Within Six Feet of Rhinos

Our very own Terri Abadi has just had yet another unforgettable, heart-stopping encounter at our precious Londolozi. This time she was up close to five magnificent rhinos… on foot!

For a sneak peek of this incredible experience watch the video below or read on for more.  

 

“Less than two weeks ago I was within six feet of five rhinos. But I wasn’t in a Land Rover, nor was I safely tucked away in a viewing hide. 

No, I was on foot, crouched motionless next to a Knobthorn acacia tree with my ranger, fervently hoping the wind didn’t swing, which would let the enormous pachyderms catch our scent. 

There was a cow with a horn of over a metre long, feeding peacefully next to her 4-month old calf. She could potentially be aggressive if startled. Right next to them were two sub-adult bulls, only a few years old and still not completely independent. Lastly came a young cow, also probably an offspring of the huge female.

Five of one of Africa’s most threatened species were at eye-level with us, calmly grazing, totally oblivious to our presence (their eyesight is particularly poor), and I have never felt more alive!

Encounters like these can literally be life-changing. Coming face to face with the wildest of Africa’s creatures whilst simultaneously accessing your own vulnerability is a powerful cocktail of sensory stimulation and emotion, which seldom leaves the viewer unmoved. 

There is an intangibility to the true African experience which only the initiated can truly claim to understand; to profess a connection with this most varied of continents is only possible after seeing with your own eyes, after having felt the bare African earth beneath your own feet and after having heard the lion’s roar in the night air with your own ears.

I know that each time I return to the continent that is my spiritual home I will be changed. I will experience things I could hardly have imagined and I will feel things that some search for their whole lives. Awe. Deep Humility. Belonging.

The Africa of old storybooks is the Africa that is still out there; the Africa I found myself immersed in when five rhinos moved past almost within touching distance, with nothing between us but a few strands of grass, and no noise in the evening air but the sound of their heavy breaths and the pounding of my heart in my own ears. 

This is the Africa of dreams. The Africa of romance and of adventure. The Africa that silently waits in the red sunset of each day as she calls with her tribal drumbeats, and the Africa we want to share with you…”

by Terri Abadi

 

Tour of the Month – Safari and Island Retreat

This month’s tour of the month is the pinnacle of African luxury safaris. Submerge yourself in the binary of Cape Town’s city life with luxurious relaxation and a hive of activity; tick off a majestic wilderness experience from your bucket list, and then surrender yourself to the seaside simplicity as you spend your last days finding peace and serenity on a tropical island. 

The Safari and Island retreat is a wonderful way to experience the highlights of Southern Africa, from the bustling city adjacent to the Atlantic to Africa’s unprecedented wildlife in Londolozi and the hues of blue at Benguerra – all in ultimate comfort and luxury. 

 Cape Cadogan nestled on the northern slopes of Table Mountain offers a perfect base from which to explore the awesome beaches, gastronomy and viticulture of the Cape. 

In between seaside splendour, Londolozi Private Granite Suites offer you discerning and opulent hospitality combined with the world’s best leopard viewing. 

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.

Itinerary:

Cape Cadogan is a 19th century Georgian and Victorian mansion in the leafy suburbs of Table Mountain. The More family’s luxury home away from home, an island of serenity in a city of splendour. The interiors are Bohemian chic with an emphasis on creating an informal atmosphere of sumptuous relaxation. Cape Town is filled with interesting cafés and fantastic restaurants and beautiful beaches to explore.

Londolozi is a family-owned and run lodge at the forefront of luxury safaris and pioneer of ecotourism in South Africa. The three suites in this haven of primal seclusion and contemporary luxury are nestled into the boulders on the banks of the tranquil Sand River. The superbly chic and sumptuous suites are surrounded with glass with expansive private decks and large heated private pools. The culinary experience at Londolozi is one you will not forget – from your morning coffee to your starlit dinner and everything in between. Londolozi boasts some of the world’s best leopard viewing.

Azura Benguerra Island is an eco-friendly, locally built tropical island paradise. The 17 hand-built villas are steps from one of the last stretches of undiscovered beach in the world. Each secluded, spacious haven is nestled in lush gardens with a secluded deck, private pool, beach sala and private access to the balmy Indian Ocean. The food is simple, sophisticated, scrumptious and locally sourced from the ocean and gardens. Benguerra offers you the chance to do to as much or as little as you like – whether it’s a romantic picnic, snorkelling or game fishing there is something for everyone and lots of exquisite sea life to be seen.

For more information about this tour, contact one of our team members here.

A Collection of Leopards in Trees – Limited Edition

There’s nothing quite like the utter excitement, pure adrenalin and overwhelming joy that is felt when getting up-close-and-personal to a leopard – especially when in a tree. James Tyrrell, friend, safari guide and expert photographer knows this feeling all too well and has captured it expertly here:

For more of James Tyrrell’s incredible photographs follow him on Instagram @jamotyrrell.

Londolozi’s Lovely Revamp

Londolozi effortlessly exceeds all expectations of a luxurious, hospitable, wilderness getaway and as you all know – it has a very special place in our hearts! Therefore we are incredibly proud to share with you the most recent updates including the new Varty Camp which reopened its doors to visitors on the 24 March 2018, the introduction of a completely new addition to the Londolozi family – the Londolozi Healing House, which was unveiled in April and the rejuvenation of the famous Private Granite Suites.

Our director John Holley recently returned from Londolozi, and he says“…the new Varty Rooms are exceptional! Light years ahead of the previous rooms and now a greater experience and great value for money.” “They have also made amazing little touches to the Granite Suite and really completed the whole experience.”

With elevated chalets thoughtfully merged into the beautiful riverine forest alongside the Sand River, Varty camp has refurbished the living spaces of each chalet without producing any unnecessary construction. The architectural vision remains conscious of the importance of creating simple, elegant rooms that could be havens for stillness – crafted as spaces for contemplation and where one could find time to enjoy an intangible connection to nature.

Each accommodation emulates Londolozi’s mantra of simplicity, tranquillity, peace, harmony – where guests can create quiet and deep connections with the 6 million acres of wilderness that the camp remain subordinate to.

The refurbishment of the existing chalets has placed the emphasis on outdoor living – still boasting its own private plunge pool and expansive wooden deck, looking out into the riverine bush and the abundant wildlife that roams the riverbed below.

In addition, an outdoor lounge area, outdoor shower and outdoor dining sala have been added to complement the existing symphony between man and nature. The room interiors are dressed in shades of white, grey and oak, whilst wall-to-wall mirrors reflect the riverine forest that surrounds. The footprint of the buildings, the meandering paths and old dolerite stone walls remain unchanged since their original construction, and the authentic look and feel of Varty Camp has not only been maintained but enhanced.

The brand new Healing House at Varty Camp has crafted specific treatments with the combination of bodywork and alternative wellness which offer guests the opportunity for true relaxation that will restore and transform mind, body and soul. The resident Wellness Practitioners and Therapists are trained to facilitate an unprecedented, integrated holistic nature-based experience which is unparalleled in Southern Africa.

And not forgetting Londolozi’s Private Granite Suite that pulsates romance and moulds seamlessly into the surrounding environment. The granite surfaces jutting out in front of your private deck are playgrounds for herds of elephants – so close you could almost touch them.

Set as a refuge in the inner temple of Londolozi’s five camps, the accommodation has been further enhanced by the addition of a sunset river bar and sunken cocktail lounge suspended high above ground. The Private Granite Suites themselves have been refurbished to Londolozi’s highest standards and the décor continues to honour the rooms’ proximity to the river and the daily visits by elephants in front of the camp.

For more on this – one of our most exceptional camps click here.

Fall in Love with Africa this Valentine’s Day

Africa is the continent of safari, wilderness and adventurous escapades but infused into all of this is an unmistakable and ancient romance.

There is very little in this world that compares to a rustic, yet luxurious entanglement with nature. And what better way to spoil your partner or loved one than to jet off to one of our hand-picked lodges this Valentine’s Day. If a tailored romantic safari is something you have always dreamed of, now is the opportunity to make it an iconic reality.

 

 

If you’re short of ideas, here are our top three romantic accommodations that will inspire that loving mood. From their prime location to majestic views – Iconic Africa wishes to provide you with an once-in-a-lifetime African experience.

Singita Sabi Sands Luxury Lodge Kruger Park

Four hours from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport lies the Kruger National Park, the largest reserve in South Africa. Encompassing three countries – South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique – this wildlife sanctuary adjoins the Sabi Sands, the most famous Private Game Reserve in the Southern Hemisphere. This reserve boasts some of South Africa’s leading safari lodges:

Singita Boulders
If you are looking for unparalleled luxury in the bush then Singita might just be the place for you. It is without doubt one of the most romantic safari lodges in South Africa, winning “Top Hotel in the World” 16 times! Fitted with modern comforts in an exquisite African wildlife setting, each suite offers privacy, pampering and romance. Enjoy the sunset while overlooking the vast landscape or a candle-lit open air dinner from your private suite. Share the memory of miraculous sightings with your significant other as Singita has no perimeter between comfort and nature.

Londolozi Granite Suites
There is no better place to keep the flame burning than in nature. Londolozi’s private granite suites are built in to the granite rock on the banks of the Sand River with uninterrupted views over the river. Each suite has its own private rock pool and a glass encased bathroom allowing you to feel like you are living in the bush. This is the ultimate romantic safari destination as you and your loved one relax in the private outdoor bath overlooking the river, or sight a leopard and unsurpassed game. Find all the secret places of Londolozi and enjoy a picnic in the wilderness or a couple’s massage in the bush.

Lion Sands
Have the night of your life under the stars. Share a unique and exhilarating experience in the top of an ancient Jackalberry Tree. Couples are left for a night of privacy in a secluded treehouse, towering over the wealth of fauna and flora Lion Sands has to offer. Left in complete comfort, luxury and tranquillity, the treehouse is nestled among the trees 15 minutes away from the lodge. Couples can also get rid of urban stress and unwind at the health spa.
The Kruger is showered with magical, dreamy lodges. From game sightings right from the comfort of your luxurious suite to private outdoor dining and sleeping under the stars. Our lodges have plenty of choice to satisfy incurable romantics this Valentine’s Day.

Lions Sands Ivory Lodge Rooms Iconic Africa Luxury Safaris

If a full tour is what you are looking for – look no further. 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.