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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern point of India, is a tropical island that comes close to being a paradise for wildlife and distant culture lovers.

Sri Lanka’s architectural history, which includes temples, towns, monasteries, and palaces, is among the most magnificent ever created by humankind, and thankfully, it has been meticulously repaired and conserved.

It’s a country of ‘never winter,’ where blue ocean waves wash gorgeous golden sandy beaches and where people welcome guests with open arms and huge smiles.

The country’s natural beauty and animals will take your breath away. You’ll be surprised that such a small geographic region can support such a diverse range of species, including not just Sri Lankan elephants but also leopards, sloth bears, and the uncommon slender loris.

The land-based wildlife is rounded out by many unique birds and exotic amphibians, while the ocean waters are teeming with dolphins and whales. Note that the leopard population in Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park is the largest in the world!

One of the legendary Spice Islands, Sri Lanka, has been visited by Arab traders, Chinese merchants, and European explorers in quest of exotic spices throughout the ages. Sri Lankan cuisine is a feature of the trip and a great display of the country’s bounty. Ceylon tea will transport you back to colonial times and bring you into intimate touch with the local culture.

The New Paths Expeditions’ (NPE) journey to Sri Lanka will provide you with an adventure unlike any other; it will be well-paced, packed with content. Led by an NPE Senior Leader and Photography Coach and NPE’s Sri Lanka Head Naturalist, and will use excellent hotels (including several 5-star hotels) and first-rate transportation.

Contact us now at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com to start arranging your journey to Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Horton plains National Park 
  • Udawalawe National Park 
  • Yala National Park 
  • Bundala National Park 
  • Mirissa 
  • Whale Watching Excursion & Galle Fort
  • Colombo 
  • Sinharaja Reserve Birdwatching
  • Negombo 
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Polonnaruwa 
  • Anuradhapura (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Aukana Temple
  • Dambulla and the Golden Temple
  • Train to Nuwara Eliya 
  • Tea Country 

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

Like in other tropical nations, Rainfall in Sri Lanka falls mainly in the form of downpours or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.

The rainfall has two peaks: the first, in April and May, only impacts the southwest and interior, while the second, from October to December, hit the whole nation owing to the retreating monsoon.
The southwest monsoon persists from May to September. However, it delivers the majority of the precipitation to India, while it brings significant rains only to the southwest coast (Colombo) and the hilly interior of Sri Lanka. However, except for the beaches partly protected by a coral reef, the water is turbulent on the western side during this time, and there may be hazardous currents (the beaches of Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa).

There is a rise in temperature from March to May, before the entrance of the southwest monsoon, which is particularly apparent in the north-central portion of the nation.

During 1,000 and 1,300 millimeters (40 to 50 inches) of rain occurs each year in the northwest (Mannar and Jaffna), partly sheltered by neighboring India. The showers are only plentiful between October and December. Temperatures are high throughout the year, although there is a more significant contrast between the winter months and the pre-monsoon season, from March to May when compared to the south. All year long, the water is warm (see below).

From Negombo to Tangalle, the southwestern coast is noticeably rainier than the north-western coast, and there is no true dry season, even though rainfall drop from January to March and a minor degree from June to August. Beaches such as Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Mirissa you may be found along this stretch of coast.

The east coast gets the northeast monsoon that occurs towards the end of the year directly; thus, it rains a lot from October to December; the monsoon lingers, albeit weakened, into January and possibly February, and rainfall may be copious even in February in specific years. On the other hand, this shore is protected from the southwest monsoon that blows from May to September; thus, the sun shines, and it is also quite hot at this time. As a result, although overall rainfall is not insignificant, the terrain is semi-arid.

Every year, about 1,600 mm (63 in) of rainfalls.
Rainfall on the southeastern coast (see Hambantota, Kirinda), which is relatively sheltered even from the north-east monsoon blowing towards the end of the year, amounts to 1,000/1,200 mm (40/47 in) each year, with a relative high in April and May and a more noticeable peak from October to December.

The heat is especially severe at low altitudes in the interior.

Even though most tropical cyclones pass to the north, impacting India and the Bay of Bengal, Sri Lanka is in its path. Storms, which may bring torrential rains and powerful gusts, are active from April to December, with two peaks in May and November.
Tropical depressions (i.e., less powerful tropical cyclones) may develop even in winter, since at such a low latitude, as previously said, the water stays warm all year round, allowing it to supply energy for their creation.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Sri Lanka varies on where you want to travel in the nation. It’s a year-round location with a constant warmth and plenty of sunlight, with average temperatures ranging from 31°C to 22°C. It is usually hotter at the shore and in the lowlands than it is further up. Rainfall may occur at any time of day or night.

The southwest coast is ideal between December and April before the monsoon season begins. In contrast, the east and north are less humid between May and September, after the monsoon season.

The central highlands are cooler all year and should only be avoided in October and November when the rainfall is less dependable.

Wildlife

Sri Lanka’s natural marvels are often hidden beneath a bushel. They don’t even have a national animal, despite being similar to the Ark in many ways. Fortunately, our knowledgeable tour guides are well-versed in the island’s many natural wonders. You have the most excellent chance of seeing leopards in Yala National Park, and if they don’t show up, you may still see bears, buffalo, and a variety of birds. Elephants you may be seen almost everywhere in Sri Lanka; for whales, go to Mirissa for the motherships.

Whale Watching
Although not as well-known as other whale-watching locations, Sri Lanka is now rightly claiming its cetacean throne. From November to mid-April, you may view up to ten distinct kinds of whales, including fin, Bryde’s, minkes, humpback whales, and numerous different dolphins, primarily of Mirissa and Galle, as well as blue whales from late February to mid-March. Use a responsible operator at all times. More information is available here.

Birdwatching
Yala National Park is home to approximately 200 bird species and is one of 70 Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. Horton Plains National Park is the most recommended since it is home to hundreds of species, including the endangered Sri Lankan whistling thrush and blue magpie. Kitulgala Rainforest and Sinharaja Reserve are other excellent birdwatching destinations.

Minneriya National Park
Minneriya lies on the route of cultural vultures through the ‘Golden Triangle.’ The elephant is the most renowned inhabitant, and the park creates a corridor with Wasgomuwa, Maduru Oya, and Gal Oya National Parks. The best time to visit is between August and October when everyone gathers at Minneriya Lake, also known as The Gathering. You may also encounter macaques, langurs, sloth bears, sambar, and a leopard if you’re fortunate.

Sinharaja National Forest Reserve
Thankfully, logging halted here in the 1970s as environmentalists battled to protect the country’s last significant tract of rainforest. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it covers almost three-quarters of the island’s biodiversity, including unique birds, butterflies, uncommon amphibians, and unusual plants. Leopards are elusive, but you may observe sambar and wild boar roaming through the jungle on a guided walk.

Wilpattu National Park
The country’s biggest national park, Wilpattu, means «Land of the Lakes,» and the hint is in the name of the fauna that can be seen here. Aside from water buffalo, crocodiles, and birds such as the painted stork, there are also a few elusive leopards, sloth bears in the trees, and elephants wandering through the open scrub. The gates were closed for years during the conflict and reopened in 2010.

Yala National Park
The second-largest but most-visited national park, renowned for its resident leopards, with officials claiming one cat for every square kilometer in certain areas, but sightings are relatively uncommon. There are also elephants, sloth bears, sambar deer, langur monkeys, and wild buffalo so that you won’t be disappointed. Mangroves, coastal wetlands, grasslands, and lowland scrub provide breeding habitats for over 200 bird species.

Our Sri Lanka Expeditions

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The Lemurs of Madagascar

The Lemurs of Madagascar

Madagascar is known across the globe for its lemurs, which resemble a mix between a cat, a squirrel, and a dog. These species are only found on the island and exhibit a variety of fascinating habits, like singing like a whale (the Indri) and sashaying across the sand...

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted Lemur

The Red-fronted lemur is medium-sized lemur with a long tail, the red-fronted lemur (Eulemur rufifrons) differs in appearance between the sexes. Although the male and female don’t differ in size, the male red-fronted lemur exhibits a gray to grey-brown coat with a...

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Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021

Zambia

Zambia

In the heart of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation. National Parks and Game Reserves occupy 12% of the country’s surface. Although not a major tourist destination, Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is a beautiful, orderly contemporary city on a Zimbabwe travel.

The majestic Victoria Falls, the world’s most oversized curtain of falling water and known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the «Smoke That Thunders,» is without a doubt the most famous destination in the country. It is twice the size of Niagara Falls and many times the length. The falls may be seen up close, but be prepared to get wet.

While at Victoria Falls, enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Zambezi River for a different perspective of the falls, particularly after sunset. You may also fly above the falls in a helicopter. Afternoon tea at the historic Victoria Falls Hotel is a unique experience. Victoria Falls is a great location to purchase native curiosities, artwork, and sculptures.

On a voyage to Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the most well-known wildlife watching kingdom. It is a protected area with over 400 bird species and 100 distinct animal species. It also houses around 30,000 elephants. The antelopes, zebras, and giraffes that wander the plains are familiar sights.

Lake Kariba is Zimbabwe’s biggest damming project, the world’s largest artificial lake, and the source of the vast majority of the country’s hydroelectric electricity. It’s also a great location to see African fauna.

Matobo Hills, with their spectacular rock terrain, is rich in tribal history and a beautiful place. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the oldest and most significant ancient buildings in Southern Africa, tell the narrative of the Shona Civilization from the 11th to the 15th Centuries. The Eastern High is a beautiful mountainous region known as «Little England,» where visitors to Zimbabwe may enjoy horseback riding, golf, and fishing.

It’s almost impossible to explore Zimbabwe without paying a visit to Victoria Falls. Book one of our Zimbabwe excursions, and you will see why. It’s stunning!

Book a Zimbabwe safari or trip now with New Paths Expeditions and discover a world of natural wonders!

Email us at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com and start planning your voyage now.

ZAMBIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the early Victorian architecture of Bulawayo.
  • Take in the World’s View and Matopos’ cave paintings.
  • Discover the Acropolis, Great Enclosure, and Conical Tower of Great Zimbabwe.
  • Harare’s botanical gardens.
  • Enjoy traditional African bush food at The Boma.
  • Cruise the world’s biggest artificial lake, Kariba Dam.
  • The majestic Victoria Falls.
  • Take a «flight of angels» helicopter ride above Victoria Falls.
  • Canoeing, white water rafting, tight rope, bungee jumping, bridge sliding, and canyon swinging are available adventure sports.
  • Visit Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s best wildlife refuges.
  • Go to Hwange’s Painted Dog Conservation Centre

QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

Zimbabwe has two seasons: summer (October to April) and winter (May to September). During the summer, daytime temperatures may reach 30°C (86°F), while overnight temperatures can drop to about 14-16°C (57-60°F). Low-lying regions like as Kariba, Victoria Falls, and the Zambezi Valley, on the other hand, have much milder temperatures all year. Summer days are distinguished by bright mornings and a possibility of rain in the afternoon. These downpours are the consequence of the rainy season, which lasts from November to March.

Temperatures in the winter range from about 20°C (68°F) during the day to as low as 5° C (41°F) at night. The days in winter are dry, bright, and temperate to mild. Extreme cold periods have occurred in the past, although they are not common.

The best time to visit

When game watching is at its height, July and October is the perfect time to visit Zimbabwe. Natural waterholes in the parks dry up, causing massive herds to gather in lakes, artificial reservoirs, and rivers.

On the other hand, traveling from November to March rewards those looking to go off the main path and discover the country’s rich cultural heritage. The presence of migrating birds, in particular, will thrill birders.

Meanwhile, the months of April to June provide excellent value and give spectacular views of Victoria Falls in full flow.

Throughout the year, temperatures range from 21°C to 35°C.

Wildlife

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management is responsible for managing eleven National Parks, nine recreational parks, four botanical gardens, four safari regions, and three sanctuaries under the Parks and Wildlife Board. These regions have been dubbed «Wildlife Estates,» They span about 47,000 square kilometers (18,000 square miles), or nearly 12 percent of Zimbabwe’s total land area.

Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Victoria Falls, and Zambezi National Park are the most famous. Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest park and home to one of the world’s most significant elephant populations. Because of its wildness and beauty, Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to various big animals, over 350 bird species, and aquatic creatures.

Victoria Falls, popularly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya («the Smoke that Thunders»), is one of the world’s seven Wonders because it is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world.

Zimbabwe is home to some of Southern Africa’s finest wildlife reserves. The country’s natural beauty is breathtaking, with many animal, bird, and reptile species. The plains are home to antelopes, zebras, and giraffes, with a high possibility of sighting any of the «Big Five» (buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinoceros). The name «Big Five» was created by big game hunters looking for the most challenging creatures to kill in Africa. The animals were selected not because of their size but because of the difficulties in catching them. Zimbabwe has one of the remaining rhinoceros ranges, with both white and black rhinos present in tiny numbers. Matobo National Park is one of the finest and most accessible locations to see this endangered species. (They may also be found in the National Parks of Hwange and Matusadona.)

Zimbabwe is home to about 685 bird species. Birds have had a particular significance in Zimbabwe from the country’s inception. When the Great Zimbabwe remains were found, there were bird sculptures on the walls and monoliths throughout the old city. Consequently, the Zimbabwe Bird, which resembles an eagle, serves as the country’s national symbol and may be seen on the flag and certain banknotes. One-third of the world’s eagle species may be found at Matobo National Park.

Along with birds, there are a variety of reptiles. Chameleons and geckos are abundant, as are legless snake lizards and rock-plated lizards, with the leguaan, or water monitor, being the biggest species in Zimbabwe and often seen lounging about watering holes. Although Zimbabwe and southern Africa generally do not have as many insect species as their northern counterparts, there are an astounding 500 kinds of butterflies found across the nation, including the African monarch, commodore, and citrus swallowtail.

Early in the twentieth century, the people of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) realized that unrestricted hunting of animals and extensive commercial agriculture posed a danger to the country’s natural fauna. They saw how the populations of animals like elephants and rhinos were gradually dwindling and decided to establish huge «game reserves» only for wildlife. These reserves served as the foundation for today’s national parks. Locals were evicted from specific regions and were prohibited from hunting. The Wildlife Conservation Act was enacted in 1960 and has been revised many times since then. Zimbabwe became one of Africa’s top nations for wildlife conservation and management in the 1990s.

While animal conservation remains a priority, Zimbabwe faces some difficulties today. With the economy under constant strain, many Zimbabweans have been driven to poach meat simply for survival. Animal skins, rhino horns, and elephant tusks may also be sold for the equivalent of a year’s salary. Many conservation organizations recognize the difficulties that local people confront and, as a result, seek to collaborate with them on conservation initiatives. The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, which was formed in 1999, is dedicated to finding alternate methods of sustenance and creating jobs. One of their objectives is to rehabilitate poachers rather than punish them. They work to educate the public about the advantages of preserving natural resources.

Our Zambia Expeditions

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Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

In the heart of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation. National Parks and Game Reserves occupy 12% of the country’s surface. Although not a major tourist destination, Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, is a beautiful, orderly contemporary city on a Zimbabwe travel.

The majestic Victoria Falls, the world’s most oversized curtain of falling water and known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the «Smoke That Thunders,» is without a doubt the most famous destination in the country. It is twice the size of Niagara Falls and many times the length. The falls may be seen up close, but be prepared to get wet.

While at Victoria Falls, enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Zambezi River for a different perspective of the falls, particularly after sunset. You may also fly above the falls in a helicopter. Afternoon tea at the historic Victoria Falls Hotel is a unique experience. Victoria Falls is a great location to purchase native curiosities, artwork, and sculptures.

On a voyage to Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park is the most well-known wildlife watching kingdom. It is a protected area with over 400 bird species and 100 distinct animal species. It also houses around 30,000 elephants. The antelopes, zebras, and giraffes that wander the plains are familiar sights.

Lake Kariba is Zimbabwe’s biggest damming project, the world’s largest artificial lake, and the source of the vast majority of the country’s hydroelectric electricity. It’s also a great location to see African fauna.

Matobo Hills, with their spectacular rock terrain, is rich in tribal history and a beautiful place. The Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the oldest and most significant ancient buildings in Southern Africa, tell the narrative of the Shona Civilization from the 11th to the 15th Centuries. The Eastern High is a beautiful mountainous region known as «Little England,» where visitors to Zimbabwe may enjoy horseback riding, golf, and fishing.

It’s almost impossible to explore Zimbabwe without paying a visit to Victoria Falls. Book one of our Zimbabwe excursions, and you will see why. It’s stunning!

Book a Zimbabwe safari or trip now with New Paths Expeditions and discover a world of natural wonders!

Email us at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com and start planning your voyage now.

ZIMBABWE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the early Victorian architecture of Bulawayo.
  • Take in the World’s View and Matopos’ cave paintings.
  • Discover the Acropolis, Great Enclosure, and Conical Tower of Great Zimbabwe.
  • Harare’s botanical gardens.
  • Enjoy traditional African bush food at The Boma.
  • Cruise the world’s biggest artificial lake, Kariba Dam.
  • The majestic Victoria Falls.
  • Take a «flight of angels» helicopter ride above Victoria Falls.
  • Canoeing, white water rafting, tight rope, bungee jumping, bridge sliding, and canyon swinging are available adventure sports.
  • Visit Hwange National Park, one of Africa’s best wildlife refuges.
  • Go to Hwange’s Painted Dog Conservation Centre

QUESTIONS?


Your content goes here. Edit or remove aqio this this text inline or in dog.

Time and Weather

Zimbabwe has two seasons: summer (October to April) and winter (May to September). During the summer, daytime temperatures may reach 30°C (86°F), while overnight temperatures can drop to about 14-16°C (57-60°F). Low-lying regions like as Kariba, Victoria Falls, and the Zambezi Valley, on the other hand, have much milder temperatures all year. Summer days are distinguished by bright mornings and a possibility of rain in the afternoon. These downpours are the consequence of the rainy season, which lasts from November to March.

Temperatures in the winter range from about 20°C (68°F) during the day to as low as 5° C (41°F) at night. The days in winter are dry, bright, and temperate to mild. Extreme cold periods have occurred in the past, although they are not common.

The best time to visit

When game watching is at its height, July and October is the perfect time to visit Zimbabwe. Natural waterholes in the parks dry up, causing massive herds to gather in lakes, artificial reservoirs, and rivers.

On the other hand, traveling from November to March rewards those looking to go off the main path and discover the country’s rich cultural heritage. The presence of migrating birds, in particular, will thrill birders.

Meanwhile, the months of April to June provide excellent value and give spectacular views of Victoria Falls in full flow.

Throughout the year, temperatures range from 21°C to 35°C.

Wildlife

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management is responsible for managing eleven National Parks, nine recreational parks, four botanical gardens, four safari regions, and three sanctuaries under the Parks and Wildlife Board. These regions have been dubbed «Wildlife Estates,» They span about 47,000 square kilometers (18,000 square miles), or nearly 12 percent of Zimbabwe’s total land area.

Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Victoria Falls, and Zambezi National Park are the most famous. Hwange is Zimbabwe’s biggest park and home to one of the world’s most significant elephant populations. Because of its wildness and beauty, Mana Pools is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to various big animals, over 350 bird species, and aquatic creatures.

Victoria Falls, popularly known as Mosi-oa-Tunya («the Smoke that Thunders»), is one of the world’s seven Wonders because it is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world.

Zimbabwe is home to some of Southern Africa’s finest wildlife reserves. The country’s natural beauty is breathtaking, with many animal, bird, and reptile species. The plains are home to antelopes, zebras, and giraffes, with a high possibility of sighting any of the «Big Five» (buffaloes, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinoceros). The name «Big Five» was created by big game hunters looking for the most challenging creatures to kill in Africa. The animals were selected not because of their size but because of the difficulties in catching them. Zimbabwe has one of the remaining rhinoceros ranges, with both white and black rhinos present in tiny numbers. Matobo National Park is one of the finest and most accessible locations to see this endangered species. (They may also be found in the National Parks of Hwange and Matusadona.)

Zimbabwe is home to about 685 bird species. Birds have had a particular significance in Zimbabwe from the country’s inception. When the Great Zimbabwe remains were found, there were bird sculptures on the walls and monoliths throughout the old city. Consequently, the Zimbabwe Bird, which resembles an eagle, serves as the country’s national symbol and may be seen on the flag and certain banknotes. One-third of the world’s eagle species may be found at Matobo National Park.

Along with birds, there are a variety of reptiles. Chameleons and geckos are abundant, as are legless snake lizards and rock-plated lizards, with the leguaan, or water monitor, being the biggest species in Zimbabwe and often seen lounging about watering holes. Although Zimbabwe and southern Africa generally do not have as many insect species as their northern counterparts, there are an astounding 500 kinds of butterflies found across the nation, including the African monarch, commodore, and citrus swallowtail.

Early in the twentieth century, the people of Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) realized that unrestricted hunting of animals and extensive commercial agriculture posed a danger to the country’s natural fauna. They saw how the populations of animals like elephants and rhinos were gradually dwindling and decided to establish huge «game reserves» only for wildlife. These reserves served as the foundation for today’s national parks. Locals were evicted from specific regions and were prohibited from hunting. The Wildlife Conservation Act was enacted in 1960 and has been revised many times since then. Zimbabwe became one of Africa’s top nations for wildlife conservation and management in the 1990s.

While animal conservation remains a priority, Zimbabwe faces some difficulties today. With the economy under constant strain, many Zimbabweans have been driven to poach meat simply for survival. Animal skins, rhino horns, and elephant tusks may also be sold for the equivalent of a year’s salary. Many conservation organizations recognize the difficulties that local people confront and, as a result, seek to collaborate with them on conservation initiatives. The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit, which was formed in 1999, is dedicated to finding alternate methods of sustenance and creating jobs. One of their objectives is to rehabilitate poachers rather than punish them. They work to educate the public about the advantages of preserving natural resources.

Our Zimbabwe Expeditions

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Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021

Rwanda

Rwanda

Rwanda, known as «the Land of a Thousand Hills,» is a lush undulating scenery of hills, gardens, and tea plantations. Due to Rwanda’s location in the Congo Basin and Eastern Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the nation benefits from the natural resources of both ecosystems, creating a land of stunning beauty and unparalleled biodiversity.

It provides visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One-third of the world’s Mountain Gorillas are found in this region, making it one of the most incredible animals encounters in the world. More than a third of Africa’s bird species may be found here as well as several monkeys and volcanoes. There are resorts and islands in Lake Kivu, elegant dancers who perform traditional dance, and artists who create beautiful crafts.

Rwanda is a secure, easy-to-travel country with short distances to many different points of interest. From Kigali, the country’s capital, you can reach all of the country’s top sights in 1 to 5 hours by car. Volcanoes, rainforests, savannahs, islands, lakes, and the lovely city of Kigali may all be reached in a short holiday. Also easily accessible are the neighboring nations of Uganda and Tanzania as well as Burundi.

When in Rwanda, the most typical greeting is a handshake. There is little chance that tourists would notice trash on the streets; therefore, leaving it there is entirely out of bounds. Likewise, the Rwandan government strongly opposes beggars and asks tourists not to provide financial assistance to those who beg. As a result, programs have been developed to address this problem. Because it’s considered impolite to smoke or eat in public, most people avoid doing so.

Rwanda’s three official languages are French, English, and Kinyarwanda. Most tourist regions speak English, whereas business people tend to talk to Kiswahili.

Rwanda’s Roman Catholic population is little over half the total population. Other religions represented include Roman Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, with some people still adhering to traditional indigenous beliefs.

Rwandan food is essential yet distinctive, with sweet potatoes, beans, maize, peas, millet, and fruit making up the bulk of the traditional Rwandan diet. Many Rwandans only eat meat on rare occasions. Fish, especially tilapia, is a staple of the diets of those who live near lakes. In metropolitan areas like Kigali, you may find restaurants serving Indian, Chinese, Italian, and other African-style cuisines.

Among the most popular meals are:

  • Ugali: A maize-and-water paste that, when combined, creates a porridge. Ugali is a favorite meal across eastern Africa, not only in Rwanda.
  • Ibihaza: A pumpkin and bean stew cooked in a crockpot.
  • Isombe: Mash dried fish with cassava leaves to make Isombe (a West African dish).
  • Matolie: Is made with plantains that have been roasted or steamed.

 

RWANDA HIGHLIGHTS

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QUESTIONS?


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Time and Weather

During the afternoon, temperatures in Rwanda range from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant place to visit. Nyungwe and the Virungas have lower evening temperatures than the rest of the country.

There are two distinct seasons in Rwanda when it rains: the «lengthy rains» and the «short rains.» From mid-March to mid-May, there are «long rains,» and from mid-October to mid-December, there are «short rains.»

There are two distinct dry seasons: the «long dry,» which lasts from mid-May to mid-October, and the «short dry,» which lasts from mid-December to mid-March.

The best time to visit

The best time to visit Rwanda is between June and September, when its undeniable feature, the mountain gorilla, can be found in its natural habitat.

Chimpanzee tracking is best done during the wet seasons of March to May and November. There’s also less noise.

Because Rwanda is close south of the Equator, the country has minimal seasonal variation in temperature. Daytime temperatures range from the mid-to late-teens, depending on where you are in the nation. At higher elevations, the evenings may be chilly.

Wildlife

Rwanda, despite its tiny size, has a lot to offer travelers. The government places a high value on conservation and eco-tourism, and the wildlife of Rwanda attracts a large number of visitors each year. Protected areas have regular patrols to deter poachers and capture them when they’re caught. For the protection of animals, stringent regulations and harsh penalties are in place as well. Wildlife census counts are carried out regularly to keep track of the different species present throughout the nation. As the government works to satisfy the requirements of both local communities and protected areas by including local people in decision-making, community-based programs are critical to conservation efforts.

Rwanda is home to three national parks, each having its own set of flora and fauna. The Nyungwe Forest National Park, in Rwanda’s southern portion, is a 1,000-square-kilometer rainforest. In addition to the world’s biggest arboreal colony of black/white colobus monkeys is home to thirteen endangered primate species. The African civet, leopards, and golden cats, as well as side-stripped jackals, may all be found in the park—East and Central Africa’s most significant and oldest Afro-Montane forest, dating to the last Ice Age.

The Akagera National Park, located near Tanzania’s border, is home to many exotic African wildlife species. The savannah grasslands are home to various animals, including giraffes, zebras, antelopes, elephants, and buffalo. Akagera has many marshes and lakes, making hippopotami and crocodile pods familiar sights at the water’s edge. Akagera’s lakeshores are home to some of the continent’s densest populations of waterbirds, many of which are endangered.

The only remaining population of mountain gorillas may be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, one of the country’s three national parks. It was Africa’s first national park, created in 1925 to preserve mountain gorillas. Currently, the park is home to eight distinct gorilla families, and visitors may do gorilla treks during any time of year. As one of the world’s most protected places, the park has witnessed a surge in the gorilla population.

There are still dangers, though, like poaching and the destruction of natural habitats. However, even though gorillas are seldom hunted, traps placed for other animals frequently hurt or kill gorillas. Gorilla limbs are often traded on the black market. While Volcanoes National Park is most renowned for its gorillas, visitors will also find golden monkeys, cape buffalo, the black-fronted duiker, and a plethora of bird species there as well.

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“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

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Namibia

Namibia

When it comes to natural marvels, Namibia is a nation that is vastly underappreciated. It features the tallest dunes in the world and the lowest canyon in the world. It has been dubbed the «destination of four nations» because of its four distinct landscapes. It is also the location of thrilling Namibia safaris that will assault the senses and make you realize how unique nature can be.

Every nation has its own unique and spectacular attractions. New Paths Expeditions has compiled a list of the Top 11 highlights in Namibia to enjoy during your stay in this region.

  1. Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, is the country’s social, economic, political, cultural center, and historical city; a visit here will transport you back in time. It is home to various colonial structures and landmarks, including the Heroes’ Acre, a military monument. This cemetery has approximately 175 tombs for Namibians to commemorate the past and aspire for a better future. On tour to Namibia, look for streets with names like Robert Mugabe Avenue and Fidel Castro Street, visit the Geological Survey Museum, the Railway Museum, the National Earth Sciences Museum, and the Independence Memorial Museum in Windhoek.
  2. Swakopmund is Namibia’s biggest seaside town and a favorite holiday destination for residents; a charming desert town with an old-world charm, complete with beautiful green lawns and palm palms. The magnificent ancient German Colonial structures that contrast with the neighboring Namib Desert outside the city show the city’s German roots very prominently. The Woermannhaus, a German half-timbered house with a 25-meter/80-foot tall tower (a national historic landmark built in 1905); the Swakopmund Jetty, which juts out 300 meters/980 feet into the sea and where you can have beautiful sunsets; and the Kaiserliches Bezirksgericht (built-in 1902), now the State House and the presidential residence.
  3. Sossusvlei, located in Africa’s most extensive conservation area, the Namib-Naukluft National Park, is the country’s most beautiful and well-known destination on a Namibia excursion, is attributed to the surrounding massive red dunes. The dunes are among the tallest in the world, reaching over 400 meters/1300 feet in height, and are breathtaking, particularly in the morning and sunset light. Sossusvlei is famous for its crimson, star-shaped dunes that compare with the stark white salt pan bottoms. Despite the severe desert environment, a diverse range of flora and animals have evolved to thrive. These include tiny reptiles and insects such as geckos and snakes and big animals like the Oryx, Namibia’s national emblem. The most famous dunes are the Elim Dune, Dune 45, and Big Daddy, the tallest dune. They are lovely, with orange and crimson hues, and are best viewed at dawn or sunset and can only be accessed by a 4WD vehicle.
  4. Etosha is a vast game park and one of the best locations in the world to see wildlife. There are many waterholes in Etosha where you may park right close to the animals, unlike other African parks where you must spend time searching for them. And watch lions (400+ exist here), elephants, giraffes, springboks, zebras, jackals, hyenas, black rhino (a big attraction), and much more, especially during the winter season. It is home to 114 different mammal species, 340 different bird species, and 16 different reptile species. The ideal times to go on a wildlife safari drive are early in the morning and late in the evening. Night drives with a guide on a Namibia safari are the most incredible way to observe lions hunting. Accommodation is available in three major camps, which overlook the watering holes and are floodlit at night.
  5. The Fish River Canyon is a breathtaking canyon that stretches for 160 kilometers/100 miles and is 27 kilometers/17 miles wide. The canyon follows a river’s sandy bed. In terms of size, it is only second to the Grand Canyon. The primary viewpoint is Hobas, where you may experience the canyon’s magnificent splendor while on a Namibia holiday. If you’re feeling brave, you can hike the 90-kilometer/56-mile Fish River Hiking Trail in five days. It is one of Southern Africa’s most popular hiking routes. The environment varies greatly, and you may come across animals wandering throughout the arid area. Because only 30 hikers are permitted in the canyon each day, you must schedule your trip well in advance. Another draw is the variety of rock formations.
  6. The Kalahari Desert is well-known. Namibia is an ideal location for seeing the world’s most giant dune. It is not entirely made of sand, though, since there is much flora, including trees and bushes. Spring brings with it a plethora of vibrant blooms. It is also the home of the world-famous San Bushmen, who live in the Bushveld.
  7. The Cape Cross Seal Reserve is the most well-known breeding and the world’s largest colony of Cape fur seals on the Namib coast. The cold Benguela current has a high concentration of fish, which the reserve’s seals use to their advantage. There may be up to 100,000 seals resting on the beach or in the waves. On the other hand, Seals are culled for various reasons, including selling their skins and protecting the fish supply. The breeding season is between October and November.
  8. The Skeleton Coast, which runs along the northern portion of the Atlantic Coast, is isolated and wild. The name derives from the high number of shipwrecks that have occurred here throughout the years. For hundreds of kilometers, there are enormous dunes that reach heights of 100 meters/300 feet. The shoreline is nearly entirely wild and deserted. It is the most untamed region on the African continent. Predatory creatures such as lions and hyenas have been seen looking for prey on the high seas.
  9. The Caprivi Strip is Namibia’s northern panhandle, and it is quite distinct from the rest of the nation. It is about 450 kilometers/280 miles in length and 32 kilometers/20 miles in width. It is a wildlife-rich area that serves as a corridor for animals to travel into and out of Botswana, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The Caprivi Strip is home to many national parks, including Bwabwata National Park, Mudumu National Park, and Nkasa Rupara National Park. It gets a lot of rain; therefore, the foliage is lush, attracting many animals.
  10. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is Africa’s most extensive private nature reserve. It was created by a German-Namibian businessman who observed that the area had been totally out of ecological balance due to extensive pasture grazing and wanted to restore it to its natural condition as a nature reserve. There are no fences, and a diverse range of species, including vast herds of gemsboks, springboks, and zebras, as well as kudus, klipspringers, spotted hyenas, jackals, and Cape and bat-eared foxes, have been reintroduced to the reserve. The landscape is made up of dunes, arid grasslands, and untamed, lonely mountain ranges.
  11. Walvis Bay is a resort with great windsurfing and kayaking opportunities. On a Namibia excursion, you may also observe dolphins, seals, and fascinating seabirds.

Book a Namibia safari or trip now with New Paths Expeditions and discover a world of natural wonders!

Email us at expeditionadvisor@npexpeditions.com and start planning your voyage now.

NAMIBIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Cape Cross Seal Reserve
  • The Skeleton Coast
  • The Caprivi Strip
  • The NamibRand Nature Reserve
  • Walvis Bay
  • Windhoek
  • Swakopmund 
  • Sossusvlei
  • Etosha 
  • The Fish River Canyon 
  • The Kalahari Desert

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Time and Weather

Namibia has a temperate climate all year, with warm to hot days alternated with chilly nights and mornings. There are two seasons: summer from November to April and winter from March to October. The winter is not frigid, although it is usually colder in the mornings and nights. Temperatures in the interior may reach 40 °C (104 °F) in January and February. The lowest temperature in winter ranges from 6-10 °C (42-50 °F), with daytime temperatures ranging from 18-22 °C (64-71 °F).

The chilly Benguela current helps to keep the coast cool and rain-free for most of the year. The bulk of rain occurs during the summer months in inland regions.

The best time to visit

You may visit Namibia at any time of year since it is generally dry and warm. Between December and March, there may be days with high humidity and a possibility of rain, mainly in the form of afternoon thunderstorms. At this time of year, the colors are at their most vivid.

The most fantastic time to see wildlife is during the dry season, which lasts from May to October. The animals abandon the waterholes during the rainy season.

In Etosha and the NamibRand Nature Reserve, July through October may be pretty crowded in peak season.

It may become chilly at night and early in the morning. Summers in some regions of the nation may be scorching.

Wildlife

Nature conservation is an essential aspect of everyday life in Namibia, and it is a priority for both the government and the local people. It was the first African nation to incorporate government protection in its constitution. Consequently, via community conservancies, communities are given the ability to manage the wildlife around them. When these conservancies were put in the hands of Namibians, they instilled a strong feeling of ownership in the people, encouraging them to utilize natural resources sustainably. It has also proven very helpful to the economy, with rural Namibians earning 42 million Namibian dollars in 2009 due to community-based natural resources.

Moreover, 40% of Namibia’s land area is devoted to conservation management. All included national parks and reserves, communal and commercial conservancies, community forests, and private nature reserves. Etosha National Park is the most well-known of Namibia’s ten national parks. Etosha is a 22,750-square-kilometer wildlife reserve that is world-renowned for its outstanding game viewing and public accessibility. It is home to herds of springbok, gemsbok, zebra, and blue wildebeest, as well as a few lions, cheetahs, and leopards.

Namibia has one of the world’s most diverse animal populations, despite its dry climate. Namibia is home to 676 bird species, 90 of which are Southern African (13 are Namibian). It also has 217 mammal species, with 26 of them being endemic. The «Big Five,» which include the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and leopard, may be found across the nation. The phrase «Big Five» was created by hunters to refer to the most challenging and hazardous creatures to hunt as well as the most sought-after trophies. Some individuals prefer to add the hippo, zebra, cheetah, and giraffe in their list of the «Big Nine.»

Namibia’s elephant population more than quadrupled from 7,500 to over 16,000 between 1995 and 2008. Elephants may be found in three distinct areas of the country: in Etosha National Park, in the Khaudrum and Caprivi regions, and in Kunene, where desert elephants (unique to Namibia and Mali) can be seen.

Namibia is home to both the black and white rhino species. The difference between the two species has nothing to do with their color. The white rhinoceros derives its name from the Afrikaans term ‘weit,’ which means ‘wide-mouthed,’ while black rhinoceroses have hook-lipped mouths. Conservation efforts for the endangered black rhino have been vigorous, culminating in relocating some rhinos from national parks to community conservancies.

Lions may be found in the central Kunene Region and Etosha, eastern Otjozondjupa, Kavango, and eastern Caprivi. Namibia is the only nation in the world with a growing population of free-roaming lions. It also boasts the most considerable number of free-roaming cheetahs, which may be found in the center and northern parts of the country. You may find the leopard all across the nation. Their remarkable capacity to adapt to change has enabled them to outlive any other big mammal on Africa’s growing continent.

The Skeleton Coast of Namibia is home to about twenty-three Cape Fur Seal populations. The National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area is home to over 100,000 seals, making it one of the world’s most significant seal reserves.

The fauna found in Namibia is highly varied, as shown by the list above. The country’s conservation efforts have resulted in a one-of-a-kind ecotourism destination perfect for any nature enthusiast.

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Guest Comments

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!” 

– Jack N. Douglas, CO

“Patagonia and Morocco were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!” 

– Harriet T. Saugerties, NY

START YOUR ADVENTURE HERE:

Recomended Expedition 2021