11 Night Guided Conservation Adventure in the Congo Basin
Oct28

11 Night Guided Conservation Adventure in the Congo Basin

This 11 night professionally guided conservation adventure in the Congo Basin offers a unique way of exploring one of Africa’s forgotten places. Designed to appeal to those seeking a deeper and somewhat more intellectual safari experience, this adventure is ideal for conservationists, ornithologists, primatologists and those with knowledge of the area. It’s a hands-on, insightful journey into the depths of Africa’s ancient jungles under the guidance of two visionaries : Paul Telfer and Rod Cassidy. In the 90s Paul Telfer worked as a primate specialist in the relatively unchartered regions of Sierra Leone and Gabon. Paul spent a large portion of his time researching and investigating the link between HIV and primates; and other primate related viruses. He is currently the CEO of the the Congo Conservation Company that drives low-impact tourism in the Congo Basin through research, community and conservation. Renowned ornithologist, Rod Cassidy, hails from South Africa. His first visit to the rainforests was back in 1999, and nearly ten years later he purchased Sangha Lodge. In Sep 2009 the first guests were welcomed. The lodge is now home to a rehabilitation centre for wildlife and is part of many research projects in the area. To date, Rod and his team have successfully rehabilitated over 70 pangolins. This adventure experience is the brainchild of the Congo Conservation Company, who have adopted an innovative approach to low-impact and conservation friendly tourism. This perfectly laid out itinerary introduces eager primatologists and environmentalist to an untouched, unexplored environment in one of the most exceptional parts of the world. The Congo Basin is equatorial middle Africa, a region dripping with jungles and rich with primate activity. It’s completely remote, untouched and untravelled. A rather significant area in terms of wildlife. Did you know that the rare okapi is one of 1,500 animal species endemic to the Congo Basin? The Congo is not only famed for its plethora of wildlife, but also for its exceptional music scene. To best way to understand the Congo, is to visit the area. Should you decide to join this 11 night intrepid journey, you will be accommodated at Sangha Lodge, Ngaga Camp, Lango Camp, and Mboko Camp. Ngaga is gorilla central, and is located outside the park boundary in the Ndzehe concession overlooking an ancient jungle forest. There are several groups of western lowland gorillas in the area. Sangha Lodge is the perfect place for conservation and rehabilitation activities, and the grounds of the lodge comprise a main area with bar and a total of 7 well appointed bungalows. Lango Camp offers driving, walking and boating activities in the midst of pristine surrounds. Lango’s 6 guest...

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4 Perfectly Placed Masai Mara Lodges for the Migration
Oct27

4 Perfectly Placed Masai Mara Lodges for the Migration

The annual migration is Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, and one of the main reasons why nature lovers and photographers descend upon East Africa. The migration happens year-round, and sees thousands strong herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope  following a continuous loop snaking its way through the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The herds are at the mercy of the weather, and tend to follow the rains. The rains replenish landscape and provide nutritious laden grazing grounds, and ample supplies of water which is much needed in the otherwise brutally dry savannah. Because of the high concentration of plains game, big cats wait in the wings – especially during Spring time when the ungulates calve. Not only do visitors descend upon the area for spectacular migration sightings, but also for the prolific big cat kill.  Wildebeest are notoriously erratic and often veer off course, making it impossible to predict where herds will congregate at a particular moment in time. For migration timelines, we tend to look at upcoming weather patterns, birthing season and previous years movements. It gives good insight and allows us to create a rough route of where wildlife is located at any given point.  The river crossings are the most sought after periods of time during the migration, and they tend to happen on the banks of the Mara River. There are points along the river where the herds are able to cross without too much difficulty. The organised chaos at the river crossings tends to happen between July and August; which is also the most productive time of year to watch predators flush out prey. It’s important to note that the bustling Mara River is hugged by the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve, which are open to the public and day visitors. If you want a sense of exclusivity then it’s advisable to stay in a private conservancy. We’ve selected our top 4 perfectly placed Masai Mara Lodges ideal for the Migration in Kenya. Sala’s Camp Sala’s Camp brings a sparkle of elegance to the bushveld. This luxury tented safari camp is ideally located on the convergence of two mighty rivers inside the Masai Mara National Park. Each of the 7 safari tents are located in the thick of the riparian vegetation on the banks of the river. In total, the camp can accommodation 18 guests, and there’s even a spacious honeymoon tent available. This is exclusivity personified. Rooms have sitting areas, and views of the Kenya’s untouched savanna. Deep set copper baths, plunge pools and power showers are just a few of the added value extras...

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4 Good Reasons to Spend Christmas & New Year on Safari
Oct06

4 Good Reasons to Spend Christmas & New Year on Safari

It’s the time of year when half the population turns to Pinterest for their Christmas decor inspiration and menu planning, while the other half makes a quick U-turn out of the tinsel-strewn shopping mall and scans the web for any last minute flight specials to somewhere remote! We aren’t all cut from the same cloth, and while the bustling shops and festive music might give some people the warm and fuzzies, others start to dream of wide open spaces and silence instead. Sure, family time is the best time, but so are midday gin and tonics by the pool with absolutely nothing being asked of you for at least four hours. We get it; you’re torn between spending a week in near-pyjamas tripping over Christmas lights, and absorbing the African warmth under a big sun hat and a view of elephants parading across the savanna. Here are four good reasons to spend Christmas and New Year on safari. You’re welcome.     All the feasting without the cooking or cleaning Safaris are synonymous with overeating, in the best possible way. There is so much good food going around at every time of year and over the festive season, safari chefs really start churning out the special treatment. From early morning homemade rusks and shortbread, to fluffy frittatas, fresh fruit and mince pies, charcuterie platters and big, hearty flavours across the board, you’re definitely not going hungry. Food is so much a part of feeling nurtured and satisfied, and when you’re on safari – over Christmas time or not – you’re eating home-cooked meals that not only deliver in terms of comfort and flavour, you’re 100% on the receiving end and 0% on the prep! A safari Christmas means you have no kitchen duties assigned to you whatsoever, so forget the devilled eggs and the stewed fruit pudding you’re responsible for this year, and put those feet up! Where? Chinzombo Camp A rather appealing absence of (human) crowds We generally love our own humans, and the festive season allows absent aunts, uncles, and cousins to spend quality time together and lighten the load on parents of tots! But with long overdue family catch ups comes the exponential growth in general human traffic. A quick run for an emergency litre of milk on Boxing Day morning could turn into an hour-long affair with a few thousand people in the same predicament. Long queues of people in dire need of coffee with overtired kids in tow isn’t our idea of morning fun, but what we DO kind of like the sound of is birds. The deep, resonating drum of the ground hornbill enters...

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Where to Stay in Magical Malawi
Sep20

Where to Stay in Magical Malawi

Magical Malawi is fondly referred to as the warm heart of Africa. This is a country rich in culture, atmosphere and enchanting natural beauty. This landlocked, humble destination is best known as being the home of Lake Malawi, a gigantic inland sea boasting an array of water sport opportunities. However, the palm-fringed shores of the lake is not the only drawcard of Malawi. There’s the Shire River, the only winding river from the lake that snakes its way across floodplains and cuts through rolling carpets of green hills of the Shire region. Palm savannah, riparian thickets and giant baobabs provide a magnificent bio-diverse region home to over 650 species of bird.  Combine the beauty of the Shire region with the contrasting hazy aquamarine waters of Lake Malawi with the pristine wildlife-rich region of Liwonde National Park; and you have yourself a diverse safari and tropical holiday. Malawi needs to be on your Africa bucket list. We’ve selected our top lodge in each popular tourist destination in Malawi. Kaya Mawa Lodge in Lake Malawi  Kaya Mawa sits on the sandy golden beach gracing the shores of the lake. It’s a luxurious and secluded lodge located on the private Likoma Island. The lodge has with a light and breezy feel, where fresh air wafts through the wide open spaces. Accommodation comprises 12 thatched-roof houses constructed by hand using local materials. There are sunken bathtubs for end-of-day relaxation, private terraces to take in the sublime surrounds of magical lakes, baobabs and mango trees. Each house has its own small splash pool where guests can relax and catch a few rays. After signing up for scuba diving, kite surfing and canoeing activities; there’s only one thing left to do : Book a spa treatment on the rocks in the lake. Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde National Park Mvuu Lodge is certainly not short of safari activities, and certainly has every type of adventure safari activity covered. Boat trips down the Shire River, bush walks, bike rides through the park, twice daily game drives and visits to the local community are just a few things guests can expect while staying at Mvuu. Liwonde National Park is home to the largest elephant population in the country, and also has two breeding black rhino. Hippos litter the waters of the Shire, and seeing large bloats congregating on the shores is not uncommon. Three incredible species thriving naturally in Mvuu’s surrounds. What stands out most about the national park is that it’s Malawi’s top spot for birding activities. The lodge overlooks a tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River, and there are even starbeds overlooking the floodplains. Accommodation...

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3 Epic Safari Wedding Venues in Kruger
Aug06

3 Epic Safari Wedding Venues in Kruger

Can you imagine saying your vows in the African savannah? That endless expanse of low lying shrubbery punctuated by trees provides the perfect place for an evocative safari wedding. Picture your entire tight-knit group of friends and close family, all together in a private game reserve teeming with wildlife. Say your “I Dos” in a memorable setting while guests watch on from the comfort of their safari chairs neatly set-up alongside a lantern-lined path. The only interruption between you and the tranquility of nature might be the mighty roar of a lion, a whoop from a hyena or the hoot of an owl. More than a wedding, this could be the holiday of a lifetime for your guests, which is why we’ve sourced 3 safari wedding venues in Kruger that will appeal a variety of different couples. Weddings at Grand Kruger Lodge and Spa in Marloth Park The Grand Kruger Lodge is a four star establishment set within Marloth Park, which hovers on the boundary of the Kruger National Park. In terms of safari wedding destinations, it’s relatively affordable. The Grand Kruger specialises in catering for quite a large capacity, and will arrange your entire wedding from start to finish. A qualified wedding team is there on the day to oversee the smooth running of events. There’s even an on-site chapel which means you can organise the formalities and the reception under one roof. A selection of standard rooms, luxury rooms and family rooms provide a variety of accommodation options for the wedding party. Weddings at Sabi Sabi Sabi Sabi is located in the exclusive Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, and is a sought after destination in the Greater Kruger for big five safaris. Imagine saying your vows in a world-renown game reserve? It certainly makes for one of the most bucket-list weddings to attend. In true five star style, Sabi Sabi ensures every single angle is covered ensuring that you dream safari wedding is nothing short of a unique fairytale. Couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to planning a wedding at Sabi Sabi! There are a variety of wedding venue options available in the pristine bushveld. Selati Camp offers the option of having the reception on the pool deck or in a clearing in the heart of the bushveld. Bush Lodge offers space on a deck overlooking a waterhole with views that extend across the plains, and also the option to have it in an open space in the bushveld. Little Bush caters for large groups and sets up the perfect lantern-lined magical Out of Africa scene in the midst of the ‘veld. Earth Lodge –...

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Singita Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Rwanda Just Opened
Aug02

Singita Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Rwanda Just Opened

Iconic hospitality and conservation brand, Singita, has created a flurry of delight with the opening of its new gorilla trekking safari lodges in untouched Rwanda. Sitting comfortably on the edge of the verdant Volcanoes National Park, is the newly opened Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House. In true Singita style, the Singita Gorilla Trekking Lodges in Rwanda have a story entrenched in ecotourism and conservation of the immediate area. The Singita brand is not only about sophistication speckled with elite luxury aimed at discerning guests, but it also has its heart immersed in conservation. These two lodges are set on a private tract of land spanning some 72 hectares of rugged terrain. This tract serves as a buffer between the agricultural lands and the natural habitat of some 320 wild mountain gorillas. Singita endeavours to take a measured approach to conservation, working closely with locals to build sustainable revenue streams through tourism while ensuring the community thrives. The aim of Singita Volcanoes is to strike a balance between preserving the gorilla groups and increasing their habitat while remaining sensitive to the needs of the surrounding communities. Thus far,  60,000 tree saplings have been planted on the surrounds in an effort to extend the size of the national park. The jungle floor and canopy of trees covering lofty mountains creates a breathtaking topography and natural habitat for wild mountain gorillas. This is the perfect place for a gorilla trekking safari and it’s a mere 3 hour drive from Kigali, the centre of Rwanda. Singita Volcanoes is a mere stone’s throw away from the briefing point at headquarters, and at each of the properties there are gear rooms housing a variety of technical gear for the arduous treks through rugged tropical terrain carpeting the lofty hills of Rwanda. Gorilla trekking is not the only activity available in the area – there are many other walks/hikes and opportunity to visit surrounding communities. Singita has the pampering side of things covered. After a lengthy time spent on the mountains, guests can return to their lodge for a well-deserved, soothing spa treatment. In terms of accommodation, there are two options. One is the exclusive use Kataza House, a serviced villa that comes complete with a private chef. The space is has all the amenities of a luxury villa, including a gym, swimming pools and more. Singita Kwitonda Lodge is an architectural delight, built from natural stone constructed in the midst of wetlands and lush meadows. Handcrafted detail, and layers of texture can be found scattered throughout this 7 bedroom lodge....

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Head to the Polar Regions for New 12 Day Singita Antarctica Adventure
May30

Head to the Polar Regions for New 12 Day Singita Antarctica Adventure

Singita is synonymous with exclusive luxury safaris in Africa. From gorilla trekking in Rwanda, to the plains of the Masai Mara and the popular mixed savannah woodlands of the Greater Kruger; Singita has set-up awe-inspiring places in sought-after safari destinations. Coupled with their supreme safari destinations, the brand also plays a vital role in conservation and community. Singita is a way of life and has a “100-year purpose that seeks to protect this land and its flora and fauna for future generations”, an ethos that is woven into the very fibre of the brand. Singita have reached new levels in terms of adventure, and have partnered with White Desert Antarctica and One&Only to create the ultimate wildlife adventure to the most iconic destinations in the world. Singita’s 11 night journey whisks guests through the Kruger, to the shores of Cape Town and the unexplored ice-laden untouchable region of Antarctica. The Singita Antarctica Adventure reaches new heights in terms of adventure offerings! The 11-night sojourn begins in the Kruger National Park and is set to depart on 12th November. The Kruger part of the safari will take place at either Singita Lebombo or Singita Sweni Lodge. Both of these premier lodges are located deep within the heart of private reserves, overlooking perennial rivers teeming with hippos, crocs and wading birds. Rivers and waterholes are also a major drawcard for large water-loving elephant herds and the occasional predator. Both of Singita’s elite Kruger properties are designed in such a way that they don’t intrude on their surrounds. The architecture is clean, and each suite has its own private viewing deck. Everything about Singita Kruger is stylish, classic and nothing short of exceptional. Of course, daily game drives, sundowners, bush dinners, walks and the works are all included in your stay. After a few days in the African savannah, a touch of coastal splendour is on the cards. This is where the partnering with the One&Only comes into play. This 5 star hotel surrounds a network of canals, moats and little islands. From the outside you would never think that there’s a spectacular oasis sitting slap bang in the middle of the hotel. Located in the famous VA Waterfront in Cape Town, the One&Only is ideally situated to explore the cosmopolitan Mother City. From Cape Town, you will head to the highlight and unique selling point of this 12 day extravaganza – the Antarctica. You will witness an incredible spectacle of emperor penguin colonies flitting about on the stark powdery white snow. Watch young chicks exploring their environment for the first time, and soak up the icy splendour of the world’s most...

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