Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine
Jun10

Patagonia Hiking Guide: Day Hikes in Torres del Paine

Patagonia is one of the world’s most renowned hiking and trekking destinations. A place for adventurers and nature lovers where the elements can be challenging, but the scenery and landscape majestic… staggeringly so. Torres del Paine is Patagonia’s most famous trekking hotspot and it is where you will find a variety of different day-hikes and multi-day trekking excursions among a host of other outdoor activities, such as boat cruises, kayaking, horse-riding, glacier trekking, etc. We’ve got an article dedicated to the experience of puma trekking in Torres del Paine, and in this article we’re highlighting two of the region’s best hikes for day-packing – one easy and one not so easy! First things first: Weather First, it is important to know that Patagonia is almost as famous for its weather as it is for its rugged landscape. The wind can be very gusty and icy cold, and from about May to October, the winter season takes hold and everything turns white – this is not the time to hike! We recommend hiking in the seasons in between, when the cold is manageable, and in summer when the days are long and pleasantly warm. There is always a chance of rainfall, even during the summer months from December to February, and the wind pumps regularly, so there is no avoiding that altogether, but that’s all part and parcel of a visit to Patagonia! The Autumn months of March and April are also a very pleasant time to be in Patagonia and it is less busy with tourist traffic, so that’s a bonus if you are looking for more privacy and exclusivity. Summer is very busy in terms of visitors and your hiking trails are going to be bustling with other hikers. March and April are better for quieter visits and the wind blows less vigourously, which is nice for campers, but it is a bit colder and the closer to winter you go, the higher the chance of rainfall, so April-May is risky. Spring in October and November is also a favourable time of year, but it still packs that winter chill, so make sure to bundle up and keep warm. Rainfall is less likely to put a damper on things at this time of year, and there are no crowds comparable with summer, so, bonus! Gear Patagonia is an incredibly social place and it is very popular with young couples and groups of friends, as well as solo travellers who are on a soulful mission to realign with nature. Backpackers and hitchhikers are seen all over the quaint little towns in southern Chile, and especially in Puerto Natales, which...

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3 Interesting Facts About Cheetahs
Jun05

3 Interesting Facts About Cheetahs

The streamlined and sleek cheetah is one of the elusive cats to spot while on an African safari. According to their genus, they’re not actually part of the Panthera genus, and are technically NOT big cats. Interestingly enough, they are actually the last remaining species of the genus Acinonyx. An interesting fact given that we lump them together with other cats in the big cat family category. The Panthera genus is a category assigned to big cats that emit a guttural and throaty roaring/barking sound. A cheetah doesn’t roar, it emits a high-pitched chirp and thus isn’t a Panthera. However, they are still part of the Felidae family and still very much a cat! These delicate, elite cats are wonderful to watch when they’re at full speed. Found throughout southern Africa, cheetah have a wide distribution but do favour open savannahs with little obstacles. If you found the above information interesting, then we’re pretty sure you’ll find these further facts about our aerodynamic cats rather enlightening.  3 Interesting Facts About Cheetahs They are diurnal hunters because they have poor night vision. Cheetah have excellent vision and can see clarity on an object for up to 5 km. Coupled with their ability to assimilate detail on an object kilometres away, they also have a 210 degree peripheral vision. During the day a cheetah’s eyesight is equivalent to a powerfully expensive zoom lens! The black hairs absorb light from the sun and allow cheetahs to run straight towards the sun and still be able to see. Unfortunately this precision eyesight doesn’t fare well during the nocturnal hours. Cheetah hunt at dawn and dusk, when it’s still light outside and the air cool enough to hunt. Big cats generally prowl under the cover of darkness, which means cheetah have naturally eliminated the competition for prey by hunting outside of predator rush hour. Speed is their secret weapon, not strength. Cheetah are the fastest terrestrial animals and can easily reach speeds of up to 120 km per hour. Their twisty elongated tail acts like a rudder and helps them balance when reaching top speeds. The cheetah’s body is so finely tuned for speed, that it lacks other skills to protect itself in the wild. These cats don’t have much strength and cannot afford to fight off any form of predatory competition. This is why, when they take down prey, they will eat  quickly and with finesse. They cannot afford to come face-to-face with bone crushing scavengers. Their kill tactics are swift and little blood is shed. Cheetah are solitary animals, but males and females are seen together when its time to mate. Cheetah...

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3 Unique Tropical Beach Lodges in Mozambique for Barefoot Luxury
Jun05

3 Unique Tropical Beach Lodges in Mozambique for Barefoot Luxury

The Mozambique coast is a rugged tropical paradise fringed by warm turquoise waters and landscapes laden with coconut groves. It’s remove, edgy, authentically African and offers secluded pockets of paradise on exclusive islands. Colourful village markets, bustling beach towns, crisp coconuts and freshly caught seafood is the order of the day in Africa’s beach paradise. The best way to enjoy the coast? To cocoon yourself in luxury and surround yourself with the wild beachy wonder of Mozambique. We’ve selected 3 tropical beach lodges in Mozambique for your barefoot luxury. Sava Dunes along the Inhambane Coastline Tofo is a world-renown diving region in Mozambique and offers abundant opportunities to spot whale-sharks and mantra rays, along with an array of colourful fish and corals. Located along the Inhambane Coastline in Mozambique, Tofo is a popular village with visitors to Mozambique. During the height of the summer holidays it can get quite busy, but still manages to keep its quaint rustic African seaside charm. Sava Dunes Beach Lodge is a pocket of luxury perfectly placed along this wild, raw and rugged coastline. Set a mere 5 – 7km outside of Tofo, it has its own private and remote beach location. The lodge is perched upon the sand dunes, and overlooks the emerald and sometimes turquoise Mozambican seas. It’s an eco-friendly lodge offering an authentic, off-the-grid experience. Sava comprises just 5 seaside beach cottages, constructed from wood. Balconies with endless views of the horizon provide the perfect place to kick back and soak up the tropics of Africa. The main area of the lodge houses a relaxing lounge that opens out onto a pool and decking area. Our favourite part? The swim-up bar of course. Take a swim to the bar and order yourself a Pina Colada – that’s an order! The beach is a few metres from your doorstep, and offers warm waters with a peeling surfable wave ideal for bodyboarding. In season, humpback whales are commonly spotted from the lodge. The surrounding area is world-renowned for its ocean safaris, which can all be arranged from the lodge. Distance from Maputo :  White Pearl : Ponta Mamoli, southern Mozambique With a name like “White Pearl” you can only imagine what’s in store for you. Located in southern Mozambique, the elegant White Pearl Resort is perfectly placed in a picturesque destination on the shores of the Ponto coastline. Decor is chic with a light Mediterranean beach club feel – not over the top, but rather a sublime and sophisticated take on coastal furnishings. Just the right combination of blues and crisp whites to complement the champagne sands in front of the rest. Certainly...

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What is the Best Safari Lodge in South Africa?
Jun05

What is the Best Safari Lodge in South Africa?

What is the best safari lodge in South Africa? A simple question with a complex answer! This answer is also dependent on personal taste and what you expect from your safari experience. The top mobile walking safari lodge might be too active a place for that honeymoon couple chasing spa treatments and a sedentary stay. What one couple might label the best safari lodge in South Africa, could be bottom of the list for another couple. Pushing personal taste and safari desires aside, we’re going to list 4 of the top safari lodges in South Africa that are our favourite premier destinations. What you should know is that Some of the best game viewing areas of the Greater Kruger Park are in the private concessions that share unfenced borders with the park, so wildlife flows freely between them. In these concessions, guests are taken on exciting off-road game drives and guided walks in the bush. The most well-known reserves are the Timbavati and Sabi Sand, popular destinations with foreign visitors. However, most of the private reserves within the Greater Kruger offer fantastic game viewing, on par with the more well-documented lodges. In short, these are the creme-de-la-creme of safari lodges within the Greater Kruger. Singita Lodges in Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Singita Sweni, Singita Castleton, Singita Ebony, Singita Boulders (Kruger National Park) and Singita Lebombo (Kruger National Park) all offer a variety of premier lodge options in the exclusive Sabi Sand and private concessions in the national park. Lebombo comes complete with a roof terrace, wine studio, espresso bar and help-yourself deli. There’s even a 25 metre pool sitting in front of 13 contemporary suites on the banks of a river. Boulders Lodge has a somewhat different atmosphere and is an extension of the African wild, an inviting piece of paradise furnished with light colours and gentle textures. Boulders overlooks the Sand River and is named after the smooth boulders taking pride of place at the lodge. Castleton is an exclusive use lodge ideal for families or small groups wanting a private safari experience. There are 6 individual cottages sprawled across manicured lawns, and a main area housing a haven of luxury for those safari downtimes. Sweni seems to almost form part of the banks of the Sweni River, a soothing and relaxing wild region in a private concession in the Kruger National Park. The lodge is bold in its design and sits under a canopy of riverine trees. A perfectly secluded location. Ebony Lodge is located on the banks of the Sand River and cleverly combines classic safari style with modern architecture. Ebony is a delightful mix...

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Safari Trifecta: Etosha, Akagera, and Okavango Delta
Jun04

Safari Trifecta: Etosha, Akagera, and Okavango Delta

The emergence of new and refurbished safari properties is always something that entices us. The possibility of discovering somewhere new, or seeing something through different eyes means that we get to continue developing and evolving our expertise and our product knowledge so that our itineraries include not only the trusted greats we work with over and over again, but that we can give our veteran clients something spectacular and new. When some of our favourite suppliers reveal their newest ventures with us, we’re all ears! We’ve picked three new properties to share with you that are turning out sublime safari memories for our adventurous guests. Sun Safaris secrets revealed! This is one safari trifecta you don’t want to miss. NAMIBIA: Etosha Heights Safarihoek Lodge Most of our Namibia-bound guests are keen self-drivers and lovers of unending wilderness, landscapes, and stars. That is not to say they don’t head to Namibia for the wildlife – they do! Etosha is world class and world renowned – but it’s the other contributing aspects to the wildlife experience that really sets this vast, coastal-desert country apart. Take a look at our Distinctive Namibia luxury itinerary for an idea of what we’re talking about. There is so much space to roam, a low human population for the surface area of the country, and there are lions that live on the Skeleton Coast! From the stars to the relic sand dunes to the desert elephants and black rhinos, Namibia is pure magic, and this is somewhere new we’re excited to be able to offer to our guests headed for Etosha: Safarihoek. Afrikaans for “safari corner”, this modern-comfort lodge is in a private nature reserve bordering the national park’s southwestern boundary, where it makes the most of the staggering views. Etosha Heights is a 60 000 hectare stretch of savannah with thorny thickets, riverine forest pockets, and mopane woodland – a diverse terrain hosting a huge variation in species. Rhino, both black and white, find a stronghold here where they are protected, and what’s more is you can contribute a cash donation of N$50 towards anti-poaching teams when you opt to log on to the unlimited WiFi! The lodge is sprawled out on top of a hill and so the views are indescribable. Wandering elephant, oryx, eland, springbok, zebra, giraffe, lion, and many others cross the plains and can be found in shady spots throughout the reserve. At night, the beauty of being in a private reserve means you can bundle up and head out on a game drive after dark when you stand a chance of seeing aardvark, leopard, and other nocturnal creatures. While you’re...

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Kichakani Serengeti Camp in Tanzania : An Escape in Two Migration Locations
Jun03

Kichakani Serengeti Camp in Tanzania : An Escape in Two Migration Locations

Sanctuary Retreats has raised the bar in terms of exclusive, luxury mobile camps in the Serengeti. Set in two unique locations across the plains of Africa, the aim of Kichakani Serengeti Camp in Tanzania is to track and follow the movements of million-strong zebra and wildebeest herds. The famous migration of the Serengeti is one of the many reasons visitors flock to Africa on an annual basis. Stay at Kichakani Serengeti Camp and follow the herds as they stampede off in search of succulent, sweet grasses during the annual migration cycle. How is it possible to have on camp in two locations? The answer is simple. It’s an entirely mobile and moveable tented structure that leaves little imprint on the environment. Tents are completely exclusive and offer an elite sense of luxury that matches the Sanctuary brand synonymous with classic safari style. The idea is to let guests experience a modern take on how the pioneering explorers of the 19th century lived. The locations vary and are selected based on a number of factors, with the major factor being the natural migration path of these adored ungulates. With so many species littering the plains, it’s inevitable that the marauding predators would come out to play. You will witness some of the greatest take-downs in history, and ogle over slender cheetah prowling the plains. It’s an absolute spectacle of wildlife, and the Kichakani team ensures that camps are set up in the most wildlife-rich pockets of the region. Nights are spent in the Classic Campaign Tents, canvas tents that serve as a protective canopy over an interior filled with mid-century decor coupled with a few contemporary items. We’re talking a mix of brass, copper, character cabinets, and high-quality wood designed to create a sophisticated safari atmosphere. A collection of Africa’s finest things! There are 10 tents in total, each of which is furnished in a classic Out of Africa distinctive style. Tents have their own wooden deck, a perfect place to kick back and relax with a freshly brewed Tanzanian coffee. Bathrooms are all en-suite and come complete with bucket showers – an experience not to be missed! Your own private tent butler will top up your bucket shower with warm water, as and when you please. Absolute wilderness relaxation at its best. When you’re not in the privacy of your authentic tent, lapping up the pristine surrounds, we urge you to migrate to the central canopied area housing a main tent that flows gently into a relaxation lounge and dining area. The tent is kitted-out with plush furnishings – the types of sofas that swallow you and cocoon you...

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A luxury pop-up mobile tented camp in Kruger National Park
Jun03

A luxury pop-up mobile tented camp in Kruger National Park

In July, an out of the ordinary, exclusive, imaginative, luxurious pop-up safari camp will be open for business in the Kruger National Park. Located in the meandering bushveld wilderness of South Africa’s leading wildlife area, about an hour from Skukuza, Kruger Grande offers a chance for guests to take a step closer to nature, invigorating their senses and enjoying a safari experience with a difference. Comfort is uncompromised and the style of the camp echoes the era of early explorer travel in Africa with canvas tents, cotton linens, paraffin lanterns, and dining under the stars. We are huge advocates for mobile camping experiences, and we are excited to offer this special Kruger National Park option to our guests during the month of July. The camp will be operated with African flair and inspired by the rugged beauty of the natural bushveld. Hosted by a team of expert staff and catered for by experienced chefs who create and serve gourmet food that is both internationally appreciated and traditional to South Africa. Each morning and evening, game drives led by professional guides in classic game viewers will take guests on safari, and at night you will lie in supreme comfort while listening to the sounds of the bush at night. This is not a small and intimate operation, but rather a celebration and shared experience in a special place in Africa, put together and pulled off by a team of people who have refined the luxury safari experience. There will be 25 walk-in tented bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom and hot shower. Attention to detail takes the experience to the next level, and everything from warming knee rugs to cosy electric blankets will be provided for, and roaring campfires will not only spread warmth but will shed a glowing, dancing light across the camp. There are lounge tents with day beds and sofas for basking in the sun or shade during the day while everything from elephant, giraffe, zebra, or hyena can be seen wandering past in their natural habitat. This is one special way to feel more connected with nature than in a permanent, fenced camp, and appeals to couples and families seeking something a little extra in their Kruger safari experience. Kruger Grande will be open from 1 to 31 July 2019 and all the preparations are under way to  deliver an iconic and unforgettable product. Children aged 12 and over are welcome for the adventure (there are guards present at all times to ensure guest safety in the otherwise unfenced camp), and those between ages 12 and 15 book in at half price. A maximum of...

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