Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thank you for our trip to South Africa

We just returned from South Africa and had a wonderful time: at Cape Town, at Reilly’s Rock and especially at Arathusa.  Thank you very much for your advice and assistance.  We were particularly pleased that we had an opportunity to visit Reilly’s Rock, certainly a special place.

I will not hesitate to send friends your way when they consider a trip to South Africa.

Ed Sider

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Beautiful Game Tour 2010

As we all know, the beautiful game, the greatest sporting attraction in the world, takes place from the 11th June to the 11th July 2010 in South Africa. Accommodation at this time is understandably very scarce and is at a premium, with thousands of fans flocking to our shores to witness this sporting spectacle. We have secured some very limited accommodation that is available for this period, and we are able to offer the following dates for our 3-day Beautiful Game Tour, these dates being:
10 to 12 June
17 to 19 June
24 to 26 June
26 to 28 June
2 to 4 July
8 to 10 July
The itinerary for this 3 day tour for any of the above dates:
Day 1 – Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park (Dinner)
We will collect you after your breakfast from your hotel in Durban and travel along the scenic Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, directly to the “big 5” Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park where we will spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in a brick under thatch chalet, each bedroom with its own private bathroom/wash-basin and toilet. Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge.
Our game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates into the park.
This first evening we go on a night drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organization that is tasked with running this reserve. Here we hope to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard, which are always difficult to find, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the owls and nightjars. You also get the chance to see some of the diurnal animals, such as impala, nyala, giraffe, zebra, etc.
Day 2 – Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park (Breakfast, Dinner)
Today will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon one of the predators returning to their day-time lair. This is the game reserve famous for "Operation Rhino" which brought the white rhino back from the brink of extinction. Now you should see just how successful KZN Wildlife has been in this endeavor.
Sightings of rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, and antelope such as impala, nyala and kudu are seen frequently and with the possibility of seeing lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, black rhino, hippo, crocodile, monitor lizard, hyena and antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently. These drives are conducted with your guide in his/her vehicle, making the most of the limited time available.
Day 3 – St. Lucia, Durban (Breakfast)
This morning we depart the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park after breakfast and make our way to the village of St. Lucia where we board a boat for a two hour cruise on the lake in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are guaranteed to see hippos, with a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and a vast array of bird-life. After our two-hour cruise and lunch in the village we make our way back to Durban, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
The tariff for this tour is R7230 per person sharing, and this includes transport to and from Durban, accommodation, one night drive, all game drives with your guide, entry fee, conservation levy, all transport in an vehicle, those meals as indicated, i.e. dinner on day one, breakfast and dinner on day two and breakfast on day three, one boat cruise on Lake St. Lucia and the services of a full time guide. Excluded will be your drinks, telephone calls, personal purchases, etc.
For Bookings please visit our web site

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Invited to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve by Lion Sands

At the end of July 2009, Lana and I visited a number of venues in the Kruger Park area.

We were invited to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve by Lion Sands. A truly lovely venue sited on the banks of the Sabi River, the only Lodge in the Sabi Sand to have such access to this river.
Three lovely camps offering a range of services and prices from River Lodge to the very up-market Ivory Lodge and then the exclusive 1933.

River Lodge where we stayed has; a private lounge and bar with fireplace, an outdoor safari lounge, 2 swimming pools (heated in winter), wooden viewing decks, a secluded bird hide, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, a conference room, Lalamuka Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air (Boma) dining area.

There are 18 luxurious thatched bedrooms with en-suite bathroom, outdoor & inside shower & wooden viewing deck. The bedroom area is air-conditioned with an overhead fan. All rooms have mini-bar & telephone access. The rooms are linked to all areas by raised wooden walkways.
The international award winning Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is ultra luxurious, and quite minimalistic. The public areas at Ivory Lodge offers guests the following: a private bar with fireplace, a library lounge , well stocked wine cellar, wooden viewing decks, a magnificent River Island Deck built on the river, Lalamuka Health Spa & gymnasium, curio shop & both an indoor and open-air Boma dining area.

The Lodge comprises six privately situated villas, each with a separate living room, heated swimming pool and an open plan en-suite bathroom with an enclosure for the outdoor shower. These units are very spacious. The Sabie River, which flows all year, is right there infront of the villa. Well sited to view the veriety of game that comes to drink. 
This venue has four spacious suites, each with their own private view of the Sabie River. The bathrooms have double vanity units, bath and outdoor showers. There is also a childrens dormitory, able to sleep up to 8 children, with his and hers bathroom and an interleading bedroom for an au-pair.

A gracious home away from home – with a few added luxuries, including your own private chef and ranger, with the exclusive use of a 4x4 Landrover for safari game drives.

To view Photos of our trip to Lion Sands Click here

Friday, August 14, 2009

Leopard in KwaZulu-Natal

Clients of ours saw a leopard today in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park -- Yay

Haven't seen one for some time and there is certainly no guarantee that even on a 4 or 5 night visit, that this elusive cat will be sighted anywhere, roaming free within KwaZulu-Natal.

So sad then, to read Tony Carnie's, front page of the Mercury article this morning. Here one fellow has amassed some 150 leopard skins from possibly within KwaZulu-Natal Province over the past few years. That is devastating. That is just one person, there are then the annual permits issued to hunt leopard and the "permission to destroy" a problem leopard permits, then other poachers, accidents? This over and above the survival problem the animals have with habitat degradation, disease, competition mortalities caused by other predators and so on.

We have some of the finest protected areas in South Africa with incredible biodiversity. So many of our protected areas claim to be Big 5 Game Reserves. I am afraid we are not presenting the true picture here. Too many of our clients have been disappointed at the end of their holidays in KwaZulu-Natal, due to not seeing all of these high profile animals, invariably, it is the leopard that is missing from the list. Certainly there are arguments against prioritising the Big 5, but tell that to a foreign visitor, who will for sure be asked if he saw them all, on his return to his friends and family. This "Brag line" is now too well entrenched in the wildlife industry worldwide.

There is a very different story for the Kruger Park area and especially within the Sabi Sand Game reserve properties. I was there last week and within a few days had seen 8 different leopard and many of them more than once - and close. The Big Five on virtually every game drive and certainly every day on the two drives. I confidently send clients to that area knowing that they should return home smiling.

This could be the case here in KwaZulu-Natal as well - we need this province's authorities to turn this carnage of these protected species around. We do have leopard, but generally their ranges exceed the size of the protected areas in which they occur and extend into areas where they can be baited, shot or trapped. With immediate effect, hunting permits should no longer be issued and then the long hard battle vs the poachers should begin in ernest.

Restrict the wearing of genuine leopard hide to Royalty and or those truly entitled to do so by rank. This hierarchy should determine and permit only those entitled to the privilege, to wear leopard skin - what a difference that would make. Take the 150 odd skins seized (as per Tony Carnie's report) have them properly cured and treated and stored by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife for diligent sale to this Zulu elite. The value and significance of this badge of rank has been severely downgraded, what with even some cultural villages having their dancers thus attired! Capital should be made of this tragedy, Provincial coffers topped up from what should be a substantial return from these remains of the poached Leopard. Add value to the pelt, so that those entitled to were it may do so with pride, knowing that it had been sourced legally and cost a great deal of money.

In turn the leopard population could increase in numbers and those that have become habituated to vehicular traffic, regularly seen. It's not too late but nearly so. Help to make KZN truly a Big 5 destination.

Any ideas or insights? Should you wish to comment please send mail to tournet@webpro.co.za

Jeremy Williamson
"I took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."
Southern African Safari and accommodation reservations
477 Essenwood Road
Ph:     +27 31 2083684
Fax:    +27 31 2074700
Fax 2: +27 86 6844080
Web site: http://www.africasafari.co.za
E-mail: farwild@iafrica.com
Experiences beyond expectation
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Tourism KwaZulu-Natal
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Voted Best Hotel in the World

Bushmans Kloof Voted Best Hotel in the World

Thursday, August 6, 2009


The "SA Tourism Update" Marketing Index released last week has indicated that established international tour operators fear a disrupted supply of product during the period of the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament next year and rate the introduction of  carbon-neutral schemes less important than other issues such as solving the crime problem.
With less than a year left to go until the 2010 World Cup, responses from 280 tour operator respondents around the world regarding the major soccer tournament were interesting.
Results show that operators in the major source markets are fearful about the disrupted supply and displaced business they expect as a result of the event. Surprisingly only 56 % of SA-based operators thought the World Cup will be good for their business. This was the same as the percentage in Germany with the UK at 52 %. In the North American market 64 % of operators were actually negative and in the rest of Europe 66 % said it would not be good for their business.
The Marketing Index was conducted in association with Grant Thornton and SATSA. It covers twelve areas of interest to tourism suppliers engaged international marketing.
We are already experiencing difficulty with securing available accommodation during the World Cup period and what is more disappointing is how a few of our preferred venues have escalated  tariffs beyone a reasonable margin. What really surprises me, is that even Provincial Government Departments with accommodation, have embraced this profiteering - they , at best, should be the ones setting an example by not inflating prices. What sort of signal are we going to give to the International Market ? What a perfect opportunity to show how inexpensive this "long haul" destination really is.
I have been plesantly surprised to find that a number of our preferred venues have not embraced 'Match"  and have not increased their tariffs above their normal 2009 / 2010 normal increment, interestingly most are already nearly fully booked for this period - Good for them!!
Let's not miss or mess up one of the finest opportunities we have ever had to showcase our Country
What are your thoughts on this?
All you need do, to discuss your thoughts, is to send a message to tournet@webpro.co.za and this will go to all members of the TourNet forum for reflection and comment.
Jeremy Williamson

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jack s Camp wins four Good Safari Guide Awards!

Uncharted Africa Safari co. is delighted to announce that Jack's Camp scooped four Good Safari Guide Awards at INDABA 2009!
Jack's Camp, a subsidiary of Uncharted Africa Safari co. was voted by other tour operators as The Best Safari Camp in Southern Africa,Best Safari Camp in Africa, Best Safari Camp Guiding Team, and retained the Best Ecological Safari Camp award it won last year.
We thank everyone for their much appreciated support, and we will continue providing all our Guests with what they never knew they wanted!

TKZN launches tourism site

Tourism KwaZulu Natal's New Website,
http://www.tourism-kzn.org is part of a joint partnership between various tourism authorities in South Africa, including Cape Town Routes Unlimited, Gauteng Tourism and Mpumalanga Tourism.
"The core reasons for the partnerships are economies of scale and broader reach. We have been able to share much of the costs of the technology behind the site and realise that it will be mutually beneficial to promote the partners through each of our sites" says General Manager of Tourism Information Services at TKZN, James Seymour.
The new site is based on an international system with the intention to make a destination management system that is more visually appealing and user-friendly.
The site features real-time booking systems, Web 2.0 technology such as satellite and electronic maps, preference centre forms to capture contact details and needs of users into a customer relationship marketing database, and interactive media such as web cams and online videos.
"The site has been a long time in development. The intention was to build a system that ensures tourism authorities in South Africa are aligned and operating on a higher level," says Seymour.
Furture plans for the site include more Web 2.0 features such as blogs, more advanced real-time booking systems for all tourism services, shopping carts designed to tailor make packages, and an extensive network of touch screens to access portals.

Credit: Tourism Update Mag May 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009


MEDIA RELEASE No: 2009 - 05
For Immediate release
The 2009 Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Game Auction, held at the Sibaya Casino and Entertainment World near Ballito, north of Durban on Saturday 16 May 2009, was a resounding success with the 1 625 animals on offer being sold for a total of R13.07 million.
20 blue wildebeest, 60 impala and 60 nyala came off the Makasa Community Conservation.
The Auction was supported by 73 registered buyers and their families as well as interested members of the public and iNkosi Zwelinzima Gumede from the Makasa community neighbouring the Mkhuze Game Reserve.
Top prices paid for various species were amongst others:
White rhino:R405 000
Zebra: R5 300
Nyala: R13 000
Hippo: R38 000
Dassies: R520

“We are delighted with the excellent result of the 2009 Game Auction which has once again shown that the South African game industry appreciates the quality of the animals we offer,” said EKZNW CEO Dr Bandile Mkhize.
“The benefits flowing from this event are many, and include a R13.07 million cash injection into our operating budget, and the dispersal of prime genetic material from our protected areas to private land holdings around South Africa,” he said.
“This provides a bio-diversity conservation benefit as well as providing attractive animals for game viewing by eco-tourists,” he said.
“I would like to thank the many buyers who supported our Game Auction and made it the great success it was,” said Dr Mkhize.
Animals sold on the KZN Wildlife Game Auction are surplus to the needs of the many protected areas under the management of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.
The animals are captured by the EKZNW Game Capture Unit, arguably one of the top game capture units in the world and whose well-trained staff take extreme care about the welfare of the animals being caught.

Credit: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

Friday, May 15, 2009

KWA MARITANE in the Pilanesberg reopens on 25th Birthday

The reopening of Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, situated in the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park, on May 1, after the devastating fire last year, was met with great jubilation from both staff, and guests who have made the lodge their holiday home over the last 25 years.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

World Travel Awards - Africa 2009

World Travel Awards - Africa 2009 It is with a great pleasure that we announce the winners of the 16th World Travel Awards, voted by travel agents worldwide. The 2009 World Travel Award Winners for Africa are:

Africa's Leading Airline
South African Airways
Africa's Leading Airport
Tambo International Airport, South Africa
Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel
Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa
Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel Brand
Mantis Collection
Africa's Leading Budget/Low Cost Carrier
Africa's Leading Business Car Rental Company
Africa's Leading Business Hotel
Sandton Sun
Africa's Leading Business Travel Agency
Travel with Flair
Africa's Leading Car Hire
Africa's Leading Casino Resort
The Palace of the Lost City, South Africa
Africa's Leading City Tourist Board
Johannesburg Tourism Company
Africa's Leading Conference Centre
International Convention Centre Durban, South Africa
Africa's Leading Conference Hotel
Kempinski Hotel Djibouti
Africa's Leading Conservation Company
Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa
Africa's Leading Cruise Line
Silversea Cruises
Africa's Leading Destination
Cape Town
Africa's Leading Family Resort
Sun City Resort, South Africa
Africa's Leading Game Reserve Brand
Mantis Collection
Africa's Leading Golf Resort
Fancourt Hotel & Country Club, South Africa
Africa's Leading Green Hotel
Nairobi Serena Hotel, Kenya
Africa's Leading Hotel
Mount Nelson Hotel, South Africa
Africa's Leading Hotel Brand
Starwood Hotels
Africa's Leading Luxury Hotel
Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa
Africa's Leading Luxury Lodge
Thanda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Africa's Leading Luxury Train
The Blue Train
Africa's Leading Marketing Campaign
South Africa Tourism, It's Possible
Africa's Leading Port
Cape Town (Port)
Africa's Leading Resort
Sun City Resort, South Africa
Africa's Leading Responsible Tourism Company
Nkwichi Lodge
Africa's Leading Safari Lodge
Shamwari Game Reserve
Africa's Leading Spa Resort
Fordoun Spa, Hotel & Restaurant, South Africa
Africa's Leading Sports Resort
Zimbali Lodge & Country Club - South Africa
Africa's Leading Suite
Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite, Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa, South Africa
Africa's Leading Tourism Development Project
Legend Golf & Safari Resort
Africa's Leading Tourist Board
South Africa Tourism
Africa's Leading Town House Hotel
Shamwari Town House
Africa's Leading Travel Agency
Club Travel, South Africa
Africa's Leading Travel Exhibition
Africa's Leading Travel Management Company
Travel with Flair South Africa
Africa's Leading Villa
Queen Cleopatra Villa, Savoy Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Botswana's Leading Hotel
Gaborone Sun
Botswana's Leading Resort
Grand Palm Hotel Casino Resort
Botswana's Leading Safari Lodge
Tuli Safari Lodge

Cameroon's Leading Hotel
Le Meridien Douala

Cape Verde
Cape Verde's Leading Hotel
Morabeza Hotel

Egypt's Leading Business Hotel
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the Nile Plaza
Egypt's Leading Golf Resort
MARITIM Jolie Ville Golf & Resort Sharm El Sheikh
Egypt's Leading Hotel
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence
Egypt's Leading Resort
Savoy Sharm El Sheikh
Egypt's Leading Spa Resort
Grand Rotana Resort and Spa, Sharm el Sheikh

Gabon's Leading Hotel
InterContinental Libreville

Gambia's Leading Hotel
Coconut Residence

Ghana's Leading Hotel
Golden Tulip Accra Hotel

Kenya's Leading Golf Resort
Windsor Golf & Country Club
Kenya's Leading Hotel
Nairobi Serena Hotel
Kenya's Leading Resort
Mt. Kenya Safari Club
Kenya's Leading Safari Lodge
Finch Hattons

Morocco's Leading Boutique Hotel
Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech
Morocco's Leading Golf Resort
The Palmeraie Golf Palace & Resort
Morocco's Leading Hotel
Le Royal Mansour Méridien
Morocco's Leading Resort
Hotel le Berbere Palace
Morocco's Leading Spa Resort
Angsana Riads Marrakech

Mozambique's Leading Hotel
Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa
Mozambique's Leading Resort
Medjumbe Island Resort

Namibia's Leading Hotel
Hotel Heinitzburg
Namibia's Leading Spa Resort
Le Mirage Desert Lodge & Spa

Nigeria's Leading Business Hotel
Eko Hotel & Suites
Nigeria's Leading Hotel
Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt

South Africa
South Africa's Leading Beach Hotel
The Long Beach, South Africa
South Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel
Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa
South Africa's Leading Business Hotel
Sandton Sun
South Africa's Leading Game Reserve Brand
Mantis Collection
South Africa's Leading Golf Resort
Fancourt Hotel & Country Club
South Africa's Leading Hotel
Mount Nelson Hotel
South Africa's Leading Resort
Sun City Resort
South Africa's Leading Spa Resort
Fordoun Spa, Hotel & Restaurant
South Africa's Leading Travel Management Company
Travel with Flair
South Africa's Leading Villa
Ellerman Villa

Swaziland's Leading Hotel
The Royal Villas

Tanzania's Leading Hotel
Kilimanjaro Hotel Kempinski Dar es Salaam
Tanzania's Leading Resort
Karafuu Hotel Beach Resort
Tanzania's Leading Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Togo's Leading Hotel
Corinthia 2 Fevrier Hotel

Tunisia's Leading Business Hotel
Les Berges du Lac Concorde
Tunisia's Leading Hotel
Le Royal Hammamet
Tunisia's Leading Resort
The Residence Tunis
Tunisia's Leading Spa Resort
The Residence Tunis

Zambia's Leading Hotel
The Royal Livingstone
Zambia's Leading Safari Lodge
The Islands of Siankaba

Zimbabwe's Leading Hotel
The Stanley and Livingstone Hotel
Zimbabwe's Leading Resort
Leopard Rock Hotel, Casino & Golf Resort
Zimbabwe's Leading Safari Lodge
Singita Pamushana Lodge

Full list goto World Travel Awards - Africa 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Good Safari Guide Awards 2009

The Good Safari Guide Awards - peer group recognition of outstanding achievements in the safari industry.
The Good Safari Guide Award Ceremony 2009
The Gala Dinner took place at the Hilton Durban, on Friday 8th May 2009 (the first night of Indaba) at 7.30pm. During the evening the winners in 16 categories were announced:

The 2009 Award Results

Best Safari Camp in Africa
Jack's Camp

Best Safari Camp in Southern Africa
Jack's Camp

Amakhala Safari Lodge (RSA), Amakhosi Safari Lodge (RSA), Ants Hill (RSA), Ants Nest (RSA), Chiawa Camp (Zambia), Jack's Camp (Botswana), Kwando Lagoon (Botswana), Nkorho Bush Lodge (RSA), Notten's Camp (RSA), Royal Zambezi Lodge (Zambia), Samara Private Game Reserve (RSA), Singita Boulders Lodge

Best Safari Camp in Eastern AfricaWinner
Elsa's Kopje

Beho Beho (Tanzania), Cottars 1920's Camp (Kenya), Elsa's Kopje (Kenya), Hatari Lodge (Tanzania), Satao Camp (Kenya), Sayari Camp (Tanzania), Serian Camp (Kenya), Sirikoi Tented Camp (Kenya)

Best Safari HouseWinner
Luangwa Safari House

Kifaru House, Kwandwe Uplands Homestead, Laragai House, Luangwa Safari House, Morukuru Lodge, Phinda Getty House, Shiwa Ngandu, Singita Castleton Camp, The Manor at Samara

Best Safari HotelWinner
Ngong House

Baraza Zanzibar, Breezes Beach Club, Mount Meru Game Lodge, Ngong House, Oyster Bay Lodge, The Manor at Ngorongoro

Best Mobile Safari
Robin Pope Safaris

Karibu Safaris, Nomad Tanzania Mobile Safaris, Okavango Voyagers, Robin Pope Safaris, Uncharted Africa Mobile Safari Expeditions, Walking Wild

Best Riding SafariWinner
African Horseback Safaris

African Horseback Safaris, Ants Nest, Camp Jabulani, Limpopo Valley Horse Safaris, Ride Kenya, Singita Grumeti Reserves Riding Safaris, Sosian Ranch, Varden Safaris

Best Ecological Safari Camp
Jack's Camp

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, Amboseli Porini Camp, Camp Jabulani, Chiawa Camp, Jack's Camp, Kutandala, Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Malewa Wildlife Lodge, Nottens Bush Camp, Satao Elerai

Best Community Safari CampWinner
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, Amboseli Porini Camp, Chiawa Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Grootbos, Hatari Lodge, Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Sarara Tented Camp, Shompole

Best New Safari CampWinner
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Alex Walker's Serian, Bush Lodge (Amakhala), Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Malewa Wildlife Lodge, Mhondoro Game Lodge, Satao Elerai, Zafara Camp

Best Beach Safari Camp
Fundu Lagoon

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, Amboseli Porini Camp, Camp Jabulani, Chiawa Camp, Jack's Camp, Kutandala, Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Malewa Wildlife Lodge, Nottens Bush Camp, Satao Elerai

Best Safari Accommodation GroupWinner
Singita Game Reserves

&Beyond, Amakhala Game Reserve, Desert & Delta Safaris, Elewana Afrika, Kwando Safaris, Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Singita Game Reserves, Wilderness Safaris

Best Safari Camp SpaWinner
Royal Malewane

Notten's Bush Camp, Royal Malewane, Royal Zambezi, Saruni Camp (Mara), Singita Boulders Lodge

Best Safari Camp Guiding TeamWinner
Jack's Camp

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, Chiawa Camp, Cottars 1920's Camp, Jack's Camp, Kutandala, Kwando Lagoon, Kwando Lebala

Best Safari Camp Cuisine
Singita Boulders Lodge

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, Chiawa Camp, Jack's Camp, Kutandala, Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Malewa Wildlife Lodge, Mhondoro Game Lodge, Singita Boulders Lodge

Best African Tourism BoardWinner
Kenya Tourist Board
Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia

Credit: The Good Safari Guide http://www.goodsafariguide.com

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanda Private Game Reserve takes double honours at 2009 World Travel Awards

Thanda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal has taken top honours at the 15th annual World Travel Awards. At the glittering ceremony held in Durban last night, Thanda won esteemed awards for `South Africa´s Leading Safari Lodge´, and `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ for the third consecutive year. The awards were presented at the Africa Gala Ceremony during this year´s tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa. The evening was hosted by local celebrity MC and inspirational speaker Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon. Guests were entertained by Boney M´s Maizie Williams and South Africa´s all-girl electric string quartet Sterling EQ. Princess Nandi Zulu attended the event in support of Thanda.

Managing Director of Thanda Private Game Reserve, and CEO of Thanda Group, Pierre Delvaux was thrilled with Thanda´s achievements, "It is with enormous pride, honour and humility that I accept these awards on behalf of Thanda Private Game Reserve, especially `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´, which has been awarded to us for the third year running.
Although achieving awards for outstanding service and an amazing product has become synonymous with Thanda since its opening in 2004, we are forever mindful of the challenge of being able to maintain such standards and even higher expectations from guests and the trade alike. Competition is incredibly tough due to the number of world class destinations in Africa which means that we can never allow ourselves to become complacent. Essentially, what it amounts to is the experience that tour agents and operators and guests discover when they visit and stay at Thanda. I believe that service excellence is a state of mind, a consciousness that transcends formal hospitality training. This is what makes the difference: being able to anticipate what guests want. I would therefore like to thank the committed and passionate marketing and sales staff led by Anita Vernes as well as the dynamic and service-minded special staff at the lodge, led by GM Dr Tim Allen-Rowlandson. These are the magic people who make a difference and enable `team work to make the dream work´. I would lastly like to thank all the tour agents, operators and guests as well as Graham Cooke who leads the World Travel Awards and who oversees a distinguished international operation. I am truly grateful for all of their ongoing support."

The World Travel Awards was established in 1994 to recognise and reward outstanding achievements within the global travel industry and the awards are endorsed by celebrities, travel trade and press from around the world. The awards have been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the `Oscars of the travel industry´, and winners are nominated by over 40 000 travel trade professionals world-wide.

Thanda Private Game Reserve is currently the only game reserve in the world to hold Leading Hotels of the World status.
Five-star facilities include the opulent main lodge, non-electrified tented camp, award-winning wellness centre, the cultural showcase Vula Zulu, as well the newly-introduced exclusive-use royal suite.

Thanda´s World Travel Awards History:
Winner of `Leading Safari in South Africa´ category in the 2006 World Travel Awards
Winner of `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ in the 2007 World Travel Awards
Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2008 World Travel Awards
Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2009 World Travel Awards

From left: Miss South Africa 2009 Tatum Keshwar, Thanda MD Pierre Delvaux, Marketing Director Anita Vernes and GM Dr Tim Allen-Rowlandson.

Monday, May 11, 2009

British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour 2009

The British and Irish Lions and the South African Rugby Union have agreed on a programme of ten matches for the 2009 Lions Tour to South Africa. The much-anticipated tour will include three Test matches against the Springboks. The Lions will play matches in seven cities over a period of six weeks. The tour schedule includes six weekend fixtures and four midweek matches. The Test matches against the Springboks are on 20th June in Durban, the 27th June in Pretoria and the 4th July in Johannesburg.
Book online at http://www.africasafari.co.za/British_Lions_rugby_tour_2009

Match dates:
  • Sat 30 May: Highveld XV, Rustenberg
  • Wed 3 Jun: Golden Lions, Ellis Park, Johannesburg
  • Sat 6 Jun: Cheetahs, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
  • Wed 10 Jun: Sharks, ABSA Stadium, Durban
  • Sat 13 Jun: Western Province, Newlands, Cape Town
  • 15/16 Jun: Coastal XV, Port Elizabeth
  • Sat 20 Jun: South Africa, ABSA Stadium, Durban
  • Tue 23 Jun: Emerging Springboks, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Sat 27 Jun: South Africa, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
  • Sat 4 Jul: South Africa, Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

Do not miss out on the limited tours that we offer based around some of the matches in Rustenberg, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg.
We have already secured the accommodation for these tours and believe that these tours are unique to any other tours being offered around this very exciting series. Because of the great demand for accommodation and tours around this time, we will unfortunately only be able to reserve on a “first come, first served” basis, and will, also understandably, request an immediate 25% non-refundable deposit payment to secure your place on the tour of your choice.
Tariffs are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) indicated as “R” and tariffs do not include lunches (except where specified), drinks, purchases, telephone calls, gratuities, etc. Transport will be in 8 or 12-seater mini-busses, with between four and six persons per vehicle, each vehicle with a qualified guide.