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...

Read More
A Conscious Safari Experience at Roam Private Game Reserve
Mar07

A Conscious Safari Experience at Roam Private Game Reserve

Roam Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape’s Great Karoo combines a traditional safari experience with an opportunity to give-back. The team at Roam encourage guests to get involved in contributing to the overall success of their reserve by actively participating in a choice of activities and conservation research projects currently underway. This is a conscious safari experience where the perfect balance between a luxury safari holiday and conservation experience is achieved. The safari experience is NOT a volunteer program, and it’s not your average safari experience. It’s a way to enjoy a luxury safari while playing a part in conservation. The overall experience will bring you closer to the wild and ensure a greater understanding of the various behind-the-scenes jobs vital to sustaining a reserve.  Roam Private Game Reserve is located on 5000 hectares of malaria-free scrubveld, and is home to a recently introduced buffalo herd, and a coalition of cheetah. There are also over 240 species of bird in the Great Karoo, 13 species of antelope, and small predators such as colonies of meerkat, black-backed jackal, caracal, Cape fox and the bat-eared fox.  Below are the various aspects that you might become involved in when you sign-up for a conscious safari at Roam Private Game Reserve. Monitoring Flora and Fauna Roam is home to a wealth of wildlife and plant life. The overall health of the reserve needs to be monitored and effectively managed on a regular basis. Guests will have the opportunity to become involved in a few of the already established and long-term monitoring programs available. Monitoring processes include anything from establishing corridors of vegetation to monitoring species composition, creating transects along riverbeds, and making exclusion plots. The flora programs are generally conducted every 2 weeks. There are also animal monitoring programs available, each of which fulfils a different objective. High profile animals such as buffalo and cheetah, will be monitored regularly while more common species less frequently. Tracking cheetah will be done using telemetry, and guests will help to observe and document their behaviour. You will learn basic animal tracks and signs that various species leave behind for us to interpret to help find them. You might even be able to help set up camera traps in the wild, count tortoises, help with meerkat habituation, and get involved in a host of other monitoring activities needed. Bird Ringing Bird-ringing is a method of capturing, tagging and releasing birds into the wild. Guests will be involved in helping to release birds into the wild after the necessary data has been captured. The data is sent to a central database, and throughout the bird’s life historical data is...

Read More
Opening August 2019 : Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Singita Style!
Mar06

Opening August 2019 : Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Singita Style!

The Singita brand is synonymous with effortless luxury, and preserving the African wilderness is at its core. From August 2019 Singita will offer an unparalleled primate experience in East Africa. Yes, that’s right. Singita has now added gorilla trekking in Rwanda to their portfolio! In August, the elite brand will take bookings for gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes National Park, a region easily accessible via the capital city of Kigali. It’s no secret that Singita is the crème de la crème of the safari world, their lodges are some of the most sought after destinations in Africa. Singita makes massive contributions to local communities, and constantly seeks to conserve Africa’s wildlife. Each of Singita’s lodges has been carefully constructed to ooze class and sophistication, without being overbearing and brazen in terms of design. Sustainability is always at the core of their developments, and the wild exteriors govern their develops. Singita designs are an extension of the environment, not an intrusion, and they always marry the untamed wild with modern living. The latest inclusion into the portfolio is Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House in Rwanda. Situated in untouched verdant jungle paradise in the heart of the Volcanoes National Park in an isolated corridor of 178 acres of land, this latest undertaking offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Jungle terrain, verdant primeval forests, and coffee plantations smother the hilly and mountainous landscape of  Rwanda, which is fondly referred to as the “Land of a Thousand Hills”. Rwanda is raw and has a diverse landscape that remains largely unspoilt and untouched. The vegetation of Volcanoes National Park (which is home to 2 active volcanoes) comprises a mix of bamboo forest, swamplands, grasslands, and meadows framed by ferns. Volcanoes shelters over 340 mountain gorillas, making it an ideal destination for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Singita Kwitonda Lodge has expansive views of 3 volcanoes and is cocooned by high altitude forests. 8 contemporary suites and a private four-bedroomed villa are linked by volcanic pathways to the central lodge. It’s a purpose drive lodge, with abundant tailor-made activities on offer. Each suite has its very own heated plunge pool, in-room spa treatments, WiFi, photographic equipment, and mini-bars. Singita Kataza House is an exclusive home, designed around a cluster of living spaces. Forest walkways meander their way between facilities and guests have the option of utilising the central facilities of Kwitonda Lodge, ensuring guests can enjoy the luxury comforts of a hotel while maintaining a level of absolute solitude. In the house, there is 1 x master suite, 1 x junior master suite, 2 x suites and 1 x two-bedroom staff residence. Gorilla trekking in...

Read More
Black and White Images of Big Cats and Wild Dogs
Feb02

Black and White Images of Big Cats and Wild Dogs

Wildlife videographers and photographers spend endless days zigzagging their way through unforgiving terrain in search of wildlife and spectacular scenes. For these creatives, a scene of a lion standing in the middle of the arid savannah tells a story. They figure out unique ways of photographing and filming predators and try to tackle techniques that haven’t been tried before. It’s about keeping up to date with trends, but adding your own flavour to each moment documented. Some photographer’s images are as unique as a fingerprint – they might be purveyors of moody moments or enjoy saturating their images or even thrive on the abstract. Each photographer constantly learns and invests in new equipment to take them to bigger, better places. Today we share a few of Kevin MacLaughlin’s black and white images of big cats and wild dogs and marvel at the magnificence of both subject and creativity. Lions are easier to photograph than their cat counterparts. Lions spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and ten to gorge themselves after a meal, to a point where they can no longer move. Even their breathing slows down. When a pride is tracked to their kill site, they will be there for quite some time. This provides sufficient enough time to get abstract and artistic with lighting, shadows and angles. Even the lone individuals and coalitions tend to swagger slowly through Leopards are agile, quick and elusive. They’re tricky subjects to photograph because they move with such stealth and ease through the savannah. As soon as you spot one, they retreat. Leopards – like lions – sleep during the heat of the day, but they tend to select the tops of trees for nap time. During this still period of time, visibility can be tricky. Gnarled branches and twisted leaves tend to block the view! Leopards do relax on ground level, or on slightly elevated areas (they enjoy scanning the bush for potential prey) which does make the subject easier to photograph. Capturing images of leopards just requires quick thinking and patience! Wild dogs canter and trot through the bushveld, and they’re generally quite excitable. Photographing the dogs trotting and leaping always makes for rewarding results! African wild dogs are a rare and nomadic species, so any sighting or image of them is always much needed in your portfolio. If they’re on the move, they move quickly. When relaxing they flop about around waterholes, under trees and getting good visual of them is always reliable – they move in packs, which means there are ample opportunities to photograph...

Read More
Upgrades to Governors’ Camp Collection in East Africa
Jan29

Upgrades to Governors’ Camp Collection in East Africa

Governors’ II  Moran Camp and Loldia House are two of the most spectacular properties in the Governors’ portfolio of exceptional destinations. Governors is the pioneer of classic safaris in East Africa, and they certainly set the benchmark in terms of offering the quintessential safari experience. The latest upgrade to Governors’ Camp collection in East Africa is worthy of documenting!  Moran Camp is located in the Masai Mara, and Loldia is in the Great Rift Valley – both areas renown for their game viewing. Needless to say, the locations of both these camp are in the most sought after destinations in the world. Governors recognise the need to keep up to date with the latest trends in decor and design; and constantly strives to improve functional elements within each of their camps. These classic camps don’t intrude on their natural surrounds and prefer the untamed wild to be their focal point, rather than being ostentatious. Tasteful furnishings and well-appointed furniture provide an exceptional level of luxury, but not a luxury that detracts from your surrounds. Governors encapsulate the art of being sophistically understated. So, let’s give a quick rundown of the recent changes at both camps, bearing in mind that the tents were refurbed during phase 1 development at the beginning of the year: Governors’ II Moran Camp in Masai Mara The entire mess tent was revamped and reconstructed. Mess tent is now located on the edge of the Mara River, with sweeping views of the landscape below. New platform area leading out from mess tent, with large comfy couches and mood lighting that creates atmosphere. Fire-pit on the deck – the perfect place for large bonfires and creates a space to swap stories about your time in the bushveld. There’s been a change in decor, which includes a warmer and bolder colour palette. Reds, royal blues and brass ornaments define the look and feel of the main area. Brand new fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers – and Governors only ever allocate 4 people per 1 game viewer. Loldia House in the Great Rift Valley Loldia House is designed to reflect an atmosphere from a bygone era. The house was always an old family farm, that provides exquisite accommodation in a popular safari region. After a two month revamps, the new Loldia House was revealed – with the following changes : New dining room with high ceilings Swanky bar area in the original dining room Soft furnishings complementing that classic feel of the house, with a focus on minimalism and pops of colour throughout. Bathrooms have also been reworked to incorporate a more crisp and fresh look. The original manager’s house is now...

Read More
3 Regions Ideal for a Game-Rich Zimbabwe Safari
Jan10

3 Regions Ideal for a Game-Rich Zimbabwe Safari

Zimbabwe is the custodian of a number of game-rich national parks and conservancies. The country is a mecca for safaris, and also happens to be home to Victoria Falls, one of the natural seven wonders of the world. Zimbabwe is a largely underrated safari destination, but it most certainly should be earmarked as a prime region for a safari. Zimbabwe has endured a rather turbulent political history that has influenced the potential visitor’s decision to choose alternate countries for a safari experience. Zim, as it’s affectionately known, has many significant wildlife areas which include Mana Pools National Park, Lake Kariba, and Hwange National Park. Mana Pools National Park There are four permanent pools of water that have their source in the mighty Zambezi River, and these pools are located deep within the national park. The national park is located in the lower Zambezi region, and the area is known for its canoe safaris and walking trails. Abundant trees form a canopy over many areas, which provides the much-needed shade during the uncomfortable summer heat. It also provides shaded areas for groups enjoying guided walks through the scenic landscape. This is a prime destination for predator viewing and high concentrations of big game can be found with ease. We’re not surprised that Mana Pools National Park was given a World Heritage Site status. Our accommodation choice: Kanga Bush Camp is situated in a remote section of the national park on a private concession. It overlooks the Kanga Pan which attracts a wealth of wildlife. Hwange National Park Hwange National Park borders Botswana and is the largest park in Zimbabwe. Sitting on the fringe of the Kalahari desert, Hwange enjoys a similar climate to the more arid desert region. The landscape comprises mopane forests, open plains dotted with palm trees and teak woodlands.  A truly diverse and unique biome with remarkable species diversity. There are over 100 species of mammal and 400 species of bird, and over 450 lions within the park. Hwange’s unique selling point? It is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa! Prowling predators are in abundance, with high records of African wild dog sightings. Our accommodation choice: Somalisa Camp is ideally located in wildlife heaven, and offers abundant sightings of buffalo and elephant. There are exceptional views of the floodplain directly in front of the camp. Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe Several islands are dotted throughout the man-made Lake Kariba, the largest artificial lake in the world. These islands are home to an abundant game that fled to the islands during the floods, and now each island has its own diverse array of wildlife. Large waders, fish eagles...

Read More
What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari?
Jan04

What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari?

What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari? That’s a tough question to answer! Each new season in the southern Africa bushveld brings with it a flurry of unique wildlife activity. As the seasons shift, so do the colours of the landscape and the type of game viewing. The peak safari season in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana is generally Apr – Aug, with the pinnacle being June/July. This is the period of time that sees the dulling of the savannah’s natural colours, and a thinning out of the bushveld. Because of the lack of rainfall, the landscape is dry, sparse and crunchy. Spotting game becomes much easier and herds head to waterholes to replenish their thirst during the dry months, making it much easier to predict their behaviour. This period of time is also the European holidays, so visitors tend to swarm to safari destinations, which means it’s advisable to get your booking in early. According to many guidebooks and tour operators, June and July are the optimum months to enjoy an African safari. However, if you aren’t beholden to the holidays, May and late August are equally as successful in terms of sightings. The wild dog denning period is generally from May-August, with August being the month when you see the pups slowly emerging from the den site, accompanying the adults on expertly crafted hunts. Of course, the best month to go on an African safari is also dependent on what region you visit, and what species you would like to see while out in the wild. Even during the peak months, you might not see your bucket list of game. Wildlife has little interest in appearing on demand! The open landscapes teeming with game are vast, and often great tracking skills combined with luck are required to spot animals. Spring/Summer time is the time of year when lambs are born, cubs are spotted and calves emerge. It’s renown for being the birthing season and is most certainly a very endearing time of year to visit. The colours of the bushveld and savannah slowly spill over from dull khakis into bold greens, and signs of new life can be seen everywhere. It’s a season that’s alive and brimming with possibility. The full-blown summer period is fondly referred to as the emerald season. It’s the time of year when the thirsty landscapes lap up the sheets of summer rain and the vegetation shifts from drab to energetic. Summer migrant birds arrive in their droves and rivers burst onto the banks. Do be aware that the Summer in the Greater Kruger is muggy, sticky and hot! The short-burst...

Read More