Lauren Fryer visits Londolozi

Iconic Africa’s very own Lauren Fryer has recently returned from an unbelievable time spent at one of our favourite safari lodges – Londolozi. She was kind enough to share with us her memorable experience and some awesome photographs that she will be adding to her collection.

Did you see any of the new lion cubs from the Ntsevu pride?

Yes we did and they are magnificent. They were very relaxed playing with each other whilst the lionesses tolerated them and the males rested a few metres away.

What other wildlife did you see and which was your favourite? 

We had just had a beautiful sighting of a leopard interacting with an elephant. Whilst rushing off to find the wild dog we could hear, we bumped into a mother leopard with her 2 cubs. They were walking along the airstrip and the cubs were playing and practicing hunting with 2 adult warthog. The warthog were so relaxed and entertained by the cubs pouncing on them and chasing them as long as the mother stayed a fair distance away. Our tracker and ranger worked brilliantly together. They were a real team and together with their shared knowledge we had incredible sightings.

What was your favourite meal at Londolozi? 

WOW! The food is utterly outstanding. From sumptuous breakfasts to light modern salad bowls for lunches; followed by a compulsory afternoon tea of decadent cake and mouth-watering tarts – it’s not surprising I can’t fit into my jeans! Coming for Kwa Zulu Natal, my favourite meal was definitely the traditional Durban curry in the boma! The setting around the boma on a chilly autumn night, with a glass of red wine in hand just paired perfectly with this flavoursome dish

What is your most memorable Londolozi moment?

I was touched by the whole experience. It truly was the most magical safari destination I have ever been to.

What did you think of the staff?

From the moment we entered the gate at Londolozi we were welcomed with a warm and friendly smile. This warmth follows through with every single member of their team. You are literally treated like family; everyone knows your name and are so genuine in their interaction with you. Every need is taken care of with a level on unobtrusive service and excellence that I have ever experienced in a lodge. I give credit to an incredible leadership team where people from all cultures are living in harmony with one another in one of the most beautiful places on earth, all in the name of conservation and a passion for wildlife. With only spending 1 night there I can attest for the contagious nature of the family spirit, and positive energy of all staff members. You are so welcomed and made to feel at home in this magical destination.

What was your most interesting encounter while on a game drive?

When sipping on our G&T’s on an afternoon game drive, we had a surprise visitor stroll past us and have a drink. This cheeky little hyena wasn’t fazed by us at all and it was wonderful watching him get on with his daily routine.

What would you recommend for other travellers heading to Londolozi?

I believe you should try stay for at least 3 nights. You will leave with a full heart, feeling rejuvenated and wanting to book again! The wildlife experience is incredible and full days experiencing what the camp has to offer are a must. From visiting the community village, wellness centre, getting help with your wildlife photo’s in the amazing new photo lab and just soaking in the gloriousness of the location from your deck, why rush it!

Plan ahead, secure the dates and go see it! TRUST ME!!!

Did you experience the healing house at Varty Camp?

We sadly didn’t as time was short.  If we had more time we would have loved a yoga session overlooking the river, followed by a rejuvenation session in the wellness centre! It looks incredible.We love that they are embracing the healthy, active lifestyle of travellers these days. Their new gym ticks all the boxes, so you can enjoy all the delicious food completely guilt free!

What other activities did you do while at Londolozi?

Will the camp manager took us on a walk around all the camps as they have recently been redone! They are looking incredible. There is the perfect marriage between staying true to their heritage with a fresh modern touch. It is unpretentious, and leaves you with a feeling that can’t be described.  After all it’s not about the material objects; it’s about being together in a place like no other, making magical memories.

If you could describe Londolozi in one word – what would it be? 

Connection…

Here are some of her favourite shots taken at Londolozi…

 

 

Property of the Month – Pioneer Camp Londolozi

For years Pioneer Camp has been the holiday of choice for Terri Abadi (our very own founder) and her family. Terri has travelled Africa extensively and yet each year she is adamant that Pioneer Camp is the place she wants to return to. This month’s property of the month is highly sought after for special family occasions and honeymoons alike and guests regularly book their next stay before even having left their current Londolozi safari experience, here’s why:

An interactive luxury camp

Pioneer camp is designed as an exclusive safari homestead which makes it ideal for families and small groups. It is the most secluded of Londolozi’s five camps, with an expansive deck shaded by wise old Jackalberry Pioneers, an interactive open-plan kitchen, and an enclosed lavish lounge giving guests the freedom to savour their private safari experience. Should you seek tranquil company, then a serene stroll by footpath leads the way to the yoga deck, fitness centre and Life massage haven.

Pioneer Camp’s three generous luxurious suites showcase exquisite river views, private plunge pools, and indoor and outdoor showers decorated with timeless opulence. Glass sky walkways between the suites create optional interconnected family units and a lap pool just below the main deck fosters spending time together sipping gin and tonics in the afternoon heat.

Celebrating the past

In celebrating a bygone era, Pioneer Camp is adorned with deep-rooted collectable suitcases, a restored gramophone, preserved trophies and historical black and white photographs, all sophisticatedly balanced with Ralph Lauren wall paper and modern textured fabrics. An iconic ox wagon is proudly stationed at the manicured entrance to the camp symbolising Londolozi’s primal vision to conserve and protect all living things that began on an adventure by ox wagon in 1926.

The safari experience

The wildlife experience at Londolozi is unprecedented. At dawn the hippo raucous from the nearby waterhole stirs your slumber just before a gentle wrap at the door delivers tea, coffee and freshly baked biscuits to excite you for the morning drive. Pioneer Camp’s passionate and knowledgeable guide and tracker teams will ensure unforgettable sightings of lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant, to name but a few on both morning and evening game drives.

Spend the rest of your day lounging by the pool, learning about the local culture in the Londolozi Village or editing photographs in the Londolozi Creative Hub. By the time you leave, you will be part of the Londolozi family.

Meet the Team – Beverly Van Schoor

At Iconic Africa our staff are our family, and the essence of family pride and love for African luxury travel is quite evident in all our client interactions. Since most of our team have been with Iconic Africa for many years, it goes without saying that there must be more to it than just a simple job – there has to be passion, love and expertise.

Meet our wonderful sales guru, Beverly Van Schoor and get to know her a little more here:

Bev Van Schoor Team Image Iconic Africa 2

Beverly loves to discover new places, people and cultures. She believes it broadens your horizons, makes you appreciative and is the best way to learn and grow. Beverly has travelled the world, from Argentina to Vietnam and even lived in the UK and Australia but there is no place she would rather be than in Africa.

King Lewanika Zambia - One of Africa_s oldest game reserves

Her knowledge and passion for travel comes from her years of experience. Beverly completed a Tourism Diploma at Cape Technicon followed by two years’ experience at a London Flight Centre; worked in various Guest Houses; spent two years at Seekers Travel, 8 years at Impact Incentives and a year at Rhino Africa.

She has a travel-list of her own that she is busy ticking off – many countries seeing her return on more than one occasion: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa.

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Bev has made great impressions with our clients as they get the perfect, tailor-made travel itineraries that suit their needs and wants:

“…we woke up refreshed and have just returned from an epic game drive, including a pride of 17 lions and a pack of 7 wild dogs… Bev has done an outstanding job. I can’t sing her praises enough. She is literally the best travel agent I’ve ever dealt with and I do a lot of travel! I’ve recommended you guys to 4 or 5 couples planning trips to SA…” – Ian Hartnell

Bev’s Favourite Tour

Safari and Island Retreat

Bev’s Favourite Camps

Londolozi

The Silo

Africa’s Most Romantic Safari Properties

Mara Plains Camp & Ol Donyo Lodge Nominated as Most Romantic Safari Properties 2019

The spectacular Mara Plains Camp and Ol Donyo Lodge have been nominated as Most Romantic Safari Property 2019by safariawards.com. Both properties offer the ultimate African hospitality, unprecedented private luxury and the finest wildlife sightings, but here’s what makes these Kenyan establishments such great contenders for the title:

Mara Plains Camp is a private and exclusive luxury-under-canvas accommodation set alongside the Ntiakitiak River on 35,000-acres of pristine wilderness bordering the world-renowned Masai Mara Reserve. Mara Plains Camp is a beautiful and intimate safari camp accommodating only 14 guests at a time, offering couples and families unrivalled access to luxurious facilities and amenities, exclusive landscapes and unfettered wildlife in low-vehicle density land.

When you arrive at the foot of the camp, you will find yourself crossing a quaint wooden bridge and climbing a few large steps – a small adventure, before reaching the luxurious and sleek reception area. Every step will mean something once you reach the view of an endless horizon. Right ahead of the main area is a scene from one of Disney’s most iconic films, The Lion King as you lay your eyes on the single, flat-topped Acacia tree – the icon of the Mara Plains Camp.

Tucked away amongst the trees, the seven decadent suites are integrated between the hippos, monkeys and sweet-sounding birds. Here, the natural environment will always have prominence, and so the camp’s design honours rather than upstages what nature has provided.

The furnishings pay tribute to the spirit of East Africa; and the camp’s Swahili heritage is reflected in tasteful décor. Each suit is more like a home and is exquisitely designed to give you complete privacy, an unbeatable view, and your very own piece of African bushveld. The wooden floors, neutral palette, draped canvas and natural fabrics are discreet allowing the beauty of the outside world to envelop you, even once inside. The sounds of Africa enter through the sides to entertain you. Elaborate finishing touches signal to the colonial era with rich leather pieces, Persian carpets, deep reds that honour the great Maasai chiefs and warriors and a delightful mixture of large wooden doors from the island of Lamu and copper to marry the Arab and Maasai influences.

These little perfections together make Mara Plains Camp the perfect combination of romance, adventure and exploration.

A 10 hour drive away from Mara Plains Camp, a bull crosses the grasslands, heading for the ol Donyo waterhole. In the heart of the Chyulu Hills is a timeless wonder that emanates raw beauty. Under the watchful care of Mount Kilimanjaro, this area is protected and rich with rare and endangered wildlife such as Africa’s last big tusker elephant bulls and endangered lion.

ol Donyo Lodge brings together contemporary architecture and décor and accentuates it with the rich culture of the Maasai. With only 16 guests at the lodge and no two villas looking the same, ol Donyo is both private and exclusive.

 

Built to combine the most heart-stopping views and merge outdoor and indoor living, the thatch suites are perfect for honeymooners. The unique suites and villas rise from the landscape and blend effortlessly with the African bushveld around them. Boasting amazing star beds atop each one, you can lie up there for hours with a sneaky nightcap and gaze up at Africa’s astounding blanket of stars. With a grand stone fireplace at its heart the main lounge and library will make you feel completely at home. It’s the perfect spot to socialise with your family, friends and other travellers. Take some time out, relax and sit on the spacious veranda marvelling at the view, or in the dining room savouring your mouth-watering meal, as there is no such thing as time on an African safari.

Birkenhead House – In Pictures

Ninety minutes from Cape Town awaits another Liz Biden masterpiece. No trip to the Mother City is complete without a visit to one of the Cape’s treasures, the coastal town of Hermanus. Hermanus offers beauty, history and charm, with authentic African markets, unusual boutiques, galleries and the Old Harbour Museum. The exceptional Birkenhead House is right on top of the reasons to visit and stay in this dreamy seaside village. Stroll on the cliff-top walkways and breathe in the soothing Indian Ocean air while the whales frolic in the bay below and the gulls swoop on the updrafts.

If you want to live like royalty with the comforts of home, this property immediately comes to mind.

This home-away-from-home is perched on a cliff overlooking magnificent Walker Bay. The bay is fringed with pristine white sand beaches and secluded coves while in the water surfers carve the waves and, for several months of the year, hundreds of southern right whales call the waters of the bay home.

Birkenhead House offers 11 individually appointed suites of sumptuous grandeur, lounges of sophisticated home living, a double-level pool, sheltered courtyards and a spa with its breath-taking sea view!  The 11 suites are all individually appointed with exquisite combinations of furniture and art. The bedrooms are fitted with pieces ranging from antique four-poster king and queen size beds, to glamourous red armchairs, original paintings, gilded headboards, leather desks and even a two-seater love couch. Every suite has a panoramic view of Walker Bay, the whales breaching out to sea, or the epic mountains of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve – and sometimes both. The large bathrooms boast freestanding Victorian baths, sunken marble tubs, spacious vanity areas and elegant showers.

This is the very designation of luxury at the tip of the continent, where awe-inspiring nature, gourmet Cape cuisine; exceptional service and ultimate indulgence meet in glorious harmony on the edge of Africa.

And where else will you find gourmet meals that look as beautiful as your hotel?

Meals are a gourmet fusion of African, Cape and French cuisine with touches of Asia and Italy. There is an emphasis on fresh local seafood – crayfish, mussels, red roman and Kabeljou are some of the delicious regular features. Hearty and exotic soups are a comfort and delight – especially in the winter. The Birkenhead chef’s enchantments can be enjoyed in the seclusion of your suite, in a sheltered spot on the manicured grounds overlooking the sea or in the opulent glass-fronted dining room with the ocean stretching to the horizon.

Every detail of your stay at Birkenhead House is beautiful and tastefully done – in more ways than one. Here are our top pictures to get your taste buds watering:

 

Our Pick of the Best Tented Camps in Africa

If you feel that you’re too old to pitch a tent but want to live your dream of camping in the great outdoors, luxury safari tented camps offer guests the comfort and service of five-star lodging while allowing you to spend your nights sleeping under the stars. Enjoy walking in nature, going on game drives and spotting wildlife or simply immerse yourself in a good book on your private deck; and spend your nights under canvas, in a furnished private tent amongst the trees. Staying on the bend of

Here are our favourite six luxury tented camps located in beautiful sceneries, each featuring luxurious amenities such as romantic claw-foot baths, outdoor showers, and private swimming pools.

Ngala Tented Camp– Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Ngala’s tented camp evokes the romance and spirit of the African wild. It combines the extravagant appointments of a five-star lodge with the wilderness immersion that a canvas tent allows. Each of the nine tents are raised on decks allowing for unfettered views over the lawns and onto the dry Timbavati River where elephant, bush buck and buffalo bulls are frequent visitors.

Elephant Camp– Zimbabwe

The 12 tented suites blend into the Zimbabwean wild, conjuring an era of Victorian frontier camping – crystal glasses, white canvas, leather luggage and wooden trunks – but with an unsurpassed level of modern luxury. The airy and spacious, lounge, bedroom and bathroom all look out north over the Masuwe River and east to the cliffs of the Zambezi gorge.

Bateleur Camp– Kenya

Recently refurbished with all the latest deluxe comforts, Bateleur Camp is even more inviting than it’s ever been before. The two camps of nine suites each, boast polished wooden floors, vintage carpets and exquisite furniture ensuring a stately yet welcoming feel. A cosy central fireplace sits at the heart of the twenties style sitting room, scattered with delicate ivory lamps, substantial tree trunk stools, lanterns, old English portraits, classic suitcases, tartan throw pillows and soft delicate mohair blankets.

Alex Walker’s Serian– Tanzania

Stepping into the main tent is like walking into your lounge at home. It’s laid back, relaxed and down to earth, slowing you down to the pace of the natural world around you. With no more than six tents in each camp, it is intimate, quiet and peaceful. Sit in the lounge, put your feet up and investigate some of the old classic coffee table books, have a game of solitaire or try your hand at some sketching.

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp– Tanzania

The ten en-suite tents are tucked into the shade of an evergreen forest on the banks of a tributary of the famous Grumeti River. From buffalos, to lions, to hyenas, to baboons you are fully immersed in the sounds and goings on of the animals surrounding you. From your own private patio watch the game drinking, the colubus monkeys playing or the sunbirds, kingfishers and starlings darting around in their daily routines.

Zarafa Dhow Suites Villa

Zarafa Dhow Suites – Botswana

The Zarafa Dhow Suites offer a lavish experience in the Okavango Delta. At this remote location you are able to ‘unplug’ and reconnect with nature, while still feeling totally at ease and luxuriated.

Immerse yourself in nature and have an authentic wilderness experience without compromising the comforts of luxury accommodations. Wherever you decide to visit, you are promised extraordinary views with stylish but classical décor and impeccable service. Don’t hesitate to tick off another bucket-list experience, enquire about one of our tented camps here.

Where to Safari – East or Southern Africa?

The idea of a safari was conceived in East Africa, but soon reached Southern Africa where luxury safaris became popular. Today both parts of the continent offer state-of-the-art designed lodges and camps, unparalleled game viewing and bucket-list worthy activities. But with so many countries to choose from, it’s not surprising that one would find it difficult deciding where to go – especially if it’s your first safari. Here’s what makes each region a unique and memorable safari destination:

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

East Africa is synonymous with the incomparable Mara-Serengeti triangle and the indigenous ecosystems that fall part of these areas. If you want to experience the seasonal Great Migration between Kenya and Tanzania, then an East Africa safari should be right on top of your travel-list! The seasonal rain patterns are nothing short of awe-inspiring, supporting over a million wildebeest and other game. East Africa, like other parts of the continent, boasts diverse habitats from lush, green forests to aquatic bodies that see large flocks of flamingos, baobab forests, and gorilla families. Not forgetting Mount Kilimanjaro and the famous Ngorongoro Crater where you will find incredible lodges that offer panoramic views. East Africa has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with vehicle trails, ensuring exceptional game viewing at a close range. Unlike Southern Africa’s reserves and parks, off-road and night-drives are less likely unless you are visiting a private concession. However, you can look forward to life-changing bush walks with Maasai locals who will show you the area on foot.

 

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

  • Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra
  • Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October
  • Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides
  • Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains
  • Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
  • Fun walking safaris in some private reserves
  • Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Click on the links below to see our top accommodation in East Africa:

Kenya– Great Migration, Maasai warriors, pink flamingos, Giraffe Manor, hot air balloon safaris.

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

Tanzania– Great Migration, Mt Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Tarangire National Park, hot air balloon safaris.

Rwanda– Gorilla trekking, golden monkeys, chimpanzees and canopy walks.

Gorilla Treks Rwanda Uganda Iconic Africa

Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Southern Africa has an array of different geographical features and weather conditions. You can tailor-make your safari to include the Kruger’s savannah grasslands, Zambia’ s woodlands, Zimbabwe’s thundering Victoria Falls, the dry desert of the Kalahari or the Okavango Delta’s heavy rains. Or combine the rugged mountains and luscious winelands with beautiful golden beaches and the bustling city life of Cape Town. You can have it all in one Southern Africa trip!

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Guests look forward to low -volumes of people and smaller camps or lodges that often only accommodate up to a dozen people at a time. With the abundance of private concessions, you can create a more exclusive and personalised safari.

Contrary to East Africa’s vast open landscapes found in the Serengeti or Mara region and high concentration of wildlife, Southern Africa focuses more on personal encounters and walking safaris which can be done in Botswana and Zambia. You will also have the chance for exciting night game drives to spot elusive nocturnal animals, charming water safaris and nights out under the stars. While cultural experiences are limited unlike the many found in East Africa, you can plan a visit to the San Bushman of the Kalahari which is equally as rewarding.

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

  • Varied topography and habitats
  • Smaller concentration of herds in private concessions
  • One dry season: May to October
  • South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas
  • Many camps outside of South Africa require minimum age of eight years old, unless you reserve the entire camp
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles
  • Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12
  • Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations
  • More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing
  • Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

Click on the links below to see our top accommodations in Southern Africa:

Botswana–, Madikwe Game Reserve, Mokoro trips in the Okavango Delta, Big 5 safaris, hot air balloon safaris, boating trips.

South AfricaKruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands, Big Five safaris, marine safaris, hot air balloon safaris, Garden Route.

Zambia– Trekking, Lake Malawi, adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Devils Pool, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Batoka Gorge.

Both East and Southern Africa offer amazing opportunities to spot the Big 5 wildlife, amongst other game and indigenous fauna and flora. Each region has its own unique wildlife and landscape attractions, but East Africa definitely has a higher density of animals in one area – especially considering the Great Migration and gorillas. Needless to say you will see plenty of cool animals in both parts of the continent and Southern Africa will entice you with its diverse topography in a single city such as Cape Town. So which is better for safari? Whether you’re interested in seeing tens of lions on your first day or basking in opulence at small, private lodges with low visitor concentration, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Mchenja Bush Camp

Proudly introducing Mchenja Bush Camp – our newest Zambian gem!

South Luangwa is Zambia’s premier national park and wildlife destination. It is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, covering 9,050 km2. The park is unfenced and bordered by a steep escarpment to the west and by the Luangwa River to the east. The Luangwa Valley lies at the tail end of the Great African Rift Valley, which extends 4,000 km all the way from the Red Sea down to the Pungwe River mouth in Mozambique. Listen to a lion calling in the distance and feel every sense awaken as you open your eyes in one of the wildest places on the planet.

Mchenja Bush Camp is a luxury safari retreat located in one of Zambia’s most renowned natural sanctuaries. Taking its name from its prime location, Mchenja (ebony) is a seasonal camp (20 May – 7 November) set under a canopy of Ebony trees along the banks of the Luangwa River. This enchanting accommodation provides you with all the modern amenities in an elegant and stylish tented camp overlooking a huge sweeping bend in the river.

Described as one of Zambia’s most luxurious and romantic bush getaways, guests spend sunny afternoons in the beautiful lounge which is built around one of the old, fallen ebony trees before enjoying a scrumptious lunch.

Relax next to the pool which overlooks the river while you wait for the excitement night brings. Watch as herds of elephants approach to drink from the plunge pool or cross the Luangwa River and big cats wander around the nearby ebony grove and lagoon in search of their next hunt.

Once the sun sets and the stars start twinkling, Mchenja kindles the spark with a romantic dinner served on the river bank or an exciting night-drive that will have your heart racing.

Picture-perfect Accommodation

Reconnect with nature and each other in a meaningful way on the ultimate family getaway. Iconic Africa recommends one of four sensational and diverse camps, to suit all travel styles. The camps have different opening times based on their seasonality. Time + Tide’s collection of South Luangwa camps offer an immersive, authentic experience that celebrates the wilderness and allows guests to experience the true Africa in a luxurious way. From opulent settings to natural elegance, the variety of camps suits all types of travellers.

Mchenja boasts four striking one bedroom luxury tented suites and one two bedroom family villa. These innovative octagonal luxury canvas accommodations are built on a raised platform shaded by canopies of ancient trees. Each chalet offers open-air en suit bathrooms with claw-foot baths and outdoor showers all with spectacular views integrating guests’ living spaces with nature. Soak off between game drives and unwind in the tub as you focus on the river meandering past you.

You will have an authentic safari experience in this grand wilderness without compromising on style, comfort and luxury. Rest your tired heads on the softest beds with large picture-windows for uninterrupted views.

The two bedroom, two bathroom family villa is the perfect retreat for couples, families and friends travelling together. Relax elevated high into the trees and the hippos below bellow and the elephants feed right outside your tent.

The minimum age of guests is 8 years old.

Mchenja is renowned for their luxury safari accommodation, excellent service, mouth-watering cuisine and most important, the wildlife sightings!

Sensational Game Viewing

South Luangwa National Park offers guests the opportunity to witness an unspoiled wilderness of soothing rivers, aged forests and open pans. This region promises excellent game viewing with world-class predator action, large herds of elephants, endemic species of fauna and flora, superb leopard sightings, wild dog and lions. Concentrations of game along the meandering Luangwa River and its lagoons are amongst the most intense in Africa. The river teems with hippo and crocodile and provides a lifeline for one of the greatest diversities of habitat and wildlife, supporting more than 60 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. One of South Luangwa’s most exciting success stories is the resurgence of the African wild dog population. Over the past decade, numbers have strengthened considerably and today, although far from guaranteed, sightings of wild dog are common.

A Perfect Time to Visit

The African bushveld is spectacular all year round, each season bringing with it a special experience which cannot be seen at other times of the year. The ideal time to visit will depend on your interests and which camp you wish to stay at. The dry, winter season runs from May to September when temperatures drop to their lowest – still around 27˚C to 30˚C during the day – with cool mornings and evenings. May is the start of the ‘sleep-out’ season and when animals start to gather at lagoons. It’s also when all the camps in South Luangwa are open. By June you can expect the rare chance to see caracal or serval in and the crowned cranes start to come together in colonies. July is an excellent time for walking safaris as the weather is mild overnight and pleasantly warm during the days. August and September sees an increase in lion sightings and guests start to see the traditional elephant crossings of the Luangwa. The summer rains begin around October with storms building, lightning and thunder later in the month. By March, the rains begin to stop and April introduces the warm humid air again.

The Elite Safari Experience

It is the combination of viewing Africa’s raw power from the comfort and luxury of your open topped 4×4 game vehicle and then the return to your 5 Star luxury camp which has hurtled South Luangwa into the acclaimed status they now enjoy. Mchenja Camp, Nsolo Camp, Luwi Camp and Kakuli Camp all offer boutique luxury safari experiences which will leave you astonished that you are in Africa’s untamed wilderness.

Family Fun

Together, you can explore the beautiful African bush, come face-to-face with some of Africa’s most loved wildlife and spend quality time with family and friends. South Luangwa has activities to suit every guest’s wants and needs – from adrenaline rushes to blissful R&R time. To inspire Norman Carr’s love for Africa, nature and wildlife in the next generation, Time + Tide has tasked award-winning all-Zambian guiding teams with leading some of the most exciting bucket-list activities:

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. South Luangwa’s excellent guides provide plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the escarpment and river bank ensures incomparable sightings.

Walking Safaris

Explore the untamed beauty of South Luangwa with our experienced guides at your side, sharing their knowledge of flora and fauna. Our world-class guides make every step thrilling, allowing you to become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator.

Sleep-out

Feel the thrill of early explorers while camping out on the Luwi Riverbed with only wildlife and stars for company.

Why Mchenja?

  • A wide variety of activities to keep children engaged
  • Combine land and water experiences for the ultimate family getaway
  • Situated on the banks of the Luangwa river with amazing views from all tented suites
  • Extremely intimate with only 5 rooms
  • The most luxurious bush camp and the only one to boast a pool
  • Superb game-viewing, with leopards and lions sometimes wandering through the camp’s ebony grove in search of prey.

Getting There

There are a number of travel options getting to South Luangwa. We recommend a short 1 hour flight from O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka. Alternatively, there are a number of other international flights from Windhoek, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Lilongwe and Kigali – all landing at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. From there it’s a short distance to Mfuwe domestic airport.  •   2.5 hour game drive transfer from Mfuwe Airport.

The magic of the African bushveld touches all that visit it. To share this experience with your loved ones away from the distraction of “life” strengthens your bond and will forge unforgettable memories for life.

For further information and to plan your tailor-made Zambian safari, contact one of our safari experts.

 

The Lions of Londolozi

Londolozi effortlessly exceeds all expectations of luxury safari, African hospitality and the wilderness. When tasked with describing what was seen and experienced at this African wonder, guests are always left speechless when trying to portray the intangible. But it is not only the exceptional accommodation and service that sets Londolozi apart from the rest! This game reserve is renowned for its generous lion presence. They are more than just a fleeting sighting – you will find them loitering in the grass, chasing prey through the bushveld or rearing their young, unfazed by the passing vehicles.

Last month Londolozi was dominated by lion activity, especially by the Ntsevu pride and the Tsalala female. The Ntsevu pride’s regular expeditions throughout the reserve with their 12 cubs have provided guests with remarkable sightings – some of Londolozi’s best in years. Image seeing 21 lions at a single given time… there are no words to describe such a phenomenon.

Londolozi rangers and trackers predict such sightings as a trend for 2019, especially with the departure of the summer months. As the bushveld turns from a luscious green to brown, animals will begin to congregate around waterholes and predator-prey contact is more apparent.

And with 2019 being a successful year for the lions at Londolozi, we also congratulate the remaining Tsalala lioness who has brought life into the kingdom once more in the very den she was born…

In a cave near the Manyelethi River remains the only female born to the Tailed Tsalala lioness. With her three brothers dispersed into the greater Kruger National Park, this could mean the continuation of the eternal Tsalala name as rangers, staff and guests await the first sighting of these cubs.

For more heart-warming and humourous stories about trackers being chased up trees by lions, the Tsalala female’s spectacular news, and why they feel that The Lion King was actually set at Londolozi… visit the Londolozi blog here.

 

 

Introducing Chongwe

Located in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi Valley, Chongwe River House and Camp is one of the most established accommodations. This spectacular region draws travellers in with its world-famous composite of abundant wildlife, natural beauty and bucket-list-worthy activities such as fishing, canoeing safaris and sleep-outs. Here you can come face-to-face with African giants such as the captivating elephant and ancient baobabs.

Experience the Lower Zambezi region at its finest

Set up by a father and son duo in 1992, Chris and his father were captivated by the raw beauty and wilderness of the Lower Zambezi. They set up a camp on the banks of the Chongwe River and in time this overnight campsite has grown into an award-winning luxury collection. Today Chris shares his love of the great outdoors through the remarkable Chongwe safari experience.

Chongwe River House

Stay at your very own safari home, the Chongwe River House. With four spacious en-suit bathrooms, this home-away-from-home sleeps eight. Mirroring the natural landscape laid out before it, River House follows the lines of the termite hills and blends in with its surroundings. With an undisturbed flow of nature, the landscape has been brought into the house with tree trunks, lianas and branches incorporated into the main guest areas and softly coloured pebbles from the Chongwe River set into the ceilings. The rooms open up to the river and the bathrooms feature magnificent waterfall or rain-showers that perfectly incorporate nature into the living spaces making guests feel a dramatic bond with the Lower Zambezi’s environment. Relax at your private pool on the shady deck and take in the breath-taking panoramic view. Chongwe House comes with a private guide, house manager and chef. A private vehicle, canoe, boat and armed guide for walking safaris offers guests a number of ways to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Chongwe River Camp

Experience a technology-detox in one of nine luxury tents at Chongwe Camp, scattered along the woody riverbanks. Chongwe Camp is surrounded by unspeakable beauty with the bellowing hippo disrupting the often silent air. Set at the convergence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers against a beautiful mountainous backdrop, the camp has the best views from the outdoor seating areas. Relax outside your tent near the Winterthorn trees, and try spotting the playful Vervet monkeys you will hear overhead or marvel at the elephant before you as it splashes across the river.

Unrivalled wildlife sightings

The Lower Zambezi is nestled between a notable mountain to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south – a noteworthy area for wildlife and bird lovers. With 60 mammal species and 378 bird species, guests are guaranteed quality sightings. Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is recommended during the dry season between April to November, when the river levels are lower. Plains game is in abundance throughout the park such as elephants, hippos, lions, leopards, buffalo, and plenty of crocodiles. Wild dogs are also regularly spotted and considered a nice bonus since they cover long distances. With fewer crowds in the park at any given time, the region remains a pristine wilderness, free from overcrowding and has limited vehicles in the traversing area. Have you ever been awakened by an elephant outside your room? Or slowly canoed passed a large herd of buffalo on a beautiful afternoon? Add Chongwe to the top of your bucket-list and experience all your safari firsts in one place.

Experience the true essence of African adventure

The unrivalled marriage of land and water not only makes for exceptional game viewing and photography, but allows for perhaps the most exciting aspect of safari – the sheer variety of activities on offer. The Zambezi River allows for a variety of river based activities and experiences that few other destinations can offer. This wistful region is famous for its canoeing safaris, boating trips and catch-and-release fishing.

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. Chongwe’s excellent guides provide a plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the escarpment and river bank ensures incomparable sightings.

Fishing

When it comes to tiger-fishing, the Lower Zambezi is the place to visit! As Chris implements his conservation efforts, Chongwe is strictly catch-and-release to preserve this and other fish. All equipment is provided, and fishing is suitable for beginners and serious fly fisherman. Fishing is good year round, but peaks in October and November during the tiger fish breeding season.

Boating

A river safari offers a fresh perspective on the breath-taking scenery and wildlife, from predators along the river bank to the diverse birdlife. Chongwe offers boating safari all season due to the Zambezi River’s constant high water level.

Walking Safaris

Become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator and explore the untamed beauty of the region with our experienced guides at your side. Peak season for walking safari is July to October.

Canoeing Safaris

Book a canoeing safari during the dry months when the wildlife congregates along the river for a peaceful yet exhilarating experience. Enjoy the abundant wilderness and game viewing while quietly passing through the reeds on Africa’s fourth largest river. Float metres away from elephants or buffalo on the river’s edge – a memory you won’t be able to forget!

Sleep-out

Between July and October you can rest under the stars with only the night-sky and roaming wildlife for company. Experience the thrill of early explorers felt while camping out high in the mountain overlooking the sparkling water of the Lower Zambezi region.

Getting there:

Guests can fly into Lusaka or Livingstone Airport and then connect with an air transfer to Royal airstrip. You will be transferred by 4×4 to Chongwe River House or Camp, a short 20 minute drive away.

Why Chongwe?

Beautiful sunsets while on boat cruises.

Excellent for lion and leopard sightings.

Great photograph opportunities.

There are plenty of elephant and predator action right in front of the camp.

There are limited vehicles in the traversing area.

When To Go?

Chongwe River House and Chongwe River Camp are operational from April to November, but the best time to visit this spectacular region is between July and August.

The mornings and evenings are cool and the days are warm and mostly dry. Temperatures range between 27˚C and 30 ˚C with little to no rain.

Clear skies make way for beautiful sunsets and the dry bush improves visibility making lion and leopard sightings more frequent.

July and August is also the beginning of the carmine bee eater season and the Flame creepers are seen in flower.

For more on our other exquisite Zambia destinations contact us now.

Property of the Month – More Quarters Apartment Hotel

Cape Town and its surrounding winelands are an excellent way to start or finish your once-in-a-lifetime journey. Whether you’re heading to or returning from one of Africa’s many magnificent safari destinations, More Quarters will provide the comforts of home with added luxury. This month’s gorgeous property of the month is the perfect launch pad to Cape Town’s delights, suitable for couples and families.

Perfectly situated in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, this property is in close proximity to all the delights one can imagine. From romantic strolls on pristine beaches and mocktailson the Camps Bay strip to family outings up Table Mountain or to Cape Point National Park where the awesome power of the Atlantic smashes up against Africa.

There are fifteen beautifully and individually decorated one bedroom apartments at the More Quarters. Each boasts a light and airy free-flow feel with en-suite bedroom, comfortable lounge area and kitchenette. Four have folding sleeper couches ideal for young children.

The sumptuous two bedroom apartments offer two gorgeous en-suite bedrooms with a generous living area and kitchen. The apartments are ideal for families and groups of friends – offering both privacy and a space for people to enjoy each other’s company.

Redcliffe house is the ultimate in Cape Town living for up to eight people. The hardwood floors, high pressed ceilings and exquisite furnishings offer glorious Victorian charm and luxury. There are four individually decorated en-suite bedrooms, outside entertainment area, secluded pool and private balcony that looks onto majestic Table Mountain.

Contemplate which activities you will tick off your bucket-list over freshly baked pastries and South African fruit in the sunny breakfast room. The sumptuous lounge and library offer the perfect places to read and reflect on a day spent enjoying the natural wonders and scenic splendour of the Cape peninsular. And if you’re visiting the Cape during the rainy season, cosy up by the fire and enjoy a complimentary port with your favourite book or play a board game in the library with your family before heading to bed to dream of tomorrow’s adventures.

The More Quarters is the perfect Cape Town home away from home. If you are a family on holiday or a couple seeking romance, the apartments will surround you in comfort and luxury in the centre of the world’s most beautiful city

Azura Quilalea In Pictures

Azura Quilalea is the ultimate private romantic experience. If you have ever dreamt of staying on a secluded island, eating meals fresh from the endless blue ocean that set out before you, then this rare ocean pearl is the perfect place to lay down your bags.  It was voted Best Romantic/Honeymoon Room in Mozambique in 2014 and this is why:

This private island sits in a fully protected marine reserve with only nine villas on the entire Indian Ocean hill. Spend your blissful days on a tropical island in unpretentious sophistication and impossible comfort. Your meals come straight from the abundance of the ocean just steps from your private beach villa served by your private butler.

But the splendour doesn’t end on the pristine beach; it is carried through into the capacious Kaskazi and Kusi Villas which have a bearing of ethereal grandeur. They are delicately constructed with natural stone, wood, rattan and cotton such that they seem to grow out of the beaches, rocks and trees. The villas are a perfect blend of contemporary African chic and eco-conscious living. While modern conveniences such as air-conditioning are readily available, you can open the cleverly orientated doors and windows to allow the Indian Ocean breeze to cool and sooth your ultimate beach home.

 

And if you’ve decided to create lasting memories here on your honeymoon, then the Villa Quilalea, set on a cliff-top with breath-taking views over the ocean – is the ultimate space. You have complete privacy – from the sumptuous bedroom, to the infinity pool and down onto the exclusive beach.

But words are unable to let you experience the soothing elixir that is the island. It might be a hammock strung in the shade of a luxuriant island tree; a sun lounger next to the cooling fresh water of main pool with your favourite book; a perch next to the bar in the sunset sipping one of the owner’s personal chateau wines from the Loire valley; or the unique chill-zone with its enormous cushions overlooking the abundant ocean – so here are our handpicked images to transport you there instead…

Need we say more? For more on this sensational destination please click here.