Tour of the Month – Safari and Island Retreat

This month’s tour of the month is the pinnacle of African luxury safaris. Submerge yourself in the binary of Cape Town’s city life with luxurious relaxation and a hive of activity; tick off a majestic wilderness experience from your bucket list, and then surrender yourself to the seaside simplicity as you spend your last days finding peace and serenity on a tropical island. 

The Safari and Island retreat is a wonderful way to experience the highlights of Southern Africa, from the bustling city adjacent to the Atlantic to Africa’s unprecedented wildlife in Londolozi and the hues of blue at Benguerra – all in ultimate comfort and luxury. 

 Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain offers a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. 

In between seaside splendour, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. 

Azura Benguerra, in the cobalt warm waters of the Indian Ocean, offers a new level of fresh sophistication, seclusion and serenity on pristine beaches and unspoilt reefs.

Itinerary:

Cape Cadogan is a 19th century Georgian and Victorian mansion in the leafy suburbs of Table Mountain. The More family’s luxury home away from home, an island of serenity in a city of splendour. The interiors are Bohemian chic with an emphasis on creating an informal atmosphere of sumptuous relaxation. Cape Town is filled with interesting cafés and fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches to explore.

Londolozi is a family-owned and run lodge at the forefront of luxury safaris and pioneer of ecotourism in South Africa. The three suites in this haven of primal seclusion and contemporary luxury are nestled into the boulders on the banks of the tranquil Sand River. The superbly chic and sumptuous suites are surrounded with glass with expansive private decks and large heated private pools. The culinary experience at Londolozi is one you will not forget – from your morning coffee to your starlit dinner and everything in between. Londolozi boasts some of the world’s best leopard viewing.

Azura Benguerra Island is an eco-friendly, locally built tropical island paradise. The 17 hand-built villas are steps from one of the last stretches of undiscovered beach in the world. Each secluded, spacious haven is nestled in lush gardens with a secluded deck, private pool, beach sala and private access to the balmy Indian Ocean. The food is simple, sophisticated, scrumptious and locally sourced from the ocean and gardens. Benguerra offers you the chance to do to as much or as little as you like – whether it’s a romantic picnic, snorkelling or game fishing there is something for everyone and lots of exquisite sea life to be seen.

For more information about this tour, contact one of our team members here.

A South African Braai – Explained

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

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

What is a braai?

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

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

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

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

How to make your own braai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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? 

 

         

 

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.

 

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.

Why Go for a Private Guide?

A private guided safari is without a doubt the best way to experience Africa’s bush and wildlife. Guests can enjoy a holistic experience with our lodges and camps’ excellent teams of specialist guides who will assist you with not only planning your dream game drives but also guiding you throughout the journey to ensure that your wildlife experience is everything you ever dreamed of!

Most camps and lodges organise game drives with between 4 and 6 guests to a vehicle. While sharing your experiences with other guests is a great way to meet fellow travellers and often great fun, it is also possible to request the ‘exclusive-use’ of a vehicle and a private guide for all or part of your stay.  This can be very appealing to guests who have very specific interests or simply wish to prioritise the flexibility and exclusivity of their day.

Here are our top reasons to choose a private guided safari:

All of our destinations offer the finest qualified and experienced private guides in the industry, adding immeasurable value to your safari. Most countries in Africa have a formal qualification requirement which is extremely rigorous, and ensures top quality guiding.

From the moment you arrive, your private guide will be there to make sure you don’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying your time in Africa’s great outdoors. You can customise your game drives to specific areas you wish to visit and your guide will help you to maximise the sighting and photographic possibilities.

You’ll build up a wonderful relationship with your private guide, as they share the incredible knowledge, stories and experiences with you. Your private guide will become familiar with your interests, what you’ve already seen and what you want to see, maximising your time in the bush.

On a private guided safari, you won’t have to share your guide’s knowledge and passion – special attributes that add a unique touch to your experience.  This one-on-one time accompanied by your guide’s deep understanding will open your eyes to a world you never knew existed. You will learn more than on any other type of holiday – that’s for sure!

Your private guide is also available to you throughout the day for any questions or to help with editing the day’s photographs. Whatever your level of photography is, you can be assured of leaving your safari with new skills, techniques and inspiration.

Whether your focus is on wildlife photography or an interpretive game drive, your private guide will make your days more relaxed, memorable and informative, but leave you wanting more. You will also no doubt make a life-long friend in your guide.

Top 10 Travel Trends for 2019

If you’re planning your next trip to Africa and want to know the hottest trends to make sure you’re not missing out on any travel ideas, styles or tips to make your holiday more enjoyable – we have compiled a list with the help of industry experts of the top 10 travel trends for 2019. Whether you’re escaping the winter blues, celebrating a birthday or anniversary or gifting a Christmas getaway to a loved one, here is a prediction of the year’s popular travel indicators:

The travel industry is working on year-round tourism. Travel will be based less on peak season and off-season as more than 50% of travellers believe that large crowds are taking away from experiences. There will be more travel choices available for autumn, winter and spring trips.

Marataba Trails Lodge Luxury Safari Africa Waterberg

Continuing with one of 2018’s top travel trends, culinary travel continues with more foodie tours from city centre food tours to countryside wine and cheese tasting.

Londolozi Tree Camp Bush Dinner Kruger Park

Continuing the trend from 2019, travellers will be frequenting sustainable properties and accommodations and researching what they are actively doing.

Travellers are planning more surprise trips for milestone birthdays and anniversaries at secluded destinations – as the search for quiet and relaxing vacations increase.

Travellers will be frequenting undiscovered and off-the-beaten-track getaways such as eco-friendly island destinations.

Ocean safaris Snorkeling mnemba Island

Travellers are going back in time with a camera in hand and leaving the beach for historical excursions around old buildings and sights such as castles, chateaus and citadels.

Travellers are increasingly heading towards the countryside than staying in the city or cramming all the city sights into a few days.

Travellers of all ages are exchanging extensive sightseeing for fewer immersive experiences such as cultural interactions and new activities.

Travellers are taking the hassle out of travel and booking guided trips and tours to spend more quality time with family and friends while on vacation. With our tailor-made itineraries, you won’t have to stress about a thing.

While millennials continue to research holidays on social media, most travellers are considering a digital detox and are leaving technology behind. Unplug by filling your days with mountain hikes, morning yoga and evening swims.

To book your dream 2019 luxury African safari, contact one of our team members now!

Our Year in Pictures

Walter Benjamin understood that photographs could “meet the beholder halfway”. For those who cannot make it to Africa’s bush right now, we can deliver masterpieces straight to your screens! Carefully packaged in digestible form to examine over a morning coffee or in between dreary meetings – we’ve put together a select list of some of this year’s best captured wildlife, adventure and luxury moments. This is Africa for you – it’s the stuff dreams are made of!

Feel intoxicated with wildlife images so perfect it appears almost staged; or travel the world in a lunch break through the eyes of our talented photographers! These raw, candid pictures transport us every time to a different place.

This year provided us with jaw-dropping sunsets, meaningful wildlife moments and classic African landscape views. The power of these images can storm our consciousness and start transporting us to open savannahs, sparkling oceans and mountain tops. What starts off as an iridescent distraction soon remoulds our thought processes and invokes wanderlust in us.

Capturing some of 2018’s most iconic moments, we have seen a fantastic collection of photographs these past few months. Here are a few of our favourites selected just for you:

 

 

 

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.

A Collection of Leopards in Trees – Limited Edition

There’s nothing quite like the utter excitement, pure adrenalin and overwhelming joy that is felt when getting up-close-and-personal to a leopard – especially when in a tree. James Tyrrell, friend, safari guide and expert photographer knows this feeling all too well and has captured it expertly here:

For more of James Tyrrell’s incredible photographs follow him on Instagram @jamotyrrell.

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.

 

Londolozi’s Lovely Revamp

Londolozi effortlessly exceeds all expectations of a luxurious, hospitable, wilderness getaway and as you all know – it has a very special place in our hearts! Therefore we are incredibly proud to share with you the most recent updates including the new Varty Camp which reopened its doors to visitors on the 24 March 2018, the introduction of a completely new addition to the Londolozi family – the Londolozi Healing House, which was unveiled in April and the rejuvenation of the famous Private Granite Suites.

Our director John Holley recently returned from Londolozi, and he says“…the new Varty Rooms are exceptional! Light years ahead of the previous rooms and now a greater experience and great value for money.” “They have also made amazing little touches to the Granite Suite and really completed the whole experience.”

With elevated chalets thoughtfully merged into the beautiful riverine forest alongside the Sand River, Varty camp has refurbished the living spaces of each chalet without producing any unnecessary construction. The architectural vision remains conscious of the importance of creating simple, elegant rooms that could be havens for stillness – crafted as spaces for contemplation and where one could find time to enjoy an intangible connection to nature.

Each accommodation emulates Londolozi’s mantra of simplicity, tranquillity, peace, harmony – where guests can create quiet and deep connections with the 6 million acres of wilderness that the camp remain subordinate to.

The refurbishment of the existing chalets has placed the emphasis on outdoor living – still boasting its own private plunge pool and expansive wooden deck, looking out into the riverine bush and the abundant wildlife that roams the riverbed below.

In addition, an outdoor lounge area, outdoor shower and outdoor dining sala have been added to complement the existing symphony between man and nature. The room interiors are dressed in shades of white, grey and oak, whilst wall-to-wall mirrors reflect the riverine forest that surrounds. The footprint of the buildings, the meandering paths and old dolerite stone walls remain unchanged since their original construction, and the authentic look and feel of Varty Camp has not only been maintained but enhanced.

The brand new Healing House at Varty Camp has crafted specific treatments with the combination of bodywork and alternative wellness which offer guests the opportunity for true relaxation that will restore and transform mind, body and soul. The resident Wellness Practitioners and Therapists are trained to facilitate an unprecedented, integrated holistic nature-based experience which is unparalleled in Southern Africa.

And not forgetting Londolozi’s Private Granite Suite that pulsates romance and moulds seamlessly into the surrounding environment. The granite surfaces jutting out in front of your private deck are playgrounds for herds of elephants – so close you could almost touch them.

Set as a refuge in the inner temple of Londolozi’s five camps, the accommodation has been further enhanced by the addition of a sunset river bar and sunken cocktail lounge suspended high above ground. The Private Granite Suites themselves have been refurbished to Londolozi’s highest standards and the décor continues to honour the rooms’ proximity to the river and the daily visits by elephants in front of the camp.

For more on this – one of our most exceptional camps click here.