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Pump Up Your African Experience With These 5 Knysna Adventures

Knysna, once a sleepy west coast town on the edge of the Indian Ocean in South Africa is today the playground of both locals and international tourists who want to get out of Cape Town and experience some of the wonderful natural vistas offered by this attractive part of the country.

However, Knysna is more than just a chance to breeze through some of the best scenery on the coast – it’s also about having an adventure.

So what are the 5 best adventures you can have while visiting the Knysna neighbourhood?

#1 Oysters To Die For.

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If you’re in Knysna and you miss the opportunity to have some fresh oysters which are harvested from the ocean in front of you then you’ve really missed out. Go down to The Oyster Company and order a dozen or so. They are an experience of the ocean in a natural casing. These are the best oysters in the world and the folk at The Oyster Company are only too happy to supply a glass or two of bubbly to make the experience that much more intense – lovely.

#2. Get Out On The Lagoon.

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A scenic boat ride across the Knysna Lagoon is not to be missed. Track down the John Benn, a two deck floating restaurant that will take your lagoon experience to the next level. Are fresh oysters on the menu? What a silly question – of course, they are. A bar on each deck and a sun-downer cruise are also available.

#3 Play With The Nellies.

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If you want a taste of the real Africa then a visit to the Knysna Elephant Park should be on the itinerary. How about an elephant back experience to take in some of the best scenery that South Africa has to offer. This is an experience that will never be forgotten. These gentle giants enjoy the company of human beings and they are only too happy to accompany you on your elephant back voyage of exploration.

#4 Take A Tree Top Tour.

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The Tsitsikamma Forest is home to majestic 700-year-old Yellowwood Trees and the magnificent Knysna Loerie – a bird that lends its own special mystique to this one of a kind forest experience. The sites and smells of this little bit of paradise are elevated (literally) when experienced in the canopy of the forest. If you want to find out what life was like before human beings intruded into the peace and quiet this is the tour for you.

#5 Whale Watching.

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Knysna sees the annual migration of the magnificent Southern Right Whales and if you’re in the area between November and January then take to the high seas to get up close and personal with these gentle giants of the ocean. Another unforgettable experience on the coastline of South Africa.

Knysna is rewarding on so many levels. It’s magical to play and learn – as well as being the perfect setting to just let go of the everyday stresses and worries. Make your plans and visit soon.

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The Best Wildlife Reservations in Botswana

Simply mentioning wildlife and Botswana safari in the same sentence can generate mental depictions of the vast Okavango Delta that span hundreds of miles with papyrus-flanked canals teeming with all manner animal life from the elephant, lions and thousands of more species that can’t be mentioned in this small article.

There is a predator selection like few places on earth, birdlife that is equally unique and then there are wildebeest, cheetah, African Hunting Dogs, leopards and all this just before noon while touring through anyone of Botswana’s beautiful wildlife reserves.

But there is much more to Botswana than the Okavango, Following is a list of the most significant wildlife reserves found in Botswana. The results are presented in no particular order.

1. CENTRAL KALAHARI GAME RESERVE

central_kalahari_game_reserve_028The Central Kalahari is a place of great serenity and connection with the world far greater than the technological paradise that surrounds most humans in their day to day lives. The immensity wilderness can shrink you to the size of a grain of sand and shower your head with star canopy at night like nowhere else in the world.

This game reserve is the second largest of its kind in the entire world and spans over 51,000 square kilometres. This was the original brooding ground for the famous writers Mark and Delia Owens who produced “ the Cry of the Kalahari” which made this region famously almost three decades ago.

This region is best accessed in a reliable 4×4 to navigate the firm, but sometimes tricky roads. Further to the north things are easy to navigate but are sandy in the south and the wet season can make navigating the roads a bit more surprising. Don’t expect to find too many “facilities” here in the deep desert, while there are a few campsites they are pretty primitive.

2. MOREMI GAME RESERVE

game-drive-moremi2As far as impressive landscapes, spectacular sunrises and a great variety of animals, nothing compares with what awaits in Moremi Game Reserve. The terrific landscapes and unique wildlife are present year round, making this one of the most popular reserves in Botswana. Bird watchers in particular will be most impressed with the wide variety of birds especially the crowning attraction, the White-Faced Duck.

Best season to visit the Moremi Game Reserve to witness the feathered display, is between June and November when the wet season is winding down and the wildlife is closely packed at the water’s edge. This beautiful reserve covers over a third of the Okavango delta and includes the Mopane Tongue as well as many forests, plains, lagoons and rivers.

This Reserve is one of the few wildlife reserves that was initially established by a tribe of conservation conscious people, the BaTawana People. In addition to the great variety of birds, there are buffalo, elephant, sitatunga and many big cats as well.

3. KGALAGADI TRANSFRONTIER PARK

entrance-to-the-kgalagadi-transfrontier-park-84-1399618627The Transfrontier park is located in southern Botswana and covers a sprawling 37,000 square kilometres, making not only one of the largest reserves in the world but one of the largest unspoilt ecosystems in the world. The red sand dunes and dry river valleys of this incredible land are like something from another planet. The tall strange-looking acacia trees add to the off-world feeling in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

This strange world is home to many kinds of antelope including gemsbok, eland, springbok, giraffe and blue wildebeest. There is also a local big cat population that is thriving as well. Lions, leopards and cheetahs are commonly spotted throughout the Kgalagadi park.

But it is the smallish predators that make the park a truly unique place. The small birds, insects and mammals that live in this park attract the brown hyena, honey badger, wildcat and the black-backed jackal. There are also meerkat or suricate as they are actually known.

4. KHAMA RHINO SANCTUARY

khama-rhino-sanctuaryDuring the 1980s, poachers hunted the white rhino to the verge of extinction. It wasn’t till the 90s when a community trust was initiated that would create a park that would safeguard this vanishing species. Now the diminishing numbers of black and white rhino are making a comeback in this sanctuary.

This community project is now under the protection of the Botswana Defence Force and a team of dedicated conservationists. This sanctuary is on 4,300 hectares of the Kalahari desert. Along with the rhino, many other species have found a comfortable home in this sanctuary. Giraffes, bat-eared foxes, wildcats and even Linx are at home in the Khama Rhino reserve.

In Conclusion— The wildlife and sanctuaries of Botswana are home to the most spectacular inhabitants that enjoy living in a realm so unlike what most humans experience. This is what makes the African safari experience such a singular delight to the visitors who come across the globe to witness the wealth of wildlife and pristine landscapes.

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Get The Best Out Of Your Kruger Park Experience - The Top 5 Camps

If you want to get the best out of your experience in and around the Kruger Park in South Africa then you could choose to really put a dent in your bank account by staying at some of the most luxurious game lodges in the world – or you could look for more affordable options.

Affordable doesn’t mean cheap. Most of the affordable camps still have incredible reputations when it comes to levels of comfort and internationally recognised ‘best in class’ game viewing opportunities. If you’re looking for a self-catering option the bush camps inside the Kruger are absolutely perfect.

Here are five of the best.

#1 Berg En Dal.

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Set in the natural bush this camp is simply delightful. There are game drives available and there’s also the walking option which takes visitors and an experienced guide into the bush to see elephants, white rhino, reedbuck, kudu and warthog (among many, many other species). Using the camp as a base visitors can also drive along the many roads in the park to see lion, giraffe, leopard and other species in the region. guests can make use of barbeque (or ‘braai’ as it’s known in South Africa) facilities or visit the on-site restaurant and cafe. Kids will love the pool.

#2 Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp.

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This camp is only a stone’s throw from the Mozambique border, slap bang in the middle of the big game country. Visitors can choose from a bungalow for the self-catering experience or for those who really want that ‘Out of Africa’ feel then there are safari style tents available. There are also camping sites for those who want to rough it. The camp has received numerous awards as the best run of the Kruger Park camps. For those who want to see a lion’s this is one of the best places to experience the big cats in their natural environment. A coffee shop and picnic area make the camp very family friendly.

#3 Letaba Camp.

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Within a stone’s throw of three dams, this camp is ideal for those who want the authentic African experience with animals close at hand. Those looking to observe elephants at close range couldn’t choose a better camp as a base. The camp is also a paradise for birdwatchers. Bungalows and furnished safari-style tents are among the options as far as accommodation is concerned. The three hour night game drive is a real treat. The dry riverbed of the Letaba River also provides excellent game viewing opportunities.

#4 Olifants Camp.

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Found on the top of a hill overlooking the scenic surrounds of the Olifants River this is as one would imagine one of the best places to view this giant of the veldt. 2, 3 and 4 bedroom guest houses boasting luxurious decor and comfort are available. The camp sits astride two very different types of zones in the Kruger. This means that guests are able to view an enormous amount of game. Crocodile, hippo, giraffe, kudu, elephant, zebra, impala, as well as a huge abundance of bird life, make this one of the most popular camps in the Kruger.

#5 Punda Maria Camp.

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In the far north of the Kruger, this camp is set among lush sub-tropical surroundings making it the best camp in the Kruger for bird watching. Making it even more attractive is that accommodation is in seven luxury safari tents. There are also 22 bungalows at the camp, as well as camping sites. Guests can enjoy game viewing for sable and buffalo – but the big draw if the rich history of the area.

Kruger Park has a huge number of camps with something for everyone. If you want a big game experience then a few nights in the Kruger will be nothing less than a dream come true.

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If You're Visiting Cape Town Take Some Time To Enjoy These 5 Beaches

Cape Town is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. The combination of exceptional natural beauty, fabulous dining opportunities and great nightlife, not to mention incredible value for money due to the weakness of the South African rand mean that international tourists flock to the city during both the stormy winter and balmy, Mediterranean-style summer.

It’s during summer that most of these visitors will be seen on some of the best beaches in the world – many of which are only minutes from the bustling city centre of this tourist mecca.

So if you’re planning on spending some of your vacation time in Cape Town what are the 5 beaches that should be on your relaxation radar?

#1 Clifton.

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Not actually one beach but rather four interlinked beaches Clifton has something for everyone. Each of the beaches has its own unique personality. With the fourth beach being where families play in the sun and the third beach the gathering spot for the toned and tanned body beautiful crowd. Pristine white sands and some of the most beautiful views in the world make Clifton a no brainer for those who love surf and sand. Beware, though – the Atlantic waters are frigid – swimming is best undertaken in short increments.

 

#2 Camps Bay.

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Under a kilometre from Clifton is Camps Bay beach. Miles of unspoilt white sand across the road from some of the city’s best restaurants this is a great place to take in some sun. easy access, no stairs and great refreshment opportunities at summer sidewalk seating only a few steps away make this a perfect spot for family fun.

 

#3 Llandudno.

1260The worst kept secret in Cape Town Llandudno is about 20 kilometres from Cape Town along one of the most scenic roads in the world. It’s not the largest beach, but locals swear by it as the place to simply chill out. Parking can be limited, but if you get there early it’s not much of a walk to the sand. Great for when the notorious Cape Town Southeaster makes other beaches uncomfortable. Some excellent waves as well for those of the surfing persuasion. Take some snacks and watch the sun go down in a fiery show that’s better than anything Hollywood could dream up.

 

#4 Boulders.

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Head for the other side of the Cape Peninsula and enjoy the seclusion and easy access to Boulders Beach. The great news is that now you’re on the edge of the Indian Ocean – and it’s warm and inviting. As a bonus, you can take in the antics of the resident African Penguins.

#5 Muizenberg.

huts_of_muizenberg_by_chopskyJust before you get to Boulders you can stop off or make a day of it at Muizenberg Beach. Friendly waves are ideal for those who want to learn to surf and the beach stretches as far as the eye can see. Ideal for a long walk on golden sands. There’s more than enough space for everyone to really spread out and the kids will love the sandcastle building opportunities. Great restaurants nearby and refreshments are only a short distance away.

 

Cape Town has got everything that you need as far as beaches are concerned. It’s the perfect place to shrug off the tensions of modern life and just lay back and commune with Mother Nature.