Mozambique’s long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches like Tofo, as well as offshore marine parks. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250km stretch of coral islands, mangrove-covered Ibo Island has colonial-era ruins surviving from a period of Portuguese rule. The Bazaruto Archipelago farther south has reefs which protect rare marine life including dugongs.

Rebounding growth:

Maputo, the capital, greatest and richiest city of Mozambique. The resettlement of civil war refugees and successful economic reform have led to a high growth rate: the country enjoyed a remarkable recovery, achieving an average annual rate of economic growth of 8% between 1996 and 2006 and between 6–7% from 2006 to 2011. The devastating floods of early 2000 slowed GDP growth to 2.1% but a full recovery was achieved in 2001 with growth of 14.8%. Rapid expansion in the future hinged on several major foreign investment projects, continued economic reform, and the revival of the agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors. In 2013 about 80% of the population was employed in agriculture, the majority of whom were engaged in small-scale subsistence farming which still suffered from inadequate infrastructure, commercial networks, and investment. However, in 2012, more than 90% of Mozambique’s arable land was still uncultivated. In 2013, a BBC article reported that, starting in 2009, Portuguese had been returning to Mozambique because of the growing economy in Mozambique and the poor economic situation in Portugal.

Machagulo Beach Lodge – Mozambique

Machangulo Beach Lodge overlooks the channel between Inhaca Island and the dunes of the Santa Maria Peninsula where the Indian Ocean and the estuaries of Maputo Bay meet. The Lodge overlooks endless white beaches, pristine dune forests, estuaries bursting with life and the open ocean. Hidden amid the dunes and the forests, you can expect a warm and inviting atmosphere. 11 Ocean view rooms and a Private Beach Villa with 4 rooms, air conditioning, mosquito nets and private decks. A lounge with a bar and dining area, Beach bar, boma for outdoor dining, swimming pool. Activities include deep sea fishing, fly fishing, snorkelling and diving in the marine reserve, bird watching, whale/turtle/dolphin interactions and walks in the dune forests

The Five Premium Ocean View rooms are the pride and joy of Machangulo Beach Lodge. Perched up on a ridge overlooking the amazing scenery. Each room has a private deck, en suite bathroom, air conditioning, mini bar and many other luxury amenities

  • Views of Ocean, Island and bay
  • Distance from Beach: 2 min Walk, 20-80 stairs
  • Distance from Pool: 1.5 min walk
  • Distance from Dining are: 15-30 Sec Walk, 5 stairs
  • Sleeps: 2 Adults & 1 Child
  • Large and spacious comfort
  • Air Conditioning (24/7)
  • Private en-suite bathrooms
  • Mini Bar
  • Can be made up as King or Singles
  • Ceiling Fan, Hairdryer, Room Safe

The Family Villas at Machangulo provide ultimate flexibility and privacy for groups, families and any types of booking configuration. The large and spacious Villas feature 2 private en-suite rooms Joined together by a central room. The central area of the Villa features a kitchen prep area, lounge, bar and dining area. The Villa also features a pool. The Villas are completely private and offer a home away from home luxury.

Beach Forest Rooms. Close to the beach and intimately private the Beach Forest Rooms at Machangulo Beach Lodge consist of two rooms each. These rooms are close together but only attached via wood decks. These Beach Forest Rooms are ideal for groups or families.

Ecolux Boutique Hotel & Spa – Mozambique

This upmarket hotel is situated in the small town of Komatipoort which lies on the Western slopes of the Lebombo Mountains and at the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. Only 15 minutes from the Crocodile Bridge Gate and 40 minutes from the Malelane Gate, a little out of town, close to the wild and away from the hustle and bustle. Enjoy luxury and comfort while experiencing the beautiful Kruger National Park. The hotel offers fine dining at Vonja’s Restaurant, open seven days a week and guests can enjoy game drives and a variety of activities like elephant back safaris, horseback safaris, quad bike rides, tiger fishing and Spa treatments and many more exciting adventures in the area. A perfect holiday destination for couples and families with lots of action packed activities or simply just to relax.

The hotel is also the Winner of the 2014 Lilizela award for the best 5 star hotel in Mpumalanga.

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Madikwe Game Reserve is currently the fifth largest game reserve and is also one of the lesser-known parks in South Africa. This makes it a hidden gem as it is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in a 680 km2 park (750 km2 including newly incorporated privately owned land). The park offers a number of luxurious lodges as well as community lodges in a malaria-free zone.

The land where Madikwe now stands was previously used as farming land. The poor soil meant that farming was mostly unsuccessful and the South African government then decided that it would best be used as a national park to help economically uplift the disadvantaged area.

About 90 kilometres north of the town of Zeerust is Madikwe Game Reserve. It is situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. It is roughly 3.5 hours in a car from Johannesburg/Pretoria. Safari Lodges are mostly located around the eastern and western gate.

In 1991 the area was declared a reserve and 10 000 mammals were relocated from other National Parks. The park is home to approximately 66 large mammals and roughly 300 bird species. You will find all this flora and fauna in an area comprised of vast open plains of grasslands, woodlands, rocky outcrops and single mountains. The area is bordered in the south by the Dwarsberg Mountains.

Interesting Facts:

Park Area: 75 000 hectares

  • Seasons: Good game viewing is available all year as the park is a single unit conservation area (there is no migration). The rainy season is between October and April in the wet summer months. Winter can provide pleasant game viewing as animals concentrate around waterholes and vegetation thins out.
  • Popular attractions: Big 5, African Wild Dogs, family/ self- drive safari destination, romantic escapes, luxury lodges, honeymoon safaris.
  • Nearby airports: Gaborone airport (28kms)/ O.R. Tambo International (369kms)/ Madikwe has an 1200 metre airstrip for use by private aircraft.
  • Nearest cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg, Zeerust

Mauritius is a real paradise for those who want to enjoy the sea or just to soak up the sun. Here is a list of the island’s finest public beaches.

  1. Grand Bay

One of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing and water skiing. La Cuvette beach has been recently upgraded.

  1. Pereybere

This remarkable small cove half-way between Grand Bay and Cap Malheureux is one of the finest bathing spots on the island.

  1. Belle Mare

Miles and miles of white and spotless beaches from Belle Mare to Trou-d’Eau Douce

  1. Blue Bay

Blue Bay beach is one of the most popular bathing spots in the South-East of the island. An ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing.

  1. Le Morne & Tamarin

Offer kilometres of beaches for bathing and are very popular for surfing.

  1. Flic en Flac

White beaches fringed with filaos or Casuarina trees.

Table Mountain National Park, previously known as the Cape Peninsula National Park, is a national park in Cape Town, South Africa, proclaimed on 29 May 1998, for the purpose of protecting the natural environment of the Table Mountain Chain, and in particular the rare fynbos vegetation. The park is managed by South African National Parks. The property is included as part of the UNESCO Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site.

In May 1998, then-president Nelson Mandela proclaimed the Cape Peninsula National Park. The park was later renamed to the Table Mountain National Park.

Flora.

There is a high diversity of flora, much of which is rare and endemic. Protea, erica, restio and Asteraceae species, as well as geophytes, are all found in abundance. The main indigenous vegetation types are Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos and Cape Granite Fynbos, both of which are endangered and endemic to Cape Town – occurring nowhere else in the world.

Fauna.

Larger predators that historically roamed the area include the Cape lion, leopard (which persisted as late as the 1920s, and tracks are claimed to still be found today, as well as spotted hyena and black-backed jackal. Large herbivores similarly disappeared at the hands of the European settlers, for example African bush elephant, black rhinoceros, kudu, eland, mountain zebra and bontebok, although the last three species were re-introduced to the Cape Point section of the park in recent years.

Tourist attractions.

The Table Mountain Cableway carries visitors from the Lower Cable Station on Kloofnek Road to the top of Table Mountain, allowing visitors to avoid the fairly arduous walk up. Boulders Beach, south of Simon’s Town, contains a large colony of African penguins. Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are very scenic, although they are neither the most southern tip of Africa nor the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as is often believed.

Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga: The Smoke That Thunders), is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has been described by as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world.

David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls on November 16,1855, from what is now known as Livingstone Island, one of two land masses in the middle of the river, immediately upstream from the falls on the Zambian side. Livingstone named his discovery in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the indigenous Tonga name, Mosi-oa-Tunya—”The Smoke That Thunders”—continues in common usage as well. The World Heritage List officially recognizes both names.

The nearby national park in Zambia is named Mosi-oa-Tunya, whereas the national park and town on the Zimbabwean shore are both named Victoria Falls.

The largest waterfall in the world.

While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls. In height and width Victoria Falls is rivalled only by Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls.

For a considerable distance upstream from the falls, the Zambezi flows over a level sheet of basalt, in a shallow valley, bounded by low and distant sandstone hills. The river’s course is dotted with numerous tree-covered islands, which increase in number as the river approaches the falls. There are no mountains, escarpments, or deep valleys; only a flat plateau extending hundreds of kilometres in all direction.

The Devil’s Pool.

The naturally formed “Devil’s Pool”, where some crazy tourists sometimes swim despite a risk of plunging over the edge. The famous feature is the naturally formed “Armchair” (now called “Devil’s Pool”), near the edge of the falls on Livingstone Island on the Zambian side. When the river flow is at a certain level, usually between September and December, a rock barrier forms a bay with minimal current, allowing adventurous swimmers to splash around in relative safety a few feet from the point where the water cascades over the falls. Occasional deaths have been reported when people have slipped over the rock barrier.

The term ‘Big Five’ was historically used to denote the five most dangerous animals in Southern Africa. These can now be seen at many larger wildlife resorts.

  1. Elephant

Height: 3m Mass: Up to 6000 kg, at birth the calf is 90 cm tall and weighs approx. 120 kg. Suckled until about 2 years old. Gestation: 22 months, single calf. Twins have been recorded but this is extremely rare. They breed throughout the year, one calf every 5 years or so. An elephant can eat up to 250 kg’s of food a day and considering it’s bulk, can reach a speed of up to 40 km/hr. Due to it’s size however, it is incapable of jumping even a small ditch. It can swim and sometimes uses it’s large trunk as a snorkel. The average lifespan is 60 yrs, this is due to the fact that during it’s life cycle it goes through 6 sets of teeth (each lasting 10 years). Once the last set has gone the elephant cannot eat and therefore dies. The cow’s forehead is angular whereas the bull’s is more rounded. One should always approach elephants with great caution even though they have poor eyesight and hearing.

  1. Black & White Rhinoceros

Black Rhino: Height: 1,6m Mass: 900-1000 kg Gestation: 15-16 months, single calf Speed: Maximum of 45 km/hr. A crusty, unpredictable and anti-social creature. Even the male and female adult have only a fleetingly passionate relationship before going their separate ways. It’s smaller than it’s white relative. Distinguished from the white rhino by a prehensile upper lip, which is pointed or hooked. The head is held high when the animal walks. It is a browser unlike it’s white relative. Lifespan approx 30 yrs. Calf always walks/runs behind or alongside it’s mother. It has a different colour dung to that of it’s relative. It’s eyesight is poor but it possesses exceptional hearing and a good sense of smell. It is normally shy and solitary.

White Rhino: Height: 1,8 m Mass: Up to 2000 kg Gestation: 18 months, single calf at intervals of 3 years. Also known as the square-lipped rhino, is the second largest animal living on land after the elephant. It is basically a placid creature and less irritable than it’s cousin, the black rhino. There is no colour difference between the two and is distinguished from its cousin by a wide (where the name white originates from) square lip and pronounced neck hump. The calf always walks/runs in front or alongside it’s mother.

  1. Leopard

Height: 70cm Mass: 60-80 kg Gestation: 105 days. Although smaller than the lion, the leopard is fiercer, braver and very intelligent. It has exceptional hearing, good eyesight and sensitive, extra-long whiskers which help it avoid obstacles in the dark. A leopard is capable of leaping onto rocks up to 3m high, carrying prey 3 times it’s own weight. The coat is covered in black rosettes and spots that are unique for each individual. The upper parts are light and tawny whilst the under parts are whitish. A leopard can run at speeds of 60 km/hr. They are also good swimmers and climbers and often spend time in trees. The call is a coughing, rasping sound. Leopards are solitary, secretive and mainly nocturnal animals

  1. Lion

Height: 91-120 cm Mass: males 181-227 kg females 113-152 kg Gestation: About 120 days, they breed throughout the year. The “King of the beasts”, is the largest carnivore on the continent and it’s roar can be heard through the African night for up to 8km. Lions are very lazy and spend 15-20 hrs of the day inactive, resting on their sides or lying like domestic kittens on their backs with all four paws in the air. Lions are both diurnal and nocturnal. They are highly social animals and are found in prides and groups of up to 20 individuals. They prey on a wide range of species, including small rodents, and have excellent sight, hearing and sense of smell. Both males and females roar as a means of communication and territorial demarcation. When lions have consumed a fair amount of blood, the dung is usually very black and strong smelling. It turns white if there is a high calcium content.

  1. Cape Buffalo

Height: 1,5 m Mass: 600kg Gestation: 330 days, single calf. It breeds throughout the year with peaks in August and September. The buffalo is one of the world’s most dangerous animals when wounded but unprovoked, it is an inquisitive and placid animal. They are intelligent and cunning and when threatened, have been seen to go into a defensive semi-circular formation with males facing outward on the perimeter, protecting the females and calves within. They are good swimmers and are fond of wallowing. They are preyed upon by lion which are invariably found trailing large herds. They are grazers but occasionally browse on shoots, twigs and bushes.

  1. Etosha National Park

As one of Africa’s largest game reserves, the Etosha National Park comprises 22,921km² of wildlife enriched landscapes over 31 vegetation zones. With more than 114 mammal species including elephant, black and white rhino, lion and a myriad of game and bird species the park also hosts beautiful accommodation establishments and waterholes where one can be assured of great sightings

  1. Sossusvlei

The Sossusvlei dune landscape can be described as one of the most beautiful and breathtaking in the world. Painted in colors of gold, red, brown and white its beauty is an allure to every visitor leaving footprints in its sands. Some of the highest dunes in the world envelop the pan as well as the mysteriously stunning Deadvlei. As one of the most photographed areas in the world the Sossusvlei will claim a spot in your soul.

  1. Twyfelfontein

As Namibia’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein is an ancient art exhibition with the San people as main contributors. Beautifully intricate engravings and paintings can be viewed as well as the rich history of their designers. With over 2,000 rock paintings and engravings estimated at an age of 6,000 years, the area is truly captivating.

  1. Caprivi Wetlands

The wet and lushly green Caprivi Strip is in stark contrast to the rest of Namibia. With curving river systems, wetlands and an abundance of wildlife and bird species, the Caprivi also features cultural richness. As a gateway to the rest of Africa it connects 4 African countries across floodplains with rivers being the only borders, a true wildlife paradise.

  1. Skeleton Coast

The haunting beauty of the northern shoreline of Namibia is not to be missed. Aptly named the Skeleton Coast due to many a stranded ship and forlorn castaway, the cold Benguela Current casts a foggy shadow over the landscape. Although seemingly endless and hostile, the park hosts incredibly adapted fauna and flora who flourish here. With inland fresh water springs and a rich geology, the Skeleton Coast hides an unbelievable collection of natural wealth

  1. Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon dissects the southern plains of Namibia and is considered by many to be the second largest in the world. With challenging hiking trails, incredible scenery and fascinating geology it is a grand sight indeed. A wealth of adapted wildlife and flora species eke out an existence between its folds with picturesque lodges dotting its ridges

  1. Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert stretches from the eastern parts of Namibia and crosses over the border into Botswana. With red undulating dunes dotted with golden grasses waving in the wind, the home of the Bushmen lends new definition to wide open spaces. The sprawling landscape is home to uniquely adapted species of wildlife and flora with treasures to be found around the bend of the dunes.

  1. Swakopmund

With its rich history steeped in German colonial times, Swakopmund is picturesque with beautifully crafted German architecture and quaint little shops while luxury hotels and homely guest houses offer accommodation.Swakopmund can be considered a thrill seeker’s dream as it offers a myriad of activities ranging from quad biking to skydiving while the allure of its beaches and surrounding dunes is strong amongst Namibians and visitors alike.

  1. Kaokoland

Home to the remarkable Himba people, the Kaokland is vast, beautiful and harsh. Its dry riverbeds and wide open plains are traversed by desert adapted elephants as well as other incredibly adapted Fauna and flora species. Many of the Himba tribes still live strictly according to their traditional ways and beliefs. With geologically rich hills and amazing scenery, the Kaokoland is a must for all who visit Namibia

  1. Bushmanland

As the home of the last true San communities, Bushmanland is a collection of incredible scenery, dune belts, thorny veld and splendor. The San people live in harmony off the land amidst grassy plains, wildlife and diamond night skies. As one of the last remaining wilderness areas, Bushmanland expresses the true heart of the Kalahari.

For more information call one of our specialist travel advisers. Let us be your travel consierge. Tel: 021 462 6104 | info@tripostravel.co.za | www.tripostravel.com

World Heritage Site | Cradle of Human Kind

Have you ever wondered where we, human beings, came from? What led to this evolutionary revolution on Planet Earth? All of the answers can be found in one place: the Cradle of Humankind.

The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa. Here the landscape is dotted with subterranean limestone caves that have turned up a rich fossil record for human evolutionary studies. These findings have led to the ‘Out of Africa’ theory, estimating that most human ancestors originated from one general spot… Africa.

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site lies about 50km north-west of Johannesburg, an area of rolling grassland, rocky outcrops and river courses typical of this land before it was overtaken by urban sprawl. It’s here where you get to see history in the flesh, or should we say bone. Tens of thousands of visitors from across the world come here to see first-hand the fossil record that lies in the network of limestone caves beneath the surface.

Explore the Sterkfontein Caves, Swartkrans and Kromdraai, among other fossil sites, and discover the story of what the world was like when our human ancestors were evolving some two to three million years ago. At the Sterkfontein Caves alone, the remains of more than 500 Hominids (the Hominid Family includes modern-day humans and their direct ancestors) have been uncovered. This not only led to the area being declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 but has also helped to prove the ‘Out of Africa’ theory, which is that humans and their ancestors evolved in Africa and then spread out to the rest of the world over time.

Fossils were first unearthed here in the 1890s when the caves were blasted open for lime needed for the extraction of gold discovered on the Witwatersrand in 1886. But it was only from the 1930s that serious scientific work started to take place. One of the first major discoveries here was that of ‘Mrs Ples’, a pre-human skull dating back more than 2-million years (Australopithecus Africanus) that was unearthed by Professor Robert Broom and his assistant, John Robinson, in 1947. The skull was originally classified as Plesianthropus Transvaalensis (hence the name) and was an adult version of the same species as the Taung Child – a fossiled skull of child about 3 years-old that was found at the Taung limeworks in what is now the North West province, and identified by Professor Raymond Dart in 1924. Although smaller than us, Australopithecus Africanus is regarded as one of our early ancestors because it walked upright. In 1997 a complete hominid skeleton called ‘Little Foot’, also found in the Sterkfontein Caves, was introduced to the world and is still in the process of being described.

In 2005 two more areas of significance were added to this World Heritage Site, bringing the number of official fossil sites in the Cradle of Humanking to 13. These were Makapan (in Limpopo) and Taung (in the North West province). Together all these areas are now known as the Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and Environs, recognised by UNESCO for their significance in human evolutionary studies.

If you are at all interested in discovering your ancient history as a human being then you’ll find a small but good exhibition centre at the Sterkfontein Caves and a much larger, more interactive one at Maropeng.

Aside from a visit to the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind, ‘the Cradle’ as it is locally known, is also a playground for the people of Gauteng, with a range of facilities and activities, including loads of accommodation choices, restaurants, coffee shops, conference centres, cycle tracks, horse trails and hot-air ballooning.

For more information call one of our specialist travel advisers. Let us be your travel consierge. Tel: 021 462 6104 | info@tripostravel.co.za | www.tripostravel.com

World Heritage Site | Robben Island

As you make your way through the corridors of Robben Island, you get transported to a time in South African history where the country reached a turning point. Standing in the jail cell that housed Nelson Mandela for so many years brings to heart the emotional story of the South African struggle for democracy and equality.

A trip to Robben Island is a bittersweet experience but is a must do for anyone visiting Cape Town. Robben Island reinvented itself many times over the years, once a leper colony, a mental hospital and defence training base, this World Heritage Site is most famed as the prison for anti-apartheid activists like our former president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

When you step foot on the Island, you’re able to see the cell in which Mandela, the world’s most famous prisoner, was held for 18 years of his 27-year incarceration. It’s a place many come to be humbled and to pay homage to the father of South African democracy, including the likes of former US president Bill Clinton and current US president Barack Obama.

On “the island”, as it became known, the leaders of the struggle against racial oppression forged their political thinking and the relationships that would become a feature of post-apartheid South Africa. It was also here that Mandela emerged as a leader of the African National Congress. But when Mandela arrived on the island in the winter of 1964, the conditions he encountered were harsh.
Prisoners were confined to small cells with only a sleeping mat and bucket toilet. Each morning they were woken up at 5:30 to empty their buckets and start another day of hard labour. Black prisoners received an inferior diet compared to their white and coloured counterparts. Even more cruelly, they were deprived of contact with their loved ones, limited to a half-hour visit a year from a family member, and only two letters.

The island became an informal “university”, where the prisoners who were to become the next generation of political leaders in South Africa spent many hours in debate and discussion. Isolated from family and friends, Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and Ahmed Kathrada, among others, proved themselves to be men of steel, never wavering in their hope of a new South Africa.

It was for this reason that UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee chose to mark this location for its “triumph of the human spirit”. Today, you can catch a ferry ride to what is now called “The Robben Island Museum”. The standard tour starts at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront and takes around 3.5 hours in total (the boat ride is half-an-hour one way). To add to the immersive experience tours are often led by former political prisoners who draw a vivid picture of life in prison. The history of Robben Island is also sketched in a 45-minute bus tour. It’s one of the world’s greatest cultural heritage destinations both for its tragedy and its triumph. It is a testimony to the true spirit of the South African people and history, and will never fail to humble you and give you perspective.

For more information call one of our specialist travel advisers. Let us be your travel consierge. Tel: 021 462 6104 | info@tripostravel.co.za | www.tripostravel.com