Africa’s diverse wildlife is currently mesmerising TV viewers, be it walking in the footsteps of the world’s largest land animals in Channel 4’s Walking With Elephants, shining a spotlight on endangered species conservation in Work on the Wild Side or a closer look at how our nearest relatives are adapting in BBC’s Primates. Whichever country on earth’s second largest continent has captivated your imagination and sparked wanderlust, Windows on the Wild’s new Africa packages offer wide open spaces and up close and personal encounters with the incredible wildlife and nature showcased.
While current travel may be on pause, Windows on the Wild’s new Africa packages cater for all tastes, budgets and wildlife persuasions and include the following destinations, that are ready to book when travel resumes.
With several new safari packages to choose from and accommodation options ranging from boutique hotels to luxury lodges and tented camps, itineraries include numerous national reserves such as the Masai Mara, home to the largest concentration of resident game in the world. Experience the ground-shaking wonder of the Great Wildebeest Migration, marvel over iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya and enjoy excellent opportunities to spot the Big Five and countless other wildlife in the natural habitat. Combine your Kenyan safari adventure with a relaxing stay on one of many beautiful white sand beaches or coastal islands, or even twin your visit with the Seychelles for the ultimate African experience.
Two new safari packages have been introduced covering both the popular northern circuit and the lesser-known southern circuit.
On the southern circuit visit the Selous Game Reserve – the largest in Africa (approximately the size of Switzerland) with its unique eco-system of species not found elsewhere in East Africa. Experience huge herds of Cape buffalo, elephant, the elusive wild dog, crocodiles, and hippos in this UNESCO World Heritage site. A highlight of this tour is undoubtedly chimpanzee trekking in Mahale Mountain National Park, which is where Jane Goodall conducted her research. Round off the trip with a visit to the pristine white sand beaches of Pemba Island.
On the northern circuit stay at the luxurious Chem Chem on a coffee plantation adjoining Tarangire National Park, where the game tends to come to you, and enjoy unforgettable sundowners on the shore of Lake Manyara with the hills of the Great Rift Valley as a backdrop. At Faru Faru River Lodge in Singita Grumeti Reserves game viewing is off road and showcases the resident wildlife of the Masai Mara and the Northern Serengeti.
Ethiopia is the more affordable African destination but still offers amazing experiences including the Classical Historical Route of Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum, the weird customs and amazing markets of the tribes in the Omo Valley and some of the most stunning scenery in Africa, especially in the Simien Mountains. Situated in northern Ethiopia, the town of Lalibela is named after King Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty. The town is considered Ethiopia’s cultural capital and one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities. The undeniable highlight of this ancient capital is dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and includes eleven rock-hewn churches dating back to the 13th century. The Blue Nile Falls, Lake Tana, and the hottest place on Earth in the Afar Region, where the average daily temperature is 35°C, are all waiting to be explored!
Combine a stay in the capital city Kigali, with its cafe culture and mouth-watering food scene, before heading off to the parks for a true bucket list experience – gorilla trekking to see the largest living primate in the wild. Rwanda has so much to offer visitors, most notably the tracking of critically endangered mountain gorillas in the lush Virunga National Park, which extends across the peaks and jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains. Other must-see attractions include the expansive Lake Kivu, the ancient Nyungwe Forest with its rich population of primate species, and the game-rich savannah lands of Akagera National Park.
The opportunity to see gorillas in their natural environment is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Uganda is one of the few countries where this is still possible. Start your adventure at Entebbe on the banks of Lake Victoria and explore the local area, including a visit to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a haven for the country’s orphaned chimps. A short two-hour flight away is Fort Portal and the renowned Queen Elizabeth National Park, where, set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond, Kyaninga Lodge awaits. From here you will visit Kibale Forest National Park and experience tracking the chimpanzees through the forest on foot and explore the Great Rift Valley. A short flight then takes you onwards to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, said to be Africa’s oldest rainforest it is world-renowned for its unforgettable gorilla-sighting opportunities. Here you will stay at Clouds, perched 2,000 metres above sea level it is Uganda’s highest lodge.
Several new itineraries combine Zambia and Southern Africa, with Robin Pope Safaris included (Robin Pope pioneered the walking safari in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia). The Luangwa Valley marks the end of the Great Rift Valley and is one of the last unspoilt wilderness areas, and possibly the finest wildlife sanctuary, in Africa. Accommodation options range from intimate bush camps, rustic, yet sophisticated lodges and architecturally stunning safari houses, with the emphasis on five-star experiences. Some itineraries include the iconic ‘smoke that thunders’ – Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe / Zambia border, which is at its highest flow for 20 years.
The Best of Africa (www.windowsonthewild.com/africa/rwanda/victoria-falls-kenya-safari-rwanda-gorillas)
For a complete immersion into the highlights of Africa, this 19-day tour starts in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the cosmopolitan city flanked by Nairobi National Park. Zimbabwe is next – one of Africa’s leading safari destinations. Guests will enjoy game viewing in the surrounds of the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls and an unforgettable 12-minute ‘Flight of the Angel’s helicopter flight over the falls. Returning to Kenya, guests will travel to Meru National Park, with its rich wildlife diversity and a rhino sanctuary at the heart of the park, which is home to around 70 black and white rhinos. Guests transfer to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy next, which offers visitors the opportunity to have close encounters with the Big 5, making it one Kenya’s top game-viewing destinations. The Masai Mara is next on the itinerary and here, aside from traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains is hugely popular and you can even do a safari on horseback. After arriving in Kigali, Rwanda’s bustling capital, guests will transfer to the Volcanoes National Park, best known as a sanctuary for the region’s rare mountain gorillas. The tour draws to a close with a full day of gorilla trekking, the highlight of which is an hour with these beautiful creatures, of which there are sadly only about 650 left in the wild.
Holidays to Africa with Windows on the Wild start from £2,959 per person.
To book call Windows on the Wild on 020 8742 1556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.