The Best Destinations to Visit in Eastern and Southern Africa


Traveling the continent of Africa is an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. While enjoying exceptional accommodations while there, travelers are often looking for destinations that will allow them to observe “the big five” African animals: the leopard, the lion, the buffalo, the rhino and the elephant. Keep reading to learn about some of the must see destinations in Eastern and Southern Africa while on safari.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve shares a border with the Kruger National Park in South Africa. There are no fences here, but there are over 160,000 acres of unspoiled African countryside. Sabi Sand Game Reserve does not allow day visitors, so a visit here requires travelers to stay in one of several lodges. Rather than being an inconvenience, this rule ensures that the reserve will never be overpopulated with tourists and that game sightings will remain frequent and unspoiled by overuse.  Rangers are allowed to drive off road when following an animal; this in forbidden in the National Park, but adds a whole level of experience few others will ever know.

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

The Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is located in the country of Zambia and includes the magnificent Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River. Although the park only consists of 16,300 acres, travelers can expect to see various antelope species, elephants, zebras, giraffe, warthogs and many species of birds and smaller animals. This is one of the few areas where visitors are allowed to drive their own vehicles, but traveling with a guide is still suggested in order to have the best chance of seeing the animals in their natural environment. If you are feeling really adventurous, there are even elephant back tours available on occasion.

Matusadona National Park

This 338,000-acre park is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba and boasts one of the only remaining populations of the endangered black rhino. In addition, travelers can expect to see elephants, leopards, hyenas, lions and cheetahs, as well as over 350 species of birds. While you are there, consider a stay at the Changa Safari Camp. This camp is a delightful mix of luxury and relaxation coupled with all the access to game drives twice daily.

Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools National Park is located along the Zambezi River and is designated as a World Heritage Site. This park is home to elephants, rhinos, hippopotamuses and even crocodiles. The park is named for the four pools (“mana” means four in the language of the Shona people), which are located a short distance inland from the Zambezi River. The largest pool, called Long Pool, is a popular spot for large numbers of elephants to come and drink.  Ruckomechi Camp is situated on the bank of the Zambezi River. The camp houses guests in 10 in-suite tents and offers luxury amenities such as an infinity edged pool, and a secluded bath with a view that is a unique and romantic experience.

The Best of Eastern and Southern Africa

If you are considering planning a trip to Africa contact us for your safari booking needs. We will design the perfect itinerary for you that makes sure you do not miss these wonderful destinations along the way.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa


5 Things You Need to Know before Your Walking Safari


A safari vacation in Africa can be one of the most thrilling, exciting and educational vacations you can take. You will see and experience things you never even imagined possible, from stunning sunsets to bizarre and interesting animals to beautiful and almost alien landscapes. You are, however, traveling to another continent and a whole new world, so it is important to be prepared. Here are five things you should know and do as you begin the process of preparing for a walking safari in Africa.

Travel Light: Preparing for a Walking Safari

Understand first that the experience you’re about to undertake is not a normal vacation. Pack light, don’t load yourself down with gear and understand you’ll likely be traveling in a large group. Don’t bring a ton of cameras and gear; this will only get in everyone’s way and damage your co-travelers’ enjoyment. In addition, you are on a walking safari. For goodness’ sake, wear comfortable clothes and shoes!

This Is Not an Amusement Park

Your safari trip is not a trip to Disneyland. You will be in the wild, viewing animals in their true natural habitat and while safari trips make every effort to keep you safe, there are dangers in coming close to wild animals. Listen to your guide—there are reasons for the rules they have in place and for the requests they make.

You May Not See It All

Understand that since you are viewing natural habitats and wild animals, you might not get to see everything you’re hoping to see. It’s possible the wildebeests just won’t be around the day you go on your trip. There are five animals that everyone wants to see: lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceros. You may find that one or more of these creatures doesn’t show up—they’re on their schedule, not yours. You need to prepare for the fact that you might be disappointed.

Every Experience Is Different

You may have the opportunity to explore several different walking safari experiences while on vacation. If you can, then do so! Each experience offers something different and if, for example, you don’t see a lion on Tuesday, the trip you take on Thursday might just feature one.

Patience and Attention

If you are patient, willing to follow the rules and explore many different experiences, your African walking safari trip will be the time of your life. Even if you don’t get to see every single animal you wanted, you’ll still be treated to an experience that you will probably never top. The key is following the rules, staying comfortable and being patient and attentive. Keep your eyes open and your camera sharp, and don’t forget to just enjoy your trip.

If you are ready to take the vacation experience of a lifetime, we are ready to provide it! Look over our different African Safari Experience packages, and give us a call for more information or to book your trip today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

The Places, Landscapes, and Animals You’ll See on an African Safari


Africa is an enormous continent with a mind-boggling level of diversity. With a land mass large enough to fit China, India, the U.S., Japan and most of Europe inside, you can imagine that the differences from one coast to the other are profound. Snowy mountains, verdant forests, lush swamplands, captivating savannahs, endless deserts, sprawling lakes and thundering waterfalls can all be found within a few hours’ flight of one another. In these ecosystems exist a staggering array of flora and fauna, the likes of which would be impossible to find anywhere else on the planet.

Join us as we explore some of Africa’s more notable locales and species and as you envision your perfect wild and wonderful African safari.

Kruger National Park

South Africa’s Kruger National Park is the perfect locale for first-time safari goers. Large areas of the park are accessible via well-traveled roads that crisscross through some of the more notable habitats. An abundance of facilities is also available, ensuring that a bathroom break or a souvenir trip are not out of the question even while you observe a family of warthogs scurrying past.

With countless choices of game drives available, there is also always something new to see and do in Kruger. You will be able to see all “big five” animals here, luck permitting: lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, elephants and rhinos.

Okavango Delta

Unlike most rivers, the Okavango empties out into the heart of the mainland. A huge geophysical trough causes all of the annual flood waters to drain out into a massive wetlands area teeming with native wildlife. Bird lovers will be particularly captivated by the Okavango Delta since thousands of exotic species migrate through here every year.

Lake Malawi

Sitting along the borders of Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi has a huge presence in Eastern Africa. It occupies around 11.4 thousand square miles and has enough water volume to fill Lake Tahoe 56 times over.

Aside from the typical African majesty, two things make Lake Malawi remarkable: the beautiful green hills that flank the rocky banks and the thousands of different, rainbow-colored cichlid species that can be observed when snorkeling.

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara offers the ultimate “untouched” experience for those who want to enjoy a more private sensation on walking safaris or game drives. This large park in Kenya has a more intimate feel and can completely immerse you in nature. Observe zebras, giraffes, herds of wildebeest, African elephants, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and more while lodging at luxurious private camps.

The nearby Mara River also provides spectacular photographic opportunities when wildebeest migrations cross through from July to early November.

Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Crater is what happens when a volcano the size of a small country erupts and then collapses upon itself millions of years ago. Now, the breathtaking vista presents one of the most unique African landscapes available. The entirety of the crater can be observed from its rim along with all of its unique species. Blue wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, Cape buffalo, hippopotamus and more call the crater home. The rare Maasai lion also has one of the densest populations here.

See These Places and More on African Safari!

Africa’s aforementioned sheer size means that these remarkable treasures are just a taste of what lies in the rest of the continent. Take a look at our African safari vacation packages to learn more about what you can experience when you come to Africa.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

The Kinds of Cameras and Lenses You’ll Need in the Wild



An African photography safari is the adventure of a lifetime whether you are a point and shoot beginner or a seasoned veteran. One of the biggest concerns for most people is bringing the right equipment so that you don’t end up missing, or messing up, the one in a million shot. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a photography expert or need to spend a fortune in order to capture all the wonder and majesty Africa has to offer. Here are some suggestions for cameras and lenses that will have you taking pictures that National Geographic would be proud to publish!

The Perfect Camera

Your camera, or more appropriately, cameras, are the most important equipment that you will bring on your photo safari. It may seem tempting to decide that your smartphone camera will work well enough or that you can cut corners by buying a couple of inexpensive digital cameras. Either of these options will result in you missing important shots and being unhappy with the shots you do get when you get home and are editing.

Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera

The best choice for capturing the amazing images from your trip will be a digital single lens reflex, or DSLR, camera. There are several well respected manufacturers of DSLR cameras, such as Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Sony. These cameras are extremely versatile, and with the correct lenses they can capture the smallest bird sitting on a branch or a cheetah running at full speed across the open plain. While DSLR cameras are fast, versatile, and user friendly, they can and do sometimes fail in the harsh environments of Africa. For this reason, the well prepared traveler will bring two camera bodies on safari and keep one in reserve in case the first fails or is damaged.

 Important Features

When shopping for the perfect cameras there are a few key features that need to be considered.

What type of image stabilization does the camera itself have? You will often want to shoot while moving or while in an unusual position, and camera stabilization will be necessary to keep from taking blurry photographs. Small size and weight are nice features but should not be traded for functionality. You will also want to look for a DSLR that has extended dynamic range. This feature will make sure that your photographs are not too bright or too dark, and that detail is not lost in either shadow or brightness. Many new cameras offer this enhanced feature, but there are also computer programs that can fix issues after the photograph has been taken.

The Right Lens for the Job

Professional DSLR lenses are extremely expensive, heavy and take a lot of practice to learn to use correctly. Fortunately, those lenses are not necessary to take great, close up photos during your safari. Look for telephoto lenses that have internal stabilization and have a large maximum aperture, like the Canon EF 100-400L IS. Also, consider bringing two lenses so that you do not have to open your camera up in all the dust and risk damaging your camera.

Now that you have your camera and lenses picked out, contact us and learn about our photography safari options.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui. Travel AFrica

Why Every Photographer Should Go on an African Safari


Photography is more than a hobby for a lot of people, it is a way of life. There is nothing better than capturing the moment in a snapshot that can be saved for eternity. This is a fingerprint that can be left on the world, for future generations—or anyone who decides to open one of many albums sitting on the shelf.

If you can relate, you have probably found many places that you would like to visit and photograph around the world. Have you considered an African safari tour? This is a dream destination for many photographers, and a safari will provide you with the opportunity to see diverse landscapes, as well as a multitude of animals. There are few places in the world that offer the photo opportunities that Africa does. Here are a few reasons why every photographer should go on an African safari.

The Diverse Landscape

Do you want to capture alluring deserts or majestic, snowcapped mountains? What about a breathtaking image of the largest waterfall in the world, or a few shots of a fleeting tropical forest? You can find all of these geographical features plus many more within Africa. Many countries boast multiple landscapes that can be seen on a safari tour. There is no other place in the world that provides photographers with so many different options for landscapes.

The Animals

Of course, you cannot talk about Africa without mentioning the diverse and abundant wildlife. Most people only dream of seeing these creatures in their natural habitats. The only other places to photograph stunning animals such as lions, zebras, gorillas and many, many more creatures is the nearest zoo. Pictures of thriving animals out in the wild make for much more interesting shots.

The Adventure

A safari tour is a once in a lifetime trip for most people. This is your opportunity to travel to a new, exotic place and experience things that some only dream of seeing. Africa is known for being a place of adventure, and you can capture that through the lens of your camera. You will have amazing stories to go along with your images, instead of just pretty pictures with no tales.

Meet Other Photographers

You are bound to run into someone else on your trip that shares your love for photography. This is a great chance to network and connect with others from around the globe. You will be able to share ideas and advice, as well as receive the same from photographers who are enjoying their safari vacation.

Get Experience

Going to Africa and photographing your safari trip is the ultimate way to build your portfolio. If you do photography for a living, your clients will love the fact that you have traveled and photographed diverse locations. This will provide you with the experience you need to make a name for yourself in the business.

Book Your African Safari Today

All photographers should travel to Africa. If you would like more information, visit our safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

The Geographical Features of Botswana


Botswana is a beautiful country in the southern region of Africa that won its independence from Great Britain in the recent year of 1966. It is a stable democracy that believes that each individual is as unique and important as the features within its boundaries. Some other major countries, big tourist destinations for safari travelers, serve as neighbors for Botswana including Namibia and Zimbabwe. The country has one of the scarcest populations on the planet, with most of its residents living in the capital city of Gaborone. This provides the key element of “away” for travelers who are looking for the perfect place to escape.

If you are planning a big safari vacation soon, you should consider visiting the great country of Botswana. Here are some of the interesting geographical features that you will be delighted to find.

The Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a vast formation that stretches across the nations of Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. The title of “desert” is actually quite misleading, as the region sees too much rainfall to be classified in this manner. In fact, the Kalahari Desert receives five to ten inches of rain annually.

The dunes that are located within this desert make up the largest continuous stretch of sand on the planet. Though the Sahara Desert is larger than the Kalahari, only 15 percent of that region is comprised of dunes. There are many different kinds of trees and plants growing within the Kalahari, which are an important part of its thriving ecosystem. Animals are perhaps the biggest attraction of this geological feature. Lions, leopards, baboons, birds and a multitude of other animals make their life in this desert habitat of Botswana.

Tsodilo Hills

At the end of the Kalahari bush you will find a dramatic rising rock formation that is known as the Tsodilo Hills. This place captivates all who come to see the copper-colored faces of giant rocks in all their splendor.

To the natives, these hills are sacred, and the place where their ancestors choose to dwell. There are three main hills that are known as “male, female and child.” The Tsodilo Hills are covered in ancient rock paintings, which make them an even more inspiring sight to behold. There are several mysteries surrounding these hills, such as how the rocks formed so far from any others in the area, and why the paintings are so different. This is a place that you have to see to believe.

The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Thousands of years ago, there was a great lake that completely immersed an area larger than the country of Switzerland. This lake has long since dried up, leaving behind the largest salt plains on the planet—The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. This landscape is stunning and home to a diverse collection of plants and animals.

Book Your African Safari Vacation

If you are interested in learning more, visit our safari tours or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today. Botswana, as well as many other countries, are excellent places to escape from the world.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Birds to Look for On Your East African Safari


If you are an avid bird watcher, an East African safari should be at the top of your bucket list. This region of the continent is known for the abundance of beautiful birds that call the skies home. There are thousands of different species—big, tall, small beaks and large, bulky, streamlined, colorful and bland. Each have their own characteristics and personalities that make them unique. The bird population in Africa makes it one of the best places on Earth to take a bird watching trip.

While you are watching the skies for your dream sightings, you might even catch a glimpse of many iconic land animals as well. Even if you are not that into bird watching, you will still enjoy seeing some of the wonderful species that can be found in the area. Here are some of the birds that you should look out for while you are on your East African safari.

The Shoebill

You might not equate the giant, blundering Shoebill to a graceful ballerina, but seeing one is a rare chance that many covet. People come from all over the world to spot this amazing bird that is characterized by having large, round eyes, grey feathers and a bulky beak. Since this bird can only be found in Africa, it is a prime tourist attraction. Until recent years, the Shoebill was not protected and it was common for their eggs to be stolen straight from their nests. Thankfully, the bird is now under the protection of laws that will make it possible for future generations to enjoy their presence.

The Green-Breasted Pitta

Though this bird is common in multiple countries in Africa, it is rather difficult to spot. Many avid bird enthusiasts dream of capturing a photograph of the small Green-Breasted Pitta. Their color helps them to blend perfectly with the green tropical forests that they call home. They are stunning little creatures, sporting vibrant shades of green, red, yellow and navy.

The African Green Broadbill

Due to deforestation, you can only see this magnificent bird in two small places on the planet—both of which are in Africa. They are characterized by their gorgeous green shades and streamlined bodies. These birds are tropical, and their natural habitat is highly threatened.

The Great Blue Turaco

This bird cannot be mistaken for any other, as it sports a unique arrangement of feathers atop its nobly shaped head, as well as a pronounced set on the tail. The Great Blue Turaco is named for its beautiful blue coloring, which is paired with a vibrant yellow on the chest, tail and beak. These birds are hunted for meat and mementos that are made from their wings.

Doherty’s Bushshrike

This subtropical bird is neither endangered or uncommon, but its unique coloring makes it a favorite site among tourists and safari goers. Doherty’s Bushshrike is red, yellow and black—a truly beautiful arrangement.

Book Your African Safari Today

If you would like to have the opportunity to see these birds, as well as many others, in person, visit our safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

5 Tips for Capturing the Perfect Landscape Shots During Your African Safari


Not everyone has the luxury of bringing along their own professional photographer to document every beautiful moment of their African safari vacation. For most visitors who take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the rich and diverse content, they must be their own photographers. This might be a bit intimidating at first, and you may be worried that your pictures will not turn out worthy enough to show off later in life, much less provide you with invaluable mementos, but you cannot go on this trip without bringing back a few pictures that are truly worth a thousand words.

Between the abundance of land and water creatures, as well as the breath-taking landscape, you are sure to capture something magical. To help you with your new found hobby, here are five tips for capturing the perfect landscape shots during your African safari vacation.

  1. Bring a Tripod

Shaky hands can ruin every great shot you have, and there are few things worse than reviewing a day’s work of photographs, only to realize that they are no good. You can solve this problem by packing a tripod to use while you are capturing pictures of the landscape. You should adjust your aperture to a small setting so that you can increase your depth. Doing so will allow less light to hit your image sensor, but you can compensate by slowing down your shutter speed. A slower shutter speed means that there is a greater space for error from shaking hands.

  1. Find Your Focal Point

Even landscape shots need something as a focal point to draw the eye. Otherwise, your pictures may look rather empty and boring. Hunt for a good focal point for your pictures, be it an interesting tree or an elephant moving gracefully through the tall grass. Consider your placement of the focal point inside the picture, rather than what exactly is drawing the eye.

  1. Consider Your Foreground

The forward most points of your images are just as important as the landscape itself. Placing interesting features in the beginning allows the viewer to ease into the picture and will also create a sense of depth.

  1. Check the Sky

If the sky is not interesting at the moment that you are taking pictures, decrease its presence and add more landscape. There are moments that make the sky worthwhile, such as a sunrise or set, beautiful cloud formations or migrant birds. Be sure to capture those skies, as they will be ones that you will want to remember.

  1. Look for Lines

Lines are a great way to lead the viewer’s eye into the image, as well as provide you with a nice, clean photograph. There are natural and manmade lines all throughout the landscape of Africa. As you stop to capture the beautiful views, be sure to find these lines and incorporate them into your photography.

Book Your African Safari Vacation

You can book your dream African safari vacation today and capture the beautiful landscape of Africa. If you have questions, visit our safari page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

Jill LIphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

An Encounter with Giraffes


giraffes after rain

Are you hoping to travel to Africa to go on an African safari vacation in the near future? If so, you are probably very excited about the multitude of animals that you will have the opportunity to see. While many are impressed with the lions, tigers, bears and water buffalo that call the area home, others are hoping to be inspired by the creativity of nature.

One of the most amazing animals that can be found in Africa is the giraffe. This model of physiological ingenuity has amazed both spectators and scientists alike. There is no experience that comes close to matching the wonder that is brought by going on an African safari vacation. Your encounter with giraffes will certainly be an unforgettable moment. Here is a bit of information on this magnificent creature.

Tallest Land Animal on Earth

Most people know that you will be looking up when you get close to a giraffe, but understanding that they are tell does not quite prepare you for the reality of your meeting. Giraffes are the tallest land animals that are currently walking the planet. They see above the trees and make for great reporters. These animals could easily look into a second story window while standing flat footed.

Giraffes are characterized by having a small hump that is located on their back. They are splendidly colored in a way that is very similar to that of a leopard. The brilliant shades of orange and browns makes them easier to spot on the horizon.

No, It Is Not Tired

Giraffes appear to move slowly, taking their time to get from place to place over the vast landscapes of South Africa. You might wonder if the animal was tired after seeing it move in that fashion, but giraffes actually need very little sleep. Five to 30 minutes is all that this creature needs to thrive without being too tired. Even on very little sleep, the giraffe is still capable of watching for and running from terrible predators.

Their Diet

Keeping that giant-sized body up to weight requires the giraffe to intake huge quantities of food throughout the day — 75 pounds of food, to be exact. They eat mostly the leaves of trees, and since they do not get many leaves in one bite, giraffes spend most of their day munching away so that they can keep up their weight. Their favorite food is the leaves of the acacia tree.

Expect Noise

Contrary to popular belief, giraffes do make a bit of noise, though they are not loud. They focus their vocal energy on grunting, moos, roars, grunts, hisses and snorts. This is a way of communication that helps the giraffe to warn others before they become the next meal for a while.

Going on an African safari vacation and seeing so many amazing animals is a trip that you will never forget. Your encounter with a giraffe is sure to be amazing. If you would like more information, visit our African safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

The Strangest Rodents in Africa

baobab tree

It commonly understood that Africa is home to some of the world’s most interesting and rare animals. From zebras to chimpanzees, penguins, rhinos and more, this beautiful land is home to every size, shape and color of animal.

Like most parts of the world, Africa has rodents, too. However, some of the rodents in Africa might be stranger to you than those you’d find at home. Here is a quick list of some of the African rodents that we find particularly interesting, and we hope you do, too!


Native to northern Africa, jerboas are mouse-like rodents that have short forelegs but long hind legs. Almost like a cross between a rabbit and a mouse, the jerboa can have large ears. They’re cute and little, but look out! Many are taken aback by the fact that these rodents can leap in the air.

Spring Hare

The spring hare originated in Africa, is close to the size of rabbit and similar to the jerboa. Of the all rodents in Africa, the spring hare might be the most interesting-looking. With a long, bushy tail, rabbit-like ears and hind legs, and a face like a rat, this animal can be seen jumping around the southern and eastern parts of the continent.

Maned Rat

Also know as the crested rat, the maned rat is an African rodent that almost looks like a skunk. This long-haired animal resides in East Africa, has short arms and ears to match. You might see it scurrying along, or sitting up on its hind haunches to eat with its front paws.

Dassie Rat

Usually found in the southwestern regions of Africa is the dassie rat. From afar, this rodent looks almost like your average groundhog, but when you get a closer look, you’ll notice the differences. The main feature of a dassie rat that stands out are its sharp front teeth. This animal has adapted to survive in the rough landscape. With flexible ribs, the dassie rat can even flatten out and squeeze itself in between tighter spaces.


Living in the more arid regions of Africa, the blesmol has adapted to the subterranean levels of the Earth. Their front teeth can protrude beyond their closed mouth, allowing for them to dig without ingesting dirt. With a stocky body, beady eyes, no outer ears and seemingly no neck, the blesmol is not the cutest of creatures.


The largest of the small-bodied rodents in Africa is the dormouse. This animal has large eyes, a squirrel-like tail and small, round ears. Many find the dormouse endearing, as the reddish fur is soft and bushy. Dormice can climb and often build their nests in trees. These animals are usually nocturnal, but you might see one during the day if you’re lucky.

Are you interested in seeing these strange rodents with your own eyes? We hope you are! With Roho Ya Chui, you can explore Africa through safaris and tours. Enjoy the beauty of the land and the excitement of seeing these animals up-close. To learn more, please visit our website or contact us for additional information.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa