TRAVEL IDEAS: JULY

 

Winter in southern Africa offers superb game viewing in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia and the cool, dry weather makes it an excellent time for travelling in Namibia. With the flood waters in the Okavango Delta at their highest in Botswana, July is a wonderful month for exploring the waterways in a mokoro. In east Africa it’s prime game viewing time in Tanzania and Kenya: the migrating herds are on the move north, towards the Mara River. Mobile tented camps provide optimal flexibility for following the herds – and range from the comfortable to the sumptuous. The dry weather is perfect for chimp tracking in Mahale and gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda.

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Rwanda is the new luxury hotspot in Africa right now, thanks to a few recent luxury lodge openings - Bisate Lodge by Wilderness and Nyungwe house One&Only. In addition to going in search of the famous mountain gorillas, visitors will soon be able to see the famous Big Five as well. Work is being done by conservation organisation African Parks to bring Akagera National Park back to life and restore its Big Five status - lions having been reintroduced to the park recently, and rhinos to come soon. Offering tourists the chance to see the famous mountain gorillas as well as the Big Five - especially in luxury - will no doubt catapult Rwanda to the top of everyone's travel lists in 2018.

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Although winter has arrived in South Africa’s Cape - with a mixture of sunny weather, overcast skies and showers -  we are finding more and more that our clients are choosing to take advantage of lower prices and better availability at the top hotels and restaurants in Cape Town and the winelands. By July 2018 Delaire Graff Estate near Stellenbosch will have completed their renovations, including 6 new luxury lodges and a brand new exclusive use 4 bedroom villa.  

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But a major drawcard for the Cape at this time is that it's prime time for whale watching on the Whale Coast. From July through November, Africa’s southern edge is awash with migrating whales who come to snack on SA’s sardine buffet while en route to the tropics. The self-proclaimed whale-watching capital of the world, the small town of Hermanus is less than two hours’ drive from Cape Town, and Hermanus’ seven-mile long coastal walkway offers the best land based whale watching in the world, with whales breaching just yards away. For a sumptuous treat stay at Birkenhead House, or for more peace and quiet continue forty minutes east to the Grootbos Nature Reserve where you can watch the whales through telescopes from the stylish lounge areas (or enjoy one of the excellent guided walks or horse riding jaunts along the beach). Nature lovers seeking true escape need go no farther than the De Hoop Nature Reserve where Morukuru Family are launching their new Beach Lodge in July, a sister property to their divine exclusive use Morukuru Ocean House. This new eco lodge will offer five bedrooms en-suite, which can be booked individually for couples or smaller families. In true Morukuru Family style, they welcome children of all ages at Morukuru Beach Lodge too. All meals, soft drinks  and two guided activities per day will be included. De Hoop’s boundaries include one of the largest marine reserves in Africa, nicknamed "the nursery" thanks to all the Southern rights that come here to calve. Head to Koppie Alleen, the trailhead, for a spectacular coastal walk consisting of miles of wild white dunes, aquamarine tidal pools, and in season, views of hundreds of whales—most of which are accompanied by calves.

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Alice Callander