Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 9 April 2024

My Cruises has teamed up with Virgin Voyages.

Avoiding native wildlife, timing the Great Migration and the secret to perfect packing... Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield takes a tour of another week in Travel


Different species of kangaroos hear different sound frequencies. I’m not quite sure why, but I’m glad I know that. And that knowledge is the basis of a new roo warning device developed by VW cars and an Australian university team. You can read our story here.


There’s plenty of wildlife in Coral Bay at the moment. A friend-and-colleague reports “flies at nuisance levels”. And he adds that in the national park camp sites to the south at Sandy Point and 14 Mile Beach, “flies are at plague levels”. He says it is “worth having a backup plan or contingency measures if heading up to those spots. Face nets are a worthy investment.”


There has been the story that flies came with Europeans and cattle, but when the Dutch ship Duyfken landed on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland in 1606, the crew encountered a lot of flies. They even named Vliege Bay . . . Fly Bay. A replica of this little exploration ship which sailed from Batavia (now Jakarta) was made in Fremantle, but now lives in the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


I’m being asked about the timing of the wildebeest and zebra migration in East Africa. The biggest and most reliable sights are in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, I think.

The timing roughly works like this (but precise timing depends on rainfall).

December to April, herds are on the move in the southern part of the Serengeti (Ndutu area).

Roughly February, about half a million calves are born on these southern plains. About April, they start moving to the Serengeti’s central and western grasslands for feed.

May to June, they are heading north, and this is where they cross the Grumeti River.

July to September, herds tend to gather in the plains around the Mara River. This is another dramatic crossing, with fast water and crocs. Just be aware, that if there is plenty of grass in the northern Serengeti, a lot of the animals do not do this second crossing.

October to December, the herds leave the northern Serengeti and make their way south. This is “shoulder season”. The migration is, of course, a cyclical business, as the herds move north and back south.

For great value, it will be hard to beat a Trip a Deal Great Migration offer from $11,499 per person, for a 10-night safari, including airfares. and search “great migration”.


Jill Deane published a photo book about boab trees in 2008 called Histrees, and now has a new companion book called Australiants: Antithesis. It is full of photographs of termite mounds and ant nests … together with lots of puns about these “inconveni-ant, repugnant and ant-repid” critters. Jill says the book is a much anticipated sequel. It is $19.99, with free postage or delivery for orders made until April 15.

Contact Jill on 0448 129 700 or m


Not all head torches are created equally. I’ve had my share of basic Petzl head torches, and still travel with one, but Equi Lights, which were developed for horse riders and handlers, are taking things to a fashionable new level. Equi Light was started by mother and daughter Elizabeth and Rebecca in 2021, as they set out to create practical but stylish hands-free light for equestrians ... and anyone who enjoys the outdoors. They now have a range of premium LED headbands and beanies. The Nordic headband $56, and postage for two to Australia is $34. (And if you’re sending for one from the UK, why wouldn’t you send for two, like I did?)


In The Pod Well Travelled this week, Penny Thomas, Megan French and I have come up with The Ultimate Packing Guide. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. I even brought Casey (my faithful but truculent suitcase) into the studio, and Megan and Penny have a quick guided tour of his inner secrets on TikTok. Search for The Pod Well Travelled to see his secrets.


Virgin’s adults-only cruise ship Resilient Lady, pictured at the top of the page, was in Fremantle on Tuesday. It is on the way to Europe, and My Cruises has three European cruise packages as a result of working closely with Virgin Voyages.

They all include international flights, pre and post stays and 14-night cruises of Europe this year. As an example, the 14-night epic Greek Island and Mediterranean package on sister ship Scarlet Lady starts from $3990 per person.

Think … Santorini, Michelin star-inspired menus, spa, Broadway performances.

My Cruises general manager Michael Middleton, says: “We have worked closely with Virgin Voyages on three iconic European sailings, carefully curating conveniently packaged holidays including international flights with premium airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates. Each package is bursting with bonus extras such as hotel stays in Paris, bustling Barcelona, the romantic city of Rome and even onboard dining and beverage packages, at unmatchable prices. Our prices with Virgin Voyages to Europe in 2024 are unbeatable.”


On the subject of good deals, I’ve spotted a ski-in, ski-out package at Yu Kiroro luxury suites in Hokkaido, in northern Japan. It includes a three-day lift pass, daily breakfast and an Onsen pass.

Hokkaido is the home of enchanting landscapes and powder snow. It’s good for first-timers and the most experienced, and the offer is for five nights in a suite for $2999, including taxes and fees (the full rate is just under $11,000).


And finally, as we enjoy these brilliant end-of-summer days in Perth, and our beautiful beaches with lingering morning easterly winds … it is being reported that negotiations are under way for United Arab Emirates to buy some of Egypt’s coastline for up to $22 billion.

The United Arab Emirates is reportedly interest in buying the Ras Al Hekma area on Egypt’s northern coast, as a form of economic support for Cairo.