Why Choose Africa 

“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same” – Suzanne Evans.

Africa receives millions of travellers each year – most of whom come to visit the variety of beaches, mountainside escapes and safari lodges and camps.  Experience everything from cultural immersion, history and enjoy a variety of wildlife at your fingertips. Let us share with you – why we have come to love the continent as much as we do. 

Africa has a special safari destination for every occasion, family size and travel needs. The continent is selected for the exceptional Big Five game viewing, year-round good weather, spectacular birding opportunities, family-friendly and malaria-free safari accommodations, romantic retreats, award-winning chefs, breath-taking sunsets, and unprecedented sceneries. Find luxury, opulence and extravagance in the great outdoors. 

Africa’s expanse and extremely diverse terrains, climate and wildlife can make deciding on a country a tedious task. You may want a view of Mount Kilimanjaro from your lodge or to climb the famous Table Mountain. The continent has been blessed with so many cultures, community projects and great service that contribute to truly wholesome travel – from the Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania to the San and Shona in the Kalahari and Zimbabwe. Experience modernity and rustic authenticity simultaneously in Africa’s pristine wilderness whilst returning to your luxury suites each night. Whether it is in the Kruger National Park, South Luangwa National Park or the Serengeti – you will stay mesmerised.

You can experience the best of everything, from nature’s wonders; getting up close and personal with some of Africa’s fiercest game accompanied by world-class guides; adventure activities; photography opportunities; artwork and museums and shopping!

We have put together a list of African safari destinations with the highlights from each to help you with your complex travel choices:

  1.     South Africa
  • Explore the beautiful Winelands of the Western Cape where you will find luxurious chateaux, local wines and exceptional views. 
  • Enjoy the beaches, mountains and city-life of Cape Town. The Mother City boasts beautiful architecture with a thriving night-life and an abundance of activities. 
  • Escape to the quiet of the Kruger National Park and enjoy some quality time with the Big Five.
  • Visit the rugged terrains of the Kalahari

  1.     Botswan
  • An untouched wilderness with incredible wildlife sightings. 
  • Cruise along the Chobe River and come face-to-face with the largest concentration of elephant and other predators. 
  • Diverse landscape from the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta. 
  • Selinda Game Reserve is an opportunity to awaken all your senses with the sceneries and wildlife. 
  • Spend some time in the Kalahari where time stands still 

  1.     Kenya
  • The place where safari originated. 
  • An abundance of wildlife. 
  • Visit the Masai Mara and experience a Maasai village. 
  • Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration. 

  1.     Tanzania
  • Explore the unfathomable magic of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater 
  • Bordering Kenya, Tanzania has a plethora of wildlife 
  • The Serengeti is one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. 
  • Wonder off the beaten track to a more quiet safari location such as Tarangire National Park 
  • A high density of wildlife throughout the year
  • Choose between a variety of locations from forests to savannahs, beaches or volcanic areas such as Ngorongoro Crater. Even the weather can alter drastically, from snow-capped peaks to lush tropical mountainsides. 

  1.     Zambia
  • Birthplace of the walking safari. 
  • Experience the thrill and views of sitting in Devil’s Pools
  • An alternate and exceptional view of Victoria Falls
  • Great fauna and flora in 20 national parks, our favourites being Liuwa Plain, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa for its dense leopard population. 

  1.     Rwanda 
  • The beautiful forests are magical and encompass a fairytale setting for outstanding wildlife with exceptional surrounding accommodations. It is the ultimate jungle escape – see Silverback Gorillas and trek through the dense mountainside.
  • Rwanda is home to numerous monkey species.
  • Explore the hilly landscapes and see volcanoes for the first time.   

                                    

  1.     Zimbabwe
  • The most tranquil setting for luxury and adventure. 
  • Explore the Zambezi River by boat cruise and watch a masterpiece sunset. 
  • Stand before the most breath-taking Natural Wonder – Mose-oa-Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders 
  • Thrill-seeking activities such as white river rafting, bungee jumping and many more.

  1.     Mozambique
  • The perfect beach escape for couples and families. 
  • Luxury hideaways that exude romance
  • Pristine beaches with silky white sand 
  • Enjoy snorkelling, diving, fishing or simply relaxing with a book
  • Find an amalgamation of flavours and cultures 
  • Find amazing marine life at Azura Benguerra and Azura Quilalea such as turtles, tropical fish, eels, dolphins and rays, maybe even a pod of Southern Right whales.  

Need we say any more? 

 

         

 

15% Discount at Dulini & Savanna

Two of our favourite properties – the Dulini Collection and Savanna Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands, South Africa are offering travellers an incredible 15% discount off contracted accommodation rates for travel from November 2019 to March 2020.

The splendour of Dulini Game Reserve lies in the exclusivity of its luxurious lodges. Dulini lodge, Dulini River lodge and the recently refurbished Dulini Leadwood lodge grace the banks of the seasonal Mabrak and Sand River – sanctuaries of comfort that spill out onto the vast wilderness just beyond.

This ideal destination is world-famous for its leopard sightings and renowned for having the best Big Five game viewing in the country. Guests will have access to trained rangers and Shangaan trackers and can tick off exciting nocturnal safaris off their bucket-lists.

Dulini Leadwood Lodge offers its guests a cosy sanctuary where the peace and tranquillity of the surrounding wilderness emanates into the four tasteful suites through the expansive glass sliding doors. The suites maximise total serenity and solitude. Underfloor heating tenderly warms you in the “chill” of winter and a king-sized pool on your private deck gently cools your soul in the heat of summer.

Savanna Private Game Reserve boasts private, and quiet suites perfectly located in between indigenous bush and trees making this the perfect destination for birders. Travel back in time with timeless decor that blends colonial and classic with handcrafted furniture, fine linen and beautiful artwork. There are three Executive and four Luxury Suites available which offer a unique ‘Out of Africa’ experience with canvas roofs above draped ceilings set on permanent structures.

Subject to the following terms:

  • Travel dates: 01 November 2019 – 31 March 2020
  • Blackout dates: 21 December 2019 – 08 January 2020.
  • Minimum stay of 3 nights or more subject to availability.
  • Cannot be combined with any other special offers.
  • Applies to new bookings only.

For further information please feel free to contact us here. 

Malaria-free Safaris

If you’ve been dreaming of a bespoke family safari but are worried about malaria – we’ve got just the thing for you here.

Make time for new memories, adventures and excitement while disconnecting from the world and succumb to Africa’s beauty. Let its magic engulf you while maintaining an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury as well as peace of mind that it’s safe for the whole family.

We recommend the below two luxury malaria-free getaways at some of the world’s most widely recognised premier safari destinations – Madikwe and Marataba.

Madikwe and Marataba are completely safe for young children. Both areas are malaria-free safari regions and by far the premier luxury safari camps for families with exceptional children’s programmes amidst gorgeous wilderness and opulent accommodation. Specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance.

Madikwe is a 50 minute charter flight or 4-5 hour drive from Johannesburg and lies on the edge of the Kalahari and Botswana borders. Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Hills and Jamala Madikwe are such lodges who have become synonymous with luxury and attention to detail.

Incredible Game Viewing

Madikwe Private Game Reserve has become world famous for its Lion and (highly endangered) African Wild Dog viewing. What’s more because Madikwe’s terrain is a unique mix of savannah and semi-arid desert the diverse safari experience allows visitors the chance to view the ever-renowned Big 5 as well as a number of rare desert adapted species.

In the more recent years the Leopard viewing has improved tremendously at Madikwe. Due to the semi-arid nature of the terrain, the visibility in the reserve is good and the quality of game viewing is further ensured as the game rangers are able to drive the safari 4×4 vehicles off road for closer viewing.

A trip to Madikwe is perfectly complimented by a couple days in Cape Town or even some down time on a tropical beach in northern Mozambique!

Marataba Safari Lodge is perfect for a quick escape to the bush and more importantly, malaria-free. Enjoy private, luxury accommodation with absolutely delightful and warm staff. Marataba Safari Lodge is a mere four hours North-West of Johannesburg. Resting at the sleepy foothills of the magnificent Waterberg mountain range, you will find an absolutely magical retreat. Combining luxury, adventure, and the best of Africa’s delights, Marataba Safari Lodge truly has it all.

Marataba Trails Lodge Hiking Walking Waterberg

Marataba Trails Lodge Waterberg Dining

Marataba Trails Lodge Camp Deck Waterberg Safari Lodge

An idyllic location

Set against the backdrop of the spectacular Waterberg Mountains, Marataba Safari Lodge is the ideal location for an intimate escape with your loved ones. Marataba will no doubt go above and beyond any of your wildest dreams. The staff at Marataba take the utmost care to make sure that your escape is as intimate as can be – from the surprise lantern-lit boma dinners, and the hot bubble baths, to the complimentary massages and the sunset boat cruises! A sense of calm and quiet overcomes you while you soak in the picturesque surroundings. Feel your soul filling with peace and joy while you admire the sights and sounds of the surrounding landscape and its exquisite wildlife. Breathe in the fresh air, and marvel at the gorgeous, glowing African sunsets…

Marataba Safari Lodge Suite Deck

Marataba Trails Lodge African Hospitlity Luxury Safari

Marataba Safari Lodge Boma Evenings

Delightfully African

Marataba Safari Lodge appeals to the African adventurer that lies in all of us. The captivating pink-orange sunsets; the lush, green bushveld; and the abundant game all make for an exciting African escapade. What could be more thrilling than spotting a leopard hunting at dusk, or lions feeding on a kudu? Watch the elephants drinking peacefully at the waterhole and the hippos lazing about in the cool waters. And, we have good news for bird-lovers—Marataba is an absolute bird-lover’s paradise! It is abundant with yellow-billed hornbills, grey go-away birds, and crimson-breasted shrikes. It’s always a treat to see the striking woodland kingfisher as well as the colourful malachite kingfisher, and the whydah birds are particularly mesmerising to watch with their spectacularly long, dancing tails. To name only a few species of the many that awaits you.

After a fun-filled day of game drives and walks, you can relax by the poolside with your family and admire the gorgeous surroundings!

For more family-friendly safaris, click here.

 

 

John’s Trip to Franschhoek – Tips & Highlights

As a wine enthusiast himself, our director, John Holley recently visited South Africa’s most visited wine valley – Franschhoek. He and his family spent time at Leeu Estate, Waterford Estate, Delaire Graff and many other heavenly spots.

After a delightful few days spent in this quaint village John has shared some of his exquisite pictures with us and penned some highlights and tips for you below. Make sure you make note of these for your next trip to Franschhoek!

Travel Tips:

  • La Cotte Farm

La Cotte Farm is uniquely situated a stone’s throw from the charming village of Franschhoek. “Both the farmhouse and little cottages are fantastic options and an easy stroll to town.”

  • Leeu Estate

“Leeu Estates is a phenomenal experience! It boasts one of the best gardens and has incredible statues on display. I love that they are pushing South African art.”

Start your day with a tasting on the estate and then stroll into the gardens and enjoy a relaxed afternoon picnic. It’s a sensational experience! The Leeu Estates picnic is a must if you have time in Franschhoek and must be booked 48 hours in advance.”

“The estate is really exceptional and your stay will be magical.”

  • Delaire Graff

Delaire Graff Cellar has been making world-class wines since 2008. The flagship Cabernet Franc is the estate’s bestseller and a must-taste. Delaire Restaurant has a world-class team of gifted chefs and sommeliers to take you on a culinary joyride. Savour the food as each plate is served with the utmost care and teeming with fresh ingredients, picked daily from the farms very own vegetable garden.

“This winery really does boast the best views of the Franschhoek valley and will no doubt leave you wishing you could stay longer!”

  • Safari Waterford Estate

Taste a bottle of Kevin Arnold Shiraz, planted on the rockiest sandstone slopes of Waterford Estate. This complex array of red and dark fruit flavours pairs well with lean red meats. Or book a wine drive safari, which takes you through the 120-hectare Estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg Mountain by a safari-type vehicle. This unique 3-hour trip allows the chance to taste award-winning Estate wines amongst the vineyards of their origin, and you will be expertly guided through all the aspects of what makes this area so biologically diverse and viticulturally unique.

“I cannot recommend the Waterford Wine Safari highly enough. The owner and wine maker Kevin Arnold is a good friend. They take a drive in an open “safari” vehicle around the estate and try the wines in the fields at the actual vines at lovely settings. It’s unique and magical. Anyone doing a day tour or time in the winelands HAS to do the Waterford Wine Safari. This is beautifully complimented by their wine and chocolate tasting! Just brilliant! Their wine is also some of the best in the Winelands and really should be tasted.”

A few more tips:

  • If you’re visiting the winelands during peak season, make your dinner reservations 6 months in advance as getting into restaurants can be tricky!
  • Visit Big Dog Café for the best coffee in Franschhoek and a delicious piece of cake too!
  • If you’re on a romantic getaway, or simply have a weakness for beautiful sunsets, visit Dieu Donne- whose wine tasting setup is phenomenal or Franschhoek Pass Winery. Both have lovely Cap Classiques – perfect for that crimson sunset!
  • Le Lude also have a great Cap Classique.
  • Add Babylonstoren to your must-visit list! The gardens are exquisite and they have a fantastic Chardonnay.
  • Take in everything the Franschhoek has to offer, from five-star accommodation, delectable food and great wine to the magical red-orange sunsets and the wonderful people.

Scroll down and let John’s pictures transport you to the picturesque Franschhoek Valley even for a few brief moments. For more on Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mara Expeditions – Property of the Month

Three-time award winner of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World; Specialty Lodging in Maasai Mara National Reserve; and TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, this unique camp is your very own suite in the heart of the African bushveld. Stunning silhouettes and sunsets will steal your heart and the endless plains boasting an absolute abundance of wildlife will keep you mesmerised from the time you arrive until you return back to the Mara.

We love that this camp is steeped in history, rich in culture and at one with the environment!

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 and the sounds of hippos snorting accompany each day. It’s the ultimate in African safari immersion.


Place of learning

The Masai Mara is a powerful place in Africa where you will learn many life lessons that could change the way you view the world forever. The Mara Expeditions staff will do everything possible to ensure that you make the most of and get the most of this exquisite landscape. The guides are exceptional, the game viewing second to none and the ability to connect with the African bushveld unparalleled. Every direction you look the game is aplenty. From Thompson’s gazelle, to Grant’s gazelle, zebra, to wildebeest there is an absolute abundance of plains game! Not to mention the majestic predators including lion, leopard and cheetah that lie hidden, waiting for the right time to pounce. So much excitement, so much adventure and so much beauty all in one place!


An ancient, intimate escape

Mara Expeditions is a small and intimate camp, perfect for a romantic safari getaway or a quiet family retreat. Steeped in history and African colonial culture there is tangible air of yesteryear. Authentic in every way with every single detail considered the camp’s five custom-designed tents are a treat for all the senses. The atmosphere is one of warmth, luxury and a palpable passion for Africa. Set in amongst the forest canopy each suite boasts every indulgent amenity you could possibly wish for. Eclectically yet colonially designed, the sense of adventure and exploration comes across in all the intricate furnishings such as brass chandeliers, old Indian campaign chests, rich leather furniture and soft cottons. Essentially the guest services, facilities and overall experience are only the very highest standards that Great Plains has become renowned for. Sip on that ice-cold Pimms and lemonade, relax and watch as the sun slowly sinks down over the shining savannah and listen as day turns to night around you.

The pinnacle of eco-tourism and sustainable conservation

The camp is temporary, transient and constructed in the spirit of mobility and non-permanence with the wilderness’s best interest at heart. In essence, Mara Expedition Camp can be completely removed and the area returned to the state in which it was found and perhaps even better. All construction is “green,” all energy solar and everything possible recycled. Again traits that are indicative of Great Plains consistent and conscious drive for sustainable tourism and protection of the beauty of the African continent.

Getting There

Mara Expedition Camp is primarily accessed by scheduled air transfers or private air charters. On arrival at the airstrip, the transfer to camp is approximately 45 minutes allowing time for game viewing en route. Safarilink and/or Air Kenya offer scheduled daily flights from Nairobi’s domestic Wilson Airport to the Ol Kiombo airstrip inside the Masai Mara Reserve.

If you’re looking for an intimate escape in the midst of the mighty Masai Mara, with unforgettable game encounters, visit the pinnacle of sustainable conservation where no luxury is spared. More info here.

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Zambia 

Zambia is a beautiful landlocked country in Southern Africa. Bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola, this large natural attraction is unrivalled when it comes to wildlife, people and activities.  Zambia’s notable size and remoteness guarantees exclusive safari opportunities, at 5 –star accommodations with world-class guides and sightseeing. We are very excited about our new collection of Zambian properties and hope to add more properties soon. Here are our top ten reasons to bump up Zambia to the top of your travel list:

  1. Walking safaris

One of Zambia (more specifically, South Luangwa’s) main attractions is walking into the bush with guides or scouts to track wildlife through the lush thickets or dusty banks – hot on the trail of big cats and mammals. Enjoy a thrilling experience of reading animal droppings and paw prints to see them face-to-face. 

  1. Victoria Falls

David Livingstone describes ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ as “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” Named after Queen Victoria, Mosi-oa-Tunya truly is a majestic experience. Visit during May when the falls are in full flow, however, it is no less spectacular any other time of the year. 

  1. Canoeing the Zambezi

Visit elephants, crocodiles and hippos along the lower Zambezi River from your canoe. Paddle at your own leisurely pace as you see Africa’s wild from a fantastic vantage point. Or perhaps turn up the romance with a sunset boat cruise down the Zambezi River. 

  1. Rafting 

White water rafting is a thrilling experience and there’s nowhere better than the Zambezi. Whilst you can raft all year round, the best time is the low water season (July – January) when the river at its most ferocious.

  1. The Zambian People

Zambians are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Experience a new culture, food and lifestyle as you travel through the city and countryside. The local people are always ready to lend a helping hand or simply have a chat. 

  1. A Bird’s Eye View 

Zambia and Victoria Falls is exceptionally beautiful while on the ground, but seeing it from the air will completely take your breath away. Book a helicopter ride or microlighting to see the misty top and green surroundings from the sky. 

  1. Afternoon Tea at The Royal Livingstone

Zambia has no shortage of luxury settings and accommodations. Spoil yourself with some cake and tea at The Royal Livingstone and indulge in some good music, beautiful views and fine china. Perhaps you will see a zebra pass by or a giraffe wonder onto the lawns. 

  1. South Luangwa National Park

South Luangwa National Park has aIl the wildlife that you could possibly want to see and some of the finest luxury safari accommodation. With its great expanse, the reserve is quieter than other parks and offers exceptional sightings without the distractions of other game vehicles.  

  1. Luxury Accommodation 

Experience everything the bush has to offer without ‘roughing it’. Zambia has exceptional luxury accommodation in national parks that allow guests to fully submerge themselves into Zambia’s great outdoors without compromising on luxury and amenities. 

  1. The Lunar Rainbow Tour 

Lunar rainbows are rainbows that take place at night, when a rainbow is seen in the light of the moon. Victoria Falls is one of a very few places in the world which are known for the occurrence of moonbows. The lunar rainbow is a spectacular event that can be seen only during the full moon.

To see all of our Zambian properties, click here.

 

Property of the Month: Chem Chem

Set on the edge of the Tarangire is a place where time stands still. Truly escape the hustle and bustle of this world on the bird-rich shores of Lake Manyara at this safari retreat located in the midst of the ‘migration corridor’. Here you will find your heart and soul filled with peace, beauty and stillness of the African bushveld.

This month’s property of the month is chosen for its distinctive relaxation qualities.  End an action-packed safari with a rejuvenating stay at Chem Chem sanctuary. Bask in exquisite European luxury in the middle of the wilderness.  Slow down, stop and to take in all that is around you on the ultimate Slow Safari.

5-Star Accommodation                                           

With eight luxury vintage canvas suites at Chem Chem and six at Little Chem Chem, this cosy yet elegant atmosphere is the perfect haven from which to enjoy and appreciate the breath-taking African bushveld. The décor is exquisitely considered and designed to ensure a peaceful, open feel. Lie back on your over-sized bed and look out through the canvas at the endless African extending out before you. The large stone bath, outside shower, well-appointed writing desk and deluxe linen ensures that you feel pampered wherever you are in your luxury suite.

Magical Gourmet Moments

Mealtimes are a wonder to behold as the talented Tanzanian chefs create world-class flavour sensations presented exquisitely. Whether it’s the colourful breakfast buffet, the Camembert samo0sas or the beef curry you are in for a treat. Dine under the stars by candlelight or by the fire.

 

Responsible Travel

Chem Chem practices and provides the pinnacle of responsible tourism and conscious conservation. Enjoy this safari retreat with a difference where the thoughtfully designed accommodations perfectly complement the lush surroundings. Chem Chem is fully responsible for sustainable conservation and wildlife protection on the reserve. The owners, Fabia Bausch and Nicolas Negre’s deep passion for Tanzania’s incredible natural heritage is palpable as well as their devotion to education and social development in the area.

For more information about this wonderful African retreat, click here.

3 Winelands Wonders

There’s nothing better than a cosy fire and a class of red wine on a chilly day in the Western Cape. Because most safari lodges have the best game viewing during the dry winter months, many travellers will find themselves stopping over in Cape Town during the wet, winter months. But there is nothing quite like the beautiful estates, art galleries and cellars of the winelands surrounding Cape Town. From Groot Constantia to Franschhoek and Stellenbosch– prepare to indulge in gourmet dishes prepared by award-winning chefs, local wines, 5-star spas and the very best accommodation. You won’t find anything to compare to the endless green hills, crisp winter air and crackling fires. You may even spot some snow-covered mountain peaks from your floor-to-ceiling windows.

If you’re not looking for a beach-vacation, then winter in the winelands brings its own charm as a premier destination with its own set of distinct activities that will keep you both warm and delighted. Here are our top three must-see locations:

  1. Constantia

Just a stone throw away from the CBD and surrounding suburbs, Constantia is a conveniently located winelands area with an abundance of cosy hideouts that serve impeccable food and wine with some of Cape Town’s greatest views. This area has beautiful natural sceneries, a handful of art galleries and a number of production cellars that offer tours, tastings and pairings.

 

  1. Franschhoek

Franschhoek is the perfect destination for couples. There’s something for everyone; from award-winning spas and vintage cars, an array of wines to choose from, to a romantic ride on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. Here you’re spoilt with choice for warm settings with a cosy atmosphere to sample some of the valley’s finest wines and dining. Make a reservation at The Dining Room, at Leeu Estates for a delectable 3-course lunch or dinner paired with a glass of wine.

  1. Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch is a little town you would want to spend more than just a day at. This world-class destination has brought back the ‘great indoors’ with so many options for indoor retreats this winter. Find one of many lounges or tasting rooms that offer food, wine and books next to a warm fire. Stay over and admire the morning mountain snow – which will make some great photographs. And if the all-day wine isn’t convincing you, the annual Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival will have you hooked on classical music this July.

Don’t let the chill alarm you. Cape Town is ready to keep you warm and entertained this winter. For more on what the winelands has to offer you – click here.

Meet the Team – Lauren Fryer

There is nothing more important than a team’s passion and initiative to embody a company’s mission; after all they are the heart of any business. It is the wonderful people at Iconic Africa that go the extra mile to make your dream safari happen. Meet Lauren Fryer, our sales team member, colleague and friend.

Lauren is a born and bred South African who married into a bush-mad family. The African bush is entrenched in her family culture and really pulls at their heart strings as the sky is set on fire both morning and night.  The spaces are vast and the cultures diverse. 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! Having explored South Africa and many of its neighbouring countries, she believes there is no greater vacation than an African Safari & Beach experience!

Lauren Fryer Iconic Africa Team Member

Favourite safari destination: Lauren has two! Having spent many days at Ngala Tented Camp during her university days, it holds a special place in her heart. This magnificent camp in the Timbavati captures your soul with its location and charm! The second is Botswana – one of 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 elephant, beautiful cats, and enough variety in its bird-life to turn even the most dedicated big-mammal follower into a twitcher!

African countries visited: Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Seychelles.

Lauren’s Favourite Tour

AFRICA’S LUXURY SAFARI CLASSIC

Lauren’s Favourite Camps

NGALA TENTED CAMP

SELINDA EXPLORERS CAMP

NGALA SAFARI LODGE

Property of the Month – Sayari

Like its own planet, orbiting above the unspoilt plains of Northern Serengeti is this month’s property of the month – Sayari. Situated in one of Tanzania’s most famous locations, this breath-taking property is perched high up on a hill overlooking the great expanse. Meaning ‘planet’ in Swahili, Sayari will definitely leave you feeling as if you have travelled to another planet.

Indulge in remarkable luxury just a stone throw away from exclusive game viewing, the Mara River and minutes from the world-famous wildebeest migration crossing points. These are only some of the reasons this camp has been awarded one of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

Infinite space and decadence

Sayari offers just twelve spacious suites spread out along the hilltop, putting an emphasis on a boundless sense of space, privacy and seclusion. It has two mess areas, each with its own relaxing lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, all designed for extreme comfort and blending in with the surrounding golden savannah. The exquisite wooden finishes and slight pops of green immediately make you feel at ease while the intricate Graham Springer wildlife portraits give you something to gaze at and get lost in for hours. The suites each have their own wraparound wooden deck or you can unwind in your large, white stone bath and watch the impalas graze on the grass outside.

Full day of surprises

At Sayari, it’s the little things that really make it one of Tanzania’s top safari escapes. Not only does it offer the very pinnacle of African hospitality but it also amazes and delights through a host of meaningful personal touches. From its sensational gourmet meals and the hippo pools sunset spot; expertly guided bush walks, sunrise breakfasts, whole day migration-chasing safaris, romantic dinners on your very own patio; to indulgent massages in the Sayari Spa – there is just so much to look forward to. Settle down next to a crackling fire and let the blanket of sparkling stars ease you into the night.

sayari-swimming-pool-watching-elephants-landscape

sayari-camp-serengeti-tanzania

Sayari is perfectly located to explore the wonders of the Serengeti, one of the worlds most visited and most famous wildlife areas. Specifically tailored for you and what you are looking for, the ‘up close and personal’ game encounters are like no other. Extraordinary sightings of lion, leopard, elephant, and cheetah and of course hordes of wildebeest during migration time await you.

Find out more from one of our team members here.

 

Lauren Fryer visits Londolozi

Iconic Africa’s very own Lauren Fryer has recently returned from an unbelievable time spent at one of our favourite safari lodges – Londolozi. She was kind enough to share with us her memorable experience and some awesome photographs that she will be adding to her collection.

Did you see any of the new lion cubs from the Ntsevu pride?

Yes we did and they are magnificent. They were very relaxed playing with each other whilst the lionesses tolerated them and the males rested a few metres away.

What other wildlife did you see and which was your favourite? 

We had just had a beautiful sighting of a leopard interacting with an elephant. Whilst rushing off to find the wild dog we could hear, we bumped into a mother leopard with her 2 cubs. They were walking along the airstrip and the cubs were playing and practicing hunting with 2 adult warthog. The warthog were so relaxed and entertained by the cubs pouncing on them and chasing them as long as the mother stayed a fair distance away. Our tracker and ranger worked brilliantly together. They were a real team and together with their shared knowledge we had incredible sightings.

What was your favourite meal at Londolozi? 

WOW! The food is utterly outstanding. From sumptuous breakfasts to light modern salad bowls for lunches; followed by a compulsory afternoon tea of decadent cake and mouth-watering tarts – it’s not surprising I can’t fit into my jeans! Coming for Kwa Zulu Natal, my favourite meal was definitely the traditional Durban curry in the boma! The setting around the boma on a chilly autumn night, with a glass of red wine in hand just paired perfectly with this flavoursome dish

What is your most memorable Londolozi moment?

I was touched by the whole experience. It truly was the most magical safari destination I have ever been to.

What did you think of the staff?

From the moment we entered the gate at Londolozi we were welcomed with a warm and friendly smile. This warmth follows through with every single member of their team. You are literally treated like family; everyone knows your name and are so genuine in their interaction with you. Every need is taken care of with a level on unobtrusive service and excellence that I have ever experienced in a lodge. I give credit to an incredible leadership team where people from all cultures are living in harmony with one another in one of the most beautiful places on earth, all in the name of conservation and a passion for wildlife. With only spending 1 night there I can attest for the contagious nature of the family spirit, and positive energy of all staff members. You are so welcomed and made to feel at home in this magical destination.

What was your most interesting encounter while on a game drive?

When sipping on our G&T’s on an afternoon game drive, we had a surprise visitor stroll past us and have a drink. This cheeky little hyena wasn’t fazed by us at all and it was wonderful watching him get on with his daily routine.

What would you recommend for other travellers heading to Londolozi?

I believe you should try stay for at least 3 nights. You will leave with a full heart, feeling rejuvenated and wanting to book again! The wildlife experience is incredible and full days experiencing what the camp has to offer are a must. From visiting the community village, wellness centre, getting help with your wildlife photo’s in the amazing new photo lab and just soaking in the gloriousness of the location from your deck, why rush it!

Plan ahead, secure the dates and go see it! TRUST ME!!!

Did you experience the healing house at Varty Camp?

We sadly didn’t as time was short.  If we had more time we would have loved a yoga session overlooking the river, followed by a rejuvenation session in the wellness centre! It looks incredible.We love that they are embracing the healthy, active lifestyle of travellers these days. Their new gym ticks all the boxes, so you can enjoy all the delicious food completely guilt free!

What other activities did you do while at Londolozi?

Will the camp manager took us on a walk around all the camps as they have recently been redone! They are looking incredible. There is the perfect marriage between staying true to their heritage with a fresh modern touch. It is unpretentious, and leaves you with a feeling that can’t be described.  After all it’s not about the material objects; it’s about being together in a place like no other, making magical memories.

If you could describe Londolozi in one word – what would it be? 

Connection…

Here are some of her favourite shots taken at Londolozi…

 

 

Property of the Month – Pioneer Camp Londolozi

For years Pioneer Camp has been the holiday of choice for Terri Abadi (our very own founder) and her family. Terri has travelled Africa extensively and yet each year she is adamant that Pioneer Camp is the place she wants to return to. This month’s property of the month is highly sought after for special family occasions and honeymoons alike and guests regularly book their next stay before even having left their current Londolozi safari experience, here’s why:

An interactive luxury camp

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

Pioneer Camp’s three generous luxurious suites showcase exquisite river views, private plunge pools, and indoor and outdoor showers decorated with timeless opulence. Glass sky walkways between the suites create optional interconnected family units and a lap pool just below the main deck fosters spending time together sipping gin and tonics in the afternoon heat.

Celebrating the past

In celebrating a bygone era, Pioneer Camp is adorned with deep-rooted collectable suitcases, a restored gramophone, preserved trophies and historical black and white photographs, all sophisticatedly balanced with Ralph Lauren wall paper and modern textured fabrics. An iconic ox wagon is proudly stationed at the manicured entrance to the camp symbolising Londolozi’s primal vision to conserve and protect all living things that began on an adventure by ox wagon in 1926.

The safari experience

The wildlife experience at Londolozi is unprecedented. At dawn the hippo raucous from the nearby waterhole stirs your slumber just before a gentle wrap at the door delivers tea, coffee and freshly baked biscuits to excite you for the morning drive. Pioneer Camp’s passionate and knowledgeable guide and tracker teams will ensure unforgettable sightings of lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant, to name but a few on both morning and evening game drives.

Spend the rest of your day lounging by the pool, learning about the local culture in the Londolozi Village or editing photographs in the Londolozi Creative Hub. By the time you leave, you will be part of the Londolozi family.

Meet the Team – Beverly Van Schoor

At Iconic Africa our staff are our family, and the essence of family pride and love for African luxury travel is quite evident in all our client interactions. Since most of our team have been with Iconic Africa for many years, it goes without saying that there must be more to it than just a simple job – there has to be passion, love and expertise.

Meet our wonderful sales guru, Beverly Van Schoor and get to know her a little more here:

Bev Van Schoor Team Image Iconic Africa 2

Beverly loves to discover new places, people and cultures. She believes it broadens your horizons, makes you appreciative and is the best way to learn and grow. Beverly has travelled the world, from Argentina to Vietnam and even lived in the UK and Australia but there is no place she would rather be than in Africa.

King Lewanika Zambia - One of Africa_s oldest game reserves

Her knowledge and passion for travel comes from her years of experience. Beverly completed a Tourism Diploma at Cape Technicon followed by two years’ experience at a London Flight Centre; worked in various Guest Houses; spent two years at Seekers Travel, 8 years at Impact Incentives and a year at Rhino Africa.

She has a travel-list of her own that she is busy ticking off – many countries seeing her return on more than one occasion: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mauritius and South Africa.

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Bev has made great impressions with our clients as they get the perfect, tailor-made travel itineraries that suit their needs and wants:

“…we woke up refreshed and have just returned from an epic game drive, including a pride of 17 lions and a pack of 7 wild dogs… Bev has done an outstanding job. I can’t sing her praises enough. She is literally the best travel agent I’ve ever dealt with and I do a lot of travel! I’ve recommended you guys to 4 or 5 couples planning trips to SA…” – Ian Hartnell

Bev’s Favourite Tour

Safari and Island Retreat

Bev’s Favourite Camps

Londolozi

The Silo

The Melbourne Rebels visit Madikwe Game Reserve

In every major country there is at least one place with the reputation of a having a celebrity hot-spot. In South Africa’s North West Province, bordering Botswana, Madikwe Game Reserve has established this title. This little bit of heaven in a very special land has welcomed guests such as Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

It is no surprise that many A-listers love visiting Africa… If you ever need to rejuvenate mind, body and soul, there is no better place to find restorative qualities than Africa’s great outdoors.

Iconic Africa was thrilled to have welcomed the Melbourne Rebels rugby team on safari this past week. They spent three magical days and much deserved down-time at Madikwe Game Reserve. The team had the exclusive use of Madikwe Safari Lodge and spent some time at Jaci’s Camp as well where they received some of the best hospitality in the industry.

Madikwe Safari Lodge offers three charming camps with 20 sumptuous suites in total. Perfect for large groups, this malaria-free camp offers specialised rangers, privacy and indulgent luxury. Higher up in the mountain, you will find awe-inspiring panoramas at Dithaba camp. Be prepared to see all the wonders of Africa at this reserve with family, partners and friends.

Here are some amazing photographs from the Melbourne Rebel’s time in the bush that will show you just how much fun they had.

 

Introducing King Lewanika – Zambia

King Lewanika Camp is situated in the Liuwa Plain area, one of the earliest protected expanses in Africa. Liuwa Plain was first preserved in 1880 by the head of the Lozi people, King Lewanika. His efforts kept the plains unspoilt and exclusive with rare game and a rich natural heritage. Here, on these rolling grasslands, the annual floodwaters promise a congregation of wild beauty whose rhythm imitates that of the royal drums.

The legend of the Liuwa Plain region

Liuwa Plain holds a collection of wonderful stories – our favourite being the legend of Mambeti – in loving memory of the famed lioness, Lady Liuwa. Mambeti was of the Lozi people who lived, died and was buried near to King Lewanika camp. The legend suggests that she was reincarnated into Lady Liuwa, the matriarch of Liuwa’s lion pride. The local people believe that this is why the lioness was so friendly to people and spent so much time in the same woodlands once frequented by the elderly Mambeti.

The King Lewanika Villas

If you’re looking for a safari destination that will keep your mobile off and eyes glued to the grassland out ahead – King Lewanika is the perfect place! This is the ultimate luxury safari with 5 villas and 1 family suite with two bedrooms and bathrooms. King Lewanika is the only luxury camp in the entire National Park, ensuring guests have the exclusive use of it. With only 14 guests at any given time, you will feel as if you have Africa all to yourself.

King Lewanika boasts a modern, luxurious design while maintaining its safari authenticity with natural materials, canvas walls, outdoor showers, and elevated decks overlooking the plains. The interior décor offers a sensual appeal with leather finishes, touches of cotton, canvas and natural textiles to complete the design. The villas create an uninterrupted, effortless flow into the vast landscape ahead, allowing guests to experience nature’s beauty in a meaningful way – a constant and natural extension of the villas. The design and décor carries the golden hue of the plains, contrasting against the masculine vintage leather accents and polished metal. Guests can spend afternoons taking in panoramic views or lounge on their private veranda watching birds splash in the lagoon. And as you fall asleep at night, listen for the calls of whooping hyenas in the distance. *All minors accompanying guests must be older than age 5.

Unrivalled wildlife sightings

Often described as the photographers dream, the region offers spectacular photographic opportunities. Along with award-winning guides and intimate safari excursions, King Lewanika and the Liuwa Plain offers unrivalled access to incredible wildlife, bird-sightings and wildflower blooms that you will see on any day and night game drives, walking safaris, or bird watching. However, the real magic of Liuwa Plain is the 30 000 – 40 000 wildebeest seen in the area from June when they start their migration from the area around camp to the north of the National Park.  Liuwa Plain is home to Africa’s second biggest wildebeest migration, a growing cheetah population, zebra, lechwe and the famed Lady Liuwa lion pride. And for the avid birders, there are often congregations of up to 330 species of rare birds, or for a more serendipitous memory, look out for clans of up to 50 hyenas interacting at their den.

Experience the true essence of African adventure

The unrivalled combination of land and water not only makes for exceptional game viewing and photography, but allows for perhaps the most exciting aspect of safari – the sheer variety of activities on offer. Zambia offers a variety of land and river-based experiences that few other destinations can offer. This wistful region is famous for its seasonal canoeing safaris, boating trips and catch-and-release fishing. Or for those seeking to stay on land, try a scenic helicopter flight, gourmet picnic, or book a high tea.

Day & Night Drives

There’s nothing to compare an encounter with African wildlife during both day and night drives to. King Lewanika’s excellent guides provide a plenty of knowledge to enrich the experience and the abundance of rare wildlife ensures incomparable sightings.

Fishing

King Lewanika is strictly catch-and-release to preserve all breeds of fish. All equipment is provided, and fishing is suitable for beginners and serious fisherman. Fishing is good year-round, but peaks in October and November during the breeding season.

Boating

A river safari offers a fresh perspective on the breath-taking scenery and wildlife, from predators along the river bank to the diverse birdlife.

Walking Safaris

Become part of the landscape rather than a mere spectator and explore the untamed beauty of the region with our experienced guides at your side.

Canoeing Safaris

Book a canoeing safari to witness the wildlife congregate along the river – a peaceful yet exhilarating experience. Enjoy the abundant wilderness and game viewing while quietly passing through the reeds. Float metres away from big and small game on the river’s edge – a memory you won’t ever to forget!

Sleep-out

If you’re visiting in July or October, you must experience a sleep-out under the stars with only the night-sky and roaming wildlife for company. Experience the thrill of early explorers while camping out.

Getting there:

King Lewanika is a short 15 minute helicopter transfer from Kalabo Airport in the Western Province of Zambia.

Why King Lewanika?

Liuwa Plain is one of the earliest game reserves in Africa.

King Lewanika is Zambia’s most exclusive camp

It is the only permanent camp in the national park

Guests will find incredible opportunities for wildlife and landscape photography

When To Go?

King Lewanika is operational from 20 October to 14 July.