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Safari and Beach

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Holidays in South Africa

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Migrating wildebeest, idyllic palm-fringed beaches, and snow-capped mountains ... these could be YOUR Tanzania holiday memories!

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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

Fenced or Not Fenced – that is the question

TraceyCampbell - October 16, 2013

A very common phrase that you will see when you are searching for your South African safari is the term ‘fenced reserve’.

But what exactly does this mean? For those not in the travel industry, it may seem like an extra word that has just been added to the description of the reserve, to fill out the page.  Surely everywhere has to have a fence somewhere?

Technically, yes, in South Africa every game reserve or National Park does have a fence, even Kruger and it’s neighbouring private reserves.  Somewhere along the border, there will be a fenceline that will act as a deterent to the wildlife, to stop them leaving the safe sanctuary of the reserve/Park and wandering off to visit local villages.

However, in Kruger, you are talking of an area that covers over 2 million hectares (for those reading this in the UK that is about the size of Wales (minus the sheep); for those in the States this is somewhere between the size of Conneticut and New Jersey; and for those in the rest of Europe, it is about the size of Slovenia).  So the chances of spending your entire game drive looking at a fence is fairly low, as with so much land to cover why would you?

Fenced reserves is a term therefore that is used for smaller reserves, and that is where it does actually have some significance.

For example, in the Eastern Cape, all the reserves are fenced, and in the Kruger area, you have a couple of fenced reserves, such as Kapama and Thornybush.  This is because these reserves are all independently owned, so therefore the owners have to firstly differentiate their land from their neighbours, but more importantly, they have to keep their wildlife on their land too!  As a land/reserve owner, you certainly do not want your larger game such as elephant, rhino or lions wandering off to visit another reserve, so that your guests who pay to stay at your reserve don’t get to see them!  How annoying would that be!  Equally, you don’t want your pride of lions deciding to go for a wander through the local village!

Fenced reserves tend to range vastly in size – anything from 1,500 hectares up to 25,000 hectares and upwards.  Obviously, the larger the reserve, the more wildlife the area can sustain, but this will be reflected in the rates charged.

Larger reserves can also play ‘home’ to more predators, as they equally have the space to keep the plains game and buffalo that the predators will naturally hunt for food.  Get the balance between predators and their ‘food’ incorrect and you will have a reserve full of hungry lions and no buffalo!

I have spent many a happy game drive in a fenced reserve, and to be honest, I have had some wonderful game drives and game viewing experiences.  As long as you go to a fenced reserve knowing that you will not see a herd of a million wildebeest wandering across in front of your game vehicle, or expect to see 20 different prides of lions, then there really is no reason not to have a great safari experience in a fenced reserve.

Kenya’s Part in the Great Migration has now Begun

TraceyCampbell - August 6, 2013

The annual wildebeest Great Migration is well and truly underway now.

The animals began their 1,800 mile round adventure back in January, on the Southern Serengeti Plains, when over half a million calves were born.  The last few months have seen the herds slowly and steadily progress northwards up through the vast Serengeti National Park.

Slightly ahead of previous years, however, the first of the animals have now reached the fresh green grass of the Masai Mara, and guests at the many camps and lodges here have witnessed first-hand the thundering of the hooves of millions of wildebeest and zebra, the snorting noises that carry across the still night air, and the inevitable blood spill, as the tired animals try to cross the Mara River, where crocodiles lie and wait anticipating a quick meal.  Those that do get across safely still have to contend with the lions and hyenas who sit on the sidelines looking for a vunerable animal to bring down for a tasty afternoon snack.

The herds are expected to stay around the Mara for the next few months, so this is an ideal time if you are thinking of travelling over to Kenya for a last-minute safari holiday to see the Great Migration, as some of the camps and lodges do still have limited availability.

Kenya Airways fly direct and overnight between London Heathrow and Nairobi, so you can conceivably leave work on a Friday, and be on your game vehicle on Saturday afternoon at the Mara River, witnessing one of the world’s greatest wildlife events.

If you are looking for some R&R afterwards too, you can add on a few nights at one of the beach resorts along the beautiful Kenya coast, or take a short flight down to Zanzibar, off the mainland coast of Tanzania, and choose from a huge range of  beach hotels at price points to suit every budget.  You could even combine your time on the beach here with a few nights in the bustling and historic Stone Town, and soak up the atmosphere of the winding alley streets and spice bazaars.

Great Migration 1


Great Migration Arrives in the Masai Mara

TraceyCampbell - August 28, 2012

It is happening as I type.  What is, I hear you ask?  The next landing on the Moon?  The Paralympics have started a day early?  Summer has finally arrived in the UK?

Well, the last answer is close, in that it is about something finally arriving.  Not Summer in the UK (I have given up all hope of that after this weekend’s Bank Holiday weather fiasco), but the Great Migration has already arrived on the Masai Mara plains in Kenya and it is well under way.

After an arduous journey which started in February on the southern most plains of the Serengeti, in Tanzania, the now extremely tired and exhausted huge herds of wildebeest and zebra have finally appeared.

Having already trekked nearly 1,000 km, and braved the rushing waters and the hungry crocodiles of the Grumeti River, they still have to face more currents and crocodiles in order to cross the Mara River to get to the now fertile plains of the Masai Mara.

Literally hundreds of thousands of animals set off 7 months ago, and a lot have not made it this far.  Those who have are rewarded with green grazing grass, and it is here they will remain for a few months, until they set off again in October time back towards the Serengeti, for the whole cycle to start again next year.

We recently have had a customer return from the Mara, and she has written an exceptional blog article about it – you can read her first hand experience by clicking here.   Many people feel, as she did, that to witness the river crossing comes with mixed feelings – you feel compelled to watch, but equally you are distressed by the prospect.

You can also read the full story of the Great Migration here.

Arrival of the Masses

TraceyCampbell - June 9, 2011

They have arrived !

Monday 6th June, in the evening, saw the first arrivals of the Great Migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya.

This picture was taken from the banks of the Sand and Keekerok Rivers in the Masai Mara Reserve.


Want to see the Great Migration ?

TraceyCampbell - June 2, 2011

Tanzania is synonymous with the Great Migration, and with careful planning, it is possible for visitors to be at the right time at the right place to witness this amazing annual wildlife event.

great-migrationEach year, literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles trek across the vast Serengeti plains towards Kenya’s Masai Mara, in search of new grazing grass. It is estimated that just over 2 million animals in total make this migration from one country to another and back again – a round journey of just under 2,000 miles.

The great migration has now reached the Kirawira Plains and Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp still has some rooms available for early June.

So if you have always wanted to see the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, give us a call or email us today !