The Great Migration – Where to stay?

The wildebeest migration is rated as one of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles, and a phenomenon that should have its place on every safari lover’s bucket list. Every year, over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti/Masai Mara ecosystem. They travel up to 3000 kilometres each year in search of rain ripened grass. It is a natural phenomenon like no other, a spectacle not to be missed and, most definitely, an event that belongs on your bucket list.

The trouble with the wildebeest migration is that it can be so unpredictable and it can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time, and you could miss the whole event. Therefore, we’ve made a list of the best places to stay to make sure you get to see a wildlife spectacle like no other without the hours of driving to spot their movements.

Where to Stay in Masai Mara, Kenya

The ideal time to stay here: August – December

The Masai Mara sits at the top of every safari lover’s bucket list. This exceptional reserve comprises 1,500 square kilometres of endless, savannah grassland. In amongst whistling thorns, white thorns, fever trees and wild olives, the great plains of the Masai Mara are home to Africa’s most majestic animals. The red grass savannahs, brightly coloured Maasai villages, interminable vistas and distinct horizons combine to ensure the most quintessential African panorama.

Angama Mara
Perched on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a lodge that comes as close to heaven on earth, as possible. Angama Mara, Swahili for “suspended in mid-air” boasts the best views in the Masai Mara. A place that constantly takes your breath away, where happiness reigns and peace is all-encompassing, where you literally stand on the edge of the world. Owner-managed and run by the reputable Fitzgerald family, Angama Mara is the ultimate African safari destination.

Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

Mara Plains
Situated in the luscious river woodland of the Ntiakitiak River, within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the Northern border of the Masai Mara, is the definition of grandeur and colonial opulence. Mara Plains is a lavish and magical wonderland. From the minute you step onto the rope bridge, you are immediately transported into your very own, African, home away from home. “A camp’s success is in the details,” says Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains and Mara Plains is testament to this.

Perfect for: Family or friends travelling together

Bateleur Camp
On the edge of the Mara Triangle, beneath the Olooloolo Escarpment, Swahili for “zigzag” lies a lush, magical oasis of giant fig and wild ebony trees that is home to an intimate, colonial, Kenyan escape. The sanctuary of comfort, shade, coolness and luxury is a welcome retreat from the heat and wide-open spaces of the surrounding savannah. Enquire now and let us plan the ultimate East African Safari for you.
Perfect for: Groups and families (children of all ages welcome)

Ol Donyo
Ol Donyo Lodge is one of the oldest and most classic of Africa’s safari destinations. Kenya’s first Relais and Chateaux lodge represents the ultimate of private, exclusive safari bliss. Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park, it offers endless views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the savannahs below. Breathtakingly beautiful every way you look, Ol Donyo is a must for the bucket list, the ultimate luxury destination in South Eastern Kenya.

Mara Expeditions Camp
Set on the very outskirts of the Masai Mara and on the edge of the Mara North Conservancy is this unbelievable luxury safari hideout. At Mara expeditions camp you immediately become an intrepid explorer, with so much to investigate, to learn and to enjoy. The never-ending plains become your playground and the big-hearted, ever-smiling, genuine African staff… your friends. Mara Expeditions Camp has been built on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River where the dese riverine forest meets the golden plains. It’s a place where lion calls dominate the nights…

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Where to Stay in the Serengeti

The Serengeti National Park, meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve and undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. It is most celebrated as the site of Africa’s greatest spectacle, the annual Great Migration when an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest — migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This epic, seasonal journey is something every safari-goer and lover of Africa should experience at least once. The Serengeti has so much to offer: from action-packed game drives, to epic hot air balloon adventures and an abundance of game that makes it the iconic safari adventure of a lifetime.

&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
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!

Perfect for: Romantic getaways and families/groups travelling together

&Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas
Set somewhere in the vast Serengeti in hot pursuit of the massive herd of the Great Migration is this unbelievably luxurious semi-permanent camp. It is the absolute ultimate in true bush immersion and wild African adventure, your very own wildlife haven set up in only the very best part of the Serengeti for that particular time of year. Escape from the real world entirely, put your feet up and relax while sharing Africa’s most famous wildlife area with its wildlife as intimately as possible.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and families (only one Family Tent per camp)

Let’s Make it Happen! Our team will make sure you get to experience a side of Africa that few others ever get to see. Contact us here for more information.

Falling for Africa

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventure and infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Not only can Africa rekindle the flame under ancient Jackalberry trees, but this colourful continent will touch your heart and have you falling in love with everything it has to offer. There is very little in this world that compares to a rustic, yet luxurious entanglement with nature and no other place can offer it in an abundance like here.


Zambia African Safari Destination - a haven for relaxation with soaking tubs overlooking the landscape

We can think of hundreds of places to make you fall head-over-heels, but we have chosen just 5 for now…

South Africa

Cape Town has something which will appeal to you, no matter your holiday desires. Honeymooners and romantics will fall further in love with the idyllic views and white sanded beaches. Families can share a morning with curious penguins or throw in some laidback whale watching in Hermanus. For the more adventurous go cage diving with the Great White sharks off Gansbaai or even paraglide off the mountains surrounding Cape Town.

Cape Winelands are without doubt one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Leave the coastline of Cape Town and wander towards the culinary capital of South Africa – Franschhoek. Cross rugged mountains passes and descend into century-old vineyards framed by high arching mountains. Drive lightly down age-old cobbled driveways and gently make your way into the Cape Dutch style manor houses.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa A1

The Kruger National Park is the largest reserve in South Africa and forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which stretches over 35 000 square kilometres and encompasses three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This is one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries whose vast expanse ensures the ultimate luxury safari experience as the wildlife is free to roam in a protected area which is slightly larger than the State of South Carolina.

Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls is possibly the most awe-inspiring and humbling natural wonder on planet earth. Standing in the rainforest faced with the great thundering boom of the ancient Zambezi waters plunging more than 100 metres into a fathomless gorge will leave you silent, grinning, tearful and overjoyed to be soaked by the cleansing waters. Victoria Falls is a soulful journey into primal Africa – with Iconic Africa, your visit is combined with superlative luxury, service and adventure.

Rwanda

Not only is Rwanda the realm of the Silverback Gorillas, but it is also home to a multitude of monkey species. Rwanda promises to be the pinnacle of monkey interactions. Of course, a trip to Rwanda would be wasted without the unique experience of a gorilla trek but, why not combine gorilla trekking with chimpanzee trekking to create an utterly unforgettable experience? Nothing compares to the excitement of spotting Colobus and Mangabey monkeys whilst strolling through the lush, virescent jungles of Rwanda. Birdlife is also abundant—making Rwanda the ultimate bird lover’s paradise.

Bisate Lodge Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Rooms

 

 

Kenya

The density and variety of wildlife is unreal, with often more than ten different species of mammals in one spot, an anomaly that is unheard of elsewhere. Kenya boasts hoards of unique antelope such as the graceful Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle as well as the vibrant topis making it the ultimate predator’s paradise.

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Tanzania

From the volcanically rich soil to the lush forests, interminable golden savannahs, pearly white sands, snow-capped peaks, baobab clusters, lush swamps, fields of sunflowers and a constantly overwhelming sense of space, there is so much to explore. Tanzania has three safari circuits and each one of them would make Tanzania a top wildlife destination. The popular Northern circuit with the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater offers one of the best classical safaris in Africa, especially if timed with the annual wildebeest migration. Sit surrounded by 1.5 million wildebeest as you experience one of nature’s great wonders, sip a G and T on the shores of the flamingo-infested lake Manyara as the fiery sun sinks below the horizon, or survey the vast Ngorongoro crater from a breathtaking vantage point on the rim.

Balloon Safari Iconic Africa Tanzania Desert 2 Great Migration Tanzania Masaai Mara East Africa Safaris Angama Mara 2

South African International Borders Are Open!

Drumroll… the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived!

We are ecstatic to share with you that South African borders will finally be open to international visitors on the 1st October 2020. Although they are not open to all countries just yet this is a step in the right direction and they will be soon.

As a nation that loves to play host and to show off our beautiful land, we have so missed all of our foreign travellers and friends. We are ready for you now more than ever before as we’ve been prepping for your arrival since March. We cannot wait to welcome you back to the land of magical sunsets, exhilarating safaris, G&Ts, colourful cultures and breath-taking landscapes.

As we enter Level 1, we are excited that both domestic and international flights can resume to get you to us as soon as possible! All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure. All commercial airports in South Africa have a risk-adjusted strategy in place to keep all flyers safe. But if you’re still having cold feet, we have put together some useful information for when you travel post lockdown.

The thought of welcoming guests back into our hotels, lodges and camps brings us all sorts of emotions! We’ve been waiting patiently and preparing for your arrival. All accommodations, restaurants and attractions are operating within regulations and are thrilled to have you come hang out with our local people and wildlife. Our operators are fully equipped to receive you and your families and cannot wait to give you their undivided attention and offer you the 5-star luxury that cannot compare to anywhere else.

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Silo Hotel

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Franschoek 2

Our staff are ready to make your stay the most memorable; our guides cannot wait to show you the bush and its exquisite wildlife and our chefs are busy preparing to cook up a storm for you! The Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s Travel Safe-Eat Safe protocols and programme has been implemented across the tourism sector to ensure the safe reopening of the industry.

For those who have postponed their stay, we hope these videos inspire some wanderlust!

Our beaches, winelands and wilderness await you to grace us with your presence once again! The opening up of our borders will unite and reignite after what seems like way too much time apart! We hope to have you on the viewing decks soon, ice-cold G&T in hand and sun setting over the horizon.

Take a look at these amazing once-in-a-lifetime safari tours we have put together to help you to see more of our spectacular country.

Africa’s Cape of Desire

Singita Safari Splendour

Great Value Golf & Wine Tour

Premier Wine & Gold Tour

With Zambia and Zimbabwe opening their borders too, these tours are also now options:

The Royal Romance

Luxury Safari Classic

Africa’s Family Getaway

If you have any questions at all about your travels please feel free to get in touch with us.

Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia Open for Travel

We are excited to let our international travellers know that entry into Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia is now open.
Do not hesitate to book your trip to the land of a thousand hills and endless jungle; the finest wildlife entertainment in Africa; and world-class predator activity!

RWANDA
Rwanda is the ultimate jungle escape for the adventurous traveller. Its gorgeously green and misty forests are home to the magnificent, world-renowned Silverback Gorillas. Rwanda is fondly known as the ‘land of a thousand hills’ because of its remarkably hilly landscape and its spectacular volcanoes.

Rwanda African Luxury Saafari Gorillas

One of Rwanda’s most luxurious lodges, Bisate Lodge is a sight to behold—striking in its unique design and set against the backdrop of Rwanda’s verdant forested landscape, Bisate Lodge allows guests to marvel at the wonder that is Rwanda.

Bisate Lodge Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Rooms

And no Rwandan adventure is complete without a gorilla trekking tour! This magical experience will, no doubt, take your breath away and render you speechless. You will be in awe of this most unbelievable and unforgettable, encounter. It is an intimate experience like no other and has been known to bring many people to tears. One hour is certainly not long enough but it is an hour that you will remember for the rest of your days.

Gorilla Trek Tours Rwanda Iconic Africa

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Rules for entry:
*All countries can visit.
*All countries must fill out a pre-arrival form. Before travelling to Rwanda, passengers must fill out a Passenger Locator Form. To fill out this form, passengers must be able to provide passport information, travel details, negative PCR COVID-19 test results, and booking confirmation at one of the designated hotels for a 24-hour quarantine upon arrival.
*All countries must produce a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding. The negative test must be emailed to lab@rbc.gov.rw before your departure and a printed copy of the results brought with you upon entry into Rwanda.
*Upon arrival to Rwanda, visitors will be taken to the designated quarantine hotel of their choice at the cost of the traveller. They will be required to quarantine in their hotel room until they receive a negative COVID-19 result.
*A test will be done upon arrival. The results should be available after 8 hours. Plus another test 48 hours after arrival, both at the cost of the traveller.
*Any traveller who has their negative-PCR test in hand, and is showing no symptoms, will not have to quarantine upon arrival into Rwanda.
*Re-Testing may be done before going on in-country tours or treks.

Popular parks such as Volcanos National Park, Nyungwe National Park and Akagera National Park have all reopened to international tourists, but some protocols need to be followed.

KENYA
Kenya is an Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp. Kenya promises the very best game viewing, hospitality and endless breathtaking landscapes, the origin and epitome of the true safari experience. It is without a doubt the ultimate safari destination. Exquisite luxury lodges and magical tented camps are aplenty, easily accessible and waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Your choice for luxury 5-star accommodation is endless. Take your pick between Giraffe Manor, Mara Expeditions, Ol Donyo, Bateleur Camp, Mara Plains and Angama Mara.

Giraffe Manor Breakfast Feature

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Rules for entry:
*Entry into Kenya is permitted if the passenger does not have a body temperature above 37.5°C (99.5°F); does not have a persistent cough, difficulty breathing or other flu-like symptoms, and has a negative PCR-based COVID-19 test conducted within 96 hours of arrival.
*All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence.
*If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
*It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
*Health screening procedures are in place at airports and other ports of entry.
*The Government of Kenya established an online portal to extend visitor and resident visas.
*Testing is available at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi Hospital, and Kenyatta National Hospital. The charge for the test is approximately USD 100 at private health facilities and USD 50 at government hospitals. Test results are available within 48 – 96 hours.
*Commercial flights and public transportation are operating.

ZAMBIA
Here in the warm heart of Africa lies one of the continent’s greatest secrets, the birthplace of the walking safari, Zambia! Sitting on a sprawling plateau, this little gem boasts the Zambezi, Kafue and Luangwa rivers, and shares one of the largest waterfalls in the world, the Victoria Falls with neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mchenja Zambia South Luangwa - The South Luangwa is renowned for its world class predator action

There is no better way to get up-close-and-personal with the African bush, and its wildlife, than to go on a walking safari. It is, without a doubt, the best way to fully experience and appreciate the magical intricacies that make up a regular day out in the bush. Even if you’ve had many safari experiences in the past, this iconic adventure will, no doubt, take your breath away.

Zambia African Safari Travel

Zambia boasts magical accommodations from South Luangwa National Park to Liuwa Plains and Lower Zambezi Valley. Mchenja Bush Camp, King Lewanika and Chongwe are surrounded by unspeakable beauty and luxury.

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

King Lewanika - Gather after your exciting game drives and swap tales under the stars_

Zambia is open to foreign nationals and issuing visitor visas upon entry into the country. Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, and between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.

Royal CHundu Iconic Africa Why Us

Rules for entry:
*All international visitors are screened on arrival. If you show any signs of COVID-19, you will have to quarantine for 14 days.
*All arriving passengers must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 3 days of arriving in Zambia.
*Visitors will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. They will also need to monitor themselves daily for 10 days for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.

Strict control measures have been implemented in these countries and have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory. Contact us HERE for more information on your next African safari adventure!

Don’t be scared to travel, just be wise when you do!

The tourism industry is seeing the light at the end of this very long tunnel and many of our destinations are finally able to reopen their doors. However, we completely understand that under the current climate, many fervent travellers are reluctant or nervous to book or to travel. This is human nature considering how our world has been turned upside down in a matter of months.

The good news is that establishments now have updated COVID-terms and while we strongly encourage people to continue with their travel plans or to make new travel plans, just ask for information on the COVID regulations to set your mind at ease and inform you of the current situation.

These last few months have changed the way people will travel for a long time. At Iconic Africa, we have done everything we can to accommodate our travellers over this time. Instead of cancelling all of your holiday plans, chat with us and we will do our best to postpone them until you are feeling comfortable to visit us. As airports, hotels, restaurants and recreational facilities improve their social distance and cleaning policies we look forward to the tourism industry opening up even more than it has already and welcoming foreigners to our shores once again.

All of Iconic Africa’s operators are fully aware of the effects of this pandemic and the importance of following health and safety regulations. They are fully prepared and equipped for both international and domestic travellers coming to South Africa and have been extremely accommodating with their booking and postponement terms. This will continue as long as COVID remains an officially regulated threat.

All suppliers have their own specific terms and conditions for bookings and cancellations during this time. Please ask us for more information on this when enquiring. What you can expect is online check-ins, use of QR codes, mobile scans, temperature recording and contact tracing, mandatory mask-wearing, decontamination of surfaces and applicable social distancing.

As mentioned, the specific terms and conditions along with cancellation terms vary from one establishment to another and they also change frequently due to the changing status of the pandemic and the Level we find ourselves in. The cancellation policies will be in place until international travel opens up and we readily welcome our foreign family back to African soil. It is both our and the various suppliers we deal with standard requirement that you have travel insurance in place when making a booking. Once South Africa enters Level 1, operators will be reverting back to standard terms and conditions and non-refundable deposits and cancellation policies will once again apply. We, therefore, please urge you to get yourself covered with good travel insurance for peace of mind.

Together we can assist destinations and businesses that depend on tourism to recover. One of our experienced and trusted advisors can guide you through the unchartered territories of travelling in this new world. We are here to help so please be in touch.

Luxury Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Fancourt

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa Marine View

For now, we have to co-exist with the virus, and if you’ve been bitten by the travel bug we will get you ready for new ways of planning and travelling in the weeks ahead. Click HERE for some do’s and don’ts when travelling post-lockdown and some insights on the new travel norms. Always remember to exercise extra caution and strict obedience of the rules such as physical distancing, mask-wearing and vigorous handwashing.

Once you are over those few tiny hurdles… enjoy the magic of Africa and the soul-filling sensation of safari!