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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Client Feedback : Bateleur Safari Camp
Aug07

Client Feedback : Bateleur Safari Camp

Michelle’s client enjoyed a Timbavati Kruger safari at Bateleur Safari Camp, a true African bush experience in the heart of big five territory. Bateleur is a relaxed camp that is quite flexible in terms of guests’ needs and offers clean, minimalist accommodation with a fresh look and feel. Guests can expect game drives, bush walks and other outdoor activities. Here is their feedback :  Dear Michelle, We just arrived home this weekend after a really wonderful holiday. Bateleur was definitely the highlight.  We loved the camp, the incredible staff and the game drives.  Our guide Sophia was so informative, gave us lots of interesting information, not the usual that you often hear from guides.  She had all my children riveted and, so much so, that my daughter cried when we left and said she is going to miss Sophia and Temba.  My boys loved walking in the bush and doing some tracking and were very impressed when the trackers made fire in about 1 minute. We loved the informality of the camp and the food was delicious but simple.  Not huge buffets and wastefulness. We had some awesome game viewing.  I got to see and Aardvark and Honey badgers which I have never seen before. Thank you for finding this gem for us. We would love to go again and can highly recommend it. Kindest regards...

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Client Feedback : Amazing Stories from a Repeat Client’s Botswana Safari
Aug07

Client Feedback : Amazing Stories from a Repeat Client’s Botswana Safari

Natasha’s repeat guest always knows exactly what she wants from her safari experience, and certainly has her list of favourite lodges. It’s a simple case of getting Natasha to book her required camps and lodges; and the occasional recommendation from Natasha. Linda chose to stay at the luxurious Kanana Camp in the Okavango Delta, the family friendly Camp Okuti in Moremi Game Reserve , and the contrasting Dinaka Camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Linda spent 3 nights at each camp and even enjoyed a private bush dinner for the two people, courtesy of Camp Okuti.  Here is their feedback :  Hi Natasha, Sorry for my late reply. We had a wonderful and always amazing trip in Botswana! Ker and Downey’s three camps are all good.  We love Dinaka and would say many goods things about it. Dinaka is less visited by tourists at the time when we were there, we even have the camp all to ourselves for just one day…..There are a family of four honey badgers that live under the main raised deck.  During that night when only two of us were around they came out to the dining hall to play, they chewed the carpet, hop on to the sofa…..interact with Joanne and myself.  When we turned our heads to the right to say hi one looked at us and turned his head to the same direction!  When we turned to the left he did the same, It was trully amazing! I am sure you will agree with me that it is not that easy to see a wild honeybadger in the wild, but that we saw all four and played with them! However, during the 2nd night a family with 2 kids moved in, due to the increased noises they did not come out anymore…. We must return to this camp, just for these honeybadger residents in the camp! We need to mention the sleep out experience, I would recommend this to anyone visiting this camp.  Kanana also offered the sleep out but then the sky is clearer in the desert, and the star gazing is impeccable!  It was a little cold and we asked for more bush babies (hot water bottles), I wore 2 pair of socks, 2 long sleeve t shirts, one fleece pullover, 2 pair of pants and 2 hats, and I put on a badana on my face to avoid having frozen nose.  It was 2 degrees but there were no wind, so…no problem sleeping.  I woke up at around 3am and watched the shooting stars, the galaxy, I saw Saturn, Mars, and the Southern Cross.  I would no...

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Animals You’ll Most Likely Spot on the Grounds of Your Kruger Safari Lodge
Aug07

Animals You’ll Most Likely Spot on the Grounds of Your Kruger Safari Lodge

The majority of safari lodges within the Great Kruger region have a story to tell about wildlife entering the grounds of their lodge. We’ve heard a few tall tales in our time, a couple of old wives tales and a few legend campfire stories told by the ancients of the bushveld. We’ve heard stories of leopards strolling along meandering pathways joining rooms, lions chilling on the balcony, wild dogs trotting through lodge grounds and elephants uprooting water pipes. Oh, there are stories – and plenty of them. Some of these narratives are hair raising, while others nothing short of endearing.  Whether it’s a budget safari lodge or one catering for  five star discerning guests, one thing’s for certain – we cannot control wildlife behaviour!  They type of wildlife you’ll spot on the grounds of your safari lodge is mostly dependent on whether or not the camp/lodge is fenced off from the traverse.  We’ve compiled a list of most commonly spotted species spotted on the grounds of a Kruger safari lodge. Obviously, sightings are not limited to this list and each destination probably has its own popular species. Honey Badgers You’ve been warned ! Honey badgers gained popularity in mainstream media for being tough, powerful and cheeky animals. Their “short and stout” body combined with their bumbling ways makes them look quite adorable. Do not be fooled. This Ratal species sleeps off cobra venom, waltzes through lion prides and fears nothing. They’re comical and fierce; and they love nothing more than to come into camp grounds, often providing much entertainment for guests. They’ll climb fences, scale walls and walk under things just to get what they want. Their resilience and appetite for mayhem is actually quite admirable. Honey badgers are the reason why guides warn against keeping food in your rooms and leaving doors open. The bumbling badgers will seek out food and scraps; which is why you’ll often see them close to kitchens areas in lodges. When you’re sitting around the campfire in the boma area you might hear scurrying – this is probably a honey badger ! They tend to cruise the lodge grounds after sunset. We’re pretty sure that your guide will beguile you tales of badgers sleeping on deck chairs, on tables and inform you of their general amusing and pesky behaviour.   Elephants A number of lodges have elephant fences surrounding the grounds, designed to keep the giant pachyderms at bay. But there are some lodges that are unfenced – this means wildlife can roam freely throughout. Elephants are seekers of pristine water and will travel miles to find the perfect source of water. Coupled...

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5 Iconic Wildlife Scenes on Safari
Aug07

5 Iconic Wildlife Scenes on Safari

Nothing screams Africa like a terracotta sunset serving as the backdrop to a lone umbrella tree hovering over a silhouette of an elephant. And there’s nothing more “African” than the call of the African fish-eagle and the guttural roar of a lion. There are so many scenes and sounds used to depict the bushveld life in Africa, many of which have become synonymous with the continent.  So, we’re not going to delve into the depths of the big five here, but we’re going to list the 5 iconic wildlife scenes on safari. These are the scenes that you’ll stumble across in printed literature, and the ones that make their way onto banners on websites promoting safaris in Africa. The giraffe walking across a golden horizon This is quite a common scene while on safari, and certainly one that’s not hard to capture. Giraffe constantly journey through the bushveld in search of edible greens,  with the acacia tree being their favourite source of nutrition. Giraffe will never remain in one spot for very long while browsing on shoots and leaves. And there’s good reason for this… When a giraffe towers over the landscape and greedily feeds on the acacias, the trees release an excess of unpalatable tannins because they feel they are under threat. This forces the giraffe herds to move off in favour of alternate food sources. Acacia trees “warn” neighbouring trees of the imminent threat, so giraffe are often seen cruising across the skyline to a batch of trees far removed from their original eating place! When they’re on the move they walk silently, slowly and carefully. Because of their innate curiosity, giraffe will stop and stare at their onlookers, which provides perfect moments for photography.  Their height means that your image is largely uninterrupted by crowds of trees. The sky in Africa is always on fire with reds, oranges and yellows; which inevitably means that you’re going to come away smiling with that giraffe sunset image. Elephants in front of your lodge This kind of sighting happens at most lodges that have an open camp with a swimming pool and/or a waterhole in front of camp. Yes, it’s common practice for elephants to descend upon lodge grounds; but it’s still considered a “lucky” sighting. It’s not quite as common as the giraffe on the horizon sighting, but it happens often enough. Especially during the dry winter season. And there’s a perfectly good explanation for this… Elephants are purveyors of good quality water and they’re creatures of habit. These giant pachyderms will cover plenty of ground in search of the perfect source of water, and during the winter...

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