There aren’t many more spectacular sights than the African sky at night with its millions of stars where the lack of light pollution only makes it even more enchanting. When leaving the frills of camp life behind, sleeping out under the stars allows you to really see what’s special and what’s going on around you. A night sleeping under these skies will be an experience not to forget and waking up to the dawn chorus at sunrise will make a wonderful addition to your safari.
Your honeymoon will be the most memorable holiday of your life and where more romantic to spend it but under the stars of Africa? At Farside Africa, we specialise in tailor making your perfect honeymoon and below are a number of special offers to help inspire you! Continue reading …
One of the best-kept secrets on Africa’s adventure tourism calendar is the 10 to 4 Mt Kenya mountain Bike Challenge which raises money for the Mount Kenya Trust. Held annually since 2002, it is the major fundraiser for the Mount Kenya Trust conservation NGO which has since raised over $500,000 and has thus contributed to planting more than half a million trees, building and maintaining a 14km elephant corridor through farmland, returning over 450 hectares of bare land to indigenous forest and helped 50,000 Kenyans with health care.
Last year, under the radar, Vicky took part in what only can be described as the ultimate bike safari. Not only did she take part but she also won her race, the first female to finish the classic race – quite an achievement!
This year we sponsored four local boys and girls from Nanyuki – the ‘NANYUKI Mambas’.
And more success came – this years ‘Queen of the Mountain’ was Joyce who was the overall female winner over the 2 day race and David and Joseph finished 8th and 9th in the mens race and Asmin 4th in the Rush – a brilliant achievement all round!
Photographic hides are becoming an increasingly popular way to observe wildlife whilst on safari and more and more hides are appearing in reserves across Africa. Man-made hides are structures built with the purpose of concealing and protecting views from the animals and birds giving you the best opportunities for capturing a wildlife moment that you won’t get anywhere else. They can be built from the simplest den made of logs but some of the best are made from large steel containers buried underground. They are usually positioned alongside a feature which attracts wildlife, such as a waterhole or riverbank.
Here is our pick of the Top 5 hides in Africa
1. Carmine Bee-Eater Hide, Shenton Safaris Mwamba Bushcamp, South Luangwa, Zambia
The movable carmine bee-eater hide is put in place in September once the carmines have established their nesting areas. They build their nests in huge colonies into the river bank so the hide is built in the middle of the river in order to get the best viewing angle and distance. Shoes are shed and knees get wet as you wade through The Luangwa River to access the hide which is anchored onto a boat in front of the colony. The carmines are very used to the hide’s presence and carry on about their business as though it wasn’t there. This hide provides fantastic photo opportunities of this spectacular bird species and is a must for serious birders and novices alike.
2. Jozibanini Look up Hide, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Imvelo Safaris at Jozibanini Camp have created a cool and secure place to watch wildlife coming to drink at the waterhole. The hide was made by modifying a standard steel shipping container, including fitting it with a flush loo, and sinking it deep into the Hwange sands. Guests can also spend the evening in the hide watching the wildlife come down to drink with a backdrop of stars in a crystal sky, and if you’re really enjoying yourself why not stay the night! This is particularly spectacular during a full-moon when the bright light illuminates the nocturnal animals who come to visit.
3. The Bush House, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa.
Situated within the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, the underground hide is positioned on the edge of the lodge waterhole. The roof which is just above ground-level is strong enough to hold the weight of an elephant and the low angles created by the sunken hide provide some of the best photographic opportunities. You access the hide from a path within the gardens of the Bush House, or from the swimming pool, along a safe walkway and through a tunnel, without being seen by the animals. The pathways, tunnel and hide are all lit at night so are available for use by guests 24 hours a day. You can even enjoy your evening meal in there complete with candle light!
4. Mashatu Tented Camp, Botswana.
Mashatu Tented Camp is well known for its photographic opportunities both on game drives and from the custom built Matebole and Elephant Valley photographic hides. Both hides are located in areas where there are many animals and predators are also abundant. They are ground level offering a unique perspective on the wildlife and birdlife that come to visit the waterholes. The best time of year for viewing from the hides around Mashatu Tented Camp is June to November when the elephants generally visit the waterhole every day.
5. Little Makalolo Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Little Makalolo offers privacy for guests who enjoy small camps and a sense of remoteness. The area is ecologically diverse, ensuring great numbers of animals year-round. Photographically, in addition to being able to get out on foot and venture out on night drives, there is a log pile hide which is beautifully placed at the camp’s productive waterhole and provides the most exhilarating opportunity for viewing the animals which come to drink at the waterhole. The Elephants are often the star attraction at the hide but be careful not to get sprayed by water from their nearby trunks!
Get in touch with us for more information on the hides and lodges. All our holidays are tailor-made so we can help plan a trip that is unique and memorable for you.
One of the best-kept secrets on Africa’s adventure tourism calendar is the 10 to 4 Mt Kenya mountain Bike Challenge which raises money for the Mount Kenya Trust. Held annually since 2002, when a small group of enthusiastic mountain bikers cycled from 10,000ft above sea level down to 4,000ft, it is the major fundraiser for the Mount Kenya Trust conservation NGO.
Since the 10 to 4 was established, over $500,000 has been raised to support the MKT in their work. This includes planting more than half a million trees, building and maintaining a 14km elephant corridor through farmland, two elephant underpasses, returning over 450 hectares of bare land to indigenous forest, tree nurseries nurturing hundreds of thousands of seedlings, and helped 50,000 Kenyans with health care and thousands of children understand conservation better.
Last year, under the radar, our Farside Africa Director Vicky Stirling took part in what only can be described as the ultimate bike safari. Not only did she take part but she also won her category and was the first female to finish the classic race completing 62km in around 4 hours – quite an achievement! Whilst out there she met some boys from Nanyuki who couldn’t afford to enter the race. It was too late for her to help them last year. So this year, along with a Kenyan friend, we are sponsoring two girls and two boys to compete in the race on the 9th & 10th February. The boys will compete in the Extreme race held over two days whilst the girls will take part in the Classic race held on the second day.
On day 1 they will cover about 90km facing an elevation climb of 2000m at high altitude with fast technical sections & single track. This is then followed by the Roller Coaster Classic on day 2. Starting at nearly 3000 meters, (10,000 feet), on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya, riders will descend some 70km over demanding terrain, through indigenous forest and wide open plains, abundant with wildlife, down to the Ngare Ndare Forest at 1940 meters, (6400 feet).
Our ‘NANYUKI Mambas’ team consists of David, Joseph, Joyce and Asmin who live in and around Nanyuki and we wish them the best of luck!
Please GET IN TOUCH if you would like to sponsor Farside Africa’s ‘NANYUKI Mambas’ team. Farside Africa has paid directly for the entry fees and team shirts so any extra funds raised will go directly to the Mount Kenya Trust.
Malawi Cycle September 2018
500 miles is a Scottish based charity which raises funds to support the development and delivery of prosthetic and orthotic services in Malawi, Zambia and Zanzibar. They help people with impaired mobility of all kinds to get moving, as independently as possible, by helping them to access prostheses and orthoses.
The main focus of their work in Malawi is supporting the Malawian government to develop and deliver sustainable prosthetic and orthotic services which will be there for future generations – as well as for the people they help today. In Malawi, independent mobility is a passport into education for a young person. It means a chance of employment for an adult – and it affords social inclusion and participation for all. The full cost of producing an average prostheses in Malawi is just £175. That is all it costs to transform someone’s life. Read more about their projects here.
In September 500 miles are organising a 250 mile bike ride along the shore of Lake Malawi from Mzuzu city in the north down to Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. Along the way you will meet hundreds of Malawians, sleep in lodges on the white sandy shores of Lake Malawi as well as enjoying some of the country’s wildlife and incredible scenery.
You will fly to Lilongwe overnight on Saturday 15th September and start the bike ride on Monday 17th September in Mzuzu finishing in Lilongwe on Saturday 22nd September. You will then fly back to Edinburgh overnight the next day after visiting the 500 miles clinic in Kamuzu Centre Hospital.
Participant’s own costs are estimated at £2,000 – £2,500 per person which will include all flights (plus own bike), accommodation and food. It is recommended that you pay your own costs rather than raising funds for your participation, and suggested that you should aim to raise at least £1,000 per person for the 500 miles charity in Malawi.
If you are interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. They are aiming for a party of 18 and a number of people have already expressed an interest.
There is an air of positivity in Zimbabwe and amongst its supporters since the coup that wasn’t a coup and we are all keeping our fingers crossed for the future of Zimbabwe and its people. With stability returning and investment in tourism growing we are optimistic that holidaymakers will be returning to the beautiful wilderness areas they have always been, such as the Hwange National Park.
From best ages to perfect accommodations, here’s our guide for keeping everyone happy on a family safari.
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Escape the winter and warm the soul with a wellness retreat to Sasaab in Kenya.