Tips for Travelling Post Covid

As things slowly return to a new ‘normal’ and the tourism industry resumes operations, locals can now feel like tourists close to home as we wait for international travel to bounce back from Covid-19 restrictions. As we take to the open road with enthusiasm, bags packed, holiday playlist at hand or board local flights, many will soon be checking in at one of South Africa’s most luxurious accommodations with few foreigners in sight.

Ivory Lodge Lions Sands Luxury Safari Kruger Park

Iconic-Africa-Luxury-Kruger-National-Park-safaris-4

But before you experience the comforting buzz of a lodge or hotel lobby, let us remind you of some health and safety tips that are here to stay to make your vacation less stressful. While the entire world has implemented best practice such as requiring customers to wear a mask, promoting social distancing, using online or contactless reservations, check-ins and contactless payments as well as enhanced cleaning procedures, these tips will let you look forward to your getaway with optimism and excitement …

Entering public spaces:
Wear a mask.
Avoid close contact from anyone who is not from your household.
Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 70% alcohol).
Avoid contact with anyone who is showing flu or cold symptoms.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Continue reading “Tips for Travelling Post Covid”

Our Top 5 Live Safaris

The African bush may seem a distant dream or memory right now… but it doesn’t have to be like that! We have chosen 5 of our favourite Live Safaris to bring the bush and its animals into your living room in a heartbeat.

While we may not be able to see the wildlife in person and capture its beauty, our favourite guides bring the Big 5 and so much more straight to our screens, and the experience cannot be more real. Interact with the guides through the comments and let your kids ask some questions too… You don’t need to let travel bans keep you and your family from adrenaline-boosting experiences in the back of a 4×4 as you make your way through the dusty paths of the bush… as the sun sets and the cicadas sing 😊 Need we say more.

You can definitely add this to your daily routine and turn it into some quality family-time as these awesome guides bring us exciting news in real-time, from returning pups, to cub sightings to hunts and so much more.

Join WildEarth on their safariLIVE channel for sunrise and sunset safaris. This award-winning, expert hosted show is broadcast directly from the African wilderness into your home. You can even interact with an expert game ranger in real-time. Join your guide in a safari vehicle, on foot, in a balloon and remote cams as they search for prey and predators alike. Our close friend and expert ranger James Hendry is one of the crew!

1. WILDWATCH LIVE
&BEYOND WILDwatch LIVE brings the wilderness to you. Join the live stream twice-daily, three-hour-long game drives from &BEYOND Ngala Private Game Reserve, &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve, Djuma Private Game Reserve, Tswalu and Pridelands Conservancy.

How to ask questions on WILDwatch LIVE

Adult questions: Morning and afternoon drives

Twitter: Post your question followed by the hashtag #wildearth
Youtube: Ask your question in the chatbox on the right-hand side

WILDchild (children’s) questions:
Afternoon kiddies drive (first 45min of afternoon safaris): Email kidsquestions@wildearth.tv



2. LONDOLOZI VIRTUAL SAFARIS
Londolozi never fails to excite and stimulate viewers with their thrilling virtual safaris. From rescuing a trapped honey badger to sighting missing wild dog pups, experience the best the Sabi Sands has to offer from your couch!

3. TSWALU ECOLIVE
Tswalu EcoLive is also in collaboration with WildEarth TV and is an interactive virtual safari showcasing the best wildlife action and animal encounters direct from the field, as they unfold in real-time. Tswalu’s experienced field guides are out on the reserve daily, hosting morning and afternoon game drives with a dedicated WildEarth camera crew. They are on a mission to track down the rare and iconic species of the southern Kalahari and to introduce you to Tswalu’s characterful meerkats.

You can find Tswalu EcoLive broadcasts on the below platforms sites:
YouTube
Twitter
Website

4. MARATABA VIRTUAL SAFARI DIARIES
Marataba South Africa Virtual Safari Diaries helps stay-at-home safari-goers learn some fascinating facts about their reserve on bush-walks with Field Guides Helen Mertens and Mitchel Bloem.

5. CHITWA CHITWA LIVE SAFARIS
Join Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge on a Live Safari as they adventure through the South African bush in search for some leopards, lions and zebras!

Let us know what has been your favourite virtual safari over this time or if there are any other great ones that you have loved?

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!

 

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Tour 

Before you know it, the much anticipated Valentine’s Day will be here and many of you will need some great ideas for some extra-special quality time with your loved one… Luckily, Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades infused into an unmistakable romantic destination. We’ve put together a special tour for you so that you have to worry about one less thing – Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance is the perfect gift or gesture for your special partner this Valentine’s Day… Don’t waste time planning the perfect escape for two – we’ve done it for you! 

It 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. View the full interactive itinerary below: 

  • DAY 1-4: EDWARDIAN PASSION, LUXURIOUS EXTRAVAGANCE

Ellerman House is a sumptuous Edwardian mansion resting on Lion’s Head Mountain, above the ultramarine waters of the Atlantic stretching to the meet the depthless African sky.

No expense has been spared, it truly is a Relais&Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury.

Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a world-class wine selection and cellar.

Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty will keep you enthralled for months on end.
Accommodation: Ellerman House

  • DAY 4-6: AFRICA’S MAJESTIC WINELANDS

Nestled in the vineyards and plum orchards of Franschhoek, La Residence is the most gorgeous boutique hotel in the most picturesque valley in South Africa.

A benchmark to luxury and comfort and created with exquisite detail and love.

The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, luxurious finishes and vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle.

The little village of Franschhoek is the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and boasts great exceptional wine and delicious food.
Accommodation: La Residence

Premier Golf and Safari Tour La residence

  • DAY 6-9: AFRICA’S WILD ROMANCE

At Royal Malewane, a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again.

A marvel of wilderness romance and seclusion that blends seamlessly into this ancient land.

Gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees.

The Royal Malewane Spa is world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a unique healing African treatment.

Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa.
Accommodation: Kruger National Park Private Concessions

  • DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIAN FALLS RETREAT

Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by the sumptuous luxury that blends seamlessly into the private stretch of the Zambezi River Bank.

Island Lodge is set on its own private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, offering just four exclusive and indulgent villas.

Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river.

The outdoor bath is a fantastic space to soak up the night sky while on cooler nights, keeping cosy in the plush lounge before retiring to your extravagant bed.

A little downriver from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth.
Accommodation: Royal Chundu. 

Click here for the full tour. 

5 Iconic Destinations – Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour

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

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

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

THE CAPE GRACE

Cape Town

  • Cape Grace is in the ideal position for you to enjoy all the enchantments of the Mother City including the harbour, yacht basin and Table Mountain.
  • The Cape Grace offers various choices of expansive, luxurious suites and rooms to suit all needs.
  • You are guaranteed to the ultimate opulence.
  • The African Spa offers a full suite of beauty and massage treatments, a gym and a hair salon.
  • Boasting endless panoramic views of the marina, mountain and the Atlantic Ocean

FRANSCHHOEK – LA RESIDENCE

Cape Winelands

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

Accommodation: La Residence

LONDOLOZI FOUNDERS CAMP

Sabi Sands

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

VICTORIA FALLS – ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls

  • The Royal Livingstone is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls.
  • It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm.
  • The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the Zambezi.
  • Endless adventures and activities to explore.
  • One of the best sundowner spots as dusk turns the fall’s mist a golden pin

THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA – WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Botswana

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

Accommodation: Jao Camp

All you need to know about the Serengeti

If you’re planning your next African safari adventure to the Serengeti National Park, we have put together all you need to know to maximise your time in this East-African haven. The park was established in 1951 and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site thirty years later. Now the Serengeti National Park welcomes 350,000 visitors each year. 

We were lucky enough to experience this wonderland from the air on a once-in-a-lifetime balloon safari… definitely something for every safari lover’s bucket list. For a sneak peek of the magic that awaits click here: 

Whatever has drawn you to this magical place – witnessing the Great Migration, seeing all of the Big Five or taking out some R&R time with your significant other – it is always a good time to visit. 

Despite the distinct dry and wet season, the weather is pleasant throughout the year. The high (dry) season runs from January to March and June to October. From January to March you can expect to experience the Great Migration and June to October provides good weather conditions for spotting wildlife. The dry season has clear blue skies and is the perfect time to add a beach destination to your itinerary.

The highlight of your trip during this time of year will be spotting almost 1.7 million wildebeest and other game traversing in search of new grazing grounds. The sheer sound of the migratory animals will leave you speechless. Around February, the wildebeest give birth and then move towards the Grumeti River and cross the Mara River by July. 

During the low season, the wildebeest will have reached the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. 

The low (wet) season is a good time to visit if you are looking forward to a bush spa experience. The rainy season expects fewer visitors, offering guests a quiet and private time in the wilderness. The wet season doesn’t mean day-long rain. With short periods of heavy downpours, there is still enough time for game drives and time to relax on the deck and spot wildlife in the distance. Temperatures can reach 27℃. 

What animals can you see in the Serengeti?

  • Lions
  • Buffalo
  • Giraffes
  • Leopards
  • Rhinos
  • Hippos
  • Zebras
  • Elephants 

Top activities in the Serengeti:

  • Visit a Maasai village 
  • Experience a night game drive 
  • Get an aerial view of the Serengeti 
  • Witness the Great Migration 
  • Visit the paleoanthropological Olduvai Gorge site 

There are a number of ways to reach the Serengeti National Park – by plane and car. One of the recommended routes is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport and take an 8-hour drive to the park or alternatively transfer by plane to Arusha Airport and then fly to one of the smaller airstrips inside the park. 

From the incredible natural events that take place in the park to the wildebeests’ departure and arrival back in their breeding grounds, Serengeti has something magical on show all year round. And if you’re struggling to spot the rare black rhino or the elusive black leopard, you can always book yourself a much-deserved spa treatment and overlook the rolling plains after with a G&T in hand after.

The Beauty of the Sabi Sands

Not only did our director John Holley spend two wonderful years working at Londolozi in the Sabi Sands but our team is often there visiting. In fact, we just can’t seem to stay away! Here are a few reasons why this wonderful place holds a special place in our hearts. 

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve was the first private game reserve in South Africa, founded in 1948 and now forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. 

Sharing a 32-mile unfenced border with the Kruger, wildlife can traverse freely creating an exceptional opportunity for big game viewing with some of the world’s finest rangers and trackers. 

The Sabi Sands is one of the most sought-after private game reserves for safari and this comes as no surprise with the unforgettable luxury accommodations available. 

This 65, 000-hectare wilderness should definitely be on your travel bucket-list – a destination that will see your many returns once you get a taste of all its magic! 

Here are some of our favourite luxury accommodations in the reserve; from romantic escapes to family retreats, there is the perfect bush escape for every reason, season and occasion. 

Singita

Singita means “place of miracles,” which truly embodies everything for which this incredible brand has become famous. Known for astonishing game viewing, Singita has won “Top Hotel in the World” more than 16 times.

Dulini Lodge 

Sheltered beneath the shade of ancient trees and embraced by the riverine setting, the tranquil haven offers a five-star luxury experience.  The subtle blend of pan-African art and the traditional safari theme creates an enchantment while ensuring Dulini feels like a home away from home. Dulini Lodge is also world-famous for its leopard sightings. 

Londolozi

Three of Londolozi’s five lodges, namely GranitePioneer and Tree are Relais & Chateaux properties and these lodges are true to the elegance and attention to detail that this world-renowned signature embodies. The remainder of the five, Founders and Varty are not to be overlooked. Varty Camp is adored for its deep history and endearing charm; and Founders is equally deserving of complimentary adjectives: sophisticated, warm and classic.

Kirkmans Camp 

This opulent Victorian-themed masterpiece conjures an atmosphere of bygone luxury and calm on the banks of the Sand River.

Chitwa Chitwa 

The sophisticated lodge is set amongst towering Acacia and ancient Ebony trees, overlooking the Sabi Sands largest waterhole. 

Lion Sands  

Lions Sands’ pride of four ultra-luxury lodges, all perched along the Sabie River, are a testament to a family’s passion and admiration for their pristine piece of wild Africa. It is nurtured as a gift passed down over four generations and each lodge endeavours to share its story and its beauty with everyone that visits. 

These properties are world-contenders for the best hospitality, food, architecture and luxury. But it is not only the lodges that provide the avid traveller with a lifetime of memories. 

The ultimate bush experience is made distinct by the quality of game viewing. The Sabi Sands is one of the best places to view leopards – on exciting night drives, the Big Five and other game. On a single outing, you may even get to see up to 10 different animals and birds and observe their habits. 

With hundreds of bird species and tons of recorded mammal species, you won’t have to leave your lodge to see a plethora of plants and animals, especially being close to either the Sand or Sabie Rivers – perennial water sources that attract herds of animals to their water source year-round. Watch hippos cool down in the water while you take in the lush surroundings in summer or watch how the wild bring new life to this unspoilt corner. During the winter months, wildlife are more active and you have a greater chance of seeing big cats on the hunt or young cubs playing. 

In addition to the safari classics; the giraffe, zebra and hyena, you could spot a rare pangolin if you’re lucky. And the best part is that your experienced guides will be able to drive the vehicle off-road to follow any tracks and get up-close and personal with some of Africa’s finest wildlife. 

The easiest way to optimise your time in this prestigious wilderness is to catch a flight from Johannesburg or Kruger Mpumalanga International airport or to an airstrip in the Sabi Sands and have a transfer take you directly to your lodge. 

Take the necessary precaution and get vaccinated. Speak to your doctor or travel clinic about anti-malaria tablets and pack in your long-sleeved tops, long pants, socks and closed shoes. 

First-time safari-goers and regulars always return time and time again. This private game reserve is always in high demand, so book your Sabi Sands safari now!