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ROMANCE ON MATEMO ISLAND NAMIBIA’S ROMANTIC GETAWAYS + MORE

ROMANCING THE ISLANDS Honeymoon Seychelles Editors 2011 Destination of Choice. THE PERFECT FORM OF HONEYMOONS


For reservations please email cathleen@airseychelles.co.za

www.airseychelles.com


Valid 09 July 2011 02 August 2011

Honeymoon Specials MAHE’

PRASLIN

All MAHE packages include • Return flights Johannesburg – Mahe’ • Return airport – hotel transfers • 5 nights’ accommodation in room type specified • Meals as specified Excludes airport taxes +R 1 825 per person

All PRASLIN packages include • Return flights Johannesburg – Praslin • Return airport – hotel transfers • 5 nights’ accommodation in room type specified • Meals as specified Excludes airport taxes +R 1 865 per person

5* Banyan Tree Seychelles – from R 20 840 per person

4 * LÁrchipel – from R10 490 per person

BOOK 60 DAYS IN ADVANCE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS GREAT OFFER: A SAVING OF R 4 400 PER PERSON! 5 nights in a Hillside Pool Villa including breakfast Honeymoon extras: Bottle of champagne, deluxe fruit platter, surprise gift, 90 min a la carte massage for the bride.

5 nights in a deluxe room including breakfast Honeymoon extras: welcome cocktail, special candlelight dinner, room upgrade subject to availability

4 * Allamanda Hotel – from R 13 450 per person 5 nights in an Ocean view room on a Half board basis (Dinner and Breakfast) Honeymoon extras: Bottle of sparkling wine and fruit basket

3 * Sunset Beach – from R 9 620 per person valid 09Jul-17 Jul and from R 10 960 per person sharing valid 18Jul-02Aug 5 nights in an Ocean View room including breakfast daily Honeymoon extras: Flowers, sparkling wine and romantic candlelight dinner

LA DIGUE 4 * Le Domaine De LÓrangeraie from R 12 660 per person 4 nights Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie including breakfast, 1 night in Mahe at Allamanda Hotel including dinner and breakfast Honeymoon extras : A fruit basket, bottle of champagne, * One 60 min body massage of your choice in the spa (per person per stay) Includes • Return flights Johannesburg – Praslin • Ferry transfer Praslin to La Digue • Return airport/ jetty – hotel transfers • 4 nights’ accommodation in a Garden villa at 4 * Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie including breakfast daily • 1 night accommodation in an ocean view room at 4 *

Allamanda Hotel including dinner and breakfast Excludes airport taxes +R 1 865 per person

DENIS PRIVATE ISLAND 5 * – from R 24 410 per person 5 nights in a deluxe cottage including breakfast, lunch and dinner Honeymoon extras: Bottle of champagne, 1 sunset cocktail per person and canapés once during stay, surprise gift Includes • Return flights Johannesburg – Mahe’ • Charter flight Mahe’ – Denis Private Island • Return hotel transfers • 5 night’s accommodation as above Excludes airport taxes +R 1 865 per person Rates are correct at time of going to print and are subject to change without notice, as well as availability at time of booking E&EO

CONTACT: THE HOLIDAY FACTORY: Reservations: 0860 ISLAND Operator: +27 (0) 11 233 2300 Reservations email: res@theholidayfactory.co.za Reservations Fax: +27 (0) 86 506 3292 Postal address: PO Box 1510, Rivonia, 2128 Physical address: 1st Floor Block G, Morningside Close, 222 Rivonia Road (entrance in Michelle St), Morningside, 2196 

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EDITORS VOICE

FROM THE EDITOR Brides Essence Travel is the Honeymoon edition of Brides Essence Magazine. Our first issue brings you some beautiful destinations to consider for this special time of your lives and we hope that you will find the perfect location to relax, unwind, have fun and find adventure. Holidays alone together can become rare as the years go by, enjoy your honeymoon - each and every special moment, and treasure each other in every way, these memories do last a lifetime. From the Indian Ocean Islands of Seychelles, the shores of Zanzibar, the depths of the Ocean in Mozambique, the sandy dunes of Namibia, the wetlands of Botswana or the coastline and bushveld of South Africa there is a honeymoon paradise for each of us. Happy Honeymoon! Justine "A friend loves at all times" Proverbs 17:17

CONTRIBUTORS AARON GEKOSKI 

//

Aaron Gekoski is a wildlife filmmaker, writer and photographer. A former model agency owner in London, Aaron now spends his time documenting conservation initiatives and travel writing, a career that has seen him journey extensively through Africa, Asia, Europe and America. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic Traveller, Africa Geographic, Men's Health and FHM. Aaron is a regular contributor for diving publications and blogs for www.divesite.co.za and www.sportdiver. co.uk. Aaron has just finished working on "Shiver", a documentary on Mozambique's shark finning crisis. Aaron and production companies Moz Images and Sangue Bom are currently raising funds to shoot an English language version of the film that will take them to the heart of the shark finning industry, Hong Kong. Aaron is also founder of Marine Madness (www. marine-madness.com), a conservational marine clothing line featuring such hilarious (well, if you are into corny fish puns) characters as Cod Almighty, Tina Tuna, TriggerHappy Fish and many more. To see more of Aaron's work, or view a trailer of the film, you can visit www.aarongekoski.com or email info@aarongekoski.com. CLARISSA HUGHES 

//

Clarissa Hughes is a freelance travel writer who has a passion for Africa's wild places. Living and working in the tourism industry in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe for 20 years provided her with an opportunity to travel large tracts of sub-Saharan Africa. She continues to indulge this predilection, favouring off-the-beaten track destinations. She has a particular penchant for walking long distances in remote areas. The involvement of local communities in tourism is a message she really likes to encourage. “Africa is blessed with a wonderful inheritance in its diverse cultures, wildlife and open spaces. It sets us apart from other continents. We would be crazy to squander such wealth,� she says.

4 | TRAVEL EDITION | ISSUE 01


PUBLISHERS Cherry Berry Blue Publishing SA cc, Johannesburg, South Africa Editor: Justine Engelbrecht

ADVERTISING:

CONTENTS

Sales Director, National: Luke Engelbrecht

Romancing the Islands

Freelance Sales, Western Cape: Penn

Brides Essence Supports Breast Health Foundation

Editorial Design Concept, Production & Layout: one2love.co.za, Plettenberg Bay

6/7/8 9

Diving Deep to find paradise

10/11

Intimate Weddings & Honeymoons on the Tropical Island paradise of Matemo 

12/13

Dream Honeymoons on the Spice Islands

14/15

Contributing Writers: Clarissa Hughes, Aaron Gekoski

Namibia’s Romantic Getaways

16/17

Contributing Photographers: Luke Engelbrecht & CJ Coetzee - Moz Images

Enchanting Botswana

19

The Perfect Honeymoon Destination – South Africa’s Garden Route

20

Website design: www.bridesessence.com, one2love.co.za, Plettenberg Bay

e-Published 2011 © Bi-Annually by Cherry Berry Blue Publishing SA cc

Honeymoon at the new Makubela Suites Idube Game Reserve

22/23

CK 2008 026 907 23, All rights reserved Email: info@bridesessence.com Advertising enquiries: sales@bridesessence.com luke@cherryberrybluepublishing. com bridesessence@telkomsa.net Mobile: 0744408668 Brides Essence is registered by Cherry Berry Blue Publishing SA cc While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information in this edition of Brides Essence, no responsibility can be accepted for quality of goods and services supplied by advertisers. The publisher accepts no responsibility for material submitted by any client for reproduction, in regard to all relevant laws and regulations. Concept, text, covers and title of Brides Essence is Copyright © and may not be reproduced by any process without the prior written permission of the publisher. The Publisher would like to thank all photographers, contributors, advertisers and all parties involved for this fantastic first edition of Brides Essence Travel.

ADVERTISERS, CONTRIBUTORS & SPONSORS Air Seychelles

2

L’Archipel7

Allamanda Hotel

7

Lloyd Orr Communications

Banyan Tree Seychelles

7

Namibia Tourism Board

16/17

Breast Health Foundation

9

Rani Resorts

12/13

Classique Spa D&K Africa Travel

21 14/15

17

Seychelles Tourist Office

7

Sunset Beach Resort

7

Denis Island

7

Tourism Garden Route

20

Divers Lodge

7

Wilderness Safaris

18

Domaine de L’Orangerai

7

Elite Club Ltd

7

Ellerines Holdings Ltd Holiday Factory Idube Game Reserve

24 3 22/23

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EDITORS 2011 DESTINATION OF CHOICE

Romancing the Islands

HONEYMOON SEYCHELLES

Photographs Supplied by Luke Engelbrecht

6 | TRAVEL EDITION | ISSUE 01


SEYCHELLES

Turquoise waves lapping gently against silken white sand, on palm-lined shores are inviting pictures that entice the promise of paradise to couples looking for the perfect honeymoon destination. Seychelles is one such destination that not only entices and promises the postcard picture perfect destination but it delivers as well. Just the term Island hopping stirs up visions of romantic interludes as you jet set from one island to another. Pictures of bronzed bodies on undisturbed beaches encased by boulders and palms, couples relaxing at their very own infinity pools cocktails in hand, or snorkelling, fishing and diving off coastlines that boast aquatic splendour. This and more can be yours. Imagine still blue waters lapping gently against your body while your grasping toes snuggle in the soft white sand beneath as you float buoyantly in the salty Indian Ocean island waters. Early morning walks, Jacuzzi’s, international wines and fresh from the sea fish are just a few delights that await your indulgence. Seychelles is a land of plenty for the tourist, from the moment you arrive you will be welcomed with service from the Elite Club that will exceed your expectations. Book your vacation through the Holiday Factory who will ensure that your holiday is both enjoyable and unforgettable. Ensure you do not book your visit without either of them. The Elite Club will ensure that you are delivered to each point of travel, whether it is to your hotel, a restaurant or tourist spot or to the airport for your inter-island flights or ferry. They will also put together an itinerary for you that will allow you the complete privacy required and appreciated on honeymoon.

club will ensure that the legal requirements, minister, setting for the ceremony, flowers, cake, champagne, reception hotel, catering and any other requirements are in place and attended to well in advance. The elite club will tailor make your wedding with the mindset that ‘anything is possible.’ They are your wedding and honeymoon specialists in the Seychelles. Whether on Mahe’, Praslin, La Digue or on Denis Private Island there is a venue that will ensure your every dream is made possible. *Special Thanks to Marsha Parcou from Seychelles Tourist Office and Seychelles Tourism Board for inviting BridesEssence Travel to discover the Seychelles Archipelago.

SEYCHELLES ACCOMMODATION Banyan Tree Seychelles Mahe’. Contact - tinaz.wadia@ banyantree.com , www. banyantree.com Allamanda Hotel Mahe’. Contact - sales@ allamand-seychelles.com , www.allamanda-seychelles. com Divers Lodge Mahe’. Contact diverslodge@ seychelles.net , www. diverslodgeseychelles.com Sunset Beach Resort Mahe’. Contact: sunset@ seychelles.net, www.sunsetbeach-resort.com Domaine de L'Orangerai La Digue Island. Contact: p.cornaille@orangeraie.sc , http://www.orangeraie.sc L’Archipel – Praslin Island. Contact: archipel@seychelles. net, marketing@larchipel.com , www.larchipel.com Denis Island Contact: reservations@ denisisland.com , www. denisisland.com

SEYCHELLES SPECIALISTS Elite Club Ltd Contact: priscilla@ hostandguest.travel , www. hostandguest.travel Air Seychelles Contact: cathleen@ airseychelles.co.za , www. airseychelles.com The Holiday Factory Contact: Flora Fubbs Tel: +27 011 233 2300 Email: flora@ theholidayfactory.co.za, www. theholidayfactory.co.za Seychelles Tourist Office Contact: seychelles@stoza. com, www.seychelles.travel. com

If you are interested in getting married in the Seychelles everything you require is available. From the first hand service and attention to detail that is essential for every bride to be, the Elite

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EDITORS 2011 DESTINATION OF CHOICE

HONEYMOON SEYCHELLES 8 | TRAVEL EDITION | ISSUE 01


CHARITY

charity of choice!

Cherry berry blue publishing sa inc. Brides Essence, Brides Essence Travel and Travelmagsa magazines are proud to introduce the breast health foundation and perfectly pink as our charity of choice! IN SUPPORTING OUR MAGAZINES YOU SUPPORT THIS INCREDIBLE INITIATIVE - HELP US TO HELP THEM EDUCATE WOMEN AND MEN - CREATE AWARENESS – AND SAVE LIVES!

MORE ABOUT THE BREAST HEALTH FOUNDATION VISION “Our vision is to redefine the face of breast cancer as perceived by South Africans in general and patients in particular; promoting a positive mindset of survival, recovery and quality of life”

MISSION “Our mission is to be achieved through the promotion of a multi-disciplinary approach to breast cancer specifically via the establishment of a “BREAST CANCER CHAIN OF SURVIVAL”*

• Early awareness of the disease • Early access to both information and appropriate awareness • Early support • Early diagnostic intervention • Early definitive care • Early and ongoing analysis of care *This concept originates from the CARDIAC CHAIN OF SURVIVAL as promoted by the American Heart Association World Resuscitation Council and the Southern African Resuscitation Council.

SCOPE OF OPERATIONS 1) Education and Awareness • Join forces and work together as a co-operative forum, united in our passion for creating awareness and educating women about breast hygiene issues • Identify areas of greatest need amongst female communities in South Africa • Focus on select key projects with clear deliverables 2) Render Assistance to Breast Cancer Patients • Provide assistance to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer 3) Diagnosis Timeline • From a long-term perspective, to decrease the time between the onset of breast cancer and the diagnosis thereof, thereby greatly increasing a patient’s chance of recovery and survival

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MOZAMBIQUE

TOFO KEY FACTS: The best time to visit is March-May, when the weather is cooler and the wet season over. LAM offer regular direct services from Johannesburg to Inhambane (www.flylam.co.za). Tofinho is the next beach along from Tofo and is a world-renowned destination for surfing. The Rand remains strong against the Mozambique Meticais, making Tofo an affordable destination for all. Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, though locals generally speak good English. Learn a few words of Portuguese before you go: the local people appreciate you trying, even if you mess it up. Less than 20 years ago, after a brutal civil war, Mozambique was declared the poorest country in the world, now it is one of Africa’s fastest growing tourist destinations.

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Diving deep to find paradise... ASK MOST COUPLES ABOUT THEIR DREAM HONEYMOON DESTINATION AND MOST WILL PAINT PICTURES OF ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS IN THE MALDIVES, OR PRIVATE GAME RESERVES IN THE KRUGER. BUT IF THIS ALL FEELS A LITTLE STERILE AND BLAND, AARON GEKOSKI SUGGESTS WETTING YOUR DREAMS AND HEADING TO MOZAMBIQUE FOR A THRILL-SEEKING DIVING HONEYMOON. On the surface of it, there is nothing remarkable about Tofo Beach in Mozambique. There are no lavishly furnished stilted bungalows, caressed by velvety, crystal clear waters. Instead, concrete boxes masquerading as houses, perch on top of sand dunes, cautiously peering down on a sprawling brown beach, which is devoured nightly by a hostile sea. It’s impressive, certainly but idyllic, not really. On the surface that is. However, dive just a little bit deeper and Tofo may just be one of the most spectacular honeymoon destinations in the world. Located a convenient two hours flight from Johannesburg, Tofo has become one of Mozambique’s hottest properties. In fact, just about everything here is hot: the weather, the people, the food, and most of all, the diving, which is lip-smacking spicy. Even the dive centres have a piquant ring to them - make the excellent Peri Peri Divers (www.peri-peridivers.com) your first stop before exploring these magical waters. Diving here is a challenging, yet deeply rewarding experience. Conditions vary day by day, site by site. Your morning dive may feel like a saunter through an aquarium – glassy water, no current, and an abundance of multicoloured fishies. Your afternoon dive, on the other hand, could

be more like swimming in a washing machine filled with mushy peas. You’ll forget the conditions though and concentrate on your other half ’s jaw hitting the seabed, as a giant manta ray glides poetically above. Diving with manta rays is an unparalleled experience: there are no other animals on earth quite like these caped crusaders. And Tofo has them in abundance. Tofo also possesses a few of the ocean’s biggest fish: the whale shark. Whale sharks, bless their giant hearts, aren’t the brightest of fish. Yet they compensate for their slackjawed dimness by being both very large and very pretty. Congregations of up to 20 strong endure us voyeurs with good nature, obliviously hoovering up vast quantities of plankton into their gaping mouths. And Tofo Beach remains the only place on earth where these jolly blue giants can be seen all year round. During winter months though, whale sharks seem to diminish in size compared to the arriving – and pregnant – humpback whales. These aquatic behemoths can be seen flip-flopping flirtatiously through the waves from July to October. This spectacular marine playground is even occasionally frequented by one of the ocean’s most mysterious creatures, the source of the myth-

ical figure of the mermaid. Seen from a distance (perhaps through squinted, salt encrusted eyes), it is possible to imagine how a dugong could be mistaken for a mermaid: half-woman, half fish. But mainly, dugongs - with their bulky, hairless bodies and long snouts - are more reminiscent of gigantic Gonzos, that ugly blue alien from The Muppets. Looks aside, these are majestic mounds of blubber that pay testament to evolution’s incomprehensible ways. Aside from the diving, there are plenty of other activities for adventurous honeymooners, such as kite – and regular - surfing, fishing, local village walks, quad tours and kayaking expeditions. Pay a visit to Muakelani Excursions (www.muakelani.com), run by the wonderfully engaging Marco, who offers many of these activities, as well as tailor made tours. Meandering around the laid back town of Inhambane (located 22km from Tofo) is also a great way to waste away an afternoon. In the summer months this can be a sweaty endeavour, so reward yourselve’s with a cool tipple at the region’s most luxurious hotel, Casa do Capitão. Whilst Tofo has some of the annoying traits of a tourist destination (children selling goods on the beach are a little pushy but can be dis-

couraged with a polite “não, obrigado/obrigada”), ultimately it retains its Mozambican charm. A local market sells excellent fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as the obligatory carved elephants, all at reasonable rates. And for charm in abundance, try Tofo institution Black and White’s, who serve up freshly braaied chicken with rice and salad, for less than the loose change in your pocket. After spending your day admiring the marine life, you’ll be ready to tuck into some come dinnertime. Casa Barry (www.casabarry.com) serves the best seafood in Tofo. The giant prawns will take your breath away, quite literally. Casa Barry is also a great option for accommodation, offering spacious, beach-front chalets and packages aimed at newly weds. Whilst digesting your giant prawns, you might want to grab a cocktail, kick back and admire the endless expanse of ocean you both just conquered. For these waters, and all they contain, are truly remarkable. Lion Fish by CJ Coetzee / Moz Images  Aaron Gekoski (www.aarongekoski. com, info@aarongekoski.com) has just finished filming Shiver, a documentary on Mozambique’s shark finning crisis. To see the full version, visit Aaron’s website.

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MOZAMBIQUE

intimate weddings ...& HONEYMOONS ON THE TROPICAL ISLAND PARADISE OF MATEMO ISLAND!

There is a saying that goes along the lines of “You don't marry someone you can live with - you marry the person who you cannot live without.” And for every young girl who dreams of being whisked away by a knight in shining armour only to live happily ever after; the wedding venue, the arrangements, the details, the dress, the groom ..., must all be perfect and extra-special. Breathtakingly beautiful and original, palm-studded Matemo Island, in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique, exudes exclusivity and romance. Here, no fairy godmother is needed to wave her magic wand and create a memorable experience: the quintessential tropical island paradise of Matemo Island, with its perfect vista of white sand and endless translucent sea, mesmerizes those who visit and is the perfect setting for your dream beach wedding. Friendly staff are on hand to ensure the bridal party is looked after and the Bride and Groom are pampered and assured a care-free stay. Photographs supplied by Rani Resorts

Accommodation is provided for via 24 palmthatched, air-conditioned chalets, situated within metres of the beach and offers en-suite bathroom,

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outdoor shower, mini-bar and verandah - complete with hammock for watching the world go by. Gently elevated above the sea, the guest areas include a bar and restaurant, and a swimming pool with sweeping views over the ocean. Fresh, seafood-oriented meals are served in a variety of locations, from the elevated dining area to the poolside or on the sand with the sea lapping gently nearby. To ensure ultimate relaxation, a range of simple spa treatments is on offer and the untouched marine environment allows for constant new discoveries, whether diving, fishing, snorkeling, or exploring unspoilt beaches. The standard wedding package comes free and includes ceremony set-up, private dinner, continental room service breakfast for the couple on the morning after their wedding, a private beach picnic and, a special wedding gift where the couple gets to plant their own palm tree on the island PLUS a 50% discount on the Bride’s accommodation for a stay of 4 or more nights*. Contact info@raniresorts.com or 011 658 0633 for more information or go to www.raniresorts.com. *Terms and conditions apply


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ZANZIBAR INFORMATION Time Zone GMT + 3 Currency Tanzanian Shilling (Tsh) Approximate exchange rate US$ 1 = 1,400 Tanzanian Shillings = 100 cents Official languages Kiswahili & English Electricity 220 - 240 V AC, 50 Hz Religion Predominantly Islam

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ZANZIBAR Photographs supplied by D&K Africa Travel.

Dream Honeymoons on the Spice Islands The Zanzibar Archipelago is made up of Zanzibar and Pemba Islands located in the Indian Ocean about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast and 6째 south of the equator. The local name for Zanzibar Island is Unguja, it is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide and it occupies a total area of approximately 650 square miles. Zanzibar is characterised by its beautiful sandy beaches fringed by coral reefs,. Boasting almost 25 beaches it is a true paradise, surrounded by local fishermen and fishing villages where people live the same simple lives that they have for decades. Some of the beaches include Mangwapani on the northern tip and to east are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani. In the north is the island of Nungwi, and here you can see local craftsmen building the dhows. The Island's capital, also known as Zanzibar, is one of the oldest cities in Africa and boasts a World Heritage Site in its collection of some of Africa's most valuable ancient architecture. The historical Stone Town gained its name from the many large multi-story "stone" buildings that fill the old town area. In this small area, you will find several shops selling wood carvings, Zanzibari chests, spices, jewellery and antiques. There are 23 "landmark buildings", two cathedrals, over 50 Mosques, 157 balconies and more than 200 carved doors. Away from the bustle of the capital, lies Bluebay Beach Resort, this spectacular

honeymoon destination is situated on the finest wide, white, sandy beach on the island of Zanzibar. Beautiful cottages overlook verdant gardens and with over 1000 palm trees, a sparkling pool, azure blue sea and white sandy beaches it makes for a stunning honeymoon destination. Other hotels in this group include the Sultan Sands Hotel, with its African Style Rondavels and Beyt al Chai Hotel a classic African setting with a touch of ancient Arabian mystique. For a 5* experience the stunning Karafuu Hotel is takes great pride in service excellence and from the cuisine to the quality rooms set in beautiful surroundings your stay will be unforgettable.

1Time airlines offers direct flights from Johannesburg to Zanzibar International airport which is about 5 km from Stone Town and when booking your Zanzibar honeymoon look no further than D&K Africa Travel, a proud representative of some of the top hotels and resorts Zanzibar has to offer, D&K Africa Travel offers competitive fares on flights, prices for hotels, resorts and once-in-a-lifetime excursions around the magnificent island; they will package your dream honeymoon! Contact: D&K Africa Travel Tel: +27 11 462 9344 / Fax: +086 606 3022 Mobile: +27 82 891 6406 Email: wendy@dkafricatravel.com Web: www.dkafricatravel.co.za

The island is without doubt the number one beach location in East Africa, an absolutely wonderful island of tropical white-sand beaches, lush plantations, an incredible history and a fascinating culture. Despite its increasing number of visitors, Zanzibar remains resolutely African ... a passionate, intense, and relatively challenging place to visit.

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NAMIBIA

Namibia’s Romantic Getaways As Cupid’s little arrow heads ever closer and the day of your wedding fast approaches, the pressure mounts to find a destination set to light the fire of passion and romance for the ultimate honeymoon. Look no further than Namibia as it provides the perfect getaway for the romantic at heart! Whether you are searching for a romantic long weekend with a quick trip to the land of contrasts or perhaps you have more time of your hands to explore Namibia’s hidden gems, the country provides a variety of opportunities to woo the one you love! Only a short flight away from South Africa with various departure and arrival cities, Namibia provides the perfect break from the stress and strain of everyday living and allows one to step back and evaluate who and what is really important in your life as you slowly unwind and slow down, under the hot African sun of this multifaceted destination. With no visas required for South African passport holders, a trip up north can be arranged as easily as one, two, three – just don’t forget to pack the sun block! Trips to Namibia usually begin in either Windhoek or Walvis Bay as arrival cities, and either of these provides the perfect base from which to explore Namibia’s secret treasure chest of activities and excursions. Accommodation is also varied with many options available to suit both your mood and pocket. From international hotel chains, up market B&B’s, quaint guest houses and fanciful farm houses to luxurious game lodges

and spectacular spa’s, Namibia provides its visitors with ample choice accommodation! Speaking of spas….perhaps it would be good to mention that Namibia has a variety of spas sure to impress your loved one. From the Le Mirage Desert & Spa in Sossusvlei, the exclusive Kempinski Mokuti Lodge in the Etosha region to the in-house lodge at the Hilton Windhoek, the variety and location of spas in the country is wide. Be sure to contact a local spa today and book some TLC for your loved one! For those seeking some adrenalin pumping adventure on their romantic getaway, look no further! Who would have thought that Namibia could offer so much in the way of adventure for visitors to its shores? From shark cage diving, 4x4 trails, sky diving and sand boarding to a hot air balloon ride over some of the most beautiful scenery known to man, Namibia is sure to keep that adrenalin pumping! And speaking of beautiful scenery, treat your sweetheart to a range of romantic Namibian highlights, including the following: Dinner for two, in the middle of the Namib desert with only a canopy of stars as company; A hot air balloon ride, complete with champagne and views to impress

A trip aboard Namibia’s luxury train, the Desert Express, which operates between Swakopmund and Windhoek; A “his and hers” pampering session at a local spa;A night out on the town, enjoying the local cuisine which is well worth a taste! A hike in the Fish River Canyon, sporting some of the most breathtaking Namibian scenery; A sand skiing session for two, complete with a trek up Big Daddy, one of the tallest dunes worldwide at 1100 feet! A game drive through Etosha, with the hope of seeing some beautiful wildlife! Intriguing and interesting yet easily accessible and quite affordable, endless and unforgettable, Namibia is the hot spot to visit! For further information on Namibia or the hot spots to visit and impress your sweetheart contact the Namibia Tourism Board on (011) 702 9602 or visit their website on www. namibiatourism.com.na Submitted by: Chantal Matthee Namibia Tourism Board Tel: (011) 702 9602 Email: namibia@lloydorr.com Photograph supplied by Namibia Tourism Board

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BOTSWANA INFORMATION How to get there: Daily flights from Johannesburg to Maun on Air Botswana. If you prefer to drive up it will take you two days. From Maun a flight arranged by the camp will take you into the delta. If you have a 4x4 you can get to the desert camp on your own or arrange to be picked up in Maun. When to go: Summertime is a time of renewal, when many animals have their young. It's also the time for migrant birds. The zebra migration is rain dependent but generally around November they move to the middle of the pans. Between June and October they stay around permanent water. Camps and prices: Jao Camp, in the permanent delta, ranges from USD1, 095 to USD1, 630 pppn, dependent on season. (www. wilderness-safaris. com) Meno a Kwena, on the banks of the Boteti River, ranges from USD250 to USD600 dependent on season, activities required and access. (www. kalaharikavango. com)

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BOTSWANA

Enchanting Botswana Botswana's remote camps make it a perfect choice for honeymooners wanting time alone, writes Clarissa Hughes. For nature lovers the Okavango Delta needs no introduction, and if you're looking for a romantic and indulgent location for your honeymoon, it's perfect. Spectacular views of a blue-green water wonderland teeming with wildlife immersed in a symphony of birdsong fill the senses. A dreamy dinner-for-two under a spreading fig tree in this Garden of Eden is unrivalled. Days may be spent boating and game driving. The gentle swish, as a dugout canoe glides through the reeds, is therapy for the soul; or perhaps floating along the hidden waterways in a more substantial craft appeals. Game walks on an island with a qualified guide are available for those who really like to get a feel for the bush or how about sharing a candlelit bathtub while

the delta's waters lap gently nearby? Overlooking lagoons and floodplains, a viewing hide can be transformed into a private bedroom at night. In contrast the Makgadikgadi Pans offers a more Lawrence-of-Arabia type of romance, here the earth is so flat you can see its curve. In this landscape of yellow grass and salt pan a miracle occurs each year when thousands of zebra migrate to its briny pastures and blanket of black and white shimmers into the distance as far as the eye can see. Along the banks of the Boteti River elephant families congregate to quench their thirst, while resident wildebeest and other desert-adapted antelope provide food for predators – lion, leopard and cheetah. Listening to the call of the jackals and the lions roar while gazing

up at the breathtakingly beautiful night sky is an experience of a lifetime. Watching the sun go down on the vastness of the salt pans makes you feel as if you are the only people in the whole world. You may decide to let a guide reveal the secrets of the desert or you could just stay in camp and see what game comes to you. Cultural interactions with local communities are available through most camps and whether you choose the delta or the desert or both for your honeymoon, time out in the wild is a superb way to start off a new life together. Photographs supplied by Clarissa Hughes – Jao Camp Okovango Delta , Meno a Kwena Camp Makgadikgadi Pans, Meno a Kwena Camp Boteti River.

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SOUTH AFRICA

The Perfect Honeymoon Destination South Africa’s Garden Route... The Garden Route is the coastal strip south of the Outeniqua Mountains; the Klein Karoo once a shallow inland sea, is now the dry plain that separates the Outeniqua mountains from the Swartberg mountains in the north. The Garden Route is the ideal destination from which to discover the ‘great African Outdoors’, the fauna and the flora in the area is unique and is comprised of conservancies, nature reserves and national parks. If it is adventure you love then whether you are looking for adrenalin or exploration, the Garden Route offers the perfect destination. This nature’s paradise is a combination of ocean, beaches, forests, fields, mountains and caves and it welcomes mountain biking, cycling, fishing, boating, swimming, surfing and much more. If you are looking to discover the culture, this is a modern hotspot for local artists, there is a vibrant choice in this artists muse of South Africa and you can discover Rock Art, KhoiSan fish traps and archaeological sites as well as a mix of art, music, museums, art galleries, shows, theatre, festivals and events. There is much to discover in this beautiful area which elegantly rests on the South Coast of the Western Cape Province in South Africa. This area welcomes visitors to its sunny shores, with beautiful white sandy beaches, rocky shorelines which

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are shaded by forests, dry rich lands and mountainous terrain. Areas that form part of this fabulous coastline and world renowned route that is the Garden Route, include Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Sedgefield, Wilderness, George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. These fabulous tourist destinations provide pictures of ostriches and caves, seahorses and oysters, surfers and whales, elephants, sailing and catamarans, canopy tours, shark cage diving, deep sea fishing, boat trips, elephant back rides, birding. Discover this part of the floral kingdom and indulge in just a few of the exciting adventures that can be enjoyed in this area. Restaurants, shopping, activities and recreation abound and this exciting part of South Africa offers a tremendous diversity of accommodation, from guest houses, bed and breakfasts, budget and backpackers to fabulous four and five star hotels and venues…whether it is sleeping on a houseboat or experiencing nature at its closest or lavishing in comforts and luxury, the Garden Route has something for everyone. For more information you can contact Garden Route & Klein Karoo Tourism, info@gardenroute.co.za / www. tourismgardenroute.co.za Photographs supplied by Luke Engelbrecht


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SOUTH AFRICA Photographs supplied by Idube Game Lodge.

HONEYMOON AT THE NEW MAKUBELA SUITES IDUBE GAME RESERVE Idube Safari Lodge celebrated the newyear with the opening of two new luxury chalets, the Makubela Suites. These two elegant and spacious suites are named after one of Idube’s much loved female leopards, Makubela, who after being fatally injured by a male, returned to Idube’s gardens to die. Complimenting their existing ten chalets which were extensively refurbished late last year, the two new secluded suites are perfect for honeymooners and those seeking a romantic getaway. Reached by meandering private walkways, each has its own private splash pool, an indoor and outdoor shower, as

well as a game viewing deck overlooking the dramatic bushveld. Room service and mini bars are available in each of the air-conditioned suites, which also boast rain water tanks as part of Idube’s eco-friendly drive. Situated within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, the lodge boasts spectacular views of the riverbed and Shadulu Dam, a favourite watering hole for elephants and other game. Every effort has been made to conserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint - rain water is directed off the

Watch a short video clip of a lion roaring at Idube Game Reserve

roofs to a holding tank and is used to water the bush, gas geysers have been installed in order to save electricity and the bushveld surrounding the suites is completely natural. Makubela the leopard will always be remembered and Idube welcomes you to create your very own unforgettable memories...those that will last a lifetime.

Tel: +27 11 431 1120 Fax: +27 11 431 3597 email: info@idube.com www.idube.com

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Brides Essence Travel - Issue 01