Friday, March 26, 2010

To Zim Or Not To Zim?: That's The Burning Travel Question Facing Today's Adventurers...

The Times online held an interesting debate last week on Zimbabwe, the discussion focusing on whether it’s ethical to travel to the country.
Travelling with a responsible operator was a key point raised by many of the expert commentators. This month, we were nominated (for the second year running) by the World Travel Awards, as Africa's Leading Responsible Tourism Company - so aside from almost 20 years of experience on the continent, you can also be assured that we’re committed to ethical travel. 
Another burning issue was cost, and with less adventurers heading to the destination you might expect to pay more, but a value led operator will cut out unnecessary flights - a factor that could see your travel budget soar. Our main methods of transport in Zimbabwe are your regular mini-van and of course a 4X4! We also stick to camping, ensuring those expensive safari lodges don't burn a hole in your pocket.
It’s true Zimbabwe still faces many political challenges, but the FCO is not advising against travel to the country, so if it’s top of your list, here’s a quick guide to get you started on what’s sure to be an extraordinary adventure.

  • Travel with a company that supports local operators and one that has ethical guidelines and policies. You can usually find an up to date guide on the website.
  • You don’t have to volunteer to make a difference.  Just seeing the wildlife and staying in the camps will provide employment and funds for conservation - helping to ward off poachers and more importantly feeding families.
  • Be aware that on a short stay you might well be able to visit charitable organisations, as opposed to volunteering.  For example, our 7-day Rediscover Zimbabwe small group safari, includes an afternoon visit to the Hwange Wild Dog Project.  While not hands-on, this is still an invaluable opportunity to gain a personal insight into the work being done, and just by being there you’ll be contributing to the scheme financially.
  • As people are still debating the issue in terms of travel to the country, now is the ideal time to book.  A safari in Zimbabwe won’t be overrun with 4X4s and you can also expect a few firsts, including the opportunity to go hunting with the King of the Jungle himself, part of a "Rehabilitation & Release Into The Wild" programme being run in Gweru.
  • Yes you can travel independently, but it’s wise to opt for a reputable tour operator as they will have close relationships with contacts on the ground and a good background knowledge when it comes to your personal safety.
  • Don’t carry huge amounts of cash.  USD is accepted in most places and you’ll find ATMs in most of the big cities.
  • On your return you’ll have positive personal stories to relay – your first-hand experience helping to change negative perceptions when it comes to taking on an adventure in Zimbabwe. So why not take a sneak peek at Zim and treat yourself to one of Africa's best kept secrets...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The World Travel Awards Are Back: Vote 4 Us!

The World Travel Awards are back on the map, and we've been nominated as Africa's Leading Responsible Tourism Company for the second year running!!! If you'd like to support our team vote 4 us :) The closing date is: 06 June 2010. 

Want to make a real change in Africa on your next adventure? You can spend a day volunteering on many of our overland tours or why not go all out on our NEW 21-day Elephant & Cheetah trip. Still undecided? Click through to our full list of dedicated voluntours...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Feel Good Africa Vibes: Win An Overland Tour For Two & Hook Up With Our Adventurers...

This Friday we’re sending some feel good Africa vibes down the line, including a chance to win two seats on our 21-day East African Explorer overland tour.

How to win: Sign up your friends and family to our newsletter, Facebook and Twitter pages. Send through the name and contact email of the friends and family you’ve added to Each new name and email address we receive gives you another chance to win! Closing date 12 midnight, Friday the 30th of April.

You can even put amazing Africa to the vote with your travelling buddies!...

The Vote: If your mates had a choice between beer or the Big Five, what would it be? We’re pretty certain that our “Bring Your Buddies” Africa discounts will have them overlanding in next to no time, as the more you bring along for the ride the bigger the discount! That’s a huge £1,696 saving for a group of four friends travelling together on our 58-day Ultimate African Overlander! The offer applies to each person travelling in the group. Bookings to be made before 31 March.

One person travelling = 15% off tour price

Two people travelling together = 17.5% off tour price

Three people travelling = 20% off tour price

Four or more travelling together = 25% off tour price

(Please note: All discounts exclude local payments and gorilla permits)

Here’s a couple of shout outs from adventurers who are currently booked up with us for 2010. Please buzz us on our Facebook wall if you’d like to hook up and we’ll put you in touch…

Hook up with Gemma: Anyone departing out of Nairobi on 28th March? I join this tour in Dar Es Salam on 6th April.
 Would be great to get in touch with you.

Hook up with Rene: South West Safari, Livingstone – Cape Town, leaving April 7th 2010. Hey, just wondering if anyone else here is on this trip? Get in touch!

Hook up with Ruth: Hey Guys, I am doing the Cape Desert Safari on 17th April. Anyone else doing it get in touch. Will be in Cape Town from the 10th of April so could meet before hand too!

Hook up with Saarika: Anyone booked on the Kenya to Cape Town trip starting 25th April?

Hook up with Rob: Hey! I just booked on the 1st of May Desert Tracker trip. Anyone else on that get in touch!

Hook up with Philippa: Hey everyone! I just booked myself in for tour KTA13 that starts May 23. Anyone else going on this tour? I cannot wait!!!

Hook up with Jennie: Anyone going for the East African Explorer from Joburg to Nairobi starting 27 May? Would be great to catch up before the trip.

We’re also extending our RT to win until the 31st of March so if you want to be entered into our random draw with a chance to win a 25% discount on your next overland tour simply copy and paste the following retweets into Twitter as they appear below…

RT #GoWildOnline w/h Acacia Africa (Overland Life)

RT #GoWildOnline w/h Acacia Africa (Scenic Vistas)

RT #GoWildOnline w/h Acacia Africa (Culture Vultures)

RT #GoWildOnline w/h Acacia Africa (Adventure)

RT #GoWildOnline w/h Acacia Africa 
(Wicked Wildlife!)

For more details on the Go Wild Online campaign visit:

Still undecided when it comes to your next adventure on the continent? Grab a copy of our 2010 online brochure and lose yourself in Africa; or check out the following rave reviews from our adventurers – thanks for the feedback guys!

Here's a gr8 write up on the Desert Tracker overland tour:) Follow the trip!

And some sensational feedback from the South East Adventure overland tour - follow the trip...

Just Go!

Acacia Africa

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Missed the tweet up? Catch up with everything South Africa right here on our blog!

Missed last Friday’s South Africa Wild Tweep Tweet Up? If your morning meeting overran through lunchtime or you had to make that last minute dash to the post office followed by a wait in an endless queue, never fear, as you can catch up with the entire online event right here on our blog!

First, here’s a quick run down of our SA poll vote – Cape Town for obvious reasons securing the number one spot!

1.Cape Town 2. Kruger 3. Wild Coast 4.Hermanus 5. Battlefields…

And if you’re looking to sample the overland buzz online, check out the following Acacia adventurer video or follow in Sharyne’s footsteps, our winning Wild Tweep, and head off on the 6-day African Insight overland safari.

From monkey gland soup to South African slang and the Big Seven – here’s our Twitter session covering everything and anything SA. (Please note: no monkey’s were harmed during or after the event!)

Before we begin we have to say a BIG thanks to all the adventurers who entered the competition, our Wild Tweep Judges including,, and, all the wonderful tweeters who joined us on the day and of course, Sharyne our winning Wild Tweep!

Q. Hi :) #WildTweep People often talk about the big 5. In South Africa however, the big 5 is 2 become the "big 7" What are we referring 2?

A. Lion, leopard, cape buffalo, elephant, rhino, whale & great white (cage it, play chicken w/h a great white! Check out Great White cage diving and the Kruger and you might see all 7! And what about Addo for the Big 7:)

Q. Your friend tells u about her plans 2 travel 2 South Africa. All her friends are warning her against it. What would you tell her?

A. Just go, take pictures, buy cool stuff, have a great time, come home and tell all of the "dream stealers" how much they missed!

Q. What is the busiest and the least busy time for tourists in SA?

A. I'd say avoid Christmas and Easter - when the beaches in CT will be pretty packed. Don't forget Acacia's tours run through the year so you can visit anytime!

Q. The Kruger park is now part of a new ecosystem, what is it called?

A. The Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area.

Q. Hi Sharyne. Name 6 national parks or game reserves in SA.......and your favorite is?

A. Kruger, Phinda, SabiSabi, Addo-can't think of 2 others now, but love SabiSabi

Another answer: OK have to start with the Kruger, then Addo (elephant love!), Hluhluwe, Wilderness NP, Tsitsikamma, St. Lucia

Yet another answer from one of our experts PlanYourSafari. (obviously a hard choice!) How about Madikwe and KTFP?

Q. Hi Sharyne. How close have you been to a rhino? Did you know they had hairy tipped ears...

A. hmm…have stopped in the midst of a herd of Cape Buffalo, could have touched them, so close

Q. How many official languages does South Africa have?

A. 11

Q. How do they call traffic lights in South Africa?

A. (oops!) you got me on the traffic lights - help pls!

Real answer... Robots?! of course ;-)

Q. What is the fastest route to fly from the USA to SA?

A. There isnt really a fast way but the SAA non stop service from JFK is the quickest and offers great service! JFK-JNB

Q. Why is the country called the "rainbow nation"?.

A. Many different cultures make up the country. Desmond Tutu 1st coined it Nelson Mandela used it; after Apartheid:)

Q. Do they really add monkey glands to South Africa's very unique "Monkey Gland Sauce"?

A. (oops!) don't know, but I'll watch you make it - lol

Real answer: yes and according to it's quite simply the best sauce in the world

Additional following comments!: nice - yummy!:) Poikie pot!! Yes, that's a cast iron pot that you can use over a fire or a gas stove. It makes delicious vegetables too...

Q. What is the gestation period (in months) of an elephant?

A. 22 months - aren't you glad you're not an elephant! We would become extinct – lol

Q. On a day when time is limited will visitors see more Rhino in Kruger or Hluhluwe-Imfolozi?

A. H-I, correct! Check out Operation Rhino!

Q. The SA national Anthem was composed out of 2 hymns. Which ones?

A. "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" and the former anthem "Die Stem van Suid-Afrika/The Voice of South Africa"?

Q. Impressive! work on the National Anthem! (Got any helpers near by?)

A. Ok I did wiki! lol:)

Luckily, AfricaFreak was on hand at this point: Looks like some of you will need our FREE Safari Tips 101 Ebook! Coz there's still room 4 improvement:)

Q. Are dassies really the African elephant’s closest living relative?

A. hmmm... is that a serious ? Well, would love to go to Namaqualand if we're talking Daisies - spring time looks heavenly:)

Real answer: yebo, rock dassies or rock hyrax are the African elephant’s closest living relative!

Then came a few helpful hints from our Wild Tweep tweeters!: great slang words in SA link:

Looking to meet the Xhosa people - learn a few lingo tricks in just one click:)

And pix: BTW guys we've just posted some new pix on flikr if you want to take a peek later: :)

Q. Where in SA can you go for an underwater ocean walk with sting rays?"

A. (not an easy one!) Hmm Stringrays... you got me thinking there. Still looking @ SA but u can swim w/h stingrays in Madagasgar! NOSY IRANJA - ISLAND OF TURTLES

THE answer, courtesy of AfricaFreak: Great q :) short-tail stingrays can b seen Cape Town & Hermanus, but 2 swim w/h them is another story...

Q. Where is this?

A. Beautiful Pic of Augrabies Falls NP...

Q. Overwhelmed with what to do in the Cape ... Is there a "must-do" or reasonable top 10 list?

A. Check out the top 7!