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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Yoga Safaris in Africa
May27

Yoga Safaris in Africa

A couple of weeks ago we released a blog post about Yoga retreats in Cape Town. This was designed to appeal to the passionate coastal lovers from around the world seeking out a sublime seaside location for their Yoga sessions. This week, we’re targeting the wildlife enthusiasts and bushveld lovers with our Yoga safaris in Africa blog post. A sojourn to Africa’s wildest places is already a soulful experience that lets one connect with nature on a deeper level. Throw yoga into the mix, and you’ve reached new heights of consciousness. Imagine saluting the sun on a balcony overlooking a river teeming with elephants, and smashing a green smoothie while the roar of the lion rocks your core. We’ve selected a few safari destinations that offer Yoga classes and/or retreats in southern Africa. Yoga deserves pristine and uncommercial surrounds that encourage the perfect balance between body and mind.  Phinda Private Game Reserve Yoga Retreat from 7 – 14 November This profound, 8 day spiritual journey takes place in two sought after destinations in South Africa – Cape Town’s coast and the unique wildlife biome of  iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.  While in the Mother City, your intimate Yoga group will have the opportunity to experience all the historical sites and vineyards of Cape Town. Not only is Phinda home to the famous big five species, but its contrasting habitats provide an ideal home for a variety of game. Visitors to Phinda should be on the lookout for the rare black rhino and slender cheetah. The region is fondly referred to as the “Seven Worlds of Wonder” because of its biodiversity and interlinking ecosystems. You have typical savannah bushveld, mixed with tropical coastal vegetation, rivers and beaches. It’s a combination of beach and bush, all in one location. Phinda offers the standard bush walks and twice daily game drives, with the option to indulge in a few beach-driven activities. These adventures only add to your tranquil Yoga experience.   Here’s what you need to know about the Phinda Yoga Retreat :  There are only 6 – 8 guests which is the perfect size group for game drives and other activities. The yoga facilitator is Dr Tanya Pergola During your stay in Cape Town you will have the opportunity to enjoy historical day trips, tours to the famous wine regions of Franschhoek and more. Your safari at Phinda includes game drives, dinners under the stars, sundowners and dining on traditional fare in an African boma. At Phinda, you can sign up for a number of optional activities that combine the best of both beach and bush. Flights between destinations,...

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What Animals Can I See on My African Safari?
May05

What Animals Can I See on My African Safari?

What animals can I see on my African safari? There is a wealth of wildlife on this magnificent continent, and Africa is so diverse in what it has to offer its visitors. From the arid desert regions, to the world-heritage site of the Okavango Delta, the montane forests of Uganda’s jungle regions and the rolling savannahs of Kenya; Africa most certainly provides endless natural habitats for an array of species. To summarise, tourists to Africa can see : the big five in southern Africa, the famous wildebeest  migration of East Africa, and the chimps and gorillas of Uganda. Before we unpack what each country has to offer its visitors, we need to understand that Africa is a huge continent and is NOT a country. You will need to narrow down the countries within Africa that you’d like to visit. Do you want to see the big five? Do you want to see chimpanzee and gorillas? Do you prefer hippos and elephants? Do you only want to see the rare “lifer” birds? There really are so many questions to ask yourself before embarking on the safari of a lifetime. The areas we’ve covered are the most popular regions for a safari. Kenya and Tanzania The main reason people visit : The main reason people visit these two popular countries in East Africa is for the wildebeest migration. Herds numbering in their thousand migrate through the plains of the Serengeti and the herds are closely followed by powerful predators. It’s an opportunity to see one of the world’s famous migration routes, and to see predators conducting mind-blowing kills. The Masai Mara region is actually one of the top reserves for lion, leopard and cheetah sightings. Kenya and Tanzania never disappoint when it comes to game viewing. Of course, both countries offer exquisite landscapes, coastal splendour and a fascinating geography of mountain peaks and rift valleys. Main animals to see : lion, leopard, rhino (black and white), hippo, elephant, cheetah, wildebeest, African wild dogs, spotted hyena, jackals, bat-eared fox, plains game (lechwe and sitatunga are common in these parts), and the black-and-white colobus monkey. In total, there are 25, 000 species of wildlife to spot making it near impossible to list all of them in one blog post. To date, Kenya actually has one of the highest mammal density of any country on the African continent. In terms of birding there are 1000 species of bird to spot, making both Kenya and Tanzania two of the world’s top birding destinations. The coastal areas have a wealth of marine life, including marine turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and a host of colourful reef...

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What Should I Wear for Gorilla Trekking?
May02

What Should I Wear for Gorilla Trekking?

So you’ve made the decision to conquer unchartered jungle territory in the hopes of finding the giant silverback while going on a gorilla trekking safari. Packing your clothes for the trip requires some foresight and planning – it’s tricky to know what to wear when you’re traversing new territory! We’ve little doubt that you’re wondering  “what should I wear for gorilla trekking?“. Gorilla trekking is no walk in the park and it’s imperative you select the right gear for your trek. There are fire ants, pesky bugs, gnarled vegetation and prickly plants smothering the floor of the jungle. There a few regions within Rwanda and Uganda that are the go-to destinations for gorilla trekking, so climates might differ slightly. The jungle is not the same as the savannah and doesn’t suffer from extreme heat. The temperatures are quite moderate, but it does get rather wet. You don’t know how long you will be out in the rugged terrain in search of primates – it could be 2 hours or 6 hours, so it’s best you come prepared. Bringing a backpack is recommended – you have the option of having your own porter to carry your gear. The main thing is to bring what you’re comfortable wearing – and if you don’t have anything you will need to invest in a bunch of technical gear to make your journey on foot into the tropics comfortable. Long-sleeve Shirt Don’t make the mistake of wearing a t-shirt or short sleeve shirt. Branches protrude from the lush vegetation and are often covered in small thorns, which will catch on your arms. You will follow your guides off the path to get closer to the gorilla families, which means plenty of pushing past montane vegetation carpeting the floor of the jungle forests. Wear a shirt that’s breathable and dries easily. Even if it’s not raining, the forest is moist and plenty of water is captured on the leaves. Light Trousers You should wear light material trousers for the same reasons you should wear a long sleeve shirt. Protect your legs from scratches, nettles and bites by wearing long trousers/pants. You can wear jeans but they do get heavy and if it rains, it will be uncomfortable. Quick dry material is always best and zip offs are always great for hiking. Fire ants litter the forest floor and leave nasty bites, so it is advised that you tuck your long trousers into your socks. One thing is for certain – you should NOT wear shorts ! Waterproof Hiking Shoes Waterproof hiking shoes with a grip are recommended. The mesh of leaves and twigs covering the...

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Top 4 Hotels in Zanzibar
Mar30

Top 4 Hotels in Zanzibar

Zanzibar, a pristine yet authentic tropical paradise in Africa. An island dripping with Arabian and Indian influences, dominated by Swahili culture. It’s the island of crisp blue oceans and palatial hotels fit for sultans. A complete melting pot of middle-eastern and African cuisine, blended with fresh produce from the island will delight your palate. Zanzibar – apart from being a tropical island paradise – is quintessential coastal Africa. Finish off your Tanzania safari with a well-deserved tropical break on the island of Zanzibar. Here are our top 4 hotels in Zanzibar : Essque Zalu Zanzibar  The Essque Zalu Zanzibar is an exquisite ocean-facing hotel that combines relaxed seaside living with absolute sophistication. This resort sits in a private cove and boasts 40 suites in lush tropical gardens perfectly spaced across the edge of the ocean. For guests opting for something more exclusive, there are 8 villas complete with fully-kitted kitchens and a butler service. The Essque isn’t on the beach, but sort of “hangs over” the ocean. At high tide guests are encouraged to jump off one of the many jetties into the calm turquoise ocean. The neighbouring Nungwi beach is where guests can indulge in beach activities, or relax on one of the world’s top beaches. The design of resort is classic and interiors include a multitude of artwork from locals. High-thatched Makuti thatched roofs give the resort a traditional, tropical African feel. A massive sprawling lagoon-style pool with panoramic views of the ocean is the perfect place to relax. When you’re done with a relaxing dip, head to the chilled pool bar for a locally made cocktail! Essque Zalu Zanzibar is perfect for honeymoons, weddings; and even family holidays!  Park Hyatt Zanzibar Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a classic hotel of high international standards and situated close to the famous Stone Town, the bustling epicentre of the island. Located on the beachfront, the Hyatt rests upon a designated UNESCO heritage site. One part of the hotel is located in a historical building erected during the 17th century and is fit for royalty. There are 67 rooms in the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, and 11 suites. Each of the rooms manages to blend elegance with modern style and timeless accents scattered throughout the decor. The hotel is ideal for both leisure and business holidays; and offers a luxury spa and pool with sea views, ideal for taking time out to relax. Close to the labyrinth of cobbled streets of Stone Town, the markets and ornately carved wooden doors; the Park Hyatt is just perfect for a relaxing and activity based holiday. &Beyond Mnemba Island &Beyond is a private island resort located...

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