Unfortunately, Cathy wasn’t didn't venture far from the hotel in Livingstone, at least for the first day or so, due to challenges of the stomach variety; but she was able to catch up with some enchanting elephants and a few mischevious monkeys back at the hotel. Not a white water rafter, Cathy decided to take to the skies to get the best view of the Victoria Falls – a truly moving experience, especially when Robbie Williams comes along for the ride!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Malawi wasn’t top of the list in terms of destinations, but going rural and getting off the beaten track is the best way to get the inside track on the real Africa. Click through to Cathy's blog, as she also hands out a few surpising tips when it comes to batering for local curios – handy advice when it comes to making last minute decisions for the backpack.
Next Up: Tragedy strikes at the Victoria Falls, but there’s just something about those elephants...
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If Michelle Lewis, a.k.a. the Acacia Wild Bunch, was Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex In The City” her motto would probably be “single & adventurous” as opposed to ‘single & fabulous”. If you’re looking to bag an out there experience as opposed to Mr. Right this Valentines, here are five sensational singleton Africa pursuits.
Dune it! Forget about twelve red roses, get your heart pumping in Namibia’s Swakopmund and sand surf at speeds of up to 70 miles an hour! Head overland on the 19-day South West Safari £545pp + local payment from £256pp. Book during February and save 20% (£109pp) off the tour price.
Ditch Mr. Might Be, go it alone and “rap jump” at the Victoria Falls in Zambia. With no need for a significant other you can face the challenge head on and run solo down a 54-metre sheer cliff wall. Try the 21-day East African Explorer overland trip £745pp + local payment from £228pp. Book during February and save 20% (£149pp) off the tour price.
Who needs to cuddle up when you can get closer to the animal kingdom in the Serengeti. A 24/7 game viewing experience, singles can game drive in the early hours and catch the sights and sounds of Tanzania when night falls; the resident wildlife taking leisurely strolls through the campsite. Catch up with the Big Five on the 11-day Highlights Of Tanzania overland tour £495pp + local payment from £102pp. Book during February and save 20% (£99pp) off the tour price.
Why opt for candle lit dinners when you could be camping in the wilds of Africa and brushing up on your braai skills. According to one recent adventurer, overlanding grub is not concerned with roasting endless wieners on the fire - in fact, everything from stew to lasagna and even stir fry can be served up on the truck; and if you’re in Kenya it’s best washed down with a nice cold, aptly named Tusker beer. Go overland on the 31-day South East Adventure £1,095pp + local payment from £520pp. Book during February and save 20% (£219pp) off the tour price.
“Seeking partner with a fine tuned sensory system this Valentines”. If your pre Valentines speed dating was a wash out, Acacia Africa can always set up a cage dating session with the Great White, a sea dwelling creature who has a sixth sense. Extend your stay in Africa with a 3-day Cape Town Shark Dive extension from £225pp.
All overland prices (excluding Cape Town Shark Dive Extension) include transport, roads tolls and taxes, camping accommodation and cooking equipment, most meals and services of tour leader and driver. Excludes return international flight, visas, departure taxes, transfers and optional payment excursions.
Sure, ask any adventurer who has been to Zanizibar and they’ll tell you that the main draw is still sun, sea and sand; oh, and not forgetting the excellent diving opportunities around the Northern beaches J. Cathy had time to pack in a visit to Freddie Mercury’s birthplace and the Spice Tour led by Ali T - a huge Ali G fan! A chance to get to know the island from a modern day “rapp-a-like”, perspective…this is one excursion not to be missed!
Next Up: Cathy gives us her take on Malawi and a few pit sops on the way to the adventure capital of Livingstone
Monday, January 25, 2010
Get ready for a culture shock in Dar Es Salaam as Cathy and her fellow overland travellers navigate their way through the city amidst a myriad of over-energetic street vendors. The gateway to Zanizibar, Dar is a far cry from the tranquil Spice Island – ideal for some chilled beach camping and dive antics.
Next Up: Catch up with Cathy as she checks out the highlights in Zanizibar, birthplace of Freddie Mercury and also home to Ali T, a local guide who raps his way through the spice tour!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
From now until mid March 2010, not only will we be providing you with some amazing overland insights from real travellers, you can also retweet (RT) our Go Wild Online campaign videos & WIN a 25% discount off your next overland tour!
Whether it's the scenic vistas, wildlife, adventure, culture, or just the chilled out lifestyle out on the road that drives you when it comes to overland - we can promise that our videos will have you dusting off that backpack in 30 seconds flat!
Here's the full selection of retweets (RTs) if you're looking to head overland in 2010 for less! Simply, retweet the following to WIN a 25% discount off your next overland tour!:
(Life On The Road) RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/8gvLDX
(Sensational Scenic Vistas) RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/5drALH
(Culture Vultures) RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/4Wj0Lk
(Non-Stop Adventure) RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/6Pp0ZK
(Wicked Wildlife!) RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/91Qt4Z
Friday, January 22, 2010
You’d be right if you’re expecting long journeys on an overlanding jaunt, as Africa is a vast continent. But from Cathy’s point of view getting from A-B on a planned itinerary certainly makes for some fascinating hassle free drives, and the changing landscape en route is jaw dropping. National Geographic for real, here’s the low down on what to expect from campsites to cuisine!
Next Up: Get ready to brave Dar Es Salaam – a location where any driver will require superhuman hazard awareness skills!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Here’s a great selection of pix from Cathy’s trip so far, covering everything from wildlife to overland camaraderie. Head on over to Cathy’s Flickr page and feast your eyes on some amazing photography.
Next Up: It’s time to switch trucks at the Victoria Falls and meet some new fellow overlanders – and as for those long drives (part and parcel of the overlanding experience) they’re worth it for the breathtaking backdrops you see along the way!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Would you like to experience game viewing from a different perspective? Why not head for the skies and go gliding over the Serengeti by hot air balloon. According to Cathy, it’s a great way to appreciate the vastness of the Serengeti and chomping on champagne breakfast under a very apt Acacia tree offered a little taste of luxury on an otherwise budget led overland tour. Certainly worth it as an optional extra!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
According to Cathy, no one game park is the same and getting off the tourist track in Tanzania meant wild camping all the way including, long drop toilets and a few unexpected visitors from the animal kingdom. You might see toothpaste in a whole new light after this experience and lion fanatics will be on a winner, but remember to bring a powerful zoom lense if you want to catch the wildlife
Next Up: Champagne breakfast anyone?!!! Cathy samples the high life and takes a sunrise balloon flight over the Serengeti…
Monday, January 18, 2010
The bumpy roads in Nairobi are certainly worth enduring, the first pit stop on the 43-day Kenya To Cape Town overland tour – the Maasai Mara. One of the best places for wildlife viewing Cathy encountered a wide range of animals from zebras to elephants – her top tips to watch out for the vultures and have your Big Five check list at the ready. Of course, if you’re still deciding on that dream overland trip you can also game drive online with Crazy About Kenya a hip and happening project featuring some of Kenya’s hugely talented musicians and artists.
Next Up: Catch up with Cathy as she boards the Acacia truck, her home for the next six weeks, and get a taster of Tanzania...
Friday, January 15, 2010
So the Big Freeze is on but there's no need to worry, as this week’s mailer features three ways to get back to Africa for less. Tempted? You will be once you’ve caught up with Cathy May our "Real Wanderer". A career gapper, Cathy gave up the city rat race to travel the globe, her nine month independent travelling stint including our 43-day Kenya To Cape Town overland trip.
NEWS just in: This February, every Friday we’ll also be featuring some of the more “OUT THERE” pursuits on the continent courtesy of the Acacia Wild Bunch. Feel free to pitch in with your votes or even add your own experiences to the mix under our fan album. And as we like to mix it up on the continent here’s a sneak preview of Pepe Haze’s new album – a hugely talented artist from the Crazy about Kenya gang.
So here’s how to get back to Africa for less…
1. Why pay when you can overland for FREE: The competition for the “Acacia Wild Tweep” is hotting up, so if you’re crazy about South Africa and you want to share your love of the Rainbow Nation then mosey on down to our blog and fill in the Q&A. Email your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Retweet our videos & grab a 25% discount off your next overland tour – it’s a sinch! Simply copy and paste the following onto your Twitter page and it could be you!: RT #GoWildOnline with Acacia Africa http://bit.ly/7BrvvH
3. Why should late bookers get all the best deals? We thought it was time to give back to the early birds – the first adventurers booking on selected overland tours saving up to 50%.
OK discounts aside, if the ”R” word is still cramping your style when it comes to hard cash, check out PlanYourSafaris top ten reasons to safari. In fact, this is one blog that will have you dusting off the backpack in under 30 seconds flat!
Still undecided on where to head next? Grab a copy of our 2010 online brochure.
You can also get all the latest news and views from Travelcomments.com on flights and currency; and thinking of combining your safari with the South Africa World Cup, then look no further than AfricaFreak.
And just in case you missed those tweets – here’s a brief selection…
Grab some sunshine on a budget in Dahab.
Courtesy of Travelcomments.com – here’s an amazing vid - yet another gr8 reason to travel:)
Real Wanderers: Career Gapper Tweet
Follow Cathy May on the 43-day Kenya To Cape Town overland trip…
From Norwich To Nairobi...
My First African experience...
Nairobi – Please Drive Carefully! - Cathy's crash course in navigating Nairobi...
Karibu! Welcome To Africa - Proof that hostel accommodation still surprises 1st time adventure travellers...
How The Other Half Lives...in Kiberia...
Join our virtual Tweet Up on South Africa on Feb 26, 2010 RSVP here - currently 19 and counting! We'd be happy to receive any adventure travel questions pre event, just put #AcaciaWildTweep? ahead of your tweet or email us at email@example.com
Remember from here on in we'll be highlighting trip buddies looking to meet other adventurers pre-tour. One of our soon to be wanderers is heading off on the South West Safari, Livingstone - Cape Town, leaving April 7th 2010. Any takers? Click on over to our discussion board for a virtual chat :)
And finally, Got a passion for Southern and Eastern Africa and want to share it with the world?!! Then check out our "Work For Us" page as we're currently on the look out for a Reservations Supervisor to join our team in the Cape Town Office.
The Acacia Africa team
Stay in the hostel like fortress or venture out into Nairobi central? By day two of the trip Cathy’s nerves felt like a thing of the past and she was ready to see the real Africa. As an independent traveller in Kiberia, (the second largest slum dwelling in Kenya’s capital), there are two rules: stay with your local guide and if you want take a picture – ask first! A humbling and confusing experience, but a chance to get off the tourist track...
Next Up: Fancy some off roading and authentic travel experiences, follow Cathy as she heads overland on our 43-day Kenya to Cape Town tour…
Thursday, January 14, 2010
If hot showers and working light switches are something you feel you could never live without, then hold on tight as Nairobi might be a bit of a culture shock. Then again, if you’ve never stayed in a hostel, you might be surprised by the welcoming facilities and the added creature comforts, not forgetting the numerous good friends you’ll meet along the way:)!!!
Up Next: What are friends for if not to enjoy the experience of travel! On our Friday slot you can head off with Cathy on her first independent travel stint and make the most of Kiberia, a local slum that is home to one million people…
Images courtesy of the Wildebeest Camp Hostel, Nairobi
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Driving in Nairobi brings a whole new meaning to getting behind the wheel; in fact jay walking animals would be small fry compared to navigating major roundabouts without headlights at night!!! Time to go overland?:)
Next Up: Living without the luxuries becomes a reality, but it's a promising start for hostel life...
Cityscape image courtesy of Magical Kenya
Matatu (local bus) image courtesy of Tim Kiarie
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
After raiding the airline freebie bag a surreal conversation ensues with a humanitarian fundraiser from Rwanda. Sadly, the English amongst us might fall short when it comes to culture – “pass me the fish and chips please, but don’t quiz me on the origins of Greenwich Meantime:)” A meaningful start to an amazing trip in Africa!
Next up: Hit the road with Cathy as she gets accustomed to a whole new kind of driving in Nairobi central…
Image copyright®: Ian Britton (http://www.FreeFoto.com)
Monday, January 11, 2010
Once we hit the rat race, it’s not easy leaving life as we know it behind - and it’s an even bigger step when there’s no corporate company sabbatical acting as a career comfort blanket.
At 33, Cathy May was nervous about her decision to take a break from her city lifestyle. Formerly a high flyer in the PR business and co-founder of a PR company, she was now embarking on a nine-month travelling stint and leaving friends and family behind.
However, when the going gets tough there are always breakfast buffets to cure those last minute nerves and don’t worry, as being late for check in is not necessarily a bad thing!!!:)
Next up: Follow Cathy and relive her first African experience – even before she touches down in Nairobi central! An eye opener for all…
Image copyright®: Ian Britton (http://www.FreeFoto.com)
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tired of the same old adventures:( Starting in February, as part of our "Go Wild Online" campaign we'll be showcasing some of the less predictable options in Africa, courtesy of the Acacia Wild Bunch!
Going beyond the tried and tested pursuits, we’ll leave you with some inspiring ideas, so you can book that once in a lifetime “rave reservation” on the continent.
You can also vote for your favourite options, which will be featured under our new “Go Wild For Africa…” photo album…or add your own experiences into the mix!
So, if you’re a dare devil when it comes to adrenaline or an adventurer who likes to do things differently then feel free to mosey on down to our Facebook page and share some of your more out there pursuits and pix…
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Save up to 50% on the following departures. Early bird bookers will be able to take advantage of the best savings, the discounts reducing to 40%, 30% and 20% as the places fill…
Do More in Africa for less! Our 19-day South West Safari includes river cruising in the Chobe National Park, bush camping in the Okavango Delta and 24/7 game viewing in the Etosha National Park. Save up to 50% (£273pp). Only £272pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £259pp. Departs 10 March.
Feeling snowed under? Grab a dose of sun and sand on Acacia Africa’s 19-day Desert Tracker and save up to 50% (£273pp). Only £272pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £259pp. Climb the sand dunes in Namib Naukluft National Park, board the dunes in Swakopmund and trek through the Kalahari Desert with the native Bushmen. Departs 20 March.
Need a budget break? Explore East Africa for less and head from Zambia to Kenya on Acacia Africa’s 21-day East African Explorer (Save up to 50%: £373pp). Only 372pp (no single supplement) + local payment from £231pp. Combining the best of beach and bush the overland tour includes a 3-night stay on Zanzibar and game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Departs 09 April.
All prices include transport, roads tolls and taxes, camping accommodation and cooking equipment, most meals and services of tour leader and driver. Excludes return international flight, visas, departure taxes, transfers and optional payment excursions.
Contact us: 020 7706 4700; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.acacia-africa.com.
ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Our new logo encapsulates the heartbeat of Africa with the blazing African sun and the famous Acacia tree. The vivd yellows and reds are vibrant African colours that mirror our team and the tours we offer.
The catchy new slogan, "Extraordinary Adventures Everyday" is made up of three distinct words that invoke excitement, imagination and tantalizing travel...
Extraordinary - beyond the ordinary, opposite of normal
Adventures - exciting activity, journey
Everyday - day after day...
It's not simply a tour, it's a way of life.
We'll be sharing some more interesting insights from "Real Wanderers" so check back with us on FB for regular updates from Monday 11 January...
First up is Cathy May from Reading in the UK - a career breaker who took the plunge...
Real Wanderers: If you’re thinking of taking a career break why not follow Cathy from Reading.
At 33, Cathy set off on a nine month travelling stint, a world away from her time co-running a successful PR agency in London.
She felt her hectic lifestyle had taken its toll and was desperate to recharge her batteries so Cathy took the leap, even renting out her house and moving back in with her parents while she planned the trip.
She wanted to include Africa on her travels (omitted by many backpackers, especially women) and chose to kick off her round-the-world trip with an organised Acacia Africa overland tour.
Even if you’re not working for a large company that might offer a sabbatical, Cathy told us, “it’s worth the trip.”
Nearly three months into her travels, she agreed it was one of the best decisions she had ever made.
* The unfamiliar can give you a whole new perspective, whether you're visiting under privileged communities in Kenya, scrambling up sand dunes at dawn in Namibia or spotting whales and dolphins in South Africa.
* For her future employers, Cathy believes that a career break is an enhancement to anyone's CV. “I already know that I will return to home and be more than ready for my next challenge!”
Watch out for our regular updates on Cathy's 43-day Kenya to Cape Town overland tour – the first installment detailing her antics at Heathrow including, how breakfast buffets can help cure nerves and advice on getting an upgrade. Business Class anyone?!!!...