A Babymoon Safari for Expecting Parents

For some expecting parents, one of the priorities on the to-do list is planning the ultimate babymoon before the stalk arrives. For some it’s a relaxing weekend getaway and others are ready for a long-haul flight and an action-packed two-week stay in the bush.

This is your chance to unwind properly and enjoy each other’s company undisturbed. Whether it’s a quick trip or an extensive vacation, you could expect to indulge in couple’s massages, gourmet dinners, theatre performances, art galleries, outdoor yoga and not forgetting a memorable game drive that will leave you wanting to return with your little one.

 

Create a babymoon bucket-list filled with all the activities that won’t be as easy when two becomes three such as turning up the romance in a luxurious honeymoon-worthy villa overlooking a waterhole or lodges that don’t accommodate under 12’s/young rangers.

 

We’re here to help you plan that final romantic hoorah. If you’re ready to hop on a plane, South Africa is the ideal destination for a pre-baby escape because of its malaria-free game reserves and access to great medical care (just in case). And if you or your better- half are incapable of sitting on a lounger for more than a couple of hours, we’ve incorporated a little bit of adventure for you too…

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

Begin your babymoon exploring Cape Town where you will find a great balance between fun activities and sophisticated pleasures. This city has everything to offer you, from mocktails on glistening beaches and an incredible city-life to countryside day-trips and time to relax by the pool – which is pretty essential when you’re pregnant. Not only does Cape Town house many great tourist attractions such as Table Mountain and Robben Island , you are centrally located to great smaller towns that are only an hour and a half drive away such as the coastal town of Hermanus and the French-inspired Franschhoek.

Move on to a luxury safari in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve where there is phenomenal game-viewing.  Just 3.5 hours north of Johannesburg and bordering Botswana near Gaborone, this 75 000 hectare reserve is one of South Africa’s largest and finest game reserves. Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world famous for its Lion and African Wild Dog viewing. The exclusive Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are equally famous for their bespoke romantic experiences and have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail. Here you are ensured a romantic, lavish safari retreat.

You can also add the beautiful Kalahari to your itinerary. Located just south of Botswana’s border, it’s the largest private game reserve in South Africa, yet only allowing 30 guests at a time within its borders. Tswalu Kalahari’s lodges were named together as one of National Geographic’s 24 Unique Lodges of the World!

A new baby brings with it great changes and joy for new parents! Soak up these romantic moments with a luxury babymoon safari.  You know what you seek, whether it’s pristine beaches or a brush with the Big Five, our team is here to help you take advantage of the small pleasures.

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. 

In Pictures – La Petit Ferme

You don’t need to travel far to escape the city lights, noise and life’s distractions. Just 50 miles from Cape Town lies a haven of sophisticated homeliness. Midway up the Franschhoek Mountain pass is every country-lovers dream destination!

La Petite Ferme is more than just ‘a small farm’… it’s a spectacular restaurant that offers mouth-watering cuisine; a winery offering first-class Sauvignon Blanc; a luxury hotel and so much more.

Set on the slopes of the Middagkrans Mountains, this hotel has the perfect viewing spot under the lofty gums, above the Franschhoek vineyards and overlooking infinite green lawns and white benches. Whether you are just dining out or staying in the luxurious suites –here the world stops around you.

Look down onto a quiet village while eating the most delicious food paired with world-celebrated wine cultivated from the finest grapes that thrive in the valley’s ripe soil and perfect climatic conditions. La Petite Ferme Winery is intimate and welcoming showcasing only conscientious and hand-crafted methods.

And while La Petite Ferme reawakens your senses with quietude, food, wine and views of the entire Franschhoek Valley in all its glory, this elegantly rustic boutique hotel has a setting like no other that is best described with pictures!

It radiates authenticity with its rustic character but remains luxuriously lavish at the same time. There is nothing more intimate and tranquil than limited rooms with boundless views of nature. With only 15 rooms spread out amongst the vines, you are provided total privacy. Winding paths link each suite with the vineyards, restaurant and garden ensuring a wonderful sense of space and entitlement for guests.

Each suite reflects the countryside with a stylish combination of wood, wicker and neutral colours. Raw roof beams and unpretentious wooden floors give a foundation of comfort contrasting with the luxury trimmings that each room displays. The suites integrate the outside beauty and fresh air with the interior, ensuring a soothing sense of space. Should you wish to take a day relaxing by your very own pool perhaps order a bottle of wine and a cheese platter and sample the best the valley has the offer.

Here are our hand-picked images for you to get you excited:

If you’d like to investigate this exquisite property further please contact us here.

 

The Romantic Getaway of a Lifetime

Africa is synonymous with an old-world charm and romance; where passion is created or rekindled. There is something dreamy and intoxicating about adventurous escapades in Africa’s wilderness, whether on safari or relaxing away from all the distractions of this world. What better way to show your better half how special they are than under the warm sun and blue skies, with endless beaches, breath-taking sceneries and excellent cuisines?

We have infused all of this into one unmistakable Royal Romance Package and have combined the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance.

Royal Malewane

There’s no way you can get it wrong this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re planning a romantic gesture or celebrating a special anniversary, we have you sorted! Three luxury accommodations in exotic settings will have your partner swooning – book a relaxing spa treatment in the great outdoors or plan a candle-lit dinner under the stars…

Be seduced by the perfect itinerary that will inspire your wanderlust and spoil you and your partner rotten:

Africa’s Southern Africa Luxury Romance Package is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the bottom continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town to the timeless winelands of Franschhoek, the Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls – we offer you the most luxury and that Africa has to offer. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschhoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion.

THE ROYAL ROMANCE TOURS & SAFARIS ITINERARY

DAY 1-4: EDWARDIAN PASSION, LUXURIOUS EXTRAVAGANCE

Ellerman House is a sumptuous Edwardian mansion resting on Lion’s Head Mountain, above the ultramarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. No expense has been spared; it truly is a Relais & Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury. Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a world-class wine selection and cellar. Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty will keep you enthralled.

DAY 4-6: AFRICA’S MAJESTIC WINELANDS

Nestled in the vineyards and plum orchards of Franschhoek, La Residence is the most gorgeous boutique hotel in the most picturesque valley in South Africa. The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, luxurious finishes and vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle. The little village of Franschhoek is the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and boasts great exceptional wine and delicious food. Here you really have the best of both worlds: an unmatched view combined with the pleasures of being in a hotel.

DAY 6-9: AFRICA’S WILD ROMANCE

At Royal Malewane, a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again. A marvel of wilderness, romance and seclusion blends seamlessly into this ancient land. It is by far the most private and romantic accommodation in the concession with the best views.

Enjoy gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees or step foot in The Royal Malewane Spa – world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a uniquely healing African treatment.

Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa.

DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIA FALLS RETREAT

Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by sumptuous luxury that blends seamlessly into the private stretch of the Zambezi River Bank. Island Lodge is set on its own private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, offering just four exclusive and indulgent villas that will make your heart soar. Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river. A little down river from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth.

For a selection of our other Tours and Safaris please click here. 

Stargazing in Southern Africa

We all love catching flights, meeting new people and seeing new places; but have you ever thought that maybe there was a different, perhaps better form of travel? Once in a while we should all move beyond the urban noise and light pollution and look up – you’ll be surprised what you can see! From here you will embark on a spectacular journey, going through space and time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re only spotting little speckles up above or simply looking at moon craters… what you’ll find will be equally intoxicating, and even sentimental.

Many travellers may associate South Africa’s little treasures with the Big Five, pristine private coves and great food. But travel beyond the city lights and just two hours later, in one of the semi-remote areas that’s free of air and noise pollution you will have no distractions from what’s twinkling in the sky.

Despite frozen toes and cold noses, winter evenings are our particularly favourite time to discover the artistic blotchy sky.

Next time you’re visiting, take a moment to look up – whether you’re looking to find the brightest star, Earth’s closest neighbouring galaxy or just want to see a brightly-lit sky with the naked eye or a giant telescope, here are our top five locations where stargazing conditions couldn’t be better to see scattered diamonds:

  1. Madikwe Game Reserve

If you’ve been to the North West Province, you’ll know that there’s very little availability in the reserve at one time. While this is primarily perfect for those seeking privacy, it is also the perfect location for some stargazing. Easily spotted star formations include the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. And if you want a closer look, Royal Madikwe allows guests to use their telescope.

  1. Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is synonymous with iconic game-viewing – South Africa’s favourite travel destination and the second-largest park in Africa.  This unpolluted expanse of sky is perfect to see celestial constellations with the naked eye. So while you’re out on one of your night drives, glance up at the star-studded skies.

  1. Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind

Just two hours from Johannesburg is Maropeng, the visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it is considerable close to the bright lights of the city, it is still a great stargazing location. So you don’t have to travel far to go on a celestial safari! And the next time you layover in Johannesburg, be sure to include stargazing to your to-do-list.  Maropeng has regular overseen stargazing sessions presented by astronomer, Vincent Nettmann.

  1. Sutherland

Sutherland holds the southern hemisphere’s largest telescope and offers extraordinary views of the Milky Way. This small Karoo town is on every list of prime stargazing locations. The dry climate and cloud-free nights means unparalleled observations 80% of the year.

  1. The Cederberg

Just two hours from Cape Town and protected from light pollution, the Cederberg is a haven for professional and amateur stargazers. Guides will show you how to trace over constellations with a powerful emerald laser so you’ll always remember where to find them.

The Celestial Big Five

Did you know that the African sky has its own big five? They are the amazing star clusters, gas clouds and galaxies visible from Africa. The Celestial Big Five are the Southern Pleiades, the Omega Centauri star cluster, the Eta Carinae nebula, the Coalsack Nebula, and the Southern Milky Way. They can all be seen with the naked eye, but are more spectacular when viewed through binoculars or a telescope. We’ve named just a few of our favourites – South Africa is full of remote spots that are ideal to see brightly-lit skies. Make that magical connection between you and the amazing universe and let us know where you’ve been!

Our Year in Pictures

Walter Benjamin understood that photographs could “meet the beholder halfway”. For those who cannot make it to Africa’s bush right now, we can deliver masterpieces straight to your screens! Carefully packaged in digestible form to examine over a morning coffee or in between dreary meetings – we’ve put together a select list of some of this year’s best captured wildlife, adventure and luxury moments. This is Africa for you – it’s the stuff dreams are made of!

Feel intoxicated with wildlife images so perfect it appears almost staged; or travel the world in a lunch break through the eyes of our talented photographers! These raw, candid pictures transport us every time to a different place.

This year provided us with jaw-dropping sunsets, meaningful wildlife moments and classic African landscape views. The power of these images can storm our consciousness and start transporting us to open savannahs, sparkling oceans and mountain tops. What starts off as an iridescent distraction soon remoulds our thought processes and invokes wanderlust in us.

Capturing some of 2018’s most iconic moments, we have seen a fantastic collection of photographs these past few months. Here are a few of our favourites selected just for you:

 

 

 

10 Things to Consider When Planning A Safari

As you may already know, planning a safari adventure isn’t without its complications. It’s difficult to know what to expect and there are a number of things that you need to organise in order for your trip to be a success. Because planning a safari can be a daunting task, we have compiled a list of the top ten things that you should consider while you are in the planning stages of your African adventure.

Lions Sands Ultimate Luxury Safari

1. Plan your trip way in advance
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that there is a huge demand for safaris. Depending on where you are planning to go on safari, you will need to book your stay in advance. Some camps require you to book at least six months in advance, whereas others might require you to even book a whole year in advance. So, if your dates aren’t flexible, you need to keep this in mind.

2. Do your own research
Part of planning your trip is doing your research. It is important to do your own research so that you know what you can expect. Luckily, there is a vast amount of information on the internet for you to look at. It can be daunting, and you may have more questions than answers after doing your research, but at least you’ll know what you want to ask your safari specialist.

3. Consider visiting Africa in the shoulder season
This is a really great time to visit the parks because there are fewer vehicles and visitors and the prices are often much less. Because there are fewer vehicles, you will also be able to spot wildlife more easily – you might even have the whole park all to yourself.

Buffalo Walking Safaris Iconic Africa

4. Manage your expectations
Seeing the Big Five is never guaranteed, but that’s part of the appeal of going on a safari. Who wants a boring and predictable trip anyway? However, what is guaranteed is that you will definitely see wildlife wherever you choose to go in Africa. So don’t get too hung up about what you see or don’t see while you’re in Africa. You’ll have a splendid time sighting all kinds of mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

5. Remember that you will get what you pay for
In most cases, the more you pay, the better your experience. Usually the more expensive places have better game viewing or better guides, and they certainly have better service. If you’re unsure of a place to choose, you can always contact us for advice and we’ll recommend the best place to suit your needs.

Rock Fig Safari Lodge Timbervati Pool

6. Make sure that you have the right malaria tablets or vaccines
This is very important! Nothing will rescind the joy of your safari more than contracting malaria. Most of the parks in Africa are malaria areas, with the exception of South Africa. Visit a travel clinic for advice about the best malaria medication for you, and ensure that you have enough time to start your medication a few weeks before your trip to allow time for it to work.

7. Think about combining your safari adventure with a beach holiday
Safaris can be quite tiring so it’s always a good idea to plan a little beach trip for while you’re in Africa. There’s no better way to unwind after a spectacular safari than on some of the best beaches in the world, so it’s definitely worth considering. Visiting the seaside also extends your African holiday a bit, and it isn’t excessively expensive.

8. Don’t make your safari too long
This is something that we can’t stress enough! Safaris soon lose their appeal when you start to feel tired, so we like to suggest that the best amount of time to spend on safari is three to seven days. Remember, time slows down in the bush, so although three to seven days may seem too short, we can guarantee that it isn’t.

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

9. Start your safari the day after you arrive in Africa
This is one of the best tips we can give our clients. Long flights can be so exhausting. It’s a good idea to spend your first night in a nice hotel to recover from any jetlag or exhaustion that you may have from travelling. After all, you need to be wide awake to spot all of those animals on safari!

Golden Monkeys Gorrila Treks Rwanda Iconic Arica

The right safari specialist is key. Contact us to answer any of your questions, and we will guide you on when to go, where to go and what to do on your next adventure. In fact we can plan every step for you!

Top 5 Foodie Destinations

Africa boasts 54 beautiful countries, each contributing to the hundreds of different cultures and ethnic groups. Unique views and landscapes are merely a windfall in comparison to the world-class service, chefs and cuisines. For all the self-proclaimed foodies, Africa offers you a variety of cherry-picked destinations and accommodations whose connoisseurs fuse together tastes and flavours that will blow you away. Gone are the days of having to step away from your luxurious suite to experience great food!

Every country has something special and unique to offer – the kind of experience that requires only one meal before spending every other rehashing the details to all your friends. From conservative dinners and 5-course menus to laid back log-fire grills, Africa is renowned for food as fascinating as its history, cultures and traditions.

Sample our top foodie accommodations and destinations that will tell you a sensory story as you taste some of Africa’s finest creations. If you set foot in any of these hotels or cities, don’t leave without indulging…

Angama Mara in Kenya will show you a whole new food vocabulary…  Sit around the boma and enjoy ‘bitings’ (snacks) and ‘kuku’ (chicken) grilled right in front of you, a Tusker beer in hand. The chefs marry luxury travel comforts such as Pinotage and Chenin Blanc with classic safari cuisine, providing you the best of both worlds – rugged authenticity that is uncomplicated and deeply tasty. Choose between sophisticated cucumber sandwiches and buttery scones or succulent roasts. All dishes at Angama Mara are served in 5-star fashion and come from local produce and the juicy prawns and seafood straight from the Indian Ocean waters.

If there’s a place that feeds your taste-buds with a silver spoon, it’s Singita Sasakwa in Tanzania. Relive scenes from Out of Africain authentic style from the damask to the decanters. And while you bask in the filmy setting and breath-taking views, be assured the food matches up. Enjoy out-of-this-world sweet and savoury treats from sweet crepes to gourmet macarons. Everything from pre-dinner drinks to main course platings is romanticised and enlivened with unique flavours and pairings. Make sure you try ‘mtori’ – traditional beef and green bananas.

Locked by mountain and sea is Cape Town’s Cape Grace. Here the chefs play with South African flavours such as rooibos and Cape-Malay spices in a new way. Try rooibos-infused salmon fish cakes or springbok bobotie. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask your waitress for kudu or ostrich dishes. Using Cape Town’s history as a source of culinary inspiration, try the delicious layer cake that is topped with sugar crystals and sweet lemony syrup.

Further up country you’ll find Delaire Graff– home to olive groves and bespoke oils.  Some may call its setting ‘bistro chic’ but it is more of a rustic paradise. You cannot leave this green estate without having the home-baked breads, crafted from stoneground flour. The chefs create dishes using sophisticated gastronomical techniques and best produce. Try unique whiskey jelly after indulging in some fresh oysters or tender lamb. And if you think Delaire Graff is renowned for its olive groves only, you’ll need to have a glass of their wines!

If you’re heading on a Mozambican island getaway, find your way to Maputo. Mozambique is surely a seaside paradise, but many forget a foodie destination too. The cuisine accentuates African and Portuguese flavours that will leave you wanting more. A must-have is the ginormous Tiger prawns or the classic piri-piri chicken – marinated in lemon juice, garlic, coconut milk, and spicy sauce.

If we’ve gotten your mouth watering and stomach rumbling, start planning your next foodcation! Africa’s story can be found in its array of tastes and spices; always surrounded by beautiful sceneries, unforgettable sunrises and majestic wildlife. From safari lodges to city hotels – all our chefs are preparing luxurious tastes of local culture for you. Read more about our especially crafted Food Safari here.

 

Getting to know the Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands, more commonly known by locals as the Boland (‘upland’), is a landlocked region of the Western Cape located upwards from Cape Town. Just a short 40 minute drive from Cape Town, the Cape Winelands are without doubt one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Leave the high-risers and promenade of Cape Town and wander towards a collection of green pastures that lie in the shadow of a continuous belt of Cape Fold Mountains.

 

These deep valleys make up a collection of little towns, with little Cape Dutch hamlets on big farmsteads that provide infamous South African wines to the world. Here, unlike the grid-street-plan of Cape Town’s CBD, you will ascend, descend and go around rugged mountain passes before reaching century old vineyards resting at the foot of majestic mountains.

The Cape Winelands is made up of European-influenced little towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Somerset West, Tulbagh and Worcester. There are many routes to take, but the easiest way to get to the Cape Winelands is along the N1 from Cape Town which will pass through all six quaint destinations. Depending on the direction you’re coming from, this enticing portal is centrally located from all other major districts.

 

With an abundance of tours departing to and from Cape Town every day, it’s no problem getting around. But it’s advised to have your own vehicle as it makes exploring the winelands according to your own schedule that much more interesting. There’s also so much more to do than taste cheese and drink wine. Besides the beautiful views (that you will never get used to), there is always events happening.

Spend your summer days on bicycles or on foot wondering from vineyard to vineyard, each offering views more spectacular than the last. Every angle of the mountain creates a new and unique backdrop, but more importantly is one of the main reasons the wines are of such high quality. The mountain’s mineral composition provides suitable soil conditions that influence the taste and quality of the wine.

Or spend time in-doors in one of many art galleries, gift shops, theatres and spas. Either way, whatever season you decide to visit the Cape Winelands, there will be plenty for you to see, do and eat.

Both a romantic and family-friendly destination, there is no shortage of luxury accommodations. The Cape Winelands offers cherry picked boutique hotels near endless kilometres of walking, hiking and cycling routes. Stretched out along Route 62, any one of Iconic Africa’s bespoke properties will transport you to an artist and photographer’s paradise.

Surprise the kids with a trip to the butterfly enclosure, monkey town or the lion park or your significant other with a hot air balloon or helicopter ride. Traverse through vineyards on a horse-and-carriage or simply rest next to a damn and a family of ducks with a picnic basket – the list is endless.

The Cape Winelands is definitely a fruitful destination. As the main export hub of fruit, the Cape Winelands has an abundance of it, each season bearing something new to titillate your taste-buds. Forget local cheese, take your pick of citrus and berries, cherries and olives and even golden apples. This is no surprise in the culinary capital of South Africa and a stone’s throw away from Ceres and Bonnievale.

This area with unsurpassed scenery is a sought after location for families, couples, weddings, and anniversaries as travellers flock here to celebrate milestones and create everlasting memories. Start planning your trip to the Cape Winelands now! Discover more here:

Property of the Month – Delaire Graff

Only 5 minutes from charming Stellenbosch and less than an hour from Cape Town International airport sits this month’s property of the month – the treasured citadel, Delaire Graff. Unrivalled in setting and home to some of South Africa’s finest wine, accommodation and botanical wonders it is a sight to be savoured by all. This property is the diamond in the crown and represents the epitome of state-of-the-art architecture with its Cape Dutch impression.

Go slow and take it all in. Climbing the meandering, tree-lined driveway, you are flanked by lush, manicured gardens, bright flowers and sporadic sculptures. But wait… you haven’t even got to the top. Once there, the mind-blasting views of the Franschhoek valley will no doubt, take your breath away.

Turn around and prepare yourself to appreciate the true architectural beauty of the winery itself. There’s so much to look at and so much to take in. From the biggest peach pip floor in the world, to some of South Africa’s most renowned works of art, to delicate water fountains and epic overgrown Oak Trees. We assure you, every minute detail has been carefully considered and you will not be able to fault this estate for anything.

Wandering through the delicious wines is a great place to start. Make sure you don’t leave without tasting the flagship Cabernet Franc, the estate’s best seller. Since 2008 the Delaire Graff Cellar, one of the most advanced cellars in the region has been making world-class wines.

The team of gifted chefs and sommeliers at the Delaire Restaurant take you on a culinary joyride. Savour the food as each plate is served with the utmost care and teeming with fresh ingredients, picked daily from the farms very own vegetable garden. The Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib will render you speechless especially when followed by the Coconut Namelaka, worth every calorie and much more!

As if this is not enough Delaire Estate boasts a second restaurant, Indochine which sits with the lodges at the crest of the estate. Inside a wave of blue and copper washes over you and equips you with the ultimate appreciation of the green gardens and winery beyond the wrap around balcony.

Once utterly satisfied head home to a deluxe lodge and perhaps have a midnight dip in your heated infinity pool before unwinding into the elegant sanctuary. Large open spaces, enormous windows, high ceilings and neutral colours combined result in a soothing and peaceful embrace. Here you literally have your very own piece of heaven and can survey the lands below and beyond. Appreciate the splendour of the African sunset over a bottle of wine from your very own sundeck or take a hike up to “Leopards Landing” the estates top-secret picnic spot and have the chef spoil you to your very own basket of treats.

For more on Delaire Graff click here.

African Travel Myths Demystified

“The only thing dark about Africa is our ignorance of it.” – George Kimble

Many people have preconceived ideas about Africa – often based on opinions or myths. Some of these myths have been circulating for so long that they now are in fact considered as truth or fact. Misconceptions are awful things, managing to dissuade many from visiting Africa – which is very sad! Here are our top five African safari myths debunked to convince you to finally book that unforgettable African trip.

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Africa is not safe:

Safety can be an issue in some African cities as it can be anywhere in the world now, but when it comes to national parks and game reserves, they are some of the safest places in the world.

Africa is all bush:

Africa is a vast continent with diverse landscapes, environments and climates in a single area. Countries have savannahs, rainforests, mountains, beaches and deserts to accommodate different travel wishes – making it easy to find whatever it is that your heart desires!

You always need a guide:

While it would be recommended that first-time traveller’s view game with a guide – once you’ve been on enough safaris you can go on self-drive safaris. Many travellers have seen the super-seven (the Big Five, cheetahs and wild dogs) on their self-drives.

To truly experience Africa, you have to “rough it”:

There is always the option of “roughing it” in the wilderness – sleeping bag and all. But there is the more popular preference and opportunity, to experience all Africa has to offer in comfort and opulence. South Africa boasts some of the most luxurious game lodges offering unrestricted access to some of Africa’s prestigious wildlife. Most game lodges offer gourmet meals and private bungalows – kitted out with all your modern amenities – that overlook the vast plains and Africa’s vibrant wildlife. Not to mention it offers some of the world’s most affordable luxury travel!

 

It will be too hot:

Yes, Africa’s climate is warm, but not all the time. Some countries have a cold, wet winter and others have a rainy summer. Throughout the year, most game reserves can actually get quite chilly in the morning and at night, and you will need to layer to stay warm. This’s a nice balance between the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

Animals are likely to attack you:

Animals attacking is probably the last thing you need to worry about on your safari! The wildlife, in general, prefer to avoid the company of humans, so they won’t be hunting you down any time soon…

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Sabi Sands Lions

Only expensive cameras can take good wildlife photographs:

If you own a long lens it is of course advantageous, however it is not a necessity. Many people have photographed animals within meters of the safari vehicle with a 300mm lens. What works well – if you already have one – is the Nikon D7000 with 18 megapixels. The resolution is decent and you could crop the far-away shots.

Zarafa Camp Leopard Iconic Africa

 

Our suggestion is that when you embark on your trip to Africa, you leave behind all myths and legends. Once you hit the tarmac, your adventure begins and you will never look back!

Top Travel Trends for 2018

From remote luxury accommodations to achievement-based travel, 2018 is set to be a year of long vacations, slowing down and learning to appreciate the world around us. Here’s what the experts have to say about the trends for the year ahead:

Booking trends:

79% of travel research is being done on mobile phones and an increase in online bookings has begun trending with 49% of these direct online bookings being made on mobile devices.

Duliini Lodge River Bridge

Solo Travel:

Ever since Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was published, solo travel – especially among female travellers – has gained popularity. 2018 welcome’s our solo visitors to our safe safari destinations, where the world is at your fingertips. Our private guides and luxury transfers ensure your safety at all times.

 

Remote Luxury:

Luxury travel is increasingly being associated with remoteness and disconnectivity. This year, people are projected to dedicate more time towards travel – willing to travel farther and into destinations often difficult to get to in order to feel like they have a small piece of the world (nearly) entirely to themselves!

‘Off the beaten track’ is one of this year’s travel themes allowing visitors to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience nature at its fullest. An example is Tswalu Kalahari – a hidden gem set literally in the middle of nowhere!

Zimbabwe and Zambia – The two hot safari destinations for 2018:

South Africa is typically considered a favourite go-to for African safaris with Zimbabwe and Zambia as add-on destinations. On the contrary, 2017 saw an increase in demand for trips to Zimbabwe and Zambia as primary destinations. This is a trend most experts believe to continue in to 2018. These two countries have luxury accommodations and crowd-free safaris – perfect for those looking towards that remote luxury vacation. Investments in both countries from infrastructure and airports to national parks has contributed to this new destination-trend. Not to mention the fact that Zambia was recently voted “safest destination in the world by skyscanner.”

Glamping:

For those travellers who really want to be one with nature – but really can’t, there are endless possibilities for you to be outdoorsy without sacrificing comforts and luxuries. 2018 sees an increase in bookings at luxury tented properties for the less nature-inclined to slow down, unwind and enjoy nature without actually having to “be in nature”.

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

Achievement-based travel:

2017 was the year for experiential national and international travel; connecting the traveller closely with their country or destination. This year, we will see this taken a step further with travellers pushing themselves to achieve a lifelong goals or using travel to “find themselves.”

The goal of the year is to achieve something – whether it is climbing a certain mountain or hiking a difficult trek – built into a traveller’s trip. This trend is a reflection in the travel industry of visitors wanting more from their trips than just a standard sightseeing tour.

Extended trips

The last six months has seen an increase in travellers booking trips for longer than two weeks – clients often pushing for around-the-country trips. According to Jacada Travel, 50% of the trips already booked are for longer than two weeks.

Travellers not tourists:

Increasingly encouraged over the years and recently trending – visitors to foreign countries prefer immersing themselves in experiences that cannot be found in guidebooks and brochures. Meeting locals and wondering through neighbourhoods has been the best way to experience cultures, from wine tasting to learning a new crafts or languages.

 

For all of us getting on a bus, plane or train to somewhere new… 2018 is going to be an exciting year!