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Travel Sommelier - Luxury Safari Travel and Bespoke Wine Tourism
Newsletter | June 2015

Adventure: Let us Rock Your World

Dear <<Nickname / Preferred Name>>

Adventurous activities while traveling promise all sorts of side effects - exhilaration, exploration, exhaustion, feelings of accomplishment…the list is almost endless. This month we showcase the spectrum of adventure activities on the African continent. I just had to include Rhino tracking, tagging and notching which I was fortunate enough to participate in while in South Africa last week - but the list includes kayaking the Lower Zambezi, a first-of- it’s-kind multi day walking Safari itinerary set deep in South Africa’s Waterberg mountains and high altitude mountain biking at the exclusive Mount Anderson retreat. Take the opportunity to return from vacation more enlightened than ever before! It bears noting that we have personally vetted all of these activities and products firsthand.

We have a few housekeeping / informative items as well: a comprehensive tipping guide for Southern Africa, our vote on best time of year to visit Southern Africa and an update on the new child travel requirements set to be implemented in June 2015.

In the meantime, Summer is here so travel well, travel often and - key - travel with us!

Best Regards,

Darren & The Travel Sommelier Team


  • Rhinoceros tagging and notching at Kwandwe BIG 5 Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • Kayaking the Lower Zambezi
  • Marataba Walking Trails, Waterberg Reserve South Africa
  • Mountain Biking Mount Anderson Reserve, South Africa
  • Tipping Guide for Southern Africa
  • Cape Town’s New Kid on the Block
  • Mashatu – an adventurer’s paradise
  • Rise to the Top of Big Daddy
  • New regulations for children under 18 traveling to/from SA after 6/1/2015
  • Recipe of the Month









WHERE TO GO | Rhinoceros tagging and notching at Kwandwe BIG 5 Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

This is truly an emotive experience in the extreme and one that very few will have the privilege of participating in. Reserves like Kwandwe are at the very forefront of conservation efforts to protect these primitive beasts and guests can be intimately and authentically involved in the process. This includes tranquilizing the animal, injecting it while unconscious, assisting with the ear notching and chip insertion and reviving it to ensure it continues along it’s merry way (this is as much of an art as it is a science). Please contact me if you are interested in participating in this experience. It is no hyperbole when I say that it will change the way you view wildlife.

read more | Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

WHERE TO GO | Kayaking the Lower Zambezi

Wilderness Safaris owns Ruckomechi camp in a sublime setting on the Zambezi river near the legendary Mana Pools. A single day or multi day canoe itinerary with excellent guides is available and includes wildlife viewing of the BIG 5, up close and personal sightings of Hippo, Crocs & Elephant and some of the sweetest lager you’ve ever tasted at the end of a long day’s paddling! Combine this with Safari bushwalks in Hwange national park tracking the BIG 5 on foot and end off with the best one day whitewater rafting experience in the world below Victoria Falls.

read more | Ruckomechi Camp

WHERE TO GO | Marataba Walking Trails, Waterberg Reserve South Africa

The only deluxe BIG5 hiking trail in a Malaria free reserve in South Africa, this intimate fully solar powered lodge is set in a beautiful canyon with sweeping views along the mountain range. The carefully selected trails offer opportunity to navigate waterfall rich gorges and in depth learning about SA’s indigenous wildlife with excellent guides. This is one of the best family bonding experiences in the bushveld and I urge you to avail yourself of it in the short term because once the word is out, availability will evaporate!

read more | Marataba Walking Trails

WHERE TO GO | Mountain Biking Mount Anderson Reserve, South Africa

This exclusive reserve offers some of the finest single track mountain biking in South Africa. The terrain is rugged, crossing crystal clear mountain streams and weaving through high altitude forests. Rides range from thrilling and technical to moderately easy. Biking guides are cycling aficionados and also incredibly knowledgeable about fauna, flora, local history and geology. The added advantage is the ability to ride amongst abandoned goldmines and archeological sites … therein lies the ability to find that elusive nugget to finance your trip!

read more | Mountain Biking Mount Anderson

TRAVEL JOURNAL | Cape Town’s New Kid on the Block

Cape Town has always prided itself on all the outdoor activities available on its doorstop. Joining the fun is the newest attraction, the Cape Town Zip Line which has been thrilling visitors and locals alike since opening in November 2014. With over a mile of line, adventurers will enjoy outstanding views of the local flora and fauna while rushing breathlessly along the course. It has become an excellent addition to the Cape Town area list of “must do” activities and we can assist you with incorporating it into your itinerary.

read more | Cape Town’s New Kid on the Block

TRAVEL JOURNAL | Mashatu – an adventurer’s paradise

Tucked away in the eastern corner of Botswana, in an area known as the Tuli, lies the beautiful game reserve, Mashatu, a perfect option for clients seeking unique adventures in the African bush. Mashatu is an excellent stand alone destination for our returning clients as well as the perfect add on to a classic “big five” safari experience (I use the term loosely because every safari is so much more than tracking the big 5).

read more | Mashatu – an adventurer’s paradise

TRAVEL JOURNAL | Rise to the Top of Big Daddy

The Sossusvlei area of the Namib Desert in Namibia is colored in rich orange-red sand dunes, colored by 60-80 million years of oxidation of iron rich sand deposited by Atlantic winds from the coast. Big Daddy is the tallest dune in Sossusvlei and one of the tallest and oldest in the world. A photographer’s dream–the red dunes, the petrified camelthorn trees, 900 years old, against the background of the white pan earth. “Big Daddy” is the tallest dune rising 1,250 feet above the desert floor. Climbing Big Daddy provides a special experience. As you approach the bigger than life sand dune it looks overwhelming. It is for the young, the old and during poor weather many in-between.

read more | Rise to the Top of Big Daddy

NEWS | New regulations for children under 18 traveling to/from SA after 6/1/2015

Please see the missive below from our flight consolidator partners, Skybird Travel:

From 1 June 2015 (affecting all flights arriving or departing South Africa from 1 June), the Immigration department in South Africa is changing the requirements for all children under 18 years of age who are travelling to, from or transferring through South Africa.

Where both parents are travelling with a child who is under 18

  • All parents travelling with children under the age of 18 to or from South Africa must produce an unabridged birth certificate of each child which shows details of the parents of the child.

Where one parent is travelling with a child, they must produce:

  • an unabridged birth certificate
  • consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate, authorising them to enter or depart from South Africa with the child
  • a court order granting them full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship or where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate

Where an adult is travelling with a child, who is not their biological child, they must produce:

  • a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child
  • an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that they have permission to travel with the child
  • copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child

Children travelling alone must produce:

  • consent from one or both of the parents/legal guardian in the form of a letter or affidavit, for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa. If only one parent is able to provide proof of consent they must also have a copy of a court order granting the full parental responsibilities
  • a letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing their residential address and the contact details where the child will be residing
  • a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa
  • contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child

If you are starting your journey BEFORE 1 June 2015
The new regulations come into force on 1 June 2015. If you start your journey before that date you will not be requested to travel with these documents, provided that the return leg of your journey takes place within a period of 4 months of your outbound journey.

ABOUT | Tipping Guide for Southern Africa

This is one of our most requested guides and something our guests find useful throughout their itineraries. As always we underscore that this is a mere guideline. Tipping is appreciated, not mandatory.

read more | Tipping Guide

Ostrich Steaks on the Braai

Nothing beats a good ostrich steak on the braai. Ostrich meat is delicious and naturally low in fat. Enjoy the recipe.

read more | Ostrich Steaks on the Braai

For more information on any of the items above or other travel requests contact:

Darren Humphreys
Travel Sommelier 
+1 203 286 8338
Copyright © 2015 Travel Sommelier, All rights reserved.

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