TREAD IN OUR FOOTSTEPS
or leave your own
Botswana is the home of Earth Ark Travel, we are based on the edge of the Okavango Delta and know the country like it is our backyard. However, we are intrepid travellers, always looking for the next adventure in the next beautiful African country.
Through our own experiences and with local professionals we like to include a number of other destinations in our "back yard".
This is not all though! We have been doing this for some time and have built up a close network of industry professionals and suppliers, through which we gain exclusive access to almost any African country of your choice.
We are so excited about the diversity that this continent holds, the opportunities are endless.
Botswana is home to Earth Ark Travel. The northern part of the country abounds in wildlife and holds Southern Africa’s largest intact eco-system – the world renowned Okavango Delta. The country boasts the biggest intact migration of Zebra and one of the largest salt pan systems on Earth – the great Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Botswana is also home to the largest continuous Elephant population in Africa and the highest concentration of Elephants on Earth today. This is an excellent destination to photograph large predators, with healthy populations of Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena and African Wild Dog. The differing landscapes of the Okavango, Savute Marsh, Chobe River and the semi-arid zones of Nxai Pan, Makgadikgadi Pans and the Kalahari Desert make Botswana one of the very best safari destinations in the world.
Zambia can be described as the interface between southern and east Africa and has long been one of the most under rated safari destinations on the continent. Bird life is prolific and the Luangwa Valleys offer brilliant wildlife viewing in safari vehicles and on foot. The Kasanka National Park hosts the largest migration of mammals on earth as over 8 million fruit bats descend on a particular forest in time with the Summer rains. Zambia is home to the lesser known sub-species of Cookson’s Wildebeest, Crawshay’s Zebra and Thornicroft Giraffe – endemics to the Luangwa Valleys. The country boasts an intact Wildebeest migration in the west and a cultural diversity that is rich and largely unexplored. The Lozi tribe of the Barotse floodplains are one of the most prominent culture elements of this exciting country.
Wedged between the Kalahari and the South Atlantic, Namibia enjoys vast potential as one of the youngest countries in Africa. In addition to having a striking diversity of cultures and national origins, Namibia is a photographer’s dream – it boasts wild seascapes, rugged mountains, lonely deserts, stunning wildlife, colonial cities and nearly unlimited elbow room. Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that continually makes you what your eyes are seeing. Time and space are less defined here, landscapes collide, dreams are formed and realised. Watch a lion stalking an eland on a never-ending plain in Etosha, or watch a Lion snatch a seal from the surf on the west coast. Fly down a giant dune on a sand-board, spend a night alone in the desert under a sky so thick with stars they are blinding. There is nothing else like Namibia.
Behind the grim data lies one of southern Africa’s most beautiful and diverse countries. Despite their endless troubles, Zimbabweans have never lost their humour and resolve, they are culturally strong, welcoming and vibrant. The thundering Victoria Falls is the most obvious attraction, bungee jumping and white water rafting blend beautifully with the laid back vibe of the town. The wilderness of Mana Pools National Park is home to one of Africas strongest Wild Dog populations, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe are awe inspiring and the majestic Matopos are steeped in tradition. Hwange National Park is a wildlife haven along the banks of the Zambezi River while further upstream is the great Lake Kariba on which dreamy days can be spent aboard a houseboat. Despite its global image, Zimbabwe is still a true African gem.
South Africa is a rich tapestry of landscapes and people affectionately known as the Rainbow Nation. Father of this beautiful land will always be Nelson Mandela. With more than 11 official languages, South Africa is culturally diverse and this flows over into its landscapes and wildlife. Cape Town, the mother city is a beating heart no more than an hour from ancient vineyards, deserted coastlines with whale colonies and beautiful mountains. Further up the west coast are the Cederberg Mountains that burst into colour every spring. The world renowned Kruger National Park is in the east of the country and is home to some of the finest safari lodges in the world, the game viewing is outstanding. Further east still is the diving paradise of St Lucia above the vibrant city of Durban. Travel south and you reach the Wild Coast, massive stretches of wild beaches undisturbed by humans where diving with the great Sardine Run occurs every year. Any visit to Southern Africa should include a stop in this great nation - Mzanzi.
The original heart of the safari - East Africa is home to the most iconic African landscapes and some its most iconic people. The snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro presides over the great plains of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara as they roll into the rainforests of central Africa. The Great Migration occurs here when millions of Wildebeest and Zebra follow the seasonal rains, famously crossing the Crocodile infested Mara River as part of their journey. This is the largest movement of terrestrial mammals on earth. There are deep history and cultural elements to explore while visiting the Maasai and Samburu people. Along the beautiful coastlines the warm Indian Ocean provides an entirely different tapestry of underwater plants and animals. The diving opportunities are some of the best in the world. Just off the coast is the island of Zanzibar, full of colourful history and tradition a visit here is a delightful assault on the senses and is not to be missed.
It is here in East Africa that "safari" first began.
Uganda and Rwanda, both land locked countries in East Africa, may be small in comparison to their neighbours – the DRC, Kenya and Tanzania but they are both packed with exciting treats for its visitors. Both countries have access to the habituated families of Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park. There is truly nothing as remarkable as seeing some of our closest living relatives in the wild. Dian Fossey’s camp, Queen Elizebeth and Murchison’s Falls National Parks are stunning attractions, as is the recently opened Akagera National Park. Chimpanzees trekking experiences are available here like nowhere else. As home to places with names like "the Mountains of the Moon" and "Bwindi Impenetrable Forest" how can you not be tempted to explore this incredible region.
Uganda & Rwanda
Slowly but steadily opening itself up to tourism, the Republic of Congo is one of Africas emerging jewels. As opposed to its neighbour, the DRC, it has enjoyed many years of peace and as a result is starting to open itself up to the outside world. There has perhaps never been a better time to visit this incredible country in the heart of the Central African Rainforest. In its steaming mists one can track Western Lowland Gorillas and hear the calls of wild Chimpanzees at night, the small open areas known as "bais" teem with the otherwise elusive forest Elephant, forest Buffalo, Sitatunga and many more. Activities are varied and exciting, from cultural visits to walks, kayaks and game drives. The array of birdlife here is mind boggling - there few more exciting moments than seeing a Great Blue Turaco soar through the canopy above you.
Home to half the world’s species of Chameleons, the name itself conjures up the spirit of exploration and discovery. The eighth continent, as it is dubbed, is home to a fascinating plethora of flora and fauna. Madagascar split from mainland Africa millenia ago, taking with it an array of species and through the wheels of evolution turned them into a selection of birds and animals found nowhere else on Earth. With over 50 different species of Lemur, incredible beaches, an arid interior boasting alleyways of Baobab trees and thick coastal jungles it is the epitome of exotic. The fishing and diving in its coastal waters are some of the best in the world and incredibly it is still relatively untouched. Could there be a better end to a safari than spending a week on a yacht exploring the turquoise waters and hidden bays of this paradise known as "Treasure Island"?