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www.greenrhino.co.za THE DIPLOMAT’S GUIDE TO TRAVEL IN AFRICA FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 Volume 78 Our services include INCLUDING TRAVEL NEWS, TRAVEL INFORMATION AND SNIPPETS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY * Accommodation - hotels, game lodges, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, tented camps and self Welcome to SOUTHERN AFRICA! We trust your stay here will be a pleasant catering resorts and interesting one, and we know that whilst you are living and working here, you will certainly want to see as much of our beautiful country as possible. * Tours and transfers in most major areas, ie Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Pretoria and You will also find that many of your family and friends will be coming out here to Johannesburg City, Cradle of Humanking, Sun City visit you, and whilst you will be all too eager to travel around with them, and point etc. out some of the wonderful discoveries you will have made on your travels, this will not always be possible. Life as a Diplomat is a very busy one, and your holidays * Package tours, including Victoria Falls, Sun City, are very precious, so we'd like to introduce you to the Green Rhino African Travel Cape Town, Durban, Mozambique and the Islands, Botswana, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Team who will be your friends and travel advisors throughout your stay in this Zambia, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar country. * Family accommodation and getaways specifically Cynthia is based in Cape Town and Janet in Mpumalanga, near to the Kruger geared for children and small groups (away National Park. We regularly travel to Pretoria and Maputo to visit you all, so weekends are popular in many of the Embassies) watch out for our free cocktail functions and travel promotions, to which you will be invited once we have your contact details on our data base. * Coaches and air charter, including local flights and Car Hire We have many years of experience in putting together tour and travel programmes and itineraries and in making suggestions for your weekends away, * Conferences and team building. short stay safaris, fly-in packages and many other options. Our services are free * Golfing and other sporting weekend venues in all to you, and in fact we are very often able to offer you substantial discounts areas through our many contacts in the African Travel Industry. * Weddings hino r ! en R s yea Gre thi s 20 www.greenrhino.co.za turn MISSION STATEMENT T he Rhino is an iconic image of Africa and conjures up visions of excitement and wonderment. It’s very existence relies on successful conservation, care and dedicated management. This in essence has been the inspiration behind our ‘Green Rhino’ brand. Our commitment to you is to provide the most memorable experiences and inspirational journeys as you get to know this spectacular and vast continent, while at the same time acknowledging our own role in supporting the people and the wildlife of Africa. We aim to promote ethical destinations and responsible tourism, so that you can be assured that the money you spend will make a difference. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 2 ACCOLADES FROM FRIENDS Just wanted to thank you for organising a wonderful trip for me. I love to travel and am not usually fazed by a new country but when I said AND CLIENTS I was going to Africa every person I spoke to here in Australia had some horror story to tell me Hope this message finds you well. Happy and healthy 2010! But my stay in Africa was perfect - the accommodation/meals where way beyond expectations, the service was fantastic and everyone I I am back in New York from a delightful and relaxing holiday in Africa. came across were helpful and very friendly. And the things I saw - Hard to get used to gloves, hats and coats! wow! The animals, Victoria Falls, Capetown and the Garden Route - all unbelievably beautiful. I would like to thank you once again for your enormous help and Thanks again - I had a great time. attention to detail regarding the planning of our (rather complicated) trip. Le-Anne Obviously there were problems along the way, some frustration and fear (I will never forget that drive from the airport to Johannesburg!!!!) – but at My husband and I, along with 4 friends, spent two nights at Shawu the end everything ended well and everyone is happy and delighted. It is Camp. This was part of a three week holiday visit to Southern really once in a lifetime experience! I do hope that there will be a Africa. Shawu Camp was just marvelous. Our game guide was chance to meet you some time – although I feel as if I know you already excellent and very informative. The food was very good, the ambiance very well! was unbeatable and the game viewing outstanding. Shawu was particularly fine because we felt the entire staff made such an effort to make our visit memorable. And, they Green Rhino has proved all the wonderful reputation that it has and be did. They were so accommodating and dealt with any requests very assured that we will continue to recommend you to our friends and other quickly and graciously. Jonathon was a wonderful host. I just wanted to people traveling to Africa! let you know how pleased we were with our experience at Shawu. We are certainly recommending it to friends, especially those who have Beka Vuco time for only one "safari" in their business travels. New York Anne Blacksten U SA Happy new year. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful our holiday in Cape Town & Plettenburg were. Thanks so much for your I just wanted to write to you to let you know that everything on our trip recommendations of lodging. The Oceana was nice and we were just as went exactly according to the plans, all the organizations were great happy to be in lovely Camps Bay as in the heart of Cape Town. and we enjoyed a lot South Africa! A great big thanks to you for creating Cornerway House in Plett was fantastic; a perfect, "homey," place to all the preparations for us so that our trip was very smooth and so that spend Christmas as a family. They couldn't have been more hospitable we had a chance to see a lot in short time! and helpful. I don't think we could have found as lovely a place on our own. So once again, thank you very much! Sodwana Bay lodge was nice and relaxed place for scuba diving, and a lot of people we met also told us that is the best place for divers! And All the best for 2010. then going to the Hluhluwe River Lodge, (I finally managed to learn to Laura Rumpf pronounce the word!), that lodge certainly was a good price/quality relation, we were given personal attention by the staff and the cottage Just wanted you to know what a great time I had last week at the Hlosi was really nice! Would definitely recommend that lodge as well. Reserve Lodge near Port Elizabeth. It was a great place and the staff We are glad to recommend your services to our friends! there were fantastic. There was plenty of customer service with warmth. The food was in abundance and fabulously delicious. The lodges were THANK YOU! beautifully decorated and spacious. I was there for a total of 6 drives, Satu & Tomi and eventually I was able to see all the big 5 – minus the leopard. Hi All All-in-all, this lodge I would rate a good 8+ on a scale of 1-10. Thanks for Happy New Year! the recommendation. I just wanted to send you a note to thank you so much for organising our Lola holiday to South Africa and thank you for the accommodation you suggested as we had the holiday of a life time thanks to you. The highlight Dear Green Rhino for me was the Safari. Everything about our stay at the Bukela lodge was amazing. Our ranger, Stuart, was so knowledgable and never made you We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our brief stay at feel stupid for asking a question that maybe obvious to him. The food was Entabeni Wildside Camp. The tents are cozy and cute and the staff, out of this world although I've now got to hit the gym to get rid of the extra rangers, food, etc were all quite good. They really try to make sure you pounds I'm carrying! The staff were just excellent. The same can be said have a good time. We saw a good range of animals, and the terrain is about our stay in Hermanus. What a lovely guesthouse, (Schulphoek) host stunning. The drive up and down the mountain was a highlight! and beautiful town. Thank you for suggeting we stay there for 2 nights. Our stay in Port Elizabeth, (Ibhayi) Knysna (Knysna Hollow) and Franschhoek Please pass our compliments along to the Wildside staff. (Oliphantshoek ) were also amazing. The accommodation in V&A Warm regards, waterfront was luxury, in a fantatic location. We even got to see the Heidi and James Inder England Cricket team so Chris was extremely happy! Back to reality now and back to work! www.greenrhino.co.za Thanks again. Nicky, British High Commission, Lagos/Nigeria FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 3 NEW, NEW, NEW! Each suite embraces a spacious bedroom, sumptuous Victorian-style bathroom, living-area with all mod-cons and a secluded patio overlooking the African bush. The elegant bathrooms blend old and new influences - a romantic Victorian bathtub, modern power shower, and a range of amenities for decadent bathing. Every suite offers air- conditioning, mini-bar, safe, DVD player, satellite television and telephone. By day many guests choose to relax outside on the raised patio overlooking tropical gardens and a waterhole, which attracts a constant flow of animals, including elephant, buffalo, kudu and waterbuck. The swimming pool provides welcome respite during the heat of the day, and guests can laze around the pool or enjoy cocktails within full view of the surrounding wildlife. In the evenings, the plush bar area is a natural gathering place and THE HIDE ANNOUNCES REFURBISHMENT PLANS guests are encouraged to visit the handsomely-stocked wine cellar that boasts a selection of connoisseur's favourites from France and South Africa. The elegant dining area is in a class of its own and offers The Hide, situated on the eastern boundary of Hwange National Park, has the definitive fine dining experience in Victoria Falls. Service is consistently been voted “Best Tented Safari Camp in Zimbabwe” since impeccable and the food superb, with the emphasis on fresh local 1995. . The Camp was opened in 1992 and has undergone two major ingredients, lovingly prepared by a master-chef. refurbishments since opening, and has announced plans for their third refurbishment in 2010. The Stanley & Livingstone consistently earns accolades for best hotel, restaurant, hospitality and service in Victoria Falls and proudly takes The camp will be closed for refurbishment from the 13th January until the its place amongst the finest hotels in Africa. Our staff regularly receive 14th February 2010 and these upgrades will include significant work to the accolades for their outstanding service and attention to detail, and A-frame, the main meeting area of the camp and all of its facilities; the they are dedicated to ensuring that each stay here is memorable. construction of a new building to host the reception office and curio shop; a Read the guest comment book during your stay! new large pool with a teak deck and outside bar area; the relocation and redesign of two tents and general improvements to the other 8 tents.; THE RIVER CLUB ZAMBIA– FIVE STAR LUXURY enlarging the outside breakfast and boma areas; improving the kitchen facilities, refuse disposal and developing the vegetable garden and tree The River Club, with its Edwardian-style house and manicured lawns on nursery. the banks of the swift-flowing Zambezi River where hippo and crocodile float, seems to straddle the continents of Africa and Europe. The Hide will have some rooms available as from the 15th February. This will include 6 tents while dining will take place in a temporary site set up in Ten luxury chalets are spread out amongst the riverine vegetation, close proximity. comprising luxurious bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, most being split- level. Their originality stems from the fact that one side is completely open Gavin Rennie, General Manager confirmed that, “The camp will reopen to the river, so that there is an uninterrupted vista of the Zambezi and its far completely on the 1st April 2010, our main goal and motto is to always offer bank from both bed and bathtub. Each room looks west into glorious “The Ultimate Safari and Wildlife Experience in Zimbabwe”. African sunsets best viewed from the privacy of a ball and claw bath, brim- full with bubbles. All have a concertina screen door or window across the GREEN RHINO IS OFFERING SOME WONDERFUL PACKAGES TO front of the bedroom and/or bathroom. INCLUDE VICTORIA FALLS, THE HIDE AND BUMI HILLS Activities include sundowner cruises, visits to the Victoria Falls, Simonga Village, local markets and Livingstone town. Livingstone is rich in history TWO MORE WONDERFUL LODGES YOU CAN STAY AT WHILST and certainly worth exploring. It dates back to 1905 when the famous VISITING VICTORIA FALLS Victoria Falls bridge, spanning the Zambezi River, was completed in April of that year. Many of the town amenities date back to the early 1900s, THE STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE – ZIMBABWE. including the recently renovated 18-hole golf course (1908), the country's 5 STAR LUXURY first synagogue (1928) and later on its Museum (1953) where many of David Livingstone's personal possessions are on display today. The elegant Stanley and Livingstone is set within the game-rich Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve, just 10-minutes drive away Also on offer is a variety of adrenaline-loaded activities at extra cost: from the world famous Victoria Falls. white water rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling, and helicopter flights over the Falls. Representing the grandeur of a bygone era and catering for the most discerning guests, this boutique hotel allows you to Although The River Club is not a traditional safari camp, elephants can experience one of Africa's great highlights and the myriad often be seen in the Zambezi National Park opposite and hippo are adventures available around Victoria Falls, in utmost glamour and regularly seen and heard in the river itself. Game drives are also offered style. into the nearby Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where there is an abundance of general game species like buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and impala. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 4 There is rich bird life in the area, including several rarer species such as The main camp is located between the Marico River and a small Schalow's Turaco, African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher, African tributary of the Marico. The main area comprises an open plan lounge, Skimmer (seasonal), Rock Pratincole (seasonal) and Collared Palm- dining and reception area, with the pool and bar area offering views of Thrush. There are leisurely nature trails around the lodge, boat cruises the gully and river to the north. A traditional ‘lapa’ falls within a glade of and island walks. natural riverine forest. The décor of the camp has a strong Afro-Asian Safari ambience to it, with use of natural stone, fibres, cloth and carpets The Zambezi River offers ample fishing opportunities. Tiger fishing is an as well as metal and wood featuring prominently throughout the camp. unforgettable challenge for keen fishermen, particularly during the The influence of the river is very apparent, with the trees, birds and warmer months. There are several varieties of bream () that are also a water providing a peaceful and tranquil mood within the camp. good catch. For the more sporting, try catching them on fly! When it comes to environmentally sensitive and culturally rich areas, Madikwe Game Reserve there is a very fine line between enhancing the region and destroying it, even though the two actions sound worlds apart. Destroying the DON’T MISS OUR MADIKWE environment is not necessarily based solely on inappropriate PROMOTION TO BE HELD AT development because by excluding the community, there could be CRICKLEWOOD LODGE, worse consequences. It is with this point in mind that The Nature WATERKLOOF ON 22 APRIL 2010 Workshop is enhancing the community and in turn the environment exponentially. Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the few reserves in Southern Africa, which is malaria free. Located in South Africa along the Botswana border and 20 kilometres from Gaberone, the Reserve lies within a Due to this exceptionally rich ecological setting, Madikwe is home to a transition region between lowveld bushveld and the Kalahari thornveld. tremendous diversity of fauna and flora, including the black and white As a result the region is host to an incredible diversity of species from rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dog. The camp both ecosystems. is a superb walking and open vehicle safari destination where guests Geographically the region has enormous volcanic intrusions known as are accompanied by well-trained and informative rangers who are able Inselbergs, wide open plains and the riverine environment along the to interpret the many safari encounters. Marico River in the east of the reserve. The local community has essentially shaped the footprint of the area and in order to preserve the rich heritage and culture, it makes logical LOOKING FOR A CONFERENCE VENUE? and rightful sense to involve them as they had such a big part in the Contact us on email@example.com or consult our area’s origin in the first place. With admirable intentions and the website www.greenrhino.co.za community’s support, The Nature Workshop’s involvement in Thakadu River Camp is sure to be equally as successful as its forerunner. Scheduled daily charters are available via the Federal Air Madikwe Charter Joint Venture Partnership. Lodge tariffs include luxury accommodation, two fabulous game drives per day and all meals. For rates and additional information on Thakadu River Camp, please contact GREEN RHINO AFRICAN TRAVEL. firstname.lastname@example.org River of dreams and now for something totally new.... After the recent successful launch of Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge, a five star lodge situated on a prime site in the west of the Madikwe Game Reserve, The Nature Workshop, a company specialising in lodge development, management and marketing, is proud to be the driver behind a similar new project. After check in, the guests with children are introduced to the chef and given a chance Thakadu River Camp is a 24-bed tented camp set within the riverine to inform us on special dietary needs, canopy along the banks of the Marico River in the eastern sector of the preferred times for meals, allergies, etc, Madikwe Game Reserve. The camp comprises 12 tented suites, each concerning the kids. All children will be with their own viewing deck overlooking the Marico River. issued with an activity booklet that will include games, mazes and colouring-in Thakadu River Camp (which means aardvark in Tswana) is a wholly- activities. owned, Community-based Tented Safari Camp within Madikwe Game Reserve. The Tented Camp, located on the banks of the Marico River, is Our policy is to allow children over six on an ecotourism partnership between North-West Parks, the Molatedi the first game drive, giving the guide, Community and the operator, The Madikwe Collection. The community parents and other guests the opportunity to has a 45-year lease to operate a commercial lodge with traversing rights determine if they would like to join the usual across the Reserve. The concept is unique in South Africa in that the daily game drives, or whether they should community owns the development, with substantial benefits accruing to be taken out on their own, for shorter the community itself. “bumbles”. Children under the age of six will be taken on the “bumbles”. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 5 Those who stay behind during normal game drive times will be looked after by our nannies (at a baby-sitting rate). While parents are on the morning game drive, the nannies will stay with the kids until they wake up and then take them down to the main lodge for breakfast. Afterwards, they will entertain them until the parents return from drive. After breakfast, these children go on a 1 hour (more or less) drive (bumble) Dunes Country House Winner In New Eastern to one of the waterholes with a ranger. Before heading off on their drive, the kids are issued with a work book (those old enough), where they can tick off Cape Adventure Awards the things they’ve seen (dung, animals, spoor, birds and trees). The one The Dunes Country House in St Francis Bay scooped top honours in the with the most ticks gets a surprise on arrival back to camp. 'Best For Conservation Of Wildlife and Habitat' category at the Inaugural Eastern Cape 'Adventure Province' Tourism Awards. The Eastern Cape, During afternoon game drives, the kids that do not go on normal game recently rebranded as the 'Adventure Province', launched the new awards drive get to go on a treasure hunt to find nests, bones, eggs, snakes skins aim to showcase the outstanding tourism offerings available in the area and other items. We then give them an educational talk on all the items and to celebrate its tourism diversity. Recognising service excellence in found and add other bush tales. accommodation, cultural heritage, adventure and biodiversity as well as the unique skills and warmth of its people, the awards criteria include a In the evenings, on special occasions, the younger kids get to have their commitment to transformation, good leadership and customer focus. own, private dinner with one of the chefs, allowing them to make their own treats. IE: bread on a stick, boerewors rolls, marshmallow braai The Dunes Country House is set in a 600 hectare private nature reserve, (barbeque), etc… To end the evening off, we talk about the stars and tell bordered on one side by a pristine shifting sand dune system with a interesting stories about the animals and bush.* Alternatively, meals will be number of historical midden sites. The remainder consists of indigenous provided in their room or children can eat dinner with their parents. coastal fynbos and an extensive rejuvenated wetland system. A 5-year campaign to remove alien rooikranz resulted not just in the successful On other evenings, they get to assemble their own pizzas and decorate rehabilitation of an area of land, but also attracted the 'homecoming their cupcakes for dessert. revolution' of a large number of frogs and toads, some rare. In order to monitor which species were in residence, The Dunes launched an evening All other free time is spent drawing, clay modeling, building puzzles, frog safari, which allows guests to spend time in the wetland helping to swimming and relaxing by the pool. Kits are also available in the lodge for create a species data base. This novel idea has received positive approval T-shirt painting, scrap-booking and beading (at an extra cost)*. from visitors, and adds another dimension to the 'must see' wildlife of the Eastern Cape. There is always a watchful eye of a nanny available, to ensure they are kept busy and safe, while the parents can relax and enjoy their stay. The awards ceremony was a formal affair with the beaded table decor created by local community artists, and attended by a number of On departure of the family, the child / children are issued with a “Thakadu dignitaries from the tourism industry and provincial government. The Safari Lodge Bush Experience Certificate”. Eastern Cape Tourism Master Plan was also launched at the event. It will now be known as the 'Adventure Province'. *All baby-sitting and extra activity kits are at an extra cost CYNTHIA VISITED THE DUNES IN OCTOBER LAST *All scheduled bumbles, kid’s meals and activities are included in normal YEAR AND WENT ON THEIR FROGGING SAFARI – SHE rate SAYS: “I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT BUT REALLY ENJOYED IT, I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THERE WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT SPECIES OF FROGS, NOR THAT SOME OF THEM WERE AS SMALL AS MY NAIL AND YET COULD MAKE THE MOST A M A Z I N G A M O U N T O F N O I S E – I H I G H LY RECOMMEND THIS, ITS DIFFERENT, FUN AND INFORMATIVE, CHILDREN WILL LOVE IT” FTTSA Media Releases 2009 FTTSA MEDIA RELEASE 04 November 2009 "Community-based Tourism at its Best"FTTSA Certifies Thakadu River Camp in the North West Province FTTSA welcomes Thakadu River Camp to the FTTSA-certified community. Based in the eastern sector of the Big 5, malaria free, Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province, this lodge is wholly owned by the Molatedi community. This brings the number of FTTSA-certified community-owned and emerging tourism businesses to nine, which constitutes 16% of FTTSA's overall client portfolio... FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 6 SOME INTERESTING CAPE FACTS „h A first observatory, established in 1821, gave the suburb where it resides its name. Every day at 12:00 an electric signal is sent from the observatory to the Noon Gun on Signal Hill to fire the gun. „h Table Mountain is home to more plant species than the entire British isles or New Zealand 470 species in total. „h Table Mountain sandstone is said to be over 450 million years old „h The Slangkoppunt Lighthouse near Kommetjie is the tallest cast iron lighthouse in SA and the Green Point Lighthouse is the oldest, the light was first lit in 1824 - one can take a tour of it and other lighthouses in the Cape „h Over 21 million visitors annually visit the V&A Waterfront which was named after Queen Victoria and her son Alfred „h Jan Van Riebeeck planted the first vineyards over 350 years ago Cynthia on her “frogging safari” - note headlight on her head! „h Stellenbosch is the the second oldest town in SA CYNTHIA ALSO VISITED „h Shebeen is a shop in a township that sells liquor BUT did you know HILLSNEK SAFARIS that this is a Gaelic word which means ittle shop nd was coined by HillsNek is an exclusive use safari Lodge situated in a secluded corner of Irish Policemen in the Cape and referred to unlicensed little shops the Big Five Amakhola Game Reserve in the malaria free Eastern Cape selling alcohol situated usually in the townships. with the same owners as the above Dunes Country House. The Lodge „h Simon Town is the principal base for the SA Navy and was founded accommodates 6 people in three luxury canvas safari tents with the in 1671 emphasis on LUXURY from the ball and claw baths, white percale linen, heated bed sheets, this is a must for a small group of friends or family DON’T MISS THE NAMAQUALAND wishing to spend quality time together without anybody else encroaching FLOWERS……..JULY TO OCTOBER. on their privacy. We went to celebrate my friend’s 50th birthday – it was BUT BOOK NOW!!! perfect, you have your own dedicated Host, Chef, Ranger and land-rover which allows you to customize your safari experience from cuisine to game-viewing. We were spoilt rotten, the meals were delicious and the champagne breakfast set up as a surprise on the top of a mountain on the morning of my friend’s 50th was the cherry on the top. If you are looking for something special, this is it!!! Once the rains fall, the transformation begins. Once seemingly barren hills and valleys are now slowly being covered by countless wild flowers in an array of colours. The Cape Floral Region was declared a Word Heritage Site in 2004. The heritage site spans eight protected areas and displays the most important examples of the Cape Floral Region. The sites are – Table Mountain, the Cederberg Wilderness Area, the Boland Mountain Complex, the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Areas, De Hoop Nature Reserve, the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, the Swartberg Mountains and the Baviaanskloof, which runs across from the Western Cape into the Eastern Cape Province. The Cape Floral Kingdom is listed as the smallest of the world’s six plant kingdoms. It only covers 0.04% of the earth surface. Rediscover the richest variety of the 8 600 species, of which 68% are endemic. The Cape Peninsula area offers more plant species that the entire UK! The annual flower season is from July – October, weather permitting. After the rain the carpets of flowers appear as from nowhere – and visitors rejoice in the variety of bright yellow, orange and pure whites that meets the eye in all directions. The duration of the flower season depends on the hot berg winds, and the rain pattern. The flowers start blooming in the north and then spread to the south as t h e w e a t h e r b e c o m e s w a r m e r . FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 7 The Overberg area is characterised by quaint towns, a blossoming wine Fynbos blooms throughout the year, but is more magnificent industry and delicious local dishes. We stopped in Napier on the Sunday during late winter and spring. for lunch on a boiling hot day – freshly home-made ice cold ginger beer cooled us down at the Napier Coffee Shop where they serve breakfast all The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is the only botanical day and their lunches are all made with fresh ingredients – another garden in the world that is situated in a World Heritage Site. wonderful find where I had to buy their fig and cashew nut biscotti, bottled Rediscover the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden in figs, whole-wheat bread just out of the oven.... I can go on forever. Hangklip/Kleinmond and the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden in Worcester. The 36 000 hectares of De Hoop conservation area is a World Heritage Site comprising rich biodiversity with over 70 kilometres of pristine During the flower season there are a variety of flower shows to coastline. A 19 km vlei (wetland) stretches across the reserve, which is on choose from – The West Coast towns offer the most flowers shows. the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. This is arguably the most unspoiled section of the Cape coast. Flower viewing tips: * Always stand with your back to the sun, or drive with the sun behind you he flowers always face the sun * The flowers are at their best on the hottest time of the day from 11:00 to 5:00 * Stop and walk amongst the flowers you will be amazed at the variety of minute flowers amongst the greater masses Namaqualand is a part of the Paleo-tropical plant kingdom, with links to the desert and savanna vegetation of the rest of Africa. The sandy sun-baked plains and ancient granite whalebacks are transformed into vast natural wonderland after winter rains, draing botanists from all over the world to experience the annual miracle. No two visits are the same the timing and quantity of the rain The De Hoop Collection offers a wide range of accommodation. From showers determine the colours and variety of flowers that appear. A camping and caravanning sites and affordable self-catering chalets to rule of thumb is that flowers appear first (July) at the coast and north more luxurious self-catering cottages and five-star fully catered of springbok, with the mountains around Kamieskroon at their best lodges. There is something for everyone, from families travelling on a into September. Daisies of every description, gaudy vygies like limited budget, couples seeking a comfortable but affordable breakaway to oversized cushions, amazing quiver trees and fragrant evening- top-end fully inclusive weddings and honeymoons flowering bulbs jostle for space before the drying east wind calls a halt to such exuberance and the tiny seeds are again covered by windblown and or carefully buried by the ants, to wait for the next We stayed in one of the beautifully appointed cottages, white linen, spring. comfortable beds, the table laid with sparkling cutlery, wineglasses and serviettes on arrival, it just all looked so inviting – you immediately started The Richtersveld National park in the northwestern corner of the to relax. There are braai facilities outside each cottage (wood and region is a true rugged mountain desert, appealing to self sufficient firelighters are available to buy at the reception), the kitchens have stoves, travelers with 4x4 vehicles. Guided tours into this wild area can be microwaves etc AND there is a fantastic restaurant which one can simply arranged locally to experience the strange succulent, jagged walk to…. called The Fig Tree. We braaied the first night, something you mountains and lonely campsites of this destination. just have to do when out in nature and then treated ourselves to a super dinner the next evening. The are open all day so one can go for a lovely beach walk and then have breakfast or they can even pack a picnic basket for you. CYNTHIA VISITS DE HOOP NATURE RESERVE Popular literature calls De Hoop Nature Reserve ‘the jewel of the Western Cape” – and I cannot believe that living in Cape Town, I had never visited before and this “jewel” is only 3hrs away from my doorstep. But, now that I have found it, it has instantly become my most favorite place to escape for a couple of days of pure relaxation. I left Cape Town at 10am on a Friday and got back to the City on the Sunday at 5pm and felt like I had been away for a week – that is what De Hoop does for you. If you are not lucky enough to live in Cape Town, do not despair, I am sure that at some stage you will want to go down the Garden Route or go and see the whales, De Hoop is an ideal stop over en route from the Cape Winelands to Plettenberg Bay. It is in the Overberg region near the southern tip of Africa and can be approached from either Bredasdorp or Swellendam. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 8 Whether you are into multi-day trails or a simple hour walk, the Reserve is ideal to walk amongst the flora and fauna. Hikers and cyclists have close-up encounters with bontebok, Cape mountain zebra, eland, red hartebeest, baboons and ostrich. The spectacular beaches with their tidal pools and the sand dunes are amazing, particularly when they drop down into the aquamarine sea, I was completely enthralled. They have two well trained young field guides who will take you on walks on the seashore and into the sand dunes, or on a birding walk or game walk, even star gazing. We booked Alfonso for a The best land based whale-watching! morning walk on the seashore at low tide and spent 3 hrs scrambling over rocks and peering into rock pools – it was wonderful and very educational – Every year, some 40% of the world’s southern right whales come to fantastic for children too. Swimming in the tidal pools is also very special, these shores to breed. Females and their calves swim in the clear snorkeling fantastic. waters, while males put on spectacular displays. These endangered mammals ensure that the De Hoop Reserve in South Africa is one of the world's best land based whale-watching areas. As a marine reserve and World Heritage Site, De Hoop guarantees a safe nursery for these pods of visiting cetaceans. They come so close to the shore that visitors can relax on the un-spoilt sand dunes, watching in awe as these beautiful creatures calve, blow, breach and belly-flop. Quite simply, De Hoop offers some of the best and most accessible whale-watching opportunities in the world. Seven whale species have been recorded in the waters off De Hoop but it is the southern right that is most common. Other less common whale species are the Bryde's whale and the rare humpback. The reserve, which is a treasure-trove of natural assets protected in a relatively undisturbed state, is approximately 36 000 hectares in size excluding its Marine Protected Area, which extends a further three nautical miles (5 km) out to sea. The size of the Marine Protected Area makes it one of the largest in Africa. This is the ultimate family getaway – it’s a safe, outdoor destination I can’t wait to go back! If you are interested in more information or would with almost year-round sunshine. Children of all ages will relish the like to book one of the delightful cottages at De Hoop, please give me a call freedom to explore the reserve. The endless beach, towering sand dunes, or send an email – I would like to keep this special place a secret…… but inter tidal rock pools and diverse fauna and flora provide a natural think that it’s one of those “secrets” that one just has to share! playground for kids to learn. There is plenty to do that so you are spoilt for choice – a 2-night stay will only leave your family wanting more.. Cyclists are welcome to use any of the gravel roads laid out in the western sector of the reserve as long as they take care not to trample the natural vegetation. If frolicking whales and blankets of yellow, orange and red flowers appeal to you, plan cycling in the spring. There are mountain bikes to hire as well, either by the hour or on a daily rate. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 9 Shindzela Bushveld Birds weekend Court Classique Suite Hotel, Pretoria has just gotten Thornybush Game Reserve a whole lot classier! In order to further enhance guest experience, safety & security this multi-award winning, four-star hotel started reviewing Kruger National Park and revamping various aspects of the property during 2009. Completed projects include: 2 – 5 April 2010 3 nights / 4 days self drive * R100 000 investment into a tate-of-the-art security system R3, 975.00 per person sharing with a number additional cameras installed in key areas of the property and We are pleased to offer bird enthusiasts a long weekend in the bush, with a focus on walking and birding. This is an introduction to the “Bushveld * R400 000 investment in the epainting and maintenance of Birds” of the lowveld. The long weekend package includes game drives the exteriorof the property. This was a 12 week process, and bush walks, with a focus on ticking off your bird list and learning more which was completed in December 2009. about the bushveld birds of the area. The Timbavati has over 350 recorded species of birds. Guests joining us for a birding walking safari will each For 2010, the property is planning a ofts-refurbishment of all 58 suites receive a handy first time birders tick list, and a Birding CD with the calls of sample suite, Room 32, is already available for inspection and use, but the our bushveld birds. remainder of the suites will be upgraded in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Beds in all 58 suites were already replaced in a previous upgrade cycle and this R4.3 million projec will now include key, in-room items that Bushveld Birds CD: This new sound guide to the calls of 50 common contribute to the overall quality and comfort of the guest experience, such bushveld species includes comments on the purpose of the sounds such as the replacement of air-conditioning systems, carpets, curtains, all linens as song, call, behaviour or other useful tips. & television sets. Suites will also be entirely repainted o the inside, the existing quality furniture pieces will be refurbished and key-entry doors will Some of the featured birdcalls are; be replaced with keycard access systems. Arrow-marked Babbler, Black-collared Barbet, Crested Barbet, Chinspot The Court Classique Suite Hotel, Pretoria looks forward to welcoming Batis, Brubru, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, guests in the same unrivalled class as we have always done, with a fresh Green-backed Camaroptera, Rattling Cisticola, Burchell’s Coucal, Long- coat of care. billed Crombec, Diderick Cuckoo, Red-chested Cuckoo, Cape Turtle Dove, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Laughing Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Fork-tailed Drongo, African Fish Eagle, African Paradise Flycatcher, Crested Francolin, Grey Go-away-bird, Egyptian Goose, Sombre Greenbul, Helmeted Guineafowl, African Hoopoe, Red-billed Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Red-crested Korhaan, Red-faced Mousebird, Fiery-necked 25 MARCH – BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION, Pretoria. Nightjar, Black-headed Oriole, Black-backed Puffback, White-browed (Presentation on The Battlefields by Isandlwana Lodge) Scrub-Robin, Magpie Shrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Natal Spurfowl, Swainson’s Spurfowl, Cape 22 APRIL – CRICKLEWOOD MANOR, Pretoria – Madikwe Glossy Starling, White-bellied Sunbird, Black-crowned Tchagra, Brown- Promotion crowned Tchagra, Southern Black Tit, Blue Waxbill, Stierling’s Wren- Warbler, and Green Wood-Hoopoe. 26 MAY – SOUP AND SHERRY, Court Classique Boutique Hotel, Pretoria 27 MAY – SOUTHERN SUN HOTEL, Maputo 10 JUNE – 17 JULY FIFA WORLD CUP 12 AUGUST – Pretoria (Venue to be advised) FAIR TRADE IN TOURISM 15 SEPTEMBER – US EMBASSY, Pretoria 16 SEPTEMBER – POLANA HOTEL, Maputo 27 OCTOBER – CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSION, Pretoria 30 NOVEMBER –THE CAPITAL HOUSE PRETORIA. Christmas Charity 01 DECEMBER – MAPUTO. Christmas Charity FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 10 SERENGETI - THE GREAT ZANZIBAR – AN ADD ON OPTION MIGRATION THE ZANZIBAR MYSTIQUE Famous for its annual wildebeest migration, the Serengeti in North Zanzibar is a working town, not a theme park or Disneyworld. The famous Western Tanzania is the nation’s largest national park spanning over 14 old Arabic style buildings used by the explorers are still in use, the streets 000 sq kms. It continues into Kenya in the north as the Masai Mara are narrow, busy, noisy and sometimes dirty. The communications National Park and to the southeast in Tanzania as the Ngorongoro Crater infrastructure is variable - please do not expect instant confirmations of Conservation Area. bookings or for things to be done while you wait. What you can expect is a truly helpful, well mannered people who will do their best to assist you. Every year thousands of Wildebeest and other antelope start massing on There is a certain pleasure in not being treated as a tourist, and mixing with the southern Serengeti Plains in late February and March to begin their people as they go about their daily tasks unconcerned with your presence annual migration, which follows the rain and sweet grass north to the - do not spoil it by expecting things to be clean, and of a first world Masai Mara. At about this time and within a 10 day period, approximately environment, or to be bowed and scraped to by obsequious waiters, or 500 000 calves are dropped (born) en masse, a scene which enhances your meals to arrive instantly. Enter into the spirit of the island, relax, and this wildlife spectacle. let the friendly, helpful people assist you. If this type of holiday does not appeal, please do not ruin your vacation with false expectations - the Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the Calving romantic Zanzibar of old is there, but is found only by the diligent season, when thousands of wildebeest are born every day during this time. Apart from its main attraction of wildebeest, the wildlife of the BEACHES Serengeti also offers lion, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, leopard, elephant, The beaches in Zanzibar are a paradise, interspersed with picturesque gazelle and a variety of other wildlife. fishing villages, where the people live a simple way of life, unchanged over the years. There are more than 25 fantastic beaches in Zanzibar, and some Why not let GREEN RHINO help you plan your trip for this once-in-a- are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely lifetime experience to be the ocean. Here are some guidelines on when to go: At the northern tip of the island is Nungwi, approached by a road lined by banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees. This is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar island, so it is a good place to see traditional WILDEBEEST MIGRATION PATTERNS: craftsmen at work. JAN / FEB / MARCH – wildebeest are in southern plains of the Serengeti, On the west coast of Zanzibar, Mangapwani beach is worth a visit, and calving takes place, open grasslands, great visibility of animals to the east are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani, all with stretches of beautiful and APRIL / MAY – rainy season in East Africa, great if you don’t want to go in uncrowded sands. busy season, game drives can be a bit limited due to road quality in rains. Rains in the bush tend to be afternoon storms (primarily), rather than Zanzibar also boasts several small offshore islands which are ideal for a continuous downpours. Good low season rates available in BOTH Kenya day-trip. Prison (or Changu) island is the most popular with tourists and Tanzania because it is only a short trip from Stone Town. Originally, it was used by Arabs to detain recalcitrant slaves, and then a jail was built by the JUNE/JULY – game moving northwards within the Serengeti, through the British, but it was never actually used. Visitors to Zanzibar will notice a ‘western corridor’ as well as up into the Lobo areas of Serengeti. Crossing large population of ancient Aldabra tortoises. Other islets near to Stone the Grumeti river – lots of crocs! Town are Chapwani, Chumbe and Bawe. JULY/AUG – crossing over the Mara river into neighbouring Kenya. Note that a good portion of game remains in the Serengeti year round. AUG / OCT – generally good herds up in the Mara, high season up there – busy !! Don’t use the big lodges as its just overcrowded… NOV / DEC – game starting to move southwards back into the Serengeti, through the central region (Seronera), to commence the whole process again. REMEMBER – there is EXCELLENT game viewing in BOTH Kenya and Tanzania ALL YEAR ROUND – but, the migration patterns are roughly as above. FOR BEST DEALS, SPECIALS & email@example.com DISCOUNTED TRAVEL CONTACT www.greenrhino.co.za firstname.lastname@example.org FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 11 SIGHTSEEING AND TOURS MALARIA HOTLINE - 0861 MOZZIE (0861 66 99 43) These may be arranged prior to departure from South Africa, via Wild IGNORANCE and misinformation about malaria as well as delays in Frontiers and paid up front, or alternatively may be arranged on arrival via seeking appropriate treatment inspired GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a leading ZANTOURS, situated on Zanzibar in the Old Stonetown. pharmaceutical and healthcare company, to fund an independent Malaria Helpline – 0861 MOZZIE (0861 66 99 43) for travellers. Stonetown Tour The launch of 0861 MOZZIE is aimed at providing information about Spice Tour malaria based on current local and international malaria Dhow sunset cruise recommendations. “It's not only tourists and visitors to the African Prison Island visit with snorkelling continent who need information about malaria, it's the vast majority of Chumbe Island Marine Park travelling South Africans as well”, said , corporate affairs manager at GSK. Jozani Forest to see the Colobus monkeys Says , medical director at SAA Netcare Travel Clinics: “The hotline will Scuba diving (east or west coast) provide a platform to travellers from where they can get the correct Safari Blue (swimming with the dolphins) information and take the necessary precautions or alternatively seek the correct medical advice when showing symptoms”, said Folmer. CONTACT GREEN RHINO FOR SOME SUPERB FLY IN PACKAGES TO VISIT THESE WONDERFUL DESTINATIONS NEWS FROM ZULULAND, KWAZULU NATAL LEOPARD MOUNTAIN GAME LODGE (CHILD FRIENDLY) Our stunning reserve continues to amaze us all by delivering more and more special and surprising sightings of all kinds. Calving season is now in full swing and all the local animal species are boasting many youngsters. A really special place to come and view these animals at close range is Leopard Mountain’s wonderful hide. Apart from being visited by rhino’s, buffalo’s and occasionally elephants, it is an absolute hive of activity at almost any time! Here you are constantly surrounded by drinking wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, reedbuck and the warthogs are a The Robben Island Tour is a very popular Cape pleasure to watch as they mud-bathe together with their new-born. Town tourist attraction and we highly recommend that tickets are booked and purchased The birding at the hide is also of very high quality and many special species frequent the dense forest around the hide. Lesser honey-guide, long in advance to avoid disappointment. This can be red-faced mouse-bird, bearded scrub-robin, terrestrial brown-bull and done online on www.webtickets.co.za the scarce pink-throated twinspot are all frequently seen at the hide. A group of eight Marabou storks have also been calling Leopard mountain TOPLESS IN CAPE TOWN hide their home for a few weeks now. The short trip to the hide also delivers good birding with Jacobin’s cuckoo, black and brown-crowned tchagra’s, dusky indigo bird, African harrier-hawk and long-tailed A list of the Top Ten things to do in Cape Town comes up with paradise whydahs only a few of the many great species to be seen. some must do’s such as Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, an Other birds frequenting the hide include: grey and common waxbill, extremity-tingling dip in the sea, the Castle, whales in False African and Jameson’s fire finches, African pygmy kingfisher and plenty Bay and the like. But we would venture to add another must-do of red-billed oxpeckers which are attracted to the many mammals that to this list -go topless through the city. visit the waterhole. The reserve continues to be a great place to view cheetahs and we had By topless, of course, we mean the Cape Town Topless Bus. numerous encounters with two males which were seen in the same These are London-type double-decker red buses without a vicinity for quite a period. Leopard sightings across the reserve were up a little and one of our drives encountered a beautiful specimen crossing roof, which trundle through the streets of Cape Town allowing the road. Black rhino’s were a little more elusive of late, but white rhino’s passengers to hop on or hop off according to whim. abound across our game drive routes. Smaller groups, mothers and calves and solitary bulls are usually seen, but occasionally you could There are two services: the Red Route, which zig-zags also encounter large “crashes” consisting of up to eight rhino’s. All the through the city to all the usual attractions, and the Blue Route, rhino’s are in very good condition and many calves are a good sign that they do breed well in the ZRR. Our resident rhino bull has also returned which ventures further afield to Kirstenbosch, Hout Bay and all to his favorite waterhole near the lodge after a scuffle with another big points between.If you would like to know more about the bull. We’ve done a few late-night drives recently and have been able to To p l e s s B u s , y o u c a n c o n t a c t S h a u n a t view some elusive nocturnal animals such as porcupines, genets, email@example.com or 021 511-6000. white-tailed mongoose and bush-babies. There are also many special feathered nocturnal friends not be the cheapest We may firstname.lastname@example.org such as grass owls, spotted thick-knees and fiery-necked nightjars. We but we are the BEST! again eagerly wait to see what the next month will hold. Certainly it will www.greenrhino.co.za be a good one... email@example.com FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 12 NEWS FROM THE OKAVANGO DELTA – KWANDO Lagoon SAFARIS – SAFARI CAMPS OF DISTINCTION The Lagoon pack of Wild Dogs has been Sightings Report very active this month being seen several times on different game drive roads. December 2009 On one such occasion the Dogs were Tau Pan followed hunting Impala close to the Heavy rains in the Central Kalahari 2009 den site. The hunt was a success Game Reserve have transformed the before some marauding Spotted Hyenas challenged them for the scraps and took desert into a blanket of green this away a tasty morsel for breakfast. Christmas. Festive visitors have been There was an exciting Leopard sighting away to the north of the airstrip treated to a lush world of migrating antelopes and hungry cats recently. A party of guests and guides noticed a commotion early one at Tau Pan.Tau Pan’s two resident male Lions are a regular morning and driving up to the clouds of smoke found a female Leopard site as they strut their authority on the pan and surrounding climbing a tree with a baby Wildebeest in its jaws. Towards the woodland the helpless mother looked on in bewilderment before woodland. The two are never far from each other and are scampering to safety. certainly the Kings of Tau Pan. There have been Cheetah Elsewhere, the three brother Cheetahs are a frequent sighting, usually sightings as well. With the synchronised dropping of all the to the North and despite the scattered rains large numbers of plains antelope calves over December there are plenty of vulnerable game, Elephants and Buffalos can still be found in the area. youngsters available for the Cheetahs to hunt. Lucky visitors Evening boat cruises are not for the faint of heart at the moment as the Kwando Channel reaches its lowest level of the year and is crowded by have also had sightings of rarer animals such as Caracal, Bat angry Hippos desperate to remain in deeper waters. Once the Hippos Eared Fox, Cape Fox and the occasional Leopard sighting. have been negotiated however the summer skies provide a dramatic array of coloured clouds to enjoy while sipping on your Gin and Tonics. Nxai Pan Hundreds of Zebra have completed the migration Lebala from permanent waters to the nutritious new Plenty of Lion sightings this December at Lebala. grasses of Nxai Pan. Additionally, thousands of One of these occurred on the floodplains close Wildebeest, Springbok, Giraffe and Gemsbok to camp where three females failed in an combine to create a rich tapestry of life around attempt to kill a Warthog. The spirited animal the Nxai Camp. This has provided great opportunity for photographic managed to plunge down a disused Aardvark guests to capture nature’s annual miracle and the predators that stalk it. hole before the foremost Lioness could get a The multitude of young animals provides unique opportunity for predators hold of it. A long vigil outside the mound to prey on weaker opposition. amounted to nothing and the Lionesses A Cheetah mother and cub were beautifully photographed walking close eventually lost interest and disappeared in search of more food. to the pan. While the mother was very much on a mission to get from A-B There have been plenty of Cheetah moments this month as well. The year all the cub seemed to want to do was play and several photographs has ended with a female successfully bringing up four cubs to sub adult captured this special moment. Elsewhere, Lions are spotted on occasion status through all the trials and tribulations that entails. flanking the multitudes of game and occasionally can be seen drinking They are about the age now where she will think about from the Nxai Camp water hole along with wary Elephants and Giraffes. leaving them before finding a mate for next season. Birding is also excellent at this time of the year with all migratory birds The Lesser Striped Genet that was living in the trees above the dining present showing off their bright breeding plumage. room at Lebala camp has moved on and is nowhere to be seen but there is still plenty of wildlife to be seen from the viewing decks. Elephants move to Kwara & Little Kwara and from the floodplains in the afternoons and in the evenings Hippos Game has been pumping this December at come from the channel in front of the rooms onto the Lebala ‘lawn’ to graze. Kwara and Little Kwara. The seven male Lions We also had a small Crocodile basking by the bridge leading to the main have moved further east towards the camp and area of the camp. have been a common sight in recent weeks. They pulled down a Giraffe for Christmas lunch CONTACT GREEN RHINO FOR SOME VERY SPECIAL OFFERS AT and sat on it for the better part of a week THESE CAMPS AT CERTAIN TIMES OF THE YEAR. providing excellent photo opportunities for visitors. A male tomcat Leopard was spotted by Kwara staff members nosing around the camp early in the morning but soon disappeared as people starting walking around. Other Leopards have been seen by the airstrip and on the Shinde Main Road – always keeping well away from resident Lions. Guests on a night drive had DEALS, SPECIALS FOR BESTinfo@greenrhino.co.za& a wonderful sighting of a Serval hunting for rodents in the long grasses close to the boat station. Normally, Servals will move off quickly at the sight DISCOUNTED TRAVEL CONTACT of people but this one treated us to almost half an hour of entertainment which ended in him catching a mouse. Elsewhere, herds of Elephant and Buffalo are scattering further and www.greenrhino.co.za further into the Mopane forests as the pans continue to fill but Elephant bulls and ‘Dagga Boy’ Buffalos are still seen on the periphery of the woodlands and down towards camp. firstname.lastname@example.org FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 13 “We even had a special dinner planned for Christmas Eve”, the Citibank executive from London lamented. “We tried everything in our power. The immigration guys were quite severe. We were held in a detention area with illegal citizens. We had no idea we had done anything wrong. They weren’t showing any kind of sympathy towards us” However, one Rebecca and Olin Thomason from the American Embassy in immigration official was kind enough to allow them to wait in the lounge Pretoria won two nights at the Shindzela Bush Camp in the area. British Airways eventually came to their assistance. Timbavati Game Reserve “They actually said this sort of thing happens quite frequently. I have Gareth and Christina Griffiths from the British High Commission in been here before and I love the country but my wife was in a flood of Pretoria won two nights B&B at Falaza Game Park and Spa tears the entire way home” said Hughes. Last year, Hermann Hirche was denied entry into South Africa after a 12 hour flight from London. The German visitor didn’t have the required YOU TOO COULD BE THE LUCKY WINNER OF A two unused pages in his passport when he touched down on November 27. He had to catch a return flight to London an hour later, spending 36 WONDERFUL PRIZE. hours in the air over two days. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWS BY SENDING YOUR German consular staff tried to assist Hirche, but were unable to arrange DETAILS TO a temporary passport for him. INFO@GREENRHINO.CO.ZA This incident led the Department of Home Affairs to issue a warning to travellers planning to fly to South Africa to make sure their travel documents were in order. EACH MONTH THERE IS A NEW PRIZE TO BE WON, At the time, Home Affairs spokesperson, Mantshele Tau said ALL YOU NEED TO immigration officials were merely doing their jobs when they refused DO TO ENTER, IS PLACE A BOOKING WITH GREEN Hirche entry into South Africa. Yesterday Home Affairs spokesperson RHINO. Jacky Mashapu said the clear pages were essential for immigration officials to be able to make clear stamps on passports. “In terms of immigration regulations of 2002 it is the legal thing to do to GOOD LUCK!!!! have those clean pages for stamps. If there are none, officials are legally obliged to send you home. We need those pages to be able to DID YOU KNOW THAT GREEN RHINO AFRICAN TRAVEL clearly endorse your visit – its an international norm” said Mashapu. RAISED A TOTAL OF R196 860 FOR CHARITY DURING He could not say how many visitors were turned back during the festive season. “Its not high, but we do have such cases” 2009. PLEASE THEREFORE ENSURE THAT ALL YOUR VISITORS COMING IN TO SOUTH AFRICA ARE AWARE OF THESE RULES. Tshwane Place of Safety, Pretoria – THERE IS NOTHING YOUR EMBASSY OR CONSULAR OFFICES total R132 220.00 Imagine in Mozambique – total R64 CAN DO NOR IS THERE ANYTHING GREEN RHINO CAN DO TO 648.00 ASSIST ANYONE FOR MADAGASCAR? THANKS to all those of you who gave so generously either by purchasing tickets at our travel club functions or by bidding on Madagascar: Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the the wonderful prizes which the South African Travel Industry eastern coast of Africa. Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world. It so kindly donates throughout the year. is the home to five percent of the world's plant and animal species, 80 per cent of them are unique to Madagascar. Most famous among these species are the lemurs. SA SENDS TOURISTS PACKING OVER TWO Madagascar and Mauritania are the only countries not to use a decimal PASSPORT PAGES! currency. Its teeming fertile forests and geographical isolations have Article which appeared in one of the newspapers lately. served to preserve and propagate 'nature's design laboratory' in a mix A well-planned holiday of a lifetime, which included five-star found nowhere else on earth. Madagascar's forests are a shimmering and accommodation and trips to KwaZulu Natal, ended before it could even seething mass of a trillion stems and dripping leaves. begin for a British couple. They were sent Packing, back to chilly England, when one of their passports didn’t contain the required number History & Background: The written history of Madagascar began in the of clean pages. seventh century A.D - when Arabs established trading posts along the Banking executive Richard Hughes and his wife Amy arrived at OR northwest coast. However, the first people who came to Madagascar were Tambo International on Christmas Eve on a British Airways flight. from Southeast Asia, mostly from the Indonesian islands. These people Speaking from London, Hughes said that when they reached arrived in around the fourth century, probably via East Africa. immigration, officials refused to allow them in. “My wife didn’t have enough pages and we were put on the first flight This explains the Malagasy features which are a mixture of Asian back. She has an American passport. It was valid and had not expired. (Austronesian) and African, as well as of the Arabs who came later. Our entire holiday was messed up” Because of tropical storms which commonly affect the coast, some of the They were planning to head for the Drakensberg and Durban, and early settlers left the coast and went to live in the centre of the island in the everything was booked and paid for. mountains where the weather was cooler and less windy. The people who live in the mountains today have preserved many of the Asian features. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 14 Scheduled and Tailor-Made Safaris: Madagascar is a unique beach and island safari destination off the African SOCCER WORLD CUP coast. Below you will find numerous small group (maximum of 10 clients) safaris that Green Rhino Can offer which run in and around Madagascar. ACCOMMODATION IN You can join one of our scheduled camping or lodge safaris or if you'd like, one of our experienced travel consultants can tailor-make a private safari CAPE TOWN to meet your departure date, time period, group size and budget. There are so many options available to the adventurous traveler, from a cultural tour, to a beach holiday through to the many special interest tours like, scuba diving, birding, kite surfing, surfing, fishing etc. We can help you EVERGREEN COTTAGE, CONSTANTIA, CAPE TOWN with all your travel arrangements inclusive of flights. www.evergreencottage.co.za Min. 3 night stay. Best Time to travel: +- 60 sq metres, private, lovely view of garden and back of With Monsoon time from December through to March the best time to Table Mountain. Bedroom with either twin or king bed, travel to Madagascar is generally in February to December. Madagascar sliding doors leading onto patio, lounge also with sliding has two seasons: a hot, rainy season from November to April; and dry doors onto patio, TV and music centre, bathroom with season with a cooler temperature from May to October. There is, however, great variation in climate owing to elevation and position relative to huge shower, heated towel rails, fitted kitchen. Secure the dominant winds. The east coast has a subequatorial climate and, parking behind gates, burglar alarm. Two minutes from being most directly exposed to the trade winds, has the heaviest rainfall - Constantia Village and 25 min from Cape Town Stadium, averaging as much as 3.5 meters annually! Complimentary WiFi connection and bottle of wine on Because rain clouds discharge much of their moisture east of the highest arrival. Contact Cynthia for rates elevations on the island, the central highlands are drier and, owing to the altitude, also cooler. email@example.com The dry season in the highlands is pleasant and sunny, although somewhat chilly, especially in the mornings. During this time, the blue skies of the central highlands are considered by many to be among the clearest and most beautiful in the world. The west coast is drier than the east coast and the central highlands because the trade winds lose their humidity by the time they reach this region. The south-west and the extreme south are semi-desert; as little as one-third of a meter of rain falls annually at Toliara (Tulear). We may not be the cheapest MADAGASCAR INFORMATION but we are the • 594,180 sq km • Antananarivo (Tana) (pop 588,000) • Malagasy Franc • It is hot with sub tropical weather. From November to March is it's summer which is also known as the hurricane season. BEST! From April to October it is winter, which is dry and the temperature are mild. • Eighteen major ethnic groups, including Malayo-Indonesian, African, firstname.lastname@example.org Arab, French, Indian, Creole and Comoran • Malagasy, French •GMT plus three hours www.greenrhino.co.za FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 15 If you look at the Catembe project summary you will see that high on Imagine's agenda is community development. We believe that many of the problems facing Mozambique today can best be remedied by encouraging local community self sustainable development. With this in mind we help refurbish kindergartens and schools.Many kindergartens and schools require refurbishment, some need materials / equipment, some need access to water / electricity. Imagine attempts to meet these needs. We are also forming links between local schools and schools in England. Lorraine training 15 local store holders (in Magoanine) in basic profit/loss math's One of the boys (now a young man) who benefited from Training for Life such support is Jossy. Now an artist with a growing We also promote and provide skills training, market stalls, agricultural reputation, Jossy was once a "street boy" living at the development etc. In so doing we take heed of community wishes, needs and Anglican boys rehabilitation centre. His creative work is talents. Our overall aim is to provide a future for individuals and families by :- improving immensely. He will someday be recognised as promoting skills training for disadvantaged people providing education and job a world class talent. Another boy, once from this centre training for vulnerable youth (older street boys) - giving them a future worth having. became the projects first "street boy" to gain entrance to An ex-street boy of 18 or so with no realistic future to look forward to can easily a the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. Others are become a problem. By giving them an attainable and rewarding future, we hope to working for local businesses or are undertaking job skills encourage these boys to become law-abiding adults - as well as a great example training. Although many of these boys do not have a to other boys who may also be approaching this crucial stage in life. family, it is good to note that some have returned home. Jossy at his easel A bakery built to support a local community and to provide jobs Judah & Antonio, ex Street Children, were given jobsby a local company. They both now have a family David, an ex-street boy works for Imagine and makes all the clothes and bedding etc. for the children's centre and AIDS hospice FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 16 Social Pages Bidding was brisk and we raised R56 000 at this Our Green Rhino cap winners! function. FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 17 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 18 email@example.com www.greenrhino.co.za FEBRUARY/MARCH 2010 page 19 Mauritius HOLIDAY OPTIONS DURING THE WORLDCUP – GREEN RHINO SHOOTS AND SCORES WITH THE BEST DEALS FOR THOSE LONG WINTER HOLIDAYS COMING UP – AND ITS GOING TO BE CHEAPER THAN STAYING AT HOME…… MAURITIUS HERE WE COME! „h SPECIAL OFFERS FOR 7, 9 AND 12 NIGHT HOLIDAYS „h GET ONE OR TWO NIGHTS FREE WITH BREAKFAST AND DINNER „h BOOK AND PAY 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE AND RECEIVE A 10% DISCOUNT „h NO SOCCER WORLD CUP SUPPLEMENT - S AME MID-SEASON RATES AS ALWAYS CONTACT GREEN RHINO ON firstname.lastname@example.org 10 THINGS TO DO IN MAURITIUS HERE IS MORE TO MAURITIUS THAN JUST COCKTAILS ON THE BEACH. DIVE WITH MORAYS IN REMPART SERPENT - the clear warm water and the long coral reef mean that the island has varied and spectacular dive sites. You do not need to be qualified, a mask, snorkel and pair of fins is all you need EXPLORE PORT LOUIS ON FOOT - Port Louis is like an old Colonial village. Stop by the Natural History Museum, visit the market, which covers everything from fish and spices to model ships. CLIMB THE THUMB - the Island highest point. Reaching 812m into the sky from sea level, the view from the top is spectacular. The summit is an easy two hour climb from the village of La laura TAKE A TAXI RIDE AROUND THE ISLAND - here is a road round the Island and taxis are cheap. The beauty of the Island can be seen from the coastal road. Remember to agree on the fare in advance. HIKE THE BLACK RIVER GORGES NATIONAL PARK - In this 6 794ha park you will find indigenous plants, birds and wildlife, a stand of the original ebony forest and beautiful waterfalls. SEE GIANT MAN-EATING WATER LILIES - gaze in wonder at the collection of 500 species of indigenous and exotic plants, including the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies which allegedly support a grown man weight. SWIM OFF A CLASSIC ISLAND BEACH CHECK OUT A SUGAR MILL AND TAKE A TRAIN RIDE - tour the former sugar estate of Domaine Les Pailles on a narrow-gauge cane train, visit the working sugar mill and stop off for a snort of rum at the Domaine Les Pailles distillery PLAY A ROUND OF TROPICAL ISLAND GOLF - take a speedboat at Trou dau Dounce and head to Ile aux Cerfs for golf. This is destined to be one of the wonders of the golfing world with a seaview from each hole green fees are about R570 and the visitors fees about R1650. TAKE AN UNDERWATER WALK IN GRAND BAIE - the islands watersports and party capital. Parasailing, kite boarding, dinghy sailing, submarines, water scooters. It all there. Plus there walking under water in an air-filled helmet o training is required and you don even need to be able to swim. You walk along the sea floor, looking at coral and fish, breathing air pumped from the surface.
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