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Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

November 26, 2014

Iconic Table Mountain looms large over the city of Cape Town and is the classic welcome committee for visitors to Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa and Table Mountain one of the star attractions.  In spite of the accolades, Table Mountain can be accessed easily and is a spectacle of nature, views and picture perfect moments, without being over-done. It’s one of those bucket list items in Africa.

Table Mountain viewed from Bloubergstrand, Cape Town

Table Mountain viewed from Bloubergstrand, Cape Town

Richard shares some interesting facts about Table Mountain. He can assist with travel advice, places of interest in and around Table Mountain and with accommodation in Cape Town.  In fact Richard can  help organize a visit to Cape Town with an ascent of Table Mountain or guide you himself!

1) Cape Town‘s most famous and top attraction is Table Mountain.

Table Mountain Cableway, Cape Town

Table Mountain Cableway, Cape Town

2) Table Mountain is 3,500 feet high and resting less than a mile from the white sand, palm tree lined beaches of Cape Town. For us east coast Americans such a geographic combination would be akin to dragging the Blue Ridge Mountains down to Destin, Florida or Hilton Head, South Carolina. There is a reason the renowned English explorer, Sir Francis Drake, called it the fairest cape in the world.

3) Table Mountain is flat at the top. The 2 mile wide plateau found at the summit offers hikers many routes to enjoy while taking in the views from the top.

View from Table Mountain over the City of Cape Town

View from Table Mountain over the City of Cape Town

4) Table Mountain is large enough to create its own weather. Quite often Cape Town can be filled with sunshine and void of clouds aside from a single cloud covering or hovering over Table Mountain. Such an occurrence is referred to as the “Table Cloth”.

5) There are over 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain, some of which are only found on the mountain.

View of Lion's head from Table Mountain, Cape Town

View of Lion’s head from Table Mountain, Cape Town

6)  On the east side of the mountain is Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. A popular day trip is to hike up the west side of Table Mountain (should take 2 – 3 hours), enjoy lunch at the top and then hike down into Kirstenbosch in the afternoon.

7) On a clear day visibility at the top of Table Mountain can reach 60 miles offering unobstructed views of the city of Cape Town and Robben Island.

Hiking up Table Mountain

Hiking up Table Mountain

8) Table Mountain boasts over 350 hiking trails. The hikes do not appear to be so challenging at the base but do not be mistaken. Always best to hike the mountain early in the morning in warm weather and always bring along a couple liters of water. In cooler months it is fine to start your ascent in the middle of the day.

9) Table Mountain is well known and popular for a reason. In 2012 it was listed as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature in the world.

10) You will meet some friendly people during your time on Table Mountain. In 2014 Capetonians were ranked as the 8th most friendly people in the world.

Table Mountain Swim

Table Mountain Swim

11) At the top of Table Mountain hikers can find plenty of water reservoirs in which to enjoy a swim on a warm afternoon.

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD!

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Enquire Now about visiting Cape Town and Table Mountain in South Africa or combine it with a South African Safari. 

Most Popular tour including Cape Town: 15 Day Safari and Sea in South Africa

Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell
Website: www.southernskyadventures.com

Mauritius

November 25, 2014

When mentioning an African holiday, most people will probably think of a safari tour, a visit to an ancient Egyptian monument or perhaps a trip to Cape Town or Marrakesh. However, Africa also has some amazing islands lying off its coasts.

If you are searching for that honeymoon destination with palm trees and sandy beaches, skip the traditional old favourites and think about African islands.  The huge landmass that is Africa is splattered with sand-fringed islands, seafood, laid back island life, birds, wildlife, culture, history, surfing and water activities.

Olberoi - Mauritius

Olberoi – Mauritius

Mauritius is one of those islands with typical tropical beaches and palm trees to rival those of the Caribbean and a lot more besides. Accommodation is plentiful and ranges from resorts to self-catering bungalows on the beach. Richard recommends getting out of the resorts and exploring the multi-cultural African island and a personal favorite destination in Africa.

Trou Aux Biches- Mauritius

Trou Aux Biches- Mauritius

Richard shares some interesting and lesser known facts about the country and it’s attractions and places of interest. Richard can assist with travel advice, places of interest or help you organize a tour to visit Mauritius Ask Richard now.

1) Mauritius is a tropical island located approximately 1,200 miles off the east coast of Africa. It is a haven for sun seeking tourists.

2) Mauritius is about the same size as the island of Maui and measures about 40 miles long by 45 miles wide. It has about 200 miles of white sand, palm tree lined coast.

20 Degrees Sud-Mauritius

20 Degrees Sud-Mauritius

3) The populace is bilingual in the languages of French and English. Creole is spoken in the homes of many of the Mauritians.

4) The primary agricultural product of Mauritius is sugar cane. 85% of the arable land is utilized for the growth of sugar cane. Try the raw version while you are there!

Shanti Maurice, Mauritius

Shanti Maurice, Mauritius

5) The coastline of Mauritius is teeming with resorts that cater to the tourists seeking sun, sand, watersports and quiet.

6)  Mauritius has a mountainous area offering tourists the chance to hike and enjoy a different ecosystem. The highest peak reaches 2,700 feet.

Mauritius

Mauritius

7) The world’s third largest coral reef surrounds Mauritius offering excellent scuba diving opportunities.

8) Among all developing countries Mauritius has the highest life expectancy of 73 years. They must be doing something right out there in the Indian Ocean.

Sofitel_Mauritius

Sofitel_Mauritius

9) The food in Mauritius is excellent in offering a fusion of the Indian and Asian cultures prevalent on the island for the last 300 years.

10) Mark Twain has been quoted as saying, “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and then that heaven was copied after Mauritius.”

South Coast, Mauritius

South Coast, Mauritius

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD!

Trou Aux Biches, Mauritius

Trou Aux Biches, Mauritius

Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell
Website: www.southernskyadventures.com

Zimbabwe

November 25, 2014

Africa is a massive continent and choosing a destination or a single country can be completely overwhelming.  In fact many US citizens still think of the whole of Africa as one country.  Richard has always delighted in seeking and sourcing unique experiences in Africa. Zimbabwe offers the best of Africa in one country- unparalleled for adventure, diverse tropical wildlife, extraordinary beauty and a fascinating history both past and present. Zimbabwe is unspoiled by mass tourism and despite negative international press, it is a safe, friendly and easily accessible destination – well worth visiting for something more unique in Africa, and of of Richard’s top destinations in Africa.

Map of Zimbabwe

Map of Zimbabwe

Richard shares some interesting and lesser known facts about the country and it’s attractions and places of interest. Richard can assist with travel advice, places of interest or help you organize a tour to visit Zimbabwe Ask Richard now.

1) Zimbabwe‘s most famous attraction, Victoria Falls, shares a border with Zambia. The bridge just downstream from the falls connects the two countries.

2) Victoria Falls was first seen by a European when David Livingstone viewed them in 1855. He named the falls for Queen Victoria. The natives called the falls Mosi-ao -Tunya or Smoke that Thunders. The local name is an excellent descriptor of what visitors will see.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, southern Africa

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, southern Africa

3) Zimbabwe is about the same size as Montana or Japan.

4) Zimbabwe has been called “The Breadbasket of Africa” due its fertile soil and excellent climate for agriculture.

Tiger Fishing, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Tiger Fishing, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

5) Lake Kariba is the world’s largest artificial lake and reservoir covering over 2,000 square miles. Completed in 1963, the lake produces hydroelectric power and measures 139 miles long x 25 miles wide at its widest points. It is one of Africa’s wildlife oases and offers tourists the opportunity to game view from its shores as well by boat. Lake Kariba is home to some of the best tiger fishing in all of Africa.

6)  Mana Pools National Park can be found on the banks of the Zambezi River. This park is one of the few Big 5 national parks in Africa that allows tourists to walk the area without the aid of a ranger (something we would not recommend). We do highly recommend walking safaris in Mana Pools with Goliath Safaris and Stretch Ferreira.

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa

7) Due to recent findings, Zimbabwe is thought to be home to 25% of the world’s current extractable diamonds.

8) Zimbabwe is a peaceful country rich in wildlife and tourist attractions. Recent negative press has reduced the number of tourists offering the chance for visitors to enjoy the country without the crowds.

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa

9) Zimbabwe is only an hour’s flight from Johannesburg. Such close proximity to the South African International Airport of Johannesburg allows for easy access to tourists arriving into Southern Africa.

10) Victoria Falls is 1,500 yards wide at and is one and one half times as high as Niagara Falls and twice as high.

Hippo- Lake Kariba, Elephant -Mana Pools

Hippo- Lake Kariba, Elephant -Mana Pools

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD!

Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell
Website: www.southernskyadventures.com

South Africa’s West Coast Spring Flowers

November 25, 2014

The African continent is massive (the USA, China, India, Europe and Japan – all fit into the continent of Africa!) and there are 54 nations.   South Africa is one of Richard’s favorite countries in Africa and is approximately twice the size of Texas. In fact South Africa’s marketing slogan was “A World in One Country” and no matter how many times Richard visits, there is always something new to discover in South Africa.  The West Coast of South Africa  is a fascinating and unexplored region of the country – unpretentious and beautiful. In spring the area erupts in endless fields of wild flowers – a natural spectacle that will appeal to everyone, not just those with green fingers or Richard’s mother!

Wildflowers South Africa's West Coast

Wildflowers South Africa’s West Coast

Richard shares some interesting facts about exploring the Wildflowers of the region in spring. He can assist with travel advice, places of interest or help organize a visit to view the spring flowers of the West Coast of South Africa.

1) The Spring Flowers along the West Coast of South Africa have earned international attention. During the months of August and September 4,000 variations of wildlfowers erupt in bloom.

South Africa's Wildflowers

South Africa’s Wildflowers

2) This area of South Africa receives very little rain throughout the year but in winter, between the months of May and July, the rains come.

3) The varied species of wildflowers is due to the varied topography of the region where the arid mountainous regions of the highveld meet the semi arid desert plains that run into the soft sands of the coast.

Wildflowers South Africa- West Coast

Wildflowers South Africa- West Coast

4) The wildflowers begin blooming in the north in Namaqualand and then spread further south into Nieuwoudtville through the Cedarberg and into the West Coast.

Sea and flowers - South Africa's West Coast

Sea and flowers – South Africa’s West Coast

5) The wildflowers are dependent upon the winter rains to produce the energy needed to bloom in spring. However, once the blooming season begins the wildflowers will only open when the sun is out.

Wild Flowers in South Africa

Wild Flowers in South Africa

6)  The wildflower blooms will follow the path of the sun during the day so it is best to plan your drive to be facing west in the morning and east in the afternoon.

Zebra in the Wild flowers - South Africa

Zebra in the Wild flowers – South Africa

7) The flowers are best viewed between the hours of 10h00AM and 04h30PM.

8) The Clanwilliam Flower Show is a big attraction amongst the flower enthusiasts. Held over the last weekend of August the event showcases the over 400 species from 32 different families.

Spring Wildflowers in South Africa

Spring Wildflowers in South Africa

9) It is quite easy to access these wildflowers areas on your own. There are easy to follow roads and directions along the way. Should you be interested in a full tour there are a number of companies with whom we operate that can offer you a number of options.

10) In addition to the wildflowers you will be able to enjoy a large number of antelope including springbok, blesbok, eland and zebra. There is a large herd of eland in the West Coast National Park. In addition, along the coast you will be able to see the migratory South Right Whales in their winter/spring territorial waters.

Blesbok in the Spring Wildflowers, South Africa

Blesbok in the Spring Wildflowers, South Africa

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD

Mama - Up close and personal with the Wildflowers, South Africa

Mama – Up close and personal with the Wildflowers, South Africa

 ENQUIRE NOW about a Specialty West Coast Flower Tour in South Africa in August or September.

Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell
Website: www.southernskyadventures.com

Uganda

October 31, 2014

Africa is a massive continent and choosing a destination or a single country can be completely overwhelming.  In fact many US citizens still think of the whole of Africa as one country.  Richard has always delighted in seeking and sourcing unique experiences in Africa.
Uganda is one of those countries that is rich in natural scenery and culture. Visitors will be captivated by the friendly people and intrigued by the landscape and wildlife of this landlocked country.

Map of Uganda

Map of Uganda

Richard shares some interesting and lesser known facts about the country and can assist with travel advice, places of interest or help you organize a tour to visit Uganda.  Ask Richard now.

1) Uganda is about twice the size of Pennsylvania and lies on the equator.

2) Lake Victoria serves as the southern border to Uganda. Covering over 26,000 square miles the lake is Africa’s largest lake and is the world’s largest tropical lake. Only Lake Superior in the United States is larger.

Birds of Uganda

Birds of Uganda

3) Despite straddling the equator, Uganda is home to the snow capped Ruwenzori Mountains which can reach heights of over 16,000 feet. It is here in these mountains where the Mountain Gorilla can be found.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorilla

4) There are only about 1,000 Mountain Gorillas let in the wild. Uganda is home to these endangered species. The good news is that the species is growing in number at a rate of more than 10% a year.

5) Uganda is known as the source of the Nile River.

6)  Uganda‘s wildlife and parks have improved greatly over the last 20 years and the country is now seen as being on the list for one of the up and coming African destinations.

Mountain Gorilla

Mountain Gorilla

7) Uganda is home to 10 national parks offering a wide range of ecosystems and wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, giraffe and many species of antelope. Murchison Falls National Park is a unique wildlife park as along with the proliferation of fauna Murchison Falls and the Nile create water attractions unseen in the rest of Africa.

Murchison Falls, Uganda

Murchison Falls, Uganda

8) Uganda is a bird watcher’s paradise as fully 10% of the world’s bird species are found in the country.

9) There are 52 different known tribes in Uganda.

Birds of Uganda

Birds of Uganda

10) Lonely Planet listed Uganda as the best country to visit in 2012.

 

Tree Climbing Lion, Uganda

Tree Climbing Lion, Uganda

Richard has more than 12 years of personal travel in Africa, in addition to guiding and planning trips and itineraries for his clients. He has seen and experienced most of Southern and East Africa and is continuously staying up to date and researching the latest news, lodges, accommodation and travel logistics. If you need advice or a chat….. just ASK RICHARD

Southern Sky Adventures
Specializing in guided and self-drive trips through Southern and East Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands
721 Woodward Way, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 USA
404.300.9630 office – 770.324.0068 cell
Website: www.southernskyadventures.com

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