Rhino Disharmony: Uniting Creativity for Kruger Rhino Conservation

The conservation of Africa’s endangered rhinos, specifically those found in South Africa’s Greater Kruger region, is being boosted through Rhino Disharmony’s latest conservation campaign, Saviours’ Army.   

The campaign, launched in Cape Town in February, calls on tourists and travel businesses alike to “rise up against rhino poaching.” 

The Western Cape’s Premier Alan Winde and Grammy-winning music composer Harold Faltermeyer joined to support the cause.

 

Kruger Rhino Conservation
Artists and activists rally together in latest the Rhino Disharmony campaign for rhino conservation in the Greater Kruger region. Source: Rhino Disharmony

Reshaping Perceptions Through Educational Art

The event, a fusion of art, music, fashion, and conservation, showcased the budding talent of children enrolled in the educational arts programme Lalela through intricately painted rhino scarves.  

The youth-driven educational community project involves “thousands of children from low-income communities in Sub-Saharan Africa,” according to Rhino Disharmony’s conservation partner, Newmark Motswari.

The hospitality brand is well-known for its wildlife conservation experiences across Southern Africa, including the Motswari Private Game Reserve, close to the Kruger National Park.

“Art has the power to overcome language barriers, supersede cultural boundaries, and communicate in a way words can only dream of. We aim to reshape perceptions about rhino horn use. We collaborate with creatives and companies to speak on behalf of our rhinos and protect them,” said Rhino Disharmony Founder Marion Geiger-Orengo. 

Having witnessed the brutal killing of an innocent rhino on their doorstep in the Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger in 2014, Geiger-Orengo and co-founder Fabrice Orengo de Lamazière created Rhino Disharmony as a means to protect rhinos from the onslaught of poachers.    

 

 

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Annual Rise in Rhino Killings 

The latest population numbers show that there were 561 rhinos killed in Africa during 2022, a rise from 501 in 2021 and 503 in 2020, according to the international conservation body African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG).

The year-on-year increase is a concern despite a marked decline from the peak of the crisis in 2015 when 1,349 African rhinos were poached.

The Kruger Park rhino population has declined by 77%, from 8 929 in 2014 to only 2 061 in 2022. 

“The situation is particularly serious when one considers that South Africa, which is home to 80% of the world’s rhinos, is one of the last strongholds of these magnificent animals,” said AfRSG. 

Raising Rhino Conservation Awareness 

The Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF), also a Rhino Disharmony partner, believes the survival of the rhino “is a visual reminder that the actions and influence of humanity today have a lasting impact on the evolution or extinction of a species for future generations.”   

Rhino Disharmony has, in turn, looked to use “creative mediums” and “influential ambassadors” like mixed media artist Barend De Wet, international pianist Tian Jiang, cartoonist Zapiro, and Freshly Ground lead singer Zolani to help educate communities in South Africa and abroad about the poaching crisis.

The efforts of the world’s first all-female anti-poaching unit, the Black Mambas, and the Umbabat Counter-Poaching Unit, showcased in a Saviours’ Army Campaign video, also premiered at the launch. 

 

WATCH: Rhino Disharmony Saviours’ Army 

“The outcome was a powerful synergy for social impact through a shared passion for creativity, community, and conservation, culminating in the Saviours’ Army,” said Rhino Disharmony.

FlySafair Announces New Direct Flight from Cape Town to Kruger

One of South Africa’s premier low-cost airline, FlySafair, is launching a pivotal route connecting Cape Town to the Kruger National Park. Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, commented to the Sunday Tribune, this move comes as Cape Town experiences a surge in tourism, with international visits increasing by 76% in the first half of last year alone.

Rising Tourism Trends

“The Mother City saw 3.2 million domestic two-way passengers pass through Cape Town International Airport in just the first six months of 2023, representing a 9% year-on-year growth,” Kirby Gordon also told the Sunday Tribune. This upswing has prompted the airline to open up new possibilities for travelers to explore the natural splendor of the Kruger National Park.

Elephant walking on the road in Kruger Park looking at camera
Elephant walking on the road in Kruger Park looking at camera

Bridging Urban and Wilderness Experiences

FlySafair’s strategic decision to bridge Cape Town with Kruger by air promises to enhance South Africa’s rich tourism tapestry, offering travelers an efficient and cost-effective way to journey from the city’s coastal charm to the wild heart of the country.

The Inaugural Route’s Impact

Gordon further emphasized the potential impact of the new route, “We hope that by introducing our low-cost option to the market, we can encourage more tourists to build a Kruger Park safari into their trip itineraries.” He anticipates that this initiative will not only benefit international tourists but also offer Western Cape locals a new gateway to one of the nation’s most treasured attractions.

Discover Africa Launches New Villa Safaris

Are you looking for a tailor-made, luxury African villa escape? Discover Africa has just added exclusive villa experiences to its list of hot properties.

After many years of offering globetrotters luxury accommodations like remote safari lodges, lavish tented camps, and idyllic bush retreats, Discover Africa now offers the more discerning traveler a tasteful range of opulent African villas ideal for groups of friends or multi-generational family safaris. These exclusive-use properties provide the perfect getaway destinations, far from the crowds but close to Mother Nature. Get a closer look at some of the private villa safaris on the Discover Africa list.

1. Villa Verte – South Africa

Villa Verte is situated in the Future Found Sanctuary, Africa’s first and only 5-star regenerative travel destination. Nestled on the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain, this four-room villa boasts expansive grounds, a timeless aesthetic, spectacular views, and a holistic approach to wellness.

Every aspect of the villa has been carefully considered to promote a sense of wellbeing, with a yoga studio, gym, healing garden, natural plunge pool, indigenous forest, sound healing studio, outside entertainment area, and fireplace for the cooler months.

2. Morukuru Farm House – South Africa

Morukuru Farm House is set on a malaria-free private concession within the Madikwe Game Reserve. This contemporary five-bedroom African homestead comfortably sleeps 10 people, making it ideal for a multi-generational family or group of friends celebrating a special occasion.

This destination’s hospitality team includes a private guide, tracker, hostess, chef, butler, and housekeepers, all dedicated to ensuring an unforgettable stay. Soak up some sun next to the private pool, lounge with a cocktail in hand in your outdoor bathtub, or head out on a safari in a private vehicle – Morukuru offers guests the ultimate exclusive escape.

3. Tswalu Tarkuni – South Africa

Tucked away in a remote, secluded valley at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains, Tswalu Tarkuni is a private, exclusive-use homestead consisting of five luxury suites that can accommodate ten people, all under one roof. While staying here, guests can enjoy access to a host, personal chef, private safari vehicle, guide, and tracker.

Shaded outdoor living and dining spaces, exquisite cuisine, an eco-smart plunge pool, and a sundowner firepit all add to the charm of this opulent destination. Exclusive experiences here include indoor spa treatments, horse riding, sleeping under the stars, visiting a meerkat colony, touring rock art sites, and photographic safaris.

4. Santorini Villa da Praia – Mozambique

A luxury 3-bedroom villa that sleeps up to six people, Santorini Villa da Praia is set against the exquisite backdrop of Vilanculos. Thanks to its elevated position, this villa boasts incredible sea views that inspire relaxation – imagine a little piece of Greece in Africa.

During your stay you’ll be attended to by a dedicated host and private chef who will indulge your every whim. Exclusive activities range from island excursions, scenic helicopter flights, and horseback safaris to scuba diving, snorkeling, kite surfing, yoga, and treatments at Spa Na Colina. After a day soaking up the sun, guests can look forward to extraordinary culinary experiences.

5. Victoria Falls River Lodge Rapids View Villa – Zimbabwe

In the wilds of Zambezi National Park along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, Rapids View Villa offers travelers 5-star luxury close to the iconic Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Two luxury family suites accommodate four adults and up to six children, making this idyllic destination perfect for small groups and families.

Guests can enjoy the services of a private butler and cool off on private decks with plunge pools overlooking the river. The villa offers a range of on-site activities as well as activities offered by nearby partners. Indulge in anything from a Chobe day trip and Victoria Falls helicopter flight to Zambezi river cruises and canopy tours.

6. Safari House by Natural Selection – Namibia

Located in the Etosha Heights Private Reserve, Safari House by Natural Selection is a traditional Namibian farmhouse featuring three ensuite bedrooms sleeping up to six guests, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room and sitting area. Outside, lush green gardens surround a swimming pool, wraparound veranda, and two barbeque areas.

Available on an exclusive-use basis, Safari House is a great choice for a getaway with friends or family, with a private guide, safari vehicle, and chef to make your stay comfortable. Enjoy private night and day game drives, spot wildlife at the waterhole, or put your photography skills to the test in the double-tiered photography hide. This area of Namibia has a healthy population of rhinos, and Safari House donates a portion of its booking fees to the Rhino Protection Project, which combats poaching in the reserve.

7. Chongwe House – Zambia

Chongwe House is ideally situated on a peaceful stretch of the Chongwe River. This two-storey, four-bedroom house comfortably sleeps four to eight people and features private open-air bathtubs, waterfall showers, a large pool, and spacious indoor and outdoor lounges that will suit families and small groups down to the ground.

Guests can look forward to fine dining featuring local and seasonal ingredients, spotting elephants wading across the river, and simply relaxing in the midst of the untamed wilderness. A range of activities are on offer at Chongwe House, from private day and night game drives and walking safaris to canoeing safaris, boat cruises, and tiger fishing. All the while you’ll be looked after by a dedicated staff and guiding team.

8. Sirikoi House in Lewa – Kenya

Surrounded by 68,000 acres of pure wilderness in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Sirikoi House offers travelers three ensuite bedrooms – a master suite and separate bedroom cottage – in a spellbinding African location. In addition to a spacious central living and dining cottage, guests can look forward to private meals and sundowners at the fire pit deck overlooking the wetland. This unique destination also features your own private safari vehicle, guide, and dedicated team of staff.

While you’ll be tempted to just relax at the house, there are a range of activities available to make the most of your Kenya ranch living holiday. Take a morning, evening, or night game drive to encounter the abundant wildlife in the conservancy, embark on a guided bush walk, go horse riding, take a helicopter trip, or indulge in some armchair game-viewing at the busy waterhole right in front of the deck.

9. Jabali Private House – Tanzania

Exterior of luxury lodge in Tanzania | Photo credits: Jabali Private House
Exterior of luxury lodge in Tanzania | Photo credits: Jabali Private House

Perfect for friends or families, Jabali Private House is an intimate exclusive-use property surrounded by ancient baobabs in Ruaha National Park. The house features three bedrooms, a lounge, dining area, and a private pool overlooking the dense forest. A dedicated team comprising a private chef, guide, and safari vehicle are on hand to tend to your every need. The park itself is famous for its healthy herds of elephant and buffalo, as well as its bold lions, which have been known to hunt giraffes and even elephants.

Activities at Jabali Private House include day and night game drives, bush brunches, immersive walking safaris with experienced guides and local trackers, and photographic safaris in specially modified photographic vehicles. Safari vehicles are open-sided six-seaters with removable canvas roof and sides, maximizing the sense of being out in the wilderness. When you’re done exploring, head over to the Asilia Spa at Jabali Ridge for a rejuvenating massage and treatment.

10. Thanda Island

Situated on an uninhabited, 8-hectare tropical island in the Shungi Mbili Marine Reserve, Thanda Island has repeatedly been voted by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island. This single-key villa has five air-conditioned suites that open directly onto the beach and can comfortably sleep 10 adults, with additional beds for children. The island also features two traditional, open-air Tanzanian bandas – think spacious beach chalets.

During your stay, which includes your own chef, hostess, housekeeper, activities guide, and boatman, you’ll have access to the villa’s 36-foot adventure yacht, 28-foot deep-sea fishing cat, and 34-foot motor cruiser, all run by the highly experienced captain and crew. Guests have a choice of thrilling activities, including sailing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, swimming with whale sharks, scuba diving, snorkeling, beach volleyball, and island tennis. After all the action, indulge in a spa treatment and massage.

This new collection of private villa experiences offered by Discover Africa offer families and groups of friends the very best of luxury holiday living. Whether you’re after a tropical island escape or a Big Five safari, a Discover Africa safari expert can help make your dreams of a private villa experience come true.

Enquire now

Ambitious Plan to Rewild 2000 Rhinos in the Next Decade

As a species, the white rhino is under extreme pressure, mostly as a result of poaching for their horns and the illegal wildlife trade. Southern white rhino reached a record low of 30-40 individuals in the 1930s, but thanks to conservation efforts their numbers bounced back to 20,000 animals by 2012. 

This number, however, has declined to below 13,000 today. Now an ambitious project is underway to rewild 2000 captive rhinos over the next decade.

A curios white rhino.
A curios white rhino.

African Parks, a conservation NGO that manages 22 protected areas in partnership with 12 governments across Africa, has recently acquired what was once the world’s largest private captive rhino breeding operation.

The 7,800-hectare property in the North West province of South Africa holds 2000 white rhino at present – that’s up to 15% of the world’s remaining wild population.

Southern white rhino grazing.
Southern white rhino grazing.

The organization’s extensive experience in effectively managing protected areas and carrying out wildlife translocations at scale puts them in a unique position to help avert a conservation crisis, with rhinos being a species in rapid decline.

In previous projects, African Parks has successfully brought rhino back to Rwanda, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

A large white rhino.
A large white rhino.

“We fully recognize the moral imperative of finding a solution for these animals.” Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks

In one of the largest continent-wide rewilding endeavors ever to occur for any species, the previous operation’s breeding program will be phased out and the remaining 2000 rhinos will be rewilded to well-managed and secure areas across Africa.

Southern White Rhino grazing on the open savannah of South Africa.
Southern White Rhino grazing on the open savannah of South Africa.

Plans for the animals include establishing or supplementing strategic populations. The project will conclude once all the rhinos are released into the wild, thereby de-risking the future of the species.

“The conservation sector is delighted that African Parks can provide a credible solution for this important population, and a significant lifeline for this Near Threatened species,” said Dr. Mike Knight, Chairman of the IUCN Africa Rhino Specialist Group.

The Resurgence of Solo Safari Travel in a Post-Covid World

Covid-19 significantly impacted global tourism, including the safari travel industry. As the world gradually adapts to the new normal, solo safari travel has experienced a resurgence in popularity. This article explores the trends in solo safari bookings before, during, and after the pandemic, highlighting the reasons behind these shifts and the outlook for the future.

The changing landscape of solo safari travel

To understand the changing landscape of solo safari travel a little better, we dug into Discover Africa Safaris’ travel and bookings data from 2018 to 2023 to understand exactly how the solo safari travel landscape has changed pre-, during- and post-pandemic.

Here are some of our findings.

Solo Safari Data by Discover Africa
 

Solo travel was more resilient than couples’ travel and group travel during the pandemic

Our research revealed that the pandemic brought about an 80% decrease in safari travel during the height of Covid-19 restrictions. This decline can be largely attributed to the overall reduction in flights, demand and stringent safety protocols.

Interestingly, solo safari bookings – as a proportion of total bookings – increased by 60% during 2020 and 2021 i.e. the years we classify as “pandemic years” (up to 30% from 19%).

This suggests that the onerous requirements for group travel, such as vaccinations and Covid testing, led many travellers to opt for solo adventures.

Getting back to normal

As the world recovers, solo safari travel has decreased by 17% from its peak during Covid (30% down to 25%), approaching but not reaching pre-Covid levels.

Woman rests after safari in luxury tent during sunset camping in African savannah of Serengeti National Park,Tanzania.
Solo traveller relaxing and taking in the beauty of an East African sunset in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

Despite this marginal decline, solo travel remains an attractive option for many, making up 25% of total bookings in the post-Covid era according to Discover Africa Safaris’ booking data.

The data reflects a newfound appreciation for the unique experiences and personal growth that solo safari travel offers.

Why do travellers “go solo”?

To better understand why solo travel was so appealing during the pandemic, we asked our solo safari travellers why they chose to “go solo” during the pandemic.

Most told us it was “simply easier to plan trips on their own” during the pandemic.

Woman tourist on safari in Africa, traveling by car with an open roof in Kenya and Tanzania, watching elephants in the savannah
Watching elephants on a solo safari in the savannahs of Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Eager travellers said it was challenging to convince friends or family to travel with them, “especially those who had health concerns, were worried about last minute cancellations and the onerous vaccination and testing requirements imposed by countries at the time”.

Others commented that independent travel experiences gave them the chance to “reconnect with nature” and some “enjoyed meeting like-minded solo travellers after an extended period of isolation.”

Top countries for solo safari travel

East Africa caters for solo travellers focussing on wildlife experiences. Kenya and Tanzania offer abundant wildlife, while Uganda and Rwanda provide exhilarating experiences like the intimate mountain gorilla trekking opportunities, allowing for personal growth and connection with nature.

Southern Africa’s diverse landscapes and extraordinary wildlife make it an ideal destination for solo travellers in search of self-discovery. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are all popular, with top destinations including iconic solo safari locations like Kruger National Park, the Okavango Delta, and Sossusvlei’s sand dunes, offering stunning backdrops for reflection and exploration.

The future of solo safari travel

The safari industry has weathered the storm of the pandemic, with solo safari travel emerging as a popular choice with adventure seekers.

As we move forward, solo travel is likely to remain an appealing option for those who value the freedom and self-discovery that such experiences provide.

Safari operators, lodges and travel agencies should take note of this trend and tailor their offerings to cater to the growing number of solo travellers in the post-Covid world. This is definitely something you can expect from Discover Africa Safaris.

10 Post-pandemic Words to Add to your Travel Dictionary

With the pandemic in our rear-view mirrors, it’s time to fire up your global travel plans again. Borders are re-opening, and as long as you’ve had your vaccinations, there’s no reason not to dust off your passport, set your sights on that dream vacation, and experience the magic of traveling to unexplored places again. Get up to speed with these 10 travel trends for a post-pandemic planet…

Living through lockdowns, adjusting to working from home, socializing via Zoom calls, and generally making sense of a global pandemic took its toll on everyone. For those of us who love traveling, cabin fever was a real struggle, and our wanderlust took a hammering. Fortunately, we can always rely on a bit of humor to get us through trying times and, post-Covid life, the world has responded with 10 new slang words to add to your travel trend lexicon…

  1. Quarantini

    The sundowner of choice for anyone stuck in lockdown, the Quarantini is still the perfect cocktail to whip up and sip down while you reset your sights on that dream vacation Covid got in the way of.

    Add a little liquid inspiration to your travel plans – all you need is vodka, lemon juice, honey syrup, and, of course, a Martini glass. Here’s the recipe and here’s to your next adventure. Cheers!

  2. Zoombombing

    This probably happened to anyone working from home at least once. One minute you’re on a Zoom call, the next your cat/husband/children show up in the background. While Zoombombing was almost inevitable, now you can do it with a difference. Imagine having a Zoom call from the deck of your safari lodge and being Zoombombed by a giraffe! It’s just one of the unexpected (and far less embarrassing) perks of being on a workcation in Africa.

  3. Gramping

    Get a break from the kids after all that home-schooling and let the grandparents take them on an unforgettable vacation. Everybody wins! It’s perfect for those long school holidays and allows for some precious bonding time between the generations. Get Gramps inspired with our list of kid-friendly safaris in Africa.

  4. Always OOO

    One thing the pandemic proved is that there’s almost no need to suffer the daily grind of commuting to an office or even be at the office at all. A good WiFi connection and some self-discipline are all that’s needed to keep your boss happy.

    Forget WFH, now you can work from anywhere. Take on the life of a digital nomad and flaunt your ‘always OOO’ (out-of-office) status while crushing those deadlines.

  5. Schoolcation

    Sometimes there’s not much to beat a change of scenery, especially after being cooped up at home during the pandemic. The schoolcation is like the workcation, just for kids, allowing parents as well as children the chance to stay connected to their work and school demands, but from a fresh perspective. Remote learning gives kids the flexibility to balance outdoor fun with the screen time needed to finish projects and attend Zoom classes. Just mix WiFi with adventure – it’s a win-win!

  6. Revenge Travel

    The pandemic robbed travelers of dream trips and the best-laid plans. It’s time to get your own back with Revenge Travel! You’ve had the time to save up, plan harder and set your sights on new adventures – now it’s time to splurge on an even better vacation than you first had in mind. Let your cooped-up wanderlust take you further than you initially imagined and splash out on those perks you might have skipped during your first round of planning. You’ve only got one life – there’s never been a better time to make the most of it!

  7. Friendcation

    This one’s simple. A friendcation is simply gathering your best friends, getting out there, and exploring exotic destinations together. Get your jabs, pick a place and share those experiences the pandemic got in the way of!

    If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, there’s always the option of booking private accommodation, transfers, and activities. The wide open plains of Africa mean guaranteed social distancing anyway. You could even take a safari to a malaria-free destination.

  8. Vaccication

    So you’ve had your jabs and you’re safe to travel. Now’s the time to take your vaccication – that all-out, long-overdue, no-expenses-spared dream holiday! While you’ll still have to wear a mask, sanitize regularly, and practice social distancing, the good news is that many holiday hotspots are still quiet. This means you’ll probably have exotic destinations like the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Masai Mara almost all to yourself.

  9. Solomoon

    Being cramped together for almost two years during the pandemic was trying for even the strongest couples. Now it’s time for some healthy time alone – or a solomoon. Pick a destination and spoil yourself with all the frills of a honeymoon! There’s a lot to be said for soaking up some much-deserved solitude, and, after all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Have a look at our list of the best honeymoons in Africa and get inspired to take yourself on a journey you’ll never forget.

  10. Quarantine 15

    Lockdown lingo delivered the term ‘fattening the curve’ and it’s no surprise that regular exercise regimens and gym visits were disrupted by the pandemic. Most of us came out of the covid crisis with a little extra padding – the Quarantine 15 – but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it’s a perfectly valid excuse to indulge a little more before getting back to your ideal weight. Wish yourself a happy holiday by sampling the sumptuous cuisine offered at your safari lodge and raise a toast to yourself – you made it through the coronavirus!

Airlines that are flying to Africa right now

Here is our carefully curated list of airlines that are flying in and out of Africa right now and the ones that will be operating in the next few months. If you would like to start planning your next trip today fill in our quick enquiry form or schedule a call and one of our African travel experts will be in touch.

Botswana

  • Qatar Airways

  • Fly Okavango

  • Air Botswana

  • Airlink

  • Kenya Airways

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Swiss

  • Lufthansa

Kenya

  • Ethiopian Air

  • Kenya Airways

  • British Airways

  • Qatar Airways

  • British Airways

  • KLM

  • Jetblue

  • Air Canada

Mauritius 

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Air France

  • KLM

Mozambique

  • Qatar Airways 

  • Ethiopian Air

  • Lufthansa

  • Airlink

  • American Airways

  • LAM

  • Kenya Airways

  • Egypt Air

  • Turkish Airlines

  • British Airways

  • South African Airways

  • Liberia

  • Swiss

Namibia

  • Qatar Airways

  • Lufthansa

  • Swiss Airlines

  • Turkish Airlines 

  • Airlink

  • Delta 

  • Gulf Air

  • Ethiopian Air

  • British Airways

Rwanda 

  • KLM

  • Lufthansa

  • Air Canada

  • Ethiopian Air

  • United Airlines

  • Brussels Airlines

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Kenya Airways

  • Qatar Airways

  • Rwanda Air

South Africa

  • American Airlines

  • KLM

  • Qatar Airways

  • United Airlines

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Airlink

  • Delta 

  • Kenya Airways

  • Swiss

  • Iberia

  • Brussels Airlines

  • Air France

Tanzania

  • Kenya Airways

  • Ethiopian Airways

  • Uganda Airlines 

  • Fly Safair

  • Qatar Airways

  • American Airlines

  • KLM

  • Turkish Airlines

  • British Airways

  • Lufthansa

  • Air Tanzania

Uganda 

  • Brussels Airline

  • United Airlines

  • Qatar Airways

  • Jetblue

  • Kenya Airways

  • Air France

  • Rwanda Air

  • KLM

  • Ethiopian Air

Zambia

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Ethiopian Air

  • Qatar Airways

  • Airlink

  • Rwanda Air

  • Brussels Airways

Zanzibar 

  • Turkish Airlines

  • Swiss

  • Qatar Airways

  • Precision Air

  • British Airways

  • Ethiopian Air

  • Brussels Airlines

  • Auric Air

  • KLM

Zimbabwe

  • Kenya Airways

  • Rwanda Air

  • Kenya Airways

  • Airlink

  • Fastjet

  • Airlink

  • Qatar Airways

  • Air Tanzania

  • Jetblue

  • Ethiopian Air

  • British Airways

Namibian Photographer of the Month: Kris Barnard

Hi! I’m Kris Alexander Barnard. I am a creative observer that finds inspiration in the outdoors. 

Kris Alexander Barnard | Namibian Photographer of the month
Kris Alexander Barnard | Namibian Photographer of the month

As a qualified architect and chef, I enjoy finding patterns or unusual compositions and colours in my photography. 

Photography brings me joy as it allows us to capture memories and share new perspectives. 

New Perspectives | Camels in the dunes of Namibia | Photo credits: Kris Barnard
New Perspectives | Camels in the dunes of Namibia | Photo credits: Kris Barnard

As a proud Namibian, I would like to advocate for the conservation of our nature and landscapes as we are incredibly gifted. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career as a photographer?

It's a big change to sitting in the office during my architecture job. I love being outdoors and travelling, but more importantly, I love being able to show people what I experienced. 

Nature Shot of the Night Sky | Photo Credits : Kris Barnard
Nature Shot of the Night Sky | Photo Credits: Kris Barnard 

I also enjoy the entire process of shooting nature or people, editing and printing out my works! My dream would be to have a wall-sized print of my work. 

Why Namibia?

Contrary to popular belief, it's not just a desert. The number of colours, life and variety of textures all around keep drawing me in. So much of what we see is untouched. 

And of course, the harsh contrasts and ever-changing and breathtaking landscapes just make me want to re-explore this country.

What is your favourite subject to photograph and why?

I have a love for shooting aerial landscapes this is probably because of the journey it takes to get there via hiking, drone or plane. Secondly, 
as an architect, I like to see the world from above, as this creates a very abstract view.

Aerial Landscape of Namibia | Photo Credits: Kris Barnard
Aerial Landscape of Namibia | Photo Credits: Kris Barnard 

If you could suggest one specific lodge in Namibia to tourists, which is your favourite and why?

I'm generally a camping guy but my favourite would be Okahirongo Elephant Lodge because of the landscapes, desert lions and elephants, Puros and the simple yet luxurious rooms and pool area. 

Elephant sighting in Namibia | Photo Credits: Kris Barnard
Elephant sighting in Namibia | Photo Credits: Kris Barnard 

For more of Kris’s beautiful work, follow his Instagram page _krisbarnard_ and southernx_studios. For more luxurious accommodation options, why not have a look at our blog Best Safari Lodges in Namibia

Influencer of the Month – Karolina Norée

We got the fabulous opportunity to interview the Instagram Reel Queen, Karolina Norée. 

Karolina was born and raised in Sweden, but in 2018 she relocated to South Africa to pursue her ambition of working full-time in wildlife photography. 

Karolina Norèe
Karolina Norée

She is currently employed and residing at a game lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park, where she spends all of her spare time honing her photographic skills.

Besides being a full-time wildlife photographer, Karolina also has curated some great viral trends that have been populating social media.

Cute baby hyena | Photo Credits: Karolina Norée
Cute baby hyena | Photo Credits: Karolina Norée

One of her most popular trends that went viral recently is the “Behind the scenes reel”, this reel is aimed to show the massive difference between wildlife photographs from behind the scenes compared to how the photographs turn out in the end (after editing and whatnot).

This trend attracted several photographers and ended up getting Karolina a whopping 2.3 million views.

Without further ado, we got to ask Karolina some questions that we thought might interest readers and these were her answers:

How did you get into travel blogging/writing?

 I got into travel photography through my love of wildlife and South Africa. 

Dangerous Stare | Photo credits: Karolina Norée
Dangerous Stare | Photo credits: Karolina Norée

I loved spending time in the bush looking for wild animals, and then to be able to capture magic moments with a camera was a huge plus!

What makes travelling to Africa different to travelling anywhere else?

 What makes travelling Africa so different is that there is just so much to see. 

Shy Baboon | Photo Credits: Karolina Norée
Shy Baboon | Photo Credits: Karolina Norée

Everything from culture and food, to incredible landscapes and wildlife, to beaches etc. there is honestly anything for anyone.

What is your best travel tip you always give people?

My best travel tip is to make sure you spend enough time in the place you visit, there is just so much to see that a couple of days is not enough.

If you could visit one more place in Africa, where would you go and why?

If I could visit one more place in Africa it would be the Ngorongoro crater because of the incredible wildlife you can see there.

Have any mishaps ever happened to you on the road? What was the most notable?

 A lot of mishaps have definitely happened while on the road. One time our car broke down in a small little town, and we had to spend about 10 days there waiting For it to be fixed. 

A broken King | Photo Credits : Karolina Norée
A broken King | Photo Credits: Karolina Norée

That obviously took time out of our schedule so we were quite upset that we were going to have to skip a few planned stops to catch up. However, we ended up being able to explore the little town and the landscapes around it, which was absolutely incredible!

For more variety of Karolina’s stunning wildlife photography and Reels, check out her Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Travel Vlogger of the month – Heather Butler

“For as long as I can remember when I've been asked where is your dream destination? If you could go anywhere where would it be? I've always answered EVERYWHERE!”

Without further or due we are so excited to introduce our Vlogger of the month Heather Butler, AKA Chasing Everywhere. Heather chases her dreams all over the world, one country at a time. Heather loves going off the beaten path to discover interesting and exciting places to explore.

We decided to ask Heather seven carefully curated questions to find out exactly what Heather enjoyed most about her adventurous African Safari; 

1. How did you get into travel blogging/writing? 

I started travelling full time and working remotely to build my digital marketing agency, The Fairway Collective, back in 2017 and originally started recording because I wanted to remember every moment. 

Heather enjoying her Chobe Botswana Safari | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Heather enjoying her Chobe Botswana Safari | Photo credits: Heather Butler

My friends and family asked that if I was going to be recording experiences I put them online so they can see what I’m experiencing.

That’s when I started my YouTube channel, ChasingEverywhere. Suddenly I had 1000 followers, 2000, 3000 followers. So I stuck with it, creating videos of every experience, every city, every country.

2. What has been your most rewarding travel moment?

Watching the baby elephants play in the water in Chobe National Park was pure and so sweet. That memory will stay with me forever.

3. What makes travelling to Africa different to travelling anywhere else?

Africa is so authentic it’s insane. I can only speak to the African countries I've visited but the people are kind and happy and so excited to share their lives and experiences with you. 

Enjoying a Safari Game Drive | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Enjoying a Safari Game Drive | Photo credits: Heather Butler 

The wildlife, the culture, the energy is just so different from anywhere else I’ve ever been. It's a magical place.

4. What is your best travel tip you always give people when travelling to Africa?

Keep an open mind, traveling in Africa, or any different country or continent, is going to be jarring and uncomfortable at times.

Elephant Family spotting | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Elephant Family spotting | Photo credits: Heather Butler 

Things are done differently, there are different foods, cultural differences, and levels of comfort. It’s best to experience these differences without any preconceived notions. The differences are what makes a place unique and special and you’ll have a more fulfilling experience if you embrace it.

5. What made your Botswana experience different from other countries?

Exploring Chobe National Park. I’ve been on safari in other countries but Chobe is something special. We were able to camp inside the park and hear the animals throughout the night.

Elephant Family spotting | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Elephant Family spotting | Photo credits: Heather Butler 

We saw thousands of elephants, including newborn 2-day old calves playing in the water, a super pride of lions with cubs, and so much more! Hands down one of my favourite travel experiences ever.

6. What were your favourite lodges in Botswana?

We stayed at Jollyboys Backpackers hostel in Zambia and drove into Botswana, where we camped inside Chobe so I don’t have a favorite lodging inside Botswana unless you count camping in Chobe (which was absolutely amazing!).

Enjoying Victoria Falls | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Enjoying Victoria Falls | Photo credits: Heather Butler 

7. If you could visit one more place in Africa, where would you go and why?

I’d love to visit Uganda and do a gorilla trek!

8. Have any mishaps ever happened to you on the road? What was the most notable?

Of course! What would travel be without a few mishaps? I’ve been robbed, I’ve gotten lost, I’ve gotten super sick, I’ve been stuck on the edge of a cliff in Albania… I think the most notable was when I was not able to leave Kenya and fly to South Africa because I had not received my yellow fever vaccine.

Heather enjoying her African Safari | Photo credits: Heather Butler
Heather enjoying her African Safari | Photo credits: Heather Butler 

Every resource I checked prior to going to Kenya said I did not need the vaccine to go there, but not one document or article mentioned I would need it to leave!

Giraffes enjoying themselves | Photo Credits : Heather Butler

Giraffes enjoying themselves | Photo Credits: Heather Butler 

When I arrived at the airport at 2 am for my 6 am flight, I was quickly informed that I could not board my flight as I needed to be vaccinated.

Luckily the airport has a clinic on-site for this exact reason and I was able to get the vaccine, wait a while, and eventually fly to my destination. The thing with travel and mishaps, is they are going to happen, even with all of the research and preparation and vigilance, things happen and that’s ok. 

For more information on Heather’s amazing travels, visit her youtube or Instagram account.

If this article has intrigued you to take the next step and plan your Botswana Safari, why not have a look at the 5 best Safari lodges in Botswana