Safari Travel Blog

The Big Five

When you embark on an African safari with Roho Ya Chui, you need to make sure to catch a glimpse of the big five. This group of creatures are among the most dangerous and most impressive animals on the planet. While Africa holds well over 800 species of wildlife, these five stand out above the rest.

The big five includes lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards and buffalo. While they are all dangerous, a safari offers the opportunity to experience these incredible beasts in a safe environment. Learn more about each member of the big five and discover how the big five came to be what they are.

The big five were initially designated as such due to the difficulty of hunting them. Some are physically strong while others are incredibly fast. A couple are a bit of both. You don’t need to safari specifically for hunting, however, as the big five are still impressive if you just want to see them. These magnificent beasts should be on every African safari goer’s checklist.

African Elephant
The African Elephant is a huge animal that’s naturally a herbivore but isn’t afraid to fight in order to protect itself or others in its family. In fact, elephants are likely to make a mad charge towards anything they feel to be threatening. As long as you stay in your tour vehicle, you should be fine. Elephants are surprisingly fast, but they can’t keep up with a car. Their long trunks and ivory tusks give them a distinct look that’s both gorgeous and intimidating.

Coming in both black and white colors, the rhinoceros is a ferocious animal known for its horns protruding above its nose. While white rhinoceroses aren’t quite threatened on the conservation status scale, black rhinoceroses are near extinct, being critically endangered. Make sure you catch a glimpse of one while you can.

Cape Buffalo
Among a group containing rhinos and lions, you may not think of a buffalo as being that big of a threat, but it actually might be the most dangerous of all. More people are hurt by buffalo every year than any other animal of the big five by a longshot. Seeing one of these creatures can be a thrilling experience, but it’s one you might want to enjoy through the zoom feature on your camera.

African Leopard
This big cat is known for its gorgeous spots and is truly a sight to behold. While they are fierce hunters, they do tend to flee at the sight of danger, so you’ll likely see one hiding up in a tree rather than walking about on the savanna. Leopards are actually the smallest of the big cats, but are no less impressive with their agility and appearance

African Lion
The African lion might be the most recognizable and majestic of the big five with its large size and huge mane on the males. These animals are dangerous, often attacking without provocation but aren’t willing to face down a safari vehicle. A safari is one of the few ways to catch a glimpse of this beautiful animal without having bars or fencing in the way.

If you’re ready to catch a glimpse of the big five, book an African Safari with Roho Ya Chui today. Seeing these impressive animals up close is an experience you’ll never be able to forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

How to Prepare for an African Safari

Going on an African Safari adventure with Roho Ya Chui will definitely be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. You’ll see plenty of fascinating creatures and sights that will stick with you forever. Before you set off on your journey, however, you need to make sure you’re prepared.

A lot goes into getting ready for a safari, and most of it will be taken care of by your guide, but you still need to make preparations for yourself to ensure you can enjoy a smooth and exciting journey into the African countryside. Learn how to prepare for yours and discover how to make your journey one you’ll never forget.
Have Your Travel Documents in Order
When you’re traveling to a different country, you need to have a valid passport. It’s typically a good idea to have a passport that’s valid for at least six months after your trip is over, so make sure everything is up to date. The majority of African countries also require ample room in your passport for their departure and entry stamps, so make sure you have two blank pages in there.

For some countries like Egypt and Madagascar, you need a visa to travel there. Have this prepared and ready before you leave on your trip. Other countries like Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia still require visas, but you can get them once you’re in Africa as long as you pay in US dollars. Other countries like Botswana, Namibia and South Africa don’t require visas at all from Americans. Research your destination travel requirements beforehand and prepare accordingly.
Update Your Shots
According to the CDC, you need to get quite a few immunizations and vaccinations before traveling to Africa if you want to avoid getting sick. The yellow fever vaccine, in particular, is legally required before you can travel. Getting the typhoid vaccine is useful as well, especially if you’re heading to East Africa.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your shots, either. If you want them working at optimum efficiency, get your shots at least four weeks in advance of your trip. When you travel, some authorities may require proof of vaccination, so make sure you bring that with you.
Make a Checklist
Now that traveling has been taken care of, you need to prepare for the safari itself. While a camera is probably pretty high on your list, the most important thing to bring is bug repellant. Even if bugs generally stay away from you, you can’t be too careful when in Africa. Among the incredible things you can bring back from safari, malaria isn’t one of them. To be extra safe, bring medical supplies including malaria tablets.

The African climate can get really hot, so come prepared. You’ll need plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and hats to keep the sun at bay. Also remember to dress for warm weather, but try to keep in modest. African culture values modesty more than we do back home. Bring appropriate footwear, like hiking boots, and don’t forget a power converter so you can charge your electronics.

Before you
book your African safari with Roho Ya Chui, make sure you’re prepared for the journey to ensure your trip is exciting and memorable.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Places to Visit in Botswana

If you’re planning an African safari, one of the best destinations is the country of Botswana. This gorgeous country is home to scenic views of magnificent landscapes and majestic wildlife. You’ll find quite a few biomes there from deserts to savannas to lush green plains with waterways acting as a peaceful oasis from the scorching sun.

With so much to see in Botswana, you’ll never get bored on your safari. The hardest part is deciding which things you don’t want to see or what you want to see first. Botswana is incredibly safe compared to some other parts of Africa with no political unrest and virtually no crime. Enjoy the best this beautiful country has to offer. Here are some of the best places to visit in Botswana.

Kalahari Desert
The vast Kalahari Desert literally means the large thirst and stretches through Botswana into Namibia and South Africa. Here, you’ll find a scorching sun that bears down on a vast savanna along with salt pans, brush and river beds around the Okavango River. Quite a few gorgeous animals roam this desert including many big cats like cheetahs and leopards. This is also the only place in the world you’ll find the Kalahari lion which features an impressive black mane on the males.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
In the middle of the desert, you can find an incredible land that can either be incredibly boring or absolutely beautiful. At times, the Salt Pans may make you think the world has ended. Not a single living thing can be found, but if you visit during the wet season, everything changes.

No longer is it a wasteland devoid of life, the lands become covered in streams of water and green plants sprout throughout the area. Thousands of animals also flock to the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans during the wet season, so you can catch a glimpse of some of the best creatures Botswana has to offer.

The Okavango Delta
If you’re looking for a gathering place for animals, the Okavango Delta is a great place to visit. At the heart of the Okavango Delta, you can find a huge variety of animals on your safari including lions, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, and more. You’ll see plenty of sitatunga as well. These antelopes are only found in Africa and their unique appearance make them a sight to behold for any African safari goer.

The Tsodilo Hills
While the other places on this list feature spots where you can see gorgeous animals, the Tsodilo Hills allow us to be a little vain and focus on humans for a bit. In the Tsodilo Hills, you can explore caves that allow you take a trip back in time. Numerous cave paintings decorate the area depicting people and animals from antiquity. Some of the paintings have been dated to be tens of thousands of years old. Learn about the ancient San people here and discover remnants of their millennia of habitation.

When you’re ready to
book your Botswana safari tour, make sure you visit these incredible places only found in Botswana for a trip you’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Good Eating for Vegetarians on Safari

When you’re planning on going on vacation, one of your main goals is probably sampling the local cuisine at your vacation destination. While food is an important part of any trip, it is particularly crucial when going on an African safari since you’ll be able to sample foods that you may have never tried in your life.

However, if you’re a vegetarian, then you might be worried if you’ll be able to find meals on your safari that meet your dietary needs. Here are a few tips for vegetarians going on safari that will help travelers find delicious, healthy meals so they can have a fun and rewarding holiday.
Call Ahead
One of the best ways to make sure you’ll be able to enjoy your food on safari is by calling ahead. If you have specific dietary needs, whether you’re a vegetarian or suffer from food allergies, alerting people ahead of time will make sure that there will be food that you can eat.

While booking your next safari, tell them that you will need vegetarian meals on your trip, and they should be more than happy to accommodate. This same tip applies when you’re visiting restaurants in Africa. Simply alert the wait staff that you require a vegetarian meal, and they’ll be able to help you find a dish that’s perfect for you.
Visiting Major Cities
If you’re worried about your ability to find a vegetarian meal when you go on your next safari, prepare to breathe a sigh of relief, as you should be able to find a great meal on your trip without any trouble.

Because the safari industry has been so successful over the years, catering options are convenient and robust. This means that whatever type of safari that you book, you should be able to request a vegetarian meal and have your needs quickly met.

Similarly, because many of the most popular safari destinations are in or near large cities, you can easily find a restaurant that offers vegetarian cuisine. Speaking of cuisine, many African dishes are vegetarian friendly, meaning you can sample local food while easily sticking to your preferred diet. Many parts of Africa also feature large Indian communities, and Indian cuisine is largely vegetarian.
Plan Ahead
If you’ve been a vegetarian for a number of years, then you know how important it is to plan ahead if you want to make sure that you can eat the way you want and need, and this is a philosophy that you should extend to your next African safari.

First, you should do some research before leaving on your trip. Look for guides for vegetarians going on safari and ask any friends who have been on a safari about their experience. Second, it may be a good idea to pack a few essentials. For instance, you can take along a protein supplement to make sure your nutritional needs are met. It can also be a good idea to pack vegetarian snacks so that you have something to munch while on your trip.

With just a little bit of planning and preparation, you can
plan an African safari where you can easily stick to your vegetarian diet.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Tips for Safari Etiquette

An African safari is one of the most exciting trips that a person could ever experience. However, because a safari is so different from a typical vacation, you may be unsure of what rules and regulations you need to follow in order to have an enjoyable trip. Fortunately, with a few easy tips, you can enjoy a thrilling safari while making sure you’re behaving the right way.

Learn about proper safari etiquette and get a few tips that will help you plan a fun, rewarding, and, most importantly, safe safari vacation.
Learn the Rules
Most people going on safari will visit a variety of parks and game reserves. Visiting these areas is one of the best ways to view the gorgeous plant and animal life that is native to Africa, and is a crucial part of any successful safari. However, to ensure your safety, parks and game reserves have a variety of rules, and learning and following these rules is the most important part of safari etiquette.

Once you know which parks and reserves you will be touring, you need to learn their rules either by visiting their website or contacting the park directly. Find out if they have any specific safety protocol or a list of items that you cannot bring into the park. Some reserves may also require you to wear certain attire before entering. Learning these rules ahead of time will make sure there aren’t any issues during your safari trip.
Driving Protocol
Although many people that go on African safari choose guided tours, other travelers prefer the freedom provided by a self-guided tour. However, if you choose this option and drive your own vehicle through a park, there are a few rules that you will need to follow to ensure your own safety and that of your fellow vacationers.

First, obviously, you will need to follow all posted speed limits, which will generally be between 40 and 50 kilometers per hour. You also need to stay on the designated roads to protect the wildlife that lives in the area. Second, when you encounter an animal, pull your vehicle over to provide the animal free passage. Finally, do not make any unnecessary noise, including honking your horn or revving the engine.

Driving on safari can be intimidating for first-timers, even if you’re careful about following the rules. If you’re at all nervous about driving during your trip, you should book a guided safari tour instead of trying to do it on your own.
Interacting with Animals
Seeing exotic animals up close and in person is one of the best reasons to go on an African safari. If you want to make sure this unique experience is both fun and rewarding, there are a few rules you need to follow when encountering African animal life.

While it can be tempting, you must never actually interact with the animals you see on safari. Stay in your vehicle and view it at a distance so that you can ensure your safety as well as the animal’s. Next, turn off your vehicle as soon as you make a sighting. Loud noises may scare the animal away before you get a good look. Lastly, when you pass other travelers, quietly notify them of the animal’s location so that they can see it as well.

If you follow these simple etiquette rules, you’ll be able to enjoy an
exciting African safari filled with one of a kind activities.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Planning an African Safari for Seniors

Vacationing is a great way to fill your senior years with fun and excitement! Out of all the thrilling trips that you could take as a senior, going on an African safari is one of the best. While safaris are a great choice for adventurers of any age, they are a particularly good choice for seniors looking for a unique traveling experience.

Before you plan your safari vacation, you need to learn about a few of the most popular safari destinations and activities that will ensure your trip will be fun-filled and memorable. Here are a few tips for planning a safari for seniors, and advice about the top activities you should choose for your next vacation.
Visit Cape Town
Many seniors planning to go on a safari want to visit a destination where they can experience gorgeous scenery and a relaxed environment. If this is what you’re looking for in your safari, then you should make sure your trip includes a stay in Cape Town.

Cape Town is the capital city of South Africa, and offers a variety of sites that seniors on an African safari will surely enjoy. Taking a stroll around Kirstenbosch Gardens will allow you to see some of the most breathtaking fauna in the world. Virtually every area of Cape Town is filled with beauty and will be a memorable stop on your safari.
Kruger National Park
The main goal of many people planning a safari is seeing the Big Five (African lion, African elephant, African leopard, Cape buffalo and rhinoceros) up close and in person. If you’re a senior interested in this once in a lifetime experience, then you should make sure you visit Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park is a popular safari destination, and contains several luxury lodges and game reserves. This means you can spend the day viewing exotic animals and enjoy a relaxing night in your hotel. Any senior that wants to see the world’s most beautiful animals needs to visit Kruger National Park.
Victoria Falls
Another popular safari destination for seniors visiting Africa is Victoria Falls. A stunning water fall, Victoria Falls is nicknamed the “Smoke that Thunders” for the spray that is left behind when the water spills over the African crust. Taking a helicopter ride past Victoria Falls is an experience that you’ll never forget.

After you’ve viewed the waterfall, there are several activities you can enjoy in this area of Africa, including a river cruise and elephant ride. A trip to Victoria Falls is a great way to cap off your African safari.
Searching for Gorillas
For adventurous seniors that want their safari to be as exciting as possible, an ideal activity is gorilla trekking. While this activity should be reserved for physically fit seniors, venturing into the rainforest and coming face to face with the majestic gorilla is an experience that simply can’t be missed.

If you think that you’re too old for an African safari, think again. As you can see, there are several
African safari activities that are perfect for seniors and make for an unforgetable getaway.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Five Secret Packing Tips for Your Next African Safari Tour

Each African safari tour is a new experience, so even if you have been several times, you may not know what to pack. Get rid of guessing games with this advice from long-time guides and travellers, who can let you in on a few safari packing secrets that will make your trip much easier and more enjoyable.
Dress to Be (Un)Seen
Unlike most vacations, you will want to blend in rather than stand out during your safari. The better you are able to look nondescript in your game drive vehicle or during your bush walk, the more close encounters you can get with majestic wildlife.

Avoid bright colors and try to stick to an earthy palette. Also, forego the cliche khaki safari-goer garb unless you plan on going to a desert setting, like the Kalahari or Namib Desert. If your plan is to travel to the bush, wear dark, muted green or brown clothing, depending on the season.
Get a Light-Colored Camera Bag
While you’re out in the bush, you are going to be exposed to the sun a lot, and so will your equipment. After a while, electronics stored in black or dark-colored totes will get extremely hot. This heat could even damage sensitive components like photocells, so try to manage the heat with a light-colored (or at least a non-black) bag. Bonus points if you can match it to your bush-colored safari clothing!

Another item you can bring along to make hauling your camera around easier? A shower cap! It fits over most photo set-ups for instant protection from rain and moisture.
Look for Moisture-Wicking Fabrics
On sweat-inducing travels, natural fibers like cotton are better than typical synthetic blends, but new moisture-wicking fabrics are even better. Look specifically for athletic or hiking-purposed gear that promises to reduce moisture and keep you cool, especially on your base layer.

If you cannot find any of these garments to your liking, remember that 100% natural cotton, linen or even a wool blend is better than cheaper poly-blend fabrics. While natural fibers can get heavy with moisture, at least they don’t make the sweat cling to your body like non-wicking synthetic fabrics do.

Don’t Forget the Floss
Yes, everyone should floss more — even on vacation! — but that’s not the reason behind this particular recommendation. Instead, floss provides handy, instant string on-tap that is fairly strong, lightweight and much easier to manage than a traditional thread spool.

Use floss to help you secure items or hang up light items in your lodge at night. Adding a needle makes dental floss a versatile thread for fixing buttons, patching up clothes or even mending your shoes. As a bonus, the needle fits perfectly in most standard box-shaped floss containers!
Break in Your Shoes in Before Your African Safari Tour
The best safari shoes have hard rubber soles and stiff ankles. Unfortunately, these types of shoes tend to have a long break-in period until they become comfortable. Get this period out of the way by wearing your safari-going shoes for at least a month before your trip. If you can get them comfortable enough for the walk through the airport, they’re in good shape for a trek through the wilderness!

If you want more advice for packing, or you want to plan your trip with customizable
African safari tour packages, you can get in touch with us today for our advice and expertise.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

What It’s Like to Climb Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and a destination for more than 16,000 climbers every year. Even though the mountain rises around 3,420 miles from base to peak, it is actually a fairly level climb that ends up being more of a “trek.” The biggest risk climbers face is altitude acclimatisation, which requires them to move at a steady pace to prevent over-exertion and allows them to slowly adjust to the thinning air as they rise above the Tanzania landscape.

To make the climb easier — and more comfortable — many trekkers also enlist the services of a porter, cooks, and hospitality staff. For climber safety, having a guide lead your way up the mountain is mandatory.

Overall, the trip up to the summit of Kilimanjaro takes five to nine days and crosses around 40-50 miles of total trail. Some routes have luxurious accommodations, including permanent chalets on Marangu, and all can be traversed with far greater safety and comfort than one might expect on a trek up Africa’s highest summits.

Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania is itself also a beautiful destination for non-climbers who want to see local species like colobus Monkeys, leopards, elephants and tree hyrax. So, whether climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro or staring at its majestic peak from the rainforest floor below, the park provides an amazing destination for Tanzania safari tours.

A Relatively Easy Climb Makes for a Popular Destination
Kilimanjaro’s boast-worthy summit elevation and relatively easy ascent make it popular for adventurers trying to scratch achievements from their bucket list.

As veteran adventurer Morgan Trimble writes for
The Guardian: “[...]scaling the 5,895-metre (19,341 ft) dormant volcano requires no technical skill. Climbers with a moderate level of fitness, positive attitude, and a body that adapts reasonably well to altitude have a good chance of success.” However, she also notes that because of the relative ease of ascent, “it’s no surprise to learn that the number of people attempting the climb is high.”

In fact, the trip is so popular that the two most commonly used routes are named after things people universally love; Marangu is called “Coca-Cola,” and Machame is called “Whiskey.”

Camps frequently play home to dozens of travellers each night as well as their entourage of cooks, porters, guides and other crew. On average, each trekker has around four to six people apiece.

Yet, the popularity of Kilimanjaro would do little to spoil your sense of adventure. As climb rises above the timberline of the surrounding rainforest, you earn spellbinding glimpses of the canopies below. Once you reach the second camp stop, you can see the city of Arusha and its over 400,000 residents glittering below you in an awe-inspiring display. You also get to explore grassy fields, peaceful forests, and scrubby hilltops teeming with unique creatures.

When you do reach the top, you can feel incredibly proud knowing you have risen to highest point in the African continent.

See Kilimanjaro on a Tanzania Safari Tour
Whether you intend to reach the peak of Kilimanjaro as an interlude to your African safari vacation or you feel content to admire the towering mountain comfortably from its base, going to Kilimanjaro National Park is a must for any visitors to Tanzania.

If you are interested in seeing Kilimanjaro in person, take a look at our sample
Tanzania safari tour packages, or contact us directly to book a custom tour that includes a trip to Africa’s tallest mountain.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Why Booking an African Safari Tour Package Is Your Best Option

Booking your vacation to Africa as an African safari tour package can save you lots of money and stress while making your trip as incredible as possible.

Many people interested in going on an African safari holiday worry about several questions: How will I know where to stay? What should I do for food? Can I safely and reliably travel from attraction to attraction? Will I be getting the most from my trip?

Booking your trip as part of a package can answer all of these questions resolutely. You end up knowing exactly what is taken care of for you, and you know what you need to take care of for yourself — which ends up being quite a small list! Best of all, you get the knowledgeable guidance of veteran African safari tour organizers, who carefully craft your package to provide the most incredible experience possible.

So, if you are considering taking a trip to see the most wild and wonderful things in Africa, here are a few reasons you should consider booking that trip as a safari vacation package.

You’ll Always Know What You Need to Do
When some travellers visit a foreign country on vacation, they may feel more than a touch of anxiety worrying about whether they have forgotten to do something. Whether it’s wondering if you have a cab to catch or if you need to arrive at your next destination at an earlier time, the stress of feeling out of control can make getting the relaxation you deserve difficult.

By booking a safari package, you know exactly what you need to do at any given time, so there’s no learning curve and no need to worry. Your entire itinerary is planned out for you. You always know where you need to be, what meals you need to cover and how you are going to get to your next destination. Your safari tour company can also offer you help anytime you feel like something has gone wrong, including missing your appointment. And, you can deviate from your itinerary any time, making your trip anything but predictable.

Lower Cost and More Covered Expenses
Your variable expenses on vacation — like dining, activity fees and booking price fluctuations — can quickly add up to make your trip more expensive than you had planned. But when you book your trip to Africa as part of a safari holiday package, you plan ahead for 90 percent of your costs. Many meals are already covered, all included activity fees and lodging costs are paid in advance, and the vast majority of your transit needs are pre-booked.

The only things you typically have to pay for include: in-between meals (our safari tour packages let you know what meals aren’t included on each day), extra alcoholic drinks, shopping for souvenirs, tipping service staff, and the cost of your flight as well as transit to/from the airport.

Even more importantly, all of you pre-planned costs end up being lower when booked as a package! Those who live in Africa are more familiar with the best value services, and we can secure better rates through negotiation compared to foreign visitors, so you get the benefit of incredible savings.

See What Africa Has to Offer with Our African Safari Tour Packages
Every curated package created also gives you a whirlwind of positive experiences that makes the most of your trip with every waking moment. Our planned African safari holiday packages pack your days with activities at the best possible parks, doing the best possible activities and getting taken care of by some of the best hospitality staff you’ve ever encountered.

Take a look at our sample
African safari tour packages to see what could be in store for you, and contact us if you want a special, customized package for your ideal safari experience.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui


8 Tips for Getting Through an Overseas Flight Before Your African Safari Tour

When you talk to people who have just visited Africa, they will often tell you that the most stressful part of their trip was the long flight over. Direct flights from the U.S. East Coast can take over 15 hours, and many West Coast flights involve more than 24 hours in the air, with connecting flights in between.

Surviving this slog means getting the chance to experience an incredible world of rare animals, breathtaking landscapes and intriguing new cultures on an African safari tour. All you have to do is power through it!

In that light, here are some survival tips for long flights to Africa before your safari begins:

Use a Hiking Pack and a Small Backpack
The most convenient option for packing your items isn’t in a gigantic suitcase but rather a hiking pack. These packs are made for long jaunts and include a supporting frame along with waist belts that help distribute weight over your hips. In other words, you can carry a lot without feeling like you are.

You will likely have to check your hiking pack since most do not fit inside the overhead compartment, but even then the convenience of going to and leaving from the airport is worth it. This hiking pack is also the perfect way to carry items from site to site. You can also wear a smaller backpack as a carry on with the pack held in front of you, like a baby.

Buy Reading Materials Before You Get to the Airport
Magazines and paperbacks are incredibly overpriced at airport shops. Stop by a newsstand or bookstore a few days before the trip to stock up on cheaper reading materials. Definitely have some form of non-electronic entertainment handy before your flight in case all your batteries get drained or you get eye fatigue from staring at screens.

Stand Up and Stretch Throughout the Flight
The worst thing you can do to your body during a long flight is stay in your seat the whole time. Make sure to stand up, move around and do a quick stretching routine every few hours, especially after waking up from a nap. Another way to keep blood circulating is to buy compression socks. These ensure that your feet do not fall asleep even on long flights.

Get Lots of Sleep Leading Up to Your Trip
Jet lag, excitement and a hectic schedule often cause people to lose many hours of sleep at once during their safari vacation. Prepare for this by getting plenty of rest in the days leading up to your flight.

Dress Comfortably and In Layers
Feeling comfortable is more important than looking nice on a long flight. Wear relaxing, loose-fitting clothes and bring a few extra layers to prepare for temperature changes during the flight.

Fight Dehydration with a Water Bottle or Bladder
The recycled air on an airplane can get incredibly dry, so fight back with your own water container. You can bring an empty container through security and fill it up afterwards, so be sure to take along a water bottle at least 24 oz big or, better-yet, a packable water bladder.

Combine All Needed Documents Into One Folder, and Put it in Your Carry-On
Your visa, vaccine documentation and other must-haves for entering a foreign country should all be kept in a single, secure location. Have copies made just in case these get lost, and leave additional copies at home with a friend as a further backup.

Plan How You’ll Leave the Destination Airport in Advance
Never “wing it” when it comes to getting from the airport to your hotel or safari lodge. Reserve your accommodations well in advance, and speak with the desk to determine the best way to get where they are. Remember that you may have no cell service when you arrive and that the airport cabs are usually not the best transit option.

Get More Advice, and Book Your African Safari Tour Now!
We have loads of additional tips we can offer you as experienced travellers and expert safari-goers ourselves. Answer your most pressing questions and prepare for your trip with a custom safari tour package when you contact us today. You can also view our sample safari tour packages to start dreaming of your perfect vacation in the Mother Continent.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui
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5 Best Places to Visit on a Madagascar Safari Tour

As the fourth-largest island in the world and with thousands of species you won’t find anywhere else, Madagascar safari tours a true adventure in exploring the unfamiliar. Even compared to the rest of Africa, Madagascar seems like a unique and charming outlier worth exploring.

Those who venture onto the island will find gorgeous cities, charming locals and breathtaking species. In fact, 90 percent of Madagascar’s wildlife is endemic, meaning their species cannot be found naturally anywhere else on the planet.

Read on to discover the areas of Madagascar most worth exploring in order to start planning your safari tour.

Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve
At the Tsingy de Bemaraha, a huge 600 square mile block of Jurassic-era limestone was dissolved over time by ground water tables over millions of years. When the stone broke the surface, the result is an utterly unique landscape defined by knife-thin jagged peaks and valleys of limestone. To those who do not exercise caution when exploring the limestone, just touching the rocks the wrong way can be enough to cut deeply through the skin.

Within these formations are colonies of species even more unique than Madagascar as a whole. Biologists discover and name new species here all the time, including a long-legged lemur named after Monty Python actor John Cleese, first formally described in 2005.

Visiting the park is a breathtaking experience that provides photo opportunities of a near-alien landscape. Rest assured, there is no other place on Earth like the Tsingy.

Avenue of the Baobab Trees
Some native African populations refer to baobabs as “the upside down tree” because it resembles roots sticking out from thick trunks into the sky. At the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar, these trees cluster together in a stunning formation to create a dramatic presence. The local Malagasy refer to them as “renala,” or “mother of the forest.”

Vakona Forest Lodge
A gorgeous slice of luxury in the midst of the Malagasy rainforest, the Vakona Forest Lodge immerses you in the beauty of its surrounding nature. Watch as lemurs frolic outside your bungalow, or embark on exciting activities like horseback rides, canoeing, hikes along the private reserve, and a Turkish bath to help you feel cleansed and relaxed after it all.

Andasibe-Mantadia National Park
This mountainous park is in the midst of the Madagascar rainforest and home to many of the region’s most famous endemic species. The indri, the largest lemur in the world, lives mostly within the confines of this park.

Enjoy guided hikes as your you discover the wonders and unique species of the tree canopy above, the forest floor below and everything in between.

The Peyrieras Reptile Reserve
French naturalist and entomologist André Peyriéras founded the “Madagascar Exotic” wildlife preserve after moving to the country in 1954. Peyriéras formally catalogued many of Madagascar’s endemic species, including the tiny dwarf chameleon and Peyrieras' woolly lemur. His reserve persists as a way to help preserve and breed populations of rare Malagasy insects, reptiles and amphibians. A visit to the park is like a trip through time as you have close encounters with species that evolved many millions of years ago.

Book Your Madagascar Safari Tour Today
You can find all of these experiences and more when you book one of our Madagascar safari tour packages. Explore what Madagascar has to offer, and contact us if you are interested in creating a custom Madagascar safari experience for you and your group.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

5 Best Things to Do on Safari in Namibia

Going on a Namibia safari tour can be an amazing way to experience some of the more unique landscapes of Africa. Namibia’s deserts are unlike anything else in the world. It’s coastline, which boasts powerful waters and beaches teeming with wildlife, also offers a stark contrast to these sprawling, barren deserts.

Namibia happens to possess plenty of cosmopolitan charm, as well, with world-class restaurants, museums and entertainment that make a trek into its big cities as worthy as a trek atop its sand dunes. In short, going on safari in Namibia can provide a wide range of experiences that makes the country an absolute must-visit.

If you intend to see some of the most incredible sights and experiences Africa has to offer, here are five of the most important things to do in Namibia:

Sossusvlei and Deadvlei Sand Dunes
No trip to Namibia would be complete without a walk atop its towering red sand dunes.

Sossusvlei is the most famous area to explore in this department, and its dunes tower as high as 388 meters in the air — nearly a quarter mile! This pan forms from the dried waters of the Tsauchab River as it swells seasonally from heavy rains. As the temporary lake beds dry, they often leave white salt deposits, creating a stunning contrast with the rusty dunes around them.

Reaching the dunes in a 4x4 is easy, and shuttles are available to take you into the park if you only have a two-wheel drive vehicle.

While Sossusvlei offers an iconic setting familiar to those who love television and movies, the less-explored pan, Deadvlei, also offers some incredible viewing opportunities. “Big Daddy” one of the biggest dunes in the area, soars at 325 meters and can be reached via a 3km walk from the nearby 4x4 parking area.

Your activities in the Namib Desert can go beyond hikes, too. Try sandboarding to trade out white powder for red, or go hot air ballooning above the desert to get a bird’s eye view.

Etosha Park
Etosha flourishes with wildlife, and many times the most impressive specimens will come right up to your game drive vehicle if you park in the right spot by a watering hole. Giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, Burchell’s zebras, hyenas, jackals, ostriches, springboks and a great deal of antelope all call the park home. Rarer specimens, including the desert lion, cheetahs, leopards and black rhinos, can also be found throughout the park.

Fish River Canyon
Almost as spectacular as its dunes, Namibia’s Fish River Canyon cuts a majestic path through southern Namibia to create the largest canyon in all of Africa. Stunning hikes into the canyon and adventurous drives tracking the course of the Fish River offer plenty of photo opportunities and a different sort of experience from the typical safari drive.

Cape Cross Seal Reserve
Namibia has a coastline, so not all of it is hot and arid!

One of the most fascinating locales on this coast is the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, where over 100,000 Cape fur seals converge every year to mate, give birth, and tend to their young. Seal viewing opportunities are abundant, and some seals even
waddle up to the boardwalk viewing area for an up-close and personal photo.

Windhoek Restaurants and Museums
Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, is a treasure of culture and cuisine. World-renowned restaurants include Leo’s at the Castle, which is located within the gorgeous Castle Heinitzburg and offers outdoor seating overlooking the city. Those looking for less formal fare can also dine at Joe’s Beerhouse, while Restaurant Gathemann offers gourmet versions of regional favorites prepared with locally sourced ingredients.

Book Your Namibia Safari Tour Today
Namibia safari tour packages are available, providing curated experiences that encompass the best the country has to offer. Start practicing your sandboarding, and book your trip today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui
Image: Wolwedans

Four Animals You Can Only See on an African Nighttime Safari

Africa has many beautiful and unique creatures that you can only see after dark. While most safari walking tours and game drives take place early in the morning — when many animals are active and the daytime temperatures have yet to soar — an African nighttime safari gives you the opportunity to see shy and elusive creatures that prefer the cover of darkness.

Many of these animals are still quite difficult to spot, but if you keep your eyes peeled and embark on a few game drives, you just might catch a glimpse of one of the following African nocturnal species.

Lesser Bushbaby
Bushbabies, also known as Galagos, are the continent’s smallest primate. They love to feast on insects and tree sap, and they can jump from tree to tree over surprising distances.

Spotting an entire bushbaby is a difficult thing to do, but you are sure to see and hear plenty of evidence of them. Their glowing eyes can be seen fairly readily when reflecting camp lights or headlights, and their child-like cries commonly pierce the night air.

Aardvarks have a wide range and enough numbers for them to not be considered endangered, yet they are quite tough to spot on safari. When you are lucky enough to stumble upon one, they are usually quite active. Rangers often follow them waddling on their nightly patrol until they locate an insect mound where they can enjoy a midnight snack.

Their long, sticky tongues measure up to a foot in length and help them smell as well as snack on tasty ants and termites. During the day, aardvarks sleep inside their large burrows that they dig themselves, which can be more than 40 feet long.

Honey Badger
The honey badger of internet fame has a ferocious personality worthy of its reputation. It will defend itself against predators many times its size when threatened and can withstand powerful claw swipes and stings thanks to its thick, tough skin. Honey badgers are even known to fight off lions.

In sparsely populated areas they hunt by both day and night, but when humans are typically about they hide out until after sunset.

The pangolin is a beautiful and critically endangered animal with many unique traits. Most noticeable of these traits are its scales, which are made out of the same hard proteins that make up our nails, our hair and rhino horns. When frightened, a pangolin will roll up into a tight ball to protect its vulnerable belly.

They emerge at night to eat ants and termites, using their long claws and sticky, anteater-like tongues to reach their meal. Spotting a wild pangolin is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially as the animal becomes more rare due to relentless poaching.

Cape Porcupine
Like the bushbaby, you are more likely to hear the Cape porcupine than see it. Its large size and cumbersome quills make it far from the most graceful animals on the continent. Loud brushing and scraping noises are common sounds as a porcupine bumbles its way through the bush. They are, in fact, the largest porcupine and the largest rodent in southern Africa.

Cape porcupines are herbivores, and they will enthusiastically tear into tree bark, causing telltale marks and plenty of snuffling. They will also eat other plant parts like roots, bulbs, stems and fruit. Although they are not normally aggressive, they will defend themselves with spikes that measure up to two inches in length.

See These Elusive But Wonderful Creatures on an African Nighttime Safari
Many of Africa’s best game lodges offer night time drives as an activity or an add-on service, so take a look to find your preferred African safari vacation package and schedule your nighttime game drive today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

All About the Leopard, Africa’s Most Beautiful Cat

Of all the animals you will see on a big cat safari, none are as beautiful, powerful and mysterious as the African leopard. These increasingly rare animals are quite elusive, making them the most difficult of the “big five” safari animals to spot.

However, those who do come upon a leopard are in for quite a treat. Their coats are simply breathtaking and their muscular build combines with their confident demeanor to make them both intimidating and captivating.

Learn some interesting facts about this gorgeous animal and what you can expect during a safari encounter by reading on.

Leopards Live Mostly Alone Within Huge Territories
One of the biggest reasons that leopards are so hard to find is that they each maintain a fairly large territory. Territories can be as small as seven square miles or as big as 174 square miles depending on the availability of prey, the terrain and the presence of other leopards nearby.

Leopard territories can sometimes overlap, but each one tries to stay around one kilometer apart from the other to avoid conflicts, except during times of mating.

Leopards Are Powerful, Solitary Hunters
Every leopard hunts alone, as opposed to lion prides, which usually coordinate to bring down kills. Leopards prefer to stalk as closely as they can to prey and bring it down with one powerful strike. When going in for a kill, they have been known to run over 36 mph, jump 20 feet horizontally and leap up to 9.8 feet in the air!

The leopard will use its powerful jaws to clench the throat of its prey and crush it, suffocating it in the process.

Mama Leopards Are Quite Loving
Although adult leopards are generally not social, mother leopards will share territory with young for up to two years. She initially carries them from den to den to prevent their scent from attracting predators while nursing them.

Around three months old, the cubs accompany their mom on hunts and learn from her behaviors. Even though they are able to hunt for themselves by the time they are one year old, they will remain close by their mother for 18 to 24 months total.

Leopards Eat a Huge Variety of Prey and Will Store Large Carcasses in Trees
Leopards are quite opportunistic eaters, and each one will greatly adapt its diet depending on the season, available prey and other factors. They prefer eating medium-sized ungulates like springbok and young wildebeest, but will also dine on smaller prey like rats, porcupines, monkeys, warthogs and even dung beetles when larger prey is scarce.

When given the chance, a leopard will also take down huge prey, including animals many times larger than itself. They have been seen killing 300 lb giraffes, and the largest kill ever recorded was a gigantic male eland antelope that literally weighed a ton!

On average, a leopard will kill one medium-sized animal every one to two weeks and will drag kills up into trees to prevent other predators and scavengers from stealing their leftovers. The muscular build required to drag large prey makes leopards possibly the strongest of all big cats. One was observed dragging a young giraffe weighing 276 lbs — over twice the leopard’s weight — 19 feet up into a tree!

Female Leopards Communicate With Cubs Using White Spots, and All Leopards Make “Saw” Noise
Although a leopard’s fur is covered almost completely in a captivating golden hue and iconic rosette spots, females have a few subtle white accents on the tips of their ears and tail. They will use these accents in specific twitching patterns to communicate with young cubs while stalking within tall grasses.

Leopards will also communicate with one another using distinctive, low, rumbling growls. One of the most recognizable of these is referred to as “sawing” since it
sounds like a tree being slowly sawed. Some leopards also make a low rumbling sound when they are content, similar to a house cat's purr.

Come See Leopards and Other Awesome Animals on a Big Cat Safari
If you are interested in getting a chance to glimpse the rare leopard and other beautiful large cats like lions and cheetahs, you can choose an African safari package that includes lots of game drives and some close-up looks at rescued leopards living in sanctuaries. Book your trip today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui


What Are the 6 African Lion Subspecies You Can See on Safari?

Lions are gorgeous creatures, having been depicted in art, mythology and symbolism since the dawn of culture. Part of what makes these depictions so intriguing is how much their interpretation of the lion can change so dramatically. These differences have a lot to do with the culture and time in which the depiction was made, but it also has to do with just how diverse lion subspecies can be.

In Africa alone, there are six extant subspecies. Another subspecies, the Barbary lion, went extinct in the wild in 1920 from overhunting, but possible pure bloodlines still exist in captivity.

You can learn more about the different subspecies of African lion that you can expect to see on a lion safari tour, including what makes each one unique, by reading on.

Masai Lion
The Masai lion, sometimes called the East African lion, has one of the widest and most robust populations left of any lion subspecies. Their current success is ironic given that this subspecies was relatively limited in geographic range, but the growth of human civilization that shrunk populations of subspecies like Transvaal lion was tempered by the arid climate that the Masai lion calls home.

This region stretches from northern Uganda through Kenya and into parts of northern Tanzania. Masai lions can be found near Lake Manyara as well as Mount Kilimanjaro.

Masai Lions differ in appearance from other subspecies in their longer legs and relatively less curved back shape. Male lions typically grow less full manes throughout all the territory, and males living in the lowlands of Kenya have scant, almost non-existent manes regardless of their age.

Southwest African Lion
The Southwest African lion, also called the Katanga lion, lives in Namibia, Angola western Zimbabwe and northern Botswana. This species tends to be tall and robust, with some of the fullest and longest manes ever recorded. Cecil, the lion who was a star attraction and became the subject of an infamous killing by hunters, was a Southwest African lion.

West African Lion
The West African lion is a critically endangered subspecies that mainly makes its home in the arid desert regions of the Sub-Sahara, including parts of Senegal and Nigeria. These lions are smaller, with a more slender appearance similar to the Asiatic lion.

Congo Lion
Congo lions, or Uganda lions as they are sometimes called, are a proposed subspecies that lives in the jungles of the Congo River basin and the area of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

Transvaal Lion
Transvaal lions are also known as Southeast African Lions, and they are the stars of Kruger Park in South Africa. Many zoo specimens around the world were captured or bred from Transvaal lions, making the subspecies and important component of conservation efforts.

Barbary Lion
Barbary lions once lived along the rocky coasts of North Africa, particularly Algeria. Overhunting caused them to go extinct in the wild in 1920, but many animals held as part of royal menageries or in early zoos are allegedly from Barbary lion stock.

See These Subspecies in the Wild on an African Lion Safari Tour
You can see many of these species up close and personal at Kruger park or anywhere else in Africa as part of a safari tour package. Prepare for your lion encounter by booking your safari vacation today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

8 Must-Have Packing Accessories When Travelling to Africa

You can take a lot of guesswork out of packing by following tips from experienced globetrotters who have been travelling to Africa and many other continents in search of adventure. Those who intend to go on an African safari tour or a vacation in Africa could therefore do well to bring along these eight recommended travel essentials that can make life on safari that much easier:

Compression Sacks and Packing Cubes
Part of packing is staying organized, especially if you will be carting your belongings from trip to trip on a near nightly basis. You can make your life easier by using smaller vessels like packing cubes and compression sacks and then using your larger suitcase to stow all these items in one place.

Compression sacks in general are great for large, soft, “fluffy” items like sweatshirts, bedding, socks and similar items. They are easy to stuff, and then condensing your items into a capsule is as simple as tightening the straps.

Packing cubes are less magical in their abilities, but they help you keep your suitcase items literally compartmentalized, such as keeping jeans and pants separate from t-shirts, underwear and toiletries. Using the items you need no longer requires taking apart your entire suitcase, either, making these devices indispensable.

You never know when you may need a light! Headlamps help in a variety of situations, from a nighttime walking safari to trying to find the light switch in your lodge during a midnight bathroom trip. Just make sure you bring fresh batteries!

Outlet Converter (or Compatible Charger)
The last thing you want to do is be caught with a dead device battery and an incompatible charger, so research the type of plug you will need for the country or region you will be visiting and stock up on adapters accordingly.

You can also use emergency battery kits in case your charge runs dry, but remember these devices add weight to your bags!

Earplugs and a Travel Blanket
Earplugs and a cozy but lightweight blanket can turn any boredom-inducing situation or in transit trip into a quick, energy-recharging nap!

Wool Socks
Never underestimate the power of natural fiber socks! Wool socks wick away moisture, offer added support and are more durable than generic cotton-poly blends. They also last a few wears in between washes, so you can replace a multiple pairs of regular white socks with just one pair of lightweight wool!

Travel Dictionary
Many African countries speak English as a second language, but pronunciations and slang are so embedded in native languages that it helps to have a bridge. Make sure to take along a travel dictionary like this one that covers the languages you are likely to encounter so that nothing gets lost in translation.

Plan for Travelling to Africa Based on the Type of African Safari Vacation You Want to Have
These general items will get you fairly far in terms of comfort and convenience, but to truly prepare for your trip you have to know what you are going to be doing first. Prepare by taking a look at sample African safari itineraries and deciding on what type of adventures you will go out and enjoy.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

5 Things to Do in Cape Town Before You Die

When visiting on a South African safari, you can get your fill of majestic wildlife at Kruger and enjoy Johannesburg's stunning city life, but you should also make time to enjoy the unique experience that is Cape Town. Home to South Africa’s parliament and the first true, permanent European settlement on the continent, Cape Town is steeped in history and culture.

At the same time, you can appreciate the area’s unique scenic beauty, including its incredibly diverse plant life and the drama of its unique coastal animals. Explore the best that “the Mother City” has to offer as we run down our list of the top must-try things to do in Cape Town, South Africa.

Scale Table Mountain
Cape Town lives in the shadow of the breathtaking table mountain, so the imposing formation should be the most tempting place to explore as you first arrive in town.

Part of the challenge can be getting to the top. You can
hike Table Mountain, which is quite the trek, or enjoy a more leisurely climb while riding a cable car or the world’s first environmentally friendly funicular.

Once atop the mountain, you can enjoy cool temperatures and a sweeping view of the captivating surroundings, creating the perfect photo ops.

Watch the Penguins of Boulder Beach
South Africa is home to the braying jackass penguin, who tend to live in massive colonies in Boulder Beach near Cape Town. The gorgeous white sands and titular boulders of the beach are eye candy enough, but you can also enjoy the antics and familial bonding of the only penguin species that calls Africa home.

False Bay itself is a majestic and inviting stretch of ocean, offering the perfect place to dip your toes or catch a swim. Just make sure not to get too close to the penguins; they may be cute but they will not hesitate to preserve their personal space!

See Rare Plant, Beautiful Plant Species at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Cape Town is located in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, a unique ecological zone home to thousands of endemic species — ones that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. One of the best places to explore this region of the fynbos is at the Kirstenbosch Gardens. Explore trails, curated gardens and enjoy stunning sculptures at the perfect place to spend an afternoon — or a couple of days!

Dine and Shop Locally at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a charming district full of premier shopping, mouth watering local cuisine, incredible activities and a bustling nightlife. You can easily spend several days exploring all the shops, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs the waterfront has to offer and barely scratch the surface.

Just make sure at the very least you have one meal at Belthazar!

Fill Your Mind With Facts at Engaging Museums
South Africa is steeped in history and rich environmental resources, and few places is that more apparent than within the halls of Cape Town’s many diverse museums. These include:

Chavonnes Battery Museum — History of colonialism and native South African culture
National Gallery — Home to incredible South African art as well as pieces from famous artists like Pablo Picasso
District Six Museum — Details the history of apartheid and how it affected the unique culture in a ward filled with artisans, merchants, laborers and immigrants
Houses of Parliament — Operational seat of South African legislature as well as a museum to local governmental history
The Heart of Cape Town Museum — An in-depth look at the people, locations and events that forged the Cape Town of today

Try All of These Things to Do in Cape Town on a South African Safari Tour
You can explore all that Cape Town has to offer while still seeing Johannesburg, Kruger and other South African highlights when you book a South African safari tour package today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

4 Tips for Going on an African Safari With Kids

A safari is a life-altering experience, and young kids have a rare chance to have this impact affect them while they are still developing. Going on an African safari with kids can be an almost magical experience as your children discover things from a whole new light and share their sense of wonder.

Yes, there is the chance for the typical crying and bickering to happen, but with some planning and some strategies in place, your kids can come back in one piece and report happy, conflict-free times to their friends. In that light, here are four tips that can help you ensure that your kids have a great time, stay safe and don’t infringe on the experience for others.

Plan Ahead for Everything
The best way to prevent a small event becoming a full-blown crisis is to always stay a few steps ahead of it. Doing a little bit of research and advanced planning can help both you and your child stay calm in these situations.

One of the most important things to know is the location of the nearest hospital or clinic at all times. Your children should be up-to-date with their travel vaccines and, if possible, should take antimalaria drugs in advance of their trip. Come up with an emergency plan for getting to local healthcare facilities, and know what you will have to do if you and your child somehow get separated.

While imagining scenarios like these could stress you out, the act of preparing for them can keep you calm and focused even if the unlikely happens.

Share Your Emergency Plans and Expectations With Your Children
Children are not known for their stellar focus, so if you attempt to introduce all sorts of concepts, behavior expectations and rules in the midst of a new setting, they are only going to be half listening at best.

Instead, prepare them for their trip and get them excited by practicing strategies in advance. For instance, pretend a neighborhood cat is a prowling lion and your whole car has to stay quiet as you observe it. Practice holding hands or staying close in a crowded area, and mention how instead of a shopping mall you could soon be in a real market when the time for your trip comes.

By establishing rules, expectations and behaviors early, you will struggle less to get them to know what to do when the time comes.

Include Lots of Variety on Your Safari
Your safari vacation should include more than one type of activity. No matter how exciting the first few daily game drives are, for instance, your children may feel restless if that’s all they do for the week. Mix up your experience by taking a boating safari, going on a game walk or engaging in an educational activity like learning how to track game. You can also visit areas outside of the parks — Cape Town is especially great for kids!

The more variety you have, the less likely your children are to get bored or cause drama.

Bring Enough Binoculars or Cameras to Share
Your child is likely to feel left out if they are the only one who cannot see something amazing in the distance, so bring enough binoculars to pass around among everyone.

Plan to Use Family-Friendly Services and Lodging When Going on a Safari With Kids
The best way to make your trip as pleasant and fun as possible for people of all ages is to select services that accommodate families with children. For instance, certain lodges have activities to keep kids entertained and family-sized tents where everyone can stay. Game drive guides may also offer a private car, helping avoid awkward situations with other safari-goers if your kids are particularly chatty.

You can discover ideas for the perfect vacation by looking at our
family safari tour packages or contacting us for our personal recommendations.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Exploring South Africa’s Garden Route

Often called South Africa’s “best kept secret,” the Garden Route is a stretch of the N2 road between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Along this gorgeous seaside jaunt, you will discover ancient forests, charming artist communities, secluded beachfront hideaways, modern golf courses, crafts, shopping and mountainous views. Simply put, it is an amazing way to sample the sheer variety South Africa can offer all in one go!

You can learn more about South Africa’s Garden Route and why it has become an increasingly popular travel destination by reading about its diverse qualities below.

Charming Locals
Originally, the Garden Route was settled by South African locals and craftsmen looking to establish their own niches in the Western Cape. Over time, they began to open shops and other businesses. The latest example of this entrepreneurial spirit is the Bramon Wine Farm near Plettenberg Bay.

Others became attracted to the area for its scenic beauty and undeniable authenticity. Enterprising businessmen opened up golf courses, resorts and modern shopping malls. Artists from all over the world were lured in by affordable homes located in quiet, picturesque villages. Meeting these people and purchasing their wares is a great way to get a true taste of the South African life and understand just how diverse and rich our culture truly is.

Gorgeous Sights and Animals Galore
There are plenty of uniquely beautiful regions in South Africa, but the Garden Route highlights some of the best in just a short span of time. Oudtshoorn, for example, sits along Route 62 just north of N2 near the Western Cape. This small town dubs itself the “ostrich capital of the world” for having the biggest ostrich population thanks to its many ostrich farms and related tourist attractions.

Getting to Oudtshoorn from the town of George near the coast requires passing through the Outeniqua Mountains, just as people and elephants have done for centuries. These stunning, rocky mountains are home to leopards and the rare Cape sugarbird, and there are rumors that elephants can still be sighted on occasion.

Look out to the sea during your trip on the Garden Route, and you will spot many aquatic mammals playing, hunting and gathering along the surf. Humpback whales, southern right whales, bottlenose dolphins and sometimes orcas can be found here, especially if you take a sightseeing boat ride out into Plettenberg Bay.

Captivating Fynbos Plants and Other Surprises Along South Africa’s Garden Route
In addition to all of the above, you can explore South Africa’s enchanting fynbos region during your trip along the Garden Route, which has more unique plant species than any other place on Earth. Wilderness National Park — with its barely touched fynbos fields and chain of small lakes — is the perfect focal point to explore these colorful fields.

Of course, don’t neglect the incredible coastline the Garden Route can offer. This region has among the mildest climates in the world, making everyday feel like perfect vacation weather!

Come explore the Garden Route and all of its unforgettable, unique experiences by booking a
South African safari tour package today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Flower Hunting on Your South African Safari

South Africa has some of the most gorgeous foliage on all of planet Earth. Many of these species cannot be found anywhere else. In fact, South Africa is home to around 10 percent of the world’s flowering plant species. Most, over 9,000 species, call the Cape Floristic Region home. 69 percent of these species are endemic, meaning they exist only in the 2,135 square miles the region encompasses.

Therefore, finding certain rare flowers in this region and other unique climates on a South African safari can be even more significant and exciting for some than seeing the “big five” game animals. Read on to learn more about the most unique and exciting places flowering plants in South Africa so you can prioritize your vacation plans.

Namaqua National Park
If there is any proof that technology can never truly substitute a real-life experience, it’s in the elation your heart will feel at the site of west South Africa’s Namaqua region in full bloom. These fields are normally brown and barren throughout most of the year, but every spring following heavy rains, they transform into an enchanted and colorful land. Daisies of all colors and sizes erupt in color, filling miles of fields as far as the eye can see with an explosion of oranges, yellows, violets and more.

Skilpad Wildflower Reserve
Located within the Namakwaland region, the Skilpad Wildflower Reserve offers not just sweeping views of wildflower fields but also plenty of hiking and biking opportunities. Enjoy mountain biking along long, gentle slopes that overlook grand vistas of wildflower fields.

Tankwa Karoo National Park
The Karoo region is mostly arid scrubland, but it is dotted with pops of bright color following the rainy season. Purple Drosanthemum Hispidum flowers sprout from furry succulents, creating clumps of rich hues interrupting carpets of yellow. Lodging in the Karoo is also a unique experience owing to the gorgeous mountain backdrops and constant sunshine.

Cosmos Country, Mpumalanga
Most flower-seeking journeys take you to western South Africa, but the Mpumalanga region in the easternmost region of the country offers plenty of breathtaking flower discoveries. One of the most popular of these is the cosmos flower, which offers beautiful pastel hues in white, purple and pink throughout the area. Flowering succulents are also common, including the gorgeous flowering aloes found in the mountainous regions near Graskop.

Kruger National Park
Although Kruger is world-famous for its game drives and wildlife viewing, it also has plenty of beautiful flowers to catch. The impala lily, for instance, blesses the park with flamingo-colored flowers that break up the otherwise bleak visuals of the dry winter bush.

Even though Pretoria is a large city, it is jam packed with stunning flora. In early summer, flowering trees line the quaint boulevards and city streets, showering everything in color and delicate petals. Visiting here offers a change of pace from the more remote locations described above.

Find Your Flower Heaven on a South African Safari
No matter what type of flower experience or photos you are looking for, South Africa can provide you with it in spades. Take a look at our South African safari vacation packages or call us to book a specialty tour where you can visit all your ideal hotspots in one go!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Amazing Animals of the Impenetrable Forest

Despite its name, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is accessible to anyone who wants to see some of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. Most famously, Bwindi plays home to the elusive and severely endangered mountain gorilla population. Nine other primate species make this forest their home, as do 348 bird species, 310 species of butterfly, and dozens of snakes, lizards and amphibians.

All of these rare animals weave a unique biological tapestry unseen anywhere else on the planet. Meet them and explore their natural habitat as we take you on a journey through one of the last remaining primeval forests on Earth.

A Forest Billions of Years in the Making
When European colonialists began to slash and burn their way through the African continent, they had no idea just how disruptive their actions would be. Trees grow back, but the unique ecosystems of old growth forests are very delicate and impossible to truly preserve unless legacy plants are allowed to remain.

Bwindi’s reputation as an “impenetrable forest” among these conquerors is the only thing that preserved it from a similar fate. Thickets of bamboo and underbrush make traversing on foot arduous and even dangerous unless an established hiking trail is is made. Conservationists and local guides have carefully carved out a few of these trails so that others can explore Bwindi, studying its incredible diversity or simply soaking in the otherworldly experience it offers.

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was established in 1991 as a way to enable access without disturbing the extremely vulnerable animal populations who call the forest “home.” Among these are the mountain gorillas, many of which live in the Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve.

The Bwindi National Park itself has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its biodiversity, high number of endemic species and status as a “virgin” forest unmarred by logging and development.

Animal Highlights of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi is home to many intelligent primates, including the common chimpanzee, blue monkeys, red monkeys, Colobus monkeys, and L’Hoest’s Monkeys. Nocturnal primates also call the forest home, including the shy potto and bush babies. And, of course, there are Bwindi’s famous mountain gorillas, which can be seen on a thrilling and educational gorilla trek. While these animals can sometimes be reclusive and hard to spot, other times they come right across your path to give you an up-close and personal meet-and-greet.

Because the Bwindi forest has persisted unchanged for millennia, it has a number of “relictual” species that once had a wider habitat. Examples include the African green broadbill, the short-tailed warbler and Grauer’s warbler. In fact, these three birds are the only surviving examples of the respective genus they belong to. Even more fascinating: the closest relatives of the short-tailed warbler and broadbill are native to Asia, not Africa!

Other species endemic to Bwindi include:

    Come Explore the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and See Another World
    You can take a tour of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see rare wildlife and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience when you book a Ugandan safari tour today.

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

    All About the Kalahari

    The Kalahari is a unique ecosystem in the central southern region of Africa that truly defies a simple explanation. For instance, did you know that the Kalahari is not a “true” desert? Its annual rainfall of five to ten inches makes it an outlier among other deserts, such as the Namib to the southwest. Parts of the larger Kalahari Basin also touch upon some of the lushest regions of plant and wildlife on the planet, including the Okavango Delta.

    Because of this distinction, defining the Kalahari by one particular trait would be impossible. You can see just how diverse and magical this region is by reading some of the fascinating facts below and then booking a Kalahari safari to experience it in person.

    The Kalahari Dunes
    One thing the Kalahari has that does make it very much a desert is its vast expanses of sand. Massive dunes stretch from the heart of Botswana all the way to the Namib desert more than 500 miles away. This region makes up the largest contiguous stretch of sand on the planet — even bigger than the Sahara’s! Although the Sahara is larger, only 15 percent of its area is made up of dunes.

    This sand is the main reason why the Kalahari still feels as arid as any other desert despite its higher rainfall. Water penetrates deep into the sand, preventing typical root systems from taking hold. However, plenty of scrub bushes and grasses have adapted to this environment, thriving along the dunes and sprawling fields. Short deciduous trees can also grow in this climate.

    Temperatures swing wildly in this area, too, topping 115 °F in the summer and dipping well below freezing to 7 °F in the winter.

    The Kalahari Savannah
    Not all of the Kalahari feels like a desert. Like much of central and southern Africa, grassy savannah dotted with acacia trees can be found. One tree semi-endemic to the region is the camelthorn. These trees are extremely slow growing but resistant to drought and fire. In fact, fires are one of the only ways it can successfully spread its seeds if there is dense scrub all around!

    Unique Animals of the Kalahari
    The most unique animal in all of the Kalahari is no doubt the meerkat. These interesting, highly social creatures are found throughout the Kalahari as well as some parts of Namibia and southern Angola. They live in burrows and alternate keeping “watch,” tending to the young, and hunting in shifts. Only by working together can an entire group survive.

    Other unique Kalahari fauna include the Kalahari lion, part of a subspecies of black-maned Cape Lion adapted to the desert conditions. The tall, hawk-like secretary bird can be found here, too, along with other gorgeous birds like the pale chanting goshawk and southern yellow hornbill. Warthogs, wild dogs, baboons, antelope and many unique reptiles also call the area home.

    Visit This Magical Region on a Kalahari Safari
    You can see all of these unforgettable sights, meet interesting people and learn why the Kalahari is such a unique region when you book a safari vacation package that includes a visit to the Kalahari and parts nearby.

    Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

    Get to Know the African Zebra

    Familiar yet striking, the dazzling image of the African zebra is truly a sight to behold. Roaming the plains of Africa in large herds, their plaintive barks can be heard punctuating the early morning, at dusk or any time throughout the day, warning fellow herd members of possible predators.

    These gorgeous and utterly unique animals are one of the most common yet still breathtaking sights you can see on an African safari vacation. To prepare you for
    your own zebra encounter on safari, here are some interesting facts about the striped stallions:

    Burchell’s Zebra
    There are actually three distinct species of zebra in the world. The most common is the plains zebra or “Burchell’s zebra.” These animals can be found in the wild in a widespread range from Ethiopia to South Africa. They have large, bold stripes that continue all the way around the animal, including its belly. They also tend to have all-black manes. Plains species are highly social. They form harems consisting of several mares, one stallion and developing offspring.

    Grevy’s Zebra
    The Grévy's zebra is the second-most common type of zebra. These animals are the largest of the surviving wild equid species, a family that includes wild horses and donkeys. They are usually around 8-9 feet in length and stand around five feet high at the shoulder. They are also much more endangered than the plains zebra, with a small habitat range dotting northern Kenya and sparse sections of Ethiopia. They have narrower stripes that do not extend to cover their bellies, but they do tend to have striped manes instead of solid-colored ones.

    Mountain Zebra
    The third type of zebra is the mountain zebra, which is found mostly in Namibia, Angola and parts of South Africa. These animals are much more elusive and difficult to spot despite their stronger numbers compared to the Grévy's zebra. They have thick, dense black stripes and a stouter appearance more akin to a donkey than a wild horse.

    Zebra Stripes Have Many Possible Purposes
    No one has been able to concretely prove what function the zebra’s distinctive stripes serve, but there are many possible theories:

      Regardless of these theories, one thing is certain: the zebra’s hairs are highly reflective, diverting over 70 percent of the sun’s heat as they move around throughout the day.

      See Gorgeous Zebras on Your African Safari Vacation
      You can see zebras in many countries, including Namibia, Kenya, South Africa and more. Make sure to pay a visit to these countries when you book one of our African safari vacation packages that can help you spot some stripes in the wild.

      Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

      All About Stunning Lake Malawi

      When most people think of a tropical paradise, their mind turns to the Caribbean or South Pacific. But even freshwater can provide incredible tropical scenery if you know where to look.

      Lake Malawi in between Malawi and Mozambique is marked by clear, vivid cerulean waters surrounded by white sands and palm fronds. Millions of tiny, neon-colored cichlids teem the shores in a dazzling display. In fact, Lake Malawi has the highest amount of fish species of any lake in the world. Private huts and secluded beaches abound, allowing you to soak in the atmosphere of Africa from a relaxed viewpoint. You can spend your days snorkeling among the cichlids or paddling up to tiny islands where hardly a soul has set foot in years.

      As one of the biggest lakes in the world, a Lake Malawi resort vacation offers all these experiences and more thanks to its diverse range of settings. Explore some of the more remarkable places to visit by learning about the following vacation spots in Lake Malawi.

      Likoma Island
      Sitting about halfway up Lake Malawi near the northwesternmost shore of Mozambique, Likoma Island is an utterly unique and culturally rich place. It has been inhabited for thousands of years by a lively group of locals. In the late 19th century, missionaries established headquarters upon the island and built a beautiful cathedral there.

      Despite the island’s year-round inhabited status, it still feels relatively remote and untouched. Electricity is powered solely by generator, and it tends to switch off before the middle of the night. Low-impact lodges and hostels provide eco-tourism opportunities for vacationers in search of a unique, relaxing and immersive experience.

      Explore the local market or take a dive in the lake to see the diverse aquatic species up close and personal. Popular lodging options include Kaya Mawa, a quiet collection of 12 thatched chalets overlooking private lakefront jetties.

      Cape Maclear
      Cape Maclear is the most popular destination for Lake Malawi safari-goers. Forests hug the rocky cape edges and then give way to sprawling beaches. Bars and cafes dot these waterfronts, offering adventurous backpackers a chance to relax and soak up the gorgeous weather. Those who love watersports can enjoy wind sailing, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling and more.

      Mumbo Island
      While Cape Maclear is a relatively popular destination, nearby Mumbo Island is its best-kept secret. This tiny, mostly untouched island is almost completely uninhabited. Huge granite boulders hide secluded beachfronts perfect for romantic afternoons. Birds, fish and monitor lizards flock around the island and give it a beautiful, untamed feeling.

      Mangochi Lakeshore
      Those looking for the heart of the Lake Malawi scene can find it along the Mangochi Lakeshore, where over a dozen resorts, hotels and lodges can be found in a wide range of prices and comfort levels. Paragliding, beach volleyball, wakeboarding, water skiing and more are all popular activities here. You can even catch a quick round of golf on the nine-hole course shaded by baobab trees.

      Book a Lake Malawi Resort Vacation Now
      You can find your little slice of freshwater paradise when you take a look at our various Lake Malawi safari tour packages and book your perfect vacation today.

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

      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

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            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