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:

What was/were the highlight(s) of your trip?

“There were so many highlights! The trip to Arusha National Park was a very nice surprise. We were able to photograph the Colobus Monkeys, which was exactly what we wanted, and the birthday dinner at the Arusha Coffee Plantation was a pure delight.

The Mara River Tented Camp was wonderful. They have come very close to providing that family feeling that you get at Londolozi. It is different, being a tented experience, but the people there are special. Herman, our waiter, was a pure delight, teaching us phrases in Swahili and treating us like a member of the family. Benson was incredible and got us into the perfect position for each of the crossings. 

Seeing the crossings was probably one of the most amazing experiences. We felt like we were in a National Geographic moment. Another highlight was seeing a herd of elephants crossing the Mara River. After watching the frenzied crossing of the wildebeest, the elephants were majestic and graceful, a sight that I will never forget. When we left Mara River, we took a “team photo” and commented that the staff there is truly the dream team.

Faru Faru is delightful. 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.

Tswalu is so different. The trip on the Oppenheimer Air is a very special start – it really gives you a feeling for how the famous live. The lodge is gorgeous and the property is so different, with the rocky mountains and the red sand everywhere. Game viewing can be challenging because the density of wildlife is lower, but the chance to see pangolin, aardvark, bat-eared foxes and meerkats is unbelievable. They let you get out of the range rover and follow the pangolin and aardvark on foot. For the meerkats, you get there just as they are beginning to come out of the dens and again, get out of the range rover to wander around and photograph them. It is better to go there in winter because the nocturnal animals are out earlier and easier to find. They also have a number of wild dogs that are easy to locate because many have collars. It is not the sort of place that people should go on their first safari, but for those that want to see a pangolin or aardvark, it is fabulous.

Finally, there was Londolozi, which never disappoints. Reconnecting with Trevor, our butler was delightful. There were leopards everywhere, as usual. Pioneer Camp was amazing. It still is the best, overall wildlife viewing that we have ever experienced.”


Do you have any suggestions on safari guides for first-time safari-goers?

Benson Mboya at the Mara River Camp is phenomenal in getting you to the right place for the crossing. He drives fast and it can be a bit nerve-racking if you get nervous in the landrover, but we loved it.

Alex Jordan at Londolozi was excellent as well. His photography skills are very strong so he is a good guide for those who want to improve their skills.

Antony Kivuko was our andBeyond guide who took us into Arusha National Park. He is delightful. When he heard that our focus was the Monkeys, he ensured that we had the best opportunity to photograph them.

Herman, our waiter at Mara River is an absolute gem.” 

And lastly…

Bev, thank you so much for all of your help. The trip was truly awesome. We are so thankful for your patience and expertise. We could not have had a better experience.” Deb & Jim 

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.

Ocean Safaris Mozambique Zanzibar Iconic Africa

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.

In Pictures: Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp – Tanzania

This property guarantees exceptional, exclusive game viewing in the Serengeti’s remote Western Corridor. Spend time with your loved one or family at a lush riverside escape and be at one with the African bush. 

Set in a wild and remote section of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor is a riverside paradise like no other. Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp was built for and inspired by the Great Migration as it sits minutes away from one of the key crossing points on the Grumeti River. This lush haven is the perfect way to escape from the crowds of the Greater Serengeti to relax, put your feet up, immerse yourself in nature and resign yourself to the fact that you don’t have to lift a finger in order to have the time of your life! 

Sightings an Exclusive Game Viewing Year Round

“This camp is great because it is the only camp on this side of the river. The area is not too populated, so game drives are better and there are not too many vehicles. This area has large herds of topis, lots of lion and lots of hyena. Also being close to the river there are lots of crocs, huge rafts of hippo and a very unique type of primate – the black and white colobus monkey. There is never a dull moment here.” Mussa, Camp Manager.

Set on the Quiet Banks of a Grumeti River Tributary

The ten ensuite tents are tucked into the shade of an evergreen forest on the banks of a tributary of the famous Grumeti River. As the sun rises, the bush comes to life and wakes up all around you. From buffalos to lions, to hyenas, to baboons you are fully immersed in the sounds and goings-on of the animals surrounding you. Sit in the coolness of your densely thatched shady suite, a much welcome retreat from the heat of the sun. From your own private patio watch the game drinking, the colobus monkeys playing or the sunbirds, kingfishers and starlings darting around in their daily routines. The natural hues of the suites will welcome you with open arms. Complete with spacious a writing desk, oversized beds, delicious snacks, the open-air stone tower outside shower and even gym in a bag there is nothing that you will want for.

Take a cool dip in the plunge pool on the edge of the river while you watch hippos having one too. Then relax on the decadent sun loungers as your personal butler brings you and iced cold Pimms and Lemonade.

andbeyond Hospitality at its Best

In true andBeyond style, the hospitality and service simply cannot be faulted. From the minute you arrive to a smiling welcome committee you feel completely at home and looked after. From your personal butler to the camp manager, to the waiters, guides and askaris all have a delightful way about them that warms your heart from the inside out. From a surprise sunset drink table set up in the middle of the savannah to a boma dinner laid out beautifully under a thousand twinkling lanterns, they will go to the ends of the earth to ensure you have the most memorable stay possible. 

Words can only convey so much, and so we would rather show you why this life-changing property should be right on top of your safari bucket list. The world-class hospitality can only be experienced first-hand, but we can tempt you with our hand-picked images of delicious boma dinners under a thousand twinkling lanterns, unbelievable wildlife encounters and the rustic yet sophisticated, luxury lodge.

Property of the Month: Chief’s Camp Botswana 

Nestled on Chief’s Island – renowned for some of the best big game viewing in all of Africa – These twelve thatched pavilions, all with panoramic views of the Piajio floodplain, overlook the abundant herds of animals, and the prolific delta birdlife.   

This month’s property of the month is an understated, yet multi-award-winning luxury accommodation that boasts a delicious bush cuisine. 

Chief’s Camp is nestled on Chief’s Island – a verdant spit of land floating in the Okavango Delta. The island is renowned for some of the best big game viewing in all of Africa while the camp is a refined and polished tribute to the magnificent wilderness that is the Okavango. 

With just twelve generous thatched pavilions, all with panoramas of the Piajio floodplain, the abundant herds of animals, their stalking predators and the prolific delta birdlife is never more than a few steps away.

Palatial pavilions

The twelve gorgeous thatch and gauze pavilions at Chief’s Camp are airy islands of serenity. Each vaunts an ample king-size bedroom that leads to a separate lounge area. The bathrooms have both inside and outside showers and the private decks afford beautiful vistas from the shade of giant sausage trees where you might while away the midday from the comfort of an inviting armchair – a herd of elephants browsing below.

The main dining, sitting, pool and boma areas are set in the shade of giant trees and raised on expansive decking that extends onto the Piajio floodplain. From the comfort of the leather sofas, wicker chairs and dark wood chaise longue next to the pool, you can sip your favourite cocktail or read a tome of Africa, looking up every-so-often to watch the miracle of life unfolding in the floodplain below.

Chief’s Camp takes pride in creating gastronomic delights to compliment the scenic wonder of the venue you choose. You might opt for private dining on your deck to the symphony of a million frogs or you perhaps dine out on the floodplain under a billion African stars.

The Piajio Floodplain

In summer (November to April), the Piajio is dryer and there will be huge herds of plains game like lechwe, impala and zebra grazing as they watch for predators. In winter (May to August), the floodplain is inundated, and you will delight in the antics of the frogs, birds and fish while elephant bulls feed on the fringes or cross from one side to the other.

Exploring Chief’s Island

Perhaps the current highlight of Chief’s Island is the rhino re-introduction programme. Seeing one of these prehistoric giants returned to this phenomenal area is tear-jerking experience. If you are not looking for rhino, you might be watching cheetah stalking one of the many herds of red lechwe on the fringes of the plain. 

In the misty morning, you could follow large pride of lions on the fresh tracks of a herd of buffalo and in the dimming gold of the afternoon, you could be fortunate enough to encounter one of the many leopards of the island – completely unfazed by your presence.

When the floodwaters are up, discovering the wonders of the channels from a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) is another-worldly experience as you float among the reeds, the frogs and the inexhaustible birdlife while a surfeit of mammals feed at the water’s edge.

One jewel in a treasure trove

Whether you are a family on an adventure or a couple looking for romance, southern Africa has some incredible destinations. Iconic Africa recommends that you begin your African holiday in the Cape – either in Cape Town where the beaches, bars, mountain and restaurants will enthral you, or in the gorgeous wine lands of the Franschhoek Valley. From the Cape, Chief’s Island is the next destination and then it’s on to the majesty, mystery and adventure of the Victoria Falls in Zambia or Zimbabwe. A luxury Kruger Park safari in the world-famous Sabi Sands is the perfect ending to the African adventure of a lifetime.

Chiefs Camp is an unassuming luxury in one of the Okavango Delta’s most revered locations! Over the years Chiefs Camp has received world acclaim for its world-class luxury safari experience. Finding availability is thus not easy so do not hesitate in contacting one of our African travel experts and begin your journey to Africa with us now!

A BIG thank you to our travellers

The end of the year is on us again and it’s time to reflect on all the wonderful moments the year has brought us. We have had the privilege of making many traveller’s safari dreams come true and we can’t wait to take you on more adventures! 

We’d like to take this opportunity to send a very special thank you to all our clients who have taken the time to review us on Trustpilot. We appreciate your continuous support and are thrilled that we have could be a part of your unforgettable African memories. 

We’ve had a look through our 2019 reviews and here are some of our favourites:

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Pete Shelton – Absolutely the best!

Iconic was absolutely fantastic and exceeded our expectations with everything we did. All the drivers and guides were always helpful, kind, knowledgeable and always on time. There were no issues with any of the accommodation reservations, plane tickets or transfers. The itinerary was phenomenal and we would not change a thing. We will absolutely use Iconic the next time we venture to Africa (which we all are hoping will be sooner than later!).

 

Philip Jackman – Courteous, timely and very knowledgeable service!

Iconic Africa provided a truly unique travel experience and I would highly recommend their services to anyone travelling in and around South Africa. All of the lodging accommodations were first-rate in terms of service, food and location (urban and on safari). The guided tour recommendations were also well organized and easy to choose, and there was no pressure to choose a high-priced option over the more economical options. The tour companies are all well run, and every driver was on time and well trained about the tourist sites. Every step of the way, Iconic Africa was only a phone call or a WhatsApp message away for answering questions.

 

Christine Tessler – Our trip to Africa was outstanding

Our trip to Africa was outstanding! A highlight of the trip was how informative and knowledgeable the guides were, they made our trip so much more than we had hoped for. Every andBeyond place we stayed made us feel welcomed and cared for, we couldn’t have asked for anything more. Every detail was taken care of by Iconic Africa, they made our vacation one we will never forget. Thank you for everything!

Bev van Schoor was so helpful when we had questions and she listened to what we wanted and gave us so much more! I highly recommend her and Iconic Africa!

 

Phillip Vecchio – Treated like your memories matter

Iconic Africa treats you as if one of their own. Rather than sell tours or experiences, they read who you are, care about that mix, understand your reasons for travel and then give you a lifetime of indelible memories

 

Bob Pearlman – Iconic Africa is a top-notch…

Iconic Africa is a top-notch organization and extremely knowledgeable about travelling in southern Africa, especially as it has to do with safaris. They handled everything from start to finish (in Africa – we were responsible for arranging our flights to Johannesburg and back), including all transfers and flights within Africa, practically without a hitch (nobody’s perfect). Accommodations were mostly top of the line, and we had an excellent all-around experience.

 

Geri Potter – The Iconic Africa team were a dream to…

The Iconic Africa team were a dream to work with. They were able to, not only tick every box on our bucket list, but also provide us with a first-class experience from beginning to end. From the volcanic Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania to Victoria Falls, Zambia, a tented safari at Singita Mara to a gorgeous cabin at Singita Kwitonda and a hotel suite at The Cape Grace at the foot of Table Mountain, gorilla in Rwanda to elephant, lion, leopard and everything in between in Tanzania and, our favorite, the leopards of Londolozi! Iconic Africa can do it all! Thank you, John, Lauren and Terri!!

We can’t wait to have you back on African soil again soon. Until then… 

Black Friday Special – Now 40% off at Madikwe

Your tailor-made luxury African safari starts here this Black Friday! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we have a lot to be grateful for – like a once-in-a-lifetime 40% off your stay at Madikwe Safari Lodge.

Let us take care of all the planning, logistics and scheduling so that you can enjoy what really matters: the ultimate adventure of a lifetime.

Madikwe Safari Lodge comprises of three extravagant camps spread between two picturesque and boulder-strewn hills on the eastern side of the magnificent Madikwe Game Reserve. The three camps offer exquisite privacy and romance, the premier family safari experience and the perfect place for small groups and celebrations. All of this surrounded by the abundance of wildlife and the unforgettable scenery of malaria-free Madikwe.

Madikwe Black Friday Deal Includes:

• Luxurious accommodation
• Three meals per day; Teas/Coffees; Mini bar in room
• Inclusive drinks & selected snacks (all soft drinks and selection of beers, spirits & house wines)
• Two game drives daily with FGASA qualified ranger; Game drive refreshments & snacks
• Specified inclusive safari activities
• Wi-Fi in public areas

Madikwe Black Friday Deal Excludes:

• Laundry
• Premium brand beers, spirits, cellar wines & champagnes; Cigars & cigarettes
• All flights and transfers (other than Skukuza Airport)
• Gratuities; Telephone calls
• Curio shop purchases; Spa treatments; Trails experience; Any additional extras will be for the guests’ account
• Madikwe Park Fee per person per stay
• Madikwe Conservation Fee per person per day


For more information on Madikwe Safari Lodge, click here.

Keep an eye out for our Lion Sands Black Friday Deal for those wanting to gift themselves or a loved one this festive season with the best gift of all – time in the bush.

ENQUIRE NOW or call us: United States +1 888 345 3443 or South Africa: +27 82 411 5776
Availability is limited so contact us as soon as possible so we can make your African safari dream come true.

Terms and Conditions
All enquiries to be submitted here between 08:00 29 November and 11pm 2 December.
Bookings need to be confirmed and deposits paid in full within 7 days of confirmation.
Travel dates are for 4 January – 30 April 2020 & 1 – 31 May 2020
All bookings are subject to availability.

10 Things to be Thankful for as Africans

“I am an African not because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.” – Kwame Nkrumah

The African continent holds a very special place in our hearts and how often do we take a few moments to appreciate what we have in our life? Today is the day to give thanks for all those things that make a difference in our daily lives and visiting Africa so incredible.

To those who have never been… we wish that you will visit in the not-too-distant future and that you will come to know and love this amazing place.

In the meantime & in the spirit of thanksgiving here are 10 things we (as African’s) are grateful for:

 

Our People

Special conversations, shared laughs and smiles are parts of every day in Africa. The warmth, humility and courage of its people are overwhelming and infectious!

Our Sunrises and Sunsets

Only the best and most beautiful you could ever imagine. The sky lights up with a thousand splendid colours and imprints on your memory forever.

Our Wildlife

The variety and quantity of wildlife that we share with the continent is sometimes unbelievable. It is an honour to experience these majestic creatures.

Our Food

Always prepared with the utmost care the taste sensations and culinary journeys we are exposed to on a daily basis are out of this world!

Our Culture

This colourful land is bursting with characters, cultures, religions and beliefs aplenty. There is so much to see, to learn and to understand.

Our Landscapes

From savannahs, to mountains, to forests, to beaches to deserts we have it all and it’s ever-changing and always takes your breath away.

The Weather

Summer in South Africa is glorious. It’s hot, it’s humid and the afternoon summer thunderstorms are the best.

Summer Fruit

Pineapples, watermelons, apricots, peaches. All of these juicy edibles make summer totally delicious. 

Our Freedom

Nowhere else will you experience space like in Africa. The middle of nowhere is a real place here and a feeling experienced often on this endless continent!

Braai Time

There’s nothing quite like a braai on a warm afternoon with a few beers and cocktails. 

From all of us at Iconic Africa, Happy Thanksgiving!

In Pictures – Vumbura Plains 

This property has an Idyllic Okavango setting where guests can enjoy Africa’s evenings of romance and splendour next to a spellbinding fire. Picture floating down a crystal-clear Okavango waterway on a mokoro or enjoying a couples massage out on your beautiful pool deck. Perhaps you would prefer a boat safari through the Delta channels, watching wildlife move through the water and reeds.

Vumbura Plains is a remote location on a stunning and exclusive concession in the northern Okavango Delta. The camp is a sanctuary of contemporary design that blends effortlessly into the trees that shade it from the Botswana sun. Vumbura Plains offers year-round water and land-based explorations into the Okavango where several prides of lion, leopard, cheetah and packs of endangered wild dog prey on vast herds of impala, lechwe, tsesebe and the magnificent sable antelope. Vumbura is a destination of luxury and adventure for couples and families alike.

A deck overlooking the panoramic delta

Vumbura Plains consists of two separate seven-roomed satellite camps. Vumbura north boasts two family rooms and is ideal for groups travelling together while the southern satellite is perfect for romance and honeymoon luxury.

The main lounge, dining and bar areas are airy and spacious tributes to contemporary African luxury with extensive decking and open sides offering spectacular vistas of the Okavango and the wilderness dramas unfolding there. There are both indoor and outdoor lounge areas of sumptuous comfort while the star deck – extending out into the waters of the delta where an astonishing abundance of bird, mammal and invertebrate life thrives – is a highlight for African fireside contemplation.

Like the main areas, the rooms are open, spacious and delightfully modern. The extensive outside deck with private plunge pool lies dappled by the shade of ancient African giants while the private spa, suspended over the flooded grasslands is the perfect place to luxuriate in a relaxing treatment. The deck leads to the polished wooden floors of the enormous double bedroom and lounge. The latter is a lower level refuge of delightful comfort offering endless vistas over the Okavango.

The highlight of the capacious bathroom is a huge glass-walled shower which allows you to watch the procession of delta wildlife on the plains below.

We could go on describing the crystal water and Kalahari sand or the fantastic food and wildlife sightings, but we would rather show you! 

Scroll down for some of our hand-picked images of Vumbura Plains.

5 Fun Activities in Botswana 

Botswana has an incredible reputation as a premier wildlife destination yet remains an untouched wilderness of unbelievable diversity. Botswana is an immense country, from the Kalahari Desert with its famed black-mane lions; to the impossible vastness of the Makgadikgadi salt pans; to Chobe in the east. If you’re visiting this beautiful country and want to do a little more than game drives, we have put together our top five activities for you:

Botswana Safaris Okavango Safaris Okavango Delta

1. Shops of Maun 

Traditional Botswana baskets are known for their tight weaving and patterns, fashioned from the mokolwane palm. One basket can take weeks to complete. Take home your very own woven basket that can be found in the craft shops of Maun, a safari hub.

2. Fishing in September 

September is a great time to visit the Okavango Delta if you’re a fishing enthusiast. The waters of the Okavango Delta recede at this time of year, making it the ideal time for fly fishing. Giant catfish gather in papyrus reeds, attracting tiger fish and offering an exciting catch-and-release experience.

3. Star Gazing 

The Botswana sky is free from light pollution and lights up at night with a thousand stars! If you’re staying near the salt flats of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, you will be treated to the Milky Way splashed across the sky. You can even join a night game drive to stargaze and search for nocturnal animals.

4. Chapman’s Baobab

Another iconic site is Chapman’s Baobab – a predecessor of the modern GPS. This monumental tree was used as a landmark by 19th-century travellers crossing the Kalahari Desert. It also served as a postal service: Travelers tucked letters into its hollows for other explorers to find and relay to family and friends back home.

5. Prime Elephant Viewing

If you’re visiting Chobe National Park, you will find one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants. They migrate seasonally between the park’s floodplains and salt pans. For optimal elephant-viewing, visit the Chobe River area in October. 

For more information on what Botswana has to offer, click here