Dear fellow traveller:
While we are still burdened by a tremendous drought in the southern parts of Africa, there are many of you still shivering from winter’s last bite in the Northern Hemisphere. So this March issue of Africa Travel is aimed at warming you up and enticing you come to and experience the sublime joys Africa has to offer.
In the article Chinese Whispers we learn about how a group of Chinese wildlife students had their lives transformed by a company called EcoTraining, a pioneering new venture with partners in China to educate curious travelers in the delights of the natural world. They spent a week at Karongwe tented camp, on the banks of the Karongwe River in the 9,000-hectare Karongwe Game Reserve, which is to the south-west of the Kruger National Park in South Africa last September. Days were spent exploring the reserve and many great sightings were witnessed, including lions feeding on a giraffe kill and various encounters with white rhino. For many Asian visitors, rhino and lion are just words and pictures or are associated with medicinal resources. But seeing is believing and nothing beats spending up close and personal time with these iconic beasts.
We then travel to Pretoria, also in South Africa, where a little-known gem of a country hotel had my weary soul smiling. The bucolic view of the small tranquil lake beyond rolling lawns from my veranda, right out of a Constable painting, was an almost instant cure for high blood pressure. It was hard to imagine such rustic country-side luxury in a suburb of Pretoria, about 50 km from Johannesburg.
A couple of weeks later, on a much cooler day, we drove to another jewel in the African Pride Hotel Group’s crown, close to where we have some elderly relatives. Very old, in fact. Located close to the world-renowned Sterkfontein Caves, which is home to the oldest and most continuous palaeontological dig in the world, is the beautiful and legendary Mount Grace Hotel or to give it its full name, The Mount Grace Country House Hotel and Health Spa. The hotel is close to the site of discovery of the famous pre-human skull affectionately known as "Mrs Ples," and an almost complete hominid skeleton called "Little Foot," dated 2.3 and 4.17 million years old respectively.
And lastly we go cruising! MSC Cruises have been the only international cruise line to operate in Southern African waters for years now and every season they provide hundreds of thousands of people with an affordable, fun-in-the-sun trip of a lifetime. We went to Mozambique so read all about it.
Enjoy the March issue of Africa Travel and until next month, bon voyage!