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Nov 14, 2014

African Travel Solutions & The Sibella Book



We thank all who have so enthusiastically sent pictures of Sibella to us. We are still in need of pictures of Sibella and her different litters of cubs between 2005 and 2011. These do not need to be hi-res as we will choose the most suitable and then ask for those in hi-res. PLEASE SEND ALL PICTURES TO SARAH TOMPKINS ON protect@samara.co.za. Many thanks to Mark Drysdale for the wonderful picture.

Vuyani Christmas Party
The date (6 December 2014) for the Christmas party for the disadvantaged children from Vuyani Safe Haven in Graaff-Reinet, draws ever closer. The children have been told of the party and can talk of nothing else, such is their excitement. But we are still short of presents to give them. Please would you dig deep and either send a present to Samara, P O Box 649, Graaff-Reinet 6280 or click here to make a donation to the Samara Trust so that we can buy something for them. Gift ideas are simple: Sports equipment, soft cuddly toys, clothing, hair accessories for the girls etc. R100.00, $10, £10, €10 will make the world of difference

Lodges getting ready for Christmas
Thanks to Mitch Reardon for this lovely image of the Karoo Lodge lounge. Preparations are underway to make sure our guests are going to have a wonderful Christmas at Samara. Our lovely staff will be there to welcome you with typical Karoo hospitality.

SANParks
Summer has settled and luckily the breathless day time heat is broken most afternoons by some cooling rain. The lesser-striped swallows have begun making their mud nests, the leguaans are out looking for tortoise nests to pillage, and the antelope are keeping a watchful eye over their new-borns. Samara was selected as the venue for the SAN Parks Eastern Cape Division outing. A tour of the lodge and talk on ecotourism was followed by some coffee and home-made rusks. We then visited the Spekboom planting site and discussed the importance of Spekboom rehabilitation in the Eastern Cape. Various land rehabilitation methods and erosion control techniques we’ve drafted up giving us on the reserve some clear ideas and goals to address over-grazing and land degradation from the past. We then proceeded for a game drive through the reserve and settled at the picnic site on top of Mt Kondoa for a skottle braai. We discussed the importance of returning the Karoo to the same magnitude as in the past when vast herds of antelope roamed the Camdeboo plains. Our last stop for the day was a visit to the Tracker academy where Pokkie and Junetta explained to the guests the running of the Tracker Academy and its relevance in training students for the eco-tourism industry.

Bush Pig
Bumbling up the road to Mountain Retreat the other day, I was fortunate enough to spot an extremely elusive creature. Due to its nocturnal habits, the Bushpig Potamochoerus porcus is an unusual sighting especially during the day. Often confused with the better known Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus, the Bushpig does not have the distinctive large tusks that the Warthog carry. Rather it has only the lower incisors that are visible and razor sharp. The Bushpig did not originally occur in the Karoo, but due to mod Bush Pig ern agriculture this mammal has been able to move into new areas. They are larger than Warthog, weighing as much as 115kg and are more omnivorous than the former feeding on roots, bulbs, fallen fruit, carrion, small mammals and birds. They are also more social than Warthog sometimes living in groups numbering as many as 15 adults and their young

Guest Comments:
Rob and Janine – what a beautiful place and the most exceptional hospitality. Food was sublime and the experience overall was unmatched+. Well worth the drive. Will be back
Karen, Panjo, Lexi, Damian – Fantastic! Beautiful game drives, excellent food & hospitality. Hope to return
Benz – As per usual % star treatment. Staff is amazing – accommodation is tops and food was delicious
Raffini – Game drives were amazing, staff was lovely and the room was fantastic. Thank you all so much for an unforgettable 3 days.
Crosby – a truly memorable stay – a perfect end to our south African experience. Thank you so much.
Harvey-Smith – Wonderful food and comfortable bed and stunning landscape. Would love to visit again

FOR RESERVATIONS: To check availability, rates and place a booking, contact: Dave@africantravelsolutions.com
African Travel Solutions, Tele + 44 1476 530927 / Cell + 44 7780 579306

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