Most Romantic Stays in the Kruger 

Just because the month of love has passed by, doesn’t mean impromptu romantic gestures, couple getaways and memorable days in the bush need to wait. Let the passion continue with an idyllic stay in the Kruger National Park. 

There is something intrinsically beautiful about this place – the painted skies blurring with the edge of the landscape as the colours glaze over the plains ahead, the connection to nature all around you, and the majestic animals that hold dominion over all that the light touches. This is what makes this park the perfect destination for couples!

The park is only a 5-hour drive away from O.R. Tambo Airport and an even shorter flight to the nearest private airstrip. You can catch the sunrise from the aircraft and sunset on the deck of your villa.

 

Royal Malewane

Royal Malewane hosts a maximum of 20 guests insuring a continuously intimate experience. There is an option of either one of six luxury suites for couples, or for even more privacy and seclusion, one of two four-sleeper Royal Suites. Royal Malewane holds the secret ingredients for enchanting all your senses.  The spectacular close encounters with unbelievable wildlife on dawn and dusk game drives create unforgettable memories and countless photographs to look back on. 

Royal Malawane Safari Lodge. Client: The Royal Portfolio. Art director: Paul Duncan. Stylist: Nathalie Williams.

Singita Lebombo 

Singita Lebombo’s fifteen ultra-luxurious suites are an incredible combination of steel, wood and gentle African materials wrapped by a wall to wall glass casing and sweeping deck which boast exquisite African views. Singita Lebombo has become renowned for its fine dining and its private wine collection. 

Londolozi

Londolozi falls under Top 20 Safari Lodges & Camps in Africa – and, as can be expected when you’re the World’s Best Hotel, Londolozi claimed top position. Three of Londolozi’s five lodges, namely Granite, Pioneer and Tree are Relais & Chateaux properties and these lodges are true to the elegance and attention to detail that this world-renowned signature embodies.

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Cheetah Plains 

If the way to your heart is through your stomach – Cheetah Plains is the destination for you! Each Plains House hosts a fine wine gallery comprising a purely South African wine selection. Cheetah Plains has an ‘open kitchen’ policy; you’re always welcome to pop in and see what is cooking!  If you like, join in the culinary action or just observe while having a relaxed chat with your chef.   

Rockfig Safari Lodge 

The interior of Rockfig Safari Lodge takes inspiration from Timbavati’s locale and luxurious bush setting evident in the colours and rustic furnishings. Enjoy a romantic bush dining experience or sunset picnic. The romance at Rockfig doesn’t end here. With only eight guests at a time, you are assured privacy. The perfect destination for some R&R, you will be woken by that first ray of morning light atop pure cotton linen. 

Ngala Safari Lodge 

andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge is nestled in the shade of a cool green mopane forest infused with an atmosphere of rich history and the ultimate tranquillity of the African wild. The 21 exquisite thatched cottages are appointed to conjure the inspiration of the brave early naturalists who were so awed by this stunning area. 

Kings Camp

Here you will bond over incredible wildlife sightings and time spent in the bush. Your Kings Camp memories will most likely be built around some incredible African safari sightings. Kings Camp is perfect for honeymooners! For those chasing the romance of Africa, the Honeymoon Suites have their own private pools with spectacular views and ensure uninterrupted privacy. 

Our top romantic Kruger stays also offer world-class award-winning spas. 

Enquire with one of our team members about a romantic package or honeymoon getaway in the bush today!

 

Iconic Africa’s Top 10 tours for 2020

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

 

JOHN’S GREAT VALUE GOLF & WINE SAFARI

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

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa 2A

LUXURY LONDOLOZI AFRICAN ADVENTURE

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

SAFARI AND ISLAND RETREAT

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

AFRICA’S CAPE OF DESIRE

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

AFRICA’S FAMILY GETAWAY

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

THE ROYAL ROMANCE

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades but infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance combines the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion. Click here for full interactive itinerary

LUXURY VIC FALLS & BOTSWANA

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

Selinda Explorers Camp

AFRICA’S LUXURY SAFARI CLASSIC

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

LUXURY EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE

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

JOHN’S PREMIER WINE & GOLF TOURS

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

Premier Golf and Safari Tour Fancourt

Fly Direct from JFK to Cape Town

Cape Town has always been a popular travel destination – here’s why! This beautiful city has been voted Best City in the World for 7 consecutive years by thousands of Telegraph readers. 

Located in one of the top countries in Africa for safari, vacationers come from all over to stopover in Cape Town for the luxury accommodation, plethora of eateries and coffee shops, the beautiful beaches and endless sightseeing.

But the journey from the U.S. to Cape Town has always been quite long and often required a lengthy stopover.

But no longer! United Airlines now offers new direct flights between New York and Cape Town with flight plans running from 15 December 2019. This is a paramount moment for the Western Cape as the United States is one of the Western Cape’s biggest tourism markets. 

Now you don’t have to wait to see Table Mountain, Camps Bay beach strip,  tandem paraglide off Lion’s Head or visit dozens of tourist hotspots! With United Airlines’ introduction of the first long-haul flight between the U.S and Cape Town, holiday-makers will find their journey much quicker and simpler. This new 3-times-per-week direct flight will reduce travel time by at least 4 hours and have you photographing the contrasting sceneries in no time.

If long flights and unnecessary layovers have kept you in two-minds – now is your chance to book your seat. Be one of those passengers directly on their way to Cape Town International Airport and book Africa’s Cape of Desire tour. As its name suggests, it is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the base of the African continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town – with its trendy bars and restaurants, world heritage sites, pristine beaches, sense of history and natural beauty – to the Winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. 

Jake Cefolia, United’s senior vice president of Worldwide Sales, said ‘We look forward to offering our customers easier access to South Africa’s growing tourism industry and enabling business opportunities between the United States and the Western Cape’s technology sector.’

Find return ticket prices from United Airline’s website.

A Whirlwind Adventure

Deborah and Jim Mills have just settled back in New Zealand after an unforgettable trip to Africa. They went on a whirlwind adventure from North Eastern Tanzania to the award-winning Londolozi. They certainly had a magical trip and plan to return in 2021. Deb and Jim have very kindly shared some of their experiences from their trip and a few tips for those visiting soon:

“Iconic Africa did it again! A trip to Africa that felt like something out of a National Geographic production. Absolutely awesome.” – Bev Mills 

“We fell in love with the bush 12 years ago in the Sabi Sands on an excursion offered after a conference. Our first sighting was a giraffe ambling across the road, later came the elephants, leopards and lions. We only stayed four nights, but immediately began to plan our return. While sitting in the Federal Air terminal, I picked up a book, “I Speak of Africa” by Shan Varty and Molly Buchanon, and I was hooked. It was clear that Londolozi had to be part of our next trip, and it has continued to be the anchor to our travels on each of our visits. It was at Londolozi that we met John Holley, now of Iconic Africa, who introduced us to the fabulous bush, as well as South African hospitality. Subsequently, the Iconic Africa team has planned many more adventures for us, always choosing the perfect lodges and locations.

Our trip this year in late July, early August, to Tanzania and South Africa was spectacular. We stayed at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, the Mara River Camp and Faru Faru in Tanzania, and Tswalu and Londolozi in South Africa.

There were so many highlights. The trip to Arusha National Park provided the opportunity to photograph the colobus monkeys, and to see an albino baboon. Our guide, Antony Kivuko, positioned us perfectly so that we could spend an extended period photographing the monkeys, with no one else around.

It was our second visit to the Mara River Tented Camp, and it felt like coming home. The people there are special. Herman Charles, our butler/waiter, was a pure delight, teaching us phrases in Swahili and treating us like members of the family. Benson Mboya, our ranger, got us into the perfect position for each of the crossings. The crossings were an amazing experience. We could not believe the number of wildebeest in the Serengeti, and we saw at least half of the three million. We felt like we were in a National Geographic moment. Another highlight was seeing a herd of sixteen elephants crossing the Mara River. After watching the frenzied crossing of the wildebeest, the elephants were majestic and graceful, a sight that we will never forget. For anyone who wants to see the migration and a river crossing, The Mara River Camp is the perfect location.

Faru Faru provides a great opportunity to see the Serengeti Plains. We would definitely like to stay there longer next time. There were two special sightings at Faru Faru, the tree-climbing lions and the zebra migration at the water hole. It is also a great spot to view cheetahs.

Tswalu is very different, with the red sand desert and rocky mountains. It is a great place to see pangolin, aardvark, bat-eared foxes and meerkats. They let you get out of the range rover and follow the pangolin and aardvark on foot. For the meerkats, you arrive early in the morning, just as they are beginning to come out of the dens and acclimate to the cold. You are also able to get out of the vehicle to observe and photograph them. Winter is a great time to go because the nocturnal animals are out earlier and are easier to find. Tswalu also has a number of wild dogs, as well as cheetah, lions and rhino.

Our final stop was Londolozi, which never disappoints. There were leopards everywhere, as usual. The leaves were not out on many trees, making it excellent for photographing leopards. Seeing the three Birmingham male lions, along with the Ntsevu lionesses and cubs walk by the land rover was breathtaking. On our last day, we had the opportunity to view a cheetah, much to the delight of all. Londolozi is still is the best for consistent wildlife viewing that we have experienced, in terms of both variety and density. However, it is not only the wildlife that makes Londolozi special. The people, the culture and the environment all contribute to the magic of the place. Our guide, Alex Jordan, is an excellent photographer and he gave us new tips and also helped us edit photos in the studio. Our tracker, Lucky, was excellent, always able to read the tracks and the signs to find the elusive leopard. Pioneer is our favourite camp, and Trevor and Tais made us feel right at home.

And lastly…

Bev Van Schoor of Iconic Africa has repeatedly developed itineraries that have exceeded our dreams, as well as our expectations. We are so thankful for Bev’s patience and attention to detail that makes this experience absolutely worry-free. Thank you, Bev. We are looking forward to our next adventure.”

A big thank you to Deb and Jim – we look forward to having you back on African soil in 2021…

An African Romance at Londolozi

Londolozi was voted Best Resort In South Africa: Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2019. No wonder Carmen Shui chose to spend her honeymoon there – in absolute luxury amongst Africa’s most sought-after wildlife and wilderness. This magnificent property exceeds all expectations, but often cannot be described adequately with just words. Carmen has very kindly shared with us some of the breathtaking wildlife photographs that she captured whilst on her romantic stay in the bush. Scroll down here for her full photo story…

Graham Wood Returns to Londolozi 

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

5 Iconic Destinations – Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour

Discover everything Africa has to offer with this month’s tour of the month. Visit a land of unchartered beauty and experiences, from Londolozi – a place consistently voted amongst the world’s best to an awe-inspiring natural wonder of the world! 

The Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour takes you to five Iconic destinations including Cape Town, Sabi Sands, Victoria Falls and Botswana. 

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

THE CAPE GRACE

Cape Town

  • 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.
  • The African Spa offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon.
  • Boasting endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean

FRANSCHHOEK – LA RESIDENCE

Cape Winelands

  • La Residence is part of the world-beating Royal Portfolio.
  • It brings with it all the luxury, service excellence, scrumptious cuisine and tasteful décor that have become synonymous with this great brand.
  • The hotel is set on an exclusive 30-acre estate surrounded by vineyards and plum orchards with the breath-taking views of the Franschhoek valley beyond.
  • Each suite is an individual masterpiece of sophistication and opulence and filled with original art, antiques and freshly cut flowers.
  • From this spectacular boutique hotel, you can explore the valley, the surrounding farms or cosmopolitan Cape Town further afield.

Accommodation: La Residence

LONDOLOZI FOUNDERS CAMP

Sabi Sands

  • In Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards 2014, Londolozi was named the best hotel in the world!
  • It effortlessly exceeds all expectations on a luxury, hospitality, wilderness and experiential front
  • Londolozi is a feeling, you simply must visit to experience it for yourself.
  • Londolozi Founders Camp is one of Londolozi’s five intimate camps, set under a lush riverine canopy of Jackalberry trees and dotted along the banks of the Sand River.
  • Nestled at the heart of the Sabi Sand Reserve lies Londolozi whose pristine river frontage positioning affords it an abundance of wildlife which has made Londolozi infamous for its incredible game viewing.

VICTORIA FALLS – ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls

  • The Royal Livingstone 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 Zambezi.
  • Endless adventures and activities to explore.
  • One of the best sundowner spots as dusk turns the fall’s mist a golden pin

THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA – WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Botswana

  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the most remarkable natural phenomena which supports an intimidating diversity of iconic African wildlife.
  • Wilderness Safaris pioneered luxury safaris in this patchwork water wonderland with either water or land-based camps.
  • At Jao you might spend a full day out on a mokoro (dugout canoe) enjoying a picnic on an island in the shade of an ancient fig tree.
  • All the way through your Okavango escapade, you will enjoy delicious cuisine prepared by the dedicated staff at Wilderness Safaris.

Accommodation: Jao Camp

Within Six Feet of Rhinos

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Terri Abadi

 

4 Fun Activities for Kids on Safari

Are you worried about taking your kids on safari? Or wondering what they might get up to in the heart of the African bushveld?

Stop right there… and worry no longer! African safari lodges love having children and they do all sorts of fun activities to make sure your little treasures have the time of their lives. They will also make sure that your children not only learn about wildlife, nature and conservation and but learn to love them too.

Here are 4 fun activities that will keep your kids busy on safari:

Junior Rangers

Many of the South African lodges such as Londolozi and Tswalu devise junior ranger activities for the kids. Special “kiddie” safari gear is provided as well as educational books and quizzes. Kids are taught lots of interesting things about the bushveld, are given quizzes and at the end of the day be appointed official junior rangers!

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Treasure Hunts

Let your kids explore and really get to know their surroundings with a special African treasure hunt. Get them to look for and retrieve iconic African mementos such as feathers, porcupine quills, seedpods, bones and plants. Why not make it a competition and the first one to get everything on your list gets a special prize!

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Mini chefs

Luxury lodge chefs will often welcome children to spend time in the kitchen. Kids can play with dough and learn how to bake certain goodies all under the watchful and talented eye of the chef on duty.

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Fishing

For centuries fishing has been a fun pastime for children and today, in Africa…nothing has changed. If there is a river or a dam the lodge will have some basic fishing gear and a ranger can accompany the kids to the closest safe and kid friendly dam. See who comes back with the biggest fish!

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Iconic Africa looks forward to planning you and your family, the African Adventure of a lifetime! For 3 of our top rated Family Lodges click here.

 

 

 

 

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…