Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Where are you celebrating New Year's Eve?



We all like to celebrate the arrival of a new year, where are you celebrating this year?

I will be on a beach in Hilton Head, celebrating with friends and family.

Last year, our clients James and Jennifer Fox, celebrated in style at Azura in Mozambique whilst on their African safari honeymoon, and Dennis & Michelle Ventry celebrated with full champagne glasses at Kensington Place in Cape Town.

This year, the Heneault family will be celebrating at Makalolo Plains in Hwange National Park, whilst on their African Safari vacation.

Hills of Africa Travel would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and abundant 2009!

Live the Magic of Africa - call Hills of Africa Travel today and book your trip of a lifetime.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Traveling to South Africa - How to Get There?




There are so many options for you to think about when planning for your African Safari Vacation.

One of these is flights and how to get there?

Hills of Africa Travel is here to help you plan your trip of a lifetime and we know the best and easiest ways in getting there.

South African Airways currently flies out of New York Kennedy and Washington Dulles to Johannesburg on a daily basis.

Delta Airlines flies out of Atlanta and New York Kennedy to Johannesburg on a daily basis. Here's a little secret - if you want to fly to Cape Town and begin your Africa family safari in the Cape region, you can connect in Dakar to a direct flight to Cape Town. Plus you get to go into the private Delta Airlines lounge and freshen up - magic.

You can also fly through Europe with night flights and a day to spend exploring in one of the European cities, eg. London.

Hills of Africa Travel specializes in customized African vacations. We offer spectacular adventures with personalized and customized service, guaranteed to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

The Hills of Africa Travel team is ready to send you on a life-altering experience like no other. Call us today at 1-877-845-4802, or email us at hoainfo@hillsofafrica.com.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


We would like to wish all of our clients, friends, family and travelers to Africa a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Here are some translations for "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" in the African languages:

Afrikaans: Gese├źnde Kersfees en 'n gelukkige nuwe jaar
Somali: Ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad cusub oo fiican
Swahili: Krismasi Njema / Heri ya krismas
Xhosa: Siniqwenelela Ikrisimesi Emnandi Nonyaka Omtsha Ozele Iintsikelelo
Zulu: Sinifesela uKhisimusi oMuhle noNyaka oMusha oNempumelelo

Hills of Africa Travel offers customized itinerary planning and guidance on travel to Southern Africa. To book your trip of a lifetime, contact us.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Exploring Cape Town - A World in One Country



Cape Town is one of the world’s most marvelous cities with its gorgeous white beaches and magnificent rolling mountains. It boasts Dutch architecture, beautiful waterfront, and a mountainous backdrop, eliciting feelings of a quaint and charming European city. Cape Town offers excellent accommodations with stellar service and extraordinary varieties of food, rich with culture and unique flavors.

Rolling roads lined with tall pine trees in the wine regions are reminiscent of northern California. The food and wine are truly delightful and the people extremely hospitable. The road systems are sophisticated and wide, offering an extra boost of confidence to those intimidated by driving on the left side of the road.

Stepping foot onto African soil will bring a smile to your face that won’t escape for the rest of your African safari vacation. The stunning days of dry and sunny weather offer a prime environment for the beginning or ending of an enchanting African family safari or romantic African honeymoon safari.

To start preparing for your African family safari or romantic African honeymoon safari, contact Hills of Africa Travel and we will guarantee you a trip of a lifetime. Call us today to Live the Magic of Africa.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Animal Spotlight: The Cheetah



Known as the world's fastest land animal, the cheetah falls at the bottom of the hierarchy of big cats, with the lion first and the leopard second. The cheetah is mostly a solitary animal and does not benefit from pooling of resources when it comes to kills, like the lion prides.

The secret to a cheetah's speed is its supple spine, which coils and uncoils like a spring, catapulting the cat forward. In the cheetah, the hind limbs push sequentially, rather than together, as in slower animals. Thus for about half the time, a running cheetah has all four feet off the ground and is literally flying. In the air, the flying cheetah moves so fast that it uses its tail as a rudder.

Such speed demands a short, enormous surge of energy. On its hunts, the cheetah is well aware of the limits of its built-for-speed body. Most other cats hunt at night and ambush their prey. Cheetahs will hunt at night, but are frequently seen hunting in the early morning or late afternoon. A cheetah stalks its prey until only about 50 yards separate the hunter and the hunted. At this point the cheetah charges, its elongated eyes giving it a wide-angle view as the prey tries to evade with tight turns. Lions give up the chase after 100 yards or so, but cheetahs can run more that three miles, at an average speed of 45 miles per hour. The hunt may end in a sprint that lasts from 20 seconds to 60 seconds.

Here are five fantastic safari destinations to see the cheetah:

1. Kruger National Park
2. Okavango Delta
3. Hwange National Park
4. South Luangwa National Park
5. Madikwe Game Reserve

Another exciting and educating way to spend time with cheetahs, is to visit The Cheetah Outreach program at Spier in Stellenbosch. You can visit for the day and spend time with the cheetahs. Cheetah Outreach is a fantastic program by promoting the survival of the cheetah through environmental education.

Book a trip with Hills of Africa Travel and we will guarantee you Live the Magic of Africa. Contact us today and we can help you plan your trip of a lifetime.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now is a great time to book a Safari to South Africa




With the strong US dollar to the South African Rand, NOW is a good time to start booking your travel to South Africa. The current exchange rate is 10 ZAR to 1 USD - WOW!

Even if you are only planning to travel in August of 2009, you should consider booking your travel now.

Why?

Because if you book and pre-pay all South African costs, then you are locked in at today's very good exchange rate and we are able to pass on fantastic savings to you.

Imagine all the amazing experiences you could have:
  • Walk to the top of Table Mountain and have a picnic whilst taking in the beautiful scenery below you
  • Take a wine tour and taste some of the best South African wines in the Winelands
  • Go on safari and watch lions lazing under trees, and sit back whilst watching a huge herd of elephant walk right past you
  • Stay at Birkenhead House in Hermanus where you will see amazing whale sightings from your own balcony
  • Take a tour along the famed Cape Point Peninsula where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, see some of the most breathtaking scenery
  • See African penguins
Hills of Africa Travel customizes all of our safari vacations to South Africa and will create a trip of a lifetime. Call us today and we will make certain you Live the Magic of Africa.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Amazing Sightings on Safari



Imagine what memories this family returned with? Our friend and professional private guide, Mark Homann, took this clip whilst private guiding in Zimbabwe.

Click HERE to see an amazing sighting on video.

Safaris are memories. You adventure into the bush to see The Big Five up close and personal. You want to Live the Magic of Africa.

Hills of Africa Travel creates memories of a lifetime. Call us today and we will plan a memory filled vacation with The Big Five up close and personal.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Honeymoon like a King and Queen



Tintswalo offers the perfect start for your marriage. Marriage is an adventure, why not start out with one?

One of our favorite luxury safari experiences is Tintswalo Safari Lodge, located in the Manyeleti Game Reserve.

Tintswalo means “the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace bestowed upon someone offering you a meaningful and worthy gift” in the native Shangaan language.

Our clients agree.

Why is Tintswalo so special?

After an evening game drive, one of our honeymoon couples was driven back to the lodge where there were rose petals leading from the vehicle all the way to their suite, through the door and into the bathroom where there was a huge bubble bath waiting for them with a bottle of chilled champagne and two flutes. What a welcome and a perfect way to start their marriage.

Another was given a private dinner with candles set up around their table in the middle of the bush. Imagine sitting under the stars being waited on with a sumptuous meal and listening to the quiet of the romantic bush.

Tintswalo offers a luxury stay with fantastic accommodations with your own deck and private plunge pools, good food, warm and efficient service and extremely knowledge guides.. You will receive over the top service from its staff and management. You will be made to feel like a King and Queen – and why shouldn’t you, after all this is your honeymoon.

The Tintswalo Group has a fantastic special offer: Combine 6 nights at any of the Tintswalo Lodges and get the 7th night FREE!

Hills of Africa Travel specializes in customized honeymoons that will give you the perfect beginning to the rest of your life. Contact us today to plan the most amazing start to your married life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Marriage is an adventure - why not begin with one?

An African safari honeymoon is an exciting yet tranquil exotic adventure, perfect for the first trip you take as newlyweds. Only in Africa can you sleep in a bush camp surrounded by elephants and leopards one night and in a private villa on a pristine beach the next.

Create moments you’ll treasure for life . . .


• Unwind together in a bush bath under the African sky
• Enjoy a candle-lit dinner for two at sunset on a riverbank
• Sip morning coffee while watching an elephant herd graze

A romantic African honeymoon safari is the trip of a lifetime, and Hills of Africa Travel can make it happen for you. We like to surprise honeymooners with elegant touches that make their romantic African honeymoon safari even more exceptional:

• Rose petals leading from the game-drive vehicle to your room and into the bathroom
• Bubble-filled bath and bottle of champagne
Private bush dinner
• Picnic with champagne on the beach

We will work closely with you to carefully plan the African honeymoon safari you've always dreamed of. Get started planning your honeymoon getaway, and contact us today.

Hills of Africa Travel specializes in customized honeymoons that will give you the perfect beginning to the rest of your life. Contact us today to plan the most amazing start to your married life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hills of Africa Travel is so proud of our new consultants

Hills of Africa Travel is so pleased to announce that we have two new consultants. Actually one new and one we've never wanted to share with you because she's so brilliant.

Michelle Potuzak joined Hills of Africa Travel in January 2008. We absolutely love her and we haven't told you about her because we didn't want to share our secret. But she's too wonderful not to share. Michelle is so excited to be sharing her love of animals, safari, Cape Town and Africa with you.


We have just added Marcia Sandry to our growing company and we are so excited that she's decided to come work with us. Marcia is so looking forward to sharing the Magic of Africa with you.

So come visit us at Hills of Africa Travel and we look forward to giving you an Africa trip of a lifetime. We can't wait for you to Live the Magic of Africa.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hills of Africa Travel wants you to Live the Magic of Africa



Hills of Africa Travel wants you to Live the Magic of Africa, so we pride ourselves in keeping you up to date on travel information.


Please note that with immediate effect ALL persons entering Zambia from Zimbabwe will be required to present themselves to a health officer (near the entrance boom at Victoria Falls Border) where they will be asked to wash their hands in a treated solution (this is flowing from a tap on a container) and then to walk through a treated mat (much the same as with the foot & mouth control when entering Botswana). This entire process will only take a couple of minutes, however if there are large volumes of border crossers, the process may take longer.


We can't wait for you to Live the Magic of Africa. Hills of Africa Travel creates customized trip of a lifetime travel to Africa.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hills of Africa Cares About Your Safety & Health During Your Travels in Africa



Hills of Africa Travel prides itself in giving timely and accurate information. Travelers often have health concerns when traveling to Africa and we want to give you the right information to keep you safe and healthy. Victoria Falls is a popular destination with so much to do. We want to give you the health facts to know when you're visiting.

Zimbabwe has made the news recently with an outbreak of cholera. We want to let you know that there is no cholera threat in Victoria Falls.

People planning to visit Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, are assured that there have been no reports of Cholera in the Victoria Falls region to date.

The District Medical Officer for Victoria Falls has assured GoToVictoriaFalls and all visitors that:

• There have been no reported cases of cholera in the region to date.

• The area is safe. However, as usual all are advised to take standard precautions such as washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom, cleaning all vegetables and fruit in clean, fresh water, etc.

• For visitors intending to visit outlying areas, such as villages, we highly recommend that guests and activity operators carry bottled mineral water.

• Public health authorities are regularly in touch with stakeholders, keeping them informed and updated on all matters of public health.

• Community awareness and education is carried out in the schools and general communities. The Environmental Health Department also carries out monthly water quality monitoring exercises, and communicates with the private sector.

• The key operators in Victoria Falls ensure that all sanitation and water reticulation systems are maintained to the highest possible standard. They are heavily involved in supporting maintenance of infrastructure and assisting with water treatment chemicals for the Municipality, to ensure the health and safety of both residents and visitors.

If you have any concerns or questions please don't hesitate to contact us at Hills of Africa Travel.

To plan your trip of a lifetime, please contact us at Hills of Africa Travel. We look forward to sharing the Magic of Africa with you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Path to Joy




Can you imagine yourself on an 8-day journey to Africa that has the potential to change your life?

Hills of Africa Travel is so excited to offer an 8-day journey to Africa with workshops by Gifted Medical Intuitive Christel Nani, and talented "The Work" facilitator, Roxann Burroughs.

Hills of Africa Travel is excited to announce an 8-day escorted journey to Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park for a mixture of safari, workshop and spiritual activities. The journey will take place from April 21 - April 29 and include 4 nights at Matetsi Water Lodge on the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, as well as a 4 nights on a fantastic safari at Makalolo Plains in Hwange National Park. The 8-day journey will feature 2 x 3 day workshops. The first, to be held by gifted medical intuitive Christel Nani. The second, to be held by certified facilitator of The Work, Roxann Burroughs.

This is the first escorted tour offered by Hills of Africa Travel and it is called "A Path to Joy" and is open to 24 lucky participants. Please visit A Path to Joy for more information about the journey and the workshop facilitators.

We are so excited to be changing people's lives forever. We can't wait for you to Live The Magic of Africa with you. This journey is more than just a safari, more than just a workshop, A Path to Joy is a simple itinerary with a very powerful formula.

We can't wait to see you there!

Call Hills of Africa Travel to "Live the Magic of Africa" and we promise a trip of a lifetime.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A warm thank you from Hills of Africa Travel - we love you!



We want to thank all of our fabulous clients for all your wonderful testimonials over the past few months, we are so grateful to you for traveling with us and we thank you for allowing us to give you the trip of a life time. A very special thank you to all you travel agents that amaze us with your requests, we are honored to help you with your VIP clients.

Here are just a few of our recent client testimonials:

Sandy - just to let you know that our trip was fabulous. Thank you. Beth Rosener, CA

Hey, Sandy! Wow...what an amazing trip I had! I loved every minute of it! I can see how people get addicted to Africa!!! I think you will be hearing from me again really soon!!! Thanks so much for all of your help!!! Kim Baumbach, NY

WOW! You girls put together an AMAZING itinerary for our trip to South Africa! Needless to say, we will insist that all of our friends planning trips to South Africa and the future winners of our charity auction safari use your services before traveling. My husband was less than thrilled about the prospect of traveling to South Africa. In the weeks leading up to our trip, I repeatedly overheard him telling people where we going, followed by the comment "Mary has always wanted to go..." Well, upon boarding the plane home, he told me that it was the most fantastic trip we had ever taken. Considering that we've been traveling together for 21 of our 41 years-that's HUGE! I cannot thank you enough for the arrangements you made. The itinerary gave us such a wonderful perspective of the different landscapes, cultures, cuisine, wine and people of South Africa. Your choice of lodging was impeccable. Each one outdid the previous one. Thank you for all your help and suggestions. Thanks to you, we truly had a trip of a lifetime! Mary Macchiaroli, FL

Call Hills of Africa Travel to "Live the Magic of Africa" and we promise a trip of a lifetime.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 4 of Hills of Africa FAM to South Africa


Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!! Long drive today as we headed to the area of Knysna. We piled into the van but refrained from sing alongs. En route, we stopped at the little town of Swellendam, the third oldest town in all of South Africa, for a tour of a local museum, their gardens and lunch at a local restaurant. It was delicious.

Back in the van for more driving. We eventually arrived at Lairds Lodge about 5:30pm....just in time for cocktails! Another stunning place. A picture perfect version of Cape Dutch architecture. Many of us wished we could carbon copy the decor and bring it back home for us. Dinner began with a cooking demonstration by their head chef, Bee Bee. We learned that Bee Bee began with Lairds Lodge as a gardener but the owner recognized a drive to work hard and a passion for cooking. The dinner again was delicious and we rolled into bed.

Book your travel through Hills of Africa Travel and we will make sure that you have a trip of a lifetime.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 3 of Hills of Africa Travel FAM in South Africa



This morning, we had to tear ourselves away from La Residence. Again, it was difficult.

We enjoyed 2 more wine tastings today ..... before lunch!!!! The first was at a place called Bouchard Finnlayson. The winemaker himself conducted the tasting. Our guide Pam, told us he is one of the most highly revered winemakers in all of Southern Africa, so it was a real treat to have the wine tasting conducted by him. He took us on a little tour of the operation and then proceeded to offer a taste of 6 or 7 wines. My favorite was Crocodile's Lair.

Then on to another wine tasting, right up the road. When we got out of the van in the parking lot, I had to stop for a moment because our views were so incredible. This was the first time I had been in a place in the winelands where I could see the beautiful rolling hills, the vineyards AND the sea all in one. It was gorgeous and I felt like i could build a little house here and never leave.

The biggest treat with this winetasting was that we went right down to the cellar and he siphoned the wine straight from the barrel. None of us had ever done that before and we had some pretty experienced people on board. When we finished, we rolled ourselves upstairs for a lunch. Then it was off to Hermanus. We got to Birkenhead House and we could feel the low key, beach vibe as soon as we arrived. We all saw whales pretty quickly. In fact, we even saw one giving us a show with the tail flapping on the water surface. Excellent indeed.

Another beautiful dinner that evening and quick to bed for another big day coming up.

Book your travel through Hills of Africa Travel and we will make sure that you have a trip of a lifetime.

Day 2 of Hills of Africa Travel FAM in South Africa

Here is some wonderful news from Meredith's familiarization trip with Travel Agents in South Africa:

What a huge day....I think we ended up fitting 2 full days of touring into one. We left Tintswalo Atlantic quite late because we couldn't tear ourselves away from the incredible sea views, delicious breakfast and warm hospitality. We set out on a tour of the Cape Peninsula,stopping at the Cape of Good Hope, and Boulders Beach. We were so lucky to have perfect weather for the day....it was blue skies everywhere,but not too hot. At the Cape of Good Hope, we were able to do a great hike down to the bottom and we could see forever in all directions. Incidentally, this is where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet and it is the most south westerly point in the African continent. We then moved on to Boulders Beach where there is a large penguin colony. We learned that penguins are only found in the southern hemisphere so it's a treat for Americans to see them outside of an aquarium. They are so cute!!!!

Moving onwards, we trekked over to the lovely town of Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands, after driving through Stellenbosch. We were so taken away by the beautiful scenery. I think it looks especially magical on perfect weather days like we had. It is spring here and all the flowers are blooming too. We had a quick lunch at a lovely little sandwich shop and then made it in time for our 4PM wine tasting. Yippee! It was so fun to finally get the chance to do a proper wine tasting in the Cape Winelands. Far different from a wine tasting in California....they set up 5 or 6 bottles and you get to taste each one, and it was all prepaid.

This set the mood nicely and we were off to La Residence. Oh My God!!!!! We had heard that it would blow us away but we still weren't prepared for it. IT was mindboggling nice. Barbara, one of the agents, said that La Residence was tipping their favorite place in the world, Villa D'Este in Italy, down a rung in their list and that La Residence had now taken the top spot. It really is something to see. It is the former villa of owner Liz Biden. Every room is decorated with an incredible touch and eye for detail. It's almost like staying in a museum, but a very comfortable one. The views from every window are of great hills and vineyards and mountains in the distance. Just so beautiful. They put on a wonder-FULL dinner for us, beginning with a demonstration. We all slept well that night!!!!

Book your travel through Hills of Africa Travel and we will make sure that you have a trip of a lifetime.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome to our blog

Meredith and Sandy are delighted to have entered the blogging world - yippee! Meredith is in South Africa for Thanksgiving. She is taking a group of wonderful travel agents on our first familiarization trip. They have stayed at Kensington Place, Cape Grace and Tintswalo Atlantic.

Today they were off to Birkenhead House i
n Hermanus and I heard from Meredith that they saw whales.

We are very grateful to 12 Apostles for hosting our group for sunset cocktails and to Tintswalo Atlantic for putting on a fabulous dinner. Everyone was suitably impressed with Hills of Africa Travel and our travel arrangements.

Here are some pictures of the brand new Tintswalo Atlantic! Gosh, do I wish I was there.














Book your travel through Hills of Africa Travel and we will make sure that you have a trip of a lifetime.