Africa Adventure Tours and Overlanding Stories by Nomad

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Tosca’s Guide to National Park People Watching

I am going to veer a bit off topic, but I assume some people have never been to a Southern African National Park and need a crash course in people spotting.  Now by National Park, I mean a place with animals, preferably some of the Big 5.

With that in mind, there are two things that you need to know about, one, are Animals – that would be the furry and feathered types; the other, is the people coming to look for, and at the animals.  Also, the furry type.

A furry animal, one of the types of visitors to a National Park

A furry animal, one of the types of visitors to a National Park

Now the second category can also be subdivided into quite a few smaller categories, and even share some common traits with other categories.

Lets start with the most well know.  Mr Big 5,  that is the guy, usually in a Bakkie, with a much cowed wife in tow.  Also, can be recognized by the fact that he usually shows up with a caravan, and a trailer in tow.  He can mostly be spotted, zipping at top speed, between waterholes, and carries a humongous pair of binoculars (not to be confused with the Bird watcher, which we will dicuss later).

Now Mr Big 5 is not a guy that will keep quiet about his findings ( unlike the Ms/Mr Yuppie Big 5).  Any chance he has, he will stop you, and gleefully tell you all about the Lion he saw that morning.  Nearly.  Well, his paw was peeking out!  It was a magnificent paw! And it was at a waterhole so and so.  Tomorrow morning, he will be back there, looking for the Big sighting!

Now Mr Big 5 is good for some limited information on where to find some of the animals you are looking for.  When the day is done, Mr Big 5 can be found, in his chair, outside his caravan, while his wife organises supper.

Ms/Mr Yuppie Big 5, well, difference here, she/he shows up in a brand new Pajero.  With Aircon.  Also differs slightly from Mr Big 5, in that he/she stays in chalets, and uses the very expensive high tech camera in a dual function of binoculars as well.  Ms Yuppie Big 5 will Never share info with the other weary travellers, as this would most probably necessitate for them to open the Pajero window, and that in turn will get dust onto the GPS system, which in turn will delete all the info, triangulated, of the previous visits Big 5 sightings.  Ms Yuppie Big 5 will only share this vital information with the other Yuppie friends, at home.  And have a right giggle at those other fools, looking for birds!  And telling other people where to find stuff!  This all over a glass of carefully selected Sancere.

Briefly mentioned above is the Bird Watcher.  Fantastic type, who mostly accidentally see the big 5, as he is so busy scanning trees, and driving so slowly as not to disturb the lesser breasted, immature, never spotted here before bird, that he just kind of stumbles over the Big stuff.  Mr Twitcher actually does not secretly yearn to see the Big 5 ( unlike Mr Tourist), and sees animals as a bit of an inconvenience, especially if said member of Big 5 is lying close to the much sought after Lesser breasted, immature, never before spotted Tit.  Mr Twitcher is easy to identify.  He also carries a pair of binoculars, but these have distance and height and all kinds of vital statistics showing on the inside lens.  He is also the one driving really slowly.  And when parked, please watch angle of head.  If pointed upwards into a tree, chances are he is Mr Twitcher.  Mr Twitcher’s wife, Mrs Twitcher, shares his passion, but secretly yearns to see the big five, as she gets very tired of handing over one of the 12 different bird books that Mr Twitcher carries with him.  Always.  Even to the shop, as one never knows when, a lesser breasted, does not exist wading Mossie, will dart around the next isle. Mrs Twitcher, however, can’t cook to save her life, and is thus dependant on Mr Twitcher’s good will, in the evening, when they park off next to their small tent, made of recycled Gwano platform pillars.

Beautiful Swallow Tailed Bee Eater for Mr Birder

Beautiful Swallow Tailed Bee Eater for Mr Twitcher

Mr Tourist can be divided into two sub-categories.  One would be the large luxury coach type tourist, usually from some Asian country (where cameras can basically cure cancer, while operating on your pet parakeet, and cost barely absolutely nothing in their currency, and can link to your iMattress, that in turn can call up your stock broker, who can programme the iFax to bounce off iSatellite, to make sure you choose the right pair of underpants).  So, Mr Luxury Bus Tourist is pretty much like Mr Big 5, only not in a bakkie, or with a caravan, and won’t tell you where the Big 5 is, as he basically doesn’t know if he saw a cheetah or a goose.  Also, he can only say:  “Where is the bathroom?” and “my pants are on fire”, in English.  Mr Luxury Bus Tourist comes stock standard with a guide, who wears his Field Guide badge proudly, and reports anybody else, who looks like they can actually communicate with their own clients, as non registered.  Mr Luxury Bus Tourist Guide also knows to shut up, find the Big 5, or as close as possible without Mr Luxury Bus Tourist knowing it is actually a domestic cat, and not a cheetah he so kindly pointed out.

The second sub category of Mr Tourist, is actually Mr Undercover Tourist.  Now Mr Undercover Tourist has heard about the other types of tourists who visits National Parks, and would never want to be known as one of those.  So, Mr Undercover Tourist can be recognized by the rental 4×4 he is driving, and his obsessive road rule use.  Mr Undercover Tourist also invested big money on a mammal guide book, a bird book, a map of the said park, a book written by rangers about their stories in the bush, as well as a book on the Traffic Act, the full 12 editions.

Mr Undercover tourist will carefully read the park rules and instructions at reception when clocking in, and will never ever ever be late for a gate closing time.  He is unfailingly polite, and will stay on the left side of the road, even if on the right side there is a lion, chasing a hyena, using a springbok leg as a club, and every Mr Big Five in the district is blocking his view.  It says so in the 12 part Traffic Act book.  Drive on the left side of the road, and when he sees a crocodile, hanging from an elephants tail, smoking some marijuana, he will not slam on brakes and pull out cameras.  No, he will first indicate that he will pull off.  To the left.  And once the car has come to a complete halt, he will then put on the hazards.

Mr Undercover Tourist would secretly also like to see the big 5, but that brings him too close to Mr Luxury Bus Tourist.  So he keeps that to himself.  Mr Undercover Tourist also bought the full Bush Pride Safari Wear range, including the zip off pants.  He carries a regular sized camera, with interchangeable lenses, in case he has to take some shots of the chalet as well.  Now the first two days of his 7 day stay in the park, with the days carefully divided between the main camps, will be spent getting the lay of the land. So if you should stop next to him, and ask him to roll down his window so that you can have a chat about sightings, he will first be hesitant, and only roll down two centimeters (he also researched the crime stats in SA, and was told to never ever ever open your car window to strangers).  So, when you then tell him, two kilometers on, he will see two lions under a tree, he will first look shocked, and then start doing the calculations in his mind to convert miles to kilometers.  But, two days later, if you should meet up with him again, he will flash lights at you, and greet you like an old friend, and swap sighting stories with you.  He catches on fast and is a great source of info, as he is actually very diligent in checking out every bush and tree, and generally enjoys the small stuff too.  He is easily identified in the evening, as he will be spending it inside his chalet (he really wanted to camp, but he could not get the tent he used for last years everest attempt through customs, and also could not find a place on the internet who rents out tents) eating a plate of cooked food.  He does not know how to braai.  He would love to, but is scared this will give away the game, and then everybody will know he is a tourist.  Please invite him over if you should be braaing yourself!

One of my personal favorites, is Mr Wannabe Photographer.  Not professional, them you never see, they hang out on the no access roads, because they grew up in the park, and their father is the head ranger etc.  No, Mr Wannabe Photographer is the one whom you must not park close to at any sighting as when he starts to unroll the camera lens, chances are you are going to lose your car windshield.  The lenses Mr Wannabe Photographer carries are bigger in circumference than Mike Tyson’s thigh.  It is so big, that Mr Wannabe Photographer must carry it with a special pillow and pulley system, just to lower it onto the window frame.  Mr Wannabe Photographer also hogs all the space at any sighting, and stays there until whatever animal you wanted to see, has disappeared beyond the 10 km mark, which is how far his lens can see. Mr Wannabe Photographer does not have time for chats about where to find what animal as he is too busy cleaning his lens and hoisting it back into the car, which is also a Pajero.  Because if one can afford a NASA lens, as a hobby, chances are a Pajero costs nothing to him either.  Mr Wannabe Photographer is not the happiest type, as he secretly yearns to find the Big 5 and then talks incessantly about it.  But he can’t, as he is busy with his lenses.  No time.

Just on a side note, if you should ever run into Mr Professional Photographer:  He drives a beat up old 1980 Uno, as he spends all his money on cameras and Park Fees.  He is also dating the current Miss Slovakia, who he straps onto the roof rack of his Uno (or Landrover), as his custom built camera box, that is also bullet proof, water proof, sand proof and has in fact survived Sarajevo, takes prime seat in the front.  In the back of the car he keeps his emergency supplies, in case he has to sit next to a sand dune for 10 days, where 9 days ago somebody saw a Lion.  Miss Slovakia he keeps on hand for, well, things that only Miss Slovakia can do.  Also because it looks cool!

Another of my favourites, just because of sheer dogged determination, is Family Joe Soap.  Now Family Joe Soap can easily be confused with Mr Big 5, as they also pull in with a caravan.  But that is about where it stops.  They have 3 kids, of which one is a baby.  The reason why they show up in a National Park is to instill the love of nature that their parents taught them at that age, and their parents before them etc.  So, very optimistic bunch this, as they rock up at the camp site, where Mom runs off with baby to find some space somewhere to change diapers, and Dad starts leveling the Caravan.  Boet and Sus will go suss out the shop, and the swimming pool.  On gate opening time, the whole family will sit ready at the gate, with baby on mom’s lap, and Boet and Sus with their noses smashed up against the back windows, ready for action.  And all goes well for at least 30 minutes.  But after 3 hours in a non airconditioned sedan, Boet then has his finger up Sus’ nose, baby is screaming, and Sus is trying to hide under the driver’s seat from the spider she saw three hours ago at the gate.  Dad actually really wishes with all his heart for the big 5, preferably within 30 minutes of leaving camp, so that he can then turn around, go start the fire for his afternoon braai, while the kids play in the swimming pool for the rest of the day.  Mom wishes for the same, but instead of the braai part, she wishes fervently for somebody else to be changing diapers, while doing said task on the dashboard on a side dusty road.  After about 3 days if this, both Mom and Dad promise each other to rather go to Bela Bela next year. But, next year they will be back, as this is what their parents did, and their parents, and they can only remember how much fun it was to sit in the back with their noses pressed to the windows, waiting for the first sight of lion.  Bless their hearts, at least they are trying to get their children into nature!  As much hell as it seems.  And please don’t disturb them with questions about sightings?  They most probably only saw dirty diapers, and Boets bleeding foot which he stuck out the window and which then got torn open by a branch, and really can’t tell you anything, as much as they want to.

And so the list goes on.  The Amateur Field Guide, who will tell you where he saw animals, but who would also want to share his limited knowledge of wildife, gleamed from a National Geographic channel in the process, to be avoided unless you have no other choice.

The Forever Couple who have been coming to the same park for the last 20 years, every year, and keeps to themselves, unless you ask them where to find what.  Fantastic source of info, as they won’t talk your ear off, but will be very precise in the info (third bush to the left, tree that looks like a dog upside down, 1 metre behind, is a Cape Fox.  In the tree above him, is also a Rock Kestrel, in case you like birds).

So, the bottom line of all of this, you will meet some strange and wonderful people in National Parks, and lets face it, everybody really wants to tell somebody of the luck they had today when they saw blah blah.  So go make friends, start a chat in the bathroom, speak to the gate guard, roll down the window, flash the lights if you saw something, as when you leave the park you will not know anybody’s name, but you still would have made a friend for life!

As I near the end of my visit to the Kgalagadi National Park, I look back and realize I saw, interacted with and met most of the above, and a little of each of the above is in me too!

To the Indian gentleman from Botswana, who described a waterhole scene in one sentence (hyenas with pups played and splashed and caused big drama and all);  To the Dutch couple, with wife in the back seat, and husband in the front, and the most exited smiles ever;  To the North West farmer who missed the lion by 2 hours;  To the quantum full of Spanish folk who really tried to look for any predators, as I asked them to, while I was busy running a couple of metres into the bush to pick up a glass bottle there;  And even to the two drunk Frenchmen, who made my life hell at a lion sighting with their “You want drinky?”.  Here’s to seeing you all, in some form or other, at the next park!

Farewell long dusty roads of the Kgalagadi National Park!

Farewell long dusty roads of the Kgalagadi National Park!

When you're the Operations Manager of a Tour Company, anything is possible... thanks to network Nomad, the plate is back!

When you're the Operations Manager of a Tour Company, anything is possible... thanks to network Nomad, the plate is back!

Keen to find out what adventure awaits Tosca next?  Here’s a clue… she will be playing on the longest one in South Africa!

Click here to find out more!

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Tosca’s epic Kalaroo Adventure… kaalgat in the Kalahari!

I woke up at 5 feeling very off.  You might wonder why I start this piece off with something you really couldn’t care less about.  But this will become clear a little later on.

Anywho, woke up, read a little, figured out that the thingymabob that comes out of the camera actually has a little hole on the laptop that was made for it (like the spiders and their mating).  Had about 10 cups of coffee and generally made out as though I was on holiday.

Coffee on the fire, now this is a holiday!

Coffee on the fire, now this is a holiday! What adventures will we encounter today?

This killed the time until 7am, when I could start packing my car.  Now after the big scare from yesterday, what with my car growling at me, and sounding like a V8 stock car, I was a bit nervous about the day.  So I ignored little injured blue bullet, and presented myself for breakfast.

Two hours later, Linda, the owner of the guesthouse, and myself finally concluded our chat and plans for the town, and how we can incorporate the local artists into our tour, etc ad finitum!  O, and also why we really don’t need a man in our lives, unless you are short like me, and need somebody to assist in changing lightbulbs.  It was great to meet somebody who actually cares about her community, and wants to see some kind of improvement in the unemployment rate, and sees having some self respect, and off course something to do with your hands, as the way out. And for those who did not know, they have some awesome Bushman paintings right outside Kenhard.  And, when we designed this tour, we really wanted to actually spend some time on a working farm in the area, and guess what, Linda owns a farm, right next to verneuk pan.

The Blue Bullet patiently waiting outside the Guest House while the ladies compare lawns

The Blue Bullet patiently waiting outside the Guest House while the ladies compare lawns

So out came the photos.  One can actually still see the tracks from 1938, when that Malcolm bloke drove across there.  Linda says, they actually swept the track he used with a broom. 17km long!  I wonder who had that little gem of a task?

So, finally by 9h30, I had to take my leave.  Bullet was quiet, the road uneventful, with no Kamikaze wildlife present.  I even stopped for some nice photos of nothing.

Made Upington, and felt a little worse than this morning.  Again with the feeling sick bit, but wait, it is coming…

So, bought some meat, met a very nice lady at the meat market, decided against buying the 300kg bag of Ice (Upington I think is a little like Texas), and on my way out, realized that in Upington it is not the size of the house that counts, it’s if  you have a lawn or not that separates the Joe soaps from the Joe Soap Opera.  The uppity ones, all with lawns!  So basically, if you had a one room bathroom set up, and some green spray paint, chances are, you would be invited to all the cool parties there.

So, now the sick thing.  About 30km outside Lawn capital, I really really didn’t feel well, and decided to have a strong pain killer (not the rum type).  Thinking it should sort out any headache, flu type thing brewing.  40 min later, I could barely keep my eyes open!  It was horrific!  The road does not even have a hint of a curve, to break the monotony, no Kamikaze wildlife to keep me on my toes (and awake).  About 100km before Kgalagadi, I really couldn’t take it any more, and pulled of.  Now, the last time I did a bush toilet break was in 2004, behind a small mountain.  Please do take note, the Kalahari is flat.  NO mountains!  And a swarm of Tsetse flies, cross bred with boeing 747 on steroids attacked me!  I NEVER pulled pants up that fast in my life (except for the time when my pants actually fell into the long drop in East Africa, but that story for another time)!  With the pants still dangling behind, and the shoe getting stuck in every little bush, it was a spectacular run for my car!  And, needless to say I was awake.

The best part of the day, after a semi uneventful and shorter drive, of course, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  It is a place of such contrasts, and always invokes such massive emotions when I see it, that I am never sure if I should cry or laugh, or just shut up and go and look for Animals!  So I did the last bit.  The other thing about this red sand dune playground is that one does not trip over animals.  So this is where one actually starts sweating the small stuff!  Look for the little things, and that in turn leads to some very rare and exiting sightings!  But because it is so beautiful, just looking at the passing dunes with its clumps of yellow grass and the very blue sky above (yes, the three primary colours all together in one shot), is more than enough!

But still, I saw some stuff!!

Mongoose, Suricate (scratching for food, too cute), Rock agama (very colourful indeed), Springbok, Gemsbok (high up on a dune, lovely contrasts there), Ostrich, Ground Squirrels, Forktailed Drongo, Crimson Breasted Shrike, Starlings, Korhaan, Cori Bustard (heaviest flying bird).Rock Agama, in the Kgalagadi, it's the small stuff that counts!

Rock Agama, in the Kgalagadi, it’s the small stuff that counts!

The winner was definitely a Martial Eagle, not 2 meters away!  I got one spectacular shot of it, after 300 attempts. But what a beauty! As always, one big thing a day.  That is what makes the Kgalagadi so special.

Marshall Eagle, the biggest of the African Eagles, spotted in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Marshall Eagle, the biggest of the African Eagles, spotted in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Marshall Eagle takes to the skies, you can feel the power of this bird!

Marshall Eagle takes to the skies, you can feel the power of this bird!

Meanwhile, I have a barking Gecko in my roof ( Thatch roof, so yes, In) spitting at me at present, and a family of bats outside, having fun next to my front door.

It is 5am now, and I am off on another adventure in the park! Coffee flask done, left over braai wrapped, cool drink and water in the cooler box, and Camera on standby!

Coffee and biscuits, ready to hit the road!

Coffee and biscuits, ready to hit the road!

I can’t wait!

 


Go Mo Mad with Nomad in November and win a 7 Day Desert Explorer Tour

How do you feel about going on a 7 Day Camping Tour from Cape Town to Swakopmund?  For FREE!!  And a 25% discount for your travel partner.

To make this dream a reality, all you need to do this November is grow the most creatively NoMADic moustache we’ve seen!

Send us your pictures of your Movembers!  Frovembers and Logomos will be accepted too.  Girls, no mo?  Mow your hair in any creative fashion and your entries will be accepted too.  Don’t be cruel to your pets but if they look like they have a cool potential Mopportunity for a photo, get them involved!  Creative hair is what it’s about and the more Nomad’esque it is, the better!

Enter your photos by:

In order to qualify:
What we will do:
  • For every photo that is entered into the competition and qualifies as above, Nomad will donate R2 to a charity selected by the owner of the winning picture.
Logo Mo from Nomad African Adventure Tours
Logo Mo from Nomad African Adventure Tours
This Nomad is begging for a Mo... and a Fro! Show him what you can do!
This Nomad is begging for a Mo… and a Fro! Show him what you can do!
Need some inspiration?  Have a look at some other Movember ideas:

Sharks, Mantas and the Big Five! Mozambique and South Africa’s best kept secret

You’ve island hopped to see sea lions and hammerheads in Galapagos, you’ve been blown away by the corals and colours in Indonesia, you’ve coursed the Caribbean for turtles, frog fish and brightly shining tropicals, the Barrier Reef and the Red Sea – more of the same – it’s time to try something a little more off the beaten track and wild (ok, so I may be a little biased, please don’t take offence)!

Nomad Africa Adventure Tour’s 14 Day South African Dive Safari

Nomad Africa Adventure Tour’s 20 Day South African Dive Safari

There is only one place in the world where you can lay your beady eyes on the Big 5, dive with tiger sharks, hammerheads, reef tips, silkys, whale sharks, great whites, ragged tooth, cow sharks and manta rays!  Not forgetting the smaller toothed tropicals.  On this tour, when you finish your epic dives for the day and you think the adventure is over, we hit the road and go and visit more big toothed animals in the Kruger National Park and Swaziland.

Fern Perry, owner of Lutwala Dive, Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Technical Instructor, specialises in large pelagic diving and she will run all of the dive tours.  Fern is particularly interested in the preservation and conservation of the species that she works with every day and you will find that while on tour, you will be introduced to passionate professionals who will give you further insight into the lives of our incredible marine life.

We have a 20% discount on two of our tours, departing 23rd and 26th January 2012.  Seats are limited so get in contact with us as soon as possible if you’re keen to join us on this epic adventure!  If names like Aliwal Shoal, Protea Banks and Paia Do Tofo excite you, this is the tour for you!  Contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za or visit our website on www.nomadtours.co.za to find out more about this incredible journey.

Join our South African Dive Safari page on Facebook to keep up to date with all the exciting news from the upcoming season!

The gentle giants of the sea, Tofo

Praia do Tofo, home to the largest population of Whale Sharks and Manta Rays in the world

SCUBA Diving with Sharks on Nomad's South African Dive Tour

Playing nonchalant with a predator of the seas

One of the only family of sharks that swim in schools

Looking up at a school of Hammerhead sharks

The graceful Tiger shark

Top apex predator, these Tiger sharks have an open curiosity

South African Dive Safari with Nomad Africa Adventure Tours and Lutwala Dive

This is our route map for a 20 Day Dive Safari Tour, we can also offer you a 14 Day Dive Tour

Fern Perry, Owner of Lutwala Dive, 5* PADI Dive Resort and TDI Dive Centre

Fern Perry, Owner of Lutwala Dive, 5* PADI Dive Resort and TDI Dive Centre, also your Tour Leader!


Packing for your African overland adventure tour with Nomad Tours

Only pack as much as you can comfortably carry, not pull:

There are going to be other people on your tour and as the adage goes, first impressions last.  When they see you arriving with everything but the kitchen sink, you’re going to get the hairy eyeball.  The more you pack, the more uncomfortable you will be; this is definitely a game of less is more.  When you arrive at a campsite or at your accommodation, you will need to take your bag out of the truck and carry it to where you will be sleeping and this may be more than a hundred meters away.

Money belt, Day pack and Duffel bag (and sleeping bag if you’re camping):

This combination of bags will see you safely and comfortably through your African adventure tour.  Stash your cash, passports and any other important travel documents in your money belt and keep it on you or in the safe.  Your daypack is for water, snacks, a light wind resistant top, extra set of socks and underwear, a good book (or your kindle), camera, binoculars, phone and ipod.  Put everything that you won’t need during the day into your duffel bag – other clothing, shoes, toiletries, medication, towel and shove it up onto the shelf overhead or into one of the lockers at the back of the truck.  Not all trucks have lockers and lockers are not standardised in size.

Money belt

A money belt is an excellent way to carry your important travel documents, cash and cards

A good strong small backpack

Carry your day time necessities in a good small, strong backpack

Duffel Bag

A compact and flexible duffel bag is perfect for stashing into a locker or an overhead shelf

Wheelie / frame bags are not advisable:

As the wheelie / trolley bags have a solid frame, they don’t squeeze into spaces the same way a backpack or duffel bag does, some of the lockers are as narrow as 38cms and some of the shelves as narrow as 20cms.  If the frame does not fit these diameters, there aren’t many other places to put your bag.  Also, by day two, the mud and stones will get into the little wheels on your wheelie bag and the novelty will be over and you’ll be carrying it from A to B.  They aren’t as comfortable to carry as a duffel bag and as you know you don’t have to carry it, you end up packing a lot more than you normally would.

Wheelie Bags

These bags will not suit your needs on tour

Make sure you pack these into your luggage:

If you remember to pack these few items into your bag, you will be so much more comfortable on tour:

  • Wet wipes
  • A pillow
  • Ziplock bags
  • Head torch
  • Small first aid kit – plasters, eye drops, spray or cream for bites and stings
For more information on the trucks that you will be travelling on with Nomad Africa Adventure Tours – click here
View our website for more information:  www.nomadtours.co.za
Contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za

Call us on +27 (21) 426 5445


5 Critical Hours for our Rhinos and our Springboks

The crowds go wild at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.  It’s 5pm in the afternoon, New Zealand time, and the anticipation is mounting.  The mighty Namibian and South African teams stride their way out onto the turf and a deathly hush settles over stadium.  The spectators look again, they can’t believe what they’re seeing!  There’s no green, gold or blue on the field but all the players are wearing red and black!  Imagine that, South Africa and Namibia, standing together at a world class event to say NO to rhino poaching.

We still have time to turn this into a reality, that’s the beautiful power of social media.  Consider the fact that there will not be a highway built across the Serengeti – thanks to social media, the power is yours, act now!

Today is World Rhino Day and we will all be standing together to end the demand for rhino horn.  These precious animals were brought to the edge of extinction not very long ago and over the past two decades have been nurtured and protected to regain their strength in numbers.  Unfortunately a new wave has hit our shores and the demand for rhino horn has increased significantly.  These poor innocent beasts are having their faces hacked off so that we can satisfy this market, it’s time we stood against the organisations who are demanding the horn and make a noise about it so that we can protect our future with healthy rhino’s in the wild.

Enjoy the game today, may the Springboks fly to victory! While you’re watching, plan one thing that you can do for our rhinos, and then follow through with it.  Talk about it, tweet about it or follow it on facebook.  Update your profile pictures with the lovely leathery beast with the really sad eyes.

The official web page to find out where you can go to join in with activities to end rhino poaching and show your support in your area will be updated regularly throughout the day, have a look here to see where and how you can get involved:  www.rhinoconservation.org/world-rhino-day/.  There is excellent information on everything you need to know about our efforts to save the rhino!

View our website for more information:  www.nomadtours.co.za

Contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za

Call us on +27 (21) 426 5445

A white rhino at Hlane in Swaziland, Big Game Parks

Glen from Big Game Parks in Swaziland eyeballing a rhino at Hlane

Photographing white rhino's as they bask in the sun after a lovely mud bath

Photographing white rhino's as they bask in the sun after a lovely mud bath


How to experience the best of Africa in 7 Days

Last week we put this question out to our Facebook friends “If you had 7 days to experience Africa for the first and last time, realistically, what would you choose to do?”  Ok, so they may be a little biased towards the routes and tours that we offer but the suggestions that came through would leave any avid traveller gagging for more!

Our favourite answer was from Mu’tamen Ashoor who said:  “With Nomad, everything is nice”, we love you Mu’tamen!  But seriously, let’s get back to the destinations.

The runner-up destinations included South Africa’s Winelands, Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast of South Africa and Sossusvlei and Spitzkoppe in the heart of the desert in Namibia.  Wow, I think that a combination of the runners up would make an incredible tour on their own, but I’d definitely take more than 7 days to experience all of that.

Big sky day

Escape to the edge of the world in Old Transkei where it's just too easy to chill out and relax!

The next heavy weights in second place on the podium were the adventure capital of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe with their mighty mighty waterfalls and the Okavango Delta in Botswana where you will find the best water based game viewing in the world!  Definitely a 5 star experience spending 7 days in these two destinations.

Beautiful sunset in Africa

Our Delta Excursion includes a mokoro trip which follows the narrow hippo trails through the Okavango

The winners?  I’m not sure if it’s because currently there are thousands of animals cruising across the plains, but East Africa with it’s Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater were the absolute favourites!  Not only did East Africa get mentions for their vast plains and wide open spaces, but also for the climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro and the gorillas and chimps at the impenetrable forest in Uganda.  Kenya and Tanzania have always been firm favourites with us but it is inspiring to see the same response coming from you, our travellers.

East Africa Highlights

A sentinel rhino makes it's way to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater

Thank you Jordan Moon, Beatriz Noguez, Caroline Pratt, La’Keba Ke’Garcia, Ute Mans, Hillare Chebji, Dominique Geyser, Janina Kragelin, Melissa Biki and Sandra Lenaers for your wonderful suggestions.

Contact us at nomad@nomadtours.co.za to find out more about visiting these incredible destinations or you can visit our website: www.nomadtours.co.za

View our website for more information:  www.nomadtours.co.za

Contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za

Call us on +27 (21) 426 5445


Epic Africa and magical memories, choose a real experience!

Experience the real beauty of Africa

20 days out of 365 and that’s it!  For the majority of us working class folk, 20 – 25 days is the grand total of holiday leave that we accrue throughout the year.  As we scrutinise our calendars, we try to work out how to make the most of these precious few days.  Families with kids have their holidays mapped out according to school holidays, and for the rest of us, this is the time that we generally try to avoid travelling.

Visiting friends and family, taking time out of the manic cycle of city living, breaking away from technology, visiting places where the mobile phone is out of range and getting back to nature are all popular choices for vacationers to spend their annual leave.  And don’t forget the bucket list!

Personally, my favourite holidays were those that I spent with my grownup family, going on adventure trips to unique destinations where communication with the outside world was seriously limited!  Say goodbye to the stresses of the outside world and hello to the real world where the mind, body and soul can be revitalised and reminded of the basic joys that nature provides.  The memory of sitting on a rock on Domwe Island, Lake Malawi, watching a warm Summer sunset coupled with a distant thunderstorm, while surrounded by my family and nothing much else than safari tents, paraffin lights and freshly grilled fish off the braai; will be a memory that will shine for me for the rest of my days.

So when you’re browsing through your calendar, consider the magical destinations that we have here in Southern and East Africa.  We will show you natural sights that will boggle your mind, we will introduce you to people so friendly and foreign that you’ll fall in love and want to take them home with you.  If you haven’t seen the Big 5 or been on safari, we will take you right into the heart of the action and show you nature’s best!  Whether you’re travelling on your own or with your family or friends, we’ll have the right experience for you to create your own memories to last a lifetime.

Take a couple of minutes to see what other travelers have experienced on this wonderful continent of Africa which we get to call home:  http://bit.ly/mRWccC

View our website for more information:  www.nomadtours.co.za

Contact us on nomad@nomadtours.co.za

Call us on +27 (21) 426 5445

Experience the real beauty of Africa

Spend your days wisely getting wrapped up in the beauty of Africa