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November 2011 newsletter is out, Rich and I hope you enjoy!

The Serengeti Migration


The great migration takes place between the Serengeti (Northern Tanzania) and the Masai Mara (Southern Kenya).
It is the largest mammal migration on earth and is considered one of the 10 natural travel wonders of the world. Approximately 1.8 million wildebeest migrate a circular route of about 500 kilometres.

This is where magic takes place... twice a year.

The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year. Rich and I have been up into the Serengeti and found the rains had not yet arrived to bring the great herds from the North. We still had an amazing time as the region maintains a healthy resident polulation of game all year round, but on this occasion we missed seeing those huge herds.
 
The short rains begin around early November. A little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. They stay here throughout January, February and March, with most wildebeest calves born in a short window period around February. Gradually they spread west across these plains. Then around April and May they start their great migration north.

During the month of June, the migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it's not continuous – and so while they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River's massive crocodiles, these aren't usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

The wildebeest migration continues moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front.

September sees the herds stretch out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. Watching the frantic migrating herds crossing the Mara River is an phenomenal thing to experience, especially since it is never a garrenteed sighting.

By October they are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.

Then the whole migration starts again…
 
NOTES:
 

  • Summer: Oct–March. Winter: April–Sept.
  • Tanzania offers excellent game viewing all year round. The migration between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara is a spectacular sight. It is important to note that not all animals migrate and there are some year-round residents.
  • There are two rainy seasons in East Africa, the first known as the long rainy season is from April through to June, and the shorter season from late November through to December. A positive point during these times is the fewer numbers of tourists, so the travelling experience is more exclusive and the rains do not hinder game viewing.
  • The dry seasons are generally better for game viewing when the game concentrates around the water sources. 


Photographic safari

Rich loves his photography... it’s his favourite pastime. Nothing makes him happier than photographing in the ‘golden hour’ as the sun starts to set. For a long time Rich has wanted to put a photographic safari together, one that includes incredible game, stunning landscapes and a group of like-minded travellers.
 
The itinerary would be between 7 – 10 days focusing on different aspects of photography, with a small group of about 6 – 8 people. We want to include a diverse array of photographic opportunities, focusing on wildlife, landscapes and cultural shots... all tied together with a professional photographer. It’s a wildlife enthusiast and amateur photographer’s dream come true.
 
Before Rich puts an itinerary together, I would like to find out who of you out there would be interested in coming on this trip? Let me know by emailing me at susie@africanavenue.co.za
 

 


African Avenue has a
new website!

 
It was time our website got a face lift! So we enlisted the help of my wonderful sister Debbie in Australia, who has a very successful graphic design business, White River Designs. Debs came through with a design that we loved from the start. Enjoy!
www.africanavenue.co.za



Elephants get rescued in Zambia

We thought that this story was too heart warming not to share. A baby elephant got stuck in the mud, her mum tried to help ... and she got stuck too. The locals made an executive decision to save these two elephants in distress. Well done to all for their brave effort. As you can see by the photos – it was a happy ending. Click on the following link to take you to more photos on NCS facebook page http://on.fb.me/sfIW8D
 

CONNECT WITH US


CONTACT US


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Tel:      +27 (0)13 751 2148
Cell:     +27 (0)83 285 0505
Email:   susie@africanavenue.co.za





 
LuangwaMagic –
seven days on the wildside

 
Norman Carr Safaris (NCS) have come up with a fantastic concept. They call it their ‘wildside’ package. A great safari for those on a tight budget, who are willing to be flexible with the exact order of camps they visit. NCS currently has 1 main lodge and 4 bush camps in their portfolio, and they are well known for their walking safaris. Norman Carr (the man after whom the company was named) pioneered walking safaris many years back. Rich and I managed their top bush camp, Mchenja, a few years ago. Some of you, who have already travelled with us, will remember meeting us there!

So the deal is:
You spend 7 nights between at least 3 different camps. Your exact itinerary is only given to you 2 weeks before you travel. This is only available from May to November as the camps close in summer due to the massive rains in the area.

One of the big draw cards for travellers, especially individual travellers, is that there is no single supplement charge!
Check out their website at www.normancarrsafaris.com for more information.



  




 
Tim and Miranda
get married

 
Two very special people got married in May this year... in the middle of the bush! The congregation consisted of a witness (Susie), a photographer (Rich) and an African choir. It was an incredible day filled with huge emotion and joy. Thanks Tim and Miranda for sharing your special day with us. We just had to put this photo in our newsletter… the ‘just married’ Land Rover got more photographs than the lion cubs on that game drive! 




&Beyond’s
Ngala Tented Camp

 
Rich and I visited &Beyond’s Ngala Tented Camp a few weeks ago – a stunning spot set in Ngala Private Game Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the well-known Kruger National Park. Six beautifully appointed tented suites offer a special and authentic wilderness experience. The well-renowned staff at &Beyond made our stay!
 
The size of the camp makes it a perfect getaway for a family or group who want to have the camp all to themselves. Dinner under the stars, special cocktail sundowners in dry river beds and a chef who dishes out the best you can get on Safari! It is well worth a trip... the high ratings on trip advisor say it all.


 
 

 
Safari in style
 
Hot air ballooning – what a way to travel. Whether you are gliding over the Serengeti in the middle of the mass migration or heading over the dunes in Namibia, this will always be one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences. Your balloon ride takes you up, up and away. You float through the sky for about an hour and a half before settling back on the ground in a spectacular location for a champagne breakfast. Friends of ours recently did the balloon safari in the Serengeti and highly recommend it! 






Rosebank Rooftop Market 
 
Not many people visiting South Africa know about this lovely market which takes place every Sunday... in the heart of Johannesburg. Now that we have the Gautrain it makes it easier for visitors to pop into the city if staying at the airport or in transit.
 
Clothing, ceramics, arts and crafts, handcrafted items from all over Africa, furniture and jewellery, and an array of mouth-watering delights in the international food court and deli section all combine to bring you a lifestyle experience like no other. With over 600 stalls under one roof and voted as Johannesburg's Premier Market for ten consecutive years, the Rooftop Market is regarded by many as South Africa's best market, and is well patronised by locals as well as tourists. A great option for those who have a couple hours to spare... or happen to be passing through Joburg on a Sunday!





 
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