New Eco Adventure for Vic Falls:
Vic Falls Canopy Tour set to launch on 1 June 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Please carefully read the following update on PASSPORT VALIDITY for entrance into Uganda from Classic Africa Safaris:
There is quite a bit of conflicting information out there depending on what website you look at, but to GUARANTEE that your travelers won't have entry issues, please ensure that clients have 1 year validity on their passport.
We have had clients who have had trouble getting in and out of the country because of this recently, and we've had associates who have been refused onto the flight to Uganda because they had less then 1 year on their passport.
It does depend on the airline and will depend on the immigration official that you meet upon arrival, but it is not worth the risk.
The double blank page thing is not a new thing - this is the legal requirement. 6 double blank pages means 12 pages (one side) in total. However, this is not really pushed by immigration here. Once again, depends on the official and the day - this is Africa!
Please note that we also find the officials don't often check for YELLOW FEVER vaccination certificates, but it is a legal requirement so we always recommend carrying proof of vaccine, because it is not worth the risk of being denied entry.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
Updates from Classic Africa Safaris regarding the month of mourning in Rwanda. For those who may not know, April in Rwanda is the month of mourning.
The culmination of the Genocide when more than 1,000,000 of its people were killed in a space of 100 days was from about 7th of April 1994.
As a result take note of the following that will happen during April;
· The period of mourning will be officially opened by the President on 7th April 2013 and will run for 1 week until the 14th April when it will be closed. Much as they close the mourning period on 14th, people will be permitted to continue throughout the month.
· On 7th April the Gisozi Genocide Museum in Kigali will be closed. All other days it will be open 24-7 and please be advised that during this month the number of visitors to the memorials will be very heavy and the crowds very emotional. 95% of the crowd will be locals.
· During this time there are also a lot of wakes including overnight ones at the various memorials sites & centers.
· There is no partying (all Clubs will be closed) or loud music that is not religious.
· Most offices will be open until about 1400 hrs when thereafter most people go off back to their homes where there will be gatherings as they remember.
· The crafts shops/galleries and markets may not be the best places to visit in the afternoon as chances are they could be closed.
· Tracking of the primates; Gorillas/Golden monkeys/Chimps/Colobus etc and other park activities will take place as usual.
· The dancing that usually takes place at the Volcanoes NP Headquarters every morning during the registration of clients tracking/hiking will not be on during this time.
· FYI the color purple in Rwanda is associated with death and as such it will be seen in plenty next month.
Photos copyright Lyndsay Harshman/The Kusini Collection
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
5th March, 2013, 16 30 hrs
Country Election Status Update 1
from Kenya Tourist Board and Magical Kenya
Elections got underway on March 4th, 2013 as scheduled with enthusiastic voters going to the polling stations from as early as 3am. The elections have been peaceful with no major incidents reported across the country.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission indicates that there was impressive voter turnout in each of the polling stations across the country. Kenyans generally adhered to all the electoral laws, leading to an incident free election.
2. Election Results
The election results are already trickling. Provisional results for the positions of President, Senator, Governor, Member of Parliament, Women’s Representative and Country Representatives, in accordance to the New Constitution, from more than 30% of the country have also been received.
Some candidates, who have lost, have already conceded defeat and called on their supporters to work with the winner in developing and executing the development agenda for their respective electoral areas.
The Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mr. Ahmed Isaak Hassan at 11.37am (EAT) has addressed the country indicating that the Commission has already received provisional results from some of the 47 counties, even as they wait for Electoral Officials to report at the National Tallying Centre so that the results can be confirmed and formally released.
He’s appealed for patience from political parties, Kenyans and the media as they continue tallying the results and releasing them within the legally stipulated timelines.
A temporary hitch in the transmission of results from the polling stations experienced on Monday night was swiftly fixed, thereby leading to the resumption of the flawless release of results.
The local media has suspended normal programming to relay the results as they trickle in, to an audience of eager Kenyans, a majority of who are monitoring from their homes and offices.
3. Security Update
With the exception of two isolated incidents in Mombasa and Garissa, on Sunday night, there has been no major security incident reported during the elections. The Inspector General of the Police and other government officials are issuing regular briefings on the status of security in the country.
The peace initiatives mooted by both the business sector (and supported by the Kenya Tourism Board) and non-governmental organisations have borne fruit leading to a peaceful atmosphere.
After closing yesterday to allow staff to vote, most businesses across the country have resumed operations today.
We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
MURIITHI NDEGWA, OGW
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
English writer Aldous Huxley is famously quoted calling "Lake Atitlan the most beautiful lake in the world" (while an easy catch phrase for travel marketing, he actually compared it to Lake Como writing "Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing." But I digress). Regardless of what Mr. Huxley actually said, Lake Atitlan is no doubt one of the most picturesque lakes in the world. Ringed by dramatic ridge-lines dotted by red-roofed indigenous villages and three jaw-dropping volcanoes, Lake Atitlan offers the traveler a host authentic experiences from weaving classes with local women's weaving cooperatives to visiting the Mayan syncretic folk saint Maximon.
But where to eat during your Lake Atitlan adventures? We've got 3 great dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and drinks!):
Breakfast at The Slow Food Cafe at Isla Verde, Santa Cruz La Laguna
Lunch at Posada Santiago, Santiago Atitlan
Posada Santiago is located a short walk outside the Tzutujil Maya village of Santiago, Atitlan. The largest of the lakeside villages and one of the most popular due to its indigenous traditions and its historical place in the civil war of Guatemala, the Posada is the perfect retreat from the frenetic pace of the central village. The dining room is airy and full of light thanks to the high vaulted ceilings and large windows offering great views of the Lake and San Pedro volcano across the bay. But you may have trouble taking your eyes off of what is on your plate! One of my favorite restaurants on the Lake, lunch at the Posada means the best smoked chicken tacos in Guatemala! The chicken is wood-smoked on the premise and prepared with onions, tomatoes and mild spices and served with freshly made blue corn tortillas with homemade guacamole, beans, chile and chimol sauce! Yum, yum, yum! The head chef is a local Mayan woman who has been at the Posada for over 20 years. She's an culinary artist! They make all of their own stocks, sauces, breads, pastries and ice cream and also grow, process, roast, and grind their own coffee, which is served as freshly brewed coffee, espresso, cappuccino and latté. A must-visit establishment for at least one meal while visiting Lake Atitlan.
Dinner and drinks at Zotz Restaurant, Laguna Lodge, Santa Cruz La Laguna
Laguna Lodge is a 5-star eco-lodge and nature reserve commanding stunning views of Lake Atitlan and all three of its volcanoes The lodge is incredibly sustainable and eco-conscious while at the same time manages to provide the perfect amount of luxurious elegance for its guests. In the evenings, its award winning Zotz Restaurant has an incredibly romantic ambiance as the light fades watching the sunset over the distant volcanoes and the flickering golden hues from the large stone fireplace and candles set the mood. The atmosphere is worth the trip alone but food also delivers. Important note, Zotz is fully vegetarian (though not vegan) so if you're not willing to give up meat for a night, you should go somewhere else. But my advice, even for the most passionate carnivores, skip the meat and come experience this place. The cuisine features fresh organic vegetables, greens, herbs and eggs harvested daily from their own gardens, foraged from the mountains of their nature reserve or procured from local farmers. The offer a set 3-course menu or you can order a la carte. They also have an impressive list of imported wine or try the house special, the Molten Lava cocktail made with Guatemalan Zacapa rum, organic carrot and apple juice!
Maya Trails can customize a unique Guatemalan journey that includes the best of Lake Atitlan's culture, nature and cuisine. Contact owner Jimmy Rogers and get started planning the perfect Guatemala vacation!
But where to eat during your Lake Atitlan adventures? We've got 3 great dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and drinks!):
|Coffee with a view. Photo: Isla Verde|
Isla Verde is a wonderful little eco-chic retreat located lakeside in a peaceful bay near the village of Santa Cruz. It's only accessible by boat and is about a 20 minute ride from Panajachel, the village that serves as a jumping-off-point for other locales on the Lake. Their restaurant subscribes to the Slow Food movement, which strives to maintain traditions of the local cuisine by serving food sourced locally and organically from native plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. All food is made from scratch using fresh ingredients. When you boil it down, it's really all about slowing down, relaxing and enjoying a well-prepared meal from the farm to the table. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast burrito, stuffed full of black beans, eggs, and tomatoes, complimented by some incredible coffee and an even better view!
|Smoked chicken tacos. Best in Guate! Photo: Lyndsay Harshman|
|Stunning views and romantic ambiance. Photo: Laguna Lodge.|
Monday, February 18, 2013
|Photo courtesy of The Boat House|
Chef Bruce Robertson’s The Boat House
You are invited to join renowned chef Bruce Robertson in his stunning Scarborough beach house while he prepares a 5 course extravaganza based on local and seasonal ingredients with a strong seafood theme. With a maximum of 12 guests at any one time, this is an intimate and really unique way of dining while sipping on some award winning wines.
|Photo courtesy of the Test Kitchen|
With a menu to die for and a reputation as one of Cape Town’s most innovative chef’s, Luke Dale-Roberts (ex La Colombe) offers an exciting new concept in dining with his Woodstock based restaurant. Enjoy a casual lunch at the ‘kitchen bar’ or dine on the likes of pan seared duck breast with cashew nut and turnip puree off the a-la-carte menu. A 5 and 8 course tasting menu is also available.
Home Hosted Dinners
You can’t get a more authentic experience than dining in someone’s home, where you’ll enjoy some traditional South African home-cooked cuisine and swop stories with families that have a long history in the Cape.
Le Quartier Francais - cooking courses
This Franschhoek based property enjoys an almost unrivalled reputation for all things food related. From the award winning Tasting Room to the rustic Bread and Wine, Executive chef Margot Janse continues to enthral serious diners from around the world. We particularly love their Culinary Concierge menu - a selection of day courses where you can learn anything from bread baking to the art of charcuterie. For those guests who are fortunate to be in-house on a Friday, you can join the team in the kitchen baking highly nutritious muffins which are then distributed, with your help, to over 70 children in 3 different pre-schools 5 days a week.
|Cooking classes at African Relish|
This Karoo based recreational cooking school is a must for any food lover! They have a wide choice of day courses from Karoo classics to Preserving, Vegetarian cooking to Comfort food or more longer set courses usually hosted by a local celebrity chef. Stay overnight in one of their traditional Prince Albert cottages and soak up the hospitality of this quaint village.
Classic Cape Cuisine walk from d’Ouwe Werf
Savour traditional Cape food and wine as your culinary guide leads you through the historic heart of Stellenbosch. Try our Biltong and Bobotie, koeksisters and melktert while meeting a host of colourful characters en-route!
Ice-cream and wine tasting at Clos Malverne
Multi talented winemaker Suzanne Coetzee and head chef Nadia Louw-Smith have joined forces to create a wine-tasting that strikes a chord with every woman I know! Pistachio praline ice-cream with coffee-style pinotage, Sauvignon Blanc with lychee and lime ice-cream . . need I say more!