The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Arabian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia while Pakistan and Iran lie to the north on the Arabian Sea.
Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second post populated city in the United Arab Emirates and lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western coast.
Dubai has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi. Dubai city is located on the Emirate’s northern coastline.
Stretched along the coastline of southern Africa with beautiful islands scattered offshore, Mozambique is a destination which entices travellers with its idyllic beaches and vibrant culture. Mozambique holidays are an ideal match for any travellers looking for an African holiday with a difference, there are a range of exciting experiences to be had here, whether it’s diving under the waves in search of coral, encountering animals on safari, or exploring urban hot spots.
At Bench Africa, we coordinate with our team on the ground in Africa to ensure your Mozambique safari is a successful one. Here’s what you can expect on our Mozambique holidays.
For Mozambique, tourism is an industry still in its infancy, meaning that for many travellers it is relatively off the beaten track. However, for those who venture on one of our Mozambique tours, there is a fascinating fusion of local culture and colonial history, as well as astounding natural beauty.
Situated in the Quirimbas Islands just off the northern coast of Mozambique, Ibo Island provides an excellent chance to explore the remains of a centuries-old Portuguese settlement, as well as stretch out on its pristine beaches. Further south, you’ll find Medjumbe Island, an exclusive resort which is arguably one of the country’s best hidden gems.
Mozambique travel on the mainland offers up a number of national parks to explore, with Niassa Game Reserve and Maputo Elephant Reserve offering unique wildlife experiences.
Staying in Mozambique
Mozambique is known for its well-appointed beach resorts, such as the stunning Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa. If secluded island luxury sounds like your cup of tea, Mozambique could be just the ticket.
Getting to Mozambique
As tourism in Mozambique is still developing, is is advisable to book your Mozambique travel with a reputable and established tour company to make your trip a smooth one. At Bench Africa, we pride ourselves on creating memorable holidays across Africa, and have been committed to doing so since 1969. To start planning your Mozambique safari, be sure to get in touch with us today.
Uganda Gorilla Treks & Tours
If you’re ready for an adventure, then prepare to be awed by the beauty of Uganda on one of our Uganda safaris! This incredible nation sits at the equator in the heart of Africa, and is characterised by lush natural scenery as well as vibrant cities.
Famously referred to as ‘the pearl of Africa’ by Winston Churchill, Uganda is not your average safari destination. Within its borders lie both West African jungle and East African savannah, providing a range of thrilling opportunities for you to get up close and personal with the local wildlife. It’s all waiting to be discovered on a tour with Bench Africa.
Uganda tours are becoming more and more popular due to the sheer diversity of the country and its wildlife. Another reason that we expect to see an increase in visitors on Uganda safaris is that the gorilla permits here are now less than half the price of those in Rwanda – the only other viable option for gorilla safaris in Africa.
In this one iconic destination, you can head out on a game drive in the thorn-bush savannah of Lake Mburo National Park, filled with buffalo, zebra, antelope and grazing animals, as well as a host of birdlife.
Gorilla trekking is the reason that many flock to Uganda. The forested land of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to elusive gorillas and chimpanzees, as well as elephants. Alternatively, you can head to the mountains, in the shadow of the majestic Rwenzori range to experience one of our gorilla safaris, at the foot of which is the Queen Elizabeth National Park where lion, hyena and Cape buffalo can be found.
Uganda is a dream destination for primate enthusiasts, with Kibale National Park home to a significant chimpanzee population, not to mention other monkey species such as the L’Hoest’s monkey and the red and black-and-white colobus.
Staying in Uganda
Uganda’s sprawling capital of Kampala has a lot to offer, both in terms of urban exploration and accommodation. Amongst its vibrant, bustling streets you’ll find a range of accommodation to suit various budgets, from the family friendly to higher-end options.
The charming city of Entebbe, centred around a botanical garden over a century old makes up for its lesser urbanisation with its own unique ambience, and provides intriguing destination outside of the various lodges situated in national parks across the country.
Booking your Uganda Safari Tours
If you’re ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime, Bench Africa are here to help make it happen. Our experienced team both in Australia and on the ground in Africa are here to help you all plan your Uganda safari tours. To find out more, get in touch with us today.
Tanzania Safari Tours and Holidays
Habari, and welcome to the incredible Tanzania! Situated on the east coast of Africa, this is one destination which truly has something for everyone. Within its borders you’ll find everything from the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro blanketed by clouds, to the grasslands of the Serengeti National Park and the bustling charm of Dar es Salaam.
This diverse destination is one of our favourites here at Bench Africa, which is why we love sharing our experience and knowledge in the region with intrepid travellers. If you’ve been dreaming about breathtaking wildlife encounters, or perhaps taking a dip in Zanzibar’s azure waters, we can help you to plan your ultimate Tanzania safari.
Tanzania has seen the influence of a number of nations and cultures in its past. Today, it comprises what was known as Tanganyika and the Zanzibar archipelago. The first gained independence in 1961, and after Zanzibar followed suit two years later both territories unified to form modern-day Tanzania in 1964.
Today, Tanzania’s population numbers over 47 million, with English and Kiswahili (Swahili) spoken throughout. While people working in the tourism industry tend to have good English, in rural areas knowing a few words in Kiswahili can be helpful. Zanzibar has a strong Muslim identity which can be attributed to its time as an Omani Sultanate, and as such, the style of dress can trend toward more modest attire.
In terms of the climate, you’ll find Tanzania pleasantly warm, thanks to its proximity to the Equator, while the weather tends towards the more tropical on the coast. In addition to doing your spending in Tanzanian shillings, you may also encounter Swahili timekeeping, which is calculated from sunrise, rather than midnight.
Given the range of amazing sites spread throughout the country, our Tanzania tours can offer a truly varied experience. Once a fishing village, Tanzania’s largest city of Dar es Salaam is now a thriving metropolis, its architecture a blend of African, Arab and European style tucked between glimmering, glass-faced high rises.
Heading inland, the world-renowned Serengeti National Park is the perfect place for an Tanzania safari. Looking across the flatlands which stretch almost infinitely into the horizon, this UNESCO World Heritage site is breathtaking in its 1.5 million hectare expanse.
It is also the stage upon which one of the world’s most special events takes place – the annual great wildebeest migration. Not a country to do things by halves, Tanzania wraps around the southern bank of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, and is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano and Africa’s tallest mountain.
Take a short flight or ferry ride out from Dar es Salaam, and you’ll arrive in Zanzibar. While it forms part of Tanzania, Zanzibar’s islands have their own atmosphere, food, religion and culture. Spend your days wandering through the historic Stone Town, or stretched out on the sand of one the islands’ pristine beaches. This is the perfect place to wind down after one of our Tanzania safaris.
Staying in Tanzania
There is a range of options to suit all types of travellers heading to Tanzania from family-friendly game lodges, to luxurious resorts on the sands of Zanzibar. With Bench Africa, you can choose from our selection of handpicked Tanzania accommodation, or talk to our team so that we can tailor make your dream Tanzania safari.
Getting to Tanzania
If you want to include Tanzania in your upcoming trip to Africa, Bench Africa can help make it happen. Australian travellers will need a visa to enter Tanzania, which your travel consultant should advise you about during the booking process. You can fly into Tanzania either directly or with a stopover, landing at Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar or even Kilimanjaro.
Safari Tanzania with the experts: To start planning your Tanzania holiday, explore some of our Tanzania experiences, or be sure to get in touch with one of our expert travel consultants.
Rwanda Gorilla Treks & Tours
Nestled between the Great Rift Valley of East Africa and the Congo basin, Rwanda is a name which evokes imagery of lush rainforests and elusive gorillas just waiting to be discovered. With unsurpassed biodiversity and exquisite natural beauty, Rwanda is a delight for visitors, while the locals provide a warm welcome on your Rwanda safaris.
The country is also home to the world’s last surviving mountain gorilla populations, where you can come face to face with some of humankind’s closest animal relatives. If you want to discover the magic of Rwanda, you can do so on one of Bench Africa’s Rwanda tours.
While gorilla trekking is one of the key attractions for someone to visit Rwanda, one of the first things you’ll notice is the incredible beauty of the landscape. Known as ‘the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda is blessed with rolling green countryside, as well as a diverse collection of trees and flora.
The mountainous Nyungwe National Park is home to 300 bird species and 13 different primate species including the chimpanzee. Head west towards the border, and you’ll find the gorgeous Lake Kivu, with its beautiful beaches and archipelago of small islands.
The Virunga Mountains to the north are a chain which sits in the 13,000 hectare Volcanoes National Park. Home to a population of endangered mountain gorillas, the park provides a protected habitat from poachers, allowing visitors to experience one of the most poignant wildlife encounters – gorilla trekking.
Staying in Rwanda
If you’re heading into the Virunga Mountains, the market town of Ruhengeri is the main base for people heading on a gorilla trek. Situated just 15 kilometres from the foot of the mountain chain, you can find a range of value and mid range accommodation in Ruhengeri.
You will find higher end hotels and lodges situated near national parks and in more urban areas such as Gisenyi and the Rwandan capital city of Kigali,
Getting to Rwanda
Ready to embark on the trip of a lifetime? At Bench Africa, our experienced team both in Australia and on the ground in Africa are here to help you plan the ultimate Rwanda safaris. To find out more, get in touch with us today.
Oman Holidays, Travel and Tours
Oman holidays are rich in history, culture, stunning landscapes and unbelievable photo opportunities!
Oman travel uncovers mountain villages clutched against canyon walls, clusters of dates weighing heavy in the plantation oases. Oman travel uncovers a ribbon of sand blown across the dunes, a lone camel padding across the limitless interior. Oman tours with Bench Africa are designed to experience all the beauty and enigma that the country of Oman has to offer.
What makes Oman’s renaissance somewhat unique in the region is that the transformation has been conducted with great sensitivity towards traditional values – there are few high-rise buildings in the capital, Muscat; the country’s heritage of forts (numbering over 2,000) are meticulously restored; ancient crafts like weaving are actively supported.
Moreover, traditional Arabian values, such as hospitality and practical piety, are still in evidence making Oman holidays quite unique. Here you can experience Islamic culture at its very best and we hope to welcome you on one of our Bench Africa Oman tours very soon!
Zimbabwe Safari Tours and Holidays
Home to Victoria Falls, one of Africa’s greatest natural wonders, Zimbabwe is a nation blessed with spectacular scenery and a host of wildlife. A Zimbabwe tour holds great appeal for active adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts, and those with an appreciative eye for beautiful landscapes.
With a rich history both ancient and modern, Zimbabwe is opening its doors to intrepid travellers from around the world, allowing them to discover some of the country’s unique features. Whether you’re venturing into the bush on a game drive, or getting your adrenaline rush at the end of a bungee rope, Zimbabwe never fails to amaze.
At Bench Africa, we’ve spent years building up a range of exciting, memorable experiences around Africa, with the help of our knowledgeable ground team. Read on to find out more about what your Zimbabwe holiday could hold in store.
Situated in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country bordered by Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. Covering some 390,000 square kilometres, it is characterised by the lofty Inyanga Mountains and highlands as well as the great Zambezi River, which feeds the earth and provides power to the Kariba Dam.
Before it was the Republic of Zimbabwe, the country went through several colonial guises from Southern Rhodesia, to Rhodesia, or Zimbabwe Rhodesia before gaining independence from Britain in 1980. The capital of Harare is also the nation’s most populous city, and is home to just under 1.5 million of Zimbabwe’s total population of 12.75 million people.
Zimbabwe uses a multi-currency system, meaning the US Dollar, South African Rand, GB Pound and the Euro are all accepted. While English is an official language in Zimbabwe, Shona is the most widely spoken, followed by Ndebele. No matter when you visit, you can expect a tropical to temperate climate, with warmer temperatures making for pleasant summer nights especially in the lowlands in the south.
The Victoria Falls are, of course, one of the main attractions for many visitors to Zimbabwe. The nation’s most popular tourist destination, the falls simply have to be seen for their majesty to be believed. Watch as the mesmerising curtain of water plunges over 100 metres into the Zambezi Gorge below.
You can admire the fall’s famous clouds of mist and brilliant rainbows from a number of viewpoints, or take a helicopter ride over Victoria Falls to get the full effect. The area is renowned for being the ‘adventure capital of Africa’, offering some of the wildest whitewater rafting around and a 111-metre bungee jump into the Zambezi River gorge from the bridge linking Zimbabwe to Zambia.
However, the falls aren’t the country’s only drawcard. If you are looking for an authentic Zimbabwe safari experience, the Mana Pools National Parks provides a chance to encounter a range of animals in the lush area surrounding the Zambezi River, populated by hippos and elephants as well as big cats such as lions and cheetahs.
Last but not least, the Great Zimbabwe ruins are not to be missed. The ancient remains of an African Iron Age city are truly a local treasure, and have been granted status as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Staying in Zimbabwe
Accommodation in Zimbabwe varies from well-equipped game lodges around Victoria Falls to 5-star hotels in Harare. At Bench Africa, we’ve picked out the best of both worlds, so that whatever sort of accommodation you’re searching for, you’ll be able to find a Zimbabwe safari to suit.
Getting to Zimbabwe
If you want to include a Zimbabwe tour in your upcoming trip to Africa, Bench Africa can help make it happen. To enter Zimbabwe, Australian passport-holders will require a visa – your travel consultant will be able to advise you about it during the booking process. You can fly into Zimbabwe’s Harare International Airport, with a stopover usually in Johannesburg, South Africa.
To start planning your Zimbabwe holiday, get in touch with one of our expert travel consultants.
Zambia Safari Tours and Holidays
While more and more people are discovering the allure of an African holiday, Zambia has remained one of the continent’s best kept secrets. Flying under the radar, Zambia’s borders contain an abundance of wildlife, roaming through lush wetlands and populating the country’s top-notch game reserves.
Sparsely populated in many areas, a safari in Zambia offers travellers the opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of daily life behind and truly immerse themselves in the heart of the bush. In addition to spotting animals on a Zambia safari, a holiday here is sure to please with spectacular sunsets and picture perfect scenery.
To help plan your ultimate African escape, Bench Africa has scoped out some of the best Zambia holiday experiences with help from our on the ground staff, so you can be assured of an amazing time. Here’s a glimpse of what lies in store.
Zambia’s history reaches back thousands of years, with archaeological evidence suggesting this beautiful country was inhabited in approximately 10,000 BC.
In more recent history, Zambia was part of the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, which became self-governing in 1964. The independent Republic of Zambia was born in 1964, forming part of the British Commonwealth.
Landlocked Zambia is bordered by Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe – which share the Victoria Falls with Zambia.
While English is the official language of Zambia, more than 70 local languages are spoken throughout the country. When you touch down, you’ll be able to spend in either United States Dollars or Zambian Kwacha, the latter of which you’ll only be able to purchase on the ground in Zambia.
Zambia is the land of the legendary African walking safari, with big game, abundant birdlife and raw, untouched wilderness. It is blessed with 17 waterfalls including the spectacular Victoria Falls, whose thundering waters and plumes of mist dominate the landscape. The Zambezi river which feeds it is also an attraction in itself, providing a chance for thrill seekers to try their hand at white water rafting, canoeing safaris, river surfing and tiger fishing.
With just under a third of the country’s 752,614 square kilometres made up of national parks and game reserves, Zambia is a fantastic place to set out on an African safari. South Luangwa National Park has been heralded as one of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Here, you can truly reconnect with nature, with over 400 bird species and 60 different animal species to be discovered. The spiritual home of the walking safari, one of the great African traditions, Luangwa is truly a revitalising destination, where everything from big cats to hippos and giraffes roam free.
Staying in Zambia
While Zambia’s accommodation and tourism infrastructure is still in its infancy, there is a small but sophisticated safari industry featuring excellent lodges and seasonal bush camps. With some of the best African safari guides situated at Zambia’s camps, you can be assured of a genuinely intrepid experience. Zambia safaris are ideally suited for “old Africa hands” or those seeking a remote and more exclusive adventure, making it preferable to arrange an organised tour.
Like other countries in southern Africa, the Zambian climate is relatively pleasant year-round, becoming colder in the early hours and at night during the winter months of May-September.
Getting to Zambia
If you want to include a Zambia holiday in your upcoming Africa trip, Bench Africa can help make it happen. Australian passport holders currently need a visa to enter Zambia, available upon arrival, but should this change, your travel consultant will be able to advise you during the booking process. You can fly into Zambia’s Lusaka Airport, usually with a stopover in Kenya’s Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. To get closer to Victoria Falls, there is also the option to fly into Livingstone, stopping over in Johannesburg, South Africa.
To start planning your safari in Zambia, get in touch with one of our expert travel consultants.
Namibia Safari Tours and Holidays
Set on the southeast African coast, Namibia is a country that enthralls visitors with its astounding natural landscapes. Sparsely populated, it’s characterised by the sandy expanses of the Namib Desert, as well as the great Fish River Canyon and the crashing waves off the Atlantic Coast.
However, Namibian holidays hold more in store than the untamed beauty of its natural landscapes – with the Etosha Pan creating a striking sea of white in the midst of the surrounding wildlife sanctuary.
At Bench Africa, we love bringing our Australian customers closer to their dream African holiday by introducing them to some of the continent’s most intriguing destinations. Here’s a taste of what to expect on one of our Namibia tours.
While modern-day Namibia is seen to be a relatively stable country, it owes its colourful past to its time as the German colony of South-West Africa, as well as South African occupation during the First World War. After much effort, The Republic of Namibia finally gained independence in 1990, with the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) playing a defining role in the event.
Today, Namibia’s population numbers just over 2.3 million, despite having a total area of 825,000 sq km (just smaller than the state of New South Wales). The capital of Windhoek is the largest city with a buzzing cosmopolitan atmosphere, shaped over time by a blend of African and European influences.
While the country has a small population, it is home to a wide variety of languages. English was adopted as the sole official language, but there are 11 or more indigenous languages, as well as those introduced by colonising forces (Afrikaans and German) spoken throughout. Just under half of the population speaks Oshiwambo, with Nama/Damara, Otjiherero and Kavango forming the other main dialects. The country’s currency is the Namibian Dollar, but you can also use South African Rand as legal tender, with the former being fixed to the Rand’s value.
Namibia holidays offer you a land of contrasts. In Windhoek, you’ll find a laidback, well established city, with an enticing shopping and culinary scene. Much of the German influence is still apparent in the local architecture, as well as in its lively Oktoberfest celebrations.
The world’s oldest desert, the Namib, is thought to have existed for some 55 million years, covering an expanse of over 80,000 square kilometres. In the southern part of the desert you can find one of the country’s most unique locations, Sossusvlei. Nestled in heart of the Namib, the clay and salt landscape create a striking scene around the pan, surrounded by red star dunes swept in all directions by the desert’s shifting winds.
Travellers on a Namibia safari are blessed with yet another natural wonder in the Fish River Canyon further south. Africa’s second largest natural gorge, the canyon is 27 kilometres wide, giving you a sense of its awe-inspiring scale.
For those in search of wildlife, the Etosha National Park offers a blend of arid salt pan, lush grasslands and plentiful watering holes, making it a great place to do some game viewing. Consider planning your Namibia safari around the months of May through to October for prime wildlife experiences.
Bench Africa’s Namibia safari tours are well thought out and organised with every detail well thought out, ensuring you can see the best of this beautifully diverse country.
Staying in Namibia
Namibia is renowned for having well-appointed, well-maintained accommodation which covers a range of choices from B&Bs to campsites and luxury lodges. Depending on what you’d like to see in Namibia, we have a variety of accommodation options included in our Namibia tours.
By coordinating with our offices on the ground in Africa, we pride ourselves on helping you to find the ideal package for your needs, whatever they may be.
Getting to Namibia
If you want to include Namibia in your upcoming trip to Africa, Bench Africa can help make it happen. Australian travellers do not currently need a visa to enter Namibia, but should this change, your travel consultant will be able to advise you about it during the booking process. You can fly into Namibia’s Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek, with a stopover usually in Johannesburg, South Africa.
To start planning your Namibia safari, get in touch with one of our expert travel consultants.