Why Choose Africa 

“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same” – Suzanne Evans.

Africa receives millions of travellers each year – most of whom come to visit the variety of beaches, mountainside escapes and safari lodges and camps.  Experience everything from cultural immersion, history and enjoy a variety of wildlife at your fingertips. Let us share with you – why we have come to love the continent as much as we do. 

Africa has a special safari destination for every occasion, family size and travel needs. The continent is selected for the exceptional Big Five game viewing, year-round good weather, spectacular birding opportunities, family-friendly and malaria-free safari accommodations, romantic retreats, award-winning chefs, breath-taking sunsets, and unprecedented sceneries. Find luxury, opulence and extravagance in the great outdoors. 

Africa’s expanse and extremely diverse terrains, climate and wildlife can make deciding on a country a tedious task. You may want a view of Mount Kilimanjaro from your lodge or to climb the famous Table Mountain. The continent has been blessed with so many cultures, community projects and great service that contribute to truly wholesome travel – from the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania to the San and Shona in the Kalahari and Zimbabwe. Experience modernity and rustic authenticity simultaneously in Africa’s pristine wilderness whilst returning to your luxury suites each night. Whether it is in the Kruger National Park, South Luangwa National Park or the Serengeti – you will stay mesmerised.

You can experience the best of everything, from nature’s wonders; getting up close and personal with some of Africa’s fiercest game accompanied by world-class guides; adventure activities; photography opportunities; artwork and museums and shopping!

We have put together a list of African safari destinations with the highlights from each to help you with your complex travel choices:

  1.     South Africa
  • Explore the beautiful Winelands of the Western Cape where you will find luxurious chateaux, local wines and exceptional views. 
  • Enjoy the beaches, mountains and city-life of Cape Town. The Mother City boasts beautiful architecture with a thriving night-life and an abundance of activities. 
  • Escape to the quiet of the Kruger National Park and enjoy some quality time with the Big Five.
  • Visit the rugged terrains of the Kalahari

  1.     Botswan
  • An untouched wilderness with incredible wildlife sightings. 
  • Cruise along the Chobe River and come face-to-face with the largest concentration of elephant and other predators. 
  • Diverse landscape from the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta. 
  • Selinda Game Reserve is an opportunity to awaken all your senses with the sceneries and wildlife. 
  • Spend some time in the Kalahari where time stands still 

  1.     Kenya
  • The place where safari originated. 
  • An abundance of wildlife. 
  • Visit the Masai Mara and experience a Maasai village. 
  • Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration. 

  1.     Tanzania
  • Explore the unfathomable magic of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater 
  • Bordering Kenya, Tanzania has a plethora of wildlife 
  • The Serengeti is one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. 
  • Wonder off the beaten track to a more quiet safari location such as Tarangire National Park 
  • A high density of wildlife throughout the year
  • Choose between a variety of locations from forests to savannahs, beaches or volcanic areas such as Ngorongoro Crater. Even the weather can alter drastically, from snow-capped peaks to lush tropical mountainsides. 

  1.     Zambia
  • Birthplace of the walking safari. 
  • Experience the thrill and views of sitting in Devil’s Pools
  • An alternate and exceptional view of Victoria Falls
  • Great fauna and flora in 20 national parks, our favourites being Liuwa Plain, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa for its dense leopard population. 

  1.     Rwanda 
  • The beautiful forests are magical and encompass a fairytale setting for outstanding wildlife with exceptional surrounding accommodations. It is the ultimate jungle escape – see Silverback Gorillas and trek through the dense mountainside.
  • Rwanda is home to numerous monkey species.
  • Explore the hilly landscapes and see volcanoes for the first time.   

                                    

  1.     Zimbabwe
  • The most tranquil setting for luxury and adventure. 
  • Explore the Zambezi River by boat cruise and watch a masterpiece sunset. 
  • Stand before the most breath-taking Natural Wonder – Mose-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders 
  • Thrill-seeking activities such as white river rafting, bungee jumping and many more.

  1.     Mozambique
  • The perfect beach escape for couples and families. 
  • Luxury hideaways that exude romance
  • Pristine beaches with silky white sand 
  • Enjoy snorkelling, diving, fishing or simply relaxing with a book
  • Find an amalgamation of flavours and cultures 
  • Find amazing marine life at Azura Benguerra and Azura Quilalea such as turtles, tropical fish, eels, dolphins and rays, maybe even a pod of Southern Right whales.  

Need we say any more? 

 

         

 

Why Tailor-made Luxury African Safaris are the Way to Go

Iconic Africa specialises in bespoke African safaris, custom designed for the discerning traveller. We love  what we do; have loads of knowledge, and have been lucky enough to visit and experience most of our destinations themselves, and… have long standing relationships with many of the lodge owners.

Here’s why we think that choosing a tailor-made safari is definitely the best choice for your African adventure.

  1. Discover Africa’s Most Sought-After Destinations

Browse our destinations to explore everything Africa has to offer. There are countless amazing experiences to enjoy, so take your time.

We are here to help. Once you have an idea of what you would like to experience in Africa let one of our African travel experts guide you according to your preferences and budget. It is never too soon to contact us.

2. Relax & Let Us Do The Rest

Our team will design a luxury itinerary specifically for you, complete with accommodation, activities and travel designed specifically around your very own needs.  We will make sure you have a trip you will remember forever.

So relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself basking in the hot African sun, sipping a cold cocktail and marvelling at the majestic wildlife we are so privileged to enjoy on the extraordinary continent we call Africa. We will take care of the rest!

Here are just a few more benefits of tailor-made safari…

3. Experience unique and luxurious safari moments.

4. Celebrate the incredible cultures, hospitality, food and wine.

5. Explore uncharted territories with private guides.

6. Choose and plan around specific activities you are interested in

7. See Africa’s breath-taking Natural Wonders of the World in luxury

Giraffe Manor Colonial Luxury Courtyard Aerial

8. Choose between fast-paced adventure destinations and slow safaris

9. Enjoy personalised tours and trips that gets you face-to-face with all the action.

Tailor-made safaris can/may include all flights, transfers and private guides, accommodation, breakfast, all meals on a full board basis, complimentary transfers, wireless internet access, morning tea and coffee with wake up calls, use of spa areas and fitness studio, game drives, walking safaris, private tours and many additional complimentary experiences.

Our consultants will be sure to explain this all to you depending on the trip they have planned for you but these are many of the additional services that are provided. For more info on planning your ultimate tailor-made safari getaway click here. 

 

 

6 Different Ways to Experience the Bush

Most people list an African safari as a top bucket-list activity. For those of you who have already been, you’ll know how addictive it is. For our first-timers, here are a few secrets to seeing some amazing wildlife and getting the most fun out of your trip…

While some travellers are privileged to see almost everything on their first safari – from the Big Five to wild dogs, birds and marine life, others may only spot a handful of wildlife. But that’s okay! A safari can be more than sitting at the back of an open 4×4 vehicle, walking alongside a guide or looking down from a hot air balloon.

Here are six incredible activities to add to your itinerary to maximize your time in the bush. Take your time, enjoy the excursion and take in the scenery for an experience of a lifetime.

  1. Horse riding

This is an incredible opportunity to experience nature and a very unique way of going on safari! Some lodges in Africa let you ride in the wild even if you are a complete novice. The more seasoned rider can choose from further options, like riding alongside an elegant giraffe or carefully walking with an elephant.

  1. Stargazing

Far away from any light pollution, the stargazing in Africa is phenomenal! It is as if the sky was made for the sole purpose of displaying the stars’ beauty. While you lie back and focus on absorbing all the sounds and calls of the animals and birds; your guide will take you on an astrological journey through the universe.

  1. Camel safari

A camel safari is almost like being on horseback, but you have a slightly more elevated view and the ride is a bit quieter thanks to the extra padding in camels’ feet. Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya all offer camel safaris, as an additional activity or solely as your mode of transport on a mobile safari. Kenya is by far the best place to do this!

  1. Canoeing

Canoeing can be done as a single activity or as part of a trail where you canoe between campsites for 3–7 days. Among the more popular canoe trails is the 4-day Selinda Canoe Trail in Botswana. You can expect to see an array of birdlife, as well as larger animals like hippos and elephants.

  1. Hides

Zimbabwe has some of the best hides in Africa and a large elephant population that is reliant on the pumped waterholes making this an incredible experience. There is nothing quite like being at arm’s length from a herd of elephants simply going about their routine, drinking and splashing in the waterhole. If this is on your bucket-list, check with your safari specialist whether the lodges you are going to stay at offer this activity.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

  1. Fishing

Africa plays host to some of the most fearsome freshwater fish species in the world such as the tigerfish. The waterways of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana offer your best chance of coming face to face with it. The coasts of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique also offer some of the most productive saltwater fishing in the world!

We hope you return to tick off more wildlife sightings and safari experiences. Keep notes of everything you see, so that you can keep track of which animals you have seen and properly identify them in your pictures. It will also help you with you ‘must-see’ list for your next trip.

 

A Boat Cruise Down the Chobe River

While you’re planning your travel to-do list for the year ahead, be sure to add a touch of adventure with a trip down the Chobe River. If you’re serious about safaris but want to do it at a leisurely pace while combining the exhilaration of a game drive and the relaxation of a boat cruise, then Botswana has the perfect activity for you!

Take a boat cruise down the Chobe River, a magnificent natural body of water that offers guests unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape and wildlife in their natural environments. The Chobe National Park is home to the densest elephant population in Africa. You will often see them roaming onto the islands to snack on the sweet grass after they’ve a drink at the river. ‘A crossing’ is definitely a sight you will never forget!

Watch in awe as herds of hippos, buffalo, lion and zebra come to the water’s edge to quench their thirst. Seeing all these magnificent mammals while sipping on a cool beer or a chilled G&T to the sound of the fish eagle calling… will make you feel as if you’re in a dream. You don’t need to go out in search of game; sit back and relax as the wildlife come to you – the true beauty of a river safari. View herds and herds of game at your leisure as you sail past them congregating at the river bank, or feel the thrill of coming close to crocodiles basking in the late afternoon sun.

The best time to visit is during the dry winter months from June to October. This way you can make sure you will experience the best of Chobe National Park.  Wildlife come from near and far to reach the water during the dry winter. And if you want to experience a more private water-based safari, you can always book a thrilling mokoro boat ride and get up even closer to the Big Five.

We highlyrecommend seeing this beautiful part of Botswana by boat – the true highlight of your trip. You will find some of the best photograph opportunities in the late afternoon and early evening when the light creates magnificent back-lighting and contrasting shadows. You will never be able to find another sunset quite like one that sets over the Chobe River.

Here are our top recommendations for accommodation in Chobe.

Best Places to See Elephants

When heading out on safari, many travellers anticipate up-close and personal encounters with the King of the Jungle. But watching the mighty elephant in his natural surrounding is just as thrilling, especially for those who consider this friendly giant the true King of Beasts. As the largest and one of the most undefeated, yet gentle of the Big 5 – wildlife and safari enthusiasts have this majestic animal right on top of their must-see list. You can look forward to seeing elephants in most parks and reserves in Africa, but some places are definitely better than others. We have put together a list of our top 8 places to discover and interact with elephants in a natural way:

  1. The Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta sees year-round vegetation and water making it the perfect destination to see elephants at any given time. There are so many different safari options that lets you experience these beautiful creatures, from game drives to mokoro boat trips.

  1. Kruger National Park, South Africa

A world-renowned park for its sheer size, the Kruger has wildlife roaming freely in large numbers, including the elephant. The Kruger is perfect for family safaris and first time visitors wanting to view elephants up-close.

  1. Chobe National Park, Botswana

You can’t visit Chobe National Park without seeing a single elephant. With the largest elephant population in Africa, guests can watch the elephants going about their routines all day long – from drinking at the water’s edge, to bathing and swimming across the river.

  1. Elephant Camp, Zimbabwe

The Elephant Camp offers you the humbling and inspirational chance to feed, touch and interact with elephants.

  1. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa National Park one of Zambia’s hidden gems with an abundance of elephants. The best time to visit is, July to November, when elephants congregate the dwindling bodies of water.

  1. Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

If you’re on your way to the Serengetior the Ngorongoro Crater, stop at the Tarangire National Park during the dry season when its large population of African elephant make their way to the Tarangire River.

  1. Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Most accommodations along the Zambezi River overlook the high concentration of elephant that congregate around the meandering bends. Relax in your room perched among the trees and watch the elephants drink and play.

  1. Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Mombo Camp is nicknamed “The Place of Plenty”, suggesting the large herds of wild elephants that can be encountered at close range.

We would love to hear from you where you have seen the mighty elephant and which was your favourite experience.

Our Pick of the Best Tented Camps in Africa

If you feel that you’re too old to pitch a tent but want to live your dream of camping in the great outdoors, luxury safari tented camps offer guests the comfort and service of five-star lodging while allowing you to spend your nights sleeping under the stars. Enjoy walking in nature, going on game drives and spotting wildlife or simply immerse yourself in a good book on your private deck; and spend your nights under canvas, in a furnished private tent amongst the trees. Staying on the bend of

Here are our favourite six luxury tented camps located in beautiful sceneries, each featuring luxurious amenities such as romantic claw-foot baths, outdoor showers, and private swimming pools.

Ngala Tented Camp– Timbavati Private Game Reserve

Ngala’s tented camp evokes the romance and spirit of the African wild. It combines the extravagant appointments of a five-star lodge with the wilderness immersion that a canvas tent allows. Each of the nine tents are raised on decks allowing for unfettered views over the lawns and onto the dry Timbavati River where elephant, bush buck and buffalo bulls are frequent visitors.

Elephant Camp– Zimbabwe

The 12 tented suites blend into the Zimbabwean wild, conjuring an era of Victorian frontier camping – crystal glasses, white canvas, leather luggage and wooden trunks – but with an unsurpassed level of modern luxury. The airy and spacious, lounge, bedroom and bathroom all look out north over the Masuwe River and east to the cliffs of the Zambezi gorge.

Bateleur Camp– Kenya

Recently refurbished with all the latest deluxe comforts, Bateleur Camp is even more inviting than it’s ever been before. The two camps of nine suites each, boast polished wooden floors, vintage carpets and exquisite furniture ensuring a stately yet welcoming feel. A cosy central fireplace sits at the heart of the twenties style sitting room, scattered with delicate ivory lamps, substantial tree trunk stools, lanterns, old English portraits, classic suitcases, tartan throw pillows and soft delicate mohair blankets.

Alex Walker’s Serian– Tanzania

Stepping into the main tent is like walking into your lounge at home. It’s laid back, relaxed and down to earth, slowing you down to the pace of the natural world around you. With no more than six tents in each camp, it is intimate, quiet and peaceful. Sit in the lounge, put your feet up and investigate some of the old classic coffee table books, have a game of solitaire or try your hand at some sketching.

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp– Tanzania

The ten en-suite tents are tucked into the shade of an evergreen forest on the banks of a tributary of the famous Grumeti River. From buffalos, to lions, to hyenas, to baboons you are fully immersed in the sounds and goings on of the animals surrounding you. From your own private patio watch the game drinking, the colubus monkeys playing or the sunbirds, kingfishers and starlings darting around in their daily routines.

Zarafa Dhow Suites Villa

Zarafa Dhow Suites – Botswana

The Zarafa Dhow Suites offer a lavish experience in the Okavango Delta. At this remote location you are able to ‘unplug’ and reconnect with nature, while still feeling totally at ease and luxuriated.

Immerse yourself in nature and have an authentic wilderness experience without compromising the comforts of luxury accommodations. Wherever you decide to visit, you are promised extraordinary views with stylish but classical décor and impeccable service. Don’t hesitate to tick off another bucket-list experience, enquire about one of our tented camps here.

Where to Safari – East or Southern Africa?

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

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Click on the links below to see our top accommodation 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.

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

Gorilla Treks Rwanda Uganda Iconic Africa

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!

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

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
  • 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 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 accommodations in Southern Africa:

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

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

Zambia– Trekking, Lake Malawi, adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Devils Pool, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Batoka Gorge.

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.

Why Go for a Private Guide?

A private guided safari is without a doubt the best way to experience Africa’s bush and wildlife. Guests can enjoy a holistic experience with our lodges and camps’ excellent teams of specialist guides who will assist you with not only planning your dream game drives but also guiding you throughout the journey to ensure that your wildlife experience is everything you ever dreamed of!

Most camps and lodges organise game drives with between 4 and 6 guests to a vehicle. While sharing your experiences with other guests is a great way to meet fellow travellers and often great fun, it is also possible to request the ‘exclusive-use’ of a vehicle and a private guide for all or part of your stay.  This can be very appealing to guests who have very specific interests or simply wish to prioritise the flexibility and exclusivity of their day.

Here are our top reasons to choose a private guided safari:

All of our destinations offer the finest qualified and experienced private guides in the industry, adding immeasurable value to your safari. Most countries in Africa have a formal qualification requirement which is extremely rigorous, and ensures top quality guiding.

From the moment you arrive, your private guide will be there to make sure you don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying your time in Africa’s great outdoors. You can customise your game drives to specific areas you wish to visit and your guide will help you to maximise the sighting and photographic possibilities.

You’ll build up a wonderful relationship with your private guide, as they share the incredible knowledge, stories and experiences with you. Your private guide will become familiar with your interests, what you’ve already seen and what you want to see, maximising your time in the bush.

On a private guided safari, you won’t have to share your guide’s knowledge and passion – special attributes that add a unique touch to your experience.  This one-on-one time accompanied by your guide’s deep understanding will open your eyes to a world you never knew existed. You will learn more than on any other type of holiday – that’s for sure!

Your private guide is also available to you throughout the day for any questions or to help with editing the day’s photographs. Whatever your level of photography is, you can be assured of leaving your safari with new skills, techniques and inspiration.

Whether your focus is on wildlife photography or an interpretive game drive, your private guide will make your days more relaxed, memorable and informative, but leave you wanting more. You will also no doubt make a life-long friend in your guide.

Rebuild of Jao Camp, Botswana

From waterways to unbroken grasslands, Jao Camp is located perfectly on a remote island in one of the most picturesque concessions in the Delta that provides guests with both land and aquatic experiences. Here, all your dreams become possible at this luxurious property intelligently designed to showcase Botswana’s exquisite beauty and show off the surrounding channels of incredible water, landscape and wildlife.

And because this property is so special to us, we are delighted to announce that the rebuild and complete transformation of this gem set in the heart of the Okavango will be completed later this year and due to open 1 June 2019.

The new Jao Camp will remain raised on the existing wooden decking built into the tree canopy. Guests can still completely disconnect from the world below and immerse in this magical wildernesswith more private areas created in amongst the trees.

The spa at Jao will be tucked in amongst the balmy leaves for privacy, and is surrounded by water to provide a calming and tranquil atmosphere. The gym will be thoughtfully placed on the edge of the island, offering breath-taking views over the lush water, while the main pool shaded by a canopy will project out into the floodplain with 270-degree views of the Delta.

Jao camp will introduce two new villas, each accommodating up to four people, and will feature a private vehicle, guide, chef and butler. The other five twin accommodations will boast private plunge pools, lounge and dining areas, kitchen facilities, and exquisite indoor and outdoor showers. A colour palette will reflect and incorporate a unique botanical theme throughout with special emphasis placed on the water lily.

Cathy Kays, co-owner of the Jao Reserve shows the camps commitment to be as eco-sensitive as possible with the introduction of Climate Wizard, self-igniting Calore stoves and great use of natural lighting.

The lead architects Lead architects, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, who designed the original Jao in 1999 have approached the rebuild 18 years later with an approach to keep Jao Camp’s sense of adventure, element of surprise and delight. Until June 2019 – watch this space!

Southern Africa’s ‘Green’ Season

If you’ve set out on safari before, you’ll know that Africa’s traditional safari season begins in the southern hemisphere’s winter months, – just when European and North American holiday-makers are on their summer breaks.

This means that Africa’s peak season runs from July to September, which is ideal for most travellers. But this also means that Africa’s ‘green’ season is often overlooked. Between November and April, traditional ‘safari hotspots’ experience a rainy summer. With luscious landscapes and quiet accommodations, this could actually be the perfect time for that luxury trip to the bush. During this ‘green’ season, the chances of having uninterrupted views and endless sightings of wildlife all to yourself are good. By March most of the summer ‘safari hotspots’ move towards the end of the heavy rain period making it a pleasant time for travel.

Summer rain also brings about an abundance of migratory birds visiting from the North and resident birds preparing to breed making it perfect for avid bird-watchers; there’s copious flora; thriving bugs and the short rainstorms make way for clear skies and cloud formations that present beautiful sunsets. Summer brings about new life from impala to elephants which also mean the bush is filled with predatory activity.

Some of our top southern safari hotspots that experience refreshing summer rains are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania.  Here is our list of seven summer safari destinations that will definitely add significant value to your experience:

Victoria Falls remains a top bucket-list destination perfect for year-round travel with heaps of local activities.

Chobe is an hour’s drive from Victoria Falls and offers spectacular elephant sightings.

The Central Kalahari is at its finest from December to April.

The Okavango Delta is excellent year-round.

Cape Town’s peak season is during the warm and clear summer months and is easily combined with other safari hotspots.

Tanzania’s Serengeti is at its peak once the rains have fallen. The new-born wildlife is thriving and the area is carpeted in luscious grass.

From October to April, Uganda is set apart from any other African safari destination with its diverse bird habitats.

Book your next safari trip in March when there is little rain and there is an increase in game sightings. It’s a quiet time of the year in the bush and you will hopefully miss the crowds. For more on the exquisite destinations we recommend in the above destinations contact us here. 

Property of the Month – Selinda Explorers Camp

Perched along the famous Selinda Spillway, this month’s property of the month offers an authentic classical safari that will have you feeling like a true explorer from a bygone time. Selinda Explorers Camp combines a modern twist to the essence of pioneering, creating this luxury under canvas that’s set in the shade of the riverine forest.

Canoeing Selinda Explorers Camp

Grabbing our attention for this month’s property of the month is the distinct comforts that define luxury safari and authentic experiences immersed in wilderness, disconnected from the rest of the world and completely comfortable the way the first explorers did it.

When you’re in the bush and want authenticity and luxury to coincide, you head Selinda Explorers Camp and ask for a brass hip bath to be set up for you in a quiet spot on the sandy banks of the Selinda Spillway.

Selinda Explorers Camp Swims in Selinda Spillway Botswana Safari

Or perhaps cool down in the clear waters of the spillway and ask your guide to keep watch while you enjoy a refreshing swim.

Selinda Explorers Camp Botswana

Where else in Africa will you enjoy sundowners after exhilarating game drives, guided walks and wildlife canoeing other than at one of Botswana’s secret hideaways.

There is no better way to experience the unsullied waters of the Selinda Spillway than from the silence of a canoe drifting with the current. Once again, accompanied by a highly-experienced guide, an evening paddle might afford you views of buffalo, roan or sable drinking at the water’s edge. You will be enthralled by the egrets, kingfishers, herons and jacanas hunting from reed perches, hopping across the lilies and waiting patiently in the shallows as the African sun disappears in a blaze of crimson.

Selinda-Game-Reserve-Bush-Dinner-Selinda-Camp

 

Travel back in time under pioneer canvas, outfitted with the finest leather and wood…

The Selinda Explorers Camp is chic, basic and beautiful. The four private tents are settled in the deep shade of giant Mangosteen and Jackalberry trees. The camp rests on the ancient Kalahari sands allowing you to feel the throb of wild Africa while the décor and appointments conjure an era of opulent exploration. You will recline on campaign furniture and inhale the glorious, herb-scented Selinda air. Your personal effects will live in vintage trunks and your hot water will arrive in copper kettles. The bathrooms are completed with flush loos and open-air showers with plenty of hot and cold water.

When you are not in your tent, you might be indulging in a gin and tonic from the comfort of a huge cushion, set on the Arabian rugs of the main tent. As the African night builds you could be dining on simple yet stunning cuisine by the light of a brass lantern or relaxing around the fire, contemplating the day’s adventures with a single malt, dancing gold in the firelight through a crystal tumbler.

Why wait to experience such splendid adventure in the finest comforts, find out more now!

What to Expect from a Night Game Drive

If you have ever been on safari before, you would surely have experienced the wonders of sighting all sorts of wildlife. But you may not have had the chance to go on a thrilling night game drive. A night game drive is a whole experience on its own and completely different to a day safari.

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At private game reserves, there are usually three guided game drives every day. Each unique in its sightings, the first departs before sunrise, another takes place midday and the last drive is usually before sunset or after dinner, returning after nightfall.

You may want to start the game drive before sundown and enjoy the last light in the bush over a glass of bubbly, cold beer, a delicious G&T or with a light picnic basket and return in time for dinner. Or perhaps have an early dinner and leave after sunset to observe the nocturnal activities of Africa’s most sought-after wildlife and small animals in complete darkness. Twilight is considered the best time to track and observe nocturnal animals and in some parks and reserves, night-drives can last long into the night.

Get your heart pumping from the sheer thrill and excitement as an unknown nocturnal world awaits you. Your guide will help you find the smallest of creatures to well-known big cats and share their knowledge of their behaviour. A  spotlight is attached to a safari vehicle and an animal-friendly red filter light is used to spot the eyes of shy wildlife that are hiding in the dark. Ask your guide if the sighting is a predator or prey from the colour of the eyes…

As with day game drives, you may be driving for a long time before you spot an animal, but when you do, it will be a moment you will never forget as most big predators do their hunting at night. And if you don’t have any explosive sightings, there is nothing more magical than listen to the sounds of nature in the dead of night with no distractions for miles.

Don’t forget that being comfortable on your night game drive is as important as on your day drives as they can last for hours. We suggest having a warm layer for the late evening, a warm hat or beanie, and a good camera with a spare pack of batteries, just in case – even though night photography is very difficult to get right.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa ZebrasMany would expect to see the obvious game such as hippo, rhino, zebras, or even a big cat on the hunt. But keep your eyes peeled for the occasional bushbaby, chameleon, aardvark or leopard too.

 

 

To get the best quality pictures that does justice to the breath-taking evening scenes and nocturnal sightings, make sure you bring along the necessary camera equipment and lenses and ask your guide how to overcome poor lighting.

For more of the incredible African adventures that await you click here.

 

Iconic Africa’s Ultimate 2019 Bucket-List

2018 took us to some breathtaking destinations so choosing our favourites for you has not been easy. We hope this inspires you to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime safari, African romance or island getaway! From heaven in the tropics to awe-inspiring wildlife experiences, unforgettable adventures and cultural immersions, it all starts here, now.  Click on the link below to scroll through our top destinations for 2019! The magic of Africa awaits you…

Iconic Africa Bucket List 2019

For any questions or queries please contact us here. 

Property of the Month – Duba Plains

Grab a window seat and fasten your seatbelt as we transport you to this month’s property of the month – Duba Plains. Nestled on an island in the far northern stretch of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, this tasteful and luxurious camp is surrounded by clear channels, filtered pure by the Kalahari sands, and can only be reached by light aircraft.

The legendary Duba Plains is celebrated for its remote location and exclusive wildlife encounters. Founders and pioneering filmmakers Dereck and Beverly speak of Duba Plains as home – the very essence of wild, untrammelled Africa at its most exciting. Guests feel at home too which is a testament to the tasteful and sophisticated luxury offered.

Stay in one of six gorgeously appointed Meru style tents that have been erected on a private raised deck. Here you are afforded breathtaking views out over the plains and shaded by an African giant that has called this magnificent wilderness home for hundreds of years. The décor is simple and sophisticated with elegant rugs and cushions of ochre and deep blue paying tribute to Arabia and the east. These tended suites with a romantic open-air shower give safari a new luxury definition and ensure your living experience is nothing short of comfortable, homely and extravagant.

But Duba Plains has more to offer than quaint accommodations and spectacular views… This is your chance to watch the epic and ceaseless battle between the lions and buffalo of the Duba Plains that makes this an essential destination for the discerning naturalist and safari enthusiast.

African adventure will permeate your being from time out with the lions and buffalo to reading about them in the stately leather lounge or dining on the deck suspended over the crystal channel.

The lions of Duba Plains are some of the largest left in Africa and they owe their size to a diet largely consisting of buffalo meat. The huge herds of buffalo are hunted remorselessly by the prides – equally at home in the water or on land. Your chances of seeing an interaction between these two African icons is excellent because the prides of Duba usually hunt in broad daylight.

The exclusive nature of the camp means that you can tailor your activities in the wild to suit you or the movements of the animals. Try unwinding with a mokoro trip on the Okavango channels or explore an island on foot before picnicking in the shade of a huge fig tree. We recommend sundowner drinks on a flat-bottomed boat while the hippos emerge for the night.

For more on this sensational property and our other favourite gems in Botswana click here.

Traveller Review – Bob and Judy Sell

Bob and Judy Sell have returned from a whirling trip around Southern Africa – from Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp to Victoria Falls and Londolozi – and have captured their trip in detail for us. With great planning came a delightful vacation that satisfied all their requests and so much more. Already planning another visit to Africa again, this experience was truly a trip of a lifetime for this wonderful couple.

Beginning their journey in Windhoek, Namibia, Bob and Judy changed up the traditional Johannesburg-layover most travellers choose. Flying on a small plane, it was a great way to move on and not lose time on the things they wanted to see.

“It was a good change to add getting to Windhoek on our first night in Africa rather than staying in Johannesburg for 24 hours to catch an early morning flight. It was a great idea to spend a night here to reduce the next day’s journey, allowing us to adjust to the time difference and prepare for all the safaris in front of us.”

Scroll down to read snippets from their travel diary…

A big thank you to Bob and Judy for sharing this with us – we look forward to having you back on African soil soon.

HOANIB SKELETON COAST CAMP

This was our request, and this camp didn’t disappoint.  It truly was worth spending three nights here. The all-day trip to the coast was the highlight – seeing so many different environments in a matter of hours. This was a great start to our visit and a nice introduction to camps in Africa and game drives.

ONGAVA TENTED CAMP

A great location overlooking a watering hole that attracts various game all day.  Solomon, our guide took us out to Etosha National Park which was one of the highlights! We viewed the watering hole there for over an hour, seeing all sorts of game come and go.  It seemed like each species had a reservation – as the zebra would go, the springbok would follow, and then the wildebeest, etc.

OLD DRIFT LODGE

The camp is recently opened and very relaxing. The staff was great, the food fantastic, and the rooms beyond expectation.  Being on the river it was great that we could just walk down to the dock, get on their private pontoon boats, and enjoy evening water safaris and sunset cruise with no crowd.

VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT

Victoria Falls Airport is a new and lovely airport.  We took a Wilderness Air flight to Botswana.

DUMA TAU CAMP

We had a great visit in Botswana.  Our guide, Mocks, was one of the best we had on our trip. A highlight was our afternoon boat cruise, where we watched a huge herd of elephants cross the river.  The food was excellent, the staff was friendly, and the animal viewing was great.  Above all, Mocks was a terrific guy who took us to see unique sightings in the area, including watching wild dogs on a hunt, sunset over the water while we watched water buffalo roam.

Vumbura Plains Sunsets

LITTLE VUMBURA

This unique camp is situated on an island.  The water around the area in the delta made the difference. We did three activities, all unique.  The first was a boat safari thought the delta, appreciating the birds and foliage of the area.  In the morning we went on a game drive – driving through water covered roads was unique, and the sightings were great.  The Mokoro trip was unique and enjoyable – it was so peaceful in the water. Food was good, and trip was overall enjoyable.

QUEEN VICTORIA HOTEL

We were pleasantly upgraded to the Manor House adjacent to the hotel.  We were given a suite with butler service – an unexpected pleasure. The location is great, just a short walk to the Waterfront area, yet away from the noise of the busy streets. The hotel was superb, the room great, and the restaurant excellent.

CAPE TOWN

The boat trip to see the seals; the drive to the Cape of Good Hope; the trip to the penguin colony; the visit to the Natural History Museum, and the golf cart tour of the gardens – all made the trip to Cape Town a wonderful experience. We really enjoyed the Mother City.

ROVOS RAIL    

Talk about a first class experience, this was it.  It was great having two comfortable chairs where we could watch the scenery without having to go to the lounge or observation cars.  The meals were all elegant and tasteful.  The stops were popular; one of them being at the Big Hole which was worthwhile seeing – especially learning about the area’s diamond trade history.  This was a wonderful luxury experience.

LONDOLOZI

They say you should save the best for last, and that truly was our case.  Our stay at Varty Camp was a true highlight (though we enjoyed every camp and game drive, this was just the best).  Nick and Ray, the ranger and tracker, made a great team and insured that we saw everything we wanted, and more.  From finding a leopard three times, to tracking a male lion for well over an hour, to all the other game sightings (and there were many), it was fantastic.  The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful; it felt like you were welcomed into their home. The “tent” was fantastic, with a comfortable bed, air conditioning, and a great porch to sit on in our spare time with a private pool.  The meals were great too!  If (when) we travel back, this location will definitely be on our “do-it-again” list.

Londolozi Tree Camp Deck Iconic Africa Safaris