Africa’s Marine “Big 5”

When people go to Africa, they most often want to see the “Big 5” game animals, but there’s another “Big 5” in town. Actually, not in town but out-of-town in the water. That’s right, in a continent packed to the gills with remarkable species, some of Africa’s most interesting ones have actual gills.

These are Africa’s marine “big 5”: the great white shark, the southern right whale, the bottlenose dolphin, the Cape fur seal and the African penguin. You can catch all of them on an African ocean safari in one place, Dyer Island off the coast of Gansbaai in South Africa.

Learn more about these incredible creatures and Dyer Island by reading the facts below.

The Great White Shark
The “great” white shark is definitely worthy of its name as the biggest predatory fish. It can grow up to 16 ft in length and can weigh over 4,300 lbs.
Great whites in South Africa have a hunting technique where they surprise their prey with quick rushes to the surface, biting them in the middle. During these sprints, they can reach speeds of 25 mph and clear the ocean surface by more than 10 ft.
Great white sharks are found in coastal areas of every hemisphere, but South Africa has the largest concentration in the world. Around 2,000 specimens can be found in the coasts around Cape Town, Durban and Gansbaai.
So many great white sharks fill the water in between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock that it is known by some as “Shark Alley”

The Southern Right Whale
In the winter, over 3,000 southern right whales will migrate to the African coast from the freezing waters of Antarctica to mate, calve and nurse their newborn young between the months of June and December.
Southern right whales can grow over 50 feet long and weigh more than 132,000 lbs!
You can easily identify southern right whales by their v-shaped blow geysers and their bumpy white callosities. Callosities are formed when parasites like whale lice and barnacles form permanent lesions and callouses.
Southern right whales are highly social, living with family groups in their pods and frequently interacting with one another
The cliffs around De Kelders and Hermanus offer some of the best places to watch whales from land in the world, as hundreds of southern right whales breach here and interact with one another during breeding season.

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin
This sub-species of dolphin is found in significant numbers around Dyer Island.
Dolphins frequently venture into open ocean water deeper than 100 feet, making them easy to encounter on ships.
Bottlenose dolphins hunt in groups. They use echolocation to detect prey and coordinate how they will approach large schools of feeder fish.
A female dolphin only has one calf about every three years as each one must be cared for for three to four years.
Dyers Island is also home to one of the only resident pods of humpback dolphin, a critically endangered species.

Cape Fur Seal
Cape fur seals are the only seals that have a permanent residence in South Africa.
Fully grown male Cape fur seals or “bulls” can be up to 7.5 feet from snout to tail flipper and weigh more than 600 pounds! Female “cows” are smaller, measuring just under six feet in length on average and weighing about 500 pounds.
Cape fur seal breeding occurs year-round, creating around 11,000 seal pups a year at Geyser Rock.

African Penguin
These small black and white penguins get a little over two feet tall but weigh less than 10 pounds.
They are also known as the “jackass penguin” for their deep,
donkey-like braying call
When feeding, African penguins may dive more than 590 feet in search of squids, fish and other meals.
African penguins are monogamous, keeping the same mating partner for up to 10 years and returning to the same nest site every year.
African penguins were once plentiful but are now critically endangered. Their population has gone from 4 million before the industrial era to 1.5 million in 1910 to just 55,000 now. They are in critical danger of extinction within 15 years.

See the Marine Big 5 on an African Ocean Safari in South Africa
You can book your safari to see sharks, whales, seals, penguins and dolphins along the coast when you take a look at our many South African safari package options.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

What You Need to Know About Renewing Passports for Your South African Safari

South Africa is one of the most easily-accessed countries for tourists, but they still have documentation requirements for anyone entering the country. These requirements include having a valid passport per the country’s stated limits and restrictions. In other words, you are going to have to take a quick look at your passport before you can plan your trip. If your passport fails to meet the minimum requirements, you will have to renew it in order to receive a fresh new document.

To help you enter the country and go on your South African safari without issue, pay attention to the following restrictions and guidelines.

Passport Must Be Valid for the Next 30 Days at Time of Entry
“Passport validity” refers to the period of time left before your passport expires. In South Africa, your passport must have at least 30 days left on it, or else you will be denied entry.

Of course, if you stay more than the 30 days allotted to you on your passport, you will encounter trouble leaving! In that case, you can contact the U.S. Consulates in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban to have an emergency passport issued to you before exiting the country. These passports can be issued in as little as 24 to 48 hours, but you should generally renew your passport any time it could expire within the next six months.

You Must Have Two Consecutive Blank Visa Pages per Entry
When you enter a foreign country, you will be issued a temporary visitation visa. These visas are indicated through several stamps, and in South Africa they will take up two pages total.

Although it may not seem like a big deal, not having the two pages in a row needed for these stamps means you cannot enter! As of January 1, 2016, you
cannot order new pages to add onto your passport. This means that you will need to go ahead and renew your passport if you have less than two pages remaining or if you do not have two blank pages in a row.

Luckily, the U.S. Department of State began issuing bigger, 52-page passport booklets with no extra charge since the new rules went into effect.

If Staying for More Than 90 Days or for Non-Visitation Reasons, You Will Need to File for Your Visa in Advance
The South African government will gladly stamp your passport with a visitation visa as you enter customs through the airport. However, this is only the case if you are a tourist or someone on a temporary business trip and you plan on staying less than 90 days total.

If for whatever reason you wish to stay longer than that, you must apply for your visa in advance and have it approved.

Other Restrictions
In addition to these requirements for passport validity, you will need documented proof that you received a yellow fever vaccine no fewer than 10 days before entering South Africa.

You must also declare all foreign currency upon entry if it exceeds R25,000 (S.A. Rand) or USD $10,000. Kruger coins, the former currency of South Africa, cannot be brought into the country at all. Only 15 Kruger coins or less can be brought out, and even then only if you can prove they were purchased with foreign currency.

Learning More About Preparing for Your South African Safari Vacation
If you have any more questions about the legal requirements for entering South Africa, you can contact the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in the U.S. by calling (202) 232-4400 or visiting their webpage.

You can also ask us any questions you have, so do not hesitate to contact us online or by dialing our U.S. office in LA at 323-864-4824.

Jilll Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Visiting Kenya in February for the Best Animal Viewing Experience

If you want to see many of Africa’s most iconic species, such as elephants, giraffe and more, you can catch them in high concentrations in Kenya, one of the most beautiful countries on Earth, during the month of February. This month represents the peak of the dry season, just before low-pressure “kusi” monsoon winds bring the wet season into full-force come mid-March.

At this time, animals flock to Kenya’s various watering holes. You will see dramatic encounters as well as surprisingly mundane ones, like lions drinking politely next to gazelle. This unique set of circumstances makes a Kenya safari vacation in February an excellent choice for the animal-loving traveller.

Kenya’s Weather Cycles
Like many countries in Africa’s south, Kenya’s yearly weather cycles according to (mostly) predictable wet and dry seasons. In the months from November to early April, hot, dry air comes in northward, originating from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. This air saps humidity, preventing rainfall when most Americans are experiencing their chilliest weather.

Around mid-March, hot, moist winds cycle from the southeast to bring in large amounts of low pressure and humidity, creating conditions for sudden, ample precipitation in the form of heavy rains.

See a Variety of Animals by Visiting Kenya in February
February sits at the end of the dry phase of this cycle, leaving many grasses parched and water sources in the savannah scarce. As a result, animals must concentrate near green patches and watering holes. These conditions mean ample visibility and animals deeply motivated by thirst and hunger. Wildlife can often ignore things that would startle them during this period, including human onlookers and even the occasional predator.

However, predators also run low on food during this period, meaning they may make even more desperate attempts to down prey. The juxtaposition of the two extremes — unorthodox drinking buddies and hyper-aggressive hunting — can make for some of the best photo ops possible.

Additionally, February’s dryness means fewer insects as well as a typical lull in tourism activities. Therefore, strongly consider visiting Kenya this February if you intend to see plenty of animals exhibiting a wide range of atypical behaviors.

Where to Go During Your Kenya Safari Vacation in February
Kenya has many of the world’s top destinations, and some of the best to visit in February include:

    There are, of course, many other tempting places to visit within Kenya during this time, so make sure to explore our Kenya safari vacation packages to get an idea of what you can do, and then call us to book your Kenya safari tour today!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
    find-your-perfect-african-safari copy

    Unconventional Secrets to Spectacular Wildlife Safari Photography

    A good photograph always shows us the world from a unique, stunning perspective. It can capture life — even life we see every day — in a way that makes us stop, pay attention and reassess what we take for granted.

    When capturing wildlife through safari photography, it therefore benefits you end-product greatly if you break yourself out of conventional techniques and try something a bit more unexpected. Here are three tips you can use to shake up your safari photography and break out of the norms to take spectacular photos:

    Try a New View
    One wife-and-husband amateur photography team found success by purposefully changing up the way they took photos.

    "The vast majority of wildlife safari photos are taken from the top of a vehicle looking down on animals," said Australian Kym Illman in an interview with
    Digital Photography magazine. Since these shots are all captured from the same height and similar angles, he and his wife Tonya sought to try something different.

    Their solution involved a remote-controlled buggy that ran about with its attached camera at ground level. Unlike a human, which would scare wildlife away, animals were curious about the buggy. This curiosity caused them to walk right up to it, leading to some
    up-close-and-personal shots that make quite an impact on the viewer.

    Stick with a Spot and Learn from It
    Many people going on their first few safaris make the mistake of trying to take in too much at once. When you are jet-setting between multiple parks and countries, you can often end up selling yourself short within each visit.

    This disadvantage mostly comes in the form of unfamiliarity with a locale. Photographers who have studied an area and come to learn its patterns can anticipate shots even before they occur. For instance, they can learn from seeing certain birds walking in the shallows that a larger crane may soon join them, allowing them to search the skies and set their zoom to capture a big-winged but fast-moving bird.

    The more you become accustomed to a location, the more opportunities you will discover you have been missing as the routines and patterns of wildlife repeat.

    Never Stop Shooting
    The Illmans tried another unique camera trick by hiding a GoPro in a pile of dung and programming it to snap a photo every two seconds. What they learned from this exercise was not how to hide cameras — which certainly helped — but rather how many bad photos you have to go through to get one good one.

    In total, their device snapped 2,700 pictures in a day, only leaving them with one good one. But that good one was entirely worth it — a well-lit and
    beautiful shot of a leopard with a perfectly contrasting sky behind it.

    We suggest to bring along as many memory cards as you can stomach and fill them throughout the days of your trip. One such trick works very well for fast-moving subjects. Set your aperture to f/22 or higher, your ISO to 100 and your shutter speed to max. With this setup, you can snap away at animals on the move while panning, creating a crisp subject with an immersive motion blur in the background.

    Practice Makes Perfect with Safari Photography
    You can master tricks like these and come up with some of your own when you attend a safari photography trip as part of our specialist safari packages. Explore some of the most gorgeous locales and photogenic wildlife subjects on the planet when you book your trip with one of our expert safari photography guides.

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    Safari Destinations for Bird Lovers

    In addition to majestic mammals like the rhino and lion, Africa is also home to tens of thousands of different bird species. Bird watchers and animal lovers alike will appreciate the sheer diversity on display, including some of the most unique-looking birds in the world. From the ostrich — the world’s biggest bird — to the tiny yet beautiful Malachite kingfisher, there is no shortage of variety when it comes to Africa’s avian sights.

    Bird lovers who want to make the most of this grandeur on display can look to the following top safari destinations for bird lovers:

    Okavango Delta — Botswana
    During the rainy season, the Okavango Delta becomes a massive floodplain. All sorts of animals, insects and plant life flourish around it at this time, making it perfect for birds both large and small. Spotting rare wildlife is easy during this period, too, with some birds no doubt serenading you with a wakeup call right outside your tent.

    Common birds include wading birds like the grey crowned crane, skimmers like the aforementioned Malachite kingfisher and even rare birds like the Pel’s fishing owl.

    Lake Nakuru — Kenya
    If you want constant photo ops, Lake Nakuru is the place for you. During certain times of the year, the lake is teeming with enormous flocks of greater and lesser flamingos, sometimes hundreds of thousands strong. Finding a great photo is often as simple as looking and hitting “click.”

    In addition to flamingos, you are bound to see other notable birds like the Goliath heron, pied kingfisher, Verreaux's eagle, African fish eagle and hamerkop.

    Maasai Mara — Kenya
    The Maasai Mara is an incredible place to see big game as well as rare and beautiful birds. Most recognizable is the massive ostrich, but there are also plenty of other unique species in the area. These include the martial eagle, Africa’s largest raptor, and the Kori bustard, Africa’s largest flying bird. You will also see pygmy falcons, kingfishers, gray heron, great white egret, sacred ibis, and — usually attending a fresh lion kill — lots of vultures.

    Serengeti — Tanzania
    Like the Maasai Mara, the Serengeti is teeming with big game as well as plenty of unique birds. You are bound to spot the long-legged secretary bird here, as well as some of the larger ostriches found on the continent. In addition to these iconic birds, the Serengeti is home to several endemic species, like Loveridge’s sunbird and the Usambara eagle owl.

    Mabamba Swamp — Uganda
    Mabamba Swamp plays home to many permanent and migratory species, but most people come here for one reason: to spot a shoebill. This large, unusual-looking bird is one of Africa’s most idiosyncratic species and a priority for bird watchers. Alongside shoebills, long-crested eagle, fulvous whistling duck, long-toed lapwing and other species call Mabamba home.

    Come See the Top Safari Destinations for Bird Lovers on an African Safari Tour
    You can see several of these places at once, along with all of the gorgeous birds inside of them, when you book one of our multi-country African safari tour packages. Find your ideal trip, and then contact us to start planning your vacation today!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    Leave No Trace: Principles to Avoid Human-Created Impacts on Your African Safari Tour

    Africa’s beauty is a precious natural resource, and like most resources it is finite. Failing to care for the sensitive ecosystems could easily mean destroyed habitats and extinct species, robbing the planet of critical biodiversity while also robbing future generations of awe-inspiring experiences.

    Help do your part to conserve these resources and give Africa’s incredible nature the respect it deserves. You can do this by holding yourself to the following seven principles dictated by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

    Plan Ahead and Prepare
    The first step in minimizing impact is to acknowledge the possibility of your activities impacting an area and planning on ways to reduce it. This preparation includes accounting for all park rules and activity guidelines you will be participating in. You should also consider any extreme weather or emergency events and be prepared to respond to them in order to keep both you and the ecosystem safe.

    While planning, you should also consider ways to reduce crowds at natural parks. Try to plan your trip during low times, such as going to Kruger from May to September when tourism levels are typically at a lull. While packing, minimize waste by putting everything into reusable containers.

    Travel and Camp Only on Durable Surfaces
    “Durable surfaces” refer to any surface that likely will not have a permanent impact when used by humans. These include established pathways and camping sites. Since these areas have already been well-tread or paved over, your presence on them will usually not make things worse for the surrounding ecosystem.

    Nevertheless, your group should always walk single file along the center of trails and establish small camp footprints in areas without vegetation. Definitely avoid exploring riparian ecosystems, which are sensitive and take a long time to recover from heavy traffic.

    Avoid areas without trails or where impacts are just beginning.

    Properly Dispose of All Waste
    As they say on the trail: Pack it in, Pack it out. Always bring along bags to collect trash, and pick up any lingering trash you see. You should also pack out any toilet paper or hygiene products, so ensure your bags can restrain smells.

    Leave What You Find
    Souvenirs are things you buy in shops, not things you find on the ground. Never bring rocks, plants, or animal components like feathers with you when leaving a park. Also avoid creating permanent structures like ditches, trenches or cairns.

    Use Discretion with Campfires
    Chances are any fires that happen to be started during your African safari tour will be lit by your guide or lodge host. Nevertheless, make sure that they are lit within well-formed fire rings or on fire pans. Try to keep fires small.

    Avoid lighting fires when possible. If you are cooking, try to use a camp stove, and if you need light then use a gas or candle lantern.

    Respect Wildlife
    This is the most important part of a safari since not respecting wildlife could mean seeing it up closer than you expected.

    Firstly, never feed park animals, and avoid leaving food behind or out in the open. Listen to your guide, especially when they suggest to stay down and keep quiet. Stay in the car when on a game drive.

    Be Considerate
    Remember that you are likely not the only visitor to a park, so try to keep your voices down and clear the path for bigger groups. Ideally, “nature’s sounds prevail” when viewing wildlife. If you need to take a break, do so off the designated paths.

    Learn Other African Safari Guidelines from Experts
    If you want to know more about respecting nature and fellow travelers while on safari, you can always contact us for safari pointers and advice. You can also plan ahead for your trip when you view our available African safari tour packages.

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


    History of the Royal Giraffe

    In a time before TV, radio or rapid travel, many corners of the world felt untamed and unexplored. Animal species from these areas brought back to other civilizations were therefore akin to space aliens — a spectacle from a world completely unlike our own.

    This history of bringing strange and exotic animals to other locales has continued for thousands of years, including our current fascination with zoos and exotic pets. But, while we recognize these animals as familiar, there was a time when encountering one was a stunningly unique experience.

    When talking about species one could see on an African tour, one animal in particular captured the imaginations of ancient Western and Eastern cultures and led to its status as a cult celebrity icon therein. This animal is the giraffe, and it has a long history as a royal pet dating back to pre-antiquity.

    Ancient Egyptian Giraffes and Caesar’s “Camel Leopard”
    The first recorded instance of a giraffe being kept as a royal pet can be found on the walls of the temple of Luxor. Carved there is a depiction of the Queen Hatshepsut’s menagerie, which included at least one giraffe.

    However, transporting a giraffe overland the few thousand miles to get to Egypt is not quite the same feat as bringing one overseas to an entirely different continent. That feat was first accomplished by Julius Caesar in 46 BC following expeditions to Northern Africa. They dubbed the animal a “camelopardalis,” a combination between a camel and a leopard. This animal was put on display at the Roman Circus, and by many accounts could have been tragically killed there by gladiators or other wild beasts.

    By 200 AD, Roman emperors were actively importing giraffes alongside elephants, rhinoceros and hippos and senselessly having them killed for spectacle.

    Giraffes Getting the Royal Treatment
    Giraffes finally began to get the appreciation they deserved when one was gifted to the Yongle emperor of China by King Saif Al-Din Hamzah Shah of Bengal around 1415. These animals were greatly revered and respected, likened to the mythical Qilin, a unicorn-like animal said to herald good fortune and the exaltation of emperors.

    Giraffes made a subsequent appearance in Europe in 1486 when the Quait Bey Egyptian sultan gifted Lorenzo de Medici of Florence with one. This animal was treated as a celebrity of sorts, being hand-fed by aristocratic women and becoming so popular that the neighboring city of Siena named a district after it: the Contrada della Giraffa.

    The French Go Gaga over King Charles’ Giraffe
    The next giraffe to achieve celebrity status on par with the Medicis’ was one gifted to France’s King Charles X by Egypt’s Ottoman viceroy, Mohammed Ali Pasha. Crowds flocked to see the animal as it arrived, requiring mounted cavalry to keep them from getting too close.

    This giraffe inspired a wave of fashion and culture in its wake, including decorative porcelain, hairstyles, artisanal snacks, jewelry and more. It led a pleasant, comfortable life at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris before ultimately dying of old age in 1845. Other giraffes gifted by the Viceroy to King George IV of England and Emperor Francis I of Austria did not fare so well, dying soon after their arrival.

    Live Like Royalty at the Giraffe Manor During Your African Safari Tour
    While we are glad that the days of treating giraffes like spectacular pets are over, we still want people to enjoy their majestic beauty and gentle natures. One of the best places to experience this is at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, where giraffes roam free and often greet guests through windows custom-built to accommodate their long necks.

    You can also encounter giraffes in more natural habitats throughout Africa, including Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Okavango Delta and even Kruger in South Africa.

    Book your ultimate
    African safari tour vacation package by viewing our available itineraries and then contacting us today!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    February in the Serengeti for the Great Wildebeest Migration

    Without a doubt, the great wildebeest migration is one of the most dramatic and awe-inspiring occurrences on the planet. This seasonal event sees millions of wildebeest alongside impala, Thomson's gazelle, Grant’s gazelle and other ruminants journeying over 1,800 miles each year in search of fresh grasses and verdant breeding grounds.

    Those who arrive in Tanzania in February can witness the most serene part of this migration, when wildebeest linger in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation area to dine on soft, short grasses and sire hundreds of thousands of young at one time.

    The Calendar for the Great Wildebeest Migration
    The reason that the wildebeest make their journey across the plains of Africa has to do with the corresponding wet and dry seasons.

    February often represents the height of the dry season, although many grasses still remain from the torrential rains and flooding that occurred in the months before. By April, most of these grasses will have been exhausted, prompting wildebeest and their newborn calves to journey northward in search of literal greener pastures. At this point, the longer wet season will hit its height, watering dry grasses and allowing new ones to sprout.

    The massive herds move north towards the Mbalageti and Grumeti Rivers by May, often making their great crossing in June and reaching the Mara river in July. They will cross the Mara river
    en masse around this time, entering the Maasai Mara park in Kenya and lingering for a few months by the Talek and Mara Rivers until the grass there is all but gone.

    At this point, the short wet season will have begun to set in, leading to heavy rains by November. The wildebeest sojourn southward during this time, completing their circular journey to arrive back in the Serengeti just as the grasses grow tall. They will linger here again, eating grasses rich in calcium and magnesium needed for ample milk production before starting their journey all over again mid spring.

    Taking Your Serengeti Safari Tour in February
    Based on the patterns above, February is one of the best times for viewing wildebeest as the grasses are grazed shorter and the herds begin to condense in anticipation of mating season. During this time, photo opportunities are ample and easy to spot. Viewing distance is excellent, allowing you to see hyenas, lions and other predators stalking the grasses for prey.

    February also means less issues with moisture, including a lower likelihood of biting insects and the like. Tourism levels also tend to be down, creating the perfect conditions for an enjoyable Serengeti safari tour that is likely to be one of the most incredible times of your life.

    Book Your Serengeti Safari Tour for February Now
    The Serengeti has a huge variety of sights in addition to wildebeest as well as comfortable places to stay. For instance, the Lake Masek Tented Camp, the Ndutu Safari Lodge and the Mwiba Lodge are all great choices to stay while being near the action of the Serengeti.

    View our available
    Serengeti safari tour packages to choose your favorite, and then contact us to book your February safari adventure today!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
    Image: Nomad
    enjoy-your-african-safari copy

    Enjoy Your Safari — Don't Overthink It

    One of the biggest problems people encounter when planning an African safari tour is that they stress over every last detail. They treat their future vacation like a wedding, ensuring that every single thing can be “perfect” in order to make the most of their moment.

    Unfortunately, as many brides and grooms later discover, all that obsessive planning ends up being more stress than it was worth. Also, unlike most weddings, you get the chance to repeat your safari vacation, visiting new locales and trying new things each time. Therefore, there is no such thing as the “perfect” safari since every experience will be different. In the end, the true “perfect” safari is the one you have a great time on, regardless of how much planning you put in.

    So, with these points in mind, many people come to the same conclusion that newlywed couples do after planning their wedding: they wish they had let someone else take over. When you do let someone like us help you plan your African safari tour, you can gain the following four benefits:

    Less Research and Fewer Mistakes
    Safari tour companies have an inherent advantage over novice trip planners because of their experience and familiarity. Put simply, they have had time to make mistakes so that you don’t have to. They learn from each lodge, guide and activity they go on. The absolute best ones get recommended again, while the bad experiences help guests avoid repeating the same mistake twice.

    The biggest problem for novices is that most of the valuable information about safari services cannot be found online. Lodges and guides with the flashiest websites may also have the money to scrub off negative comments or dominate over smaller, higher-quality operations that are more deserving of your time. A gorgeous, five-star looking resort could turn out to be a non air-conditioned hut many miles away from the nearest game reserve.

    RohoYaChui and our partnered companies always check out the reputations of each service we engage with and weed out the ones that have burned people in the past. You get the advantage of local expertise, including vendor relationships that may provide special packages and discounts to our guests.

    Overcoming Choice Paralysis
    Even if every game and lodge company were equal, you would still have too many choices at your disposal to come to a solid conclusion of which one to choose. Your choice essentially becomes a crapshoot.

    Experienced safari companies eliminate this randomness by learning what each company excels at. We then listen attentively to our clients in order to recommend the perfect options for them. Someone who loves big cats will get a different lodge recommendation than someone who enjoys bird watching, for instance. By pinpointing the perfect choice for you, we can help ensure you have a positive experience.

    Save Time and Stress
    Booking various lodges can be time consuming and stressful, especially for a multi-country stay. Experienced safari companies take care of all these details for you and follow-up with our vendors as the trip date nears. If something happens like overbooking, we have backup plans in place to ensure you have a comfortable place to stay as an alternative.

    You accomplish all of this by talking to one company through a few phone calls or emails — as opposed to calling up hotels and game guides half a world away dozens of times on dozens of different numbers.

    Enjoy Your African Safari Tour When It Happens
    Going back to the wedding analogy, many couples find that their stress does not melt away once the day comes. Instead, they focus on all the details and decisions they have made and worry about what could have been different. Safari-goers who plan their whole trip can feel the same way.

    Free yourself from this anxiety by letting someone else take your load. We offer a slew of
    safari tour packages that take you to some of the best spots and businesses on the continent. If you don’t see the one for you, we can customize your trip to fit your exact needs. Contact us today to get the ball rolling, and enjoy your safari that much more when the time comes.

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    12 Stocking Stuffer Ideas to Reveal Your New Year African Safari Gift

    Many people pledge to go out and experience more of the world as part of their New Year’s resolutions, so what better holiday idea could there be than an African safari gift?

    Of course, inviting somebody on the trip of their lifetime is kind of a big reveal, so we recommend that you start slow in order to build the anticipation. How can you do that? By following our gift guide for 20 affordable stocking stuffer ideas that can leave your safari-goer well-prepared for their journey ahead.

    Flashlights and Headlamps
    Getting caught in the dark is no fun, and it can happen anywhere, day or night. Help your safari-goer be prepared by buying them a pocket-sized but powerful flashlight, like the LED Lenser by Zweibruder or a Petzl headlamp.

    Waterproof Bags, Camera Rain Sleeves
    Water is your enemy when your all your worldly possessions at-hand fit within one bag. Protect things like electronics and valuables with waterproof sacks, both large and small. You can also gift a healthy supply of rain sleeves to protect cameras and help your recipient get that amazing shot even in a sudden downpour.

    Camera Accessories: Window Mount Beanbag, Lenspen, Lens Cap Lanyard, Remote
    Help your recipient get the perfect shot with these accessories that make life easier. Beanbags keep cameras stable for in-car shots, while things like Lenspens lens cleaners and stick-on lens cap lanyards save time. A remote camera control can even help them get shots when they are spotting for their camera a few feet away.

    Say NO to Auto by Kristen Duke
    This book aims to help budding photographers branch out and learn how to use their manual settings for the perfect camera setup every time.

    Adventuring Socks, Hiking Insoles
    Most socks we buy now are an injustice to our feet, filled with sweat-inducing, non-wicking synthetic fibers. Correct this problem by gifting hiking socks made with natural blends of cotton and wool. Look for socks that provide warmth and comfort over a range of temperatures, and supplement them with supportive hiking insoles.

    Safari Hat, Shawls, Sunscreen
    Keep your recipient’s face protected with a wide-brimmed, lightweight hat. In this same vein, a moisturizing sunscreen and versatile headscarf can also protect from UV rays.

    Portable Battery
    A bevy of gadgets will inevitably accompany the modern safari. Make sure they can stay alive longer by gifting battery recharge packs.

    A Quality Drinking Bottle
    Sports bottles have hit new evolutionary heights these days, so whether you are looking for one that can brew tea, filter water, or fold up, it’s out there!

    Water Purifying Kit
    Municipal services are inconsistent in many African communities, meaning that sensitive Western stomachs will need to filter out microbes from their water. A portable water purifying kit, such as the popular LifeStraw, can lessen the risk of waterborne illness and keep travelers safe on-the-go.

    Chances are your recipient won’t be fending for themselves in the bush, but you may as well gift them a multi-tool like a Leatherman or Swiss Army Knife to help them be prepared. Just remind them not to try to take it on the plane!

    Encrypted Flash Drive
    Lots of us work while we travel, making an encrypted flash drive a must.

    Not to get graphic, but women have always suffered an evolutionary disadvantage when it comes to using the world’s largest restroom: the great outdoors. At least, they did until products like the pStyle came along, which allows women to use their pants fly zipper as Levi Strauss intended.

    Use These Great Products Together When You Book Your African Safari Gift Package
    You and your special someone can make good use of all these products when you book an African safari gift package today. View our diverse range of planned trips or make your own when you contact us to book an African safari vacation.

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    5 Fun Facts to Share with Your Kids on Your Madagascar Safari

    Madagascar is like no place else on Earth, and this uniqueness shows through its endemic wildlife, stunning geography and deep-seated cultural practices. Children can appreciate this uniqueness, too, but it can help to ground the unusual things they are experiencing with some concrete facts.

    To help you expand their minds and grasp just how amazing Madagascar is, you can use the following five facts to share with them during your Madagascar safari vacation:

    1. Madagascar Is the Fourth Biggest Island in the World
    One of the first unique aspects of Madagascar is its status as the only African island country. Plenty of small islands dot Africa’s coast, but Madagascar is many thousands of times larger. At 226,917 square miles, Madagascar is bigger than California, almost as big as Texas and twice as big as Arizona.

    2. Madagascar Was Part of India 88 Mil. Years Ago
    The reason that Madagascar is so big lies in pre-historic geology. 135 million years ago, Pangea had separated into a southern supercontinent called Gondwana. India was located near Antarctica at this time, but gradually drifted to slam into the Asian continent, forming the Himalayas.

    Like a favorite toy at Grandma’s, Madagascar got left behind, gradually drifting alongside Africa. This isolation from major continents for millions of years lead to Madagascar having unique biodiversity.

    3. Madagascar Has Some of the Most Unique Species on the Planet
    Speaking of biodiversity, 70 percent of Madagascar’s animal species and 90 percent of its plant species can be found nowhere else on earth. Some scientists even call Madagascar the “eighth continent” because it is so different from other ecosystems.

    4. Madagascar Is the Only Place to Find Lemurs
    Madagascar's unique species include the charming and adorable lemur. There are 103 different species of lemur living in Madagascar, but sadly many of them are threatened or critically endangered.
    6. Native Madagascar People Are Called “Malagasy” and Hail from Two Continents
    Long ago, Madagascar was still empty even though other places in the world were settled by tribes or civilizations. One of these places, the island of Borneo, had brave explorers who went across the ocean on special outrigger canoes. They landed in Madagascar around 300 AD and started farms. Around 1000 AD, people from Africa joined them, bringing with them zebu cattle, unique languages and a mix of cultures, including later creating the game Fanorona.

    5. In Addition to Native Malagasy, French Is Madagascar’s Official Language
    France invaded Madagascar in 1883 in what ended up being a fairly brutal war. The French abolished slavery but started large agricultural plantations and forced people to accept Christianity.

    Eventually, the Malagasy people grew tired of being ruled by Europeans. They began to rebel, so France reacted by peacefully giving them back their country. This happened in 1958, just a year after Sputnik was launched into space! Nevertheless, people in Madagascar spoke French for several generations, and the language remains infused in their culture to this day.

    Learn Even More on a Madagascar Safari Vacation!
    You could read stacks of books on Madagascar, but the best way to learn about the country is to visit it first-hand. You can choose your Madagascar safari vacation package when you view our sample tours, or you can give us a call to book a custom Madagascar safari tour package of your own!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    Traveling to Africa Checklist

    Traveling to another continent is a huge undertaking, but with the right preparation it can be made far easier and less susceptible to the unexpected. To ensure that your African safari trip is as enjoyable as possible, you can use the following checklist to plan for your travels.

    Researching Your Trip
    Look up the activities you want to do or sights you want to see, including specific animals
    Research lodges and accommodations in the areas where you can accomplish all your desired activities. Reputation matters a lot!
    safari tour packages that can maximize the value of your trip and offer planned itineraries
    Research the ideal time and weather windows to visit, such as during the dry season or when tourism is at a typical lull

    Preparing for Your Trip
    Ensure your passport is current and valid; renew if necessary
    Obtain all needed travel visas for the countries you will be entering
    Book appointments for getting the
    recommended travel vaccinations you will need based on the area you are traveling to; get documentation for required vaccines
    Obtain travelers insurance
    Book accommodations and any trip activities based on prior research, booking a safari tour package can simplify this process while often saving you money
    Research cheap flights to your destination and book them
    Contact your bank and/or credit card provider to notify them of your travel plans so overseas charges won’t be flagged
    Set up emergency contacts; if plans change or issues arise, you’ll want to make sure you can get a ride from the airport and that Fido still gets fed!
    Bring along extra currency; most places accept US dollars, but having local currency can make transactions smoother (and often cheaper)
    Have emergency funds in the form of a pre-paid currency card or a credit card with at least $1,000-$2,000 on its balance
    Photocopy all important documents in case something like your ID is lost or stolen
    Watch the news and weather reports for important developments

    Packing needs will vary according to the season you travel, the locations you visit and your travel plans. Here are some general guidelines to help you along:
    Don’t overpack! Plenty of garments like jeans can be worn several days without washing. Save room for things like camera equipment, extra outerwear or souvenirs to bring home
    For main items, use a medium-sized bag that is easy to travel with and you can keep closely by your side
    Bring a slashproof smaller bag for other travel items and to use as a daypack
    Leave behind any unneeded valuables used mostly for entertainment like kids’ tablets; they can enjoy them again when you get home!
    Purchase a money belt to carry currency, cards and other valuables close to your chest
    Have waterproof covers for your luggage in case of weather
    Bring layers!
    Thermal underwear
    Longsleeve shirts and windbreaker jackets
    Rain gear
    Extra cotton socks
    Gloves, scarves, caps
    Hats for shade are a must!
    Overwear like pullovers
    Hiking boots with a stiff ankle can help in most conditions
    Camera and equipment
    Extra chargers, SD cards, USB cables, battery packs, etc.
    Preferred toiletries; some brands may be hard to find abroad
    Well-stocked first aid kit
    A card declaring medical needs in case of emergency
    Nail clippers
    All needed medicines plus extra OTC medicine, like bismuth, Dramamine and rehydration packets like Dioralyte
    Water purifying kit
    Lots and lots of insect repellant, although some could be bought abroad
    Suntan lotion
    Small flashlight

    Other Items You May Need
    Portable door lock
    Pocket knife or multi-tool
    Ear plugs
    Guide books
    Refillable water bottle/bladder
    Duct tape
    Travel pillow
    Packable blanket
    Energy bars, candy or some sort of emergency snacks
    Combination padlocks
    Sewing kit

    Want Advice Planning Your African Safari Trip?
    We are experts on helping people have the best time possible during their trip to Africa. If you need any help or advice when preparing, planning or packing for your trip, you can use any of our
    contact points.
    Let us help you plan and book your perfect African safari vacation today!

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    Top Must-See Attractions in Botswana

    Even though it has some of the most stunning wildlife and landscapes on the continent, Botswana is one of the less-visited countries in Africa. While one could consider this tragic, it also means that Botswana safari tours are a more intimate, exclusive affair, characterized more by nature than hordes of tourists.
    So gear up for an unforgettable adventure in Botswana, and make sure to see some of these jaw-dropping sights while you are there:

    Okavango Delta
    No other place in the world is like the Okavango Delta, home to one of the world’s largest inland deltas. Seasonal flooding causes the delta to swell to huge proportions, attracting all manner of wildlife during their yearly migration.
    At Okavango, you can see bush elephants, hippopotamus, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, warthogs, hyena, springbok, cheetahs, lions, leopards, black and white rhinos and more. Most congregate peacefully while drinking from the flood waters, but drama is inevitable as crocodiles or big cats attempt to capture prey.
    Because of its picturesque beauty and extreme diversity of species, we recommend the Okavango as one of the most important places to visit in Africa overall.

    Kubu Island
    While Okavango Delta is akin to a natural celebration of all the most colorful life seen on earth, Kubu Island is remarkable for its otherworldliness.
    Not a true “island,” Kubu sits amidst the vast Makgadikgadi salt pans, which are the remnants of a prehistoric lake of the same name. The salt pans are an endless, flat expanse, except where they are interrupted by rocky granite “islands.”
    Kubu is the most remarkable of these formations, and its eery contrast of life and death, beauty and nothingness has made it a holy site to indigenous people for thousands of years. Visiting is an undeniably spiritual experience that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

    Moremi Wildlife Reserve
    Hugging much of the eastern Okavango Delta, Moremi is a nationally managed game reserve presenting a host of diverse wildlife viewing opportunities. In addition to the Okavango swamplands, visitors can see grassy plains and mopane tree canopies teeming with some incredible photo-ops.

    Khama Rhino Sanctuary
    This sanctuary near the edge of the Kalahari sandveld was formed in 1992 to protect rhino species from extinction. White and black rhino can be seen, often up close, as well as 230 species of birds and 30 mammals.

    Baines Baobabs
    This collection of baobab trees was immortalised in a painting by explorer Thomas Baines, a member of Livingstone’s exploration party, in 1862. Each tree is at least several thousand years old, and comparing Baines’ illustration to the modern day examples shows that only one branch has broken off since that time!

    Kalahari Desert
    This enormous swathe of sandy savanna covers much of Botswana and other regions in southwest Africa. It supports a large number of species despite its aridity, including iconic acacia trees, Katanga lions, Transvaal lions, Cape wild dogs, meerkats and, during the wet season, flocks of flamingos tens of thousands strong.
    The Central Kalahari Game Reserve provides viewing opportunities for many of these species as well as lodging and structured safari tours.

    Other Important Sites in Botswana to Visit:
      Booking Botswana Safari Tours
      We provide a host of
      Botswana safari tour packages that include the above sites as well as visits to landmarks like Victoria Falls, Kruger, Cape Town and more.
      Take a look at our colorful brochures, and then contact us to
      book your Botswana safari tour today!

      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

      4 Top Misconceptions About African Safaris

      Without a doubt, an African safari vacation can be one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life. Unfortunately, many people tend to scare themselves away from the experience as a result of a few lingering misconceptions.
      Rest assured that most of these African safari myths are false! To help set you at ease and prevent you from getting in the way of what could be some of your fondest memories, we have debunked some of these most persistent misconceptions:

      Myth #1: It’s Too Dangerous to Visit Africa
      Certain parts of Africa have civil unrest, which has led to some undeniably tragic occurrences.
      However, what many people forget is that Africa is the
      second-largest continent in the world. You could fit the United States, India, China, Japan and most of Western Europe within its land mass. This fact means that visitors to Botswana would be further away from a conflict zone in Sudan or Nigeria than the distance from L.A. to New York. Further by about 1,500 miles, in fact!
      So, unless you are the type of person to not visit the Statue of Liberty because there’s an earthquake in Malibu that day, then you should be perfectly at ease visiting most of Africa’s beautiful Southern countries.
      Keep in mind, though, that the stories of accidents you do hear often involve people disobeying park rules, so always listen to your guide and study the expectations beforehand.

      Myth #2: I’ll Get Sick if I Visit Africa
      The Ebola outbreaks of a few years back were isolated to West Africa, and the disease has been contained and is subject to ongoing monitoring in those regions.
      For those areas outside of former Ebola zones, certain diseases are only a concern if you fail to get required vaccinations and do not protect yourself adequately against mosquito and tsetse bites. Wear long clothing, sleep under a net, apply insect repellent liberally throughout the day and avoid areas where pests are likely to be concentrated.
      Certain lodges also declare themselves “malaria free” by way of careful spraying and ministering to conditions that discourage pest breeding, so seek those out if you are truly concerned.

      Myth #3: I Have to Visit Four Countries and See All “Big Five” to Make My Trip Worth It
      When visiting Africa, especially on your first trip, less always turns into more. In Kruger alone, you will find hundreds of different possible activities and over a dozen nearby lodges to stay at.
      So take it slow! Book only a couple of activities so that you do not feel pressured to stress yourself out on the one day you get to enjoy Victoria Falls. Also try not to focus on seeing too many particular animals unless it is only one or two, since the more you explore one area the more likely you are to find unexpected surprises.

      Myth #4: African Safari Vacations Are Expensive
      If you look into all that you will be doing on one of our
      African safari tour packages, you will see that the per-day and per-item costs are far cheaper than a visit to practically any tourist destination in the U.S. These expenses almost always include breakfast, dinner, light daytime meals, lodging, activities and possibly even a few complimentary drinks. Visitors often have to furnish their own lunch as well as any drinks, snacks, souvenirs or extra clothing that catches their eye.
      So, compared to most vacations, your daily living expenses are ridiculously cheap. The most costly single-item purchase would be your plane ticket, so make sure to stake out airfare sites for a few weeks to see how prices fluctuate.

      Let Us Help Debunk Some of those Nasty African Safari Myths
      If you have any questions or concerns about visiting Africa, do not hesitate to
      contact us. The sights and sounds you will see throughout this massive, diverse continent far outweigh any risks you could face, so do not take those opportunities away from yourself!
      Take a look at all you could be experiencing by viewing a sample Kruger, Vic Falls and
      Okavango safari tour package right now.

      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

      Tips for The Best Safari Photography

      You will no doubt bring home lots of souvenirs from your African safari vacation, but the most precious thing you will be toting back with you is lots and lots of pictures. Since these pictures are all you will have of your breathtaking memories, you will want them to be able to capture the majesty and emotions you experienced at the time you were shooting them.
      To make the most of all the
      National Geographic-worthy photo-ops you will see on your vacation to Africa, try out some of these safari photo tips:

      Keep the iPhone in Your Pocket
      Smartphone cameras are great at snapping close-ups of people and bright outdoor scenes, but they lack the focal length and depth of field needed to capture distant subjects clearly. In other words, you will be disappointed with most of your safari photos if all you use is a smartphone.
      Instead, invest in a DSLR camera with detachable lenses, like the Canon EOS series or the Nikon D500 and up. These allow you to attach more accessories, and more importantly they offer you greater control of the outcome of the photo. Settings like exposure level, focal length, aperture and shutter speed all have a huge impact on the image, and can only be duplicated on smartphones through post-processing.
      So, save the iPhone for snaps at the lodge or those split moments when you can’t get your camera out, and use the real tool for the job at all other times.

      Bring the Right Equipment
      Merely having a DSLR is not enough. You will want equipment that can provide the conditions you need for a good shot.
      Most critical is a long telephoto lens with at least 300mm of focal length, but 500mm is even better. Those amazing safari photos you see are often taken at a distance, but they look great because the focal length is enough to capture the image clearly and with plenty of light.
      If you like, you can also bring a medium-length lens that goes from 24mm-105mm for wide shots, portraits and other moments. If you plan on switching lenses frequently, consider bringing two camera bodies along to make the switch instantaneous.
      Also important is image stability. Always wait for the game drive vehicles to stop and shut off, otherwise engine shudders will ruin photos with blurriness. The most helpful rig for this situation is a window-mount beanbag. Tripods are a great choice for those who want to stay in one spot for a while and shoot. You can also bring along a stabilizer rig for walking shoots, but these are expensive and cumbersome.
      For day shots, you will want a polarizing lens filter and a lens hood.
      In addition to shooting equipment, you will want TONS of extra SD cards and at least two to three extra batteries. Since you should be shooting twice as many photos as you think you need, you should bring along four times the storage capacity. Also, any chance you can, backup your photos online throughout your trip!

      Think About the Shots You Want to Get
      Many people assume they will go on an African safari tour and bump up against all the photo opportunities they wanted.
      While that certainly happens, the best way to go home with your bucket list in the bag is to structure your trip around those shoots. Want majestic birds? Visit Okavango. Want to see some big cats? Try going on less-crowded game drives through private safari lodges. Want a poster-sized image of Victoria Falls? Book a fly-by.
      You can start thinking about the photos you want and the places you want to go to get them by reading about our specialized
      wildlife photography safari tour or our African safari vacation packages.

      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

      The Importance of Team Building, and How African Safari Tours Can Help

      Team building exercises enable people in an organization a chance for a unique and effective emotional bonding experience. At the same time, team building imparts valuable skills in ways that can speak specifically to each team member.
      The only problem is that not every team building exercise works as intended. If the participants do not genuinely feel as if they have a common goal beyond “let’s humor the boss,” then the experience will be marred by negativity. So, to make sure that your team building exercise can actually help, here are some goals it should accomplish, along with why African Safari tours may be your best choice:

      Give Your Team a Completely New Context to Work In
      A common theme of team building exercises — whether they take place for an hour in the office or over the course of a week-long business retreat — is that they place teams in an unfamiliar environment and then ask them to work through it together.
      This unfamiliarity provides the key teaching potential of the exercise. By forcing teams into new contexts, they can begin to think of problem solving, goal seeking and cooperation in a whole new light. Essentially, they build metaphors in their head that relate to the situation and how it played out.
      For example, some lodges engage in game capture exercises where groups help locate important wildlife and capture them to administer important care. This care can include treating wounds, attaching anti-poaching devices or relocating the animal to a more suitable habitat.

      Provide the Emotional Fuel for a Bonding Experience
      Make no mistake: most beneficial team building effects are felt rather than understood. Humans are emotional creatures, after all, and we often process logic through emotional terms.
      Well-coordinated team building exercises can bring teams through this emotional process and allow them to establish critical bonds and connections. Situations that are stressful but fun can bring out each member’s unique talents as well as how their personality affects their approach to unusual tasks. Such situations also reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a team as a whole.
      Most importantly, these events provide the emotional catalyst needed to build a deep sense of trust, understanding and cooperation among teams. Psychological studies have shown that certain types of
      stressors can bring people together, even among people assumed to be too “masculine” for such bonding moments.
      African safari tours can create these conditions needed for teams to see things in a different way while learning to appreciate one another for simply being there beside them. You can pick the
      safari team building experiences you think your team would benefit from most by taking a look at our specialist safari tour packages in the preceding link.

      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

      Seven Natural Wonders of Africa: Sahara Desert

      Our species has produced some incredible things throughout our history, but all of them pale in comparison to the majesties that Mother Nature has constructed. One such majestic formation covers six percent of the planet’s entire land surface area and nearly a third of Africa, its second-largest continent.
      That formation is the Sahara Desert, and its massive land area encompasses a broad range of sights, sounds and experiences that is completely different than anything else found on planet Earth. Those who visit the Sahara Desert are in for an incredible treat and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

      Characteristics of the Sahara Desert
      Contrary to its popular depiction in movies and pop culture, only a small portion of the Sahara Desert is made up of rolling sandy dunes — about 15 percent. These dunes can get massive, though, towering over 590 ft high and characterising some of the most inhospitable areas on Earth.
      The majority of the Sahara is composed of rocky plateaus and boulders in regions called “hamada.” These areas were once desert, but thousands of years of wind removed the sand and only left behind the larger gravel stones and bare rock. Of course, since the Sahara stretches across thousands of miles of North Africa, the diversity of environments you will encounter is stunning. Dry lake beds, salt flats, hills covered in scrubby desert plants and, yes, real oases can be found amidst the Saharan landscape.
      There are also remnants of volcanic mountains from millions of years ago, when much of the Sahara was still the floor under the ocean. As that ocean retreated, basins and lakes were formed. Many of these formations have since dried, but the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea are two of the largest examples of what remained.
      Altogether, the Sahara Desert receives an average of 5.6 inches of rainfall a year. However, many stretches across the Central and Eastern Sahara receive no rainfall at all for years at a time. A band of tropical Savannah known as the Sahel borders the Sahara on its southern edges, and rocky, arid Mediterranean climes characterize its northern boundaries.
      Despite the Sahara being seemingly uninhabitable, it gave birth to some of the earliest cultured civilizations in human history, including the Nubians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, and vast extensions of the Byzantine Empire.

      Wildlife in the Sahara
      The Sahara is home to many unique species as well as some common ones:

        Countries and Areas to Visit the Sahara
        The Sahara stretches across many African regions and countries, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan and more. Other countries like Burkina Faso and Senegal have portions of Saharan desert in their northern regions with large swathes of Sahel tropical savannah within them, too.
        You can explore some of these regions to your heart’s content with the help of Roho Ya Chui’s excellent guide and tourism network.
        Contact us if you are interested in booking a visit to the Sahara, and we will find you the best accommodations, guides and lodges to stay at so that your experience will be both incredible and unforgettable.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        Fun Facts About the Lesser Flamingo
        The lesser flamingo is one of the most vibrant and recognizable species seen during African safari vacations. Their pink plumage, eccentric behavior and tendencies to socialize in massive flocks all make them an unforgettable sight.
        But the amazing characteristics of the lesser flamingo go far beyond what your eyes tell you at a glance. Discover a few amazing facts to understand why booking a safari vacation and watching flamingos in the wild can be such a rewarding experience.

        Lesser Doesn’t Mean Less
        The lesser flamingo is named for its smaller size relative to the greater flamingo. While the greater flamingo measures around four to five feet tall, the lesser flamingo usually won’t quite reach three feet. However, size varies greatly by sex and random genetic expression, so some “lesser” flamingos may actually be taller than their greater counterparts!
        Also, lesser flamingos boast size in numbers. Although they have a smaller habitat range, their worldwide population of five million or more individuals outnumbers the greater flamingo by a large margin. Flocks of lesser flamingos can be over a million strong, and they sometimes congregate with other flamingo species.
        In these huge flocks, the flamingos will often “dance” together as a group as part of their mating rituals.

        Think Pink
        Since size isn’t a wholly accurate way to identify lesser flamingos, you can tell them apart by their mostly black beaks, while greater flamingos and other species may have only black tips.
        Lesser flamingos also boast a brighter, lighter color of pink plumage. They don’t have this color naturally, but by extracting certain nutrients from their diet of diatoms and krill.
        Interestingly, the flamingo eats these microorganisms using a filter feeding mechanism. They will stir up mud and then place their beaks in the water upside down. As they move water about, small spines on the roof of their mouth collect mud while allowing nutritious prey to collect in the trough part of their upper beak.
        Newborn flamingos lack their pink color because they cannot eat partially digested food until they reach a certain age. In the meantime, they drink milk! Yes, flamingos are one of the few birds to produce a milk-like substance, triggered by the same hormones found in lactating mammals. It is produced in the lining of their crop, and fed to chicks by both mothers and fathers.

        Flamingo Love Is Ancient History
        Flamingos may seem like a novelty of the animal kingdom, but their species trace back 10 million years to the Miocene era. Perhaps this is why they can only feed on microorganisms found in highly alkaline or saline lakes, considering these two environments were more common in prehistoric times.
        Farmers even use flamingo flocks to tell them where not to draw irrigation water from because alkaline water isn’t good for growing crops.

        It Takes a Flamingo Village
        Flamingo parents build their nest out of mud as a couple and take turns watching it. Since creating a nest takes time and effort that some flamingos would rather skip, parents are more looking out for home invasions from fellow flamingos than they are predators!
        When the eggs hatch, they form a crèche, which is a group of chicks tended to by parts of the flock rather than parents. The crèche journeys to freshwater, sometimes over stretches of 20 miles or more.

        Where to Find Lesser Flamingos on an African Safari Vacation
        Flamingos are found all throughout southern Africa, including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. They can also be found in Tanzania along Lake Tanganyika and in Kenya near Lake Turkana. Flocks generally bypass Lake Victoria since it does not have the high pH or salt levels needed to produce their diet.
        You can book an African safari vacation to any of these places or several of them at once by looking at our
        African safari tour packages.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        Africa's Famous Creepy Crawlers

        Most people know Africa for its big, beautiful animals, like the majestic lion or massive bush elephant, but Africa also has plenty of smaller species worth checking out. Notably, the kind with six legs or more. So prepare to get out the butterfly net — and make sure it’s a big one! — to get a closer look at these hard-shelled critters you may see on African safari tours.

        Goliath Beetle
        This aptly-named tank-of-a-beetle is also one of the biggest insects in the world in terms of size, weight and bulk. They can grow over four inches in length, and their massive grubs are quite the porkers at 3.5 oz. You can recognize them by their bright patterns as they plod up trees in Africa’s tropical rainforests. Despite their intimidating size, these beetles are docile and only feed on tree sap and fruit.

        African Locust
        Members of the
        Phymateus genus are some of the most colorful and beautiful insects in the world. One particular species, Phymateus saxosus, lives only on the island of Madagascar and feeds on toxic milkweed plants. When threatened, they can spray noxious fumes using the toxins they digested, which are potent enough to irritate even humans.
        An almost-as-colorful offshoot of this genus, commonly called rooibaadjie or foam grasshoppers, uses their toxins to secrete an irritating foam from their thorax.

        Giant Millipede
        Growing as big as 15 inches in length and 3 inches around, Giant African millipedes live up to their names. They mostly inhabit the forest floors of East Africa and feed on rotting plant materials.
        Because of their huge size, docile personalities and relatively long life spans of 5-7 years, people often keep them as pets, Let’s just hope they don’t have to buy shoes for all those legs!

        Exotic African Mantises
        The world is full of gorgeous examples of praying mantis species, but perhaps none are so striking as the ones found in Africa.
        These include the “ghost” mantis or dead leaf mantis, so-named for its uncanny resemblance to dried-up leaves sitting on a branch or somewhere along the forest floor. Other stellar mantis mimics include the spiny flower mantis, a stunningly decorated genus found in colors that include bright pink, lavender and pale rose.
        While those two mantis species are relatively small and prey by way of still patience, the devil’s flower mantis is much larger and a more active attractor. These mantises can grow up to five inches in length, and contort themselves into bizarre poses while swaying gently, mimicking a flower wafting on a breeze. When some poor pollinator comes to get nectar, they get snacked on instead!

        Scarab Beetles
        A “scarab” is a generic name for a whole family of beetle species, but the “scarab” most people tend to think of is the
        Scarabaeus sacer dung beetle, which was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians.
        Supposedly, the rolling of dung balls across the vast desert reminded Egyptians of an incarnation of Ra as he pushed the sun across the sky. They were also likely attracted to the
        Scarabaeus sacer’s appealing proportions, which resemble the golden ratio in many depictions.

        Come See Africa’s Incredible Insects and More on an African Safari Tour. You can get a glimpse of all these guys when you book an
        African safari tour package with us today!

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        When is the Best Time to See the Most Animals?

        Most people who go on an African safari vacation do so for one reason—to see the iconic, exotic animals in their natural habitats. Naturally, tourists would like to visit Africa when they have the greatest catch of viewing the most animals as close as possible. There is great news for those of you who are planning your first safari trip, you can have a great vacation and see many animals through the whole year, depending on which country you are going to. Since Africa is such a huge continent, the seasons differ by region, and the animals travel with these changes. Here is a quick guide for the best times to see the most animals in the different countries in Africa.

        January, February and March
        During the early months of the year, the best places to go on a safari tour are Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. It is normally very dry, causing the animals to seek good water sources in the regions. The congregate around these watering holes, creating a community of animals that are easy to track and spot. This also brings in the big cats and other predators that tourists hope to see. In addition, the great wildebeest migrate through these regions during the early months, which is an incredible sight to see. The downside to visiting during this time is that it is not a great season to see the gorillas.

        April and May
        These are considered off-seasons for the big safari parks, so you might be able to get good rates if you book your safari vacation during this time. Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the countries that you should scope out. The spring is when the rains come, which makes the animals a bit harder to find. However, the landscape is at its most stunning during these months. If you would like to see Victoria Falls, this is when most recommend going.

        June through September
        These are the busiest seasons of the year for the safari parks, which means that you will have a great chance of seeing many animals, as well as enjoying the landscape before the lushness of the rainy season completely disappears. Take your pick of the major parks through these months, you cannot go wrong.

        October through December
        The rains have now made their way to South Africa, but do not let that deter you from making a trip to the region. There are still many animals that hang around in the area. This is a great time to see birds in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, if you are an avid bird watcher.

        Plan Your African Safari Vacation
        There are many seasons throughout the year to see the amazing animals of Africa, you just have to make sure that you are in the right place at the right time. Are you ready to start planning your African safari vacation? Take a moment to visit our
        safari tours page or contact a member with Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


        Being Safe While Visiting Victoria Falls

        In 1855, when Scottish explorer David Livingstone first laid eyes on the mighty Victoria Falls, he proclaimed, “Scenes so lovely, they must be gazed upon by angels in their flight.” To this day, this great African wonder has attracted tourists from around the world. It is not the tallest, nor the widest body of falling water on the planet—but it is arguably the most magnificent. If you are planning your African safari vacation, seeing Victoria Falls should be at the top of your to-do list.

        As with any untamed work of art, carefully crafted by Mother Nature, there is some element of danger to visiting the falls. Many tourists have questions about staying safe while they travel through the area and visit the park. Here are some general guidelines for being safe while visiting Victoria Falls.

        Swim in Designated Areas Only
        If you would like to swim in Victoria Falls, you will have the opportunity. There are several safe pool areas that are very enjoyable, including the famous Devil’s Pool. Devil’s Pool is located right on the edge of the roaring falls. While it looks as if swimmers could plunge over that edge at any moment, a small lip right below the water’s surface prevents that from happening. This area makes for great pictures and a chance for tourists to tell their friends that they stood right on the edge of a waterfall. Devil’s Pool is not the only pool that was formed on the edge of the falls, but you should not swim in any area that is not clearly designated as safe. If you do take a dip in an undesignated pool, you risk being swept away over the side of one of the world’s largest waterfalls.

        Respect Your Guide
        Your safari tour guide is there to help you, and truly cares about your safety. There have been instances where tour guides lost their lives to save tourists who were in grave danger in Victoria Falls. These are experts in the area. They know the falls well, and know where you should and should not go. Respect your guide. If they tell you that an area is unsafe, always listen.

        It’s Not Worth the Picture
        So many people try to find the most insane spots on Victoria Falls to take a daring picture. One important thing that you must know—it’s not worth the picture. Seriously—you could be seriously injured or worse while attempting to brave the sides of the falls or cliffs in search of the perfect photo opportunity.

        Keep Your Belongings Safe
        While the locals try very hard to keep the integrity of the falls, heavy tourism in the area is not without its consequences. Keep your belongings and personal items on you at all times. There are several quality hotels and businesses located by the falls for tourists. If you do visit, consider staying close and keeping your things in your hotel room.

        Book Your African Safari Vacation
        Are you ready to see Victoria Falls for yourself? Consider booking an African safari vacation. To learn more, visit our
        safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        1 copy

        Should You Get Travelers Insurance?

        Taking a trip to Africa is a once in a lifetime dream come true for so many people. It can takes years and enormous effort to plan your perfect safari vacation, but some very important details are still easily overlooked. Traveler’s insurance is not something that most tourists think about investing in, especially if they do not travel often. Though a well-planned safari vacation is very safe, there is no way to prevent many unforeseen incidents from taking place. Going to a foreign country, and a foreign continent, has its risks. Tourists are vulnerable to both accidents and illnesses. Purchasing a traveler’s insurance policy before you embark on your African safari vacation is a great investment that can provide you with monetary compensation in the event that your trip does not go as planned. Here are some of the benefits of traveler’s insurance.

        A Cushion for Medical Expenses
        Accidents happen, even to the most careful of people who follow all the rules during their safari tour. There is always a chance that you could sustain a serious injury on your trip that requires prompt medical attention. There are also many different illnesses in Africa that you could contract. Health care is extremely expensive in many countries. Your medical bills could quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Treatment for an illness or injury is absolutely necessary and cannot wait. Traveler’s insurance will reimburse you for much of the out of pocket costs that you would pay in the event that you needed medical care. This cushion will help you to stay out of financial trouble.

        Medical Evacuation
        In some cases of injury or illness, you might need to be medically evacuated and transported to a health care facility. For example, if you fall and break a bone, or are mauled by a wild animal and need immediate assistance, emergency personnel will transport you to get help just as an ambulance would transport you in your own country. This can be expensive, but a traveler’s insurance policy will cover the cost of this service.

        Compensations for Cancellations
        Emergencies often lead to trip or event cancellations—sometimes before a safari vacation even begins. Those who cancel their trip could potentially lose thousands of dollars. Traveler’s insurance gives you peace of mind in that you know you will be compensated for your loss if you have to cancel any of your plans due to an unforeseen circumstance. This policy also covers the loss of personal belongings.

        More Information about Safari Tours
        Your insurance company can be your travelling partner along the route of your African safari vacation. If you need help with documents, legalities, find yourself sick or in the hospital for medical treatment, your traveler’s insurance is their to protect you. Besides your travel agent, your insurance company is your best friend. If you would like more information on planning your trip, visit our
        safari tours page or contact a professional and friendly representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        Seven Natural Wonders of Africa: The Nile River

        The Nile River is an entity in of itself, holding an important, deeply rooted place in history, legends and modern times. Civilization could never have thrived, let alone made it, without this mighty body of water. It is the center of many fables, religious stories and ancient tales that have made their way around the world for generations. The longest river on the planet is famous for so much more than its massive size. Tourists who visit for an African safari vacation often make the Nile River a highlight of their trip, as the culture of the locals who call the river’s banks home, as well as the abundance of wildlife, make the Nile a main attraction. If you will be visiting soon, or if you simply have a fascination for this larger-than-life landform, here are some of the most interesting facts about this natural wonder of Africa.

        The Longest River on Earth
        The Nile River is the longest river on earth, giving life to over 4,250 miles of land and 11 different African nations. This river is the main water source for both Sudan and Egypt, two major countries. While most rivers on the planet flow south, the Nile flows north. It is born out of Burundi, which is south of the equator, and runs northeast to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

        Life in a Barren Land
        Without the Nile River, many of the regions which it flows through would be barren deserts, hardly capable of sustaining the large, diverse number of wildlife that flourish along the river banks. The Nile makes the land on either side habitable for people, animals and plant life.

        The True Origin is Unknown
        Most consider the starting point of the Nile River as Ripon Falls, a stunning set of waterfalls that are fed from the edge of the massive Lake Victoria. These falls spill over into a narrow opening, and the Nile River flows forth. However, there are several different lakes and tributaries that feed Lake Victoria. The true beginning of the Nile River is now widely accepted as the Kagera River, and the beginning of the Nile is measured with this river as the start.

        Civilization Born from the Nile
        Ancient Egypt, one of the world’s most famous civilizations, could not have existed without the Nile River. In fact, rainfall is all but non existent in the country of Egypt, making the Nile the only real source of water. Egyptians built their communities around the river, and planted their crops in the mud that was left after floodwaters receded.

        Learn More about Your African Safari Vacation
        Would you like to take a trip to Africa to see the mighty Nile River for yourself? This is a stunning world wonder that should not be missed. We can help you to plan your perfect African safari vacation that includes seeing the longest river on earth. To learn more, visit our
        safari tours page, or contact a travel representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
        Image: Wildwaters Lodge

        5 Factors That Will Affect the Cost of Your Safari

        Africa is a wonderful place to visit, and often makes the list of most people’s dream locations to travel to in their lifetime. The culture, landscape and, of course, the abundance of wild animals attract tourists from across the world year around. The first question that most people ask when they start to plan their African safari vacation is, “How much will this cost?” That is a great question, though the answer is not as simple as you might think. The cost of traveling through a safari can vary greatly depending on your wants, needs and tastes. The positive side of this is that safari goers have the option of tailoring their safari to meet their individual budget needs. Here are some of the factors that will affect the cost of your safari.

        The Length of Your Vacation
        The number of days that you would like to spend in Africa is a huge factor in the cost. The longer you stay, the more expensive your trip will be. That being said, Africa is not a place that you should take a quick trip to and hope to get a full experience. Give yourself time to really enjoy this special place on the planet.

        Mode of Transportation
        There are many different ways that you can travel through the various safari parks in Africa. There are more popular modes, such as a guided tour with a group in an all-terrain vehicle, or more expensive routes, such as by air in a plane. For those who are more adventurous, there is even the option of traveling on horseback. Each mode of transportation has its benefits, and all will come at a different price.

        The Number in Your Group
        The number of friends or family members that are traveling through this African safari vacation together will also affect the price of your trip. With a large group, you will need more room for lodging and traveling, but you can also split the final costs amongst yourselves, which could make things cheaper individually.

        Desired Level of Luxury
        Tourists travel to Africa seeking different things. Some want a primitive adventure, others want to experience a luxury vacation. Both are fulfilling and rewarding, and both come at totally different prices. You are able to mix and match your experiences. For example, you could take a wild hike during the day, and have a taste of Africa’s best fine dining while watching the evening sunset.

        Planning Your African Safari Vacation
        The price of your African safari vacation varies on how you would like to experience Africa. Planning your trip with the help of a professional travel agency who specializes in safari trips will help you to stay on budget while still having the most rewarding journey. For more information, visit our
        safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        Visiting Victoria Falls: A Traveler's Guide

        You are planning your next big trip, and you've got your eyes set on the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zambia. You couldn't have made a better choice. Before getting on that plane and flying into the unknown, there are a few things you should know to make your trip your best vacation yet. Check out this quick and easy travel guide for visiting Victoria Falls.

        What To Do In Victoria Falls

        Victoria Falls is a massive waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River. Viewing this majestic waterfall from the land just will not do it justice, so the best and most satisfying way is to be seen by the air. There are many options for viewing the falls by air with the help of Roho Ya Chui, including:

        Helicopter Flight- You have the option of booking a helicopter flight over the falls for your choice of either 12 minutes or 25 minutes. For this exciting flight, you will need to bring a camera, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent and a credit card for souvenirs.

        Microlight Flight- These mini planes carry no more than two people at a time and offer a unique and out of this world view of the falls. With this flight, you have the option of flying for either 15 or 30 minutes. For this flight, you should bring a camera, sunscreen, insect repellent, secure fitting shoes and a credit card.

        More Fun in Victoria

        Along with the air tours, there are also many activities to enjoy on the ground that are great for people of all ages. These activities include:

        Guided Tour of Victoria Falls- You have the option of touring just the Zimbabwean side, or you can tour the entire falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Expect to be well informed as well as thoroughly entertained while traveling through the falls. For these tours, you should bring a camera, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, sunglasses and comfortable walking shoes.

        Livingston Island Tour
        - On this tour, you have the option of visiting Livingston Island for a morning, lunch or afternoon high tea tour. Tours to the island only go on during the low water season. For this tour, you should bring comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, a camera, a swimsuit, a hat, insect repellent and a jacket or sweater depending on the season.

        Zambezi River Cruise
        - This exciting cruise travels along the river boundary of the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Cruise guests will see an array of wildlife such as hippos, elephants and crocodiles. You have the option of taking a sundowner, breakfast or lunch cruise. For this fun activity, you will need to bring a camera, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent and a jacket depending on the season.

        You will be in awe when you visit the magnificent Victoria Falls. Find out how Roho Ya Chui can help you plan your next and best vacation today.

        Jill Liphart to Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        Traveling with a Guide When You are a Wildlife Photographer

        Africa offers photographers an ideal landscape and wildlife for the clearest and captivating photos. To get the best pictures and experience while visiting Africa, it is best for photographers to go on a specialist safari tour. These tours are specifically designed for photographers and cinematographers to not only get the best photos and videos possible but also these tours are great learning experiences for visitors to attain technical and practical advice and tips. Check out what you can look forward to when adventuring on a specialist safari and wildlife photography experience.

        The Perfect Wildlife Photography and Cinematography Experience

        Guests can expect to learn a vast amount of in-depth information about wildlife photography and filming when on tour. Each tour is accompanied by professional photographic safari guides so you can expect an exceptional experience when touring. Each tour travels through the best wildlife spots in Southern and Eastern Africa for maximum potential of Big Five sightings. Visitors will also learn about the African brush, animal behavior and how to create great compositions so they can get the absolute best photos and film possible while touring and afterward. Photographers and filmmakers of all levels are welcome, including beginners.

        Experiences in Team Building

        Safari tours for teams and team building experiences are also available for all ages. Guests can expect optimal wildlife sightings in a fun and comfortable environment. These tours use photography as a tool to help facilitate and enhance the team building experience. Using the camera itself as a metaphor for the properly functioning team, participants can better understand photography and their role as a team member. The lessons learned on a team building safari can easily be applied to and used, and guests can keeps and use these experiences for years to come.

        Intuition Training

        Although intuition is not something that can be taught, participants can learn how to tap into and how to use and access their intuition during a guided tour. Intuition is a great tool for innovative leaders to help them overcome difficult challenges and find new opportunities to grow and succeed. This experience is meant to expand your everyday experience so you can find inspiration everywhere you look. Intuition training is a journey to broaden your consciousness. Wildlife photography is used as a tool to help expand this awareness by exposing you to the exclusive, exceptional, and surprising nature of the wild.

        You can expect to become a better and more in-tuned photographer and filmmaker after experiencing a specialist safari tour. From the extensive knowledge and guidance from expert tour guides to the accessibility to the exceptional wildlife and resources, you cannot get a better and more fulfilling experience anywhere else. Do not wait to become embark on this life changing experience. Find out how you can take part in a specialist safari tour exclusively with
        Roho Ya Chui today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


        The Best Places to Eat in South Africa

        Of course, one of the best parts of any vacation is the possibility of trying new and delicious foods. When visiting South Africa, you will definitely not be disappointed when it comes to the dining options. You will have access to all kinds of cuisines and dishes that will be worth every penny. Check out this list of the best places to eat on your next big trip to South Africa.

        The Test Kitchen

        Named restaurant of the year in 2012 and 2013, The Test Kitchen is a definite must stop during your stay in South Africa. As the name suggests, this exciting restaurant offers a variety of foods and dishes, and it seems the only theme for this restaurant is delicious food. Lead by award-winning chef, Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen is the talk of the town and leaves a lasting impression on every customer.

        Five Hundred

        Head chef, David Higgs, is the reason why South African restaurant Five Hundred is absolutely irresistible. Five Hundred definitely deserves five hundred stars for its menu full of the freshest, hand-picked ingredients. Guest at this intimate restaurant can also enjoy hands-on interactions with the chefs as well as creative cuisine with perfect wine pairings for a superior dining experience.

        Jordan Restaurant

        This award winning restaurant is a great way for guests to experience and enjoy an authentic vineyard. The menus at this impressive restaurant change daily so guests can always expect something new and exciting to try with every visit. Jordan Restaurant is best known for its world-class wine selections and its cheese room which features the finest of South African cheeses.

        Delaire Graff Estate

        The Delaire Graff Estate is always a favorite amongst visitors and tourists in South Africa. This exceptional restaurant offers a contemporary menu and a selection of the best wines in South Africa. Delaire Graff Estate is located overlooking vast vineyards and olive groves giving guests a view just as exciting and satisfying as the cuisine.


        If you are looking for a restaurant that is truly reflective of the surrounding South African culture, then Overture is the place for you. The menu at Overture is based on local produce so each dish is seasonal. Moreover, in South African fashion, each meal is paired with the perfect wine selection. Located in the Hidden Valley wine farm, diners can enjoy great views of Table Mountain, the Stellenbosch valley and Robben Island.

        Camissa Brasserie

        Considered the hottest spot in Cape Town, Camissa Brasserie offers spectacular views of the harbor and Table Mountain. This exciting restaurant has an extensive menu, giving diners a wide variety to choose from. Guests can also enjoy private wine tasting and other private dining options for special occasions. Expect an array of soup, salad, pasta and other delicious options to choose from when dining at Camissa Brasserie.

        You cannot go wrong when choosing one of these spectacular restaurants when visiting South Africa. Find out how
        Roho Ya Chui can help you plan your next and best vacation today.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

        The Pros of Traveling to East Africa in the Low Seasons

        Going on a vacation to East Africa is one of the most rewarding, life affirming experiences that a person can have. However, when you go on safari during one of the peak seasons, you can end up spending a ton of money and fighting off crowds, making it much less enjoyable.
        Many tourists visit Africa during the peak times of year because they believe the low seasons—when it rains—will be inconvenient, but nothing could be further from the truth. Read on to learn the advantages of booking an African safari for the low seasons, and how you and your family will have the trip of a lifetime.

        Get Great Discounts on Travel and Lodging
        Because East Africa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire continent, travel and lodging expenses can grow very steep during the peak seasons. However, much like visiting resort destinations in the U.S. during the off season, booking your African safari for the low seasons makes it more likely you’ll receive deep discounts on flights, food and hotel reservations. When the amount of tourists is sparse, prices tend to drop to much more affordable levels that would be unthinkable during the peak times of year. Take advantage of these deals and have a great vacation at a fraction of the cost.

        See Baby Birds and Animals Without Fighting Crowds
        Due to the abundance of water available during the low seasons thanks to the higher level of rainfall, many animals and birds tend to give birth during this time of year. Since numerous tourists come to Africa specifically to see newborn animals in their natural habitat, this is the perfect time of year to visit, as the amount of young creatures is at a premium while the crowds fighting to see them are at a minimum. If seeing young wildlife is high on your African safari wish list, then planning your trip during the low season is your best bet.

        Get Great Photographs Thanks to the Weather
        Although the low season definitely experiences its fair share of rain, it is not the constant ordeal that many inexperienced travelers might imagine. In between the periodic rainfalls, the opportunity for unique, gorgeous photography is sky high. The extra moisture in the air brings the Safari to life in a way that it simply is unmatched during the other times of year, giving you the ability to take unforgettable photographs that will be the envy of your fellow adventures who opted to travel during the drier seasons. You can’t beat the low seasons if you value great photographs to remember your trip by.

        Book an African Safari and Have a Once in a Lifetime Experience
        One of the most important aspects of planning your dream vacation to Africa is what time of year you’re going to embark. While many adventurers choose to visit Africa during the peak tourist seasons, the better decision is to book your African safari during the low seasons, and Roho Ya Chui is here to help you plan a once in a lifetime vacation. Visit our website today to browse our wide range of safari packages, and find out how we can help you plan the African vacation that you’ve been waiting for all your life.
        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
        Image: Angama Mara

        3 Bucket-List Animal Encounters for Families

        There are many remarkable benefits to taking your family on an African safari, but the one that people come back to time and time again is the ability to see amazing animals in their natural habitat. Seeing a majestic animal in the wild is a much different experience than seeing them in a zoo, and it is an experience that most people never forget.
        If you and your family have a love of wildlife, the best way to see exotic, beautiful creatures is on an African safari, and there are some animals that you simply cannot afford to miss seeing for yourself. Keep reading to find out the once in a lifetime, top bucket list animal encounters on African Safari that you and your family will never forget.

        Bow Down to the King of the Jungle
        Of all the animals that one can see on African safari, there is one that stands out above the rest: the lion. There is nothing quite like seeing a lion in its natural habitat, unconstrained and free to roam as it pleases. When you see a lion in person out on safari, you will truly understand why they call this big cat the “King of the Jungle.” It’s power and beauty are simply unmatched in all of nature and cannot be truly appreciated unless you are able to experience it first-hand. Long after you and your family have come home from your African safari adventure, you will be talking about seeing the lion in person.

        Visit Our Cousins in the Animal Kingdom
        Thanks to their popularity in movies and television, as well their close resemblance to human beings, one of the most popular animals to see on safari are the chimpanzees. While it may seem cliché, you should not skip out on seeing for yourself our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Unlike many other animals, chimpanzees act in distinctly human manners, making them a lot of fun to see in person. If you’re fortunate enough to see chimpanzees with your family while on safari, you will feel a connectedness to the animal kingdom that you’ve never had before.

        Get a Glimpse of Above the Clouds
        Due to their size, some animals cannot truly be appreciated unless you see them up close and personal. Seeing large animals in a zoo can have a minimizing affect that completely disappears when you’re not separated from them by walls and Plexiglas. One of the animal encounters on African safari that you and your family simply cannot afford to miss is viewing a giraffe in the wild. Although you may think you know what it’s like to see a giraffe, there is no comparison to seeing one in real life. You and your family will be blown away be the sheer size and grace of a giraffe when you see one up close.

        Experience Unforgettable Animal Encounters on African Safari
        Animal lovers across the world know that seeing an animal on television or in the zoo doesn’t come close to seeing with your own two eyes in the wild. Experiencing the beauty of the world’s most exotic animals in the real world is a once in a lifetime event that will be remembered fondly for the rest your life. If you and your family are looking for unforgettable animal encounters on African safari, Roho Ya Chui can help you plan your trip. We have safari packages for families of all sizes and can help you plan the trip of a lifetime. Contact us today to find out how we can turn your African safari dreams into a reality.
        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
        Image: Great Plains, Beverly Joubert

        Practical Tips for Mobile Camping in Africa

        At Roho Ya Chui, we offer safari experiences of a lifetime in a number of different environments. While some prefer the comfort of lodges during their African expedition, others prefer staying close to the land at all times. Mobile camping in Africa is, therefore, extremely popular among tourists.

        Mobile camping involves essentially adopting the lifestyle of a nomad for the duration of your safari. You’ll move around to tented camps on private reserves and national parks, giving up the luxuries of hotels for a more authentic experience closer to the land. How can you remain comfortable while mobile camping in Africa? Here are some practical pieces of advice for anyone looking to “rough it” while on their African safari.

        Keep Your Tent Closed

        You’ll have decided ahead of time what kind of bed you’ll have in each of your tents, i.e. double or twin, and the tents themselves are fairly comfortable. They come equipped with electric lamps, bug spray, tissues and other creature comforts. To keep your tent as comfortable as possible, keep it zipped closed at all times. This keeps out insects and other creatures from accessing your private quarters.

        Bring a Headlamp

        Though your tent will come equipped with lighting, we’d recommend bringing a headlamp with you when mobile camping in Africa. The provided lamps are often solar-powered, and don’t give off enough light should you want to read a book or write in a journal before bed.

        Mind the Environment

        Living this closely to the land for a period of time requires being mindful of the environments you’re entering. Biodegradable toiletry products are great to bring if you have access to them. Also, safari camps have bucket showers, and you are generally supplied heated water in jugs or bottles. Be mindful of your water use, as there is a limited supply. For example, if you have long hair, try wetting it first with some of your personal provided water, lather with shampoo and then rinse off in the bucket shower. Your fellow safari guests will be grateful!

        Another way to reduce your water use is to bathe less often. While out during the day, carry clean wipes in your bag to temporarily clean yourself of dirt, especially if you’re wearing sandals. You’ll feel fresher throughout the day and less likely to use as much water bathing in the evening. Be sure to remember to take a plastic bag with you to hold used wipes; hang onto them and dispose in the proper receptacles back at camp.

        Keep Yourself Healthy

        Of course, mobile camping in Africa is much different than your home environment. You may be in top physical shape, but you should still be mindful of your personal wellness during your trip. Drink plenty of water and carry with you a bag of any necessary medications at all times. Consult your guide beforehand to make sure you’ve taken all the proper precautions against malaria. Also, if you have seasonal allergies and are traveling in the dry season, prepare yourself beforehand by consulting your pharmacist.

        Take a look at our
        safari tours page for some more information on our unique African safaris. We hope your mobile camping experience is as safe and wonderful as you’re expecting!

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
        image: Duba Expedition Camp


        What to Do for Insect Bites and Stings

        Going on an African safari tour is one of the most exhilarating experiences that a person can have. You’ll see sites that you never could have imagined and make memories that you’ll be talking about for years to come. However, it’s understandable that you might have some concerns before you commit to this life changing adventure, such as what to do about insect bites and stings.
        Insects are common in Africa, and it’s likely you will suffer some bites or stings, but they are also something that you can prevent and treat with relative ease. If you’re worried about getting too many insect bites and stings on your African safari tour, then read our what-to-do to help you out.

        Difference Between Insect Bites and Stings on Your African Safari
        When you’re on your African safari tour and encounter insects, it’s important to distinguish whether you have been bit or stung. Stings tend to be related to insects that are attacking as a defense mechanism and will often leave the stinger behind, whereas biting insects are attracted to humans as a food source. Additionally, stinging insects are usually venomous while biting insects generally contain no venom. It is important to identify what type of insect you have encountered as this will greatly determine what is the most effective treatment for alleviating the symptoms.

        Types of Insects
        Africa is home to many different types of insects, and, as we have seen, they come in venomous and non-venomous variety. Some types of venomous insects that you might encounter while on your African safari include wasps, hornets and bees. The most common non-venomous insects you’re likely to see can encompass mosquitoes, sand flies and chiggers. While symptoms can vary depending on the type of insect, typical symptoms of bug bites and stings generally comprise of itching and swelling, pain, and allergic reactions. Because some of these symptoms can be severe, it is important that you not ignore them and seek immediate treatment to mitigate the effects.

        As discussed, the most common symptom of a bug bite is itching or swelling. Fortunately, bites can be treated very simply through the use of such remedies as topical antihistamines, hydrocortisone gels and local anesthetics.
        Stings, on the other hand, are a little more complicated and must be taken seriously because of the venom involved. First, you must remove the stinger with tweezers if it has been left behind. Next, you have to treat the specific symptoms. Itching is dealt with in the same way as with bites. Pain and swelling should be dealt with through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Finally, you should try to lessen the likelihood of infection by employing topical antibiotics.

        Book Your Safari Today
        Insect bites and stings on your African safari are a reality that everyone should be aware of before starting out—and while they should definitely be taken seriously, they should not deter you from enjoying the experience of visiting Africa. If you would like to learn more about what you can see on an African safari, then read about and book one of several options we have for African safari holidays.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


        The 3 Best Shoes to Wear on a Safari

        What you choose to wear on your African safari tour can make all the difference in how much or little you enjoy your experience. Although the African wilderness is truly magnificent and well worth the trip, many tourists are not accustomed to the climate and insects. Because of this, it is important to take extra consideration in how you cover up before going on a safari. One apparel choice for your safari that needs especial consideration is your choice of shoes. There are many factors that come into play when choosing the right shoes from comfort level to support and durability. Here are three of the best shoes that you can wear to have the best time on your African safari tour.


        Unless all the shoes you own are six-inch pumps or loafers, there is no need to buy new shoes for a safari. No one wants to go out and get their new shoes dirty, and this is very possible especially if you are going on a walking safari—so what’s already in your closet should be more than sufficient. Now, it’s just a matter of choosing the right pair.

        If you are going on a walking safari, your best choice for footwear will be a nice, sturdy pair of boots especially in wet and rough forest conditions. Boots are a perfect choice for walking through the African bush and for spending long periods of time on your feet. They are also great protection from thorns and stones, and make it much easier for you to maneuver through the bush.

        Sandals and Walking Shoes

        If you won’t be doing any walking on your safari or if you expect the climate and terrain to be dry, hybrid sandal shoes and regular tennis shoes will be a perfect choice. These shoes can withstand even fairly rough terrain if conditions are dry. If you will be seated in a safari truck during your entire excursion, there is no need to wear boots as they may become very uncomfortable and hot. Unless you just prefer the extra ankle support, lighter footwear will suffice just fine.

        Hybrid sandals are a great way to stay cool and they also have all the support of regular walking shoes. They are also super easy to slip on and off when you need to, and they do not require lacing, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over loose laces. These incredibly comfortable shoes are a great choice not only for your safari, but your entire trip in Africa. However, if you prefer not to have your feet exposed with sandals, regular tennis shoes will also work perfectly fine. You will still have all the same support and comfort of hybrid sandals with an extra layer of added protection. If you do decide to wear tennis shoes, avoid all white or mostly white ones. Your shoes will become extremely muddy or dusty in the African terrain and they will look even dirtier if they are white.

        Have one less thing to worry about on your African safari tour by making the right shoe choice beforehand. Find out how
        Roho Ya Chui can help you make the best choices when deciding on your next African safari tour.

        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
        Image: Tortillis Camp, Amboseli


        Safari Packing Tips for the Female Traveler

        If you are like most women, packing gives you quite a bit of anxiety. If you overpack for a trip, you will have a lot of extra, useless stuff to lug around, but underpacking means that you will not have nearly enough to get you by while you are traveling. Packing for an African safari tour might be the toughest tip yet—you certainly do not want to make a mistake when packing to visit Africa. Do not worry—your list of items that you should bring is much simpler than you might imagine, and there are a few hacks that you can use to decrease the amount of space that you might quickly fill. Here are some safari packing tips for the female traveler.

        Clothing to Bring
        The temperatures in Africa can vary greatly, even within the span of a single day. The key to staying comfortable in these extremes is to layer your clothing. In the morning, the temperatures might be very cold while the afternoon sees hotter weather. The seasons could be different from anything that you have previously experienced. Be sure to pack a good selection of loose fitting clothing. Your clothes should cover your body to protect you from the sun and insects. Bring a light jacket and gloves for those cool mornings, plenty of underwear, good shoes for hiking and a lot of socks.

        Toiletries that You Will Need
        Though a safari is often more primitive, you will need to keep yourself clean in order to stay healthy. It is important to check, if shampoo and soap are available at the lodge or camp. Do not forget your conditioner! Also, take care of your teeth by continuing to brush and floss daily on your safari. Pack the feminine products of your choice, deodorant, hair care products and any medicines that you take to bring with you on your safari.

        Other Necessary Items
        This list might vary greatly just depending on your circumstances and plans. Here are some other items that might be very necessary to have while you are on your African safari tour:

          Once you have arrived at your destination, take a look at your safari schedule and write it down. Then add this to your belongings so that you always know what is happening next with your trip.

          Book Your African Safari Tour
          A trip to Africa is the trip of a lifetime for many people. If you would like more information on traveling to Africa, visit our
          safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
          Image: Londolozi


          Going on an African Safari Tour with Kids

          Have you ever brought children to the zoo? Watching their faces light up with amazement and awe over the exotic animals is such a joy. They spend hours exploring the park in wonderment and make memories that they will carry with them forever. Certainly, taking a trip to the zoo is a favorite for parents and grandparents.

          Did you know that there is one trip option that is even better than spending the day at the zoo? An African safari tour is not only for adults—children love to travel to Africa too! Seeing animals in their natural habitats helps to teach children very valuable lessons, such as the importance of conservation, the unique cultures of the land and that wild animals do have native homes. If you are planning a safari tour with children soon, you might be a little nervous about bringing them along. Not to worry—this is a trip that will be a blast for the whole group, young and old! Here are some tips for traveling with children on a safari.

          Dressing Children for Africa
          Both children and adults should follow a certain dress code while traveling on an African safari tour. You do not want to be weighed down by hot and heavy clothes, yet your body should be covered and protected. Invest in light, airy clothes for your children that covers their body to protect it from the sun and insects. You should also bring along a nice, wide brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your children’s eyes. Remember, you will be outside tackling the African terrain; bring your children shoes that are appropriate.

          Stay Hydrated
          One of the quickest ways to have your safari tour come to an abrupt stop is dehydration. Children typically dehydrate quicker than adults, so be sure that you are vigilant about keeping them hydrated. Keep a close eye on how much water they are consuming, take frequent breaks and let your children rest whenever there is a need.

          Follow the Rules
          It is not a good idea to leave the group and bring your children closer to the animals so that they can get a better look. Though the animals you will see might appear tame, you must always remember that they are wild and can be quite dangerous. Watch your children at all times, and make sure that they remain with the group. Your guide will lay out specific safety rules and guidelines—keep your children safe by following them.

          Be Ready to Answer Questions
          Though this might be your first time to Africa too, take the time learn about the countries that you are visiting, the culture and the animals. Your children will certainly have a lot of questions, and you should be well prepared to answer them. Field guides would be an excellent investment to bring along.

          Make Memories on Your African Safari Tour
          This trip is about education, fun and making memories. Bring a good camera, use it and teach your children about the jewel that is Africa. If you would like more information about going on an African safari tour with children, visit our
          safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
          Image: Wilderness Safaris

          5 Unexpected Things You'll Want to Bring On a Safari

          As you prepare for your African safari, you’ll come across plenty of pre-planned packing lists. Like any trip, it’s important to make sure you bring the right type of clothing and all the essentials for travel. But even if you follow the best of packing lists, there are some important items you may leave behind—and some you might not even think of packing! If you are currently preparing and packing for an African safari, keep reading for our list of unexpected items you’ll want to bring.

          Most travelers will think of bringing their cameras or their smartphones but not even consider packing a pair of binoculars. When you’re exploring the African savannas, you might wish that you were able to see the animals up close. Don’t make this mistake! A pair of binoculars can help tremendously if you are straining your neck trying to get a better view. To avoid leaving them behind with lost luggage, pack them in your carry-on bag… just in case.

          If you’re like most, you might take some sort of daily medication. Though we’re so used to getting medication immediately and through convenient sources, it can be difficult to find what you need when traveling. Before leaving the country, call your doctor and get enough medication to last for your entire trip, or stop by the drugstore and get what you think you’ll need. Be sure to also bring along documentation for any prescription medications you have, just to play it safe.

          First-Aid Kit
          Like our medication, we’re used to finding medical equipment like bandages and Neosporin at the drop of a hat. But as you travel, these items might not be readily available—especially during the safari itself. Keep a personal first-aid kit on hand at all times; this will reduce stress in case of an emergency, and you’ll be prepared for minor injuries. Your fellow travelers are sure to appreciate it, too.

          Neutral Clothing
          During a safari, the color of your clothing is just as important as the type of clothes you pack. When packing for an African safari, make sure you bring versatile clothes for all types of weather, but avoid bright colors. Neutrals like beige and brown won’t get as dirty, and they won’t scare the animals you are trying to see. Bright colors will also attract bugs and increase your chances of getting covered in bites!

          Brimmed Hat
          Hats are excellent protection from the sun (along with sunscreen, of course!), but leave the baseball caps behind. Instead, opt for a wide-brimmed hat that will protect your face and neck, and cover your ears. Many brimmed hats are also easy to fold up and pack, so look for something that can fit easily between all of your clothes.

          Preparing and Packing for an African Safari
          Going on an African safari can be the adventure of a lifetime, and you don’t want your spirits dampened by forgetting any essentials! For even more packing tips, be sure to visit our website and read our safari travel blog. To learn more about our safaris, check out our tour options. We’re here to help make the most of your safari, so feel free to contact us at any time!

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
          Image: Angama Mara


          What Not to Do on a Safari

          If you’re like the majority of Roho Ya Chui guests, chances are you’ve been planning your African safari for a while. Many travelers spend years dreaming about such an exciting trip, and we can’t say that we blame you! However, there is still quite a bit of planning to do: from safety tips to notes about culture and climate, it’s a lot of information to take in. To help you better prepare, we’ve come up with a list of what actions to avoid while on your safari.


          When you see a lion or an elephant for a first time, your initial reaction might be to yell out in excitement. While your excitement is completely justified, try to keep the volume low. The other travelers in your group might not appreciate someone screaming in their ear, but neither will the animals. Loud human voices are likely to scare them away, making the safari a difficult and frustrating experience.

          Leaving the Group

          Safety is key during such an exotic trip. While staying hydrated and getting vaccinated are common tips before you leave, it’s just as important to prioritize your health and safety during your safari. Part of staying safe is making sure you don’t wander off on your own.
          It may be tempting to put your personal interests above the itinerary and explore, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s a definite don’t. In unfamiliar territory, leaving your group is highly dangerous. You could get lost or come across animals who aren’t too happy to see you in their habitat. You’ll also worry your group and your tour guide, interrupting a large part of the trip.


          This should go without saying, but just in case…don’t litter! As a visitor, you should make an effort to leave the land undisturbed. Safaris are an amazing way to learn about the world around you, and littering can cause serious damage to the environment and to the animals you are trying to observe and enjoy. Be kind to the earth, and keep Africa beautiful by not littering.

          Overusing Cell Phones

          We understand that it can be hard to leave your phone behind. There are certainly times when texting and having an Internet connection feel like your only source of entertainment—but an African safari is not one of them! If you stay glued to your phone during the entire trip, you’ll probably miss out on some pretty awesome moments.
          It’s also quite rude to your fellow travelers and to your guide. Think about it: how do you feel when a friend is on their phone while you are trying to talk to them? Set your sights on the wilderness, and leave the data behind for a while.

          In the end, the quality of your safari largely depends on taking responsibility for your safety and respecting your surroundings. If you are ready to plan the adventure of a lifetime, be sure to visit our
          website and check out our available safari options. You won’t regret it!

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

          Image: Beverly Joubert, Great Plains Conservation


          Traveling to Africa: What You Need Before You Leave

          It’s your first time traveling outside of the country, and you’ve decided to embark to the mother of civilization: Africa. Before you hop on that plane and fly into the unfamiliar, there are a few things you should add to and check off of your to-do list. You’ll be away from home for quite some time and in an environment and climate you’re probably not used to at all, so take care in making sure that you’re absolutely ready to leave. Here are some pointers for first-time travelers to Africa.

          Documents and Currency

          There are certain documents you should have with you anytime you travel outside of the country. Specific documents may take an extended period of time to acquire, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time before your departure date to get prepared. At the very least, you will need the following: passport, applicable visas and travel insurance. It is also very important to have a second source of cash on hand in case automatic teller machines are unavailable or not working. You can exchange currency at your local bank before your trip, but it’s also a good idea to have a few US bills with you as well.


          You should also be mindful of the clothing you pack for your trip. Depending on what region in Africa you are traveling to, it can make a big difference in what types of clothing you’ll need. For the warmer countries, which is the majority of Africa, you will need to pack lightweight and cool clothing suitable for the heat (basically, anything you’d wear during the summertime here in the States). Also, consider any protective wear against mosquitoes and other insects, as well as hats and visors for the sun. For safaris and other site-seeing adventures, be sure to take comfortable and sturdy walking shoes.

          Vaccines and Medications

          Be sure all of your shots are up-to-date before leaving, as this is a requirement when traveling out of the country anyway. It is not necessary to get every vaccination known to man, but you should be sure to get vaccinations for malaria, yellow fever and tetanus before leaving.

          It is important to pack first-aid supplies and other medications as well. Any medicines you take regularly should be taken along with any documentation for those perscriptions, in case you are questioned. It is also a good idea to carry antihistamine cream and pills since you will be coming in contact with new and unfamiliar foods, bugs and plants. Sunscreen is also essential in the African heat and sun.

          Traveling to a new and foreign place is an exciting and fun experience, but it is important to be fully prepared and to do your research before taking off. Be safe and take precautions so that you can make the most out of your trip, and please find out how
          Roho Ya Chui can help you plan an exciting trip to Africa.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

          Image: Beverly Joubert, Great Plains Conservation


          Sun Protection for Your African Safari

          Going on an African safari is one of the most exciting expeditions you can embark on. It is an unforgettable experience of witnessing Africa’s wildlife in its natural habitat. When going on any kind of safari or tour in the wilderness, there are certain safety precautions that everyone should consider. In Africa particularly, sun protection is very important when out and about in the jungle or desert heat. Here are some tips on how to keep yourself protected in the African sun on your African safari tour.

          Slather on the Sunscreen
          One of the best and most convenient forms of sun and UV ray protection is sunscreen. Each sunscreen has a different SPF, or sun protection factor, which measures the sunscreen’s ability to filter out dangerous rays. For example, a sunscreen that is labeled as SPF 15 means that you can theoretically be in the sun 15 times longer than you normally would be able to without any sun protection before getting burned. So, the higher the SPF number, the more protection your skin will have against the sun. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and, at the very minimum, an SPF of 20.

          Wear the Appropriate Apparel
          Although sunscreen is great, it should not be your only form of skin protection while in the African sun and heat. The clothing you choose to wear is also vital in protecting you from the sun. Long-sleeved shirts and pants with thick weaving are ideal for sun protection in Africa. However, that may not be practical in the heat. T-shirts and lightweight long-sleeved apparel along with sunscreen is a good way to fight off rays and stay cool in the hot sun.
          When gearing up to go on your African safari, be sure not to forget to properly cover up the important but exposed parts of your body: your head and face. Sunscreen should definitely be applied to your face and neck. There are sunscreens specifically made for the face and sensitive skin, and they can also be worn under makeup.
          Even more, sunhats, visors and sunglasses are essential for your African safari. Sunhats and visors can keep you cool and shaded from the sun’s heat and rays. When choosing the right sunglasses, be sure to consider those that are polarized or anti-reflective, have 99 or 100 percent filter of UV rays, screen a minimum of 75 percent visible light and have lenses that are grey, brown or green.

          Planning Your African Safari Tour
          Going on an African safari is a remarkable experience, but it is important to make sure you have adequate sun protection so that your experience is also an enjoyable one. Find out how you can go on an exciting African safari tour with Roho Ya Chui.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
          Image: Serra Cafema, Wilderness Safaris

          Where the Wild Animals Are

          Africa is a beautiful continent that features some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. There are rolling planes, giant waterfalls and majestic mountains that will certainly take your breath away. Though this scenery is beautiful, it is the animals, who call these ecosystems home, that attract most safari goers to Africa. It is these iconic animals that continue to bring visitors year after year.

          You might be able to see lions, cheetahs, elephants, gorillas and many others wild animals in a city zoo, but there is no experience that compares to seeing them thriving in their natural habitats. Some of the most amazing creatures in the world call Africa home. If you are planning an African safari vacation, seeing awesome animals is probably at the top of your priority list—but you will have to find them first. Here is where the wild animals can be found in Africa.

          The Kings of the Grasslands
          Lions are a crowd favorite among travelers who are on safari. Their power and grace is unmatched, making them the Kings of the grasslands in which they live. Their total territory, however, is not limited to grasslands. They are known to roam an area that is roughly 100 square miles and includes scrub and open woodlands among the rolling grasslands. Safari goers can see lions in Botswana, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

          The African Elephant
          The African elephant is the largest living land animal on the planet. They are capable of growing up to 13 feet high and weighing 14,000 pounds. They are characterized with thick legs, long trunks and giant, floppy ears. They are truly a sight to behold, and can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa and the rainforests, as well as the Sahel desert.

          The Fastest Cat Around
          Cheetahs are not just beautiful, but they are also fast. In fact, they are the world’s fastest animal that is on land. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour in just two and a half seconds flat. If you would like to try and catch a glimpse of a cheetah while on your African safari vacation, they are partial to open grasslands and are mostly found in the sub-Saharan areas.

          Lowland Gorillas
          Gorillas are some of Africa’s most cherished and well-protected creatures. They can be found in very dense forests and swamp areas. Gorillas are located in both Central West African countries as well as Rwanda.

          Zebras can be identified by their stunning striped markings. These creatures are very quick and agile, just like the horses they resemble so much. You can see a zebra for yourself by visiting the treeless grasslands and woodlands of Africa.

          Giraffes are some of the planet’s oddest yet most beautiful creatures, unique because of their amazingly long legs and necks. This is another animal that calls the grasslands and sub-Saharan regions of Africa home.

          Book Your Safari Vacation
          If you would like to see these amazing wild animals in their natural habitats for yourself, you can learn more about African safari vacation packages by visiting our
          safari tours page or contacting a representative with Rohoyachui today.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

          African Safari Tours: To Walk or to Ride?

          Newcomers to African safari tours and experienced visitors alike may wonder how to weigh their options between the two most popular forms of seeing our incredible African wildlife. Both walking tours and safari game drives are excellent options that offer their unique respective advantages. However, they also have their own set of respective limitations. Learning more about the pros and cons of each can help you decide which one you would rather do. Or, more accurately, you can learn how to balance your African safari trip between the two to get as much out of the journey as you can.
          Discover what walking safari tours and driving safari tours are great for and what they are not so great for by reading on.

          African Game Drives
          Driving safari tours — called “game drives” by most — quickly became the go-to African safari experience once tourism picked up in the early 20th century. Game drives are preferred by most visitors for several reasons. At first, 4x4 vehicles were the only practical way to traverse the long, unpaved roads that wound through most game reserves and parks.
          Later, once places like Kruger National Park demonstrated how valuable a modern infrastructure could be to park economies, game drives increased in popularity for their convenience and their ability to cover great distances quickly. More park goers saw more of the animals they wished to see without inconveniences that can often cut a walking safari trip short.
          Today, millions of African safari tourists still enjoy game drives for their relaxing, passive qualities. They can relax and enjoy themselves as they view game, as opposed to worrying about their supplies, their energy levels or their personal safety. As a side bonus, most park animals are now used to seeing game drive vehicles throughout the park, allowing for close-up viewing from the comfort of an enclosed vehicle.

          Walking African Safari Tours
          Walking safaris are the more traditional method of traversing Africa’s gorgeous bushland. Participants get more absorbed in nature as they cross through trails that people have used for centuries. Skilled walking tour guides are able to bring their clients past amazing natural sights into the more intimate areas where Africa’s most notable species call home. Watch African elephants play in the mud, or see thousands of bird species and insects as you walk through the midst of Africa’s forest, savannahs and wetlands.
          While all of these benefits sound amazing, they come at a price. Walking safari goers are much more responsible for their own safety, and they also depend on their guide more to keep them away from danger. Incidents are incredibly rare, but just the effort of being wary can be a burden some do not want to shoulder.
          Additionally, walking tours are “self-powered.” You must carry much of your own supplies, you must ensure you get a good night’s sleep and you must be able and willing to turn around and walk back should conditions change. Put simply, there are a lot more variables and limiting factors that do not come into play when you are riding around in a car. However, all of these responsibilities are well worth it if you wish to get a close, intimate look at Africa’s majestic beauty.
          Shorter walking tours can place far less demands on visitors, making the activity closer to a “stroll in the park,” albeit one filled with exotic species unseen anywhere else.

          Which One to Do?
          To answer the question in the headline as best we can: why not do both? Most people have limited time to visit Africa, so game drives give them more of a chance to see the animals they want to see and cover lots of ground. They get to stay safe and comfortable inside a car while they enjoy extra snacks or supplies that would be harder to carry while walking.
          Break up these game drives with a couple of walking tours to get a true sense of Africa. You can do quick guided walking tours in the morning or evenings around whatever lodge you happen to be staying. You could also take one or two longer walking safaris during your trip to have a different experience than game drives. If you want to take a “real” walking safari, you can prepare for a long day of hiking many kilometers for a true absorbing experience, then give your muscles a rest with a relaxing game drive the next day.

          You have so many options! Pick and choose your own African safari vacation itinerary by looking at our incredible
          African safari tour packages.

          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
          Image: Tortilis Camp


          The Safe Safari Enthusiast

          Traveling to Africa for a safari vacation is the trip of a lifetime, but it is not without its unique risks. The element of danger is what draws many people to Africa. From the unforgiving landscape to the wild animals, there is certainly a chance to be thrilled around every turn. Others, however, want to experience Africa as safely as possible, leaving the hoopla and danger element out of their trip. Safety is taken seriously by the safari guides and others who work on the many different tours. Adventure and thrill seeking can be done without feeling like you are in the ultimate face-off with Africa itself. This is how the experts encourage safari goers to approach the vast wilderness and unknown territory that is Africa—as a safe safari enthusiast. Here are some tips for keeping yourself and your party safe while you travel on your safari vacation.

          Follow the Rules
          Keep in mind that tour guides and rangers take safety very seriously. For this reason, strict rules have been put into place, and they are enforced. It is best to simply comply and follow these rules. Here are some general rules that you should always follow when on a safari:

            Depending on where you go, the rules will vary. They are always designed to keep you safe and help you to have the best trip possible.

            Beware of Your Health
            Make sure that you are up to date on all of your vaccinations before coming to Africa, and discuss any health problems with your doctor before you travel. Traveling to a far off location always carries certain risks, but Africa presents some unique health challenges. If you do not take precautions, there are a multitude of diseases that you can contract in Africa. Always wear loose fitting and long clothing, cover yourself with bug repellent during the day and the night and sleep under a bug net.

            Respect the Night
            It should go without saying, but Africa gets quite dangerous when the sun goes down. This is when many animals come out to hunt. Even though you might not see them, they can see you. Always zip up your tent when you go to bed, never walk around at night, especially on your own, and do not take food inside your tent—as this will attract the animals and bring them right to you.

            Book Your Safe Safari
            By following the safety rules and remaining aware of your own health and actions, you can have a great trip to Africa. To get more information, visit our
            safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

            Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

            How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion

            Africa is undoubtedly the most beautiful continent on the planet. It boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems and features a great variety of landscapes that make the location an attractive destination for people across the world. Of course, many people also come to see the iconic animals thriving in their natural habitats.

            Though a trip to Africa is exciting and full of amazing experiences, there are also precautions that travelers must take before going on their big trip. For instance, anyone traveling to Africa should discuss their plans with their healthcare provider and make sure that they are fully vaccinated against common disease that are found in Africa. You should also familiarize yourself with tips for staying healthy and avoiding heat exhaustion. The temperatures in Africa can get very high, so be vigilant about your health and use these tips to stay vibrant throughout your trip.

            Dress for Africa
            While on your African safari, you should dress appropriately. Always wear light, loose-fitting clothing that is light colored. Dark clothing is prone to holding in heat and preventing your body from cooling down on hot days. Tight clothes are also counterproductive to the body’s natural cooling capabilities and restrict mobility. You will need to wear clothes that fully cover your body, such as long sleeved shirts and pants, so make sure that they are made of material that will allow your body to stay cool in the high temperatures.

            Beware of Sunburn
            The last thing that you want on your safari is a sunburn. Stay on top of applying sunscreen lotion to any exposed skin, and wear a hat with a wide brim. An umbrella can also be carried to protect your body from the damaging sun. Having a sunburn can prevent your body from cooling down and is also very uncomfortable.

            Drink A Lot of Water
            It is incredibly important to stay hydrated while you are traveling through your African safari vacation. This will help you to sweat and regulate your body temperature while also keeping up your energy. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while you are out in the sun during the day. If you have a condition that forces you to limit your fluid intake, speak with your doctor before traveling to Africa so that you will know how much water you should be drinking while in the heat.

            Find a Cool Place
            Take breaks when possible in a cool place. Find escape from the heat under a tree, in a building or at your camp. Giving yourself time to recoup during the day is one of the best ways to avoid heat exhaustion.

            Acclimate to the Heat
            It is best to take a day or two to get used to the heat before engaging in any rigorous activities. You could find yourself suffering from heat exhaustion if you jump right in and start traveling in the high temperatures.

            Book Your Safari Vacation
            If you are ready to book your African safari vacation, visit our
            safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

            Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


            Maintaining Your Health and Safety in the African Wild

            African safaris are exhilarating for many reasons. When you think about going on your first safari, you may be simultaneously excited and worried. This mixture is normal when encountering the unknown, and it is part of what makes adventure adventurous.
            Fortunately, all of your concerns can be abated thanks to the lessons learned from millions of other adventurers who have come before you. Over the years, the huge amount of daily game drives and African safari tours has led to the formation of many rules, recommendations and guidelines that aim to keep you healthy and safe, even while you feel in the midst of danger. Your safari guide will outline a specific set of rules that conforms to their unique experience and services, so pay close attention to those safety talks.
            At the same time, there are some general suggestions that can prevent unwanted incidents from occurring while out in the bush.

            Wear the Right Clothing
            Proper safari attire has little to do with how much khaki is in your outfit. Instead, it should always do two things: protect you from the elements and protect you from mosquito bites. Always wear lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants that can keep you both covered and cool. Ideally, your material should be able to quickly wick away any sweat and moisture, so cottons are preferable. Hats are a must.
            In the cold months, which are from June to August below the equator, you should anticipate chilly temperatures in the mornings and at night. Dress in layers with a wind-resistant jacket, sturdy wool or synthetic socks and a warm hat.

            Always Stay in the Car During Game Drives
            This rule is absolutely the most important for your own safety and the continued safety of wildlife. Never
            ever exit the vehicle during a game drive unless instructed by your guide. Most drives may permit you to roll your windows down, but that does not mean you should be hanging out of the window. Keep your head and other appendages inside the window frame. Otherwise you may frighten, excite or agitate animals, especially predators like lions.

            Be Wary of Mosquito and Fly Bites
            There is a series of vaccinations that is highly recommended to be taken before visiting African countries. Some vaccines are even mandated for travel to or from certain areas.
            Even with these vaccines, not every disease is preventable through medicine alone. For instance, malaria, dengue and sleeping sickness can still be transferred through the bites of flying insects. To prevent infectious bites, wear the aforementioned long clothing and treat it with insect repellant. You should also use spray-on repellant with a high DEET concentration to protect areas of exposed skin.
            In most lodging places, you will need to sleep under a mosquito net that prevents nighttime bites.

            Be Observant When Encountering Animals on Foot
            Animals are quite adept at communicating their emotions and intent non-verbally. Observe the body language of animals like elephants, buffalo, lions and others to detect signs of anxiousness or aggression. Lions, for instance, have a trademark hunched-down look when they begin to stalk their prey that would be familiar to any cat owner. Elephants tend to make obvious displays of aggression long before they decide to charge.
            Follow your guide’s lead, and be prepared at all times to respond accordingly to animal behaviors. If you suspect you are in danger, always back away slowly while facing the animal. Turning and running can trigger chase responses.

            Watch the News
            Contrary to how the Western media portrays Africa, most of the continent is both peaceful and safe. That said, incidents and outbreaks can occur just as they can in any other country. Monitor local news coverage in the area you are visiting to stay on top of any relevant alerts and to take note of any safety recommendations offered.

            Hire an Expert African Safari Guide Through a Reputable Company
            Without a doubt, experienced African safari guides are the number one safety tool to have at your side during an African safari tour. Hire only reputable guides who have both tracking and safety knowledge to deliver the safe but exciting adventures you crave.
            You can learn more about the safari experience, including ways we help keep you safe, by reading our
            overview guide to African safari tours.

            Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
            Image: Wilderness Safaris


            Children and the Safari: Tips, Reminders, and Precautions

            African safaris can be fun for everyone of all ages as long as special precautions are taken. Children are especially in need of extra care during African safari tours. With the right level of rule-setting and careful supervision, children can have a safe, incredibly fun trip full of once-in-a-lifetime memories.
            Pay attention and follow these tips, suggestions and guidelines to ensure that everyone, even the young ones, can enjoy their African safari trip.

            Keep Them Close
            No one wants to be the proverbial “helicopter parent” and suffocate their children’s development with hyperactive supervision, but when it comes to traveling abroad, it can be necessary. Children younger than 11 or 12 should always be a few feet away within eyesight. Encourage them to hold your hand. For toddlers and children under six you may even consider using one of those child safety harnesses while walking in crowded areas. You may get a few puzzled looks, but these reactions are better than frantically searching for your child should they wander astray.

            Encourage Patience, Calmness and Quiet
            Many safaris have a certain stillness about them as game drive vehicles mill around looking for interesting sights. Nothing ruins this atmosphere faster than children loudly yelling or crying. Naturally, it cannot be helped in certain situations, but express to your child the value of controlling their emotions even when they get excited. Explain that doing so will get them the best experience possible.

            Get Immunizations
            Travel immunizations are recommended for people of all ages when visiting most African countries. Consult with your local pediatrician or specialist travel clinic to find out which vaccines may be needed based on your child’s age and medical history.

            Pack Extra
            Children’s small bodies tend to burn through their resources quicker than adults’. To prevent them from becoming dehydrated or having low blood sugar, always carry extra supplies of bottled water and snacks.
            Bring along changes of clothes if they tend to get cold or hot easily. Consider factors like these when packing. Remember: you can always leave things at the lodge if you pack too much, but you may not be able to find what you need if you pack too little. This maxim applies doubly for medical needs.

            Help Them Help Themselves
            Basic rules of thumb when travelling in Africa include only drinking bottled water, not eating ice or frozen treats, washing hands frequently, protecting yourself against mosquito bites and so on. Adults can keep these safety tips in mind, but young children are forgetful and may not understand the risks involved. Always monitor them, remind them about safety and ensure that they are following the needed precautions.

            Have Backup Plans
            Children can be unpredictable. Have plans ready in case they become excessively tired, cranky, ill-feeling or other conditions that can bring a trip to a grinding halt. Sometimes your plan can be to give them a Dramamine and a pillow and hope they nap it off, but other times you may need to cut your safari short.
            Keep your child’s tendencies in mind and be prepared to alter your itinerary should an issue crop up. For instance, a child that gets carsick may need the aforementioned Dramamine ready just in case.

            Ensure That Your African Safari Tour Is Child-Friendly
            Many African safari tours are used to children coming along, and they are more than willing to accommodate their particular needs. Double check age limits on your African safari tour options, and try to find guided tours that cater specifically to children. They can include traditional crafting sessions, shorter game walks, frequent snack breaks and other accommodations that make a child’s trip a joy rather than a trial.
            Contact us to book an African safari trip that your children will cherish for a lifetime.

            Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
            Image: Wilderness Safaris

            Team Building Exercises and Experiences While on Safari

            Going on an African safari with your colleagues is a great way to get to know and rely on one another. This kind of trip is unlike any of the other possibilities, such as rafting or going to the local golf course for a day, and offers unique experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. A team building trip is not all about enjoying the days that you are together, but it is about the way you return as a group. A few moments of fun mean nothing if your team returns with the same attitudes and settles into the same routine after the fact. As a leader, it is important that you have a goal in mind for your team to reach together. Team building exercises can help to ensure that everyone takes something away from the trip. They can unite your group and make each bond stronger than ever. Your team will develop strengths and address any weaknesses by completing meaningful exercises that have a purpose. Here are a few team building exercises for a safari.

            Team Drawing
            The African landscape is just about as beautiful as the world gets. There are mountains, savannahs, wetlands, forests and more grass plains than the eye can take in. People travel for days to get to the location to capture images that they will forever cherish. A great way to build your team and take home a lovely souvenir is to have a team drawing activity. Have the members of your group pair up and sit back to back. One member will have drawing supplies and be charged with drawing the landscape—that the other person is seeing. That is right, one teammate will have to communicate the details of the landscape to the other in order to get a good picture.

            Play Lost
            Oh no! Your entire caravan has suddenly become lost, and there is no phone help or find the nearest road. What do you do now? As a team, figure it out. Build a survival strategy using only what each person has brought along on safari. This is a fun way to get to know one another as well as develop your communication and teamwork skills.

            Outdoor Obstacle Course
            Africa is the perfect place to play this team building game, which requires a large area filled with obstacles such as trees, large boulders, chairs or other objects. You can also use backpacks or equipment that you might have brought along. Split your group up into teams of two. Since this is a trust building exercise, it is a great idea to place two people together who might not trust one another too well. One partner should be blindfolded. This person is not allowed to speak. The other partner must stand outside of the obstacle course and give directions that successfully get their teammate to the other side.

            Book Your African Safari
            Are you ready to book your group trip to Africa? If you would like more information, visit our
            safari vacations page, or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

            Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
            Image: Wilderness Safaris

            Enjoy an African Safari for the New Year!

            Chances are good that, like millions of others, you have promised yourself to branch out more this New Year. Whether the specific wording was to “try new things,” “get out more,” “take more chances,” “travel as much as possible” or any similar wording, the idea is the same.
            People often live their lives in a comfortable routine. The older they get, the deeper their routine becomes entrenched. Before long, they realize how many opportunities they had to have amazing, lasting experiences that they passed by for the sake of convenience. They consider that there is literally a whole world out there for them to explore. New climates, plants, animals, cities, food and people all await you to teach more about how others live and how wonderful our planet can be all the way around.
            In this period of committing to do better by yourself and not miss any more opportunities, add going on an African safari vacation to your list of resolutions. You will be immersing yourself in entirely new experiences and making cherished memories along the way. You may even feel like a bit of a different person after seeing all that Africa has to offer. So come explore new frontiers with us and see the wild wonderful world that Africa can hold for you.

            Cape Town
            Lying at the very southern tip of the African continent on a beautiful forested peninsula, Cape Town is one of the world’s most majestic cities. Visitors wanting to learn more about how South Africa’s people live and what makes our cities special can linger in Cape Town before embarking on safari.
            Cape Town safari packages we offer include the
            Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls African Safari Holiday.” This package begins with in-depth tours of Cape Town and the surrounding area over the course of several days. Travel down Cape Point to see the Cape Mountain zebra, Jackass penguins and mischievous baboons. Take a brief hike up Table Mountain and witness the green city valley spread beneath you. Sample local wines and cheeses at Anura Wine Estate, and at nights return to your luxurious hotel for a full Bed and Breakfast treatment.

            Kruger National Park
            The 4.8 million acre Kruger National Park is one of the biggest game reserves in both Africa and the world. At just a four-hour drive west of Johannesburg — or an hour long plane ride — Kruger is also one of the most accessible natural wonders. Visitors here can often see all of the “Big Five” game animals:
              Go on exciting game drive safaris to witness some of nature’s most beautiful specimens in their native habitat. Return in the evenings to enjoy full service at Private Game Reserves and resorts.

              Victoria Falls
              Also called “Vic Falls,” this simply stunning site is one of the true wonders of the natural world. At 5,604 feet wide and 354 tall, this cascade is the largest single waterfall on Earth. Its local nickname “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “the smoke that thunders” indicates how Vic Falls makes its presence known for miles because of the billowing spray clouds and deep rumbling sound it sends off throughout the region.

              See More Adventure on Our African Safari Vacations
              The Cape Town, Kruger and Vic Falls package is just one of many exciting opportunities we can offer you. See the Okavango Delta with its millions of unusual birds, explore Mana Pools to witness elephant families frolicking in the water, visit Johannesburg and sample its five-star cuisine among many other possibilities.
              Take a look at our
              African safari holiday packages to begin planning your amazing new vacation … or the next several at once. No matter what, though, have a happy and safe New Year!

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
              Image: Wilderness Safaris

              How to Make Your African Safari a Romantic Getaway

              Going on an African safari vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime trip that many people dream of taking. Though this vacation is great even if you are traveling alone, it can be even better when you are seeing and experiencing the best of Africa with someone that you love.

              You might not think of romance when you picture a safari, but South Africa is more than a place for adventure. This country, as well as many surrounding neighbors, boasts lavish luxury and world class cuisine, not to mention some of the top resort destinations on the planet. Your trip to Africa can be both full of adventure as well as romance. Here are some ways that you can make your safari vacation a romantic getaway.

              Travel by Air
              Seeing the beauty of Africa is a great experience, but taking your tour in an airplane is a romantic move that neither of you will ever forget. Many people argue this this is the best way to see Africa. Not only can you cover a lot of ground quickly, but you will not have to worry about stopping with a large group of people or wiping away dirt that blew up from a seemingly non-existent road. You might even be able to spot a few animals from the sky—but will be a safe distance away. What this kind of traveling lacks in animal adventures, it makes up with landscape that will simply take your breath away.

              Wine and Dine
              Even if you are traveling on the ground, rather than in the sky on an airplane, you will have plenty of other chances to show off your romantic side. For instance, you can stay in luxury tents where you will eat meals from some of the finest chefs in the country. The resort destinations also present guests with some of the best food selections in the world. This impressive cooking is an art all its own. You may also take your date to enjoy a night of tasting custom-made wines from African vineyards, boasting truly native flavors. You cannot experience Africa without tasting the many flavors that the countries have to offer.

              Watch the Sunset
              After you have completed your safari, had your excellent meal and enjoyed a glass of wine, hurry outdoor to catch the sunset over the beautiful land that is Africa. Sunrise and sunset in Africa are two of the most romantic and beautiful sights that you ever will experience with the person that you love.

              Book Your Romantic African Safari Vacation
              An African safari vacation makes the perfect romantic getaway. There are so many options for incorporating the romance that will make your trip unforgettable. If you would like more information, visit our
              safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              Why an African Safari Makes the Perfect Holiday Gift

              The holidays are here and you might still be brainstorming about the perfect gifts the give your friends and family members. Some of your favorites might be pretty hard to buy for, especially if they already seem to have everything that they could want and need. You want this holiday season to be one that they remember, and you would also like to give them something unique and special.

              Have you considered sending your friend or family member on a vacation? Not to that favorite ocean getaway that they use every summer, somewhere different—somewhere a bit wild. An African safari vacation is full of luxury and untamed moments that they will certainly never forget. Here are a few reasons why an African safari makes the perfect holiday gift.

              It is Summer Somewhere
              There might be snow on the ground and gloomy, cold skies above the place where you and your friends and relatives reside, but the sun is shining brightly somewhere—Africa. It is summer in Africa, one of the most beautiful times of the year. This provides a great escape from the clutches of winter. This warm season lasts from October to February, when the United States is the coldest. South Africa boasts some of the world’s most beautiful ocean resort destinations that can be enjoyed while your loved one is taking a break from their safari. The animals are soaking up the rays of the warm weather, and so is the abundance of foliage that can be seen throughout the landscape.

              A Unique Gift
              Who else could ever top your gift of an African safari vacation? This is something that is unique, different and truly unforgettable. Everyone can take away something from a trip to Africa. There is so much culture to learn and experience, from excellent, world class dining to raw, untamed trips through the bush. If your loved one is not exactly the “outdoorsy type,” they can even travel through their safari in style, staying in luxury tents and flying in a plane as they tour the best areas. A trip to Africa is a once in a lifetime experience for most people, something that is not even considered by the majority of the population. Traveling to this continent will be a trip that is never forgotten.

              When Someone Already Has Everything—Except a Trip to Africa
              If you are buying a gift to give to someone who already has everything that they could want or need, give them a gift that is invaluable. A gift that is full of rich experiences and memories is always the best kind of gift. Sending your friend or family member on an African safari vacation is a gift that they will never get enough of.

              Book a Trip to Africa Today
              The holidays are already here, so now is the time to book a trip to Africa as a gift for a loved one in your life. If you have additional questions and want to learn more, visit our
              safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              3 Unexpected Pleasures of an African Safari

              If you are considering booking an African safari vacation, you probably have some preconceived ideas about what you can expect to experience on your tour. Believe it or not, most people’s ideas of what Africa is like are wrong. When tourists travel to the many countries that are located within the continent, they are surprised to find a place that is rich with different cultures, diverse landscapes and styles. You can go from the most primitive of camps to the most luxurious resorts in the world in a matter of hours. There are also features that are unexpected for people who travel to Africa, such as the food and accommodations.

              As you plan your big trip, keep an open mind and understand that, while this vacation will be memorable, there will be many parts of Africa that are different than what you might have expected. Here are three unexpected pleasures of an African safari.

              Your Guide:
              Tour guides are generally very passionate about the area that they are showing and love to help tourists that come along their route. You will be unexpectedly surprised to find that your tour guide is extremely nice, helpful and talented. They are trained to bring you to the very best spots where you are sure to see some of those iconic animals. The guide for your trip will play an essential role in keeping you safe from camp to camp, and will also help to inform you with any information that you might not know.

              In Africa, the people believe in keeping tourists up in style. You will have the options to stay in a nice, luxury tent that is complete with the very best that Africa has to offer. Some are surprised to find that everyone will not be primitive camping. You can even book a couple of nights at one of the famous, top hotels in the world if you are staying in the coastal regions of South Africa.

              The Food
              A lot of people are skeptical to eat the food around the countries of Africa. They are unsure that they will like the flavors, and are also unsure that they will prefer the cooking of chefs from the nations. Not surprising to those who have already experienced Africa, many people go in feeling like they might not like the food, and come out missing the flavors. Chefs in the area are some of the best in the world, and they are not afraid to prove it.

              Book Your African Safari Vacation Today
              To experience these unexpected pleasures and many more, you should book your African safari vacation. You might find Africa to be a much tamer place than in your mind. If you have additional questions or concerns, visit our
              safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              3 Perks of Traveling Solo on African Safari

              Do you want to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa but do not know who in the world you would bring along? You should consider taking a safari vacation by yourself, as there are many benefits to traveling solo that many do not consider before postponing their trip to find a companion.

              Though you will be going it alone, you will be far from lonely on your unforgettable journey through the beautiful African landscape. If this is a trip that you have always wanted to make, do not wait any longer—after all, you only live once. Learn how you can book your African safari vacation now and consider these three perks of traveling solo.

              1. Meet New People
              You can certainly meet new people when you are not on your own, but it is much more difficult to branch out and make new connections when you are traveling with a companion or group. When you are not alone, people tend to put more focus on those that they are traveling with, rather than making new friends. Going through your safari alone will help you to open up and reach out, meeting people along the way that you will share a connection with throughout a lifetime.

              2. Be Immersed in the Culture
              Going with a group is not only a distraction from networking and making friends with others who are traveling through Africa at the same time, but it can also keep you from focusing on the cultural aspect of the area. Traveling alone will allow you to forget about everything else in the world and completely immerse yourself in the rich culture of South Africa and any other countries that you might visit. There is an abundance of food to eat and rituals to witness. Art, dancing and music is in large supply, and you will not want to miss a single moment.

              3. Make All the Choices
              Compromising in a big trip can be difficult. One person might want to visit one area, while another wants to see a completely different site. The best way to make sure that there is no conflict of interest on your safari vacation is to avoid the conflict altogether by traveling solo. You will be able to make all your own choices throughout the entire trip. Eat what you want to eat and where, see the places that you want to see, travel how you would like and sleep wherever you want—all without having to consider the input of another person or multiple people.

              Book Your African Safari Vacation
              Traveling solo is one of the best ways to see Africa. You will not be lonely, as you will meet plenty of new people who share like interests. You will be able to truly enjoy the culture without any distractions, and you can have the luxury of making all the choices without an argument erupting. If you have questions and would like more information, visit our
              safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              Helpful Apps to Use on Your African Safari Vacation

              Technology is such an important part of our everyday lives. We are constantly bombarded by the Internet, smart phones and all sorts of virtual things day after day. In this crazy time, it is essential to use all of these advances in our favor. For example, if you are planning an African safari, research some of the apps for your smartphone that could help take your vacation to the next level. Here are some of the most helpful apps on the market to utilize in order to make the most out of your next African safari vacation.

              1. Herd Tracker
              Everyone wants to know where to find all of the exotic wildlife. With Herd Tracker, you gather real time updates form game trackers and park rangers that let you know where all the foreign animals are, making sure that you get to see the most unique wildlife on your safari outing. The app will also show you the available lodging near the areas that you want to explore. This app and apps just like it will alert you when wildlife is reported near where you and your family are staying. This is the ultimate African safari vacation app.

              2. Madiba’s Journey
              Madiba’s Journey helps you trace the footsteps of Nelson Mandela. This app will guide you from the place of his birth to the place of his death. It shows you all of the spots and location that were important in his life, including Robben Island. Perfect for history buffs, this will allow you to literally walk in the footsteps of South Africa’s most important president and allows you to literally walk in history’s path.

              3. Child Visa Checklist App
              The process of passports and visas can be a difficult thing to keep track of, especially when dealing with children. The Child Visa Checklist app keeps track of whatever papers or documents that parents need in order to safely get their children into the country. This app from Drive South Africa is a must if you are having difficulty in dealing with getting your kids approved and can save you some time and headache. Get you arrangements in order so that you make the most of your African safari vacation.

              4. VoiceMap
              VoiceMap is just plain cool. It’s like having a personal guide in your pocket. VoiceMap pulls stories and facts from many different cities that you will come across in your journey through Africa and will serve as a walking guide through places such as Overberg, Johannesburg and Cape Town. This app serves as an eclectic treat and will give you the ultimate tourist experience.
              If you are ready to book your African safari vacation and use these ingenious apps, please visit our website and contact us today for
              further information.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              Why You Should Visit Mozambique Today

              Millions of Americans each year flock to popular destinations for vacations and experiences. Beaches and mountains are frequented by thousands and have become the most popular places for hard working people to retreat to and relax after many long months in the office. When you are planning your next big family outing, try planning a trip to an exotic and wild world: the nation of Mozambique.
              Mozambique is an amazing African adventure for you and the whole family. This is a land filled with wonders and treasures that you can only find in Africa. From big game to beautiful sights, there is no better place to plan your next African holiday safari than beautiful Mozambique.

              1. Beautiful National Parks
              Africa is home to some of the most beautiful plains and lands in the entire world. For thousands of years, natives have experienced the wonder and nature of the African continent. Now they have saved and reserved some of their amazing territories. Places like Goronngosa National Park are amazing attractions and really give you a one in a lifetime experience that you can only find in Mozambique.

              2. Amazing Snorkeling and Swimming Locations
              Not only does Mozambique have some of the most amazing lands in the entire world, their oceans are beautiful and attract thousands of visitors year after year. Swimming and snorkeling off the coast is always fun and you wont find a better experience than in Mozambique. Places like Paradise Island offer its visitors shallow water that is amazingly clear and translucent and small reef where exotic fish gather and live. This is the perfect addition to you African holiday safari.

              3. The Rails
              While there aren’t vary many left, the railway system in Mozambique can be a fun way to experience the countryside. One particular railway, the one that runs between Nampula and Cuambia, is considered one of the most hardcore travel experiences in the world. This attraction is for the dedicated explorer and lets you experience Africa in a way you never have before. Add this rugged and eclectic odyssey to your African holiday safari today.

              4. Amazing Seafood
              Mozambique is home to some of the most amazing foods in the world. In particular, they have legendary seafood. Some of the restaurants here serve the most delicate and luxurious seafood in the entire world. Relax on a tropical beach and dine like kings and queens. Corta do Sol is a favorite amongst many people, as they come to eat some of Africa’s most amazing delicacies and bask beneath the palm trees and the hot sun. This is not to be missed, especially if you and your family love experiencing different dishes from around the world.
              If you are ready to visit Mozambique and experience this beautiful country firsthand, contact us today to plan your African holiday safari.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
              image: Benguerra
              Reasons Why the Rainy Season in Africa is Great for Safaris

              You might be thinking that rain could put a damper on your travel plans, but don’t be so quick to completely nix the idea of going to Africa just because of a little rain. There are many benefits to traveling in Africa during the rainy season, just as there are for going during the dry season. If you have been considering making a trip to Africa, here are some reasons why going on a safari in the rainy season can enhance your traveling experience.

              The Dry Season vs. The Rainy Season
              During the dry season, all of the smaller water sources dry up, causing the animals to have to migrate to a major water source, like a running river. The rainy season, however, allows for the animals to stay in their usual habitat. The animals aren’t forced to have to wander about to find food or water, which could help assure their position in certain parts of the area.
              Because the animals are likely to remain in their typical areas, the wildlife will be spread out, as opposed to all gathering at one, large watering hole. So chances are, during your safari, you are likely to see more animals in their natural habitat. Unlike the dry season, however, the abundant vegetation during the wet season might make it more difficult to see the animals, but there are still several areas where sightings are magnificent.

              Truths About a Safari in the Rainy Season
              Aside from seeing animals in their natural habitat, there are more benefits to going on a safari in the rainy season. For instance, the annual Great Migration of millions of zebras, wildebeests and antelopes usually begins after the late rainfalls. Witnessing such a sight can be dramatic and overwhelming, in an awe-inspiring way.
              Bird viewing can be better in the rainy season than during the dry season. This is because they are usually nesting during this time of the year. Migrant species may even be present, increasing the number of bird types you could see on your safari.
              Temperatures during the dry season can reach unbearable levels. It is true that the rainfall can make the air more humid, but the rainfall usually does not last for more than a few hours a day. This would be a great time for you to catch some downtime and cool off before continuing on your next excursion.

              Added Bonuses: Fewer People and Lower Travel Costs
              If many people believe that going on an African Safari during the dry season is better, this could bode well for you if you travel during the rainy season. There might be less people crowding your space, and you could get a better view of the animals. If there are less people with you on your safari, you might even get a more personalized experience, undisturbed by a mass number of strangers.
              Dry seasons can also be considered “peak” times to visit Africa in certain areas, which might increase the cost of traveling. It is not guaranteed, but by traveling in the “off-time” and going on a safari in the rainy season, you could potentially save money on your trip.
              Are you interested in going on an African safari? If so, visit our website at Roho Ya Chui today, and
              contact us to learn more about booking your exciting safari adventure.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

              Helpful Tips for Booking Your African Safari Vacation

              Vacation is such an important time in your life and the lives of your family. After days upon days of hard work and the grind, it is important for your mental health to relax and go places to see things you have never seen before. That’s why this next holiday season, you and your family should take a wild and exotic safari to the continent of Africa.
              Africa is an amazing land, filled with exotic wildlife and some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire world. If you and your loved ones are looking for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of an African safari vacation, these helpful tips will make sure that you get the most out of your trip.

              1. Have Your Goals in Mind
              Before you book your safari, make sure to do the research and get to know exactly what you want to do. Africa offers a plethora of sight and sounds that you have to see to believe. Speak with a travel agent and find out what parts of the country or attractions that you want to see the most. As with any trip, planning ahead is key to make the absolute most out of your African safari vacation.

              2. Pack Accordingly
              The beach or the mountains are easy to pack for. Just throw your swimsuit or your warm clothes in a bag and go. With African safaris, things are much different. With an ever-changing climate, it is important to make sure you have all of the necessary equipment that you need in order to partake in your safari.

              3. Ask a Lot of Questions
              Your guides are there for you. Thousands of people that book their African safari vacation every year experience an amazing lineup of tour guides who are native and can help you with all your needs. They can show you the best and most exotic places, talk to you about any thing you are nervous about and overall make sure that you have the most fun possible on your safari.

              4. Prioritize
              Simply put, there are too many things to do in on trip or outing on your African safari. It will take many trips to truly experience everything that you want to see and do. Before you book your trip, study up on all of the attractions and sights that you know are imperative to your trip. Make sure you do every single thing that you want to do on your first trip and then when you book a second safari for your next vacation, you can do everything else.
              If you are ready to start booking your once-in-a-lifetime African safari vacation, please visit our website and
              contact us today for more information.

              Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


              Cutting Through the Noise: What You Really Need to Know About Yellow Fever
              When entering certain African countries or traveling from one country to another while on an African safari tour vacation, you will often be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination for a few select diseases. Other times, vaccination certification is not required but highly recommended.
              Yellow fever is one such disease that travelers are either required or strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against before entering or traveling from certain countries while on an African safari tour.
              To clear up any questions you might have regarding yellow fever, here is a compiled list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the disease:

              What Is Yellow Fever, and How Is It Spread?
              Yellow fever is an infection caused by the
              yellow fever virus. To get technical, it is an RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae, named after the Latin word for yellow, “flavus.”
              Yellow fever is almost exclusively spread from host to host by mosquito bites. The mosquito species
              Aedes aegypti is the only type that can transmit the disease, and these mosquitos are very common in tropical, sub-Saharan African countries as well as northern parts of South America.
              Transmission only occurs between primates. Apes or monkeys in the rainforests are fed on by yellow fever mosquitos, who transmit the disease to humans. Human-to-human transmission is also common in cities and densely-populated areas.

              How Common Is Yellow Fever?
              The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) actually notes that yellow fever is incredibly rare among travelers. Only 10 cases have been reported where unvaccinated travelers on African safari from the US or Europe contracted the disease. Exactly one person who received the vaccine ended up contracting yellow fever, and they survived.
              Despite this rarity among western travelers, yellow fever is a huge problem among poorer areas where access to healthcare and vaccinations is limited. The World Health Organization (WHO)
              also reports that yellow fever cases are on the rise.

              Where Is Yellow Fever a Risk?
              The following countries have a high risk of yellow fever and will require a vaccination before visiting:

                Many countries such as Botswana and South Africa will require certified proof of vaccination before you are allowed to enter. Keep this in mind if you happen to have a layover during your international flights. Research the areas you are entering to see what documentation is expected.

                What Are the Symptoms of Yellow Fever?
                Yellow fever’s symptoms are very similar to other diseases common to tropical areas. Malaria, the flu, chikungunya and dengue all present early symptoms that can be difficult to distinguish from one another.
                Onset of yellow fever symptoms usually takes around three to six days. They include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, chills, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and muscle pain. Fortunately, these symptoms frequently pass within three to four days.
                What makes yellow fever concerning is that in rare cases — around 15 percent — a second, much more severe phase of the disease sets in after the first round of symptoms disappear. Liver tissue is attacked, causing the jaundice that gives the disease its name. Abdominal pain and gastrointestinal bleeding leading to bloody vomit occur as the disease progresses.
                Those who enter this second phase have a 20 percent fatality rate even with treatment. Although this fact means that only 3 percent of overall yellow fever cases are fatal, the quick onset of symptoms and the difficulty in diagnosing or treating the disease make early prevention through vaccination definitely worth your while.

                What Do I Need to Know About Vaccination?
                Ask your primary care physician about the vaccinations you need in order to travel to the countries you plan on visiting during your African safari vacation. In addition to the yellow fever vaccine, you may need several other vaccinations. Try to take care of this appointment early, since immunity usually takes about 10 days to come into effect.
                Some people may be sensitive to the vaccine and should consider not receiving it and, thus, perhaps not traveling to the country they intended to visit. These people include infants under eight months old, older adults above the age of 60, immunocompromised individuals such as those who are HIV positive and, finally, those who have a general sensitivity to vaccines. Consult your doctor for their own professional opinion regarding the matter.

                Anything Else I Need to Know?
                Like many precautions before embarking on an African safari tour, yellow fever vaccination is protection against a rare, worst-case scenario.
                Another thing to keep in mind is that protection from mosquitos is a must even among those vaccinated for several diseases. Malaria, for example, can still be contracted. Sleep under a mosquito net, wear long-sleeve clothing, treat clothing with permethrin and use insect repellants on exposed skin.
                With all these precautions under your belt, you can remember your African safari tour vacation for the wildlife you encountered and not for being bedridden with an unpleasant disease. Feel free to get excited about the
                African safari tour package you selected rather than worry once you have taken the steps needed to protect yourself.

                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


                Don't Make These African Safari Vacation Packing Mistakes
                Traveling halfway across the world to go on a safari vacation can mean a lot of pressure when packing. You may be tempted to pack everything under the sun just to not get caught off guard while in Africa. While this approach can definitely prevent those “oh gosh darn it!” moments in the hotel room after forgetting something, it can also lead to a lot more stress than is frankly necessary.
                To keep you on the right path, here are a couple giant “no no’s” to keep in mind when packing for an African safari vacation:

                Bringing Along a Big Bag
                Many Americans make the mistake of bringing along what seems like half their worldly possessions when they travel. This practice often necessitates several large bags that simply will not cut it when traveling during African safaris.
                Realize that if you are going to be taking a bus, light plane or distance travel anywhere within Africa, you are going to need a light, soft duffel bag that can be packed in tightly with other luggage. This requirement means
                no roller bags and no hard-case luggage. Also, you are almost guaranteed to only be allowed one bag, so pack light. Shoot for under 25 lbs if possible.

                Not Bringing Binoculars
                Those gorgeous photos from wildlife photographers you see? Nearly 100 percent of those were taken with ridiculously strong zoom lenses and a bean bag stabilizer to capture long exposures.
                Point being: the critters you want to see on safari are often quite far away. Bring a pair of nice, high-quality binoculars with a relatively short, strong lanyard to carry them around.
                Otherwise, you are not going to be seeing much other than figures in the distance. Sure, some animals like lions can come and “inspect” the game drive vehicles, but these instances are rare and honestly do not offer the same sensation as seeing them behave more naturally.

                Wearing the Wrong Colors
                Neutral colors like browns, beiges, and muted greens, oranges, reds or blues are your best bet when trying to view wildlife. These colors blend you in and let you watch them without spooking them.
                Colors to avoid:

                  Not Covering Up
                  Full coverage in lightweight fabrics helps prevent things like sunburns, mosquito bites or skin irritation. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat helps, too. Try to find 100 percent cottons or synthetic fabrics that wick moisture. Cheap polyester blends tend to get soaked and take longer to dry.
                  Also, remember to pack sunscreen in SPF 60 or higher since your preferred brand may not be stocked in the area stores you visit.

                  We hope these precautions will help you enjoy your African safari vacation to the fullest. You can learn more about packing for your particular African safari tour by looking up the
                  safari package you are interested in and planning for the weather you will see there.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


                  Explore Africa's Rivers on a Canoe
                  Anyone wondering about an intimate method for traveling on an African safari should consider booking an African canoeing trip. Whether as the focus of your travels or just a one-day activity, canoeing down Africa’s brilliant rivers and waterways presents incredible opportunities to see wildlife up close and personal.
                  You also incur some key benefits compared to other types of African safari tours. To encourage you to try out this emerging, unique way to experience Africa, here are some of the advantages of an African canoeing trip:

                  The Road Less Traveled
                  Game drives through parks like Kruger are great for their convenience and closeness to popular resort destinations, but their popularity can also detract from the experience. Even though you stand a great chance at encountering wildlife, the presence of other travellers can remind you that you are not truly out in the bush.
                  By contrast, canoeing down a river means far less tourist traffic. You get to immerse yourself completely in nature in an intensely personal way. This fact makes African canoeing trips a great alternative during busy seasons or a nice switch up after a few days of game drives.

                  In the Thick of It
                  Another unique aspect of canoeing in Africa comes from the fact that waterways carve out the land over centuries. Unlike roads that seek out the least troublesome path, rivers and lakes wind through some of the most remote areas of parks enshrouded by vegetation. You are more likely to see and hear shy animals in areas like these than where the constant stream of traffic scares them off.
                  Hippos and crocs are especially common underneath the mysterious ripples in the current. Other animals like elephants, gazelle, zebras and the occasional giraffe can be seen stooping by the water’s edge for a drink. You get the chance to sneak up for a better photo op or simply glide by and share brief eye contact.

                  Birds of a Feather
                  If you are a bird lover, the waterways and marshes of Africa are your only bet at seeing some of the rarer and more visually impressive species. Jacana, hamerkop, Pel’s fishing owls and other such species are more likely encounters near water sources than close to roadways or vehicle paths.

                  Build Character Together
                  As cliché as it sounds, hard work teaches you more and keeps you more actively engaged than passively sitting in an automobile. You learn about your own strength, and you forge bonds with your comrades as you work side-by-side on a common goal of propelling your canoe down the river.
                  When a hippo gets too close, you can paddle around it together or slap your oar loudly to scare it off. Close calls like these build more memorable, lasting experiences and give you more to think about at the end of the day. A real sense of progress binds groups together with one another and their guide, so they can sit down to meals as equals and share moments from their day.
                  Contact us for your safari bookings so that we can craft the perfect itinerary for you that includes a one day or more stint in a canoe through some of Africa’s most incredible aquatic landscapes.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


                  Hanging Out with the River Hippos

                  Perhaps the biggest reason for going on an African safari vacation is to see the unique, diverse wildlife. Africa is home to so many animals that are not found anywhere else in the world. One such beast is the river hippopotamus. These massive mammals are some of the most majestic — and dangerous — animals on the continent. Read on to learn more about the river hippo, one of the many incredible creatures you can see on your African safari vacation.

                  How Big Are They?
                  The hippopotamus, Greek for “river horse,” may seem rather short when you see them in pictures. And with their massive size, they look like the kind of animal that would spend its days, slowly meandering on land and in the water. Don’t let pictures fool you, however. The average hippo stands about five feet tall. In addition, they are about 10-15 feet long, excluding its tail. The real kicker is the hippo’s weight: these beasts tend to weigh up to four tons, or 8,000 pounds.

                  How Fast Do They Move?
                  Even with their massive size, hippos are rather quick — if you catch them in the right environment. On land, their short legs can get them up to about 20 miles an hour. It takes a star track runner to outrun them. But when a hippo is in the water, it can chase down threats at 30 miles per hour. While they cannot swim well, the water allows their buoyant fat to float instead of weighing them down. As such, they can run at 30 miles an hour in the water. Because they can hold their breath for five minutes, they can run even when the water is too deep to keep their heads up.

                  What Do They Eat?
                  With their speed both on land and in the water, it would seem river hippos could eat just about anything they want. And they do — they eat lots and lots of grass. As dusk, they will travel as far as six miles in single file lines to graze upon some 80 pounds of grass. While that may seem like a lot, it is not much at all when you compare it to their size. In extreme situations, hippos may grab a carrion to eat, but their stomachs are not adapted to a carnivorous diet.

                  How Do They Live?
                  River hippos are confusing animals. The only real social bonds are between mothers and daughters, yet they are almost always found in large pods. This may be due to the fact that large cats like lions occasionally hunt young or injured hippos. The males use their massive tusks to fight for territory, while females use theirs to defend their young. Unless they are on their nightly hunt for food, hippos spend the majority of their lives, from birth to death, in the water.

                  Where Can I See Them?
                  River hippos can be found throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in the Nile. Your guide can help you find and observe them from a safe distance. For more information or to book your African safari vacation, contact us today!

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                  Image: Beverly Joubert, Great Plains Conservation, Selinda Explorer


                  Malawi: Africa's Hidden Gem
                  For anyone who has “been there, done that” in Africa or prefers their first trip to be off the proverbial beaten path, Malawi is an underappreciated African safari destination brimming with gorgeous sights and majestic wildlife.
                  Everyone tends to think of Kenya, South Africa or Tanzania when it comes to safaris, and that means that those countries are where you can expect the crowds. Malawi, by contrast, is relatively undiscovered by the throngs of international African safari tour attendees. It also has several unique traits that make it quite endearing to those that have had the fortune to stay there.

                  Far Removed from the Ballyhoo
                  Many people are hesitant at the idea of an African safari vacation because they are worried about things such as Ebola, conflict, a lack of modern amenities, unfriendly people, and other fears of the unknown. Rest assured that Malawi is gracefully lacking in all of these things.
                  First, the Ebola problem in West Africa is all but eradicated. West African countries like Sierra Leone are also incredibly far from Malawi — nearly twice the distance from New York to L.A. Similarly, the few sub-Saharan African countries currently embroiled in conflicts are many thousands of miles away from Malawi.
                  Malawi’s central location amidst a seeming maelstrom is part of the reason the tourism board has dubbed it “The Warm Heart of Africa.” You will find plenty of modern shopping and lodging opportunities in modernized cities like Lilongwe. In fact, parts of Lilongwe look like any American or European city: high-rise office buildings, newly-built shopping centers and streets teeming with limos and taxis.

                  Unspoiled Natural Attractions
                  Many years ago, Malawi’s park system was in a sad state. A wilting economy lead many to pursue illegal poaching, which decimated countless wildlife populations.
                  Since that time, they have taken some of the most aggressive measures in the world to preserve their natural ecosystem and the continued beauty of their parks. Malawi has a zero-tolerance policy for poachers as well as ivory and exotic species smugglers. Regular checks limit the traffic of items like ivory and bushmeat out of the parks, and vigorous efforts are taken any time poaching operations are discovered.
                  Now, Malawi has some of the most gorgeous, unspoiled locations on Earth. Sites like Lake Malawi are truly unique to behold. Snorkel among the rainbow-colored cichlids or watch impala pause to drink by the Lake’s edge. The many safari resorts around Malawi offer incredible comfort and amenities like golf courses, with zebras occasionally adding an unintended challenge for golfers.
                  Best of all, the long lines of Jeeps and rows of tourists snapping pictures are a much less common site in Malawi than more frequently-visited parks such as Kruger.

                  A Truly Wholesome Experience
                  We encourage anyone who wants a taste of something different or who wants a break from the crowds of some African safari tours to visit Malawi. You can immerse yourself in the traditional market culture, 21st century luxuries and incredible wildlife experiences based on where your day takes you.
                  Take a look at our
                  African safari tour packages that include trips to Lake Malawi and Liwonde to start dreaming about what Malawi can offer you.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                  Image: Wilderness Safaris


                  Spotting Africa’s Big Cats on Your Safari Holiday

                  Big cats are one of the main attractions of any African safari holiday. Every year, thousands of tourists venture into the unknown to get a good look at some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. Lions, cheetahs and leopards maintain populations in multiple nations, though they are constantly threatened by poachers. Seeing a big cat is often the highlight of a trip, and many plan their holiday around the tours that provide the best opportunities for seeing the favorite animals of Africa.
                  As typical as big cats may seem for the continent, spotting one in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience unlike any other. Before you embark on your African safari holiday, take some time to learn a few facts about the multiple big cats that call Africa home and the locations in which you are most likely to meet up with one.

                  The Monarchs of Africa: Lions
                  Lions are a crowd favorite. They are often referred to as “the kings of the jungle,” and though they are truly the nobility of the continent, you will be hard-pressed to find one in a jungle setting in modern days. Lions used to thrive in all parts of Africa, as well as Greece, the Middle East and India, they now only reside in the desert and plains of South Africa. Fewer than 21,000 lions are free in Africa today.
                  They are hunters and eat a variety of mammals. Lions are unique, as they are the only kind of big cat that live socially, normally in groups called “prides.” It is obvious that lions in prides are affectionate to one another. Though the male lions are normally the ones who draw attention, female lions do the majority of the hunting. Cubs hunt as early as 11 months of age, but stay by their mother’s side until at least age two.

                  The Gems of the Jungle: Leopards
                  If the lion is considered the “king of the jungle,” the African leopard is certainly the gem. This beautiful creature is characterized by its stunning pattern and array of incredible colors. Like lions, leopards are hunters, though they often drag their prey into the trees for consumption. They maintain a much broader range, living in areas from Africa all the way to China. They can also be found in multiple landscapes. They prefer to live alone, are great swimmers and can leap an incredible 20 feet into the air.

                  The Fastest Big Cats on the Planet: Cheetahs
                  Not only is the cheetah the fastest big cat, it is also the fastest land animal on the planet. The cheetah is an evolutionary marvel. Looking at the slim, streamlined body, it is not hard to guess that the creature was built for enormous bursts of speed. There are only 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs left in the wild.
                  These big cats can be seen on your dream African safari holiday. To learn more, we encourage you to visit our
                  safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


                  Staying Safe on a Walking Safari

                  When you take an African safari vacation, you have a whole host of transportation options. For some, the traditional safari vehicles are the go-to choice, either with a closed hard top or with an open canopy. For those who want to get a “bigger picture” experience, flying safari tours are a great option. But for the truly adventurous, there is only one way to experience Africa: a walking safari.
                  This is a vigorous, physically demanding choice. But for hikers and other athletic people, there is great reward in seeing Africa’s unique wildlife up close. The wildlife is also part of the thrill; there is the chance of encountering a truly dangerous animal. In order to stay safe on a walking safari, there are a few things to always keep in mind.

                  Always Listen to Your Safari Guide
                  Even if this is your tenth African safari, you do not have as much experience as your guide. They know the land and how animals act in the area you are touring. If, for instance, your group comes upon a sleeping lioness, your safari guide has likely been in that same situation before. Moreover, they are highly trained to handle these kinds of tense situations.
                  Because of this, you need to listen to your safari guide and follow their instructions to the letter. Stay quiet so the entire group can hear the instructions. In addition, staying quiet reduces the chance of wildlife getting spooked.

                  Don’t Run!
                  As you likely know, Africa is home to some of the most dangerous animals in the world. There are lions, Cape buffalo, poisonous snakes and other creatures that could injure you pretty badly. The first rule on a walking safari is that, if you come by wildlife, do not run. For the most part, wild animals are rather indifferent to humans. If you stand your ground, they typically will not bother you.
                  If you do run, that can be a signal to the animal that you are frightened and they have a reason to chase you. They may sense they have the upper hand and can defeat you easily. More than that, if you run, they may feel they are wasting an opportunity by not chasing you down. The only time you should ever run is if your safari guide says to.

                  Stay in Line
                  Your years in elementary school will pay off when you are on an African safari. You will want to stay in a straight line, behind the tour guide, at all times. The reason for this is because any kind of potential threat will likely happen at the beginning of the line, where the tour guide is. As a last line of defense, they will likely carry some kind of firearm. You do not want to be in their potential line of sight.
                  Despite the inherent risks, a walking safari is actually quite safe. Kruger Park, for example, has never had a guest fatality in the 30 years they have allowed these kinds of tours. If you are ready for a new kind of thrill that lets you experience Africa’s wildlife like never before, contact us today to learn about our
                  safari options.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


                  Why You Should Visit Rwanda

                  Rwanda is a beautiful country that often does not get the respect or attention that it deserves. Though the smaller African nation has a beautiful landscape, diverse animal population and thriving towns, many tourists only visit for a few short days to see the famous gorillas. This is unfortunate, as Rwanda is one of the best places to visit for a safari vacation. You can travel through the multiple national park areas, stay in a well-maintained lodge or visit the bustling capital city, all without having to travel great distances. There is more than enough to explore for a longer holiday trip.
                  Rwanda boasts one of the friendliest and most accepting environments in all of Africa, and also holds one of the fastest growing economies. It is a proud nation that welcomes visitors with open arms. If you are planning to travel to Africa, here are some reasons why you should visit Rwanda.

                  Adventure Awaits in the National Parks
                  Though Rwanda is a smaller nation in Africa, it is home to multiple national parks that are overflowing with opportunities for adventure. For starters, Volcanoes National Park is the most well-known of the three that are located within the boundaries of Rwanda. This jewel of natural paradise is comprised of six active and three extinct volcanoes, but it is not the seismic activity that makes this park so attractive. Tourists travel from around the world to see the majestic gorillas that call Volcanoes National Park home.
                  Akagera National Park is a land that has a history. This area played a part in the genocide that took place in Rwanda back in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, that led to this national park being decreased to half its original size. Management personnel have made great efforts to restore the park back to its former glory, and the fruits of these efforts can be seen in the thriving populations of wildlife, including big game.
                  Nyungwe Forest National park will certainly cause you to fall in love with rainforests. This gem of Africa is a true paradise. No trip to Rwanda would be complete without taking the time to visit this location.

                  Be Inspired
                  It is no secret that Rwanda suffered through a horrific genocide in 1994. This occurred due to the fighting of two different groups. While most countries take many generations to bounce back from national tragedies, the people of Rwanda have shown their strength and dedication by rebuilding their nation in less than twenty years. When you go on a vacation to Rwanda, you are sure to be inspired by the patriotism and the resilience of this small but mighty nation.
                  A trip to Rwanda enriches both your mind and soul, while also promoting the continued growth of this magnificent country. If you would like more information on how to best visit Rwanda, we encourage you to visit our
                  safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                  Image: Wilderness Safaris

                  Best Lenses for Wildlife Photography

                  As soon as we engage in wildlife photography, usually the question for what would be the best lens to do the job comes up immediately, of course with other questions like best camera type or sensor size, which we will discuss in later articles. So let us concentrate on the optimal lens(es) for wildlife photography for now.

                  Wild animals are in many cases some distance away from the photorapher, which asks for longer focal lengths or telephoto lenses. Fot the sake of simplicity of our lens discussion we will concentrate for the moment on full frame cameras, which means they have an image sensor measuring 36 x 24mm. With such a full frame sensor the term telephoto lens is generally used for focal lengths from and above 85mm, (we will for simplicity reasons skip the units in our following discussions and hence refer to a 85mm lens as simply as a 85). Now those who have already been dealing a bit with photographing wild animals might know that a 85 is pretty lame for taking a picture of an animal being maybe ten to fifteen meters away, as the animal – say even if it has the size of a lion – will then only appear as a small cat somewhere in the frame.

                  Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Optimal Focal Lenghts for Wildlife Photography

                  We understand immediately that of course a longer focal length is better. This means that 300 is better than 200 and 400 or 600 would be even better. From what I have found in my wildlife photography is, that focal lengths between 100 to 400mm work pretty good for a large number of occasions. Having said that this would mean to carry four or five prime lenses to cover this range, maybe a 85, 135, 200, 300 and finally a 400.

                  While this is feasible, it may not be very convenient, especially if we take higher speed primes with maximum apertures like F2.0 or F2.8, although these are usually the high end lenses available in most of today’s camera systems. Yes, they are bright and allow for faster shutter speeds compared to lenses with smaller maximum apertures, but they are at the same time usually large, heavy and in the end of the day very expensive. Sure these high speed telephoto lenses have their merits for occasions like low ligh and espicially in situations where you can predict the optimum focal length like for example a 2.8/400, but for a very high price, big size and bulk and the fact that you are then limited to this one focal lenght for the situation to shoot, because you will usually not want to switch lenses if you are photographing a fighting or hunting lion or you would loose a big number of potentially great photos. You could actually engage a second camera with a second prime telephoto lens mounted, but that would only add to size, bulk and weight and finally prize of your equipment.

                  So do these prime telephoto lenses have their place in wildlife photography? Absolutely, but they make in general only sense if you are doing this job professionally and ask fort he optimum gear tob e at your disposal for achieving the best results you can. Furthermore you need to take into account the weight and size of the resulting sytsem, which in many cases is meanwhile limited by airline weight and size regulations, so if you are heading as a passionate but non professional photographer for a safari, this type of gear might not be the right thing for you.

                  Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Benefits of Telezooms for Wildlife Photography

                  A much more convenient way to go is to choose a telezoom. There are several focal length ranges available today the most convenient and best suited for geting the optimal output on your safari are the 80-400 or 100-400 lenses. These come generally with speeds from F4.5 at 80/100 to F5.6 at 400 and as such are fast enough for many occasions of your wildlife photography. The big benefits are that you only need to buy and carry one lens, which is not only much cheaper compared to the arsenal of telephoto primes you would bring otherwise, but also much easier to carry and handle in the field.

                  Now you have one lens allowing you to react immediately to changing situations, which are pretty common in wildlife photography, and do no longer need to change lenses in those situations and also reduce the risk of dirt getting into your camera system, which is one of the worst things that can happen, as it can leave dust on the sensor, even with the most advanced dust removal systems available in modern DSLRs or CSCs (compact system cameras).

                  Meanwhile there are also a number of telezooms available with other interesting focal lengths for wildlife photography, from many camera manufacturers, but of course also from third party vendors. A word on third party vendors – these have become so good today, that I would not hesitate to use one of their lenses without sacrificin image results.
                  Typical telezoom ranges are either F5-6,3/150-600 or F5.6/200-500. What we see is that these lenses become a bit slower while gaining reach.

                  I still find the optimum range of telezooms for wildlife photography from 80-400. While the 150-600 models give you more reach at the long end, which is welcome for some situations of course, I would argue that you need more the range between 80-150, as animaly may often come closer to you and then you would be able to zoom out without the need of changing the lens or moving further away. Mind you that you are sitting in a safari vehicle, so you will be most times limited to the spot you currently are and do not have the luxury to move as quick as want. Having said that I also find the 200-500 a great compromise in terms of reach, weight, speed and flexibility, so my vote would be for either a 80-400 or a 200-500 on a fullframe camera.

                  Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Extending Reach with Smaller Sensor Size

                  When using smaller sensors like APSC, the effective focal length increases, as a FF lens will draw the picture on the APSC sensor like using only the smaller middle part of a FF sensor. In case of an APSC camera which usually has a crop factor of 1.5, you get the effective focal length you achieve with a full frame lens by multiplying the focal lenght by 1.5. This means that a 80-400 full frame lens would result in an effective focal length of 160-600 on an APSC camera. This can be actually a welcome feature as you get the reach of a 600 with a usually lighter camera and the definitely smaller and lighter 80-400 lens. You can do the math for different focal lenght yourself in ordert o find out what lens would suit you best.

                  There is often another advantage using an APSC camera, as manufacturers tend to implement often the AF systems from their FF bodies into APSC bodies. This results in the AF area covering a larger area of the frame on APSC as on a FF camera, allowing you to spread AF further out in the frame, which can be very handy for wildlife photography, whenever animals are or shall not be in the center of your composition. We will cover AF useage and composition in some other articles following on this thread.

                  I would also like to mention even smaller formats than APSC, like for example m43 (micro four thirds) which delivers a 2x crop factor compared to FF. The advantages are that you even get smaller lenses on usually smaller camera bodies, but with twice the reach compared to full frame. This gets you with the popular and excellent m43 telezooms like a 100-300 an effective reach of a 200-600 lens, wighing much much less than a comparable full frame lens and of course also for a very attractive price. Keep size and weight always in mind when you travel, as this might become pretty soon a very disturbing factor for your passion, especially when you think about weight limitation of modern airlines. We will cover sensor sizes and advantages / disadvantiges in another article of this thread.

                  Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Your Guide to Tipping in Africa

                  When people think of Africa, they might not immediately think of a place full of world-class bars and restaurants. South Africa is one of the continents most sophisticated areas and serves as a prime vacation destination for people throughout the world. Some of the best places to wine and dine or simply enjoy cultural cuisine are located in this area.

                  Though you will see some beautiful, seemingly untouched landscape while you are traveling through your African safari vacation, you will also come to situations where tipping is expected. Most of the time, tips are given in the currency known as “Rand,” but do not worry, you can also use U.S. dollars. If you plan on experiencing some of Africa’s finest, knowing how to tip properly while on the continent is very important. Here is your guide to tipping in Africa.

                  Bars and Restaurants
                  To fully experience all of modern Africa, you must try out some of the world-renowned restaurants and bars. These thriving facilities present both local, old school cuisine and brand new creations that are also uniquely African. As with any eating establishment, it is customary to tip the staff at the end of a good meal. The going rate is normally 10 percent of the ticket value, though a service charge might be added if you are with a large party. This type of charge is also included in hotels at a standard rate. Be sure to tip your bar employees as well, they work hard to provide the very best service to guests.

                  Fueling Stations and Valet Parking
                  When you go to refuel your vehicle, you will find friendly patrons who are eager to wash your windows and even check your oil. These people should be tipped a few rands after they have completed their services. You may also take advantage of the excellent customer service that is offered by valet parking attendants. Like gas station personnel, these professionals should be given a few rands as a curtesy.

                  Drivers and Tour Guides
                  Tour guides and drivers play a big role in any African safari adventure. They are your tickets through the wilderness and will get you up close and personal, while also keeping you safe from many of Africa’s beloved animals. Likewise, drivers bring you through the area, from safaris to traveling around the city. If you are on a coach tour, it is recommended to tip your tour guide and driver 10 to 15 rands. 50 to 80 rands is given for a private safari tour, though the amount normally varies by the length of the day trip.

                  Housekeepers work very hard to keep facilities luxurious for every safari goer. Do not forget to be generous to these individuals with your tips. It is customary to tip housekeepers 50 rands for their services.

                  For more information on attending a safari, visit our
                  African safari tours page or contact a Roho Ya Chui representative today.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  The Wildebeest Migration

                  Known as one of the seven new wonders of the world, the great wildebeest migration tracks an awe inspiring path from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the beautiful Maasai Mara National Reserve. This is one thing that all vacation goers must try to see when they plan their trip to Africa.

                  Over two million of the most beloved animals on the continent make the trip. There is no other occurrence in the world as grand. Those who have experienced the wildebeest migration describe the sight as incredible and magical. The wildebeest face treacherous environments and unforgiving carnivores as they travel through the diverse landscape. Nowhere in the world is there such an immense migration that tells the beautiful story of the natural wonders of the land.

                  Beginning with a New Generation
                  Though the search for food and water is endless and one might argue that the wildebeest continuously roam the great plains, the migration begins in the early months of January and February. This is when the majority of wildebeest are giving birth to a new generation. Hundreds of thousands of calves are born at once, attracting a huge amount of deadly predators such as lions and hyenas. This enormous birthing is a defense mechanism that is designed to help sustain a flourishing population. Yes, calves are picked off by the predators, but these hunters get their fill quickly and are unable to consume a large number of the new calves. Calves who are born during other times are the year are far less likely to survive.

                  Moving to the Masai Mara
                  When the southern Serengeti becomes dry and food gets scarce. This is when the wildebeest know that it is time to move on to greener pastures. They begin their journey to the Maasai Mara. They follow the rain, knowing that it will lead them to better food sources. Their track is also driven by instinct, as the wildebeest have made this journey for thousands of years. The first stop is around the area of Lake Victoria. This is where they will mate and, though the journey has just started, begin to bring the cycle full circle once more.

                  Braving Danger
                  To get to their final destination, the wildebeest must cross quick rivers that are overflowing with seasonal rainfall. Besides the risk of being swept away by these swift waters, the wildebeest also face another danger—enormous crocodiles. Wildebeest are naturally afraid of water and spend many days scoping out the banks to find the perfect crossing point, but once they have braved the dangerous rivers, they know that there is nothing standing between them and the fresh grass.

                  Upon arrival, the wildebeest spend several months getting fat again before continuing their circle. The cows, heavy with their calves once more, make the journey with the herd so that the cycle may start all over again.

                  For more information on this experience and other safari tours, visit our
                  African safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  East & Southern Africa: Bird-Watcher Paradise

                  Southern Africa is an amazing place to spend a birdwatching safari trip. The range of species in this region is truly breathtaking, between the forests, wetlands, marshes, coastlines and desert regions. Here’s a look at some of the best areas in Southern Africa to view our beautiful feathered friends.

                  Kenya has a broad and varied range of land and climate enabling you to view the second highest number of bird species on the entire continent! In fact, the world record for bird watching comes out of Kenya, where an astounding 342 species of birds were seen within 24 hours.

                  In Kenya’s many national parks you can see the rosy-throated longclaw, shining sunbird, magpie shrike, pink-breasted lark and more! October to February and June to July are the best times to view endemic and migrating Southern African species.

                  Tanzania has tons of native species found nowhere else in the world, with some estimates placing the number as high as 34. This makes it a great place to spend your holiday birdwatching. In fact, tons of research on birds has been conducted here over the past two decades. This means that not only will you have a great opportunity to see bird species, but there is a lot of educational resources available as well! Local species include Mrs. Moreau’s warbler, the Usambara eagle-owl and others.

                  In addition, the number of migratory species that visit this region is astounding. More than 1,000 bird species have been recorded in the vast range and variety of environments in this beautiful nation.

                  South Africa
                  If endemic bird species are what you are after, South Africa is the place to be. There are more species unique to this region than anywhere else on the continent. Since this is such a popular birdwatching region, there is also tons of information and resources for the hobby.

                  Did you ever think you’d see a penguin in Africa? Well, you can see the African penguin here! If you’re very fortunate, you might even catch a glimpse of the very rare red lark. Other species that can be seen here are the rednecked falcon, pygmy falcon, cape vulture, white-backed vulture, tawny eagle, forest canary and African rock pipit.

                  Take a birdwatching safari trip to Namibia between November and April, during the rainy season, to view many migrant species with gorgeous and brightly colored plumage during breeding season. The ocean environment attracts many permanent coastal bird populations.

                  While Namibia has only a single endemic species in the dune lark, there are many migrant species to be viewed here, including the blue crane and flamingo as well as the white pelican and the endangered damara tern.

                  Finally, the vast and untouched wilderness of Botswana offers tons of bird species between its diverse climates from the arid Kalahari to the green and wet Okavango. View species such as herons, larks, egrets, cranes and jacana. This region may have no endemic species, but the wide and varied migrant species are certainly a sight to behold!

                  Are you ready to take on a birdwatching safari trip to this incredible continent? Take a look at the
                  wildlife photography experiences we offer, and give us a call to book your trip today!

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  The Ultimate African Safari Adventure Bucket List

                  Have you decided you go on an African safari vacation? A trip to Africa is often a once in a lifetime adventure that is full of many amazing memories. Though any activity is bound to be incredible, there are some absolute must-dos to complete on your trip.
                  Some of the world’s most beloved species of animals are in Africa. Unfortunately, many of these same creatures are also endangered. Those who go on an African safari vacation have the unique opportunity to see these animals before it is potentially too late. Seeing endangered species and appreciating their beauty is a critical part of spreading world-wide awareness.
                  Landscapes and natural wonders are also must experience sights on your African safari vacation. South Africa boasts one of the most diverse landscapes in the world with glorious mountains, rolling grasslands and enormous waterfalls. Between the animals and the landscapes, there is an abundance of opportunity. Here is your ultimate African adventure bucket list.

                  The World’s Greatest Waterfall
                  Queen Victoria Falls is hailed as the world's largest sheet of falling water. The massive presence of the falls draws tourists from around the world to experience the wonder for themselves. Queen Victoria Falls is truly awe inspiring and will take your breath away. Around the falls, a diverse and abundant group of wildlife flourishes. This area is one of the most beautiful in Africa and an absolute must-see on your African safari adventure.

                  Fly Above the Land
                  There is arguably no better way to experience Africa than in the air. Many people opt to travel through their safari on a guided plane tour simply because of the multitude of different sights that they will see in a single flight. When you fly, you are able to cover a much larger area and see things that you would not otherwise have seen. The air provides a grand spectrum of the landscape and is a must-do on any bucket list.

                  The Great Black Rhinoceros
                  If you are lucky enough to get the opportunity to see a rare black rhino, do it. Due to poaching and loss of habitat, there is simply no telling how much longer this subspecies has left on the planet. They are truly awesome creatures and you will be wowed by their power and grace. Any bucket list for an African safari adventure should include seeing some amazing endangered species, but the Black Rhino is the top of the list.

                  The Staple Animals
                  Of course, anyone who goes to Africa expects to see the classic animals. Did you know that many of them are actually endangered? That’s right, the regal lion and African elephant are among some of the popular creatures that are also included on the world’s endangered species lists. As you check off your once in a lifetime sightings, remember: these creatures might seem like common safari sightings, but they are special, should be respected and sittings should always remain on any bucket list.
                  For more information, visit our
                  safari vacations page or contact a Rohoyachui representative

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  The Beginners’ Guide to Safari Photography

                  So you have decided to engage in a safari vacation and want to snap tons of great pictures, but are something of a newcomer to the hobby? Fear not! Your trip to Africa will provide you more opportunities for breathtaking photos than you’ve ever imagined. Just follow a few basic tips and tricks to make sure that your first trip opens the door to a lifetime of beautiful safari photos. Here is a brief beginner’s guide to safari photography.

                  Research and Homework
                  Do a lot of research and homework before planning your trip to make sure you have the opportunity to catch the kinds of photos you want to take. Different times of the year in Africa have different lighting, different weather patterns, different flora and different birds and animals to view. Make sure that you are going to the right place at the right time.

                  Choose the Right Camera
                  For your first safari photo trip you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment and especially the right lens. Many animals you’ll see will be far enough away that you’ll want at least a 400mm lens so you can zoom in at high quality.

                  For cameras, look into a DLSR variety that has a continuous and fast shutter speed. This will enable you to capture fast-moving wildlife without blur and without missing ideal shots.

                  Cleaning and Care
                  There will likely be a lot of dust in the air during your safari. Make sure that you avoid getting dust in your camera by avoiding lens changes during your travels in dusty areas. Clean your camera every night and keep it in good working order.

                  When it comes to larger accessories like tripods the advice is pretty basic: think well, if you really need them. Accessories get very cumbersome and take up a lot of space, and can often be the mark of the amateur. Utilize window frames and roof bars as supports and learn to have a steady hand. You’ll be glad you opted to travel light in the end.

                  Of course, you’ll want to keep spare batteries handy as well as small binoculars and potentially filters and a hood to help polarize your image and reduce lens flare. For nighttime trips, carry a small flashlight so you can easily work the controls on the camera.

                  Keep your camera with you at all times. Never leave it unattended and don’t flash it around too much when you’re not using it. Keeping it on display and showing it off is very tempting to dishonest people. Keep it strapped on and stable at all times to avoid losing it to a snatcher.

                  Including an object or creature in the foreground adds depth to landscape shots. Taking multiple photos by turning where you stand can help create a panoramic view later. Try to capture moving and action for dynamic photos. Try to frame photos that you would want to view.

                  These are just a few tips for the beginner to safari photography. If you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime, check out our
                  photography experiences and book your trip today!

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Botswana in the Green Season

                  Many people who take an African safari to Botswana choose to go during the dry season from November through March, when wildlife congregates in predictable places and vehicles have an easier time traveling. However, there are many good reasons to take a trip during the green, or wet, season during the summer months. Here’s a look at why Botswana in the green season can be a great trip.

                  Less Expensive
                  Rates for traveling to Botswana can cost as much as a third less than during the dry season. Really this is no different than any sort of tourism trip during an “off” season. Because so many fewer travelers go during this period, it costs less to take a trip. In addition, you’ll get a much more personalized experience in the summer months with fewer vacationers to compete for the attention and time of safari guides.

                  If you are looking to save money and still gain an amazing African safari trip, you cannot beat a visit to Botswana in the summer months. It is a trip you will not forget.

                  Summer Paradise
                  The truth is, Botswana can be a tropical paradise in the summer months. The grass is a deep green, the flowers are bright and vibrant in a full rainbow of colors. Summer is the birthing season with opportunities to see young animals taking their first steps. In many areas wildlife viewing can be at its best during the summer months.

                  Summertime is a prime time for visiting this gorgeous country. It allows you to see the entire region at its best -- vibrant and alive.

                  Predators and Bird Watching
                  If you want to catch sight of predators like great cats, visiting Botswana in the green season is ideal. Since there are so many young animals around, the predatory creatures are out in force.

                  In addition, summer is generally considered to be the ideal time for bird watching and photography with many species of birds entering breeding season and showing off their vibrant plumage.

                  Climate and Environs
                  As flood plains recede, the rains turn the dry scrub into vibrant green plains, which attracts many grazing animals from the higher elevations from smaller game to huge elephants. Exploration is possible not only by vehicle, but on foot as well. There are tons of game animals offering incredible panoramic photo experiences. Indeed, if photography is your goal, the colors in this season are much more vibrant, the light is much sharper and the vistas are absolutely stunning.

                  In the summer mornings the temperatures are comfortable and mild, and the “rainy season” generally means spectacular and breathtaking, but brief, thunderstorms in the afternoon, with mornings and later in the day still serving up gorgeous weather.

                  There’s little doubt that a safari trip to Botswana in the green season will turn into a breathtaking and unforgettable vacation experience. If you are looking for a dream safari vacation, we can help! Check out our
                  African safari experiences and then drop us a line today to book your trip!

                  Keyword: Botswana in the green season

                  Meta: A safari trip to Botswana in the green season will turn in an unforgettable vacation experience full of vibrant color, wildlife and vistas.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Spending a Day with Elephants

                  Elephants are some of the most intriguing creatures on the planet. Their majestic behavior and sheer enormity have drawn people across the world to view their splendor for hundreds of years. African elephants are the largest animals on Earth today. They can be seen in zoos throughout the world, but a zoo setting only minimally replicates their natural habitat.
                  To gain a true appreciation for these magnificent animals, one must travel to Africa and see them in their natural habitats. Many safari tours make a point to show off Africa’s beloved elephants. Travelers often report their day with the elephants as one of their most favorites. Here are a few things that you should know before spending a day with elephants on your safari vacation.

                  They Eat — A Lot
                  African elephants can reach a height of 13 feet and weigh in excess of 10 tons. Most people wonder how such a large animal is able to sustain its body weight and thrive in the seemingly unforgivable African landscape. They spend the large majority of each day, 12-18 hours, eating enormous quantities of food. Adult elephants are capable of eating between 200 and 600 pounds of vegetation each day.
                  They also require a large amount of water to thrive. Elephants drink an average of 50 gallons of water per day. During your time with the elephants, you can expect to see them feeding to maintain their enormous mass. Take a moment to recall this information so that you may truly appreciate the amount of foliage it takes to sustain a single elephant.

                  They are Perfect for Africa
                  Elephants have some pretty amazing adaptations that make them perfect for life in the African environment. Their trunk works very much like a human hand and is capable of grasping objects, sucking water and picking up food. The ears of the elephant are large, helping to keep the animal cool on even the hottest days. Their tusks are used to dig minerals and make holes in seemingly dry riverbeds, revealing the water beneath. When you spend the day with elephants, pay attention and see if you recognize the unique adaptations that the elephants use to survive in Africa.

                  They are Very Social
                  African elephants live in family groups that normally range in number from 8 to 10 members. The most mature female normally assumes the highest leadership position within the unit. Female elephants are capable of reproducing throughout their entire life. The younger females help the older females with taking care of the calves. Studies have shown that elephants maintain relationships, especially with family members, for life.
                  Male elephants, known as bulls, leave this family unit around the time of sexual maturity. Unlike the family group of females, male elephants spend the overwhelming majority of their time in solitude. They are very competitive and keep a social hierarchy. Bull elephants compete for the right to breed, and can be dangerous if they feel that right has been threatened. While you are journeying through your African safari, keep your eyes open for these lone bulls. They are magnificent creatures.
                  For more information, visit our
                  African Safari Tours page.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Make Sure You Get Vaccinated Before Your African Safari Tour
                  One key to ensuring you have a great time during your African safari holiday is to get vaccinated against several diseases seen at higher rates throughout the continent. While this suggestion is not to say that you are guaranteed to be exposed to these diseases during your travels, you should recognize that carriers of debilitating viruses and other pathogens may be much more common in some African countries than in your home one. Furthermore, healthcare facilities are not as consistently available as they are in some other continents, so unless you plan on spending your whole trip in downtown Johannesburg hanging out by their best hospital, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure.
                  To help you ensure that you get the right types of vaccinations and that you are adequately prepared from a health perspective, here are some further suggestions in anticipation of your travels:

                  Consult a Travel Medicine Expert
                  Depending on the countries you intend to visit and the activities you intend to do while you are there, a medical professional may recommend different vaccinations or general preparations based on the more likely exposures you would see in that particular region.
                  For instance, bacterial meningitis is a more common threat in select sub-Saharan countries, and that threat grows during the dry season that lasts from December to June. A travel medicine expert can identify these potential threats based on literature and news on recent flare ups to prepare you for most situations you expect to encounter.

                  Book Your Doctor’s Appointment Well in Advance
                  Some vaccines take a few weeks to provide complete immunity, and others must be given in a gradual series for them to be effective. Giving yourself a large window before your travels will help you prepare for special circumstances like these.
                  Ideally, you will have visited no later than four to six weeks before your departure date. However, keep in mind that even if you cannot make it during this window you should still book your appointment since late vaccines are astronomically better than no vaccines at all.

                  Recommended Vaccinations
                  First, you are suggested to renew your routine immunizations or ensure that they are up to date including: chickenpox, polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), polio and recent influenza strains.
                  On top of these common immunizations, four major vaccinations are highly suggested before travel to Africa: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and yellow fever. With yellow fever specifically, foreign tourists will be required to provide documentation of their vaccination before entering certain sub-Saharan countries or areas where travel from sub-Saharan countries is common.

                  Other Suggested Procedures
                  In addition to these practically-mandatory vaccinations, you will want to consider with your healthcare professional preparing for other potential situations. For instance, if you will be embarking on an African safari tour in one of our national parks, a pre-exposure rabies vaccination may be needed to prepare for any sort of up close animal encounter. You may also need to take anti-malaria medication before your travels depending on the season and area you visit.

                  In general, practice good sanitation on your trip to avoid exposure in the first place. Always wear close-toed shoes, wash your hands thoroughly, periodically and before meals, consume only properly-prepared food and drink, consider travel insurance and of course do not accept any tattoos or used needles from strangers, no matter how nice they may seem. Follow these guidelines and you are much more likely to get the most out of your trip and remember it for only the right reasons.
                  To predict exactly what risks you could be encountering and discuss them accurately with your healthcare provider, review our
                  African safari tour packages so that you can give them the specifics of your travels down to the last detail.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Exploring Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, Part II

                  Africa is one of the most beautiful vacation destinations on the planet. With welcoming locals and an incredible landscape, people are flocking to the continent to experience safari tours. Choosing one or a few wonders to see while visiting Africa is a great way to ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Everyone expects to see amazing animals, but did you know that you can witness everything from enormous, snowcapped mountain peaks to vast deserts? Africa even boasts a few of the world’s largest natural wonders. Here is part II of our series detailing the seven wonders of Africa to help you plan your next African safari vacation.

                  Nile River
                  The Nile River is the longest river on the planet, snaking through 10 nations within Africa. It is world famous, and many of the most iconic countries, such as Egypt, have sprung from the river’s banks. The Nile runs through the Sahara Desert, providing water to many plants and animals. Perhaps the most well-known creature dwelling beneath the surface of the swift waters is the enormous Nile crocodile. The best way to see this river is to travel on a river cruise.

                  Okavango Delta
                  As the world’s largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta is currently under consideration to become a World Heritage site. It is created by seasonal flooding and has less than seven feet of water, with various depths throughout. Many amazing animals call this area home throughout the year, while others flock to the Delta during and after the rainy season. This is a great destination for bird watchers, as the Delta provides a sanctuary for over 400 species of birds. Since some of the most popular safari companies include this wonder, the best way to view the Okavango Delta is to take a guided trip through the region.

                  Red Sea Reef
                  The reefs throughout the world have been in danger for generations. One of the most thriving is the Red Sea Reef, located off the coast of Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. There are over 1,100 species of fish located among the vast beauty that is the Red Sea Reef. This is a great place to snorkel or go on a dive trip while visiting Africa.

                  Sahara Desert
                  This is the largest heated desert in the world, second only to the Arctic in the running for the world’s largest desert. This landscape is so much more than large dunes and vast nothingness; it is home to many unique creatures and tough cultures. The desert is a beautiful place to visit and the Sahara is a must see on any African safari vacation.

                  Serengeti Migration
                  The Serengeti Migration is the longest migration over land in the world. The migration covers over 500 square miles of various landscapes and regions. Most of the lands are protected, making this a natural wonder and a great occurrence to witness.
                  These natural wonders show the beauty of Africa and the world. The represent the very best that the planet has to offer. For more information, visit our
                  safari vacations page.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Exploring Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, Part 1

                  A lot of people from around the world would love to visit Africa, though many do not know exactly what it is that they would like to see. The animals are a main attraction, of course, but there are also natural and manmade wonders that are worth taking the time to visit while you are on your African safari vacation. This continent boasts one of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, with mountains, forests, deserts and giant waterfalls. Its beauty is unmatched. It is important that you know the seven natural wonders of Africa so that you may get the most out of your visit. These treasures will certainly take your breath away.

                  Victoria Falls
                  Not only is the incredible Victoria Falls one of Africa’s seven natural wonders, it is also one of the seven natural world wonders. It is the largest waterfall in the world, based on width and height. Victoria Falls is affectionately nicknamed “smoke that thunders” and is located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, in prime safari area. This world wonder is protected by two national parks as well as the love of the locals. To get the best view of the falls, it is recommended that you tour the area by aircraft.

                  Mount Kilimanjaro
                  Officially declared a natural wonder of Africa on February 11, 2013, Mount Kilimanjaro is rightfully known as Africa’s rooftop. It is the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet. This incredible mountain is actually a giant volcano, though it is inactive and there is no known history of an eruption. There are many diverse ecosystems located on and around Kilimanjaro. The top of the mountain is covered with snow year around while it overlooks the large, dry grasslands below. The views of the mountain are inspiring and showcase Africa’s finest landscape.

                  Ngorongoro Crater
                  “Africa’s Garden of Eden” is the world’s largest crater. It is home to 30,000 species of animals, including the most iconic — lions, elephants, cheetahs and the black rhino. Because of the vast variety of animals who call the Ngorongoro Crater home, this is one of the best destinations to visit while on an African safari vacation. The crater is 12 miles across and enclosed with high cliffs that rise 2,000 feet from the floor. More than 100 square miles of wilderness are located inside these natural walls. This wonder was created by a volcanic explosion. To get the most out of your visit to the Ngorongoro Crater, consider taking a guided tour through the wilderness.

                  The seven wonders of Africa are inspiring natural masterpieces that will take your breath away and cause you to fall in love with the land. Going on a safari vacation is a great way to see these natural wonders. For more information, visit our
                  safari tours page.

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  6-kenya-safari-tour copy
                  Catching a Glimpse of Africa’s Endangered Animals, Part I

                  Africa is home to many species of endangered animals, and when you are on safari, one of the most exciting experiences you can have is catching a glimpse of one of these noble species. Animals become endangered for many reasons, from poaching to humans encroaching on natural habitats, deforestation and displacement, among other problems. Many countries in Africa have created preserves and protective laws to give these species a chance to bounce back. Here are a few of the most notable endangered species you might see on your safari vacation.

                  The African Elephant
                  Found throughout central and southern Africa, elephants are one of the most endangered species on the continent; estimates are that there are just over 600,000 of these noble creatures left alive. Poaching for ivory and meat as well as the continued loss of their natural habitat has seen the elephant on the brink of extinction.
                  Elephants are the largest land-based mammal in the entire world and they travel in family units and herds, living off of fruit, tree branches, leaves and shoots.

                  The African Penguin
                  Many people don’t realize that there are penguins in Africa. Commercial fishing, oil spills, accidental catching in nets and other human factors have led to there being less than 72,000 of these beautiful birds left in the world.
                  These creatures are also known as black-footed penguins and jackass penguins. They breed in Africa and feed on sardines and anchovies. They are very social creatures and stand about 24 inches high. Their natural habitat is in the waters of southern Africa

                  The African Lion
                  Did you know that the king of the forest is near extinction? There are, in fact, just over 22,000 of these noble great cats known to be alive in the world. Poisoning, poaching and human encroachment on their natural environment has led to their dwindling numbers.
                  Found in sub-Saharan Africa, these lions are social creatures which travel in prides and coalitions. They hunt nocturnally. Strong efforts are in place to preserve these creatures who are facing the brink of extinction.

                  The Cheetah
                  Another awe-inspiring great cat which faces extinction, cheetahs are the fastest living land mammal, able to accelerate from 0 to 160 mph in only three seconds, and able to achieve land speeds in bursts of up to 70 mph! Male cheetahs travel in groups, while females tend to be more solitary. Unlike lions, they are daytime hunters. Sadly, there are less than 14,000 of these cats left in the wild due to human interference with their natural habitat, which is throughout the entire continent.

                  The Rhinoceros
                  Rhinos are one of the most popular species for safari vacationers to seek out. Unfortunately, poaching has dwindled the black rhino’s numbers to just around 3,500 left alive in their natural habitat throughout central Africa. These creatures are solitary and travel alone, and their sub-species the African western black rhino has been declared officially extinct. In addition, the northern white rhino, native to central Africa, is all but extinct; there are five remaining members of the species, all in captivity in the Czech Republic.
                  Efforts are underway to restore endangered species, but you never know when a chance to see an animal may be your last. To catch a glimpse of some of these critically endangered species, take a look at the
                  various safari tour packages we offer, and get in touch with us to book your dream African vacation today!

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Catching a Glimpse of Africa's Endangered Animals, Part II

                  When you are on a Safari or wildlife photography vacation, one of the most exciting experiences you can have is to catch a glimpse of a rare or endangered animal. Unfortunately, there are more endangered species coming up every day. However, Africa is home to many of these rare animals and taking a trip there is one of the best way to spot one of these stunning creatures. Here are some more of the amazing endangered animals on the mysterious continent.

                  African Wild Dog
                  Also known as the African painted dog for their stunning mottled coats, the wild dog numbers just over 4,000 left alive today. Disease and human hunting and encroachment have caused the numbers of this very social, pack-hunting species to dwindle. Packs of wild dogs hunt in groups of up to twenty individuals. They weigh up to 80 pounds and stand 30 inches high. Laws are currently in place to protect these noble and beautiful creatures, which can be found in the Sub-Saharan regions of Africa.

                  Pygmy Hippopotamus
                  When people think of hippos, they think of gigantic beasts with gaping mouths, but there is a species of hippo that are tiny — at least in comparison to their larger cousins! These adorable creatures stand about 3 feet high and weigh about 600 pounds. They are very rare and hard to spot in their native West African forests. Deforestation and hunting have reduced their numbers to just over an estimated 1,500. They hide in the water during the day and emerge to forage for food at night on a diet of grass, leaves, fruit and roots.

                  Mountain Gorillas
                  Spotting a great ape is a breathtaking experience, and the mountain gorilla is one of the most endangered species in Africa. They can only be found in Volcanoes National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Virunga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Poaching, trade and human destruction of their habitat through deforestation has reduced the numbers of this species to just around 650 left alive.

                  Ethiopian Wolf
                  This stunning canine has seen its numbers reduced to just around 400 individuals currently known. Also called the Abyssinian Wolf, Simien fox and jackal, this is the only wolf species native to Africa. It looks a lot like a coyote and is a pack hunter who feeds mainly on rodents. It can be found in the Ethiopian Highlands region of Africa.

                  The single most endangered animal in Africa, the addax, also known as the white antelope or screwhorn antelope, can be found in the desert regions of the continent, where it travels in herds in a nocturnal pattern. These creatures feed on grass and herbs, but drought and hunting have reduced their numbers to just over 200 left.
                  If you want an experience viewing rare species of animals that you will not ever forget, a wildlife photography safari trip is your best bet. Take some time to look at the
                  wildlife photography experiences we offer, and give us a call to book your dream safari trip today!

                  Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                  Best Safaris for the Solo Traveler

                  Many people who want to take a safari trip in Africa look to travel solo rather than in a group. In fact, traveling by yourself can be somewhat akin to staying in a bed and breakfast back home, but with more than a touch of the exotic. You will dine with fellow guests and hosts, but can spend your days exploring safari experiences as you see fit.

                  A Guide and Companion
                  It is generally not recommended for solo travelers to attempt to drive themselves while on safari. The African wilderness presents many dangers, and the chance of accidents happening is greatly lessened if you have a companion. This companion should be an experienced guide who is knowledgeable about the region in which you will be traveling and knows the safest ways to conduct the exploratory safari.

                  Botswana Travel
                  Botswana is a lovely country with incredible options for solo holidays. Many of the camps and lodges in the country offer communal dinners to ensure that you not only don’t get lonely, but that you get the opportunity to discuss your experiences with like-minded travelers, exchange notes and get recommendations. Some of the most notable and highly recommended lodges in Botswana include:

                    Kenya Travel
                    Kenya is an ideal country for solo safari travelers. It offers a wide range of friendly, relaxed and social safari getaway camps and lodges. You can choose options for solo safaris and group outings with others at the camp, so if you’re alone and decide you want company, the chance is there!

                      Tanzania Travel
                      Tanzania not only offers incredible opportunities to observe local wildlife, it allows you to immerse yourself in local culture. Get to know the rich arts and culture of this beautiful country and meet new people in these excellent resorts:

                        If you are ready to book a solo trip anywhere in Africa, check out our
                        Safari tours page and get in touch with us today!

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Top Walking Safaris in Africa

                        When people think of safari trips, they often evoke images of bouncing across the Savannah in a Jeep or other 4WD auto, speeding past herds of gazelle while a guide quickly points out the highlights of the trip. However, there is nothing quite like experiencing African wildlife during a walking safari.
                        The feel of the earth beneath your feet, the slower pace and trained guides taking the time to highlight everything from large predators to tiny insects will keep you feeling connected to the Earth. When you return home, you’ll certainly take a piece of this mysterious continent with you. Here are some of the top walking safari experiences in Africa.

                        Old Fashioned Walking Safari, Zambia
                        This adventure, located in South Luangwa, was rated as one of National Geographic’s Top 2015 Trips of a Lifetime. That’s high praise, and it’s easy to see why. Visitors can view hippopotamuses, buffalo, elephants, bushbacks, giraffes, lions and more. This trip includes both daylight and after dark excursions to see the maximum variety of wildlife in their natural habitat.

                        Walking Adventurer’s Safari, Tanzania
                        This trip through Northern Tanzania includes hiking, biking and game walks near Arusha National Park, the Lake Manyara escarpment, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire. Such an amazing selection of landscapes not only allows you to see a variety of wildlife, but to visit some of the most beautiful natural formations in the world.

                        Eyes on Elephant of the Pools and Pans, Zimbabwe
                        For the elephant enthusiasts, try this trip which was also ranked by National Geographic’s Trips of a Lifetime. It features some of the best guides in Africa and combines not only walking safaris, but hiking, canoeing, game drives and a chance to experience local culture. In addition to the elephants for which the tour is named, visitors get a chance to see rhinos in their natural habitat in the Matobo Hills.

                        Our Point of View Active
                        This tour of South Africa displays a broad variety of colorful and exotic settings. A walking safari through the Timbavati Reserve includes bush walks and outdoor camping under the famed Star Beds of Tanda Tula. Hiking and kayaking on the sea allow visitors to view African Cape Penguins and take a trip along the Garden Route’s Tsitsikamma Trail, which is a sight not to be missed. Finally, a cruise offers the unique opportunity for dolphin and whale watching!

                        Desert Dune Safari
                        This journey of adventure and excitement takes place in Nambia and allows guests to enjoy such breathtaking vistas as the red dunes of Sossusvlei, a trip to track and view the rare black rhino at the Desert Rhino Camp, and to explore the Skeleton Coast’s seal colonies, stunning historic shipwrecks, and amazing wildlife including lions, elephants, ostrich, gemsbok and springbok. This experience is one you’ll not soon forget.
                        If an African safari is an attractive prospect for you, you have come to the right place to get started. Take a look at our
                        safari tours, and get in contact with us to book your vacation now.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Spotting Cheetahs on Your Safari

                        One of the most popular reasons to take a safari trip to Africa is to catch a glimpse of a cheetah in the open wilderness. These incredible and majestic cats are the fastest land mammals in the world. They can reach bursts of speed up to 70 miles per hour and sustain that speed for around 500 yards. The sight is breathtaking to behold. Here are some tips to improve your chances of sighting one of these magnificent predators.

                        Cheetah Facts
                        Cheetahs are often confused with leopards because both are spotted great cats, but cheetahs actually have very distinctive markings. Their spots are solid, where leopards are open rosettes. Cheetahs also feature black tear-like markings on their cheeks, which help to shield their eyes from the bright sun. They are more slender and long-legged than other big cats. They also cannot retract their claws!
                        Cheetahs are solitary and family-oriented. Rather than living in a pride like lions, they tend to travel alone, though a group of dominant males may join to form a hunting coalition, or a family group may stick together. Many people don’t realize that young cheetahs look a lot like honey badgers! This is an evolutionary adaptation to allow for defense against other predators.

                        Protected Species
                        Cheetahs are a very rare cat and are included on the list of vulnerable species maintained by the World Conservation Union. There are only an estimates 12,400 cheetahs left in the wild, 2,500 of which are in Namibia, the highest concentrated population in all of Africa.

                        Daytime Hunters
                        Unlike most great cats, Cheetahs are daytime hunters. Their prey includes everything from antelope to ostrich, and they are one of the few predators that can catch an ostrich in an open run. They prefer to run down their prey rather than ambush them, so you can see them running across the open savannah at any moment.

                        Sighting Seasons
                        It is important to visit the right places at the right times in order to see the cheetah, as they blend with their surroundings and you’ll want to come at a time where there isn’t a lot of camouflage. Visit during the drier months of the year, since the bush is thinner during these times.

                        The best places to see a cheetah are Botswana, Kenya, Nambibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. All of these countries have amazing options for tours both driving and walking, group and solo. Most of these hunters are located outside of the major game reserves, because inside such parks they suffer great competition from lions.
                        Cheetahs are beautiful and deadly predators, and seeing them in their natural habitat can be a stunning and breathtaking experience. There is nothing quite like seeing one of these lightning-fast cats run down their prey or simply lounge and play together in the savannah sun. If you are ready to take your first safari, or even are an experienced traveler, we are ready to provide you the trip of a lifetime. Take a look at our
                        safari packages, and give us a call to book yours today!

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Ostriches: The World’s Largest Bird

                        Ostriches are one of the most fascinating species in the world. Not only are they the largest birds currently alive, these dinosaur-throwbacks are notable amongst the animal kingdom in many ways. Here are some really fun facts about ostriches.

                        Average Size
                        Ostriches are the largest living bird species in the world. An ostrich’s average weight falls between between 140 and 290 lbs and can stand up to nine feet tall. That’s a huge bird!

                        Super Speed
                        Ostriches may not be able to fly, but they sure can run! They are some of the fastest animals in the world, and are the single fastest two-legged species on the planet. At a full run they can reach speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. Predators are hard-pressed to catch these speedy birds.

                        Burying Their Heads
                        There is a common myth that when afraid, ostriches bury their heads in the sand. This is completely untrue. The scholar Pliny the Elder, who lived between 23 and 79 CE, made a statement about imagining an ostrich’s concealed body when their head and neck is in a bush, and this is likely the origin of that myth. But why would an ostrich need to hide, when they run so fast?

                        Enormous Eggs
                        Not only are ostriches the biggest birds out there, they lay the biggest eggs! These span, on average, almost six inches in length, are over 5 inches wide, and weigh over 3 pounds. That is the size equivalent of roughly 25 normal chicken eggs—or one gigantic omelet.

                        Twin-Toed Birds
                        Most birds have four-toed feet, but the ostrich revels in its uniqueness. These birds have only two toes on each foot, with a single claw on the inner toe resembling a hoof. This adaptation seems to be strictly geared towards efficient running.

                        Reclusive Herd Animals
                        Ostriches oscillate between living alone or in pairs, or in huge nomadic groupings. The division seems to come during winter months, when the birds pair off or go solo, and breeding season, when huge nomadic groups of up to 50 ostriches gather together along with other grazing animals.

                        Big Wings
                        Although not easy to pick out when folded against their bodies, ostrich wings are pretty big. They can reach a span of approximately seven feet and while the birds cannot fly, their wings come in handy for mating rituals and providing shade for offspring.

                        Stone Eaters
                        The primary diet of an ostrich is shrubs, grass, seeds, flowers and fruit. They sometimes add insects to their palate. However, they cannot chew, so they swallow stones which help to grind up their food in their gizzard. The average adult ostrich can have over 2 pounds of stones in their stomach!

                        Valuable Feathers, Leather and Meat
                        Ostrich feathers are large, beautiful and sturdy. This makes them highly prized all over the world. They are often used as feather dusters and for decorative purposes. Leather made from ostrich skin is said to be the strongest there is, and their meat is very high in calcium, iron and protein while being very low in fat and cholesterol—in short, a very healthy dietary choice!
                        If you would like to see an ostrich in person in the wild, check out our
                        safari tours page and get in touch to book your trip today!

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        How to Beat Jet Lag and Truly Enjoy Your Safari

                        If you have never been on a safari trip to another continent, there are things that will affect your trip which you may have never even considered. Veteran travelers are intimately familiar with one of the biggest of these problems—jet lag. Jet lag can take the most exciting trip and turn it into a miserable experience of exhaustion and mood swings. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize its effects and reset your internal clock to fully enjoy the experience.

                        What is Jet Lag?
                        Your body has an internal clock which regulates your waking and sleeping cycles. When this internal clock is disrupted it can create tiredness, mood swings, appetite problems and even blood pressure issues, in addition to a general feeling of being unwell. When you travel from North America to Africa, you are crossing several time zones and the external clock in Africa will be off by hours from your internal clock.

                        The natural cycle of day and night helps to regulate this internal clock, and when the hours at which the sun rises and set change from what our body expects, jet lag results. The more time zones we cross, the longer it takes to get over this change. That means you could be halfway through your trip before you start to feel normal, and then you’ll have to do it all over again when you get home.

                        Adjust Your Schedule
                        The first thing you can do to beat jet lag is to adjust your internal clock before you go on your trip. Try to stay up later and sleep in a bit. Do this gradually over a period of several days before you leave, adjusting by an hour at a time. This will get your clock ticking on the right times for the new zone.

                        Light Exposure
                        When you do get up, go outside into the sunlight to train your body. When you go to bed, make sure it is very dark. Try to control the light in your environment based on what you will experience after your travel. Your body will learn the new light patterns just as it learns the new hourly patterns, and your natural biorhythms will adjust accordingly.

                        Melatonin Supplements
                        Melatonin is the chemical in your body that makes you sleepy at the right times. Taking an over-the-counter supplement can help you adjust to new time zones, again by “training” your internal biorhythms. However, as with any dietary supplement, you should speak to your doctor before starting such a solution.

                        Don’t Adjust
                        Depending on how long you will be away, you may want to simply stay on your home time schedule. You will wind up being up early in the morning and hitting the sack earlier in the evening, but your body rhythms will remain the same and if you can tailor your itinerary for this schedule, it can be a great way to travel.

                        If you are ready to take the safari trip of a lifetime, take a look at the
                        packages we offer and give us a call to book your vacation today!

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Exploring the Beautiful Serengeti

                        Hands-down the most famous safari park and game preserve in all of Africa is the Serengeti in Tanzania. Thousands of people flock to this park every year to observe the exotic and wild game in their natural habitat, and to view beautiful grassy plains which are home to the biggest grazing herds and the most predators on the entire planet.

                        The Great Migration
                        The Serengeti was originally created to maintain the Great Migration, the path on which Africa’s wildlife travels throughout the year. This migration allows game and wildlife to follow the availability of food and water as the seasons shift, and forms a major part of the natural ecology of the continent.

                        Animals follow a clockwise movement pattern around the plains throughout the year, and knowing where they will be at any given time allows the best opportunity to view millions of animals and the breathtaking circle of life like nowhere else in the world.

                        The Serengeti
                        The Serengeti covers 30,000 square kilometers of ground and there are dozens of options to explore this gorgeous natural reserve. You need to know where to stay, when to visit and the kinds of activities you will undertake in order to maximize your experience on safari in Africa.

                        Where to Stay
                        There are dozens of options for accommodation which range from huge resorts to small camps geared towards solo travelers. Mobile camps in the region are what the area is renowned for providing. These back-to-basics experiences allow safari-goers to effectively move right along with the herds in the areas, and range from full-featured trips to very affordable no-frills experiences.

                        Luxury hotels and lodges allow for a more stable experience with all the amenities of a resort vacation, while still providing options for good game viewing. If you are traveling with your family or have young children, these are often a good bet for seeing the wildlife and enjoying a relaxing vacation.

                        When to Visit
                        The great thing about the Serengeti is that you can get a great view of game almost any time you choose to go. April and May are the rainy months, but this means fewer visitors and a quieter, more personalized experience. The months of January to March is the season where the most young animals are born, and July to November sees a great deal of activity to and from Kenya across the Mara River.

                        What You’ll See
                        There are no night activities allowed in the Serengeti, so you’ll see mostly daytime animals, but these include such amazing creatures as wildebeest, zebra, impala, gazelle, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, hyena, aardvark, porcupine, giraffe, monitor lizard, baboons, over 500 different species of bird and so much more. There are literally millions of animals that move across this park, and you will see many of them.

                        Are you ready to take a trip to see one of the most beautiful sights in the entire world? Wait no longer. Take a look at the
                        safari tours we offer, and give us a call to get started on your adventure today.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                        Image: Singita Grumeti

                        Why a Safari is a Perfect Destination Wedding

                        Imagine walking down the aisle between rows of elephants, with the stunning African landscape as your backdrop, sealing your vows with a kiss that is applauded with the calls of wild lions. Does this sound like a fairytale? This dream can become reality when you choose a safari as your destination wedding. Brides are continuously hunting new ways to have their big day be unique and stand out among the rest. Marriage is the adventure of a lifetime, what better way to start than with a wild safari wedding in South Africa.

                        The Landscape
                        You cannot beat the views provided by an African safari wedding. The landscape is stunning and provides ample room for creativity. The diverse ecosystems allow you to customize your favorite look. Do you prefer the savannas? Or maybe you would like a towering mountain as your backdrop? Whatever your preference, Africa has it — and it is more beautiful than anywhere else in the world.
                        Victoria Falls is a popular attraction in Africa. This stunning waterfall is one of the largest on Earth, and makes for gorgeous wedding photos. The landscape of Africa is one of the top reasons why a safari is the perfect destination wedding.

                        The Animals
                        If you love nature and wildlife, start your new life with your spouse among some of the most amazing creatures in the world. Having a safari wedding gives you the opportunity to be surrounded by animals on your big day. The average wedding includes friends and family, your wedding could have lions, elephants and giraffes among the guests. The animals make for perfect photo opportunities. The image of your wedding party surrounded by African wildlife will be absolutely priceless.

                        Do you feel like a vintage bombshell or are the two of you the perfect Tarzan and Jane? Having an African safari wedding provides a way to let your creativity soar on your big day. Let the landscape and wildlife speak for itself, no need to worry with costly decorations to make your dreams a reality — all you have to do is show up dressed to impress your new spouse.

                        Your Guests
                        Having a safari wedding will give your guests the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime. If you have ever wanted to your favorite people to go on a fantastic trip, this is it. Not only will they cherish the memory of your amazing wedding day, but they will also be able to create their own memories of their time in Africa. Your guests will appreciate their own African safari vacation when they travel for your destination wedding.

                        The Honeymoon
                        There is no need to travel far to have a great honeymoon when you have a safari wedding. The cuisine is fantastic, the views are incredible and you cannot beat the hospitality. South Africa boasts many world class resorts that would serve as the perfect honeymoon destination.

                        For more information on safari vacations, visit our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                        Image: andBeyond

                        visiting-africa-during-the-rainy-season copy
                        Visiting Africa During the Rainy Season

                        Many will tell you that the dry season is the best time to go on an African safari. The animals gather around watering holes, and the sparse grasslands make it easier to spot game. The dry season also brings the crowds of people who are looking to catch a glimpse at some of Africa’s most beloved animals.
                        Did you know that visiting South Africa during the rainy season could help you to avoid these large crowds and save you a bit of money? Some camps have decided to leave their tours open year around and accommodate those who wish to visit Africa between January and April. Africa is bursting with vibrant color and teeming with life during this once well-kept secret that is arguably the new best time to visit: the rainy season.

                        Active Wildlife
                        Tourists used to avoid visiting Africa during the rainy season, under the impression that animals would be hard to see and the land would be even harder to trek through. On the contrary, animals come alive as the rain begins to fall. Creatures like the hippopotamus, who are very vocal about their discontent for the lack of water during the dry season, become very active and visible enjoy the full rivers.
                        As the rain washes away the old, dead debris to reveal a fresh land, it seems to do the same for the animals. The inhabitants of the many ecosystems of Africa are also giving birth to their offspring during the rainy season, which means you have the unique opportunity to see some of the cutest wild babies on the planet. Wildlife is fat, happy and healthy during the rainy season.

                        Birds fill the skies during the rainy season. They enjoy the cooler temperatures and the increase in their food supply. King Fishers and cranes can be seen enjoying the full rivers. Eagles soar above, swooping occasionally to draw a fish from the waters. The species are busy hatching their young, adding to the increased hunting activity as parents seek out insects to feed the hatchlings. Even if you are not an avid bird watcher, the beauty of the many colorful birds that fill the skies of Africa during the rainy season will stop you in your tracks.

                        Big Skies
                        The backdrop of towering clouds that splash across a vibrant blue sky makes for incredible photography opportunities. Skies during the dry season may often seem lackluster, but the vastness of the rich skies of the rainy season is stunning. This is arguably the best time of the year to capture pictures of the animals and landscape.

                        The Emerald Season
                        Many have dubbed the rainy season the “emerald season” due to the enormous amount of plant growth that happens during this time. Though animals do like to use this growth for extra hiding spaces, the new foliage adds to the vibrancy of the land. The dry season can seem just that — dry. As everything grows during the rainy season, the land turns from a dying brown to a place that is full of greenery.
                        You will not be disappointed if you choose to go on an African safari during the rainy season. For more information, visit our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Exploring Africa’s Many Ecosystems, Part II

                        Africa is comprised of many diverse ecosystems. The land that holds the world’s largest desert also boasts the longest and deepest rivers, mountains that reach above the clouds, beautiful coasts and thriving wetlands. The continent is teeming with wildlife that make a home in these many diverse ecosystems.
                        The environments of Africa continue to attract tourists from countries throughout the world. These guests of the land often go on safaris that give them the opportunity to witness Africa's grand ecosystems first hand. You too can have the experience of a lifetime by going on a safari vacation. We explored some of the wildest parts of Africa in our last blog; here are the rest of the ecosystems on this wonderful continent.

                        The savannas of Africa are beautifully crafted with flowing grasslands, speckled with the occasional tree. A large portion of the continent is made up of savannas and they hold many of the animals that tourists expect to see on an African safari. Human expansion and climate change threatens this magnificent landscape. Though the area is large, it is shrinking daily. Conservation is dependent on education, and safaris play a large part in teaching people to appreciate the savannas.
                        Grand Tour Tanzania is a great tour to go on if you desire to see the African savannas.

                        Tropical Forests
                        It is estimated that half of the world’s plant and animal life lives in tropical forests. Sadly, they currently only make up 6 percent of the surface of the Earth due to human expansion and fragmentation. The tropical forests of Africa are home to one of the continent’s most prized species: the gorilla. Logging and poaching have caused these amazing creatures to become endangered. You can visit the tropical forests and experience all their wonder by going on a safari trip known as
                        The Best of Uganda.

                        From freshwater forests to salty lakes and giant floodplains, Africa boasts a large diversity of wetlands. All who inhabit Africa, people and animals, benefit greatly from the thriving foliage that grow in this habitat. Many unique animals call the ecosystem home, including a number of beautiful water birds, snakes and reptiles.
                        The Majestic Wildlife, Botswana trip is a great way to see the wetlands.

                        Woodlands are unique in temperature, density and animals that call the ecosystem home. A great deal of sunlight is able to perpetrate these low density forests. Small shrubs and grasses are able to thrive, as well as the animals that eat them. Buffalos, elephants, giraffes and leopards live within the woodlands of Africa, which cover a huge area of the continent.
                        The Best of Zimbabwe provides vacationers with the opportunity to see this diverse landscape first hand.
                        Africa has one of the most diverse environments in the world, boasting multiple, thriving ecosystems that can be enjoyed by going on an African safari adventure. A safari vacation is the experience of a lifetime. The landscapes will take your breath away and leave an unforgettable impact that will make you desire to return and see even more. For more information on booking an African safari vacation, view our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Exploring Africa’s Many Ecosystems, Part I

                        Africa boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems in the entire world. This makes the land a prime destination for safari vacations. There are so many different environments to explore and creatures to see. There are tours available in each ecosystem, giving you the opportunity to fall in love with multiple safari destinations that may be of interest. Exploring Africa’s many ecosystems will be one of the most exciting endeavors you ever take on. Here are a few of the great destinations you may visit on a safari vacation.

                        Africa is home to many deserts, the largest of which are the Sahara in North Africa and the Kalahari in South Africa. This harsh climate is extremely dry, hot during the day and very cold at night, yet it is home to over 300 amazing species of wildlife. The cheetah, ostrich, hyrax, wild dogs and many birds and lizards call the desert ecosystem home. A safari through the desert is very exciting, you will see beautiful scenery, the most breathtaking view of the sunset in the world and many unique creatures. Namibia hosts multiple safari tours through the desert, included the
                        Best of Namibia.

                        Gallery Forest
                        These amazing forests grow along the wetlands and rivers of Africa that would usually be found without natural tree growth. The landscapes of the savannas, deserts and grasslands should not be able to support forest life — yet these gallery forests exist. The forests are shrinking due to agriculture and livestock. Education and conservation are critical to the continued wellbeing of the gallery forests and the wildlife that call them home. A
                        Botswana safari will ensure that you see these magnificent, diminishing forests and their inhabitants.

                        This ecosystem is found at high elevations atop the mountains of Africa. There are environments within this ecosystem, including montane forests, savannas and woodlands, making it extremely diverse and home to incredible creatures. Montane is normally much cooler than the other ecosystems below. You cannot beat the views of the montane safari experience. The scenery will surely take your breath away. The panorama route through
                        Blyde River Canyon is one of the best safari trips through the mountains.

                        Africa’s river system is truly one of the most amazing on the planet. The continent boasts both the deepest river, the Congo River, and the longest river, the Nile. The waters of Africa’s river are thriving with life, and so are the banks. Hippos, crocodiles and fish can all be seen within the rivers. These habitats are threatened by pollution and overfishing. A great way to promote education and conservation is through safaris that give people the opportunity to appreciate the amazing river system of Africa. The tours of
                        Victoria Falls are some of the most popular and gorgeous river safaris available. Victoria Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the world, adding to Africa’s champion water system.
                        Africa’s ecosystems are some of the most amazing and diverse on the planet, and this list only covers a few of them. Part two of this blog will explore the rest of what this beautiful continent has to offer. There is no better way to see them than by going on an African safari vacation. To learn more, visit our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        “Where are the Tigers?” and Other Frequently Asked Questions

                        Many travelers visit Africa with preconceived expectations of what they will see and find. They often discover that Africa is very different from what they had imagined. For instance, the land is not all flat deserts and grasslands; there are large cities and many world class resorts. Before you embark on your safari vacation, read through these frequently asked questions so that you may have realistic expectations of what you will find in Africa.

                        “Where are the Tigers?”
                        Unfortunately, the beautiful tiger is not native to Africa. They are commonly found in Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Russia. They thrive in swamps, rain forests and grasslands where they have plenty of places to hide. Do not let the lack of tiger be a disappointment; there are many other large, majestic cats that call Africa home. While on your safari you may spot a lion pride, cheetahs, leopards and other species of big cats.

                        “Will We Be Staying in a Grass Hut?”
                        More than likely, no. Most camps provide excellent accommodations. There are a good number of highly rated hotels and resorts in South Africa including the Cape Grace Hotel, which was voted the “World’s Best Hotel” in 2001 and 2002. If you prefer to “rough it” in a camp or at a lodge with only cots on which to sleep, you are absolutely welcome to go that route — or you may stay in a presidential suite with your own private pool. The choice is yours, and Africa is capable of catering to all tastes.

                        “What is a Luxury Tented Camp?”
                        Consider this accommodation “camping like a king.” Luxury tented camps are comprised of multiple walk-in tents with proper beds, furniture, lighting and a shower or bath. The floors are covered with throw rugs or carpets. Your tent may have two twin beds or a king, covered with pillows and very comfortable bedding. Some tents even include air conditioning and private pools.

                        “Can the Children Come?”
                        Most camps will accommodate for younger children. Activities will have age limits, but most of the camps and lodges offer special kids programs for all ages. If you are concerned about bringing your child along on a safari, contact us and ask for their guidelines.

                        “How Dangerous are the Animals?”
                        There is an element of danger while on safari. The animals are wild and in their natural habitats. Their behavior is unpredictable and cannot be controlled. Most animals do not bother humans and game drive vehicles and you will be accompanied by professional guides.

                        “Is it Safe to Eat the Food and Drink the Water?
                        All of the food you receive at a camp is safe to eat. Camp employees take a lot of pride in ensuring that the food is prepared properly and that guests are well cared for. If you have concerns about catching a stomach illness, avoid eating salads, eat only fruits with thick skins and say “no” to ice cubes. Be sure to only drink unopened bottled water.
                        For more information on Africa and safari vacations, visit our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        The Dos and Don’ts to Follow on Your Safari

                        The African landscape may seem untamed and lawless, but there are many sacred dos and don’ts to follow on safari. Your adaptation to the environment and ways you conduct your behavior will affect your experience. While in the wilderness, you cannot afford to make a costly mistake that harms yourself or the wildlife. To make your trip amazing, be sure to learn some of the golden rules to follow while you are on your safari vacation.

                        Do Dress for the Outdoors
                        Make sure that you dress comfortably so that you make take on the hot, unforgiving terrain of Africa. Wear pants that cover your legs so that you will be protected from plants and insects, closed-toed shoes and light attire so that you will not overheat. Bring a hat, sunglasses and wear plenty of sunscreen. A raincoat is a great addition to your safari wardrobe as well. Be sure to blend in. You do not want to wear something that scares away the animals.

                        Do Stay with the Group
                        Do not try and wander off on your own while you are on your safari. Remain with the group to insure that you do not get in a dangerous situation. This is not the time to show off your bravery by taking on the African wilderness by yourself.

                        Do Remain Calm
                        The animals may avoid your group if you are over excited or panicked. Most animals try and avoid encounters with humans, so it is best that you are as quiet as possible so that you may make the most of out your trip and see Africa’s amazing wildlife.

                        Do Carry Essentials
                        You will want to travel light while on safari, especially if you will be walking. But be sure to carry essentials such as medication, a small pocket knife, important document, currency, passport, anti-malaria medication, first aid kit and emergency equipment.

                        Do Carry Plenty of Drinking Water
                        Water is one thing that you do not want to leave out of your packing. Be sure that you carry plenty of drinking water while you are on your safari.

                        Do Take Pictures
                        A safari vacation is one of the most memorable trips you will ever make in your lifetime. Be sure to capture those memories by taking plenty of pictures. Bring extra batteries for your camera equipment and a backup camera to use if your main one stops working.

                        Do Not Litter
                        Be kind to the African landscape, do not leave behind anything other than footprints so that many generations are able to enjoy safari vacations in the future.

                        Do Not be Disrespectful
                        You may not understand the policies, traditions or guidelines of an area, but please remain respectful of the culture while on your safari. If you have questions about the way things are conducted, do not hesitate to ask.

                        Do Not Get Too Close
                        Always remain at a safe distance while viewing animals. Under no circumstances should you attempt to engage or entice an animal. They can be very dangerous and you may be putting yourself in danger if you decide to get too close.

                        Do Not Take
                        Do not take things from the wilderness, not even a rock. It is often illegal, and even if it is not, even the smallest stone or twig is part of the delicate ecosystem.
                        If you follow these dos and don’ts, you will have a great safari vacation. For more information, visit our
                        Safari Tours page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        What you should know about Hwange National Park

                        One of the more
                        “off the beaten track” safari destinations is Zimbabwe. Although the Victoria Falls are on pretty much every southern Africa safari itinerary, the country’s national parks are often a destination for the more experienced safari traveller. The ones that come back to explore more, are often the ones who visit Zimbabwe and they are rewarded with stunning landscapes, the majestic Zambezi River, a great diversity of habitats and an abundance of wildlife.

                        Hwange National Park is located in the western part of Zimbabwe, fairly close to the Victoria Falls. The park is a combination of Kalahari sands and teak forests, home to southern Africa’s last great elephant, buffalo and sable herds. It has one of the densest wildlife concentrations in Africa. Hwange is the largest game reserve in Zimbabwe with extensive stands of broad-leafed woodland, providing an abundance of green, even during the rather dry summer months. The shallow pans spread throughout the park attract wildlife and allow excellent sightings of the Big Five and other incredible species like African wildcat, serval and honey badger.

                        This excellent national park can
                        easily be combined with a visit to the Victoria Falls, as the driving distance is reasonable with about 4 hours and light aircraft transfers are available for a good rate. A great variety of safari camps is available, covering all price ranges and accommodation standards. Private concessions like the Makalolo concession offer excellent game viewing year-round away from the crowds, accessible for various safari travel budgets. Itinerary examples including Hwange National Park are available on the section African safari tours of our website.

                        Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                        image: Wilderness Safaris
                        The Best South African Cuisine You Should Try

                        You are certainly excited about experiencing many different things while planning your safari vacation to South Africa, but do not forget one of the most important parts of the trip: the food.
                        African cuisine is truly overlooked around the world. The region offers an incredible culinary experience to all who vacation in the area. South African food is both nourishing and tasty. Take note of some of these popular African dishes and make your trip the experience of a lifetime from what you see with your eyes to what you taste with your mouth.

                        This traditional South African food can be found at nearly every barbeque that occurs in the region. It is a delicious, festive dish that promotes creativity while also requiring firm roots. The recipe for this celebration favorite involves combining tomatoes, carrots, baked beans and chilis with hot curry powder. This dish is a must taste when traveling in South Africa.

                        Potjiekos is an easy meal that mimics a stew in appearance, but not in preparation. The meat and vegetables are cooked in a cast iron pot over hot coals over an extended period. This is hearty food that was created to stick to your ribs. It is the perfect dinner after a long day of traveling on your safari vacation.

                        If you are a fried foods fanatic, you will love this South African pastry. Vetkoek is dough that has been deep fried, then filled with either a savory meat filling or a sweet syrup. It is easily both an entry and a dessert. This treat is simply delicious; you must try it while visiting Africa.

                        Mealie is a South African staple. It is easy food for those on a budget or when feeding a mass amount of people. Corn is the shining star element in this dish, and can be added to the porridge both on the cob and off. Mealie can also be made into a beer.

                        This sausage is very popular in South Africa and a huge hit with visitors. The meat is normally minced pork or beef, although lamb is also used on occasion. Bold spices are used within for seasoning and they are sure to make your mouth water as the sausage is being cooked outdoors on a grill!

                        Bredie is a great stew that combines heavy spices with lamb and vegetables. The rich, hearty meal that is created from this slow cooked combination is excellent for winter. If you find yourself traveling in South Africa during the holidays, be sure to try a bowl of Bredie.

                        “South Africa’s meat ball” is an excellent description of this dish. The mixture of meat, bread, vinegar, eggs and spices is carefully prepared so it will produce a tender, juicy meatball that is sure to please even the most apprehensive of vacation goers.
                        South Africa has excellent, world class cuisine that you will be very pleased with receiving on your safari vacation. For more information on African safari tours, visit
                        our safari page.

                        Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                        Biggest Mistakes People Make During Their First Safari

                        We all make mistakes, and we all learn from them. When going on your first safari vacation in Africa, you are guaranteed to come back wishing you had done at least one thing a little different.
                        This reaction is normal, but you do not want too many regrets, especially if they involve running for your life from an angry animal. Here are some of the mistakes most first-timers make on their initial African safari tour:

                        Having Incorrect Assumptions About Africa
                        When something is far away and unfamiliar, trying to boil it down into one or two traits is normal. In the West, Africa is often seen as a completely rural and poor continent with one type of dress and one type of culture.
                        Instead, Africa is enormous and diverse — with over 50 countries and
                        enough land to fit the US, China, India and most of Europe inside. Within this area, you will certainly see poor and unstable countries, but there are plenty of other countries that are safe to visit and definitely up to “modern standards.” Cities like Johannesburg rival most American cities in population, economy and technology. Out in the countryside, many people are aware of recent events and the latest technology even if they do not have it yet. Please keep an open mind and pay attention to the not-so-subtle regional differences to learn as much as possible during your stay.

                        Not Packing for the Weather
                        Africa’s climate is completely different than the US, and it can vary greatly depending on the region you visit. Do some research and pack for the weather you will see.
                          In the dry season, remember to pack plenty of sunscreen and some eye drops since dust can be a common problem. Also, we advise you to leave your khaki “safari vest” and matching hat at home unless you want some sideways glances and knowing smirks from locals and tourists alike.

                          Not Bringing Enough Cash for Extras
                          Our Africa safari holiday packages try to be as inclusive as possible, but we cannot take care of everything. Read the itinerary very carefully since each camp or trip will provide different services. Plan ahead for added services or activities you may want, and bring some extra cash to be safe. You will mostly be able to pay with credit card, but just check with us before you travel and we will let you know what the specific situation at your destination will be.

                          Not Knowing the Best Time of Day/Year for Viewing
                          Depending on what you want to see, the time of the year can make a big difference. Events like the wildebeest migration happen at different times in different areas of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, and missing it could mean a much less exciting trip, if that is all you hoped to do.
                          Remember the best time to visit depends on the safari destination you are visiting, and the best time of day to view wildlife is the early morning. Do not sleep in, or you could miss the moment you were hoping for!

                          Getting Out of the Vehicle or Not Listening to the Guides
                          It sounds stupid, but still people forget themselves and do funny things while being on a game drive. Remember that there are wild animals, and as soon as you leave the vehicle, they react completely different and you are part of their world.
                          On walking tours you will need to stick close to the guide and listen to their warnings to stay low or keep back. Tours like these are fun and exciting, but when people are not attentive they risk our ability to continue providing them.

                          Trying to Do Too Much in One Trip
                          As we said before, Africa is
                          huge! Going from country to country is not like driving from state to state. Traveling from South Africa to Kenya means a four-hour flight. Trying to pack in too much “park hopping” could be more stress than you bargained for.
                          There are fantastic safari destinations where it is almost guaranteed to see the “Big Five” within one stay, but it is still nature and the wild animals decides, if they want to be seen or not. Remember that gorgeous animals like giraffe and gemsbock are not considered “Big Five,” but are still every bit worth your time.
                          We hope you learned something from this guide and can have more fun on your first trip because of it. Take a look at our
                          African safari tour packages to start planning your unforgettable vacation today!

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          Can one see Marine Life on an African Safari?

                          Did you know that South Africa has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, including an abundance of aquatic animals? Spotting marine life may not be what comes to mind while you are planning your safari vacation, but travelers need not limit themselves to zebras and elephants. You may be surprised to find that many safaris include opportunities to see magnificent whales and crocodiles. Here is some of the best marine life to see on a safari.

                          Rivers and Water Holes
                          There are many rivers flowing through South Africa that are home to aquatic creatures. Some of this life may be difficult to spot, but looking closely will reveal an abundance of beautifully colored frogs and amphibious creatures. Some of Africa’s frogs, such as the small Pickersgill’s reed frog, are critically endangered, making a sighting a truly unique experience. Geckos, skinks, snakes and lizards add to the fun of animal sightings on a safari vacation. Thankfully, Africa still has an abundance of many of these aquatic species and tourists are able to enjoy seeing them as they travel.
                          Tourists are always thrilled to see a stunning Nile crocodile, one of Africa’s marine treasures. The strength and size of these animals is astounding, and the reptile has played many parts in myths and stories told throughout history. In many ways, the Nile crocodile is just as iconic to Africa as the great African elephant. These animals thrive in South Africa, and those who are going on safaris through many parks, such as Kruger, will more than likely spot one in the wild. Be sure to watch out for the hippopotamuses! These creatures often share the same waters.

                          The Shore
                          Penguins live along South Africa’s coastal shores and islands. No, they have not lost their way in search of snow. The African penguin is a species that once thrived in the area. Unfortunately, marine pollution and the gathering of their eggs for human use has led to the critical endangerment of these marine creatures. Their nesting areas are now protected, but they may be spotted in Namibia and other areas in which they are living.
                          The Cape fur seal is another creature you might spot on your South African safari. The shores make a home for these animals, which thrive in numbers thanks to an abundance of fish and a great ability to adapt to changes in their habitat. These mammals are very playful and sure to bring joy to any trip.

                          The Ocean
                          The sea off of South Africa is teaming with life, a lot of which may be seen from the shore or a simple boat ride. Including a visit to the ocean while on your African safari is highly recommended. On your trip you may see amazing humpback whales, orcas and southern right whales breeching not far off shore. You may also spot several different species of dolphin, including the iconic bottlenose dolphin. The majestic whale shark is a species that visits the area regularly, and a sighting could enhance a safari vacation in unimaginable ways.
                          Africa is home to the notorious great white shark. As one of the most feared creatures of the sea, the animal has suffered persecution and is a threatened species today. There is nothing like seeing a great white shark in the ocean.
                          Make the most of your African safari vacation by committing to spot some of these marine creatures. For more information, visit our
                          safari tours page and contact a Travel Africa representative today.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          The Best Safaris to See Giraffes

                          Giraffes are some of the most fascinating and charming animals you could ever meet on safari.
                          With their towering necks, docile faces, gorgeous patterns and gangly legs, they can be equal parts majestic and downright silly depending on the moment you catch them. Make no mistake, though, watching a giraffe delicately pluck leaves from an acacia tree or hit full stride at around 37 mph will have you leaving Africa thinking that they are the most wonderful creatures you have ever seen.
                          For anyone looking to see giraffes on their African safari tour, here are some of the best parks to go to:

                          Kruger National Park — South Africa
                          You will be able to see giraffe as well as all of the Big Five in Kruger, making it the perfect place to go if you have not been on safari before. Kruger’s open woodlands and highly skilled guides increase your chances of a giraffe encounter astronomically.
                          Private reserves that border Kruger add to your chances even further thanks to off-road driving and complete immersion in nature. You also get to enjoy plenty of exclusivity and stellar service at one of the luxurious reserve camps.
                          We offer a huge range of South Africa safari tour packages, such as our
                          10 day Kruger, Victoria Falls and Okavango safari holiday that includes a four night stay at the private Kirkman’s Kamp.

                          Etosha National Park — Namibia
                          Namibia may have some of the bleaker landscapes in Africa with its flat plains and rolling dunes, but the low availability of water actually makes it one of the more exciting safari destinations. Small surface water pools concentrate wildlife into small clusters and make sightings much more likely.
                          In Etosha, where there are plenty of acacia trees but little tree cover, giraffes tend to stick out like a 17-foot sore thumb. Watering holes in the area are often buzzing with activity from zebras, elephants, impalas and giraffes slowly tilting their long necks toward the ground to take a few quick drinks.
                          Best of Namibia safari holiday package includes a two-night stay in the Ongava Game Reserve just south of Etosha. Lodging is at Andersson’s Camp, where a floodlit waterhole offers prime viewing at all hours of the day and night.

                          Selous Game Reserve — Tanzania
                          Selous Reserve is a tough place to get to, but the extra effort is worth it. Travelers fly in and stay at one of the many luxurious lodges and camps available in the area. While there, they have the opportunity to see thousands of giraffe amongst the treelines and shores near the Rufiji River. In fact, there are so many giraffe in the area that it is often called “Giraffe Park.” Visiting from June to October allows you to see herds of dozens of giraffe moving along the river banks as well as many other exotic animals of all descriptions.
                          Grand Tour of Tanzania safari package not only includes two days in the famed Serengeti, but also three days in Selous right near the thick of the action at the Rufiji River Camp.
                          These places offer the best chance to see giraffes, but there are plenty of giraffes located in a wide range through Africa. Take a look at our
                          complete safari holiday package guides to find the safari vacation that will give you the best experience you have had in your life.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          What you should see and do on safari in the Okavango Delta

                          The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the top-rated African safari destinations that should be on every bucket list. It might be best described, as lovely in every way. The enchanting golden crystal clear light over the floodplains, which makes every photographer’s heart jump, the big mammals graciously moving through the channels, the breathtakingly beautiful sunsets and sunrises, the colorful birdlife, leopards scanning the plains from trees and countless more magical moments with the abundant wildlife of the delta. Visitors are gently guided through channels and floodplains to experience an outstanding African safari.

                          To make sure you get the
                          best of the Okavango Delta, be careful with the choice of your safari camps. Your safari itinerary should include camps with water and land safari activities to experience the diversity of the delta. Some camps offer both; others offer either water or land activities. Be aware, that if safari camps offer water activities only, it can get a bit boring to do that for 3 nights, unless you are a keen birder or you love fishing. Otherwise rather spend more nights at camps, which offer water and land safari activities.

                          safari in the Okavango Delta should include 4x4 game drives; boat rides in the channles and mokoro rides, the traditional dugout canoes (nowadays from fiberglass, which makes them much lighter and more reliable). Some camps also offer walking safaris, which give again a different perspective in experiencing the bush and wildlife, and night drives. Walking and night drives are only available on private concessions and not in the Moremi Game Reserve.

                          Not to miss is also the
                          bird view onto the Okavango Delta. When your inter-camp transfers are by light aircraft, this experience is already included. Otherwise inquire for available helicopter flights to round up a comprehensive incredible African safari experience on one of the best safari destinations in Africa.

                          Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          Why Every Photographer Should Go on a Safari

                          Imagine this: You are in the wilderness of South Africa and you see a lion standing yards away from you. Maybe you see an elephant taking a mud bath to cool off. You may even spot a vibrant Bateleur eagle with its wings spread, gliding above you.
                          Safaris are full of moments like these. If you are on an African safari holiday, you probably want to capture these wonderful sightings. Who better to do so than a photographer? Photographers will have plenty of opportunities to take candid, dynamic shots on site, mere feet away from exotic wildlife.

                          Explore Wildlife
                          Your African safari tour may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When photographing the landscape and animals, you will get a chance to see and interact with wildlife that you may never see in their natural habitat again. See buffalo, an herbivore that you are likely to run into on your trip. Use a long lens to capture the speed of the cheetah in a photograph. Try to get a good picture of the world’s tallest mammal, the giraffe.
                          Getting photographs of the unspoiled beauty of the African savanna and its wildlife is not just good for your profession — it allows you to capture moments that would have otherwise been only memories.

                          Gain More Experience
                          Not only will you get the chance to be in close proximity to wildlife wonders, you will also be able to hone your photographic skills. Perfect your compositional ability, gain more experience with lenses you may not use frequently and learn to photograph subjects in the low light of the savanna evening. Africa is a beautiful, resplendent place, and safaris provide many spectacular scenes that are great for photographing.

                          Appreciate Africa
                          When you are on a safari in Africa, you are not just a tourist. It is not like any other vacation, where you stay in a hotel and only visit places on the beaten path. You will get a chance to see and photograph the rugged, untouched natural landscape and not just the five-star hotels and restaurants. You will be able to document the land and its inhabitants for people all over the world to see.
                          Many of Africa’s native animal populations are declining. Some species have vulnerable, threatened and even endangered conservation statuses. When you photograph the vast plains, leopards, birds, plants and other natural life of Africa, you are documenting the true beauty of the land. Your artwork will be a testament to the reality of the state of life and nature on the continent.
                          Leave your comfort zone and travel to Africa to take an exciting African safari tour. Roho Ya Chui offers many
                          safaris on which you can have amazing wildlife viewing experiences. Contact us to book your reservation today and get your camera ready!

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          A Day in the Life of a Rhino

                          Rhinoceroses are enormous animals. The largest species is the white rhino, which can grow 12 to 13 feet long, up to 6 feet tall and to 5,000 pounds. White and black rhinos inhabit the grasslands and floodplains of eastern and southern Africa.
                          As one of Africa’s most abundant large herbivores, you are likely to see one of these animals if you are on a safari. So even though they are huge, do not fear — they only eat vegetation. Although they are not predators, a day in the life of the rhinoceroses is more interesting than you may think.
                          It is true: Rhinos spend much of the day sleeping and eating. After all, both of these activities are necessary to stay alive. White and black rhinos are both active during the day and night, but are least active during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m.-3 p.m.). During this time, they rest in the shade under rocks, trees or mud wallows.
                          Since rhinos are herbivores, they like to stay near plenty of shrubs and woody herb and plant life. While black rhinos eat from bushes or trees, white rhinos have a square mouth and prehensile lips that allow them to graze on grass and ground vegetation. Since the white rhino spends so much time scanning the ground for sustenance and its head is larger than the black rhino’s, it requires more muscle to support its neck. The herbivores only need to drink water every two to four days.
                          Between intervals of eating and sleeping, the rhino’s two favorite activities, the rhino will wallow in mud. Rhinos roll around in mud to stay cool and protect their skin from the sun’s harsh rays. The mud also forms a protective layer that gets rid of skin parasites and insects. If they cannot find a good place to wallow at the hottest part of the day, rhinos will roll in dry dust instead.
                          Being Hunted
                          Although rhinos do not hunt other animals, they may spend part of their day being hunted. This is where their horns come in handy. White and black rhinos have two horns made of keratin that grow throughout their lifetimes. They are powerful animals, but the rhino’s biggest threat of all is the human.
                          While baby rhinos are easily made prey by crocodiles, lions or wild dogs, adult rhinos are threatened by poachers. They face in particular the daily fear of being killed for its horn, which is prized for its use in traditional Asian medicine (even though it is made from the same stuff as your fingernails).
                          Making Friends
                          Rhinos are not alone, though. While they tend to be sedentary, solitary, territorial and at best semi-social, they get along well with birds. On a typical day, birds will hang out on a rhino’s back and eat bugs on its skin. The birds will also alert the rhino of any imminent danger by calling out. Despite the tough environment and lifestyle, the massive mammals still manage to make friends.
                          See rhinoceroses and more of the big five game animals on an
                          African safari tour. Book your spot today by contacting us. Do not miss out on an incredible opportunity to see Africa’s wonderful wildlife and landscapes!

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          How to stay online while being on African Safari

                          One of the most asked questions when booking a safari is, will there be Wi-Fi at the lodges and camps. While in the past safari guests enjoyed being away from online connectivity, time has changed and the idea of having no cell phone and no internet has become frightening. Cell phone reception is less of a concern, as long as there is Internet and the ability to stay in touch via email, preferably in the privacy of the own room or tent.

                          Many or even most of the camps and lodges have nowadays
                          Wi-Fi hotspots with reasonable speed, available in their main areas. They run mostly via satellite with meanwhile a good bandwidth to allow still good speed when all guests are logged in. Some higher end safari lodge outfitters offer Wi-Fi Internet in the rooms and tents, even in remote areas like the Okavango Delta in Botswana. This is not only pleasant for the privacy of email reading and writing, it makes it also possible to go online in the evening, the time of the day when walking in the unfenced bush camp or lodge is only allowed with guards, which makes it otherwise a bit complicated. However, there is still one high-end safari outfitter, that does not offer Wi-Fi, at least not officially, but that is about to change. An African safari experience is nowadays also an online event, not to speak of the safari guests, which need to stay in touch with their businesses.

                          African safari guests, for whom online connectivity is essential for business, should have a
                          back up system with them, in case the Internet in the safari lodge or camp is down. There are several satellite systems on the market, that would suit this purpose, however, the best option is possibly the IsatHUB. The IsatHUB is a satellite internet hotspot, which allows you to stay in your tent or room while the satellite device is in the open for the best connection. The device is small, no cables to connect your laptop, tablet or phone to it and the speed is relatively good. The Internet connection works best in the evenings or at night and that comes also handy with regards to the lights on the device. There are lights changing between light green and light red, showing the status of the connection and are difficult to see in bright sunlight. However, the device is small and fast enough to be a good backup system for travellers with the need to stay in touch with their office on their African safari holidays.

                          Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          Most Common Methods of Travel on a Safari

                          Choosing how you travel through you safari vacation is critical to planning a smooth itinerary. Convenience, comfort, photography and experience are a few things tourists should consider when picking their modes of transportation.
                          Some prefer to see the South African scenery from the air, others want to be up close and in the action. Many pick to combine multiple methods to get a well-rounded African safari experience. No matter what you choose, your safari vacation is sure to be an adventure. Here are some of the most common methods of travel on a safari.

                          See Africa from the Sky
                          Soaring above the South African landscape is a fantastic way to travel that provides a unique experience to all vacation goers. For this reason, many choose to travel through their safari on a small airplane. These aircraft are flown by experienced bush pilots, some of the best aviators in the world. The planes are very well maintained, tourist safety is always a top priority.
                          Flying is the quickest, most efficient way to see wildlife, remote areas and beautiful scenery. Flights can be scheduled to fit your personal itinerary, an added bonus when you are trying to do as much as you can on your safari vacation. Your guide is always based out of the area and a professional who knows the route well.

                          Take Your Trip via Guided Vehicle
                          Going on a guided vehicle safari is a great method for those who would prefer a guide to show them each step of the trip. You remain with the same guide, and in the same vehicle, the entire time. The guide will pick up you and your fellow passengers, drive between the camps, stay with you at the camps and ensure you have an amazing experience. Guided vehicle tours can be arranged for private parties or joint groups.
                          Having a professional guide who knows the road conditions and the wildlife is a great advantage for tourists and allows you to simply relax and enjoy the show. Your guide will be able to fully explain the animals and culture. This method of transportation can be combined with flying to experience South Africa from both ground and air.

                          Rent a Vehicle
                          Those who seek the ultimate thrill of braving a safari on their own will appreciate the option of renting a vehicle and driving themselves through their safari vacation. This can be a very rewarding and economical experience. Some areas have terrain that can be driven through by a sedan, while others require a 4x4. Many popular parks, such as Kruger, can be visited by driving yourself.
                          Due to dangerous and large animals that may be on the roadways, driving can only be accomplished during the day. Tourists who drive themselves can go between camps or drive to the many lodges available to visitors. Those who drive themselves will have a rewarding experience, the most daring South Africa has to offer.
                          However you decide to travel through your safari vacation, you will have the time of your life. For more information, view our
                          African safari tours page.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          Look Up! The Best Birds to See in Africa

                          Africa’s landscape is full of wonderful wildlife. Many people visit South Africa to see the Big Five — leopards, elephants, lions, rhino and buffalo — in safari parks. While it is true that a lot of Africa’s amazing animals roam on land, the continent is also home to beautiful birds. Look up and you will see many unique birds flying above your head. From their colors, to their abilities to their rarity, these special birds are a sight to see.

                          Long-tailed Ground Roller
                          Ground rollers are native only to the southwest area of Madagascar. The long-tailed ground roller got its species name chimaera from the Greek mythological creature of the same name. The bird looks like a mix between a roadrunner, a pitta and a roller, and it has a long tail with blue edges. It is considered one of the most elusive birds to try to watch.

                          Cape Sugarbird
                          The cape sugarbird, or Promerops cafer, is a bird endemic to the Cape Floral Kingdom in South Africa. A defining feature of the species is the male’s long tail, which can grow to a whopping five times its body length. The bird’s sharp claws give it a good, strong grip, and its plumage is brown with a hint of bright yellow right below its tail. It is often seen on one of our South African safari tours.

                          Bare-headed Rockfowl
                          This elusive bird, also known as the white-necked picathartes, was rediscovered in 2003 after being off the map since the 1960s. It lives is Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Ghana in the Upper Guinean forests. It is an odd-looking bird, with its featherless head and bright orange skin around its eyes. Its black eyes and beak stand out against the vibrant orange.

                          The bateleur is a stunning bird of prey that gets its name from the rocking motion of its wing tips during flight. Its wings are long compared to its short tail, and it has bright red skin around its eyes and the base of its bill. This spectacular creature takes about eight years to reach its full coloration. Since it has a wide range that stretches from Mauritania, to Egypt, to Sudan to South Africa and spends up to 80 percent of the day in the air, it is likely you will get a chance to spot this recognizable bird.

                          If you see this remarkable bird, you will not forget it. As evidenced by its name, the animal’s bill is its most distinctive feature. The greenish-brown shoe-like bill is 23 centimeters long and has a sharp hook at its tip. There is a small arrangement of feathers on the back of the bird’s head. Its unusual, prehistoric appearance is a result of having to adapt to its native habitat of papyrus grass and reed swamps in tropical east Africa.
                          Do you want to see these magnificent birds and more? Take a life-changing
                          African safari holiday to witness Africa’s natural marvels, up close and in-person.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          Why an African Safari is a Great Trip for Your Family

                          Those who are seeking a trip overflowing with wild adventure and nature may have considered or even dreamed of going on an African safari. But individuals looking for a family friendly trip may be a little more apprehensive. Did you know that Africa is a great vacation destination for people of all ages?
                          There are many misconceptions associated with safaris in South Africa that turn families away from an awesome experience. You may be surprised to find yourself staying in top notch lodges and award winning camps, rather than tents or small huts. The bottom line is, South Africa is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries on the planet, and an African Safari holiday is a great trip for your family.

                          Education and Conservation
                          Your children can see elephants and lions in the nearest city zoo, but the raw, untamed African environment provides an educational adventure that is unmatched. There is no better way to experience what nature has to offer. Professional guides will lead your family through carefully planned itineraries. Tourists are safely put up close and personal with animals that many dream of seeing in their natural habitats.
                          Young children and teenagers who are brought on African safari trips develop a great respect for the continued perseverance and preservation of wildlife. They learn firsthand what these animals offer to the planet, and what must be done to insure their populations are kept sustained and at manageable levels so they may thrive long into the future.
                          Seeing animals in cages and small enclosures at the zoo can have a negative effect on children. Many animals kept in these unnatural settings display negative behaviors associated with stress and discontent. Animals who are living in their natural habitats also show their natural behaviors, allowing your children to see how they really behave and live their daily lives. The very best place to see Africa’s unique and beautiful animals is in one of its diverse countries.

                          Once in a Lifetime
                          Even if you are lucky enough to go on multiple African safaris, no two trips are the same; each one is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Your whole family will cherish this trip as a gift of irreplaceable memories.
                          The rich and diverse South African culture, coupled with the beauty of its primitive wildlife, will provide the best vacation you have ever taken with your family. Going on a safari, by 4x4, van or aircraft, to a premier destination such as Kruger, Panorama or Sabi Sands is more than a vacation; it is a real adventure.
                          Each member of your family will love going on a safari as your next trip together. South Africa has so much to offer by way of education and rich, irreplaceable memories. If you are interested in bringing your family on an African safari,
                          view our tours and contact a professional travel representative. The adventure of a lifetime is awaiting your family; book your trip to Africa today!

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          The Strangest Animals You May Encounter on an African Safari

                          When most people think of going on an African safari tour, they expect to see the usual, iconic animals. Lions, elephants, monkeys and zebras — just a few on the list of the average tourist.
                          South Africa and East Africa are unique areas with an enormous population of strange and shockingly bizarre species. The diversity provides safari goers with the opportunity to see some of the most amazing animals in the world. Here are six of the strangest creatures you may encounter on an African safari.

                          Elephant Shrew
                          Some may think it is cute and cuddly, others may run in fear. But whatever your impression of this tiny African rodent, there is no denying that it is strange. The animal gets its name from its long, trunk-like nose, but this is not the only impressive feature displayed by the elephant shrew. It moves very quickly, thanks to disproportionately long hind legs. This creature easily adapts to different environments, and can be found all over Africa.

                          No, this creature did not escape from a lab attempting to combine giraffes with deer. The Gerenuk is simply the tallest antelope in South Africa, thanks to its abnormally long neck. This animal thrives in wooded areas, and has developed a skill that makes it perfect for the African climate: It can go extremely long periods without water. The body of the Gerenuk is able to get its required hydration from leaves and flowers.

                          Aye Aye
                          The untrained eye might mistake this creature for a spiny hedgehog, but the aye aye is not related. The creature has enormous eyes, a truly strange sight to behold. Calling the woodlands and bush home, the aye aye uses its long claws to collect larvae from trees. Folklore has led to many being killed, as it is believed that seeing an aye aye is bad luck. This is far from fiction, and you will be fortunate to see one of these unique animals on your African safari.

                          There are only a handful of these highly endangered animals left on the planet. These small animals display armor-like scales comprised of keratin — the same substance that makes up human hair and nails. The pangolin will roll into a tight ball to protect itself when it feels threatened. This strange creature is nocturnal, making them difficult to spot, but giving the experiencing of a lifetime to many safari goers.

                          African Civet
                          Calling South Africa home, the African civet is an excellent swimmer and normally found around water. They are often mistaken for other spotted creatures, such as hyenas. This unique creature only enhances the long list of animal sightings you may add to your list during an African safari.
                          A vacation to South Africa that includes a safari will be one of the most rewarding trips of your lifetime. There are countless animals to see and adventures to complete. To learn more about African safari tours, visit our
                          Travel Africa page.

                          Jull Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          The Most Romantic African Safari Destinations

                          An African safari full of adventure, beautiful scenery and culture creates the perfect formula for the greatest romantic retreat of a lifetime. You and your partner will forever cherish the moments you create on your safari vacation.
                          When considering Africa, romance may not be what initially comes to mind for most people, but South Africa is a gorgeous, diverse location full of exclusive accommodations and secret getaway spots. Imagine taking the hand of your loved one while viewing the magnificent African sunset behind some of nature’s most beautiful wild animals. Here are some of the most romantic Safari destinations that Africa has to offer.

                          Victoria Falls
                          This waterfall, located on the border of Zimbia and Zimbabwe, can be described in one word: breathtaking. With a width of 5,604 feet and height of 354 feet, Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water. There are several major gorges that add to the enormity and beauty of this natural wonder. Safari goers looking for romantic destinations are encouraged to put Victoria Falls on their list of must visit locations.

                          The Serengeti
                          The Serengeti features all of Africa’s best, most iconic creatures and landscapes. Going on a safari through this area will insure that you see the finest parts of the continent and have a romantic trip. The scenery is stunning, with rolling plains and majestic mountains in the distance. The wild adventure only adds to the romantic appeal; there is nothing like the thrill brought by a lion’s powerful bellow to bring two people together. The Serengeti is one of the ten natural wonders of the world, and hosts one of the largest, most diverse animal populations on the planet.

                          Africa is home to several spectacular deserts, but seeing Namibia by air is a truly romantic way to spend time with the person you love. Nightly accommodations are fantastic, you will never find a better place to view the stars. The desert landscape is simply gorgeous, and flying adds a luxury appeal to the trip that both you and the love of your life will appreciate.

                          Cape Town
                          As the second most populated city in South Africa, Cape Town is home to several exclusive resorts that will meet the romantic needs of any traveler. The area is thriving with culture and activities, from wine tasting to white sand beaches. The city has been called one of the best places to visit in the world by
                          The New York Times and is an amazing location to include on any safari vacation.
                          Going on an African safari can provide any couple with the most unique honeymoon experience or vacation of their dreams. There are so many beautiful destinations to visit. South Africa boasts some of the world’s most luxurious accommodations and dining facilities; you can even sip wine right in the middle of the wilderness. There is no better way to send time with the person you love than by going on a safari. View our diverse list of
                          available safari vacations and book the romantic getaway of a lifetime today.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                          Everything You Need to Know About Zebras
                          Zebras may look like horses with stripes, but they are special, intelligent animals. Although they are closely related to horses and donkeys, they are some of the most distinct animals native to Southern and Eastern Africa. Like snowflakes or fingerprints, each zebra’s stripes are unique.
                          Although nobody truly knows why zebras have their recognizable black-and-white striped coat, scientists think that it is a type of camouflage that makes the animals more difficult for predators to catch. Another theory is that the pattern discourages insects and protects the animal from the sun’s harmful rays. Many researchers also believe that the coat provides a form of identification for other zebras. There is a good chance that you will spot these beautiful creatures on an African safari tour.

                          Facts About Zebras
                          Zebras are mammals and typically live about 25 years. They reach heights of about 3.5 to 5 feet (1.1 to 1.5 meters) and weight about 440 to 990 pounds (200 to 450 kilograms). They are herbivores, so their diet consists of mostly shrubs, twigs, leaves, herbs and bark. The animals have good eyesight, as they have eyes on the sides of their head. Since their ears can swivel in any direction, they also have a good sense of hearing. There is no significant difference between male and female zebras except that males are slightly larger.
                          There are a few types of zebras: plains zebras, Grevy’s zebras and mountain zebras. Plains zebras live on the savannas from Sudan to northern Zimbabwe. Grevy’s zebras are found mainly in northern Kenya. Mountain zebras live in southwestern Africa. Though they aren’t one of the “Big Five,” zebras are definitely worth looking for on your safari.

                          Zebras are social animals and spend their time in harems or herds, grazing together and grooming each other. Staying in herds helps fend off enemies such as lions and hyenas. If a member of the herd is in trouble, the rest of the family will come to its rescue by circling it and scaring away predators.
                          These cautious animals only sleep standing and in groups. If danger is near, a zebra will warn its fellow herd members by barking or whinnying loudly. Although horses can run faster, zebras can still outrun predators because they have greater stamina. They run in a zig-zag fashion to throw off any animals chasing them.
                          You may even see zebras rubbing their bodies against trees, termite mounds and rocks and rolling in the dust. This is normal behavior for the animals.

                          Migration Patterns
                          Zebras, like other wildlife in Africa, migrate every year in search of food and water. Wildebeests and zebras are grazing partners because they eat different parts of the same plants, so they get along peacefully on migrations. Zebras travel with other animals on the largest migration from the Serengeti to Kenya, called the Great Serengeti Migration. The second largest migration for zebras is the Makgadikgadi Migration, a 350-mile trek across the Kalahari Desert.
                          See these amazing animals in their natural habitat on one of our
                          African safari tours for a wildlife experience you will never forget.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          How to track the Annual Wildebeest Migration

                          East Africa’s gorgeous sweeping plains are the setting for one of the most dramatic spectacles in the entire world. Every year, around a million and a half wildebeest migrate in a roughly clockwise pattern up the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in search of sweet, rain-ripened grasses to graze. Joining them are about 200,000 zebras and gazelles, with some of Africa’s biggest and most majestic predators usually lingering not far off.

                          Witnessing the sight is a dream of most people taking an African safari tour. They get to see many of the continent's most iconic wildlife along with stunning landscapes as a scenic backdrop.

                          A Once in a Lifetime Experience for Those Lucky Enough to Catch It

                          People expecting to catch the migration must have acute knowledge of the current movement patterns of the wildebeest. Many arrive to a wildlife park only to be told, “You just missed them!” Being prepared to witness the breathtaking display involves timing, research, arriving in advance and no small amount of luck at your side. Even then, safari travelers must be flexible, as weather patterns and herds take unexpected turns.

                          Most of the event occurs in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, with around 5 percent occurring in the Masai Mara. Wildebeest will spend as much time as possible in the southern Serengeti until dry weather and overgrazing forces them to begin their migration. They will calve here from February to March, with as many as 400,000 calves born in a short span of 4-6 weeks. They linger until food sources become scarce, and they return as soon as they possibly can when the dry season begins to break.

                          Because the wildebeests’ movement depends on the rains, herds may move backward, sideways, split off in groups or linger unexpectedly for days. Seeing the migration is not a guarantee, but timing it perfectly and ending up in the midst of millions of animals is a sight far worth the effort.

                          A Calendar of Wildebeest Activity

                          To help people time their visit, here is a rough outline of the migration process as it occurs throughout the year:

                          January-March — Wildebeest and zebra herds can be found in huge concentrations during this time, often heavy with calves. They are attracted to the calcium- and magnesium-rich grasses of the southern Serengeti that are excellent for milk production. Over 80 percent of the wildebeests will give birth in the period from late January to mid-March. You will be able to see plenty of baby wildebeests as well as predators like lions and hyenas. You can also bask in the beautiful scenery of flat-topped acacia trees.

                          April-May — This period signals the start of the rainy season. Safari holidays are usually not advised since grasses grow too tall to see wildlife and roads are usually impassable. Wildebeest herds usually begin their journey through the Serengeti’s western corridor and northward, headed almost as far as Lake Victoria.

                          June-July — The herds still continue westwards, with many of them reaching the Grumeti River. You will be able to see hippos and plenty of hungry crocodiles as wildebeest bend to take a drink. Elephants and buffalo can be seen in the surrounding forests.

                          July-October — By this point, the herds will usually have depleted most of the grass in the western corridor and along the Grumeti. They will travel northwards depending on the rains, with the largest groups reaching the Mara by late July to mid-August. River crossings during this time offer an action-packed event ripe for photographing.

                          November-December — This period marks one of the busiest tourism season. Long lines of wildebeest can be seen making their way back towards the southern Serengeti to begin the cycle all over again.

                          Always remember to research local herd movements before booking and find the best guides, who can use their intuition and experience to anticipate the herds’ movements. To book a trip tracking the wildebeest herds or waiting for their arrival, take a look at our
                          various safari tour packages.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          The Techniques Guides Use to Find Lions

                          Lions are some of the most recognizable and unique animals on the planet. Many people taking African safari tours put viewing lions at the top of their “to-do” lists. To honor this request, guides must use knowledge, experience and intuition to find the animals where they live and hunt.

                          The difference between an expert guide and a novice can mean the difference between seeing a heart-pounding lion kill as it happens and seeing just the tip of a tail flicking above the grass. Here are some of the techniques that set the two apart:

                          Visit the Right Park

                          Lion habitats are widespread, but some populations are more active or concentrated than others. You can take a
                          look at our blog to see an earlier post on the best parks to find lions, but to summarize: the Kruger, Kgalagadi, and Transfrontier parks in South Africa are all excellent places to view lions. They are less spooked by road vehicles here and have become used to the presence of spectators. Also, these parks have many luxury camps and private reserves nearby, offering the most options for first-time South African safari tour goers.

                          Follow the Prey

                          If it were up to the lions, they would be sleeping all day just like your housecat does. Unfortunately for them, they have to catch their meals rather than waiting for a dish to be filled.

                          This fact means that your best chance for seeing a lion do something other than taking a nap is to find them stalking, hunting or eating prey. Lions will eat wildebeests, zebras, impalas, kudus, warthogs, antelopes and the occasional giraffe or buffalo. A good guide will know the spots where this type of prey is most vulnerable, or locations where young or infirm prey tends to congregate. An accessible meal means a greater chance of lions hanging about.

                          Any easy way to detect predators is to watch the responses of the prey. Lions are really good at hiding in ambush, but animals can sometimes detect them — even though it may be too late. An animal that is frozen stiff, staring off in one direction, backing up, snorting or running away will likely be trying to avoid something that wants to snack on it.

                          Pick the Right Time of Day

                          Lions are most likely to be active in the mornings or late afternoons when the temperature cools down. You can see them stirring around the time the sun sets, yawning and stretching. On winter mornings, they can even be found sprawled out on the park roads to warm up and avoid the wet dew on the grass.

                          The most lion activity goes on during the night, when they are also hardest to spot. You can take a night tour to see them in action, but photographing them or even seeing them clearly can be difficult without the right equipment.

                          Know Your Pride

                          Lions are very social and intelligent, which gives them unique personalities and habits. A pride’s behavior in Namibia will be drastically different than one in Masai Mara. Even within parks, a pride in one section will have its own routine and territory that make it different from another.

                          The best guides know the lions’ habits and may even have names for some of their favorites. They can take you to the spots where lions congregate or where prey kills happen the most often. You can even find out a pride that has given birth recently, allowing the chance to see some cubs jostle and play with one another.

                          In short, the best guides know their lions and how to find them. To enlist the help of a seasoned guide, take a look at our
                          safari tour packages with the best lion viewing possibilities.

                          Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                          The Best Places in Africa to See Lions — Part II

                          “I want to see lions!” is one of the biggest requests we get for people going on African safari tours. We are keen to oblige them by taking them to top-rated African safari destinations where lion populations are frequently active and visible.

                          Part I of this post covered regions of Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Kenya that are the best places to witness lion prides in action. Here are even more areas worth visiting to have your dream of the perfect lion encounter become a reality:


                          For a glimpse at one of the most unique ecosystems in the world, Botswana safari adventurers can take a trip to the Okavango Delta. There, they will find enormous populations of African buffalo and the lion prides that regularly hunt them.

                          At the Duba Plains Camp in particular, there lies a permanent island that is nearly impossible for buffalo herds to cross in the wet season. Lured there by tempting grasses, they are all but stranded until the waters recede.

                          Since lions are powerful swimmers, they take easy advantage of the captive prey. This scenario creates some of the most exciting, dramatic displays of nature on the planet. A side effect of this unique habitat is that the lions grow quite large and are active hunters even during the day.

                          South Africa

                          Roho Ya Chui is based in South Africa, so South African safaris are our specialty. The safari tours you can take there could fill their own articles.

                          To narrow it down, here are some of the most noteworthy parks to see lions in South Africa:


                                Zambia is home to several ongoing research projects as well as the remote “Lion Camp.” Located within the South Luangwa National park, this aptly-named resort camp is made of nine large tents linked by raised wooden platforms. These platforms make the camp safe, and they also make it effortless to spot lions and other Big Five wildlife from the comfort of your own tent. Sightings are documented by tweeting
                                @lioncamp to keep visitors and interested people up-to-the-minute on recent wildlife activity.

                                These countries are all each their own unique paradises with too many camps and parks to possibly mention in one two-part article. It is important to note that, even though these area contain the largest lion populations, it may sometimes be difficult to spot them. Like any cat, lions enjoy a good snooze during the day, and their coloring allows them to blend right into the savanna.

                                Take a look at our
                                African safari vacation packages to get a better idea of the places you would want to visit. We promise you that one taste of our natural beauty will have you wanting to return time and time again.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                The Best Places in Africa to See Lions — Part I

                                Lions are often the first thing people think of when they hear the words “African safari.” A lion’s imposing stance, large and expressive eyes, gorgeous tawny coats and trademark flowing manes all make them icons of the Sub-Saharan plains.

                                Finding lions can be easy, as long as you know where to look. Despite their tragically declining numbers, they still have a notable presence in more than seven African countries. The most abundant populations are found in Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Your best bet for seeing a lion during your trip will be to go on a safari with an experienced guide in the protected areas of one of these six countries.

                                Another factor to take note of is that lions’ populations are more idiosyncratic than most species. Each pride is dynamic and notable in its own right. This diversity means that even if you have seen lions in one country or park, the experience will be dramatically different from the next trip you take. Even encountering the same pride time and time again will yield new appreciation for the species’ multitude of rich personalities.

                                To help you get to know these alluring but formidable creatures better, here are the best places to look:


                                Tanzania is estimated to have the highest lion population in the entire world. One source quotes the numbers at 16,800 individuals — about 40 percent of the entire remaining wild population.

                                Mobile tented safaris in the Serengeti-Mara region offer an incredible opportunity to witness lions at their wildest. Over a million wildebeest participate in a migration through the Serengeti, seeking their preferred diet of rain-ripened grasses. All along the banks of the Grumeti River, lions wait to ambush the slower prey.

                                Anideal time to visit is from January to March when the wildebeest begin calving in the southern Serengeti. Lionesses often bear cubs at this point, too, so as to coincide with the wide availability of easy prey. Opportunities for pictures of playful cubs and impromptu meals abound during this time.


                                Mana Pools National Park is home to some of the most dependable lion prides in the continent. From May until November, the dry season brings out desperate foraging animals and the predators that come with them. Thousands of impalas flock to watering areas every year during this time, providing most of the prey for the regional lion population, in addition to the area’s denning wild dogs.


                                Kenya safari vacations are well-served by visiting the widely-photographed Masai Mara National Reserve. This region plays host to some of the most visible lion prides in the world.

                                The BBC’s
                                Big Cat Diary TV show is filmed in the areas of Paradise Plain, Rhino Ridge and the Musiara Marsh. Tree-lined water courses east of the marsh provide the perfect spot for lions to ambush unsuspecting prey or rest afterwards with full bellies. Other areas located near Rekero Camp are the site of filming for Disney’s African Cats documentary from 2011.

                                There are many more areas in the huge continent of Africa worth visiting if you want to spot a lion. We will cover these in part II of this post. To start booking your African safari today, you can take a look at our various
                                African safari tour packages. All of the safaris we offer include visits to some of the most notable wildlife viewing areas in the world.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                When is the Best Time of Year to Go on Safari? Part II — Summer

                                People planning vacations need to know when the best time to visit top-rated safari destinations would be. Africa has a range of unique climates owing to its position in the southern hemisphere and immense size. Choosing the time you want to visit depends on what you want to do on your African safari tour and how you want the experience to play out.

                                Our last post discussed why winter could be an opportune time to visit. The southern and central region is dry, cool and sees less tourism peaks. Yet, the reasons so many tourists flock to South Africa and other wildlife-rich regions during the summer months are just as compelling.

                                Summer in Africa (October-February)

                                While most people are experiencing winter vacations, Africa is going through its hottest and wettest months. This climate cycle may sound like a lot of heat to the unfamiliar, but cool temperatures and respites from the sun are still abundant. Visitors should come with breathable, light-colored clothing that provides protection from sunlight, as well as wet weather gear in the event of an unexpected brief rain shower.

                                Christmas and Holiday times around African safari lodges become particularly bustling. Rather than contending with yet another year of bone-chilling weather, piles of snow and crowded city streets packed with shoppers and commuters, many people from Europe and North America escape to the relative solitude of an African safari holiday.

                                Those who are accustomed to being bundled up by a roaring fire with the wind howling outside will discover a different sort of magic around Africa’s holiday season. The time of year is just as rich with tradition and iconic imagery, especially the lighting of candles, dancing, special menus and festive singing. Spending Christmas on an unfenced luxury safari lodge with some of the most gorgeous creatures on the planet milling about in the nearby bush is a uniquely African experience that will persist in fond memories for years to come.

                                Viewing Wildlife During the Summer

                                The start of the wet season means that the plains, savannas and even deserts erupt with millions of tiny green plants. Grasses also grow up high, creating perfect conditions for big cats and other surreptitious animals to stalk their natural prey. These lush conditions may make guided safari expeditions a bit slower paced, but the surrounding landscape provides a welcome distraction and photo opportunity in between animal sightings.

                                Furthermore, summer is the only time of the year to catch two of Africa’s most incredible safari experiences. Migratory birds come through during the wet season, dotting the skies and river banks with thousands of bright-plumaged fowl. Many animals are also calving during this time, offering the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see an animal being trailed by an adorable miniature version of itself.

                                Once again, Christmas and the summer months are peak times for African safari lodges. Book your trip several months in advance and try to prioritize your necessities to find room where you need it. For instance, you could find a lodge outside of the preserve grounds to save money if spending the night directly within the bush is not as important as getting the best photos during the day.

                                No matter what time you choose to visit Africa, you are guaranteed to have a life-changing experience. People living near the bush march at their own pace, and they often feel more in touch with nature because of their immersion within it and their dependence on agricultural cycles. We encourage you to decide what sort of experience you want to have and book the time that you feel would be the absolute best for creating lifelong memories. To start planning your perfect African safari holiday, take a look at our
                                available packages.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                When is the Best Time of Year to Go on Safari? Part I — Winter

                                Just like any other destination vacation, choosing the perfect time to embark on your journey can have an impact on how enjoyable it will be. This decision becomes even more complicated when trying to decipher the southern hemisphere’s contrary weather patterns.

                                Realize that the perfect time to come to Africa is whenever you can make it. The weather and seasonal crowds may change, but there is always a magical experience to be had. That being said, your African safari trip may have certain needs or expectations to make it as wonderful as possible. To help aid your decision, here is a guide to the best times to journey to Africa depending on your preferences:

                                Winter in Africa (May-July)

                                Since Africa is on a different hemisphere than the northern continents, the seasonal periods are switched. When most countries are seeing their hottest months, South Africa and other countries around wildlife-rich regions are in the full throes of winter.

                                African winters do not quite mean what people expect, either. They can get quite cold at night and during the mornings, and the chilly winds can often cut through the light clothing of the unprepared.

                                Deserts and plains regions typically have dry air, little cloud cover and few tall plants or trees. These factors combined mean that there is very little mass to retain the heat absorbed by the sun throughout the day. Once nightfall hits, the ground and plants shed their warmth quickly, and temperatures can drop to near or even below freezing.

                                During the day, the sun warms everything back up. Balmy, sunny conditions can cause the temperatures to climb up to an average of 20° C (around 70° F). Even then, winds can sometimes rush down from the higher regions to make anyone wearing short sleeves’ teeth chatter.

                                Layers are advised, with under layers like long johns at night and a light, long sleeve shirt and wind-resistant jacket during the day. These layers are easy to shed should the weather decide to stay nice and warm throughout the day.

                                Viewing Wildlife During the Winter

                                Winter means the dry season for the savannah, plains and near-desert ecosystems of southern Africa. Watering areas shrink dramatically, causing the few sources that remain to become bustling hubs of wildlife activity. The lack of resources can make unlikely friends of different species, and it can also sometimes prove advantageous to hungry, opportunistic predators.

                                A high concentration of wildlife and the chance of uncommon encounters makes the dry season perfect for viewing game and snapping dramatic photographs. Earthy tones and low grass growth allow subjects to stand out starkly, providing ideal framing and lighting conditions.

                                Surprisingly, this excellent time is also a slow time for tourists and local vacationers. School is usually still in session during this time, and most foreigners are vacationing in tropical or nearby locales within their own continent. You can beat the crowds and get the chance for stunning photos at the same time.

                                Keep in mind, though, that there are many reasons that people choose to visit in the summer months. We will cover these motivating factors in part II of this post. For more information on African safari tours, you can see our beautiful eBook full of
                                frequently asked questions.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                Namibia Safari: Exploring the Desert

                                When considering an African safari, most tourists will envision elephants grazing the flat plains or maybe watching a lion stalk its prey in a forest. But there is another environment that has a great diversity of life: the desert. While the Sahara may be a bit extreme, visiting the desert of Namibia will introduce you to breathtaking landscapes and a wide variety of wildlife.

                                The Rocky Damaraland
                                Damaraland is a rugged landscape, situated between a couple deserts and other sprawling flatland areas. This area is full of deep, ancient valleys, carved millennia ago by now-dry rivers. Damaraland is also home to the world-famous Petrified Forest and historic rock painting by the region’s native population. Its wildlife is a somewhat unique melting pot of Africa’s flora and fauna.
                                Damaraland is home to the uniquely-adapted desert elephant. This region also boasts the highest concentration of black rhinoceroses in the world. Tourists can also see wild giraffes here. Damaraland is a great place to stop and take a nature walk, one on which you could see a mountain zebra, gemsbok, kudu and a wide variety of other animals.

                                The Awe-inspiring Sossusvlei
                                Sossusvlei is touted as the world’s oldest desert. In fact, it contains petrified red dunes that have become rock over the course of about one billion years. The landscape in its entirety is enough to take your breath away; it has been a popular spot for photographers’ African safaris for years now. But, the wildlife is what truly makes this area magical.
                                One of the most unique animals in this region are the geckos. Though they are often unnoticed during the day, they become unmistakable at sunset with their signature “barking.” There aren’t any elephants or rhinos around this area, but smaller animals do flourish. Be sure to look out for ostriches, various types of desert foxes, jackals, gemsbok and springbok.

                                The Salty Etosha
                                Etosha National Park is one of Namibia’s most iconic regions. The most notable features of this area is its salt pan, the largest in the world, which covers a large part of it. Fresh water springs and forested savanna surrounding that feature. Though its origin remains unclear, most speculate that the salt pan was left by a glacial lake. Yet, even with such a challenging environment, Etosha is home to the nation’s highest density of wildlife.
                                A huge variety of animals can be found grazing the savanna and sometimes the salt pan itself. Black and white rhinos, along with herds of elephants, can sometimes be seen grazing the savanna. Other African staples, like giraffes, lions, wildebeests and hyenas are often spotted drinking from the fresh springs. If you want to see diverse wildlife and don’t mind a little heat, Etosha is the place to go on your African safari tour.

                                The Coastal Swakopmund
                                One of the most striking sights in all of Africa is seeing the red Namibian desert meet the blue Atlantic waters. The port town of Swakopmund is an experience in itself, a German city in the middle of an African desert. There is much to do in the area, from exploring the surrounding dunes to cooling off in the Atlantic Ocean.
                                The majority of your African safari in this region will be on a cruise ship. There are many sites around Swakopmund, including an oyster cultivation center and the Pelican Point lighthouse. This area is home to three relatively rare species of dolphins: the Heaviside’s, dusky and Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. There is a variety of other sea creatures to see here, including massive sunfish, humpback whales, southern right whales and leatherback turtles, depending on the season.
                                These four areas make Namibia one of the most eclectic nations on the continent. If you are trying to decide where to take your
                                African safari holiday, be sure to keep the desert and coast in mind. For more information, contact us today!

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                Tracking the Big Five, Part II

                                In our earlier post, we introduced three of the “Big Five.” These are some of the most magnificent animals you will see on an African safari tour. Originally, they were called the Big Five by big game hunters because of their difficulty to hunt on foot. The (legal) big game hunting has disappeared, but the name has lived on.
                                Now that we have introduced the African elephant, the African lion and the black/white rhinoceros, let’s look at the last two members of the Big Five: the African leopard and the Cape buffalo.

                                The African Leopard
                                The African leopard has one of the biggest populations in the Big Five. But, that does not mean they are easier to spot. These cats have adapted their coats to every environment in which they live. Those that live closer to the desert have very light golden fur; but, those in the savanna have darker coloring. In the forests, such as in the Congo, leopards have even been seen with black coats.
                                Though the big game hunting era has ended, these beautiful cats are still hunted for their furs. Their habitat is also threatened due to human population growth, and they are often killed by farmers because the leopards are known to attack livestock. Because of their widespread habitat, leopards are often spotted on safaris all over the continent, including Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya and many other sub-Saharan countries.

                                The Cape Buffalo
                                The term “Cape buffalo” refers to four different species of buffalo. These include the Forest buffalo, the Central African Savanna buffalo, the Southern Savanna buffalo and the West African Savanna buffalo. No matter where on the continent these species are found, they are sure to be near a water source. Though they are generally calm animals, Cape buffalo are tough and can kill a lion with its powerful hooves and horns. Legend says that this otherwise placid bovine killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa.
                                Cape buffalo is the most populous of the Big Five; there is little concern over its survival. Its high population can easily be attributed to the fact that they are very difficult to kill; their horns form a shield that not even a rifle shot can penetrate. Because of this, they can often be found in large herds throughout the savanna and in Africa’s forests. Nearly any
                                safari you choose will include seeing these massive animals.

                                Choosing the Right Safari
                                The Big Five are often the most popular attraction on an African safari. Different areas of Africa will offer you the chance to see various groups of these animals. There are few that will potentially include all five, however. One of the best areas for a safari including the Big Five is one in South Africa. But, each wildlife preserve will offer its own opportunities. Check out our variety of African safari tours to find one that’s perfect for you or your group.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                What you should know about yellow fever vaccination for Zambia

                                One of the most asked questions from African safari guests is the question about vaccinations and health precautions. In general, guests should consult their general physician or a travel clinic, as the personal health situation of each guest is different. However, there are regulations in place, which outline the mandatory vaccinations per African safari destination. The regulations are based on the WHO’s recommendations.

                                Yellow fever vaccination is one of the mandatory vaccinations for some of the safari countries. Until the end of January 2015, safari travellers to Zambia had to have a yellow fever vaccination. Zambian authorities and the bordering safari destinations South Africa and Botswana required a proof of vaccination at the ports of entry.

                                Following an
                                announcement at the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Friday, January 30, 2015, South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, removed the requirement for proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers between Zambia and South Africa, with effect from January 31, 2015. A statement on the website of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says that the World Health Organization (WHO) review of the risks regarding yellow fever in northwest Zambia would support the reconsideration of the requirement for yellow fever vaccination for travellers to and from Zambia.

                                There has been no official announcement of the Botswana government yet with regards to the removal of the required proof of yellow fever vaccination for safari guests entering Botswana from Zambia. However, it has been reported, that guests are not asked for the proof of vaccination anymore at the Zambia/Botswana border posts. An official statement of the Botswana government is expected to follow in due course. Until the official statement has arrived, a situation can occur, that there might be insecurities of border post personnel about the vaccination handling.

                                Should you go on African safari in Zambia and Botswana in the near future with no official statement by the Botswana government yet, you can decide to not get a yellow fever vaccination, with this decision backed by the WHO recommendation. However, be aware about possible insecurities of Botswana border personnel. You can print out the WHO country list for yellow fever safari destinations and carry it with you, should you encounter a doubtful officer at the border post. The list will proof, that Zambia is not a yellow fever country anymore with no yellow fever vaccination requirement.

                                Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                Tracking the Big Five on African Safari, part I
                                Tracking the Big Five on African Safari, Part I
                                Before it was outlawed in the mid-20th century, tourists would go on African safaris to hunt big game. They soon realized that there were some animals that were extremely difficult to hunt on foot, whether due to their size or speed. They nicknamed this group of animals the “Big Five,” and the name has stuck around.
                                Thankfully, the ban on big game hunting has kept this group of magnificent animals from extinction. Now you can go on your own African safari holiday and see the Big Five up close for yourself. The animals included in this classification are the African elephant, the African lion, the white/black rhinoceros, the African leopard and the Cape buffalo. On just about every safari, you can see at least one of these creatures. Part I of this two-part blog will cover the elephant, the lion and the rhinoceros.

                                The African Elephant
                                There are two types of African elephants, named after their habitat. The bush elephant is the largest land animal in the world. Its relative, the forest elephant, is the third largest. Their large tusks made them a prize for ivory hunters, and after centuries of hunting, there are only about 700,000 wild African elephants throughout almost 40 countries in Africa. Elephants are highly intelligent animals, sharing rare intelligence traits with humans, apes and dolphins.
                                Preservation tactics have helped stabilize the African elephant population, and they can be found in 37 countries all across sub-Saharan Africa. Due to their widespread habitat, nearly any African safari you choose will include the potential to spot these splendid giants.

                                The African Lion
                                The lion is one of the largest cats in the world, second only to the tiger. They have long been a symbol of strength and serenity. Unlike most other cats, lions are highly social animals and prefer to hunt and live in packs, called prides. Because of the males’ fiery manes and their overall symbolism, lions have been hunted viciously for many years. Their population has plummeted in the past couple of decades despite heightened conservation efforts.
                                African lions tend to keep to the grasslands, where they can spot and stalk their prey more easily. But, they can be found all across the savanna, so if you wish to see lions on your
                                safari, this will be the region you want to tour. Spotting lions is not easy; they tend to blend in easily with the golden grasses, and they spend about 20 hours a day resting, so they tend to remain very low in the brush.

                                The Black/White Rhinoceros
                                Because poachers hunt them for their horns (made of the same stuff as your fingernails), rhinos are easily the most endangered species in the Big Five. They are separated into two categories: the black and white rhinoceros, even though they are all gray. Black rhinos are more solitary creatures, usually eating from bushes and grasses. White rhinos, on the other hand, are more social creatures that graze in the savanna. Both of these rhinos have faced severe hunting that has them on the endangered species list. Though there are about 17,000 southern white rhinos still in the wild, the northern variety is extinct in the wild; there are five known specimens in captivity. Black rhinos are only numbered at about 4,000 in the wild.
                                Because of their dwindling numbers, most rhinos can be found in the southern plains and forests of Africa. South Africa itself contains more than 80% of Africa’s rhino population. If you want to see a rhino on your African safari, this may be the country for you to visit.
                                The Big Five were once the most treasured game for hunters. Now, they are among the most extraordinary animals to see on your African safari. And, with the help of conservationists, they will be around for years to come.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                What to Pack for an African Safari
                                Deciding what to pack for an African safari can be challenging. While you will want to make sure you have your essentials, you may also want some comforts from home. You do not want to pack too much, however, since excess luggage could lead to extra airfare charges. You also do not want to pack unnecessary valuables, as they could become easily lost or stolen in a foreign country.
                                Finding the right balance can be tricky and ultimately comes down to personal preference. But here are some essentials that you must have while you explore Africa.

                                The Right Sunscreen and Bug Repellant
                                While it seems obvious that sunscreen and bug repellant are necessary on an African safari, finding the right kind is crucial. On a normal trip to a local beach, you may pack a bottle of these products without worrying about its scent. But sunscreens with the typical tropical scent can attract wildlife more than unscented ones.
                                Unscented spray-on varieties of sunscreen and bug repellant are ideal for safaris. Also, be sure to bring more than you think you will need. In the dry savanna, dust often kicks up and can easily scrub away whatever product you have put on your skin.

                                Proper Clothing
                                Africa is often very warm and sunny. Depending on your skin type, T-shirts and shorts are ideal while you are on your African safari tour. If you have more delicate skin, opt for cotton long sleeve shirts and very light trousers. All of your clothing should be colored to help keep the heat off of you.
                                Shoes are a personal preference, but some kind of comfortable boots are highly recommended. A shawl is also recommended so you aren’t breathing in too much dust. While every travel guide will give different specifics to pack, the most essential point to remember is to pack clothes that you are OK with getting wet and possibly torn or ruined.

                                Other Essentials
                                When you are considering what toiletries to pack for your African safari holiday, remember that you might be staying in a lodge with basic necessities. But, you should pack your own medicine, including antihistamines for bug bites, and your own toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Women should also pack extra feminine products.
                                Binoculars are a wonderful tool to have on the trail to view Africa’s diverse wildlife. A camera can also be handy to have; just be sure to pack an extra memory card and perhaps a few clear zipper storage bags to keep dust out of your camera. If you plan on bringing electronics, you will need the proper adapter plug for the nation in which you are taking your safari. Also be sure to pack extra batteries for anything you’re bringing that may need them.
                                These are the most essential items you may need for your African safari. Of course, there are any number of other items you can bring. Just remember that valuables have a tendency to get lost during any kind of long distance travel, and airlines may charge more for the weight of your bag. For more information on African safaris, contact us today!

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                How to plan your safari with off-season rates

                                Like other holidays, African safari holidays have travel seasons with rather big price differences. There will be no specials during high and peak season and the standard rate in low season is significantly lower, than during other times of the year.

                                The different
                                seasons are determined by the quality of the safari activities and school holidays. For pretty much all top-rated safari destinations, peak season is from the 1st of July to 31st of October. During this time the Great Migration is in the northern Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Okavango Delta is at its best, Zambia and Zimbabwe national parks are at their best and the Victoria Falls too. It is in general the dry season what makes it so good for game viewing and in the Okavango Delta that the flood has come in and the waterborne activities are possible. During peak season the rates are the highest and lodge and camp availability tight.

                                If you are not bound to school holidays, use the just outside peak season times to get the high quality of game viewing and the off season rates to get the
                                best value for money safari holiday. There will be no significant difference when travelling during the last week of June comparing to the first week of July (except for the Great Migration), but there will be with regards to the rates. Planning your safari tour deeper into off season can also offer great safaris in the way of different light and subjects with regards to wildlife photography, an entirely different appearance of the safari destination and a different range of safari activities. During this time many safari specials are available you can benefit from.

                                It can be a
                                smart move to plan your safari just outside high season to get the best African safari for the best price. Also international flights will come for lower rates and possibly special airfares. It is worth puzzling a bit with dates and getting an amazing safari experience for a very affordable price.

                                Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                Safety Tips for Your African Safari
                                An African safari is an unforgettable way to experience the diverse land and wildlife of Africa. The continent provides a wide range of beautiful natural elements to explore. When planning to partake in an African safari, it’s important to be prepared for your journey. The experts at Roho Ya Chui will do everything in their power to make your experience memorable, but there are several things that you can do to ensure your safety while in Africa. The following safety tips are designed to help your experience be as enjoyable as possible.
                                Traveling to Africa
                                Before traveling to your destination in Africa, you will need to make sure you have had all of the necessary vaccinations. Be sure to check with your doctor or the nearest clinic for all of the health precautions you will need to take before traveling. It is likely that you will need to consider preemptive precautions against malaria. Prophylactics come in an oral tablet form and will help protect you from malaria.
                                Be sure to bring your passport, a backup photocopy and any necessary visas with you. It’s important to keep all photocopies separate from the originals so that you don’t lose both. It’s a good idea to copy down your traveler’s check numbers as well.
                                When You’ve Arrived
                                No matter where you’re traveling, there are several important safety rules to keep in mind. It’s never a good idea to keep large quantities of cash with you. Instead, try to use a credit card or traveler’s check for the majority of your spending. Small amounts of cash are fine, just don’t push the limits and put yourself at risk. The same is true for valuables — just do yourself a favor and leave them at home.
                                It’s also important to keep track of your luggage. Don’t leave valuables like cameras or other devices unattended in your suitcase. If you do decide to bring them, keep them with you in a secure, undisclosed place.
                                On the Safari
                                So, you’ve traveled to Africa and are finally about to embark on an unforgettable adventure. What should you do to remain safe while on your safari?
                                Make sure to listen to your trained guide when he or she is going over safety rules with you. The professionals at Roho Ya Chui will cover everything you need to do to keep safe during the safari. Feel free to ask any questions as well. Once the safety guidelines have been laid out for you, it is up to you to adhere to them. Don’t ever provoke the wildlife you see. Although they may seem at ease, these are wild animals and can react in unpredictable and harmful ways.
                                You’ll also want to avoid feeding any of the animals you encounter. This may seem like a great way to get closer, but it’s important to maintain a boundary between yourself and the wild animals. We don’t want them thinking that all humans have food for them. This may cause the wildlife to react dangerously.
                                As you can see, it’s very easy to make your safari experience a safe one. Follow these simple guidelines and be sure to plan your
                                African safari with Roho Ya Chui.

                                Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                Three Misconceptions About Going on a Safari
                                Planning a trip to go on an African safari tour or holiday can seem a bit intimidating. You may be traveling to Africa for the first time and unsure about what to expect. Based on the movies and TV shows you’ve seen, you may envision you or your group speeding through the African bush in boiling heat, perhaps while the wildlife is chasing you down.
                                These misconceptions could not be further from the truth. African safari tours and holidays can easily be one of the most pleasant experiences in your life. Here are 3 misconceptions about African safaris that keep some people away from enjoying this life-changing experience.

                                  The Sahara Desert and other intolerably hot climates often come to mind when people who are unfamiliar with Africa imagine visiting the continent. Yet, Africa is a huge continent and has a variety of climates. Though some safaris do visit deserts, there are many tours in more comfortable climates.
                                  For example, Kenya sits at about 6,500 feet above sea level and, depending on what part of Kenya you visit, temperatures generally hover between 75 to 85 degrees. In fact, you may even need to bring a jacket for the cool evenings.

                                    Many Westerners think that Africa is cut off from the outside world. And for a majority of visitors who are on safaris, this lack of communication with work and other distractions is exactly why they chose an African safari holiday. But, for those who will need to contact people at home, most game parks offer full internet and telephone services.
                                    Despite how the media may portray Africa, there are metropolises in Africa that are full of technology. If you need a break from your safari, you can visit Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya or various other major cities.

                                      While there is civil unrest in some nations, the private game parks used for African safaris are very safe. Of course, you will need to secure your luggage and other valuables within your lodgings, but you would do the same when you go on any trip.

                                      The safari itself is also much safer than you probably think. All of our safaris follow a predetermined itinerary that will guide you through the game park at safe speeds for both you and the wildlife. Of course, the animals you will see are wild, but if you follow the directions of your safari guide, there is very, very little chance of injury. Your safari guide will be local and have lots of experience leading safaris, so they will know how to make sure you are safe while also enjoying your time.

                                      If you are considering going on an African safari tour or holiday, Roho Ya Chui has a perfect tour for you. Safaris are fun, life-changing adventures that will show you a side of the world that you may otherwise have never seen. Visit our
                                      tour and holiday pages to find the perfect safari for you.

                                      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                      Top Safari getaway Kruger Park South Africa

                                      For all who want an
                                      easy accessible, yet incredible safari getaway, Kruger National Park in South Africa is ideal. There are connecting flights from O.R. Tambo International Airport directly to private game reserves and one hour later you are already in the middle of the Bog Five, enjoying lunch with a view, watching elephants drinking from a waterhole.

                                      Check out this
                                      one-week African fly-in safari including two different private game reserves with excellent wildlife viewing. The itinerary is a combination of Ngala Private Game Reserve and Kirkman’s Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand, both part of the top rated safari destination Kruger Park with outstanding wildlife sightings.

                                      Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary and one of the biggest game reserves in the world. A spectacular diversity of wildlife moves through this immense wilderness, including breeding herds of elephant, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, large buffalo herds and white rhino. With Ngala meaning lion in Shangaan, the local language, the game reserve lives up to its promise, supporting several large prides of these powerful cats. African wild dog can also be spotted moving through the reserve. Ngala was the first private game reserve to be incorporated into the Kruger National Park and has exclusive traversing rights over 14 700 hectares of game-rich wilderness. The reserve offers an intimate African wildlife experience, with game drives led by expert ranger and tracker teams. Sensitive off-roading practices allow close-up game sightings, while walking safaris and bush walks are also offered.

                                      Sabi Sand Game Reserve is famed for its intimate wildlife encounters, particularly leopard viewing. Home to a host of animals, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), the Sabi Sand is part of a conservation area that covers over two million hectares (almost five million acres), an area equivalent to the state of New Jersey. With no boundary fences between the Sabi Sand and the Kruger National Park, this reserve benefits from the great diversity of animals found in one of the richest wildlife areas on the African continent, along with the additional benefits experienced on a private game reserve. Game drives traverse an area of 6 300 hectares (15 568 acres) and strict vehicle limits at sightings ensure the exclusivity of the game viewing experience. Sensitive off-road driving ensures that guests have the best possible view of any exceptional sighting and rangers are constantly in touch with each other to keep track of animal movements.

                                      African safari itinerary is ideal for short holidays and can also extended with visits to the surrounding safari destinations Victoria Falls and Botswana or with a visit to Cape Town.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                      Top African safari tour: Victoria Falls, Hwange and Lake Kariba

                                      Zimbabwe has been a safari destination for the experienced safari traveller, more a hidden gem and not necessarily on top of the first time visitor’s safari bucket list. The country offers a more off the beaten track safari experience, has been loved by adventurous self-drive safari travellers, offers great safari activities on and off the might Zambezi River and an abundance of wildlife and stunning landscapes.

                                      With the upgrade of Victoria Falls Airport,
                                      Zimbabwe will be more accessible as safari destinations due to direct international inbound flights. Zimbabwe safaris will move up the bucket lists and it can be expected, that it will be aspired by first time safari travellers as well and for good reasons.

                                      9-day Zimbabwe safari itinerary incorporates the must see Victoria Falls, incredibly wildlife rich Hwange National Park and beautiful Lake Kariba.

                                      Victoria Falls are one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest sheet of falling water on earth - a spellbinding and mesmerising spectacle. The sheer mass of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km makes a thunderous roar and creates a magnificent spray of water that can be seen for miles - hence the local name 'mosi oa tunya' meaning 'the smoke that thunders'.

                                      elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park's elephant population is one of the largest in the world. The park is home to over 35 000 elephants who in the dry season dominate all the water points in the afternoons.  Other animals that can be seen in the park are lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu, sable, eland, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, baboon and warthog.

                                      Matusadona Park on the shores of Lake Kariba comprises some 1400 square kilometers of diverse flora and fauna. Before the lake was built, Matusadona was a vast, rugged wilderness with limited access. With the lake came ecological changes. One in particular, the lakeshore contributed greatly to the increase of large mammal populations in the area, especially elephant and buffalo. The grass found on the shoreline is Panicum reopens and is a rejuvenative grass - needing only fluctuating lake levels to replenish its nutrients. With this ready food source, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, and even impala have thrived and with them the predators.

                                      During the safari tour guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a
                                      great variety of safari activities including game drives in 4x4 safari vehicles, bush walks and waterborne safari activities. The tour is available from April to November and the starting price is USD 3,240 per person.

                                      View and download
                                      Victoria Falls, Hwange and Lake Kariba safari tour. Contact us for any questions and inquiries.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                      Top 5 Reasons to visit Mana Pools

                                      Mana Pools in Zimbabwe is possibly the
                                      most magical African safari destination. The majestic Zambezi River within a stunning landscape and cathedral like forests creates a dream safari destination.

                                      There many good reasons to visit this
                                      top rated safari destination and some of the main reasons are listed below:

                                      1. Mana Pools National Park is
                                      synonymous with the Zambezi River, elephants, lions, remoteness and safari wilderness. This unique park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, based on its wildness and beauty, together with the wide range of large mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife. Mana Pools is one of Zimbabwe's most popular safari parks.

                                      2. Mana Pools is the only game park in Zimbabwe to be
                                      granted World Heritage Status and encompasses some of Africa’s largest areas of Acacia and Mahogany woodland, combined with spectacular, full-canopy Mopane forest. Mana Pools is part of a 300 million year old rift valley supporting a large variety of mammals and over 400 bird species.

                                      3. Mana Pools is 2,196 square kilometres in extent,
                                      runs along 80km of the Zambezi River, but is part of the 10,500 square kilometre Parks and Wildlife Estate that runs from the Kariba Dam in the west to the Mozambique border in the east.

                                      4. This large protected wildlife area is
                                      without physical boundaries and the wildlife is free to move throughout the area - even northwards across the Zambezi River into Zambia, where there are also large wilderness areas set aside for wildlife conservation.

                                      5. This national park has been set aside to be kept as wild as possible with only non-invasive,
                                      zero-impact tourism allowed. There are no safari lodges, generators, electric fences or other structures associated with safari camps as these are banned by law. All mobile camps must be taken down the day our clients depart to ensure minimal damage to the ecosystem.

                                      The four large pools, the Zambezi River carved out thousands of years ago, gave the area the name “Mana Pools”, meaning 4 pools, a simple name standing symbol for magnificent
                                      African safari experiences.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      Source: safari destinations, image: wilderness safaris
                                      5 Top Reasons to visit Zambia

                                      Most Southern Africa safari itineraries include Zambia with a
                                      visit of the Victoria Falls and that is as far as a safari guest gets to know the country. This is a pity, as Zambia is a top-rated African safari destination, one should definitely include in a southern Africa safari tour. Here some good reasons for visiting this amazing country:

                                      1. The varied habitats of
                                      Kafue: Kafue, Lufupa and Lunga rivers with adjoining peaceful stretches of riverine vegetation, dambos and wetlands, extensive miombo woodland with seasonal floodplains and swampland create a diversity of habitats, that attract an abundance of wildlife.

                                      2. The Luangwa river is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life blood of the
                                      South Luangwa National Park’s 9 050 square kilometres. The park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous “walking safari” originated in this park. There are 60 different animal species and 400 different bird species. One special being Thornycroft Giraffe found only in the Luangwa Valley. Some magnificent trees grow in the Valley among the more common are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, baobab, large ebony forests, vegetable ivory palm, marula and the tamarind tree. The changing seasons add to the parks richness ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months.

                                      3. The
                                      Lower Zambezi National Park is still relatively undeveloped, but its beauty lies in its absolute wilderness state. The diversity of animals is not as wide as the other big parks, but the opportunities to get close to game wandering in and out of the Zambezi channels are spectacular. The park lies opposite the famous
                                      Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the river is a massive wildlife sanctuary.

                                      4. The
                                      Victoria Falls are known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya (“the smoke that thunders”), due to its towering plume of spray that is visible at a distance. Within this area of the mighty Zambezi River one can engage in wildlife viewing or one of the many adrenalin activities on offer. The 108 m long (354 ft) and 1 708 m (5 600 ft) wide Vic Falls are the largest sheet of falling water in the world.

                                      5. Due to the riverine wildlife areas the light is sublime for
                                      wildlife photography. Colors are crisp and clear, warm and rich. The landscapes of waterways with their distinctive vegetation are stunning backdrops for wildlife photography. The opportunity of photographing big mammals like elephants in and around the water allows amazing wildlife photography. It is simply heaven for wildlife photography enthusiasts.

                                      The wildlife areas in Zambia are best accessible by light aircraft transfer to avoid long drives. A great variety of land and waterborne safari activities are available for a diverse and exceptional safari experience. The best time to visit is from April to November, however, the so called “emerald season” is worth a visit too.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      sources: safari destinations, wilderness safaris, image: Dana Allen

                                      Why should you know about flood levels in the Okavango Delta

                                      The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the
                                      Seven Natural Wonders in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It attracts thousands of visitors every year and is a top-rated African safari destination. Despite being very popular under safari travelers, the Okavango Delta offers remote tranquility, intimate wildlife sightings and a great variety of safari activities, both land and waterborne. A visit to the Okavango Delta is an enchanting African safari experience.

                                      The delta is produced by
                                      seasonal floods of the Okavango River, draining the summer rainfall from the Angola highlands into the Kalahari. The surge flows about 1,200 kilometers in approximately one month and spreads over an area of about 250 by 150 kilometers in size. The water never reaches the ocean. It rapidly evaporates due to the high temperatures in the delta. The flood peaks between June and August and the delta grows to three times of its permanent size. As this happens during the dry winter months, the water attracts wildlife from kilometers away and creates one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa.

                                      When planning your safari to the Okavango Delta, you should
                                      keep the flood levels at the different times of the year in mind. They have influence on the activities you can engage with at the different safari lodges. Low flood level can mean, that waterborne safari activities are not possible or in the case of high flood level, game drives in certain areas are not possible. Check the location of your lodge or camp in the delta to make sure you can experience all safari activities you would like to join during your tour.

                                      The Okavango Delta is a highly enchanting safari destination year round, yet mind the flood for the safari experience you are coming for.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      Image: Great Plains Conservation

                                      Top Southern African safari tour: 10-Day Best of Kruger, Victoria Falls & Chobe

                                      When you want to go on
                                      safari in Southern Africa, but you got a limited number of days for travel and a budget you want to stick to, this tour might be perfect. It is very tempting to want to see it all when visiting the area, which is understandable with top-rated safari destinations like Botswana, South Africa and the Victoria Falls in close reach. Regional nonstop flights are available to connect them all, which helps with the time factor, but what about the budget?

                                      visiting Chobe National Park in the eastern part of Botswana you can save a substantial amount of money, as you will not need expensive light aircraft transfers and it is just over the border from the Victoria Falls. A short road transfer will bring you to your lodge and back to Kasane Airport for your outbound flight.

                                      There is a direct flight from Kruger Park to Livingstone, which is ideal to have your
                                      morning game drive in the Sabi Sands (Kruger) and lunch at the Victoria Falls on the same day. The Sabi Sands are the best safari area of South Africa and it is almost guaranteed to see the Big Five within a 4 nights stay at an excellent private game reserve, preferably with no more than 6 guests on a game drive vehicle for the best African safari experience.

                                      Combining the
                                      best of Kruger Park with the majestic Victoria Falls and Chobe offers an ideal variety of safari activities and includes the main attractions of the region in just one 10-day African safari itinerary.

                                      View and download the itinerary right
                                      here and get inspired.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                      What you should know about famous Moremi Game Reserve

                                      Moremi Game Reserve is part of the Okavango Delta and
                                      number one on every Botswana safari wish list. The game reserve is renown for its abundance of wildlife and the great variety of safari activities, on land and water. The reserve is unfenced and its boundaries are defined by natural water systems. The vegetation is varied, with dry land complemented by permanent and seasonal swamplands, resulting in an excellent diversity of both wildlife and birdlife. There is a great network of game drive routes through the reserve. Boating can be enjoyed in Xakanaxa and Mboma where the channels are connected to permanent delta waterways.

                                      Moremi is excellent for
                                      viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least four prides of lion who hunt them. Breeding herds of elephant move between browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh waters of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species commonly found here.

                                      Game viewing in the Moremi Game Reserve is
                                      excellent year-round and varies between the seasons. During the dry season (Apr – Oct) the game is usually concentrated around permanent water sources as seasonal pans dry up. From September to November migrant birds such as herons and storks return to the area guaranteeing prolific bird watching which remains excellent throughout the summer months. In the rainy season (Nov – Apr) Moremi captivates its visitors with wild flowers, dramatic thundershowers and spectacular sunsets. Most of the animals give birth during this period and newborn antelope attract a variety of predators.

                                      The main areas of this top-rated African safari destiantion are the Khwai River, Xakanaxa Lagoon, Third Bridge and Chief’s Island. The
                                      Khwai River traverses a picturesque region characterized by tall evergreen trees lining a wide floodplain. It is situated on the north-eastern tip of Moremi Game Reserve and provides remarkable sightings of predators and prey. The elusive leopard is spotted regularly and birdlife is abundant with saddle-billed storks, wattled cranes, and many species of kingfishers and bee-eaters present.

                                      Xakanaxa Lagoon lies at the tip of the Mopane Tongue, where substantial mopane forests and a system of deep waterways and shallow flooded areas come together. It is where the desert meets the delta. The striking landscape is packed with game and leopards are seen frequently even though they are well-camouflaged, solitary and shy. The lagoon is also a good place to find the African wild dog and the sheer density of antelope is staggering. Exceptional and varied birdlife is the order of the day at Xakanaxa Lagoon, renowned for the breeding colonies of birds that congregate on its tree covered islands. Seasonal sightings include innumerable herons, egrets, storks and other waders, to the many species of sparrow hawks, buzzards and kites. There are three camps in this area situated along the shore of the lagoon, Camp Moremi, Camp Okuti and Xakanaxa Camp.

                                      A short drive from Xakanaxa Lagoon, lying in the heart of the Moremi Game Reserve is
                                      Third Bridge. The area is positioned on an island with substantial amounts of tree thickets, in addition to a number of large, open plains. Campsites are available for mobile safaris, and the combination of unfenced campsites and wandering wildlife make for some close encounters between man and beast. Third Bridge's boundary of land and water is an ideal destination to combine vehicle and boat trips, or for the more adventurous, an 'island sleep over!'

                                      Many areas of the Okavango Delta are largely dry including
                                      Chief's Island, arguably the Okavango's most famous isle. Once the royal hunting ground of Chief Moremi, the traditional leader of the local tribes donated it as an extension to the Moremi Game Reserve, which it was incorporated into in 1976. Chief’s Island is now one of the region's best locations for spectacular wildlife viewing and hosts three luxury safari camps. Chief’s Island is the first part of dry land that the flood waters reach in the greater Okavango region. Most of the nutrients carried by the water are deposited here and this results in vegetation for rich grazing and browsing for wildlife. These nutritious grass plains support herbivores in large numbers and associated high population of predators. Chief’s Island is also called “predator capital”, the perfect place to see the big cats.

                                      As Moremi is not fenced in, it can be a good choice to stay at one of the
                                      neighboring private concessions. A number of lodges can be found in the private concessions bordering Moremi Game Reserve, offering the wildlife viewing of Moremi without the crowds. As there are no fences between the reserve and these private concessions, animals are free to roam. Since these areas can only be explored by guests staying there, the game viewing experience is an exclusive one as well as a great one. As these areas aren’t governed by National Park rules, night drives and walking are also possible. In addition to land-based activities, some of these camps also offer the water-based activities and the scenic landscapes of the delta.

                                      Make sure you will experience a perfect
                                      African safari in Moremi or at one of the private concessions by making an informed decision on the camp you choose. Keep the seasons in mind and the floods to enjoy all safari activities possible.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      sources: safari destinations, image: chiefs camp

                                      What should your African safari travel insurance cover

                                      When you go on an African safari holiday
                                      you don’t want to worry about anything except, if you will see the illusive leopard or not or will you be able to see a rhino at all. You should be free to enjoy the safari you were looking forward to for so long.

                                      In order to achieve that,
                                      you should have a travel insurance. Pretty much all insurance companies offer travel insurance and it can be challenging to go through all the plans to make a decision.

                                      Your safari travel insurance should in essence cover:

                                      1. Emergency evacuation expenses.

                                      2. Medical and hospitalization expenses including emergency assistance, accidental death and disability, personal injury.

                                      3. Repatriation expenses.

                                      4. Cancellation or curtailment of your travel.

                                      5. Damage/theft/loss of personal baggage/goods/money/any personal effects of whatsoever nature and value.

                                      6. Costs incurred as a result of changes to arrangements such as the cost of a private charter should you miss your (connecting) flight for any reason whatsoever.

                                      The cover for
                                      cancellation of your safari holiday varies per insurance plan. Study carefully the terms and conditions of the plan to know in which cases cancellation is covered. Some cover for medical reasons only, others include cancellation for work reasons and the most comprehensive cover includes cancellation for any reason. These variations come with different price tags and in general cancellation for medical reasons is sufficient, but it the cover for work reasons can be very useful.

                                      Once the travel insurance is sorted, you can focus in the
                                      joys of an African safari and get worried about which zoom lens you should bring with you or what to wear.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

                                      7 Essential Informations needed with your African safari booking

                                      Booking an
                                      African safari holiday comes with excitement about the safari destination, the Big Five, one wish to spot, the choice of the game reserve and the time of the year for the right weather and best wildlife sightings. During this process questions will be asked about the number of persons travelling, the available budget and more of this kind. When finally the booking is made, some more information is requested and for a good reason.

                                      Travelling comes always with some risk and travelling to the African bush adds the
                                      adventures of the wild. Although professional rangers/guides and lodge staff will look you after, nature can have its surprises. Extreme rainfall can cause floods or in the dry season a bush fire can occur. As said, the professionals will look after you, but there is always a rest risk of the unforeseen.

                                      Besides nature’s moods, you could fall ill during a safari or do a misstep and twist your foot. These things can also happen while you are at home, but there medical aid is in general right at hand. When being at a private camp on a high ranked safari destination like the Okavango Delta, medical aid is not in direct reach. A light aircraft transport will be necessary to get you to a hospital. This is also quick, but costs a bit.

                                      In order
                                      to assist you best in case of an emergency, some essential information is needed:

                                      1. Your passport details for registration with medical/evacuation services.
                                      2. Your travel insurance name and number to cover the costs of medical aid and possible evacuation/repatriation.
                                      3. Your health insurance name and number.
                                      4. Information on possible medical conditions the operator should be aware of.
                                      5. Information on possible allergies and dietary requirements.
                                      6. The name and phone number of a person to be contacted in case of an emergency.
                                      7. Your cell number for operational emergencies like changed transfer/flight times or similar.

                                      By providing this information, safari ground handlers and lodge staff can
                                      efficiently and quick help and organize whatever might be necessary to make sure you are safe. Your African safari should be worry free, also when the unforeseen happens or nature turns wild.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      image: Mike Myers

                                      Why should you visit top rated safari destination South Luangwa?

                                      South Luangwa National Park in the eastern part of Zambia, is one of the
                                      best African safari destinations and renowned for its abundance of wildlife and excellent light for wildlife photography.

                                      Luangwa river is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life blood of the parks 9 050 square kilometers. The park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous “walking safari” originated in this park and is still one of the finest ways to experience this pristine wilderness first hand.

                                      There are
                                      60 different animal species and 400 different bird species. One special being the Thornycroft Giraffe, found only in the Luangwa Valley. Some magnificent trees grow in the Valley among the more common are the mopane, leadwood, winterthorn, baobab, large ebony forests, vegetable ivory palm, marula and the tamarind tree.

                                      changing seasons add to the parks richness ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter to a lush green wonderland in the summer months. The dry season begins in April and intensifies through October, the hottest month when game concentrations are at its height. Warm sunny days and chilly nights typify the dry winter months May to August. The wet season’s begin is November, as the leaves turn green and the dry terrain becomes a lush jungle. The rainy season last up until the end of March when the migrant birds arrive in there droves. The lodges in South Luangwa stay open as long as access is possible depending on their location. The lodges and camps in the valley all offer game drives and walking safaris.

                                      South Luangwa is very attractive during the winter months and the summer months, allowing at both times
                                      excellent safari experiences, yet in very different ways. For photography enthusiasts it might be the hardest decision to make, as both times are great for wildlife photography on African safari, yet the rich green of the summer months might make the better background. Visiting winter and summer might be the best solution to experience it all.

                                      Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa
                                      Source: safari destinations, image: kapani lodge