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Joanna Bielawski, Marketing Manager

Direct Line: 818.649.1923 | E-mail: joannab@africantravelinc.com

Joanna was born in Poland and moved to the United States as a young girl. Very early on she caught the travel bug. Combining her love for travel and marketing presented several jobs within the Travel industry.  As the Marketing Manager, she’s responsible for managing consortia marketing initiatives and yearly plans, managing of marketing relationships including advertising agency, writers and web designers.

She enjoys to travel, spending time with friends and family and just being a mom.  

Reasons to Safari in East Africa

August 28th, 2015, by Joanna Bielawski

THE AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK: MOUNT KILIMANJARO
After an adventure-filled day on safari, “magical” can only begin to describe the experience of sipping sundowners overlooking your lodge’s waterhole with Tanzania’s snow-clad Mount Kilimanjaro as your backdrop.

RWANDA AND UGANDA: GORILLAS IN THE MIST
From your lush eco-lodge in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains and Parc National Des Volcans or Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, tread softly and observe in wonder the families of rare, habituated mountain gorillas.

LEWA WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY: SAVING RHINOS
Northern Kenya’s popular, family-friendly wildlife-viewing destination, Lewa is lauded for its groundbreaking rhino rehabilitation efforts. Experience an understanding of wildlife, and an authentic interaction with the local community.

MAHALE MOUNTAINS: ENDANGERED CHIMPANZEES
With its golden beaches framed by jungle-covered peaks along the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania’s beautiful, isolated Mahale Mountains are home to some 1,000 of the last remaining chimpanzees in Africa.

MASAI MARA AND SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK: THE GREAT MIGRATION
The annual Great Migration of millions of wildebeest and other herbivores across East Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world — the perfect “Out of Africa” safari.

NGORONGORO CRATER: WORLD’S LARGEST
Acclaimed for being one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet, Tanzania’s great unbroken caldera is the world’s largest crater. Prepare to be awed as you observe
the calliope of wildlife.

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE: THE SPECIAL FIVE
Kenya’s pastoral Samburu tribe welcomes you to the land of “the special five” — the Grevy’s zebra, the Somali blue-necked ostrich, the Beisa oryx, the reticulated giraffe and the dainty gerenuk.

SELOUS GAME RESERVE: VAST AND UNTOUCHED
For those desiring a wild and rugged safari in an untouched land, Tanzania’s Selous is the answer. Africa’s biggest game reserve is even larger than Switzerland.

TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK: BAOBABS AND ELEPHANTS
Majestic baobabs dwarf the herds of elephants that feed beneath them in Tanzania’s Tarangire. The park’s permanent river serves as a lifeline for the Maasai people
and a great diversity of wildlife.

Reasons to Safari in Southern Africa

August 28th, 2015, by Joanna Bielawski

CAPE TOWN: THE BEAUTIFUL MOTHER CITY
Voted “Most Beautiful City in the World” by various top media, Cape Town is a “must see” for first-times to South Africa wit its iconic Table Mountain, sweeping ocan views and gastronomic delights. 

KRUGER PRIVATE GAME RESERVES: THE BIG FIVE
Guests are known to have spotted “The Big Five” in one morning in South Africa’s most famous reserve. A quick flight from Johannesburg, Kruger boasts the most
luxurious safari lodging.

MADAGASCAR: LEMURS AND LUSH FORESTS
The only place on earth to observe ever-evolving lemurs in the wild, this lush island nation of shimmering beaches and forests delights seasoned travelers with its intriguing Malagasy culture and welcoming people.

HWANGE NATIONAL PARK: ELEPHANTS EVERYWHERE
Tens of thousands of elephants, along with some 100 animal species, roam Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve. The vast grasslands recall the interior of Africa as it was more than 150 years ago. 

OKAVANGO DELTA: WORLD’S LARGEST INLAND DELTA
Flighseeing above Okavango’s lush islands, you’ll be struck by the immensity of the world’s largest inland delta. For fantastic birding, explore its endless waterways by mokoro; then, take game drives in search of wildlife. 

BEST FAMILY SAFARIS: MALARIA-FREE
Bursting with wildlife, easily accessible and malaria-free, several Southern African game parks rank top for family safaris. Check out South Africa’s Pilanesberg National Park and the Madikwe or Eastern Cape Game Reserve. 

KAFUE, LUANGWA AND LOWER ZAMBEZI RIVER: REMOTE ADVENTURE
For an extremely remote and exclusive safari experience, delve into the lush rivers and flood plains of Zambia’s Kafue; Luangwa, where walking safaris were pioneered; or the game-rich Lower Zambezi National Park. 

SOSSUSVLEI AND THE NAMIB DESERT: STRANGE LANDS
If you are seeking surreal photos of desolate landscapes or the solitary oryx, venture to the remote deserts of Namibia. Climb Soussusvlei’s red dunes, track black rhinos and be fascinated by the semi-nomadic Himba way of life. 

VICTORIA FALLS: “THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS”
Crashing down the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is known by the locals as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “the smoke that thunders.” It’s recorded as the world’s largest curtain of falling water.

The Rescue Of Roi

January 15th, 2015, by Joanna Bielawski

On the 22nd October Richard Roberts from the Mara Elephant Project contacted us about the plight of a young milk dependent calf, approximately 10 months old, whose mother had been found dead on the plains of the Masai Mara that day.  Closer inspection of the dead mother revealed that she had been poached and died from a poisoned spear wound on her cheek.  She had been photographed by a visitor happily feeding with her little baby underfoot, both alive and well.  

The next day the tragedy unfolded and the same visitor found a very different scenario with the baby confused by her dead mothers side, but in the company of the rest of the herd, trying to come to terms with it all.  The little calf was then whisked away by the rest of the herd but not before she had said her painful goodbyes to her lifeless mother.  As a milk dependent baby she would have little hope of survival without being rescued as a lactating mother in the herd would never have enough milk to satiate two calves.  The tragedy was reported to the Mara Elephant Project and KWS. Everyone realized that her young milk dependent calf had little hope of survival without her Mum and that she needed to be rescued before the herd travelled great distances with her, possibly into Tanzania where the hope of any rescue would be lost forever.  The baby without sufficient milk would only get weaker and weaker and eventually be unable to keep up with the herd, and be left behind.

Coordinating together with the DSWT elephant Keeper rescue team, who had by now landed at Olare Orok airstrip, Richard Roberts of MEP had the unenviable fraught task of separating this baby from the herd before she was spirited away and lost.   With careful maneuvering the calf was separated by vehicle in order to enable the DSWT Keepers to quickly leap from the moving land cruiser and restrain the baby.   This took some planning as the matriarch was extremely protective of the young orphaned baby.  What had been observed in the meantime was when the orphaned calf tried to suckle her (She had her own calf a little older than the orphaned baby so was lactating) she would push her away, not prepared to share her milk and deprive her own baby.  The separation was done extremely effectively by the DSWT, so experienced in restraining elephants, and with so many others from the MEP prepared to jump in and help.  The little calf was wrapped and strapped and prepared for her flight to Nairobi, while the rest of the team from the MEP together with the DSWT funded Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit headed by KWS Veterinary Officer Dr. Limo went to do an autopsy on the dead mother to absolutely confirm her cause of death.  Her tusks in the meantime had been removed by the authorities.  

We named the little girl Roi and she was watched and cared for closely throughout the flight by the DSWT Keepers and given some tranquilizer to take the edge off what had been an extremely traumatic and heartbreaking day for her.  She finally arrived at the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi National Park after dark.  She was a very robust baby from the outset not having been without mothers milk for long, and thankfully very soon took to the bottle which made things simpler.   She was confined to a stockade for a couple of days but remained aggressive and clearly agitated when the others left her orbit for the day out in the Park.  We made the decision to let her out despite her not having tamed down as much as we would ideally like and this made all the difference.  She was immediately comfortable and content amidst the older orphans who paid her attention and provided her with the elephant love and affection she craved and missed.  She was hooked on her milk bottle so continued to gravitate towards the Keepers for her three hourly feeds.

As the days have passed little Roi has settled in completely and is now extremely attached to her Keepers, familiar with the routine and is playing once more and she appears to be genuinely  happy.

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