Entries by Illona Cross

Chasing Clouds with My Family in Namibia

Namibia really impressed me. I have travelled there before, but this time I decided to take my children and to drive the entire route. My husband and I were keen on an adventure made more so by the fact that we were driving the Ford Ranger 4×4 wit twin cabs; we both love big cars. […]

Uncovering Eritrea

On a crisp early morning, old men tend the locomotive, oiling and stoking. We roll out of the yard and onto the plateau, through the prickly pears to the edge of the escarpment. Then, like a roller coaster of old, we are launched off the edge, between hills, over narrow bridges and through black, soot-lined […]

, Lions from a helicopter on salt pan

Botswana – Travel Is About People and Time

I believe in time travel. At home, in your everyday life you have routine – going to work, getting the children to school – and are always looking at your watch (or phone) to see when your next appointment or deadline is. In the bush, on safari, time seems to stand still. You become immersed […]


Chad: Zakouma’s Safari Chariots

On a dusty morning on 13th April 2006, a heavily armoured convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers, converged on N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. These war chariots of the Third World, were top heavy with truck-mounted rocket launchers and determined Nubian men, their faces covered with turbans. They billowed dust behind them as they sped towards […]


Rhino Notching in South Africa – Steppes Travel

The White Rhino Conservation Project is committed to notching and inserting microchips into Greater Kruger National Park’s 130-strong White Rhino population. Experience first hand conservation work in the company of the chief vet and rangers from Klaserie Nature Reserve as they locate a rhino and proceed to notch and microchip it. Below is copy of […]


Discover South Africa

I was born in South Africa and have travelled around the country from an early age. Before joining Steppes Travel in 2000 I qualified as a safari guide and worked in various lodges. I have since returned to South Africa with my young children; it never to ceases to amaze me. I believe, as many others do, […]


Take care of my children!

‘’Take care of my children!’’ This was the first thing I thought and consequently exclaimed as I watched my seven and nine year old walk hand in trunk away from me with a group of powerful adult elephants. This sort of parental helplessness is not that new to me, it had happened when I first […]


South Africa – Then and Now

Today I sat next to Sibosisu. He is forty years old, just like me, he is South African by birth, just like me but he is black and I am white. He was my guide around Johannesburg, the city I once called home. We sat, side by side in the Apartheid Museum, watching a short […]


A Client’s Experience of Ethiopia

Mr Carter recently travelled to Ethiopia and kindly gave us this insight into his experiences there… “Where do I start, hopefully this gives you an idea of how much we enjoyed the experience. We have visited Africa a number of times but this holiday was a lot different in that it focused on culture and […]



Today was a busy day, those who work here in the bush often refer to it “being another day in the office”. Like my daily schedule today was fraught with distractions. There was the elephant bull I almost walked into after finding fresh tracks on the road, the thrill of hearing an elephant “domestic” from […]


Whatever you do, do not run

“Look at me and I will tell you exactly what to do”! These words went through my mind but just didn’t seem to stick. Courtney and Jason were reciting the rules. I am partial to rules, but I was distracted by a lilac breasted roller as it posed provocatively in a “look but can’t photograph” […]


The difference a day makes

Yesterday…a rhino died in one of the northern parks of South Africa, a tranquilliser was used and it was de-horned before it died. The horrific fate that stares every rhino in the face today is that the demand of its horn has increased dramatically. It is now target number one. Poachers want to sell its […]


Memories of Mozambique

I am not usually a patron of small African curio shops but I have to say that the coffee shop come curio bookstore in the internal terminal of Dar Es Salaam airport serves some of the best coffee and sells a grand selection of books that you just wouldn’t find in your local Waterstone’s. It […]

A few thoughts on Africa

I have been lucky enough to have lived, worked and travelled around Africa independently on various occasions. One of the countries that has had a particular influence on me is Malawi. A landlocked country and one of the poorest on the continent, Malawi is known as “the warm heart of Africa” and it is easy to see […]


2012 Migration update

The Kenyan Wildebeest migration continues in the Masai Mara. In the last few days there have been some very good crossings on the Mara River. Yesterday many zebra and wildebeest crossed from east to the west at the main crossing points along the River. There are many wildebeest spread out across the plains surrounding our […]

A guide to the Great Migration

The Migration is truly one of the wonders of the animal world; a million and more animals playing out their lives in the Serengeti ecosystem, watched all the way by lions, hyenas and crocodiles looking for a cheap dinner. So what is the best time and where is the best place to catch this spectacle? […]


The Migration has arrived in Kenya

*Migration 2012* A little later than in recent years, the Great Migration of 2012 finally kicked off just over a week ago. Due to heavy rains in the Serengeti-Maraecosystem since early this year the Plains grass has been long and has hampered the progress of the wildebeest, delaying their arrival north into Kenya. As of […]


Watch out for the Leopard Toad

If you are out and about this month in the Cape peninsular beware of a cold and rainy night as the endangered endemic Leopard toad will be coming out to mate. A usually sedate creature it survives in the gardens and fynbos of the region but, for 10 days a year they become frenzied mating […]


Turtles hatching in Mafia Island

July is the perfect month to watch turtles hatching in Mafia Island. Sea turtles have been nesting on Tanzanian beaches for over 150 million years. Between June and September hundreds of baby turtles make their instinctive scramble from the white sandy beaches to the warm Indian Ocean waters. After 30 years, the female hatchlings will […]


Royal Madikwe Updates

We bring the latest news from our friends at Royal Madikwe Lodge in Greater Madikwe, South Africa. We would like to take this opportunity to introduce Royal Madikwe’s resident Klipspringer – “Bokkie”. This young male antelope has been spending much of his time within Royal’s fences and around the water hole, but never venturing further […]


Loisaba Predator Project

With an array of different activities available, Loisaba Wilderness really does offer something for the whole family. Whether spending a morning by the river, enjoying a family camel trek and bush breakfast; or pampering mum at the Spa while the kids learn traditional bush skills (with Loisaba’s Samburu guides), Loisaba is the ideal destination for […]


Kwazulu Natal Wonderland

Many people believe that in South Africa, the only beautiful and safe places to visit are the wine lands, in the shadow of a mountain with a flat top and the Kruger Park for wildlife. But alas no, the country’s strap line is not “a world in one country” for nothing! I wanted to talk […]


Beautiful Botswana

Botswana remains one of the most thrilling and rewarding of safari destinations. The adrenalin kicks in from the minute you board the light aircraft in Maun for the flight transfer into the infamous Okavango Delta. Seeing this wilderness region from the air is in itself, a sight to behold. Lily-dappled waterways wiggling their way through […]


Cape Town Easter escape

Cape Town is very popular over the Easter weekend when runners, families, friends and chocolate lovers descend on the Mother City for a combination of sun, sea, mountains and fun! There is so much to do and see that we’ve listed our top ten’s below to help provide a little inspiration. *Top Ten things to […]


On location in Botswana

Imagine endless channels of water carpeted with floating lilies, distinctive islands packed full of Africa’s finest game set amidst a riot of colours and a cacophony of sounds. This is the Okavango Delta in Botswana. In June, the floods from Angola are slowly making this famous area expand into a complex labyrinth of rivers and […]


Elephant swimming in the sea at Nuarro

The elephants in Mozambique have, in the past been hunted and chased out of their habitat. Their homes have been destroyed in the long history of war. This unusual site happened at Nuarro Luxury Eco lodge this week is a great indication of how far Mozambique has progressed after the devastation of war. The wildlife […]


Warona the New Elephant Calf at Abu Camp

In mid December last year we were thrilled to hear the news that Shireni had given birth to her third calf and that it was doing well. All at Abu camp have been watching her progress carefully and have enjoyed sharing her antics with all the guests in the last month. Take a look at […]


Save the Rhino

The game rangers on patrol in the Kruger National Park have reported that they have found eight rhino carcasses which have been dehorned. The high demand for rhino horn used in traditional medicine in Asia is causing the gradual depletion of the Rhino Species. Just a few years ago the Northern White Rhino Species was […]


Safari Vet School

Tonight at 8pm tune into the new ITV series Safari Vet School. Filmed and set in one of the world’s toughest vet schools in Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, 32 of the UK’s top university students try to learn the skills needed to survive in the bush! TV vet Steve […]


Babylonstoren cannot be put in a box!

Babylonstoren cannot be put in a box and labelled as just another wine lands property. It’s quirky – a rather unusual adjective to describe a Cape Dutch winery and fruit farm which dates back to the 1700’s! It effortlessly manages to combine its history (such as 19th century Delft pottery) with modern and luxurious guest cottages […]


An Elephant for Christmas at Abu Camp, Botswana

Sherini, one of the famed elephants of Abu Camp, is due to give birth to her third calf in mid December 2011. Sherini is one of the original six young elephant orphans saved from a cull in the Kruger National Park. Known for her maternal attributes of calmness, patience and a loving nature, she has […]


A day in Life at Garonga

“Down here in not so sunny Garonga we have been blessed with rains. First of all though many congratulations to Martijn and Annelies for cracking the bottle, tying the knot at a splendid wedding here!The veldt is looking really lush and green now after having had 236mm since the season began in October. Plenty of […]


The Migration in Kenya

*Game Report from Governors Camp – Kenya* *Weather and grasslands* November was an extraordinary month, lovely weather to begin with, then scattered showers and heavy downpours from mid month. In the early hours of the morning of the 10th there was a big rainstorm which caused the Marsh to fill up with water. A few […]


The Story of a Leopard from Kaingo

A true Kaingo or leopard – bed-time story for the kids. By Derek Shenton – Owner of Shenton Safaris, Zambia As the dry August days became hotter and hotter and the wind stronger in the Luangwa valley – the beautiful mother leopard grew increasingly worried about the safety of her two young cubs – a […]


Scuba Diving at Nuarro Luxury Eco Lodge

Nuarro Luxury Eco Lodge is an ideal place to scuba dive – whether you are a learner or an experienced diver, there is something for everyone. For beginners it offers diver entry from the shore, with a gradual slope towards the wall of the continental shelf. The shelf edge is teaming with stunning fish and […]


Saving the Cheetah

*PAWS: A volunteer is worth a million words* “An Acre Of Performance Is Worth A Whole World of Promise.” Never a truer statement has been made that is so relevant to every volunteer who has passed through the grass doors at PAWS in the past 3 years! If ever we are feeling a little blue, […]

Leopards at Okonjima

Tourism is the number one reason for sustainable wildlife conservation in Africa. For this very reason Okonjima and The AfriCat Foundation have worked closely together for the past 20 years to create a 50,000 acre refuge and safe-haven for some of Namibia’s most vulnerable carnivores – which will now also become a solid platform from […]


Pumulani wins Top Award

We are delighted to announce that Pumulani Luxury Beach Lodge has been voted as Malawi’s Leading Hotel 2011 at the World Travel Awards, which is the most prestigious and highly covered awards programme in the global travel industry, which is sure to substantially heighten Robin Pope Safaris’ international profile. The Awards were described by The […]


The Robertson Wine Festival, South Africa

Now five years old, the Robertson Wine on the River will take place 14 – 16 October 2011.This idyllic open-air wine festival takes place on the banks of the Breede River at the Goudmyn Farm between Robertson and Bonnievale. Just image a setting with the river flowing by, vineyards all around, beautiful hills and shading […]

The first American to traverse Africa

*The first American to walk across Africa* From the Indian Ocean coast of Mozambique, Julian Munroe is walking west until he reaches the Atlantic Ocean coast of Angola. The approxiamately 4,000 mile expedition will take him across the territories of the African countries of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, DR Congo and Angola. ‘Equatoria: A walk across […]


Rights for Rhinos

Rhinos constitute one of the highly-regarded “Big 5” animals of African wildlife, which include elephants, lions, leopards and the Cape buffalo. South Africa is home to approximately 21,000 rhinos, more than any other country in the world, unfortunately, Black rhinos are currently listed as critically endangered – with only about 4,200 remaining in existence. Since […]