Planning a Coastal and Safari Holiday to South Africa?
Nov14

Planning a Coastal and Safari Holiday to South Africa?

South Africa is a confident vibrant country with a myriad of cultures, unsurpassed contrasting scenery and endless gourmet restaurants displaying a sense of creative flair. South Africans don’t follow a mould, and most certainly aren’t afraid of experimenting and trying out new things. Whether it’s food, new hotels, sports, and cultural endeavours, South Africans are always pushing the boundaries. The country is dotted with small towns, from inland farm country estates to coastal villas, bohemian city hotels and bush camps in the wild; there’s so much waiting to be explored. It has been said that South Africa is the world in one. We have vast safari landscapes, deep lakes, forests, rocky coastlines, golden beaches, mountains, buzzing cities, deserts and an array of local cultures and traditions waiting to be discovered. So, how do you encapsulate the best of this country in one short holiday? You don’t! Unless you have 3 months to explore this mysterious land of wonder, we suggest you select a few prime not-to-missed destinations that can easily be covered in a 3 week holiday. Here are a few ideas for destinations if you are planning a safari and coastal holiday to South Africa. A Safari to Kruger The Greater Kruger is an interesting biome covering kilometres of acacia woodland, rocky terrain, sandy savannah, undulating landscapes and a myriad of river systems. The national park itself spans across 19,485 square kilometres. The big five roam wild and free in the Kruger, and there are plenty of predators such as wild dog, cheetah and other carnivores. There are also over 500 species of bird fluttering about in this wild area of South Africa. There are numerous lodges and campsites inside the park for a more self-catering safari holiday for those on a budget. Within the private reserves there are safari camps, mobile walking safaris and lodges offering daily guided safaris in open-topped game viewers with game rangers. A set 3 day safari for first time safari-goers is recommended – you will learn about both the wildlife, vegetation and natural landscape. Cape Town Cape Town is the coastal destination to visit when coming to South Africa. There are two oceans – the Atlantic Seaboard and the Indian Ocean, one has sandy beaches with cold turquoise waters and the other warmer waters. Bohemian coastal villages, trendy town centres, vineyards, museums, art galleries and a rich cultural heritage all bind together to create an eccentric and remarkably good-looking holiday destination. A few highlights that should not missed include a trip to Cape Point, a drive over Chapman’s Peak, a walking tour of the historical Bo Kaap and District Six regions, dinner...

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SafariLive : A Virtual Safari in Masai Mara and Kruger
Nov12

SafariLive : A Virtual Safari in Masai Mara and Kruger

safariLIVE gives viewers from around the world an opportunity to go on safari and ask questions – from the comfort of their living room or from behind their computer screen. Let’s unwrap that sentence and explain ourselves. safariLIVE broadcasts live from the Greater Kruger in the pristine Sabi Sand Reserve and from the Masai Mara’s great migration. Footage is live, unedited and thus provides both an exciting and authentic safari experience. safariLIVE is the brainchild of WildEarth who have really provided viewers with reality TV. Script? No script – it’s the African wild and nothing can be predicted. The sightings provide the fodder for the ad lib scripts. Then, there’s also the opportunity to interact LIVE, while rangers are out on drive and in a sighting. Instead of sitting on the back of an open-topped game viewer, asking questions, you can tweet #SafariLive and they will interact live with their virtual guests! The live feed happens twice a day for 10 minutes (typically game drives happen at dawn and dusk) during the morning game drive and evening game drive. There are two game vehicles, drones and a guide on foot all seeking the same thing – wildlife ! Every day, over 53 million viewers across multiple National Geographic Facebook accounts are transported to South Africa daily for interactive, guided Facebook Live safaris. Join a virtual drive in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in south-western Kenya or in the Sabi Sand in the Greater Kruger. If you can’t join the live safari drive, then be sure to observe the footage from the live feed at the Djuma waterhole in the Sabi Sand. If you sit and watch the footage, you never know what you might see! If you’d like to stay at the lodges involved in this interactive safari experience, then we can always arrange a stay at two of our favourite lodges, Chitwa Chitwa and Arathusa Safari Lodge in the heart of the Sabi Sand...

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Introducing Chobe’s Remote Nogatsaa Pans Lodge
Nov11

Introducing Chobe’s Remote Nogatsaa Pans Lodge

Nogatsaa Pans Lodge is a relatively unknown lodge located in a less-explored region of the Chobe National Park, a game-rich area teeming with an abundance of game. The major drawcard of staying at this safari lodge in Botswana? The design, position and variety of species. Nogatsaa could not have been designed better, and architects have certainly taken advantage of the surrounds and cleverly constructed hides, viewing points and lounges in prime game viewing positions. This eco-aware lodge is an extension of its natural environment, and not an intrusion into its remote and raw surrounds. Situated 80 km south of the Chobe River front area, Nogatsaa region has a unique cluster of clay-bottom pans which fill up during the rainy season and supplemented during the dry season. The pans draw a wealth of wildlife to the area, which can be viewed from the comfort of one of the many hides dotted around the area. This eco-aware lodge epitomises safari sophistication and its superior design elements and attention to detail, make it a sought after destination. This is the latest brainchild of Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge, an exquisite luxury lodge in an unusual position of top of a hill in the Savuti region. It goes without saying that Nogatsaa will be as successful as its sister lodge. Nogatsaa’s 12 exquisite luxuriously tented rooms with private balconies overlook the Kwikamba Pan, the largest pan in the area. There are luxury tented rooms and family rooms, each with a flexible bed configuration, comprising 3/4 beds and king size beds. Expect exquisite en suite bathrooms, white percale linen, oversized pillows and towels for extra comfort, and even extra touches such as gowns and slippers. Your tented palatial safari suite has a lounge, chairs, and even a desk to catch up on some writing or work you’ve neglected. In short, Nogatsaa’s rooms epitomise the ultimate in safari style. We’ll let the images do the talking with this...

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Lion Sands Tinga Lodge has a new Family Suite: Hi’Nkweni Villa
Nov10

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge has a new Family Suite: Hi’Nkweni Villa

It’s music to our ears when we hear there is MORE from MORE! We get to be excited about something we know is going to add so much value to our clients’ safari experiences, and with this recent addition to the already established Lion Sands family, it is nothing less than newsworthy. The beautiful Tinga Lodge, located in private Kruger National Park, has added a family suite to their existing 9 luxury suites. Hi’Nkweni Villa opened in August this year with the intention of accommodating families with young children in an exclusive and entirely comfortable way, without compromising on the luxury we have come to expect from the More properties. The Hi’Nkweni Family Villa is located along the boardwalk that leads from Tinga’s spacious and stylish main lodge area to each of the, now, 10 suites, which line the Sabie River. Beautiful riverine trees provide year-round shade and greenery, bringing dappled sunlight into every area of the lodge. The dining space, living area, bar, curio shop, reception, and mesmerising deck overlooking the river, are all strewn with rays of sunlight pouring through the trees. Hi’Nkweni is situated close to the main lodge, offering convenience and ease to parents travelling with young children who might want to explore between meal times and safari activities. The villa itself can sleep a maximum of 6 guests in 2 bedrooms (4 adults and 2 children); and is perfect for families with children as young as 6. There is unobtrusive yet secure fencing surrounding the villa, which offers safety and peace of mind for parents. Each of the two master bedrooms have private covered patios and lead onto courtyard gardens, while the villa is also designed to facilitate family and group interaction with a beautiful and spacious entertainment area, where you will find a swimming pool, garden, wooden deck, and covered patio. There is an indoor lounge with a fireplace, air-conditioning, a fridge and pantry area offering drinks and snacks on hand. Each of the bedrooms has an indoor and outdoor shower, a bath tub, separate WC, an open plan vanity station, and views into the garden. The setup of Hi’Nkweni Villa is ideal for families; additionally because it comes with a private guide and game viewer. Each of the Tinga game viewers seats 6 people spaciously, and the family suite gets its own to cater for the group exclusively. It is an incredibly family-friendly operation with generous rates for children between the ages of 6 and 15 (50% of the adult rate), and specialised activities that bring families together in...

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New Tanzania Luxury at Jabali Ridge in Ruaha National Park
Nov07

New Tanzania Luxury at Jabali Ridge in Ruaha National Park

We are always excited about a new offering from the world of luxury safaris, so the arrival of Asilia Africa’s newest, Jabali Ridge, has got us ogling. This is architecturally unique, alluring, and utterly luxurious, from its magnificent location on a boulder-strewn koppie, to its dramatic infinity pool with baobab views, and its seamlessly blended 8 suites, which are made of natural materials and camouflage perfectly against the granite landscape. In addition to 8 luxury suites (each sleeping 2 people), Jabali Ridge Private House offers exclusive accommodation to groups and families in 2 master bedrooms and a twin room. The lodge opened its doors in September this year, inviting guests to this mountaintop retreat overlooking the vastness of Ruaha National Park. The intelligent design of Jabali Ridge makes it almost invisible on the landscape, surrounded by granite boulders, and among the baobab trees that make this region so special. The bedrooms are built of natural timber, woven textiles, and dynamic Louvered shutters, which slide open or closed to suit guest preference during different times of day. The shuttered walls are features themselves, acting as cool ventilation passages on warm days, and sealing to enclose the rooms at night. King size beds offer indulgence for afternoon siestas and spacious comfort at night, while ensuite bathrooms are equipped with rainshowers from which a view of the surroundings can be enjoyed. Private decks with loungers enhance the space in which guests can relax and admire the Ruaha scenery, while a Spa offers even more in terms of safari pampering. And did we mention the rim-flow pool that spills out between the boulders and onto the endless plains below? Well, there’s that too. In terms of safari experience, Tanzania is world renowned. Ruaha National Park is vast, and it is where 10% of the world’s wild lion population resides. Mega prides of about 20 lions are known to patrol these lands, while the landscape is also perfect cheetah territory. Elephants dominate Ruaha, while buffalo, giraffe, sable and roan are among the abundant wildlife populations scattered throughout the area, and around the Mwabusi River, which is a hotspot nearby. Game drives, walking safaris, and night drives are conducted by expert guides who bring invaluable quality to the Jabali experience. Beginning at the break of dawn, morning game drives kickstart the day of game viewing, and can include a picnic breakfast if this is what guests would prefer. Alternatively, a cooked breakfast can be enjoyed upon return to the lodge. All ingredients and recipes are locally crafted and perfected, while all meals – from bread and biscuits to ice-cream – are homemade by the talented...

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Do You Know About These Exclusive Places to Stay in Cape Town?
Oct29

Do You Know About These Exclusive Places to Stay in Cape Town?

Cape Town is brimming with luxury hotels catering for holidaymakers with a champagne lifestyle and endless budget. The hotels spilling over into the 5 star range, and bordering on 6 star, most certainly conform to international standards of luxury. One five star hideaway is not the same its neighbouring five star hideaway – we don’t do carbon copy, and each hotel has its own flair, architecture and design. Even if your bank balance reflects that of the Jones’ next door, it does not mean that your taste is the same. There are travellers wanting the crème de la crème of accommodation with bold colours and contemporary architecture, and there are other crème de la crème guests wanting more placid hotels with understated decor. We are all different in our desires, and this has nothing to do with our bank balance. So, with that in mind, we’ve selected our top 3 most exclusive places to stay in Cape Town. Each of these places contrasts the other, but one thing remains consistent – their commitment to service, architecture designed to take advantage of the views, chefs with a flair for gourmet food and attention to detail when it comes to finishings. Here are our 3 “new kids on the block” in terms of hotels. The less explored, but most exquisite – do you know about these exclusive places to stay in Cape Town? If not, it’s time to find out! The One Above at the One and Only Hotel in the VA Waterfront Yacht Basin If you thought that the One and Only Hotel offered a sense of style and luxury to the discerning traveller, you should visit The One Above. The One Above is part of the Royal Portfolio, and is at the top of the A-list of penthouse living in Cape Town. Guests staying in the One Above can enjoy the amenities offered by the Waterfront’s elite hotel, but can still enjoy a sense of privacy and exclusivity while cocooned in their millionaire mansion up in the clouds. This is a private residence was included in the Town & Country Magazine’s 100 Best Hotels in the World during 2015. It’s decor is superb, with a focus on muted and neutral colours with flecks of brighter hues. The glass, crystal, perspex and light colours reflect the commanding views from outside, and each element is careful not to detract from the world of colour outside. This luxury residence has 4 beautifully-appointed bedrooms each with an en-suite bathroom, 42 inch flat-screen TV, and private balcony. Balconies overlook the Mother city’s most famous landmark – Table Mountain and her yacht basin, the Va&A Waterfront. The master bedroom...

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Ongava Private Game Reserve – Your Exclusive Etosha Experience
Oct16

Ongava Private Game Reserve – Your Exclusive Etosha Experience

There’s only one place in the world where stone deserts meet ancient sand dunes, which meet the Atlantic Ocean, providing a vast, wild home to a diversity of specialised wildlife, including the critically endangered black rhino. Namibia and its famous Etosha National Park offer some of the most unique safari experiences in Africa, and Ongava Private Game Reserve is an exclusive, wild sanctuary, born from a dedication to conservation. Sharing a common border with Etosha, Ongava is a 30 000-hectare stretch of land made up of adjacent farms, which were bought and reinvented as a vast safe haven for Namibia’s precious wildlife. It is now one of the country’s luxury destinations for sublime safari offerings. From the most endangered large mammals, like black and white rhino, to the equally as cherished cheetah, Ongava has worked actively to protect and conserve some of Africa’s most threatened species. Here, 4 safari lodges are an inviting presence to travellers from all over the world looking to explore this unique desert habitat: Ongava Lodge, Ongava Tented Camp, Little Ongava, and Andersson’s Camp. With private access to Etosha National Park itself, the opportunities to experience incredible wildlife is endless. Private game drives in Ongava offer unbeatable quality, while day trips into Etosha open one of Southern Africa’s most famous parks up for exploration. Either way, a safari experience at Ongava is second to none. Little Ongava is an intimate, private, luxury getaway in the heart of it all. This private game reserve on the border of Etosha is a protected Eden of species diversity where hours spent watching the waterholes might look a little something like this… That morning chill catching one’s breath out in the fresh African air, the air permeated by the bellowing call of a king patrolling his kingdom. A fairytale start to the day at Ongava Private Game Reserve on the border of Etosha National Park – Namibia’s celebrated wilderness. This exclusive reserve is far from falling into the shadow of its famous neighbour, as its sublime population of wildlife flock to the waterholes and put on one alluring display for guests. Springbok, ostrich, and oryx gathered at a waterhole, painting one of Namibia’s most iconic wildlife pictures. These beautiful, desert-adapted animals are common features of an Etosha safari, creating a vision which is so unique to Namibia. We are celebrating the desolate beauty of Etosha this week, and as this image by Olwen Evans for Ongava Lodge shows just how full of life this desert really is… A stunning portrait of Namaqua sandgrouse and their reflections, as they fill their breast feathers with water at the edge of a pan...

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