Experience an Africa Safari!
Safari Newsletter

Our current safari newsletter is below. To email this newsletter to friends or family, click here. To subscribe to our monthly newsletter, absolutely free of charge, please click here.

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Alan Fox is on safari in South Africa with SITA World Tours and his second report, from the Kapama Karula lodge, is below.

Please scroll down to see this week's safari deals.

"Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing."
--John Donne


I'm sitting on the back deck of my casita at Kapama Karula, looking down at the Klaserie River. This is the second of three lodges and private game reserves that I will visit on my safari. I arrived two days ago via a 15-minute bush plane flight from my last lodge.

There are mischievous, black-faced vervet monkeys in the tree at the end of the deck, watching my every move. I have dealt with their kind before--they're hoping for an opportunity to sweep down and run off with my cellphone.

There's a huge lizard moving along the bank on this side of the river and a solitary bull elephant grazing in the meadow on the other side. He wraps his trunk around a section of tall grass, tears it from the ground and shakes out the dirt before putting it in his mouth.

Kapama Karula is the finest of four luxury lodges sharing the enormous Kapama Private Game Reserve, just outside Kruger National Park. The lodge offers 12 lavishly decorated suites surrounded by trees and scattered across the property, ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,829 square feet.

Each suite features floor-to-ceiling windows, a private swimming pool on an elevated back deck, indoor and outdoor showers, bath, fireplace and every modern convenience.

There's a beautiful, new spa with infinity pool and a well-equipped fitness center. A spacious bar and lounge overlook the river. A library and a shop filled with local crafts and souvenirs round out the amenities. Guests do not lack for anything.

Gourmet fish, poultry and game dishes are served in the open-air dining room and in the boma, a traditional, outdoor enclosure for dining. The food here is truly extraordinary.

The grounds of the lodge are bordered by the river on one side and a mile-long fence on the other. With predators locked out, guests can walk unescorted to and from their suites, passing monkeys, mongooses and the most relaxed impalas within a hundred miles.

Game drive highlights have included close encounters with rhinos, a lion and a leopard. Rhinos are under tremendous pressure from poachers, who kill them for their horns, which can bring up to six figures on the black market. Misinformed end users in China and Vietnam believe ground rhino horn cures everything from cancer to hangovers. Middle Eastern buyers carve horns into cups and dagger handles.

On several occasions, our open-air Land Rover was surrounded by herds of African elephants, the largest land animals on Earth. Elephants can grow up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 26,000 pounds. They look down on our vehicle and are not the slightest bit concerned by our presence.

Elephants are born blind, weighing 200 pounds or more, and calves can stand almost immediately. We saw a newborn elephant learning how to walk, staggering forward, backward and sideways as it was gently guided by the trunks of its mother and other adults.

Once they can see and walk, calves are as playful as puppies and are curious when they see a vehicle. They'll walk straight toward our Land Rover with ears flapping and trunk raised as if to trumpet until an adult nudges them in a new direction.

Elephants rarely stop moving and they don't look for trails, they MAKE them as they munch their way straight through the thickest part of the bush. Uprooted and trampled bushes, limbs stripped of bark and leaves, and the sound of trees cracking and falling are sure signs that elephants are close by.

A single elephant consumes up to 300 pounds of vegetation every day, and it takes up to 20 hours of eating to do it.

Elephants are intelligent and peaceful by nature. Despite their unmatched size and strength, they do not bother other animals, except in self-defense. They protect their young and each other. They adopt the calves of adults that die or are killed by poachers or other animals.

Elephants are said by some to have human emotions, to cry and feel loss and mourn their dead. They may return for years to stand by the bones of a fallen family member.

One herd was documented pushing and pulling the carcass of the family matriarch for a week after she died, as if to say, "Get up!"

Elephant families are led by the oldest female. When males in the herd near sexual maturity, they leave or are driven out of the family and will spend the rest of their lives alone or in loose association with other bulls.

The old fellow across the river may be past his days of mating. He's too massive for lions to bother and he should be safe from ivory poachers on this private game reserve. He could live to be 70 before he grinds down the last of his six sets of teeth and starves to death.

That would be a long and lucky life in the bush; a noble life.

Alan Fox

To view photos or a slideshow from this leg of my journey, please click here.

Alan Fox is traveling for the second time with the deluxe safari operator SITA World Tours. The company has more than 80 years of experience and specializes in guided travel to exotic destinations.

SITA offers upscale safaris throughout Africa on scheduled departures for small groups but will also customize a safari for as few as two people. They work with the best lodges and guides in each destination and take care of every detail.

The safari experts at Vacations To Go can help you find the perfect SITA safari. To see SITA safari itineraries in Africa, click here. To see all SITA tours worldwide, click here.

Top 10 Africa vacations

1) Affordable South Africa In-Depth, 10 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg. Starting at $3,175. Departures from August 28 through December 18, 2017.

2) Garden Route Adventure, 14 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Durban and ends in Cape Town. Starting at $1,280. Departures from September 10, 2017 through December 30, 2018.

3) Culture & Wildlife of Uganda & Rwanda, 10 days with G Adventures. Begins in Kampala and ends in Kigali. Starting $2,804. Departures from October 14, 2017 through December 21, 2018.

4) Jewels of Africa, 11 days with Monograms. Begins in Nairobi and ends in Cape Town. Starting at $3,279. Daily departures from January 1 through December 30, 2018.

5) Highlights of Namibia, 11 days with SITA Tours. Begins and ends in Windhoek. Starting at $3,395. Departures from September 11 through November 13, 2017.

6) The Plains of Africa, 14 days with Collette. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Save $500 per couple. Starting at $5,221. Departures from June 7, 2018 through April 11, 2019.

7) Southern Africa: Travel to the Ends of the Earth, 9 days with CroisiEurope. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Victoria Falls. Save $800 per couple. Starting at $6,319. Departures from January 5 through December 19, 2018.

8) Tanzania Wildlife Safari, 14 days with African Travel. Begins and ends in Addis Ababa. Reduced airfare from select gateways is included. Starting at $7,995. Departures from September 4 through December 18, 2017.

9) Botswana Safari in Style, 10 days with Abercrombie & Kent. Begins and ends in Johannesburg. Save $2,000 per couple. Starting at $8,995. Departs October 4, 11 & 18 and November 15, 2017.

10) Botswana, South Africa & Zambia, 12 days with Tauck. Begins in Livingstone and ends in Cape Town. Starting at $9,990. Departures from April 14 through October 13, 2018.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-291-3346. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

For the world's best selection of deeply discounted cruises, click here.
For river cruises along famed waterways, click here.
For escorted tours to destinations worldwide, click here.
For hotels and resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Bahamas and Europe, click here.

Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@africasafari.com and I will respond the same day.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.


Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go

Speak to a South Africa Safari Specialist

Open Mon-Fri 7am to 10pm, Sat 8am to 8pm, Sun 9am to 8pm, U.S. Central Time

| South Africa Safaris | Photo Gallery | Safari Operators |
Copyright © 2017 by . All rights reserved. CST 2072920-50
| Change Your E-mail Address | Site Map | Terms and Conditions | About SouthAfricaSafaris.com | Contact SouthAfricaSafaris.com |
Email this Newsletter

Share using your email or copy and send page link below.

Click to Email Newsletter