurture the conservation ethics they believe in. It has been a privilege to get to know these individuals whose combined effort is helping to ensure Africa remains an unforgettable experience for all who visit here. We are always looking to expand and develop this network of valuable contacts and caring friends. 2010 will be no different. With trips to Kilimanjaro, Zimbabwe (Mana Pools), New York, Hawaii and Cape Town, as well as to Johannesburg to watch one of the World Cup games, its sure to be another interesting and educational year for us.
Bring on the Winter ...
Winter in Southern Africa officially only runs from May through to August. At the moment the grass is still “as high as an elephant’s eye”, the sun is shining, the sky still filled with huge white puffy clouds and everywhere you look Africa’s lush-green summer raincoat shelters signs of life.
Within a few months the landscape will lose this feeling of lushness. It will take on a whole new look – many of the trees and shrubs will drop their leaves and the grass will disappear in places. Puddles will dry up and flowing rivers will disappear to all but a few select waterholes. The animals will once more tighten their belts and fall into their annual pattern of conserving energy and making the most of the precious water that was so abundant only months ago.This probably sounds rather bleak, but those of you who have spent time on safari during an African winter will know that it is anything but. Winters are traditionally the best time to be out in the bush and a trip at this time is always rewarding.
Why travel in winter?
- The temperatures are far less exhausting. Days are mostly comfortable, warm and sunny. Cooler nights and early mornings mean you enjoy the warmth of a campfire that much more.
- The “thinning” of the bush vegetation makes spotting animals a little easier.
- Drinking points, like rivers and waterholes, become “hot-spots” for viewing game, particularly the predators.
- There are less mosquitoes and bugs out and about at this time of year.
- The large predator species, like lions and leopard, remain active during more daylight hours than in the heat of summer.
World Cup update
We are so grateful to be hosting this international spectacle in our country. It brings such enthusiasm to everyone who chooses to embrace this momentous event. More and more South Africans are taking up their vuvuzelas and practising how to blow this trumpet-like instrument that will soon sound throughout every corner of our land.
The build up has most definitely begun. With only 57 days to go, the entire country is in full-steam-ahead mode. Improved public transport (trains, planes and buses in the cities), improved and new hotels, and increasing environmental awareness. This has had a wonderful influence on the tourism industry in SA and in our neighboring countries. Everybody suddenly has a deadline for all those jobs they have been putting off for far too long. The result is that the general visitor experience will be enhanced and the improvements made should boost the standards of the nation well into the future.
Susie and I have got tickets to watch Brazil vs Ivory Coast in June at Soccer City in Johannesburg (seats over 90 000 screaming fans) – it’s going to be crazy, so keep an eye on this country ‘cos come June/July its going to be an amazing place to visit.