Singita Pamushana Lodge – Re-opening

Introducing the New Singita Pamushana Lodge – Re-opening Mid May 2018

Singita Pamushana is one of Zimbabwe’s best kept secrets found atop a hill overlooking the vast Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Resting beneath towering tree canopies, the lodge is integrated into the natural environment and the forest-like architecture allows for unrestricted views of the pool, the lush gardens and the lake below. The Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife such as the black rhino and sable antelope. Also visible from the lodge is the cathedral Mopane forests and world-famous ‘upside-down’ Baobab trees. Singita Pamushana Lodge is currently closed while it undergoes a face-lift, but will be re-opening mid-May 2018 so that you may once again be privilege to these beautiful sights and sceneries.

Singita Pamushana’s transformation will offer guests the opportunity to not only take in the landscapes, but relax in ultra-luxurious traditional spaces that are both reminiscent of the Great Zimbabwe Ruins while signalling modern optimism with its style, interiors and architecture.

The refurbished Singita Pamushana is reflective of an African Palace. The majestic architecture has always been a signature of the lodge and will be further amplified with the main lodge decks and living spaces being extended to maximise the connection to the natural beauty of the surrounding area in the Malilangwe Reserve.

New interiors of the lodge will reflect original references to the local Shangaan culture and will be mixed with contemporary forms and styles inspired by these African patterns and shapes. Smart and refined details will set the tone against massive proportions and colour blocked palettes of ochre tan, ebony black, ivory white, gold and brass metals.

This small and intimate lodge will extend its accommodation with two additional, 2-bedroom suites. Singita Pamushana will now accommodate a total of 8 suits and 1 5-bedroomed villa.

The brand new suites will be more remote, offering privacy and exclusivity. Situated a distance from the main lodge, these two suites are perfectly suited for couple getaways and family vacations as it is charged on a per unit rate. The master bedrooms boast an outdoor shower, allowing guests’ unlimited freedom to be in and one with nature. Relax in your private plunge pool, or in front of the double-sided fireplace. No palatial accommodation is complete without royal amenities – set out on to the game viewing deck with the lodge’s Swarovski spotting scope.

Take a stroll back to the main lodge area for an evening meal in the open dining room, or visit Singita Pamushana’s library for an interesting read. There is no place here that won’t have you relaxing – whether it is the bar, open-air lounge, the wine cellar or one of the heated swimming pools, you’ll always be overlooking the Malilangwe dam and sandstone hills.

Property of the Month – Mara Plains

“Maisha Mairefu,” Swahili for “here’s to a long life,’ says Sentewo, Mara Plains Guide. “Your day is done; relax and close your eyes while the Masai Mara beckons you to return again at first light”.

Imagine a camp located in the epicentre of some of Africa’s greatest predator country… Welcome to Mara Plains Camp, this month’s property of the month.

Located on the northern border of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, the enchanting camp is positioned on a bend of the Ntiakitiak River in a secluded private conservancy.

Enter a mythical world via a wooden footbridge over a river, accentuating the seclusion and intimacy of this elegant property. The tents – tucked away amongst lush vegetation – reference Arica’s rich heritage with chunky wooden doors from the Swahili enclave; deep red and purple shades that honour the spirit of the Maasai; and rich leather, copper and brass embellishments taking you back to the colonial explorers. It is one of the smallest and most personal camps in the Mara region – and just one of three operating within the Conservancy. This region has the lowest vehicle density and accommodates one guest room per 700 acres.

Your very own piece of the Masai Mara

In amongst whistling thorns, white thorns, fever trees and wild olives the great plains of Kenya are home to many of Africa’s most majestic animals. The red grass savannahs, interminable vistas and distinct horizons combine to ensure the epitome of a breathtaking African panorama. The density and variety of wildlife is astounding and the area boasts much of the unique Kenyan plains game such as the graceful Thompsons, Grant’s gazelle and the colourful Topis, it’s a predator’s paradise. Everything in absolute abundance.

Luxuriously indulgent colonial suites

“The rooms are what set Mara Plains apart, they are more spacious and more magnificent than any other camp I’ve ever been to.” says Jess, Camp Manager. Tucked into the river bend, in amongst hippo, monkeys and a plethora of birds sit the seven elegant suites. Each one is more like a home than a suite and is exquisitely designed to give you complete privacy, an unbeatable view, and your very own paradise 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 gentle breeze wafts through the sides, the sounds of Africa entertain you and your nostrils are filled with the freshness of the lush riverine woodland and endless savannahs. Elaborate furnishings, leather finishes, Persian carpets, deep reds and a delightful mixture of wood and copper combine to marry the Arab and Maasai influences, characteristic of Ancient Swahili heritage.

Unparalleled game viewing and expert guides

Game drives at Mara Plains are action-packed. There is an awe-inspiring landscape, the notorious Big Five, magnitudes of plains game and so much more to investigate that your erudite and affable guide will not only proudly show you, but also teach you about. End off your day sitting with an iced cold G and T in hand, watching a pride of lion, as the sun descends below the horizon, the light fades and gives way to an endless starry night.

For more on this exquisite property click here. 

Africa – Where Luxury Meets Adventure

Africa awakens the soul and conjures up an adventurous spirit in everyone – leaving you forever touched by its wonders. You may want to experience river rafting, mountain climbing and whale-watching or hike Africa’s rugged terrains. If you enjoy adventure travel but want amenities such as private guides, shuttle services, exclusive upgrades and VIP treatment, we will show you the way!

Adding a touch of luxury to your travels doesn’t mean that you won’t have an authentic experience, in fact far from it! For many of our guests, luxury adventure trips add more memorable moments to an already exciting holiday. Be filled with wonder and excitement for what you are seeing and doing, and be as comfortable as possible while doing so.

Londolozi Tree Camp Fire Deck Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

We have handpicked a selection of adventure travel activities between South Africa and Zimbabwe which offer extraordinary explorations and experiences that both enrich and exhilarate:

Stay With the Locals

Scattered throughout Zululand are homesteads that welcome visitors. Guests can experience traditional “rondavel” thatched huts, visit the local school, community and herbal healer. Take a glimpse into contemporary Zulu life, including the local food, music and dance during evening cultural programmes.

Canyoning along a River in the Cape

Prepare to get wet climbing and leaping your way down a river; abseiling and zip-lining where there are steep drops and floating down stream. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the forests passing by, before the adrenaline rush of plunging in to mini waterfalls and swimming between rock walls leaves you anticipating that dry, mossy log to rest on.

Sand-Boarding Down ‘The Dragon’

Feet strapped down, atop a huge sand dune, shuffling forward until you start to slide down ‘The Dragon’ – the longest sandboarding dune in South Africa at 300 meters. Engage those core muscles whether you’re feet down on a sand-board or tummy down on a body board until you topple over at the bottom of the slope.

 

Abseiling Down Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a must-do when in Cape Town, but not many people get the opportunity to see the iconic mountain from this angle. Dangling from a vertical cliff face, you’ll be able to take in the majestic views of the Mother City. Catch the cable car up the mountain and get strapped into your harness. Then, standing backwards on the top of the mountain, heels over the cliff edge, lean backwards into thin air.

Then, head off to Zimbabwe to keep you on your toes, but not by car or plane…

Luxury Rail in Southern Africa

Return to the golden age of rail travel aboard the Rovos Rail. Experience luxury travel and grandeur using the most lavish train in the world. Enjoy the old world charm and fine cuisine of the Rovos Rail as you make your way through splendid views and natural landscapes en route to the majestic Victoria Falls.

Selinda Explorers Camp Botswana Safari

Travelling to Zimbabwe and not ticking these adventure activities off your bucket-list is like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower…

Raft one of the World’s Best Rivers for White Water

Explore the river that creates these great falls in a different way. White water-raft your way down this iconic river with a trained operator. For those adrenaline seekers, this is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have.

Bungee Jump off one of the Most Scenic Bridges in the World

Bungee with your ankles tied, a star elevator jump or into a back flip into the spray of the falls from the Victoria Falls Bridge. You’ll free fall for four seconds from 111 metres. Adrenaline junkies will need no convincing as the Victoria Falls Bungee has been consistently voted as one of the world’s top five adrenaline experiences.

Gorge-Swing Across The Zambezi River

The Wild Horizons Gorge Swing sends you on a three-second free fall down a 70-metre drop that turns into a 95-metre-long pendulum swing. The jumping ropes are pivoted in the middle of the 316-metre-long high-wire that connects the cliffs, 120 metres above the tumbling river.

Cable Slide `

Take a running leap into the air and soar over Batoka Gorge in the Superman position at speeds of around 10-15km/hour. This Wild Horizons Flying Fox cable slide takes approximately seven minutes to make the 200-metre-long flight from one end of the canyon to the other and back.

Elephant Camp Vic Falls Safari

The Flight of Angels

Go micro-lighting over the Victoria Falls – an experience that can’t be explained, it must be experienced! View the thundering Victoria Falls from an aerial view in an open cockpit microlight aeroplane that can carry one passenger and one pilot. Exposed to the elements, the wind in your hair and the sun on your face – let the mounted camera capture you in a moment that words cannot describe.

Hike Zimbabwe’s Highest Peak

A relatively moderate climb with very little steep inclines will take you to Zimbabwe’s highest peak, Mt. Nyangani (2,592m). These are the eastern highlands, with notoriously interchangeable weather (so be sure to use an expert local guide) that reveals a moving heaven once the clouds have passed.

These are only a few of the adventures available… many more await travellers! Click here and find out more about how you can create lifelong memories for you and your family.

Millennial Travel

2018 sees a continuation of last year’s trend – millennials setting their sights on African travel. Over the years, there has been a shift in the age demographic of travellers coming to Southern Africa – an incentivised travel destination. According to David Frost – CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, younger generations are becoming an increasingly large market for the tourism industry with 46% of international arrivals to South Africa in 2017 between the ages of 18 and 35.

Apart from the search for ‘authentic experiences’, adventure activities, good weather and local hospitality – millennials are taking a break from the latest technology, moving away from typical ‘tourist’ destinations and choosing instead to venture in to unknown territories; deeper in to the wilderness.

Marataba Trails Lodge Luxury Safari Africa Waterberg

That being said, more establishments are catering for and accommodating tech-savvy millennials. Wi-Fi remains a priority for lodges catering to this market. Millennial travellers are interested in following and being connected to the cities and lodges they will be visiting both during and after their trip. Another incentive for millennial travellers is how ‘Instagrammable’ the holiday is. Youth see the world through pixels and filters. Having every breath-taking experience littering the feeds of envious friends and family, Africa – filtered or not – makes for a picturesque experience.

Here are our top ten millennial travel incentives to Africa:

*There is a huge gap in the industry for youth safaris. For a long time, African safaris have been recognised as a luxury experience, out of reach to the young traveller. More young hearts and minds are seeking out a night under the expansive starlit sky while wildlife roam nearby – close enough for you to hear them.

*More than half of our “foodies” are millennials – becoming increasingly conscious of what they put into their bodies, and where it comes from. Mozambique is the place to be for an experience that will satisfy taste buds, with fresh “farm-to-fork” cuisine brought to you from local markets and roadside stalls. Tuck into Tiger prawns, fresh fish and steaming hot Portuguese rolls with stunning views.

*Experience is everything and young travellers want complete cultural immersion. South Africa has a wonderful mix of boutique hotels and apartment rentals in its inner-city districts. Here travellers can unpack everything from street art to street food. A little beyond the city, cuisine and culture remain equally important in the winelands. Wine-tasting tours have become increasingly popular among the millennial travellers as well as an interest in “Instagrammable” agro-tourism in the countryside.

*We do not realise the extent of community work and international volunteers in South Africa, with almost half of the youth travellers coming here partaking in some sort of community initiative or volunteer work.

*Education is also another incentive for youth trips with guests showing interest in astronomy, ecology and interactive dynamics. There will always be a dichotomy between luxury travel, conservation issues and cultural diversity.

*Older travellers have confirmed that they are more likely to choose accommodation that is eco-friendly. Millennial travellers have caught on to this trend of sustainable travel, where a conscious effort is made to avoid contributing to the decline of natural environments (Link to top five eco-lodges post).

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Luxury Safari Kruger Park

*Youth are choosing to spend their money on experiences rather than material things. Africa, especially Southern Africa, offers experiences that are culturally rich and forcing them to step out of their comfort zones to embrace authentic destinations culturally-relevant sightseeing and diverse cuisines. It is found that millennials are constantly trying to integrate themselves into as many aspects of local life hoping to become a more culturally enriched human.

* Wanting to take everything in; cramming as many places and activities in to their experience as possible, Africa is a millennials travel-sanctuary – offering them opportunities to see a variety of different sights.

Iconic Africa Kalahari Desert Balloon Safari

*One of the biggest trends in millennial travel is the desire to visit off-the-beaten-track locations. They no longer want to sit back and relax on their vacation or visit typically popular attractions that have become overcrowded and ‘over-touristic’.

*For your next millennial adventure trip, head to Zimbabwe. The natural wonder of Victoria Falls will be sure to activate their adventure-seeking nature. The country offers active adventures and unique experiences, which is exactly what the millennial traveller is looking for.

Millennial travel creates memories and invites individuals to reach further in to their own life, changing mind-sets forever. Experience tastes, sights, smells and ambience of authentic African luxury with Iconic Africa. Find out more here. 

 

Coming Soon: Singita Kwitonda – Rwanda

Singita is honoured to be opening their Kwitonda Lodge in August 2019 in Rwanda, an extraordinarily beautiful, small country where more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in the forests of Volcanoes National Park. Singita Kwitonda, situated along the Kwitonda trail, will boast 12 luxury hotel rooms, 8 of them being high-end villas with magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.

Emmanuel Hategeka – Chief Operations Officer at Rwanda Development Board – emphasizes that Rwanda will no longer be a “brief stop” on a traveller’s itinerary, but rather offer them a “lifetime hospitality experience”. Rwanda is intended to become a high-end tourism destination – especially with its world-famous mountain gorillas and the opening of Singita’s new luxury lodge.

The Singita Rwanda Lodge will be named after a deceased silverback known as Kwitonda, who died 5 years ago.

The architectural design of Kwitonda Lodge will embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to Kwitonda – a legendary silverback gorilla who was known for his humility and gentleness.  An important component of the design is the human impact on the land – following architects and interior designer’s selection of locally sourced and produced materials for the interior finishing. The local community has also been engaged in building traditional dry stone walling on site.

Singita is extending its conservation footprint to Rwanda. The geographical location of the Kwitonda Lodge on the park border will create a natural space to help reinforce the buffer area between agricultural plots and the habitat of the estimated 320 mountain gorillas that find sanctuary here.

Farming is an important primary sector of the economy and reforestation of land heavily impacted by agriculture is vital. Singita will initially include the establishment of a nursery and the planting of over 60,000 tree saplings in and around the Kwitonda Lodge. Ultimately, Singita aims to support the Rwandan government in finding ways to increase the gorilla habitat while remaining sensitive in assisting neighbouring communities to thrive economically and socially.

Kwitonda Lodge embodies Rwanda’s gentle and regenerative spirit and provides guests with a contemplative and nurturing space in which to appreciate and take in the wildlife and landscapes. The opening of the lodge not only makes gorilla trekking accessible, but allows guests the option of combining their visit to Rwanda with a stopover at Singita’s private concession on the Serengeti plains in Tanzania.

 

 

Besides Rwanda’s world-famous gorillas and its golden monkeys, there is much more to see and explore. From the Afro montane forests of Nyungwe National Park and primordial Lake Kivu to the vibrant and sophisticated capital city, Kigali, guests are guaranteed a full itinerary.

 

The Great African Migration

The great wildebeest migration is Africa’s largest annual single movement of wildlife, where over two million wildebeests – accompanied by a large number of zebras, gazelles, eland and impala – pour across the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya driven by instinct to find fresh grazing and better quality water. The wildebeest act as one entity out of necessity – to mate, survive or die on this journey of endurance.

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

For a quick video of the migration click here:

The short rains begin in early November, signifying the arrival of the herds of wildebeest on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. Reaching as far as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, these plains are home to adult wildebeest and calves until April, when their travels North begin.

Here are some interesting facts and statistics about Africa’s wildebeest and the Great Migration:

All wildebeest are native to Africa and the species that partakes in the Great Migration is the Western-bearded wildebeests. The Eastern white-bearded wildebeests can also be found in Tanzania and Kenya.

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris 2

The Great Migration is the largest overland migration in the world.

The wildlife move in a clockwise direction over 2900 kilometres annually. Their pattern of movement is usually easy to predict – allowing travellers to plan ahead on where to go and when to witness the Great Migration.

Wildebeest have ‘swarm intelligence’ – the ability to systematically explore and overcome an obstacle as one unit.

While occupying the short-grass areas of the Southern plains of the Serengeti, pregnant wildebeest stay here until late-January, early-February when the calving season starts. Over 600 000 calves are born here. Born in such large numbers, it is easier for the calves to survive predators.

The Serengeti National Park is home to the oldest eco-system on the planet. It claims a diversity of indigenous plants and animals only to this area.

The end of March brings heavy rainfall in Tanzania, making this period an off-season for observing wildebeest.

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara

At the beginning of May, the grass is reduced and the wildebeest begin migrating in search of more grass. They move North to areas that have enough water and where the grass is already much longer.

By early June, the wild animals start moving West in search of more food. Their travel pattern puts them at the River Grumeti populated by hippos and starving crocodiles that are ready to eat the wildebeests that come to drink from the River.

Crocodile Attack Great Migration Angama Mara Tanzanaia Masaai Mara

Between July and October, the wildebeest divide themselves into smaller herds in the North of Serengeti and the Masai Mara. During this time, the herds gather around bodies of water, particularly the Masai River – also home to hungry crocodiles.

By this time, the best place to view the Great Migration is Kenya (link to Serengeti/Masai accomodation) as the short October rains drive the wildebeest south of the Masai Mara.

The rains continue and motivates the wild animals to continue moving south and east. By December, the herds begin their return back to southern Serengeti which marks the end of that migration cycle.

Tanzania Great Migration Experience East Africa Masaai Mara

Sadly, over 250 000 wildebeest die during the migration from Serengeti. The distance covered on this journey is so enormous that many lose their lives due to exhaustion, hunger, thirst and others are eaten by predators.

The crocodiles awaiting the wildebeest in the Mara River can lunge more than half of its body length out of the water to grab and drown their prey. They also use their tail as a secondary weapon. Adding to their threat list – more than 3000 lions living in the Serengeti follow the wildebeest across the reserve.

Witnessing the Great Migration is among the most iconic experiences you will encounter. Watch immeasurable amount of wildebeest and other wildlife travel up and down the African plains, crossing perilous rivers and returning via death-defying paths coursed with predators lying in ambush. Book with us now and see Africa’s most spectacular wildlife event.

Getting to know Mozambique:

Mozambique is a unique African country offering isolated island living, tropical luxury, wilderness and romance. Most travellers head straight to the unblemished African beaches for diving escapes, swimming with dolphins and relaxing on long, palm-fringed beaches with turquoise waters.

But most guests forget that the countryside and city centre is brimming with fresh markets, rich historical architecture and cultural experiences that include spice trading and home-grown nuts and cotton; not forgetting the kind local people waiting to make you feel welcome.

Mozambique is primarily a savanna plateau exhausted by the mighty Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers. The warm tropical climate is conducive to plenty of rain and makes it a year-round holiday destination.

One of the many incentives of this magical country is its proximity to South Africa, a short hour or two’s flight from Johannesburg.

To visit the Quirimbas or Bazaruto Archipelago’s, you’ll sometimes need to overnight in Maputo. The capital of Mozambique is a vibrant and colourful city. The streets are lined with makeshift stalls and impromptu markets. Contrasting colonial buildings and modern office blocks are unsystematically arranged along the busy roads. Travellers are immersed in the hustle and bustle of vendors serving fresh crab curry or piri piri chicken.

The official language is Portuguese and spoken by 50.3% of the population. The two main religions of the region is Christianity and Islam. The customary greeting is to shake hands and not accepting a food or beverage offering is considered offensive.

The most revered element of Mozambique tourism is the marine life.

Iconic Africa Swim With Dolphins Mozambique

On most of the islands the marine life is untouched, producing superb scuba-diving expeditions on the coasts. Shallow reefs house a kaleidoscope of neon-bright fish and further out, guests can encounter rays, sharks and three species of turtles. If you have time, venture down the rich waters of the Mozambique Channel to find the harmless whale sharks, game-fish, dolphins and a population of rare sea-cows.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Turtle Iconic Africa

The marine life around Mozambique’s more secluded islands is unmatched; both the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos are outlined with beautiful reefs. Most lodges have dive centres and offer short ‘resort courses’. Swimming with dolphins and deep-sea diving are adventures you can experience at some of our exquisite Mozambique destinations.

Iconic Africa Swim With Dolphins Mozambique

If the wanderlust bug has begun to make its presence into your thoughts, allow Mozambique to fill that adventurous void. Mozambique displays an incomparable beauty and affords the most spectacular and unique activities. Here are some of our favourite magical Mozambican destinations.

Share your Mozambique pictures with us on Instagram @iconicafrica.

 

 

What is a Game Drive?

A game drive is the highlight of and one of the main activities on any African safari, especially for first-timers. Most travellers to Africa still get confused between a safari and a game drive.

You’re sitting in your outdoor bathtub at Singita Sabi Sands in the Kruger National Park, overlooking the luxury camp’s grassy plains. You’ll have one of the best views of elephants bathing in the Sand River. Sipping on a bottle of imported bubbles resting in an ice bucket, you think to yourself – “this is by far the best safari I have been on,” as you reach for that Egyptian cotton bath towel.

On this grand safari vacation, the camp will have planned many spectacular game drives for you. Far from the luxurious comforts of the camp you will set off on an adventure that entails viewing Africa’s prestigious wildlife ‘up close and personal’ from the comfort of an open 4×4 which can accommodate you and your family. This is a sure way to give you that classic safari feeling. A game drive is one of the most popular ways to see the rolling landscapes, big game, indigenous flora and infinite horizons.

Whether you find yourself in South Africa’s Kruger Park, Botswana’s Okavango Delta or Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, you will witness the natural beauty of Africa up close! On your game drive you may be afforded opportunities to see local wildlife such as the lion, rhino, elephant and so much more! Especially in the Serengeti that is renowned for endless open savannahs.

A game drive can vary in length and distance, depending on individual preferences and the animals you hope to encounter. Most camps and lodges conduct two game drives a day. Most rangers and guides recommend early morning, late afternoon or evening drives, since these are the coolest times of the day when the wildlife are most active. During the drive, knowledgeable guides will introduce you to the wildlife, trees and plants. Don’t forget that you are on vacation, and it’s okay to want to sleep in. Not every game drive is the same – during the evening drive you may see nocturnal animals that are not noticeable during the day!

Here is a quick list of essentials to bring with on your game drive:

SUN PROTECTION

When you’re out in the bush, always protect yourself from the sun – even if it’s not visibly hot. Pack in a pair of sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, sunscreen and stay hydrated!

CLOTHING

Part of the pleasure of going on safari is that you won’t get stopped by the fashion police. As you’re putting together your movie-made safari outfit there a few practical elements to keep in mind. First, avoid bright colours that make you stand out. You should dress according to the climate and time of year. Dress in layers on early morning and evening game drives. During the summer months, pack some light rain gear and if you’re traveling during the winter months, be sure to dress warm to keep the cold at bay.

SHOES

Whether you stay in the vehicle, or get out to examine smaller animals, insects and plants, a reliable pair of walking shoes or hiking boots will allow you to get the most out of your experience. If your footwear is comfortable, you’ll be able to get up close while feeling safe and secure.

SMALL MEDICAL KIT

It’s invigorating being so intimate with Africa’s fauna and flora, but you will be in a remote location in order to achieve that. We recommend you pack a light medical kit that includes essentials such as aspirin, plasters, anti-histamine medication/cream and insect repellent —this way you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.

CAMERA EQUIPMENT

You’ll be taking a lot of photos when you’re out on safari, but the key is to pack light. A quality DSLR camera with an optical lens is recommended if you want the best photos possible. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries and memory cards

BINOCULARS

On drives, you’ll be able to see most big game. You might even get up close to many animals. But other wildlife such as birds are frequently viewed from a distance. For those moments, you’ll need a great pair of binoculars – often on loan by your lodge or camp.

 

Iconic’s Hand-picked Singita Images

Singita, means “place of miracles,” which truly embodies everything for which this incredible brand has become famous. Astonishing game viewing, amplified by exquisite accommodation and outstanding home-grown cuisine – all with a touch of genuine, warm African hospitality. For many avid African travellers, Singita represents the summit of luxury African safari. This world class

experience has been recognised globally with endless awards in numerous travel publications!

Singita has been preserving African wildlife and landscapes across South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the past twenty years. Promising an exceptional safari experience at twelve of their award-winning lodges and camps, Singita is able to partially fund the protection and preservation of pristine wilderness, not to mention help create economic independence within local communities surrounding the reserves.

With several lodges and camps across three African countries – there is so much of sensational Singita to digest. To give you a quick feel of what they’re all about we’ve gathered together our top handpicked images here:

Please do let us know if you have any further questions on Singita’s magical destinations.

Property of the Month – Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Three hours from Arusha lies one of the iconic natural wonders of the world that leaves travellers speechless!

“It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater for there is nothing with which one can compare with it. It is one of the wonders of the world.” Bernhard and Michael Grzimek.

This month’s property of the month is perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater – once an enormous volcano which has become an ecosystem in itself and home to an unbelievable collection of game. The exquisite salt lake, fever tree forests, leafy woodlands, lush swamps and golden savannahs within the crater combine to make it feel like a more modern, African version of the Garden of Eden.

The lodge boasts some of the best 360-degree views of the wildlife haven; offers a magical, romantic setting along with an abundance of enchanting delights and delicacies. Fit for royalty, the ornate architecture, dramatic interiors and the most opulent finishes, transport you into a world like none you’ve ever been to or even dreamt of before.

Separated into three camps, North, South and Tree Camp each one has its own secluded wonderland and character. Colonial, meets European, meets Maasai, meets Baroque, there is not one distinct influence at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge but a little bit of everything. This is what makes it so foreign, romantic and magical, the perfect escape from everyday life.

After a lovely game drive down in the crater, some beading with the Maasai ladies or some archery for the kids, a decadent evening drink awaits you on the deck or in the cosy sitting room. The food is very definitely fit for kings, the plates gold, the service silver and the flavours vibrant and colourful. Whether you choose the brandied chicken liver parfait, the grilled beef fillet with potato rosti, the homemade panna cotta, or all three and more you will no doubt be wholeheartedly thrilled.

As one of andbeyond’s flagship properties the team at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge have heaps of experience and certainly know how to you win you over. For more on this magical destination click here.

African Travel Myths Demystified

“The only thing dark about Africa is our ignorance of it.” – George Kimble

Many people have preconceived ideas about Africa – often based on opinions or myths. Some of these myths have been circulating for so long that they now are in fact considered as truth or fact. Misconceptions are awful things, managing to dissuade many from visiting Africa – which is very sad! Here are our top five African safari myths debunked to convince you to finally book that unforgettable African trip.

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Africa is not safe:

Safety can be an issue in some African cities as it can be anywhere in the world now, but when it comes to national parks and game reserves, they are some of the safest places in the world.

Africa is all bush:

Africa is a vast continent with diverse landscapes, environments and climates in a single area. Countries have savannahs, rainforests, mountains, beaches and deserts to accommodate different travel wishes – making it easy to find whatever it is that your heart desires!

You always need a guide:

While it would be recommended that first-time traveller’s view game with a guide – once you’ve been on enough safaris you can go on self-drive safaris. Many travellers have seen the super-seven (the Big Five, cheetahs and wild dogs) on their self-drives.

To truly experience Africa, you have to “rough it”:

There is always the option of “roughing it” in the wilderness – sleeping bag and all. But there is the more popular preference and opportunity, to experience all Africa has to offer in comfort and opulence. South Africa boasts some of the most luxurious game lodges offering unrestricted access to some of Africa’s prestigious wildlife. Most game lodges offer gourmet meals and private bungalows – kitted out with all your modern amenities – that overlook the vast plains and Africa’s vibrant wildlife. Not to mention it offers some of the world’s most affordable luxury travel!

 

It will be too hot:

Yes, Africa’s climate is warm, but not all the time. Some countries have a cold, wet winter and others have a rainy summer. Throughout the year, most game reserves can actually get quite chilly in the morning and at night, and you will need to layer to stay warm. This’s a nice balance between the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

Animals are likely to attack you:

Animals attacking is probably the last thing you need to worry about on your safari! The wildlife, in general, prefer to avoid the company of humans, so they won’t be hunting you down any time soon…

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Sabi Sands Lions

Only expensive cameras can take good wildlife photographs:

If you own a long lens it is of course advantageous, however it is not a necessity. Many people have photographed animals within meters of the safari vehicle with a 300mm lens. What works well – if you already have one – is the Nikon D7000 with 18 megapixels. The resolution is decent and you could crop the far-away shots.

Zarafa Camp Leopard Iconic Africa

 

Our suggestion is that when you embark on your trip to Africa, you leave behind all myths and legends. Once you hit the tarmac, your adventure begins and you will never look back!