The Perfect Winter Tour – Durban, Cape Town & Phinda

Spend 11 days and 10 nights in KZN, Durban and Cape Town 

Iconic Africa presents an outstanding Winter Special across two fantastic South African cities. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime all-inclusive safari before heading to Umhlanga Ridge and enjoying a relaxing 4 days at the 5* Oyster Box that has direct access to a beautiful piece of beach and offers world-class cuisine. End off in the Mother City. The striking ocean views set the stage for a memorable stay in Cape Town. Wake to the sound of gentle waves breaking on the shore before embarking on a day of exploration.

Day 1 – 4  &BEYOND PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

Described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, &Beyond Phinda encompasses an impressive 28 555 hectares (70 560 acres) of prime Big Five wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal. This Reserve comprises seven distinct habitats – from dry sand forest to wetland systems and mountain ranges. Catch a glimpse of the shy suni antelope, track rhino in the bushveld, observe breeding herds of elephant in fever tree forests, hold your breath as a cheetah teaches her cubs to hunt, glide past hippo on the Mzinene River and marvel at the gracious nyala. Phinda is home to more than 3 000 of these rare antelope.

Accommodation: andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

  • Complimentary road transfer from King Shaka International Airport to Phinda (approx 3hrs)
  • 3 nights at Phinda Forest Lodge (Fully Inclusive)
  • Wild Child Programme for the children
  • Safari activities,
  • 1-hour nature walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers (subject to availability),
  • Daily Morning and afternoon game drive

Day 4 -7  UMHLANGA

Located on the eastern coast of South Africa, just outside of the port city of Durban, Umhlanga Rocks, also referred to as Umhlanga, is a popular seaside resort town. The tropical weather and lush vegetation make this an enticing holiday destination attracting visitors from all over the world. Umhlanga and its surrounds feature golden-sand beaches stretching over 200 kilometres, endless sugarcane fields and the rolling verdant landscape of the Valley of 1000 Hills. It is the perfect location for ocean enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike, with great opportunities for diving, swimming, scuba diving, whale watching, dolphin viewing, deep-sea fishing and kiteboarding. Don’t miss Umhlanga’s excellent golf courses; they are a real treat for the avid golfer.

Accommodation: The Oyster Box 

  • Road transfer to The Oyster Box Hotel 
  • 3 nights accommodation at The Oyster Box Hotel (B&B) * 3rd night is free!

Day 7 – 11  CAPE TOWN 

Without question one of the world’s most spectacular cities, Cape Town sits on the southwestern edge of Africa and nestles beautifully between the two national heritage sites of the infamous Robben Island and the iconic “New 7 natural wonders of the world” member, Table Mountain. Cape Town is undoubtedly a destination in itself but also the holidaymaker’s gateway to the African continent. Perhaps in your own time, you’d prefer to relax peacefully on tranquil beaches, stroll along the promenade, hike up “Lions Head” or visit The Houses of Parliament set picturesquely in the Company Gardens? Or for those looking for a bit more of a buzz and some retail therapy visit the shops, restaurants and lavish hotels of V&A Waterfront.

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Waterfront

  • Transfer to King Shaka International Airport
  • Scheduled flight to Cape Town
  • Transfer to hotel
  • 4 nights accommodation 

A world of endless experiences:

The beauty of Cape Town is not restricted to the city alone. Cape Town’s proximity to a number of incredible destinations makes short day trips to the likes of the Cape Winelands, Cape Point, Hermanus and the Garden Route an absolute must!

We recommend seeing:

Private Peninsula tour

Wine estates that are child-friendly such as Blauuwklippen, Seidelberg, and Fairview, 

Eagle Encounters at Spier Estate 

Cheetah Outreach 

Camps Bay

Seal Island Hout Bay

Chapman’s Peak

Boulders Penguin Colony

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Includes:

  • Road transfer from King Shaka International Airport to Phinda (approx 3hrs)
  • 3 nights at Phinda Forest Lodge (FI)
  • Road transfer to The Oyster Box Hotel ( approx 3 hrs)
  • 3 nights accommodation at The Oyster Box Hotel (B&B)
  • Transfer to King Shaka International Airport
  • Scheduled flight to Cape Town
  • Transfer to hotel
  • 4 nights accommodation at The Radisson Blu Waterfront (B&B)

Excludes:

  • Meals, drinks and laundry not specified in the itinerary or as outlined in the Includes
  • Premium brand drinks, champagne, cognacs, cellar wines, cigars and cigarettes
  • Gratuities and any items of a personal nature
  • Sightseeing and excursions not specified in the itinerary
  • Flights and transfers not specified in the itinerary
  • National parks and concession fees not specified in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa fees (please be sure to check if visas are required)
  • International flights

 

Find out more about this tour here. 

https://digital.iconicafrica.com/Itinerary/Landing/d66bad8a-59a4-4a77-9b00-fc19713b71ff

 

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.

Londolozi-Leopards-Lara

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!

 

Top Game Parks in Africa 

Are you returning to Africa on safari or visiting us for the first time? Choosing which country to safari in can be an intimidating task, and deciding on a national park can be an even bigger conundrum. Africa is the world’s second-largest continent and is famous for its luxury safaris. Surrounded by adjacent islands, Africa offers a plethora of tour options and premier national parks, ideal for game viewing, adventure activities and hosts a number of luxury accommodations. 

These national parks are the epitome of how you have always imaged Africa, each offering something different, yet equally worthy of your stay. Many have private game reserves within the park ready to give you the experience of a lifetime and satisfy your travel cravings as you marvel at the unimaginable vistas. We have compiled a bite-size list of our favourite national parks in Africa to make your work less and choice easier. 

 

Botswana

Okavango Delta – Take a canoe trip down the channel with your loved one and try spotting elephants along the banks. Lodges in the Okavango Delta offer wonderful activities such as water safaris, game drives, boat rides and fishing. 

Botswana Safaris Okavango Safaris Okavango Delta

Chobe National Park Experience one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. See giant elephant herds and the rest of the big five as they roam along the banks of the Chobe River on your Botswana Safari. Famous for its jaw-dropping predator sightings Chobe is not to be missed!

Kenya 

Masai Mara National Reserve – Wherever you go in the Mara, the one certain thing is that you’ll see an astonishing amount of game, often in one place at one time. This exquisite ecosystem boasts one of the highest densities of animals in the world with 95 mammal species and 570 bird species recorded. You may think you’ve seen it all, but I can guarantee you that a visit to the Masai Mara is the safari of a lifetime. From the mating habits of lions to the displaying characteristics of the crowned cranes, to the quirky behaviour of the male wildebeest, to the idiosyncrasies of the local Maasai people. 

Choose between 1 of 5 of our spectacular accommodations

Rwanda 

Volcanoes National Park – Although the lush green forests of Rwanda offer a challenge for adventurous guests, a gorilla trek is certainly a magical experience and one that is not to be missed. Encounters with these majestic animals in Volcanoes National Park is exceptionally and powerfully moving.

Stay at Bisate Lodge

South Africa

Madikwe Game ReserveMadikwe is widely recognised as one of the premier luxury safari destinations in Southern Africa. Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world-famous for its Lion, African Wild Dog and Big 5 viewing.

The Kruger National Park – The Kruger National Park is the largest reserve in South Africa. Visit Sabi Sands, Timbavati Private Game Reserve or Kruger National Park Private Concessions for a guaranteed incredible safari and luxury accommodation. 

Tanzania 

Serengeti National Park – Here you can find the Big 5 on your classic safari, elusive big cats and witness the Great Migration all while staying at one of these beautiful accommodations. 

Ngorongoro Crater – The Ngorongoro Crater is an iconic natural wonder of the world. Once an enormous volcano, it is now the world’s largest intact caldera volcano formed over 2 million years ago. This phenomenally game-rich crater is an ecosystem within itself and is a fertile paradise for plains game and predators alike. 

Zambia 

Liuwa Plain – the Liuwa Plain offers unrivalled access to incredible wildlife, bird-sightings and wildflower blooms that you will see on any day and night game drives, walking safaris, or bird watching. However, the real magic of Liuwa Plain is the 30 000 – 40 000 wildebeest seen in the area from June when they start their migration from the area around camp to the north of the National Park. 

Stay at King Lewanika  

Lower Zambezi – This spectacular region draws travellers in with its world-famous composite of abundant wildlife, natural beauty and bucket-list-worthy activities such as fishing, canoeing safaris and sleep-outs.

Stay at Chongwe 

Chongwe Zambia - Tempt your taste buds with Zambia_s fine cuisine

South Luangwa National Park – South Luangwa is Zambia’s premier national park and wildlife destination. It is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, covering 9,050 km2. The park is unfenced and bordered by a steep escarpment to the west and by the Luangwa River to the east.

Stay at Mchenja Bush Camp.
Mchenja Zambia South Luangwa - The style and comfort of the suites make you feel like an early explorer on an authentic safari

If you’ve already decided where you want to safari on your next trip to Africa, enquire about an itinerary with one of our team members here.

Iconic Africa’s Valentine’s Special 

It’s absolute perfection!

STAY 3, PAY FOR 2 at Narina & Tinga Lodge this Feb & March only! 

Many have been contemplating the much anticipated Valentine’s Day that has quickly crept upon us once again. 

At Iconic Africa, we understand the need for spontaneity, romance and a true African adventure, so we have crafted this exclusive deal to make this the perfect start to 2020 for you and your loved one. 

With just two weeks to plan the perfect romantic gesture, Lion Sands has reminded us to do something special this year. Let the new decade spark a different kind of romance in Africa’s idyllic bush with a heart-stopping deal at both Narina and Tinga lodges. And if you’ve left the planning too late, Lion Sands is extending the romance into March with this Stay 3, Pay for 2 offer. 

Leave the heart-shaped balloons and red and white merchandise behind and escape into the pristine African wilderness where, sunsets, G’s & T’s, rose petals and candlelit dinners await! 

Narina Lodge 

Look forward to enchanted starry skies and starlit evenings at Narina Lodge. Prepare yourself for a completely luxurious and peaceful bush immersion as you try to spot the infamous leopard before outdoor dinners and foot safaris that provide the most humbling experience as you see some small and large mammals from the vantage of the ground. The open-plan lounge and dining area in the main area perfectly blend into the lush green banks of the river shaded by fig, ivory and jackalberry trees. You will know, see and feel no boundaries between your luxury accommodation and the fierce, raw and beautiful African terrain surrounding you. 

You can look forward to unimaginable opulence at Narina Lodge. 

The nine Narina suites, linked by suspended wooden walkways, are private sanctuaries of sublime comfort and design brilliance. The bathtubs lie beneath huge glass windows suspended over the river. The experience of relaxing in the bath while a herd of elephants, lit by the full moon, splashes in the river below is complete transcendence.

You can rest on your bed while keeping an eye out for the animals feeding on the riverbank before the soft cicada lullaby sends you into a restful sleep. In the lavish lounge, you can drink your favourite pre-dinner tipple while reading one of Africa’s tales of adventure.

Tinga Lodge 

Are you ready for a spellbinding experience? Tinga Lodge is a private lodge situated in the Kruger National Park and offers the ultimate romantic getaway! Celebrate the heritage of the Kruger in luxury in one of its 9 secluded private suites resting along the banks of the Sabi River. Oscillate between magnificent Sabi River views and spotting Africa’s most secretive cat hiding amongst the treetops. 

Book the indescribable treehouse experience:

Tinyeleti treehouse is a bedroom without walls, high off the ground. It is the ultimate way to spend a wild night out suspended beneath the Milky Way in complete safety and seclusion. Your ranger will drop you off at sunset with a picnic basket full of delicacies to enjoy as the African night surrounds you with sounds of – crickets, frogs, cicadas, hyenas, owls and, of course, regal lion roars. When tiredness overcomes, you can freshen up in the simple open-air bathroom and then allow sleep to gently take you while staring up at the stars from the comfort of your sumptuous four-poster bed.

Don’t put off planning a romantic getaway with your loved one. We’re here to do everything for you, all you have to do is pack your bag. Celebrate each other this Valentine’s Day in Africa with safaris, wildlife, adventures, spectacular views and SO much more. 

 

 

 

Experience of the Month – Safari with a Purpose 

This month’s top and not-to-be-missed experience is a Safari with a Purpose. Embark on a journey with meaning… with one of four hand-crafted adventures. Submerge yourself in something bigger. Wander off the beaten track, interact with indigenous tribes, help conserve Africa’s wildlife and give back to wonderful projects so that the world can, in turn, give back to you. Iconic Africa, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris, would like to offer the discerning traveller the opportunity to find their travel purpose in Rwanda, Seychelles, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa by taking part in a world of philanthropy, conservation, wildlife, culture and adventure. 

Whether it’s working with endangered mountain gorillas, collaring wild dogs or elephants or conserving sea turtles – we’ve got just the thing for you here:

Great Apes and Rainforests: Experience behind-the-scenes conservation work in Rwanda; meet the Endangered mountain gorilla and help habituate chimpanzees for future ecotourism.

Travel With Purpose Gorillas

Paradise with Purpose: Explore one of the most beautiful islands on earth while actively participating in a survey and ringing of the Seychelles white-eye population and translocating some of the North Island population to other islands to further protect the species.

Travel With Purpose Turtles

Kenya Natural Wonders: Experience the Great Rift Valley, a dormant volcano, a vital water tower and learn more about the rare and elusive Critically Endangered mountain bongo.

Travel With Purpose Rift Valley Children

Hwange Elephant Collaring: In west Zimbabwe, amongst its grasslands and mopane woods are large herds of elephant. Help collar elephants, count wildlife, discover anti-poaching patrol, and meet neighbouring communities.

Travel With Purpose Elephants

Enquire about adding one of these experiences to your itinerary with one of our team members. You can have a magnificent time with plenty of adventure and also leave a positive impact on the place you’re visiting at the same time.

 

  

Iconic Africa partners with African Conservation Expeditions 

Iconic Africa is proud to partner with African Conservation Expeditions, a first of its kind initiative that combines real conservation work with high-end luxury safaris. 

This unique conservation company was established by well-known conservationist, Cole du Plessis, and Wallabies rugby legend, Dane Haylett-Petty. The motivation that drives this initiative is the raising of funds for the critical, ongoing conservation work needed to save some of Africa’s most endangered species.

The expeditions are hosted by conservation specialists who introduce guests to the areas where intervention is necessary to sustain Africa’s most wild and threatened species. 

The current focal points include the Kalahari region, North-West, Limpopo and the Greater Kruger National Park. The extent and diversity of these areas ensure that each expedition is both unique and thrilling.    

50% of the proceeds from these expeditions are directed to the Endangered Wildlife Trust – an NGO that has dedicated over 45 years to saving Africa’s wildlife and habitats.

African Conservation Expeditions focuses on threatened species that include: African Wild Dog, Lion, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Cheetah, Elephants and Pangolins. Most threats are human-induced and involve poaching, disease, persecution and roadkill.

Step into an action movie as you help monitor and observe; fit tracking collars onto key individuals; administer vaccines; collect genetic samples, and removing snares where necessary. 

Once the conservation objectives are achieved, guests have plenty of time to relax, reflect on their experiences, and enjoy the facilities of some of the most exclusive and most luxurious lodges South Africa has to offer. The luxury of the rooms, the exquisite food, the beautiful views and the inviting swimming pools create the ideal atmosphere for some well-deserved relaxation. 

Contact the Iconic team to find out more on how you can help make a difference to wildlife on your next luxury safari in Africa here

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.

Top 10 items to take on safari with you

Planning an exciting safari trip? Going on safari can be a thrilling experience, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you forget any of the essentials.  Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with our list of the top ten items that you should always take on safari with you! Follow this list and you’ll be good to go!

*Remember to bring all your important documents. Yes, this may seem obvious but trust us, sometimes in the chaos and excitement of packing for your trip, your important documents can get left behind. This would be disastrous and could result in your whole safari trip being cancelled. The important documents to remember are your passport, your itinerary, and your travel insurance documents. Don’t forget your animal spotting guide, too! Although it’s not the end of the world if you forget this, it does make the safari experience that much more fun and exciting.

*Bring any prescription medication and, of course, your prescription glasses or contact lenses. Make sure you go to the pharmacy prior to your adventure to make sure that you have enough prescription medication to last for your whole trip. There won’t be pharmacies in the bush, and while you might be able to scavenge a pain killer, you certainly won’t be able to find your personal prescription medication. Don’t forget your prescription glasses! You don’t want to have to squint your eyes each time you see an animal-shaped boulder or log. 

*Don’t forget to bring along any medicine that you think you might need. If you’re susceptible to an upset stomach, bring along some valoid and Immodium just in case you might need it. Headache tablets are always in demand so bring some of those along too. Remember to pack in your sunblock—the African sun is no joke!

*Bring along your camera, camera phone, and binoculars. You need to be able to capture your beautiful safari moments so a camera or camera phone is essential. Binoculars are always very handy and shouldn’t be forgotten at home. They’ll help you spot animals in the far off distance.

*Don’t forget extra batteries, important chargers, and memory cards. If you’re going to be taking lots of pictures, it is very important that you bring extra batteries with you on your safari trip. Make sure you have ALL of your chargers ready before you leave. Extra memory cards are useful when your camera suddenly, and inconveniently, runs out of memory.

*Bring the RIGHT clothes. Don’t choose brightly coloured clothing—rather go for neutral colours, and make sure that your clothes are PRACTICAL and COMFORTABLE. Leave your high heels at home and opt for some cute trainers instead. Pack in a lightweight jacket that you can wear in the early hours of the morning—yes, Africa is blazing hot during the day, but it cools down significantly in the evenings. Invest in a good safari hat that will offer you maximum protection!

*Pack in a torch. It gets VERY dark in the bush so packing in a torch is always advisable.

*Why not bring along a travel diary or journal? You can jot down all of your wonderful experiences each evening so that you have a clear record of what you did on safari. It will make for wonderful reading when you get back home!

*Leave the expensive jewellery and watches at home! Bringing along these items is a bad idea and completely unnecessary. Eliminate the risk of theft or of losing your valuables by just not bringing them.

*Wet wipes and hand sanitiser. There may not be a place for you to wash your hands while you’re on a game drive. Pack in your hand sanitiser (make sure it’s antibacterial) and wet wipes for a quick hand wash or face wash on the go. It also doubles up as toilet paper if you run out!

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…

2020 Top Travel Trends 

A lot can happen in a year – this is certainly true in travel trends across the world. Most of them for the better – such as more family vacations, reducing carbon footprints and taking things down a notch with the concept of ‘slow travel’. We bring you the 8 latest travel trends expected for the coming year as people transcend their comfort zone and prioritise international vacations…

 

Sustainable Travel in 2020 

This is the year where travellers and operators become increasingly conscious of their impact on the earth. With the growing concern of climate change, decreasing numbers of wildlife and community sustainability, Africa not only offers some of the world’s most pristine, untouched areas, but is active in the initiative to preserve these. This year the focus continues on conserving the land, the wildlife and local communities. This is the new standard within the safari industry without compromising luxury as seen at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Almost a year old, Singita Kwitonda Lodge was designed in response to this purpose and its remarkable location offering environmentally-conscious luxury. 

Multiple Countries 

More travellers are spending less time in one country and coupling it with two additional countries to explore. They are looking at more cross-country tours that have short connecting flights and different experiences. 

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Culinary Adventures

While most travellers have previously considered accommodation, tourist attractions and transport; food and wine have become the deciding factor in many recent travel choices. Tasty local food and house wines are essential to planning a trip and more cooking classes, local dining and fresh produce markets will be booked and visited as part of the experience. This year travellers will go beyond 5-star restaurants and instead pre-book more authentic foodie tours. If you’re heading to Cape Town – Franschhoek should definitely be on your to-see list as this culinary capital surely knows how to tantalise tastebuds. 

Group Travel 

Taking heed from the solo travel trend, travellers are looking for people with the same interests to experience a country in a group. This offers the opportunity to meet new people who want to connect with like-minded individuals in a safe environment. Because of this, there is an increase in female-only travel groups and buddymoons and group bookings for friend-adventures. 

Slow Travel 

More of an antidote to the craze of every day, an increasing number of tourists are getting away to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul rather than tick off an action-packed itinerary that leaves little time for reflection. Some of the top activities being booked are bicycle trips through mountains and vineyards, visiting local markets and spending time in small towns such as Franschhoek. Others will opt for horseback rides or village tours that will keep them occupied and relaxed while escaping the reality they have momentarily left behind. 

Milestone Celebrations

More families and friends are booking out entire accommodations for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions. This is particularly the case with luxury safari destinations such as the Kruger National Park and Botswana. 

All about Aesthetic

When you step into an architectural masterpiece, you know it and it leaves you speechless for your entire stay. Increased bookings are based on the sensory overload of the accommodation such as Baraza, Tanzania where you will spend your free time taking in every little detail from the oriental-inspired pool courtyard to the carefully-chosen interior and decor. 

Zimbabwean Travel Back on the Maps 

Travellers are flocking to Zimbabwe as it has re-emerged as a top safari destination attracting even more tourists in 2020. Best known for its plethora of adrenalin activities and the majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much to offer – from romance to world-class game viewing and superb service.

Seize the day in 2020 and book your African adventure here and now!

Magical Mozambican Moments

Mozambique is a sensory overload of beauty, wilderness, culture and flavour flanked by 2400kms of silky white beaches. Dotted along the astonishing coastline, little pieces of African paradise that literally are some of the last tropical, wild, island sanctuaries in the world. 

Mozambique is a one-of-kind holiday and one that everyone deserves to experience. In case you are not so sure what awaits you, here are 10 magical Mozambican moments you can look forward to:

Swimming full perimeters of idyllic islands if you are lucky with dolphins

Sunbathing under lazy palms on pristine white sandy beaches that go on for days

Snorkelling through hundreds and colours of beautiful sea life

Indulging in a refreshingly ice-cold Tipo Tintos (Rum and Raspberry cola)

Delighting in a spicy peri-peri chicken 

A big welcome from the lovely, smiley locals

Unprecedented luxury and an overwhelming sense of space 

Magnificent, seafood, juicy mangoes and crunchy cashew nuts

Night swims in warm water with luminous, glittering phytoplankton 

Tranquillity, serenity and romance like nowhere else in the world

Mozambique is a symbol of hope, beauty and possibility. Benguerra and Quilalea present the most luxurious and secluded ways to relish the legendary islands drifting off the ancient coast. Click here to experience the splendour of a once-in-a-lifetime Mozambique island holiday.

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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…

Enlivened by Africa

As we conclude a very busy and fulfilling year, we would like to take some time to stop and reflect on what Africa means to us and how this beautiful continent has influenced, inspired and moved us. A memorable trip that immediately comes to mind is an action-packed adventure in East Africa that served as incredible food for the soul. It reminded me of just how powerful and magical Africa is and what it can do for you both inside and out.

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So much of the first world and what we believe is normal life is left behind when you go to Africa.

Time becomes irrelevant, phones and communication impossible, consumerism no longer and worries a distant thing of the past.

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Embraced entirely in the present, you are able to fully appreciate everything about that very moment. Sights become brighter, sounds louder, smells more intense, and feelings more honest and accessible.

Life as you know it begins to fade away. Your heart slows down to the beat of the bushveld; your shoulders feel light and your laughter unbridled.

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A transformation is happening as you slowly unravel and join the peace and the pace of the exquisite creatures we share this earth with.

You rise and fall with the sun, beginning and ending each day with awe and appreciation.

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In between this, you are entirely enamoured by nature, its wonders, intricacies and surprises. From the habits of a herd of elephants to the quirky determination of the wildebeest, to the focus and agility of the pied kingfisher, to the mating habits of the crowned cranes…there is so much to take in.

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You breathe out, your eyes are open and focussed on the landscape around you, your ears listening intently and your mind free.

It is impossible to take it all in but you make a concerted effort to be fully present; to be fully available to enjoy every minute of what Africa has in store for you.

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There is so much the bush can teach you, so much goodness, so many life lessons and behaviours that you can take home with you.

Let it fill your heart and soul. Let it complete you, one sighting, one story and one sundowner at a time.

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Stop thinking I should go to Africa one day or I’d love to go back. It’s more than just an item on your bucket list it’s a life-changing experience and you won’t ever regret it.

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Africa is here waiting for you and it will make you feel more alive than you ever thought possible.

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.