Hillsnek Safari’s – Amakhala Game Reserve

Hillnek Safari Lodge – Amakhala Game Reserve – Eastern Cape – South Africa

Lodge Pool

Being particularly spoilt when it comes to fantastic getaway’s – although I am often thrilled with accommodation I book – it isn’t often that I am completely blown away. However just 70km outside of Port Elizabeth in the Malaria Free Amakhala Game Reserve lies a little piece of heaven called Hillsnek Safari’s. On arrival we were met by the Manager, Warren which was a welcomed surprise and a very familiar face from the past. We were immediately taken to meet our Game Ranger, James the other lovely guests Freda, Delia & Alan and we were whisked off on our afternoon game drive. Game drives are conducted in an 8 seater OPEN Landrover 4 X 4 vehicle. Game drives in open vehicles gives you the whole experience of being in the bush especially if you are bird lovers and of course you are more exposed to all the elements – a little more authentic! Just as we were getting used to the smells and sounds of being back in the bush James took the landi off-road to an open plain and there sat two very contented male cheetah. With full bellies these two very healthy looking specimens were enjoying the warmth of the day’s last rays of sun which made the lighting spectacular.

Cheetah

Other game viewing activities include Bush Walks and Boat Cruises. Amakhala Game Reserve not only has the big 5 but also plenty plains game and bird species and although very impressive it was the diverse landscapes that made the biggest impressions. Large open plains led into woody Acacia bush that led up to God’s Window – a picturesque view of the reserve with the Bushmans River meandering into the distance. As the sun was setting we stopped to watch the sky turn crimson offered a drink which for me was the inevitable G&T and served some yummy snacks! When we arrived back at the camp we were greeted with warm hand towels, a roaring fire and very welcome mug of Gluvine.

Wildebeest

The lodge is tucked away in a corner of the reserve with panoramic views of Amakhala . The intimate lodge is beautiful – built around a pool with a huge deck, an outside seated area, lounge, bar and dining room all very tastefully decorated by the owners – Brent & Chantelle.

The camp consists of 3 huge tented rooms. All rooms are very secluded and join to the main lodge on raised wooden walkways with individual wrap around verandahs. One of the rooms is a Family tent which consists of two adjoining rooms and accommodates a family of 4. All tents have King sized beds, en-suite bathrooms with double basins, huge baths and a rustic outside showers (for the brave in winter!).

Bath & Shower

Dinner was another 5 star affair and they cater for all dietary requirement. 

Dining Room

After a great night sleep we were awakened to coffee in bed and our call for our morning game drive. The air was very crisp outside which you would never have known in bed with your hot blanket keeping you warm all night. As we embarked on our morning drive each with our own hot water bottle and a very warm poncho the excitement is always in the air to find out what secrets the bush is prepared to share with you that day. Of course we were treated to sightings of Waterbuck, black Wildebeest, red Hartebeest, Oryx, Eland and Elephant. The most enjoyable for us was watching a journey of about 20 Giraffe acting awkward as they always do but just enjoying life in the reserve.

Heading toward camp after our 3 hour game drive we saw the Buffs about 20 meters away from the lodge. The whole experience was ended by a delicious “bush” breakfast of your choice. I will not hesitate to recommend Hillsnek to all future clients as everything about the lodge was 5 star including the friendly staff. When supporting this lodge you are not only being treated to an experience but the good work that the owners Chantelle and Brent do for the Rhino is incredible. They started up Chimpembere Rhino Foundation in 2010 which is a privately run, non-profit organization committed to assisting in the protection and conservation of Africa’s rhino.

A big Thank You to the Chantelle and Brent for having us!

Winter Special is a pay for 2 stay for 3 night for R5,960 per person sharing fully inclusive which I can confirm is great value for money.

Me

For future bookings please contact me on info@degreesofafrica.com or follow us on facebook http://www.facebook.com/degreesofafrica or follow our blog. <pHillnek Safari Lodge – Amakhala Game Reserve – Eastern Cape – South Africa

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NO MORE HUNTING IN BOTSWANA – 2014

No one will be allowed to hunt wildlife in Botswana, come 2014, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has announced.  He said wildlife numbers were decreasing at an alarming rate, hence the decision.

This highly contraversial decision made by the President of Botswana has been something that he has felt passionately about since he came into power in 2008.  The wildlife in Botswana is something we at Degrees of Africa feel very strongly about too.  We have had many debates with our hunting colleagues in the industry and you can imagine some of them were very heated.  But although Degrees of Africa is all about “keeping the animals alive and safe” we cannot ignore what a substantial financial contribution hunting adds to conservation.  However taking all this into consideration we are not talking about hunting an impala which will feed 2-3 families.  We are not even talking about a few men who enjoy hunting once or twice a year in an environment where animals are bred for hunting.  We are talking about a very elite group of people who enjoy trophy hunting – and pay a substantial amount of money to shoot an elephant, leopard, buffallo or lion to name but a few. 

Although we at Degrees of Africa are not entirely against hunting…we are not entirely for it either.  You could say we are sitting on the fence with this but we aren’t.  Our main problem with hunting is that our wildlife numbers are decreasing…just as the President of Botswana says.  The other problem that we have with hunting is that the pedigree of the animals are threatened.   On the flip side of the coin  – when we say we are not entirely against hunting – it is not ONLY for the sake of our colleagues and communitites that will be loosing their incomes but also for the sake of financial support in conserving our beautiful animals…this debate could go on for days….tell us what you think? 

Read more on what the President of Botswana says below…………………

Mother & Baby Elephant in Botswana

“Next year will be the last time anyone is allowed to hunt in Botswana and we have realised that if we do not take care of our animals, we will have a huge problem in terms of tourism,” President Khama told Sankoyo and Mababe residents last week.  The President also decried the rate at which poachers were killing elephants.

“We have increased the number of soldiers and police officers that patrol our game parks. Yesterday our officers apprehended five people with 12 elephant tusks in the Chobe area. Two of them are Batswana and three are Zimbabweans,” said President Khama.

He said government was aware of people’s complaint about damages caused by the elephants in their villages, especially in the farms.  “There is someone who will come to this district next week, starting with Khwai village. That person will help you chase away elephants from your villages by using certain methods that he has been taught,” he said.

He indicated that elephants were the main attraction of tourists to Botswana hence he could never allow for them to be killed. He also informed residents that compensation for damage done to farms by elephants would be 100 per cent instead of the current 35 per cent.

“As for those who lose cattle because of lions and other predators, compensation will be cattle,” he said.

President Khama indicated that compensation would be done after extensive investigations.

He also appealed to residents to help law enforcement officers in fighting poaching.

In South Africa, he said, poachers killed 440 rhinos last year and this year they had so far killed 450.

Earlier on, residents of Sankoyo had complained to President Khama about elephants that were damaging their crop fields and lions which killed their livestock.

They also pleaded with the President to extend the hunting season since elephants were too many in their village.

BOOK THIS UNBEATABLE OFFER NOW
BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE….

 

4nts Okavango Delta – US$1,950 per person
Includes 2nts PomPom Camp + 2nts Moremi Crossing/Gunn’s Camp
6nts Okavango Delta~Moremi~Chobe – US$2,200.00
Includes 2 nts Chobe Safari Lodge + 2nts PomPom Camp + 2nts Moremi Crossing/Gunn’s Camp
7nts Okavango Delta ~ Moremi ~ Chobe (with VicFalls day trip) – US$2585 per person
Includes 3nts Chobe Safari Lodge (VicFalls daytrip)+ 2nts PomPom Camp + 2nts Moremi Crossing/Gunn’s Camp
9nts Okavango Delta ~ Moremi ~ Chobe ~ Central Kalahari – US$3745 per person
Includes 3nts Chobe Safari Lodge (with guided VicFalls day trip)+2nts PomPom Camp +2nts Moremi Crossing/Gunn’s Camp + 2nts Tau Pan

Rates valid from 01November 2012- 31March 2013

INCLUDES

Inter-camp flights, accommodation, meals, activities, beverages in the Delta
No Single Supplement (except for 9nts circle)

 

Pom Pom Dining

 

ACTIVITIES:
Pom Pom: game drives off road and at night, mokoro, game walks, motorboat cruise, fishing
Nxai Pan: game drives in open 4×4 vehicles, historical tour of Baines Baobabs, nature walks
Tau Pan: game drives in open 4×4 vehicles, guided nature  and cultural walks with Bushman
Moremi Crossing & Gunn’s Camp: mokoro, game walks,  motorboat cruise;
Fully guided Victoria Falls day trip: incl. Return transfer with mineral
water, guided Falls tour & entry fee, lunch, craft market visit
Chobe Safari Lodge: 2nts stay incl. 2 game Drives, 1 Boat Cruise
Chobe Safari Lodge: 3nts stay incl. fully guided Victoria Falls Day Trip,
2 game Drives, 1 Boat Cruise, 1 Namibia Village walk
 
 
Gunn’s Camp

PRICES MAY CHANGE DUE TO ESCALATING FUEL PRICES AND FLUCTUATING EXCHANGE RATE
*A strict luggage allowance of 20 kg per person is applicable (incl.hand luggage) for all charter flights as small aircrafts are used. Luggage must be in small managable bags, no suitcases.
**Includes medical evacuation cover – guests still require own medical insurance
Terms & Conditions
*Special rates do not apply to bookings over Festive Season 23December 2011 – 03January 2012

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