Three different Kruger Park Walking Trails to suit adventurous safari goers
Mar01

Three different Kruger Park Walking Trails to suit adventurous safari goers

Walking trails are guided on-foot safari experiences that appeal to people who want to truly connect with the wilderness, step out of their comfort zones, and get to know the bush. Without the protection and security of a 4×4 vehicle, the idea of being on a walking trail is full of vulnerability, but it’s that extra care and alertness that brings things into true colour. Getting the blood flowing in nature is invigorating and inspiring and it gives walkers an opportunity to see the details of the bush, like tracks and signs, insects, nests, and to learn about medicinal uses of wild trees. Encountering animals on foot is a bonus, and will make for an unforgettable life experience. A trail is a dedicated multi-day walking safari experience, unlike guided bush walks that are offered at a variety of camps and lodges throughout southern and East Africa. The whole activity is about walking the bush, picnicking for lunch, and settling in for the night around a campfire and resting those tired legs while feeling at one with the wild world that surrounds you. In the Kruger National Park and the Greater Kruger region, some of the world’s last remaining true wilderness areas are protected and untouched. About half of the national park is considered true wilderness, off the track, and away from any infrastructure and road networks. The surrounding private nature reserves enjoy the unique privilege of exclusive access and professionally guided trails. There is nothing quite like getting spiritually lost and found in the African wild, and we’ve selected three different types of Kruger walking trails that are on offer to produce the kind of experience we know to be so connecting and life-altering. Olifants Trail, Letaba, Kruger National Park This is a three night, catered and accommodated trail with two full days spent walking along the Olifants River with a SANParks field guide. Food and accommodation are basic, yet comfortable and wholesome, and facilities are limited while providing the necessities. A maximum of eight people can partake in one trail, accommodated in four chalets. Highlights: The landscape of the Olifants River valley is a huge drawcard, and the presence of water and riverbanks means lovely, big trees as well as wildlife that gather to drink. There is a strong presence of hippo and crocodile, as this is their preferred territory,  but of course, the park is home to an enormous diversity of animals, including the Big Five. There are no cellphones, generators, or private vehicles allowed, and there is no electricity, so think of this as a blissful break from reality. Departure: Letaba Rest Camp. Guests must sign in and...

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Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina
Feb28

Three fun things to do in El Chaltén, Patagonia Argentina

El Chaltén is a small town – probably more accurately described as a village – at the foot of a looming icy peak in Patagonia Argentina. This isn’t to say it’s a dozy, quiet place for reflection in the mountains. It is a hub for hikers and backpackers and it’s bustling with tourist activity. El Chaltén, in Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park. is the centre of adventurous excursions, hiking trails, glacial melt lakes, water rafting, and ice trekking. It’s surrounded by rises and valleys, peaks and turquoise rivers, waterfalls, and smooth, rocky, rapids. In the village itself, tarred roads are lined with cosy cafes and restaurants, craft breweries, and traditional barbecues. Adventure centres and outdoor stores are well signposted so that wandering travellers know where to go to book their activities in the mountains. If there is anything you do in El Chaltén, make sure it’s at least one of these things… Hike Mount Fitz Roy El Chalten has the unmistakable air of back-backer heaven and just about everything is within walking distance. It’s the trekking capital of southern Patagonia, and there’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with its energy. There is so much on offer, starting with hiking the icon of El Chaltén: Cerro Fitz Roy. This jagged peak stands tall above the little town at its feet and it is the first thing you’ll see as you approach El Chaltén. Most often, the peak is shrouded in cloud, so you won’t even see it in all its glory, but in good weather when the granite tower is fully revealed, there is no question why it is one of the best-known mountains in the Deep South of the continent. Climbing Mount Fitz Roy is a challenge plenty of hikers take on, but the last stretch of vertical rock climbing is reserved for the most experienced of cliff-scalers, and not ordinary trekkers without proper experience and gear. The ascent to the foot of the tower is, however, a challenging full day excursion most keen hikers conquer happily. Fitz Roy was named after the captain of the HMS Beagle, who navigated South America in the early 1800s with Charles Darwin in tow! After that, the avid climber who started the clothing brand, Patagonia, used the image of this peak to illustrate his logo after he successfully scaled Fitz Roy in the 1960s. So, this imposing mountain at El Chaltén really is worth the effort! It’s a full day excursion to get to the base, where a magnificent, blue lake shimmers between the granitic rocks, and return to El Chalten. The hike takes you through green forests full of birds, like...

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Faru Faru Lodge: Everything the light touches is yours
Feb27

Faru Faru Lodge: Everything the light touches is yours

Last month, a renewed Singita Serengeti experience emerged when a revitalised Faru Faru Lodge, blinking, stepped into the sun… OK, so that was Simba. But, the new look of Faru Faru is sublime, as we’ve come to expect from this leading safari brand, and right in Africa’s flagship wildlife area, it’s precisely where we imagine the Lion King was born. The exclusive Grumeti concession, forming part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem observes the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, and various antelope, and the allure of this special part of Tanzania, and indeed an important wildlife corridor is certainly not overlooked. The changes at Faru Faru highlight the unique value of this natural system, organically celebrating the animals and the landscape in its new architectural design and decor. From an elevated position on a slope, Faru Faru’s views take centre stage. A river nearby and a waterhole at the foot of the lodge ensure that wildlife is never far away, and just to make sure guests don’t miss a thing, the newly crafted lodge is moulded organically to overlook the main attraction. From the revamped central guest areas, the extensive use of glass panels creates space and light in every indoor location. There is a boldness and creativity about the place, yet every aspect of the design has been brushed with a sleek Scandinavian accent. Where contemporary African art and locally sourced materials come into play, they combine perfectly with the modernised colour palette, which is described as “back-to-basics” featuring bone, ivory, nude, and clay. Raw stone and rustic wooden dowels feature on wall panels, bringing the appeal of the natural landscape right indoors where it is cherished behind large glass windows and contrasts appealingly with clean-cut floors and fittings. Each of the nine luxury tented suites are splashed with shades of stone and dressed with timber furniture, textured rugs, and subtle lighting. The unique and artful dome-shaped canopy adorns the bed and envelopes the sleeper in a comfortable, mosquito-proof cocoon. En suite bathrooms are, of course, not excluded from the view and each bathtub enjoys a prime position in front of the elevated window and the view below. Enclosed dining and lounge areas are an addition to the shared guest space and now offer a place to relax while keeping cool and enjoying front row seats to the outdoor action. Also new to the scene is the interactive kitchen which brings guests closer to the very much worth watching cooking action, and the large stone-set fireplace adds a convivial, cosy environment to the otherwise modern kitchen-come-dining-room setup. Effortless and elegant, this is one sleek safari spot where every experience is...

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The real Black Panther of Africa spotted in Kenya!
Feb14

The real Black Panther of Africa spotted in Kenya!

An incredible scientific discovery has finally been captured on camera and revealed to the world: the African black panther photographed in the wild in Kenya’s Laikipia region. British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas used his unique Camtraptions remote camera trap technology to capture the first scientific photographs of this incredibly elusive creature on Laikipia Wilderness Camp’s property, and the result is nothing short of amazing. While evidence of these black leopards in Africa has been revealed over the years, this imagery is the first scientific documentation of the animal since 1909. This animal has been mere legend, spoken about among those lucky enough to have caught sight of it crossing their path, or as a dark creature moving furtively through the bush. It is tricky enough to find a spotted leopard, never mind being able to photograph the Bagheera of Africa! Nicholas Pilfold is a biologist living in Kenya, and he and his team have been observing this melanistic leopard since last year and he said that it is unlikely that it is the only one. It wasn’t until Burrard-Lucas arrived with the dream of capturing a high-quality image of this rare cat with his unique equipment that the presence of the African black panther has been revealed to the world. The cat has been spotted on Kenya’s Loisaba Conservancy at Laikipia Wilderness Camp. Back in 2007, a photograph was seen of a black leopard on Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy, also in Kenya, but the time difference and young age of the more recent black leopard sighting reveal that it is not the same leopard photographed more than 10 years later. What that means is that this recessive gene is alive and well, and although it is extremely rare, it is not extinct. Take a look at these mystical, newly released photos of the black leopard of Laikipia below. And get in touch to book your trip to this place of legends! Where are black leopards found? Black leopards are found in India in Kabini National Park where they are also extremely rare, however far more Asiatic leopards are melanistic than African leopards There have been very few sightings in the history of black leopards in Africa and even fewer photographic evidence, which is what makes these photos so special. Are all panthers black? Black Panther was originally the term given to black leopards in Asia and black jaguars in South America, but black leopards in Africa are also referred to as black panthers. It is the melanism in the skin pigment that gives these cats the black colour, and only these melanistic cats are referred to as panther. Leopards and jaguars...

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Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss
Jan30

Hotels in South America’s best locations you won’t want to miss

Latin America is a place of cultural wealth, untamed wilderness, and ancient history that is preserved in the geological magnificence of the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert, the Patagonian steppe, and the Amazon Forest. At the top of travellers’ bucket lists and sought after by Instagrammers and spiritual souls alike, the most naturally beautiful, culturally popular, and all-round unforgettable landscapes of Chile, Peru, and Brazil are not to be missed. World-class hotel groups and leaders in terms of adventurous experiences, fine dining, accommodation comfort, these select luxury hotels in the South American outback come with our stamp of approval. Peru Sanctuary Lodge, Machu Picchu This mindful retreat is all about consciousness in the shade of the Machu Picchu citadel. A zen garden in the tranquil greenery of the Inca Empire, a testament to the peaceful nature of the ancient people. There are blessing ceremonies, coca leaf readings, orchid gardens, and rejuvenating spa treatments to soothe the soul and provide some much-needed relaxation from the general pace of life. Access to Machu Picchu is second to none, as Sanctuary Lodge is the only establishment adjacent to the ancient citadel, so guests have the freedom to arrive earlier and stay later than the day visitors who arrive to pay tribute to Pachamama. The gardens are brimming with the phenomenal birdlife and the botanical beauty of this cherished place, and every inch of the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge celebrates the old Peruvian life that has been encased in history at the one and only Machu Picchu. Las Casitas, Colca Canyon Celebrating one of the deepest – if not the deepest – canyons in the Americas, Colca Canyon, this remote hideaway makes the most of the astounding views, mountainsides, rock-work, and chasms of the great Andes Mountains. Las Casitas is a representation of the local Peruvian art and culture and has produced some of the most blissfully luxurious casitas that cherish the surroundings you find yourself in. The captivating flight of the condor can be seen out in the deep, open crevasses of the Andes, while traditional activities like horse riding through the Colca valley, and learning how to make the perfect Pisco cocktail add incredible Peruvian value to this hotel stay. Painting in the great outdoors, trekking and bird watching, cycling, and taking tea in the orchards are among the many activities to keep you busy in between spectacular meals, luxurious nights of comfort and rejuvenating spa treatments. Chile Awasi Patagonia Patagonia’s wild and hostile landscapes are irresistible to adventurers who flock to the Andean peaks to hike with backpacks and leg warmers in the terrain ruled by mountain lions. The Deep South of...

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