Friday, December 18, 2009

Got That Friday Africa Feeling?!!!: Retweets, Wild Tweeps & Top Tips For Madagascar


Since the beginning of December we’ve been going WILD ONLINE with our new campaign and sharing the best of Africa on the net.

Our Guest blogger Sara Le Houllier has also delivered some handy tips on how to make MORE of Madagascar and we’ve been quizzing our blogging partners on the secrets of a sensational safari.

Looking to make more of the wildlife? Check out some simply awesome videos from PlanYourSafari, featuring everything from sardine runs in South Africa (if you’re a dolphin lover get your eyes round this one!) to flaming flocks of flamingos in Kenya, and of course the unforgettable Wildebeest migration.

You can also get all the latest news and views from Travelcomments.com on flights and currency; and as it’s nearly Christmas, why not give the gift of a virtual safari experience and download AfricaFreak’s FREE Safari 101 Tips E-Book!

Still undecided on where to head next? Grab a copy of our 2010 brochure online

What's NEW? From here on in we'll be featuring your questions in our regular mailers and highlighting trip buddies looking to meet other adventurers pre-tour.

One of our soon to be wanderers is heading off on the 19-day South West Safari, Livingstone - Capetown, leaving April 7th 2010. Any takers? Click on over to our Facebook discussion board for a virtual chat :)

Safari for FREE!!! We’ll be accepting those #AcaciaWildTweep applications right up to the 12th of February, and we’ve just delivered our first taster of Africa online – so watch our Retweet (RT) to WIN video and bag yourself a 25% discount on any of our overland tours.

As for those Xmas discounts, you can book with us from now until 31 December and save 50% on a selection of small group safaris when you purchase any Acacia Africa overland trip of three weeks or more:

* NEW 6-day Lesotho, Battlefields and Zululand small group safari – only £195pp + LP (SAVE £195pp).

Terms and conditions: All bookings to be made before 31 December. For travel before 01 July 2010. Discount only available on selected small group safaris. Subject to availability and Acacia Africa booking terms and conditions. Discount cannot be taken in conjuntion with another Acacia discount. Promo code: 50%SG1209.

And just in case you missed those tweets – here’s a brief selection…

Cape Town is ready for kick off - safari and city on a budget with Acacia

Chris Mears a.k.a. the #AcaciaWildBunch goes all out on the adrenaline and takes on the gorge swing in Livingstone! Sundowner apres man defying feat anyone?!!

Out of cash, ongoing recession, moving back with the olds - never fear, as we're giving away a FREE overland safari!:)

How long should a voluntour stint be? Here's some interesting food for thought...

Best Time of Year for Tanzania Safaris

Join our virtual Tweet Up on South Africa on Feb 26, 2010 PLS RSVP - currently 17 and counting! We'd be happy to receive any adventure travel questions on Twitter pre event, just put #AcaciaWildTweep? ahead of your tweet…

You know who to tweet/RT!: meet Arno Delport aka the "#AcaciaWildBunch" - a guy who is totally addicted to overland!:)

An insightful bunch of wanderers including career gappers, over 50s adventurers and bright young things with a passion for Africa will be joining us for the ride online. We’ll keep you posted! If you're just crazy about the continent and want to share your travel tips with our fans then email us at info@acacia-africa.com and put those travel writing skills to the test!

“Just Go…”

The Acacia Africa team

video

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guest blogger Sara Le Houllier shares some handy tips on making MORE of Madagascar






Madagascar is a glorious, beautiful, delicious country, however, there are a few things you should know before you go that might help you handle the inevitable culture shock. Some of these things you will read now, and understand later, when you arrive on the world’s 4th largest island, but most important of all, enjoy your journey; you’ll want to go back again and again!

Patience is truly a virtue. Whatever time you think you’re going to leave to go ANYWHERE, add at least an hour (emphasis on at least). What’s your rush anyway? You’re on vacation.

Do not cram every second, every day of your trip with activities. Things may change, you may get stuck somewhere, you may have to change your itinerary – do not stress. This is normal. Being flexible means you may see something you never expected and then you will thank the airline that cancelled your flight or the car that never filled up.

When taxi-broussing, you might be uncomfortable, even in the best possible situation (which is the row behind the driver, feet up, only three people in your row, music at a low volume). That’s life, and it’s not forever. Remember: you’re traveling shoulder to shoulder with Malagasy people, seeing stunning landscapes, and eating a lot of rice. It’s a cultural experience that will make for a good story at future dinner parties.

Beware of fancy restaurants. Even the nicest of establishments may shock your stomach into unpleasantness. I have gotten sick more times after eating at a vazaha restaurant than I ever got eating Malagasy food. Eat Malagasy food! It’s great! Especially try the burnt rice water (ranonapango or rano vola) – hot and soothing.

Try to learn a little bit of Malagasy before you go – the people will LOVE you for it. You’ll get some open-mouthed stares and some laughs, but that’s par for the course. I’ll have some resources up on my website in the next couple of months.

Don’t just do touristy things. Spend some time walking around, sitting on benches or beaches, or going to markets. Parks are fun and you’ll see some AMAZING animals and plants, but the people are wonderful as well.

if all goes as planned, Other Places Publishing should be releasing my new Madagascar travel guide in June 2010. In the meantime, if you have any questions about Madagascar, please feel free to email me at the website. If I don’t know the answer, I can direct you to someone who does. Enjoy your trip, and Soava Dia!

Want to head to off to the world's eighth continent? Check out Acacia’s Madagascar Revealed tour. An 11-day tour exploring the major highlights of the south, leaving you plenty of time before or after to do some independent travelling in the northern part of Madagascar. £1,175pp.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tweet us?...Meet The "#Acacia Wild Bunch": Chris Mears


Got a burning question on Africa? Now you can tweet with your own personal Africa guru, courtesy of the “#AcaciaWildBunch”. Chosen for their total and unwavering addiction to the most adventurous continent on the planet, these experts are bound to have a few insider tips from the road. Feel free to contact our Africa pundits from here on in on Twitter, putting #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

Full name: Chris Mears

Nationality: British

Which Acacia Africa tours have you travelled on?

I like to mix it up when it comes to experiences – my regular jaunts in Africa covering, overland, small group and adventure itineraries – plus breaks on the beach and comfort class safaris! So far the list includes, the 6-day Tanzania Game Parks, the 13-day Kenya & Tanzania Adventure, the 4-day Zanzibar Island Getaway, the 4-day Kruger Secluded Safari and the 5-day Mount Kenya Trek

Your favourite Acacia tour?

It has to be the 13-day Kenya & Tanzania Adventure – a great combination of beach, bush and awesome wildlife.

Who do usually travel with?

Myself, friends and family – I guess it all depends on who is available!

Travel Motto?

Make a plan – but be ready for the plan to change again and again!

Favourite place in Africa?

Hard to pick one! Sundowners on Zanzibar, the Serengeti in the middle of the migration, the beaches on the edge of the Sahara and walking my dog on Noordhoek beach in Cape Town! To name a few!

Most memorable moment in Africa?

Watching the sunrise from the summit of Mount Kenya – totally captivating!

Best adrenaline/adventure activity and why?

The Gorge Swing in Livingstone – it’s a great buzz and you can jump quite a few times . Whether you decide to face forwards, backwards or bring a friend along for the ride it’s awesome fun!

What would you say to someone thinking of travelling to Africa?

Come with an open mind, go with the flow and make the most of the things that don’t go according to plan… be flexible!

Where’s the next adventure in Africa?

I’ll heading to the Victoria Falls for a few days and checking out both the Zimbabwean and Zambian side to see how things have changed. Can’t wait!

Chris’ top three tips for Africa travellers:

1. Just go with the flow - all good plans are meant to be amended!

2. Animals look better when not looking at them through the lens of a camera, take some pics but take the time to just sit and watch the animals

3. You're not at home, so don’t expect everything to be like it is at home, enjoy it and give it a go!

Remember you can fire away on our Twitter page with your questions from here on in, simply add #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

And, finally Chris, what about that all important checklist of African countries you’ve visited?

Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique!!! So Fire away :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tweet us?...Meet The "#Acacia Wild Bunch": Arno Delport


Got a burning question on Africa? Now you can tweet with your own personal Africa guru, courtesy of the "Acacia Wild Bunch”. Chosen for their total and unwavering addiction to the most adventurous continent on the planet, these experts are bound to have a few insider tips from the road. Feel free to contact our Africa pundits from here on in, putting #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

Full name: Arno Delport

Nationality: South African

Which Acacia Africa tours have you travelled on?

The 41-day Cape To Kenya; the 13-day Kenya & Tanzania Adventure; and the 18-day Mountain Gorillas To The Mara – all great itineraries for anyone who is totally addicted to overland!

Your Favourite Acacia tour?

That’s a hard question to answer J, but it has to be the 18-day Mountain Gorillas To The Mara. Trekking the mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Park is simply awesome!

Who do usually travel with?

Always with a bunch of great friends

Travel Motto

Be open minded!

Favourite place in Africa?

Uganda’s Lake Bunyoni – as you can take a dip in the lake to cool off and the variety of birdlife is simply out of this world!

Most memorable moment in Africa?

We only spent an hour with the mountain gorillas, but it’s an amazing experience and it felt like five minutes.

Best adrenaline/adventure activity and why?

Rafting the Nile in Jinja – glad I am still ALIVE!

What would you say to someone thinking of travelling to Africa?

Do it!!! You will not regret it!! In fact, I can promise, you will fall in love with it!!

Where’s the next adventure in Africa?

Egypt is next on the list – hopefully! J

Arno’s top three tips for Africa travellers:

1. Bring a sense of adventure.

2. Experience as much as you can while you are in Africa.

3. Oh yes and drink lots of water!!

Remember you can fire away on our Twitter page with your questions from here on in, simply add #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

And, finally Arno, what about that all important checklist of African countries you’ve visited?

I’ve been addicted to Africa for a good few years so the list is loooooong!: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and not forgetting Zimbabwe – a new addition to our 2010 small group safari portfolio.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tweet us?...Meet The "#Acacia Wild Bunch": Michelle Lewis


Got a burning question on Africa? Now you can tweet with your own personal Africa guru, courtesy of the "Acacia Wild Bunch”. Chosen for their total and unwavering addiction to the most adventurous continent on the planet, these experts are bound to have a few insider tips from the road. Feel free to contact our Africa pundits from here on in putting #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

Full name: Michelle Lewis

Nationality: Australian

Which Acacia Africa tours have you travelled on?

Quite a few…in fact, I’ve pretty much covered off Acacia Africa’s entire portfolio of overland tours including all of the current gorilla trekking itineraries so you could say I’m passionate about Uganda!

Your favourite Acacia tour?

It would have to be the 58-day Ultimate African Overlander – eight countries and some unforgettable snapshots of remote Africa.

Who do usually travel with?

I do generally travel alone, as I feel that you meet more people that way however, I have travelled with friends as well.

Travel Motto:

Truck/Bus/Train/Boat/Plane - never stop travelling!

Favourite place in Africa?

Zanzibar – it’s so peaceful, the diving is just immense and it’s a great place to chill and contemplate the next adventure.

Most memorable moment in Africa?

Seeing the Mountain Gorilla’s has to be first on my list. It’s a really moving experience!

Best adrenaline/adventure activity and why?

Sky diving. The view of the rolling sand dunes across the desert in Swakopmund (Namibia) whilst free falling out of a plane is certainly one of a kind!

What would you say to someone thinking of travelling to Africa?

Just do it! You’ll have the best time in your life!

Where’s the next adventure in Africa?

Morocco!!!

Michelle’s top three tips for Africa travellers

1. Keeping your head firmly on your shoulders and making the right decisions. This includes protecting your belongings with your money belt, camera and personal belongings.

2. Keep to the main known circuits. To stray to places unknown might lead to trouble.

3. Prep your travels wisely by booking transport, accommodation and pick ups.

Remember you can fire away on our Twitter page with your questions from here on in, simply add #AcaciaWildBunch? ahead of your tweet…

And, finally Michelle, what about that all important checklist of African countries you’ve visited?

So far I’ve been to Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. I guess the list just keeps growing!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Got That Friday Africa Feeling?!!!: Free Safari Guide, Xmas Deals & Your Chance To Win A 6-Day Overland Tour!


We’re in the mood for the Big Five this week as AfricaFreak has just released a FREE Safari 101 Tips E-Book! Your guide to the ULTIMATE safari experience...

Of course, now you can get a copy of our 2010 brochure online, so click on over to our website and get your eyes round our new small group safaris featuring, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. Looking to voluntour? Then why not mix it up in Africa and combine the Kruger with some cheetah love:)

And we’re off...our “#Go Wild Online” campaign is up and running & you can win a FREE 6-day African Insight overland Safari!

Anyone who is completely crazy about the Rainbow Nation might want to apply to be our #AcaciaWildTweep. We’ll be asking you to join a 20-minute live tweet up and then whisking you off to the Kruger and Chobe National Parks and the MUST SEE Victoria Falls.

Safari encounters with the Big Five PRICELESS – and yes the trip really is FREE!!!

You can also meet our #AcaciaWildTweep judges, some of the best Africa bloggers on the net including, AfricaFreak, Travelcomments.com and PlanYourSafari and find out what they’ll be looking for from the winning tweep!

As for those Xmas discounts, why wait for the Big FC when you can bag a great deal with us, from now up to 31 December!

Save 50% off the tour price on selected small group safaris when you purchase any Acacia Africa overland safari of three weeks or more:

* 4-day Kruger Encounter only £232 (SAVE £233pp).

* 7-day Okavango Wilderness Trail only £232 + LP (SAVE £233pp).

* NEW 6-day Lesotho, Battlefields and Zululand only £195pp + LP (SAVE £195pp).

Terms and conditions: All bookings to be made before 31 December. For travel before 01 July 2010. Discount only available on selected small group safaris. Subject to availability and Acacia Africa booking terms and conditions. Discount cannot be taken in conjuntion with another Acacia discount. Promo code: 50%SG1209.

An insightful bunch of wanderers including career gappers, over 50s adventurers and bright young things with a passion for Africa will be joining us for the ride online. We’ll keep you posted! If you're just crazy about the continent and want to share your travel tips with our fans then email us at info@acacia-africa.com and put those travel writing skills to the test!

Finally, for those of you who want to spend more of your time on the continent, have those adventure CV’s at the ready, as we’re on the look out for new recruits in our Cape Town office. Share our passion? Contact us...

“Just Go…”

The Acacia Africa team