Falling for Africa

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventure and infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Not only can Africa rekindle the flame under ancient Jackalberry trees, but this colourful continent will touch your heart and have you falling in love with everything it has to offer. There is very little in this world that compares to a rustic, yet luxurious entanglement with nature and no other place can offer it in an abundance like here.


Zambia African Safari Destination - a haven for relaxation with soaking tubs overlooking the landscape

We can think of hundreds of places to make you fall head-over-heels, but we have chosen just 5 for now…

South Africa

Cape Town has something which will appeal to you, no matter your holiday desires. Honeymooners and romantics will fall further in love with the idyllic views and white sanded beaches. Families can share a morning with curious penguins or throw in some laidback whale watching in Hermanus. For the more adventurous go cage diving with the Great White sharks off Gansbaai or even paraglide off the mountains surrounding Cape Town.

Cape Winelands are without doubt one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Leave the coastline of Cape Town and wander towards the culinary capital of South Africa – Franschhoek. Cross rugged mountains passes and descend into century-old vineyards framed by high arching mountains. Drive lightly down age-old cobbled driveways and gently make your way into the Cape Dutch style manor houses.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa A1

The Kruger National Park is the largest reserve in South Africa and forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which stretches over 35 000 square kilometres and encompasses three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This is one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries whose vast expanse ensures the ultimate luxury safari experience as the wildlife is free to roam in a protected area which is slightly larger than the State of South Carolina.

Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls is possibly the most awe-inspiring and humbling natural wonder on planet earth. Standing in the rainforest faced with the great thundering boom of the ancient Zambezi waters plunging more than 100 metres into a fathomless gorge will leave you silent, grinning, tearful and overjoyed to be soaked by the cleansing waters. Victoria Falls is a soulful journey into primal Africa – with Iconic Africa, your visit is combined with superlative luxury, service and adventure.

Rwanda

Not only is Rwanda the realm of the Silverback Gorillas, but it is also home to a multitude of monkey species. Rwanda promises to be the pinnacle of monkey interactions. Of course, a trip to Rwanda would be wasted without the unique experience of a gorilla trek but, why not combine gorilla trekking with chimpanzee trekking to create an utterly unforgettable experience? Nothing compares to the excitement of spotting Colobus and Mangabey monkeys whilst strolling through the lush, virescent jungles of Rwanda. Birdlife is also abundant—making Rwanda the ultimate bird lover’s paradise.

Bisate Lodge Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Rooms

 

 

Kenya

The density and variety of wildlife is unreal, with often more than ten different species of mammals in one spot, an anomaly that is unheard of elsewhere. Kenya boasts hoards of unique antelope such as the graceful Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle as well as the vibrant topis making it the ultimate predator’s paradise.

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Tanzania

From the volcanically rich soil to the lush forests, interminable golden savannahs, pearly white sands, snow-capped peaks, baobab clusters, lush swamps, fields of sunflowers and a constantly overwhelming sense of space, there is so much to explore. Tanzania has three safari circuits and each one of them would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration. Sit surrounded by 1.5 million wildebeest as you experience one of nature’s great wonders, sip a G and T on the shores of the flamingo-infested lake Manyara as the fiery sun sinks below the horizon, or survey the vast Ngorongoro crater from a breathtaking vantage point on the rim.

Balloon Safari Iconic Africa Tanzania Desert 2 Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

South African International Borders Are Open!

Drumroll… the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived!

We are ecstatic to share with you that South African borders will finally be open to international visitors on the 1st October 2020. Although they are not open to all countries just yet this is a step in the right direction and they will be soon.

As a nation that loves to play host and to show off our beautiful land, we have so missed all of our foreign travellers and friends. We are ready for you now more than ever before as we’ve been prepping for your arrival since March. We cannot wait to welcome you back to the land of magical sunsets, exhilarating safaris, G&Ts, colourful cultures and breath-taking landscapes.

As we enter Level 1, we are excited that both domestic and international flights can resume to get you to us as soon as possible! All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure. All commercial airports in South Africa have a risk-adjusted strategy in place to keep all flyers safe. But if you’re still having cold feet, we have put together some useful information for when you travel post lockdown.

The thought of welcoming guests back into our hotels, lodges and camps brings us all sorts of emotions! We’ve been waiting patiently and preparing for your arrival. All accommodations, restaurants and attractions are operating within regulations and are thrilled to have you come hang out with our local people and wildlife. Our operators are fully equipped to receive you and your families and cannot wait to give you their undivided attention and offer you the 5-star luxury that cannot compare to anywhere else.

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Silo Hotel

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Franschoek 2

Our staff are ready to make your stay the most memorable; our guides cannot wait to show you the bush and its exquisite wildlife and our chefs are busy preparing to cook up a storm for you! The Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s Travel Safe-Eat Safe protocols and programme has been implemented across the tourism sector to ensure the safe reopening of the industry.

For those who have postponed their stay, we hope these videos inspire some wanderlust!

Our beaches, winelands and wilderness await you to grace us with your presence once again! The opening up of our borders will unite and reignite after what seems like way too much time apart! We hope to have you on the viewing decks soon, ice-cold G&T in hand and sun setting over the horizon.

Take a look at these amazing once-in-a-lifetime safari tours we have put together to help you to see more of our spectacular country.

Africa’s Cape of Desire

Singita Safari Splendour

Great Value Golf & Wine Tour

Premier Wine & Gold Tour

With Zambia and Zimbabwe opening their borders too, these tours are also now options:

The Royal Romance

Luxury Safari Classic

Africa’s Family Getaway

If you have any questions at all about your travels please feel free to get in touch with us.

Our Top 5 Live Safaris

The African bush may seem a distant dream or memory right now… but it doesn’t have to be like that! We have chosen 5 of our favourite Live Safaris to bring the bush and its animals into your living room in a heartbeat.

While we may not be able to see the wildlife in person and capture its beauty, our favourite guides bring the Big 5 and so much more straight to our screens, and the experience cannot be more real. Interact with the guides through the comments and let your kids ask some questions too… You don’t need to let travel bans keep you and your family from adrenaline-boosting experiences in the back of a 4×4 as you make your way through the dusty paths of the bush… as the sun sets and the cicadas sing ? Need we say more.

You can definitely add this to your daily routine and turn it into some quality family-time as these awesome guides bring us exciting news in real-time, from returning pups, to cub sightings to hunts and so much more.

Join WildEarth on their safariLIVE channel for sunrise and sunset safaris. This award-winning, expert hosted show is broadcast directly from the African wilderness into your home. You can even interact with an expert game ranger in real-time. Join your guide in a safari vehicle, on foot, in a balloon and remote cams as they search for prey and predators alike. Our close friend and expert ranger James Hendry is one of the crew!

1. WILDWATCH LIVE
&BEYOND WILDwatch LIVE brings the wilderness to you. Join the live stream twice-daily, three-hour-long game drives from &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve, &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve, Djuma Private Game Reserve, Tswalu and Pridelands Conservancy.

How to ask questions on WILDwatch LIVE

Adult questions: Morning and afternoon drives

Twitter: Post your question followed by the hashtag #wildearth
Youtube: Ask your question in the chatbox on the right-hand side

WILDchild (children’s) questions:
Afternoon kiddies drive (first 45min of afternoon safaris): Email kidsquestions@wildearth.tv



2. LONDOLOZI VIRTUAL SAFARIS
Londolozi never fails to excite and stimulate viewers with their thrilling virtual safaris. From rescuing a trapped honey badger to sighting missing wild dog pups, experience the best the Sabi Sands has to offer from your couch!

3. TSWALU ECOLIVE
Tswalu EcoLive is also in collaboration with WildEarth TV and is an interactive virtual safari showcasing the best wildlife action and animal encounters direct from the field, as they unfold in real-time. Tswalu’s experienced field guides are out on the reserve daily, hosting morning and afternoon game drives with a dedicated WildEarth camera crew. They are on a mission to track down the rare and iconic species of the southern Kalahari and to introduce you to Tswalu’s characterful meerkats.

You can find Tswalu EcoLive broadcasts on the below platforms sites:
YouTube
Twitter
Website

4. MARATABA VIRTUAL SAFARI DIARIES
Marataba South Africa Virtual Safari Diaries helps stay-at-home safari-goers learn some fascinating facts about their reserve on bush-walks with Field Guides Helen Mertens and Mitchel Bloem.

5. CHITWA CHITWA LIVE SAFARIS
Join Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge on a Live Safari as they adventure through the South African bush in search for some leopards, lions and zebras!

Let us know what has been your favourite virtual safari over this time or if there are any other great ones that you have loved?

South African Safari Specials for Locals

South Africans, are you ready for the ultimate safari special?

Let us show you another beautiful day in Africa with these irresistible Winter 2020 bush deals! We have undoubtedly faced a challenging start to the year – as individuals and as a country, but we are hopeful that there will be a time to return to Africa’s wilderness soon… While we give you time to plan and pack, we give nature and wildlife time to heal and rest until we can relish our beautiful country again, spend time with the Big 5 and support and visit amazing destinations that perhaps aren’t normally so accessible to locals.

We are committed to working closely with our partners to support and stimulate local travel as and when restrictions allow. So we have put together these amazing once-off offers that will allow local travellers to make the most of the incredible natural beauty and diversity we have on our doorstep.

Get to know your country better and indulge in much-needed 5-star service with these amazing city to bush escapes created just for you!

 

  1. The More family are offering up to 70% off at the exquisite Lion Sands lodges. Book now & travel after lockdown. *At Narina Lodge, each suite has an expansive wooden deck centred on a private plunge pool. A cooling soak in the heat of the midday, a gin and tonic at your side, a buffalo bull chewing in the deep shade below, a flock of green pigeons squabbling over figs in the boughs above, will immerse you in the wilderness until you feel like a part of it – which of course you are. *Tinga lodge is a cathedral tribute to the Kruger. The double volume, cathedral-like main area opens out onto an expansive deck overlooking the Sabie River. When you return famished from morning game drive, you can devour a delectable breakfast array on the deck while the elephants wander past in the lazy heat. In the evening, put your feet up next to the lounge fire with an excellent glass of South African wine as you contemplate the wonders you experienced on drive.

  2. The Royal Portfolio is committed to supporting local travel with 50% off at La Residence & Birkenhead House after lockdown.*Perched amongst the vineyards, on the slopes of the beautiful Franschhoek Mountains is the pinnacle of luxury and unrivalled piece of heaven – La Residence. Voted Conde Nast’s No 1 Hotel in the World in 2013 amongst a myriad of other awards, La Residence is a must for any bucket list. Tuscan inspired, the horse-shoe shaped manor wraps around an exquisitely manicured courtyard, decadent pool and endless panoramic wineland backdrop. *Birkenhead House is perched on a cliff overlooking magnificent Walker Bay in the little seaside town of Hermanus – gateway to the garden route. The bay is fringed with pristine white sand beaches and secluded coves while in the water surfers carve the waves and, for several months of the year, hundreds of southern right whales call the waters of the bay home.

  3. Marataba Safari Lodge is offering a once-in-a-lifetime 70% off! Why not escape with your family & indulge in much-need 5-star service after lockdown? Marataba-Safari-Lodge-Dining-Area*Marataba Safari Lodge is the ideal location for a romantic wedding or a honeymoon, or even just for an intimate escape with your loved one. The Lodge is very convenient as it’s located in a malaria-free zone and is only four hours away from Johannesburg—perfect for a quick escape to the bush!

  4.  The Outpost in Kruger National Park is offering locals a massive 60% discount for the upcoming months. *The Outpost’s awarded architecture accommodates 24 guests in 12 stand-alone luxury spaces cantilevered over the Luvuvhu river valley – connected to the central lodge area by a raised walkway. Enjoy 180˚ views of the African wilderness and fall asleep to the open-air sounds of the African night.

  5. Book a safari now with 50% off at Phinda Forest & Mountain Lodge. *Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge fuses spectacular design with the ultimate in conservation principles. 16 handcrafted, minimalist, glass-encased suites are built on stilts among the trees and boast luxurious en-suite bathrooms and viewing decks where guests can take in the sight of graceful nyala and duiker in the shade of the forest. *Poised majestically on the crest of a mountain, Phinda Mountain Lodge commands dramatic vistas over the surrounding landscape. Balanced between soaring views of the scenery below and the endless blue of the African sky above, each suite opens onto a breathtaking panorama.

  6. Escape to your own private wilderness at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve with 60% off! *The lodges at Kwandwe are intimate, relaxed and trendy with décor inspired by the vibrant colours and textures of the nearby villages.

Enquire HERE now.

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!

How to Spot a Cheetah and Where to Find Them

A cheetah and a leopard are two completely different big cats. Both are magnificent sightings that contribute to the allure of the African wild, but spotting the difference can sometimes prove challenging for first-time safari-goers. We’ve put together some distinct features and characteristics to make identifying cheetahs easier on your next game drive. 

You will find cheetahs hunting during the day, rather than at night. 

Cheetahs have a distinct coat of fur with solid black, round or oval spots.

Cheetahs have a black ‘tear line’ running from the corner of the eye to the mouth.

You will find cheetahs in the grassy plains with their prey rather than up trees as they don’t have retractable claws needed to climb.

Cheetahs are the world’s fastest animal and hunt using speed over short distances, rather than furtiveness. 

Cheetahs have smaller teeth and cannot chew through large bones. Their smaller jaw allows for a bigger nasal cavity so that they can breathe faster. 

Cheetahs are more sociable than leopards. 

Cheetahs are lighter, taller and more slender than leopards. 

The most intoxicating feeling will be when you see a big cat hiding amongst the tall grass, moving with a graceful and sophisticated aesthetic – and you’ll be able to tell if it’s a cheetah or leopard through the camouflage vegetation (like a pro). 

Here are our top five destinations to spot cheetahs in the wild:

Liuwa Plains National Park 

This well-kept secret is found in a remote corner of Zambia. This park is home to a plethora of wildlife species, including large predators such as cheetahs.

Stay at King Lewanika

The Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is situated in the south of Kenya and is one of Africa’s most celebrated safari destinations. While the Great Migration occurs annually, the predator game viewing is extraordinary year-round.

Serengeti National Park

Next to the Masai Mara, is Tanzania’s famous Serengeti National Park – a wonderful destination to look for cheetahs. They are in abundance during the migration, as they lurk, looking for their next meal. Despite their rarity, the Serengeti’s open plains make it the ideal terrain to spot them among the sparse grass.

The Kalahari 

The Kalahari is one of the best places to see cheetahs in Southern Africa as the landscape is flat, making it easier to spot cheetahs in the grass. The Central Kalahari Game Reserve is also remote making game-viewing more exclusive. 

The Kruger National Park 

The Kruger National Park has around 200 cheetahs in the park. This number is not very high compared to other countries and parks, but your chances of spotting a cheetah whilst on safari here are pretty decent. 

Cheetahs are one of nature’s most beautiful, yet endangered cats. With less than 10 000 cheetahs recorded in the wild, sighting one of these big cats is definitely a bucket-list moment.