A ‘Workation’ in Africa

Vacations are synonymous with relaxation, unwinding and ‘switching off’. Many travellers, couples and families head to destinations where they have no access to WI-FI, cell service, or contact with the outside world. It is a time for rejuvenation, healing and time spent with loved ones. There’s probably a link between increased endorphins and setting up your out-of-office reply, but not everyone has the advantage of a Monday to Friday work-week or enough leave days to actually vacate reality and escape.

In this day and age – many of us take our work with us, everywhere, even on vacation. This has progressed the mobile office space to a new level, and has recently been referred to as a ‘workation’.  Sometimes a change of environment is enough to catch a break. The watercolour sunsets and mirages may even bring inspiration. This new way of working has seen many travel-hungry businessmen successfully accomplish tasks while seeing the world.

But internet connectivity in some parts of the world can be sporadic at best and remote areas often have poor signal, let alone bandwith. Unreliable connections makes checking-in and social engagement a frustrating experience.

We have put together our top five ‘workation’ destinaions for those who need to retreat back into the wild but can’t leave their e-mails behind:

  1. Madikwe, South Africa

The possibility is that you would rather want to take in Madikwe’s panoramic views instead of hear your message notifications come in, but this luxury safari lodge offers guests excellent complimentary WI-FI throughout the lodge, laptop loans and business facilities for those who like to travel light.

  1. White Pearl, Mozambique

Here’s an opportunity to work hard and play hard. It is almost certain that you will have the chance to swim amongst dolphins or view migrating humpback whales while you’re strolling on the beach or reclining on your private deck. This ultimate African experience may inspire some creativity or give you the motivation to finish that task! While the guest areas have been designed for relaxation and romance, stretch out on your bed or day lounger and keep updated or simply post those magnificent pictures of the crystal blue water using the complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

  1. Mara Plains Camp, Kenya

Kenya is unparalleled in sceneries and adventure and Mara Plains Camp rolls both into one at one of the most iconic destinations in Africa. It’s not only millennials that will have a hard time not sharing these magical moments with the world as it happens. Luckily, Safaricom provides a decent 3G network in most parts of Kenya, and Mara Plains Camp offers mobile network to guests.

  1. Tongabezi, Zambia

Most travellers head to Tongabezi for a romantic stay. But posting those dreamy pictures to your Instagram may be more important than work e-mails. Catch up with loved ones and post those pictures that will have all your friends envious using the area around Victoria Falls and Livingstone’s mobile connectivity or Tongabezi’s uncapped Wi-Fi.

  1. All our properties in the Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park

There’s no need to put off spending time in the bush. You can have it all – rest in a sanctuary for both humans and wildlife, and work at the same time while enjoying five star accommodation and fine dining opportunities. The Wi-Fi signal is strong in the one place you wish you could switch off…

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Lounge Interior 2 Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

May your travels take you where the signal is strong, but don’t forget to take the time to stop, switch off, submerge yourself in the amazing surroundings and let the magic of Africa wash over you.

Stanley & Livingstone Reveals New Suites

“It’s beauty that captures your attention – personality that captures your heart” – Oscar Wilde

A great family destination that welcomes you to make yourselves at home, this beautifully reinvented boutique hotel aims to be a pause on your Southern African itinerary.

The existing family-run accommodation is merely 10 minutes away from the majestic Victoria Falls, making it the ideal quiet retreat and base from which to explore and seek adventure. The property is currently undergoing some exciting refurbishments with the aim to relaunch the property as the area’s first boutique hotel by spring 2018.

Quintessentially, Stanley & Livingstone will be ‘intrinsically historic’ with interior finishings taking inspiration from colonial style combined with a contemporary classic feel. The boutique hotel aims to still give guests that sense of adventure while honouring the hotel and area’s heritage and natural landscapes. They have exploited the magnificent natural light and created engaging and inspiring spaces.

In the meantime they will be revealing their new suites! The updated design is fresh and easy-going while maintaining that colonial feel. It is simultaneously elegant and approachable – especially for guests with younger kids. The character and atmosphere of these living spaces encourages guests to settle in and feel at home.

Travel back with us to the time of Stanley and Livingstone with an entirely modern colonial interior. Ingeniously marrying old and new influences, you can relive a by-gone era in opulence with modern amenities.

Rest on a king-sized bed fit for a queen on one of the 16 luxury suites with an elegant en-suite bathroom fitted with a romantic Victorian bathtub and a modern power shower.

Or opt for one of two interleading suites suitable for families who want their own space. You can still find the romance here with the serene experience of game viewing from your own suite as the nearby waterhole attracts a constant flow of wildlife.

Although the hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi access, you will want to stay disconnected…

 

 

Property of the Month – Royal Livingstone

This month’s property of the month truly lives up to its name – allowing guests to be immersed in a wonderful royal affair! Named after the gallant explorer, Dr David Livingstone – the legendary pioneer who named Zambia’s iconic waterfall in honour of his queen – the Royal Livingstone Hotel pays tribute to his glorious era, evoking a superb Victorian elegance and boasting an impeccable colonial style. This imperial accommodation will immerse you in the romance and style of a time gone by. Adorned by canopies of Acacia trees, the raw grandeur of the bush fuses with the luxurious opulence the hotel offers. Set along the Zambezi River, perched on the lips of the Victoria Falls, this piece of heaven will take you back in time with its antique décor, personalised service and the deafening roar of the ‘mist that thunders’.

Joyful African Dawn

Begin your day at 06h00 in the Livingstone Lounge as the radiance of the African dawn envelopes you in an embrace of subtle Zambezi mist. The lounge presents history through leather-bound tomes, hand-drawn maps and aged paintings and the outside area is the perfect space to drink a quiet coffee while Zambia wakes.

Languid lazy midday

The boundless manicured gardens, where wild Africa blends into modern comfort are centred on a crystal pool that overlooks the leisurely waters of the Zambezi just as they gather momentum before cascading over the cliffs. Likewise the main terrace, beautifully decorated in dark wood and shades of the Victorian era, offers a gentle space from which to contemplate this astonishing place – especially when some of the hotel’s zebra or giraffe amble by.

Rest for body mind and spirit

If you choose to remain at the Royal Livingstone and absorb the concord of Africa, then a beauty or wellness treatment in the private gazebo overlooking the gently flowing river or in the seclusion of your own room is a brilliant opportunity for mind, body and spirit rejuvenation.

The epic African sunset

The sundecks, suspended out over the river and looking onto the ginger sunset mist, are brilliant places to reflect on the day’s adventures while dusk turns the flowing water from silver-yellow to inky-indigo – the first stars dancing on the rippling surface.

Indulgent evenings

When you arrive back from exploring after sunset, sip a pre-dinner single-malt, cocktail or fine chardonnay in the atmospheric Traveller’s Bar while the piano conjures an atmosphere of bygone pioneering in the evening cool. After your drink, a sublime meal that combines the flavours of Europe, Africa and even India, awaits you in the sumptuous dining room or, under the candle lit boughs of the Monkey Tree.

Natural wonder and epic adventure

The Victoria Falls offers an astonishing number of exciting activities for all ages and all tastes. Royal Livingstone’s superbly staffed and run Activity Desk will recommend combinations of nature, fun and adventure for you – normally no more than 15 minutes away.

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:

Lion:

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

Leopard:

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.

Rhino:

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.

Elephant:

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

Buffalo:

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!

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.

Introducing to you… the new Victoria Falls International Airport

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just been cleared to land at the Victoria Falls airport. Please make sure your seat belt is securely fastened. Cabin crew, please take your seats for landing.”

This is a new era for Zimbabwean tourism as their new state-of-the-art Victoria Falls International Airport is now in full operation. Visiting the incredible Victoria Falls just got a whole lot easier for national and International tourists wishing to stay at The Elephant Camp or the Victoria Falls Hotel or any of the other top lodges.

For many years visiting this Unesco World Heritage Site has not been particularly straightforward, despite it being an established tourist hub. With the boom of air travel in Africa and its ability to surpass the physical challenges to ensure easier access to landlocked countries, visitors no longer need to take multiple flights or make long drives to get there.

The recently operating airport is located approximately 20 km south-east of Victoria Falls town centre. Victoria Falls town lies just 1.5 km away from the Victoria Falls rain forest – one of the 7 natural wonders of the world allowing visitors to spend more time enjoying their stay and less time spent travelling.

Elephant Camp Vic Falls Safari

In 2013, the civil aviation authority of Zimbabwe – with the assistance of China – embarked on a project to upgrade Victoria Falls’ airport. Currently the airport is serviced by domestic and regional flights by South African Airways, Air Zimbabwe, British Airways, Air Namibia, Fast Jet Zimbabwe and chartered flights from various parts of the world. The airport can now receive long haul flights from around the globe and its smooth new runway can accommodate some of the world’s largest jets – raising the prospect of new direct international flights. Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways have also expressed an interest in serving this bucket list destination.

The airport is also located within the heart of southern Africa, giving access to six countries within a range of two hours such as Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia, making it a national and regional gateway by location. And most importantly this means that getting to our fabulous lodges in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia is going to be a whole lot easier for travellers.

Learn more about Victoria Falls and when is the best time to go .

Property of the Month – Royal Chundu

The natural excitement of being in the African bush is amplified by the romance and adventure of this magnificent lodge bordering both Zambia and Zimbabwe. Camouflaged between the untouched and untamed natural beauty of the surrounding lush vegetation, Royal Chundu heightens the senses with the sights and sounds this ‘paradise on earth’ has to offer. Coupled with the colonial décor and African charm, the River and Island lodge offers guests peace, quiet and serenity. Either overlooking the bushveld or relaxing alongside the bank of the Zambezi River, the spirit of Zambia is evident, especially in the staff from neighbouring villages. Scroll down for more details about the two lodges and why Royal Chundu has captured our hearts this month.

Royal Chundu, the first Relais & Chateaux property in Zambia, is 14 suites of majestic and secluded opulence 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.

River Lodge

River Lodge is the majestic hub of Royal Chundu. The double volume thatch main area looks out across the main Zambezi channel onto the distant banks of Zimbabwe. It feels as if nature birthed this Zambian gem, so seamlessly does it fit into the vegetation around it. The sumptuous sitting rooms are softly lit by crystal yellow glowing chandeliers. The acres of wooden decking, deep cool pool and serene atmosphere offer endless delightful spaces for rest and reflection. The fabulously stocked wine cellar and library full of leather-bound volumes offer sophisticated retreats at night or when the weather closes in.

The ten superbly decorated and sublimely comfortable suites are spacious tributes to the Zambezi and the warmth of the local people. They offer complete privacy indoors and outside on the generous private decks. The river meanders on its timeless journey while hippos surface in the shallows, bushbuck browse in the verdant vegetation and, if you are lucky, an elephant swims across the main channel as you lie on a chaise longue in astonishment at the engulfing splendour.

Island Lodge

Island lodge is Royal Chundu’s premier camp with just four superb suites secluded on a private island, surrounded by easy channels and shaded by ancient baobabs. Each suite is a testament to the romance of Africa. The highlight of your private deck is the open-air bath. The acme of rejuvenation is to lie in the tub suspended over the river while inhaling the soft, sweet scent of the river.

If you are not watching the action in the water from the extra length king size bed, then you might be sipping a gin and tonic from the shaded basket chair on the deck or lazing in a tender lounge armchair. The entire front of the suite is fronted with glass concertina doors which means you are constantly thrilled by the wildness of the Zambezi while recharging in the lap of profound luxury.

The main area boasts two opulent lounges, a dining deck slung out under the star-sprayed African sky, an intimate boma and an infinity pool to quench the heat of the day and help you empathise with the hippo grunting with satisfaction in the river below.

Families

Children of all ages are welcome at Royal Chundu and there is an excellent children’s programme where budding young naturalists can have wilderness fun in complete safety under the watchful gaze of the high-skilled Royal Chundu Staff. While your spirit is being recharged with a spa treatment or a snooze on the deck, your kids will be treasure hunting, catching fish, cooking, cruising on the river and visiting local villages.

For more on this exceptional property click here.

 

 

 

 

Top Reasons to Visit Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe – Africa’s Hidden Gem

For a long time now, Zimbabwe has been overlooked as a safari destination due to years of political turmoil. However due to recent developments and one of the world’s most peaceful peoples’ revolutions… ending in the resignation of president Robert Mugabe – the country’s future is brighter than ever. It is likely that in 2018 many more travellers will cross its borders than in the last decade.

As we have a passionate “Zimbo” in our midst, we are obviously very “stoked” (excited) about this news and we hope to send more and more travellers there over the coming year!

Zimbabwe really and truly is one of Africa’s hidden gems… (for some it’s the best!) Here are a few reasons why we think this country is most definitely worth a visit:

The Pinnacle of Hospitality

There is nothing more magical than the warmth of the people in Zimbabwe—their friendly smiles, affectionate handshakes, and absolute love for their country is completely contagious. You will feel part of the greater Zimbo family from the minute you step off the plane!

Exclusive Safaris

What could possibly be better than a truly African safari? Well, perhaps a truly exclusive African safari … Zimbabwe is the ultimate place to be if you want to get away from the crowds and have the bush to yourself. It’s definitely one of the more private safari destinations and there will never be masses of tourists cramping your style!

Elephant Camp Vic Falls Safari Camp

Value for money

This is a safari that won’t necessarily cost you an arm and a leg. Zimbabwe gets full marks for value for money!

Breath-taking Landscapes

Zimbabwe is home to some of the most exquisite landscapes in Africa. From the high mountains in the east, to the Mopane woodland in the low-veld, to the vibrant waterholes of Hwange and of course the majesty of the Victoria Falls – you are never at a loss for beauty.

Elephant Camp Vic Falls Botswana

Abundant Wildlife

One specific member of our team will say that the game-viewing in Zimbabwe is better than anywhere else on the continent. To be honest – she’s not far wrong…spotting the Big Five is definitely doable and so is seeing all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. It’s certainly a birder’s paradise, too! For the twitchers out there – a fish eagle call over the Zambezi… is one of the world’s most remarkable sounds.

Experienced Guides

Zimbabwean guides are some of the most knowledgeable and extraordinary guides in Africa. You will learn so much from these experts and no doubt make friends with them almost immediately.

Word Class Accommodation

Zimbabwe is home to some of the most stunning luxury accommodation in Africa and boasts extraordinarily world-class service.

Spectacular Victoria Falls

There is only one word that describes Vic Falls perfectly: awe-inspiring. This natural world wonder will take your breath away and will leave you feeling like a completely changed person. If you visit Zimbabwe just to see Victoria Falls… thats OK too… just make sure you come back for… Hwange, Mana Pools, Kariba … and so on!

victoria-falls-above-view

Mana Pools National Park

Mana Pools has been declared a World Heritage Site because of its incredible wilderness and beauty—there are elephants, hippos, and hyenas at every turn. It’s the perfect place for walking and canoeing safaris. A must for the safari-lovers bucket list.

Hwange National Park

Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve and is renowned for its massive herds of buffalo and elephants, but you’ll also spot plenty of black-back jackals, lions, giraffes, zebra, and hippos.

So, there you have it! Those are our top 10 reasons to visit Zimbabwe. For more information please visit our site here. #NewZimbabwe #luxury #travel #safari

Property of the Month – Victoria Falls Hotel

Victoria Falls Hotel has to be one of Africa’s most iconic destinations. A hotel so grand and so classic that it takes you back to a time gone by… a time of Gin and Tonics, cucumber sandwiches and lunch parties galore. A tribute to the colonial times and November’s Property of the Month. Here’s what we think makes this “Grand Old Lady” worth a visit:

The Victoria Falls Hotel (VFH) is perched on the edge of the abyss that is the gorge of the mighty Zambezi River – less than five minutes from all the adventures and wonders the legendary falls has to offer. The ‘Grand Old Lady’, built in 1904 and surrounded by beautifully tranquil gardens, exudes Edwardian grandeur and energy while offering every possible modern creature comfort. The halls, draped with artefacts of a forgotten time, whisper the nostalgia of an era of opulence, pioneering and adventure. Beyond the terrace and over the sprawling manicured lawns, the Victoria Falls bridge is revealed through the mist and thunder of Mosi Oa Tunya – the Victoria Falls.

You will start your Victoria Falls adventure in the wood panelled VFH reception. It is here that you will have your first encounter with famed Zimbabwean hospitality – nowhere is the friendliness and efficiency of Zimbabweans more obvious than at the VFH where the smiling staff genuinely delight in crafting you a visit you will never forget.

The luxurious lounges and reading rooms, hung with Edwardian paintings and furnished with commodious leather and cloth sofas, ooze history. They urge you to pull an aged leather-bound book from the library shelves and sink into blissful relaxation – possibly with a cocktail at your side, the sound of the Zambezi streaming over the falls a constant, comforting companion.

The secluded and beautifully appointed pool offers ultimate serenity and coolth in the heat of the midday especially after a massage in the salubrious African spa.

Edwardian rooms of luxury and history

The VFH rooms are situated on two levels, some offering spectacular views over the Zambezi River canyon while others look onto the tranquillity of the magnificent gardens. Iconic Africa recommends the four executive or honeymoon suites that conjure the privacy, luxury and romance of the turn of the 20th century – steam engines, wild untrammelled Africa and unbridled adventure. The suites have private entrances, cosy four poster beds and generous sitting rooms from which to enjoy a pre-dinner cherry or single malt.
The Royal Suite defines spacious opulence – it opens out onto a private balcony with views of the gardens and panoramas of the Zambezi gorge in the distance.

Adventure from the Victoria Falls Hotel

From the VFH, every conceivable entertainment that the Victoria Falls has to offer is right at your fingertips.
A ten minute stroll from the hotel, the Victoria Falls rainforest clings to the walls of the gorge. From the seclusion of this verdant jungle retreat, nurtured by the spray of the falls, you can watch the waters of the Zambezi tumbling over the colossal cliffs, plunging down into Africa’s most awe-inspiring gorge. Out of the forest, you can face the wall of thundering water, breathing in the healing spray while you marvel at the plants that manage to hug onto the little crag-face islands of calm in the booming falls.

For the adrenalin fiend, there is the terrifying bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge or a toe-curling zip line across the gorge. White water rafting over the boiling cataracts of the Zambezi must rank as one of the world’s most exhilarating experiences.

If you’re less inclined to risk, go on a breath-taking helicopter ride over the falls. Any number of safari activities can also be arranged from the VFH.

After a day of adventure, unwind on a Zambezi cruise. Quaff your favourite cocktail while you watch herds of elephants graze on the banks, hippos grunting in the protection of the current and myriad spectacular bird species – the African sun passing fat, lazy and crimson over the palm trees.

Fine colonial dining

There are three charming and distinct restaurants at the VFH. Your generous breakfast will be served at the Jungle Junction, a delightful open-air restaurant filled with a multitude of scents from the gardens and wild bush beyond. Lunches and high-teas are served al fresco on the Stanley Terrace which offers unfettered views all the way to the Victoria Falls Bridge and, at night, the twinkling lights of Zambia on the opposite bank. A la carte dinners are served in the Livingstone Room – an extravagant, semi-formal experience that that will transport you to the age of the great explorers.

Please do let us know if you have any questions on this iconic destination.

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.

Safari Pricing Explained

We are often asked how much safaris cost. This is because it is extremely hard to find prices for safaris online, and because there is an incredibly vast range of safari tours available—each type of safari tour obviously has its own associated costs, depending on the travel agent that you use.

Iconic Africa showcases the African destinations which best represent our values of the utmost luxury, world-beating African hospitality, delectable contemporary cuisine and most importantly an authentic commitment to wilderness conservation.

We aim to give you the most comprehensive quotations by detailing all of the expenses that you will incur during your safari adventure. We pride ourselves on the fact that our quotations have no hidden costs and no hidden surprises. Here’s what you need to know about safari costs.

Good safaris are expensive, however, you truly get what you pay for. We cater for mid- to high-end, boutique safaris which means our focus is on luxury, excellent service, and unforgettable safari experiences. It is important to remember that Africa is a huge continent. Great distances need to be covered by either cars, airplanes, or both. Therefore travel costs often make up a large portion of your safari expenses.

Because we cater for mid- to high-end safaris, the lodges that we choose are only the best of the best. Guests can expect a large staff complement at all lodges—in fact, the staff-to-guest ratio at most of the lodges that we recommend is a 3:1 ratio. This is to ensure that our clients are treated like absolute royalty. Of course, excellent accommodation and gourmet meals are world-class too. The lodges that we have on offer pride themselves on exclusivity and, of course, fewer visitors means fewer vehicles, which ultimately means a more exceptional and much more intimate wildlife experience for you.

We specialise in tailor-made safaris which ensures that our clients are not limited to pre-set itineraries or specific dates. Our clients can choose their own accommodation and they can indicate which activities they would like to experience on their safari. Our clients tell us what they want the focus to be on (for example, game viewing, birds, cats, relaxation, romance etc.), and we make sure that their expectations are not only met but exceeded. Read more in our Iconic Africa Promise

Our itineraries are perfectly planned out and drafted with each, individual client in mind. They are highly intricate and specific, so you will never be met with nasty shocks or unpleasant surprises. They contain comprehensive information about where, when, and with whom you should meet, and we set up the itineraries in such a way so that they are easy to read and the important information is easy to find. The itineraries also indicate where any costs are not covered by travel agency costs or accommodation costs.

So, what do we include in your quotation? Our quotations include all of your internal flights with specific details about each flight—such as when and where to meet, and who will pick you up to take you to and from the various airports. We also include details about all of your transfers, and all of your vehicles costs will be included. The quotation includes your day tours with specific details, and rental costs for rental cars and accommodation costs are also included in the quote.

For any other queries on costing please do let us know.

Property of the Month – Royal Chundu

A massive congratulations to Royal Chundu who has recently been Voted No.10 in the Top Resorts in Africa 2016 and who we’d like to recognise as our property of the month for May.

For a sneak peek on why Royal Chundu is so incredible – have a look at the video below or read on for why this Zambian gem is definitely worth a visit!

Royal Chundu, the first Relaix Chateaux property in Zambia, is 14 suites of majestic and secluded opulence 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.

River Lodge

River Lodge is the majestic hub of Royal Chundu. The double volume thatch main area looks out across the main Zambezi channel onto the distant banks of Zimbabwe. It feels as if nature birthed this Zambian gem, so seamlessly does it fit into the vegetation around it. The sumptuous sitting rooms are softly lit by crystal yellow glowing chandeliers. The acres of wooden decking, deep cool pool and serene atmosphere offer endless delightful spaces for rest and reflection. The fabulously stocked wine cellar and library full of leather-bound volumes offer sophisticated retreats at night or when the weather closes in.

The ten superbly decorated and sublimely comfortable suites are spacious tributes to the Zambezi and the warmth of the local people. They offer complete privacy indoors and outside on the generous private decks. The river meanders on its timeless journey while hippos surface in the shallows, bushbuck browse in the verdant vegetation and, if you are lucky, an elephant swims across the main channel as you lie on a chaise longue in astonishment at the engulfing splendour.

Island Lodge

Island lodge is Royal Chundu’s premier camp with just four superb suites secluded on a private island, surrounded by easy channels and shaded by ancient baobabs. Each suite is a testament to the romance of Africa. The highlight of your private deck is the open-air bath. The acme of rejuvenation is to lie in the tub suspended over the river while inhaling the soft, sweet scent of the river.

If you are not watching the action in the water from the extra length king size bed, then you might be sipping a gin and tonic from the shaded basket chair on the deck or lazing in a tender lounge armchair. The entire front of the suite is fronted with glass concertina doors which means you are constantly thrilled by the wildness of the Zambezi while recharging in the lap of profound luxury.

The main area boasts two opulent lounges, a dining deck slung out under the star-sprayed African sky, an intimate boma and an infinity pool to quench the heat of the day and help you empathise with the hippo grunting with satisfaction in the river below.

Families

Children of all ages are welcome at Royal Chundu and there is an excellent children’s programme where budding young naturalists can have wilderness fun in complete safety under the watchful gaze of the high-skilled Royal Chundu Staff. While your spirit is being recharged with a spa treatment or a snooze on the deck, your kids will be treasure hunting, catching fish, cooking, cruising on the river and visiting local villages.

Activities at Royal Chundu

There is a wealth of excitement to be had at Royal Chundu both on the property and in the wider magnificence of the Zambezi.

If you are looking to unwind and rejuvenate your soul, then a treatment from one of Royal Chundu’s world-beating therapists, either in the tranquillity of the spa or in the seclusion and of your suite deck, will fill you with a sense of relaxation, gratitude and joy.

Expeditions onto the grand Zambezi include canoeing adventures with highly-skilled guides and tiger fishing trips with knowledgeable locals who delight in helping you master the art of this unique fishing discipline.

Away from the river, Royal Chundu is proud to offer tours to two of the local villages that the lodge supports through conservation and ecotourism initiatives.

No matter what adventure and sights you have experienced during the day, a gentle sunset cruise onto the river from Royal Chundu will allow you time for reflection. The soothing waters laps against the boat, you sip your favourite sundowner, the water birds make their languid way to roost, an elephant bull squirts mud onto his back and the sun, which is somehow bigger here, disappears in a blaze of gold and red.