Kylan’s Off to Zimbabwe!

Mana Pools is located in the northern part of Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, it has been highly talked about as one of the best wildlife areas in the world in terms of both numbers and how WILD it truly is. Due to intense training programs and the diversity of activities offered in Zimbabwe – game drives, true walking safaris, canoeing and river boating – many of the best guides in Africa are from this incredible country. The area of Mana Pools I will be exploring is so wildlife rich in fact that Mugabe (past President) had reserved the area for himself. It is special due to its remoteness and plains as well as a natural spring that attracts wildlife. The area has recently welcomed 4 new camps that I will be inspecting.

After Mana Pools I’ll head to Victoria Falls for a couple of days, before spending 5 days in the beautiful Cape Town where I’ll meet with our local partners and lodge owners/operators from all over Africa.

Coffee, Wine and Chocolate, what more could you want?

Waking up on the Mandoon estate winery located right by the swan river was a wonderful treat! The birds chirping at your door, the native bushland smells at there strongest and the green lush vineyards glistening in the sun as it rises over the property.

What can I say about today?  It DOES get even better after waking up on an Estate….we head to Yahava Koffee Works to kick start the day. Followed by the Margaret chocolate company, Olive farm, the cheese barrel and lunch on the gorgeous grounds of Sandalford Wines Estate.  Founded in 1840, this is one of WA’s oldest and largest privately owned wineries. Just stunning!

Beautiful Western Australia – APRIL 7th

What I am noticing most about this beautiful state of Western Australia (WA), is that it is very difficult to choose the highlights. In saying this…. the first thing that does come to mind is that today is my birthday 😊

With a quick reminder of how old I was turning, at 6am this morning we set off to the superb suburb of Fremantle. Known as ‘Freo’ to the locals.  Here you can experience the ‘convicts  & colonials tour’ of the city and really embrace the history that surrounds the area.  Perhaps spend a pretty penny at the Freo markets and, after all that shopping, enjoy a nice cold craft beer at the Little Creatures Brewery.

Only 25 minutes drive from Perth’s city center discover the rich fusion of award winning wineries, fine food, fascinating history and amazing art set against the stunning scenery of WA’s swan valley.  And on your way, why not stop at the Caversham Wildlife Park and experience native wildlife up close and personal for a memory you’ll never forget!

Rottnest Island Quokka Selfies

OOoo, I could  hardly wait for today!  The day we visit the breathtaking island of Rottnest.

Just a 40 minute ferry ride from the mainland, this island has a rich history, spanning cultures and generations. It has been known by many names and used for different purposes.  You can find out more about the history at the interesting Rottnest Island Museum or by taking a lovely guided air conditioned bus around the 22km road with various historical sites.  Even visit the Oliver Hill Battery, a site from World War II, featuring a restored 9.2inch gun, which you can accessed by train.

So much to do on this little island 😊 HOWEVER…the main drawer to visiting this little island is to take a ‘selfie’ with the the funny little marsupial we call the ‘quokka’….They are friendly fellows, just like the Aussies! With no predator on the island, you can get up close and personal just like I did!  Wooo hooo…..bucket list item. TICK!

Perth, WA

Perth is a beautiful city!
Built on the swan river, take a cruise down the shores and view the skyline from a different perspective! Dolphins swimming beside you while you take in the new grand sporting area – Optus stadium.
Perth has an incredible 900 acres of bush land overlooking the skyline. This is the beautiful memorial naming the soldiers who gave their lives during World War 1.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy – 90,000 acre private wildlife conservancy in Kenya’s Laikipia district with Mount Kenya in the background.  We were fortunate to be able to do a chimpanzee “behind the scenes” at their Chimp Sanctuary set up by Jane Goodall as a method of saving several Chimps that had been in captivity, as well as a special Rhino Encounter with the endangered white rhinos.

The Chimp sanctuary was established between Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute to provide refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa.  They now have 39 chimps that have been nursed back to health in 2 different family groups, each with very large territories of natural enclosures separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River.

After the Rhino Encounter we joined Zachary, one of their long time caregivers, for an educational visit to the rhino burial site for a somber look at where about 13 sites are marked for rhinos that either died of natural causes (such as Sudan) and sadly many others who died from poachers.  However, Ol Pejeta is doing a fantastic job with their anti-poaching and conservation efforts. They have grown their rhino population significantly and have kept their ecosystem intact with a wide variety of game.

Kenyan Arrival & Eating Stone Orphanage

Once I arrived in Nairobi, I met our partners Liz, Tenai, Geoff, and Albert.  We went out for a visit to the orphanage we help support, Eating Stone.  The kids are well fed, clothed, and are going to school – they are doing great work there.  We were impressed to hear the children’s little stories of what they would like to be when they grow up – we had some aspiring to be Doctors, Engineers, Pilots – the sky is the limit!  Next project will be to help them get access to a soccer field and some game type activities to keep them active and engaged.

Leaving Tanzania, off to Kenya!

Travelling through Tanzania with Lemala Safaris was the very best way to experience this wonderful and diverse country!  The Serengeti is aptly named, as it means “endless plains” which we certainly felt.  Miles and miles of vast tracks of land. I was able to experience top camps in wildlife rich areas and also get some excellent cultural experiences.  It was everything and more that I could hope for.  From Tarangire to Ngorongoro to Northern Serengeti – I got just a small taste of what Tanzania has to offer.