We’ve hit the pause button, but has nature done the same?

Posted on June 25, 2020 by - African Travel Tips, Interesting Reads

It goes without saying that in these strange and uncertain times, the human race has come to somewhat of a stand still. We’ve hit the pause button, and there aren’t many people who have pressed play again! But nature certainly hasn’t obliged, and rangers from across Africa have had some of the best wildlife sightings to date during this time.

Animals have not stopped giving birth, the sun has still risen and set every day, the predators have still been on the hunt, and in some areas the heavens have opened and brought new life to the landscape.

In case, like me, this time of isolation has caused your FOMO levels to rise to an all-time high – I thought I’d keep you in the loop about some amazing videos and images that have come our way from various camps and lodges.

 

New life at Londolozi

The guides and staff at Londolozi have had their tissues out (happy tears!) and their hearts in their throats during the past few months. The newborns have taken center stage! Two of the female leopard’s – the Nkoveni and Piccadilly females – have had cubs. The rangers took great care in tracking down both moms and cubs, with some seriously satisfying results (and some amazing photos by guide James Tyrrell)…

 

 

But the unforgettable wildlife sightings didn’t stop there! Londolozi guides discovered an African Wild Dog den, where they watched a pack of wild dogs raise 10 tiny pups! It hasn’t been without some dramatic moments however. Two rangers followed the tracks of the Ntsevu lion pride directly to the entrance of the wild dog den… they didn’t know if the pups were dead or alive to two whole days! Take a look at this incredible video to see what happened.

 

 

Wildlife sightings at Singita

The animals in the Sabi Sand have also decided to take advantage of a new ‘chilling’ surface. When there are no private charters flying in and out, why not? These pictures were taken by Ross Couper at Singita‘s Sabi Sand airstrip.

 

 

Two hidden GoPro cameras were also placed on a two-track road to capture the wildlife’s natural movements throughout the day. This amazing footage was captured on an overcast, drizzly day. Watch which animals (big and small!) emerge… wildlife sightings at their best!

 

 

A change of landscape

Although Desert & Delta camps have had a lot of wildlife sightings, they’ve also welcomed some much-needed rain. Cue happy reports from Camp Moremi! “The flood waters have arrived! The dry pools and waterholes are filling up, and Jessie’s Pool is returning to the water paradise we know. A big hippo pod has moved into the water and the elephants are taking full advantage of extended mud baths. The resident leopard Rra Nko has also taken a liking to this spot and often poses happily for the camera.”

 

The flip side

There is a flip side to this whole situation of course. Although this ‘quiet time’ has undoubtedly given nature a nice break, it unfortunately leaves a lot of the most endangered wildlife at risk. There are countless organisations spread across Africa that work tirelessly to keep poachers at bay, and our wildlife protected. But this requires an enormous amount of resources.

I can’t focus on all NPO’s doing this kind of work, so I’ll just give you an example of one for now. The Grumeti Fund, which carries out wildlife conservation and community development work in the western corridor of the Serengeti, has (and is) doing significant work in Tanzania. 15 years ago, the plains were nearly barren as uncontrolled hunting and rampant poaching had decimated local wildlife populations, in turn plunging the surrounding communities into poverty.

Fast forward to 2020, and the game reserves are teeming with wildlife once more. The fund employs 165 dedicated staff to protect, manage and monitor Grumeti’s concessions. Not only do these staff need to be supported financially, but donations are needed for so much more. Have a look at this thought-provoking video of the critical work being carried out by Singita and its non-profit conservation partner, the Grumeti Fund.

 

The good news is that travel – or no travel – anyone can donate, from anywhere in the world. Let’s continue to support the incredible work that is being done in order to make your safari to Africa an unforgettable one!

 

This article is written by Cedarberg Africa

Cedarberg Africa is a specialist tour operator and safari designer for Southern and East Africa. We offer 16 different countries in Africa. And we are a family-run company with 25 years of experience. Given our volume of business, we make our money through specially negotiated rates with the safari camps. So you will get both the benefit of 1st hand safari experience…At a competitive price

Contact Us to start planning your safari to Africa…

 

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What does a Gorilla trekking safari cost in Rwanda or Uganda?

Posted on March 23, 2020 by - African Travel Tips

These countries don’t really follow the peak season pricing surge of some other safari destinations which I have talked about. One of the main reasons is the massive growth in interest in gorilla trekking which can ONLY be done in Rwanda, Uganda (and, in future, the Congo.) This has both increased prices overall. And also flattened the typical safari seasonality in pricing.

You still have some seasonality. But the difference are pretty moderate in terms of price.

Mountain gorilla & baby in Volcanoes National Park

Guide to Typical Nightly Safari Costs in Uganda or Rwanda

Below we give some typical prices per night for the safari including the cost of in-country travel, park fees, game drives. It is priced in dollars as that’s the currency used in Uganda and Rwanda for tourism. Obviously these exclude the international flights. And they exclude the gorilla trekking fees. More on that later…

(more…)

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Cedarberg Africa on Covid 19 Coronavirus

Posted on March 20, 2020 by - African Travel Tips

Friday 12 June

As Covid-19 cases decline in many parts of the world and a number of countries prepare to re-open, we want to share our plans to minimise risk both for existing clients and those making NEW travel plans for an African tour or safari.

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Here for you and looking forward

Flexibility around new bookings:

We offer Personal Safari Planning completely orientated around each client and their needs. Because we have an experienced team, with a knowledgeable and empowered consultant dedicated to you, we’ve always been able to be more flexible than many.

Now, more than ever, we are prepared to tailor overrides to our standard terms and conditions.

Now, more than ever, we can be flexible in terms of deposits.

So don’t let concerns over risking your holiday money get in the way of securing that dream African adventure to look forward to. Do ask us. We are happy to negotiate with our partner suppliers on a case by case basis. This could allow you to change dates late in the day. Or sometimes even cancel free of charge, until closer to travel.

Financial Security Assurance

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Already booked and travelling soon?

We’ve already contacted everyone due to travel in the next 10 weeks to discuss the outlook and explore options including re-scheduling your itinerary for another time, amendments and cancellations.

For those travelling further ahead than the next 10 weeks, do feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. As restrictions are being lifted week by week, you may still be able to travel as planned. But if you decide you do not want to travel or cannot travel on the booked dates, we’ll work with you and our partners (such as hotels, safari camps and airlines) to defer dates to suit you, if at all possible.

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Why re-schedule?

To have a meaningful and life-enhancing treat to look forward to when the time is right

  • The last few weeks have been tough going for most people. Even those of us lucky enough to have safe havens at home are bound to be eager for a change of scene, when the pandemic is ended. Lots of people tell me that they want to get away for a restorative holiday, just as soon as it is safe to do so. But we do appreciate that other people may prefer to ease back into normal life more slowly and look forward to their trip further into the future.

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To support those less fortunate in emerging economies, especially in Africa

  • Not to beat about the bush (pun intended); by postponing a trip planned for the time of the pandemic (rather than cancelling outright), you will be making a massive difference to the lives of people in a poorer part of the world.
  • Jobs in tourism support many more people than you meet in person and the ‘trickledown effect’ gets money straight to communities working hard to ‘be the change’ in Africa. For example, tourism contributes 8.6% to South Africa’s total GDP and accounts for 1.5 million jobs.
  • Many wildlife conservation areas and community conservancies rely entirely on tourism. The absence of visitors brings the immediate prospect of hardship and job losses. Even when a lodge is privately owned, whether by investors, a family or a wealthy philanthropist, the necessary closures are painful.  Large numbers of safari (and other unique) accommodations are tiny, very expensive to operate and run on 95%+ occupancy rates. many are also the sole employer, education provider and health provider within their community.
  • There is a threat to animals too. With rangers laid off, and poverty rising, poachers could soon prey on the conservancies amazing wildlife.

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To make sure you still get the holiday you wanted and planned

  • In another angle on this, the more people who postpone, the more robust the Africa safari business will be. This means that the friendly faces, exuberant and helpful staff and super-knowledgeable wildlife rangers will be there to say “hi” when you do make it here!

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Will future travel be different; safer?

Airlines, hotels, safari lodges, visitor attractions and road transport providers have all been spending the travel hiatus working on protocols for keeping both guests and staff safe when it is time to re-open. We are starting to receive some details around their plans and this is likely to turn into a torrent of information very soon.

The precious luxury of space and wide open landscapes has always a beguiling feature of a safari in Africa. That is unchanging. Some other aspects of travel will undoubtedly alter, for Africa and globally, let us hope it is for the better.

There could be some new behaviours to adapt to, and short-term alterations, could turn into new norms. No hand-shaking, face masks in crowds and hand sanitiser and hand cream in equal measure may, (or may not), be around for a while.

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We think that the fundamental reasons that compel you to return to Africa are constant: the warmth and enthusiasm of the people; the unmatched wildlife and natural landscapes; the sense of connection and even homecoming.

 

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