African Safaris 47

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Contents ISSUE 47 The Hills are Alive with Luxury Editor Ashley van Schalkwyk ventures out to South Africa’s culinary capital of Franschhoek to experience the delights of La Petite Ferme 18 Local is lekker 24 A Special Kind of Magic The Lodge at Melozhori Private Game Reserve on Route 62 is a sophisticated four-bedroom exclusiveuse abode immersed in a beauteous natural realm 30 Work and Play Top KwaZulu-Natal South Coast venues for the ultimate conference breakaway experiences 38 Paws Up Want to take your fur babies along on your trip? These Southern Sun Sunpet-friendly hotels will make them feel welcome and loved 10 African Safaris • Issue 47

50 Special features

Spiritual Sojourn

Travelling the world while adhering to kosher dietary laws has never been easier—you can now enjoy the wonders of African safaris without compromising on your dietary needs


In The Eye of The Beholder

The new Trip.Vision app is transforming travel experiences through mixed-reality technology

12 African Safaris • Issue 47


Into Africa

Sun, Sea and Serenity

The ultimate wellness experience at Constance Hotels & Resorts on the Indian Ocean Islands starts with a relaxing rise in the morning and ends with an evening of elegance and the finest dining



Unspoilt Natural Paradise

Atzaró Okavango Camp is an exquisite new luxury safari destination in the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta—taking you back to an enchanting era when expeditions epitomised the ultimate in adventurous travel

Respect The Environment

The new Ngorongoro Lodge Meliá Collection in Tanzania is inspired by the natural beauty of the destination and its Maasai culture


Love is in The Air

Zannier Hotels Sonop is a romantic hidden gem in the middle of Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve





CONSERVATION: Responsible Business Radisson Safari Hotel

Captivating and Inspiring


Wilderness Desert Rhino Camp in the Palmwag

Concession of Namibia provides a safari experience with meaningful impact— guests directly contribute to the ongoing quest for survival of the black rhino


Hoedspruit has partnered with Nkombe Rhino to support rhino conservation in South Africa



The new year has brought a burst of verve to the venerable Grande Roche Hotel in the Paarl Winelands, with a fresh new approach to dining

14 African Safaris • Issue 47

From the EDITOR

I’d like to share with you a chance encounter

I recently had with two Australian tourists.

I had stepped out of the office in the CBD to take a quick breather. As I approached a nearby mall, I saw two people talking to a security guard. They were asking him for directions to the São Tomé and Príncipe embassy.

Unfortunately, the security guard didn’t know where it was. Noticing their predicament, I offered to help. I was aware there were several embassies in the area.

So, as we traipsed first to one building and then the next, we started chatting. They were retirees on a cruise and were staying with friends in Rondebosch. They were trying to find out if they needed a visa to enter São Tomé and Príncipe.

During the course of our conversation, I asked them why—considering the bad press

that South Africa receives—they decided to come here. They answered that it’s a beautiful country, and that at no time had they felt unsafe. They said Australia itself wasn’t without its problems.

We never did find the São Tomé and Príncipe embassy, simply because there isn’t one. Some lovely people from a company called DFS informed us that as the couple were only going to be in the two-island nation for a day, they wouldn’t need visas.

After our excursion, the couple very kindly offered to buy me a refreshment. So, we spent a pleasant half-hour drinking coffee and smoothies, just generally chatting about South Africa and Australia. We discovered that our countries share many similarities.

Enjoy your own travels, and read through our magazine for some inspiration.

16 African Safaris • Issue 47



Indulge in luxury at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, where you can choose from nine exquisite waterhole tents perched at the water’s edge, offering private decks for uninterrupted wildlife viewing. Enjoy sundowners with hippo sightings or bask in the African sun.

Additionally, we offer 20 luxury tents with stunning views and five family tents nestled among fynbos, all complemented by a private swimming pool for ultimate relaxation in the Karoo heat.

We offer a wide variety of activities: Bush safaris, Night drives, Meerkat safaris, Lion feeding experience, Free-roaming cheetah experience, Elephant feeding experience and an Elephant observation experience.

Our premises are set up for conferences and weddings and we have an in-house specialist to assist with these. | +27(0) 44 272 0000


OPY-EDITOR (Online & Print)







Donovan Abrahams

Ashley van Schalkwyk

Tania Griffin

Shadon Carsten

Ashley van Schalkwyk, Tania Griffin

Adobe Stock, Freepik, Pexels,Unsplash, Pixabay

Donovan Abrahams

Andre Evans, Wendy Scullard

Majdah Rogers

Ashley van Schalkwyk

Tharwuah Slemang

Benita Abrahams

Bianca Alfos

Colin Samuels

Majdah Rogers

Novus Print

Donovan Abrahams

Colin Samuels

Aveng Media (Pty) Ltd

BY Address: Boland Bank Building, 5th Floor, 18 Lower Burg Street, Cape Town, 8000 Tel: 021 418 3090 | Fax: 021 418 3064 Email: Website: DISCLAIMER: © 2024 African Safaris magazine is published by Aveng Media (PTY) Ltd. The Publisher and Editor are not responsible for any unsolicited material. All information correct at time of print. THE TEAM DESTINATIONS • CONSERVATION ISSUE 44 RSA R50.00 TRAVEL • LUXURY DESTINATIONS • CONSERVATION ISSUE 46 summer 2023 18 African Safaris • Issue 47

aliveluxurywithTHE HILLS ARE

Editor Ashley van Schalkwyk ventures out to South Africa’s culinary capital of Franschhoek to experience the delights of La Petite Ferme

In the classic Rogers and Hammerstein musical, Maria is so swept away by life in the Austrian Alps that she waxes lyrical about the hills being “alive with the sound of music”. While you won’t exactly be hearing the strains of Dame Julie Andrews in the hills above Franschhoek, if you’re looking for tranquility and quiet, La Petite Ferme—situated on the slopes of the Oliphants Pass and Middagkrans Mountains— offers more than enough to set your heart a-singing.

On arrival, I was entranced by the view as the waning sun cast a golden amber glow over the valley floor below. As mesmerising as the panorama before me, it was only a foretaste of what was to come. The boutique hotel offers a journey that captivates the senses, celebrates the bounty of the Franschhoek Valley, and provides a haven for those seeking to indulge in the finer things in life.

Long known for its picturesque vineyard and excellent wines, La Petite Ferme has been a fixture in Franschhoek ever since the Dendy

Young family transformed an old farmhouse into a restaurant in the 1970s. With its blend of culinary innovation, wine excellence and natural beauty, it stands as a beacon of South African hospitality. Whether for a meal, a stay or an immersive vineyard experience, ‘The Little Farm’ promises an unforgettable visit that will leave guests yearning to return.

But let’s start at the very beginning. I’d heard that something new was brewing out at La Petite Ferme: their recently unveiled Winery Suites, built upon the site of the old wine cellar. Named in honour of the wine

The boutique hotel offers a journey that captivates the senses, celebrates the bounty of the Franschhoek Valley, and provides a haven for those seeking to indulge in the finer things in life.

farm’s renowned labels—Viognier, Verdict, ZA, Variation and Baboon Rock—each suite is the epitome of luxury.

These stunning new suites, as an estate agent would say, boast a contemporary, upmarket and ontrend interior and exterior which, with just a touch of modernity, still reflect their Cape Vernacular origins as a tribute to the heritage of the wine farm and the area. All the renovations, décor and finishings were individually selected and customised for each room.

The bathrooms feature top-end luxury fixtures and fittings, and a ‘showstopper’ bath that occupies pride of place. This ‘showstopper’ element is mirrored in the wallpaper of the bedrooms. Each suite also has its own private balcony that overlooks a brandnew shared pool for guests.

Upon entering my suite for the weekend, Baboon Rock (named for the baboons that from time to time visit the estate to purloin some of its finest fruit), I was immediately embraced by the peacefulness that swept over me. Bathed in natural light filtering through delicate curtains, the bedroom offers a serene escape—perfect for those seeking curated simplicity and a space to just get away from it all.

I knew immediately that sleep that evening would be dreamless, refreshing and sweet. And, so it

22 African Safaris • Issue 47
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD IS A MERE HOUR’S DRIVE OUT OF CAPE TOWN AN OASIS OF IMMEASURABLE HOSPITALITY Every Detail, Every Moment, Carefully Curated Nestled within the heart of Franschhoek this luxurious sanctuary guarantees more than just personalised hospitality. Here you can experience exclusive rejuvenation of self and reclamation of time. +27
808 8905

proved. The blackout curtains shut out the night so effectively that I nearly missed breakfast. Happily, I didn’t, as the Petite Continental Buffet Selection and the À La Carte menu beckoned. Even I, notorious for my huge appetite, barely overcame the twin challenges. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Eggs Benedict: a medley of poached eggs, roosterkoek, wild rocket and hollandaise, with a choice of bacon, salmon or spinach.

As good as breakfast was, it played second fiddle to the offerings at dinner. La Petite Ferme’s menu is a celebration of local and seasonal ingredients, expertly crafted into a symphony of flavours by the talented culinary team. The restaurant itself exudes warmth, with rustic beams, antique furniture and a fireplace to add a touch of cosiness, although it wasn’t needed on this balmy evening.

Whether for a meal, a stay or an immersive vineyard experience, ‘The Little Farm’ promises an unforgettable visit that will leave guests yearning to return.

Seated next to a window provided an excellent view of the valley, setting the tone for what would prove to be an excellent meal from the restaurant’s Autumn Menu. I started with the Fried Bobotie Balls with Cilantro Mint Yoghurt Sauce. This comprised spiced ground lamb bobotie (a traditional Cape Malay favourite) balls, served with jasmine rice, infused with cilantro, toasted coconut shavings and herb oil.

This was followed by the Karoo Lamb mains, consisting of rolled lamb shoulder in a phyllo pastry crust, Duchess potatoes, pomegranate and honey jus, glazed baby carrots, Egyptian labneh and confit tomato. The highest compliment I can pay this dish is that if it had had a bone, the meat would’ve been falling off it...

Dinner was rounded off with Almond Cake with Muscadel Poached Pears: a combination of almond cake, hazelnut ice cream and sweet wine–soaked pears.

The restaurant offers an extensive selection of its own La Petite Ferme award-winning wines, ensuring the perfect complement to every dish. As a teetotaller, I had a virgin mojito.


La Petite Ferme is located on the Franschhoek Pass Road.

Apart from the Winery Suites, guests can be accommodated in the equally elegant Vineyard Suites and Manor House Suites.

The exclusive in-room spa experience brings fully qualified therapists to the comfort of one’s suite to pamper body and mind with a diverse range of thoughtfully crafted treatments.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch throughout the year, served from 12h00 until 15h30.

From November to April, it is open daily for dinner from 18h30 until 21h30. From May to October, it is open daily for dinner from 18h30 until 21h00.

For enquiries and reservations, email accommodation@

Or for further information, visit

The restaurant serves alcoholic cocktails in the private lounge, but the bar staff were more than happy to conjure up a reasonable facsimile for me.

While one travels to La Petite Ferme for the luxurious accommodation, food and scenery, what truly sets it apart is its commitment to excellence in every aspect of the guest experience. From the warm welcome upon arrival to the attentive but unobtrusive service throughout the stay, the staff goes above and beyond to ensure every visitor feels cherished.

It’s this dedication to hospitality that has cemented La Petite Ferme’s reputation as a destination not just for food and wine lovers but for anyone seeking an escape into luxury and nature.

24 African Safaris • Issue 47


Showcasing and celebrating over 100 years of automotive history with a unique and exciting collection of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia in the magnificent setting of the L’Ormarins Estate, situated in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley.

R80 adults | R60 pensioners

R60 motor club members

R40 children (3-12yrs)

Visit our website for convenient online booking. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

| | |
+27 (0) 21 874 9002


24 African Safaris • Issue 47 SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL WESTERN CAPE

The Lodge at Melozhori Private Game Reserve is a sophisticated four-bedroom exclusive-use abode immersed in a beauteous natural realm

Issue 47 • African Safaris 25

In the foothills of the Overberg Mountains, near Bonnievale and midway between Cape Town and the Garden Route, Melozhori Private Game Reserve is a 2 300-hectare predator-free wilderness with a handful of exclusive-use accommodations.

Among them is The Lodge, a sophisticated four-bedroom exclusive-use abode that emerged from an extensive refurbishment at the end of last year.

For many, the pièce de résistance at Melozhori Private Game Reserve’s recently overhauled exclusive-use lodge is its imaginatively located fire pit. A marvel of unexpected design, it’s essentially a chill-out area sunken into a rim-flow swimming pool that hovers at the edge of a pristine swathe of Overberg wilderness.

It makes for a bit of a sunset adventure: First, there are the sweeping amphitheatre views across the reserve from the large timber deck; and then you step across the edge of the pool and down into the circular, drop-level lounge where there’s the surreal sensation of gazing, eye-level, across the water, golden sunset glinting off the surface as you take in the vastness of the enfolding terrain.

While the fire pit will add a theatrical dimension to your sunset experience, you can just as easily enjoy this space for morning coffee or to watch as giraffe and zebra and sable antelope wander around The Lodge at any time of day.

Or, equally awe-inspiring, sink back and stare up at a glittering canopy of stars while, at your feet, there’s a dancing fire.

This harmonious blend of elegant, contemporary design ideas within a contrasting, faraway countryside

At The Lodge, every anticipated creature comfort and luxury touch is at your fingertips, carefully put together for an easy, hassle-free, home-from-home experience.

setting is part of The Lodge’s special magic—it’s sophisticated styling against the backdrop of the great outdoors.

And it really is great out there: Whether you're staring at it from one of the decks, traversing it on a game drive, hiking it or biking across its rolling hills, you feel yourself fully immersed in a beauteous natural realm that unfolds across the protected hectares at the foot of the Overberg Mountains.

It’s remote and away from any mainstream tourist hub, and yet Melozhori is a mere two hours from Cape Town (add an hour or so if you pause en route for a farm stall pie or for a tasting at one of the nearby wine farms). And, once you arrive, it’s like coming home.

At The Lodge, every anticipated creature comfort and luxury touch is at your fingertips, carefully put together for an easy, hassle-free, home-from-home experience.

Inside, the first thing you notice is the spaciousness. There are four bedrooms and a vast open-plan living area under a soaring pitched roof, thatch and wooden ceiling beams high above the oak floors.

Uncluttered and serene, everything’s done out in a range of neutral, earthy hues with lots of organic textures and materials that draw inspiration from the environment.

Individually crafted furniture and finishes are used throughout The Lodge. In the big open-plan living areas, generously proportioned sofas are covered in hardy naturalfibre fabrics, a tall, stacked stone fireplace looms on one side, and a pair of enormous ornamental chandeliers made with hundreds

26 African Safaris • Issue 47

Everything—from your safari outings to each of your meals, your drinks preferences, even your snoozing schedule—is tailored around you.

of pieces of cocoa sticks hang above a specially crafted table tennis–sized dining table with a magnificent blackwood top.

And accentuating its proximity to wildness—humungous foldaway glass doors to connect this indoor living space with the majestic world outside.

“We took incredible care selecting decorative accents,” says Lientjie Nell, who manages the lodge with her husband Coenraad. “From handwoven washing baskets by Mia Mélange, to the throws in beautifully textured fabrics by African Jacquard, we sought to keep it local and unique, aimed to create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere while keeping it liveable and durable—and family friendly. We want grown-ups and children to feel totally at home in the space, not tip-toe around it.”

So while it’s plush and invitingly comfortable, there’s no sense of fussy grandeur nor over-the-top ostentatiousness, no excess or faff. What there are, though, are judiciously selected aesthetic elements.

“As much as it’s an aesthetically cushioning environment, it is still a nature reserve,” says Lientjie. “It is still wild and, aside from the variety of hoofed mammals, there are plenty of weird and wonderful creatures, too. And the amazing stars at night.”

Open the doors in front of your bed and nature is right there, too, an undulating landscape stretching toward a distant horizon. To enable guests to more intimately experience the setting, each bedroom has its own private deck.

“And to each deck we’ve added a hammock,” says Lientjie. “Again, perfect for stargazing.”

As wonderful as it all is to look at and inhabit, though, the real highlight is the sense you get that nothing’s too much trouble. The small, unobtrusive team are experts at anticipating your needs, making you feel at home and helping you get the most out of your time here.

Guests at The Lodge need never fit into a plan or itinerary: Everything—from your safari outings to each of your meals, your drinks preferences, even your

snoozing schedule—is tailored around you.

And, since nothing’s written in stone, no one will judge you for sleeping in instead of hopping on that intended early-morning game drive.

While Melozhori is superb if you want to spend time observing wild animals in a pristine environment, your safari from The Lodge is unencumbered by the mad-rush pursuit of big game or predators. There’ll definitely be good opportunities to spot a wide variety of antelope: Gemsbok, eland, kudu, red hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, nyala and bontebok are all here, and you may see black-backed jackals and bateared foxes.

And you’ll definitely see more of the reserve’s friendly giraffe herd, typically up close.

Issue 47 • African Safaris 27

Even Cape leopards, notoriously shy and extraordinarily elusive, have been captured by camera traps on the reserve.

Since there are no dangerous animals, you’re free to hike and stroll, or even jump on your mountain bike to set off to see if you can spot animals from the saddle, or simply to discover more of Melozhori’s dramatic landscape.

You can also opt for guided walks or game drives with head ranger Samantha Faria, whose special touch is her love of the details often overlooked.

It’s humbling and illuminating learning about the three biomes found here. Aside from the fynbos, with its unique, Overberg-adapted plants, there's rare renosterveld and stretches of succulent Karoo vegetation, too. Between all of this, you’ll also get to know some of the 130 or so birds that circulate in the area.

“We’re about the more intimate kind of relationship with nature,” says Faria. “Our deep interest is in the conservation aspect, about

truly looking after animals. Our guests get to learn about the lesser known creatures, discovering a unique insect, maybe meeting an endangered tortoise. And possibly seeing one of our resident black harrier hawks—an endangered raptor that, globally, is down to fewer than a thousand mature breeding pairs.”

Says Lientjie, “We don’t have strict times for game drives nor strict rules regarding children. Since The Lodge is very private, your safaris are just for you. And because we don’t have a high footprint, you’re never going to run into a crowd.”

Back at The Lodge, that absence of anything cookie cutter continues. Like Melozhori’s freeroaming wildlife, guests follow no particular schedule. The watchword is freedom: whether you enjoy exploring and wish to keep active or prefer to settle into a more relaxed, guilt-free, do-nothing routine, the choice is entirely yours.

That goes for mealtimes (and snacking), too. Cuisine is a really special touch at The Lodge. Dietary

preferences and requests are taken seriously and each meal is crafted specifically to your personal wishes.

And while the kitchen is the chef’s domain, it’s also a welcoming space for curious guests—or if you’re feeling peckish in the middle of the night. There are eats and treats for late-night picking and a cupboard for when you crave something sweet.

And, should you be more interested in cooking for yourself, or want to be left to your own devices entirely, there are other options on the reserve, ideal for couples or small families.

Apart from The Lodge, Melozhori’s accommodations include several self-catering, fully private spaces. Hugely popular are a pair of stateof-the-art eco-pods, both of which accommodate a couple (and, by arrangement, a child).

And there's an astonishing doublelevel “Treehouse” that provides an elevated view of the surrounding terrain.

Plus, there’s The Cottage, a twobedroom self-catering, pet-friendly abode with its own wood-fired hot tub and a pool to sweeten your connection with the outdoors.

That connection fostered with the environment will likely prove the ultimate reward for time spent at Melozhori. It's a place made for tapping into nature’s healing power, getting that recharge you deserve, and discovering that your second home was here all along.

The exclusive-use 4-bedroom en-suite Lodge at Melozhori Private Game Reserve is priced from R40 000 per night.

For further details, visit Or for reservations, telephone +27 (0) 66 595 7823 or email

28 African Safaris • Issue 47



Top KwaZulu-Natal South Coast venues for the ultimate conference breakaway experiences

SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL BLEISURE 30 African Safaris • Issue 47

Back to business doesn’t have to be a bad thing! On the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast—with 11 golf courses, Blue Flag beaches, world-class dive sites and hinterland experiences—business meetings can be a whole lot of fun. Break away from the monotony of routine in this beautiful region of South Africa.

“Many corporates are planning for the year ahead, and there are so many benefits to hosting destination get-togethers,” says Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of the South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “Taking employees out of the workplace and into a scenic destination like the KZN South Coast can inspire and re-energise, improving productivity. Whether it’s conferences, meetings, golf days or team-building activities, we cater to all corporate needs.”

Meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) destinations

The KZN South Coast has a number of key MICE venues, all of which have overnight accommodation and conference facilities. From here, excursions to beaches, golf courses, nature reserves and hinterland adventures can be arranged, either for team-building or leisure.

''Taking employees out of the workplace and into a scenic destination like the KZN South Coast can inspire and reenergise, improving productivity''
SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL BLEISURE Issue 47 • African Safaris 31

Blue Marlin Hotel (Scottburgh)

Banquet style: 80

Cinema style: 100

Schoolroom: 90

U-shape: 60

Selborne Park Golf Estate, Hotel & Spa (Pennington)

Banquet style: 120

Cinema style: 140

Schoolroom: 90

U-shape: 30

Pumula Beach Hotel (Umzumbe)

Banquet style: 90

Cinema style: 120

Schoolroom: 100

U-shape: 70

Premier Resort Cutty Sark Hotel (Scottburgh)

Banquet style: 110

Cinema style: 190

Schoolroom: 120

U-shape: 44

32 African Safaris • Issue 47


Jewel of the Zulu Kingdom

Dive into the serene beauty of the KZN North Coast with its prime location, stunning beaches, picturesque views, and vibrant history.

Whether you're a thrillseeker or a chill-seeker, the North Coast's fantastic weather makes it perfect for all sorts of exciting escapades!

For more information contact us or download our Visitor Guide at:
946 1256 +27(0) 32
''The KZN South Coast has a number of key MICE venues, all of which have overnight accommodation and conference facilities.''

Banana Beach Holiday Resort (Banana Beach)

Banquet style: 90

Cinema style: 150

Schoolroom: 100

U-shape: 70

Umdlalo Lodge & Venue (Umtentweni)

Banquet style: 100

Cinema style: 100

Schoolroom: 60

U-shape: 40

Umthunzi Hotel & Conference (Umtentweni)

Banquet style: 80

Cinema style: 125

Schoolroom: 80

U-shape: 80

Kudu Conference Centre at Lake Eland Game Reserve (Oribi Gorge)

Banquet style: 30

Cinema style: 30

Schoolroom: 30

U-shape: 30

ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest (Harding)

Banquet style: 180

Cinema style: 200

Schoolroom: 180

U-shape: 100

St Michaels Sands Hotel (St Michaels)

Banquet style: N/A

Cinema style: 50

Schoolroom: 30

U-shape: 30

Margate Hotel (Margate)

Banquet style: 200

Cinema style: 300

Schoolroom: 200

U-shape: 120

San Lameer Resort Hotel and Spa (San Lameer)

Banquet style: 120

Cinema style: 140

Schoolroom: 120

U-shape: 60

TO Strand Beach Resort (Leisure Bay)

Banquet style: N/A

Cinema style: 250

Schoolroom: 80

U-shape: 80

The Estuary Country Hotel (Port Edward)

Banquet style: N/A

Cinema style: 100

Schoolroom: 90

U-shape: 60

Wild Coast Sun (Port Edward) wildcoastsun

Banquet style: 900

Cinema style: 670

Schoolroom: 500

U-shape: 80

In addition to having the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the province, the KZN South Coast has two world-renowned dive sites at Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, as well as unique adventure activities such as the highest swing of its kind in the world at Oribi Gorge, and the 80m cable suspension bridge 130m off the ground.

There are also several hinterland excursions, such as the Umzumbe River Trail and Weza Trail, the Mission Tourism Route extending into the rural communities, and the Wellness Way Route for mental and physical well-being.

SCTIE launched the Meeting Planner Guide as a resource to assist corporates and conference organisers in accessing information for business conferences, meetings, team-building events and accommodation requirements.

Access the KZN South Coast Meeting Planner Guide here:

AFRICAN TRAVEL BLEISURE 34 African Safaris • Issue 47


Want to take your fur babies along on your trip? These Southern Sun Sunpet-friendly hotels will make them feel welcome and loved

38 African Safaris • Issue 47 SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL PETS
Issue 47 • African Safaris 39 SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL PETS

Southern Sun has introduced two more Sunpet-friendly hotels in addition to SunSquare Cape Town Gardens, with the conversion of Southern Sun Katherine Street in Sandton and Southern Sun Bloemfontein, both of which have opened their doors to welcome your furry friends.

Within Sunpet-friendly establishments, there's not only a warm welcome but also a range of amenities to ensure your pet is as comfortable as you are during your stay.

Feel free to bring your cherished companion with you when you choose to stay at these hotels, and enjoy every convenience to make both you and your pet feel right at home.

Southern Sun Katherine Street

Recognising the bond between hotel guests and their fourlegged companions, Southern Sun Katherine Street takes the lead in offering pet-friendly accommodation in the heart of Sandton.

General manager Bilal Essop and his dedicated team eagerly await the arrival of guests accompanied by their pets. “Understanding that pets are often cherished family members, we believe they shouldn’t have to be separated while travelling. We want our guests to enjoy their time in Sandton, whether they’re here for business or pleasure, and we hope this new addition to our offerings will make their stay with us even more enjoyable.”

The hotel's Sunpet-friendly rooms are situated on the ground floor, featuring a sliding door that opens to a private garden where your pet can roam and romp freely. You can enjoy a meal with your Sunpet companion on Kelsey Restaurant’s terrace, ensuring it's on a leash.

And the hotel team can organise pet-sitting services at an extra charge, if you wish to give your little buddy a break.

Southern Sun Bloemfontein

Joel Stols, Southern Sun Bloemfontein’s general manager, says: “By extending our warm welcome to guests travelling with their pets, we’re ensuring no one is left behind in creating lasting memories. Our new pet-friendly rooms redefine the way we approach hospitality.”

The Sunpet Gourmet Menu serves a variety of nutritious and delicious individually packaged dishes made with real ingredients.
40 African Safaris • Issue 47 SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL PETS

Sunpet-friendly rooms are located on the ground floor, close to reception, with direct access to the gardens.

Sunpets may dine with you on the hotel's outside terrace, weather permitting. In-room dining will apply in the case of bad weather.

Home away from home

To ensure the utmost comfort, convenience and functionality for both guests and their pets, carefully selected rooms within each hotel underwent a pet-friendly conversion, and now feature hygienic vinyl flooring and a comfortable Sealy Posturepedic pet bed so that every furry guest can anticipate a restful night's sleep. There's also a range of convenient Sunpet amenities.

Sunpet-friendly rooms are thoughtfully designed to provide you and your pet with an authentic home-away-from-home hotel experience. As part of their warm welcome, Sunpets receive a treat upon arrival. Along with their special pet bedding, during their stay your furry friends have access to a selection of bowls, mats, toys and other treats and conveniences to ensure a memorable visit.

Time to eat

In addition to the comfortable accommodation, guests can also dine with their pets at the

hotels, which offer a Sunpet Gourmet Menu, serving a variety of nutritious and delicious individually packaged dishes made with real ingredients.

These meals are sourced from Weruva, incorporating real ingredients for the highest standards in pet nutrition. Take your pick from options like the Steak Frites Dinner or Paw Lickin' Chicken, and satisfy even the hungriest Sunpet.

Location, location, location

In addition to the rooms, amenities and conveniences being offered, the selection of Sunpet hotels themselves has also received careful consideration. Southern Sun’s general manager of corporate affairs, brands & marketing Candy Tothill explains, “In addition to its garden rooms, we chose Southern

Sun Bloemfontein so that guests en route to or from our existing Sunpet hotel in Cape Town could also enjoy overnighting with their pets at another of our trusted hotel brands during their journey. Southern Sun Katherine Street is set in beautiful gardens and neighbouring a pretty park—it could not be more perfectly suited to welcoming Sunpets, so we chose to also extend our signature hospitality to pets travelling in style in Sandton.”

What will it cost?

For those seeking to enjoy the Sunpet experience, pet-friendly rooms are available at a surcharge of R250 per room per night, with a one-time non-refundable payment of R500 per stay.

The hotels' dedicated teams are there to support any requests you may have for your pet during your stay, with suggestions for petfriendly parks as well as nearby veterinary and grooming services (at an additional charge).

Southern Sun Katherine Street and Southern Sun Bloemfontein are proud to incorporate the joys of pet hospitality, and invite guests to discover the comfort, warmth and genuine care of a truly pet-friendly experience.

Visit sunpet for more information and to book your pet's stay.

42 African Safaris • Issue 47 SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVEL PETS


Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit has partnered with Nkombe Rhino to support rhino conservation in South Africa

CONSERVATION 44 African Safaris • Issue 47

The Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, Radisson Hotel Group's ( www. ) first safari hotel in Africa, has partnered with Nkombe Rhino ( ) to support a conservation project aimed at preserving rhinos in the region.

South Africa is home to most of the world's rhinos and, unfortunately, it's also the country most affected by poaching. In 2022 alone, 448 rhinos lost their lives in South Africa, which translates to an average of more than one rhino per day.

Given the importance to protect this ‘Big 5’ species and protect biodiversity, it's only fitting that Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit, located in the Greater Kruger, has partnered with Nkombe Rhino—a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation of the endangered species—and My Africa Adventures ( ), one of the leading tour operators in Hoedspruit, to support the Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative.

This partnership, which commenced with the conservation of four rhinos in the area, is a crucial step toward safeguarding the future of these magnificent creatures and preserving the delicate balance of the planet's ecosystem.

The Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative is a preventive measure aimed at reducing the likelihood of rhinos being poached. The initiative involves the preventive removal of rhino horns, which is an expensive process requiring significant financial resources, according to Nkombe Rhino's founder, Joe Pietersen.

“Sustainable and reliable partners are essential to the success of projects like these. The

CONSERVATION Issue 47 • African Safaris 45

involvement of Radisson Hotel Group is a significant positive, as it enables Radisson to become part of a bigger solution. Through this partnership, the work being done and the wider importance of wildlife preservation gain exposure to the Radisson community of guests, team members and stakeholders, which further strengthens the initiative's impact.

“Over the past 10 to 12 years, we lost close to 9 000 rhinos due to poaching. Even though this number has dramatically decreased, it’s not necessarily good news, as it could simply be because there are fewer rhinos to poach,” he adds.

Preventatively removing rhino horns has been a huge deterrent to poachers, reducing the reward for poaching. Other initiatives of Nkombe Rhino include antipoaching units, aerial surveillance, detection, tracking dogs and intelligence gathering.

Radisson Hotel Group has a long history of being a responsible

business, with its ambitious and award-winning Responsible Business programme. The group is passionate about caring for others, and that extends beyond the walls of its hotels. Radisson believes in conducting business ethically in all it does, and wants to be a thriving, sustainable and responsible business for people, the community and our planet.

A thriving planet means a thriving business; sustaining the world's beauty and diversity is an important part of the group's success, which is why Radisson supports initiatives—such as the

Nkombe Rhino Horn Protection Initiative—to do just that.

According to Sandra Kneubuhler, country director of sales and district director: South Africa at Radisson Hotel Group, this conservation partnership perfectly aligns with Radisson Hotel Group's focus on sustainable tourism. “As a group, we have deep-rooted and long-standing commitments to our communities, the planet and the people around us. The actions of Nkombe Rhino make a positive impact on the community, as conservation of wildlife creates employment; the planet, through

46 African Safaris • Issue 47

Cheetah Conservation in Action

The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is a non-profit, open-to-the-public field research centre and the world leader in cheetah research and conservation

CCF’s International Research and Education Centre

Cheetah Sanctuary - Dancing Goat Creamery

Cheetah Museum - Model Farm

Modern, luxurious and family-friendly accommodations with views of the Waterberg Plateau

Bookings: +264 (0)61 237 294


Fax: +264 (0)61 237 295


Daily: Cheetah Safari Drives & Centre Tours (14:00 on weekdays & 12:00 on weekends)

Pre-booked: Cheetah Run

Operation Hours 08:00 - 15:00
Photos by Suzi Eszterhas and Jennifer Leigh Warner

protection of these magnificent animals; and people, by supporting some of South Africa’s wildlife heroes.”

She elaborates on how this initiative will positively affect the surrounding community, saying that successful conservation of wildlife is essential to the community, as tourism r emains South Africa’s single biggest employer and the biggest employer in the Greater Kruger area.

“In protecting wildlife, we protect jobs and generate awareness for the plight of South Africa’s endangered species, helping to preserve them for future generations.”

Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit is committed to ongoing action toward rhino conservation and building on the momentum of its first initiative. To support this cause, the hotel will contribute R10 from every room night booked between 1 February and 30 April 2024 to Nkombe Rhino. This contribution will enable the organisation to continue its excellent work in protecting endangered species, including rhinos.

48 African Safaris • Issue 47

Umlilo Lodge is a luxurious and tranquil retreat set in a tropical garden with spacious en-suite rooms in the scenic town of St Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal. We offer an idyllic getaway for families, couples, and groups alike with a range of accommodation options from luxurious 2 sleepers to 4 sleeper family rooms, each with its own unique charm and character.

We offer:

• Free Wi-fi

• Solar power

• Air-conditioned/heater

• Swimming Pool

• En-suite bathrooms

• Guest lounge with full DSTV

• Netflix in rooms

• Patio with view of pool and garden

• Free parking

• Laundry service

• Walking distance to town and restaurants

Umlilo Lodge is the perfect destination for those looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday in the heart of the Elephant Coast in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Traditional dinners like Bobotie, Bunny Chow and Potjiekos are served on request.

EMAIL TELEPHONE +27 - 35 - 5901717 CELLPHONE +27 - 72 - 8092545

Spiritual sojourn

Travelling the world while adhering to kosher dietary laws has never been easier— you can now enjoy the wonders of African safaris without compromising on your dietary needs

SPECIAL FEATURE KOSHER SAFARIS 50 African Safaris • Issue 47

Kosher travel is gaining popularity among travellers seeking to explore the world while adhering to their dietary and religious needs. Whether you’re an observant Jew or someone interested in experiencing new cultures and cuisines, kosher holidays and safaris provide a unique and enriching travel experience.

Glatt Safaris (www.glattsafaris. com) delves into the world of kosher travel, from the concept of kosher holidays to the adventure of kosher safaris.

What are kosher holidays?

Kosher holidays, often referred to as Jewish holidays or Jewish tours, are vacations designed to accommodate the specific dietary

and religious requirements of Jewish travellers.

The term 'kosher' originates from Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut, which govern what foods observant Jews can eat. Kosher travel agencies and tour operators tailor these holidays to ensure every aspect of the trip, from accommodations to dining, adheres to these laws.

Key features of kosher holidays

• Kosher dining – The most prominent aspect of kosher holidays is the availability of kosher-certified food. Travellers can enjoy delicious and authentic Jewish cuisine without worrying about dietary restrictions.

• Shabbat observance – Kosher tours often include Shabbat (the

Jewish Sabbath) experiences with communal prayers and candle-lighting ceremonies. Participants can observe Shabbat together, enhancing the sense of community.

• Cultural and historical exploration – Kosher holidays combine leisure with education, allowing travellers to explore the rich history and culture of a destination. This includes visits to synagogues, Jewish heritage sites and other historically significant locations.

Kosher safari: An exciting adventure

While kosher holidays cater primarily to urban and cultural exploration, kosher safaris offer a unique blend of adventure and cultural immersion. These tours are tailored for those who want to experience the wilderness while adhering to kosher principles.

Key features of kosher safaris

• Wildlife encounters – Explore the untamed beauty of wildlife reserves, national parks and game reserves while enjoying a kosher diet. Witness the majesty of the animal kingdom in its natural habitat.

• Kosher dining in the wild

– Imagine dining on gourmet kosher meals under the African sky. Kosher safaris make this a

SPECIAL FEATURE KOSHER SAFARIS Issue 47 • African Safaris 51

reality, ensuring travellers can enjoy a culinary experience that is both adventurous and faithful to their dietary laws. While Kashrut often comes at the expense of taste and quality, tour operators like Glatt Safaris provide exquisite gourmet food at every three-course meal.

• Cultural interaction – Kosher safaris provide opportunities to engage with local communities, including those in remote regions. This allows travellers to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity of the destination.

Where to find kosher travel options

Several travel agencies and tour operators specialise in kosher travel, offering a wide range of destinations and itineraries. Interested in embarking on a thrilling safari in Africa? There are options to suit every traveller’s interests.

When planning your kosher travel adventure, consider contacting specialised tour operators—like Glatt Safaris—that understand the intricacies of kosher holidays and safaris. They will ensure your journey is not only compliant with your dietary and religious requirements but also culturally enriching and memorable.

Kosher holidays and kosher safaris offer a unique opportunity to explore the world while preserving your dietary and religious commitments. These experiences allow travellers to immerse themselves in new cultures, savour delicious kosher cuisine and create lasting memories.

Whether you’re an observant Jew or simply someone looking for a distinctive travel adventure, kosher travel offers a delightful and fulfilling journey. So, why not embark on a kosher adventure and explore the world in a meaningful and enriching way?

Unforgettable experiences

These kosher safari tour packages from Glatt Safaris promise an adventure of a lifetime, where the natural world’s wonders meet the warmth of shared values.

Gold Track

Prepare for an opulent expedition with a kosher luxury safari tour to South Africa and East Africa. This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bask in the grandeur of the wild. Highlights that define the Gold Track include:

• Helicopter flights over Victoria Falls – Soar above the majestic Victoria Falls, witnessing the raw power and beauty of one of the world’s most renowned natural wonders.

• Elephant rides on safari –Create lasting memories as you ride atop gentle giants through the African wilderness, an experience that connects you intimately with nature.

• Adventures on Table

Mountain – Conquer Table Mountain, an iconic landmark, and relish panoramic views of Cape Town and the surrounding coastline.

52 African Safaris • Issue 47


Only 2% of the African penguin population remains in the wild.

For just R600, you can adopt and name an African penguin for yourself or as a unique gift for a loved one.

You can’t take it home but your donation will contribute to specialised rehabilitation, medication and fish feeds for an endangered African penguin in SANCCOB’s care.

DONATE and help SANCCOB save the endangered African penguin from extinction.

End seabird extinction. Together. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds is a non-profit marine conservation organisation. 003-134 NPO | Registration No. 2001/026273/08 Tel: +27 21 557 6155 | Fax: +27 21 557 8804
Saves Seabirds
©Emma Strumpman

• Kruger National Park – Immerse yourself in the heart of wildlife conservation. Kruger National Park is your stage to witness the Big Five and countless other species.

Silver Track

The Silver Track is a gateway to discover the beauty and charm of South Africa, a destination where history, nature and culture converge. Highlights that grace the Silver Track include:

• Kruger National Pa rk –Your chance to explore one of the world’s most renowned wildlife sanctuaries, where the untamed beauty of the African savannah unfolds.

• The Wine Route – Journey through the scenic valleys of South Africa’s renowned wine regions, savouring the flavours and hospitality of local vineyards.

• Penguin and whale watching – Witness nature’s wonders as you engage with majestic whales and delightful penguins, an experience that

brings you closer to the marine world.

• Cape of Good Hope – Stand at the southwestern tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. The Cape of Good Hope is a place of dramatic landscapes and unparalleled beauty.

Private tours

With private tours, wherever you desire to go, whatever it is you need, Glatt Safaris will customise a safari tour that's designed exclusively for you. This is the epitome of tailored adventure, catering to your specific dreams and preferences. It’s your safari, your way.

These packages offer a blend of adventure, luxury and shared values, promising unforgettable experiences that connect you with the essence of Africa. Whether you choose the opulence of the Gold Track, the charm of the Silver Track, or the flexibility of private tours, each journey is a step toward embracing the majesty of the natural world while celebrating your traditions.


JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge ( has partnered with Kosher Certified South Africa ( to introduce kosher cuisine to its menu.

Rabbi Avigdor Bokow and his team, Velvy Bokow and Aharon Bogatie, have provided guidance and introduced a pool of mashgichim (supervisors who ensure food is produced according to the kosher requirements) for kosher clients.

“Our special kosher kitchen stands as a testament to our dedication to cater for the unique preferences and dietary requirements of our esteemed kosher guests. Rooted in rich traditions and meticulous attention to detail, our kosher offerings seamlessly integrate with our lodge's renowned commitment to rejuvenating your mind, body and soul,” the lodge says.

The kosher kitchen was sourced from Tomer Gerichter and Rafael Hazan, who are both Jewish Israelis and own a Kenyan company, Container Design Africa Ltd (

They designed, manufactured, transported and installed the 40foot container kosher kitchen that is the first of its kind in East Africa.

For enquiries, email:

SPECIAL FEATURE KOSHER SAFARIS 54 African Safaris • Issue 47
Let History Transport You | +27 79 401 9353 Steam Train experiences to Simon’s Town and Elgin Railway Market

In step with the sensitive renovation of the Grande Roche Hotel (granderoche. com) Terrace Suites is a subtle evolution of the dining experience, with the arrival of chef and hospitality connoisseur, Christiaan Campbell.

A highly respected chef and restaurateur, Campbell has helmed the kitchens at some of the Cape’s most famous winelands destinations, before joining Grande Roche late last year. Since his arrival, he has spent his time subtly reinventing the menu and cementing a new culinary approach to both service and dining.

“What’s key is a sense of welcome,” he says. “We want people to realise that the restaurant is not just for in-house guests. It’s a space that welcomes locals living in Paarl surrounds, and people exploring the winelands. In both our menus and our style of service, we want to establish Grande Roche, and the restaurant, as a place that feels like a ‘home-from-home’ and welcomes everyone.”

An all-day destination

Key to that evolution is the broadening of the menu offering, transforming Grande Roche into a truly all-day destination: from languid breakfast on the terrace or a mid-morning coffee meeting to a light lunch for business or leisure.

Campbell has recently launched a brand-new all-day menu, offering a selection of dishes perfectly suited for light lunches and more casual meals. Think a salad of baby cos lettuce, plated with Caesar dressing, poached egg and avocado; or his potato agnolotti served with Karoo blue cheese, candied pecan nuts and piquant pickled pear.

Those with a heartier appetite will enjoy the prime cuts of grilled free-range beef, enriched by a sauce of mesquite espresso cream—while a selection of generous gourmet toasted sandwiches, all served on

DINING DIVERSIONS 56 African Safaris • Issue 47

Welcome A SENSE OF

The new year has brought a burst of verve to the venerable Grande Roche Hotel in the Paarl Winelands, with a fresh new approach to dining

Issue 47 • African Safaris 57

house-baked ciabatta, offer superb value for winelands dining.

While the new menu showcases the versatility of Grande Roche as a destination for all-day dining, at dinner you’ll find that warm country welcome infused with a sense of culinary adventure. Campbell has long been passionate about produce, and the depth of flavour that local, seasonal ingredients impart on the plate. At Grande Roche, he brings that same focus to the evening menu of flavour-driven seasonal dishes.

Local sourcing, global flavours

“Throughout my career, I have

always looked to find great ingredients—seasonal and local, and organic where possible—and work with those natural flavours to ensure they shine through in each dish. It’s the alchemic effect of chef and food, and creating a connection on the plate,” says Campbell. “From the suppliers we choose to partner with, and the way their food is produced, through to how we work with it in the kitchens and present it at your table. It’s all about connection.”

And while Campbell’s sourcing may be local, the inspiration for his evening menu is truly global. Though the menu evolves with the

''Campbell has recently launched a brandnew all-day menu , offering a selection of dishes perfectly suited for light lunches and more casual meals''

seasons, and the chef’s creativity, that could mean anything from a plate of pork potstickers—a vibrant infusion of Cantonese flavours— to seared gamefish channelling flavours of the subcontinent in its side of fresh papaya atchar. Contemporary continental notes shine through, too: Expect plates such as perfectly crisped pork belly with a nori jam glaze, or coffeespiced springbok with pickled blueberries and blue cheese.

A sip of the Grande Dame

And to drink? While the wine list boasts a handpicked selection of releases from leading local estates, it now also includes a rather

DINING DIVERSIONS 58 African Safaris • Issue 47

Schools of colourful fish, too-cute penguin antics, majestic ragged-tooth sharks, glowing jellies, gentle rays and the ever-elusive octopus – these are the reasons you’ll keep coming back to the Two Oceans Aquarium, where every visit is an underwater exploration. Unlock unlimited visits for yourself and your family with Two Oceans Aquarium annual memberships and visit the fish as often as you wish!

Explore the Aquarium your own way! Scuba dive in our exhibits, meet a rockhopper penguin up close, take a guided tour, and watch our animals being fed in the presence of our expert presenters. Come and discover our underwater world.

Buy tickets online

special release that offers the perfect pairing for diners on the Grande Roche terrace.

The aptly named “Grande Dame” is crafted from the micro-vineyards planted in front of the historic manor house. Replanted in 2019 with 60/40 parcels of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, the plantings define the blend of this limited edition release. Crafted by winemaker Bertus Fourie—who also helms the cellar at Under Oaks (—it’s a wine that celebrates the bold, fruitforward character of the Paarl Winelands.

Grande Dame is the first of a series of boutique releases planned for Grande Roche, with small parcels of sangiovese, nebbiolo and tempranillo planted for future Mediterranean-inspired blends.

The Grande Roche Hotel is located at 1 Plantasie Street, Paarl, Western Cape. For bookings, email or telephone +27 (21) 863 5100. (Also enquire about the Grande Afternoon Tea offering.)

“It’s the alchemic effect of chef and food, and creating a connection on the plate.”


The Grande Roche will once again be offering its popular out-ofseason Pearl of Paarl accommodation package, valid from 1 May 2024 to 31 August 2024.

The package is priced at R5 960 for two people and includes:

• One night’s accommodation for two guests sharing and accommodated in a newly renovated Terrace Suite (full English breakfast included).

• A four-course dinner experience by Chef Christiaan Campbell at the Grande Roche Restaurant.

• A bottle of Under Oaks estate wine of your choice to be enjoyed with dinner.

DINING DIVERSIONS 60 African Safaris • Issue 47


SPECIAL FEATURE DIGITAL 62 African Safaris • Issue 47

IN THE EYE OF the Beholder

The new Trip.Vision app is transforming travel experiences through mixed-reality technology

SPECIAL FEATURE DIGITAL Issue 47 • African Safaris 63 Group (group., a leading global travel provider, has launched its innovative Trip.Vision app, designed to leverage the advanced capabilities of Apple’s latest mixed-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro (

One of the apps developed exclusively for the Apple Vision Pro, Trip.Vision promises a groundbreaking approach to travel exploration, offering users a unique and immersive experience of popular destinations worldwide. Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising, Ctrip, Skyscanner and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip. com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services, and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform

consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centres.

Bringing the world to you

Inspired by the idea of providing unique travel experiences even before the first suitcase is packed, Trip.Vision invites users to virtually explore renowned destinations such as Mount Everest, Guilin, Maldives, Antarctica and the Sahara Desert through high-quality and realistic panoramas.

Upon donning the Apple Vision Pro headset and entering the app, users can immerse themselves in the beauty of global landscapes through 360-degree panoramic videos. Detailed attraction information and engaging voiceovers contribute to a powerful and educational mixed-reality experience—bringing the world’s top travel destinations right into your living room.

Utilising the wide landscape settings and robust spatial computing of the Apple Vision Pro, Trip.Vision users are in for a treat with crystal-clear, high-definition scenes surpassing the resolution of a 4K TV. With the panoramas expanding and wrapping around the user, this creates a sensation that they are standing right at the travel destination they’ve chosen, providing a wanderlust-inducing preview of the world that awaits their exploration.

The Vision Pro interface, entirely responsive to the user's eyes, hands and voice, also eliminates the need for additional controls. Moreover, the high-tech audio system is designed to envelop users, creating the sensation that sounds emanate from right within their physical space.

SPECIAL FEATURE DIGITAL 64 African Safaris • Issue 47
SHOPPING MADE CONVENIENT AUDIO, ELECTRONIC & AUDIO Cell World Computer Mania Galaxy Cellular Incredible Connection MTN Vodacom 061 188 5398 028 312 3333 067 164 7278 028 312 2989 083 869 1459 028 312 3999 BABY ACCESSORIES Checkers Little Me 069 134 6548 ATMS & FINANCIAL SERVICES ABSA Capitec Bank FNB Nedbank Standard Bank ATM 087 756 0303 ATM 0860 555 111 086 123 3000 BOOKS, GIFTS & STATIONERY Bargain Books PNA 028 313 0303 028 312 2936 CLOTHING & SHOES Ackermans De Jagers Exact Footgear Foschini Franco Ceccato Identity Lira and Fynn Markham Milady’s Mr Price Clothing Old Khaki PEP Pick n Pay Clothing Queenspark Sneaker Factory Tekkie Town The Fix Truworths 028 312 3071 023 004 1587 028 313 6306 087 287 4738 028 313 6300 028 312 1195 087 757 8713 071 194 7757 028 313 6319 028 312 2509 087 049 6876 021 003 2778 028 312 2330 028 312 3057 028 001 0507 028 312 4486 087 150 4004 028 313 1662 081 171 1380 DEPARTMENT STORE Woolworths 028 313 6240 ENTERTAINMENT Whale Coast Theatre 028 312 1396 EYEWEAR & OPTOMETRIST Bierman Malan Spec-Savers Sunglass Hut 028 312 3075 028 312 2943 021 276 2837 RESTAURANT & TAKEAWAY Bagels & Fudge Best of Asia Fabulous Fish King Pie McDonalds Mugg & Bean Ocean Creek Spur Panarotti’s Steers The Deli Coffee Co Wimpy 084 631 1162 028 316 4120 065 202 2726 028 125 0199 028 312 3661 028 312 1916 028 312 3095 028 022 0194 028 312 2669 028 312 2980 028 313 2038 GROCERIES Checkers Food Lovers Market 028 313 6400 028 312 4475 HAIR, HEALTH & BEAUTY Clicks Dis-Chem Sorbet Style Bar Old Hat Barber Shoppe The Body Shop 028 312 3140 028 050 2189 028 312 2260 064 620 4477 065 833 0667 073 538 9414 028 312 3141 INTERIOR & FURNITURE Appliance World Crazy Plastics HOME etc. Le Creuset Mr Price Home Ouhout Meubels Sheet Street Whitehouse & Continental Linen Yuppiechef 028 426 0014 028 007 0701 028 312 2690 028 312 3223 028 313 0590 028 312 3200 087 754 5284 028 050 0171 028 050 0116 JEWELLERY Sterns 028 313 6323 LIQUOR Checkers LiquorShop Market Liquor 028 313 6400 028 753 0110 SERVICES 3@1 Telkom Direct 028 312 2715 028 313 0080 SPECIALTY Car Wash @ Whale Coast Mall Gadget Paradise Hobby and Tech JJ Cale Montagu Dried Fruit & Nuts The Crazy Store Vuse Verimark Vrystaat Biltong 028 125 0236 064 866 2585 073 309 8992 010 021 0209 081 496 0969 087 135 8368 081 269 9435 087 808 3434 076 740 7080 PET SHOPS & ACCESSORIES Absolute Pets EberVet Vetshop Petshop Science 028 312 3125 028 312 1453 028 313 6400 OUTDOOR & APPAREL Cape Union Mart Mr Price Sport Outdoor Warehouse Rip Curl Senqu Sportscene Sportsmans Warehouse Surf Zone Totalsports 021 003 2777 087 750 8713 028 753 0580 028 492 0023 087 283 3521 028 313 6315 028 753 0106 083 892 7612 028 313 6312 / 3 WHALE COAST MALL Tel: 021 476 0994 R43, Main Road, Sandbaai, Hermanus

According to Bo Sun, chief marketing officer of Group, the app will redefine the way we think about travel: “The Trip.Vision app revolutionises the travel experience by allowing users to virtually immerse themselves in renowned destinations, enhancing their itinerary planning. This marks a whole new approach where the exploration begins before the booking, and every destination becomes a story waiting to unfold.”

Aligning with Group's mission to create the perfect trip for a better world, Trip.Vision elevates the travel experience from the very start by bringing the beauty of the world’s favourite travel spots within arm's reach, fostering a zero-distance connection for users.

Continuing the tradition of travel innovation Group has been staying at the forefront of innovation in the travel technology sphere, as exemplified by the launch of the artificial intelligence travel assistant TripGenie in 2023. This nifty AI assistant leverages large language model technologies to provide users with a more personal, intuitive and hassle-free travel planning experience. Just by asking it a simple question within the platform, TripGenie can help travellers plan travel

itineraries and offer personalised recommendations in flight and hotel lists—all in seconds.

To add depth and richness to the travel-planning experience, Trip. com has curated lists that leverage AI technology to address users' diverse needs and preferences, providing real-time updates on travel trends, prices and top-ranked hotels, flights and attractions. Known as Trip.Trends, Trip. Best and Trip.Deals respectively, you can be inspired by the latest travel trends, as well as uncover the best deals and insider travel destinations, all based on your interests.

Trip.Vision’s development is the latest step along this innovative path, paving the way for virtual reality to take travel into a new paradigm shift.

"Trip.Vision promises a groundbreaking approach to travel exploration, offering users a unique and immersive experience of popular destinations worldwide"

Sun shares: “The launches of Trip.Vision and TripGenie are a testament to our dedication to enhancing travel experiences through innovation. We aim to stay ahead of the curve in terms of travel technology and set new standards in the industry. This is a sign of our commitment to continually improve our offerings for our valued customers and partners, refreshing their travel experience in new and exciting ways.”

The Trip.Vision app is now available on the US App Store for Apple Vision Pro.

SPECIAL FEATURE DIGITAL 66 African Safaris • Issue 47



& Serenity

The ultimate wellness experience at Constance Hotels & Resorts starts with a relaxing rise in the morning and ends with an evening of elegance and the finest dining

ISLANDS WELLNESS 68 African Safaris • Issue 47

Every day on the Indian Ocean is a perfect day: from the moment you open your eyes until you lay your head on the pillow. Embark on a journey of rejuvenation and luxury with a bespoke day tailored to your every whim.

Whether you’re looking to sit back and relax or take part in a multitude of activities, the ultimate wellness experience is yours to curate at Constance Hotels & Resorts.


Awaking in paradise

The perfect day starts when you open your eyes. That’s why across the seven Constance resorts, you are sure to feel awake, rested and refreshed.

Imagine as you open your eyes and pull back your curtains, you witness the sun peaking over the horizon. Painting the sky with golden hues, you walk down the steps from your private balcony, feeling the warm air of the Maldives hit your face. You take in another day in paradise at Constance Halaveli and step into the azure waters of the North Ari Atoll.

This type of morning isn’t just a once-in-a-lifetime experience; it's part of the daily routine at Constance Hotels & Resorts.

Blissful sunrise yoga

After you wake up, start your day off right with a digital detox and reconnect with the tranquillity of nature that surrounds you. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete beginner, expert yoga masters will guide you through a blissful sunrise yoga.

Along the Maldives coast of Constance Moofushi, feel the warm embrace of the sun as it rises and the soft ivory sands between your toes, all while you’re guided through a routine to align your energy.

Breakfast with a side of luxury

Replenish and indulge in a breakfast experience like no other.

Culinary experts across all the Constance resorts curate menus that combine beloved breakfast favourites with the finest ingredients and a localised spin.

At Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius, have the choice between a fulfilling morning breakfast, cooked by the expert culinary

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS WELLNESS Issue 47 • African Safaris 69

team, served buffet-style at La Citronnelle. Avid golfers can enjoy a continental breakfast at Deer Hunter, served directly to your table.


Sun, sea and serenity

If you’re seeking serenity, Constance Hotels & Resorts can promise just that. With all the resorts situated across the Indian Ocean, guests can expect to enjoy average daytime highs of 31°C with a gentle 13mph wind creating the perfect environment to relax and unwind.

Pair this with the crystal-clear oceans and ivory sands, and you're guaranteed the epitome of serenity during a leisurely lounge on the coast.

Rejuvenate with an array of activities

While Constance Hotels & Resorts prides itself on offering the utmost in tranquil environments for guests to unwind and centre their mental well-being, its commitment to holistic wellness extends to physical rejuvenation.

An expert-led selection of activities is designed to invigorate the body and elevate your sense of wellbeing.

Whether it’s personalised 1-2-1 golf lessons amid the lush greens of Constance Lemuria’s championship golf course in the Seychelles, or exhilarating big-game fishing off the coast of Constance Belle Mare Plage, the array of activities ensures there’s something for

everyone who’s looking for a muchneeded release of energy.

Soothing spa

Walking into the blissful world of Constance spas is a relaxing, rejuvenating and refreshing experience like no other. Honeymooners, golfers, expectant mothers or anyone in need of some much-needed pampering will be transported to a haven of tranquillity.

At Constance Prince Maurice in Mauritius, golfing enthusiasts can prepare their bodies for the course with the specialised golfer’s massage.

Meanwhile, in Seychelles, guests who have caught the sun at Constance Ephelia can indulge in the After Sun Repair Wrap, with a 45-minute skin re-nourishment.

OCEAN ISLANDS WELLNESS 70 African Safaris • Issue 47


The finest of dining

As the day gracefully transitions into night, it’s time to indulge in the luxury of dining experiences to round off your perfect day. Expert chefs craft culinary masterpieces that tantalise the taste buds, offering a symphony of flavours in every bite.

Drawing on their gastronomic expertise, the culinary team seamlessly blends fine dining with localised flavours.

Experience an enchanting evening at Constance Halaveli, where two specialty restaurants await your discerning palate.

At Jing Restaurant, savour the fusion of Asian flavours alongside the largest selection of wines in the Indian Ocean.

Alternatively, opt for Meeru Beach Grill, where alfresco-style dining invites you to relish freshly grilled seafood and meats, harmonising the finest ingredients with the serenity of coastline dining.

These carefully curated dining experiences not only delight your taste buds but also contribute to your overall wellness—the perfect combination of nourishment and indulgence.

Ending a perfect day

As the moonlight dances over the quiet rippling waves of the Indian Ocean and you feel yourself relaxing into your pristine bed, amazed at what can only be described as the perfect day of wellness, remember that you get to relive it all again tomorrow...



Enjoy the hotel’s private island setting in the Maldives’ North Ari Atoll, reached via a 25-minute seaplane transfer. Choose between Family Beach Villas, Water Villas, Family Water Villas and an exuberant Presidential Beach Villa.


Set on its own secluded island on the magical South Ari Atoll in the Maldives, surrounded by three large lagoons and a coral garden. Choose from one of the villas that all feature uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.


Stretching across 2km of white sand beach, this resort sits on the east coast of Mauritius. You'll be comfortably accommodated in a range of rooms, suites and villas that are housed in thatched two- and three-storey buildings across the resort.


This beautiful 5-star secluded paradise on the Seychelles' Praslin Island is nestled among empty white sandy beaches and lush flora and fauna. Elegant, spacious suites and villas with ocean views all lie scattered along two pristine beaches.


This hotel enjoys an idyllic location amid lush tropical greenery on private, unspoilt land on the northeast coast of Mauritius. Stay in one of the Junior Suites, Family Suites, Villas or the lavish Princely Villa.


Nestled among two of the most beautiful white sand beaches on the island of Mahé and overlooking the marine national park of Port Launay. Spacious contemporary accommodations are surrounded by lush landscape and scintillating lagoons.

Visit for further details.

72 African Safaris • Issue 47

a Place of Peace

Nestled beneath tall, ancient trees on a bend of the N’tsiri River, Tulela is a place for guests to disconnect from the day-to-day and recharge in the elements of nature.

Whether you unwind at your own pace at our exclusive-use Tulela Safari lodge, or visit us at Mondzo lodge enjoying our luxury self-catering offering, Tulela delivers a tailored safari experience that is designed to your preference. • +27 82 559 7538

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, Limpopo

SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL BOTSWANA 74 African Safaris • Issue 47 Atzaró Group Indian Ocean IslandsConstance Hotels & Resorts; Luxury Hotels of the World

U nspoilt natural


Atzaró Okavango Camp takes you back to an enchanting era when expeditions epitomised the ultimate in adventurous travel


Atzaró Okavango Camp ( atzaro-okavango. com ), newly opened in March 2024, is a uniquely premium safari lodge in an unrivalled location at the heart of the delta’s meandering waterways in Botswana. It enjoys its own vast private concession allowing for complete isolation and an unforgettable experience, while the luxurious accommodation, facilities and service provide a safari experience like no other.

Reminiscent of a bygone age, Atzaró Okavango Camp is set to become one of the world’s leading safari lodges, with an extra level of hospitality that transports one in time. This unforgettable journey back in time blends romance, glamour and authenticity with unparalleled wildlife encounters and specially curated guest activities.

Atzaró Okavango transports guests to an atmospheric experience reminiscent of an enchanting era when safari expeditions epitomised the ultimate in adventurous luxury travel. The camp has been crafted with meticulous care and an unwavering attention to detail, understanding the essence of luxury hospitality and the irresistible allure of the African bush. Nestled in the heart of the World Heritage Site of the Okavango Delta in Botswana, it's at one with the abundant wildlife oasis.

Wild and wonderful

Nestled in the pristine African wilderness of the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta—between the Moremi Game Reserve and the Gomoti Plains—the 1 100 square kilometre private concession offers guests personalised gameviewing experiences, free of the overcrowding often found in other safari destinations. The area is widely recognised as one of the

most exclusive and wildlife-rich regions in all of Africa, so you can expect a once-in-a-lifetime experience in breathtaking surroundings.

Atzaró Okavango Camp has partnered with African Bush Camps ( ), a world-renowned provider of extraordinary wildlife and safari experiences, ensuring only the best local bush knowledge and guiding expertise drawn from all corners of Africa’s most pristine regions.

The Okavango Delta’s wildlife is diverse and abundant, thanks to its rich ecosystems, the Botswana Government’s vigilant efforts against poaching, and the protection provided by the World Heritage Foundation status. The delta sustains large concentrations of animals year round, with seasonal and migratory variations. Careful management has made it one of the world’s most exclusive wildlife destinations. The camp’s experienced guides from African Bush Camps offer guests unrivalled sightings of elephant, hippopotamus, lion, leopard, gazelle, cheetah, impala and buffalo.

In addition to the captivating wildlife found naturally in the Okavango Delta, the experienced guides offer unparalleled opportunities to witness breathtaking animal views up

close and personal. The camp is situated in an area where a dynamic seasonal shift of animals occurs between the arid and grassy regions surrounding the delta itself. During the wet season, large animals migrate from the delta to the lush grazing plains of its outer regions. As the winter months approach and the grazing fades, the water entices the wildlife back to the delta, with flocks of birds once again making it their home. The emerald season in November brings the birth of herds of new antelope and impala—a favourite time of the camp’s owners when thousands of new foals dot the landscape, attracting large prides of big cats.

The camp offers an ideal vantage point to witness this constant migration of exquisite wildlife in their thousands. At Atzaró Okavango Camp, safari travellers can experience the splendour of African wildlife in its natural habitat. The surrounding lagoons, rivers and plains create a landscape teeming with animals, fulfilling every wildlife enthusiast’s dream.

Suite lodgings

There are 12 romantic suites, eight standalone, plus two private villas that contain two suites each, all with plunge pools and elevated ‘star beds’ for the ultimate starrysky views at night. An adjoining

BOTSWANA 76 African Safaris • Issue 47 Atzaró Group Indian Ocean IslandsConstance Hotels & Resorts; Luxury Hotels of the World

private viewing deck is the perfect spot for relaxing sundowners.

Interiors feature parquet flooring, mid-century furnishings and antiques, the feel a colonial and relaxed mix, with luxurious fabrics and amenities. Every suite enjoys a private deck overlooking the majestic lagoon and wildlife-filled waterways. All accommodation has air conditioning, heating for chilly mornings, high-speed Wi-Fi, ensuite bathrooms, as well as an outdoor bath and shower for a true bush experience.

Each private villa is equipped with its own vehicle and ranger, available for sunrise and sunset game drives.

Out and about

During your stay, you will enjoy the finest hospitality with an exquisite fine dining area, a firelit boma, curated art gallery and boutique, a delightful wine cellar and infused cocktails from the Palm Bar.

You are invited to indulge in the wellness and fitness facilities, following existing or new routines, rejuvenate and settle into one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses. The camp’s unique wellness offering includes a state-of-the-art gym, yoga shala and an indulgent spa with rejuvenating treatments.

You can partake in sommelierled wine tastings, and high tea served on the observation deck. Cocktails and champagne can be enjoyed at the 20m long pool area adjacent to the lagoon, where hippos and elephants become constant companions. An Ancestral Boma area provides a sacred space dedicated to the region’s past generations.

Activities include comfortable private game drives and night drives, as well as community visits to the local area. There are guided safari hikes on foot, helicopter safaris, bush dining, an open-air cinema, photography safaris, stargazing, fishing and dug-out mokoro canoe expeditions. For families, there are a raft of children’s activities to enjoy.

Nurturing nature

Atzaro Okavangó is involved in important projects in the area to rejuvenate the natural habitat and support the flora and fauna ecosystems. During the building phase, the conservation of existing trees on the site was paramount. The camp also works with antipoaching patrols to safeguard the diverse wildlife found in the

An adjoining private viewing deck is the perfect spot for relaxing sundowners.

surrounding areas to prevent illegal hunting and protect endangered species.

There's an on-site solar farm, featuring cutting-edge solar photovoltaic technology with lithium-ion battery storage. All the water used at the lodge undergoes purification via a state-of-the-art reverse-osmosis treatment plant, after which the water is re-mineralised. The camp also operates with sustainable practices, from reducing plastic waste to utilising renewable energy sources as well as on-site organic matter waste composition of all organic kitchen waste.

Encouraging longer stays of five days or more, the Atzaró Okavango Camp invites guests to fully relax amid the wildlife and immerse themselves in the soothing sounds of nature.

The remote location is a little more than two hours' direct flight from Cape Town or Johannesburg to Maun, then a 20-minute helicopter journey to the camp. Private guides and hosts are your safari concierges to accompany you throughout your adventure. The Botswana people are famously welcoming, while the territory is one of Africa’s safest and most unspoilt natural paradises.

Discover the spirit of adventure and an ultimate luxury travel experience at the source of civilisation at Atzaró Okavango Camp.

SOUTHERN AFRICAN TRAVEL BOTSWANA 78 African Safaris • Issue 47 Atzaró Group Indian Ocean IslandsConstance Hotels & Resorts; Luxury Hotels of the World

Don’t let the sun go down on your holiday this year

Central Reservations for

Convention & Individual bookings:

Tel: +27 (0) 11 466 8715

Fax: +27 (0) 86 685 8816


Luxury Accommodation • Five Star Conference Facilities Eco-Education & Spa Facilities Community Development

RESPECT THE Environment

The new Ngorongoro Lodge Meliá Collection is inspired by the natural beauty of the destination and its Maasai culture
EAST AFRICAN TRAVEL TANZANIA 80 African Safaris • Issue 47
Meliá Collection

Located in northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Lodge Meliá Collection is presented as an environmentally friendly establishment, having been renovated taking into consideration and honouring its special location. The impressive renovation has adapted the lodge to the demands of today's traveller, without harming the personality and authenticity of the hotel, but with full integration into the environment.

The lodge is located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a Unesco World Heritage Site encompassing more than 8 000 square kilometres, with an iconic 600m deep crater around which more than 25 000 wild animals live. The Ngorongoro Crater is a unique and privileged 'conservation zone' where tourism can only be conceived with the utmost respect for the environment and the communities that inhabit it.

In line with Meliá Hotels International's firm commitment to sustainability, the renovation carried out at the lodge has especially taken into account the

AFRICAN TRAVEL TANZANIA Issue 47 • African Safaris 81

protection of the natural ecosystem of the Ngorongoro area and the preservation of the culture of the Maasai tribe.

Together with the property's owner Albwardy Investments, with which Meliá operates other exceptional hotels in various destinations around the world, the company has paid special attention to the protection of the natural environment (including the indigenous flora and fauna), waste management and treatment, and energy efficiency.

Ngorongoro Lodge has a modern infrared system that allows

it to carry out better energy consumption management through the heat transmission of its systems, making it 90% selfsufficient. The lodge minimises electricity consumption by using fans in rooms, which are traditional in the region and more efficient than air-conditioning. Ninety-five percent of the products used and consumed in the lodge are local and, in addition, the lodge produces its own water through a bottling plant that processes local water to avoid plastic consumption and unnecessary transportation.

“The remodelling of the hotel to convert it into what is today the

Ngorongoro Lodge Meliá Collection has been inspired by the natural beauty of the destination and its culture,” explains César Martínez Torrecillas, general manager of the lodge. He adds that, “with the objective of respect and to preserve the environment, we have implemented actions to reduce our carbon footprint. Every aspect of the hotel has been created with the intention of offering a unique experience with the lowest possible environmental impact.”

The hotel has 60 rooms including six suites, 17 junior suites and one villa. All of these offer impressive views of the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. Inspired by the Maasai culture, the rooms and common areas of the lodge are decorated following a neutral colour palette that creates spacious, bright spaces and draws attention to the wonderful views that the surroundings offer. The spaces and rooms are also made up of elements that reference the traditional

EAST AFRICAN TRAVEL TANZANIA 82 African Safaris • Issue 47
Meliá Collection


Discover Steenberg’s 5-star Hotel & Spa, exceptional cuisine at Bistro Sixteen82 and Tryn, award winning wines and MCC’s and an 18-hole championship golf course, making Steenberg Farm a complete leisure destination in idyllic Constantia.

SteenbergFarm @SteenbergFarm @SteenbergHotel #ReDiscoverSteenberg

“Every aspect of the hotel has been created with the intention of offering a unique experience with the lowest possible environmental impact.”

patterns of the area, and feature works of art by local artists—such as traditional pieces made by hand in Sanaa.

The gastronomic offering at Ngorongoro Lodge is also inspired by the destination. At The Crater Grill, fire and coal are the key ingredients; while at The Crater Lounge, traditional African cuisine blends with Asian influences, elevating the best selection of local fish and poultry. After an intense day on safari, put the finishing touch to the day savouring the most delicious snacks at The Crater Bar, which also offers the best East African wines and an extensive menu of drinks and cocktails.

Throughout the day, The Crater Bar is perfect for savouring the taste of Tanzanian coffee, the best teas or local liquors.

Ngorongoro Lodge has a complete

spa providing the best treatments. You can enjoy luxurious massage techniques accompanied by relaxing aromas and soft musical sounds. The spa also offers a destination-inspired experience including the locally produced and natural Inaya Zanzibar brand, the products of which include ingredients straight from Africa's rich and diverse nature.

Unique experiences at the destination

The adventures are endless at Ngorongoro Lodge. Guests are offered unique experiences to make their stay at the hotel and their visit to the destination unforgettable. Travellers looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Tanzania will find immersive activities at the hotel, as well as a wide variety of routes and excursions, shows and exhibitions (don't miss the Olduvai

Gorge Museum with its focus on paleoanthropological research, artefacts from the surrounding area and fossilised footprints, among other interesting items).

You can explore the Ngorongoro Crater on a full-day game drive and discover the wildlife of Tanzania, spotting animals such as rhino, lion and giraffe. The Ngorongoro Crater is known as 'the Garden of Eden' for the richness of its biodiversity, with more than 20 000 herbivorous mammals and the highest concentration of large predators on the Earth, which play a fundamental role in maintaining ecological balance. This experience in a guided safari vehicle also includes a complete bush picnic lunch with a magnificent selection of courses.

If you'd like a closer look at the crater, embark on the Ngorongoro Crater Ring Walking Safari along the rim. The guide, armed ranger and Maasai will point out tracks of insectivorous animals, discuss the traditional use of plants, and tell you more about this amazing ecosystem.

For guests looking to learn more about local Tanzanian culture, the Maasai will gladly open their homes to you. You'll be welcomed into the boma, the traditional Maasai house, where you can view and participate in their cultural activities including traditional dancing, building houses, creating handcrafted ornaments and cooking a variety of local dishes. Today, more than 100 000 Maasai live in the Ngorongoro Reservation Area, maintaining their traditional pastoralist lifestyle.

For thrill-seeking nature lovers, the balloon safari offers a panoramic view of the famous Ndutu region, allowing you to enjoy its impressive landscape from the air.

For further information, visit

AFRICAN TRAVEL TANZANIA 84 African Safaris • Issue 47 Meliá Collection

Love is IN THE AIR

Zannier Hotels Sonop is a romantic hidden gem in the middle of the NamibRand Nature Reserve

AFRICAN TRAVEL NAMIBIA 86 African Safaris • Issue 47
Zannier Hotels

Set within 5 600 private hectares of untouched Namib Desert wilderness, Zannier Hotels Sonop with its 10 tented suites is constructed on top of granite boulders in authentic 1920s British colonial style. Stretching from horizon to horizon, captivating beauty and boundless freedom surround you, with adventures from sunrise to sunset.

Zannier Hotels Sonop captures the restorative essence of the desert landscape with its tented accommodation, a communal place with 360-degree views, an open-air infinity pool, fitness centre and spa—truly integrating guests' wellbeing with the natural world. On arrival you immediately step back in time, transported to an old-world safari.

Every object and antique in the 10 spacious tents is carefully selected—binoculars and maps, travellers’ tales, telescopes, antique desks and handmade stationery—to ensure every moment turns into a unique experience. From the reception room to the partially walled bathroom, vintage bathtubs and private terrace, everything focuses on the richness of the desert and awe-inspiring views.

It's also a wonderful place for a romantic escape, with activities perfect for couples. Love is celebrated all-year long at Zannier Hotels Sonop, not just in February. Hence, each moment is the opportunity to rediscover love in

Each moment is the opportunity to rediscover love in one of the most extraordinary and remote corners of the world

one of the most extraordinary and remote corners of the world.

Breakfast in the wild

Couples are treated to unforgettable experiences, beginning their day with private adventures such as breakfast in the dunes (your personal chef awaits to prepare a range of fare, à la minute, which would befit aristocracy on a luxury 1920s safari) or a hot-air balloon safari, both set against the breathtaking backdrop of the cinematic desert sunrise, followed by a sumptuous Champagne full English breakfast—the perfect start to a day filled with romance and enchantment.

Duo wellness treats

The Duo Treatment is a sensory journey designed to harmonise and connect. Couples can pamper themselves side by side in a tranquil sanctuary, awakening the senses and fostering a deeper bond. The spa embraces ancient Namibian healing traditions, using blends of local roots, herbs and spices including myrrh, marula and rare Namibian pearl sea salt (harvested along the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean, moulded by the timeless rhythm of the southwesterly winds and the gentle dance of the waves).

Guests may also decide to opt for a daily yoga lesson, for reinforcing their communion. Connect with your inner state as you move

through several poses, feeling the light, warmth and freedom of the desert become synonymous with your being.

Horse riding for two

Zannier Hotels Sonop is equipped with its own stables, where experienced riders offer guests the opportunity to ride into the desert to explore the scenic surroundings.

As you embark on this unique experience, you soon realise you're at one with the desert, interwoven intricately within the network of living and non-living elements that make up this vast landscape. Ascend red sand dunes, savour a steaming cup of single-origin aromatic African coffee, and traverse an

ancient river course, interspersed with desert-hardened acacia trees, some festooned with the communal nests of sociable weavers.

Peaceful stargazing

As the sun sets, lovers are invited to immerse themselves in the captivating allure of a peaceful stargazing session: a genuine celebration of their love where the boundless sky becomes a canvas for evoking common life’s greatest memories and drawing future plans. The NamibRand Nature Reserve is actually one of just 22 designated International Dark Sky Reserves in the world, which are preserved and protected through responsible lighting policies. You're naturally transported alongside and among the trillions of awe-inspiring celestial bodies. Surrounded by myriad stars and the Milky Way—so clear, so defined and so immense—you'll find few words to describe your stargazing evening at Sonop.

Romantic outdoor movie night

Others may prefer to step into a realm of cinematic romance with Zannier Hotels Sonop’s muchanticipated outdoor movie night, featuring all-time classics and

Zannier Hotels

romances par excellence such as Out of Africa, Titanic, The Lion King, Casablanca or Lawrence of Arabia. Some in monochromatic, some in vivid technicolour, all wonderful... Facing the desert immensity, by the pool, enjoy the beauty of outdoor cinema on a large screen. Relax, settle down, be transported into a world of desert fantasy, with a box of homemade hot popcorn and maybe your favourite bottle of beer, all within a setting never to be forgotten.

An array of gastronomic delights

From nightly 5-course gala-style dining, to picnics amid enchanting outdoor settings, every dining experience at Zannier Hotels Sonop provides opportunities to share sightings and stories. Whether it's a secluded dune reunion, a private invilla affair, parlour games time with authentic Namibian delights, or an

Silverware and candelabras set the mood for the elegant dinner, where butlers serve a delicious 5-course meal

elegant candlelit dinner, love is in the air. Every day, an enchanting rendezvous unfolds at 8 p.m.

Silverware and candelabras set the mood for the elegant dinner, where butlers serve a delicious 5-course meal with black tie and white gloves, such that the entire occasion becomes an unforgettable gastronomic experience in the middle of the desert.


You'll find Zannier Hotels Sonop on the Sonop Farm, Road D707 in the Hardap region of Namibia.

It is situated 20km from Betta, 250km south from Mariental (2h30 by car), and approximately 500km from Windhoek (5 hours).

Zannier Hotels Sonop is equipped with its own landing strip, allowing guests to access the lodge from any African airport with small planes. The nearest international airport is Windhoek Hosea Kutako Airport.

To book your stay, telephone +264 (0)81 125 4932 or email:

Visit sonop for further details.

TRAVEL NAMIBIA 90 African Safaris • Issue 47 Zannier Hotels

& INSPIRING Captivating

Wilderness Desert Rhino Camp in the Palmwag Concession provides a safari experience with meaningful impact—guests directly contribute to the ongoing quest for survival of the black rhino

AFRICAN TRAVEL NAMIBIA Wilderness 92 African Safaris • Issue 47

In the vast landscape of the Palmwag Concession, follow free-ranging populations of critically endangered desert-adapted black rhino across the Damaraland plains, finding myriad other wildlife along the way. Wilderness Desert Rhino Camp offers a rare and exclusive opportunity to track these extraordinary pachyderms, and learn about their unique survival skills in this harshly beautiful, boulder-strewn environment.

The camp is currently undergoing an extensive rebuild. The reinvigorated version is set to reopen in July 2024 with an elegant new look and feel.

Continuing to pay homage to its natural desert surrounds, the camp is a celebration of its inspiring conservation success story: the ongoing protection of one of the world’s last free-roaming critically endangered black rhino populations.

“Everything we do at Desert Rhino Camp revolves around our pioneering partnership with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) Namibia and the famed ‘Big 3’ community conservancies in the area [Anabeb, Sesfontein and Torra]. Our conservation purpose is 100% why we’re here. And why we invite guests to witness, learn and participate in our efforts to help protect the desert-adapted black rhino,” notes Alex Henderson, Wilderness Namibia managing director.

Established in 2003, the success of the partnership is a showcase for the collaborative efforts by the private sector, non-governmental organisations and local communities to conserve the black rhino.

“We have been committed to our partnership with SRT and the local communities in the Palmwag Concession. The more guests and partners we directly involve in


our conservation initiatives, the greater our impact on helping to protect Africa’s largest freeroaming population of black rhino,” notes Wilderness chief operations officer, Alexandra Margull.

Over the last two decades, Desert Rhino Camp has remained a favourite among Wilderness guests due to its passionate staff who ensure a meaningful guest experience, and the momentous conservation impact it has had as a monitoring outpost for SRT.

“Viewing a desert-adapted black rhino in its natural surrounds is a rare opportunity, where the animal is completely unaware of, and unaffected by our presence. We want our guests to have this unforgettable wildlife experience, and we have ensured we maintain sensitive and ethical operations, with strict viewing protocols that aim to minimise disturbance. SRT rotates viewing areas so that each rhino is encountered only about three times a month,” explains Margull.

The camp’s core purpose is to protect the survival of the iconic species, with guests directly impacting rhino conservation

through their journeys. Desert Rhino Camp will remain a base for one of the SRT’s skilled tracking teams, with their operational costs covered by Wilderness.

positively uplifting the local communities. Approximately 11% of the total Desert Rhino Camp revenue is shared between the conservancies, SRT and rhino fundraising support. This contribution exceeds the total sustainable profit made by the camp in the last five years.

SRT is responsible for leading all the rangers’ activities, while ensuring all data is collected, processed and secured. This partnership has empowered SRT to successfully increase its range by 20%, while consistently contributing to the largest, longest running black rhino database in the world.

''Continuing to pay homage to its natural desert surrounds, the camp is a celebration of its inspiring conservation success story''

Guests' stays at Wilderness Desert Rhino Camp directly contribute to the ongoing quest for survival that this wildlife species faces. It’s a safari experience with meaningful impact.

As part of the lease agreement, Wilderness provides financial remuneration and employment opportunities to the conservancies,

“Now, 20 years on, we are excited to be rebuilding the camp, to offer a spectacular new design that will blend as seamlessly as possible into Desert Rhino Camp’s magnificent desert environment, telling the unique story of the rhino while in every way enhancing our guests’ comfort and experience,” Henderson adds.

Desert Rhino Camp is renowned for its cultural charm and classic tented accommodation, comprising eight Meru-style canvas suites raised off the ground on wooden decks. The open-plan dining and lounge area offers panoramic views

94 African Safaris • Issue 47
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of the surrounding Namib Desert and Etendeka Mountains.

Guests are invited to drink in these endless view of the rocky plains. Inside, hints of red, brown and orange reflect the ancient desert, while Namibia’s extraordinarily clear skies seem to flow from the outside in, inviting endless evenings of sharing and storytelling.

Eruptions 125 million years ago, when Africa and South America were joined as Gondwana, created the astonishing basalt landscape of Palmwag, stretching some 550 000 hectares. It’s a harsh, arid landscape that's bound to delight and surprise with all the life it supports.

This rugged scenery has inspired the decor’s colours and textures, further strengthening the camp’s connection to this immense, arid

area. As shown in the architectural renders, the camp will have large stretch-fabric roof structures with deep overhangs that provide shade and protection without compromising the horizon-wide views. With details of stone, timber and leather, the tent interiors have been noticeably inspired by the explorer age, overlaid with a stylish and contemporary feel.

Guests can enjoy a variety of wildlife activities at Desert Rhino Camp, including birding and nature drives, and exploring the vast and rugged wilderness with some of the country’s most knowledgeable guides. Desertadapted elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, kudu and predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, and brown and spotted hyena are also occasionally seen in the area. Birding enthusiasts can tick Ruppell’s korhaan, Benguela

“Viewing a desertadapted black rhino in its natural surrounds is a rare opportunity, where the animal is completely unaware of, and unaffected by our presence.”

long-billed lark, Herero chat and Verreaux’s eagle off their lists.

“Our main focus at Desert Rhino Camp is on the black rhino. It’s why we’re here: to defend, preserve and expand this iconic Namibian wild area for the resilient desertadapted wildlife that survive against the odds. This camp, where it started, what it stands for, and our pioneering conservation coalition with SRT and the three conservancies, will continue to captivate and inspire all who are privileged to visit,” Henderson concludes.

For further information, visit www.wildernessdestinations. com

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