Your African Escape
Uninhabited islands of white sand are strung along the coastline, dolphins swim in the channel and many varieties of bird inhabit the dense dune forests. This is one of the most beautiful of the Mozambique Islands.
This protection was increased for Bazaruto & Benguerra islands when they were declared a National Park. It is hoped that the surrounding area will be included in this designation in the future, in the meantime partners including WWF, the Southern African
Nature Foundation and the Moçambique based Fundacao Natureza em Perigo are working together to ensure the sustainable management of the archipelago.
The islands of Bazaruto, Benguerra and Magaruque were once joined in one long sand spit, this 70km long stretch of sand separated into three separate islands around 6000 years ago. The smallest island, Santa Carolina, is the only genuine rock island in the archipelago.
This area offers a range of unique and important ecological ecosystems, from pristine coral reefs and clear blue waters to white sand beaches, dune forests and freshwater lakes. The isolation of the islands has also ensured protection for the inhabitants.
The huge variety of wildlife species found here include freshwater crocodiles, turtles, small antelope, rodents, snakes, falcons, frigate birds and one of the last remaining viable populations of the enigmatic dugong. The waters are also perfect for game fishing and keen visitors may be lucky enough to catch species such as marlin, sailfish, king, queen & Spanish mackerel.
The mainland town of Vilankulo is the closest to the islands and offers an airport, hotels, markets and restaurants serving wonderful seafood. The village of Inhassoro is 94km north of Vilankulo and is a small, sleepy fishing community.
Livingstone is a more authentically ‘African’ town than Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side of the border.
The view from this side of the gorge is equally spectacular, and during the low water period of October to February it is possible to walk right to the edge of the thundering Falls themselves or to swim (carefully!) in one of the rocky pools at the edge of the gorge.
Many adventure activities can be arranged from Livingstone, varying from bungee jumping, gorge swinging, micro-lighting and white water rafting to more leisurely boat cruises on the upper stretches of the river.
The city is often described as Africa’s economic powerhouse, and as a modern and prosperous new age in African cities. With the Johannesburg city skyline having most of the tallest buildings on the continent and contains the hearts of many international organizations. The mix of cultures, cuisines and activities will have even the most small-town visitor embracing life in the concrete jungle.
Step into the most exclusive parties in South Africa before heading back to your five star hotel suite for some pampering. Shop till you drop in the city centers, with everything from discount fashion labels to upmarket boutiques. This is a region that brought in 40% of the world’s gold deposits, so one can naturally expect the area to hold bountiful riches.
A mere 60km from Johannesburg lies the Kloof Gold Mine. It has produced more than 70 million ounces of gold since the first hole was drilled and was, in its heyday, known as the richest gold mine in the world. Just West of the city lies another mine, the AngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng gold mine is seen as the world’s deepest, reaching a total of 3.9km into the earth’s crust. These are huge achievements in the industrial era and hold a riveting history, with money hungry people rushing to South Africa’s shore trying to grab their share of the wealth. People still do, but now it’s for the other forms of wealth the region holds. Its people, its success and its vibrant lifestyle.
Chobe covers an area of 11,646 km2 and is world renowned for the magnificent array of wildlife contained within its borders. The elephant population alone has been estimated at between 40,000 and 60,000 individuals!
A wide range of distinctive habitat areas are represented within the National Park providing a fascinating variety of experiences. The lush, almost tropical Linyanti swamps are found in the northwest of the Park while the unpredictable, harsh and beautiful Savuti channel and marsh are located in the southwest
The rich floodplains of the northeast run along the banks of the meandering Chobe River which forms the northern boundary of the Park. The remainder of Chobe is arid and hot, underlain by Kalahari sands.
The Chobe River originates in the Angolan highlands where it begins life as the Kwando River. Before becoming the Chobe, the water course changes its name twice to the Linyanti and then the Itenge. The vegetation changes dramatically throughout the Park, the compacted clay soils along the river front being dominated by Mopane trees while acacia species appear further inland. The land is much drier and more open than the Okavango area with wide plains and sand ridges.
The profusion of palatable grass species attracts an impressive variety of herbivores including the ever present elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, massive herds of buffalo, impala, kudu, waterbuck, tsessebe, steenbok and warthog. Chobe is also one of the few places on earth where you will find the rare Puku antelope. Similar in size and colour to the lechwe, they are never far from water and are only found in Chobe and a few areas of Zambia. The Chobe bush-buck is another endemic species.
Moremi Game Reserve covers 4,610km2 of the Okavango Delta and was the first wildlife area to be set aside by tribal people rather than colonial powers. Moremi extends east and northwards to join Chobe National Park, ensuring a continuous area of protected land all the way to Kasane.
Because Moremi reserve and Chobe National park are not fenced, animals are able to follow their own migration routes without interference, and use of the land adjacent to the officially protected areas is also carefully controlled.