Braai in South Africa

If you’re heading to South Africa on safari in the next few weeks, we have 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. This is a social time when we sit back, relax and indulge in some of the countries finest rump, T-bone and sirloin steak marinated for hours in local sauces and 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. 

This is especially relevant in South Africa during Heritage month, with Heritage Day on the 24 September. During this month and on this day, locals celebrate their heritage, culture, diversity, traditions and this nation-building tool will definitely involve scrumptious traditional foods. 

The greatest part of a safari in South Africa is that there will definitely be an outdoor boma and a safari braai. The boma symbolises an outdoor retreat, where guests gather to socialise, find warmth and eat good food. 

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, surrounded by wildlife and wilderness and eventually indulging under a starlit African sky, there will be no place you’d rather be. 

How to make your own braai: 

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. 

And while we celebrate our heritage, we also remember to stay green. Safari Braai runs projects in South Africa that uses and recycles alien trees into braai wood to improve water run-off into rivers and dams. 

They have also designed the new Safari Fire Stix firelighter which is manufactured from recycled wood dust, wax and a wick. It is very safe to light and burns for approximately 18 minutes. It has no smell and is environmentally friendly.

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

The Beauty of the Sabi Sands

Not only did our director John Holley spend two wonderful years working at Londolozi in the Sabi Sands but our team is often there visiting. In fact, we just can’t seem to stay away! Here are a few reasons why this wonderful place holds a special place in our hearts. 

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve was the first private game reserve in South Africa, founded in 1948 and now forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. 

Sharing a 32-mile unfenced border with the Kruger, wildlife can traverse freely creating an exceptional opportunity for big game viewing with some of the world’s finest rangers and trackers. 

The Sabi Sands is one of the most sought-after private game reserves for safari and this comes as no surprise with the unforgettable luxury accommodations available. 

This 65, 000-hectare wilderness should definitely be on your travel bucket-list – a destination that will see your many returns once you get a taste of all its magic! 

Here are some of our favourite luxury accommodations in the reserve; from romantic escapes to family retreats, there is the perfect bush escape for every reason, season and occasion. 

Singita

Singita means “place of miracles,” which truly embodies everything for which this incredible brand has become famous. Known for astonishing game viewing, Singita has won “Top Hotel in the World” more than 16 times.

Dulini Lodge 

Sheltered beneath the shade of ancient trees and embraced by the riverine setting, the tranquil haven offers a five-star luxury experience.  The subtle blend of pan-African art and the traditional safari theme creates an enchantment while ensuring Dulini feels like a home away from home. Dulini Lodge is also world-famous for its leopard sightings. 

Londolozi

Three of Londolozi’s five lodges, namely GranitePioneer and Tree are Relais & Chateaux properties and these lodges are true to the elegance and attention to detail that this world-renowned signature embodies. The remainder of the five, Founders and Varty are not to be overlooked. Varty Camp is adored for its deep history and endearing charm; and Founders is equally deserving of complimentary adjectives: sophisticated, warm and classic.

Kirkmans Camp 

This opulent Victorian-themed masterpiece conjures an atmosphere of bygone luxury and calm on the banks of the Sand River.

Chitwa Chitwa 

The sophisticated lodge is set amongst towering Acacia and ancient Ebony trees, overlooking the Sabi Sands largest waterhole. 

Lion Sands  

Lions Sands’ pride of four ultra-luxury lodges, all perched along the Sabie River, are a testament to a family’s passion and admiration for their pristine piece of wild Africa. It is nurtured as a gift passed down over four generations and each lodge endeavours to share its story and its beauty with everyone that visits. 

These properties are world-contenders for the best hospitality, food, architecture and luxury. But it is not only the lodges that provide the avid traveller with a lifetime of memories. 

The ultimate bush experience is made distinct by the quality of game viewing. The Sabi Sands is one of the best places to view leopards – on exciting night drives, the Big Five and other game. On a single outing, you may even get to see up to 10 different animals and birds and observe their habits. 

With hundreds of bird species and tons of recorded mammal species, you won’t have to leave your lodge to see a plethora of plants and animals, especially being close to either the Sand or Sabie Rivers – perennial water sources that attract herds of animals to their water source year-round. Watch hippos cool down in the water while you take in the lush surroundings in summer or watch how the wild bring new life to this unspoilt corner. During the winter months, wildlife are more active and you have a greater chance of seeing big cats on the hunt or young cubs playing. 

In addition to the safari classics; the giraffe, zebra and hyena, you could spot a rare pangolin if you’re lucky. And the best part is that your experienced guides will be able to drive the vehicle off-road to follow any tracks and get up-close and personal with some of Africa’s finest wildlife. 

The easiest way to optimise your time in this prestigious wilderness is to catch a flight from Johannesburg or Kruger Mpumalanga International airport or to an airstrip in the Sabi Sands and have a transfer take you directly to your lodge. 

Take the necessary precaution and get vaccinated. Speak to your doctor or travel clinic about anti-malaria tablets and pack in your long-sleeved tops, long pants, socks and closed shoes. 

First-time safari-goers and regulars always return time and time again. This private game reserve is always in high demand, so book your Sabi Sands safari now!

 

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? 

 

         

 

15% Discount at Dulini & Savanna

Two of our favourite properties – the Dulini Collection and Savanna Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands, South Africa are offering travellers an incredible 15% discount off contracted accommodation rates for travel from November 2019 to March 2020.

The splendour of Dulini Game Reserve lies in the exclusivity of its luxurious lodges. Dulini lodge, Dulini River lodge and the recently refurbished Dulini Leadwood lodge grace the banks of the seasonal Mabrak and Sand River – sanctuaries of comfort that spill out onto the vast wilderness just beyond.

This ideal destination is world-famous for its leopard sightings and renowned for having the best Big Five game viewing in the country. Guests will have access to trained rangers and Shangaan trackers and can tick off exciting nocturnal safaris off their bucket-lists.

Dulini Leadwood Lodge offers its guests a cosy sanctuary where the peace and tranquillity of the surrounding wilderness emanates into the four tasteful suites through the expansive glass sliding doors. The suites maximise total serenity and solitude. Underfloor heating tenderly warms you in the “chill” of winter and a king-sized pool on your private deck gently cools your soul in the heat of summer.

Savanna Private Game Reserve boasts private, and quiet suites perfectly located in between indigenous bush and trees making this the perfect destination for birders. Travel back in time with timeless decor that blends colonial and classic with handcrafted furniture, fine linen and beautiful artwork. There are three Executive and four Luxury Suites available which offer a unique ‘Out of Africa’ experience with canvas roofs above draped ceilings set on permanent structures.

Subject to the following terms:

  • Travel dates: 01 November 2019 – 31 March 2020
  • Blackout dates: 21 December 2019 – 08 January 2020.
  • Minimum stay of 3 nights or more subject to availability.
  • Cannot be combined with any other special offers.
  • Applies to new bookings only.

For further information please feel free to contact us here. 

A Culinary Adventure at Royal Malewane

Most travellers who visit Africa are drawn to the abundant wildlife and great weather. As a leading safari destination, you can find everything from romantic retreats, malaria-free family lodges, the Big Five and another intriguing feature that attracts visitors – a gourmet food quest. One of South Africa’s best safari secrets is the mouth-watering cuisine prepared by some of the top chefs in the world and one of our most favourite gourmet safari destinations has to be – Royal Malewane.

Enjoy a lazy afternoon on your private deck with fragrant coffee or a signature cocktail. Or make your way down to the boma for a candle-lit feast served up under the night sky. The culinary adventure that awaits at the Royal Malewane that will be equally as memorable as your game-drive or walking safari.

Here’s a sneak peek of what your average day will look like:

If you’re looking for a splendid English breakfast to accompany the exquisite bush setting, the smell of hot muffins, freshly-baked scones served with raw honey will awaken your every sense. Served next to a crackling fire, tantalise your taste-buds while coffee brews and take in the vast expanse around you.

After your game drive, waiting for you back at the lodge is a gourmet lunch prepared in their very own kosher kitchen. Feel every bit on vacation as you indulge under the Jackalberry trees on the wooden deck.

And if you aren’t ready to head inside yet, dinner is served outside in a traditional boma bush setting. The magic belongs to Chef John Jackson’s who will prepare sweet Mozambique crab and Karoo lamb, or tender venison fillet cooked with homemade berry preserves.

And if you think all the fuss is in the dining setting, Royal Malewane holds the sought-after Chaîne des Rôtisseurs award in its trophy case.

But your taste-buds have one more surprise for the day! As you head back to your suite to clock out, you’ll find a single exotic fruit and a handwritten note and poem on your pillow to send you off into safari slumber. From the large jugs of freshly blended chilled papino, mango or strawberry juice you wake up to the sweet taste you’re left with before retiring, you will surely succumb to the seductions of Royal Malewane’s delicacies.

John Jackson is a name behind some of South Africa’s most sought after restaurants, and after 20 years of delivering a royal culinary experience, his blends, pairings and technique show as much care and attention as does guides on game drives.

While your heart takes flight, the delicious food and warm hospitality will ground you, especially paired with the expertly chosen Royal Malewane house wines. Need we say more…

For more on this exquisite property click here. 

 

Tour of the Month – Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic

This month’s tour of the month is without doubt one of our greatest African experiences. It’s three of our most unique experiences combined into one rich and colourful journey. Immerse yourself in the Cape’s most tranquil sea-side setting, witness the gloriousness of the mighty Victoria Falls set on the doorstep of one of the continents best-kept secrets, and enter a world of heart-warming experiences that you’ll never forget!

In Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic, Iconic Africa hand picks 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 sumptuous safari in the world-famous greater 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

Itinerary

Day 1-3: A Sea Side Affair

Cape Grace is in the ideal position for you to enjoy all the enchantments of the Mother City including the harbour, yacht basin and Table Mountain. The Cape Grace offers various choices of expansive, luxurious suites and rooms to suit all needs. You are guaranteed to the ultimate opulence – from the African Spa that offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon. Suites boast endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean.

Accommodation: Cape Grace

Day 3-6: Sumptuous Safari

Lion Sands Ivory Camp is the More family’s showpiece of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Here you will find complete intimacy, exquisite comfort and primal joy in the heart of South Africa’s most abundant safari destination. There are only six glorious suites at Ivory – each a spacious testament to luxury, African beauty and natural tranquillity. The enormous bedroom, bathroom and inviting lounge with fireplace, look out onto your private deck with plunge pool.

From an open safari vehicle, your highly-trained ranger and tracker team will show you the primal wonders of the Kruger.

Why not try the luxurious tree house suite – surrounded by golden lantern light and the calls of distant lions under the canopy of the Milky Way.

Accommodation: Ivory Lodge

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Day 7-9: Touched By the Healing Spray

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm. The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the mighty Zambezi. Try from a list of endless adventures and activities, or simply explore. You will experience one of the best sundowner spots at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – as dusk turns the falls’ mist a golden pink.

Accommodation:The Royal Livingstone Hotel

For more on this tour or some of the others that we offer click here now.

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. 

 

 

Winter Game Encounters at Londolozi

Ever wondered what winter game viewing was like in the Sabi Sands? Great friend of Iconic Africa’s – Matt Evans has just been on safari to Londolozi and he’s been kind enough to share his incredible game viewing experiences with us.
Londolozi Tree Camp Fire Deck Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris
These videos definitely speak for themselves. Whether it’s wild dogs, lion or leopard you have your heart set on seeing – they are all there waiting for you! Click on the links to view the videos.
Thank you again Matt for sending these videos through – please keep them coming.

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.

 

Golfing in South Africa on Your Next Safari

Longstanding as a top safari destination, South Africa boasts exceptional weather and offers magnificent golf courses set in beautiful scenery, doubling it as a golfer’s paradise.  South Africa gives travellers the gift of options – incorporating a golf tour into any well-deserved holiday, romantic trip or family vacation.

Choose from the breath-taking Cape Town or the City of Gold – the perfect start with brilliant shopping for the non-golfers. Or perhaps the appeal of a seaside setting will lure travellers to the Garden Route or for another life-changing bush experience to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Those familiar with South Africa will understand the phenomenal natural beauty of the surroundings that will form the backdrop for your next tee-off.

 

Here are our top three reasons to add golf to your next safari:

Wide Variety of Championship Courses

South Africa is home to more than 500 golf courses – many of which are championship courses. A lot of South African gold courses have been designed by international designers or have the patriotic stamp of resident golfing legends.

Spectacular Settings

South Africa is one of the top countries with many diverse golf course settings. You can tee off inland or near the sea; from a clifftop at Pinnacle Point; or within view of some big game near or in the Kruger National Park, where it is common for wildlife to wander onto the course.

Additional Activities

While your vacation may focus on having an exceptional golfing experience, you will still be able to incorporate traditional highlights such as a Big Five safari or visiting world-renowned tourist attractions, ensuring your visit to South Africa is unforgettable.

Here are our top four golf destinations in South Africa:

Cape Town

The Western Cape is blessed with magnificent mountain ranges and bordered by coastal settings. This creates picturesque sceneries for impeccably maintained courses such as Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West and Steenberg Golf Club near the Tokai Forest designed by golf-legends, Gary Player and Peter Matkovich.

While you’re in Cape Town, you can stay at one of our beautiful city residences or countryside homes-away-from-home.

Garden Route

The Garden Route offers a distinct climate specific to that area. Combine moderate temperatures with the surrounding greenery and golden beaches and you have yourself a bucket-list destination! This area has a number of beautiful golf courses and at least four of the top ten golf courses in South Africa are located here. Two of our favourite courses include Fancourt and Pezula. The area also offers a treasure of other fun activities for non-golfers and families.

Gauteng

While not as scenic as other parts of South Africa, Gauteng does offer exceptional quality golf courses. Some of the top courses in Gauteng have hosted various competitions, including the South African Open and the PGA Championship. Try a round of golf at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

Distance from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park: +- 4 hours by vehicle.

Kruger Park

The Kruger National Park has a range of pristine golf courses bordering the park or nearby in the Lowveld region. This is one of the only areas in South Africa where golf is best enjoyed during the dry autumn and winter months. Often ranked as South Africa’s best golf course, Leopard Creek should be on top of your golfing to-do list.

Here are is a list of our top accommodation in the Kruger National Park.

Add a round of golf – or two – to the itinerary on your next South African vacation. South Africa is the perfect family getaway and your golfing experience will be enriched by the possibility of combining it with the ultimate luxury safari. In between rounds of golf, see the legendary Big Five, do a Cape Winelands wine tour or simply relax on the beach.

 

 

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.

Lauren Fryer visits Londolozi

Iconic Africa’s very own Lauren Fryer has recently returned from an unbelievable time spent at one of our favourite safari lodges – Londolozi. She was kind enough to share with us her memorable experience and some awesome photographs that she will be adding to her collection.

Did you see any of the new lion cubs from the Ntsevu pride?

Yes we did and they are magnificent. They were very relaxed playing with each other whilst the lionesses tolerated them and the males rested a few metres away.

What other wildlife did you see and which was your favourite? 

We had just had a beautiful sighting of a leopard interacting with an elephant. Whilst rushing off to find the wild dog we could hear, we bumped into a mother leopard with her 2 cubs. They were walking along the airstrip and the cubs were playing and practicing hunting with 2 adult warthog. The warthog were so relaxed and entertained by the cubs pouncing on them and chasing them as long as the mother stayed a fair distance away. Our tracker and ranger worked brilliantly together. They were a real team and together with their shared knowledge we had incredible sightings.

What was your favourite meal at Londolozi? 

WOW! The food is utterly outstanding. From sumptuous breakfasts to light modern salad bowls for lunches; followed by a compulsory afternoon tea of decadent cake and mouth-watering tarts – it’s not surprising I can’t fit into my jeans! Coming for Kwa Zulu Natal, my favourite meal was definitely the traditional Durban curry in the boma! The setting around the boma on a chilly autumn night, with a glass of red wine in hand just paired perfectly with this flavoursome dish

What is your most memorable Londolozi moment?

I was touched by the whole experience. It truly was the most magical safari destination I have ever been to.

What did you think of the staff?

From the moment we entered the gate at Londolozi we were welcomed with a warm and friendly smile. This warmth follows through with every single member of their team. You are literally treated like family; everyone knows your name and are so genuine in their interaction with you. Every need is taken care of with a level on unobtrusive service and excellence that I have ever experienced in a lodge. I give credit to an incredible leadership team where people from all cultures are living in harmony with one another in one of the most beautiful places on earth, all in the name of conservation and a passion for wildlife. With only spending 1 night there I can attest for the contagious nature of the family spirit, and positive energy of all staff members. You are so welcomed and made to feel at home in this magical destination.

What was your most interesting encounter while on a game drive?

When sipping on our G&T’s on an afternoon game drive, we had a surprise visitor stroll past us and have a drink. This cheeky little hyena wasn’t fazed by us at all and it was wonderful watching him get on with his daily routine.

What would you recommend for other travellers heading to Londolozi?

I believe you should try stay for at least 3 nights. You will leave with a full heart, feeling rejuvenated and wanting to book again! The wildlife experience is incredible and full days experiencing what the camp has to offer are a must. From visiting the community village, wellness centre, getting help with your wildlife photo’s in the amazing new photo lab and just soaking in the gloriousness of the location from your deck, why rush it!

Plan ahead, secure the dates and go see it! TRUST ME!!!

Did you experience the healing house at Varty Camp?

We sadly didn’t as time was short.  If we had more time we would have loved a yoga session overlooking the river, followed by a rejuvenation session in the wellness centre! It looks incredible.We love that they are embracing the healthy, active lifestyle of travellers these days. Their new gym ticks all the boxes, so you can enjoy all the delicious food completely guilt free!

What other activities did you do while at Londolozi?

Will the camp manager took us on a walk around all the camps as they have recently been redone! They are looking incredible. There is the perfect marriage between staying true to their heritage with a fresh modern touch. It is unpretentious, and leaves you with a feeling that can’t be described.  After all it’s not about the material objects; it’s about being together in a place like no other, making magical memories.

If you could describe Londolozi in one word – what would it be? 

Connection…

Here are some of her favourite shots taken at Londolozi…

 

 

Property of the Month – Pioneer Camp Londolozi

For years Pioneer Camp has been the holiday of choice for Terri Abadi (our very own founder) and her family. Terri has travelled Africa extensively and yet each year she is adamant that Pioneer Camp is the place she wants to return to. This month’s property of the month is highly sought after for special family occasions and honeymoons alike and guests regularly book their next stay before even having left their current Londolozi safari experience, here’s why:

An interactive luxury camp

Pioneer camp is designed as an exclusive safari homestead which makes it ideal for families and small groups. It is the most secluded of Londolozi’s five camps, with an expansive deck shaded by wise old Jackalberry Pioneers, an interactive open-plan kitchen, and an enclosed lavish lounge giving guests the freedom to savour their private safari experience. Should you seek tranquil company, then a serene stroll by footpath leads the way to the yoga deck, fitness centre and Life massage haven.

Pioneer Camp’s three generous luxurious suites showcase exquisite river views, private plunge pools, and indoor and outdoor showers decorated with timeless opulence. Glass sky walkways between the suites create optional interconnected family units and a lap pool just below the main deck fosters spending time together sipping gin and tonics in the afternoon heat.

Celebrating the past

In celebrating a bygone era, Pioneer Camp is adorned with deep-rooted collectable suitcases, a restored gramophone, preserved trophies and historical black and white photographs, all sophisticatedly balanced with Ralph Lauren wall paper and modern textured fabrics. An iconic ox wagon is proudly stationed at the manicured entrance to the camp symbolising Londolozi’s primal vision to conserve and protect all living things that began on an adventure by ox wagon in 1926.

The safari experience

The wildlife experience at Londolozi is unprecedented. At dawn the hippo raucous from the nearby waterhole stirs your slumber just before a gentle wrap at the door delivers tea, coffee and freshly baked biscuits to excite you for the morning drive. Pioneer Camp’s passionate and knowledgeable guide and tracker teams will ensure unforgettable sightings of lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant, to name but a few on both morning and evening game drives.

Spend the rest of your day lounging by the pool, learning about the local culture in the Londolozi Village or editing photographs in the Londolozi Creative Hub. By the time you leave, you will be part of the Londolozi family.

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.