A Londolozi of Leopards

The collective noun for multiple leopards is actually a Leap, but the alternate term in this post’s title is more than appropriate, given that Londolozi practically pioneered leopard viewing as we know it today.

In the early 1970’s, thanks to progressive land-management practices and a sensitive approach to viewing wildlife, Londolozi started seeing a single female leopard fairly regularly. Carefully observing her habits and getting her used to the game drive vehicles meant that her cubs picked up her relaxed approach to being viewed, which spawned successive generations of habituated leopards. Londolozi is now viewing its 8th generation of leopards descended from that single female; most likely the most documented leopard lineage in existence.

These days Londolozi remains at the epicentre of Leopard viewing. A camera-trap study conducted by the Panthera Organisation concluded that the Sabi Sand Reserve contains the densest population of these spotted cats yet recorded in Africa, with Londolozi and its neighbours (all of whom sit at the core of the Sabi Sands) containing the highest density of them all; approximately 12 leopards per 100 square kilometres.

A combination of ideal habitat and the resulting prey availability, as well as the fact that the reserve is unfenced and open to the 6 million hectare Greater Kruger National Park, has maintained the population as stable and allowed for unrestricted genetic flow.

Experienced rangers and trackers – among the best in the business – understand the behaviour of the cats intimately and are able to find them on game drives repeatedly.
Although leopards steal the show, and are one of the reasons that guests visit Londolozi from all over the world, they are part of a much wider cast of wildlife, including all the Big 5, as well as cheetahs, wild dogs and a plethora of general game species that will your camera’s memory card up more rapidly than you could dare dream.

The camps themselves offer a wonderful diversity of accommodation options, from the slightly larger family camps – Founders and Varty – to the three-roomed Pioneer Camp, which is generally booked in the exclusive-use villa style, you will almost certainly be able to find what you are looking for.

It is the people of Londolozi that truly set the place apart however.
Since the Varty family rebranded the lodge as a stand-alone, family-run affair in 2007, the vibrant culture that permeates into every nook and cranny of the land has become more and more entrenched, and for many repeat guests, it is the friends they have made amongst the staff that sees them returning time and time again.
Some can boast over 50 visits…

Londolozi delivers time and time again, from the bush experience they offer to the food, hospitality, wellness spa and everything in between.
It may be the place to see leopards but it is also the place to feel more alive than you thought you could. Where you can reconnect with ancient energy and connect to yourself all over again…

Get in touch now through info@iconicafrica.com to enquire about rates and availability…

The Outpost: Perched on the Rim of the World

The northern corner of the world-famous Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s most breathtaking areas. Elephant herds wander through ageless fever tree forests, hundreds of buffalo spread like oil across the Limpopo floodplain, and through it all runs the Luvhuvu River, the lifeblood of the region.

Perched on a hill high above the Luvhuvu riverbed, with indescribable views of the African bushveld, sits The Outpost, your gateway into one of the most biodiverse regions in Southern Africa.

The Outpost operates within the 26 500ha Makuleke concession, a unique partnership in the Kruger Park in that the land is owned by the Makuleke people, and the lodges within the concession are staffed almost exclusively by the tribe.
Warm smiles greet visitors to this spectacular corner of Africa (which boasts over 80% of the Kruger National Park’s biodiversity), and guests can explore the bush through guided drives conducted by experienced rangers, or – even better – through immersive bush walks. This is truly the best way to experience the magic of the African wild, as one can get a far greater appreciation for the minutiae of the wilderness by fully grounding oneself on foot.

The Outpost accommodates 24 guests in 12 open plan, en-suite luxury spaces cantilevered on a hill overlooking the Luvuvhu River. The private, free standing spaces are inter-connected to each other and the central lodge area by 500 metres of Zimbabwean teak walkway. Contemporary architecture makes use of concrete and steel with state-of the-art retractable, remote-controlled screens offering 180º of uninterrupted views.

Ultimately, at The Outpost you are looking at the top lodge in the most spectacular region of South Africa’s most famous national park. The combination is ideal for almost anyone and everyone, from the adventurous to the birders, the walkers or the romantic honeymooners.

There is no one who won’t feel utterly enchanted both with this unique section of South Africa’s greatest wilderness, and this stunning hilltop lodge within it.

Get hold of us through info@iconicafrica.com to start planning your safari…

Our Iconic Africa

Africa has been waiting for you all this time. And so have we…

The wildebeest are still spreading in their hundreds of thousands over the sea of grass that is Tanzania’s Serengeti and the leopards are still lounging on the marula branches of the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa.
Wild Africa is essentially unchanged.

And most spectacular of all is that these bucket list trips are more accessible than ever.

The last year and a half has been an interesting time in all of our lives, and while we can’t predict the future, what we do know is that the latest news on the African travel front has all been good.
Travel restrictions to multiple countries all over Africa have been lifted, and the continent that birthed mankind is opening up once again to the blank canvas of imagination.

We’re big fans of the clouds-with-silver-linings approach, and the beautiful lesson we’ve taken out of the last year is the recognition of our fundamental human need for experiences. The urge to be spontaneous and free. And above all, a deep desire we all have to understand our humanity through a wild reconnection with ourselves and with each other.

If that connection is something you are looking for, we can help you find it.

Come and rediscover your true wild self…

Londolozi: A Return Home

It has been 26 years since I first journeyed to Londolozi Game Reserve, yet every time I visit I still feel the same sense of giddy excitement I did on that initial visit so long ago, the same sense of nostalgia when I climb up into the Land Rover for the opening game drive of the trip, and the same overwhelming sense of sadness when I leave.

It’s not just the amazing sightings of leopards in trees, lions wading through the Sand River, or being surrounded by the 7th herd of elephants for the morning. It’s far more than that.
This for me was where my true love for the bush began, as I began to see exactly what type of experience it could – and should – be.

My first visit to Londolozi, 26 years ago (I am standing centre). Ranger Julius Ngwenya (sitting in front) has his son now working as a tracker at Londolozi.
And our latest trip, out on game drive waiting for lions to wake up in the evening.

This is what Londolozi does so well. There’s no formula. That went out the window long ago. Yes there is a framework within which the lodge operates – out before sunrise each morning to catch the dawn chorus, night drives following lions on the hunt, bush walks to make you touch, smell, and truly listen – but the reality is that each safari, each time you venture out of the camp gates in fact, is tapered to suit your specific needs.

One of the many herds that inhabit the reserve wade across the Sand River (Pioneer Camp is just out of picture to the left).
The winter months are an especially good time to see elephants in the South African bush.

Birding is your thing? No problem; the focus shifts to the myriad different habitats that the reserve features, with the guide and tracker fully aware of which species are to be found where. Photographically inclined, wanting to capture that magical silhouette shot of a leopard outlined against the vivid reds of an African sunset? The tracking team will find that leopard, and – conditions permitting – the ranger will know exactly where to position the vehicle and what camera settings to use to make sure you nail the shot. There is no such thing as homogeneity in the Londolozi experience. It’s always unique and always special.

You never know what will be around the next corner at Londolozi…

I try to get back there once a year, except these days it’s not just me and my husband but my kids as well, and my brother and his wife regularly accompany us.
We try to stay in Pioneer Camp each year, the most westerly of the Londolozi camps. One of Londolozi’s three Relais and Chateaux camps, Pioneer only has three rooms, perfect for a family of our size. The adults go into two of them while the kids squeeze into the third (which is connected to ours by a discreet walkway).
And for a magical ten days, the camp becomes home.

The camp manager this year was Shannon Dawson, the most wonderful person you could ever wish to meet, and she shares a similar history with us in that she has also been visiting Londolozi with her family since she was small. And now she calls it home too.
Nothing was ever too much for Shannon, and her delightful smile was always there to welcome us home after game drive, morning and evening.

This leopard was waiting for us just off the edge of the Pioneer Camp deck as we returned from game drive one evening!

Travelling out from Atlanta, GA, where I live these days (having moved from South Africa in the 90s), it makes far more sense for us to come for a longer trip, so ten days is usually the least amount of time we will stay. I cannot emphasise enough the value of a longer stay. It allows one to truly sink into a place, to adjust to the flow of the African bush, and get to know the ranger, tracker and camp staff far better than one would in what would traditionally have been a three night adventure.

Our coffee stop one morning in a treehouse overlooking the Sand River.


A young leopard cub peers down nervously from the boughs of a marula tree, still uncertain of the best way to descend.

Particularly for those coming from further afield, long stay safaris are slowly starting to replace the three night visits, which travel trends are definitely starting to reflect. The idea it seems, is to go deeper, not broader. Rather than hopping between lodges, discerning travellers are preferring to remain in one place, getting the absolute most out of a visit that they can.
This is certainly what we try to accomplish each time we visit Londolozi.

Tiny wild dog pups emerge from their den as their mother calls them out.

This was our first time back in a couple of years, Covid-19 and other circumstances having prevented us visiting since July 2018.

The best thing for me was just how easy travel was in these times: flights were not a problem, covid-compliant and everything almost seemed easier than normal, especially given that airports are far less crowded. A hop, skip and a jump, and back in Londolozi we were…

And what a return it was.
Lions taking down a buffalo on our first morning, male leopards roaring back and forth at each other, a female leopard with her cubs just learning how to climb, wild dog pups emerging from their den for the first time… The sightings were incredibly varied and seemingly endless.
And in between them was the Londolozi fun; Wimbledon-themed dinners, soccer games for the kids, tracking lessons from Joy Mathebula… Whenever we least expected it, there was something new and exciting on the cards.

Tracker Andrea Sithole – who our family have known for years – celebrates a goal with my daughter Brodi in a soccer game organised for the kids staying in camp.
One of the dominant male leopards that Londolozi is so famous for, drinking only a few feet from our vehicle.

Londolozi doesn’t just thrill with the wildlife. They take you into their world and open your eyes. You get to see what this one wild life we have all been given should really be about: fun, connection, intimacy with nature and ultimately finding the best version of yourself.

I know I find that person whenever I’m at Londolozi.
And you can too…



Notten’ Bush Lodge: the Sabi Sands’ Best Kept Secret

Down towards the south-east corner of South Africa’s world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve lies one of its hidden gems.

Unobtrusively nestled between the old bed of the Selati railway line to the west and the Sand River to the east lies Notten’s Camp, a small, family-run bush lodge that redefines what it means to feel at home in the wild.

Owned by the Notten family since 1963 and open as a commercial lodge since 1986, this land has seen almost four decades of conservation-focused safaris conducted upon it, and the experience of the staff reflects that.

Like the rest of the Sabi Sand Reserve, Notten’s is a leopard paradise, and the greater area boasts the highest density of these magnificent cats yet recorded on the African continent. It is not at all uncommon to spot a leopard sauntering past the deck of your chalet, or even to catch a glimpse of one ducking off the camp walkways. Sightings are common out on game drive, and the Notten’s guides are well practiced in getting photographers into the right position for the shot.

Two young leopards spar playfully. Despite already possessing fiercely sharp claws, their play sessions generally cause no harm, and are important in developing the skills they will need in later life.

The rest of the Big 5 are sure to fill your frame just as fast, and elephant, buffalo, rhino and lion are also plentiful in the area. The waterhole situated in the open clearing directly in front of the lodge’s main area attracts a plethora of wildlife throughout the day, particularly during the dry winter months, and one simply has to glance up during breakfast to see herds of impala, stately kudu or the resident bull waterbuck sauntering by.

Lions are regularly encountered on safari at Notten’s…

It’s certainly not only about the larger stuff though, and it is the sheer diversity of life here that will astound you. Over 2000 species of mammals, birds, trees, insects, reptiles and amphibians have been recorded on the reserve; an incredible amount of biodiversity which makes game drives, bush walks, or even a simple stroll through the camp a constant stimulation.

The Notten’s camp is unfenced, and wildlife is regularly encountered on the lawns around the swimming pool in particular.

The rooms at Notten’s are what make the place truly special. Lit by candlelight and paraffin lanterns, they retain the feel and charm of an old-school bush camp, whilst sacrificing none of the comfort. The rooms are air-conditioned and charging facilities are available, so there’s no danger of running out of power for your battery or cellphone.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway you are after or a Big 5 photographic experience, Notten’s ticks all the boxes, and with their current specials there is no better time to visit. The winter months offer some of the best game viewing on the continent, and when summer starts rolling around again, visitors will be treated to the most remarkable changes as the bush flushes green once more, the migrants return, and the lodge comes alive with the buzz of cicadas and the galavanting of newborn antelope.

Click here to find out more about Notten’s Bush Lodge or to make a booking…


Africa is Opening Up!

Africa is opening up again!

For those of you who have been yearning to satisfy that travel urge over the last 15 months, the thrilling news is that you can do that sooner than you think.
Right now, in fact.

United Airlines recently returned to South Africa with its direct flight from New York to Johannesburg, and this route is set to continue as a daily service. Just as exciting is the anticipated resurrection of the New York to Cape Town route, set to launch in October, which will give visitors direct access to South Africa’s Mother City, right on the southern tip of the continent.
Current US Rules allow those fully vaccinated with the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson jabs to return home without having to undergo any period of quarantine, so the worry of getting back home can essentially be forgotten.

Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

For those wishing to head on a breathtaking African safari, there has literally never been a better time.
With most operators offering once-in-a-lifetime specials, fairly quiet lodges, and the game viewing unaffected by what has been happening in the greater world and just as spectacular as ever, the only question seems to be, “Why not?”
Rwanda is open for gorilla trekking, and incredibly sophisticated COVID-19 protocols (everyone in the tourism industry has been vaccinated) make this one of the safest countries to visit.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is still – as ever – performing its own rendition of Eden, and the leopard viewing in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve continues to be unrivalled anywhere in the rest of the continent.

South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve is world-renowned for its leopard viewing in particular.

Iconic Africa director Terri Abadi recently flew out to South Africa to visit Londolozi Game Reserve, a place that has been close to her heart for over twenty years, and had this to say about her experience in getting there:

I flew out just before the New York flight opened so I routed through Amsterdam, and my family flew out after me on the direct NY flight.
Both of our experiences were absolutely seamless. The airlines have adjusted completely to the new normal
and to be honest it almost felt like nothing had changed since before COVID-19.

My layover was only two hours in Amsterdam and before I knew it, I was on the ground in Johannesburg and transferring to my flight down to the bush.

I’m excited to see what this means for travel, as once people start to realise how easy and most of all safe it is to get out to Africa, I anticipate people clamouring to go on safari once more!”

Terri Abadi and family enjoying the sunrise on a misty morning at Londolozi Game Reserve.

With the worldwide tourism industry having suffered through the bulk of 2020, but now slowly starting to turn a corner, we are thrilled to be able to contribute in our small way to helping the continent get back to its feet in the travel sector.
The new normal of travel is about responsibility; the awareness of the difference you are making to both the people and the wildlife in the places you visit. Sustainability, reduced impact, boons for local conservation projects and the socio-economic upliftment of communities are all part of the new jargon of travel.

Our destinations and packages are carefully picked to fulfil both a unique and life-changing African experience for the guest, as well as make a positive impact in the areas they serve.

We look forward to welcoming you to this stunning continent.
She is waiting…

Tulela: a Place of Peace

An African safari has the power to change you. To make you feel so truly connected to yourself and your surroundings that you feel that this is the way life should be lived. Far from the trappings of the fast-paced modern world with all its distractions, the African wilderness reaffirms the values that our humanity holds dear.
And almost inevitably, as your safari winds down, your mind lets itself wander into the fantasy of “If only I could live in the bush…”

Well Tulela, a magical 5-bedroom lodge in the Greater Kruger Park of South Africa, will make you feel like you are…

As close to a home in the bush as you can find, Tulela is an exclusive-use lodge that is so much more than just a base to see the Big 5 from. Bespoke safaris both in a vehicle and on foot, sleep-outs under the southern stars, conservation initiatives that guests can get hands on with… your stay at Tulela is far more of an immersion into the wilds of Africa than a simple stay in the bush.

The lodge was designed with that homely feel in mind. Situated on the banks of the N’tsiri river, the rooms and main area are nestled in the shade of magnificent riparian trees from which the gentle background ambience of the local birdlife emanates. A waterhole positioned in full view of the deck attracts a continuous procession of wildlife – particularly in the drier winter months – and the overwhelming feeling here is that you are part of nature.

With over 6000ha of the Klaserie Private Game Reserve to explore with your own ranger and tracker, you essentially are…

Tulela is child friendly, so is perfect for families looking to open their children’s minds to the wonders of nature.
Or, if it’s simply an exclusive getaway for ten friends that you are after, this is the perfect place to allow you to simply put your feet up and be free from worry, totally at peace in the tranquility of the African bush.

We can’t wait to share more about this amazing destination with you.
For more information about Tulela and all that it offers, feel free to get hold of us here


A Comprehensive Travel List

“Move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes, or at least eat their food” – Anthony Boudain

Travel for as long as we can remember has always been associated with people’s general and greater happiness. Let’s be honest we could all do with planning and looking forward to a trip right about now. With the anticipation of travel, comes the questions of is “it safe; where can I go; and what is travelling like right now…?” We have some answers, inspiration and tips for you right here!

Research has shown that travelling can boost your wellbeing, energy and creativity. So even amidst a global pandemic, getting away from the crowds and heading towards nature can bring you complete and utter contentment. The African bush is right there… just a flight away… waiting to fill up that cup of yours!

If you’re dying to get on a plane, but not sure where you’re allowed to visit and what you need to do, take a look at the most updated comprehensive travel list or read our tips for travelling during covid here.

Although countries have strict COVID-19 protocols put in place, don’t forget to implement all safety guidelines and precautionary measures during your stay. Click here for Level 3 risk-adjusted strategy.

For any questions please contact us. Our team is here to help.

Thank You Magical Marataba

After a year of lockdowns, covid and work stresses. I could not have imagined a better way to start 2021… than what can only be described as the MOST magical family safari. Situated just over 3 hours from Joburg, Marataba Safari Lodge is a 5 star, home away from home, an enchanting wonderland, set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Waterberg Mountain range.

It is almost 4 years since our last visit to Marataba… a time when I was pregnant with my son, we were much younger and more carefree (although embarrassingly still wearing some of the same clothes!)

At the end of that post, I wrote…

“Now we just can’t wait until we can come back as three and show our little one what an exceptional continent we live on and to teach him/her all that there is to know about nature, wildlife and how everything has its place in the world.”

Little did I know that we would return as a family and that somehow would enjoy the whole experience 4 fold. Never mind the fact that these words would hold more truth now than ever before.

We had booked to stay 3 nights and after the first night had extended it to 4… if we could have, we would have stayed even longer. Life in the bush dances to a different rhythm and it is unfathomable what you can do in just 4 days and what those 4 days can do for you.

For me – it was like “going home” just what the soul, post all the stress of 2020 needed. It was in short, life-changing.
For my kids – it was their first real safari, each moment the excitement was palpable. It was a privilege to witness.
For my husband and I – it was so divine to have some time as a couple again! The team at Marataba certainly know how to do romance ☺
For my view on the world – it was restorative, calming, inspiring and rejuvenating. No matter what you’ve faced – the African bush can set you right. It’s trips like these that make me so grateful to live in this exceptional country.

Just a few highlights of our trip:

  1. Spotting 2 white rhino, a female cheetah and all the plains game before we’d even got to the lodge
  2. The miracle of seeing the bush through my kids’ eyes
  3. The exciting adventure that was each jam-packed game drive
  4. Sundowners overlooking the river as a crimson red sunset descended over the horizon
  5. A surprise breakfast of salmon bagels and bacon and honey-butter crumpets in the bush
  6. The delicious aroma of More coffee
  7. Living in amongst a herd of impala at the lodge, lambs aplenty
  8. The nostalgic sound of fish eagles while on a sunset cruise
  9. Following 3 lionesses along a windy road for while they searched for a shady spot to snooze
  10. The continual learning of the intricacies and wonder that is the natural world
  11. Watching my kids’ excitement as they did spoor casting/made cookies/attempted archery
  12. Playing in the pool with the kids and all the fun pool toys
  13. Afternoon sleeps on the plush oversized beds with the air con on high and the emerald-spotted wood dove calling in the background
  14. A fairy-tale birthday boma dinner, the team’s harmonious Happy Birthday song and an indulgent chocolate cake
  15. The smell of the rain, the sound of thunder and the vibrant skies
  16. Driving alongside two white rhinos, running under a rainbow and during a monkey’s wedding
  17. Feeling the peace and restorative nature of the African bushveld
  18. The cicada’s lullaby each evening
  19. The in-suite massage on our deck, whilst kids were sleeping and impala wandered past #winning
  20. A quiet bush walk with a herd of kudu and impala
  21. Steaming hot outside showers under the milky way each night
  22. Sitting around the campfire telling stories of old
  23. Witnessing some interesting elephant behaviour during a romantic sunset drink
  24. Sharing my morning tea with a bushbuck
  25. Learning the trees, plants and insects and revelling in the overall serenity on a quiet bush walk

And…. I could go on and on… and on! Continue reading “Thank You Magical Marataba”

Lauren Fryer’s Heart is in Botswana

Lauren is a born and bred South African who married into a bush-mad family. She has been a part of the Iconic team for many years now and falls more and more in love with Africa each day. Lauren endeavours to instil an appreciation of the natural world into her children and she believes there is no better place than Africa to do this! Over the years she has visited Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Seychelles.

While she has many stories to tell about all the places she has visited, her favourite memory remains in Botswana – the most incredible wilderness sanctuaries with its diverse landscapes: from the Kalahari Desert through great stretches of Mopane woodland to the delta itself, with kilometres of channels, islands and lagoons. It has large herds of elephants, beautiful cats, and enough variety in its bird-life to turn even the most dedicated big-mammal follower into a twitcher!

One of the most intimate and peaceful experiences she has had in nature was on a Mokoro trip through the channels of the Okavango Delta, home of the water-based safari!

“I was extremely out of my comfort zone, and although I was exceptionally nervous, my husband insisted that we go and I am so glad we did!

The polers, who stood at the back behind us, used their panoramic view of our surroundings to watch for animals of all sizes. While you can get up close and personal with the likes of Africa’s smallest frog and water birds, your guide will ensure that a safe distance is kept between you and larger species such as hippos and crocodiles! It truly is a unique safari experience gliding on the delta, taking in rosy sunsets and the dazzling array of wildlife.”

They stayed at Gomoti Camp, part of the Machaba Safari group. Scroll down for images of this breathtaking destination.

Lauren Fryer believes there is no greater vacation than an African Safari & Beach experience.

South Africa’s Ultimate Family Safaris

In the chaos of today’s frantic, fast-moving world the simple things like spending time with family are often forgotten. I can promise you that at the end of your life you will never look back and wish that you had worked harder, spent more time on your cellphone or made more money… you are going to wish that you had made more time for and gone on more adventures with those nearest and dearest to you. So why not take things down a notch, go back to simpler times and disconnect from the world. Travel to Africa, succumb to its beauty, be in awe of its people and let its magic engulf your whole family.

To be able to do this kind of travel, to let go of the world and have new experiences with the whole family is a wonderful gift to give your children. But to take them on an African safari is the greatest gift of all. Many luxury African safari destinations are specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance.

Nothing could ever be more special than going on an out-of-Africa safari adventure with the entire family. Sharing and making unforgettable memories with children is what parents dream of and taking them on safari is one sure way of doing this. There really is nothing better than seeing your child’s face light up at the sight of their first elephant, or watching the wind in their hair as the game vehicle races through the bushveld in pursuit of a pack of wild dogs. Africa has so much to offer for all souls – young and old.

Here are our favourite family-friendly safari destinations that we highly recommend:


Lelapa, meaning family in the local language of Setswana, is another of the pioneering More family’s sublime properties. Situated in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve and with a more extensive children’s safari than any other luxury camp, Lelapa is the ideal destination for a family safari. While parents are catching forty winks or luxuriating in a spa treatment, children are entertained in the Eco House or nature beyond. The idea is for parents to be absolutely pampered while kids are kept completely entertained by the specialised rangers and facilities. Lelapa Lodge even has a special bush orientation programme for kids. Meals are kept decadent for parents and simple for children. Kids can even help the chefs make pizzas for lunch and cookies for tea! It’s an absolutely spell-binding experience for children. The Lelapa suites are indulgent havens that blend beautifully into the vastness of the surrounding woodland. The enormous lounge, bedroom and bathroom areas are all glass-fronted and allow unimpeded views of the African wilds beyond where you may see herds of elephant picking at the leaves as they amble slowly by. The suites can accommodate up to two children on a double sleeper couch. The secluded deck with private plunge pool is an excellent place for you and your family to cool off in the heat. On colder nights, you might like to sit by the fire in the sumptuous lounge and enjoy dinner in your suite, the full moon lighting the plains in gentle blue, a lion calling in the distance.


Londolozi Pioneer Camp nurtures the essence of generations of pioneering family spirit and offers the ultimate luxury Relais and Chateaux safari experience. Set on the wildlife-rich banks of the Sand River, the camp has access to over 16 000 hectares of pristine wilderness within The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve neighbouring South Africa’s world-renowned Kruger National Park.

Pioneer camp is designed as an exclusive safari homestead which makes it ideal for families and small groups. Pioneer Camp is the most secluded of Londolozi’s five camps; its expansive deck is shaded by wise old Jackalberry Pioneers, an interactive open-plan kitchen, and enclosed lavish lounge gives guests the freedom to savour their private safari experience. Should you seek company or the like then a serene stroll by footpath leads the way to the Londolozi yoga deck, fitness centre, Londolozi Living gift shop and Londolozi Life massage haven.

For years Pioneer Camp has been the holiday of choice for Terri Abadi (founder of Iconic Africa) and her family. Terri has travelled Africa extensively and yet year-on-year she is adamant Pioneer Camp is the place she wants to return to over and over again. Each trip is unique, each trip delivers, each trip a lifetime of memories for her and her family.


Singita Castleton Camp holds a place most dear to Iconic Africa. If you scroll through the tattered original “visitors” book kept at Castleton Camp back in 1986 you will find my then 7-year-old sisters entry which reads “Thanks very much, this is definitely a 5-star experience!” followed by my entry reading “Thanks very much. I liked the chocolate.” Perhaps we at Iconic Africa are slightly biased BUT what could be more perfect than spending a week with 11 of your closest family and friends in your own exclusive-use luxury villa, in the heart of the world-renowned Sabi Sands Private Game reserve. Castleton Camp allows you this rare treasure: to spend uninterrupted time in the lap of luxury with those dearest to you, away from the distractions of “life”.

Steeped in history, Castleton Camp is the original family home of Singita’s founder Luke Bailes’ grandfather built in the mid-1900s. The newly refurbished family residence has since been converted into a stonewalled homestead characterised by its spacious patio and graceful lounge. This central homestead is adjoined by six sumptuous luxury cottages which allow you the option to retreat to the privacy of your luxury cottage or stay in the company of your friends and family.


The One & Only is an energetic, friendly and contemporary hotel in the perfect Cape Town location. The suites all have sweeping views out over Table Mountain or of the picturesque working harbour fringed by the world-class V and A waterfront and world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium. The rooms and suites are tributes to contemporary chic lines and fresh art with deference to Africa through the dark wood finishes. Every possible modern convenience including full internet facilities and a personal Nespresso machine complete the opulence of the space. The commodious bathrooms boast huge baths and showers with separate lavatories. Cape Town is packed full of fun for the whole family. Trips up Table Mountain in the cable car or on foot for the fitter families will leave you breathless with wonder. The gleaming white beaches, especially with a gourmet picnic lunch, offer magnificent days out in Hout Bay, Llandudno, Clifton and Camp’s Bay while the quirky town of Fishhoek and Boulder’s Beach offers warmer waters for the kids. Although the produce of the spectacular Winelands is best enjoyed by parents, there is beauty and activity in abundance for young travellers.


Tongabezi is situated about 30kms upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls. It is the perfect place for families with children – with two delightful two-bedroom houses with private lounges, play areas and plunge pools. The Garden House has a fully walled garden which is ideal for younger children while its funky African fusion design gives it an informal and fun atmosphere. The Dog House’s bedrooms and communal areas are safely linked by raised walkways and the infinity pool hangs out over the Zambezi River. This beautiful suite comes with a private vehicle, guide and valet. The expansive and luxuriant gardens are blended into the banks of the Zambezi. They are dotted with private decks and terraces where families can relax in privacy. The magnificent Lookout – a multi-level wooden platform, sumptuously furnished with soft sofas and chairs can be booked for exclusive use and is a wonderful way for families to dine together and watch the river. Large families can book Tangala House – the pinnacle of luxurious family living. This magnificent home has three ensuite bedrooms, a huge private pool set in lavish gardens. For fun, there is a trampoline, garden games and a TV nook. Tangala comes with a private valet, chef, guide, boat and vehicle for exploration. There are endless activities – fishing, drumming, helicopters flips and much more for parents and children alike and in the evening, smiling kids and contented parents will revel in the joy of a sunset cruise on the languid waters of the Zambezi around Tongabezi.


Tswalu is southern Africa’s biggest private game reserve and is perfect for anyone wanting to experience true Kalahari wilderness. The views from the lodge are utterly magical and ensure awesome game-viewing opportunities. Tswalu has three luxurious bungalows that have been specifically designed to cater to families, and the warm staff know just how to make your enchanting family escape one to remember. From de-stressing massage treatments to exciting morning game drives, this is a place where memories are made. Treat yourselves to a once-in-a-lifetime horse safari or relax on the private sundeck while taking in the awe-inspiring views of the waterhole.

For more information on other family-friendly destinations on our beautiful African continent please click here.

East or South Africa for your 2021 safari?

This year has left people all over the world dreaming of travel, and many have already planned to touch down in Africa in 2021. Most spaces are already filling up fast, and the only thing left to decide is.. where in Africa to go.

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

East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda

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

What you can expect from a safari in East Africa:

Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra

Two dry seasons: January to March and June to October

Great for family safaris as most accommodations allow young children; there are fewer internal flights and the interactive game drives keep kids interested

All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals

Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with English-speaking guides

Hot air balloon safaris over the Mara plains

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Fun walking safaris in some private reserves

Numerous cultural encounters with local tribes

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

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

Mozambique– Snorkelling, diving and untouched coral reefs.

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


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

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa Bambo Forest

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

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

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

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

What you can expect from a safari in Southern Africa:

Varied topography and habitats

A smaller concentration of herds in private concessions

One dry season: May to October

South Africa is great for family safaris with some lodges and camps located in malaria-free areas

Many camps outside of South Africa require a minimum age of eight years old unless you reserve the entire camp

All of our safari guides and spotters are exceptionally trained and experienced professionals

Enjoy overland expeditions in 4-wheel-drive vehicles

Choose from many small, remote and exclusive private camps with limited guests of 8-12

Guides usually share meals with guests at small lodges/camps developing close relations

More private concessions with fewer tourists which makes for great wildlife viewing

Wider variety of safaris activities such as walking safaris, mokoro tours, night drives, hot air ballooning, kayaking and food safaris

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

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

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

Ivory Lodge Sabi sands Kruger Park Safari

Zambia– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls, village tours, safaris in South Luangwa.

Zimbabwe– Adventure activities in Victoria Falls and Mana Pools.

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

Africa – A Golfer’s Paradise

Longstanding as a top safari destination, South Africa boasts exceptional weather and offers magnificent golf courses set in the beautiful scenery, doubling it as a golfer’s paradise. South Africa gives travellers the gift of options – incorporating a golf tour into any well-deserved holiday, romantic trip or family vacation.

Choose from the breath-taking Cape Town or the City of Gold – the perfect start with brilliant shopping for the non-golfers. Perhaps the appeal of a seaside setting will lure travellers to the Garden Route or for another life-changing bush experience to the world-famous Kruger National Park. Those familiar with South Africa will understand the phenomenal natural beauty of the surroundings that will form the backdrop for your next tee-off.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa 2A

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 were made while either teeing off at sunrise or toasting to the sunset with an ice-cold beer at a waterhole. John has put together two incredible Golf & Wine Safaris 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.

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Garden Route

Read all about John’s Great Value Golf & Wine Safari and John’s Premier Wine & Golf Tours here.

Here are our top three reasons to add golf to your next safari:

Wide Variety of Championship Courses

South Africa is home to more than 500 golf courses – many of which are championship courses. A lot of South African gold courses have been designed by international designers or have the patriotic stamp of resident golfing legends.

Spectacular Settings

South Africa is one of the top countries with many diverse golf course settings. You can tee off inland or near the sea; from a clifftop at Pinnacle Point; or within view of some big game near or in the Kruger National Park, where it is common for wildlife to wander onto the course.

Additional Activities

While your vacation may focus on having an exceptional golfing experience, you will still be able to incorporate traditional highlights such as a Big Five safari or visiting world-renowned tourist attractions, ensuring your visit to South Africa is unforgettable.


Here are our top four golf destinations in South Africa:

Cape Town

The Western Cape is blessed with magnificent mountain ranges and bordered by coastal settings. This creates picturesque sceneries for impeccably maintained courses such as Erinvale Golf Club in Somerset West and Steenberg Golf Club near the Tokai Forest designed by golf-legends, Gary Player and Peter Matkovich.

While you’re in Cape Town, you can stay at one of our beautiful city residences or countryside homes-away-from-home.

Garden Route

The Garden Route offers a distinct climate specific to that area. Combine moderate temperatures with the surrounding greenery and golden beaches and you have yourself a bucket-list destination! This area has a number of beautiful golf courses and at least four of the top ten golf courses in South Africa are located here. Two of our favourite courses include Fancourt and Pezula. The area also offers a treasure of other fun activities for non-golfers and families.


While not as scenic as other parts of South Africa, Gauteng does offer exceptional quality golf courses. Some of the top courses in Gauteng have hosted various competitions, including the South African Open and the PGA Championship.

Distance from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park: +- 4 hours by vehicle.

Kruger Park

The Kruger National Park has a range of pristine golf courses bordering the park or nearby in the Lowveld region. This is one of the only areas in South Africa where golf is best enjoyed during the dry autumn and winter months. Often ranked as South Africa’s best golf course, Leopard Creek should be on top of your golfing to-do list.

Here are is a list of our top accommodation in the Kruger National Park.

Add a round of golf – or two – to the itinerary on your next South African vacation. South Africa is the perfect family getaway and your golfing experience will be enriched by the possibility of combining it with the ultimate luxury safari. In between rounds of golf, see the legendary Big Five, do a Cape Winelands wine tour or simply relax on the beach.

Things You Can Do in SA in Level 1

South Africa sits on the southernmost tip of the African continent and is marked by several distinct destinations, landmarks and activities. The most famous being the Kruger National Park for an abundance of big game. First stop, the Western Cape where the highlight of your trip will start and end with the plethora of golden-sand beaches, lush Winelands, breath-taking mountainsides and so much more.

While we remain vigilant, safe, and adhere to health and safety precautions, the future looks bright as South Africa heads into warmer summer months and most normal activity can resume at Coronavirus COVID-19 Alert level 1. With precautions and health guidelines followed at all times, locals and travellers can now look forward to the resumption of incredible sights and attractions.

Things to add to your itinerary:

Table Mountain Cable Way

Robben Island Ferry Tours

Addo Elephant National Park 

Visit Augrabies Falls

Balloon Safaris

Valley of a Thousand Hills

St Lucia Estuary

Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach

Cape Winelands Tours

The Kruger National Park

iconic-africa-kruger-national-park-leopard luxury african safaris

Blyde River Canyon

Bloukrans Bungee Jumping

Camps Bay beach

Hike and picnic at Cape of Good Hope

Clay Cafe

Our Top Tours in the Cape

Cape Town is the ultimate destination! A triad of vacation destinations – bush, mountain and sea, perfect for the whole family. This city is an amalgamation of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, and what better time to visit this festive-hub than December… With an abundance of sunshine and perfect weather, it is every beach-lovers ideal stop. The endless possibilities of activities for all ages and close proximity to nearby towns and cities will have you visiting us for a while.

We have the perfect tour to tick off all the boxes without compromising on luxury and wildlife sightings that you can definitely boast about back home.

These two tailor-made tours offer travellers the perfect combination of mountain and sea with ample opportunity to spot some of South Africa’s Big 5.

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.

Accommodation: Ellerman House

Accommodation: Delaire Graff

Accommodation: Birkenhead House

The most spectacular mix of Africa’s world-class luxury destinations and combined them to bring you Singita Safari Splendour. Marvel at the wonders of the Cape, its exquisite winelands, enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime safari in the Kruger National Park and much much more.

Accommodation: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Accommodation: Birkenhead House

Accommodation: Singita Boulders

Why not go the extra mile for the golf-lover in your family and add an exclusive golf tour to your itinerary?