Lonely Planet ranks Rwanda park as a best destination

An Akagera lioness photographed by Matthew Poole for the Rwanda Development Board and distributed under a Creative Commons license.
An Akagera lioness photographed by Matthew Poole for the Rwanda Development Board and distributed under a Creative Commons license.

Lonely Planet put Rwanda’s Akagera National Park in the top ten of New in Travel 2016, its miniguide to the world’s best new places to visit in 2016. The park came in third out of 31 incredible destinations.

In mid-2015, lions were introduced to the park after a 15-year absence from the country. Lonely Planet editor Matt Phillips writes that 2016 will be ideal for watching these magnificent creatures: “Once the pride establishes its stomping grounds sometime in early 2016, it will be easier for safari guides to locate lions for visitors.” And since Rwanda is more well-known for its mountain gorillas than its other safari creatures, crowds at Akagera are unlikely, leading to a wonderful experience out in the wilds.

Interested in visiting Rwanda? Ujuzi has been arranging safari tours to the nation for years. Contact us with your questions.

Meet the “Little Five” Safari Creatures of Namibia

The primary goal of many safari goers is to see the Big Five African game: leopards, African elephants, Cape buffalos, rhinos and lions.

As rewarding as it is to watch these animals in the wild, you’ll miss out if they’re the only things you look for. Previously on this blog, I’ve written about the rewards of exploring plants, birds, and small creatures such as the Little Five of sub-Saharan Africa.

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast has such a unique desert ecosystem that locals have developed a list of their own Little Five, beautifully photographed in a recent article for Africa Geographic. They include four reptiles and one arachnid: a snake called Peringuey’s adder, the dancing white lady spider, the Namaqua chameleon, the Palmato gecko, and the shovel-snouted lizard.

Read on to find out more about these marvelous creatures!

Palmato Gecko (Palmatogecko), photographed by Simon's Images and distributed under a Creative Commons license.
Palmato Gecko (Palmatogecko), photographed by Simon’s Images and distributed under a Creative Commons license.

Palmato gecko have no eyelids, so they keep their eyes moist they lick their eyeballs. Their webbed feet help them scurry over the sand without sinking. During the day, they often hide in the sand to stay cool.


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Daphne Sheldrick: A Force for Elephants

Daphne Sheldrick feeds one of her early elephant rescues.
Daphne Sheldrick feeds one of her early elephant rescues. Photo courtesy of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Who doesn’t love baby elephants? Daphne Sheldrick certainly does, and she’s taken her love further than most, becoming the first person to successfully rescue baby African elephants of nursing age who have lost their mothers and raise them to adulthood. One Green Planet recently wrote an illuminating profile of this fascinating 81-year-old woman.

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World Travel Awards Honor Kenya and Tanzania

Bill Jollie took this photo of Mount Kilimanjaro while climbing as part of an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Bill Jollie took this photo of Mount Kilimanjaro while climbing as part of an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

It’s the beginning of a new year and time to look back on the past one. Every year, the World Travel Awards accepts nominations from travelers for the best places to visit around the globe. After voting, two of my favorite destinations came out on top for 2015:

In addition, Kenya received top honors overall for being the World’s Leading Safari Destination, and South Africa also received many honors for its lodges and destinations.

Want to learn what all the fuss is about? Read more about one Ujuzi traveler’s hike up Mount Kilimanjaro here. And view pictures from my exploratory safari to the Masai Mara here.

Ready to explore Africa? Contact Ujuzi so we can help!

A group of Cape buffalos rest in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. Photo by Anne Medeiros of Ujuzi African Travel.
A group of Cape buffalos rest in Masai Mara National Park, Kenya. Photo by Anne Medeiros of Ujuzi African Travel.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Photo taken by Bill Jollie on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Photo taken by Bill Jollie on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
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