Meet the Team – John Holley

Iconic Africa has teams based in South Africa, Kenya and in the USA! We are African-born travel experts and are always thrilled to prepare and guide our clients before and during their dream luxury African escape. We have a profound love for Africa, its wildlife and its people and our goal is to share this love with you!

Our wonderfully diverse team is committed to providing you with a full service and exceptional travel experiences to groups, couples and families. Whether you’re ticking off your bucket-list, planning a romantic getaway or gathering with old friends, our dedicated team will the perfect partner for all your travel needs.

But before we can do that, here’s just a little introduction to our dream team. Meet our director,  John Holley.

John Holley grew up in Africa. His fervour for conservation and travel was ignited by a childhood spent travelling to the continent’s wilderness hotspots. As a student John spent every minute he could in the wild. Most of his youth was spent travelling and working as a horse safari guide in Kenya. He began his professional career by completing his chartered accountancy for global financial services firm KPMG. Eventually, however, John’s passion for travel and the call of the African wilderness lead him to Londolozi where he worked as a game ranger for two years. It was on one epic Londolozi safari that John drove Terri and her family and, through their mutual love and knowledge of Africa, they conceptualised Iconic Africa.

John’s Favourite Tour:

Singita Safari Splendour

John’s Favourite Camps:


Singita Castleton

AndBeyond Mnemba Island Lodge

Here are a few of John’s awesome pictures from his most recent trips to the bush.

Meet the Team – Terri Abadi

Iconic Africa is lovingly built, run and maintained by a passionate team of safari and travel experts whose goal is to make luxury travel more human, more extraordinary and more tailor-made, just for you! With decades of combined experience, the team will make sure you have an unforgettable time in Africa.

We would like to introduce you to Terri Abadi, Director at Iconic Africa.

Terri is based in Atlanta, Georgia and founded Iconic Africa in 2013. The company is a labour of love designed to entice global travellers to African destinations that have inspired her over a lifetime of travel to this great continent. Terri’s uncontainable enthusiasm for Africa – her wildlife, her people and her wild spaces – borders on obsessive and this passion runs in the veins of the Iconic Africa team. Terri’s favourite way to spend the summer months is on safari with her husband and four children and she has been going to Londolozi for more than 20 years, she even got engaged there! She has personally visited every destination that Iconic Africa recommends and used this extensive luxury travel experience to mould Iconic Africa into one of the leading bespoke travel agencies for exclusive, luxury and adventurous African safaris and expeditions.

Terri’s Favourite Tour: Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic

Terri’s Favourite Camps: Pioneer Camp, Angama Maraand Singita Castleton

Terri is also a talented photographer. Here are a few pics from her most recent trips to the bush.



Our 2019 Africa Reading List

Of course the possibility of spending your 15+ hour journey to one of Africa’s most attractive destinations catching up on missed television shows and blockbuster movies seems intriguing – but you also suddenly have the time to read one of those books that’s been on your reading list for months.

And if you haven’t even had the time to start a reading list, we’ll help you find your next great read. Whether you get it off Amazon, buy it on the airport or download it to your kindle, you’ll be prepared for when that screen decides not to work!

Perhaps Mary JO Manzanares’ recent Travel Reading List can inspire the same love and curiosity for the world that she found through books. Here are our favourite reading prompts from her list that can be interpreted in any way you wish. Let it open your mind and enlighten your next journey or perhaps get you in the safari mind-set.

A book published in 2019

A best seller from 2018

A book with a destination in the title

A book set in a destination you want to visit

A book that inspires you to travel

A book on the New York Times Best Seller List

A book with a one-word title

A book that won a literary award

A book set on the continent of Africa

We have chosen our top five classic titles that have come out of Africa. Enhance your next safari with a novel set in your destination – whether it’s a fiction or a true story, set in the past or present. We hope this will encourage you to explore new authors, voices and genres as you travel through unchartered territories, try new cuisines and experience different cultures.

Love, Life, and Elephants 

By Dame Daphne Sheldrick

Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s memoir explores her efforts and dedication to preserving Kenya’s wildlife. The late Dame was known as the “first person to successfully raise new-born elephants”.

I Married Adventure 

By Osa Johnson

In this classic, American couple Osa and Martin Johnson are adventurous filmmakers who recount their journey through Africa in the early 1900’s.

Dark Star safaris

By Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux’s inspiring novel takes us on his overland journey from Cairo to Cape Town only using public transport such as trains, buses, mokoro’s as well as planes, cars and armed convoy. Get to know Africa as well as Paul Theroux through his eyes and discover how the continent had changed.

The Number 1 Ladies detective agency

By Alexander McCall Smith

Precious Ramotswe is Botswana’s first female detective. This enjoyable read novel is the first of seven in The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and will surely put a smile on your face.


I Dreamed of Africa

By Kuki Gallmann

This powerful story introduces the reader to the Italian writer, Kuki Gallmann who had a life-long love and fascination with Africa – starting in her childhood. Visit Kuki in Kenya where at the age of 25, she and her future husband established an expansive farmstead. Let her describe Africa’s beauty to you and journey with her as she navigates 90,000 acres of land, pregnant and alone after the tragic loss of her husband.

Happy reading and blissful travels. Let us know which of these was your favourite read!

Africa’s Greatest Water Attractions

Africa, sometimes referred to as the mother continent, has an abundance of beautiful water bodies. Whether you’re interested in canoeing, swimming, fishing, cruising on a boat or simply capturing extraordinary photographs – there’s a river, lake or ocean waiting for you! Our water attractions are home to over 500 fish species; contributes to fertile land that sustains croplands; and witnesses wildlife spectacles such as the Great Migration and survival of the fittest. Here are our top 9 African water attractions, from freshwater and man-made lakes to African Great Lakes to majestic cascades:

The Mara River, found in the Mara Region in Kenya and Tanzania, cuts across the migration path of big game in the Masai Mara/Serengeti Game Reserve. The river sees the cycle of life and death and has become one of Africa’s most perilous sites during the Great Migration. One of Earth’s most spectacular wildlife events culminates at this very river.

Victoria Falls is a cascade of water in Southern Africa. This world-renowned waterfall lies on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. First known as Mosi-oa-Tunya which means “The Smoke that Thunders”, the falls is 1 708 meters wide, and is the largest in the world.

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest fresh water, man-made lake and reservoir. It lies 1,300 kilometres upstream from the Indian Ocean, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba spread over the Zambezi River valley and is a special place of incredible beauty for all nature and photography lovers.

The Okavango Delta is an expansive inland river delta in northern Botswana. One of Africa’s last remaining great wildlife habitats that provide refuge to huge concentrations of game, this water body is a maze of sparkling lagoons and meandering channels. Explore the Okavango Deltaby mokoro, on foot or on game drive; or navigate past hippos, elephants and crocodiles in a dugout canoe.

The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river and the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. Known as Southern Africa’s “River of Life”, it drains seven countries and supports millions of people who make use of its fisheries, forests, water, and rich floodplain soils.

Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes, named after Queen Victoria. It’s so large it extends significantly into Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Among the freshwater lakes of the world, it is only exceeded by Lake Superior in North America.

Lake Turkana is situated in the Kenyan Rift Valley, in northern Kenya. It is the world’s largest permanent desert and alkaline lake.

The Olifants Riveris one of Southern Africa’s most important catchments – its water irrigates farming in western Mpumalanga and is a source of electrical power.

The Sabie River in South Africa forms part of the Komati River System and is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa.


Magical Mana Pools

Here are a few of our favourite videos from our team’s recent visit to the wonder that is Mana Pools.

Mana Pools National Park is in the far north of Zimbabwe. It includes the south bank and islands of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia. The park is known for it’s incredible wildlife… and the exquisite river and vast flood plains. It is on every safari-lovers bucket-list as it is remote, it’s teeming with animals, the scenery is exquisite, sunsets breath-taking… need we say more – it really is Africa at it’s best. Have a look at some of the videos below and let us know what you think?

Cheers to the end of another week… Until tomorrow’s sunset

Reaching for a mid afternoon snack

Another tough day in Africa…

Check out these mischievous eles

What a place for an afternoon nap

Munch munch munch… grabbing a bite for lunch!

SAVE 40% on our Black Friday Family Safari Special

BREAKING NEWS: More prices slashed!

SAVE 40% with our Black Friday Family Safari Special and experience an once-in-a-lifetime luxury Africa family vacation with this unforgettable 9 day tour including Cape Town and Madikwe Game Reserve.


Valid for booking only from 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November.

ENQUIRE NOW or call us: United States +1 888 345 3443 or South Africa: +27 82 411 5776

Availability is limited so contact us as soon as possible so we can make your African safari dream come true.

Black Friday Family Safari Special

4 Nights – More Quarters Hotel, Cape Town

Spend your first 4 nights at thenestled in the shadows of spectacular Lion’s Head mountain. This beautiful home-away-from-home is ideal for families and couples seeking privacy and the romance of the Cape.

4 Nights – Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

You’ll then be chartered and transferred to Madikwe Game Reserve for 4 nights. This extravagant lodge is spread between two picturesque and boulder strewn hills.


Meet and greet at Cape Town Airport and transfer to More Quarters Hotel.

4 night’s accommodation at More Quarters Hotel in a 2 Bedroom Apartment on a bed and breakfast basis.

Road transfer from More Quarters Hotel to Cape Town Airport.

Scheduled flight from Cape Town Airport to O.R. Tambo Airport.

Scheduled flight from O.R. Tambo Airport to Madikwe Game Reserve.

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Madikwe Airstrip and Madikwe Safari Lodge.

4 night’s accommodation at Madikwe Safari Lodge in a Family Suite on a fully inclusive basis.

Scheduled flight from Madikwe Game Reserve to O.R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg.


International flights (into Cape Town and out of Johannesburg).

Travel insurance.

Items of a personal nature.


Terms & Conditions

Valid for bookings made from 08h00 – 23 November through to23h00 – 26 November SA time.

After hours contacts from 17h00 until 23h00 on Friday and Monday.

Valid for travel between 04 January and 30 April 2019. Further discounts apply for travel between 01 and 31 May 2019.

This deal is subject to currency fluctuations and seat and accommodation availability at time of booking. Tour length can be reduced if required, subject to T&C’s.  For other Black Friday tours, look here.

Hurry and book now!



8 Best Travel Apps

Good bye to handwritten planning and paper maps! With the latest technology and apps, you can research, plan and save all your travel ideas, to-do lists, bookings and directions all in one place – on your mobile phone! And while we encourage travellers embarking on an African safari to have a technology-free vacation… planning and travelling has never been this hassle-free. Travellers can now explore the world virtually at the press of a button to look for flights, accommodation and now even to identify spoor, animals and flora.

We have compiled a list of our favourite apps for iOS and Android that help you find all your travel-related solutions such as what to pack and compiling a travel schedule. Scroll down and say goodbye to all the stress and challenges this African safari:

1. Pack Point
Tell the app where and when you are travelling and it will help you to pack! Pack Point will compile a list of things you will most likely need. You will never forget something behind again.

BARAZA Zanzibar Beach Safari
2. Duolingo
Duolingo is a language app that’s available for free. This app will help you to learn language basics or polish your grammar and vocabulary in a fun way. Available for both Android and iOS.

3. TripIt
This free travel itinerary app helps you see your entire trip in one place. Simply forward all your booking confirmation emails to the app which then collects all the details. The information about your trip will be available offline. Say goodbye to paper itineraries and lost bookings.

tanzania zanzibar beach safari
4. Africa: Live
Africa: Live is the winner of the best travel app in Africa competition. Share your real-time wildlife sightings on live maps and find animals, as you can see what wildlife sightings have been recorded in the past 24 hours by other safari goers and professional wildlife guides. Available for both Android and iOS.

5. ParkSpotter Africa
If you’re planning on visiting the Kruger National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Addo National Park, Table Mountain National Park in South Africa and Etosha National Park in Namibia, ParkSpotter Africa is a useful app guide. It has all the park contact details, gate opening times, accommodation options, lists of waterholes and points of interest and hiking routes. There’s also detailed information and an identifying tool on all the flora and fauna you can find in the parks. track your trip, save it and share your wildlife sightings on social media. Available for iOS.

6. iTrack Southern Africa
This brand-new app has track information for 50 southern African mammals so you can work out who made those pawprints. Available for iOS.

7. Sasol eBirds of Southern Africa
This app helps you identify tweets, birds and where they can be found. With images, descriptions and recorded bird calls of nearly a thousand birds and maps of where they’re found in Southern Africa, this bird guide will help even the beginner bird watcher. Available for Android and iOS.

8. Star Walk
Have you ever looked, amazed at the scattered diamonds across the black velvet sky but not know what you’re actually looking at? All you need to do is point your phone up at the sky and the app will map out constellations and point out stars, planets and satellites. Available for Android and iOS.
These simple-to-download and easy-to-use apps have become extremely valuable. Technology has changed the way we travel, making these apps a great addition to your safari experience.

If there’s anything at all we can do to help you with planning and prepping for your African adventure please do let us know. 

Perfecting your Johannesburg Layover

There’s nothing worse than getting off a 15 hour flight and having to spend another 12 hours at Africa’s busiest airport. Because O.R Tambo International Airport is not as close to the city centre as we would like it to be – and with peak time traffic setting people back by a couple of hours, staying at the airport can sometimes be your best bet. But even with the many duty-free shops, restaurants and lounges, it can be cumbersome when you need to occupy yourself for half a day. But long layovers make managing your time easier and allow you to explore a city you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Walking Safaris Iconic Africa Zebras

Make sure you consider the time it will take to get through passport control, collect your luggage and check in again; and set aside at least an hour travel time from and to the airport. Before planning your layover itinerary, look at what time you land. Consider the time and distance as certain activities will be closed and tours will not operate after dark. Whether you’re in the City of Gold for the day or staying over at one of the airport hotels, here are our top suggestions to do on a layover in Johannesburg:

The airport is situated approximately 25 kilometres from the city centre. Don’t get too excited… Johannesburg is known for its congested traffic and these 25 kilometers can sometimes take up to 2 hours by car. The quickest way to get to the CBD is with the Gautrain – getting you to Sandton within 20 minutes. The travel card is available for purchase and can be topped up at the airport and stations.

difference between national park and game reserve sunset

Emperor’s Palace

A stone’s throw away from the airport is Emperor’s Palace Casino and Entertainment Resort – home to the “Codesa Walk”.  Whether you’re travelling solo and need some pampering or with small children, Emperor’s Palace has something for everyone. Relax and have a sit-down meal, play some Russian roulette or try not to have more fun than the kids in the entertainment area. This wonderland has some retail therapy options for the ladies, a live theatre and a cinema.


Take the Gautrain to Sandton – one of the most upmarket areas in Johannesburg with some of the most exquisite hotels. Enjoy a meal at Mandela Square and stroll around the Sandton City Mall.

The Carlton Centre
Gather panoramic views of Johannesburg from the fiftieth floor in Africa’s tallest building – The Carlton Centre at an astounding 202 meters high. The Centre also has a hotel, cinemas and Johannesburg’s biggest shopping centre.

Soweto Tour

If you have the day at leisure, book a tour through Soweto, the South Arica’s most popular township. Soweto is home to more than one million people, which once included Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will get to see the Hector Pietersen Memorial and the Kliptown Open Air Museum.

Lion Park

There’s no better time than layover time to get up close and personal with some big cats. Visit the Lion Park about 45 minutes away by car. You can pet the cubs also see ostriches, zebras and giraffes.

Constitution Hill

Catch the Gautrain to Park Station in Braamfontein from where you can walk to Constitution Hill. Here rests the South African Constitutional Court, an old military fort Women’s Jail and the prison where Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many others were held.

Gold Reef City

Depending on the time of day, you can take a 40 minute drive east and visit Gold Reef City. This is the ultimate fun town suitable for both adults and children. Right next door is the Apartheid Museum which is also worth a visit!

Regardless of all O.R Tambo has to offer, why hang around an airport when you can see the beauty of Johannesburg!


A Love Like No Other

“The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.” – Bantu Proverb

Travelling has a way of magnifying all human emotions, especially when you have an innate love towards a particular place! Our very own Terri Abadi shares her love for Africa with us here:

“The phrase, “follow your passion” is often thought to be nothing more than a cliché, one often repeated but seldom embraced. I feel blessed that over the last four years we have fostered a company which really is an embodiment of my one true passion!
My recent trip to Africa to further explore Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa reminded me why I love the continent of Africa so; what makes it so special and why it is deeply embedded in my soul.

Growing up in South Africa, I was enthralled by its breath-taking landscapes from a young age, and in particular the life that pulses through the bush. What makes the African wilderness so captivating to me can only be described as a feeling; one of being in complete and utter awe.
When I am there, inner peace permeates every fibre of my being, from the first sight of the amber rays spreading across the bushveld at dawn, all the way through to the last red glow after the suddenness of the sunset, with the soft chirp of a Scops owl calling from an acacia tree nearby or the muted roar of a male lion in the still night air.

Africa grips you in its wonder and you are left inextricably bound to it. Ever since I first visited the Kruger National Park and Botswana, it has pulsated in my veins like a river rushing in my blood.
The escape that the bush offers from the daily grind is unlike any other. Sitting in the middle of a herd of a thousand buffalo, or having a bull elephant stroll past within metres of your vehicle are the type of experiences to get pulses racing, to offer the type of thrill that exists nowhere else; the most addictive cocktail of anticipation, incredulity, freedom, wonder and awe.

Truly, there is nothing like the call of the fish eagle beckoning you to discover the secrets and wonders of the bush. If you visit, I promise that you too will fall in love Africa’s her hypnotic beauty.

She will completely transform the landscape of your dreams for a lifetime, in a way you never thought possible.

It will do for you what it has done for me: embed itself in your soul… And there will be no going back…

We can’t wait to share our love for Africa with you.”

by Terri Abadi

Introducing RockFig Safari Lodge

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the stunning Rockfig Lodge, the latest addition to our collection.

Nestled under the weeping boer-bean, leadwood, tamboti and jackalberry trees, rests a slice of South African paradise. Located in the world renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, this is the ideal destination for families and group vacations. Sharing an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, this charming hideaway offers spectacular game viewing making sighting one of the Big Five is a usual experience and tracking wild dogs and white lions an added bonus!

A grandiose setting

A beautiful dining area enclosed with glass doors stacks up to integrate indoor living spaces and the great outdoors. Enjoy your meals overlooking the riverine landscape without having to leave your home away from home.  This wonderful lodge boasts architectural acuity that creates a spontaneous flow between communal and private spaces, and indoor and outdoor areas. The interior of RockFig Safari Lodge takes inspiration from Timbavati’s locale and luxurious bush setting evident in the colours and rustic furnishings. The designer has created a relaxed mood with an authentic outback feel emanating at all moments. This property is the perfect destination for guests of all ages with activities to enhance everyone’s experience and appreciation of this piece of heaven.

Game viewing

30 000 acres of African bush adjoins the superlative Kruger National Park. Without any fences bordering the two parks, the natural migration of wildlife is encouraged. This thriving, unspoiled wilderness area is home to a wide variety of wildlife: the Big Five are among the plethora of mammals you will see. RockFig Safari Lodge offers morning and afternoon game drives with professional guides and trackers who will guarantee you an incredible safari experience as the quiet corners of South Africa come to life. Taking the diverse age group of guests that visit, activities can be tailored specifically to you. If game drives aren’t intimate enough for you, RockFig can arrange a guided walking safaris where you will be able to stop and marvel at the abundance of beautiful birdlife, interesting insects, reptiles and amphibians. This is especially fascinating for those interested in the flora of the Timbavati.


You will have the chance to learn the different grasses and trees of the bush on your morning and afternoon/evening drives, and bush walks.  Not forgetting the wonderful photographic opportunities for when you are left without words trying to retell your experiences! Your guide and tracker will show you how to read the signs of the bush to foresee the movements and behaviour of birds and animals. Enjoy the company of other guests over sundowners as you recap on the days adventures, or if you prefer, a romantic bush dining experience or sunset picnic. Families with young children will enjoy time spent around the open boma giving guests time enjoy the experience of a traditional camp fire under a brightly lit sky. Nothing bonds families like a good meal; RockFig Safari Lodge is excited to introduce guests to a traditional South African potjie and braai, setting your table in the outdoors.

Safari romance

RockFig Safari Lodge is a family orientated property but conserves that safari romance one can only expect out in Africa’s open plains. With only eight guests at a time, you are assured privacy. The perfect destination for some R&R, you will be woken by that first ray of morning light atop pure cotton linen. Stretch out on to the deck before taking an outdoor shower or rest those shoulders in a wonderful bath using the exclusive Terra Firma Range. Head out for a couples massage or spend the day exploring the vast plains from the sky in a helicopter or hot-air balloon.  If you’re feeling more romantic than usual, book a horse ride nearby and gallop in to the distance.

Private and exclusive

RockFig Safari Lodge is positioned near the banks of the dry Nhlaralumi River amongst high arching riverine trees. Poetically secluded, this rustic colonial-African style camp rests on guests enjoying simple comforts in five star settings. Taken straight from a novel, each bedroom has screens on the windows and doors, an overhead fan for those warm summer days and a grand net over the bed. In your free time you can relax at the rock pool, with thirsty elephants, buffalo and giraffes in sight who frequent the nearby waterhole.The private lodge offers the ultimate safari retreat: with its breath-taking surroundings, own vehicle and professional game ranger, as well as a fully kitted kitchen. This lodge is the crescendo in time-out destinations!

Getting there

RockFig is just over a five-hour drive from Johannesburg airport. However, Iconic Africa recommends an easy flight to Hoedspruit Airport, a short 45 minute drive to RockFig, connecting you easily from both Johannesburg and Cape Town. RockFig also has its own private airstrip for guests who wish to fly directly to the camp via a scheduled charter by Federal Air landing 5 minutes away from the lodge.

Africa is our playground, contact Iconic Africa now and let us tailor make your bespoke African adventure for you!


Property of the Month – Tswalu Kalahari

Nestled at the base of the Korannaberg lies this month’s property of the month – Tswalu Kalahari. This beautiful – and South Africa’s largest – private game reserve envelopes 240 000 acres of pristine wilderness. Owned by Nikki and Strilli Oppenheimer, the sheer magnitude of the reserve bares testament to the family’s commitment to authentic conservation and opulent luxury.

Don’t let its position sway you! Tswalu makes up the south-east tip of the Kalahari, and just south of the Botswana border, this reserve offers a flourishing habitat for both humans and animals alike.  Out in the wild, the game viewing is breath-taking be it from the back of a 4 X 4 safari vehicle, the saddle of an impeccably behaved horse or on foot. Tswalu is the ultimate luxury safari destination in the heart of the magical Kalahari.

Motse Lodge boasts extraordinary views of the Kalahari plains stretching out endlessly to the west. The expansive decking, sumptuous lounge and well-stocked mezzanine library offer spaces for quiet contemplation and reading after a day out in the wild. The large infinity pool is an excellent place to sip a gin and tonic in the midday sun while the drama of the Kalahari unfolds all around.

The lodge sleeps just 24 guests in ultimate comfort. Each secluded stone and thatch bungalow is a testament to taste and elegance with antique furniture and rare African artefacts. The suites have huge bedrooms with fireplaces for chilly desert nights; vast bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers; elegant dressing rooms and spacious study areas. The warm hues reflect the beautiful shades of the wilderness outside encouraging you to feel totally relaxed and at one with the environment. The private sundeck with views of the camp waterhole are magnificent spaces to soak up the peace of the Kalahari.

Situated some distance from Motse Lodge, in a valley of its own between two mountain ranges, is Tswalu Tarkuni. This ultimate secluded luxury offers a stunning thatch and stone villa with 5 suites. The private suites accommodate up to 10 guests, while the main house comes with its own cavalry; a chef, guide, house manager and a private game drive vehicle.

The style mirrors both Motse Lodge and the Kalahari Desert. Playing with colours, the interiors have red clay finishing and enormous pivot fire places. There’s a guarantee that you will feel coupled with the outdoors under seismic hollow ceilings and next to raw stone walls creating a distinctive aesthetic beautifully suited to the Kalahari’s flair and grace.

Tarkuni’s en-suite bedrooms are big enough to lose your thoughts in it. The open-plan area has fantastic views of the Kalahari and the desert-chic style continues from the bedroom to the bathroom. From the colour scheme to the furniture and decor, it is as though the fixtures have been choreographed into place.

Most of the staff at Motse have been there for over 15 years and so know just how to make your experience just that much more special. Whether it’s by making a glorious fire for you in your room, treating you to an unforgettable massage or to the exclusive “Mocha-choca-rula” on your early morning game drive.

Make sure you go on at least one day’s horse safari, ask for a “Dune Dinner” (a special culinary treat in the middle of the bushveld) or for a night’s stay at the Malori Star-Bed the exclusive, private suite that lets you sleep under the stars! For more on this once-in-a-lifetime destination click here. 

Why Celebs Love South Africa

Africa invites millions of tourists from all over the world each year. Voted a haven for relaxation, romance and adventure, she has drawn in celebrities who have undoubtedly fallen in love with our beautiful continent! South Africa in particular has offered breath-taking sights and landmarks, remarkable influential leaders, delectable local cuisines and not forgetting indigenous wildlife and flora. Needless to say, with such a beautiful country, and all it has to offer and surprise us with, it would be impossible for our favourite personalities to ever forget how it has made them feel… With some help we have put together a list of our top seven singers and actors who have visited or were born in South Africa and see what they had to say:

Waka Waka, eh eh. Nobody will forget Shakira’s world-class performance with Freshly Ground in Soweto during the 2010 soccer World Cup. Likewise, Shakira will never forget South Africa:

“I’ve learnt to see Africa with new eyes, from the perspective of a continent that has given the world so much, that has nourished it like a mother nourishes her child. A continent full of colours, feelings, smiles, and kids with enormous talent that are just waiting for the chance to shine…”

Speaking of musicians, Jared Leto has taken inspiration from South Africa:

“We have been very lucky in that we have toured South Africa twice, and plan on coming back. We’ve been inspired to write songs there, and recording there was an experience to be remembered.”

Chitwa Chitwa GAme Lodge SAbi Sands Iconic Africa

Born in Johannesburg, musician Dave Mathews has an organic love for this beautiful country:

“You find these cultural collisions that result in art and music and it’s pretty amazing.”

After visiting exquisite countries such as Zimbabwe and Egypt, Will Smith claimed that:

“It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa.”

Having visited Africa enough times to count on both hands, Leonardo DiCaprio is no stranger, especially in South Africa. During his time spent filming Blood Diamond, he said:

“I saw a pack of 35 lions eat a wildebeest carcass and swam with giant manta rays. That was unbelievable. Africa’s natural beauty is unmatched.”

Dulini Lodge Lion

Actress, singer and author, Taraji P Henson has found South Africa’s food extraordinary:

“I love South African food because it’s flavourful, your taste buds dance, you just never know what combinations… very spicy. I love food that you can taste”.

Last but not least, Tom Hiddleston is well travelled but South Africa holds a special place in his heart. He described his time spent here as:

“I feel as though a cardboard box of my own reality has been flattened and blown open. Now I can see the edge of the world”.

With this much love for South Africa, we cannot wait to see them return and welcome others to our shores soon!