Birding in Mana Pools

Are you planning your post-lockdown travel itinerary? If you’ve decided on the far north of Zimbabwe, Mana Pools is the perfect destination for travellers who appreciate and are seeking a great diversity of bird species. This already bucket-list worthy destination has over 380 recorded bird species, spread across more than three different habitats from woodlands to plateaus and savannah areas.

Mana Pools National Park includes the south bank and islands of the Zambezi River, which forms the border with Zambia. The park is known for its 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 its best.

Some of the avifauna you can expect to lay eyes on are Waterbirds along the banks of the Zambezi River, the Southern carmine bee-eaters during April to November, the African skimmer, Pel’s fishing-owl and Lilian’s lovebird among others.

The best time to feast one’s eyes on the abundance of colours and sounds is during the dry season – April to November – when both resident and migratory birds are plentiful. Although birding in Mana Pools is good year-round, the dry season is when local species begin nesting.

Plan your trip to coincide with the best wildlife viewing which is from June to October to make the most out of your time in this beautiful region. At this time animals congregate around water sources and large numbers of elephants and buffalo can be seen more frequently.

The Zambezi River is known to have luxury safari accommodations nestled along its banks and relaxing boat safaris cruising its waters. The river attracts a variety of waders, including:

Spur-winged Plover,
Green Sandpiper,
Common Ringed Plover,
Grey Plover,
Caspian Plover,
Common Redshank
and Bar-tailed Godwit

Zambezi Crescent, Victoria Falls River Lodge, Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Plan a walk along the river or take a canoe/boat trip and try to spot the Afrian Skimmer – breeding along the sand banks from May – November. During Spring, Southern Carmine Bee-eaters excavate their nest holes in the river banks.

Other species to keep an eye out for are:

Mottled & Bohm’s Spinetail,
Horus Swift,
White-browed Coucal,
Western Banded Snake-Eagle,
Rufous-bellied Heron,
and Collared Pratincole.

Back at your camp, look out for the Purple-banded Sunbird or White-bellied Sunbird before heading out for your drive through the woodland.

Iconic Africa’s Top 10 tours for 2020

There are so many different holiday-makers, from couples seeking a luxury escape, families that need different ages catered for and solo travellers seeking adventure. And… so many variables to consider – connecting flights, accommodation, activities and so on and so on! Taking time to plan your vacation shouldn’t feel like more effort so Iconic Africa has done all the hard work for you and put together some fantastic tours that have the perfect itinerary waiting. We have chosen our top ten tours for 2020 right here: 

 

JOHN’S GREAT VALUE GOLF & WINE SAFARI

Iconic Africa Director, John Holley’s two passions in life are golf and the bush. Most of his childhood was spent doing one or the other and many memories made while either teeing off at sunrise or toasting to the sunset with an ice-cold beer at a waterhole.  On that note – another great love of his is wine so a combo of golf, bush and wine… really is (in his mind) heaven! John has put together this incredible Golf & Wine Safari from all of his favourite destinations just for you. Get up close and personal with the magnificent Big Five; tee off on some of South Africa’s most impressive golf courses; discover gourmet restaurants and taste the finest wines that the Cape Winelands has to offer. Click here for full interactive itinerary.

Value Golf And Wine Tour South Africa 2A

LUXURY LONDOLOZI AFRICAN ADVENTURE

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

SAFARI AND ISLAND RETREAT

Southern Africa offers some of the most spectacular coastlines the world over. Iconic Africa has picked boutique luxury on the shores of the raw wild Atlantic and floating in the tropical serenity of the Indian Ocean. Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain, offers relaxed, family-owned style and luxury – a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. Azura Benguerra, in the cobalt warm waters of the Indian Ocean, offers a new level of fresh sophistication, seclusion and serenity on pristine beaches and unspoilt reefs. In between these, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. Click here for full interactive itinerary

AFRICA’S CAPE OF DESIRE

Africa’s Cape of Desire, as its name suggests, is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the base of the African continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town – with its trendy bars and restaurants, world heritage sites, pristine beaches, sense of history and natural beauty – to the Winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek – the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and where South Africa’s world-famous wines are conjured from the Cape terroir – to the coastal sanctuary of Hermanus set on the magnificent cliffs of Walker Bay – world-renowned for its frolicking southern right whales and, for the more adventurous, a place to dive with Great White Sharks; The Cape of Desire offers you the most sumptuous luxury and astonishing natural wonder that only the tip of Africa has to offer. Click here for full interactive itinerary

AFRICA’S FAMILY GETAWAY

Africa’s Family Getaway is the ultimate luxury bespoke family holiday. It is full of excitement, adventure and fun while maintaining an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury. It is also completely safe for young children. The One&Only Cape Town is perfectly placed and appointed to accommodate your family in luxury while being an excellent launch pad to the delights of the Cape. Lelapa is malaria-free and by far the premier luxury safari camp for families with a quite exceptional children’s programme amidst the gorgeous wilderness and opulent accommodation. Likewise, Tongabezi is specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance. Click here for full interactive itinerary

THE ROYAL ROMANCE

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades but infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance. Iconic Africa’s Royal Romance combines the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion. Click here for full interactive itinerary

LUXURY VIC FALLS & BOTSWANA

In the Luxury Vic Falls & Botswana Safari, Iconic Africa has created the ultimate safari for those wishing to explore Victoria Falls, one of the original natural wonders of the world, and Botswana’s unbelievable wildlife areas. The Elephant Camp –has breath-taking views of the Victoria Falls’ spray and the spectacular gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a luxury, intimate lodge under canvas within easy reach of Victoria Falls and all its attractions and activities, yet secluded in its own private game reserve. Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero Lodge is situated in Chobe National Park which boasts the largest remaining population of the iconic African elephant. Botswana’s only fully serviced safari spa offers sweet repose in the heat of the midday. Selinda Camp is found in the Selinda Reserve of northern Botswana along the eastern banks of the Selinda Spillway, near the confluence of the Linyanti, Savute and Kwando Rivers. At the peak of the dry season, this concession boasts elephants by the thousands and regular sightings of the Selinda pack of African wild dogs.  Click here for full interactive itinerary

Selinda Explorers Camp

AFRICA’S LUXURY SAFARI CLASSIC

In Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic, Iconic Africa handpicks the quintessential essence of luxury southern Africa – the boutique opulence, the Out of Africa safari experience and the adventure of legend. The Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city – is bountiful comfort while the city has natural beauty, gastronomic delight and heart-wrenching history in abundance. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is a sumptuous safari in the world-famous Kruger National Park. The Royal Livingstone Hotel, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, in the spray of the Victoria Falls is a luxurious launching pad for the natural spectacles and adventures of the falls.   Click here for full interactive itinerary

LUXURY EAST AFRICAN ADVENTURE

This tour as its name suggest is a grand tour of East Africa. From the colonial opulence of Hemingways Nairobi to the breathtaking views and exceptional service at Angama Mara, to the ultimate safari at Singita Faru Faru, to the pearly whites sands of andBeyond’s Mnemba Island Lodge in Zanzibar. Only the very best in East African hospitality, classic safari experiences, sumptuous luxury and unbelievable wildlife encounters await you.

JOHN’S PREMIER WINE & GOLF TOURS

Iconic Africa Director, John Holley’s three passions in life are golf, the bush and wine – 3 of life’s finest treats! He’s been lucky enough to spend much of his life dedicated to these 3 passions and exploring all that South Africa has to offer – which fortunately for him – is a great deal! He’s hand-picked his favourite destination and put them together for you here in his ultimate golf and wine safari. Explore the historical panorama route, the sensational Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park, the Mother City, the coastal town of Hermanus and the rolling hills in Franschhoek and George.  These will no doubt be some of the best 15 days of your life – and full of wine, wildlife and golf they will be! Click here for full interactive itinerary.

Premier Golf and Safari Tour Fancourt

Zambia’s Adrenalin Factor 

If you’re looking for those specific activities that will add that wow-element to your next trip to Victoria Falls – there’s no better combo than a helicopter flight, swimming in Devil’s Pool and taking a Livingstone Island tour to experience the ultimate rush, see the endless landscape from the sky and truly appreciate one of the worlds 7 natural wonders.

Choose between a 12-minute Flight of Angels or a 25-minute Zambezi Spectacular. The Flight of Angels was coined by David Livingstone when he first wrote about the surrounding area. Experience exactly what he felt when he wrote “a sight so wonderful that angels must have gazed down on it in flight”. Head towards Victoria Falls and fly in both directions as you find your perfect angle to film and photograph. Both air-tours provide the best viewing and photography opportunities that cannot be compared. Fly up the Zambezi River and over the Zambezi National Park as you head back towards the helipad. 

But 15-minutes might not be enough time in the sky – continue downstream over the Batoka Gorge, along the Zambezi River and navigate your way between steep cliffs and over Long Island before your Zambezi Spectacular flight comes to an end. Long Island is home to a great deal of big game and you will be able to see them clearly in the national park. 

If skimming just above turbulent water is not thrilling enough – try something more daring like swimming in Devil’s Pool. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is well-managed with safety being the top priority. 

Your guide will take you on a 5-minute boat ride along the Zambezi River – an exhilarating experience on its own, as you slipstream through rocky channels. Once you arrive on the island you are then led to the west of the island where you can jump into Devil’s Pool if you wish. The route directs you to swim slightly upstream in a very slow current. A safety rope is also in place as an added precaution. You then climb out on another rocky outcrop close to the edge of the Falls and the Devils Pool.

The Devils Pool itself is a deep natural pool that has been created by thousands of years of erosion, but what is unique about it is that there is a rock ledge on the lip of the Falls, where the water is only a few centimetres deep. You can now lie on this rock lip at the edge of the Devils Pool. 

The Devil’s Pool is available only when the water level is really low to allow for safe swimming. This is normally from late August to early January.

Once you return to Livingstone Island, you can take the season tour if the water level of the Zambezi River is low enough to allow safe access to Livingstone Island. The best time is from approximately late June to early March. 

For more on our favourite Victoria Falls destinations click here

 

2020 Top Travel Trends 

A lot can happen in a year – this is certainly true in travel trends across the world. Most of them for the better – such as more family vacations, reducing carbon footprints and taking things down a notch with the concept of ‘slow travel’. We bring you the 8 latest travel trends expected for the coming year as people transcend their comfort zone and prioritise international vacations…

 

Sustainable Travel in 2020 

This is the year where travellers and operators become increasingly conscious of their impact on the earth. With the growing concern of climate change, decreasing numbers of wildlife and community sustainability, Africa not only offers some of the world’s most pristine, untouched areas, but is active in the initiative to preserve these. This year the focus continues on conserving the land, the wildlife and local communities. This is the new standard within the safari industry without compromising luxury as seen at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Almost a year old, Singita Kwitonda Lodge was designed in response to this purpose and its remarkable location offering environmentally-conscious luxury. 

Multiple Countries 

More travellers are spending less time in one country and coupling it with two additional countries to explore. They are looking at more cross-country tours that have short connecting flights and different experiences. 

andbeyond-chobe-under-canvas-game_drive-sunset

Culinary Adventures

While most travellers have previously considered accommodation, tourist attractions and transport; food and wine have become the deciding factor in many recent travel choices. Tasty local food and house wines are essential to planning a trip and more cooking classes, local dining and fresh produce markets will be booked and visited as part of the experience. This year travellers will go beyond 5-star restaurants and instead pre-book more authentic foodie tours. If you’re heading to Cape Town – Franschhoek should definitely be on your to-see list as this culinary capital surely knows how to tantalise tastebuds. 

Group Travel 

Taking heed from the solo travel trend, travellers are looking for people with the same interests to experience a country in a group. This offers the opportunity to meet new people who want to connect with like-minded individuals in a safe environment. Because of this, there is an increase in female-only travel groups and buddymoons and group bookings for friend-adventures. 

Slow Travel 

More of an antidote to the craze of every day, an increasing number of tourists are getting away to rejuvenate their mind, body and soul rather than tick off an action-packed itinerary that leaves little time for reflection. Some of the top activities being booked are bicycle trips through mountains and vineyards, visiting local markets and spending time in small towns such as Franschhoek. Others will opt for horseback rides or village tours that will keep them occupied and relaxed while escaping the reality they have momentarily left behind. 

Milestone Celebrations

More families and friends are booking out entire accommodations for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions. This is particularly the case with luxury safari destinations such as the Kruger National Park and Botswana. 

All about Aesthetic

When you step into an architectural masterpiece, you know it and it leaves you speechless for your entire stay. Increased bookings are based on the sensory overload of the accommodation such as Baraza, Tanzania where you will spend your free time taking in every little detail from the oriental-inspired pool courtyard to the carefully-chosen interior and decor. 

Zimbabwean Travel Back on the Maps 

Travellers are flocking to Zimbabwe as it has re-emerged as a top safari destination attracting even more tourists in 2020. Best known for its plethora of adrenalin activities and the majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much to offer – from romance to world-class game viewing and superb service.

Seize the day in 2020 and book your African adventure here and now!

5 Iconic Destinations – Luxury Londolozi African Adventure Tour

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

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

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

THE CAPE GRACE

Cape Town

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

FRANSCHHOEK – LA RESIDENCE

Cape Winelands

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

Accommodation: La Residence

LONDOLOZI FOUNDERS CAMP

Sabi Sands

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

VICTORIA FALLS – ROYAL LIVINGSTONE HOTEL, ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls

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

THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA – WILDERNESS SAFARIS

Botswana

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

Accommodation: Jao Camp

Tour of the Month – Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic

This month’s tour of the month is without doubt one of our greatest African experiences. It’s three of our most unique experiences combined into one rich and colourful journey. Immerse yourself in the Cape’s most tranquil sea-side setting, witness the gloriousness of the mighty Victoria Falls set on the doorstep of one of the continents best-kept secrets, and enter a world of heart-warming experiences that you’ll never forget!

In Africa’s Luxury Safari Classic, Iconic Africa hand picks the quintessential essence of luxury southern Africa – the boutique opulence, the Out of Africa safari experience and the adventure of legend. The Cape Grace – in the heart of the world’s most beautiful city – is bountiful comfort while the city has natural beauty, gastronomic delight and heart-wrenching history in abundance. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is sumptuous safari in the world-famous greater Kruger National Park. The Royal Livingstone Hotel, on the banks of the mighty Zambezi, in the spray of the Victoria Falls is a luxurious launching pad for the natural spectacles and adventures of the falls. Click here for full interactive itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1-3: A Sea Side Affair

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

Accommodation: Cape Grace

Day 3-6: Sumptuous Safari

Lion Sands Ivory Camp is the More family’s showpiece of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Here you will find complete intimacy, exquisite comfort and primal joy in the heart of South Africa’s most abundant safari destination. There are only six glorious suites at Ivory – each a spacious testament to luxury, African beauty and natural tranquillity. The enormous bedroom, bathroom and inviting lounge with fireplace, look out onto your private deck with plunge pool.

From an open safari vehicle, your highly-trained ranger and tracker team will show you the primal wonders of the Kruger.

Why not try the luxurious tree house suite – surrounded by golden lantern light and the calls of distant lions under the canopy of the Milky Way.

Accommodation: Ivory Lodge

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

Day 7-9: Touched By the Healing Spray

The Royal Livingstone Hotel is situated in the heart of the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls. It radiates Victorian elegance and local charm. The luxurious Afro-chic rooms are generous spaces each with their own secluded terrace and view over the mighty Zambezi. Try from a list of endless adventures and activities, or simply explore. You will experience one of the best sundowner spots at the Royal Livingstone Hotel – as dusk turns the falls’ mist a golden pink.

Accommodation:The Royal Livingstone Hotel

For more on this tour or some of the others that we offer click here now.

Why Tailor-made Luxury African Safaris are the Way to Go

Iconic Africa specialises in bespoke African safaris, custom designed for the discerning traveller. We love  what we do; have loads of knowledge, and have been lucky enough to visit and experience most of our destinations themselves, and… have long standing relationships with many of the lodge owners.

Here’s why we think that choosing a tailor-made safari is definitely the best choice for your African adventure.

  1. Discover Africa’s Most Sought-After Destinations

Browse our destinations to explore everything Africa has to offer. There are countless amazing experiences to enjoy, so take your time.

We are here to help. Once you have an idea of what you would like to experience in Africa let one of our African travel experts guide you according to your preferences and budget. It is never too soon to contact us.

2. Relax & Let Us Do The Rest

Our team will design a luxury itinerary specifically for you, complete with accommodation, activities and travel designed specifically around your very own needs.  We will make sure you have a trip you will remember forever.

So relax, take a deep breath and imagine yourself basking in the hot African sun, sipping a cold cocktail and marvelling at the majestic wildlife we are so privileged to enjoy on the extraordinary continent we call Africa. We will take care of the rest!

Here are just a few more benefits of tailor-made safari…

3. Experience unique and luxurious safari moments.

4. Celebrate the incredible cultures, hospitality, food and wine.

5. Explore uncharted territories with private guides.

6. Choose and plan around specific activities you are interested in

7. See Africa’s breath-taking Natural Wonders of the World in luxury

Giraffe Manor Colonial Luxury Courtyard Aerial

8. Choose between fast-paced adventure destinations and slow safaris

9. Enjoy personalised tours and trips that gets you face-to-face with all the action.

Tailor-made safaris can/may include all flights, transfers and private guides, accommodation, breakfast, all meals on a full board basis, complimentary transfers, wireless internet access, morning tea and coffee with wake up calls, use of spa areas and fitness studio, game drives, walking safaris, private tours and many additional complimentary experiences.

Our consultants will be sure to explain this all to you depending on the trip they have planned for you but these are many of the additional services that are provided. For more info on planning your ultimate tailor-made safari getaway click here. 

 

 

6 Different Ways to Experience the Bush

Most people list an African safari as a top bucket-list activity. For those of you who have already been, you’ll know how addictive it is. For our first-timers, here are a few secrets to seeing some amazing wildlife and getting the most fun out of your trip…

While some travellers are privileged to see almost everything on their first safari – from the Big Five to wild dogs, birds and marine life, others may only spot a handful of wildlife. But that’s okay! A safari can be more than sitting at the back of an open 4×4 vehicle, walking alongside a guide or looking down from a hot air balloon.

Here are six incredible activities to add to your itinerary to maximize your time in the bush. Take your time, enjoy the excursion and take in the scenery for an experience of a lifetime.

  1. Horse riding

This is an incredible opportunity to experience nature and a very unique way of going on safari! Some lodges in Africa let you ride in the wild even if you are a complete novice. The more seasoned rider can choose from further options, like riding alongside an elegant giraffe or carefully walking with an elephant.

  1. Stargazing

Far away from any light pollution, the stargazing in Africa is phenomenal! It is as if the sky was made for the sole purpose of displaying the stars’ beauty. While you lie back and focus on absorbing all the sounds and calls of the animals and birds; your guide will take you on an astrological journey through the universe.

  1. Camel safari

A camel safari is almost like being on horseback, but you have a slightly more elevated view and the ride is a bit quieter thanks to the extra padding in camels’ feet. Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya all offer camel safaris, as an additional activity or solely as your mode of transport on a mobile safari. Kenya is by far the best place to do this!

  1. Canoeing

Canoeing can be done as a single activity or as part of a trail where you canoe between campsites for 3–7 days. Among the more popular canoe trails is the 4-day Selinda Canoe Trail in Botswana. You can expect to see an array of birdlife, as well as larger animals like hippos and elephants.

  1. Hides

Zimbabwe has some of the best hides in Africa and a large elephant population that is reliant on the pumped waterholes making this an incredible experience. There is nothing quite like being at arm’s length from a herd of elephants simply going about their routine, drinking and splashing in the waterhole. If this is on your bucket-list, check with your safari specialist whether the lodges you are going to stay at offer this activity.

Lions Sands Sabi Sands Luxury Safari Leopard

  1. Fishing

Africa plays host to some of the most fearsome freshwater fish species in the world such as the tigerfish. The waterways of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana offer your best chance of coming face to face with it. The coasts of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique also offer some of the most productive saltwater fishing in the world!

We hope you return to tick off more wildlife sightings and safari experiences. Keep notes of everything you see, so that you can keep track of which animals you have seen and properly identify them in your pictures. It will also help you with you ‘must-see’ list for your next trip.

 

The Mighty Zambezi

Affectionately referred to as the “river of life”, the Zambezi River is the fourth longest river in Africa, and runs through six countries before entering the Indian Ocean. The river starts almost 1500 metres above sea level near the border of Zambia and supports thousands of people and wildlife in Zambia, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This river is majestic and even spiritual to many, especially to the communities that live alongside it.

In addition to its multifaceted benefits, the much undiscovered river is also a major tourist attraction. Every year thousands of tourists are drawn to this spectacle to partake in a variety of different activities from the less eccentric to hard core adrenaline junkies.

There is a lot to do around and on the Zambezi River. We have picked some of the top activities to truly experience this natural wonder – from relaxing to thrill-seeking, there is something for everyone:

Devil’s Pool 

Enjoy a seasonal dip in Devil’s Pool on the very edge of Victoria Falls accompanied by a lovely picnic.

White water rafting 

The Zambezi River is known for having some of the wildest rapids, making this one of the best one-day white water trips available in the world.

River surfing 

Have you ever surfed on a river? Add this to your bucket-list and river board on the same section of water as the white-water rafting.

Speed boating 

If your idea of a boat ride is at a moderate pace along calm waters, then redefine the experiencewith jet-boating. A powerful jet boat that can carry up to 11 passengers carries you through the white water rapids at an exhilarating speed.

Lower Zambezi canoe safari

Connect with nature in a unique way with a more relaxed boat experience. Book a canoe safari on the lower Zambezi River and keep an eye out for wildlife frequenting the banks such as elephants, buffalo, hippo and crocodiles.

Bungee jumping 

Close your eyes and plunge 111 metres off the Victoria Falls bridge. If this will get your heart racing too fast, try the Gorge Swing or Rap jump further down.

Fishing 

For both serious fisherman and beginners, the Zambezi River houses an abundance of fish life such as tiger fish, bream, Cornish Jack and so much more.

Sunset cruise

Another popular family activity and quintessential experience is a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. This relaxing voyage provides plenty of opportunities for game viewing, backlit by the fiery African sun.

The Elephant Café

Not your typical bucket-list activity, but it should be on that list anyway! The exclusive Elephant Café was named Zambia’s best new restaurant of 2016. The Elephant Café is home to a herd of rescued elephants that you can meet and greet before finding your seat. And to top it off… the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Victoria Falls Waterfront resort offer transport to the restaurant by speed boat, which makes the experience even more memorable.

The Gorge and Boiling Point Hike

Last but not least, is one of the most challenging activities, the Gorge and Boiling Point hike. Experience the Zambezi River from above and below on this picturesque triathlon that involves hiking, rafting and swimming between August and December. You will begin hiking down the 110-metre Batoka Gorge, at which point you will raft along the river, and continue until the base of the Victoria Falls.

This activity is not recommended for the faint-hearted.

For information on our most favourite and most luxurious Victoria Falls hotels, click here.

 

Southern Africa’s ‘Green’ Season

If you’ve set out on safari before, you’ll know that Africa’s traditional safari season begins in the southern hemisphere’s winter months, – just when European and North American holiday-makers are on their summer breaks.

This means that Africa’s peak season runs from July to September, which is ideal for most travellers. But this also means that Africa’s ‘green’ season is often overlooked. Between November and April, traditional ‘safari hotspots’ experience a rainy summer. With luscious landscapes and quiet accommodations, this could actually be the perfect time for that luxury trip to the bush. During this ‘green’ season, the chances of having uninterrupted views and endless sightings of wildlife all to yourself are good. By March most of the summer ‘safari hotspots’ move towards the end of the heavy rain period making it a pleasant time for travel.

Summer rain also brings about an abundance of migratory birds visiting from the North and resident birds preparing to breed making it perfect for avid bird-watchers; there’s copious flora; thriving bugs and the short rainstorms make way for clear skies and cloud formations that present beautiful sunsets. Summer brings about new life from impala to elephants which also mean the bush is filled with predatory activity.

Some of our top southern safari hotspots that experience refreshing summer rains are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania.  Here is our list of seven summer safari destinations that will definitely add significant value to your experience:

Victoria Falls remains a top bucket-list destination perfect for year-round travel with heaps of local activities.

Chobe is an hour’s drive from Victoria Falls and offers spectacular elephant sightings.

The Central Kalahari is at its finest from December to April.

The Okavango Delta is excellent year-round.

Cape Town’s peak season is during the warm and clear summer months and is easily combined with other safari hotspots.

Tanzania’s Serengeti is at its peak once the rains have fallen. The new-born wildlife is thriving and the area is carpeted in luscious grass.

From October to April, Uganda is set apart from any other African safari destination with its diverse bird habitats.

Book your next safari trip in March when there is little rain and there is an increase in game sightings. It’s a quiet time of the year in the bush and you will hopefully miss the crowds. For more on the exquisite destinations we recommend in the above destinations contact us here. 

The Perfect African Family Adventure

School vacations come around more often than not, and planning the perfect family getaway can be stressful – especially when the kids want activity-filled adventure and parents need the down-time. Waiting for that itinerary to plan itself when you have children is tantamount to it never actually materialising.

Unless you have thought of it all – from interacting with other kids and a plethora of activities, you can forget that R&R time you had planned. But what if we told you that you didn’t have to be the ringmaster to your own circus? Imagine a vacation where your kids are entertained, you get to have that full body massage and sip on cocktails you can’t pronounce while everyone gets to enjoy an indulgent level of sumptuous luxury!

Let us do all the planning so that you can have the best of both worlds – happy kids and a relaxed mind and body. We have taken a hands-on approach with our family vacation itinerary that keeps your children in mind and focuses on keeping your whole family happy.

 

Africa’s Family Getaway is the ultimate luxury bespoke family holiday. It is full of excitement, adventure and fun. It is also completely safe for young children. The One&Only Cape Town is perfectly placed and appointed to accommodate your family in luxury while being an excellent launch pad to the delights of the Cape. Lelapa is malaria free and by far the premier luxury safari camp for families with a quite exceptional children’s programme amidst gorgeous wilderness and opulent accommodation. Likewise Tongabezi is specially equipped and staffed to delight the modern family with adventure and fun in complete safety and extravagance.

ITINERARY

DAY 1-3: VIBRANCY AND FRESH LUXURY FAMILY REFUGE

The One & Only is a modern and energetic, hotel in the heart of Cape Town. The suites all have sweeping views out over Table Mountain or the picturesque working harbour.

Every possible modern convenience completes the opulence of the space and the commodious bathrooms boast huge baths and showers.

Cape Town and its surrounding Winelands are packed full of fun for the whole family.

DAY 4-7: AFRICA’S SEAMLESS SAFARI FAMILY RETREAT

Lelapa, meaning family is another of the More family’s sublime properties. Situated in the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve and with a great children’s safari, Lelapa is the ideal destination for a family safari.

The secluded deck with private plunge pool is an excellent place for you and your family to cool off in the heat. On colder nights, you might like to sit by the fire in the sumptuous lounge and enjoy dinner in your suite.

DAY 8-10: THE PERFECT VICTORIAN FALLS FAMILY SANCTUARY

Tongabezi is situated about 30kms upstream from the magnificent Victoria Falls.

It is the perfect place for families with children – with two delightful two-bedroom houses with private lounges, play areas and plunge pools. There are endless activities for the whole family surrounding the mighty Zambezi and the lodge boasts private decks and terraces where families can relax in privacy with breath-taking views of the river.

Some of the suites come with a private valet, chef, guide, boat and vehicle for exploration.

Click here for full interactive itinerary.

The Romantic Getaway of a Lifetime

Africa is synonymous with an old-world charm and romance; where passion is created or rekindled. There is something dreamy and intoxicating about adventurous escapades in Africa’s wilderness, whether on safari or relaxing away from all the distractions of this world. What better way to show your better half how special they are than under the warm sun and blue skies, with endless beaches, breath-taking sceneries and excellent cuisines?

We have infused all of this into one unmistakable Royal Romance Package and have combined the beauty, wilderness, adventure and pioneering excitement of Africa with four destinations that define supreme luxury permeated with complete privacy and opulent romance.

Royal Malewane

There’s no way you can get it wrong this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re planning a romantic gesture or celebrating a special anniversary, we have you sorted! Three luxury accommodations in exotic settings will have your partner swooning – book a relaxing spa treatment in the great outdoors or plan a candle-lit dinner under the stars…

Be seduced by the perfect itinerary that will inspire your wanderlust and spoil you and your partner rotten:

Africa’s Southern Africa Luxury Romance Package is a grand tour of this inspirational region at the bottom continent. From cosmopolitan Cape Town to the timeless winelands of Franschhoek, the Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls – we offer you the most luxury and that Africa has to offer. Ellerman House is the definition of modern sophisticated living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, the marvels of Cape Town all around. La Residence is the jewel of Franschhoek – abject indulgence suspended in an impossibly beautiful valley of vineyards. Royal Malewane is impeccably tasteful grandeur surrounded by the majesty of the African wilderness. Royal Chundu is the ancient mystery and magic of the Zambezi in luxurious island seclusion.

THE ROYAL ROMANCE TOURS & SAFARIS ITINERARY

DAY 1-4: EDWARDIAN PASSION, LUXURIOUS EXTRAVAGANCE

Ellerman House is a sumptuous Edwardian mansion resting on Lion’s Head Mountain, above the ultramarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. No expense has been spared; it truly is a Relais & Chateaux haven of unparalleled luxury. Ellerman House boasts arguably Africa’s greatest art collection as well as a world-class wine selection and cellar. Cape Town’s endless sights, activities and beauty will keep you enthralled.

DAY 4-6: AFRICA’S MAJESTIC WINELANDS

Nestled in the vineyards and plum orchards of Franschhoek, La Residence is the most gorgeous boutique hotel in the most picturesque valley in South Africa. The hotel is infused with colour, fabulous antiques, luxurious finishes and vaulted ceilings from which Indian chandeliers twinkle. The little village of Franschhoek is the undisputed culinary capital of South Africa and boasts great exceptional wine and delicious food. Here you really have the best of both worlds: an unmatched view combined with the pleasures of being in a hotel.

DAY 6-9: AFRICA’S WILD ROMANCE

At Royal Malewane, a private concession bordering the world-famous Kruger National Park the Biden’s Royal Portfolio has achieved perfection again. A marvel of wilderness, romance and seclusion blends seamlessly into this ancient land. It is by far the most private and romantic accommodation in the concession with the best views.

Enjoy gourmet, starlit dinners under the giant Leadwood trees or step foot in The Royal Malewane Spa – world-renowned and the ideal way to unwind with a uniquely healing African treatment.

Royal Malewane’s guides and trackers are some of the most highly qualified in Southern Africa.

DAY 9-11: THE ROYAL VICTORIA FALLS RETREAT

Royal Chundu is Zambia’s first Relais & Chateaux property – defined by sumptuous luxury that blends seamlessly into the private stretch of the Zambezi River Bank. Island Lodge is set on its own private island in the languid waters of the Zambezi, offering just four exclusive and indulgent villas that will make your heart soar. Each palatial haven boasts a private deck suspended over the river. A little down river from Royal Chundu, the Zambezi falls over the Victoria Falls to create one of the greatest demonstrations of nature’s power on planet earth.

For a selection of our other Tours and Safaris please click here. 

Getting to Know Victoria Falls

If you’re having an internal battle deciding on whether to visit Zambia or Zimbabwe, don’t fret! Either way, you will witness and experience the great Victoria Falls, and that’s what will make your trip that much more special and memorable! So if you’re staying at Tongabezi Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Hotel, Royal Chundu, the Royal Livingstone Hotel  or Elephant camp – you will hear and see why this Natural Wonder of the World is known as ‘The Smoke That Thunders’.

Mosi oa-Tunya was first discovered by foreigners in 1855. It is almost perfectly positioned along the mighty Zambezi River! You’ll find this mist-creating phenomenon half way along the 2700 km river from its source to the sea. David Livingstone stood upon what is now known as Livingstone Island in 1855, a small outcrop of land at the edge of the Falls, in Livingstone, Zambia to view the falls.

The sheet of water is 1,708 metres wide and 108 metres high. Despite it being the largest curtain of falling water on earth, it is neither the highest nor the widest. However, it is one and a half times wider than Niagra Falls and twice as high.

Elephant Camp Vic Falls Safari

The best time to visit Victoria Falls is between March and June. Throughout these months the falls is in peak flow. Unfortunately, if you also want to experience the Devils Pool, it will be closed during this time.

If you’re more inclined for an adventure than some R&R, visit between August and December when the water is low and white-water rafting is at its best. Or make your way from July to October for great wildlife safaris when the bush is dry and the animals congregate around fewer waterholes.

Did you know:

Without the Zambezi River, the falls would not exist?

Every minute, over 5 million cubic metres of water pour over the falls?

Sunset at Victoria Falls is a magical site… Look out for that full moon as the light from the moon refracts off the sprays, creating a rainbow, except at night! The spectacle lasts from sunset to sunrise.

On the Zimbabwean side of Victoria Falls lies The Victoria Falls Rainforest. This special place is the only place on earth where it rains all day, every day; a direct result of the water vapour rising from the falls.

For our pick of the most luxurious and awe-inspiring accommodation Victoria Falls has to offer click here. 

BREAKING NEWS – SAVE 40% with our Supersize Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

BREAKING NEWS: So for one weekend only we’ve managed to get you 40% off our Big 3 Luxury Itinerary. Book between 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November and SAVE 40% on an unforgettable safari adventure.

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE. 

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.

Big 3 Luxury Itinerary

4 Nights – Cape Cadogan 

Begin with 4 nights at the monumental Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel. Deeply hidden in the heart of Cape Town’s trendiest and most vibrant quarter is this Victorian beauty that dates back to the early 1800’s.

3 Nights – Lion Sands River Lodge

Take a short flight to Lion Sands River Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for your next memorable 4 night stay. Besides mouth-watering cuisines, Lion Sands is a haven of relaxation, in the midst of the sensational Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

End off your journey at the invigorating and thrilling Victoria Falls with 3 nights at the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel.

Includes:

Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport

Return private road transfers between Cape Town Airport and Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel.

4 night’s accommodation at Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel in 1 x Luxury Room on a bed and breakfast basis

Scheduled flight from Cape Town to Skukuza Airport

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Skukuza Airport and Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve

3 night’s accommodation at Lion Sands River Lodge in 1 x Luxury Room on a fully inclusive basis

Scheduled flight from Skukuza Airport to Nelspruit Airport

Scheduled flight from Nelspruit Airport to Livingstsone Airport, Zambia

Meet and Greet and private cross border road transfer from Livingstone Airport to the Stanley & Livingtone Boutique Hotel

3 night’s accommodation at Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in 1 x Luxury Suite on a bed & breakfast basis

Road transfer from Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel to Victoria Falls Airport

Scheduled flight from Victoria Falls Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

Excludes:

International flights (into Cape Town and out of Johannesburg). travel insurance, KazaUni Visa entry fee Zambia & Zimbabwe at USD50 per person, items of a personal nature, gratuities, all recommended touring

Terms & Conditions

Book between 08h00 on Friday 23 November through to 23h00 on Monday 26 November to qualify for this deal. 

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 extended/reduced if required and all properties can be booked as standalone, subject  to T&C’s. Hurry and book now! For other Black Friday tours, click here. 

BLACK FRIDAY – SAVE OVER 35% on our Sensational Southern Africa Luxury Itinerary

Have you already run out of gift ideas? There’s no better surprise than a triple-decker delight! Not just one, but three amazing hand-picked luxury destinations.  Experience Africa at its very best with this sensational 11 day tour including Cape Town, the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.This is your chance to have that beach paradise and bush safari experience all in one. Book before the 30th November and SAVE OVER 35%.

For FULL ITINERARY and PRICE click HERE.

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.

 Sensational Southern Africa Luxury Itinerary

Dulini Lodge Lion

4 Nights – Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

Spend your first 4 nights at the decadent Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa nestled into the side of Table Mountain.

4 Nights – Dulini Lodge

You’ll then be chartered and transferred to Dulini Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve for 4 nights. The splendour of Dulini Game Reserve lies in the exclusivity of its luxurious lodges, incredible wildlife and talented trackers.

Dulini Leadwood Lodge

3 Nights – Victoria Falls River Lodge

End off your trip with 3 magical nights at the Victoria Falls River Lodge Luxury Tented Suites in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Includes:

Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport.

Return private road transfers between Cape Town Airport and the 12 Apostles.

4 night’s accommodation at the 12 Apostles Hotel in a Superior Sea Facing Room on a bed and breakfast basis

Scheduled flight from Cape Town via Nelspruit to Ulusaba Airstrip.

Return 4×4 game drive vehicle transfers between Ulusaba Airstrip and Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

3 night’s accommodation at Dulini Lodge in a Luxury Suite on a fully inclusive basis.

Scheduled flight from Ulusaba Airstrip to Nelspruit Airport.

Scheduled flight from Nelspruit Airport to Livingstsone Airport, Zambia.

Meet and Greet and private cross border road transfer from Livingstone Airport to Victoria Falls River Lodge.

4 night’s accommodation at Victoria Falls River Lodge in a Luxury Tent on a fully inclusive basis.

Road transfer from Victoria Falls River Lodge to Victoria Falls Airport.

Scheduled flight from Victoria Falls Airport to OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Excludes:

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

Travel insurance.

KazaUni Visa entry fee Zambia & Zimbabwe at USD50 per person.

Items of a personal nature.

Gratuities.

All recommended touring.

Terms & Conditions

Book before 30th November at the absolute latest to qualify for this deal. 

Valid for travel between 05 January and 31 March 2019.

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

Hurry and book now!