Our Year in Pictures

Walter Benjamin understood that photographs could “meet the beholder halfway”. For those who cannot make it to Africa’s bush right now, we can deliver masterpieces straight to your screens! Carefully packaged in digestible form to examine over a morning coffee or in between dreary meetings – we’ve put together a select list of some of this year’s best captured wildlife, adventure and luxury moments. This is Africa for you – it’s the stuff dreams are made of!

Feel intoxicated with wildlife images so perfect it appears almost staged; or travel the world in a lunch break through the eyes of our talented photographers! These raw, candid pictures transport us every time to a different place.

This year provided us with jaw-dropping sunsets, meaningful wildlife moments and classic African landscape views. The power of these images can storm our consciousness and start transporting us to open savannahs, sparkling oceans and mountain tops. What starts off as an iridescent distraction soon remoulds our thought processes and invokes wanderlust in us.

Capturing some of 2018’s most iconic moments, we have seen a fantastic collection of photographs these past few months. Here are a few of our favourites selected just for you:

 

 

 

10 Things to Consider When Planning A Safari

As you may already know, planning a safari adventure isn’t without its complications. It’s difficult to know what to expect and there are a number of things that you need to organise in order for your trip to be a success. Because planning a safari can be a daunting task, we have compiled a list of the top ten things that you should consider while you are in the planning stages of your African adventure.

Lions Sands Ultimate Luxury Safari

1. Plan your trip way in advance
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a huge demand for safaris. Depending on where you are planning to go on safari, you will need to book your stay in advance. Some camps require you to book at least six months in advance, whereas others might require you to even book a whole year in advance. So, if your dates aren’t flexible, you need to keep this in mind.

2. Do your own research
Part of planning your trip is doing your research. It is important to do your own research so that you know what you can expect. Luckily, there is a vast amount of information on the internet for you to look at. It can be daunting, and you may have more questions than answers after doing your research, but at least you’ll know what you want to ask your safari specialist.

3. Consider visiting Africa in the shoulder season
This is a really great time to visit the parks because there are fewer vehicles and visitors and the prices are often much less. Because there are fewer vehicles, you will also be able to spot wildlife more easily – you might even have the whole park all to yourself.

Buffalo Walking Safaris Iconic Africa

4. Manage your expectations
Seeing the Big Five is never guaranteed, but that’s part of the appeal of going on a safari. Who wants a boring and predictable trip anyway? However, what is guaranteed is that you will definitely see wildlife wherever you choose to go in Africa. So don’t get too hung up about what you see or don’t see while you’re in Africa. You’ll have a splendid time sighting all kinds of mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

5. Remember that you will get what you pay for
In most cases, the more you pay, the better your experience. Usually the more expensive places have better game viewing or better guides, and they certainly have better service. If you’re unsure of a place to choose, you can always contact us for advice and we’ll recommend the best place to suit your needs.

Rock Fig Safari Lodge Timbervati Pool

6. Make sure that you have the right malaria tablets or vaccines
This is very important! Nothing will rescind the joy of your safari more than contracting malaria. Most of the parks in Africa are malaria areas, with the exception of South Africa. Visit a travel clinic for advice about the best malaria medication for you, and ensure that you have enough time to start your medication a few weeks before your trip to allow time for it to work.

7. Think about combining your safari adventure with a beach holiday
Safaris can be quite tiring so it’s always a good idea to plan a little beach trip for while you’re in Africa. There’s no better way to unwind after a spectacular safari than on some of the best beaches in the world, so it’s definitely worth considering. Visiting the seaside also extends your African holiday a bit, and it isn’t excessively expensive.

8. Don’t make your safari too long
This is something that we can’t stress enough! Safaris soon lose their appeal when you start to feel tired, so we like to suggest that the best amount of time to spend on safari is three to seven days. Remember, time slows down in the bush, so although three to seven days may seem too short, we can guarantee that it isn’t.

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

9. Start your safari the day after you arrive in Africa
This is one of the best tips we can give our clients. Long flights can be so exhausting. It’s a good idea to spend your first night in a nice hotel to recover from any jetlag or exhaustion that you may have from travelling. After all, you need to be wide awake to spot all of those animals on safari!

Golden Monkeys Gorrila Treks Rwanda Iconic Arica

The right safari specialist is key. Contact us to answer any of your questions, and we will guide you on when to go, where to go and what to do on your next adventure. In fact we can plan every step for you!

Top 5 Foodie Destinations

Africa boasts 54 beautiful countries, each contributing to the hundreds of different cultures and ethnic groups. Unique views and landscapes are merely a windfall in comparison to the world-class service, chefs and cuisines. For all the self-proclaimed foodies, Africa offers you a variety of cherry-picked destinations and accommodations whose connoisseurs fuse together tastes and flavours that will blow you away. Gone are the days of having to step away from your luxurious suite to experience great food!

Every country has something special and unique to offer – the kind of experience that requires only one meal before spending every other rehashing the details to all your friends. From conservative dinners and 5-course menus to laid back log-fire grills, Africa is renowned for food as fascinating as its history, cultures and traditions.

Sample our top foodie accommodations and destinations that will tell you a sensory story as you taste some of Africa’s finest creations. If you set foot in any of these hotels or cities, don’t leave without indulging…

Angama Mara in Kenya will show you a whole new food vocabulary…  Sit around the boma and enjoy ‘bitings’ (snacks) and ‘kuku’ (chicken) grilled right in front of you, a Tusker beer in hand. The chefs marry luxury travel comforts such as Pinotage and Chenin Blanc with classic safari cuisine, providing you the best of both worlds – rugged authenticity that is uncomplicated and deeply tasty. Choose between sophisticated cucumber sandwiches and buttery scones or succulent roasts. All dishes at Angama Mara are served in 5-star fashion and come from local produce and the juicy prawns and seafood straight from the Indian Ocean waters.

If there’s a place that feeds your taste-buds with a silver spoon, it’s Singita Sasakwa in Tanzania. Relive scenes from Out of Africain authentic style from the damask to the decanters. And while you bask in the filmy setting and breath-taking views, be assured the food matches up. Enjoy out-of-this-world sweet and savoury treats from sweet crepes to gourmet macarons. Everything from pre-dinner drinks to main course platings is romanticised and enlivened with unique flavours and pairings. Make sure you try ‘mtori’ – traditional beef and green bananas.

Locked by mountain and sea is Cape Town’s Cape Grace. Here the chefs play with South African flavours such as rooibos and Cape-Malay spices in a new way. Try rooibos-infused salmon fish cakes or springbok bobotie. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask your waitress for kudu or ostrich dishes. Using Cape Town’s history as a source of culinary inspiration, try the delicious layer cake that is topped with sugar crystals and sweet lemony syrup.

Further up country you’ll find Delaire Graff– home to olive groves and bespoke oils.  Some may call its setting ‘bistro chic’ but it is more of a rustic paradise. You cannot leave this green estate without having the home-baked breads, crafted from stoneground flour. The chefs create dishes using sophisticated gastronomical techniques and best produce. Try unique whiskey jelly after indulging in some fresh oysters or tender lamb. And if you think Delaire Graff is renowned for its olive groves only, you’ll need to have a glass of their wines!

If you’re heading on a Mozambican island getaway, find your way to Maputo. Mozambique is surely a seaside paradise, but many forget a foodie destination too. The cuisine accentuates African and Portuguese flavours that will leave you wanting more. A must-have is the ginormous Tiger prawns or the classic piri-piri chicken – marinated in lemon juice, garlic, coconut milk, and spicy sauce.

If we’ve gotten your mouth watering and stomach rumbling, start planning your next foodcation! Africa’s story can be found in its array of tastes and spices; always surrounded by beautiful sceneries, unforgettable sunrises and majestic wildlife. From safari lodges to city hotels – all our chefs are preparing luxurious tastes of local culture for you. Read more about our especially crafted Food Safari here.

 

Getting to know the Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands, more commonly known by locals as the Boland (‘upland’), is a landlocked region of the Western Cape located upwards from Cape Town. Just a short 40 minute drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands are without doubt one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Leave the high-risers and promenade of Cape Town and wander towards a collection of green pastures that lie in the shadow of a continuous belt of Cape Fold Mountains.

 

These deep valleys make up a collection of little towns, with little Cape Dutch hamlets on big farmsteads that provide infamous South African wines to the world. Here, unlike the grid-street-plan of Cape Town’s CBD, you will ascend, descend and go around rugged mountain passes before reaching century old vineyards resting at the foot of majestic mountains.

The Cape Winelands is made up of European-influenced little towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Somerset West, Tulbagh and Worcester. There are many routes to take, but the easiest way to get to the Cape Winelands is along the N1 from Cape Town which will pass through all six quaint destinations. Depending on the direction you’re coming from, this enticing portal is centrally located from all other major districts.

 

With an abundance of tours departing to and from Cape Town every day, it’s no problem getting around. But it’s advised to have your own vehicle as it makes exploring the winelands according to your own schedule that much more interesting. There’s also so much more to do than taste cheese and drink wine. Besides the beautiful views (that you will never get used to), there is always events happening.

Spend your summer days on bicycles or on foot wondering from vineyard to vineyard, each offering views more spectacular than the last. Every angle of the mountain creates a new and unique backdrop, but more importantly is one of the main reasons the wines are of such high quality. The mountain’s mineral composition provides suitable soil conditions that influence the taste and quality of the wine.

Or spend time in-doors in one of many art galleries, gift shops, theatres and spas. Either way, whatever season you decide to visit the Cape Winelands, there will be plenty for you to see, do and eat.

Both a romantic and family-friendly destination, there is no shortage of luxury accommodations. The Cape Winelands offers cherry picked boutique hotels near endless kilometres of walking, hiking and cycling routes. Stretched out along Route 62, any one of Iconic Africa’s bespoke properties will transport you to an artist and photographer’s paradise.

Surprise the kids with a trip to the butterfly enclosure, monkey town or the lion park or your significant other with a hot air balloon or helicopter ride. Traverse through vineyards on a horse-and-carriage or simply rest next to a damn and a family of ducks with a picnic basket – the list is endless.

The Cape Winelands is definitely a fruitful destination. As the main export hub of fruit, the Cape Winelands has an abundance of it, each season bearing something new to titillate your taste-buds. Forget local cheese, take your pick of citrus and berries, cherries and olives and even golden apples. This is no surprise in the culinary capital of South Africa and a stone’s throw away from Ceres and Bonnievale.

This area with unsurpassed scenery is a sought after location for families, couples, weddings, and anniversaries as travellers flock here to celebrate milestones and create everlasting memories. Start planning your trip to the Cape Winelands now! Discover more here:

Property of the Month – Delaire Graff

Only 5 minutes from charming Stellenbosch and less than an hour from Cape Town International airport sits this month’s property of the month – the treasured citadel, Delaire Graff. Unrivalled in setting and home to some of South Africa’s finest wine, accommodation and botanical wonders it is a sight to be savoured by all. This property is the diamond in the crown and represents the epitome of state-of-the-art architecture with its Cape Dutch impression.

Go slow and take it all in. Climbing the meandering, tree-lined driveway, you are flanked by lush, manicured gardens, bright flowers and sporadic sculptures. But wait… you haven’t even got to the top. Once there, the mind-blasting views of the Franschhoek valley will no doubt, take your breath away.

Turn around and prepare yourself to appreciate the true architectural beauty of the winery itself. There’s so much to look at and so much to take in. From the biggest peach pip floor in the world, to some of South Africa’s most renowned works of art, to delicate water fountains and epic overgrown Oak Trees. We assure you, every minute detail has been carefully considered and you will not be able to fault this estate for anything.

Wandering through the delicious wines is a great place to start. Make sure you don’t leave without tasting the flagship Cabernet Franc, the estate’s best seller. Since 2008 the Delaire Graff Cellar, one of the most advanced cellars in the region has been making world-class wines.

The team of gifted chefs and sommeliers at the Delaire Restaurant take you on a culinary joyride. Savour the food as each plate is served with the utmost care and teeming with fresh ingredients, picked daily from the farms very own vegetable garden. The Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib will render you speechless especially when followed by the Coconut Namelaka, worth every calorie and much more!

As if this is not enough Delaire Estate boasts a second restaurant, Indochine which sits with the lodges at the crest of the estate. Inside a wave of blue and copper washes over you and equips you with the ultimate appreciation of the green gardens and winery beyond the wrap around balcony.

Once utterly satisfied head home to a deluxe lodge and perhaps have a midnight dip in your heated infinity pool before unwinding into the elegant sanctuary. Large open spaces, enormous windows, high ceilings and neutral colours combined result in a soothing and peaceful embrace. Here you literally have your very own piece of heaven and can survey the lands below and beyond. Appreciate the splendour of the African sunset over a bottle of wine from your very own sundeck or take a hike up to “Leopards Landing” the estates top-secret picnic spot and have the chef spoil you to your very own basket of treats.

For more on Delaire Graff 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!

Top Travel Trends for 2018

From remote luxury accommodations to achievement-based travel, 2018 is set to be a year of long vacations, slowing down and learning to appreciate the world around us. Here’s what the experts have to say about the trends for the year ahead:

Booking trends:

79% of travel research is being done on mobile phones and an increase in online bookings has begun trending with 49% of these direct online bookings being made on mobile devices.

Duliini Lodge River Bridge

Solo Travel:

Ever since Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was published, solo travel – especially among female travellers – has gained popularity. 2018 welcome’s our solo visitors to our safe safari destinations, where the world is at your fingertips. Our private guides and luxury transfers ensure your safety at all times.

 

Remote Luxury:

Luxury travel is increasingly being associated with remoteness and disconnectivity. This year, people are projected to dedicate more time towards travel – willing to travel farther and into destinations often difficult to get to in order to feel like they have a small piece of the world (nearly) entirely to themselves!

‘Off the beaten track’ is one of this year’s travel themes allowing visitors to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience nature at its fullest. An example is Tswalu Kalahari – a hidden gem set literally in the middle of nowhere!

Zimbabwe and Zambia – The two hot safari destinations for 2018:

South Africa is typically considered a favourite go-to for African safaris with Zimbabwe and Zambia as add-on destinations. On the contrary, 2017 saw an increase in demand for trips to Zimbabwe and Zambia as primary destinations. This is a trend most experts believe to continue in to 2018. These two countries have luxury accommodations and crowd-free safaris – perfect for those looking towards that remote luxury vacation. Investments in both countries from infrastructure and airports to national parks has contributed to this new destination-trend. Not to mention the fact that Zambia was recently voted “safest destination in the world by skyscanner.”

Glamping:

For those travellers who really want to be one with nature – but really can’t, there are endless possibilities for you to be outdoorsy without sacrificing comforts and luxuries. 2018 sees an increase in bookings at luxury tented properties for the less nature-inclined to slow down, unwind and enjoy nature without actually having to “be in nature”.

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

Achievement-based travel:

2017 was the year for experiential national and international travel; connecting the traveller closely with their country or destination. This year, we will see this taken a step further with travellers pushing themselves to achieve a lifelong goals or using travel to “find themselves.”

The goal of the year is to achieve something – whether it is climbing a certain mountain or hiking a difficult trek – built into a traveller’s trip. This trend is a reflection in the travel industry of visitors wanting more from their trips than just a standard sightseeing tour.

Extended trips

The last six months has seen an increase in travellers booking trips for longer than two weeks – clients often pushing for around-the-country trips. According to Jacada Travel, 50% of the trips already booked are for longer than two weeks.

Travellers not tourists:

Increasingly encouraged over the years and recently trending – visitors to foreign countries prefer immersing themselves in experiences that cannot be found in guidebooks and brochures. Meeting locals and wondering through neighbourhoods has been the best way to experience cultures, from wine tasting to learning a new crafts or languages.

 

For all of us getting on a bus, plane or train to somewhere new… 2018 is going to be an exciting year!

5 Unforgettable Activities to Add to Your African Safari

When we think of a “vacation in Africa” the chances are that the bushveld and the Big Five come to mind. No doubt, Africa’s wildlife are pretty impressive. There surely is no other continent relentlessly defined by its world-class safari destinations and tours. There is an allure to African safaris – with our majestic landscapes and unforgettable wildlife interaction.

But there is so much more to Africa than safaris. South Africa is fast becoming one of the adventure capitals of the world. When it comes to the best safaris and activities, whether you’re doing an Adventure, Luxury, Family or Honeymoon Safari, travellers are spoilt for choice with awesome expeditions and adventures.

It is near impossible to compile a list of things to do – but we have chosen the most iconic options for you in the beautiful Cape. From diamond safaris and wine tasting to bungee jumping and swimming with seals, you will surely have many a story for your friends on your return!

Diamond Safaris with Ellerman House

Our property of the month – Ellerman House, in partnership with Benguela Diamonds has curated a luxury experience for their guests. Investing in a diamond is not an everyday purchase, making this unique trip an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Head to the west-coast and follow the journey of an ocean diamond. After a day out at sea, you can select your rough diamond to be cut, polished and set into a piece of jewellery at the design studio in Stellenbosch.

Wine Tasting and Culinary Tours

A foodie and a wine enthusiast? Explore the fantastic wine regions of Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch on a tasting tour. Visit South African vineyards to learn about locally produced wines amidst the beautiful rolling mountains of the countryside. Sample the flavours of Cape Town’s Boland with top quality, locally produced gourmet food during a guided tour. Stroll from one tasting stop to another under the oak trees.

Bungee Jumping

Take the Garden Route – a paradise all on its own that deserves to be a “must-see” on everyone’s to-do list. Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Sedgefield and George are among the greenest places in the Western Cape and offer the best hiking trails and indigenous forests. On your way, make sure to visit Bloukrans Bridge – the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at 216 m high! The walkway and jump point offer breath-taking views and an inspiring once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Swimming with Seals

For an unforgettable marine wildlife experience, swimming with seals is a must-do Cape Town activity. Gaze into the eyes of a Cape Fur seal at Duiker Island in Hout Bay and come nose-to-mask with these cute creatures. Have an intimate encounter with these playful and inquisitive aqua-babies in their natural habitat.

Helicopter Tour

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and there is no better way to admire this beauty than from a panoramic view. Take a private helicopter tour for up to one hour flying from the V & A Waterfront all the way to Cape Point. Fly over dreamy sceneries and experience what sets our coastlines apart from others.

For more awesome fun-filled activities to add to your African safari contact us now.

The Best African Safari Tours for 2018

“If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.” Karen Blixen.

It’s a new year… so why not make 2018 the year that you finally go on that safari you’ve been meaning to go on for so long!

Planning the perfect African Safari can be intimidating when you don’t know where to start. That’s why we’ve carefully selected our Top 3 African Safari Tours which offer only the most luxurious, authentic, and unparalleled experiences just for you!

The optimal safari tour for first-time African adventurers. Be astounded by the magnificent Cape Grace Hotel, located in South Africa’s Mother City. Enjoy luscious cocktails on the deck, tranquil spa treatments, and divine gourmet meals.

Be whisked to the Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in world-renowned Kruger National Park, and revel in complete exclusivity while sharing an intimate connection with the African bushveld. Take delight in spotting the Big 5 and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Africa.

End your adventure in Zambia at the Royal Livingstone—Africa’s most graceful Victorian hotel. Enjoy the healing spray of Victoria Falls and unwind to the sound of its roar. With your G&T in hand, gazing out over golden mist at sundown, get a true taste of Africa’s bygone era.

  1. The Royal Romance

The ultimate romantic getaway for couples with a love for Africa. The safari begins in Cape Town at Ellerman House—an absolutely gorgeous Edwardian Mansion resting on Lion’s Head. Take in spectacular views, delectable food, and Africa’s greatest art collection.

Head off to idyllic La Residence—a captivating boutique hotel set in picturesque Franschhoek. Not only is it the most alluring hotel in Franschhoek, it is also home to exceptional wine and unrivalled cuisine.

Escape to Royal Chundu in Zambia where opulence meets tranquillity. It’s the perfect place for you and your special someone to revel in all things ‘Africa’.

  1. Africa’s Family Getaway

An extravagant safari adventure for the whole family. Your African escapade starts at the One&Only Cape Town—centrally located and an ideal home base for the whole family. Admire the sweeping views over Cape Town while indulging in all the mod-cons, what more could you ask for?

Journey to Madkiwe Safari Lodge an African safari that caters for everyone. Located in a malaria free area makes it ideal for families. Madikwe blends five star comfort and pure African indulgence.

End your adventure at Tongabezi which lies on the banks of the Zambezi River. With plenty of exciting activities for the entire family—parents can relax at the peaceful plunge pools while kids can enjoy the delights of the play area.

For more information on tours that are available please visit our site here.

Top 10 Luxury Destinations for 2018

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” — Author Unknown.

Everyone deserves to feel spoilt, pampered and relaxed. Especially in the aftermath of the festive season, there’s even more of a need to escape from the madness. South Africa is not short of luxury destinations to escape to, put your feet up and bask under Africa’s sun. Iconic Africa ticks all the boxes for those who are accustomed to only the best and prefer the finer things in life. Do pristine wilderness, private pavilions, silver service and contemporary interiors excite you? Indulge in our finest selection of luxurious locations and let us enable you to travel in guilt-free style and be in complete harmony with nature. Wherever you choose to go, we have only the very best in true African   hospitality for you and your family.

Four of our top ten luxury destinations for 2018 featured on Travel and Leisure’s ‘Top 100 Luxury Hotels in the World’ in 2017. Our collection of accommodation has a traditional African character preserving pieces of our land with qualities of sophistication, charm and natural beauty. Iconic Africa ensures that guests have a comfortable and relaxing stay in private and exclusive settings which inspire wanderlust and acts as a salve for the soul.

  1. Tswalu – Kalahari

Tswalu is 240 000 acres of pristine Kalahari wilderness. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, this is the largest private game reserve in southern Africa and bares testament to the family’s commitment to authentic conservation and opulent luxury. Out in the wild, the game viewing is breathtaking be it from the back of a 4 X 4 safari vehicle, the saddle of an impeccably behaved horse or on foot. Tswalu is the ultimate luxury safari destination in the heart of the magical Kalahari.

Tswalu Game Reserve. Southern Kalahari. Northern Cape. South Africa.
  1. Londolozi – Sabi Sands

In Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014, Londolozi was named the best hotel in the world! A global honour of colossal proportions. Londolozi effortlessly exceeds all expectations on a luxury, hospitality, wilderness and experiential front – however when anyone who knows Londolozi well, is tasked with describing this African wonder they are immediately confronted by the difficulty of portraying the intangible. It is this indiscernible x factor which sets Londolozi aside from the rest!

Londolozi Tree Camp Deck Iconic Africa Safaris

  1. Angama Mara – Masai Mara

Perched on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a lodge that comes as close to heaven on earth, as possible. Angama Mara, Swahili for “suspended in mid-air” boasts the best views in the Masai Mara. A place that constantly takes your breath away, where happiness reigns and peace is all encompassing, where you literally stand on the edge of the world. Owner managed and run by the reputable Fitzgerald family, Angama Mara is the ultimate African safari destination.

Angama Kenya Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

  1. Royal Chundu – Victoria Falls

Royal Chundu, the first Relaix Chateaux property in Zambia, is nestled on the Zambian bank of the immense Zambezi River. Here, upstream of the Victoria Falls, the river is a wide and tranquil elixir that supports a myriad of bird, fish, mammal and plant life. Elephants graze the banks and islands while tiger fish dart through the water after prey. Royal Chundu represents a commitment to unbridled luxury in the wild of Africa and the constant support of local communities.

  1. Zarafa – Okavango Delta

Zarafa, from the Arabic word for beloved, is a jewel set in the treasure trove of the Zibadianja lagoon – itself a paradise in the Selinda Game Reserve. Conceived by world-renowned wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert in the shadows of a giant ebony tree, Zarafa is earth-friendly, exclusive Relais & Chateaux luxury in one of the last great wilderness areas on earth. There are just four sumptuous and spacious suites set on the banks of the awesome lagoon where the exuberance of the African wild will speak to your soul.

  1. Singita Sasakwa – Serengeti

Perched atop the rocky Sasakwa Hill looking out over the Serengeti’s Western corridor and endless golden plains is the elegant Sasakwa House. Resembling a deluxe ranch house in the midst of the African bushveld this is one Africa’s most exquisite destinations and another Singita – ‘place of miracles’. Exquisite views extend in every direction as the ever-changing landscape teems with Africa’s most majestic wildlife and the clouds waft over the plains.

  1. Lion Sands – Sabi Sands

By protecting and harnessing the roots of both the More and Chalkley families, Lion Sands has certainly found its wings within the luxury safari industry. In 2014 Lion Sands was awarded third place in Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Resort in Africa, and in 2010 the extraordinarily luxurious Ivory Lodge was named third best hotel in the world by Tatler.

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Lounge Interior 2 Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

  1. La Residence – Winelands

Perched amongst the vineyards, on the slopes of the beautiful Franschhoek Mountains is the pinnacle of luxury and unrivalled piece of heaven – La Residence. Voted Conde Nast’s No 1 Hotel in the World in 2013 amongst a myriad of other awards, La Residence is a must for any bucket list. The sprawling green lawns speckled with majestic springbok, the private dam complete with island, rowboat and soft flowing willow trees, instil an awe-inspiring sense of peace.

  1. White Pearl – Mozambique

Set on two kilometres of magnificent, pristine Mozambican coastline, White Pearl is an intimate resort for the discerning traveller. Couples or families will revel in the luxury, hospitality, delightful cuisine and natural wonder of this beach paradise. Whether you want to adventure on or under the cobalt Indian Ocean, lounge on the beach, sip cocktails in the pool or simply soak up the soothing peace of the sea, White Pearl, Ponta Mamoli offers the ultimate luxury beach holiday.

  1. Ellerman House – Cape Town

Nestled into the side of Signal Hill and boasting some of Cape Town’s most spectacular views lies a magnificent Cape Edwardian mansion that will welcome you with both arms and capture your heart forever. Ellerman House not only offers the ultimate in Cape luxury but it is an endless heaven to wine lovers and art fanatics alike.

Please do let us know if you have any questions on the above properties or if there are any more you’d like to hear more about.

Our Year in Pictures

2017 has been a fun and incredible year for us. From the magic of the Mara, to the endless Kalahari, to the abundance of Kruger and the beauty of the Cape – we’ve seen, explored and revelled in so much that Africa has to offer. Just in case you have missed out – scroll down here… for Our Year in Pictures.

game reserve and national park river sunset

We hope that in just a few #iconicmoments – these photographs will transport you to the wonder that awaits! Perhaps you will pay us a visit in 2018? We’d love to show you around!

Month on Instagram

 

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Month on Instagram

Instagram Takeover – Jaco le Roux

Brilliant photographer and friend of Iconic Africa @jacofotos has recently done an awesome #IATakeover for us. Just in case you missed it – scroll down here for his incredible shots of some unique African landscapes.

For more of these unbelievable photographs follow @jacofotos on Instagram.