Why We Love Private Game Reserves

If you are planning a once-in-a-lifetime African safari and are looking for exclusivity and freedom and a unique safari adventure, we would recommend booking in a private game reserve.

Because there are fewer safari tours that take place in private game reserves, guests are allowed to freely explore the African wilderness. You are offered the opportunity to escape from the crowds that are associated with the larger National Parks and this means that guests can experience the true African bushveld and won’t have to share their wildlife sightings with other vehicles.

Private game reserves guarantee no “traffic jams” because the number of vehicles that can be present at a game sighting is restricted to two or three cars which means that not only are you ensured the ultimate game viewing experience, you won’t have other vehicles photobombing your best wildlife photographs!

Game viewing vehicles in private reserves can drive off-road to allow guests to search for big cats or to track specific animals. Private game reserves don’t have hours of operation like National Parks so guests are given an exclusive opportunity to experience an exhilarating night drive, showing you all the nocturnal game you wouldn’t get to see during the day.

You get to see amazing animal interactions that often occur out of sight of main roads and because the rangers are not restricted to national park hours, your game drive can last much longer and you can stay as long as your ranger will allow on a sighting.

Game drives are not restricted to certain times and to certain roads and the open-top vehicles give you the best panoramic view of the area.

You can enjoy bush walks and your guide or ranger will help you get those extremely up-close and personal pics of wildlife.

‘Traversing rights’ will allow your ranger to take you onto neighbouring land to expand your wildlife sightings with more biodiversity to explore.

It’s all in the name…if you’re after privacy, this is what you can expect to get in a private game reserve. Not only will you feel like you have the entire continent to yourself, but you can also experience Africa’s wilderness in a more authentic fashion, where you see Africa’s animals in their natural environment, undisturbed by the vehicles around them.

King Lewanika - Lounge on your private verandah, taking in the panoramic views and watching birds and big game

Contact us here to find out more about the luxury private game reserve on top of your bucket list.

The Great Migration – Where to stay?

The wildebeest migration is rated as one of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles, and a phenomenon that should have its place on every safari lover’s bucket list. Every year, over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti/Masai Mara ecosystem. They travel up to 3000 kilometres each year in search of rain ripened grass. It is a natural phenomenon like no other, a spectacle not to be missed and, most definitely, an event that belongs on your bucket list.

The trouble with the wildebeest migration is that it can be so unpredictable and it can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time, and you could miss the whole event. Therefore, we’ve made a list of the best places to stay to make sure you get to see a wildlife spectacle like no other without the hours of driving to spot their movements.

Where to Stay in Masai Mara, Kenya

The ideal time to stay here: August – December

The Masai Mara sits at the top of every safari lover’s bucket list. This exceptional reserve comprises 1,500 square kilometres of endless, savannah grassland. In amongst whistling thorns, white thorns, fever trees and wild olives, the great plains of the Masai Mara are home to Africa’s most majestic animals. The red grass savannahs, brightly coloured Maasai villages, interminable vistas and distinct horizons combine to ensure the most quintessential African panorama.

Angama 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.

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

Mara Plains
Situated in the luscious river woodland of the Ntiakitiak River, within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the Northern border of the Masai Mara, is the definition of grandeur and colonial opulence. Mara Plains is a lavish and magical wonderland. From the minute you step onto the rope bridge, you are immediately transported into your very own, African, home away from home. “A camp’s success is in the details,” says Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains and Mara Plains is testament to this.

Perfect for: Family or friends travelling together

Bateleur Camp
On the edge of the Mara Triangle, beneath the Olooloolo Escarpment, Swahili for “zigzag” lies a lush, magical oasis of giant fig and wild ebony trees that is home to an intimate, colonial, Kenyan escape. The sanctuary of comfort, shade, coolness and luxury is a welcome retreat from the heat and wide-open spaces of the surrounding savannah. Enquire now and let us plan the ultimate East African Safari for you.
Perfect for: Groups and families (children of all ages welcome)

Ol Donyo
Ol Donyo Lodge is one of the oldest and most classic of Africa’s safari destinations. Kenya’s first Relais and Chateaux lodge represents the ultimate of private, exclusive safari bliss. Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park, it offers endless views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the savannahs below. Breathtakingly beautiful every way you look, Ol Donyo is a must for the bucket list, the ultimate luxury destination in South Eastern Kenya.

Mara Expeditions Camp
Set on the very outskirts of the Masai Mara and on the edge of the Mara North Conservancy is this unbelievable luxury safari hideout. At Mara expeditions camp you immediately become an intrepid explorer, with so much to investigate, to learn and to enjoy. The never-ending plains become your playground and the big-hearted, ever-smiling, genuine African staff… your friends. Mara Expeditions Camp has been built on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River where the dese riverine forest meets the golden plains. It’s a place where lion calls dominate the nights…

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Where to Stay in the Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park, meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve and undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. It is most celebrated as the site of Africa’s greatest spectacle, the annual Great Migration when an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest — migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This epic, seasonal journey is something every safari-goer and lover of Africa should experience at least once. The Serengeti has so much to offer: from action-packed game drives, to epic hot air balloon adventures and an abundance of game that makes it the iconic safari adventure of a lifetime.

&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
Set in a wild and remote section of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor is a riverside paradise like no other. Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp was built for and inspired by the Great Migration as it sits minutes away from one of the key crossing points on the Grumeti River. This lush haven is the perfect way to escape from the crowds of the Greater Serengeti to relax, put your feet up, immerse yourself in nature and resign yourself to the fact that you don’t have to lift a finger in order to have the time of your life!

Perfect for: Romantic getaways and families/groups travelling together

&Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas
Set somewhere in the vast Serengeti in hot pursuit of the massive herd of the Great Migration is this unbelievably luxurious semi-permanent camp. It is the absolute ultimate in true bush immersion and wild African adventure, your very own wildlife haven set up in only the very best part of the Serengeti for that particular time of year. Escape from the real world entirely, put your feet up and relax while sharing Africa’s most famous wildlife area with its wildlife as intimately as possible.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and families (only one Family Tent per camp)

Let’s Make it Happen! Our team will make sure you get to experience a side of Africa that few others ever get to see. Contact us here for more information.

Why Book With Our Travel Agents

Safari is the lifeblood of African tourism and during these strange times, destinations are appealing to local residents to come and experience the once-in-a-lifetime beauty and joy of the bush. We understand that many travellers have had to put their upcoming plans on hold or postpone, but now is the right time to be planning for your 2021 travels and we are here to help with it all.

With almost all countries having health, safety and quarantine measures in place, we know many of you are craving to pack your bags. And as borders reopen, you can now visit other countries on safari, create new experiences, and connect with people from all over.

This is the perfect time to check-in at destinations that are normally fully booked months and years in advance and that have emphasised the importance of using local rates during this pandemic. It is time to enjoy your own continent without the stirring concern and anxiety as we carry on doing what we do best – plan!

If you are still feeling uncomfortable about travelling, here are some reasons why you should book your next trip during the pandemic with one of our travel experts who will guarantee you and your family crisp, fresh African air, open skies, no crowds, and an abundance of wildlife:

We have been in the luxury safari business for 20 years and our Iconic team listens to everything you like, want and need from your safari experience. Whether it is a classic safari, being alone in the wilderness or harnessing the spirit of adventure. We pride ourselves on our longstanding relationships with luxury destinations which always deliver 5-star results.

Under normal circumstances, you would need to book well in advance, but because of constantly changing circumstances, we can secure the right place for you without having to put your dream safari on hold for too long.

Have your itinerary custom-designed from your arrival to departure with carefully chosen activities and experiences that suit your interests.

Let us make it our job to stay on top of COVID-19 updates, travel restrictions and border regulations and communicate it to you.

We can recommend reliable insurance cover and our team is on top of all travel and visa requirements, flight schedules and airport transfers.

We work closely with tourism representatives in each country and stay on top of all news and updates. Our team gathers reliable information to communicate with you before and during your trip.

No need to spend hours on the phone! We deal with any and all changes before your departure, from flights to hotel accommodation – we have got it covered!

There’s no better time than now to make your safari dreams come true! Let us help you plan your trip for 2021 and 2022. Travelling should be exciting, so don’t get bogged down with all the small details, leave that to us. Find out more from one of our team members here.

Once-in-a-lifetime Maasai Mara Special

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 destination that is calling your name!

Visit the quintessential luxury African safari built exactly where “Out of Africa” was filmed 30 years ago for only $3115 per person sharing – that is an amazing 60% saving for Southern African citizens and residents.

Stay at Angama Mara for 5 nights at this unbeatable rate including local flights, a hot-air balloon safari and so much more…

Designed to replicate a traditional Maasai village the décor is tasteful, welcoming and unobtrusive. It’s absolute indulgence with the utmost integrity and discretion. With two totally separate camps of just 15 tents each, there is nothing that detracts from the main feature of the space, which is very definitely the 180degree view. Sit in opulent comfort, in amongst the woods, coppers, warm hues and contemporary pieces while looking out your very own window to the world. Unfaltering service, impeccable presentation and mouth-watering food craft every mealtime.

Includes:
Road transfers JKIA-Wilsons-JKIA
5 nights accommodation at Angama Mara
Return flights Wilson Airport-Angama Mara with Governors Aviation
All Maasai Mara Park Fees
Angama Foundation Contribution
1 Hot-air Balloon Safari per person per stay with Governors Balloon Safaris

Optional Extras:
Private flights JKIA-Angama-JKIA
Nairobi Accommodation

Contact us here for more information. Use ASA2021 as the reference/booking code.

T&Cs Apply. Valid 1 November 2020 – 30 June 2021. Subject to availability. This special is non-refundable or transferable.

Lauren Fryer’s Heart is in Botswana

Lauren is a born and bred South African who married into a bush-mad family. She has been a part of the Iconic team for many years now and falls more and more in love with Africa each day. Lauren endeavours to instil an appreciation of the natural world into her children and she believes there is no better place than Africa to do this! Over the years she has visited Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Seychelles.

While she has many stories to tell about all the places she has visited, her favourite memory remains in Botswana – the most incredible wilderness sanctuaries with its diverse landscapes: from the Kalahari Desert through great stretches of Mopane woodland to the delta itself, with kilometres of channels, islands and lagoons. It has large herds of elephants, beautiful cats, and enough variety in its bird-life to turn even the most dedicated big-mammal follower into a twitcher!

One of the most intimate and peaceful experiences she has had in nature was on a Mokoro trip through the channels of the Okavango Delta, home of the water-based safari!

“I was extremely out of my comfort zone, and although I was exceptionally nervous, my husband insisted that we go and I am so glad we did!

The polers, who stood at the back behind us, used their panoramic view of our surroundings to watch for animals of all sizes. While you can get up close and personal with the likes of Africa’s smallest frog and water birds, your guide will ensure that a safe distance is kept between you and larger species such as hippos and crocodiles! It truly is a unique safari experience gliding on the delta, taking in rosy sunsets and the dazzling array of wildlife.”

They stayed at Gomoti Camp, part of the Machaba Safari group. Scroll down for images of this breathtaking destination.

Lauren Fryer believes there is no greater vacation than an African Safari & Beach experience.

South Africa’s Ultimate Family Safaris

In the chaos of today’s frantic, fast-moving world the simple things like spending time with family are often forgotten. I can promise you that at the end of your life you will never look back and wish that you had worked harder, spent more time on your cellphone or made more money… you are going to wish that you had made more time for and gone on more adventures with those nearest and dearest to you. So why not take things down a notch, go back to simpler times and disconnect from the world. Travel to Africa, succumb to its beauty, be in awe of its people and let its magic engulf your whole family.

To be able to do this kind of travel, to let go of the world and have new experiences with the whole family is a wonderful gift to give your children. But to take them on an African safari is the greatest gift of all. Many luxury African safari destinations are specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance.

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. Africa has so much to offer for all souls – young and old.

Here are our favourite family-friendly safari destinations that we highly recommend:

LELAPA

Lelapa, meaning family in the local language of Setswana, is another of the pioneering More family’s sublime properties. Situated in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve and with a more extensive children’s safari than any other luxury camp, Lelapa is the ideal destination for a family safari. While parents are catching forty winks or luxuriating in a spa treatment, children are entertained in the Eco House or nature beyond. 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. The Lelapa suites are indulgent havens that blend beautifully into the vastness of the surrounding woodland. The enormous lounge, bedroom and bathroom areas are all glass-fronted and allow unimpeded views of the African wilds beyond where you may see herds of elephant picking at the leaves as they amble slowly by. The suites can accommodate up to two children on a double sleeper couch. The secluded deck with private plunge pool is an excellent place for you and your family to cool off in the heat. On colder nights, you might like to sit by the fire in the sumptuous lounge and enjoy dinner in your suite, the full moon lighting the plains in gentle blue, a lion calling in the distance.

LONDOLOZI

Londolozi Pioneer Camp nurtures the essence of generations of pioneering family spirit and offers the ultimate luxury Relais and Chateaux safari experience. Set on the wildlife-rich banks of the Sand River, the camp has access to over 16 000 hectares of pristine wilderness within The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve neighbouring South Africa’s world-renowned Kruger National Park.

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

For years Pioneer Camp has been the holiday of choice for Terri Abadi (founder of Iconic Africa) and her family. Terri has travelled Africa extensively and yet year-on-year she is adamant Pioneer Camp is the place she wants to return to over and over again. Each trip is unique, each trip delivers, each trip a lifetime of memories for her and her family.

SINGITA

Singita Castleton Camp holds a place most dear to Iconic Africa. If you scroll through the tattered original “visitors” book kept at Castleton Camp back in 1986 you will find my then 7-year-old sisters entry which reads “Thanks very much, this is definitely a 5-star experience!” followed by my entry reading “Thanks very much. I liked the chocolate.” Perhaps we at Iconic Africa are slightly biased BUT what could be more perfect than spending a week with 11 of your closest family and friends in your own exclusive-use luxury villa, in the heart of the world-renowned Sabi Sands Private Game reserve. Castleton Camp allows you this rare treasure: to spend uninterrupted time in the lap of luxury with those dearest to you, away from the distractions of “life”.

Steeped in history, Castleton Camp is the original family home of Singita’s founder Luke Bailes’ grandfather built in the mid-1900s. The newly refurbished family residence has since been converted into a stonewalled homestead characterised by its spacious patio and graceful lounge. This central homestead is adjoined by six sumptuous luxury cottages which allow you the option to retreat to the privacy of your luxury cottage or stay in the company of your friends and family.

ONE&ONLY CAPE TOWN

The One & Only is an energetic, friendly and contemporary hotel in the perfect Cape Town location. The suites all have sweeping views out over Table Mountain or of the picturesque working harbour fringed by the world-class V and A waterfront and world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium. The rooms and suites are tributes to contemporary chic lines and fresh art with deference to Africa through the dark wood finishes. Every possible modern convenience including full internet facilities and a personal Nespresso machine complete the opulence of the space. The commodious bathrooms boast huge baths and showers with separate lavatories. Cape Town is packed full of fun for the whole family. Trips up Table Mountain in the cable car or on foot for the fitter families will leave you breathless with wonder. The gleaming white beaches, especially with a gourmet picnic lunch, offer magnificent days out in Hout Bay, Llandudno, Clifton and Camp’s Bay while the quirky town of Fishhoek and Boulder’s Beach offers warmer waters for the kids. Although the produce of the spectacular Winelands is best enjoyed by parents, there is beauty and activity in abundance for young travellers.

TONGABEZI SAFARI LODGE

Tongabezi is situated about 30kms upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls. It is the perfect place for families with children – with two delightful two-bedroom houses with private lounges, play areas and plunge pools. The Garden House has a fully walled garden which is ideal for younger children while its funky African fusion design gives it an informal and fun atmosphere. The Dog House’s bedrooms and communal areas are safely linked by raised walkways and the infinity pool hangs out over the Zambezi River. This beautiful suite comes with a private vehicle, guide and valet. The expansive and luxuriant gardens are blended into the banks of the Zambezi. They are dotted with private decks and terraces where families can relax in privacy. The magnificent Lookout – a multi-level wooden platform, sumptuously furnished with soft sofas and chairs can be booked for exclusive use and is a wonderful way for families to dine together and watch the river. Large families can book Tangala House – the pinnacle of luxurious family living. This magnificent home has three ensuite bedrooms, a huge private pool set in lavish gardens. For fun, there is a trampoline, garden games and a TV nook. Tangala comes with a private valet, chef, guide, boat and vehicle for exploration. There are endless activities – fishing, drumming, helicopters flips and much more for parents and children alike and in the evening, smiling kids and contented parents will revel in the joy of a sunset cruise on the languid waters of the Zambezi around Tongabezi.

TSWALU LODGE, 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 to 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.

For more information on other family-friendly destinations on our beautiful African continent please click here.

East or South Africa for your 2021 safari?

This year has left people all over the world dreaming of travel, and many have already planned to touch down in Africa in 2021. Most spaces are already filling up fast, and the only thing left to decide is.. where in Africa to go.

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

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

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

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra

Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October

Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested

All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals

Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides

Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Fun walking safaris in some private reserves

Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

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

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

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

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

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

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa Bambo Forest

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

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

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

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

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

Varied topography and habitats

A smaller concentration of herds in private concessions

One dry season: May to October

South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas

Many camps outside of South Africa require a minimum age of eight years old unless you reserve the entire camp

All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals

Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles

Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12

Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations

More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing

Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

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

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

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

Ivory Lodge Sabi sands Kruger Park Safari

Zambia– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls and Mana Pools.

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

Africa – A Golfer’s Paradise

Longstanding as a top safari destination, South Africa boasts exceptional weather and offers magnificent golf courses set in the beautiful scenery, doubling it as a golfer’s paradise. South Africa gives travellers the gift of options – incorporating a golf tour into any well-deserved holiday, romantic trip or family vacation.

Choose from the breath-taking Cape Town or the City of Gold – the perfect start with brilliant shopping for the non-golfers. Perhaps the appeal of a seaside setting will lure travellers to the Garden Route or for another life-changing bush experience to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Those familiar with South Africa will understand the phenomenal natural beauty of the surroundings that will form the backdrop for your next tee-off.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa 2A

Iconic Africa Director, John Holley’s two passions in life are golf and the bush. Most of his childhood was spent doing one or the other and many memories were made while either teeing off at sunrise or toasting to the sunset with an ice-cold beer at a waterhole. John has put together two incredible Golf & Wine Safaris from all of his favourite destinations just for you. Get up close and personal with the magnificent Big Five; tee off on some of South Africa’s most impressive golf courses; discover gourmet restaurants and taste the finest wines that the Cape Winelands has to offer.

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Garden Route

Read all about John’s Great Value Golf & Wine Safari and John’s Premier Wine & Golf Tours here.

Here are our top three reasons to add golf to your next safari:

Wide Variety of Championship Courses

South Africa is home to more than 500 golf courses – many of which are championship courses. A lot of South African gold courses have been designed by international designers or have the patriotic stamp of resident golfing legends.

Spectacular Settings

South Africa is one of the top countries with many diverse golf course settings. You can tee off inland or near the sea; from a clifftop at Pinnacle Point; or within view of some big game near or in the Kruger National Park, where it is common for wildlife to wander onto the course.

Additional Activities

While your vacation may focus on having an exceptional golfing experience, you will still be able to incorporate traditional highlights such as a Big Five safari or visiting world-renowned tourist attractions, ensuring your visit to South Africa is unforgettable.

Iconic-Africa-Luxury-Kruger-National-Park-safaris-leopard

Here are our top four golf destinations in South Africa:

Cape Town

The Western Cape is blessed with magnificent mountain ranges and bordered by coastal settings. This creates picturesque sceneries for impeccably maintained courses such as Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West and Steenberg Golf Club near the Tokai Forest designed by golf-legends, Gary Player and Peter Matkovich.

While you’re in Cape Town, you can stay at one of our beautiful city residences or countryside homes-away-from-home.

Garden Route

The Garden Route offers a distinct climate specific to that area. Combine moderate temperatures with the surrounding greenery and golden beaches and you have yourself a bucket-list destination! This area has a number of beautiful golf courses and at least four of the top ten golf courses in South Africa are located here. Two of our favourite courses include Fancourt and Pezula. The area also offers a treasure of other fun activities for non-golfers and families.

Gauteng

While not as scenic as other parts of South Africa, Gauteng does offer exceptional quality golf courses. Some of the top courses in Gauteng have hosted various competitions, including the South African Open and the PGA Championship.

Distance from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park: +- 4 hours by vehicle.

Kruger Park

The Kruger National Park has a range of pristine golf courses bordering the park or nearby in the Lowveld region. This is one of the only areas in South Africa where golf is best enjoyed during the dry autumn and winter months. Often ranked as South Africa’s best golf course, Leopard Creek should be on top of your golfing to-do list.

Here are is a list of our top accommodation in the Kruger National Park.

Add a round of golf – or two – to the itinerary on your next South African vacation. South Africa is the perfect family getaway and your golfing experience will be enriched by the possibility of combining it with the ultimate luxury safari. In between rounds of golf, see the legendary Big Five, do a Cape Winelands wine tour or simply relax on the beach.

Find the Magic of Madikwe

Madikwe Game Reserve is widely recognised as one of the premier luxury safari destinations in Southern Africa. Nearly 30 years old, this 75 000 hectares reserve is one of South Africa’s largest and finest game reserves. But this beautiful gem is more than just a malaria-free luxury bush accommodation. You will find breathtaking scenery, bold colours and a plethora of photographic opportunities. Explore the wildlife and nocturnal animals on the day and night drives or by foot and immerse yourself in nature’s playground.

Here are some reasons why we think Madikwe really is a magical destination and is so worthy of a spot on your bucket list.

  • Amazing game viewing:

Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world-famous for its Lion and (highly endangered) African Wild Dog viewing. What’s more, because Madikwe’s terrain is a unique mix of savannah and semi-arid desert the diverse safari experience allows visitors the chance to view the ever-renowned Big 5, as well as a number of rare desert-adapted species.

In Madikwe’s early years, the chance of seeing a Leopard on safari was low. However, in more recent years, the Leopard viewing has improved tremendously. As such the opportunity to see the much desired Big 5 is high! All rangers and trackers work together in unison to locate these ever-elusive cats. Due to the semi-arid nature of the terrain, the visibility in the reserve is good and the quality of game viewing is further ensured, as the game rangers are able to drive the safari 4×4 vehicles off-road for closer viewing.

  • Easy to get to:

Madikwe is a 50-minute charter flight or 4-5 hour drive from Johannesburg and lies on the edge of the Kalahari and Botswana borders.

National Park vs Game Reserve Lion Road

  • The ultimate romance and luxury

Iconic Africa has also handpicked the exclusive lodges that are equally famous for their bespoke honeymoon luxury experiences. Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are such lodges that have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail. These exclusive lodges will ensure a romantic, lavish safari retreat.

  • A trailblazer for African conservation

It is impossible to believe Madikwe once operated as a cattle ranch! It was the scene of the largest game translocation programme in the world between 1991 and 1997, moving over 8000 animals! Madikwe continues to be a shining light in African conservation. Madikwe Game Reserve was one of the earliest pioneers that proved local communities; government and private business sectors can work successfully together to set up sustainable conservation sanctuaries. This approach to wildlife conservation uplifts the local community whilst benefiting the park’s lodges and now homes over 66 different mammal species and over 360 different bird species.

  • Malaria free

Madikwe Game Reserve is a malaria-free safari region, which makes it ideal for families with younger children. These family-friendly luxury lodges offer tailored children’s activities as well as adjusted game drives which are more geared towards children. Madikwe Safari Lodge and Jaci’s Safari lodge offer fantastic family-friendly safaris.

Besides being one of the best family-friendly safari options in South Africa, the exclusivity of this destination makes it the ideal romantic getaway and many babymooners have chosen this as their escape of choice!

For some expecting parents, it’s a relaxing weekend getaway and others are ready for a long-haul flight and an action-packed two-week stay in the bush.

This is your chance to unwind properly and enjoy each other’s company undisturbed. Whether it’s a quick trip or an extended vacation, you could expect to indulge in a couple’s massage, gourmet dinners, theatre performances, art galleries, outdoor yoga and not forgetting a memorable game drive that will leave you wanting to return with your little one. And if you or your better-half are incapable of sitting on a lounger for more than a couple of hours, we’ve incorporated a little bit of adventure for you too…

The best time to experience an unforgettable safari in South Africa is September when spring is in full force in the Western Cape. You’ll have clear blue skies and temperatures in the early 20s – perfect for exploring and relaxing in the sun.

Soak up those memorable moments, whether it’s pristine beaches or a brush with the Big Five, our team is here to help you take advantage of the small pleasures. Need we say more? Please contact us if you have any questions whatsoever on the magic of Madikwe.