National Geographic’s Unique (Safari) Lodges of the World
Sep11

National Geographic’s Unique (Safari) Lodges of the World

National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World is a handpicked selection of lodges across the globe offering extraordinary accommodation in treasured corners of the world. This carefully curated selection of awe-inspiring places offers guests an opportunity to stay in places that conserve and protect nature, cultural heritage and use sustainable practices for the day-to-day running of their lodge. Coupled with this, National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World also offer an elite sense of luxury with a personalised and intimate atmosphere. There are currently 17 lodges in Africa that have earned their position on this list of sought-after lodges, but today we’re just going to highlight 5 safari lodges within Nat Geo’s list. These are the lodges to stay at if you’d like to travel with purpose in Africa, and seek a more enriching experience than just the standard safari. They set the standard for luxury and responsible travel experiences, in our favourite safari regions. Click here to read the comprehensive list of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World in Africa. Duba Plains in Duba Plains Reserve, Botswana Dashing Duba Plains is located in a game-rich stretch of bushveld north of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta region. The lodge is community owned. As a matter of fact, it is the only place within this concession, which means private wildlife viewing.Wooded islands and vast floodplains cocoon Duba Plains, providing the perfect habitat for a diverse array of predators. The waterways are permanent, which means ample sightings of wading birds and amphibian hunting raptors. The entire camp sits under a canopy of fig trees, and the main area has a splash pool, central lounge and bar area and ample indoor/outdoor relaxation spots. In terms of accommodation, there are only 5 luxury tents, which ensures an intimate and personalised service. Each tent has its own private verandah on a viewing deck. Considered the Okavango Delta’s most remote camp, we’re not surprised that Duba made it onto the Nat Geo’s premier list of destinations. This is the place that the owners, and National Geographic filmmakers, conservationists and explorers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, chose for their home base. andBeyond Ngorongoro Crate Lodge, Tanzania andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perfectly perched on the rim of a caldera, a geographical phenomenon which is caused by the collapse of a volcano into itself. This naturally depressed area is filled with dense greenery and is home high concentrations of wildlife, almost forming a protected pocket of paradise for animals. The lodge overlooks endless landscapes, and is an architectural delight that offers unique decor reflecting that of its surrounds.  There are 30 elegant stilted suites...

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Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sep03

Top 4 Luxury Hotels in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its vibrant culture, sought after beaches and iconic landmarks. The Rio carnival brings in hoards of visitors during the sunny February months, and is considered to be the largest carnival in the world. The city pulsates with activity and there’s an overall atmosphere of absolute happiness washing over Rio! There’s a lot more to Rio than carnivals and parties. The city is home to the endless white beaches of Copacabana flanked by the famous towering Sugar Loaf mountain. Another popular beach region in Rio is the Ipanema beach and coastline, a place that draws in a hippie surfer crowd. The contrasting hilly region of Santa Teresa, a remote village defined by cobbled streets and magnificent views. These are our top 4 uxury hotels in the most popular regions in Rio de Janeiro. Belmond Copacabana Palace This classic landmark of a hotel is steeped in history, and lords over it surrounds. Resting on the shores of Copacabana Beach, the Belmond Copacabana Palace is most certainly a timeless hotel. The 239 roomed hotel opened its doors in 1923 and has certainly aged gracefully. It’s a glamorous destination once frequented by the Hollywood elite of the 1950s. It’s still home to an elite crowd in Brazil and is the perfect place to kick back and enjoy a caipirinha or two. This art deco masterpiece is home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a massive swimming pool – two perfect places to unwind ! Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro Fasano is vastly different to Copacabana Palace in that it’s a modern, designer hotel with designer brands and stylish finishings everywhere you turn. Ideally located on the exquisite Ipanema Beach, Hotel Fasana is nothing short of exceptional. Ipanema Beach sees scores of surfers, sun worshippers and beach-goers lapping up the pristine beach lifestyle. This 89 roomed hotel is Philippe Starck’s first hotel in Brazil and is designed to reflect the 1950s and 60s era, where  bossa nova was in its heyday. Not only is Hotel Fasano located in one of Rio’s most coveted addresses, but it’s also an absolute design masterpiece created with flair. Each room has a balcony with sweeping views of Ipanema and when guests aren’t taking in the vistas of Brazil, they can enjoy indulgent spa treatments. Marina All Suites This is a luxury boutique designer hotel located in the Leblon area of Rio. Rumoured to be a favourite of supermodel Gisele Bundchen, the Marina All Suites is certainly aesthetically pleasing so we’re not surprised that it attracts a wealth of interest. The restaurant is the place to be and the be seen, and you’ll be...

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Should You Bring Children on Safari to South Africa?
Sep02

Should You Bring Children on Safari to South Africa?

Today’s fast-paced modern world is littered with devices and technology. There’s a constant need for instant gratification and an expectation to always be online and available. Immersing yourself in nature provides an opportunity to break-free from the need to be plugged-in constantly. A safari provides the ultimate wilderness escape where you are surrounded by endless savannah, big game and mind-blowing night skies. It’s important to introduce children to the beauty of the outdoors, and let them disconnect from the pressure of the modern world. This is why you should bring your children on safari to South Africa! It’s the type of holiday designed to keep the family connected to nature, and ensure your soul follows the rhythm of nature. Today, we’re sharing 5 lodges catering for children on safari to South Africa to help you prep for the ultimate holiday to Africa. The below 5 safari lodges cater for children and even have their own have specific programs for kids. Madikwe Safari Lodge in Madikwe Private Game Reserve Madikwe is located in the Malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve bordering the North West Province. Madikwe Safari Lodge has a choice of a few lodges, one of which is the family-friendly Lelapa Lodge. It’s a lodge that’s luxuriously laid-back and caters for both adults and kids. The Eco House is where all the children’s activities happen, with a highlight being the “Mack and Madi Kids’ Adventure Safari Club”. A qualified host of childminders, field guides and excursion managers have created the perfect kids safari package. Children learn everything from identifying animal tracks, discovering plants, baking, arts and crafts, outdoor movies and interacting with the local pet – a bearded dragon. Babysitting services are available for the young toddlers, while the older kids have the option of joining gentle meanders in the surrounding bushveld. There are 12 suites at Lelapa Lodge ideally set-up for families. The children’s bedrooms are full to the brim with all the creature comforts from home. We’re talking hoards of toys, books and bunk beds. For the more mature family members, there is a private lounge, viewing deck and plunge pool. Across the way is the waterhole, which makes for ideal evening entertainment. Families often sit together, observing wildlife filtering down to the water’s edge. Londolozi in the Famous Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve The team at Londolozi have approached the family safari with a unique mindset. Instead of a set itinerary and cast-in-stone children’s program, Londolozi have a philosophy and understanding that each child has individual needs, as do the families. There are a host of activities available, and team members are on hand to maximise children’s...

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5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central
Sep01

5 Funky Instagram Worthy Hotels in Cape Town Central

There are hotels and then there are hotels. Most hotels in Cape Town offer something unique, but then there are a handful of hotels that are simply picturesque in the most quirky of ways. some hotels just deserve to be celebrate on – dare we say it – Instagram. These are our 5 funky Instagram worthy hotels in Cape Town Central. The George Hotel They refer to the George Hotel as the “Gorgeous George” – and for good reason ! This hotel is a design masterpiece incorporating modern decor with a taste of Cape history. The hotel is located in two heritage buildings that have been restored to their former glory. The George is now THE place to be seen. The 32 luxurious industrial chic rooms are kitted out with eclectic and Victorian decor, ensuring a classic yet modern ambience. Plenty of deep greens, plant walls and plush colours provide a sense of relaxing depth to the hotel. Did anyone say indoor jungle? Not only is the Gorgeous George a must-see inner city hotel, but it also offers a rather remarkable restaurant area with a view. There’s a rooftop bar and pool area giving rise to sweeping views of city ‘scapes, and provides the ideal space for a funky crowd to enjoy a bit of New York living in the heart of Cape Town. Gorgeous George is energetic and vibrant; and certainly making waves in the hotel world! Location : The George Hotel is located in the heart of Cape Town’s bustling city centre, on Greenmarket Square in the St Georges Mall. Best Instagram Spots :  Choose any corner on the rooftop bar. There’s also the swimming pool with views of the city. The winding marble staircase makes for unique photos. There’s plenty of colourful greenery indoors, lounge areas and long arty hallways. The Silo Hotel The Silo Hotel is a modern and contemporary hotel located in the famous VA Waterfront area. The towering hotel overlooks the yacht basin and no expense has been spared when it comes to the design of the hotel. The Silo sits neatly above the Zeitz Mocca art gallery and museum, and actually looks like a work of art itself with its bevelled pillowed windows. This is elite living at its finest and sets the standard in terms of five star hotels in Cape Town. This bold hotel is built in a towering old grain elevator, and offers various rooms types all decorated in an eclectic style. There are actually 6 categories of rooms, with one presidential Rooftop pool, restaurants, bar area and spa treatment room offer a number of perfect places to unwind...

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The 5 BEST things about a SUMMER safari
Aug08

The 5 BEST things about a SUMMER safari

Sure, African summers are notoriously harsh in terms of heat with temperatures that escalate well into the 40s (C), but the relief of big, heavy cumulonimbus clouds gathering in a rumble of humidity and electricity in the afternoons is one of the best sights, sounds, and smells in the world. Any African will tell you that. The fat droplets of rain that eventually burst from the weighty heavens simmer on the hot earth and refill waterholes and river beds with the liquid of life. Summer is by far the more beautiful of the safari seasons, but winter is the most popular time to travel. From July to October, water is scarce and animals migrate to find food sources. In national parks and reserves across Africa, tourism explodes as the game viewing becomes the best yet. Without thick, leafy trees blocking the view and with resources reduced to a minimum, the competition is high and predators have a field day. Winter certainly does have its perks, but summer should not be overlooked because it packs and incredible experience, if you can handle the heat and the bugs! We’ll tell you why… Birds, obviously We’re passionate about birding, and we know we’re not alone. Summer is the exciting time of year when we start to hear those familiar bird calls that have been absent for the rest of the year. Some of the crowd favourites in Southern Africa include the cuckoos, like the red-chested cuckoo’s “piet my vrou” chant, and the woodland kingfisher, whose high-pitched cascading song is one of the most recognisable in the summer bush. Beautiful, iridescent jewel tones of the emerald and Diederik cuckoos are almost unbelievable to see, and suddenly those abundant lilac-breasted rollers are joined by their cousins, the European rollers. Yellow-billed kites arrive early in the season and then are abundantly present. Amur falcons make the incredible journey all the way from north-eastern China and back again and are celebrated for their mammoth trans-equatorial flight. Quite amazingly, over 100 bird species migrate to South Africa every summer, some travelling over 10 000 kilometres in a matter of days. The warm African season is abundant with food and water for birds and it is the perfect breeding ground. If you’re into birds, you have to safari in summer. Better priced accommodation The “green season” prices for lodge accommodation (around January to March) are much lower than the peak season prices (June to October), giving you a lot more room in your budget. When the safari season calms down at the start of summer (November) and rooms begin to empty, the cost of your stay at a...

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Reopening of Selinda Camp is all about Earth, Fire, Air, and Water in the Delta
Aug07

Reopening of Selinda Camp is all about Earth, Fire, Air, and Water in the Delta

For the most exclusive getaway in Mother Nature’s pristine playground, look no further than Selinda Camp in northern Botswana. It is known and celebrated as both a barefoot luxury safari retreat and the location of wildlife documentary filmmaking by renowned conservationists, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Now, Selinda Camp has unveiled a new look after closing for a touch-up, and the result is even more breathtaking than before. It retains that openness we’ve always loved, and the high A-frame thatched roofs that resemble the traditional look of the Sangwali village in the Caprivi Strip. The refurbishments have emphasised Robinson Crusoe-style design, and are grounded by the four elements: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. Located in the 130 000-hectare Selinda Reserve, on the banks of the Selinda Spillway where it joins the Linyanti River, this is a place of pristine wilderness. Northern Botswana’s Okavango Delta wetland and associated channels and lagoons are rich in biodiversity and flourishing with wildlife. The presence of water being the source of all life here. Selinda Camp’s design pays homage to this essential natural element in the splashes of blue hues, pieces of drift wood, and inviting plunge pools outside each guest room. The element of air is evident in the architectural design, which has left so much open space and freedom for breezes to move through living areas. The thatched roofs rise high above the wooden floors of the main guest area and the lack of walls and doors lets all the fresh air in Selinda flow right on through. Rustic textures and raw wood bring everything down to earth, making inhabitants at Selinda Camp feel connected to the earth element of the natural world. Flickering lanterns, burning amber sunsets, and bare copper light fittings hint at the presence of fire – the fourth element – tying the camp’s new look together in a warm embrace. The ivory-coloured canvas walls and draped canvas ceilings in the bedrooms and parts of the dining and lounge area is classic nostalgia reminiscent of the old days of David Livingstone’s African explorations. Worn floor rugs blanket the wooden floors, large carved doors with brass knockers are items you’d expect to find in old Arabic cities, but that fit in just perfectly with Selinda’s inter-cultural atmosphere. African spears meet aged brass and shiny copper, bringing the Afro-European luxury to the walls and table tops decorated throughout the camp. Leather sofas and re-purposed wooden tables meet modern textiles and patterned materials to create a fusion of the old and the new. Nothing looks like it belongs, yet nothing looks out of place. A perfectly even victory of design. There are just...

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The Electric Safari Vehicle Revolution
Aug04

The Electric Safari Vehicle Revolution

It’s safe to say that Electric Safari Vehicles have the ability to change the game in the world of safari experiences. Not only are these state-of-the-art conversions much more environmentally friendly than normally aspirated vehicles, like the typical Land Rover Defenders or 4.2-litre diesel Toyota Land Cruisers, but they virtually are silent while running. This vehicle is revolutionary for game drives, and we’ll tell you why. It handles rocks and river sand just the same, if not better, than fuel-powered engines Field guides who expertly navigate the bushy terrain with their guests on the back of their six or nine-seater 4x4s have reported on how seamlessly the converted vehicles perform over the same rocky obstacles, through the thick riverbed sand, and across water crossings. The electric safari vehicle has the same capabilities as a Diesel engine and does not hinder access in typical safari landscapes. Precision control, torque, and 4×4 capabilities are impressive to say the least, so that’s point number one! It’s completely silent when running The electric conversions make an ordinary engine completely soundless. There is no loud turn-over of the engine as the key turns in the ignition and no roar of the engine coming to life before settling at a steady, rather loud, rumble. Cruising through the wilderness, listening for the sounds of animals and birds has never been easier. Many seasoned safari guests and field guides can’t believe the difference in what they can hear without the usual “chugga-chugga” of the Land Cruiser. Guides express being able to hear alarm calls in the bush, birds calling, and grass rustling all while driving. No more switching off of the engine to listen out for that telltale kudu bark! Plus, guests on the back of the vehicle can communicate easily with their guide in the driver’s seat without the sound of the engine. It emits no fossil fuels and charges on solar power Perhaps the most important aspect of the new electric safari vehicle is its eco-friendliness. By converting ordinary fuel-powered engines to electrically charged engines eliminates those harmful emissions from the atmosphere in environmentally sensitive areas. One of the most powerful ways in which we can change our impact on the environment is to reduce fossil fuels, and so for every engine converted, the greater the safari industry becomes for the planet. What’s more? It charges on solar power, taking it even further off the grid and utilising the sun’s abundant energy. It perfectly matches eco-friendly lodges that have already switched over to solar, completing the package and sealing the deal. It’s perfect for photography and videography The electric vehicles are so smooth and still and have...

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