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Foodie Alert – Eating Experiences Abound in Cape Town

Foodie Alert – Eating Experiences Abound in Cape Town

Calling all Foodies visiting Cape Town, South Africa

Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards – widely regarded as the most authoritative restaurant poll for foodies – announced Cape Town’s Test Kitchen and La Colombe in first and second place and Greenhouse at The Cellars-Hohenort in seventh position. Restaurants in nearby Somerset West, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch took the other high placings, all of them easily accessible in an hour or so from Cape Town.

Food plays an integral part of any magical journey. These activities will take any Cape Town experience to new heights….

What will our Children see in Africa?

What will our Children see in Africa?

How sustainable are our African Safaris?
More and more travellers are able to full-fill their life-long dream of going on African safaris. It is such a memorable experience and will leave a long-lasting impression on everyone that sets foot on this wondrous continent.
However, the effect is an ever growing need for tourism infrastructure, including lodging, vehicles and staff. We are hearing more and more about human – wildlife conflict, and how the tourism business may affect the very reason we want to go to Africa.

Thankfully more travellers are asking what role their tourism dollar plays in the community, and to what extent their contribution in tourism benefits the environment that sustains the local flora and fauna…

Prince rescues Gorillas!

Prince rescues Gorillas!

Recently Christine Boecker attended a conference on conservation and responsible, sustainable travel in Africa. Most inspirational was the story told by the Director of Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, Emmanuel de Merode – who is actually a Belgian Prince!

As a conservationist and anthropologist, de Merode focuses on supporting African wildlife rangers in remote and difficult wildlife reserves, and is instrumental in protecting the Gorilla population in the D.R.C. de Merode now lives at the Virunga park headquarters – far removed from any princely residence in Europe!…

Mountain Gorillas – Gentle Giants

Mountain Gorillas – Gentle Giants

The Virunga Mountains are a chain of eight volcanoes in East Africa that form a border between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo…

Many species live among the trees that fringe the base of the (mostly-dormant) volcanoes, including water buffalo, golden monkey, duiker and elephant. However it was the huge mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) that attracted the American zoologist Dian Fossey. She observed this endangered species for eighteen years from a Rwandan camp that she created between two of the volcanoes, Karisimbi and Visoke…

Volunteering on an African Game Reserve

Volunteering on an African Game Reserve

If you are looking for excitement, adventure and a lot of fun on your trip then African Wildlife Volunteering is a wonderful option. I have been a volunteer at a game reserve for four weeks now and it has exceeded my expectations. Being an ecologist, I was looking forward to getting up close and personal with South Africa’s wildlife and I have not been disappointed.

The main focus of each day is the family of lions on the reserve. Normally we would go out and find the male (he has a collar) at the beginning of each day and record the behavior of all five lions before moving on. This is my favorite part of the day. Even if you are not a morning person (I am not) I am eager to get up at whatever time necessary…

Ever paddled a flying canoe?

Ever paddled a flying canoe?

It was August, the middle of the African winter when I set foot on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, The grass was brown, the trees bare and the midday heat was bearable. It’s the perfect time for game viewing and tenting – the rainy season only starts in late October.

After a hearty breakfast we climbed into our canoes and headed for Kualefu (the ‘Far-away Place’) – 90 kilometres downstream. Our 3 day paddle hugged the shores of the Lower Zambezi National Park. A strong headwind during the first few hours tested my shoulders and arms. After a delicious lunch on the river bank under a shady tree and a quick massage I was ready to carry on. Luckily the wind had subsided and it was easy going from then on…

Oreteti – Bejeweled Wishing Tree

Oreteti – Bejeweled Wishing Tree

Overlooking Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater stands an old bejeweled fig tree, fondly known as “Oreteti” to the Maasai people. This ficus thonningii is of great spiritual significance to the local clans.

‘Oreteti’ was a place where women, usually older women, went to pray for healing, the end of a drought or other misfortune. They would leave a metal or beaded bracelet to cement their prayer, which have slowly become part of the tree. In cases of sever epidemics or droughts, a black sheep would be sacrificed a village elder…

Hiking South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains

Hiking South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains

Stretching over some 200 kilometers, from the Sentinal in the north to Bushman’s Nek in the south, the Drakensberg mountain range is one of the largest protected areas in Southern Africa. Covering over 600,000 acres in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, the area consists of six game parks and six state forests. It is a world of spectacular sandstone cliffs, towering peaks – often snow capped – waterfalls, soaring buttresses and it’s the home of the bearded vulture, the Lammergaier. Giants Castle is a favorite. An easy trail traverses the gentle foothill area, where the wildlife is incredible. Look out for baboons, many species of birds, unusual wildflowers and woody plants. If you long for heights, Cathedral Peak is a good choice. This mystical area is also the home of many ancient Bushman paintings. We made it to the top and back in a day, and the view was overwhelming. On a clear day you can see every peak of the mountain range! Based at Tendele camp you can spend a week at the Amphitheater, hiking a different trail every day. Little wonder then that the ‘Berg’ are South Africa’s most popular hiking and mountaineering area. Click here for our South Africa Experiences Contact Vancouver Travel Consultant Christine Boecker to design your African...

Encounter with an Elephant …

It was hot … 45 C plus humidex ~ it felt like the hottest day ever! We had spent most of  it in and around the pool at a private game lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, and now we were driving through the bush in an open Landrover, hoping to see elephant and other game. There! Stop … go back … what was that? My then 4-year-old daughter had spotted warthog drinking at a waterhole. That earned her an extra portion of dessert! Then we came across a herd of giraffe – there must have been at least 11 or 12 of these graceful and inquisitive creatures. Some were grazing the tops of Acacias (umbrella thorn trees), but some were lying down. I had never seen resting giraffe before. Their high blood pressure doesn’t allow them to lay their elongated necks and heads down, but they had managed to fold those long legs under, so they could sleep. I suppose a ‘giraffe pillow’ would be useless. After seeing Impala, Warthog, Wildebeest, Kudu, a Monitor Lizard and many bird species we suddenly spotted him – Ngani, the bull elephant! He was quietly grazing and hadn’t noticed us, since we were downwind of him, so we cut the engine and settled in to watch quietly for a while. But Ngani had other plans and moved away. We wanted to follow, but the Landrover did not! Now we had to push-start the vehicle with an elephant no more than 100 meters away ~ needless to say, we pushed quickly! Ngani took to the road, so we had a good view of his huge back-end,...
ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE in BOTSWANA

ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE in BOTSWANA

Jabu, Thembi and Morula are orphaned elephants that were adopted by Doug and Sandi Groves, the founders of the Living with Elephants Foundation, in the 1990s. Doug and Sandi work to provide their elephant herd a life that is as close as possible to elephants’ natural lives in the wild, yet one that is cushioned from the enormous pressures, insecurities, and challenges that face today’s wild elephants. As a result of the partnership with the non-profit Living with Elephants Foundation, some lucky travellers have the extraordinary and unique opportunity to take part in a very special learning adventure – a leisurely paced walk in the Okavango Delta with this trio of semi-habituated elephants. This trek though the bush, seeing the wilds of Africa through the eyes of an elephant, is an uplifting experience which provides a personal and greater understanding of these gentle giants. Says Lara Vancans: “Doug and Sandi do a wonderful job of educating visitors before moving on to the actual interaction portion of the experience. It’s very clear that for them, this is about so much more than providing visitors with a great photo opportunity (which they also do graciously). Visitors learn about the history of elephants, how these three elephants in particular came to be in their care, and time is taken to answer every guest question in honest detail. I learned so much that morning, and as a result, when it came to my turn to walk with Morula, I felt truly honored and grateful to do so. She affectionately slobbered all over my t-shirt, a badge of honor I wore all the way back...
TRɅVELBOECKER ɅDVENTURES eNEWS & TRAVEL TALKS

TRɅVELBOECKER ɅDVENTURES
eNEWS & TRAVEL TALKS

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