BREAKING NEWS – SAVE 40% with our Supersize Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

BREAKING NEWS: So for one weekend only we’ve managed to get you 40% off our Big 3 Luxury Itinerary. Book between 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November and SAVE 40% on an unforgettable safari adventure.

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE. 

ENQUIRE NOW or call us United States +1 888 345 3443 or  South Africa: +27 82 411 5776

Availability is limited so contact us as soon as possible so we can make your African safari dream come true.

Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

4 Nights – Cape Cadogan 

Begin with 4 nights at the monumental Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel. Deeply hidden in the heart of Cape Town’s trendiest and most vibrant quarter is this Victorian beauty that dates back to the early 1800’s.

3 Nights – Lion Sands River Lodge

Take a short flight to Lion Sands River Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for your next memorable 4 night stay. Besides mouth-watering cuisines, Lion Sands is a haven of relaxation, in the midst of the sensational Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

End off your journey at the invigorating and thrilling Victoria Falls with 3 nights at the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel.

Includes:

Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport

Return private road transfers between Cape Town Airport and Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel.

4 night’s accommodation at Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel in 1 x Luxury Room on a bed and breakfast basis

Scheduled flight from Cape Town to Skukuza Airport

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Skukuza Airport and Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

3 night’s accommodation at Lion Sands River Lodge in 1 x Luxury Room on a fully inclusive basis

Scheduled flight from Skukuza Airport to Nelspruit Airport

Scheduled flight from Nelspruit Airport to Livingstsone Airport, Zambia

Meet and Greet and private cross border road transfer from Livingstone Airport to the Stanley & Livingtone Boutique Hotel

3 night’s accommodation at Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in 1 x Luxury Suite on a bed & breakfast basis

Road transfer from Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel to Victoria Falls Airport

Scheduled flight from Victoria Falls Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

Excludes:

International flights (into Cape Town and out of Johannesburg). travel insurance, KazaUni Visa entry fee Zambia & Zimbabwe at USD50 per person, items of a personal nature, gratuities, all recommended touring

Terms & Conditions

Book between 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November to qualify for this deal. 

Valid for travel between 04 January and 30 April 2019. Further discounts apply for travel between 01 and 31 May 2019.

This deal is subject to currency fluctuations and seat and accommodation availability at time of booking. Tour length can be extended/reduced if required and all properties can be booked as standalone, subject  to T&C’s. Hurry and book now! For other Black Friday tours, click here. 

BLACK FRIDAY – SAVE OVER 35% on our Sensational Southern Africa Luxury Itinerary

Have you already run out of gift ideas? There’s no better surprise than a triple-decker delight! Not just one, but three amazing hand-picked luxury destinations.  Experience Africa at its very best with this sensational 11 day tour including Cape Town, the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.This is your chance to have that beach paradise and bush safari experience all in one. Book before the 30th November and SAVE OVER 35%.

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE.

ENQUIRE NOW or call us: United States +1 888 345 3443 or South Africa: +27 82 411 5776

Availability is limited so contact us as soon as possible so we can make your African safari dream come true.

 Sensational Southern Africa Luxury Itinerary

Dulini Lodge Lion

4 Nights – Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

Spend your first 4 nights at the decadent Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa nestled into the side of Table Mountain.

4 Nights – Dulini Lodge

You’ll then be chartered and transferred to Dulini Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for 4 nights. The splendour of Dulini Game Reserve lies in the exclusivity of its luxurious lodges, incredible wildlife and talented trackers.

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

3 Nights – Victoria Falls River Lodge

End off your trip with 3 magical nights at the Victoria Falls River Lodge Luxury Tented Suites in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Includes:

Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport.

Return private road transfers between Cape Town Airport and the 12 Apostles.

4 night’s accommodation at the 12 Apostles Hotel in a Superior Sea Facing Room on a bed and breakfast basis

Scheduled flight from Cape Town via Nelspruit to Ulusaba Airstrip.

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Ulusaba Airstrip and Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

3 night’s accommodation at Dulini Lodge in a Luxury Suite on a fully inclusive basis.

Scheduled flight from Ulusaba Airstrip to Nelspruit Airport.

Scheduled flight from Nelspruit Airport to Livingstsone Airport, Zambia.

Meet and Greet and private cross border road transfer from Livingstone Airport to Victoria Falls River Lodge.

4 night’s accommodation at Victoria Falls River Lodge in a Luxury Tent on a fully inclusive basis.

Road transfer from Victoria Falls River Lodge to Victoria Falls Airport.

Scheduled flight from Victoria Falls Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Excludes:

International flights (into Cape Town and out of Johannesburg.)

Travel insurance.

KazaUni Visa entry fee Zambia & Zimbabwe at USD50 per person.

Items of a personal nature.

Gratuities.

All recommended touring.

Terms & Conditions

Book before 30th November at the absolute latest to qualify for this deal. 

Valid for travel between 05 January and 31 March 2019.

This deal is subject to currency fluctuations and seat and accommodation availability at time of booking. Tour length can be extended/reduced if required and all properties can be booked as standalone, subject to T&C’s.  For other Black Friday tours, look here. 

Hurry and book now!

 

 

BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL – SAVE OVER 35% on our Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

It’s Black Friday time… and we have some once-in-a-lifetime safari tour deals for you here. Spend 10 amazing nights in charming Cape Town, the sensational Sabi Sands and the wonder of Zimbabwe’s majestic Victoria Falls. This really is the experience of a lifetime! You won’t want to miss out on this first-class, hand-selected itinerary with a one-time only, over 35% discount! Deal ends 30th November

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE. 

ENQUIRE NOW or call us: United States +1 888 345 3443 or  South Africa: +27 82 411 5776

Availability is limited so contact us as soon as possible so we can make your African safari dream come true.

Supersize Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

4 Nights – Cape Cadogan 

Begin with 4 nights at the monumental Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel. Deeply hidden in the heart of Cape Town’s trendiest and most vibrant quarter is this Victorian beauty that dates back to the early 1800’s.

3 Nights – Lion Sands River Lodge

Take a short flight to Lion Sands River Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for your next memorable 4 night stay. Besides mouth-watering cuisines, Lion Sands is a haven of relaxation, in the midst of the sensational Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

End off your journey at the invigorating and thrilling Victoria Falls with 3 nights at the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel.

Includes:

Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport.

Return private transfers between Cape Town Airport and Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel.

4 night’s accommodation at Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel in a Luxury Room on a bed and breakfast basis.

Scheduled flight from Cape Town to Skukuza Airport.

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Skukuza Airport and Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

3 night’s accommodation at Lion Sands River Lodge in a Luxury Room on a fully inclusive basis.

Scheduled flight from Skukuza Airport to Nelspruit Airport.

Scheduled flight from Nelspruit Airport to Livingstone Airport, Zambia.

Meet and Greet and private cross border road transfer from Livingstone Airport to the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel.

3 night’s accommodation at Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in a Luxury Suite on a half board basis.

Transfer from Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel to Victoria Falls Airport.

Scheduled flight from Victoria Falls Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

 

Excludes:

International flights (into Cape Town and out of Johannesburg.)

Travel insurance.

KazaUni Visa entry fee Zambia & Zimbabwe at USD50 per person.

Items of a personal nature.

Gratuities.

All recommended touring.

 

Terms & Conditions

Book before 30th November at the absolute latest to qualify for this deal.

Valid for travel between 05 January and 31 March 2019.

This deal is subject to currency fluctuations and seat and accommodation availability at time of booking. Tour length can be extended/reduced if required and all properties can be booked as standalone, subject  to T&C’s. Hurry and book now! For other Black Friday tours, click here. 

10 Things to Consider When Planning A Safari

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

Lions Sands Ultimate Luxury Safari

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

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

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

Buffalo Walking Safaris Iconic Africa

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

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

Rock Fig Safari Lodge Timbervati Pool

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

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

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

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

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

Golden Monkeys Gorrila Treks Rwanda Iconic Arica

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

What exactly is a safari?

Great… You’ve finally decided to book that once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Africa. But you’re still not sure what exactly a safari is? Fear not! It’s as you’d expect – amazing wildlife sightings, great company and even better food.

A typical African safari is a journey or an expedition to observe wild animals in their natural habitat.

The Swahili word ‘safari’ which comes from the Arabic origin (safar) has always described an overland journey, usually taken by tourists. ‘To travel’ in Swahili is kusafiri which would include any type of journey, from bus to ferry. Thanks to Richard Burton, the explorer, the word safari entered the English language in the1850’s.  In the past, a safari was often a trip taken to hunt big game, but now it is to observe and photograph majestic animals and landscapes and even hike surrounding trails and sightsee.

Now that you know what a safari is, you’re probably wondering what you can expect while on a safari? Here are a few highlights to get you excited about your next trip:

Your day-to-day itinerary will differ depending on the destination and accommodation you have chosen. Even visiting a private reserve compared to a national park will offer a contrasting experience. Each country, reserve and lodge has its own character and many will offer various activities and unique sightings such as the silverback gorillas in Rwanda or the white lions in the Sabi Sands. This is just one of the reasons why going on safari is so addictive!

Iconic-Africa-Rwanda-Gorillas

A luxury safari at one of our leading accommodations is all-inclusive covering tours, food, drinks and expeditions. Our carefully curated luxury packages offer travellers the comforts of home whilst in Africa’s bush. You will feel all the authenticity of a traditional safari and bush camp – the camp-style tents, evening fire pits and cultural immersion with the comforts of air-conditioned suites to rich linens, exquisite décor and world-class service.

Now that you know what you can expect, be prepared to start your day early each morning to catch Africa’s breath-taking sunrises and animal sightings. You’ll have 360 degree uninterrupted views of the beauty all around you – which makes rolling out of bed before the crack of dawn so much easier! Don’t forget your sunblock, sun hat and to have your camera charged and ready.
You may be thinking that sitting in the back of a game vehicle can be boring. But you’re constantly on the lookout for wildlife and everything else the exquisite African bush can treat and teach you about. Most accommodations have spa facilities, great adventure activities, outdoor meals and private viewing decks from your suite.

There will always be something new to see, do and experience. And while it’s impossible to guess or predict what wildlife you will see, most days on safari follow a ‘routine’. This is what a standard day might look like:

You will want to leave the sanctuary of your bed to see the active animals begin their daily routines. The best time for game viewing is before the sun is overhead.

Selinda Explorers Camp WIldlife

Don’t worry, you’ll have some scrumptious rusks and coffee before you leave and be back in time for a hearty breakfast or brunch. Perhaps you will stop for a morning picnic along the way if you have a full day’s game viewing planned.

You can return for a long and relaxing lunchtime when the animals are most inactive. Use this time to unwind with a book and some bubbly or enjoy a refreshing swim. If you haven’t had enough of the wildlife, you can do some game viewing from your private deck.

Most guests head out for another game drive late afternoon when it starts to cool off. Have some snacks and tea before you start looking for animals on the move. By this time, some predators will be grocery shopping for their dinner.

As you make your way back to the camp, the night drive will show you some of nature’s most elusive and nocturnal animals.

Just in time for a delectable and romantic dinner – most probably enjoyed outside under the starlit sky – reminisce the day’s spectacular sightings and end off another wonderful day in Africa around the campfire.

Don’t let routine scare you! As with nature, expect the unexpected. Each day will be unique and no two game drives will be the same. Not forgetting the amazing sunsets that are as distinctive as a fingerprint.

Visit our destinations page for all your safari options, including Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and more.

Getting to know the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is a world-famous sanctuary to both animals and humans alike. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of South Africa, the park offers visitors an unparalleled experience that is ranked with the best in the world. Here you will witness some of the greatest wildlife sightings in Africa. The Kruger is home to all of our iconic safari friends – the Big Five, the cheetah, giraffe, hippo, zebra and so many others. These majestic species share the bushveld with 147 other mammals and hundreds of bird species. These impressive numbers don’t end here: This enormous park showcases 336 different kinds of trees, including the Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane; 49 fish species; various amphibians and not forgetting our reptile friends.

The quickest way to begin your amazing journey through the Kruger National Park is to fly into O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. From here you can catch a connecting flight goes to Nelspruit Airport or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) if you plan to visit the southern part of the Kruger.

Singita Sabi Sands Kruger Park

Covering nearly 2 million hectares of pristine and untouched wilderness, the park sustains a diversity of ecosystems, history and archaeological sites like the Masorini and Thulamela. There are nearly 254 recorded cultural heritage sites in the park, of which 130 are rock art sites. When you aren’t too busy looking for lions and cheetahs, Take a moment to spot bushman rock paintings as well! The Kruger National Park is also a frontrunner in advanced environmental management techniques and policies – especially regarding our beloved elephants.

 

With over 30 accommodations – from bush camps to luxury lodges – and dozens of activities and top sights, you are guaranteed an exciting and memorable time at one of the world’s most prestigious wildlife watching destinations.

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Lion Kruger Park Safari

Remember that early mornings and evening drives are usually when wildlife is most active –it’s worth your while to wake up early if you’ll get to see.

 

 

 

  • The Big 5;
  • The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle;
  • Wild dogs;
  • And the Fish Eagle

If you’re an avid birder, look out for the Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork and don’t forget that zoom lens and an extra SD card.

European Roller Walking Safaris Birds Iconic Africa

The Kruger National Park’s sheer size is unimaginable to first-timers. Don’t try to cover too great a distance in a short time. This massive tract of land would love to see your return soon! So enjoy a slow travel and stop regularly to see as much action as the great outdoors has to offer…  For our most favourite spots to stay in the Kruger click here.

 

A ‘Workation’ in Africa

Vacations are synonymous with relaxation, unwinding and ‘switching off’. Many travellers, couples and families head to destinations where they have no access to WI-FI, cell service, or contact with the outside world. It is a time for rejuvenation, healing and time spent with loved ones. There’s probably a link between increased endorphins and setting up your out-of-office reply, but not everyone has the advantage of a Monday to Friday work-week or enough leave days to actually vacate reality and escape.

In this day and age – many of us take our work with us, everywhere, even on vacation. This has progressed the mobile office space to a new level, and has recently been referred to as a ‘workation’.  Sometimes a change of environment is enough to catch a break. The watercolour sunsets and mirages may even bring inspiration. This new way of working has seen many travel-hungry businessmen successfully accomplish tasks while seeing the world.

But internet connectivity in some parts of the world can be sporadic at best and remote areas often have poor signal, let alone bandwith. Unreliable connections makes checking-in and social engagement a frustrating experience.

We have put together our top five ‘workation’ destinaions for those who need to retreat back into the wild but can’t leave their e-mails behind:

  1. Madikwe, South Africa

The possibility is that you would rather want to take in Madikwe’s panoramic views instead of hear your message notifications come in, but this luxury safari lodge offers guests excellent complimentary WI-FI throughout the lodge, laptop loans and business facilities for those who like to travel light.

  1. White Pearl, Mozambique

Here’s an opportunity to work hard and play hard. It is almost certain that you will have the chance to swim amongst dolphins or view migrating humpback whales while you’re strolling on the beach or reclining on your private deck. This ultimate African experience may inspire some creativity or give you the motivation to finish that task! While the guest areas have been designed for relaxation and romance, stretch out on your bed or day lounger and keep updated or simply post those magnificent pictures of the crystal blue water using the complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

  1. Mara Plains Camp, Kenya

Kenya is unparalleled in sceneries and adventure and Mara Plains Camp rolls both into one at one of the most iconic destinations in Africa. It’s not only millennials that will have a hard time not sharing these magical moments with the world as it happens. Luckily, Safaricom provides a decent 3G network in most parts of Kenya, and Mara Plains Camp offers mobile network to guests.

  1. Tongabezi, Zambia

Most travellers head to Tongabezi for a romantic stay. But posting those dreamy pictures to your Instagram may be more important than work e-mails. Catch up with loved ones and post those pictures that will have all your friends envious using the area around Victoria Falls and Livingstone’s mobile connectivity or Tongabezi’s uncapped Wi-Fi.

  1. All our properties in the Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park

There’s no need to put off spending time in the bush. You can have it all – rest in a sanctuary for both humans and wildlife, and work at the same time while enjoying five star accommodation and fine dining opportunities. The Wi-Fi signal is strong in the one place you wish you could switch off…

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Lounge Interior 2 Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

May your travels take you where the signal is strong, but don’t forget to take the time to stop, switch off, submerge yourself in the amazing surroundings and let the magic of Africa wash over you.

Dulini River Lodge Reborn

The splendour of Dulini Game Reserve lies in the exclusivity of its luxurious lodges. Hugged by a leafy canopy of Ebony and Leadwood trees, and gracing the banks of the seasonal Mabrak and Sand River, Dulini River Lodge re-opened its doors in early May 2018 after the long awaited completion of its major upgrade and refurbishment.

The Dulini River Lodge has been born-again with a new look and feel, but remains a sanctuary of comfort and mindful restoration.

A river runs through it

Embraced by the grandeur of tall ancient trees, Dulini River Lodge enjoys an unsurpassable location in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Creatively designed to emphasize the wonder of the magnificent riverine setting, the allure of the new-look lodge is that it surprises on arrival, from the unexpected entrance through the trees to its cantilevered deck – where it’s not uncommon to secretly witness an elusive leopard pass by.

Six luxurious suites offer inspiring views of the Sand River

With only six blissfully cocooning suites, guests enjoy absolute seclusion and privacy. Inspired by the constantly changing beauty of the river, the new interiors are tactile and textured with cool, neutral linens complementing the washed wood and organic lines. Every luxurious element takes its cue from life on the river, capturing its rippled reflections and the ever-changing palette of subtle hues to create a calming and utterly relaxing haven.

Each suite boasts a private heated plunge pool overlooking the river that inevitably lures guests after an exhilarating game drive. No two game drives are ever the same in this pristine 10 000 hectare wilderness, where skilled Shangaan trackers and professional rangers tailor their drives around guests’ interests and share their wealth of knowledge. While the rich biodiversity of the reserve guarantees a rewarding Big Five game experience, the chorus of the bushveld birds, insects and riverine frogs at the lodge completes this African orchestra.

Become part of the family

Genuine warmth and thoughtful touches enhance every stay at Dulini River Lodge. The passionate team welcomes everyone with open arms, so much so that people arrive as guests and leave as family of Dulini. Many guests come as honeymooners and return time and again with family and friends. This time, our contemporary new look awaits new and returning guests!

Thank you Dulini Collection for the information and wonderful pictures of Dulini River Lodge. To see more images of the other Dulini lodges, click here. Or feel free to contact us for enquiries and reservations.

James Tyrrell – Safari Guide of the Year

Ask any traveller who has returned from a safari…. it is the guide and his tracker who truly defines and provides a memorable experience. Africa acknowledges this and is proud to have some excellent guides in our midst.

We are thrilled to celebrate James Tyrrell, winner of the 2018 Safari Guide of the Year competition who continues to demonstrate passion before duty! Join in our little fanfare for this great friend of ours and fabulous private guide who has shown great ability, but more so adoration and respect for the great African bush. This competition is a brilliant way to inspire guides to excel and recognises and rewards those who have set themselves apart from the rest. This isn’t the first time a Londolozi guide has won this incredible award and definitely not the last…

Unlike the insurmountable subjective “best of” lists, it is nice to know who is judging and based on what criteria. Through a process of elimination, Africa Direct in association with FGASA have assessed guides on numerous aspects such as tracking, game drives, guided walks, shooting, birding, story-telling and one of James’ finest achievements – photography.

There is much more to an African safari than sitting in the back of a vehicle and passively watching the scenery and wildlife pass you by. The quality of your guide can be a determining factor and it takes a passionate and dedicated one to be able to tailor experiences to suit different guests. Tyrrell not only shows but teaches too – about safety, animal spotting, birds, knowledge of the wilderness and people. He shares his passions and invokes them in others, transforming a typical safari into an extra-ordinary one.

While Tyrrell is fuelled simply by his love for what he does, let us boast about some of his accolades for him!

Evolved game guide turned photographer and filmmaker, Tyrrell is one of the most grounded and well-rounded guys out there. Besides his accumulated years of experience and repeated emphasis on his passion, we can truly say he is living his dream!

At an age where most kids are trying to correctly name colours and objects, Tyrrell was watching the documentary film ‘The Silent Hunter’ by co-founder of Londolozi, John Varty. Tyrrell’s film review was that Londolozi was the only place he would want to work at as a ranger. All kids have childhood dreams, Tyrrell saw his through!

James of all trades, master of quite a few.

Arriving at Londolozi, Tyrrell had minimal experience behind the lens of a camera. But with persistence, effort and a creative eye he now documents and shares stories of Londolozi and takes audiences on a visual journey from the comfort of their couch so that they may live vicariously through his South African perspective of the wilderness. Now everyone can share in and connect with the wonders of the bush!

James has been interested in photography for years, but it was only after he moved to the bush that he began pursuing it professionally. These environments rich with photographic opportunities allowed him to develop his skillsand he now works as a specialist photographic guide as well.

While most of us agree that Tyrrell should be in front of the camera once in a while, with that crooked smile and rugged beard under his brimmed hat, his passion and skill (not forgetting his natural ability to write) beckons him to be behind screens.

Good luck James with all future endeavours. We know you will make a success of whatever you pursue and look forward to many more wonderful photos and articles from you. To get in touch with James Tyrrell or view more of his awesome photographs, visit his Instagram account.

 

Heads, Kruger; Tails, Serengeti

Where is Africa’s most iconic safari destination? The question most first-timers ask when planning their trip to the bush. This depends on who is asking and while there isn’t a definitive answer, the Kruger National Parkand the Serengeti come head-to head when trying to claim the title.  Let us compare two of Africa’s most popular wildlife epicentres and help you decide:

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

 

East and Southern Africa has so much to offer the nature enthusiast, but the Great Kruger and Serengeti stand out among contenders. The two destinations offer very different experiences and each reflects the priorities of different travellers. The Kruger National Park in South Africa is set in a bush environment while the Serengeti in Tanzania occupies a large open plain. Depending on personal taste, you could love either… or both!

The fact is that both the Kruger and the Serengeti are equally iconic, offering different ecological environments that determine them both esteemed choices. Whichever you decide to visit, the truth is that you will never tire of it, dreaming of returning again and again – each time creating new memories.

Both parks – easily the size of a small country – are full of big and small game and equally demonstrates the emblematic predator-prey dynamic.  They border legendary private reserves such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Masai Mara in Kenya; and Sabi Sands and Timbavati Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Both offer sightings of mystical wildlife and picturesque landscapes, family experiences, unprecedented sunsets, a touch of romance and luxury comforts in exquisite colonial-setting accommodations. In Tanzania or South Africa you can sleep in tented accommodationsbut rest assured, it is not considered camping! Your safari will include four-poster king beds and en-suites with modern amenities.

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Kruger Park Safaris

Both the Kruger and Serengeti are the perfect place to begin your African adventure, especially for those who have never been on a safari before. As a rite of passage, both parks rank among the best in the world to see the rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard. If you’re a gentle giant enthusiast, head to the Kruger that supports a dense elephant population or to the Serengeti if you’re more of a cat person.

Both the Kruger and Serengeti are considered year-round destinations as it’s always a good time to go! Although, both countries have two distinct seasons and you can expect similar weather and animal patters in both countries during these times of year.

 

The summer months bring occasional thunderstorms and higher temperatures. The landscape and vegetation is green and lush and the beauty of the landscape will overwhelm you. While large game are not as active during this period, sightings are still sensational as there are lots of young animals around and the bird watching is incredible.

They each have dry winter months which are considered the best time of year for wildlife viewing. This is when the bush is less dense and animals are much easier to spot as they generally congregate near waterholes. There isn’t much rain at this time of year and the skies are blue. What sets the Serengeti apart from the Kruger during winter is the incredible wonder that is the great wildebeest migration.

For most first-timers, just getting to tick off the Big Five from their bucket-list is commendable. Yet Tanzania offers travellers something greater, the annual migration of over 2 million wildebeest. And if you catch yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, there remains an abundance of wildlife to see.

Serengeti is recognised for its variety and volume of wildlife in comparison to almost every other African park.  Besides the Great Migration being a manifestation of dreamlike wonder, cheetahs are frequently sighted in the south – more so than in central Kruger, and is better for locating the world’s largest antelope, the eland. Common sightings of the striking serval is best experienced (and possibly only) in the Serengeti, making it one of Africa’s top wildlife areas.

Not undermining the Kruger, the park holds the world’s most important monopoly over the endangered black rhino! Contrary to the Serengeti’s eland, travellers can anticipate seeing diverse antelope on game drives such as kudu, sable, nyala and bushbuck. They also maintain one of the last endangered African wild dog populations. And while some flock to the Serengeti for the Great Migration, ecologists might be interested in the Kruger’s organised night drives to look at some of the smaller nocturnal predators.

The two parks are not only located in different countries, but host different ecosystems, landscapes and wildlife. Yet they have more things in common than that which sets them apart, making it difficult to decide which to visit first. The elusive leopard can be spotted along the Seronera River and Sabi River and both parks guarantee sightings of one or all of the following: the spotted hyena, jackal, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippos, crocodile and endless other wildlife.And while the black rhino is most commonly found in the Kruger, they can also be seen along the buffalo’s migration route in Tanzania. The open plains of the Serengeti promise sightings of large herds of grazers, but Kruger National Park has also recorded sightings of magnificent numbers of buffalo.

Both the Kruger and Serengeti offer incredible wilderness opportunities. If you have been to the Kruger National Park or the Serengeti, which one would you recommend and why? Let us know in the comments on our Instagram page @iconicafrica and tag us in your wonderful photographs of the Kruger National Park or the Serengeti with the hashtag #KrugervsSerengeti.

 

 

Royal Malewane Refurbishment

On a private game reserve bordering the Kruger National Park lies The Royal Portfolio’s family owned and run Royal Malewane.

This exclusive safari lodge in the Great Kruger National Park – which opened its doors nearly two decades ago – is set against the silhouetted back drop of the towering Drakensberg Mountains. Despite this awe inspiring setting, it is the Royal Malewane’s lavish attention to detail in every aspect which belies belief and which has earned this regal property its plethora of “World’s Best” awards over the past decade.

Royal Malewane has recently completed an extensive refurbishment with some wonderful new additions to carry on insuring a continuously intimate and luxurious experience. Liz Biden says, “The refurbishment has given the entire lodge a lovely lift while retaining the classic safari style and relaxed atmosphere that our guests have enjoyed for nearly 20 years.”

The air-conditioned extravagant suites have always been an opulent hideaway from the heat of the bushveld, displaying unparalleled views of wild spaces beyond. Each suite remains generously spacious but has seen some structural changes such as new floors, doorways, walls and thatching. The Royal Malewane’s kosher kitchen has also been redone.

The suites now have new wooden decking and the swimming pools have been resurfaced. The only intrusion on your privacy that you’ll have, if you’re lucky, is a small herd of elephants that may stop by your rim-flow pool for an afternoon drink as you cool off with a cocktail.

Enlivening the classic suite furnishings, Liz Biden, owner of The Royal Portfolio, has added exquisite pieces of furniture and exotic new fabrics including vibrant new flashes of colour. A fresh variation from the grand mahogany fittings and extravagant Persian carpets.

The two Royal Suites, adorned with authentic and opulent décor that transports guests to a time of old world elegance and classic bush style, were also enhanced with new gazebo entrances.

And while guests are honoured with beautiful new living spaces and private outdoor relaxation areas, the highlight of The Royal Malewane refurbishment is the opening of the Masiya Bar positioned on the old boma dining area. Established to pay tribute to the Master Trackers of Royal Malewane, this contemporary gin and whisky bush bar is an attraction that offers a different kind of relaxation to the private plunge pool and spa sanctuary. Named after one of the first of the three Master Trackers at Royal Malewane, the Masiya Bar is a wonderful new space for guests to lounge around the fire and share the stories of the day. It also doubles as a new private dining options for guests.

While travellers enjoy the fruits of this recent refurbishment, keep your eye on the Royal Malewane as a new building project is underway. Some of the exciting developments in the pipeline include The Farmstead at Royal Malewane which will open in mid-2019.

 

 

South Africa: A Winter Wonder

Winter in South Africa is by no means our off-season! We won’t inconvenience travellers with snow storms and grounded planes. Which is why winter is the country’s secret hot season to travel with all its charms. Here is why experiencing winter in South Africa is such a great idea and  a fews of the many activities you can do:

 

As inviting as the sunbathing, cocktails and swimming is, there is more to South Africa than sun-kissed beaches and bodies. Winter in South Africa will look just as amazing on your Instagram feed as travellers gear up to explore the major cities in 2018. There are some things that are just better in winter, with warm cocoa, scarves and curling up in front of fireplaces.  Or watch the rain with a glass of Shiraz and a cheese platter at one of the Western Cape’s fantastic wine estates. Our international travellers can experience fewer crowds, great food and find cosy hideaways. It is the perfect time to combine a family safari with other winter experiences in this beautiful country, especially with U.S. and European summer vacation afoot.

The cooler, milder weather of winter makes being outdoors a lot more pleasant, especially when that crispy winter sun decides to grace us. Here are some activities that really are better during May to August in South Africa:

WILDLIFE AND SAFARI

Unlike Zambia and Botswana, South Africa has a much quieter winter season. Many camps and lodges are less busy than during the warmer summer months, but this makes for a great opportunity to visit – and can also mean that you get your own private safari vehicle!

There is no better time to sight wildlife than during South Africa’s cold, winter months when the savannah becomes sparse and loses its camouflaging colour. Wildlife becomes more visible and often congregates in groups around water or food. Animals have a difficult time hiding among the grass and the cooler weather in the mornings and evenings allows them to stay active for longer. Some parts of South Africa are mild and dry and increase the hours of potential game-viewing.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

WINTER FESTIVALS

Winter travel to South Africa has been on the rise owing to one of South Africa’s major attraction for travellers– a time of various cultural events and festivals such as the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May and land-based whale-watching from June to September. There’s also the Knysna Oyster Festival in June until early July and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, amongst many others.

WHALES

Between July and October, mammals such as the Southern Right whale come to the bays and coves of the South African coastline to mate and calve. Whales can be spotted along the entire coastline, but the Hermanus coast is considered one of the best in the world to view them from.

WILDFLOWERS

Although South Africa is famous for its springtime blooms such as daisies and purple skilpadblomme, an array of white and yellow blooms and succulents and bulbous plants, these beautiful wildflowers appear in late winter.

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

There is a season for all adventure activities, but let’s admit, winter is better for some. Surfing is always much more treasured when the waves are bigger and the water is warmer.  Dependent on the Western Cape’s unpredictable rain patterns of late, travellers can also enjoy the benefits of South Africa’s water sports and try white water rafting.

 

FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS

Take a day trip to Gansbaai for shark cage diving. Winter is the best time of year to experience the thrill of being up close with these majestic creatures as the water is warmer and are much more active, often hunting seals.

For more on the benefits of visiting South Africa in winter click here