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? 

 

         

 

Africa on Horseback

“I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of the man, than the outside of the horse.” Ronald Reagan.

Many travellers who venture to Africa want to be brought close to nature, and what better way than on a once-in-a-lifetime horse-back safari. This – if you have a love for horses – is most certainly one of those things you just HAVE to do at least once. There really is nothing quite like riding through the savanna and being at one with nature while on your trusty steed. While there are plenty of horse riding options throughout Africa – from Botswana to Zimbabwe, our favourite is at ol Donyo Lodge in Eastern Kenya. Here’s why:

Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park, it offers endless views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the savannahs below. Breathtakingly beautiful every way you look, Ol Donyo is a must for the bucket-list.

Perfect for novice and experienced riders, your needs and requirements will be met with the perfect suited horse and a brilliant guide who will lead you through different ecosystems, landscapes and pathways filled with fantastic wildlife sightings. This is a great way to get up-close to some of Africa’s famous animals as the resident wildlife are comfortable with the horses and perceive them and riders as non-threatening and therefore allow you to get really close. You may even get to see a big cat lying under a tree canopy, completely unfazed by your presence.

Where else in Africa can you ride out across open plains with the view of Mount Kilimanjaro in the background, breath-taking sceneries and meters between you and a towering giraffe.

You can decide if you want to experience the thrill of galloping alongside giraffes and zebras or perhaps a slow, relaxing trot while taking in the painted sky before you or get distracted by the wildebeest and rhinos standing about. Either way, riding in the bush is an unforgettable memory and a completely different experience from a 4×4 game drive. This unique and exciting view of the savannah is something everyone needs to experience.

And there is nothing better than retreating to the luxury and comforts of your room after a wonderful day spent on the back of a horse. From impeccably behaved horses to exceptional accommodation and friendly service, you wouldn’t want to experience this anywhere else.

For more on this incredibly unique destination click here. 

In Pictures – Singita Sasakwa

Perched atop the rocky Sasakwa Hill looking out over the Serengeti’s Western corridor and endless golden plains is the elegant Sasakwa House. Resembling a deluxe ranch house in the midst of the African bushveld this is one Africa’s most exquisite destinations and another Singita – ‘place of miracles’. Exquisite views extend in every direction as the ever-changing landscape teems with Africa’s most majestic wildlife and the clouds waft over the plains.


Revisit the colonial era

Inviting, spacious suites, long elegant hallways and exquisite sitting rooms combine to give both the architecture and the furnishings a classic and colonial feel. Luxurious and decadent in every way the nine cottages boast all the modern conveniences you could ever wish for. Choose from the finest collection of wines, whiskeys or cognacs or chat to the affable chef about your culinary desires. You will no doubt be enchanted and delighted by every mealtime both by the delicious flavours you enjoy as well as by the impeccable service and friendly staff.

Exclusive game viewing

The Serengeti’s Western corridor is famous for the Grumeti Reserves, which follow the Grumeti River and the vast array of wildlife that come to the river for water. The area guarantees a private and exclusive game viewing experience, far removed from the crowds that frequent the Greater Serengeti. Game drives are action packed and offer sightings of exquisite East African wildlife including Thompson’s and Grant’s Gazelle, zebra, Maasai giraffe, buffalo, warthogs, bat-eared foxes, lion, leopard, cheetah and so much more. From June-September you may even have a run in with Africa’s most phenomenal spectacle, the great wildebeest migration… something that should most definitely take the top spot on any bucket-list. Witness as thousands of wildebeest make the trek from the Southern Serengeti, up North to the Masai Mara in search of rain-ripened grass. Let your professional guides do the work; they will get you up close and personal to some of the most unforgettable game encounters you can imagine.

Indulge and relax in style

Why not sit back, relax and watch the sun set over the African horizon with a lovely glass of Champagne and a nibble or two. Perhaps soothe your body in the spa with a massage, do a spot of yoga or even have a quiet game of tennis in the middle of the Serengeti! If that doesn’t tickle your fancy perhaps a game of snooker, a visit to the equestrian centre or a wander through the treasures of the curio shop and gallery will.

Scroll down to see our favourite pictures of Singita Sasakwa…

For more on this sensational property click here. 

Top Spots to See Birds in Africa

Africa is synonymous with safaris and many first-time travellers to the wilderness focus solely on seeing land mammals and marine life. But for those frequent visitors of Africa’s bush, the bird species on the continent is an added bonus and a delight for all our birders. Africa is home to a variety of beautiful birds, both endemic and migratory that range from large flamingos to smaller birds with splash of colour and beautiful voices.

The best part about visiting Africa is most safari destinations not only house hundreds of birds, but these prime bird-watching locations are also some of the top game-viewing areas that support the Big Five as well as many other big and small wildlife like giraffes, zebras and wild cats.

For our enthusiasts, the best time to see our feathered friends is during the wet, green season when the migrant birds are in town and the avifauna are getting the pattern, colour and arrangement of their feathers ready for breeding.

You don’t have to travel long distances, either. Some of Africa’s top bucket-list destinations offer world-class bird-viewing such as the Maasai Mara, which has over 470 recorded bird species and South Luangwa National Park, with over 400 species. Here are some of our top countries in Africa to see aves and some of the species you can expect to see:

South Africa is where all first-time safari goers should go to experience an African safari. With an abundance of wildlife, flora and birds, it’s a dream destination to start ticking off your bucket-list. Mix up your vacation between mountain and sea; wilderness and city life, all in one trip. Here are some other destinations that are the best alternatives to South Africa.

Tanzania

Spend a week in Tanzania on safari. 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.

What you can see:

  • A variety of East-African Endemics
  • Over 20 endemics species
  • Flamingo-filled lakes

Famous bird-watching destinations:

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Zambia

Here in the warm heart of Africa lies one of the continent’s greatest secrets, and birthplace of the walking safari! Sitting on a sprawling plateau, this little gem boasts the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa rivers, and boats some beautiful birds.

Bird-viewing highlights:

  • The shoebill stork
  • The African Pitta

Chongwe Zambia - A tranquility like no other

Must-visit bird-watching destination:

  • The Zambezi River catchment of Zambia

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Kenya

Kenya is an incredible destination for bird-watching. The density and abundance of wildlife is unreal and the climate and geography of the country leads to the highest numbers of bird species in the country. Travelers can sometimes spot over 342 species in 24 hours.

What you can see:

  • Swallows
  • Waders as well as terns
  • Weavers and the bishops
  • Southern African migrants
  • The Long claw and the magpie shrike

 

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Mozambique

Enjoy the luxury and seclusion of an authentic and discerning tropical island holiday in this lush and fauna-filled country. You can expect exceptional bird-viewing along the pristine coastline

What you can see:

  • Coastal migrant waders in the south
  • The striking red and blue double collared sun birds
  • The white tailed blue flycatcher
  • The tiny greenbul
  • The mangrove kingfisher
  • and the olive headed weaver.

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Rwanda

Rwanda is the ultimate jungle escape for the adventurous traveller.  Its gorgeously green and misty forests are home to the magnificent, world-renowned Silverback Gorillas. Rwanda is fondly known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’ because of its remarkably hilly landscape and its spectacular volcanoes. But don’t overlook the endemic birds of Rwanda for these majestic beasts. Because Rwanda is so small, you have a better chance of sighting of the 600+ species.

What you can see:

  • Collared Apalis
  • The Grauer’s
  • Albertine owlet
  • The red collared mountain babbler
  • and the Neumann’s Warblers.

Stay at one of these luxury accommodations.

Which of these beautiful birds have you been lucky enough to see?

Property of the Month – AndBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge

Just off Zanzibar’s north-eastern tip, resting on a secluded island, you will find Mnemba Island Lodge – Africa’s most exclusive beach lodge. Fly, drive and take a 15 minute boat ride to Mnemba, famous for its astounding coral reefs and its esteemed reputation for being one of the most amorous ocean destinations in the world, Mnemba Island Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway. With its rustic charm and its gorgeous ocean views, Mnemba will not disappoint and we highly recommend this exquisite destination! Here are a few reasons why:

Luxuriate on your very own stretch of beachfront

Escape from the rest of the world to this beautiful island paradise. Mnemba Island Lodge is a romantic, private hideaway, exclusive to only 20 guests at a time. The island is encircled by the most enchanting turquoise water which beckons one to take a refreshing and relaxing dip. With activities such as snorkelling and scuba diving, guests can get an authentic taste of luxury island life. Mnemba is one of the most captivating dive sites in the world where snorkelling and diving addicts can treat themselves to the sights of the awe-inspiring coral reefs.

Revel in opulence while delighting in the island’s rustic charm

Mnemba Island Lodge manages to perfectly combine luxury and rusticity. The lodge only offers ten modest but absolutely gorgeous bandas, allowing guests to feel like royalty. The bandas are concealed by the green shadows of the tropical forest and they are suitably humble in appearance – blending in seamlessly with the absolutely flawless island. Each banda boasts a huge varandah where guests can relax and enjoy the cool ocean breeze that rustles through the leaves of the palm trees. The bandas have their own en suite bathrooms and the rooms are decorated with intricate, traditional, Zanzibarian woodcarvings. Guests are well looked after and they can delight in all the fantastic cuisine that Zanzibar has to offer – from fresh fruit to lobsters and from fish to prawns, there is so much deliciousnous!

A romantic island getaway

Mnemba Island Lodge is famous for being an ideal romantic getaway destination. The island’s privacy lets guests indulge in intimate candle-lit dinners on their own personal strip of beach while they enjoy the fresh island air and the calming sounds of the ocean. Couples can watch the sun set over the crystal clear ocean whilst taking a romantic stroll along the beach. Special beach dinners can be organised for honeymooners as well as relaxing massages on the beach.

For more on AndBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge click here.

 

Singita Goes Green

Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. – Chief Seattle

Singita’s accommodation collection is one of our absolute favourites and encompasses over a dozen properties scattered across four different countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Rwanda, and all their properties are going green. With the purpose of travel ever-changing and travellers wanting to give back to communities and enjoy the luxuries of travel without the immense human-impact on land and environments – accommodations are helping them plan sustainable escapes to 5-star retreats without having to compromise on any amenities. Singita has found innovative ways to reduce their footprint by integrating green-practices from the kitchen to guest rooms that won’t harm the beautiful landscapes and wildlife you come to see. It’s the little things that count…

At Singita, they believe that sustainability is an ongoing journey of continuous awareness, improvement, and thoughtful, appropriate adaptation to the changing contexts in which we find ourselves. Reducing their overall use of plastic has been a key objective for the past few years.

We commend them for the incredible efforts they have made recently to be more environmentally friendly. Here are a few of the things they’ve done:

Singita Lodges and Camps

One of Singita’s greatest accomplishments is reducing plastic water bottles by 90% which has saved the equivalent of 127,000 1ℓ plastic bottles from the waste stream. Instead, guests are given reusable glass or stainless steel bottles filled with filtered water which they are encouraged to take with them as they continue on their travels or return home.

In addition, plastic straws have been completely eliminated from use, preventing these non-biodegradable items from finding their way to our landfills and oceans.

Their lodges and camps also provide soft drinks in their minibars in tin or glass and milk is provided in quaint old-school glass bottle.

Singita Sweni

At Singita Sweni Lodge they are experimenting with a bean-to-cup coffee machine that will eliminate coffee ‘pod’ waste. Where Nespresso pods are used, the used pods are sent back to Johannesburg for recycling. The long-term plan is to eventually move away from coffee pods entirely.

Singita Kitchens

For years, Singita has been trying to make their kitchens eco-friendly. They started paying attention to how much cling film their kitchens were using and found alternative ways to store and protect food. The takeaway containers used for our guests’ off-site picnic lunches have been redesigned as well as the dining room condiments. This process is an ongoing one as our chefs continuously engage with their suppliers to reduce plastic and Styrofoam packaging.

Packaging

Last year, the Style, Design & Procurement division implemented a sustainable and reusable crate system which eliminated the use of plastic bubble wrap. Items sent further afield are packed and sealed with gummed paper tape instead of the standard plastic tape.

The Spa

The spa range has shifted to Terres D’Afrique; a more sustainable, locally-produced brand which avoids plastic and uses glass and aluminium packaging for its products.

The Room

The in-suite amenities are from another local range called Malee which uses refillable metal or glass containers for shampoo, conditioner, body wash and moisturiser. Even the complimentary toothbrush is made from bamboo, the cotton buds are fully biodegradable and other small items are plastic free and, where applicable, stored in a corn-starch rather than plastic wrapper. Clean laundry is returned to guests wrapped in paper or in a reusable box, and the in-suite bin liners are brown paper bags.

These simple alternatives to using environmentally-damaging single-use materials play an important role in reducing humans negative impact on the Earth and form part of global efforts to end plastic pollution.
At Singita, it is their goal for everything to circulate back into the ecosystem, the same way that it does in nature. Whether it is at Boulders Lodge, Faru Faru, the new Kwitonda Lodge or any other, enjoy guilt-free time in Africa without compromising on the lush interiors, exquisite spa treatments or room amenities.

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. 

 

 

Tour of the Month – Julia’s Magical East African Adventure

July’s tour of the month is the ultimate East African safari getaway that offers wildlife enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to dine with giraffes. Experience everything Kenya has to offer, including the absolute abundance of the Masai Mara and added magical ocean bliss for those more inclined to enjoy sand and sea.

We love Julia’s Magical East African Adventure because it combines East Africa’s charm and culture at its finest. Visit five unparalleled luxury destinations that include the absolute abundance and magic of the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Zanzibar all in one.

“An undeniable favourite of mine is the safari experiences found in both Kenya and Tanzania, the place I now call home.” Julia Fryer, Director – Iconic Africa. “My favourite tour is a combination of Giraffe Manor in Nairobi for a night and then onto one of the incredible camps in the Mara where you get to observe the migration in absolute awe. Having been a horse-safari-guide living in the Mara for extended periods, I can undoubtedly say that one will battle to ever experience the genuine, wild bush experiences like you do in East Africa. What stands out for me is the vast expanse of green grasslands, space for your soul to expand, game as far as the eye can see, starry nights, crossing the Mara river on horseback (and having to navigate inquisitive hippos), gigantic banks of dark, thunder clouds, escaping flash floods and the cacophony of beetles singing their sunset tunes.”

Itinerary

Day 1: Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in Nairobi. As one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, Giraffe Manor has extraordinary appeal, that extends back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa. Not to mention the herd of resident Rothschild giraffe who may visit morning and evening, sometimes poking their long necks into the windows, to say hi before retreating to their forest sanctuary.

Day 2 – 5: &Beyond Bateleur

&Beyond Bateleur

On the edge of the Mara Triangle, beneath the Olooloolo Escarpment, Swahili for “zigzag,” lies a lush, magical oasis of giant fig and wild ebony trees that is home to an intimate, colonial, Kenyan escape. Bateleur is a sanctuary of comfort, shade, coolness and luxury, a welcome retreat from the heat and wide-open spaces of the surrounding savannah.

Accommodation: Bateleur Camp


Day 6-8: Angama Mara

Angama Mara

Perched on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a lodge that comes as close to heaven on earth, as possible. Angama Mara, Swahili for “suspended in mid air” boasts the best views in the Masai Mara. A place that constantly takes your breath away, where happiness reigns and peace is all encompassing, where you literally stand on the edge of the world. Owner managed and run by the reputable Fitzgerald family, Angama Mara is the ultimate African safari destination.

Day 9 – 11: Singita Faru Faru

Singita Faru Faru

Situated in the western corridor of the legendary Serengeti, Singita Faru Faru boasts its own beach and natural waterhole. Beyond that is the Grumeti River and the riverine woodland that surrounds it, home to a host of Africa’s most majestic creatures. Singita Faru Faru really is something else, it is the ultimate in classic safari lodges, set in one of the most exquisite locations, boasting incredible game experiences and the very best East African hospitality. Here you don’t even need to leave the lodge, due to the waterhole the safari comes to you.


Day 12 – 14: &Beyond Mnemba Island

&Beyond Mnemba Island

Just off Zanzibar’s north-eastern tip, resting on a secluded island, you will find Mnemba Island Lodge – Africa’s most exclusive beach lodge. Famous for its astounding coral reefs and its esteemed reputation for being one of the most amorous ocean destinations in the world, Mnemba Island Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway. With its rustic charm and its gorgeous ocean views, Mnemba will not disappoint!

This tour has been compiled especially for you by our very own East Africa specialist and combines only the very best in East African hospitality, classic safari experiences, sumptuous luxury and unbelievable wildlife encounters. For more please enquire here. 

In Pictures – Baraza

Tanzania is known for more than its high-perched lodges, the Serengeti and the Great Migration. Located along Bwejuu Beach – one of the top 30 island beaches in the world is the ultimate luxury getaway, the exclusive Baraza Resort. This boutique hotel is one of Zanzibar’s most lavish and exclusive boutique hotels with only 30 villas, each with their own ocean view and private pool. Experience the stunning architecture, outstanding service and superb recreational facilities.

Luxury island living

The opulent Baraza Resort is a stunning, fully inclusive, and exclusive boutique beach resort. Each villa highlights the essence of grandeur through its beautifully lavish interiors, delightful fabrics, and hand-crafted furniture. The villas show off enchanting brass lanterns which complement the striking architecture that pays tribute to Zanzibar’s Arabic, Indian, Persian, Asian, and Swahili history. The villas feature large bathrooms, spacious terraces, and each one has its own individual plunge pool.

baraza-zanzibar-tanzania-iconic-africa-east-africa-beaches

Stylish past-times

This paradise is well-known for its luxurious Frangipani Spa. Relax in the Sultan’s bath; try a yoga class, or perhaps a game of tennis. Choose from an impressive number of treatments, each designed to help guests wind down and take in the beauty of Zanzibar. Enjoy a delightful massage by candlelight and have the best sleep after.

Baraza Zanzibar Tanzania Iconic Africa east Africa Beach

The magic of the island

The resort celebrates traditional architecture, allowing guests to enjoy a touch of the Sultan’s Palaces of Zanzibar through its gorgeous designs and decor. Indulge in an exotic menu that features delightful flavours – all made using the island’s best produce and amazing local spices. Each dinner aims to honour the different influences that Zanzibar cuisine has been exposed to. Baraza promotes Zanzibar’s plentiful culture and heritage by letting guests cook with the renowned chefs.

Baraza Zanzibar Tanzania Iconic Africa east Africa Beach

Need an escape? Find out more here.

 

 

6 Different Ways to Experience the Bush

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

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

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

  1. Horse riding

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

  1. Stargazing

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

  1. Camel safari

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

  1. Canoeing

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

  1. Hides

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

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

  1. Fishing

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

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

 

Best Places to See Elephants

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

  1. The Okavango Delta, Botswana

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

  1. Kruger National Park, South Africa

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

  1. Chobe National Park, Botswana

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

  1. Elephant Camp, Zimbabwe

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

  1. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

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

  1. Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

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

  1. Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

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

  1. Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

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

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

Africa’s Most Romantic Safari Properties

Mara Plains Camp & Ol Donyo Lodge Nominated as Most Romantic Safari Properties 2019

The spectacular Mara Plains Camp and Ol Donyo Lodge have been nominated as Most Romantic Safari Property 2019by safariawards.com. Both properties offer the ultimate African hospitality, unprecedented private luxury and the finest wildlife sightings, but here’s what makes these Kenyan establishments such great contenders for the title:

Mara Plains Camp is a private and exclusive luxury-under-canvas accommodation set alongside the Ntiakitiak River on 35,000-acres of pristine wilderness bordering the world-renowned Masai Mara Reserve. Mara Plains Camp is a beautiful and intimate safari camp accommodating only 14 guests at a time, offering couples and families unrivalled access to luxurious facilities and amenities, exclusive landscapes and unfettered wildlife in low-vehicle density land.

When you arrive at the foot of the camp, you will find yourself crossing a quaint wooden bridge and climbing a few large steps – a small adventure, before reaching the luxurious and sleek reception area. Every step will mean something once you reach the view of an endless horizon. Right ahead of the main area is a scene from one of Disney’s most iconic films, The Lion King as you lay your eyes on the single, flat-topped Acacia tree – the icon of the Mara Plains Camp.

Tucked away amongst the trees, the seven decadent suites are integrated between the hippos, monkeys and sweet-sounding birds. Here, the natural environment will always have prominence, and so the camp’s design honours rather than upstages what nature has provided.

The furnishings pay tribute to the spirit of East Africa; and the camp’s Swahili heritage is reflected in tasteful décor. Each suit is more like a home and is exquisitely designed to give you complete privacy, an unbeatable view, and your very own piece of African bushveld. The wooden floors, neutral palette, draped canvas and natural fabrics are discreet allowing the beauty of the outside world to envelop you, even once inside. The sounds of Africa enter through the sides to entertain you. Elaborate finishing touches signal to the colonial era with rich leather pieces, Persian carpets, deep reds that honour the great Maasai chiefs and warriors and a delightful mixture of large wooden doors from the island of Lamu and copper to marry the Arab and Maasai influences.

These little perfections together make Mara Plains Camp the perfect combination of romance, adventure and exploration.

A 10 hour drive away from Mara Plains Camp, a bull crosses the grasslands, heading for the ol Donyo waterhole. In the heart of the Chyulu Hills is a timeless wonder that emanates raw beauty. Under the watchful care of Mount Kilimanjaro, this area is protected and rich with rare and endangered wildlife such as Africa’s last big tusker elephant bulls and endangered lion.

ol Donyo Lodge brings together contemporary architecture and décor and accentuates it with the rich culture of the Maasai. With only 16 guests at the lodge and no two villas looking the same, ol Donyo is both private and exclusive.

 

Built to combine the most heart-stopping views and merge outdoor and indoor living, the thatch suites are perfect for honeymooners. The unique suites and villas rise from the landscape and blend effortlessly with the African bushveld around them. Boasting amazing star beds atop each one, you can lie up there for hours with a sneaky nightcap and gaze up at Africa’s astounding blanket of stars. With a grand stone fireplace at its heart the main lounge and library will make you feel completely at home. It’s the perfect spot to socialise with your family, friends and other travellers. Take some time out, relax and sit on the spacious veranda marvelling at the view, or in the dining room savouring your mouth-watering meal, as there is no such thing as time on an African safari.

Our Pick of the Best Tented Camps in Africa

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

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

Ngala Tented Camp– Timbavati Private Game Reserve

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

Elephant Camp– Zimbabwe

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

Bateleur Camp– Kenya

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

Alex Walker’s Serian– Tanzania

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

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp– Tanzania

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

Zarafa Dhow Suites Villa

Zarafa Dhow Suites – Botswana

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

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

Where to Safari – East or Southern Africa?

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

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

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

 

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

  • Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra
  • Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October
  • Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides
  • Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains
  • Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
  • Fun walking safaris in some private reserves
  • Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

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

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

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

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

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

Gorilla Treks Rwanda Uganda Iconic Africa

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

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

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

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

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

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

  • Varied topography and habitats
  • Smaller concentration of herds in private concessions
  • One dry season: May to October
  • South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas
  • Many camps outside of South Africa require minimum age of eight years old, unless you reserve the entire camp
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles
  • Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12
  • Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations
  • More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing
  • Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

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

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

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

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

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

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

Property of the Month: Singita Faru Faru

Surrounded by the Grumeti River and the riverine woodland is this month’s property of the month – Singita Faru Faru. One of Africa’s ultimate classic safari lodges, this seamlessly elegant and modern accommodation is set in one of the world’s most exquisite locations, offering guests access to prime game-viewing  and some of Tanzania’s finest hospitality.

The ultimate East African luxury

Faru Faru lodge is the pinnacle of luxurious safari, ensuring that you spend your time in East Africa living on your very own piece of paradise. Suitably located in the Grumeti Reserve inside the Serengeti – you can only vacation in this area with Singita. This means that you are guaranteed a private and exclusive experience, far removed from the crowds you’ll find in other parts of the area.

Here you are promised access to some of the best wildlife viewing in the country while indulging at a luxury stay. Boasting its own beach and natural waterhole, Singita Faru Faru makes sure that you never have to leave the lodge to experience romance, relaxation or adventure. The safari comes to you every day.

And if you’re looking for something to do in-between game drives, Faru Faru lodge has an endless list of activities for you to try. From archery and lawn croquet to dips in the rim-flow swimming pools, there is always a new experience waiting to be had. And while you are enjoying the best the Serengeti has to offer, why not take a hot-air balloon trip for an exhilarating balloon safari or wind down after a thrilling game drive at the spa. And in-case you thought game vehicles and hot-air balloons are the only way to see East Africa’smagnificent wildlife, try a horse-back safari or an adventurous night drive.

Classic yet contemporary

The location of this property is remarkable and the wildlife and activities are definitely alluring, but the main attraction is the lodge’s classic East African style architecture and décor. While the design creates an ambiance of authenticity, guests are offered all the luxurious comforts one could wish for.

The construction focuses on the waterhole, with the planning making a bold, but magical statement. This perfectly combines the living areas with nature creating a rustic and real bush appeal with a fresh and clean-lined modernity allowing animals and nature to take centre stage.

The nine stone, canvas and thatched suites have the character of a classic safari camp, yet the interiors offer the ultimate in contemporary luxury with panoramic glass windows and free-standing claw-foot baths. Each suite makes a statement with a botanical theme and all of them are outfitted with every conceivable comfort – including your very own Swarovski spotting scope.

Why wait for the most magical trip to happen… Start imagining lounging in the swimming pool overlooking the surrounding area awash with wildlife; recline on the Lodge’s elevated viewing decks, or relax unwind in your room and watch as predators and prey are drawn right up to the lodge.