Experience of the Month – Safari with a Purpose 

This month’s top and not-to-be-missed experience is a Safari with a Purpose. Embark on a journey with meaning… with one of four hand-crafted adventures. Submerge yourself in something bigger. Wander off the beaten track, interact with indigenous tribes, help conserve Africa’s wildlife and give back to wonderful projects so that the world can, in turn, give back to you. Iconic Africa, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris, would like to offer the discerning traveller the opportunity to find their travel purpose in Rwanda, Seychelles, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa by taking part in a world of philanthropy, conservation, wildlife, culture and adventure. 

Whether it’s working with endangered mountain gorillas, collaring wild dogs or elephants or conserving sea turtles – we’ve got just the thing for you here:

Great Apes and Rainforests: Experience behind-the-scenes conservation work in Rwanda; meet the Endangered mountain gorilla and help habituate chimpanzees for future ecotourism.

Travel With Purpose Gorillas

Paradise with Purpose: Explore one of the most beautiful islands on earth while actively participating in a survey and ringing of the Seychelles white-eye population and translocating some of the North Island population to other islands to further protect the species.

Travel With Purpose Turtles

Kenya Natural Wonders: Experience the Great Rift Valley, a dormant volcano, a vital water tower and learn more about the rare and elusive Critically Endangered mountain bongo.

Travel With Purpose Rift Valley Children

Hwange Elephant Collaring: In west Zimbabwe, amongst its grasslands and mopane woods are large herds of elephant. Help collar elephants, count wildlife, discover anti-poaching patrol, and meet neighbouring communities.

Travel With Purpose Elephants

Enquire about adding one of these experiences to your itinerary with one of our team members. You can have a magnificent time with plenty of adventure and also leave a positive impact on the place you’re visiting at the same time.

 

  

Iconic Africa partners with African Conservation Expeditions 

Iconic Africa is proud to partner with African Conservation Expeditions, a first of its kind initiative that combines real conservation work with high-end luxury safaris. 

This unique conservation company was established by well-known conservationist, Cole du Plessis, and Wallabies rugby legend, Dane Haylett-Petty. The motivation that drives this initiative is the raising of funds for the critical, ongoing conservation work needed to save some of Africa’s most endangered species.

The expeditions are hosted by conservation specialists who introduce guests to the areas where intervention is necessary to sustain Africa’s most wild and threatened species. 

The current focal points include the Kalahari region, North-West, Limpopo and the Greater Kruger National Park. The extent and diversity of these areas ensure that each expedition is both unique and thrilling.    

50% of the proceeds from these expeditions are directed to the Endangered Wildlife Trust – an NGO that has dedicated over 45 years to saving Africa’s wildlife and habitats.

African Conservation Expeditions focuses on threatened species that include: African Wild Dog, Lion, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Cheetah, Elephants and Pangolins. Most threats are human-induced and involve poaching, disease, persecution and roadkill.

Step into an action movie as you help monitor and observe; fit tracking collars onto key individuals; administer vaccines; collect genetic samples, and removing snares where necessary. 

Once the conservation objectives are achieved, guests have plenty of time to relax, reflect on their experiences, and enjoy the facilities of some of the most exclusive and most luxurious lodges South Africa has to offer. The luxury of the rooms, the exquisite food, the beautiful views and the inviting swimming pools create the ideal atmosphere for some well-deserved relaxation. 

Contact the Iconic team to find out more on how you can help make a difference to wildlife on your next luxury safari in Africa here

Iconic Africa’s Top 10 tours for 2020

There are so many different holiday-makers, from couples seeking a luxury escape, families that need different ages catered for and solo travellers seeking adventure. And… so many variables to consider – connecting flights, accommodation, activities and so on and so on! Taking time to plan your vacation shouldn’t feel like more effort so Iconic Africa has done all the hard work for you and put together some fantastic tours that have the perfect itinerary waiting. We have chosen our top ten tours for 2020 right here: 

 

JOHN’S GREAT VALUE GOLF & WINE SAFARI

Iconic Africa Director, John Holley’s two passions in life are golf and the bush. Most of his childhood was spent doing one or the other and many memories made while either teeing off at sunrise or toasting to the sunset with an ice-cold beer at a waterhole.  On that note – another great love of his is wine so a combo of golf, bush and wine… really is (in his mind) heaven! John has put together this incredible Golf & Wine Safari from all of his favourite destinations just for you. Get up close and personal with the magnificent Big Five; tee off on some of South Africa’s most impressive golf courses; discover gourmet restaurants and taste the finest wines that the Cape Winelands has to offer. Click here for full interactive itinerary.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa 2A

LUXURY LONDOLOZI AFRICAN ADVENTURE

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

SAFARI AND ISLAND RETREAT

Southern Africa offers some of the most spectacular coastlines the world over. Iconic Africa has picked boutique luxury on the shores of the raw wild Atlantic and floating in the tropical serenity of the Indian Ocean. Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain, offers relaxed, family-owned style and luxury – a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. Azura Benguerra, in the cobalt warm waters of the Indian Ocean, offers a new level of fresh sophistication, seclusion and serenity on pristine beaches and unspoilt reefs. In between these, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. Click here for full interactive itinerary

AFRICA’S CAPE OF DESIRE

Africa’s Cape of Desire, as its name suggests, is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the base of the African continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town – with its trendy bars and restaurants, world heritage sites, pristine beaches, sense of history and natural beauty – to the Winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek – the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and where South Africa’s world-famous wines are conjured from the Cape terroir – to the coastal sanctuary of Hermanus set on the magnificent cliffs of Walker Bay – world-renowned for its frolicking southern right whales and, for the more adventurous, a place to dive with Great White Sharks; The Cape of Desire offers you the most sumptuous luxury and astonishing natural wonder that only the tip of Africa has to offer. Click here for full interactive itinerary

AFRICA’S FAMILY GETAWAY

Africa’s Family Getaway is the ultimate luxury bespoke family holiday. It is full of excitement, adventure and fun while maintaining an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury. It is also completely safe for young children. The One&Only Cape Town is perfectly placed and appointed to accommodate your family in luxury while being an excellent launch pad to the delights of the Cape. Lelapa is malaria-free and by far the premier luxury safari camp for families with a quite exceptional children’s programme amidst the gorgeous wilderness and opulent accommodation. Likewise, Tongabezi is specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance. Click here for full interactive itinerary

THE ROYAL ROMANCE

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades but infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance combines the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance. 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 Franschoek – 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. Click here for full interactive itinerary

LUXURY VIC FALLS & BOTSWANA

In the Luxury Vic Falls & Botswana Safari, Iconic Africa has created the ultimate safari for those wishing to explore Victoria Falls, one of the original natural wonders of the world, and Botswana’s unbelievable wildlife areas. The Elephant Camp –has breath-taking views of the Victoria Falls’ spray and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a luxury, intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls and all its attractions and activities, yet secluded in its own private game reserve. Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero Lodge is situated in Chobe National Park which boasts the largest remaining population of the iconic African elephant. Botswana’s only fully serviced safari spa offers sweet repose in the heat of the midday. Selinda Camp is found in the Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana along the eastern banks of the Selinda Spillway, near the confluence of the Linyanti, Savute and Kwando Rivers. At the peak of the dry season, this concession boasts elephants by the thousands and regular sightings of the Selinda pack of African wild dogs.  Click here for full interactive itinerary

Selinda Explorers Camp

AFRICA’S LUXURY SAFARI CLASSIC

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

LUXURY EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE

This tour as its name suggest is a grand tour of East Africa. From the colonial opulence of Hemingways Nairobi to the breathtaking views and exceptional service at Angama Mara, to the ultimate safari at Singita Faru Faru, to the pearly whites sands of andBeyond’s Mnemba Island Lodge in Zanzibar. Only the very best in East African hospitality, classic safari experiences, sumptuous luxury and unbelievable wildlife encounters await you.

JOHN’S PREMIER WINE & GOLF TOURS

Iconic Africa Director, John Holley’s three passions in life are golf, the bush and wine – 3 of life’s finest treats! He’s been lucky enough to spend much of his life dedicated to these 3 passions and exploring all that South Africa has to offer – which fortunately for him – is a great deal! He’s hand-picked his favourite destination and put them together for you here in his ultimate golf and wine safari. Explore the historical panorama route, the sensational Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park, the Mother City, the coastal town of Hermanus and the rolling hills in Franschhoek and George.  These will no doubt be some of the best 15 days of your life – and full of wine, wildlife and golf they will be! Click here for full interactive itinerary.

Premier Golf and Safari Tour Fancourt

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Tour 

Before you know it, the much anticipated Valentine’s Day will be here and many of you will need some great ideas for some extra-special quality time with your loved one… Luckily, Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades infused into an unmistakable romantic destination. We’ve put together a special tour for you so that you have to worry about one less thing – Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance is the perfect gift or gesture for your special partner this Valentine’s Day… Don’t waste time planning the perfect escape for two – we’ve done it for you! 

It combines the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance. 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 Franschoek – 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. View the full interactive itinerary below: 

  • 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 stretching to the meet the depthless African sky.

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 for months on end.
Accommodation: Ellerman House

  • 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.

A benchmark to luxury and comfort and created with exquisite detail and love.

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.
Accommodation: La Residence

Premier Golf and Safari Tour La residence

  • 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 that blends seamlessly into this ancient land.

Gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees.

The Royal Malewane Spa is world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a unique healing African treatment.

Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa.
Accommodation: Kruger National Park Private Concessions

  • DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIAN FALLS RETREAT

Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by the 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.

Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river.

The outdoor bath is a fantastic space to soak up the night sky while on cooler nights, keeping cosy in the plush lounge before retiring to your extravagant bed.

A little downriver from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth.
Accommodation: Royal Chundu. 

Click here for the full tour. 

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!

Enlivened by Africa

As we conclude a very busy and fulfilling year, we would like to take some time to stop and reflect on what Africa means to us and how this beautiful continent has influenced, inspired and moved us. A memorable trip that immediately comes to mind is an action-packed adventure in East Africa that served as incredible food for the soul. It reminded me of just how powerful and magical Africa is and what it can do for you both inside and out.

Ngornongor Crater Lodge-38

So much of the first world and what we believe is normal life is left behind when you go to Africa.

Time becomes irrelevant, phones and communication impossible, consumerism no longer and worries a distant thing of the past.

Kitchwa-15

Embraced entirely in the present, you are able to fully appreciate everything about that very moment. Sights become brighter, sounds louder, smells more intense, and feelings more honest and accessible.

Life as you know it begins to fade away. Your heart slows down to the beat of the bushveld; your shoulders feel light and your laughter unbridled.

Ngornongor Crater Lodge-2

A transformation is happening as you slowly unravel and join the peace and the pace of the exquisite creatures we share this earth with.

You rise and fall with the sun, beginning and ending each day with awe and appreciation.

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In between this, you are entirely enamoured by nature, its wonders, intricacies and surprises. From the habits of a herd of elephants to the quirky determination of the wildebeest, to the focus and agility of the pied kingfisher, to the mating habits of the crowned cranes…there is so much to take in.

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You breathe out, your eyes are open and focussed on the landscape around you, your ears listening intently and your mind free.

It is impossible to take it all in but you make a concerted effort to be fully present; to be fully available to enjoy every minute of what Africa has in store for you.

Kitchwa-3

There is so much the bush can teach you, so much goodness, so many life lessons and behaviours that you can take home with you.

Let it fill your heart and soul. Let it complete you, one sighting, one story and one sundowner at a time.

Mara Plains-8

Stop thinking I should go to Africa one day or I’d love to go back. It’s more than just an item on your bucket list it’s a life-changing experience and you won’t ever regret it.

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Africa is here waiting for you and it will make you feel more alive than you ever thought possible.

Graham Wood Returns to Londolozi 

What better way to end the year than with another remarkable collection of videos taken by our very own, great friend and photographer, @grahamwoodphoto. His wildlife images are always worth a thousand words and his videos inspire the wanderlust in us all. Let these 3 short videos subdue your safari cravings until you make your next trip to Africa to see the wild dogs, leopards and the rest of our exquisite wildlife.

Within Six Feet of Rhinos

Our very own Terri Abadi has just had yet another unforgettable, heart-stopping encounter at our precious Londolozi. This time she was up close to five magnificent rhinos… on foot!

For a sneak peek of this incredible experience watch the video below or read on for more.  

 

“Less than two weeks ago I was within six feet of five rhinos. But I wasn’t in a Land Rover, nor was I safely tucked away in a viewing hide. 

No, I was on foot, crouched motionless next to a Knobthorn acacia tree with my ranger, fervently hoping the wind didn’t swing, which would let the enormous pachyderms catch our scent. 

There was a cow with a horn of over a metre long, feeding peacefully next to her 4-month old calf. She could potentially be aggressive if startled. Right next to them were two sub-adult bulls, only a few years old and still not completely independent. Lastly came a young cow, also probably an offspring of the huge female.

Five of one of Africa’s most threatened species were at eye-level with us, calmly grazing, totally oblivious to our presence (their eyesight is particularly poor), and I have never felt more alive!

Encounters like these can literally be life-changing. Coming face to face with the wildest of Africa’s creatures whilst simultaneously accessing your own vulnerability is a powerful cocktail of sensory stimulation and emotion, which seldom leaves the viewer unmoved. 

There is an intangibility to the true African experience which only the initiated can truly claim to understand; to profess a connection with this most varied of continents is only possible after seeing with your own eyes, after having felt the bare African earth beneath your own feet and after having heard the lion’s roar in the night air with your own ears.

I know that each time I return to the continent that is my spiritual home I will be changed. I will experience things I could hardly have imagined and I will feel things that some search for their whole lives. Awe. Deep Humility. Belonging.

The Africa of old storybooks is the Africa that is still out there; the Africa I found myself immersed in when five rhinos moved past almost within touching distance, with nothing between us but a few strands of grass, and no noise in the evening air but the sound of their heavy breaths and the pounding of my heart in my own ears. 

This is the Africa of dreams. The Africa of romance and of adventure. The Africa that silently waits in the red sunset of each day as she calls with her tribal drumbeats, and the Africa we want to share with you…”

by Terri Abadi

 

Our Favourite South African Hiking Trails

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

All you need to know about the Serengeti

If you’re planning your next African safari adventure to the Serengeti National Park, we have put together all you need to know to maximise your time in this East-African haven. The park was established in 1951 and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site thirty years later. Now the Serengeti National Park welcomes 350,000 visitors each year. 

We were lucky enough to experience this wonderland from the air on a once-in-a-lifetime balloon safari… definitely something for every safari lover’s bucket list. For a sneak peek of the magic that awaits click here: 

Whatever has drawn you to this magical place – witnessing the Great Migration, seeing all of the Big Five or taking out some R&R time with your significant other – it is always a good time to visit. 

Despite the distinct dry and wet season, the weather is pleasant throughout the year. The high (dry) season runs from January to March and June to October. From January to March you can expect to experience the Great Migration and June to October provides good weather conditions for spotting wildlife. The dry season has clear blue skies and is the perfect time to add a beach destination to your itinerary.

The highlight of your trip during this time of year will be spotting almost 1.7 million wildebeest and other game traversing in search of new grazing grounds. The sheer sound of the migratory animals will leave you speechless. Around February, the wildebeest give birth and then move towards the Grumeti River and cross the Mara River by July. 

During the low season, the wildebeest will have reached the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. 

The low (wet) season is a good time to visit if you are looking forward to a bush spa experience. The rainy season expects fewer visitors, offering guests a quiet and private time in the wilderness. The wet season doesn’t mean day-long rain. With short periods of heavy downpours, there is still enough time for game drives and time to relax on the deck and spot wildlife in the distance. Temperatures can reach 27℃. 

What animals can you see in the Serengeti?

  • Lions
  • Buffalo
  • Giraffes
  • Leopards
  • Rhinos
  • Hippos
  • Zebras
  • Elephants 

Top activities in the Serengeti:

  • Visit a Maasai village 
  • Experience a night game drive 
  • Get an aerial view of the Serengeti 
  • Witness the Great Migration 
  • Visit the paleoanthropological Olduvai Gorge site 

There are a number of ways to reach the Serengeti National Park – by plane and car. One of the recommended routes is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport and take an 8-hour drive to the park or alternatively transfer by plane to Arusha Airport and then fly to one of the smaller airstrips inside the park. 

From the incredible natural events that take place in the park to the wildebeests’ departure and arrival back in their breeding grounds, Serengeti has something magical on show all year round. And if you’re struggling to spot the rare black rhino or the elusive black leopard, you can always book yourself a much-deserved spa treatment and overlook the rolling plains after with a G&T in hand after.

A South African Braai – Explained

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

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

What is a braai?

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

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

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

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

How to make your own braai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Year in Review – A Collection of 2018 Newsletters

As the pendulum swings, we say goodbye to 2018. We reflect on the most fantastic moments of this year – in order to carry forward a much needed awareness and gratefulness into the next. We want you to remember this year as more than just extreme politics and weather – so we take a look the year’s biggest moments and fabulous highlights so that we can begin looking forward to a fruitful 2019.

There’s no better time than now… to take a minute, look back and see all the amazing work we have created for you over the past year – from lodge visits to features to takeovers to wonderful reviews and much more.

We’d like to thank everyone who has inspired and contributed to such interesting content. From January to November, there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Catch up on everything you may have missed out on in one place! We’ve highlighted all the important stuff for you so that you can get up to speed on the entire luxury African safari and epic wildlife must-knows. Check out our top-rated stories right here, right now:

January

Dulini Lodge Entrance
Giraffe Manor Breakfast 2
Here’s to many more breath-taking African moments in 2019!

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:

 

 

 

Top 10 Cute Animal Videos of 2018

Africa is blessed with enough amazing animals to keep the entire world entertained for a lifetime! From clumsy baby elephants to feisty spotted wild dogs… Often their cute nature, cuddly appearances and silly antics make us feel unworthy of such delight!

If you’re in a slump and need a mid-week pickup, we have the cure for you right here! Meet some of the sweetest and funniest furries that we couldn’t resist sharing. They are the balm to our dreary days and have made 2018 a little less cumbersome. Try not to smile or laugh at these videos, we dare you.

Botswana-Safari-Okavango-Safari-Banner-Elephants

 

Here are our top ten wildlife video-shares of 2018 waiting for you. Our viral superstars want you to click play and let them melt your heart:

Posted by Berussa

https://www.facebook.com/berussacan/videos/10155725439728994/?t=7

Posted by Nomad Tours

https://www.facebook.com/NomadTours/videos/10156554156553684/?t=5

Posted by Africa Geographic

https://www.facebook.com/africa.geographic/videos/10154817792121400/?t=2

Posted by andBeyond Travel

https://www.facebook.com/andBeyondTravel/videos/10159186024205193/?t=2

Posted by Amazing Animal Life

https://www.facebook.com/amazinganimallife.page/videos/2208868182771384/?t=4

Posted by Singita Game Reserve

https://www.facebook.com/singita.gamereserves/videos/1961723454125410/?t=16

Posted by Barcroft Animals

https://www.facebook.com/BarcroftAnimals/videos/1013336995430614/?t=5

Posted by Singita Game Reserves

https://www.facebook.com/singita.gamereserves/videos/2125816530786557/?t=4

Posted by News.com

https://www.facebook.com/news.com.au/videos/1118779428149429/?t=3

Posted by Hugs and Happy Diving

https://www.facebook.com/hugsandhappydiving/videos/10155128987632703/?t=10

Hopefully we get to see more of their playfulness in 2019! Here’s to more happy animals…

 

Best Takeovers of 2018

Many dream of Africa – and some revisit it regularly taking visual journeys through photos. There is something special about being able to travel through time and return to places through images, conjuring up favourable memories of a time gone by.

Where in Africa would you like to go? Let us take you there…

This throwback is for both our esteemed travellers and appreciated photographers. As photographers, surely you get excited about new pictures, but it’s also great going back and reminiscing about the great shots of the past. Imagine finding a photo album or scrolling through pictures on your phone right before dinner. The table is set and the next thing you know, you’re 200 pictures deep and dinner has gotten cold.

Here’s to the forgotten photographs, overlooked photographs and taking nostalgic travellers back to Africa. Memories and emotions will come racing back – perhaps even new inspiration. Re-visit untouched landscapes and picturesque sceneries; animals roaming freely; raw African beauty; the infamous African sunsets; dramatic clouds, brewing storms and so much more that this exquisite continent has to offer.

Let us take you on a photographic time travel with this year’s top Iconic Takeovers:

There’s so many wonderful pictures that we cannot fit into one story so check out our Instagram page for more.

Graham Wood

Ngala Safari Lodge Lion Kill Graham Wood

Ad van Zyl

James Tyrrell

Craig Hayman

 

 

A big thank you to all our photographer friends that have taken part in #IATakeovers this year! We are truly honoured to be able to share your images with our travellers. Keep travelling and taking these beautiful pictures – here’s to many more in 2019!