EPIC ROAD'S SAFARI BLOG

Friday
May032013

Epic Road's Most Romantic Honeymoon Safaris

romantic honeymoon safari

Whether you're looking to relax together in the utmost elegant luxury, or to strengthen your bond over thrilling natural adventures, Epic Road has the most romantic trip for you. 

Rwanda: Trekking with Gorillas

With less than 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, the time to see them is now. Ascend the slopes of Rwanda’s dormant volcanoes into dense, misty green forest, and come face-to-face with the great ape who shares 95% of our DNA. Be amazed by the eerily familiar behavior of these intelligent, charismatic and endangered apes as they eat, nap, and play in family groups.

Cape Town, South Africa: Jet-set holiday

Cape Town is the most European of African cities–a true melting pot, molded by Dutch and English imperialism, and deeply infused by the indigenous African cultures. The glittering skyscrapers that stretch towards the cloud-wreathed peak of Table Mountain are punctuated by the shouts of children in the townships and the call of the muezzin from the mosque. In one day, you can experience dazzling landscapes, visit cutting-edge art galleries, and enjoy a world-class meal made from the region’s many farms and vineyards.

Serengeti Plains, Tanzania: Africa's vast plains and you

Experience the Africa of storybooks and documentaries of the Serengeti Plains. Wide open savannahs, herds of wildebeest and big cats tracking them down. Zebras, elephants, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes and you. Reminiscent of a bygone era, Singita Sabora Tented Camp dishes up lavish doses of romance, exploration and intrigue. It's location on a private reserve in the Serengeti will often make you feel like you’re the only one on the planet. Alone to experience Africa’s vastness.

Arctic Circle: Northern Lights

The delicate, painterly wash of the Aurora Borealis is worth staying up for. Nestle close with your loved one outside of your safari-style luxury igloo while the sky lights up in psychedelic pinks and greens. In the morning, helicopter over the ice floes in search of a mother polar bear with her cubs, and the rare Torngat caribou herds. When night falls, settle once again into the warmth and luxury of your own personal igloo.

Mozambique Archipelago: Lost in the Indian Ocean

Aside from the wonderful staff on Mozambique’s Vamizi Island, who provide everything—shade, lunch, drinks, snorkeling equipment—don’t expect to see a soul. In this most remote, pristine setting, you and your loved one can dive with whales, dolphins, turtles, giant parrotfish, and manta rays, fish for your dinner, explore the island’s conservation activities with the World Wildlife Fund, or simply lie on the beach and let your worries be washed away by the island’s beauty and gentle surf.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: Wonders of the World

Few natural sights are as arresting as the massive Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall in the world and one of Africa’s top draws. Less known however, are the wonders that surround the waterfall in this rich and diverse regions—one of Africa’s most beautiful. Swim in the thrilling precariousness of Victoria Falls’ Devil’s pool. Lounge beside hippos as they bathe in the great Zambezi River. Bungee jump next to the awesome, powerful Falls. Safari on the back of an elephant. This is romance at its most exciting.

Namibia and Botswana: Animal Adventure

The Kalahari Desert, stretching across Namibia and Botswana, is Africa’s oldest, unchanged landscape. This land of epic dunes, volcanic mountains, and prolific plains is also home to some of Africa’s most luxury safari lodges. In addition to spectacular landscapes—vast deserts with thousand-foot sand dunes and a coastline strewn with bleached whalebones and ancient shipwrecks. Stay at the Serra Cafema Camp in the northwest corner of Kakaoland to enjoy the mars-like landscape in luxury. Then head to greener Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where you can spot some of Earth’s most adorable creatures (giraffes, elephants, zebra, wild dog, hippopotami, lions, and leopards) gather at the rich floodplains near Selinda Camp.

Stellenbosch and Franschoek, South Africa: Food and Wine

Few regions on earth rival the gustatory bounty of South Africa’s Western Cape. This is the heart of Africa’s farm-to-table movement, a veritable eden of vegetable garden’s, sheep farms, vineyards, orchards, and even apiaries. Feast your eyes and stomach on the best that culinary Africa has to offer—from famous fine dining to over one hundred wine cellars open to the public. 

Thursday
Apr252013

The Great Migration: Epic Road's Recs

The great migration is one of Earth’s most thrilling spectacles—and one of Africa’s most consistent draws. Every year, millions of zebra, Thomson’s gazelles, giraffe, and wildebeest move northwards across Africa from Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains to the Maasai Mara in Kenya in search of food and water. As the grazers move, so do the predators, in anticipation of the massive herds of prey. In fact, it’s the greatest migration of mammals on the planet. The arduous journey covers 18000 miles in a clockwise circle, and every year, many animals don’t finish it.

Whether you’re watching it from an open vehicle, on foot, or in a hot air balloon (yes, really) the great migration is a seriously spectacular sight. Stand witness to the natural majesty of lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, wildebeest and more as the move across the African plain, interacting at close quarters. Watch crocodiles as they hunt their prey in the Grumeti and Mara Rivers. Watch lions stalking antelope. Watch massive herds of wildebeest and zebra graze peacefully together on the flat, green plains.

The great migration in its totality lasts the whole year, meaning that there’s a wide variety of places and times to view the action. Here’s a rundown of some of our favorites, by season. 

January, February, March: Ndutu (southern Serengeti)

In the southern Serengeti, the herds birth their calves—almost all are born during a three-week period. When the herds and the newborns are strong enough they restart the migration north. Wildebeest babies are born to run, and can run alongside their mothers almost immediately after birth.

ER recommended lodges: Kusini Tented Camp, Olakira Ndutu

April, May: Seronera (central Serengeti)

In late spring, the herds move north into the Central Serengeti for rainy season. Seronera, in the Serengeti National Park, can be a taxing place to watch the migration, due to a high volume of tourists and restrictions for off-road safaris, but with the rainy season, it’s off peak with many camps closed. So in summary not our favorite time but it can have its own charm if the camps are open.

ER Recommended Lodges: Dunia, Serengeti Under Canvas, Four Seasons Serengeti

June, July: Grumeti River (western Serengeti)

The Grumeti River, in the northwest Serengeti, is the first major obstacle facing the herds. While attempting to cross the river, herds are exposed to hunting crocodiles, hoping to take advantage of distressed zebra and wildebeest.

The Grumeti River crossing is one of our favorite moments and places to see the migration, because of the stunning natural beauty of the region and the high quality of its luxury lodges.

ER Recommended Lodges: Faru Faru, Sabora Tented Camp, Singita Explore

August, September, October: Lamai Wedge, Mara River and Maasai Mara

As fall arrives, the herds move northeast towards the Mara River and eventually into the Maasai Mara. The rolling hills and endless plains of the region make for a beautiful, unforgettable backdrop to the migration. It's a picturesque, remote and unspoiled part of the Serengeti. The Mara River too, is filled with chomping crocs.

ER Recommended Lodges: Sayari Mara Camp, Lamai Serengeti, Singita Mara River Camp, Serengeti Bushtops, Governors Camp

November, December: Lobo and Seronera

The herds move south in winter, crossing back into the Serengeti National Park to birth their young and begin the cycle anew.

ER Recommended Lodges: &Beyond Klein's Camp and Serengeti Under Canvas

 

Visit Epic Road to learn more about the Great Migration


Wednesday
Apr242013

Best Documentaries on Africa

documentaries on african safaris

Here at Epic Road, we like to get ready for our epic journeys and African safaris by reading up on the natural history of the region. Another, faster way to prep is watching some of the best documentaries on Africa there are—and there are many. Here are a few great recommendations to get you excited and aware.

The Last Lions

A collaboration between National Geographic and Explorers-in-Residence Derek and Beverly Joubert, The Last Lions documents the rapid decline of Africa’s lion population due to poaching and a terrible lack of government protection. The film documentary focuses on a lioness named Ma di Tau ("Mother of Lions") as she battles to protect her cubs against the daunting onslaught of enemies to ensure their survival. This is the jumping-off point for a disturbing, well-researched and beautifully shot cri de coeur about our moral duty to save this majestic species and others like it.

BBC’s Planet Earth

There’s no one segment on Africa in this mind-boggling series about the world’s wealth of little-known natural wonders; rather, spectacular footage of the continent is sprinkled throughout. Look out for a lion pride’s elephant hunt, elephants migrating towards the Okavango Delta, a seasonal bloom of life in the otherwise arid Kalahari desert, huge families of gelada monkeys living on the steep precipices of Ethopian highlands, and the touching, uncannily human behavior of Chimpanzees in the Congo.

War Dance

In war-torn Uganda, the L. R. A. (Lord's Resistance Army) kidnaps young children, turning girls into sex slaves and boys into soldiers. Thousands of children seek refuge from the L. R. A. in the Patongo camp, and this film follows several of the camp's children as they compete in the National Music Competition. Despite the enormous odds against them, these children manage to find new life and hope in dance. A story of human resilience in the face of total brutality, War Dance was nominated for an Academy Award and heralded as one of the best documentaries about Africa.

Africa

BBC’s latest addition to its spectacular annals of nature documentaries is Africa, a beautifully shot, in-depth look at the elusive continent. Narrated by David Attenborough, the series travels across Africa region-by-region, capturing never-before-recorded natural phenomena and animal behaviors on film. 

Wednesday
Apr172013

April in Africa

Luxury African Safari in AprilSerengeti

April is unfurling across Africa, but that means something different in each small corner of the continent. It is the perfect time for an African safari trip.

In Zimbabwe, April brings autumn. The rains have just ended but the grass is still green and the rivers are full. Days are warm and dry and the skies are a bright, vivid blue.

It’s a big month for the animals (both resident and tourist) of Zimbabwe’s mighty Zambezi River, which flows from the Congo basin in the north to the coast of Mozambique in the east. The fish in the river are jumping and the crocodiles are snapping. Rain means life, and wildlife (including lions and hippopotami) are rampant.  

Westward, in Botswana, the skies are clear and lovely. April is the perfect time to go on safari in the region as the wet season has just ended. The best game viewing in Botswana shifts from the Kalahari to the game rich Okavango Delta. Herds are congregating around the Okavango Delta. A quiet paddling trip down the Selinda Spillway in a mokoro (traditional African canoe) is the perfect way to watch them.

Perhaps April’s most spectacular sight is the South Serengeti. The life-giving rains that fall from mid-November to early May are ending and the well fed wildebeest who have grazed on the short grass of the Southern Serengeti Plains are getting ready to restart the great migration. It is also the tail end of the calving season. Mothers are waiting for their young calves to fatten up and have the strength for the journey north. The Great Migration is the region’s greatest spectacle. Thousands of young wildebeest calves stick closely to their mothers while predators eye them cannily from the grasses. Massive African elephants cool themselves in the woodlands around Lakes Ndutu and Kusini.

Nearby sits the Ngorongoro Crater, one Africa’s greatest natural wonders. Though only ten miles across, the crater is home to black rhino, elephants, buffalo, lions, and cheetahs.

In Mozambique, the rainy season has already ended. The sun has come out and the humidity is passing. It’s a magical time of year to experience the country’s pristine coastline and islands. Mozambique's beaches are simply stunning and its the perfect way to end a luxury safari.

Sunday
Mar172013

Auction Item for Charity: Four-Night Singita Safari for Two in Tanzania's Serengeti. Proceeds Benefit The Explorers Club

Experience Tanzania's Serengeti! This package includes two nights for two people at Singita Mara River Tented Camp and two nights for two people at Singita Explore Mobile Tented Camp in Tanzania's Serengeti. Be sure to check out charitybuzz by March 26, 2013 to bid on this incredible experience. Also check out Epic Road for more information on this incredible experience 

Charity Auction - Singita Mara River Tented Camp Safari

 

Singita Mara River Tented Camp is located on the northern banks of the world-renowned Mara River in the Lamai triangle which covers 40,000 hectares (98,000 acres) of the northernmost tip of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. A small and intimate retreat, the camp is an oasis of casual elegance and relaxed bohemian glamour. E-brochure click here.

Singita Explore is a return to the very essence of safari. This exclusive mobile camp treads lightly on 340,000 private acres of Tanzania’s majestic Serengeti, allowing guests to overnight under canvas in the most outstanding corners of Africa’s premier wilderness area. Return from game drives to en-suite hideaways, where canvas walls frame contemporary details infused with the durable textures of Africa. Understated furnishings of wood, steel, leather and natural fabrics remove the clutter of everyday life to offer a safari both luxurious yet uncomplicated. E-brochure click here

Bidding closed 

Donated By: Singita Game Reserves and Epic Road

Wednesday
Jan232013

Attend the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival! January 30 - February 2 at the Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. Great films and talks. Buy your tickets online before they are sold out.

New York Wildlife Conservation Film FestivalWildlife Conservation Film Festival New York

Thursday
Oct252012

Suri Donga Clash

 

 

Watch two Suri tribes partake in stick fighting on the day of the Donga. This traditional event is central to Suri culture, and is often used to settle disputes and to help Suri men find girlfriends and wives.

http://vimeo.com/6183249

Monday
Oct222012

Rhino Poaching in South Africa


South Africa Rhino Poaching

 

This year in South Africa poachers have killed a record number of Rhinos—their horns can be sold in Asia for use in traditional medicine. The species is already considered endangered, and the increased demand from the Asian market threatening the survival of the species.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19966164

Sunday
Oct212012

Lemarti's Camp

Luxury Kenya Safari - Lemarti's Camp

Lemarti’s Camp is a beautiful safari hideaway located in Kenya’s Northern Laikipia Plateau. The camp combines adventure, nature, and authentic culture to give travelers a unique glimpse of Kenya. Take a look at this video to experience a different side of Africa. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GlIJTIfB8WI

Saturday
Oct202012

Uganda's Endangered Mountain Gorillas

Uganda Safari

Video from BBC about Uganda’s endangered mountain gorillas. Due to neighboring conflict in the Congo and Rwanda, there are only about 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild. Watch travelers experience the gorillas first hand.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20120806-ugandas-endangered-mountain-gorillas

Friday
Oct192012

Conkoutai's Wonderful Wildlife 

 

Conkoutai, a national park in The Republic of Congo’s has partnered with the environmental charity The Size of Whales to protect two million hectares of rainforest. The project includes protection for wildlife living in the tropical forest, the savannah, and the marine reserve. These photos give you a glimpse into the diversity and grandeur of the project.

Thursday
Oct182012

Waterfalls - Devil's Pool

 

Victoria Falls Devil's Pool

 

Beautiful photos of waterfalls from BBC. Make sure to check out Zambia’s Victoria Falls and South Africa’s Libson Falls. Epic Road can take you there.

www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20120803-beautiful-waterfalls-around-the-worldtt

Monday
Oct152012

Epic Road Partners with Wildlife Conservation Film Festivals

Epic Road is proud to announce its partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Film Festivals. The WCFF produces film festivals across North America that screen the finest conservation, natural history, and wildlife documentary films in the world. Epic Road is a proud sponsor of this year's film festival in New York City. 


"Cocktails for Conservation"
Epic Road will be hosting a cocktail reception for WCFF this Thursday, October 18 from 6pm to 10pm. Join us for an evening of animal welfare and conservation, great cocktails, and photography from Mark Lakin, the Co-Founder of Epic Road, as we prepare to launch the upcoming New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.
October 18, 6pm - 10pm
Open Bar/Free Admission
Guest of honor: A.J. Cady, Senior Program Advisor, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Mark Lakin Photography
750 Greenwich Street (Corner of W 11th Street), Ground Floor

"Film Festival Opening Reception"
Please also join us for the New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival Opening Reception and Fundraiser to benefit Trust for Wildlife and Big Life Foundation. Open Bar and hors d'oeuvres. Meet and greet filmmakers and some of the world's leading environmental and wildlife conservationists. Mark Lakin, the Co-Founder of Epic Road, will auction his photography alongside the works of legendary artists like Nick Brandt, Charlie Hewitt, Arman, Andrea Belag, Kate Carey, Steven Gross, Jane Dickson, Isack Kousnsky, Cyril Christo, and Marie Wilkinsonto to benefit the Trust for Wildlife and Big Life Foundation.
November 7, 7pm - 9pm
$75
I Tre Merli Restaurant 
463 West Broadway
Purchase Tickets Here

"New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival"
November 8 - 10
Tribeca Grand Hotel & Theater 
2 Avenue of the Americas
Purchase Tickets Here
Hope to see you there.
Best,
Epic Road

 

Wednesday
Apr252012

World Malaria Day

New York, USA- Today is World Malaria Day. Per the Wall Street Journal, Malaria has been responsible for half of all human deaths since the Stone Age. Per The Gates Foundation, Malaria causes nearly 1 million deaths per year, and 85 percent of those who die are children under 5 years of age. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Africa, where the financial cost of malaria is crippling economic development due to the high cost of medicines and reduced productivity. Unlike many other diseases that plague our world, we can wipe malaria off the face of the map in our lifetime- forever. Its been done in the US generations ago with less money, less awareness and less technology. - Epic Road Team

Sunday
Mar042012

Swimming with Penguins

South African Safari Penguins

Boulders Beach, South Africa- Swimming with penguins in the freezing waters off the southern tip of South Africa. - Mark Lakin, Epic Road Co-Founder 

Sunday
Jan292012

Omo Valley

omo valley ethiopia

Lake Stephanie, Ethiopia- Sleeping in pop up tents lakeside in the middle of the bush surrounded by baboons, monkeys, hippos, leopard, eagles, vultures, and monkeys. Showering in hot springs and streams. Photographing tribes with 7 inch plates in their bottom lips carrying AK-47s. Ethiopia is on the edge and the ultimate African adventure. Having an amazing time on the Kingsley Holgate Great Rift Valley Expedition. Life is good. Tonight we sleep in an endless sand plain in the middle of the largest crack in the earth's surface... the Great Rift Valley. I am writing from a satellite hookup that works, but slowly. - Mark Lakin, Epic Road Co-Founder 

Tuesday
Jan242012

Departure for Omo Valley

omo valley ethiopia

Addis, Ethiopia. Spent the day loading gear onto three hardcore specialty Land Rovers with five experienced expedition members and explorers. Headed on a 9-day drive south into the Omo Valley to spend time with some of the most remote tribes on the planet with the Nando's sponsored Great Rift Valley humanitarian expedition with legendary explorer and humanitarian Kingsley Holgate. Along the way we will be distributing malaria- preventative mosquito nets to pregnant mothers and mothers with children under the age of 5 and educating them on their effective use. We will also be distributing reading glasses to through Nikon's Right to Sight Program and Lifestraws to those without access to clean water. Lifestraws are oversized straws worn around the neck allowing the user to drink any liquid, even dirty roadside puddle water, by removing the bacteria and other harmful substances.  - Mark Lakin, Epic Road Co-Founder 

Saturday
Jan212012

Gondar, Ethiopia

gondar ethiopia safari

Gondar, Ethiopia. Flew by prop plane to Gondar, Ethiopia to the heart of the Timket celebration with the Nando's team. Massive parties in the streets and any body of water to be found. Spent friday night at shabbat services and then dinner with the Ethiopia Jews... black skinned jews wearing yarmulkes in an outdoor temple with dirt floors praying in Hebrew and Amharic... incredible! - Mark Lakin, Epic Road Co-Founder

Thursday
Jan192012

Timket Festival

Timket Festival

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The locals are celebrating the baptism of Jesus (Timket Festival) in colorful parades lining the streets. Ethiopians are warm, welcoming, and beautiful people. Spent the day walking the streets and visiting the local markets.

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