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.

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. 

 

 

Azura Quilalea In Pictures

Azura Quilalea is the ultimate private romantic experience. If you have ever dreamt of staying on a secluded island, eating meals fresh from the endless blue ocean that set out before you, then this rare ocean pearl is the perfect place to lay down your bags.  It was voted Best Romantic/Honeymoon Room in Mozambique in 2014 and this is why:

This private island sits in a fully protected marine reserve with only nine villas on the entire Indian Ocean hill. Spend your blissful days on a tropical island in unpretentious sophistication and impossible comfort. Your meals come straight from the abundance of the ocean just steps from your private beach villa served by your private butler.

But the splendour doesn’t end on the pristine beach; it is carried through into the capacious Kaskazi and Kusi Villas which have a bearing of ethereal grandeur. They are delicately constructed with natural stone, wood, rattan and cotton such that they seem to grow out of the beaches, rocks and trees. The villas are a perfect blend of contemporary African chic and eco-conscious living. While modern conveniences such as air-conditioning are readily available, you can open the cleverly orientated doors and windows to allow the Indian Ocean breeze to cool and sooth your ultimate beach home.

 

And if you’ve decided to create lasting memories here on your honeymoon, then the Villa Quilalea, set on a cliff-top with breath-taking views over the ocean – is the ultimate space. You have complete privacy – from the sumptuous bedroom, to the infinity pool and down onto the exclusive beach.

But words are unable to let you experience the soothing elixir that is the island. It might be a hammock strung in the shade of a luxuriant island tree; a sun lounger next to the cooling fresh water of main pool with your favourite book; a perch next to the bar in the sunset sipping one of the owner’s personal chateau wines from the Loire valley; or the unique chill-zone with its enormous cushions overlooking the abundant ocean – so here are our handpicked images to transport you there instead…

Need we say more? For more on this sensational destination please 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. 

Turtle Tracking

South African waters are unique and so is the gift they bring us each summer… With the Benguela Current coming from the west and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean being swept in from east, the two currents meet and something magical happens.

We all know South Africa has a flourishing marine biodiversity, but from November until March our KwaZulu Natal coastlines are blessed with the story of life for many species, especially our wonderful sea turtles.

From late spring, iSimangaliso Wetland Park coastline offers travellers a unique safari experience: turtle-tracking safaris.

During the summer months, Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles navigate thousands of kilometres through the sea to lay their eggs on this specific African coastline.

This is definitely an awe-inspiring experience that should be right on top of your travel bucket-list. If you prefer coastal experiences to in-land safaris, then this is the perfect and most special seaside safari tour. Witness the turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs and later in summer as the eggs hatch. It is surely a spectacle as the baby turtles make a dash for the water where they will be safe from predators.

Turtle tracking is unlike any other wildlife experience – with tours taking between two and seven hours. Turtle tracking mostly takes place at night as turtles are very sensitive to light. The commencement of tracking also depends on the tides. This would mean that on some occasions you would start tracking just after sundown and in other cases in the early hours of the morning.

Guides will have South African permits that allow them to conduct turtle tracking on the beach in 4×4 vehicles. This way you can travel farther distances to search for these precious creatures, Guides and vehicles are only allowed to track on the beach for a limited time.

Research shows that only four in every 1000 hatchlings survive to adulthood, making this experience that much more special and seeing baby turtles one of Africa’s many miracles. During the turtle tacking safari, if a guide spots a female turtle in search of a spot to lay her eggs, all lights will be turned off. It is also important to note that you should only illuminate the turtle with light from behind.

Alternatively, if you’re heading to Mozambique, White Pearl offers complimentary turtle tacking during the season. Here you can take leisurely walks from your lodge. However, you can only cover a small area by foot and it depends on the tides.

So if you’re keen to experience a marine safari and turtle tracking is a big attraction for you, KwaZulu Natal and Mozambique are the places to witness this incredible life cycle.

Azura Benguerra – In Pictures

Have you ever dreamt of vacationing on a remote and undiscovered island? Where the pristine beaches, swaying palms and quietude keep you in a constant sense of serenity… Azura Benguerra completely removed from the rest of the bustling world.

On Benguerra Island you will find Africa’s most luxurious private hideaway that only few have discovered. Azura is the first luxury eco-boutique retreat in Mozambique. The hotel is small and privately owned and managed making your stay personalised and authentic. Experience an unimaginable and authentic island stay where standards are not compromised. While you receive 5-star treatment, Azura still protects the environment and gives back to the local community.

Only accessible via boat or helicopter speaks to the exclusivity of this accommodation… Stay in one of 16 secluded luxury eco-chic villas, dine the finest foods and enjoy an expansive list of adventure and relaxation activities.

Our favourite part about this rustic beach resort is the look and feel of the hotel and rooms. Imagine airy, thatched-roof villas with uninterrupted views of the beachfront and twinkling ocean. And if superbly designed and decorated rooms hasn’t got your passport out yet – think of your own butler service, private pool, and a Nespresso machine. While we can’t guarantee that George Clooney will get up from a lounger or appear from behind a palm tree – what Azura Benguerra has to offer is even better!

If long, white beaches, snorkelling or dhow sailing doesn’t tickle your fancy, the villas also offer iPod docks and flat-screens TVs for those who want a different kind of island vacation. Enjoy a romantic bubble bath or the outdoor showers and you can even go star gazing…

It’s time to explore this island gem. This Indian Ocean escape is beyond the ordinary and after submerging yourself in our hand-selected images, you will definitely consider Mozambique’s rising star.

Please do let us know if you’d like to find out more about this sensational property.

Our Year in Pictures

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

10 Things to Consider When Planning A Safari

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

Lions Sands Ultimate Luxury Safari

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

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

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

Buffalo Walking Safaris Iconic Africa

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

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

Rock Fig Safari Lodge Timbervati Pool

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

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

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

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

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

Golden Monkeys Gorrila Treks Rwanda Iconic Arica

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

A ‘Workation’ in Africa

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

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

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

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

  1. Madikwe, South Africa

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

  1. White Pearl, Mozambique

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

  1. Mara Plains Camp, Kenya

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

  1. Tongabezi, Zambia

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

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

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

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Lounge Interior 2 Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

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

White Pearl in Pictures

If heaven on earth was adorned with fresh white, blue and light earth tone décor, it would be White Pearl, Ponta Mamoli. This private resort is set on two kilometres of uninterrupted shore on the southern coast of Mozambique. The seamless spectacle of crystal clear waters and sparkling white sand will leave you breathless. The natural beauty is unlike any other and the warmth guests feel can’t be conveyed with words. Here’s a short video of this  exquisite seaside gem.

This exclusive and intimate resort offers world class luxury seaside-living on a strip of pristine Mozambican beach that becomes one with the healing waters of the Indian Ocean. We can describe the delightful cuisine and distinctive hospitality, perhaps even the opulent accommodation that overlooks the cobalt waters… but only images can show you a place so beautiful that you find inner peace and tranquillity.

Imagine a beach paradise fit for Greek gods galloping across pearly-white sand, leaving hoof prints behind them. Except it’s you on horseback at the only resort in the area with a licence for horses. While your hair blows in the wind, the sea crashes besides you and you have to decide whether you want to explore the land that seems to rise seamlessly out of the earth or the marine life out ahead. White Pearl, Ponta Mamoli offers the ultimate luxury beach holiday, but for those of you having a hard time trying to picture this rare outpost, here are our handpicked images of this idyllic romantic retreat. Quench your wanderlust by scrolling down… until you can experience the purity of this paradise for yourself and see why this destination has earned the reputation for being a true ocean jewel.

Ocean Safaris Scuba Dive 2 Mozambique Zanzibar White Pearl

 

Getting to know Mozambique:

Mozambique is a unique African country offering isolated island living, tropical luxury, wilderness and romance. Most travellers head straight to the unblemished African beaches for diving escapes, swimming with dolphins and relaxing on long, palm-fringed beaches with turquoise waters.

But most guests forget that the countryside and city centre is brimming with fresh markets, rich historical architecture and cultural experiences that include spice trading and home-grown nuts and cotton; not forgetting the kind local people waiting to make you feel welcome.

Mozambique is primarily a savanna plateau exhausted by the mighty Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers. The warm tropical climate is conducive to plenty of rain and makes it a year-round holiday destination.

One of the many incentives of this magical country is its proximity to South Africa, a short hour or two’s flight from Johannesburg.

To visit the Quirimbas or Bazaruto Archipelago’s, you’ll sometimes need to overnight in Maputo. The capital of Mozambique is a vibrant and colourful city. The streets are lined with makeshift stalls and impromptu markets. Contrasting colonial buildings and modern office blocks are unsystematically arranged along the busy roads. Travellers are immersed in the hustle and bustle of vendors serving fresh crab curry or piri piri chicken.

The official language is Portuguese and spoken by 50.3% of the population. The two main religions of the region is Christianity and Islam. The customary greeting is to shake hands and not accepting a food or beverage offering is considered offensive.

The most revered element of Mozambique tourism is the marine life.

Iconic Africa Swim With Dolphins Mozambique

On most of the islands the marine life is untouched, producing superb scuba-diving expeditions on the coasts. Shallow reefs house a kaleidoscope of neon-bright fish and further out, guests can encounter rays, sharks and three species of turtles. If you have time, venture down the rich waters of the Mozambique Channel to find the harmless whale sharks, game-fish, dolphins and a population of rare sea-cows.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Turtle Iconic Africa

The marine life around Mozambique’s more secluded islands is unmatched; both the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos are outlined with beautiful reefs. Most lodges have dive centres and offer short ‘resort courses’. Swimming with dolphins and deep-sea diving are adventures you can experience at some of our exquisite Mozambique destinations.

Iconic Africa Swim With Dolphins Mozambique

If the wanderlust bug has begun to make its presence into your thoughts, allow Mozambique to fill that adventurous void. Mozambique displays an incomparable beauty and affords the most spectacular and unique activities. Here are some of our favourite magical Mozambican destinations.

Share your Mozambique pictures with us on Instagram @iconicafrica.

 

 

African Travel Myths Demystified

“The only thing dark about Africa is our ignorance of it.” – George Kimble

Many people have preconceived ideas about Africa – often based on opinions or myths. Some of these myths have been circulating for so long that they now are in fact considered as truth or fact. Misconceptions are awful things, managing to dissuade many from visiting Africa – which is very sad! Here are our top five African safari myths debunked to convince you to finally book that unforgettable African trip.

Angama Mara East Africa Kenya Safari Tour

Africa is not safe:

Safety can be an issue in some African cities as it can be anywhere in the world now, but when it comes to national parks and game reserves, they are some of the safest places in the world.

Africa is all bush:

Africa is a vast continent with diverse landscapes, environments and climates in a single area. Countries have savannahs, rainforests, mountains, beaches and deserts to accommodate different travel wishes – making it easy to find whatever it is that your heart desires!

You always need a guide:

While it would be recommended that first-time traveller’s view game with a guide – once you’ve been on enough safaris you can go on self-drive safaris. Many travellers have seen the super-seven (the Big Five, cheetahs and wild dogs) on their self-drives.

To truly experience Africa, you have to “rough it”:

There is always the option of “roughing it” in the wilderness – sleeping bag and all. But there is the more popular preference and opportunity, to experience all Africa has to offer in comfort and opulence. South Africa boasts some of the most luxurious game lodges offering unrestricted access to some of Africa’s prestigious wildlife. Most game lodges offer gourmet meals and private bungalows – kitted out with all your modern amenities – that overlook the vast plains and Africa’s vibrant wildlife. Not to mention it offers some of the world’s most affordable luxury travel!

 

It will be too hot:

Yes, Africa’s climate is warm, but not all the time. Some countries have a cold, wet winter and others have a rainy summer. Throughout the year, most game reserves can actually get quite chilly in the morning and at night, and you will need to layer to stay warm. This’s a nice balance between the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

Animals are likely to attack you:

Animals attacking is probably the last thing you need to worry about on your safari! The wildlife, in general, prefer to avoid the company of humans, so they won’t be hunting you down any time soon…

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Sabi Sands Lions

Only expensive cameras can take good wildlife photographs:

If you own a long lens it is of course advantageous, however it is not a necessity. Many people have photographed animals within meters of the safari vehicle with a 300mm lens. What works well – if you already have one – is the Nikon D7000 with 18 megapixels. The resolution is decent and you could crop the far-away shots.

Zarafa Camp Leopard Iconic Africa

 

Our suggestion is that when you embark on your trip to Africa, you leave behind all myths and legends. Once you hit the tarmac, your adventure begins and you will never look back!

Top Travel Trends for 2018

From remote luxury accommodations to achievement-based travel, 2018 is set to be a year of long vacations, slowing down and learning to appreciate the world around us. Here’s what the experts have to say about the trends for the year ahead:

Booking trends:

79% of travel research is being done on mobile phones and an increase in online bookings has begun trending with 49% of these direct online bookings being made on mobile devices.

Duliini Lodge River Bridge

Solo Travel:

Ever since Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ was published, solo travel – especially among female travellers – has gained popularity. 2018 welcome’s our solo visitors to our safe safari destinations, where the world is at your fingertips. Our private guides and luxury transfers ensure your safety at all times.

 

Remote Luxury:

Luxury travel is increasingly being associated with remoteness and disconnectivity. This year, people are projected to dedicate more time towards travel – willing to travel farther and into destinations often difficult to get to in order to feel like they have a small piece of the world (nearly) entirely to themselves!

‘Off the beaten track’ is one of this year’s travel themes allowing visitors to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience nature at its fullest. An example is Tswalu Kalahari – a hidden gem set literally in the middle of nowhere!

Zimbabwe and Zambia – The two hot safari destinations for 2018:

South Africa is typically considered a favourite go-to for African safaris with Zimbabwe and Zambia as add-on destinations. On the contrary, 2017 saw an increase in demand for trips to Zimbabwe and Zambia as primary destinations. This is a trend most experts believe to continue in to 2018. These two countries have luxury accommodations and crowd-free safaris – perfect for those looking towards that remote luxury vacation. Investments in both countries from infrastructure and airports to national parks has contributed to this new destination-trend. Not to mention the fact that Zambia was recently voted “safest destination in the world by skyscanner.”

Glamping:

For those travellers who really want to be one with nature – but really can’t, there are endless possibilities for you to be outdoorsy without sacrificing comforts and luxuries. 2018 sees an increase in bookings at luxury tented properties for the less nature-inclined to slow down, unwind and enjoy nature without actually having to “be in nature”.

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

Achievement-based travel:

2017 was the year for experiential national and international travel; connecting the traveller closely with their country or destination. This year, we will see this taken a step further with travellers pushing themselves to achieve a lifelong goals or using travel to “find themselves.”

The goal of the year is to achieve something – whether it is climbing a certain mountain or hiking a difficult trek – built into a traveller’s trip. This trend is a reflection in the travel industry of visitors wanting more from their trips than just a standard sightseeing tour.

Extended trips

The last six months has seen an increase in travellers booking trips for longer than two weeks – clients often pushing for around-the-country trips. According to Jacada Travel, 50% of the trips already booked are for longer than two weeks.

Travellers not tourists:

Increasingly encouraged over the years and recently trending – visitors to foreign countries prefer immersing themselves in experiences that cannot be found in guidebooks and brochures. Meeting locals and wondering through neighbourhoods has been the best way to experience cultures, from wine tasting to learning a new crafts or languages.

 

For all of us getting on a bus, plane or train to somewhere new… 2018 is going to be an exciting year!