Rwanda and gorilla permit increase:

Rwanda has suddenly, and with immediate effect from 6th May 2017, doubled the cost of their gorilla permits from US$750 to an eye-watering $1,500 per permit per day.  Given we recommend two gorilla treks if you can, for a couple that would be $6,000 in gorilla permits alone!

There are some variations that are still being fully understood, for instance including 3 extra days at one of Rwanda’s other parks such as Nyungwe Forest or Akagera, would give a 30% discount off the gorilla permits, but there is no doubt this is a truly staggering increase!

Rwanda would argue that this is more money going towards gorilla conservation, but Uganda has already seen the opportunity and has confirmed it will be maintaining its permits at $600 each for at least 12 months.  Ground operators are already looking at the implication of the Rwandan increase with options to cross the border from Rwanda to Uganda and take advantage of the lower permit fees there.

If you’ve ever wanted to see the gorillas, do contact us now – the cost is only going one way!

Journey Into Africa joins the Travel Trust Association

Journey Into Africa is now a member of the Travel Trust Association, membership number Q4764.  This gives even greater financial protection to our clients as all monies paid to Journey Into Africa are now held in Trustees accounts.  Contact us for further details.

Safari boom time?

Both East and Southern Africa seem to be experiencing a surge in interest for safaris.   We’re already having to alter dates and itineraries for potential groups looking at being on safari in July of 2018 due to unavailability of camps, so if you’re considering a safari in the next couple of years do please get on touch soon.  The earlier you plan, the more likely you are to get exactly what you want.

Safari Offers:

For those wanting to travel on safari in the next few months there are some terrific deals for 2017.  Contact us with your requirements and we will always approach the camps to gain any special offers on your behalf, particularly if you’re a group of four or more.  Offers currently available include:

Stay 4 nights for the price of 3 at most combination of Asilia Africa camps, including Zanzibar. ( Equivalent to 25% off)

Honeymoon Specials: The bride gets 50% off a combination of Serengeti camps and Zanzibar properties.

(Note, the reduction in the above offers does not apply to Government enforced park and camp fees).

Low season Botswana: Travel between December and March 2017/18 and pay just $460 per person per night sharing at some terrific high quality luxury camps,  some of which are over $1000 per night during the high season.


The Great Migration Update – March 2017

I’ve just returned from two fantastic safaris in Tanzania.  This has to be one of the best times in Tanzania: herds spread out over the short grass plains, calves everywhere and plenty of predators especially hyena and lion whilst this is a terrific time for watching cheetah, particularly in the Serengeti, when many females have young and are having to work hard to feed their youngsters – chances of seeing hunting cheetah are excellent.

The movement of the huge herds is entirely dependent on rainfall as around 2 million large animals require constant new growth to support the herds.  Ideally a couple of good rainstorms a week will maintain the green new grass and keep the herds on their preferred grazing grounds – the short grass plains surrounding Ndutu, Kusini and Naabi Hill.  In 2017 the herds reached these areas as usual around December, but poor rain in November and then virtually no rain in December/January caused the herds to split and whilst some moved south, others returned north back to the Seronera region. In mid-February the rains returned and as always, the extraordinary sight of massive herds of wildebeest and zebra appeared as if out of nowhere and suddenly 100’s of 1000’s of calves were everywhere – it’s an exciting time!

The herds as always attracted attention from the predators and one safari group in February saw 12 different cheetah on one day – the Serengeti is truly the best place in the world for seeing and watching wild cheetah!


Serengeti Walking Safaris

Botswana safaris can be organised at any time for as few as two people and the small size of the camps and that most visitors fly by light aircraft between the camps, makes independent bespoke safaris in Botswana often no more expensive than as a group.

One of my recent safaris was experiencing a walking safari in the wilderness zone of the Serengeti.  If you like the idea of getting out of your 4×4 vehicle and exploring areas on foot that almost nobody visits, this safari is for you.  Smaller, more basic camps but a real feel for wilderness and in conjunction with more regular game viewing, some would argue this safari gives the best of all worlds.  If you’ve heard that the Serengeti is getting too busy, we spent four days in the wilderness zone and saw not one other person, vehicle or road!  Fantastic!

Serengeti Walking Safari under Tanzania’s Itineraries on this website.


A Tanzanian Safari in verse – Out of Africa

A journey into Africa, with lifelong friends we love so dear.
I must admit that now I’ve been, there is nothing much to fear.
A trip of a lifetime yes it was, it far exceeded what I wished.
I urge you all to make the trek, add it to your bucket list.

To Tanzania we flew, a far off land unpaved to traffic.
A safari trip just like you read about, in National Geographic.
Tented camps may not sound like much, but we really did enjoy it.
With comfy beds, a talking shower, and they even had a toilet.

Our guide Firoz an extraordinary man, he knew all the flora and the fauna.
Where is our camp I asked this man, “Why it’s just around the corner.”
There are no signs to tell you where you are or where you should be going.
“Trust your guide” he says, it’s all mapped in his head, it takes a lot of years of knowing

Steve Kessinger, Tanzania, September 2013.
For the full version of Steve’s great poem, click on the Blog link on the menu


Late deals/low season safaris in Botswana!

January to end March is low season in Botswana so if you fancy some winter sun and wildlife, you can stay in a camp that costs over $1000 per person per night for just over $400!  Same camp, same service, same activities.  Some game has dispersed but the territorial animals including the predators remain and using a guide and tracker system increases your chances of excellent game viewing at a beautiful time of the year when all is green, there are plenty of young around, the light is a photographer’s dream and the birdwatching is at its best.

Botswana safaris can be organised at any time for as few as two people and the small size of the camps and that most visitors fly by light aircraft between the camps, makes independent bespoke safaris in Botswana often no more expensive than as a group.


Ugandan gorilla permits

Uganda has recently introduced reduced gorilla tracking permits for low season months; the regular cost of US$600 per person permit has been reduced to $300. Whilst in Rwanda in a rare incidence, mountain gorilla twins have recently been born.


Elephant and rhino poaching

There has been an increase in both elephant and rhino poaching in many parts of Africa, from Chad to South Africa, as rising prices in the illicit trade has encouraged poachers to return. On the other hand, in some parks such as Kafue National Park in Zambia, more elephants have been seen in recent months than for decades.


Serengeti Highway

Serengeti Highway to be reassessed. The Tanzanian Government has agreed to relook at the proposed highway which would have cut a road 53 kms straight through some of the most unspoilt areas of the northern Serengeti National Park. The proposal has created uproar in conservation circles and potentially would have a massive impact on the greatest wildlife migration of earth where nearly 2 million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other antelope move in search of water and grazing. The Tanzanian Government has stated any road would now be unpaved in the park, and even more significantly, have agreed to look again at a southern route, outside of the Serengeti. The debate and discussions continue.

   
All safaris arranged by Journey Into Africa are
protected under the Travel Trust Association scheme, membership number Q4764.