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Visas for Safari

Posted on January 22nd, 2014 by Stephanie Hunt in Resources.

Latest update:  12 November, 2013

The requirement for visas is always changing.  We summarise below the visa requirements for Canadian  & American citizens as of our latest update.  We will provide you with specific visa advice at the time of booking.  If you are not booking through us and using this as a guide, we strongly recommend that you double check with the relevant consular offices before travelling.

One thing that never changes is the African love affair with passport stamps.  Make sure you have adequate un-used pages in your passport and assume that every country you visit will require at least one full page for visas and stamps.

Also ensure that your passport expiry date is at least 6-months after the conclusion of your trip.

 

Botswana

Canadians & Americans do not require a visa to visit Botswana for up to 90 days.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit the Congo and you must apply for the visa before you leave.  Allow 2-4 weeks for processing.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees and Application Download – USA

 

Kenya

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit Kenya.  You can apply for the visa before you leave, or have one issued on arrival.

Depending on your itinerary you may need a Transit, Single or Double Entry visa.  We will advise you at the time of booking which visa you will require.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees and Application Download – USA

 

Mozambique

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit Mozambique and you must apply for the visa before leaving Canada.

Depending on your itinerary you may need a Single or Double Entry visa.  We will advise you at the time of booking which visa you will require.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees and Application Download – USA

 

Namibia

Canadian and American passport holders do not require a visa to visit Namibia for up to 90 days.

 

Rwanda

American passport holders do not require a visa to visit Rwanda for up to 90 days.

Canadians require a visa to visit Rwanda and you must apply for the visa before leaving Canada.

Fees and Online Application – Canada

 

South Africa

Canadian and American passport holders do not require a visa to visit South Africa for up to 90 days.

 

Tanzania

Canadian and Americans do require a visa to visit Tanzania. You can apply for the visa before you leave, or have one issued on arrival.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees and Application Download – USA

 

Uganda

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit Uganda and you must apply for the visa before you leave.

Depending on your itinerary you may need a Single or Double Entry visa.  We will advise you at the time of booking which visa you will require.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees    Application Download – USA

 

Zambia

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit Zambia.  You can apply for the visa before you leave, or have one issued on arrival.

Depending on your itinerary you may need a Single or Double Entry visa.  We will advise you at the time of booking which visa you will require.

Fees and Application Download – Canada

Fees and Application Download – USA

 

Zimbabwe

Canadian and American passport holders require a visa to visit Zimbabwe, which can be applied for before leaving, or obtained on arrival.

Fees and Application Download


Finding The Apes

Posted on January 21st, 2014 by Stephanie Hunt in Resources.

Perhaps the most fascinating, irresistible and charming creatures in Africa are the Apes.  Hidden in the dense jungle and rainforest areas, Africa’s gorillas and chimpanzees require time and effort to visit.  But the rare opportunity to share time with our distant cousins will be one of the highlights of your safari.

Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla gorilla beringei  Mountain gorilla

Quick Facts

  • The largest living primate, an adult male gorilla can be 1.8 meters tall and weigh 180kg.
  • Gorillas live in family groups, called troops, with up to 30 members.
  • Highly sociable, gorillas form strong attachments to members of their troop.
  • One mature male, known as the Silverback, normally acts as leader and chief protector.
  • Gorillas inhabit dense forest and rainforest, wandering over a 15-25km home range.
  • Feeding and resting through the day, gorillas build nests from bent branches or grasses each evening.
  • Gorillas are shy and retiring and will seek no trouble unless harassed.  But they will fiercely defend their family group when threatened.
  • Twenty-five distinct vocalizations are recognised and used for group communication in the dense vegetation.
  • There are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the world.

Where to See the Gorillas

  • Approximately 480 gorillas inhabit the Virunga Ranges.  This extinct volcanic region runs along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The remaining gorillas inhabit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda.

 About Visiting the Gorillas

  • Getting to see the gorillas is not easy and there are no guarantees.
  • At least a moderate level of fitness is required as you will have to trek through thick vegetation and up steep slopes in search of the gorillas.  The trek can last for several hours.
  • Local guides keep track of the animals, but they move daily and are not easy to track.  Visitors have been disappointed.
  • Your time with the gorillas is limited to 1 hour and facemasks may be required to prevent transmission of disease.
  • You may not use a flash, so choose your lens accordingly.
  • You will require an official permit to see the gorillas.

 

Western Lowland Gorilla

western lowland gorilla

Quick Facts

  • The smallest subspecies of gorilla, the average male still stands 1.6m tall and weighs 168 kg.
  • Compared to mountain gorillas there is a greater gender size difference, with females being half the size of males.
  • Endangered but far more common and widespread than the mountain gorillas.
  • Females don’t start reproducing until around 9 years old, and they generally have one offspring every 5 years.
  • When males reach maturity they go through a “bachelor stage” that can last several years.  Whereas females are never found alone.
  • This breed has the smallest family groups of all gorillas, averaging 4-8 members.
  • Highly sociable, gorillas form strong attachments to family members.
  • One mature male, known as the Silverback, normally acts as leader and chief protector.
  • The western lowland gorilla inhabits dense rainforest throughout central Africa.
  • Western gorillas frequently stand upright, but walk in a hunched, quadruped fashion.
  • Feeding and resting through the day, gorillas build nests from bent branches or grasses each evening.
  • All gorillas are shy and retiring and will seek no trouble unless harassed.  But they will fiercely defend their family group when threatened.

Where to See the Gorillas

  • The forests of the Congo (Brazzaville) harbour the largest population of western lowland gorillas.
  • Odzalla-Kokoua National Park has the densest population and new lodges are beginning to open, making this area more accessible.

About Visiting the Gorillas

  • Getting to see the gorillas is not easy and there are no guarantees.
  • At least a moderate level of fitness is required as you will have to trek on foot through thick vegetation, often for several hours.
  • Local guides keep track of the animals, but they move daily and are not easy to track.  Visitors have been disappointed.
  • Your time with the gorillas is limited to 1 hour and facemasks may be required to prevent transmission of disease.
  • You may not use a flash, so choose your lens accordingly.

 

Chimpanzee

chimpanzee

Quick Facts

  • Chimpanzees are humans’ closest relatives, sharing 98% of our genes.
  • Highly sociable, chimps move in flexible groups of 15-80, called troops.
  • Agile climbers, chimps build nests high up in the trees to rest during the day and sleep at night.
  • During the day chimps move largely on the ground, either bipedally or knuckle-walking.
  • Bigger than you might think, the adult male weighs up to 70kg and reaches heights of 1.7 meters.
  • Largely vegetarian, chimps do supplement their diets with meat.  Males hunt in groups for small antelope, monkeys and baboons.
  • Extremely noisy creatures, chimps communicate through screams, pant hoots, squeaks and barks.

Where to See the Chimpanzees

  • Chimps are present throughout a number of African countries, but the best place to see them is in Tanzania or Uganda.
  • The Mahale Mountains National Park, in western Tanzania, has an estimated 1,000 chimps in residence.
  • Gombe Stream National Park, also in western Tanzania, is where Jane Goodall studied chimps and remains home to several groups of habituated chimps.
  • Kibale National Park in Uganda is home to 1,500 chimps.
  • Chimps can also be seen at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Kyamburu Gorge in Uganda.

About Visiting the Chimpanzees

  • You will have to trek to find the chimpanzees and the length of the walk can vary from a wander to the back of the camp to a 10-hour trek.
  • Local guides stay in touch with the chimps day to day movements.  As long as you’re up to walking, it’s unusual for people not to see the chimps in a 3-day stay.
  • When you find the chimps you are often able to get in close proximity as they are habituated.
  • Your time with the chimps is limited to 1 hour and facemasks may be required to prevent transmission of disease.
  • You may not use a flash, so choose your lens accordingly.
  • Tracking chimps is easier in the wet season when they don’t roam so far, but the dry season (July – October) is better for photos as the foliage is less dense.

Finding The Big Five

Posted on January 21st, 2014 by Stephanie Hunt in Resources.

The term “big five” was coined by game hunters to refer to their most prized kills.  These five animals are considered the most ferocious when cornered, and so the most difficult to “bag”.

The mystique of the “big five” continues today, although tourists are more likely to shoot with their camera than a rifle.   Many of our clients head out on safari with these animals at the top of their “must see” list.   So here are some quick facts to consider.

 

African Lion

Lions in Kalahari

Quick Facts

  • Social animals, lions live in prides of several females, their young and a couple of males.
  • Female lions tend to hunt more than the males.
  • Lions ambush their prey rather than tracking and chasing.
  • Female lions synchronize the birth of their cubs and cooperate in raising them.
  • Females tend to stay with the pride for life.  Males will leave between 2 and 4 years of age.
  • The size and colour of a male lion’s mane shows other males how old he is.  The darker and larger the mane, the older the lion.

Did You Know?

  • You are most likely to catch a lion napping – they rest approximately 20 hours a day.
  • Lions can climb trees.  In certain areas lions will rest in trees to avoid buffalo and tsetse flies.

Best Places for an Encounter

Botswana: Okavango Delta & Linyanti River region.

South Africa:  Greater Kruger Area

Zambia: South Luangwa National Park & Kafue National Park.

Kenya: Masai Mara, Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks

Tanzania: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area & Katavi National Park.

 

African Elephants

Elephant Linyanti

Quick Facts

  • The African Elephant is the largest mammal in the word and can be 3 meters tall and weigh up to 6,000 kilos.
  • Elephants are vegetarian and consume 170 kilos of vegetation daily and drink 120 – 190 liters of waters.
  • Elephants live in woodlands, forest, deserts and savanna.  They are spread across 37 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Peaceful if left alone, elephants can be dangerous when they feel threatened.
  • Elephants are extremely social animals, living in family groups of up to 100 members, headed by a matriarch.
  • Elephants communicate using a variety of low frequency grumbles, which can be picked up as much as 10 kilometers away.

Did You Know?

  • You are most likely to catch an elephant snacking – they spend 16-18 hours a day eating.
  • Elephants prefer one tusk over another, just as humans are right or left-handed.

Best Places for an Encounter

Botswana: Linyanti River region, Mashatu and Okavango Delta

South Africa: Greater Kruger Area

Namibia: Etosha National Park

Zimbabwe: Hwange National Park & Mana Pools National Park

Kenya: Masai Mara, Tsavo, Meru and Amboseli National Parks

Tanzania: Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, The Selous

Zambia: South Luangwa National Park & Lower Zambezi National Park

 

African Leopard

Leopard

Quick Facts

  • Leopards are shy, nocturnal animals that prefer not to be seen.  Their spots act as camouflage.
  • Leopards mark their territory with urine and faeces and by leaving claw marks on the bark of trees.
  • Leopards can climb, swim and live in a wider range of habitats than most other cats.  They prefer thick bush and riverine forests.
  • Smaller than a lion, the leopard is still a big cat!  And adult male can weigh up to 90 kilos.
  • Extremely fast and agile, a leopard can run at speeds over 55 kilometers per hour and jump as high as 3 meters straight up.
  • A leopard will stalk and pounce its prey rather than chase over long distances.

Did You Know?

  • You are most likely to spot a leopard in a tree – they use trees as observation platforms and to protect their kill from scavengers.  Don’t forget to look up!
  • The leopard’s spots are circular in East Africa and square in southern Africa.

Best Places for an Encounter

Botswana: Okavango Delta & Linyanti River region

South Africa: Greater Kruger Area

Zimbabwe: Hwange & Mana Pools National Parks

Kenya: Masai Mara and Samburu

Tanzania: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Zambia: South Luangwa, Kafue & Lower Zambezi National Parks

 

African Rhino

Rhino

Quick Facts

  • There are two species of rhinoceros in Africa: the black rhino and the white rhino.
  • All rhinos are in fact grey.
  • What differentiates white and black rhino is the lips.  Black rhino have a prehensile lip to strip leaves from bushes and white rhino have a long, flat lip for grazing.
  • There are only 4,000 black rhino left in the wild.  They are usually solitary and live in savanna, shrub and tropical bush areas.
  • White rhinos are more numerous, with over 17,000 remaining.  They are more social and are heavily concentrated in southern Africa.
  • A charging rhino can reach speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour.
  • An adult rhino can weigh up over 2,500 kilos.
  • Rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine.  Increasing poaching to cash in on this demand has brought rhinos close to extinction.

Did You Know?

  • You are most likely to see a rhino in South Africa – over 80% of the African rhino population is concentrated in South Africa.
  • White rhinos derive their name from the Dutch word “weit”, meaning wide.  This reference is to the white rhino’s wide, square jaw.

Best Places for an Encounter

South Africa: Great Kruger Area

Namibia: Etosha National Park

Kenya: Lake Nakuru, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater

 

The Cape Buffalo

Buffalo herd from hot air balloon, Kafue, Zambia

Quick Facts

  • The buffalo is considered one of Africa’s most dangerous animals and is said to have killed more game hunters than any other animal.
  • Hunters have an adage that says the buffalo never forgets.  They are known to ambush hunters that have injured them in the past.
  • Left alone and unthreatened, buffalo tend to be quite placid.
  • Buffalo are exclusively grazers.
  • On open grasslands they appear in large herds of up to 1,000.
  • The number of buffalo is shrinking due to hunting and domestic cattle diseases.  There are thought to be 1 million left in Africa.
  • When chased by predators the herd sticks close together, marshaling the young into the centre for protection.

Did You Know?

  • You are most likely to see a buffalo with a bird on its back – the Oxpecker bird keeps the buffalo clean by eating all the parasites that live in its thick hide.
  • Buffalo will engage in mobbing behaviour to fight off predators, especially if a calf cries for help.  They have been known to kill a lion.

Best Place for an Encounter

Botswana: Okavango Delta & Linyanti River region.

South Africa: Greater Kruger Area

Zimbabwe: Hwange & Mana Pools National Park

Kenya: Masai Mara & Amboseli National Park

Tanzania: Serengeti National Park & Katavi National park

Zambia: South Luangwa & Lower Zambezi National Park

 


Chris & Ruben: Wildlife, Beaches, Wine & Baths

Posted on December 12th, 2013 by Stephanie Hunt in Blog.

Chris and RubenChris and Ruben first travelled to Africa with Safari and Co in 2009and they vowed to return for Chris’s 50th. “We decided the trip would be 5-weeks, 1-week per decade,” he says.  Planning started in November 2012.  They wanted to see the wildebeest migration on the Masai Mara, the chimps in Tanzania, elephants and lions in Botswana,  wineries in South Africa…and spend some time at the beach.

“It was probably a bit challenging for Mike to organise all that,” acknowledges Chris.  But Safari and Co set the itinerary, arranged the details, selected the best camps and on the 10th of August 2013 Chris and Ruben departed Toronto for a once-in-a-lifetime safari.  They invite you to share some of their favourite pictures and stories and imagine yourself sipping a sundowner in the wilds of Africa.

Continue reading …


Northern Tanzania Luxury Tented Safari

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 by Mike Haines in Safaris: Tanzania.

The classic northern circuit of Tanzania, that includes Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Experience these prime wildlife viewing areas with a private guide and safari vehicle. The guides we use are some of the best in Tanzania, and know each area intimately. Accommodation is in fabulous luxury tented camps, plus the stunning Lemai Serengeti Lodge to end. With the wildebeest migration being so dynamic, we can adapt the schedule to suit the season. Continue reading …



Chem Chem

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Mike Haines in Safaris: Tanzania.

Chem Chem Lodge is a luxury tented lodge on the eastern shore of Lake Manyara, nestled amongst an oasis of palms with stunning panoramic views of the Rift Valley’s western escarpment. Continue reading …



Serengeti Safari Camp

Posted on August 3rd, 2013 by Mike Haines in Safaris: Tanzania.

The Serengeti Safari Camp is a semi mobile tented camp operated by Nomad Tanzania. The camp moves with the seasons, and is generally located near to where the wildebeest migration herds should be. Through the course of the year it moves location three of four times. Continue reading …



Little Chem Chem

Posted on July 18th, 2013 by Mike Haines in Safaris: Tanzania.

The wonderful Chem Chem Lodge in Tanzania, will be adding Chem Chem Bushcamp this September (2013). Situated in an area adjacent to Tarangire, the Bushcamp will offer 5 traditional safari tents in keeping with the signature style and sophistication of Chem Chem Lodge. Continue reading …



Okavango Delta Safari

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Mike Haines in Family Safaris, Safaris: Botswana.

Explore the Okavango Delta from small tented safari camps tucked away on large wildlife rich islands. Flying across the Delta is part of the experience as you spot wildlife below. Activities include boating, game drives, traditional dug out canoes and walking safaris.  This is a more affordable Botswana safari option. Continue reading …



What are meals like on safari?

Posted on May 30th, 2013 by Mike Haines in Blog.

Meals on safari are excellent! They really are, given the circumstances in which they are created, we never hear any complaints about the food. Continue reading …