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September 23, 2009 By: Michael Browne Travel Agent


Bilila Lodge

Guests at the Bilila Lodge Kempinski can step out of their bedrooms onto a private deck

While much of the buzz about travel to Africa these days revolves around next year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa, there are still plenty of options and deals available for those looking for a more traditional African vacation. Just direct your clients toward Tanzania—where they can find all the wildlife, natural beauty and culture associated with Africa.

Perhaps the best way to experience Tanzania is by staying at one of the many luxurious campgrounds and lodges that put your clients right in nature’s midst. One of these, the venerable Singita Grumeti Reserves, has undergone a number of new developments.

Recently, the Sabora Tented Camp added three luxurious tented suites, as well as the introduction of a second spacious lounge and a new health and fitness tent. Three new suites have been added at Singita Grumeti’s flagship Sasakwa Lodge, and a two-bedroom unit and two new suites now grace the Singita Faru Faru lodge.

Singita has also introduced Balloon Safaris on site to present guests with one of the most extraordinary game-viewing experiences in the world. The one-hour Balloon Safaris are chartered by professional, commercial balloon pilots from Serengeti Balloon Safaris.


Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

In addition, Singita Game Reserves debuted its first East African overnight horseback safaris. The four-night safaris give experienced riders unparalleled horse riding and game viewing in Tanzania’s Singita Grumeti Reserves.

Currently, Singita has a honeymoon promotion—”Singita Sabora for Sweethearts”—that includes five nights’ accommodation in a luxurious tent, private Land Rover and guide, couples massage, romantic turndown and a bottle of champagne, private dinner beneath the stars as well as all meals and drinks.

The package costs $9,950 for two people, and is valid till December 31, 2010. A minimum of five nights must be booked (booking reference: SS3). For all Singita reservations and information, agents should contact the U.S. sales representative, Jena Gardner (212-967-5895, [email protected]) at JG Black Book of Travel.

Meanwhile, Asante Safaris has a Christmas and New Year 10-day Safari & Beach Special, where clients can enjoy a safari exploring Tanzania’s historic Northern Circuit, Olduvai Gorge, besides spending two nights and three days on the beaches of Zanzibar. Accommodations are at the beautiful Serena Lodges, which are camouflaged among the flora of Tanzania’s wilderness, as well as the Ocean Paradise Resort on the white sand beaches of Zanzibar. Valid from December 20 through January 5, 2010, the package costs $4,945 per adult sharing. For children between eight and 12, pay 75 percent of trip cost. E-mail [email protected] or call Renny or Jerry at 011-914-636-6017 or 011-914-320-2355.

Clients could also opt for the African Safari Company’s two itineraries for a tour of Tanzania’s Northern Circuit, known for some of the best wildlife viewing in the continent.

The 8-Day Northern Circuit tour traverses four of the country’s most exciting parks. A small group ensures everyone a window seat in the safari vehicle. Now through December 31, your clients can save $434 per person with a special rate of $2,940 (not including international airfare).

The 12-Day Northern Circuit & Zanzibar tour combines northern Tanzania’s diverse flora and fauna with the exotic culture of Zanzibar’s Stone Town and beach resorts. Now through October 31, rates are $3,324 per person, saving $250; from November 1 through December 15, rates are $3,170 per person, saving $236. To book either of these deals, contact Mike Nesbitt at 800-414-3090.

Renovated and Reopened

Sayari Mara Camp in the Serengeti and Matemwe Bungalows in Zanzibar have both recently been refurbished. Sayari Camp is now a permanent camp with newly designed luxury safari tents, each with panoramic views of the Serengeti through sliding glass doors; a private wooden deck with a large sofa/day bed; contemporary, comfortable furniture; en suite bathroom; indoor shower; double stone hand basins; and a free-standing bath. The welcoming lounge, fire pit under the stars and rock swimming pool are ideal places to relax when taking a break from game viewing. Matemwe Bungalows’ bathrooms have been refurbished and have soft updates throughout.

Sanctuary Swala Camp in Tarangire National Park has been reopened after undergoing a total rebuild and refurbishment. The camp’s focus is on a new safari experience of “luxury, naturally,” leaving minimum impact on the local environment. The new camp was built to the highest eco-friendly standards and is in a remote and secluded area of Tarangire National Park known for its high concentrations of game. In celebration of this new camp opening, 2009 rates will be continued to 2010.

From now through November 30, clients can book two nights at Tanzania’s Swala Camp and get the third night free.

Each of Swala Camp’s 12 luxury canvas pavilions are designed with an open, spacious floor-plan. They have a large living area, king bed and en suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers. Large private verandahs overlook the main watering hole, which draws lions, elephants and leopards. An infinity pool has been added to the camp, and the new main dining and lounge areas have a safari-chic design under traditional thatched roof.

For more information on these properties, contact Kent Redding or Lyndsay Harshman (866-778-1089, [email protected]) at Africa Adventure Consultants.

Serena Hotels has taken over the operations and management of two new luxury boutique properties in Tanzania, a move that will strengthen its safari circuits and brand presence within premier leisure destinations in the East Africa region. Both properties—the Mivumo River Lodge and the Selous Wildlife Lodge—are in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania. It is Africa’s largest game reserve and a proclaimed World Heritage Site.

Open since June and nestled within the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, in the vicinity of the site of the great annual migration, the Bilila Lodge Kempinski is an African hideaway with views of wildlife roaming over miles of bush and an active watering hole.

All of its 74 rooms, suites and villas feature luxurious en suite bathrooms and are decorated with handpicked African artwork. The lodge facilities include a restaurant, lobby lounge, bar, boma, wine cellar, art gallery and gift shop. The infinity pool and Anantara Spa provide for the ultimate relaxation after an exciting day on a game drive. All Corner Suites and Private Villas feature private pools overlooking views of the Serengeti plains. From their bedrooms, guests step out through floor-to-ceiling glass doors onto a private teak deck.

Bilila is currently offering an early-bird special; clients who book up to 90 days in advance can save up to 20 percent. Agents should call 011-255-778-888-888.

And if your clients are planning on heading to South Africa for the World Cup, be sure to let them know that there are packages available that would allow them to combine that trip with a wildlife journey into Tanzania. It’s what makes the Africa experience a once-in-a-lifetime event.

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By Michael Browne | September 23, 2009
While much of the buzz about travel to Africa revolves around the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, there are plenty of options for those looking for a more traditional African vacation.