April 30, 2020
Covid: the road still to be travelled.
I arrived back from wonderful South Africa last Tuesday on schedule and have been in touch with all of our clients who have holidays booked with us. All are deferring or are in the wait-and-see box.
I am always concerned about our clients’ safety and whether or not they should travel and I am also deeply concerned about the communities throughout our regions that depend on tourism for their livelihood, especially those in poorer countries where there will be little or no government support.
Tourism is a key driver of conservation, and anyone who goes to a national park, reserve or private wildlife concession is contributing to preserving natural habitats and the animal kingdom. During this pandemic much of the conservation work will be continued by many dedicated people in the field, but with declining funding this will of course become harder.
More than ever I shall now not be able to take travel for granted. I am fortunate enough to have been to Sub-Saharan Africa about eighty times in the last thirty-five years and have had new experiences on every visit. On this latest trip I had two.
The first was when I was in the Kalahari, staying on the remarkable Tswalu Reserve. One afternoon our ranger Mark and tracker Ben spotted the tracks of wild dog who were on the hunt. Ben is a master of his art and successfully found the dogs who had cornered a mother and baby oryx. I have come across wild dog on several occasions, but what I had never seen before was two antelope standing their ground and using their long sharp horns to keep the dogs at bay rather than running away. We had to leave the sighting as darkness was descending, but on revisiting the area the next morning it looked as if the oryx had escaped and the wild dogs had taken a red hartebeest instead. Survival of the smartest?
A few days later, in a private concession on the edge of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park in Zululand, our guide Biyela wanted to check out a lioness whom he had seen from a distance, crouching by the partly flowing Umfolozi river. The lioness had three hungry cubs to feed and was waiting to pounce on prey as they came down to the river to drink. He warned us that we were going to have to drive along the wet riverbed at a relatively high speed if we were to get close enough to see her.The big land cruiser bumped down a steep incline, the noise of the throbbing 4.2 litre engine in low ratio increasing as we careered along the wide expanse of sand and water. Within minutes we saw the lioness who got up as we approached, perhaps surprised to see a safari vehicle moving a little faster than usual. We couldn’t stop as the Toyota would have sunk deep into the sand, so we whooshed on, water splashing all over us, until the guide skilfully navigated his way to a safe exit point. It was the quickest lion sighting ever, but a lot of fun!
I shall be sending out a few blogs on India over the next few weeks which I hope will give inspiration for future holiday dreaming.
I am available to talk about any travel related subject on 0207 723 5858.
Please do stay safe and well during this difficult time.
NB prices shown were current at the time of writing the newsletter and are not necessarily current now.
Please ask for an updated quote.
- A Sense of Place – The bird who lost its nest
- A Sense of Place – Talking with the Maasai
- Newsflash: first American guests to Tanzania since March 2020
- A Sense of Place – AFRICA NEEDS YOU
- Escape to Italy?
- Covid: the road still to be travelled.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 3): Tiger reserves.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 2): Khajuraho.
- A trio of treats. Series of 3 (Part 1): Lucknow.
- A Sense of Place – Engaged people may save the planet
- A word on lions and a trio of treats
- A Sense of Place – India’s most holy city
- A wealth of wilderness walks in Namibia
- Travel snippets from Miles
- A trio of treats on the green island of Pemba in the Zanzibar archipelago
- A Sense of Place – THE INSIDE TRACK on Cape Town guiding
- A Sense of Place – Migrations of people and beasts: East Africa
- A Sense of Place – An era of revolution and global alliances
- A Sense of Place – A walk on the wild side
- A Sense of Place – The ghost ingredient is back
- A Sense of Place – Liuwa Plains and Kafue National Parks – Zambia
- A Sense of Place – Literati in the Pink City, the Capital of Rajasthan
- A Sense of Place – A Tamil town still connected to Europe, Art Deco architecture, and temple antiquity in Southern India.
- A Sense of Place – Dreamy aquamarine sea and stunning safari with the Makuleke people
- A Sense of Place – A trio of lovely ladies in Hyderabad
- A Sense of Place – Entamanu, the wishing tree and walking with the Hadza tribe.
- We get you to places that others don’t… St Helena, Gt Zimbabwe ruins and Papua new Guinea
- A Sense of Place – Walking in the hippie hills of the Himalayas
- A Sense of Place – The Okavango: the river that never finds the sea
- A Sense of Place – The Great Rift Valley, Laikipia, Samburu warriors and Maasai Olympics.
- A Sense of Place – Escape the world in the Namib Desert
- Africa is a massive continent: a collection of 55 countries
- A Sense of Place – Zambezi Watery Wilderness
- A Sense of Place – Burma: the road beyond Mandalay
- Lake Malawi – Would you rather pay for the advertising or the experience?
- From shoe-shine boy to tourist guide in Ethiopia
- A Sense of Place – Ladakh, the Himalayas
- Dhow sailing, Lions are back in Malawi, Self-drive in Namibia
- Sacred rivers and forts, India
- Piranhas, sting rays, caimans – and still people go into the River Negro!
- Kerala, Southern India – God’s own country
- South Africa: Crucible of the rainbow nation
- Madagascar: croissants and lemurs
- Argentina vs Africa on wildlife drama
- Uganda – Gorillas and Gardens
- Mozambique & Kenya: immigration official on holiday
- Mozambique: Gorongosa and reconciliation in the bush
- Zimbabwe is ready for Tourists again
- Serengeti ecosystem and unbeatable savannah
- Lamu: crab complaining
- Kenya: circumcision
- Zambia: Ellie rescue
- Africans: always smiling
- French sketch
- Kenya: the best hosts
- First visit to Africa 1986
- Namibia, Namib Rand, Skeleton Coast and the ultimate flying safari
- A few gems off the beaten track: Fanjove Island, Tanzania; The Singular Hotel, Patagonia and Isla Palenque, Panama.
- Elephant relocation, quad bike expedition and new Sossusvlei reserve
- Templed out in Tamil Nadu and elephant refuge in Jaipur
- Kenyan sanctuary and family run camp in Zambia
- Australia: Arkaba, Tasmania and Lord Howe Island
- Australia: in the outback and off the beaten track
- India: heavenly Himalayan hideaways, Botswana: fun safari for children and Argentina: hidden homestay in a mountain desert
- Limpopo retreat, Serengeti spectacle and adventure on the Zambezi
- Value for money in Kenya and the trail less travelled in Peru
- Lions in danger, free nights and a new coastal gem
- G and T on demand, hidden beach, micro-light and sleeping on a dam
- Off the beaten track