Our Love Affair with 5 Star Grootbos Nature Reserve in the Overberg
Mar12

Our Love Affair with 5 Star Grootbos Nature Reserve in the Overberg

At the foot of the mountain along the Walker Bay Coastline in  the midst of carpets of indigenous Fynbos, lies the 5 star Grootbos Nature Reserve. Walker Bay is part of the Overberg region, a part of the Cape home to the world reknown whale watching town of Hermanus. Grootbos is set back from Walker Bay and views from the lodge extend across the mountains, and the scenic Walker Bay. The pristine surrounds of this eco-friendly destination offer plenty of natural wonders. There are over 100 species of bird fluttering about, 800 unique species of plant and 29 mammal/amphibian species making their home in this 2500 hectare indigenous bush. Grootbos is the perfect combination of beach and bush – Cape style! Grootbos Nature Reserve is is an easy self-drive from Cape Town, and makes an ideal detour if you’re driving from Cape Town via Hermanus to your final destination of the Garden Route. Alternatively, this star studded nature destination is worth earmarking on the map; even if it’s not en route to a more tourist orientated destination. There are a variety of accommodation options at Grootbos, each catering for a different type of traveller. The focus is always on conserving the environment, minimising your carbon footprint and sharing knowledge about conservation with guests. Under the milkwoods lies the 11 roomed Garden Lodge that is constructed from a natural mix of heavy wood and stone; and has uninterrupted views of the Walker Bay Coastline. It’s relaxed, and offers the perfect place to relax, while being surrounded by peace and quiet. There’s a swimming pool, library and even a beauty salon for the more indulgent guest. Forest Lodge is a slice of luxury amidst the tangled and unruly Fynbos. It’s modern, minimalist and boasts clean lines throughout. There are 16 suites linked via walkways, and each of the suites are located on a hill and give rise to exceptional view of the bay and surrounding Fynbos. Of course, it goes without saying that there are plenty of facilities that are typical to a five star destination. Expect a restaurant, boma, lounge, barista bar, and infinity pool housed in a romantic setting. Grootbos has two private villas offering an absolute sense of sophistication and grandeur in a secluded position with panoramic vistas from all angles of the lodge. Your private villa comes complete with a chef and butler; swimming pool, cinema, wine cellar and gym. And there’s even a landing strip for those who are, enviably, arriving in a helicopter or small plane. It’s not just the accommodation options that are mind-blowing, it’s also the culinary journey. Fine food prepared with locally...

Read More
9 Different Safari Spots in 8 Different Countries
Mar11

9 Different Safari Spots in 8 Different Countries

This great continent of ours has unlimited room to explore in the lifetime the average person has on this planet, and every corner has its unique pull and appeal. When we talk about safari spots, of course we think of elephants and leopards navigating the savannah, but we might also be thinking about somewhere good to snorkel and watch the colourful marine life go by, or perhaps somewhere great to hike and discover the human and animal history that came before us. The appeal of Africa is in its cultural wealth, its wide open spaces, its density of wildlife, and its diversity of landscape and terrain. So, in order to cover all bases, we’ve picked 8 countries in southern and east Africa and pin pointed one great place to stay in each one… (two in Malawi because we couldn’t resist). Imagine a trip that would take you across the continent? If we had all the money in the world, you know where we would be. Mvuu Lodge – Malawi Malawi is a huge focus for conservation achievements at the moment as we watch years of hardship be overcome by hard work and perseverance. On our blog we have featured the cheetah relocation project of last year and now only last month Malawi’s Liwonde National Park welcomed its first lions in several years. So now the big cats join the great African elephant in Liwonde, contributing to the diversity of species this park is welcoming once again. These images from Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde show not only the epic elephant sightings possible, but the diversity of activities and safari experiences. This place deserves to be rediscovered, supported, appreciated, and nurtured. Ai Aiba Lodge – Namibia Surrounded by living history, embraced in the boulders that were the very canvases of the early Bushman of Namibia. Ai Aiba Lodge is a fascinating and spine-tingling getaway in the Erongo Mountains Nature Reserve, where protected fauna and flora thrive between mind-boggling granite formations. Renowned rock paintings adorn cave walls offering us modern day folk a glimpse into the story of the land before our time. This is a destination with a difference. Changa Safari Camp – Zimbabwe Changa Safari Camp and its poolside views are all the inspiration we need as we are transported to the banks of Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba in Matusadona National Park. A pastel sunrise in the dawn sky above the lake oozes a feeling of peace and tranquility, and its hard not to feel entirely in tune with nature from this perfect position at the pool. Only 8 luxury tents keep things private and exclusive, while the renowned wildlife population...

Read More
Let a Safari Be Your Language of Love on Valentine’s Day
Feb14

Let a Safari Be Your Language of Love on Valentine’s Day

Today is the 14th of February, the day where society declares their love for their other half, their family and their pets. Malls are littered with red and pink paraphernalia, and shop windows are adorned with hearts and declarations of love. This puts plenty of pressure on many of us to become part of the mass hype surrounding Valentine’s Day. Truth be told, everyday should be Valentine’s Day. If your other half is insistent on grand gestures then we suggest booking a safari to please your loved one. Happy wife, happy life. And all that. You’re probably a bit too late to book that safari – but there’s always next year.  Now is the time to start planning your safari gift for next year. Here are a few lodges in Kruger ideal for your safari experience. We’ve handpicked these lodges according to various budgets – each lodge/camp is a winner in terms of what they offer. Africa on Foot Located in the heart of the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Africa on Foot specialises in walking safaris and is ideal for guests wanting an authentic safari experience with a personalised touch. Morning’s start with a walk and end in an evening game drive. Accommodation is in chalets, with luxury linen and simple rustic designer furniture. The Klaserie is a big five reserve, which means visitors can expect plenty of game viewing opportunities. Romantic Element : Africa on Foot has its own treehouse, which is set apart slightly from the main camp area. It’s a wooden structure on stilts with open sides and two levels. It has unsurpassed views of the wilderness, and at night you can hear the hyenas whoop and the lions contact calling. There’s a double bed and relaxation area – it’s absolute relaxing luxury in a rustic and wild structure. To stay in the treehouse comes at no extra cost, but you will need to request a sleepover while booking your accommodation. Chacma Bush Camp Chacma Bush Camp is located in the Maseke Game Reserve, and occupies a traverse laden with undulating landscapes, rocky outcrops and sandy riverbanks. There is a waterhole in front of camp that is frequented by elephants and buffalo, and guests often sit at the pool watching the pachyderms at play. It’s an intimate camp that offers gourmet cuisine and world-class safaris. Romantic Element : The team at Chacma will go out of their way to find the perfect sundowner spot for their classic romantic safari set-up. The unique landscape has a river coursing through the reserve and there are plenty of koppies, waterholes, riverbanks and elevated areas to set-up an idyllic sundowners...

Read More
Grab Your Camera and Head Out on a Set Photographic Safari with Pangolin
Feb10

Grab Your Camera and Head Out on a Set Photographic Safari with Pangolin

Pangolin Photographic Safaris have made a name for themselves in the world of photographic safaris, and certainly offers both professional and budding shutterbugs rare opportunities to explore game-rich areas led by experienced guides. Most of Pangolin’s safaris take place in Botswana, where they have built their own luxury lodges specifically catering for the photographers. But Pangolin doesn’t only focus on Botswana – their set tours explore plenty of other ares.  From the brutal sugar-white landscapes of Antarctica to  gorilla trekking in Rwanda and the searing sunsets of Namibia; the photographic leaders have certainly toured and adventured to remarkable sectors of the globe. There are set photographic packages on offer, each catering for a specific period of time and budget. Tours include trips to Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Antarctica and South Africa. The longer journeys allow you to combine two or more countries, allowing for a complete wildlife extravaganza. The Two Iconic Rivers Itinerary in Botswana is one of our favourites. It combines the best of Botswana’s waterlogged regions, which include the Chobe River and the intricate waterways of the Okavango Delta. The of course, if time allows for it, we highly recommend the Ultimate Pangolin Photo Safari. This extensive adventure takes through the highlights of Victoria Falls, through The Chobe and onwards to The Okavango Delta and finally the coastal city of Cape Town. In Kenya, your journey takes you in the footsteps of the great migration and it is here where you will witness one of the greatest natural spectacles on earth. Herds of wildebeest clamber up and down riverbeds Another interesting trip is to the rustic yet spectacular island of Madagascar, the home of azure seas and abundance of lemurs. This Madagascar Coast to Coast itinerary is ideal for the intrepid traveller seeking the best of beach and rainforests. Pangolin’s own accommodation set-ups vary from the rustic mobile to the “on-the-move” with the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat, and the ultra-luxurious Pangolin Chobe Lodge due to open in July. The Pangolin Voyager Houseboat explores both the Zambezi and Chobe rivers, providing ample wildlife photographic opportunities. Teeming with crocodiles, hippos and elephants; these are the areas where you Pangolin Mobile Camp operates in the heart of the Chobe National Park in the world-reknown Savuti region. The area contains a fascinating geography and witnesses a unique set of wildlife patterns, and lions that have adapted their behaivour to survive in unpredictable conditions of the Savute Channel drying up and flooding again. The campsites used are private and rest deep within the national park. Pangolin Khwai Camp and Pangolin Chobe Lodge are the two set camps, with the Khwai Private Reserve housing the Khwai...

Read More
Where are you going in 2018? We have some suggestions…
Jan17

Where are you going in 2018? We have some suggestions…

Bucket list destinations for 2018! If you’re looking for some inspiration on your first day back in the office, planning your adventures for the 2018 holidays might be a good place to start – to remind yourself why you work in the first place! This week we’re sharing our list of wild and wonderful places we have put on our travel bucket lists this year. These are some of the most awe-inspiring spots on the African continent and in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and they are bound to enchant you and set your soul on fire. First up: Fish River Canyon, Namibia. This is the largest canyon in Africa and the longest inland river in Namibia, stretching for 160km in total. Today it is a string of pools located in the vast ravine and is one of southern Africa’s most astonishing hiking trails. Entirely unique, heart-stoppingly beautiful, and certainly unmissable. Visit Fish River Canyon Lodge for views like this! Next up on our 2018 travel bucket list is Zambia’s tremendous Kafue National Park, where the eerily misty Busanga floodplains draw a blanket of rising fog over the bright light of the rising sun, illuminating the sky and rose-tinting the entire scene. This safari secret burns brightly on our 2018 calendars, and we can already feel the excitement and hint of unease spreading through our veins as we explore this wild animal kingdom shrouded in a disorienting haze. What a sight to behold on safari in this majestic place with Busanga Bush Camp. On our journey to discover 2018’s top spots, we’ve chosen this secluded island of smooth boulders and leafy trees in the waters of Lake Malawi National Park. Mumbo Island Camp is remote bliss, 10km across the water from Cape Maclear, which is this island’s nearest road access and the reception for the camp. The isolation of Mumbo Island is reason enough to spend at least a few days swinging in your hammock overlooking the clear, fresh water, but it offers so much more than just peace and quiet. The scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking activities are sublime ways to enjoy the unique biodiversity of this great lake, and Mumbo Island’s tented or thatched chalets are the perfect places to spend silent nights and in between days of sun-filled fun. Breezing through our bucket list items brings us to a celebrated World Heritage Site; a place we have bestowed with a title that represents the natural integrity of an area, enhancing its value and protecting its precious existence. This elephant paradise is Mana Pools National Park on the banks of Zimbabwe’s historic Lake Kariba. The...

Read More
Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand
Jan11

Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is world-renown big five safari destination in the Greater Kruger, and is a major drawcard  for a host of international guests seeking a discerning safari experience with a focus on luxury accommodation and wild, wild surrounds. Sabi Sand is famed for its leopard sightings and has an abundance of drainage lines, access to water and is rich with food sources. The Sabi Sand is the perfect place for viewing big cats. The Londolozi Private Game Reserve offers guests a choice of five safari accommodation options, all with the same access to  34,000 acres of untamed landscape. The format of a private safari experience is standard, but may vary from lodge to lodge. Morning wake-up happens at sunrise and a guided game drive takes place in an open-topped game viewer. Late afternoon drives combined with sundowner sessions take place at roughly 15:30 – 16:00 and evenings are spent dining under the stars and around the campfire in the boma area. Londolozi employs only the top guides and rangers that excel at tracking and sharing their wildlife knowledge with guests. Camps at Londolozi vary in price according to quality and size. The Londolozi Private Granite Suites are fit for royalty – and the thing that most delights and enthrals us is the outdoor bath perched on the private wooden viewing deck. Each suite has its very own heated swimming pool and is cocooned by tumbling granite boulders. Sounds like heaven? It is ! Londolozi Pioneer Camp and Tree Camp are the next level in luxury compared to the contemporary villa style granite suites. The 6 suites at Tree Camp are hugged by a canopy of leadwood trees and provide an idyllic escape with designer flair. While the outside provides the rustic, the interior provides a splash of Hollywood with its Ralph Lauren wallpaper and private swimming pools. Pioneer Camp is on par with the Tree Camp but offers a completely different atmosphere and is one for the die-hard romantics. It’s classic safari style with elegance shrouded in history – think bygone era meets modern grace. * Children under the age of 6 aren’t allowed at these elite camps unless booked on an exclusive only basis. Londolozi Varty Camp and Founders Camp are the largest camps and ideal for families. These two child-friendly camps have a unique covered skywalk that interlinks rooms without any danger from the elements outside. Camps accommodate children 6 years and older, and families will delight in the knowledge that elephants can be viewed in the riverine below. Founders Camp has an elevated wooden deck where yoga classes are held – the perfect place for...

Read More
5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday
Jan07

5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday

It goes without saying that first time visitors to South Africa and southern Africa should go on safari. The national parks and private reserves dotted across the unique landscapes are home to a wealth of wildlife that thrive in their natural habitat which varies from coastal splendour to riverine forest, dry savannah, mixed acacia woodlands, sparse arid deserts and rocky terrain dominated by tumbling boulders. A standard safari includes either a self-drive trip into the Kruger National Park or stay at a lodge in a private reserve with guided daily game drives. There are a few standard components to a safari holiday that are consistent across most lodges – two game drives a day, sundowners and dinner around the campfire in a traditional boma. But, what if you want something different? Something to spice up a standard safari holiday? There are plenty of distinct safari options that incorporate either a hobby or sport into your conventional safari. These options are ideal either for the adventurous or the second time safari-goer that wants something different, but still wants to ogle over wildlife and track the big five. So, here are our 5 distinct safari ideas for your 2018 bushveld holiday. A Water Safari in a Traditional Mokoro in the Okavango Delta The network of waterways and channels of the Okavango Delta make for the ideal place for a water safari. The open channels are home to huge bloats of hippo, breeding herds of elephant and plenty of other wildlife. The birdlife is exceptional, and there are over 450 species of bird in the area. The best way of seeing wildlife is at “ground level, making a mokoro the perfect vessel for a water safari. A mokoro is a dug-out canoe made from the wood of a sausage tree (some are fibreglass) and is used by locals as a means of transport. Most of the camps in the Delta will offer daily mokoro trips, but it will depend on water levels and activities on offer at your chosen camp. Recommended for Mokoro Safaris : Delta Camp, just south of  Chief’s Island Guided Walking Safari in the Kruger There are numerous Kruger walking safari outfitters in the Kruger and it’s yet another way to see wildlife. Trained trails guides will lead you on foot through the Kruger, teaching you how to track for wildlife by following spoor, scat direction and various natural indicators. Walking safaris also allow for guests to learn about the medicinal uses of plants and how the variety of flora is used in the animal kingdom. A knowledgeable trail’s guide will teach you the etiquette of bush walking –...

Read More