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? 

 

         

 

Why Tailor-made Luxury African Safaris are the Way to Go

Iconic Africa specialises in bespoke African safaris, custom designed for the discerning traveller. We love  what we do; have loads of knowledge, and have been lucky enough to visit and experience most of our destinations themselves, and… have long standing relationships with many of the lodge owners.

Here’s why we think that choosing a tailor-made safari is definitely the best choice for your African adventure.

  1. Discover Africa’s Most Sought-After Destinations

Browse our destinations to explore everything Africa has to offer. There are countless amazing experiences to enjoy, so take your time.

We are here to help. Once you have an idea of what you would like to experience in Africa let one of our African travel experts guide you according to your preferences and budget. It is never too soon to contact us.

2. Relax & Let Us Do The Rest

Our team will design a luxury itinerary specifically for you, complete with accommodation, activities and travel designed specifically around your very own needs.  We will make sure you have a trip you will remember forever.

So relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself basking in the hot African sun, sipping a cold cocktail and marvelling at the majestic wildlife we are so privileged to enjoy on the extraordinary continent we call Africa. We will take care of the rest!

Here are just a few more benefits of tailor-made safari…

3. Experience unique and luxurious safari moments.

4. Celebrate the incredible cultures, hospitality, food and wine.

5. Explore uncharted territories with private guides.

6. Choose and plan around specific activities you are interested in

7. See Africa’s breath-taking Natural Wonders of the World in luxury

Giraffe Manor Colonial Luxury Courtyard Aerial

8. Choose between fast-paced adventure destinations and slow safaris

9. Enjoy personalised tours and trips that gets you face-to-face with all the action.

Tailor-made safaris can/may include all flights, transfers and private guides, accommodation, breakfast, all meals on a full board basis, complimentary transfers, wireless internet access, morning tea and coffee with wake up calls, use of spa areas and fitness studio, game drives, walking safaris, private tours and many additional complimentary experiences.

Our consultants will be sure to explain this all to you depending on the trip they have planned for you but these are many of the additional services that are provided. For more info on planning your ultimate tailor-made safari getaway click here. 

 

 

Malaria-free Safaris

If you’ve been dreaming of a bespoke family safari but are worried about malaria – we’ve got just the thing for you here.

Make time for new memories, adventures and excitement while disconnecting from the world and succumb to Africa’s beauty. Let its magic engulf you while maintaining an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury as well as peace of mind that it’s safe for the whole family.

We recommend the below two luxury malaria-free getaways at some of the world’s most widely recognised premier safari destinations – Madikwe and Marataba.

Madikwe and Marataba are completely safe for young children. Both areas are malaria-free safari regions and by far the premier luxury safari camps for families with exceptional children’s programmes amidst gorgeous wilderness and opulent accommodation. Specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance.

Madikwe is a 50 minute charter flight or 4-5 hour drive from Johannesburg and lies on the edge of the Kalahari and Botswana borders. Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are such lodges who have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail.

Incredible Game Viewing

Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world famous for its Lion and (highly endangered) African Wild Dog viewing. What’s more because Madikwe’s terrain is a unique mix of savannah and semi-arid desert the diverse safari experience allows visitors the chance to view the ever-renowned Big 5 as well as a number of rare desert adapted species.

In the more recent years the Leopard viewing has improved tremendously at Madikwe. Due to the semi-arid nature of the terrain, the visibility in the reserve is good and the quality of game viewing is further ensured as the game rangers are able to drive the safari 4×4 vehicles off road for closer viewing.

A trip to Madikwe is perfectly complimented by a couple days in Cape Town or even some down time on a tropical beach in northern Mozambique!

Marataba Safari Lodge is perfect for a quick escape to the bush and more importantly, malaria-free. Enjoy private, luxury accommodation with absolutely delightful and warm staff. Marataba Safari Lodge is a mere four hours North-West of Johannesburg. Resting at the sleepy foothills of the magnificent Waterberg mountain range, you will find an absolutely magical retreat. Combining luxury, adventure, and the best of Africa’s delights, Marataba Safari Lodge truly has it all.

Marataba Trails Lodge Hiking Walking Waterberg

Marataba Trails Lodge Waterberg Dining

Marataba Trails Lodge Camp Deck Waterberg Safari Lodge

An idyllic location

Set against the backdrop of the spectacular Waterberg Mountains, Marataba Safari Lodge is the ideal location for an intimate escape with your loved ones. Marataba will no doubt go above and beyond any of your wildest dreams. The staff at Marataba take the utmost care to make sure that your escape is as intimate as can be – from the surprise lantern-lit boma dinners, and the hot bubble baths, to the complimentary massages and the sunset boat cruises! A sense of calm and quiet overcomes you while you soak in the picturesque surroundings. Feel your soul filling with peace and joy while you admire the sights and sounds of the surrounding landscape and its exquisite wildlife. Breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the gorgeous, glowing African sunsets…

Marataba Safari Lodge Suite Deck

Marataba Trails Lodge African Hospitlity Luxury Safari

Marataba Safari Lodge Boma Evenings

Delightfully African

Marataba Safari Lodge appeals to the African adventurer that lies in all of us. The captivating pink-orange sunsets; the lush, green bushveld; and the abundant game all make for an exciting African escapade. What could be more thrilling than spotting a leopard hunting at dusk, or lions feeding on a kudu? Watch the elephants drinking peacefully at the waterhole and the hippos lazing about in the cool waters. And, we have good news for bird-lovers—Marataba is an absolute bird-lover’s paradise! It is abundant with yellow-billed hornbills, grey go-away birds, and crimson-breasted shrikes. It’s always a treat to see the striking woodland kingfisher as well as the colourful malachite kingfisher, and the whydah birds are particularly mesmerising to watch with their spectacularly long, dancing tails. To name only a few species of the many that awaits you.

After a fun-filled day of game drives and walks, you can relax by the poolside with your family and admire the gorgeous surroundings!

For more family-friendly safaris, click here.

 

 

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.

 

Where to Safari – East or Southern Africa?

The idea of a safari was conceived in East Africa, but soon reached Southern Africa where luxury safaris became popular. Today both parts of the continent offer state-of-the-art designed lodges and camps, unparalleled game viewing and bucket-list worthy activities. But with so many countries to choose from, it’s not surprising that one would find it difficult deciding where to go – especially if it’s your first safari. Here’s what makes each region a unique and memorable safari destination:

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

East Africa is synonymous with the incomparable Mara-Serengeti triangle and the indigenous ecosystems that fall part of these areas. If you want to experience the seasonal Great Migration between Kenya and Tanzania, then an East Africa safari should be right on top of your travel-list! The seasonal rain patterns are nothing short of awe-inspiring, supporting over a million wildebeest and other game. East Africa, like other parts of the continent, boasts diverse habitats from lush, green forests to aquatic bodies that see large flocks of flamingos, baobab forests, and gorilla families. Not forgetting Mount Kilimanjaro and the famous Ngorongoro Crater where you will find incredible lodges that offer panoramic views. East Africa has many wildlife sanctuaries and national parks with vehicle trails, ensuring exceptional game viewing at a close range. Unlike Southern Africa’s reserves and parks, off-road and night-drives are less likely unless you are visiting a private concession. However, you can look forward to life-changing bush walks with Maasai locals who will show you the area on foot.

 

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

  • Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra
  • Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October
  • Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides
  • Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains
  • Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
  • Fun walking safaris in some private reserves
  • Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Click on the links below to see our top accommodation in East Africa:

Kenya– Great Migration, Maasai warriors, pink flamingos, Giraffe Manor, hot air balloon safaris.

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

Tanzania– Great Migration, Mt Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Tarangire National Park, hot air balloon safaris.

Rwanda– Gorilla trekking, golden monkeys, chimpanzees and canopy walks.

Gorilla Treks Rwanda Uganda Iconic Africa

Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Southern Africa has an array of different geographical features and weather conditions. You can tailor-make your safari to include the Kruger’s savannah grasslands, Zambia’ s woodlands, Zimbabwe’s thundering Victoria Falls, the dry desert of the Kalahari or the Okavango Delta’s heavy rains. Or combine the rugged mountains and luscious winelands with beautiful golden beaches and the bustling city life of Cape Town. You can have it all in one Southern Africa trip!

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Guests look forward to low -volumes of people and smaller camps or lodges that often only accommodate up to a dozen people at a time. With the abundance of private concessions, you can create a more exclusive and personalised safari.

Contrary to East Africa’s vast open landscapes found in the Serengeti or Mara region and high concentration of wildlife, Southern Africa focuses more on personal encounters and walking safaris which can be done in Botswana and Zambia. You will also have the chance for exciting night game drives to spot elusive nocturnal animals, charming water safaris and nights out under the stars. While cultural experiences are limited unlike the many found in East Africa, you can plan a visit to the San Bushman of the Kalahari which is equally as rewarding.

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

  • Varied topography and habitats
  • Smaller concentration of herds in private concessions
  • One dry season: May to October
  • South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas
  • Many camps outside of South Africa require minimum age of eight years old, unless you reserve the entire camp
  • All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals
  • Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles
  • Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12
  • Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations
  • More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing
  • Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

Click on the links below to see our top accommodations in Southern Africa:

Botswana–, Madikwe Game Reserve, Mokoro trips in the Okavango Delta, Big 5 safaris, hot air balloon safaris, boating trips.

South AfricaKruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands, Big Five safaris, marine safaris, hot air balloon safaris, Garden Route.

Zambia– Trekking, Lake Malawi, adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Devils Pool, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, Batoka Gorge.

Both East and Southern Africa offer amazing opportunities to spot the Big 5 wildlife, amongst other game and indigenous fauna and flora. Each region has its own unique wildlife and landscape attractions, but East Africa definitely has a higher density of animals in one area – especially considering the Great Migration and gorillas. Needless to say you will see plenty of cool animals in both parts of the continent and Southern Africa will entice you with its diverse topography in a single city such as Cape Town. So which is better for safari? Whether you’re interested in seeing tens of lions on your first day or basking in opulence at small, private lodges with low visitor concentration, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

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.

A Babymoon Safari for Expecting Parents

For some expecting parents, one of the priorities on the to-do list is planning the ultimate babymoon before the stalk arrives. For some it’s a relaxing weekend getaway and others are ready for a long-haul flight and an action-packed two-week stay in the bush.

This is your chance to unwind properly and enjoy each other’s company undisturbed. Whether it’s a quick trip or an extensive vacation, you could expect to indulge in couple’s massages, gourmet dinners, theatre performances, art galleries, outdoor yoga and not forgetting a memorable game drive that will leave you wanting to return with your little one.

 

Create a babymoon bucket-list filled with all the activities that won’t be as easy when two becomes three such as turning up the romance in a luxurious honeymoon-worthy villa overlooking a waterhole or lodges that don’t accommodate under 12’s/young rangers.

 

We’re here to help you plan that final romantic hoorah. If you’re ready to hop on a plane, South Africa is the ideal destination for a pre-baby escape because of its malaria-free game reserves and access to great medical care (just in case). And if you or your better- half are incapable of sitting on a lounger for more than a couple of hours, we’ve incorporated a little bit of adventure for you too…

The best time to experience an unforgettable safari in South Africa is September, when spring is in full force in the Western Cape. You’ll have clear blue skies and temperatures in the early 20s – perfect for exploring and relaxing in the sun.

Begin your babymoon exploring Cape Town where you will find a great balance between fun activities and sophisticated pleasures. This city has everything to offer you, from mocktails on glistening beaches and an incredible city-life to countryside day-trips and time to relax by the pool – which is pretty essential when you’re pregnant. Not only does Cape Town house many great tourist attractions such as Table Mountain and Robben Island , you are centrally located to great smaller towns that are only an hour and a half drive away such as the coastal town of Hermanus and the French-inspired Franschhoek.

Move on to a luxury safari in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve where there is phenomenal game-viewing.  Just 3.5 hours north of Johannesburg and bordering Botswana near Gaborone, this 75 000 hectare reserve is one of South Africa’s largest and finest game reserves. Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world famous for its Lion and African Wild Dog viewing. The exclusive Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are equally famous for their bespoke romantic experiences and have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail. Here you are ensured a romantic, lavish safari retreat.

You can also add the beautiful Kalahari to your itinerary. Located just south of Botswana’s border, it’s the largest private game reserve in South Africa, yet only allowing 30 guests at a time within its borders. Tswalu Kalahari’s lodges were named together as one of National Geographic’s 24 Unique Lodges of the World!

A new baby brings with it great changes and joy for new parents! Soak up these romantic moments with a luxury babymoon safari.  You know what you seek, whether it’s pristine beaches or a brush with the Big Five, our team is here to help you take advantage of the small pleasures.

What to Expect from a Night Game Drive

If you have ever been on safari before, you would surely have experienced the wonders of sighting all sorts of wildlife. But you may not have had the chance to go on a thrilling night game drive. A night game drive is a whole experience on its own and completely different to a day safari.

chobe-beyond-under-canvas-game-drive-lions

At private game reserves, there are usually three guided game drives every day. Each unique in its sightings, the first departs before sunrise, another takes place midday and the last drive is usually before sunset or after dinner, returning after nightfall.

You may want to start the game drive before sundown and enjoy the last light in the bush over a glass of bubbly, cold beer, a delicious G&T or with a light picnic basket and return in time for dinner. Or perhaps have an early dinner and leave after sunset to observe the nocturnal activities of Africa’s most sought-after wildlife and small animals in complete darkness. Twilight is considered the best time to track and observe nocturnal animals and in some parks and reserves, night-drives can last long into the night.

Get your heart pumping from the sheer thrill and excitement as an unknown nocturnal world awaits you. Your guide will help you find the smallest of creatures to well-known big cats and share their knowledge of their behaviour. A  spotlight is attached to a safari vehicle and an animal-friendly red filter light is used to spot the eyes of shy wildlife that are hiding in the dark. Ask your guide if the sighting is a predator or prey from the colour of the eyes…

As with day game drives, you may be driving for a long time before you spot an animal, but when you do, it will be a moment you will never forget as most big predators do their hunting at night. And if you don’t have any explosive sightings, there is nothing more magical than listen to the sounds of nature in the dead of night with no distractions for miles.

Don’t forget that being comfortable on your night game drive is as important as on your day drives as they can last for hours. We suggest having a warm layer for the late evening, a warm hat or beanie, and a good camera with a spare pack of batteries, just in case – even though night photography is very difficult to get right.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa ZebrasMany would expect to see the obvious game such as hippo, rhino, zebras, or even a big cat on the hunt. But keep your eyes peeled for the occasional bushbaby, chameleon, aardvark or leopard too.

 

 

To get the best quality pictures that does justice to the breath-taking evening scenes and nocturnal sightings, make sure you bring along the necessary camera equipment and lenses and ask your guide how to overcome poor lighting.

For more of the incredible African adventures that await you click here.

 

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!

Iconic Africa’s Ultimate 2019 Bucket-List

2018 took us to some breathtaking destinations so choosing our favourites for you has not been easy. We hope this inspires you to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime safari, African romance or island getaway! From heaven in the tropics to awe-inspiring wildlife experiences, unforgettable adventures and cultural immersions, it all starts here, now.  Click on the link below to scroll through our top destinations for 2019! The magic of Africa awaits you…

Iconic Africa Bucket List 2019

For any questions or queries please contact us here. 

The Perfect African Family Adventure

School vacations come around more often than not, and planning the perfect family getaway can be stressful – especially when the kids want activity-filled adventure and parents need the down-time. Waiting for that itinerary to plan itself when you have children is tantamount to it never actually materialising.

Unless you have thought of it all – from interacting with other kids and a plethora of activities, you can forget that R&R time you had planned. But what if we told you that you didn’t have to be the ringmaster to your own circus? Imagine a vacation where your kids are entertained, you get to have that full body massage and sip on cocktails you can’t pronounce while everyone gets to enjoy an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury!

Let us do all the planning so that you can have the best of both worlds – happy kids and a relaxed mind and body. We have taken a hands-on approach with our family vacation itinerary that keeps your children in mind and focuses on keeping your whole family happy.

 

Africa’s Family Getaway is the ultimate luxury bespoke family holiday. It is full of excitement, adventure and fun. 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 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.

ITINERARY

DAY 1-3: VIBRANCY AND FRESH LUXURY FAMILY REFUGE

The One & Only is a modern and energetic, hotel in the heart of Cape Town. The suites all have sweeping views out over Table Mountain or the picturesque working harbour.

Every possible modern convenience completes the opulence of the space and the commodious bathrooms boast huge baths and showers.

Cape Town and its surrounding Winelands are packed full of fun for the whole family.

DAY 4-7: AFRICA’S SEAMLESS SAFARI FAMILY RETREAT

Lelapa, meaning family is another of the More family’s sublime properties. Situated in the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve and with a great children’s safari, Lelapa is the ideal destination for a family safari.

The secluded deck with private plunge pool is an excellent place for you and your family to cool off in the heat. On colder nights, you might like to sit by the fire in the sumptuous lounge and enjoy dinner in your suite.

DAY 8-10: THE PERFECT VICTORIAN FALLS FAMILY SANCTUARY

Tongabezi is situated about 30kms upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls.

It is the perfect place for families with children – with two delightful two-bedroom houses with private lounges, play areas and plunge pools. There are endless activities for the whole family surrounding the mighty Zambezi and the lodge boasts private decks and terraces where families can relax in privacy with breath-taking views of the river.

Some of the suites come with a private valet, chef, guide, boat and vehicle for exploration.

Click here for full interactive itinerary.

Stargazing in Southern Africa

We all love catching flights, meeting new people and seeing new places; but have you ever thought that maybe there was a different, perhaps better form of travel? Once in a while we should all move beyond the urban noise and light pollution and look up – you’ll be surprised what you can see! From here you will embark on a spectacular journey, going through space and time. It doesn’t matter whether you’re only spotting little speckles up above or simply looking at moon craters… what you’ll find will be equally intoxicating, and even sentimental.

Many travellers may associate South Africa’s little treasures with the Big Five, pristine private coves and great food. But travel beyond the city lights and just two hours later, in one of the semi-remote areas that’s free of air and noise pollution you will have no distractions from what’s twinkling in the sky.

Despite frozen toes and cold noses, winter evenings are our particularly favourite time to discover the artistic blotchy sky.

Next time you’re visiting, take a moment to look up – whether you’re looking to find the brightest star, Earth’s closest neighbouring galaxy or just want to see a brightly-lit sky with the naked eye or a giant telescope, here are our top five locations where stargazing conditions couldn’t be better to see scattered diamonds:

  1. Madikwe Game Reserve

If you’ve been to the North West Province, you’ll know that there’s very little availability in the reserve at one time. While this is primarily perfect for those seeking privacy, it is also the perfect location for some stargazing. Easily spotted star formations include the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. And if you want a closer look, Royal Madikwe allows guests to use their telescope.

  1. Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is synonymous with iconic game-viewing – South Africa’s favourite travel destination and the second-largest park in Africa.  This unpolluted expanse of sky is perfect to see celestial constellations with the naked eye. So while you’re out on one of your night drives, glance up at the star-studded skies.

  1. Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind

Just two hours from Johannesburg is Maropeng, the visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it is considerable close to the bright lights of the city, it is still a great stargazing location. So you don’t have to travel far to go on a celestial safari! And the next time you layover in Johannesburg, be sure to include stargazing to your to-do-list.  Maropeng has regular overseen stargazing sessions presented by astronomer, Vincent Nettmann.

  1. Sutherland

Sutherland holds the southern hemisphere’s largest telescope and offers extraordinary views of the Milky Way. This small Karoo town is on every list of prime stargazing locations. The dry climate and cloud-free nights means unparalleled observations 80% of the year.

  1. The Cederberg

Just two hours from Cape Town and protected from light pollution, the Cederberg is a haven for professional and amateur stargazers. Guides will show you how to trace over constellations with a powerful emerald laser so you’ll always remember where to find them.

The Celestial Big Five

Did you know that the African sky has its own big five? They are the amazing star clusters, gas clouds and galaxies visible from Africa. The Celestial Big Five are the Southern Pleiades, the Omega Centauri star cluster, the Eta Carinae nebula, the Coalsack Nebula, and the Southern Milky Way. They can all be seen with the naked eye, but are more spectacular when viewed through binoculars or a telescope. We’ve named just a few of our favourites – South Africa is full of remote spots that are ideal to see brightly-lit skies. Make that magical connection between you and the amazing universe and let us know where you’ve been!

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:

 

 

 

The tranquility of Marataba

This month’s property of the month is the ultimate arcadian weekend getaway, perfect for those seeking a wildlife retreat to restore tired minds and bodies. Marataba occupies a small slice of the 23 000 hectare concession.  After a short 3 hour drive from Johannesburg to the dramatic Waterberg Mountains, you will arrive at the magnificent Marakele National Park in Limpopo – making it an easy escape.

Marataba Trails Lodge Luxury Safari Africa Waterberg

If you’re wondering why Marataba was chosen as this month’s property of the month – picture an entire concession all to yourself. As the only lodge in the area, guests are guaranteed privacy, exclusivity and luxury! Explore any or every area of this wilderness with no other vehicle in sight – you won’t have to share any sunrise, sunset, wildlife or landscape vista.

Marataba Trails Lodge Hiking Walking Waterberg

Most fervent travellers expect and receive typical luxury safari incentives – the romantic bush dinners; blazing fires on winter evenings; artisanal drinks and gourmet dishes. And while Marataba prides itself in offering guests the most exclusively styled modern-tented suites, there is something more intriguing about this accommodation than its stunning contemporary design! Without invalidating the ingenious use of timber, canvas and stone-packed walls, the diverse wildlife and serenity is as attractive as the rooms!

Marataba Safari Lodge Suite Deck

Seen as a place of sanctuary for both wildlife and people, Marataba has become an Eden. Africa’s Big Five and so many other rare species such as roan, sable, mountain reedbuck and the endangered Cape Vulture have settled here and are readily spotted.

Marataba Safari Lodge River Cruise

While the retreat is only a short distance from the bustling city of Johannesburg, guests are transported to what feels like thousands of miles away. You will find the area in an untainted condition with the red mountain rock consuming the luscious green plains as the colours merge into one another. Rivers cut through the land, sustaining herds of wild animals such as the spotted hyena, the warthog, and bat eared foxes. As you ascend in the safari vehicle, you will leave all your worries behind.

Marataba Safari Lodge Boma Evenings

Find yourself amidst the unobtrusive silence with tailor-made exclusive yoga retreats that will realign your aura and help centre yourself. What better place to conjure up an image of motionless than in the mountains! Heighten your senses with the least amount of manufactured distractions and relish the beauty of Mother Nature.

Marataba Safari Lodge Dining Area

Being rendered breathless by everything that surrounds you is part of the rediscovery as you naturally connect with nature. Find a spot that speaks to you, lay down a mat and meditate or practice Asana. Or practice your pose on the deck that overlooks the valley.

At the apex of the mountain, you will feel revitalised… Now only knowing relaxation, you can pick up a cold beverage and relax beside the infinity rock pool and watch the sun give way to the moon at the end of another peaceful day.

Contact us here to help you rediscover your very best self at Marataba!

SAVE 40% on our Black Friday Family Safari Special

BREAKING NEWS: More prices slashed!

SAVE 40% with our Black Friday Family Safari Special and experience an once-in-a-lifetime luxury Africa family vacation with this unforgettable 9 day tour including Cape Town and Madikwe Game Reserve.

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE.

Valid for booking only from 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November.

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

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

Black Friday Family Safari Special

4 Nights – More Quarters Hotel, Cape Town

Spend your first 4 nights at thenestled in the shadows of spectacular Lion’s Head mountain. This beautiful home-away-from-home is ideal for families and couples seeking privacy and the romance of the Cape.

4 Nights – Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

You’ll then be chartered and transferred to Madikwe Game Reserve for 4 nights. This extravagant lodge is spread between two picturesque and boulder strewn hills.

Includes:

Meet and greet at Cape Town Airport and transfer to More Quarters Hotel.

4 night’s accommodation at More Quarters Hotel in a 2 Bedroom Apartment on a bed and breakfast basis.

Road transfer from More Quarters Hotel to Cape Town Airport.

Scheduled flight from Cape Town Airport to O.R. Tambo Airport.

Scheduled flight from O.R. Tambo Airport to Madikwe Game Reserve.

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Madikwe Airstrip and Madikwe Safari Lodge.

4 night’s accommodation at Madikwe Safari Lodge in a Family Suite on a fully inclusive basis.

Scheduled flight from Madikwe Game Reserve to O.R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg.

Excludes:

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

Travel insurance.

Items of a personal nature.

Gratuities.

Terms & Conditions

Valid for bookings made from 08h00 – 23 November through to23h00 – 26 November SA time.

After hours contacts from 17h00 until 23h00 on Friday and Monday.

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

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

Hurry and book now!