3 Sun Destinations Properties Offering a Conscious Safari Experience
Sep02

3 Sun Destinations Properties Offering a Conscious Safari Experience

Those who travel are redefining how they travel. A new generation of travellers are seeking out destinations offering them a closer connection to the simple life, and opting to stay in places that respect their environment.  This change in mindset has infiltrated the types of holiday people are booking, with a shift towards earth-conscious people wanting to stay in places that are eco-friendly, tread carefully on the environment or tightly partnered with charities. When it comes to luxury holidays, environmentally aware holidaymakers want to ensure that they’re giving back in some small way. Most safari lodges and camps in South Africa do help, but there are a few where you can become actively involved in the safari experience. These are not volunteer programs but rather safaris that make a difference, while still offering a signature safari experience. The following 3 camps/lodges within the Sun Destinations portfolio offer a safari with an impact. Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape’s Great Karoo Roam Private Game Reserve is located on 5000 hectares of malaria-free scrubveld in the Great Karoo, an ancient and endless semi-desert landscape covering 400,000 square kilometres in its entirety.  The focus at Roam is on eco-tourism and providing visitors with the opportunity to experience the remote wilderness of the Karoo. There are 3 accommodation options, each catering for a different type of guests. The Manor House is an exclusive use house ideal for families, the Explorer Camp is ideal for adventurers and the Roam Safari Lodge is perfect for couples. Roam has an incredible conservation program that affords guests an opportunity to become involved and help with various conservation initiatives on the reserve. Guests can help tag and band birds for research purposes, help with veld monitoring, track cheetah, and learn about the day-to-day running of a reserve. The idea at Roam is to offer a conscious safari experience; one where guests enjoy the activities synonymous with a typical safari experience, but also help to conserve their “holiday” environment. Ugebezi Explorer Camp in the Blue Canyon Conservancy Located in the heart of the uncrowded Blue Canyon Nature Conservancy on 10 000 ha of mixed savanna, acacia and mopane thickets; lies the intimate and rustic Ugebezi Explorer Camp. This discreet tented camp offers an immersive, hands-on safari experience where the focus is on conservation, walking safaris and getting to know the Kruger wilderness. There are only 4 tents, which means an intimate and personalised safari experience. A main bedouin tent houses a classic and tastefully decorated lounge area, complete with chocolate colour leather couches and wooden artefacts and games.  Ugebezi is actually an extension of Nkombe Rhino, an...

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The Electric Safari Vehicle Revolution
Aug04

The Electric Safari Vehicle Revolution

It’s safe to say that Electric Safari Vehicles have the ability to change the game in the world of safari experiences. Not only are these state-of-the-art conversions much more environmentally friendly than normally aspirated vehicles, like the typical Land Rover Defenders or 4.2-litre diesel Toyota Land Cruisers, but they virtually are silent while running. This vehicle is revolutionary for game drives, and we’ll tell you why. It handles rocks and river sand just the same, if not better, than fuel-powered engines Field guides who expertly navigate the bushy terrain with their guests on the back of their six or nine-seater 4x4s have reported on how seamlessly the converted vehicles perform over the same rocky obstacles, through the thick riverbed sand, and across water crossings. The electric safari vehicle has the same capabilities as a Diesel engine and does not hinder access in typical safari landscapes. Precision control, torque, and 4×4 capabilities are impressive to say the least, so that’s point number one! It’s completely silent when running The electric conversions make an ordinary engine completely soundless. There is no loud turn-over of the engine as the key turns in the ignition and no roar of the engine coming to life before settling at a steady, rather loud, rumble. Cruising through the wilderness, listening for the sounds of animals and birds has never been easier. Many seasoned safari guests and field guides can’t believe the difference in what they can hear without the usual “chugga-chugga” of the Land Cruiser. Guides express being able to hear alarm calls in the bush, birds calling, and grass rustling all while driving. No more switching off of the engine to listen out for that telltale kudu bark! Plus, guests on the back of the vehicle can communicate easily with their guide in the driver’s seat without the sound of the engine. It emits no fossil fuels and charges on solar power Perhaps the most important aspect of the new electric safari vehicle is its eco-friendliness. By converting ordinary fuel-powered engines to electrically charged engines eliminates those harmful emissions from the atmosphere in environmentally sensitive areas. One of the most powerful ways in which we can change our impact on the environment is to reduce fossil fuels, and so for every engine converted, the greater the safari industry becomes for the planet. What’s more? It charges on solar power, taking it even further off the grid and utilising the sun’s abundant energy. It perfectly matches eco-friendly lodges that have already switched over to solar, completing the package and sealing the deal. It’s perfect for photography and videography The electric vehicles are so smooth and still and have...

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Tanzania Joins Kenya in Banning the Use of Plastic Bags
May25

Tanzania Joins Kenya in Banning the Use of Plastic Bags

Plastic is one of Planet Earth’s arch enemies. The toxic man-made fibres used to create plastic shopping bags, fishing nets, toys, toiletries, and other disposable items, continue to poison our planet. Population growth has led to a huge increase in plastic pollution, and the desire for more material items to suit our fast-paced lifestyle has led to further manufacturing of ease-of-use products. When we’re done with something, we dispose of it. That waste pollutes landfills, strangles our marine life, clogs up water systems and all those “plastic” chemicals seep into our systems, killing us slowly. A number of eco-conscious African countries are already involved in banning the use of plastic bags, with Tanzania being to latest to join the countries of zero plastic bags. This is a massive step forward towards saving our planet from a slow death, an undertaking that requires plenty of logistics and creative thinking. Banning the use of plastic bags is a small change that can be implemented in your own household, and at country level. While it might be a minuscule change in the grand scheme of things, it’s a start. The good news is (there is some), is that people are becoming more aware of the dangers of plastic and how single actions can create a snowball effect within communities and countrywide. Many earth-conscious people have promised to change their ways, and have implemented their own changes. We’re witnessing a progression towards using proper bags for shopping, buying eco-friendly ear-buds, the industrious crowd designing outdoor furniture from recycled plastic and take-out junkies opting to use eco-cups and bamboo straws. It has become trendy to be environmentally conscious – and when something is trendy, it takes shape in social media, print and other sources of media. Politicians and countries need to lead by example, and we’re seeing massive actions taking place in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and now Tanzania in the war against plastic. These countries have a raw, wild and untouched landscapes with wildlife roaming free. Tourism sustains these countries, and they cannot afford to have our last remaining wild regions tainted by the careless efforts from blissfully unaware humans. As a result, they’ve banned the use of plastic bags – a drastic action taken, but a much needed one. Kenya implemented the ban in 2017 and currently has the harshest plastic bag ban. Producing, using and selling plastic bags can see culprits facing up to 4 years in jail or a hefty fine!  More money, more convenience and more of a throwaway society. So what exactly does “banning the use of plastic bags” mean for travellers to Tanzania? Visitors to the country won’t...

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4 Wildlife and Environment Awareness Days to Mark on the Calendar
Jul11

4 Wildlife and Environment Awareness Days to Mark on the Calendar

Throughout the year we take time to create awareness about the various critically endangered species that once roamed our planet in abundance. These are the animals that now face extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, misguided belief systems, population increase and natural causes. There are specific dates of the year designed to celebrate individual species.  The more awareness we create, both online and offline, the more educated the masses become towards making a shift in their mindset and their actions. There are 4 wildlife and environment awareness days that resonate with us, which we’ve listed below. There are a number of ways of helping to conserve the planet and its natural wild inhabitants. Legitimate organisations have been set-up to help conserve wildlife. You can help by making a financial donation or offering up your time for volunteer purposes. There are even options to create your own event, and ample opportunity to start online petitions. Social media campaigns also have a key role to play in ensuring global consciousness. The below dates are 4 wildlife and environment awareness days to mark on your calendar. World Lion Day Lions have a regal nature and certainly exude a sense of power. They portray all that is powerful, brave and strong. The males are our kings and our females the fearless warriors. They are the kings of the jungle and the guardians of the universe and are one of the world’s most iconic species. The lion is part of our heritage, and Global Lion Day is a reason to celebrate the presence of the lion worldwide. Lions happen to be one of the big five animals in Africa, and they’re commonly spotted throughout reserves and concessions. Despite being spotted on a regular basis, their numbers are on the decline, and it’s estimated that fewer than 20, 000 lions remain free in the wild. Date: 10 August Information: World Lion Day How to Help: Organise a fundraising event, show your support for lions on Facebook and Twitter, or donate to dedicated organisations. For more information on ways and means of helping, click here. World Pangolin Day The pangolin (scaly anteater) is one of the most critically endangered species in the world. This prehistoric looking creature is immensely shy and is rarely seen. Their body is covered in scales made from keratin, which gives the impression of being covered in protective armour. When under threat, the pangolin tends to curl up into a defensive ball position. The pangolin’s main threat is humans. There is a demand from China for scales which are used in all sorts of mythical medicine, and pangolin flesh is also considered a delicacy...

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Cape Town Hotels Helping to Save Water During Severe City Drought
Jan22

Cape Town Hotels Helping to Save Water During Severe City Drought

Our offices are located in Cape Town, huddled up against the mountains in the quirky suburb of Tokai, only a few minutes from Muizenberg’s Surfer’s Corner on False Bay, and the well travelled and much loved by locals and tourists alike – Kalk Bay route. We have all been striving to save water in our individual homes for the last year, during the Cape’s most devastating drought in decades. Our beautiful, seaside metropolis, which has been voted time and time again as one of the world’s top destinations is in a water crisis, and Day Zero is only 3 months away. Day Zero has become the term for the day the city actually runs out of water. Most city dwellers have come together and united in this time of uncertainty, and information is circulating with advice on how to run a water-saving household. The current limitations are urging residents to use no more than 50 litres per household per day (starting 1 February), and many people have implemented innovative water-saving techniques to their daily chores and necessities. It is a time of necessity now, as Day Zero comes hurtling towards us. Being in the tourism industry and having relationships with hospitality groups, hotels, and services, we are concerned about how our partners in tourism are dealing with the tight restrictions and managing to cater for Cape Town’s constant influx of visitors who are not likely to know the urgency to save water while on holiday. We’ve contacted a few of our popular Cape Town hotels to find out how they are managing this crisis and providing a comfortable and relaxing experience for our valued guests. Here are 7 luxury hotels in Cape Town helping to save water during Cape Town’s severe drought: The Vineyard Hotel Bath plugs have been removed from the bathtubs to discourage taking baths with an appealing note to guests explaining why the measures have been taken. The showers have been kitted out with stopwatches to help guests time their showers and keep them to the advised 2-minute limit. Hotel plumbing has been replaced with grey water. Borehole water is being used for the swimming pool and gardens. Spier Hotel Innovative and economical wastewater treatment plant, which treats water from the hotels, restaurants, winery and food packaging facilities, and uses the treated water for irrigation throughout the property. A pool-water-harvesting system is in the works, and until it is ready the property’s 7 pools remain closed. Consistently working on their innovative sustainability model which covers all areas of environmental conservation. Investing in water-from-air machines to generate potable water and reduce the drinkable water from purifying machines. The Westin Cape...

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Rocking for Rhinos Festival : Get Your Tickets
Oct04

Rocking for Rhinos Festival : Get Your Tickets

The CITES (CoP17) wildlife convention took place in Sandton, South Africa and is currently drawing to a close. The convention is a massive global event where numerous countries gather to discuss the plight of wildlife. It is an international treaty and agreement about trade in wildlife and plants – its’ major aim to prevent the extinction of species. One of the issues at the forefront of the rhino poaching issue was Swaziland’s move to legalise the trade of rhino horn; which was rejected. With this massive conference happening on our shores, we thought it fitting to chat about the Rocking for Rhinos festival happening on the outskirts of the Kruger’s safari capital, Hoedspruit. This two day festival promises a line-up of bands, entertainment, food stalls and a whole lot more. And guess what? 100% of your proceeds go towards helping to save rhinos. Even if you can’t make the festival and still want to donate, then please buy a ticket as your donation towards saving rhinos. Your money goes towards a number of organisations involved in helping rhinos. The beneficiaries include: Rhino Task Team ( NPO Number 164-507) Bongi’s Quest children’s book Black Mambas APU – since 2014 Rocking for Rhinos have donated over R100, 000 towards the unit. Social upliftment on behalf of Transfrontier Africa The Bushbabies Environmental Education Awareness Program Rhino conservation and research in the Balule Nature Reserve and the Rhino Revolution Rhino Orphanage and Hospital. Lauren Saad, from Ezulwini Game Lodges, is a director of Rocking for Rhinos and she says, “Rocking for Rhinos is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO number 137-976) working towards not only the abolishment of rhino poaching, but also the protection and management of the remaining rhino population. We are audited and all our beneficiaries, Protrack Rhino Task Team, Black Mamba Anti-poaching unit and Bongi’s Quest, can be contacted to validate our legitimacy from our start in 2012.” Follow Rocking for Rhinos on Facebook to find out more about these organisations Click here to book tickets for the event...

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Cycling iMfolozi to Save African Wild Dogs
Jul20

Cycling iMfolozi to Save African Wild Dogs

When it comes to exercising, there is no better motivation than to do it for a good cause. When the exercise is heart-thumping, pedal-beating mountain biking and the cause is conserving African wild dogs, there is just no better reason to jump in the saddle! The Wild Series iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge offers the ride of a lifetime to adrenalin junkies, nature lovers, and mountain bikers all in the name of saving Africa’s second-most endangered large carnivore. The prestigious Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and it is a known safe haven to the largest population of white rhino on the continent. Contributing to this conservation area’s value as a wild, African sanctuary, is its protected population of some of the last remaining painted wolves. This historical game reserve in the heart of Zululand is driven towards conserving wild dogs and spreading awareness about their endangerment. The iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge is taking place this weekend 23 July for another consecutive year, and it is proving to be one of South Africa’s most popular outdoor events! Keen adventurers and challenge-seeking mountain bikers take to the savannahs of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi, push through gruellingly soft riverbeds, and plunge into the water crossings with heart-felt determination. Mud splatter decorates the cyclists’ burning calves, and energetic smiles spread across their faces as they embark on one of the most privileged rides of their lives: a 55km cycle tour through one of South Africa’s most esteemed natural areas. What’s more, is that entry fees for the event contribute directly to the conservation of African wild dogs – a population that has plummeted to below 5000 individuals. In the world. If you’re travelling to Kwazulu Natal’s celebrated iMfolozi to show your support for wild dog conservation, you may as well know what safari options lie ahead… The 96 000 hectare reserve is home to incredible fauna and flora, and some of the activities on offer may appeal to the non-riders of the group: quad biking, horse riding, game drives, and boat cruises. Bird-watching is world-renowned, and views are spectacular. Look at Hluhluwe River Lodge or Thula Thula Safari Lodge for memorable safari accommodation for the family, or opt for something closer to the iconic iSimangaliso Wetland Park, where Cape Vidal, Lake St. Lucia, and Sodwana Bay lie, waiting to be discovered. The Wild Series iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge is just one of the ways in which the public can contribute to conserving one of the most endangered predators in Africa, while bringing fun-loving people together for the outdoor event of a lifetime. It just happens to be in one of...

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