2020 Top Travel Trends 

A lot can happen in a year – this is certainly true in travel trends across the world. Most of them for the better – such as more family vacations, reducing carbon footprints and taking things down a notch with the concept of ‘slow travel’. We bring you the 8 latest travel trends expected for the coming year as people transcend their comfort zone and prioritise international vacations…

 

Sustainable Travel in 2020 

This is the year where travellers and operators become increasingly conscious of their impact on the earth. With the growing concern of climate change, decreasing numbers of wildlife and community sustainability, Africa not only offers some of the world’s most pristine, untouched areas, but is active in the initiative to preserve these. This year the focus continues on conserving the land, the wildlife and local communities. This is the new standard within the safari industry without compromising luxury as seen at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Almost a year old, Singita Kwitonda Lodge was designed in response to this purpose and its remarkable location offering environmentally-conscious luxury. 

Multiple Countries 

More travellers are spending less time in one country and coupling it with two additional countries to explore. They are looking at more cross-country tours that have short connecting flights and different experiences. 

andbeyond-chobe-under-canvas-game_drive-sunset

Culinary Adventures

While most travellers have previously considered accommodation, tourist attractions and transport; food and wine have become the deciding factor in many recent travel choices. Tasty local food and house wines are essential to planning a trip and more cooking classes, local dining and fresh produce markets will be booked and visited as part of the experience. This year travellers will go beyond 5-star restaurants and instead pre-book more authentic foodie tours. If you’re heading to Cape Town – Franschhoek should definitely be on your to-see list as this culinary capital surely knows how to tantalise tastebuds. 

Group Travel 

Taking heed from the solo travel trend, travellers are looking for people with the same interests to experience a country in a group. This offers the opportunity to meet new people who want to connect with like-minded individuals in a safe environment. Because of this, there is an increase in female-only travel groups and buddymoons and group bookings for friend-adventures. 

Slow Travel 

More of an antidote to the craze of every day, an increasing number of tourists are getting away to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul rather than tick off an action-packed itinerary that leaves little time for reflection. Some of the top activities being booked are bicycle trips through mountains and vineyards, visiting local markets and spending time in small towns such as Franschhoek. Others will opt for horseback rides or village tours that will keep them occupied and relaxed while escaping the reality they have momentarily left behind. 

Milestone Celebrations

More families and friends are booking out entire accommodations for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions. This is particularly the case with luxury safari destinations such as the Kruger National Park and Botswana. 

All about Aesthetic

When you step into an architectural masterpiece, you know it and it leaves you speechless for your entire stay. Increased bookings are based on the sensory overload of the accommodation such as Baraza, Tanzania where you will spend your free time taking in every little detail from the oriental-inspired pool courtyard to the carefully-chosen interior and decor. 

Zimbabwean Travel Back on the Maps 

Travellers are flocking to Zimbabwe as it has re-emerged as a top safari destination attracting even more tourists in 2020. Best known for its plethora of adrenalin activities and the majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much to offer – from romance to world-class game viewing and superb service.

Seize the day in 2020 and book your African adventure here and now!

The Western Cape – A guide to good food and wine

The Cape is known for its magnificent mountains, amazing scenery, gorgeous blue oceans, rich history, and, of course, its first-class wines and delicious food. We’ve compiled a list of our four favourite restaurants in the Cape that combine delectable food and award-winning wine.

Franschhoek Kitchen

If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town, it is essential to visit the Cape Winelands. Franschhoek is our absolute favourite wine district. We recommend visiting the Franschhoek kitchen at the Holden Manz winery. It has been rated as one of the leading restaurants in Franschhoek and it is regarded as one of South Africa’s culinary hotspots. 

The restaurant is the perfect place to relax and enjoy bistro-style food made from delicious, locally sourced ingredients. Because they are a sustainability farm, they emphasise seasonal ingredients which means that their menu changes regularly. Franschhoek Kitchen also provides beautifully presented picnic baskets filled with absolutely delicious and fresh treats, so that you can enjoy a long summer afternoon resting by the picturesque Franschhoek River. You will also have a chance to try their beautifully fragrant Rosé, their barrel-fermented Chardonnay, and their decadent port-style wines.

Fyndraai Restaurant

At the 320-year-old Solms-Delta estate, you will discover the Fyndraai Restaurant—a restaurant that offers traditional Cape cuisine with a contemporary twist. The dishes aim to promote the assorted culinary heritage of the Cape, and you will therefore find that the dishes showcase European, Asian, and African flavours. Many of the rare and indigenous herbs are grown on the farm. You can opt for the tasty, four-course heritage menu, or you can choose to have a wine pairing menu that lets guests sample six glasses of the estate’s wines and six tasty tapas. The estate also allows guests to picnic on its grounds, and the Fyndraai Restaurant creates delicious picnic hampers for its guests.

Greenhouse (Constantia)

If classic elegance is what you’re after, we suggest visiting the Greenhouse. The cuisine is created by the famous Peter Tempelhoff who emphasises the importance of complementary tastes and aromas. For these chefs, ingredients must have meaning and purpose, and they aim to showcase the beauty of South Africa through their cooking. The menu also features some of the best wines from Constantia, and the restaurant pairs its wines beautifully. Greenhouse welcomes new Head Chef, Farrel Hirsch to its kitchen as of November 2018, and can look forward to Hirsch’s flair for innovation and fresh flavours. 

La Colombe

La Colombe is certainly worth a visit if you want to treat yourself to the ultimate fine dining experience. This spectacular restaurant earned its place among the top 100 restaurants in the world in 2016. The restaurant is situated at the Silvermist wine estate on top of Constantia Nek and it has magnificent views of Constantia Valley and Hout Bay. The chefs use ingredients that are sourced from the restaurant’s own organic gardens and therefore, the menu is also a seasonal one. Each dish is perfectly and beautifully presented, and the vibrant colours and flavours of the dishes combine together to create a unique cuisine adventure. The menu pays tribute to deliciously fresh seafood which is an absolute treat when you’re dining in the Cape.

Complete your safari with tasty food, plated beautifully, overlooking breath-taking views the next time you’re in Cape Town.

48 Hours in Cape Town

Many travellers think that the highlight of Cape Town is the many beautiful vineyards that surround the outer lying areas. While visiting the wineries and sipping on South Africa’s local red’s and whites is a definite must-do, there is so much more to this coastal city than relaxing above rolling hills in the country. The city centre has everything from fun on the beach, hiking and kite-surfing to shopping and dining all within a short distance drive from each other. 

Here are a few tips for what to do, where to shop and where to eat if you only have 48 hours to absorb everything Cape Town has to offer. 

 

What to Do

Robben Island Museum

After a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Robben Island Museum, where former President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison during apartheid, reopened to the public in 1997. Take a ferry from a waterfront terminal to what used to be the island’s maximum-security prison, where they see Mandela’s cell. Here you will also be able to see the African penguin and herds of springbok. 

Table Mountain National Park 

Take the cable car up to the often-foggy top of Table Mountain. This expansive flat surface is the Table Mountain National Park, which dominates this city’s every vista. The aerial cableway reaches the top in five minutes or hike this magnificent mountain via the steep path all the way to the summit. Once there, replenish at the Table Mountain Café. 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens 

At the foot of Table Mountain and covering more than 1,235 acres, the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden was the first garden devoted to indigenous flora. This garden also has several easy-to-follow trails that wind through fynbos and forest and even end up at the top of Table Mountain. In summer, evening concerts and open-air cinema screenings bring out residents and tourists in droves.

Where to Shop

Green Market Square

Situated in the CBD, on a tree-shaded, cobbled square in the business district, this open-air market has aisles packed with jewellery, textiles, paintings, and curiosities from every corner of South Africa. Listen to local musicians play as you browse and shop.  

 

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront 

This is Cape Town’s most popular shopping centre. Surrounded by sea-views, a harbour, exclusive restaurants and world-class shopping with more than 450 retail outlets. Check out the Victorian Gothic-style clock tower and then catch a ride on the 131-foot-high observation wheel.

 

Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village

Surrounding an outdoor courtyard in the chic Green Point neighbourhood, the Quarter sells contemporary African crafts, locally designed fashions, and home decor. It is designed in the Cape Malay architectural style influenced by the area’s Dutch settlers, with dark beams and multicoloured facades.

 

The Red Shed Craft Workshop

Located on the V&A Waterfront, this experience provides an alternative to mall shopping. Browse stalls for recycled-glass vases, antique silver jewellery from Ethiopia, and hand-painted cushions in safari animal shapes.

 

Where to Eat

Long Street

Long Street is the hub of the CBD where all the tourists flock to for the vibrant nightlife. Here you will find one-of-a-kind shops and eateries in every price range, open until early morning. The menu at Long Street Café, located in a former bookstore offers a diverse range from Thai wraps to waffles and ice cream. 

 

Lola

Down the street, Lola’s has a wide range of meals from sweet corn fritters, anchovies on toast to steamed west coast mussels. 

 

Camps Bay Retreat

If you’re spending a day to the beach or heading for a Sunday Drive past the sandy beaches, plan to stop at Camps Bay Retreat. They hold a traditional South African braai (barbecue) on Wednesdays and Saturdays amid impeccable lawns, herb gardens, and restored fynbos. Or stopover for some fresh scones while taking in the view. 

Roundhouse 

A repurposed former 1786 guard station now features contemporary South African cuisine and a long wine list. If you’re looking for something more casual with a great view, try the Rumbullion. They serve picnic-style breakfasts and lunch pizzas with expansive views of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain range.

 

La Perla 

Marlene Dietrich once ate here, and this Sea Point spot has become a local legend since opening in 1959. Stick to the fresh seafood, and request a seat on the recently refurbished terrace, a popular spot for “sundowners”.

For more on the magnificent Mother City and our best spots to stay there click here

Shipping South African Wine Back Home 

If you’re heading to South Africa on a romantic wine tasting tour of the gorgeous vineyards, the magic doesn’t have to end at your departure. Return home with boutique bottles of white wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc or Chardonnay; or perhaps Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux Blend. 

Before arriving in South Africa, find out from each vineyard you plan on visiting if they courier wines overseas. When shipping liquid gold such as fine wines, you need a solid partner to rely on to make sure your precious cargo arrives back home in tip-top shape. This way you’ll know which one to buy from and in most cases, it will be best to take it from the last vineyard you visit (especially if they can ship it home for you). 

Most Vineyards and estates are committed to finding you the best temperature-controlled end-to-end transport solutions. If the winery doesn’t have their own distribution system, perhaps they have a trader in the U.S. or U.K. 

Keep in mind that if the wineries you visit do not ship, and have no international traders, you can put it in cargo on your flight. Check the recommendations for transporting wine back home with the vintner and if the airline can accommodate this. Remember to check the shipping/customs/duty costs for small (unaccompanied) quantities. 

Alternatively, if you don’t want to ship from multiple vineyards (as some may ship their wine only), you can visit the duty-free shopping on Cape Town or Johannesburg Airport. You’ll find a good selection of quality South African wines. If you want to carry this back home per the duty-free liquor allowance, inquire about the TSA guidelines regarding alcohol limitations in checked-in luggage. 

*Check to see if each bottle is under 24% alcohol by volume. 

If you haven’t found the perfect bottle of wine to take home for yourself or as the perfect gift, or want to avoid a logistical nightmare, visit online wine stores that ship overseas such as SA Wines Online or Southern Wines

South Africa is particularly proud of its local wines. With a growing wine industry that attracts visitors from around the world, the number and quality of wines keep increasing and is made available at restaurants and safari lodges all over the country. This not only means you can try it wherever you go on your safari, but your favourite may not be from a particular vineyard you visit, and you can buy it anywhere along the way if you find that the vendor ships across continents. The hosts will be more than happy to help you find wine merchants who import their wine or are carriers. 

5 Iconic Destinations – Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour

Discover everything Africa has to offer with this month’s tour of the month. Visit a land of unchartered beauty and experiences, from Londolozi – a place consistently voted amongst the world’s best to an awe-inspiring natural wonder of the world! 

The Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour takes you to five Iconic destinations including Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Victoria Falls and Botswana. 

Iconic Africa has crafted the perfect mix. You’ll begin your trip in the Cape of South Africa at the Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city and then visit La Residence perched on the slopes of the Franschhoek Valley on the world’s most beautiful wine-lands. From there you will travel to the magnificent Londolozi Founders Camp in the exquisite Sabi Sands and then on to Zambia where you will experience the majesty of Victoria Falls from The Royal Livingstone and lastly to Jao Camp in the midst the wilderness wonderland of the Okavango Delta. See the full itinerary below.

THE CAPE GRACE

Cape Town

  • Cape Grace is in the ideal position for you to enjoy all the enchantments of the Mother City including the harbour, yacht basin and Table Mountain.
  • The Cape Grace offers various choices of expansive, luxurious suites and rooms to suit all needs.
  • You are guaranteed to the ultimate opulence.
  • The African Spa offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon.
  • Boasting endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean

FRANSCHHOEK – LA RESIDENCE

Cape Winelands

  • La Residence is part of the world-beating Royal Portfolio.
  • It brings with it all the luxury, service excellence, scrumptious cuisine and tasteful décor that have become synonymous with this great brand.
  • The hotel is set on an exclusive 30-acre estate surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards with the breath-taking views of the Franschhoek valley beyond.
  • Each suite is an individual masterpiece of sophistication and opulence and filled with original art, antiques and freshly cut flowers.
  • From this spectacular boutique hotel, you can explore the valley, the surrounding farms or cosmopolitan Cape Town further afield.

Accommodation: La Residence

LONDOLOZI FOUNDERS CAMP

Sabi Sands

  • In Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014, Londolozi was named the best hotel in the world!
  • It effortlessly exceeds all expectations on a luxury, hospitality, wilderness and experiential front
  • Londolozi is a feeling, you simply must visit to experience it for yourself.
  • Londolozi Founders Camp is one of Londolozi’s five intimate camps, set under a lush riverine canopy of Jackalberry trees and dotted along the banks of the Sand River.
  • Nestled at the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve lies Londolozi whose pristine river frontage positioning affords it an abundance of wildlife which has made Londolozi infamous for its incredible game viewing.

VICTORIA FALLS – ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls

  • The Royal Livingstone is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.
  • It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm.
  • The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the Zambezi.
  • Endless adventures and activities to explore.
  • One of the best sundowner spots as dusk turns the fall’s mist a golden pin

THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA – WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Botswana

  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena which supports an intimidating diversity of iconic African wildlife.
  • Wilderness Safaris pioneered luxury safaris in this patchwork water wonderland with either water or land-based camps.
  • At Jao you might spend a full day out on a mokoro (dugout canoe) enjoying a picnic on an island in the shade of an ancient fig tree.
  • All the way through your Okavango escapade, you will enjoy delicious cuisine prepared by the dedicated staff at Wilderness Safaris.

Accommodation: Jao Camp

Our Favourite South African Hiking Trails

South Africa is a top safari and tourist destination for many reasons: the great weather, beautiful landscapes, plethora of activities and the breath-taking hiking trails for the avid hiker to the less enthusiastic walker who is simply looking for a great backdrop. 

Each one of South Africa’s trails beckons travellers with unimaginable vistas; from seaside mountain tops to in-land reserves and magical forest trails. At least one of these picturesque paths will satisfy even the most insatiable nature-enthusiast. 

Most safaris let you explore by vehicle or even horseback – but what better way than by foot. Brush up against rugged mountain or unspoiled wilderness on your next trip! We’ve put together our top 10 hiking trails with a little bit of ocean breeze, wildlife sightings and forest thickets for you here: 

Lions Head – One of the best places to see the sunrise and sunset. 

Hennops Trail Just 40 minutes from Johannesburg is the beautiful Hennops Trail that has streams along the way. There are two main hikes that takes you along hills with beautiful views. Cool off in the swimming pool after. 

Table Mountain’s Three Peaks – For the more avid, hard-core adventurists, this 9-hour hike will have you breaking a sweat. Starting at Devil’s Peak, move along the saddle up to Maclear’s Beacon, then down Kloof Corner to Lion’s Peak. If you aren’t scared of heights, then it’s hard to imagine a more exciting hike. 

Addo National Park – there are two hikes, one-day trails and a two-day hike along the coast. Both are beautiful and memorable. 

Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail – This coastal trail is a magical secret of the garden route. Cross various ridges and rivers and covers 64 kilometres before reaching Storms River Bridge.

The Otter Trail –  The Otter Trail is one of South Africa’s most famous hikes, and takes you through coastal forest, river crossings, and breathtaking viewpoints. Bookings open a year in advance – and sell out quickly. 

Hole in the Wall Hiking Trail – The Eastern Cape boasts a 31 kilometre distinctly memorable hiking experience that covers a combination of estuaries, mangrove swamps and seaside cliffs. The Wild Coast’s luxury trail can be completed over three days and is a bucket-list activity for all seaside lovers. 

Olifantsbos Shipwrecks hiking Trail – This is one of the Western Cape’s easier routes that cover a 5-kilometre distance. The short and sweet trail costs R110 and takes you through the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

Magiebaskloof Hiking Trail – This moderate trail is a beautiful way of seeing Limpopo’s ravines and sub-tropical forests. The full trail is almost 60 kilometres but shorter routes are optional. Forget the outside world under the canopy of trees and prepare for some light rain. 

Dolphin Hiking Trail – This easy 17 kilometre is another wonderful luxury three-night hike based on full board. It’s less daunting than the famous Otter Trail but still takes you to the Storms River Bridge and many other striking landmarks along the route. Perhaps you will even see some dolphins along the way. 

 

If you’ve undertaken one of these trails, or dream of trying one soon – we hope this helps you with your hiking bucket list.

Property of the Month – One&Only Cape Town

In the heart of Cape Town, minutes away from the bustling Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, lies an oasis; a vibrant and sophisticated resort with unprecedented luxury. The hotel resembles an amphitheatre, surrounded and shaped by palm trees and romantic lighting.  

This is The One & Only Cape Town – a five-star escape that overlooks the mariner and offers panoramic views of Table Mountain. 

The name certainly speaks for itself as it really and truly is a wonder to behold. From The Bahamas to the Maldives the illustrious One & Only brand has taken the world by storm. With only the most impressive properties in the world’s most supreme locations, these exclusive resorts have one goal in mind to ensure that you, their prized guest “Live the Moment.” Each resort is individually designed and crafted to represent the distinctive life, energy and culture of its location.

Luxuriously Living the Cape

The One & Only Cape Town certainly ticks all of these boxes. Driving up to the ritzy, crescent-shaped palace with its fountains, columns, and grand entrance you certainly feel as though you have arrived into the lap of luxury and are in for some real spoiling! The high ceilings, massive glass frontages and never-ending Vista Lounge create the aura that this is your own little opulent savannah. 

Whether you are reclining on the fulsome armchairs, on the deck under the palms watching the stand-up paddleboards go by or relaxing at the infinity pool, there is no doubt that you will be in a very happy place! The One & Only is engineered for unprecedented luxury which will literally rejuvenate your soul from the moment you arrive.

Luxurious Suites

All 91 rooms have en suite bathrooms and private balconies with breath-taking views of the glorious Table Mountain. All are designed with chic African colours and contemporary patterns that represent the distinctive Cape landscape, are generous with space and filled with plush furnishings. Complete with every amenity you could possibly need as well as your very own 24-hour butler on standby, you will want for nothing. Treat yourself to an over-sized bubble bath with aromatherapy oils, or refreshing rain shower before ordering a private dinner and dine with the mid-blowing view on your balcony. Your dinner, inclusive of candles, flowers and music all organised by your expert butler will provide the finest romantic setting.

One and Only Cuisine

Five-star dining is also available downstairs and making a choice between the two amazing restaurants will be the most difficult decision you make during your stay. On the one hand, there is Reuben’s, run by South African Celebrity Chef Reuben Riffel, a bistro/brasserie that showcases some brilliant local flagship dishes. 

On the other hand, there is Nobu, a completely different yet equally as astonishing experience. World Class chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa’s empire will wow you with traditional Japanese-styled cuisine. With the occasional South African spice or flavour, the dishes will no doubt take you on an epic culinary journey. 

Don’t forget to take a visit up to the wine-loft after your dinner to take in the city lights and sample some of the region’s most prestigious vintages.

Recharge at the World-class spa

The perfect place for families and couples, everyone will find themselves drawn to the private island situated in the centre of the amphitheatre. Here you will find serenity in the middle of a busy city centre at the One & Only Spa, surrounded by water and lush vegetation. Book a massage, treatment or signature experience unique to the One & Only Spa. 

For more information about incorporating Cape Town into your safari itinerary, click here.

Tour of the Month – Safari and Island Retreat

This month’s tour of the month is the pinnacle of African luxury safaris. Submerge yourself in the binary of Cape Town’s city life with luxurious relaxation and a hive of activity; tick off a majestic wilderness experience from your bucket list, and then surrender yourself to the seaside simplicity as you spend your last days finding peace and serenity on a tropical island. 

The Safari and Island retreat is a wonderful way to experience the highlights of Southern Africa, from the bustling city adjacent to the Atlantic to Africa’s unprecedented wildlife in Londolozi and the hues of blue at Benguerra – all in ultimate comfort and luxury. 

 Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain offers a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. 

In between seaside splendour, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. 

Azura Benguerra, in the cobalt warm waters of the Indian Ocean, offers a new level of fresh sophistication, seclusion and serenity on pristine beaches and unspoilt reefs.

Itinerary:

Cape Cadogan is a 19th century Georgian and Victorian mansion in the leafy suburbs of Table Mountain. The More family’s luxury home away from home, an island of serenity in a city of splendour. The interiors are Bohemian chic with an emphasis on creating an informal atmosphere of sumptuous relaxation. Cape Town is filled with interesting cafés and fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches to explore.

Londolozi is a family-owned and run lodge at the forefront of luxury safaris and pioneer of ecotourism in South Africa. The three suites in this haven of primal seclusion and contemporary luxury are nestled into the boulders on the banks of the tranquil Sand River. The superbly chic and sumptuous suites are surrounded with glass with expansive private decks and large heated private pools. The culinary experience at Londolozi is one you will not forget – from your morning coffee to your starlit dinner and everything in between. Londolozi boasts some of the world’s best leopard viewing.

Azura Benguerra Island is an eco-friendly, locally built tropical island paradise. The 17 hand-built villas are steps from one of the last stretches of undiscovered beach in the world. Each secluded, spacious haven is nestled in lush gardens with a secluded deck, private pool, beach sala and private access to the balmy Indian Ocean. The food is simple, sophisticated, scrumptious and locally sourced from the ocean and gardens. Benguerra offers you the chance to do to as much or as little as you like – whether it’s a romantic picnic, snorkelling or game fishing there is something for everyone and lots of exquisite sea life to be seen.

For more information about this tour, contact one of our team members here.

A South African Braai – Explained

The 24th of September was Heritage Day! Last month saw locals celebrating their heritage, culture and diversity and this nation-building tool definitely involved scrumptious traditions such as a good old “lekker braai.”

If you’re heading to South Africa on safari this is definitely something to add to your bucket list. As South Africans, we find any opportunity and occasion to get together as friends and family and have a braai (also known as a barbecue.). This is a social time when we sit back, relax and indulge in some of the country’s meat cooked to perfection on a hot flame. 

What is a braai?

A traditional method of cooking/roasting marinated meat or chicken over a grid on a wood fire. 

Wherever you go on safari in South Africa there will definitely be an outdoor boma and a safari braai. The boma symbolises an outdoor retreat, where guests gather to socialise, find warmth, eat good food and promises a really great time for all!

Whether it’s a mobile lunch or a sunset dinner, your camp will lead you to the bush braai site where they will prepare on display your magnificent flame-grilled meal. Enjoy a drink while your meat gets cooked to your satisfaction in front of you and bask in the fire’s warmth as you wait. Sit back, relax and listen for passing wildlife or to the rangers unmatched stories of their experiences in the bush. 

With a picturesque sunset in front of you, a G&T in hand, the calls of the wild surrounding you and a delicious African feast in front of you, … need we say more – there’s no place you’d rather be. 

How to make your own braai

If you’re sitting at home and aren’t able to visit us just yet you can still have a braai of your own! Here’s how:

Decide if you want to make a wood or charcoal fire, or braai on a gas griller. This will determine the taste of your meat. 

If you decide on a wood braai, the more wood, the better. The type of wood you choose will determine how long it will burn and adding/using coal will add a nice flavour. 

Use firelighter in between the logs to get the fire started. Make sure the smaller pieces of wood are at the bottom and the larger pieces on top. 

When you have decided that your fire is not too hot and will last you long enough to cook all of the meat, place the first meat onto the grid. 

Sausage (Boerewors) can be added on full heat and will cook quickly and is the perfect starter for those hungry guests who have been waiting.

Chicken is more difficult to braai as it takes the longest to cook properly and less heat is needed. 

Once the chicken is halfway done you can add your chops. This way, all the meat will be done at the same time and everyone can eat together. 

Don’t forget the garlic bread, salads and baked beans make the perfect side dishes. 

We hope you are looking forward to your next safari braai. 

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? 

 

         

 

Tour of the Month – Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic

This month’s tour of the month is without doubt one of our greatest African experiences. It’s three of our most unique experiences combined into one rich and colourful journey. Immerse yourself in the Cape’s most tranquil sea-side setting, witness the gloriousness of the mighty Victoria Falls set on the doorstep of one of the continents best-kept secrets, and enter a world of heart-warming experiences that you’ll never forget!

In Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic, Iconic Africa hand picks the quintessential essence of luxury southern Africa – the boutique opulence, the Out of Africa safari experience and the adventure of legend. The Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city – is bountiful comfort while the city has natural beauty, gastronomic delight and heart-wrenching history in abundance. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is sumptuous safari in the world-famous greater Kruger National Park. The Royal Livingstone Hotel, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, in the spray of the Victoria Falls is a luxurious launching pad for the natural spectacles and adventures of the falls. Click here for full interactive itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1-3: A Sea Side Affair

Cape Grace is in the ideal position for you to enjoy all the enchantments of the Mother City including the harbour, yacht basin and Table Mountain. The Cape Grace offers various choices of expansive, luxurious suites and rooms to suit all needs. You are guaranteed to the ultimate opulence – from the African Spa that offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon. Suites boast endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.

Accommodation: Cape Grace

Day 3-6: Sumptuous Safari

Lion Sands Ivory Camp is the More family’s showpiece of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Here you will find complete intimacy, exquisite comfort and primal joy in the heart of South Africa’s most abundant safari destination. There are only six glorious suites at Ivory – each a spacious testament to luxury, African beauty and natural tranquillity. The enormous bedroom, bathroom and inviting lounge with fireplace, look out onto your private deck with plunge pool.

From an open safari vehicle, your highly-trained ranger and tracker team will show you the primal wonders of the Kruger.

Why not try the luxurious tree house suite – surrounded by golden lantern light and the calls of distant lions under the canopy of the Milky Way.

Accommodation: Ivory Lodge

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Day 7-9: Touched By the Healing Spray

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm. The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the mighty Zambezi. Try from a list of endless adventures and activities, or simply explore. You will experience one of the best sundowner spots at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – as dusk turns the falls’ mist a golden pink.

Accommodation:The Royal Livingstone Hotel

For more on this tour or some of the others that we offer click here now.

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. 

 

 

Ellerman House & Tswalu Combo Special

Don’t miss out on this incredible special from two of our most luxurious, out-of-this-world destinations. 3 nights in the stunning Cape and 3 in the Kalahari wilderness for the price of 4.

From the most representative South African art collection in existence at Ellerman House, to the newly renovated Motse camp at Tswalu, we invite your guests to an experience that includes Cape Town’s most exclusive address, with the exuberant, soulful beauty of the southern Kalahari.

From the 1stJuly to 30thNovember 2019, Ellerman House and Tswalu are offering guests the opportunity to enjoy 3 memorable nights at each property and only pay for 4.

Ellerman House

Built in 1906, Ellerman House was the very first house in Bantry Bay and thus holds prime position on the mountainside. Surrounded by rich wooden panelling, soft lush carpets, spectacular lighting and bursting with incredible local masterpieces the interior has all the trappings of the definitive luxury. The hotel itself is the pinnacle of indulgence. The beautiful rolling grass terraces of which there are 3 will provide the best position to relax with a cocktail and take in the breath-taking African sun set over the sea or watch the whales coming into the bay. Last but certainly not least the rooms themselves guarantee luxury at its highest and with eleven rooms, two suites and two 3-bedroom villas there is something for everyone.

The Motse

Most of the staff at Motse have been there for over 15 years and so know just how to make your experience just that much more special. Whether it’s by making a glorious fire for you in your room, treating you to an unforgettable massage or treating you to the exclusive “Mocha-choca-rula” on your early morning game drive they will do just this. They take great pride in their work and in sharing their love for the Kalahari with their guests.

Make sure you go on at least one day’s horse safari, ask for a “Dune Dinner” (a special culinary treat in the middle of the bushveld) or for a night’s stay at the Malori Star-Bed the exclusive, private suite that lets you sleep under the stars!

Book:

  • 3 nights at Ellerman House (Deluxe room category or higher) and only pay for 2
  • 3 nights at Tswalu Kalahari (The Motse) and only pay for 2

Terms and Conditions:

Valid for 1 July – 30 November 2019

Book a six night combination at Tswalu and Ellerman House (Deluxe room category or higher – 3 nights at each property, consecutively).

All standard inclusions apply to both properties.

Valid for new reservations and cannot be applied to existing bookings – please quote promotion at time of booking.

Properties reserve the right to limit number of rooms available and/or discontinue when deemed necessary.

Rates are commissionable and STO Rates apply.

Cannot be combined with other Ellerman House or Tswalu promotions.

For more contact us here. 

In Pictures: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa – Cape Town

The Twelve Apostles is perfectly nestled into the mountainside on one of Cape Town’s most breath-taking coastal routes. This majestic Cape Dutch masterpiece is ideal for all big celebrations from your honeymoon to wedding anniversary or a romantic getaway! Set on a charming location where luxury meets mountain, sky and sea, this 5-star accommodation is close enough to all your city needs and far enough away that you feel like you’re on vacation.

 

There are no words to describe the sensual treat you are in for.Whether you are inside or out you will be immersed in a world of fantastic aromas, splash of colour and grand opulence. Sit on the deck with a cocktail in hand and overlook the full expanse of the Atlantic Ocean in front of you; be sure to take it all in.

Luxury hotel accommodation

Situated in four secluded wings, the sumptuous suites (55 Deluxe and 15 Luxurious) are specifically designed to ensure maximum appreciation of the views and so all are equipped with expansive windows and over-sized luxurious bedsteads looking out. The Lion’s Head Wing boasts paramount views, a combination of mountain and ocean, and most definitely our favourite! Steeped in pride, the interior style is elegant and exquisite with bespoke arrangements and characters per suite. Immediately, they invite you to unpack, to immerse yourself and to relax; be it in your large free-standing tub, amongst the softness that is your deluxe duvet or on your balcony, feet up and taking in the fresh sea air.

 

Africa’s superior Spa

The award-winning spa is literally hidden into the mountainside. Here exists this magical, underground wonderland. The experience will have you instantaneously at peace with the world. Freshly pampered, take a wander to the private cinema and enjoy an old classic completely at your leisure. Or why not go for a hike on one of the nature trails and encounter the fabulous fynbos plants. The hotel will even pack you a special picnic for your adventure!

Here are our favourite pictures that perfectly convey the grandeur of this breath-taking hotel:

 

For more – click here.

Five things to do in Cape Town This Winter

The best time to visit safari Africa depends on what you want to do and see. Most countries’ peak travel season depends on the rainfall and wildlife. If you are planning on visiting South Africa – book some time in the Kruger National Park. The best time to visit is during the dry winter months (April to September). During this time, it is also Cape Town’s slow season (May – August) that brings along some light rain. The best part about visiting Cape Town on your safari trip is that you can come at any time of the year and see so much. While most people head to South Africa for the exceptional wildlife, you can also do some wonderful sightseeing without the long queues and crowds during the U.S. and UK summer.

Cape Town should be on everyone’s travel bucket-list with such iconic attractions. Here are our top five things you can add to your itinerary for a memorable time in the Mother City this winter:

Whale Watching in Hermanus

Plan to include a relaxing stay at Birkenhead House in Hermanus and spend some time spotting some Southern Right Whales in their breeding grounds during the winter months until November. The whales can sometimes get close enough to spray you from their blowhole.

Visit the Winelands

June is the ideal time to visit Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to see the harvest and even taste spectacular local wines and cheese. The sceneries are truly something to behold! Enjoy scrumptious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in front of the fire and overnight at one of these beautiful destinations. Enquire about a private cellar tour or simply bask in the luscious grounds and mountains surrounding you.

Spend Time in the Kruger National Park

The inland areas are dry during the winter months making vegetation sparse. This is perfect conditions for safari as the animals are easier to spot since they cannot hide amongst the thick, long grass. Your view is likely to be obstructed from the vehicle and the fewer waterholes means that animals will congregate in large numbers – making for exceptional photographs. There is lots of wildlife activity and your chances of spotting all your favourite animals are excellent.

Table Mountain

Take advantage of the short queues and take a cable-car ride up the iconic Table Mountain with 360 degree views. Or for those more adventurous, summit this majestic mountain by foot on one of many hiking paths.

First Thursdays

If you want to take it easy after an exhilarating safari experience and you happen to be in town on the first Thursday of the month – experience Cape Town’s arts and culture scene with dozens of art galleries and cultural events open to the public. The aim is to showcase local artists that you can experience at your own leisure.

Capture Beautiful Photographs at Cape Point

Winter brings with it epic photo opportunities in the Cape. Head down to Cape Point where the two seas meet and see how the clouds, rain, and clear skies come together in a single hour to bring the natural scenery to life and create beautiful backdrops. Spend the day here admiring the fauna and flora and be mesmerised by the towering cliffs that rise from the sea.

Cape Town certainly has something to bring everyone out of hibernation. Whether you’re starting or ending your safari journey in Cape Town, there is a whole world of coffee shops, restaurants and jazz shows waiting for you.

For more on the wonders that await you in the Cape – contact us now.