(Johannesburg, Kapama Private Game Reserve)
(Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, Antananarivo)
The loud, distinctive song of the Indri lemur echoes throughout the tropical Madagascan rainforest as you tread an ancient path that time forgot.
Stop to rest at a remote waterfall as you continue your rainforest trek where you’ll spot the many breeds of lemur that are endemic to the island ecosystem of Madagascar. You’ll also explore the colonial history of Madagascar’s ancient capital city and encounter the island’s other iconic native resident at the Chameleon Sanctuary. On the mainland, a safari adventure awaits at Kruger National Park where you’ll spot the ‘Big Five’ as the sun sets behind the Drakensberg Mountains, and meet rescued animals up close at a local rehabilitation centre. In Johannesburg, you’ll take part in a guided tour of the Soweto township for a confronting but joyous view of the Rainbow Nation.
This remarkable tour places a firm focus on authenticity. From traditional African safari camps to forest lodges in Madagascar, your accommodation places you in the centre of the action. And experienced local rangers and trackers use their extensive knowledge and instinct to reveal all the sights and secrets of the wild as you get up-close to Africa’s most elusive wildlife.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon arrival into South Africa you will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs.
Upon arrival you will receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary, maps, restaurant suggestions, Top Tips for exploring each city or region and a 24 hour concierge service (for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, child minders, day tours etc).
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer between the Airport and your hotel, or vice versa, today.
Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport offers ultimate convenience and comfort located within a few minutes from the airport. This hotel is the ideal for travellers needing somewhere to rest during a stopover. omfortably appointed rooms offer spacious living, private bathrooms and amenities that appeal to the business and leisure traveller alike.
Take your flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour.
At about 3.30pm everybody convenes for high tea, before departing with the same ranger/tracker team for the day's second African bush safari. Enjoy a sundowner drink along the way (not included in the tariff), and get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun go down over the distant Drakensberg Mountains. As darkness descends it's time to return to the safety of the Landrover and let the tracker scan the landscape with a spotlight picking out the glinting eyes of nocturnal animals. Return to the lodge at around 7pm, where there is time to freshen up before dinner.
Reminiscent of a traditional African safari camp, Kapama Buffalo Camp offers a unique and luxurious tented accommodation experience in Kapama Private Game Reserve. Built from natural stone and wood, this luxury game lodge has an old world atmosphere, while being completely contemporary. Set on stilted wooden decks overlooking an elevated riverbank, the 10 spacious suites that comprise Buffalo Camp are set among tall shady trees, with a seasonal river below. Raised wooden walkways connect the tented safari rooms and lead to the main lodge on the riverbank, where during the dry season, antelope can be found using the river course as natural pathway to search for grazing. Breakfast and lunch are served under a canopy of thatch, while dinner is usually enjoyed in the rustic outdoor boma around a roaring open fire (weather permitting). To cool off at Buffalo Camp, slip into the sleek, elevated rim-flow pool with views directly into the forest canopy. Afterwards, sun-dry on the loungers before taking a lazy nap in the shade, under a wide canvas umbrella.
Before first light you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your early morning game drive. Sunrise and sunset are when the animals are most active. You'll be out in the reserve for a few hours before returning back to the lodge for breakfast. A private vehicle can be booked at an additional cost depending on availability.
Two daily game drives are part of the fully inclusive tariff and your skilled ranger and tracker do their best to find the animals of Africa for you to admire. There are also many other species to be seen, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colourful birds. Stop halfway through the morning game drive for hot drinks and rusks from the Landrover snack box and return at around 9am for breakfast. During the rest of the day, you are likely to see wildlife like nyala antelope and vervet monkeys around the lodges.
A guide will take you to the Hoedspruit Centre for Endangered Species facility where cheetah and a number of other rehabilitated animals can be viewed at close range. An educational video is shown to explain the projects undertaken by this unique establishment. A guided tour will follow to view the cheetah and other animals.
Get some African soil under your feet with a bush walk after breakfast. Explore the environment with your ranger, learn about curative properties of plants and identify animals from their footprints and dung. Large game is avoided when on foot but animals can often be seen from a safe distance. Please note that this will be done under ranger discretion.
Take your flight from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour.
Our tour is designed to give first-time visitors to Johannesburg an overall impression of "Egoli" - the City of Gold, South Africa’s commercial and financial capital. We first take a look around the northern suburbs, then continue to the hustle and bustle of Hillbrow and Braamfontein, home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. We drive through the downtown area to the Carlton Centre, for a view of the city from the enclosed deck on the 50th floor. Then you continue to Soweto (South Western Township), a promitant historical township that is now the most populated suburb of South Africa. Soweto was propelled by the increasing eviction of Africans by city and state authorities during the mining area. Now this sprawling “city within a city” is home to many who work in various parts of the greater metropolitan area of the Witwatersrand. This tour shows you the major points of interest, such as the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath taxi rank, Freedom Square, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Nelson Mandela’s former home.
Fly from Johannesburg to Antananarivo. Flying time is approximately 3 hours.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Antananarivo to Andasibe Mantadia National Park. The drive will take approximately two and a half hours.
The Lemur is a clade of strepsirrhine primates endemic to the island of Madagascar. The actually word "lemur" derives from the word lemures (ghosts or spirits) from Roman mythology, and was first used to describe the nocturnal habits and slow pace of certain creatures, which applied perfectly to the habitual primates of Madagascar. Shortly after humans arrived on the island of Madagascar some 2,000 years ago, there were some lemurs as large as a gorilla. Today, there are nearly 100 species of lemurs, and most of those species have been discovered or promoted to full species status since the 90's.
The Vakona Forest Lodge has been designed in an authentic, traditional Malagasy manner, boasting the architectural characteristics on the local buildings. Each of the 28 bungalows which have been built in a Madagascan style and has its own terrace. The dining room also offers a spectacular view of the forest as wells a cozy, warming fireplace. There is a pool and sun deck and a number of paths and sign-posted trails lead you to the middle of the primary forest.
A private vehicle with driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Begin the day with a hike through the rainforest to discover the natural Malagasy flora and fauna, as well as the famous Indri lemurs. The Indri lemur is one of the largest in size and has a lovey thick black and white coat. The Indri is well known for its loud, distinctive songs, which will help you to locate them within the thick forest vegetation. Other lemurs which can be seen in this area include the red-bellied lemur, brown lemur, and the lesser bamboo lemur. The park is also a place of habitat for some nocturnal lemur species including the brown mouse lemur, greater dwarf lemur, eastern woolly lemur, sportive lemur and if you lucky, the elusive nocturnal Aye Aye. During your rainforest exploration enjoy a stop for some relaxation at a picturesque waterfall. This day tour is filled with beautiful landscapes and a variety of habitual wildlife.
Ranging in size from 30gm (1.1 oz) to 9 kg (20 lb), lemurs share many of the common primate traits, such as divergent digits on their hands and feet and nails instead of claws. However, their brain-to-body size ratio is smaller than that of anthropoid primates, and among many other traits they share with other primates, they have a "wet nose" (rhinarium). Lemurs are generally social and communicate more with scents and vocalizations than with visual signals. Many lemur adaptations are in response to Madagascar's highly seasonal environment.
Lemur research focused on taxonomy and specimen collection during the 18th and 19th centuries. Although field observations trickled in from early explorers, modern studies of lemur ecology and behavior did not begin in earnest until the 1950s and 1960s. Initially hindered by political instability and turmoil on Madagascar during the mid-1970s, field studies resumed in the 1980s and have greatly increased our understanding of these primates. Research facilities like the Duke Lemur Center have provided research opportunities under more controlled settings. Lemurs are important for research because their mix of primitive characteristics and traits shared with anthropoid primates can yield insights on primate and human evolution. However, many lemur species are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Although local traditions generally help protect lemurs and their forests, illegal logging, widespread poverty, and political instability hinder and undermine conservation efforts.
Enjoy your private vehicle transfer from Andasibe-Mantadia National Park and Antananarivo. The drive will take approximately 3 hours.
Enjoy your private guided tour in the Mantadia National Park. You will search for the largest lemur of Madagascar : the famous "Indri Indri" aka "Babakoto" in Malagasy. This lemur is endemic to the site and is its icon. Through a 3-hour easy hike, you'll discover at least two groups of Indri Indri. You will also find various species of lemurs, birds, chameleons and the endemic flora including orchids, medicinal plants, etc..After lunch, you will visit the island of Vakona to see other species of lemurs, crocodiles, fosa and birds.
Enjoy a private vehicle transfer to/from the Antananarivo International Airport.
The Tamboho Hotel boasts an exceptional setting created by a combination of traditional African authenticity and modern upscale amenities. The hotel is located near a lot of Antananarivo Tana city area highlights including the Zoma, the Independence Avenue, the Queen's Palace Ranavalona, Tsimbazaza Zoo, the riches of nature and the Malagasy lemurs, Ambohimanga and his palace, and a variety of marketplaces boasting crafts, basketry, wood carvings, semi precious and precious stones. This 30 roomed hotel offers a restaurant boasting European cuisine and flavors of the islands, heated swimming pool and a la carte spa treatments. Enjoy the reception area design, its cozy atmosphere and quality services in an atmosphere Malagasy. With free WIFI connection, available throughout the building, Tamboho is one of the best hotels in Antananarivo Madagascar.
Begin this Madagascar adventure by exploring the capital and largest city in Madagascar. Discover the colonial history of this ancient city, and find out the reason why Antananarivo was once named "the city of a Thousand." Marvel at the goings on and the daily life routines of these Malagasy people. Highlights of this tour include a visit to the Old City sections, and the palace of the Queen, which will introduce you to the architecture and urbanism of this dynamic African city. No tour of the town is complete without a moment's pause on one of the hills to take in the view over the city.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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