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!

The Big Five – Fun Facts

‘The Big Five of Africa’ is one of the most relentlessly searched for and often mentioned phrases.

The term “big five” began as a way of referring to the five animals most difficult to hunt on foot. The lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo were the five large African mammal species that were known to hunters as dangerous and successfully hunting them was considered an accomplishment.

However, today the expression takes a much gentler approach – referring to seeing the majestic wildlife species on safari in Africa. These friendly giants are frequently sought-after for sightings, encounters and photo opportunities.

Given the formidable five’s status and significance, here are some interesting facts about the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo that we thought you might find interesting:


The lion is Africa’s top predator and the second largest big cat in the world. Roaming the savannah grasslands and open plains of Africa, these social felines are the only cats that live in groups (prides) and need a lot of contact with each other. The lions will greet each other by rubbing their heads against one another, exchanging scents that convey information about their intentions, moods and recent activities.

Females share a particularly strong bond as they remain in the same pride for life and raise their cubs together. They do all the hunting, and the males get the first helping – even when there are cubs in the pride. The hunting is done mostly at night as lions can see in the dark. They are not completely nocturnal so their most active time is just before sunrise or just after sunset. However, they are opportunistic feeders and will hunt at any time.

A lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles (8km) away, enabling them to communicate with each other over large distances. They spend most of their time sleeping and can sleep up to 20 hours a day!

iconic-africa-kruger-national-park-leopard luxury african safaris


The leopard is nocturnal, solitary and secretive, staying hidden during the day. They are the least seen of the Big Five. These antisocial cats avoid interacting with each other beyond mating and raising young cubs.

Leopards are excellent at climbing trees and will often safeguard their kill in a tree to prevent lions and hyenas from stealing it. They are also strong swimmers and occasionally eat fish and crabs. Leopards can drag prey weighing up to three times their own body weight up into trees over 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Leopards don’t roar, they bark and snarl. When they are happy they even purr. But this is not only what makes them unique – they are the most adaptable felines! Inhabiting some of the most diverse environments of all the big cats, such as both deserts and forests – their ability to survive across a range of habitats has enabled leopard populations to survive in far flung parts of the world.


The rhino is the most endangered species of the Big Five. The illegal trade of rhino poaching is being driven by an Asian demand for horns, made worse by increasingly sophisticated poachers. Very few rhinos now survive outside national parks and reserves.

A rhino’s horn is not attached to its skull. If it breaks off it will grow back again.

The white and black rhino have no teeth and hence rely on their lips for eating.

Rhinos have poor vision and will sometimes attack trees and rocks by accident. However, their hearing and sense of smell are excellent, thus often making up for their poor eyesight.


Many trees in West African forests – at least one third – rely on evolved seeds to pass through an elephant’s digestive tract for dissemination and germination.

African elephants communicate across large distances at a low frequency that cannot be heard by humans.

Under Africa’s scorching sun, elephants get sunburnt too! They throw sand on their backs and heads to prevent sunburn and keep insects off their skin. And even though their skins are incredibly tough, they can feel those tiny insect walking on their skin!

When baby elephants are born, they are almost blind and some individuals suck their trunks for comfort, similar to the way young humans suck their thumbs.

Elephants love to swim and are able to swim for long distances. They use their trunks as makeshift snorkels. The trunk is also used for grabbing, bathing, smelling, drinking and can pick up something as small as a grain of rice.

Buffalo Walking Safaris Iconic Africa


A buffalo’s primary predator is the lion. It will try to rescue another member who has been caught or hurt and has often been observed killing a lion after it has killed a member of the group. Unlike the water buffalo – whom has an uncanny resemblance to the African buffalo – the latter is dangerous and has never been domesticated.

Dangerous, and rightly so! Buffalo are said to have killed more hunters in Africa than any other animal. They still kill over 200 people every year earning them the reputation and nickname of ‘Black Death’ and ‘Widow Maker’.

Our safari-goers from across the world are eager to spot the famous rhino, leopard, lion, buffalo and elephant combination. Contact us now to learn more about our safaris to Africa’s finest Big Five viewing reserves!

Traveller Review – Pelton Family

The Pelton family recently returned from their vacation at Lelapa lodge in Madikwe. They had a wonderful time and we hope to see them again soon! Here’s what Jackie Pelton had to say:

Lelapa – truly means Family – Wonderful holiday family travel experience!

“We just returned from 3 nights at Madikwe Lelapa Lodge with 17 of our family members (3 generations, ranging in age from almost 2 to 70 years old). We had 9 children (14 and under), 6 parents and a set of grandparents. What a wonderful experience we had. Lelapa means family, and by the end of our days there we felt like family with the staff at Madikwe. And I must admit 3 nights didn’t seem long enough…

We arrived in 2 shifts on Christmas Eve. Staff greeted us with cool towels and lots of hugs. They took our luggage to our rooms where we found lovely notes for our families and small ornaments and candy for the children as gifts. The first group to arrive made it in time for the evening game drive where they saw lots of animals and an amazing sunset. The second group arrived just in time for dinner (definitely plan on at least a 5 hour drive for Johannesburg; and don’t be fooled, once we entered the gates to Madikwe Game Reserve it was still another 45 minutes to the lodge, but it was worth it!)

Dinner the first night was in the Boma – and special it was. Fire-pit, barbeque and serenaded by song and drums. Our children LOVED it and within minutes we felt like family with the staff of Lelapa. The lodge itself is quite nice. I mean it is Africa, so there were some bugs (spiders, mosquitos, etc.) in our room but nothing crazy. We had reserved 3 family suites with bunk beds which were perfect for those of us with young children (the bunk bed room was sweet and cozy, and they provided a pack n play for our toddler as well) and 2 other rooms for individual couples. The rooms were spacious and housekeeping service was excellent. We loved our little deck with outdoor shower and plunge pool – we even saw the elephants making their way to the watering hole right from our deck. The rooms are all along a path on either side of the main lodge. The family rooms are close to the pool, and a short walk back to the main lodge. Only after dark did we need to call for security to escort us to and from our rooms. On the other side of the main lodge were individual rooms and the Eco House for children’s activities.

Meals were fantastic. They truly catered to our every need (we had children, vegetarians and nut allergies in our group, so it wasn’t easy). We were never hungry with 3 big meals as well as snacks on both game drives, a morning snack before the drive and afternoon tea. And the adults enjoyed plenty of drinks as well.

We ended up with two guides: Josh and Mitchell, since our group was so large. They were both fantastic. So knowledgeable about the game reserve, the animals and could answer just about any question we asked. They were great with the kids (and with the adults too!)

One evening drive was cancelled due to a very large rain storm – but we managed to make the most of it with games and drinks in the lodge. Throughout our stay we managed to see 3 of the big 5 (lion, elephant and rhino) and loads of other animals, big and small. My mother really wanted to see the wild African dogs and Josh went out of his way to bring her to see them! She was thrilled. We truly got an “off road” experience going through the bush and over water, to seek out the animals. What an adventure!

Back at the lodge, there were lots of activities for the children. Painting, scavenger hunt, learning about animals, and of course the pool. The pool was beautiful, and we were lucky enough to find elephants, giraffe, zebras, wildebeests and more that came right to the watering hole by the pool. It was truly amazing. Christmas lunch by the pool was lovely. The other meals (other than the one in the Boma) were served in the main lodge.

We had a little excitement when 1 child needed stitches but the staff handled it like pros and quickly got the child/parent/grandparent off to the closest hospital with Wayne at the wheel and they even packed snacks for the 3 hour journey (P.S., child is just fine!)

We fully expected to take advantage of the child care while we were there for our youngest who is 2, but in the end she was able to join us on all of our game drives because we had a private vehicle (and she is extremely well-behaved, you wouldn’t want to take a crying baby on a game drive, that’s for sure!). But I do know that had we decided to leave her back, she would have been well-cared for by the staff at Lelapa.

Honestly, with a group of 17 and the wide range of ages, we knew it would be tough to please everyone. But we can truthfully say it was one of the best family vacations (if not the best, and we’ve travelled extensively as a large group). Everyone at Lelapa was really great: from Dreeine, Doreen, Natasha to Josh and Mitchell, Beauty, Kebla, the waitstaff, night watchman/security Daniel, housekeeping, bartenders, etc. We honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more!

One thing I will say, if you’re not traveling with children, I would perhaps book a stay at one of the other 2 Madikwe lodges. Lelapa is definitely child-friendly, and I felt bad for the lovely couple who was there on their own while we had 9 children with us!


A big thank you again to the Pelton family for this lovely review. Until next time…


What is a game reserve?

The most time consuming part of planning a safari is deciding on where to go. Before you can make any bookings, you’ll need to make decisions about what you’d like to see. Do you have your heart set on seeing the Big Five, whales, birds, or the “great migration”? There are so many options and so many places to see them; from national parks, national reserves and game reserves and it can get overwhelming when trying to decide. There are differences between the various establishments and we’ll tell you a little bit more about game reserves in particular to make your decision a little bit easier.

For a matter of comparison, a nature reserve is an important area, set aside for the value of its fauna and or flora, housing biomes and eco systems. The areas are managed and protected for the purpose of conservation and can be designated either privately or by the provincial government. An example is the Kogelberg Nature Reserve just outside of Cape Town.

A Game Park or Game reserve on the other hand exists specifically for the preservation of wild animals. In these areas, fauna like antelope, rhino and giraffes are protected. There are activities like hiking, game viewing and hunting may also be permitted. If hunting is prohibited then a game park can be classified as a game reserve.

One of the most well-known game reserves in South Africa is the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West province. This reserve was set aside as a protected area before animals were even introduced to the environment.


It is always a good idea to check where you will visit, what kind of establishment it is and what their policies are regarding game and wildlife. Don’t be afraid to ask your travel consultant before you go to make sure you get to see and experience exactly what you want. Knowing whether you want to visit the Kruger National Park or a private game reserve such as Timbavati Game Reserve can determine what you see. Many would argue that the animals are the same, but often the experiences differ greatly.

Here are a few things about visiting a game reserve that are good to note:

They are usually more private than national parks. So there are less vehicles of other tourists in a dazzling array of blinding colours.

Safari vehicles can go off road. In a national park you will be limited to animals visible from the main roads.

Rangers are not restricted to national park hours, which means that they can go on night drives. It also means that you can stay as long as you want on a sighting!

Rangers can lead walking safaris so that you can get that perfect photo of your favourite wildlife.

Please do let us know if you have any further questions on game reserves.

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.

Our Favourite Family Friendly Lodges

Nothing could ever be more special than going on an out-of-Africa, safari, adventure with the entire family. Sharing and making unforgettable memories with children is what parents dream of and taking them on safari is one sure way of doing this. There really is nothing better than seeing your child’s face light up at the sight of their first elephant; or watching the wind in their hair as the game vehicle races through the bushveld in pursuit of a pack of wild dogs; or simply the smile that results as the sun sets over the horizon turning the sky pink, purple and blue. Africa has so much to offer for all souls – young and old.

That’s why we recommend staying at one of our favourite family friendly lodges. Have a look at the lodges below to get inspired. You won’t be disappointed.

Lelapa Lodge at Madikwe Safari Lodge

Lelapa Lodge is the quintessential safari adventure for the whole family, and it specifically caters for families with children. The idea is for parents to be absolutely pampered while kids are kept completely entertained by the specialised rangers and facilities. Lelapa Lodge even has a special bush orientation programme for kids. Meals are kept decadent for parents and simple for children. Kids can even help the chefs make pizzas for lunch and cookies for tea! It’s an absolutely spell-binding experience for children. Each suite has its own private plunge pool, and spectacular views over the African bushveld. Set against the backdrop of the savannah, and simply teeming with wildlife, Lelapa Lodge is the ideal family escape.

Tswalu Lodge in the Kalahari

Tswalu is southern Africa’s biggest private game reserve, and is perfect for anyone wanting to experience true Kalahari wilderness. The views from the lodge are utterly magical and ensure awesome game-viewing opportunities. Tswalu has three luxurious bungalows that have been specifically designed to cater for families, and the warm staff know just how to make your enchanting family escape one to remember. From de-stressing massage treatments to exciting morning game drives, this is a place where memories are made. Treat yourselves to a once-in-a-lifetime horse safari or relax on the private sundeck while taking in the awe-inspiring views of the waterhole.

Tswalu Game Reserve. Southern Kalahari. Northern Cape. South Africa.

Londolozi in Sabi Sands

Sabi Sands is possibly the most famous private game reserve in the southern hemisphere. For high quality game-viewing, Sabi Sands is the place to be because of the incredible number of predators in the area. Londolozi proudly boasts the title of ‘best hotel in the world’ which it was given by the Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards in 2014. For the ultimate family safari, families should be sure to stay at Varty Camp. What makes Varty Camp so special is the fact that it is so committed to bringing families the very best in luxury and entertainment that it even has a special itinerary just for children. Varty Camp puts family first and children are always warmly welcomed.

For more information about our family friendly safaris, please visit our site here.

FAQs — 10 Things To Know Before You Go On Safari

Organising a safari is always exciting, however, it can be a little bit daunting if it’s your first time. It’s even daunting for people who have gone on safari before because things change and different places require different things. In order to put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten most frequently asked questions when preparing for a safari.

  1. Are all safaris the same?

Definitely not. There is an incredibly wide variety of safaris to choose from. Most people think of the traditional African safari trips—you know, the Big Five sightings, the African savannah, the vast plains … But, you can also go on boat (mokoro) safaris in Botswana or even ocean safaris in Mozambique! This is a great way to see hippos, elephants, and even crocs up close. Another thing to remember is that there are different types of game drives at different times of the day.

  1. Will I definitely see the Big Five?

This is something that really can’t be guaranteed. Unfortunately, nature is unpredictable, so it really is just all about luck. Don’t get obsessed with seeing the Big Five—just sit back, relax, and enjoy the things that you do see – you will no doubt be blown away by the experience!

  1. Do I need a visa to travel to Africa?

This truly depends on which country in Africa you are visiting, and which country you are coming from. If you are visiting Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, or South Africa, and you are from either the UK or the US, you will not need a visa if your visit will be less than 90 days. If you’re visiting Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, or Zimbabwe, and you’re from the UK or the US, then you will need a visa, but you can obtain one when you arrive in the country for approximately $50.00 per person. If you’re visiting Mozambique or Uganda, and you’re from the US or the UK, then you need to obtain a visa before you travel to these countries.

  1. Do I need to get any vaccines?

Yes. You need to book an appointment with your doctor to make sure that they can recommend the most up-to-date vaccine advice. You need to let them know where you’re going and for how long. Also inform them about any stop-overs that you might be having because if you stop over in Kenya at all, you will need to get vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Other African countries will not allow you to enter from Kenya if you have not had this vaccine. Most game parks in Africa are malaria areas so it is important to take malaria medication. The vaccines that are generally prescribed are for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and diphtheria, but your doctor will be able to advise you on this.

  1. Which currency will I need to take with me?

It’s best to use US dollars in Africa. However, South Africa does not accept US dollars, and so you will need to take the South African Rand if you will be staying in South Africa. You can use your credit cards as well, although the surcharge might be quite large.

  1. Is it safe to visit Africa?

Of course. We make sure that the countries where we operate our trips are safe, and we are kept up to date with regular updates about each country so we would be the first to know if there were any issues or safety concerns to worry about.

  1. Is there a specific dress code for a safari?

No. It’s important to dress comfortably and casually while you’re on safari. You should, however, take some smart casual clothes to the top lodges for the evenings. You should wear khaki for game drives, and you should bring along a polar fleece jacket for early morning game drives. Pack in a few cardigans or sweaters just to be safe because the evenings are sometimes quite cold. Here are a few more tips on what to pack when going on safari.

  1. Will I be able to charge my electronic devices?

Yes. Most of the lodges have an electricity supply of 240 volts and most use the UK-style plugs. South Africa is the exception because its sockets are either 2 prong or three prong with the larger, round pins. But, you will definitely be able to charge you camera batteries at all of the lodges.

  1. Will food and drinks be included in my accommodation fee?

Most safari lodges include your food and drinks in your accommodation fee but there are exceptions. You need to find out from your safari specialist whether or not your food and drinks will be covered by your specific lodge.

  1. Is it okay to drink the local water?

It’s best to be safe and to limit yourself to bottled water for your time spent in Africa. The safety of the water depends on the area so you can ask the camp manager whether or not the water is safe to drink.

For any other queries or questions you might have please contact us and we will be sure to help you out.

Top Videos of 2017

Just in case you’ve missed out – here are some of our top #iconicmoments of 2017 caught on film. We hope that wherever in the world you are… watching these transports you into the African bush for even just a few minutes.


Up Close and Personal with the Gorillas

Tree Leopard Londolozi

Lions Feeding

Curious Hyena Pup

Leopard at Dusk

Majestic Giraffe

Elephant Family at Marataba Safari Lodge

Em’s Magical Madikwe Safari

Iconic Africa Traveller Emily Gardiner has just returned home after an unforgettable time at Madikwe Safari Lodge. A trip that was full of #iconicmoments! Emily was kind enough to chat to us about her trip and share some of her incredible photographs as well as a lovely video with us too. Here’s what she had to say:

What did you think of Madikwe as a safari destination?

Highly recommended it! Madikwe has and is everything a safari should be, plus it’s a Malaria free reserve. I really don’t know what more another lodge could offer. (And this is coming from a very fussy and perfectionist type person…me!)

What was your most unforgettable moment?

Every day at Madikwe Lodge & the Reserve was unforgettable!

What did you think of your accommodation?

Breathtakingly beautiful, a true bush experience… You really feel like you are in a past time in Africa but with all the nessesities of modern living. Staff were really friendly and helpful too. 5star in every way!

If you could describe your trip in one word what would it be?


What was your favourite African animal?

Leopard (but I have no favourite, I loved the cheetahs, giraffes, wild dogs, elephants and lions too! I love them all!

What did you think of the game drives?

The game viewing was excellent and exciting with huge variety of healthy happy animals. If you want to see the Big 5 quickly this is the place!! The standard of the guides is exceptional.

I highly recommend Gerhard our guide, he understands and communicates with the bush and the wildlife on a level that we felt like we were part of a National Geographic documentary. He was awesome!

Did you enjoy the food?

Loved the food and the barbecue setting is magical. The Chef deserves Michelin stars!

Where in Africa would you like to go next?

I’d like to do an other safari but not sure where yet. Perhaps try a lodge in the Kruger next, but I heard that the animals look malnourished there at the moment because of the long drought they had… Madikwe will be hard to beat, so I am still looking. (It took me months to find Madikwe and I researched and looked at a lot of lodges!)

Thank you so much Em for sharing your African adventure with us… we are so glad you had such a great time and look forward to having you back here soon!


Experience of the Month – Walking Safaris

Do you have an adventurous streak within you? Do you love getting up close and personal to wildlife? Do you love being at one with nature? Well then a real African walking safari is an absolute must for your bucket list!

There is no better way to get up-close-and-personal with the African bush, and its wildlife, than to go on a walking safari. It is, without a doubt, the best way to fully experience and appreciate the magical intricacies that make up a regular day out in the bush.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa

Even if you’ve had many safari experiences in the past, this iconic adventure will, no doubt, knock your socks off.

You walk in silence, you are at one with nature’s rhythm, and you are completely at peace with the world. The landscape is exquisite and ever-changing. From the Marula trees to the Jackal berries, from the Syringas to the Leadwood trees, from the dry riverbeds to the grassy plains, and to the rocky granite outcrops, there is so much to take in!

The expert guides will lead you every step of the way and ensure that your safety always comes first. Their love for the bush, and their incredible anecdotes about the animals and how and why they do what they do, makes the experience truly authentic and valuable. They will teach you how to judge how big an elephant is from its prints, how to tell how fast a lion is walking, and how to tell the difference between the red-billed and yellow-billed hornbill’s calls—you will learn so much! It’s most definitely the best way to learn about the bush. It certainly makes you wonder why we spend our days, months, and years learning about accounting, marketing, and law, instead of taking the time to stop and just simply appreciate, and fully understand, the world around us. There is just so much that nature can teach us… we just need to let it.

Walking Safaris Elephant Iconic Africa

A walking safari is such an adventure and it really is one way to get to know your friends and family better, too.

You wake to the sounds of birds chirping, lions calling to each other, hyenas reporting on the night’s events, and fish eagles crying, and yet it all seems so still and peaceful. Sitting in the middle of the bush with a hot cup of coffee and a rusk, you wait in quiet anticipation for the sun to peek over the canopy of Mopanis or to rise up above the river. It really is a spiritual experience like no other.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa Zebras

For the birders among us, a walking safari is a must! There are so many birds of prey to be seen: from bateleurs, to fish eagles, to African hawk eagles. You’ll spot hornbills, barbets, rollers, sunbirds, bee-eaters, kingfishers, vultures, and many more. A walking safari allows you to get much better sightings than you would from a vehicle.

Your heartbeat will slow down to the pace of the African bush, you will go to bed and rise with the sun, and you will feel as though you are a part of something so much bigger—a world that exists out there every day, and that we miss as we race around obliviously, caught up in our corporate lives.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa Pic

If you have any questions at all on the possible walking safaris on offer, please contact us. We can design the perfect combination of luxury and adventure just for you, and all in a heartbeat.


Month on Instagram

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa… for he has so much to look forward to.” Richard Mullin.

For all those lucky people who haven’t yet ventured towards our exquisite shores… there is so much  that awaits you. To get you just a little excited… here’s just a few snapshots from June in our #monthonInstagram.









Samp and Gem Squash Risotto

“This Risotto features Samp as the hero ingredient – replacing risotto rice with an African staple that has a lovely al dente crunch and creaminess. I’ve also added in one of my favourite vegetables – gem squash, for a delicious gentle nuttiness. It’s perfect for our chilly African winter at this time of year, but just as delicious in warmer weather with a chilled glass of white wine. Oh, and yes it tastes even better if you cook it in a traditional South African ‘potjie’ pot :).” Sarah Graham.


  • 3-4 gem squash, halved
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Willow Creek Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or use thyme or oregano)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup samp, rinsed and soaked for at least 2 hours
  • ½ cup Durbanville Hills White wine (optional, otherwise use extra stock)
  • 2 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan (or hard cheese of your choice)
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped, to serve (or oregano)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

What to do

1. Add your gem squash halves to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and the flesh can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove, drain and set aside to cool before removing the seeds.

2. Meanwhile, add your butter and olive oil to a large heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in your chopped onion and herbs and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions have softened and are translucent.

3. Add in your garlic and samp and stir well until the samp is well coated in any remaining oil and butter. Add in your wine and stir until the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.

4. Add in your stock gradually, ladle by ladle, and leave to simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed. Then add the milk until and the samp is cooked through and creamy. Add a little extra water or stock along the way if necessary. It should be creamy and not too dry.

5. Scoop out the flesh of the gem squash and add it to the risotto. Stir until everything is well mixed together. Add in your Parmesan, check for seasoning and serve immediately in warmed bowls with a little extra grated Parmesan and fresh parsley to garnish.

Photo from ‘Sarah Graham’s Food Safari Season 2’ by Ricardo de Leça.

For more of Sarah’s delicious Food Safari recipes click here.