Adventure Out Of London & Discover The Amazing British Countryside

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The UK winter is fast drawing to a close and it won’t be long before we shed our thick jackets and are back in short sleeves enjoying the beautiful and diverse British countryside and the many traditional British country sports it offers.

Activities such as fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, horse racing, horse riding and possibly even developing your polo skills.

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And while in the countryside why not experience staying in a castle, large country manor house or a luxury hotel/spa.

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To assist you in planning and booking all facets of your next UK vacation please contact our experienced concierge service staff at: enquiries@britishcountrysports.couk

African Photographic Safari Pt 3

Leaving the hot and humid climate of coastal Mombassa and Diani Beach we flew by charter aircraft direct to the Masai Mare – Kenya’s animal kingdom wonderland.

Enroute the Mombassa Aerial Service pilots took us close to Mt Kilimanjaro which for our good fortune had both snow capped peaks visible. Kilimanjaro stands at 19,500′ and with adequate fitness training and altitude conditioning is climbable without technical climbing gear.

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In the Masai Mare we were accommodated at the newly constructed Sanctuary Olonana Lodge. Previously a tented facility, Sanctuary Olonana is now an exceptional luxury safari lodge on a private stretch of the Mara River (complete with its own bloat of hippo), at the foot of the impressive Siria Escarpment and close to where the famous last scene from “Out of Africa” was filmed.

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Game drives were conducted each morning and afternoon by Olonana’s experienced Masai guides who are all trained guide/naturalists. Game is in abundance and includes lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, baboon, hippopotamus, zebra, various gazelles, wildebeest, crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife.

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We happened on a lion pride which had recently killed an adult zebra. The male lion was  trying to drag the zebra into safety of the nearby trees while fending off 20 hyenas. Dramatic everyday life and death in the African animal kingdom witnessed first hand. This is what we had come to Africa for.

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Some of our more adventurous members took to the air in a hot air balloon to get a mornings bird’s eye view of The Mare plains.

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A highlight of the stay was the drive down to the border of Tanzania’s Serengeti in search of lions and wildebeest which included a delicious picnic in the field.

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On our final afternoon at Olonana we were invited to visit a nearby Masai village where we received a very warm welcome (traditional jumping dance in which we were invited to participate) and a briefing from the Chief’s son on Masai warrior culture and village life.

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And all of a sudden after 2 weeks, seven flights, meeting some amazing new people and having the privilege of viewing African wildlife very close up in their native habitat , our safari was over. At least until the inevitable next time…….

 

African Photographic Safari Pt 2

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The second week of our Safari was spent in Kenya, split between Nairobi, Mombassa and the incomparable Masai Mare – the wonderland of African plains wildlife.

Nairobi has grown immensely since I was last there in 2012. Aided by Asian foreign investment, the choking city road congestion has been almost alleviated and new high rise buildings are being commenced almost every month.

Here we concentrated on the Giraffe Centre, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (Elephant Sanctuary) and the Karen Blixen Museum.

The Giraffe Centre is a well managed facility where visitors can hand feed giraffes and listen to informative lectures on these amazing animals. It also has a well stocked gift shop.

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The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is thought to be the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Visits are restricted to between 1100 – 1200 each day where guests can watch the rescued elephants frolic in their mud bath. Sponsorship of the rescued elephants is key to the success and sustainability of the SWT.

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The Karen Blixen Museum was once the centre piece of a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen Fincke. Located 10km from the city centre, the Museum belongs to a different time period in the history of Kenya. The farmhouse gained international fame with the release of the movie ‘Out of Africa’ an Oscar winning film based on Karen’s an autobiography by the same title. With the help of the Danish and Kenyan Governments and Karen’s old cook, many of the items she sold prior to returning to Denmark have been purchased and placed in the house as they were at the time Karen lived there.

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The ancient trading port of Mombassa and Diani Beach were our next stops. Mombassa has an wonderful but dark history and has been ruled at various times by the Portuguese, Omanis and British. The old fort is still a major tourist attraction as is the old town architecture surrounding it.

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The elephant tusk entrance in Mombassa was erected for the arrival of Princess Elizabeth in 1952 but unfortunately while still on safari she received news of the death of her father King George VI and had to return to the UK post haste as Queen Elizabeth II.

In Part III we shall report on our flight from Diani Beach via Mt. Kilimanjaro to our final destination in Kenya, the very much anticipated Masai Mare.

African Photographic Safari Pt1

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“Absolutely amazing” does not do justice when trying to describe our recent two week safari in Southern Africa including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya and touching on The Serengeti of Tanzania.

We started our journey at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls where the lack of seasonal rain this year meant that the Zambian side of the falls were almost dry. The spectacle on the Zimbabwean side including the famous Devil’s Pool was however still quite extraordinary if somewhat difficult to photograph in detail due to the dense spray thrown up by the falls. When in full flood, it is almost impossible to photograph according to our local guides.

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We then moved onto southern Zambia to the wonderful Sussi and Chuma Lodge just outside the growing rural city of Livingstone.

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Sussi and Chuma were the two local tribesmen that accompanied Dr. David Livingstone during his exploration of the Zambezi region.

Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma is built on a quiet bend of the Zambezi River in the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park, twelve kilometres upstream from Victoria Falls. The safari style accommodation and hospitality is first class.

The wildlife in the National Park is plentiful and while being home to a small number of closely guarded white rhinos and a plethora of hippos in the river, it does not include any of the big cats or elephants.

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To photograph elephants and our first lions in the wild we drove to Botswana, crossing the river border by small craft and then touring the Chobe nature reserve by boat and vehicle.

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Next report we move onto Kenya’s rapidly growing capital Nairobi, its old trading port of Mombassa and the incomparable Masai Mare.

 

Thirlestane Castle – Scotland’s holiday gem

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British Country Sports is very pleased to now be working with Thirlestane Castle,  near Lauder in the scenic Scottish Borders – renowned for its traditional country sports, warm hospitality and period grandeur. 

Thirlestane is one of the grandest estates in Scotland and offers premium game bird shooting, deer stalking, fly fishing and a host of other outdoor activities with luxuriously renovated Scottish castle accommodation in the scenic Border region.

Thirlestane Castle is currently undergoing extensive accommodation alterations in preparation for its planned opening in late January 2019.

More details will be released by Thirlestane Castle in the coming weeks on their action packed sporting holidays, corporate breaks, famous Scottish heritage activities, luxury accommodation and sumptuous hospitality plans.

For bookings or further information please EMAIL or by phone +44 (0) 751 348 8115.

Scotland’s Thirlestane Castle – Coming Soon

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Thirlestane Castle, near Lauder, Scottish Borders – available from late Jan 2019
 Renowned for its country sports, warm hospitality and period grandeur 

British Country Sports is very pleased to now be working with Thirlestane Castle, one of the grandest estates in the sensational Scottish Border region.

Thirlestane Castle boasts:

  • premium game bird shooting
  • deer stalking
  • fly fishing
  • luxurious accommodation
  • fine and relaxed dining
  • Scottish historic and cultural activities

More details will be released by Thirlestane Castle in the coming weeks on their action packed sporting holidays, corporate breaks, famous Scottish heritage activities, luxury accommodation and sumptuous hospitality plans.

For bookings or further information please EMAIL or by phone +44 (0) 751 348 8115

British Gunmakers of the 21st Century Book Giveaway Competition

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British Country Sports in conjunction with Quiller Publishing are offering a copy of British Gunmakers of the 21st Century – a fantastic coffee table book written by respected British firearms authority Donald Dallas in association with Holts Auctioneers – as our last book giveaway prize for 2018.  

To have a chance of winning, you need only to correctly answer the following question:

What London gun and rifle maker’s address is 57 – 58 South Audley Street, Mayfair?  

Click Hereto email your answer to British Country Sports.

In the email Subject Line please enter British Gunmakers of the 21st Century and after your answer, your name and preferred email address so we can be in touch with the lucky winner.

Quiller Publishing will have the book delivered to you.

International followers and readers are most welcome to participate.

The competition closes at midnight GMT on Sunday 2 December 2018. The winner will be advised on Monday 3 December 2018.

With many thanks again to Quiller Publishing for this wonderful book prize.

British Gunmakers of the 21st Century is available now on line from Quiller Publishing at the discounted price of  £30 until the end of December 2018.