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September to December 2016

ISLAND LEGACIES

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CONTINENTAL CULTURE AT ITS BEST

www.atmmag.net September 2016 to December 2016

TOURISM AND WELLNESS ON THE RISE IN SA

10 TOP AFRICAN MARKETS

FLORAL SCENES & SCENTS OF THE WESTERN CAPE

GLAMPING when glamour camping come together


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lost my song. Life came like a thief in the night, permeating my inner chambers; with loss sucked out of my body I was rendered defenseless. I lost my will to dance. The twirls in my buoyancy stopped. No song – other than that of lament – was heard in my chambers. Silence. Silence knew my name. Silence hovered in my core and tore me apart. The silence of the little grave shouted louder than noise. Silence hurt me the most. Silence ‘de-mommed’, de-womanised me. And yet it was only silence from the still African continent I call home that could heal my heart and remind me I too was whole. That’s what African travel does. It has a way of calming you. Mother Africa has a way of exchanging the raging silence with stillness of the soul and mind. The vast diversity, abundance of minerals, overflowing animals in the wild, humanity of the people… South Africa – and all of Africa – can indeed provide solace to the soul. Rather than fall apart indefinitely, nature showed me how drought and rainy

seasons are all part of the circle of life. While working vigorously in the morning hours, particularly in the tourism industry, I traded the familiarity and became a tourist out to discover self. I found myself in the leaves that withered in frost and the tree that one would swear is dead in winter, but its roots were founded on the Motherland; in due season that same tree blossomed and bore much fruit. It lived. I saw calmness and elegance infused in the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi. Each brick was skillfully layered to revive the soul. African-inspired artefacts and branding awoke the ‘me’ life had tried to cause to slumber. As I travelled Africa, a giant in me arose, a warrior that could not die no matter how much life’s oppressors and haters tried to flog me to silence. Harare International Airport’s tower, inspired by Great Zimbabwe, reminded my feet to stand. While moving through South Africa, the sunsets I had seen all my life were never the same. They spoke to my being that no matter the night, morning has to – and will – come – and take away the darkness. Light within; light without; light in the highest. Africa is by no means ‘The Dark Continent’ that the evil one tries to portray in the rape of her identity. The truth cannot be more contrary: Africa is the continent of light. A Buzzfeed article by TravelGuru titled ‘The 20 most beautiful countries in the world’ confirmed what many South Africans have always known and

believed; South Africa is the most beautiful country in the world! It is allegedly more beautiful than the USA (second place) and New Zealand (third place). Also in the Top 10 were African countries such as Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. At the risk of sounding cheeky and somewhat unprofessional, while they are feathers in our cap, we don’t need accolades and mentions to know that there’s magic in our steps because this land is downright worth everything it cost us. We have three of the world’s alleged 10 most beautiful coastal drives, which include Clarens Drive and Chapman’s Peak. We have an abundance of game and opportunities that allow man and the wildest of beasts to look each other face to face, as they breathe in the same atmosphere. Business travel has the vital needs and wants to make the most of the growing, vibrant economy and infrastructure. Cultural and responsible tourism is there to allow local and international tourists a shot at making heart connections with real people and the environment. I can say so much more, but the most I’d want to share is that the silence in my heart embraced me at my lowest and cradled me back to greater heights and highest highs from the ashes of my dreams. I lost myself in the world. I found myself in Africa.

PHOTOGRAPHS: KWENTA MEDIA, ETSY.COM.

Editor's note

M i m Tu

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EXPERIENCE

LIMPOPO

SEE, TOUCH, HEAR, FEEL & TASTE Limpopo is an ancient land of myth and legend that is broad, boundless and exquisite. She beckons with a mystic allure that travellers far and wide find impossible to resist. This is the land of the Golden Rhino, the Rain Queen Modjadji, The Kruger National Park, the proud and majestic Baobab Tree. Whatever your pleasure, whatever your game, come and experience the warm hospitality of our people, our mouth-watering cuisine, the diversity of wildlife, the vast landscape, history and a melting pot of cultures that is admirable.

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#GoLimpopo

Break away and make Limpopo your fortress. Enjoy the culture, explore nature and chase the adventure. Visit www.golimpopo.com or call 015 293 3600 to discover the beauty that Limpopo has to offer.

#GoLimpopo

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Publisher Editor – Tumi Mdluli publisher@kwentamedia.com Editorial Team Features Editor – Kati Dijane Online Writers – Melissa-Jane Cook, Hlulani Masingi, Thina Mthembu Sub-Editor – Tracy Maher Proofreader – Nuraan Motlekar editorial@kwentamedia.com Production Production Manager – Nuraan Motlekar nuraan@kwentamedia.com Design Team Senior Designer – Lelethu Tobi Junior Designer – Siphokazi Masele Digital & Web Specialist Lekeke Mahlo Business Development & Sales Team Nuraan Motlekar advertising@kwentamedia.com Operations & Finance Manager Kelly Moyo accounts@kwentamedia.com Admin Assistant – Tebatjo Manamela Intern – Palesa Sethlapelo

Drivers Gabriel Mashishi Kamohelo Mokoena Yusuf Msinyi Contributors Bridget Hilton-Barber, Melissa-Jane Cook, Leigh Newlands, Kate Els Published by Kwenta Media Physical Address – Kwenta House, 19 Weaver Street, Fourways, Johannesburg Tel: +27 (0)11 467 5859 Fax: +27 (0)11 467 2808 Content Director CEO Kwenta Media – Nawaal Nolwazi Mdluli

IMAGES: BRIDGET HILTON-BARBER, KARKLOOF SAFAR SPA, DI BROWN, ANDBEYOND, GARETH JACOBS

Marketing Team Brand Strategist – Akhona Gushman Brand Managers – Kholiwe Nkambule, Wezi Njovu Intern – Mpho Phaswana Netsianda

African Travel Market (ATM) is 100% owned and published by Kwenta Media (Pty) Ltd. The publisher and editor reserve the right to alter copy and visual material as deemed necessary. Copyright by Kwenta Media (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.

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CONTENTS September to December 2016

REGULARS 02 Editor’s Letter 08 Travel News & Tips 12 City Beats 16 On Trend

ON THE COVER Image by the Latitude Group.

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20

CONTENTS September to December 2016

16 82

20

Île de Gorée, a legacy of suffering

26

Unwind at Constance Tsarabanjina

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Smouldering hot African fashion accessories

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Photo Essay: Floral scenes & scents of the Western Cape

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Ten African markets

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Manor from heaven

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Luxury guaranteed at the President Hotel

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The Radisson Blu Dakar Sea Plaza

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Pampering Mangwanani style

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Limpopo, the land of legends

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Take me to the Zambezi River

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Fairmount Mara Safari Club welcomes you

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Desert divine at Wolwedans Dune Camp

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Glamping in Africa

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Garonga Safari: Indulge in nature’s gift

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Little Mombo Safari Camp, Botswana’s treasure

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Latitude with attitude

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Wellness, a new hotel trend

108

Tourism in SA is on the rise

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South Africa’s matriarch of tourism, Deputy Minister of Tourism: Tokozile Xasa

114

Seal the deal in the island of memories

IMAGES: BRIDGET HILTON-BARBER, LISA FOLAWIYO, WOLWEDANS COLLECTION, OLIVER COGELS.

FEATURES

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Keeping up with interesting new developments across Africa is no mean feat. We highlight a few, from hotel revamps and airline news to tips for travelling as an entrepreneur and Pokémon Go!

POKÉMON GO If you’ve heard the name, but aren’t sure what it is, Pokémon Go is a game you play on your smartphone where you capture little digital monsters, then pitch them against other monsters in easy-to-play battles – or you can just collect them. It’s fabulous when you travel, as there are checkpoints in the game called Pokéstops. They point out your surroundings and buildings, fountains or parks that you might never have noticed. It is an awesome way to get exercise and to explore your environment.

TRAVELLING AS A BUSINESS OWNER As a small business owner, travelling for work doesn’t often hold the perks of first-class flying. More often than not you’re doing your own booking and this requires some shortcuts. Entrepreneur and CEO of SMEasy, Darlene Menzies, says that she’s learnt a few things that have made travelling much easier as a small business owner. • Don’t use your South African SIM card: If you use international roaming when you travel, you will be in for a nasty surprise when you get home to your cell phone bill. Remove your SA SIM card before you land and go straight to a mobile service provider at the airport when you arrive to buy a local SIM card. • Leave a voice message on your phone before you leave SA: Record a new voicemail message before you leave the country telling your clients you will be travelling out of the country. Leave new contact details if possible. • Use Uber: It’s by far the most convenient, and typically the cheapest, way of getting around when you land in a foreign country. Uber is a reputable, safe taxi service that allows you to hire your own private driver via your cell phone. • Use your phone as a hotspot: For urgent access to the Internet where there isn’t any, turn your smartphone into your own personal Wi-Fi zone – as long as your phone has some data loaded.

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Airline News

AIRLINK ADDS SECOND FLIGHT TO BULAWAYO Airlink has added a second flight between Johannesburg and Bulawayo. The new flight will depart OR Tambo Monday to Friday at 06h25 and arrive at 07h45. The return flight will depart Bulawayo at 08h05 and arrive in Johannesburg at 09h30. Airlink will also increase its capacity over Christmas with an additional afternoon flight that will operate every day except Saturdays. This flight will be available for travel from 12 December to 15 January. It will depart OR Tambo at 15h00 and arrive in Bulawayo at 16h20. The return flight will depart from Bulawayo at 16h40 and arrive in Johannesburg at 18h05.

NEW CONDITIONS FOR OVERSIZED BAGGAGE ON EMIRATES Emirates has updated its conditions for oversized baggage, with immediate effect until 31 March 2018. Special exemption has been granted to travellers with oversized baggage for sports or music equipment, wheelchairs or strollers. The sum of the dimensions of a piece of oversized baggage cannot exceed 300cm and no single piece of equipment can weigh more than 32kg. If a piece exceeds the dimensions and/or weight specified, it cannot be carried as checked baggage and must be carried as cargo. In this case, the Emirates cargo department must be contacted. This is not in addition to the two checked pieces allowed for each passenger, but will be regarded as one of these two pieces.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES FIRST TO FLY A350 TO LHR FROM AFRICA Ethiopian Airlines is the first African airline to operate an Airbus A350XWB from the continent to Heathrow, London. Launched on 14 August 2016, the flight operates a non-stop service between Addis Ababa and Heathrow on the new A350XWB. The aircraft has been equipped with high-definition touchscreen monitors, wider seats and twin engines with lower noise levels. Ethiopia has ordered 14 Airbus A350s.

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ACCOMMODATION BON HOTELS WILL OPEN A NEW HOTEL IN ADDIS ABABA NEXT YEAR The 48-room hotel, a 10-minute drive from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, which will open in the first quarter of 2017. The hotel will feature meeting rooms and all-day dining and will focus on corporate, leisure and conference travellers. Currently, BON has five properties in Nigeria and is in the process of expanding its portfolio with nine more in Africa.

MARRIOTT® ENTERS KIGALI Marriott International has opened the Kigali Marriott® Hotel, its first hotel in the central business district of the city. “We are thrilled to be opening a Marriott® Hotel in Rwanda and believe the property will play a significant role in catering for the desires of business and leisure tourists alike,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and MD, Marriott® International Middle East and Africa. The 254-room hotel is a 20-minute drive from Kigali International Airport. The rooms and 25 suites are equipped with high-speed Internet and 122cm LCD TVs. The hotel has four restaurants and three bars, as well as a spa with a 450-sqm swimming pool and fitness centre. ®

EASTERN CAPE LODGE ADDS NEW SUITE Prana Lodge Private Beach Estate and Spa, in Chintsa East, just 40 minutes’ drive from East London Airport, recently completed an eighth luxury suite, known as the Diamond Villa. The bathroom has a vintage bath and double shower and is the only suite on the property that is sea-facing with views of Chinsta Bay, and the separate TV and coffee lounge leads onto a private deck with a pool and garden shower. The wellness centre will become a holistic spa, moving away from a focus on Thai treatments. The lodge’s eight individually designed suites feature selected pieces from a private collection of famous South African artists, Persian rugs and luxury linens and bathrooms have views of the garden. Each suite is separated by garden walls and includes a private patio with its own plunge pool.

REVAMP FOR AFRICAN SUN PROPERTY AHEAD OF REBRAND African Sun Amber Hotel in Mutare, Zimbabwe, is to be rebranded to a Holiday Inn by the end of the year. According to Head Holiday Inn Divisions Zimbabwe, Tich Hwingwiri, the rebranding would allow the group to leverage an international brand. According to Hwingwiri, Holiday Inn is a global brand under the International Hotel Group (IHG), which connects you to 5 000 hotels worldwide, and a brand that appeals to global travellers. Hwingwiri said a bigger conference room has been built at the hotel as it was now targeting MICE tourism.

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SUN INTERNATIONAL’S OPENS INNOVATIVE SUNPARK A completely new concept in large-scale events, the new SunPark, the first of which opened at Sun City recently, provides event organisers with the first ever fully scalable multipurpose facility with an indoor events venue and outdoor space for hosting lifestyle events, music festivals, conferences, product launches and the like. The difference lies in its versatility – the new modular design of the entertainment space allows conference, events, or festival organisers to ‘plug in’ their requirements and change the nature and look of the space depending on their needs – and depending on the size of event they’re holding. “This is a very fresh idea that to date, no venue in South Africa has been able to offer. There’s even space to create Fanzones for sporting events,” says Sun International’s Group GM Brand and Communications Michael Farr. GrandWest’s SunPark in Cape Town will launch in October 2016, followed by two other Sun International – Sibaya in KwaZulu-Natal and Carnival City in Gauteng.

WORDS: MELISSA JANE COOK. IMAGES: AFRICAN SUN, AIRLINK, AKWAABA, BON HOTEL, MARRIOTT KIGALI, PIXABAY, PRANA LODGE, WORLD TRAVEL MARKET.

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET LONDON The 37th London World Travel Market – the leading global event for the travel industry – is a vibrant must-attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and International travel professionals. It is a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business. This year’s leading global event for the travel industry, WTM London, has been revamped as a three-day event, following vital exhibitor and visitor feedback. A new amphitheatre for up to 300 people will host the majority of the events programme’s content on the exhibition floor. Times and Dates: Monday 7 November (10am to 7pm) – Buyers and visitors by invitation. Tuesday 8 to Wednesday 9 November (10am to 7pm) – Open days for everybody who works in the travel and tourism industry.

THE 12TH AKWAABA AFRICA TRAVEL MARKET The Africa Travel and Tourism Conference has the objective of transferring knowledge covering travel, hospitality and aviation sectors from globally rated experts during the annual travel and tourism exhibition in Lagos. Date: 30 October to 1 November 2016 Venue: Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos

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Highlights of some of Africa’s great cities and what to do when you get there.

PEACE HOTEL

SHOP/EAT/SLEEP/SEE IN Mogadishu, Somalia SHOP: Bakaara Market is the most popular place to shop in Mogadishu, but not for travel curios. This heaving open-air street market in the city centre offers everything your heart desires – literally! Fancy a washing machine? No problem. Or perhaps some rocket propelled grenades? Yes, these are for sale too! Lost your passport? Have no fear, you can purchase one here, too. You might want to give this market a miss if you’re looking for a regular shopping spot.

EAT:

highly trained, AK47-wielding bodyguards, who accompany you whenever you leave the hotel’s fortified gates.

SEE: Everywhere you turn, bullet holes and shrapnel damage scar the architecture and many buildings have been almost completely destroyed. Mogadishu’s most iconic architectural relic is the lighthouse, which stands as a reminder of what the city used to be. The famous Liido Beach is one of the most popular spots in town and a great place for a sundowner at a nearby restaurant. You can still see evidence of the illfated 1993 American operation scattered around the city, including the rusting hulks of several US and UN Armoured Personnel Carriers.

There is an abundance of new eateries all over the city, many owned by Somalis returning from abroad. Basic Somali cuisine is very tasty, with a sophisticated understanding of spice. Head to Villa Sultan’s where the food is top notch, especially the samoosas, and the large, leafy back garden offers respite on hot days.

SLEEP: The Peace Hotel and its sister operation, the Peace Hotel 2, offers simple, clean rooms, with the usual mod cons: Wi-Fi, air con, buffet restaurant – and complementary body armour. What separates this hotel from the many others in Mogadishu is the security. Situated conveniently near the airport, the hotels are set in highwalled compounds with barbed wire, blast defences and 24-hour armed security. Included in the package is your very own team of

SOMALI TUMERIC RICE

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SLEEP: For a great night’s sleep, check into the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire. Blending French luxury and African charm, this five-star hotel sits in an idyllic setting overlooking the Ebrie lagoon and the plateau. Set in the Le Plateau district in Abidjan, the Grand Hotel d’Abidjan offers free Wi-Fi throughout the property and a free shuttle service.

SEE: SHOP/EAT/SLEEP/SEE IN Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire SHOP: Known as the ‘Paris of West Africa’, there is an abundance of shopping experiences here. African crafts, Ivorian masks and intricate trinkets, there is something for everyone. Head to PlaYce Marcory if you need familiarity; the mall has brands such as L’Occitane and Burger King. Galerie d’Arts Plurielsart is a gallery and shop run by an Ivorian art historian, where you can view and buy paintings, sculptures and jewellery from all over the continent. Browse around Marché de Treichville and buy all your presents at this market stocked with African crafts.

For lovely walking trails and magnificent trees, head to the northwest edge of town to the Parc du Banco rainforest reserve. Near the park entrance is Africa’s largest outdoor laundrette, for all your laundry needs, of course! Gaze at the buildings of Le Plateau and soak in La Pyramide and the Cathedrale St Paul, a bold and innovative modern cathedral. The stained glasswork is as warm and rich as that of the Yamoussoukro basilica, in Ivory Coast’s administrative capital.

EAT: Abidjan has many tasty options for diners. Yes, there are international restaurants but a highlight is to eat at a maquis, a courtyard in someone’s home that has been transformed into a restaurant. The maquis usually has set menus for lunch or dinner and you are guaranteed great hospitality and a delicious home-cooked meal. Check out Saakan Restaurant, known for its lobster and prawns, or meander up a hidden lane and find Jardyland. Sip on a drink as you enjoy live music and great food in the courtyard.

SOFITEL ABIDJAN HOTEL IVOIRE

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SHOP/EAT/SLEEP/SEE Bamako, Mali

SHOP/EAT/SLEEP/SEE IN Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

SHOP: Make your way to Marché de Medina, a charming market with few tourists. It’s a wonderful place to amble about and browse through second-hand clothes and, if you have a few hours to spare, you can get your hair braided or have your hands and feet decorated with henna in the ‘beauty parlour’ section. Those interested in alternative medicine and medicinal plants can seek out Marché Médine. Alternatively, wander about the stalls of the bustling Grand Marché or the pearl shops of N’Golonina Market, which make for a novel experience.

EAT: Try San Toro, with charmingly African décor and delicious Malian dishes – the poulet au coco is especially good. No alcohol is served here, but you can enjoy fresh fruit juices, and from about 20h00 there’s live kora music. For a quiet respite head to Comme Chez Soi, a well-loved bistro restaurant, and try the shrimp burger and the fish tacos. You may just have to go back again!

SLEEP: Hotel Le Loft is a great budget place to stay and is well maintained and clean. There’s no need to wonder far, as the hotel restaurant serves delicious French food. The Badala Hotel is located in Badalabougou-East, along the river and 400 metres from the German Embassy in Bamako. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, an outdoor swimming pool, a meeting room and offers free Wi-Fi.

SEE: The Musée National contains some beautiful ethnographic pieces from many of Mali’s ethnic groups, including wooden masks, carvings, contemporary marionettes and ancient textiles. French and English-speaking guides can be arranged. Local residents fill up the Parc national du Mali and dress for selfies in this lush, green place. The park grounds contain the excellent Restaurant Balasko and the Musée National. There’s a tea house if you wish to read in peace, or walk up the rocky hill for a view of the city. For religious inspiration, check out the Cathedral of Bamako and Bamako Grand Mosque.

SHOP: Check out Snap Plaza, a new centre on Bole Road, for upmarket, trendy shopping. If markets are more your style, head to Shiro Meda, where hundreds of vendors line the busy Entoto Road and sell netela and habesha kemis – traditional shawls and dresses from central and northern Ethiopia. Check out Anbar Marketplace at the weekend, where energetic entrepreneurs cater to the growing middle class market, made up in large part of expats and Ethiopians returning from the diaspora.

EAT: The large traditional restaurant Yod Abyssinia Traditional Food Restaurant offers live entertainment and décor with original artwork. This is a great spot to immerse yourself in traditional culture, with dancing and songs from various parts of Ethiopia. Try the Beyanetu, an Ethiopian fasting (vegetarian) dish with various legumes and vegetables on the injera. Tej (honey wine), Ethiopian beer, coffee and popcorn complete a great dining experience. If you feel like meat, Sishu Restaurant is a great burger joint in the meat-packing district.

SLEEP: The centrally located Addis Regency Hotel is a wellmanaged gem, with comfortable and clean rooms. The Addissinia Hotel is another great option, with beautiful views and free Wi-Fi and breakfast.

SEE: Head to Entoto Hill, the highest point in Addis Ababa, for spectacular views of the city – especially in the afternoon, when the sun rises fully and the smoke is clear. If you’re in the mood for a sacred space, the Holy Trinity Cathedral is a must-see, as is the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum, which offers fascinating insight into the suffering of Ethiopia’s past.

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WORDS: MELISSA JANE COOK. IMAGES: ADDISSINA HOTEL, AFROTOURISM, PEACE HOTEL, PIXABAY, SOFITEL ABIDJAN HOTEL, SOMALI KITCHEN.

MALUTI MOUNTAINS

SHOP/EAT/SLEEP/SEE IN Maseru, Lesotho SHOP: An awesome low-pressure shopping experience awaits you in Maseru! There are so many options for souvenir hunters, including buying local crafts like woven Basotho hats, tapestries, jewellery made of seeds, clay beads and porcupine quills. Go to the Basotho Hut More for quality crafts from across the country. Credit cards are accepted. Pioneer Mall is a modern mall with a Pick n Pay supermarket, restaurant chains, numerous services and retailers.

EAT: No.7 Restaurant is a firm favourite. The food is delicious and fresh, and they also have several vegetarian-friendly options. They host weekly Trivia Nights on Wednesdays, which are great fun, and offer a variety of wines, ciders and beers. Dougie’s Kitchen Restaurant is a must when in Maseru. Try the blue cheese burger, drink a chilled Maluti beer and support local independent business.

SLEEP: Kick4Life Hotel & Conference Centre is comfortable and clean, with friendly staff and a restaurant offering delicious food. While the rooms are a little on the basic side, they are immaculate and appointed with all you need including tea/ coffee, TV, safe, air con and basic toiletries. The conference venue is fantastic and well equipped. Another option is the Mpilo Boutique Hotel, with great rooms and a penthouse restaurant with stunning views and free Internet. The hotel is on the Kingsway Road just a few 100 metres from the centre of Maseru, towards the South Africa border.

SEE: Katse Dam is an engineering marvel, with spectacular views, and a tour through the dam wall is an informative excursion. Head to the beautiful Maluti Mountains in summer, where you can hike, mountain bike and fly fish or swim in the cold streams; or ski and snowboard in the winter months. The Thaba-Bosiu National Monument is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the Basotho people – and you can climb the mountain to see the magnificent expanse of the village.

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The African continent is a hive of creativity when it comes to all things fashion, design, arts and crafts, food, drink, travel and architecture…

JINGER JACK LAUNCHES DESIGN SAFARI COLLECTION The word ‘safari’ originates from the Swahili language meaning ‘journey’ and a safari is one of the ultimate African adventures: a journey filled with unexpected, exciting experiences. This is exactly what the Jinger Jack DESIGN SAFARI is all about. It is a platform to showcase fresh new collaborations with designers and other creative minds from different industries, each with its distinct signature intertwined with Jinger Jack’s highest quality of artistry. What better way to travel than with an exquisite Jinger Jack handbag?

JOZIBURG LANE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY In the heart of the pulsing city, Joziburg Lane at One Eloff is a Johannesburg inner-city attraction: a landscaped pedestrian lane, lined with coffee shops, eateries, artist studios and retail spaces, culminating in the Joziburg Foodhall and a massive events hall too. Meander in an urban alleyway picking and choosing a variety of cheeses and relishes, preserves, oils, olives, breads and cured meats. Kick back with your craft beer and in the confectionery and deli traders, coupled with art, craft and design stalls, in a vibrant setting.

ONCE-OFF CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY Situated in Nairobi, Kenya, this gallery showcases and represents some of the most established artists in Kenya, along with associate artists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Rwanda. A firm favourite among art lovers, every month the gallery showcases a revolving exhibition featuring the artwork of a renowned artist.

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TOP AFRICAN DESTINATIONS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN TRAVELLERS Interest in travel on the African continent is growing and a new generation of travellers is connecting cultures across the continent. Stunning destinations such as Zanzibar and Victoria Falls feature highly in the top 10 African destinations for travel from South Africa. East African destinations have captured the imaginations of South Africa, with Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Kenya all featuring in their top 10 countries of choice. While Zimbabwe, at number two on the list, provides a nearby location for weekend trips to Harare or Victoria Falls, Tanzania is a similarly popular option at number four on the list. 10 African Countries For SA Travellers: 1. Mauritius 2. Zimbabwe 3. Namibia 4. Tanzania 5. Mozambique 6. Zambia 7. Madagascar 8. Seychelles 9. Morocco 10. Kenya

SEYCHELLES

ZANZIBAR

SHADES OF 2017 Plascon has released its much-anticipated annual colour forecast with four distinctive colour choices influenced by the current leaning towards both the digital and natural worlds, and the move towards a more minimal, single-minded approach to décor. Anonymous – Getting back to the basics, immersing yourself within softer, soothing hues that have a neutrality about this. This simple palette includes lighter blues, pinks, greens, deep purple and black. Terrain – Embracing an earthy palette inspired by desert landscapes, where the focus is on oranges, yellows and warm neutrals tones. These energetic colours can also be balanced by a mineral green or blue. Prism – Bold, bright and youthful. Inspired by digital art, this look will enliven any room with geometric paint effects and layers of hues. This is very much about having fun and tapping into your playfulness. Pause – This theme features a neutral and timeless palette, including blush shades, grey and classic beiges, and is brought to life through chalky paint treatments and faded finishes.

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POP-UP WITH CHEF KHANYA MZONGWANA Whipping up culinary wonders is what Chef Khanya does best. Meeting a kindred spirit at a party, Chef Khanya and Sakhile created Off the Wall Pop Up Restaurant in Pretoria. Co-owned by the couple, the restaurant hosts intimate, informal dinners inspired by different regions around the world and is a feast for foodies. Starting out in a friend’s yard with a canopy and ribbons hanging from a corrugated iron ceiling, their restaurant is blossoming and a new theme is introduced every month at +27 Cafe in Hatfield. The food is inspired, scrumptious and wholesome, very much like Chef Khanya herself.

YOUNG DESIGN TALENT IN A NEW WAVE Southern Guild opened ‘A New Wave’ exhibition at its Cape Town gallery on hailing emerging visionaries who represent the future of the local design industry. The showcase is an ode to the concept of collectable design – functional pieces that also have strong artistic value – and features onceoff works of genius by almost 40 up-and-coming talents under the age of 40. The exhibition that’s now open to the public represents a great opportunity to view cutting-edge pieces. On show is a range of furniture, ceramics, jewellery, decorative art and lighting.

WHAT’S ON THE MENU? There are so many awesome options for eating in 2016, from street food and burgers in vans to fancy restaurants and picnics in parks. Sustainability is a huge focus and people are more aware of the fish and free-range meat, poultry and dairy they eat. They are making a conscious effort to purchase local and seasonal produce. There is also the emergence of dairy alternatives in supermarkets and coffee shops such as different nut milks and coconut products and egg- and dairy-free vegan dishes on menus.

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CRAFT BEERS BRING OUT THE ARTIST IN YOU

WORDS: MELISSA JANE COOK. IMAGES: JACK BLACK BEER, JINJER JACK, JOBURG PLACES, KHANYA MZONGWANA, PLASCON.

The popularity of craft beers has mushroomed in South Africa. Unique names, delicately brewed flavours and subtly nuanced tastes are a wonderful topic of conversation, as are the fascinating histories, intricate labels – and they are just super cool to drink! More breweries are opening their doors nearly every month, adding to the list of delicious, handcrafted beers. Get your fill of Jack Black Beer, Triggerfish Brewing, Devil’s Peak Brewing Company and Gallows Hills Brewing Company, to name but a few.

CELEBRITIES LOVE AFRICAN FASHION DESIGNERS African designers are taking the fashion world by storm with African-inspired colours and patterns, that leave the likes of Michelle Obama, Lira and Thandie Newton proud to wear their magnificent creations. Lisa Folawiyo from Nigeria has perfected the art of wearing Ankara, a local West African fabric. Her collections have been shown at the New York Fashion Week. Taibo Bacar from Mozambique makes clothing for the ultimate woman. His designs embody a woman’s strength and femininity. Pooja Jeshang from Tanzania creates bright designs that are not just limited to clothing. They can be found on cushions and clutches, the latter inspired by African print and Indian embroidery. Adama Ndiaye from Senegal is inspired by big cities and globalism. She is well known in Africa’s fashion scene for her label, Adama Paris. Her aim was and still is sharing with all modern women one fashion without borders. Duro Olowu from Nigeria is greatly admired by Michelle Obama. According to International Business Times, his designs are known to have ‘offbeat patterns, rich textures and eclectic colours’. It’s no wonder he is a regular at international fashion festivals and in magazines such as Vogue.

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An island of rich

history Behind the tropical beach of ĂŽle de GorĂŠe is a sobering and painful history that has left a 200-year scar of slave trade on its inhabitants

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cross from Senegal’s capital city of Dakar is the island of Gorée. The dichotomous tranquility and heavy aura of its past has a magnetic pull on tourists the world over. From the 15th to the 19th century, Gorée was the largest slave-trading centre along the African coast, as well as a stopover for European seafarers. The architecture is a juxtaposition of the grim-looking slave shelters and the elegant houses of the slave traders. With 1 300 inhabitants, the island hardly has cars, no modern buildings and no crime. It is a pilgrimage destination for those who not only want to bask in the island’s beauty, but seek a platform to exchange cultures and echo a testimony to the slave trade, one of the greatest atrocities in the history of human societies. Indeed, this ‘island of memories’ is a stark reminder of the suffering and death of years gone by. The main tourist attractions are the historical landmarks such as The Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) – the oldest house on the island. Built by the Dutch in 1776 as a holding point for slaves, it features a ‘door of no return’, which every slave walked through before embarking on a boat to Europe or the Americas never to see their home again. The IFAN historical museum houses the history of Senegal for you to uncover. The Musée de la Femme (The Women’s Museum) showcases the role of Senegalese women in traditional and modern Africa. With few restaurants, the main cuisine of the island is fish. The simplicity of Gorée extends to its only hotel, the Villa Castel, which organises half-day or full-day boat and fishing trips. This historic passageway to slavery is well known for its friendly and helpful citizens, and is definitely worthy of a place on your travel itinerary when you find yourself in Senegal.

VILLA CASTEL

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GorĂŠe was listed as a historic site by the colonial administration in 1944. The island has recorded no major construction that might adversely affect the authenticity of the site, and in 1978 UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. A number of world leaders, including Pope Paul II, Barak Obama and the late Nelson Mandela (who toured the island three years prior his election as president of South Africa in 1994) have been one of the approximate 200 000 tourists to visit the island each year.

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Words: Kati Dijane. Additional source: bbc.com/news/world-africa, whc.unesco.org. IMAGES: OLIVER COGELS.


UNWIND AT

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From ecological thatched roofing to unspoilt clear beaches with crystal-white sand, Constance Tsarabanjina is a unique resort that makes Madagascar worth a visit ocated in the northwestern part of Madagascar, the complete seclusion and tranquility makes Constance Tsarabanjina the perfect getaway destination. All the island’s 25 private villas face the Indian Ocean and are thatched, airy and elegantly decorated, with four-poster beds. The villas consist of a main bedroom, a bathroom with shower and a private terrace with deck chairs and a coffee table to unwind. The resort aims to be an Internet-free escape zone for guests, but online access to catch up on e-mails or connect with family from abraod is available upon request. The lodge’s main restaurant serves a buffet breakfast, lunch and a three-course dinner. It also features an outside bar for you to enjoy tea or coffee served with cake or a pre-dinner cocktail. The island cuisine comprises mainly seafood, but eagerly caters for the dietary requirements of meat-lovers and vegetarians. Connecting with nature is another highlight of being in this part of Madagascar, as the only sounds you will hear are the rolling waves in the warm Indian Ocean, the gentle breeze and the chirping birds – a far cry from the city buzz most of us have grown accustomed to. Bird lovers can take a ride to the neighboring Quatre Frere coral island, where a colony of seabirds including northern gannets, frigate birds and white-tailed tropical birds live. No island trip is complete without soaking your feet in the warm water, walks along the white beaches, diving, snorkelling and sailing, which are just some of the offers at the lodge. Tick off your bucket list a boat trip to the great basalt columns of Grande Mitsio, a catamaran experience in the ocean (with or without coaching), or row a kayak around the island. Beginner or experienced divers will appreciate the expert team who will take you on a discovery of the coral reefs of Mitsio. For snorklers, masks, flippers and snorkels are at your disposal to get a closer look below the surface of the Mitsio sea. If you prefer to lose yourself in the pages of a good book, the library next to the lodge is sure to have something of interest for you, or maintain your fitness routine with aquagym classes held in the sea. Go for a guided walk around the island and enjoy a full view of Tsarabanjina. There is no time to waste. Pack your swimwear and sunscreen for the best self poses during your welldeserved beach vacation at the award-winning Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar’s Leading Luxury Lodge (World Travel Awards, 2012) and Barefoot Adventure (Tatler Travel Awards, 2014).

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WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGES: CONSTANCE TSARABANJINA.

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NINFEA STERLING SILVER EARRINGS, R4 475, NOMINATION. STAINLESS STEEL WITH STERLING SILVER PENDANTS STRETCH BRACELET, R1 999, NOMINATION. NINFEA BRACELET, R1 600, NOMINATION. PEACH WITH FAUXFUR SLING BAG, R549, FOREVER NEW.

Smouldering HOT Drape yourself in gold, silver and leather for the wow effect!

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FLORAL WHITE AND GOLD CROWN, R249, FOREVER NEW. METAL PIECE NECKLACE, R449, ALDO’S ACCESSORIES. SILVER AND WHITE STONE RING, R2 050, ISCHIA. KARMA SILVER AND BRONZE WATCH, R7 450, THOMAS SABO. STUDDED GOLD CLUTCH, R899, STEVE MADDEN.

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black and gold TassEL eaRringS, R199, topshop. SILVER CLOSE METAL LINKS NECKPIECE, R249, ALDO’S ACCESSORIES. BLACK SNAKESKIN LEATHER WATCH, R4 950, THOMAS SABO. BLACK FRINGE CLUTCH, R899, STEVE MADDEN.

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SILVER LEAF BANGLE, R6 225, AND SILVER LEAF DROP EARRINGS, R3 975, BOTH FROM NOMINATION. SILVER METAL PIECE NECKLACE, R449, ALDO’S ACCESSORIES. SILVER-GREY BRACELET, R199, TOPSHOP. GREY SNAKESKIN LEATHER WATCH, R6 225, THOMAS SABO. LIME-GREEN CLUTCH, R2 900, KAREN MILLEN.

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WORDS AND STYLIST: TUMI MDLULI. ASSISTED BY: PALESA SETHLAPELO. PHOTOGRAPHER: GARETH JACOBS. MAKE-UP BY MASABU. JEWELLERY AND HANDBAGS SUPPLIED BY STOCKISTS. MODEL: PALESA MASITENG.

BRONZE CHAIN WITH PENDANT, R7 675, THOMAS SABO. GOLD LONG EARRINGS, R199, FOREVER NEW. GOLD BANGLE WITH RING, R189, TOPSHOP. MULTICOLOUR SUEDE CLUTCH, R3 100, KAREN MILLEN.

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© 2016 TUMI, INC.

SANDTON CITY SHOPPING CENTER • SHOP L36A, GROUND LEVEL • 011 783 4636 J O H A N N E S B U R G • O. R TA M B O I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T • S H O P 1 6 , D U T Y F R E E M A L L • 0 1 1 3 9 0 2 0 8 8 TUMI.COM/19DEGREE

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Floral Scenes

& SCENTS

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When it comes to true African beauty, the Western Cape positions South Africa squarely on the global map. Photojournalist, Marion Whitehead showcases this province’s breathtaking flora in her new book, Visitor’s Guide Flower Route.

ARCTOTIS SHOW THEIR HAPPY FACES IN THE SPRING SUNSHINE

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LITTLE LACHENALIAS BLOOM EVEN ON CLOUDY DAYS

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CAPE DAISIES MAKE NUTRITIOUS SNACKS FOR TORTOISES AND GIVE THEM A BOOST IN THE MATING SEASON

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THE FRIENDLY FARMERS AT MATJIESFONTEIN FARM SOUTH OF NIEUWOUDTVILLE OPEN THEIR GATES TO VISITORS FOR A SMALL FEE

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VISITORS GET SNAP HAPPY AMONG THE MASSES OF BLOOMS IN RAMSKOP NATURE RESERVE, OVERLOOKING CLANWILLIAM’S DAM ON THE OLIFANTS RIVER

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BRILLIANT VYGIES GLISTEN IN THE SUN AT RAMSKOP NATURE RESERVE IN CLANWILLIAM

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BUSINESS AS USUAL IN KAJETIA MARKET, KUMASI, GHANA

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10 MARKETS TO VISIT IN AFRICA WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGE SOURCE: sixdegreesnorthdotme.files.wordpress.com.

Forget boutiques and shopping malls when exploring a country in Africa. Rather visit these great markets for authentic souvenirs and timeless gifts.

1. THE ROQUE SANTEIRO MARKET (Luanda, Angola)

5. KEJETIA MARKET (Kumasi, Ghana)

Considered to be one of the biggest openair markets in Africa, ‘The Rock’ (as the locals call it), is the size of 500 soccer fields and sells everything imaginable.

You are sure to find gorgeous Kente clothing, Ashanti crafts and dried chameleon in this market.

2. KHAN EL-KHALILI (Cairo, Egypt)

6. MAASAI MARKET (Nairobi, Kenya)

Cairo has anything and everything that will make for a beautiful souvenir, such as shiny baubles and authentic belly-dancer costumes.

One of the best places to experience the Maasai culture, as well as purchase some of their more exotic artefacts and products.

3. MERKATO MARKET (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

7. MEDINA OF FEZ (Fez, Morocco)

Shop at one of the biggest open-air markets in the world for items such flipflops, jewellery, spices and incense.

The Medina of Fez is truly its own land. This walled city, established around 9AD, is one of Morocco’s most enchanting places with countless shops and local artisans making and selling their crafts. Exotic Moroccan artefacts, carpets and products are up for sale. Women are advised to dress conservatively and cover their knees and elbows in respect of the local culture.

4. MAKOLA MARKET (Accra, Ghana) This market simply bustles with life, with myriad beautiful items to add to your collection. Be ready for an absolutely fun bargaining experience with the locals.

8. JOHANNESBURG ROOFTOP MARKET, (Rosebank, South Africa) Located on the corner of Cradock Avenue and Baker Street, the Rooftop Market is only open on Sundays. Here you will find clothing, arts and crafts, ceramics, collectables and antiques. The market also has a food court that has both local and international cuisine.

9. MEDINA OF TUNIS (Tunis, Tunisia) Located in the busy part of Tunis, along walkways and narrow streets, Medina of Tunis offers unique items such as carpets and leather goods.

10. DARAJANI MARKET (Zanzibar, Tanzania) Visit Darajani Market in Darajani Road, all around the Anglican Cathedral of Christ, for spices, household and food items, shoes and clothes. It is best to go in the morning before it gets crowded.

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MANOR FROM

Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, was established to create a safe and playful haven not only for its guests, but the gentle giants as well

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iraffe Manor is a perfect holiday and incentive destination, epitomising fun and tranquility. Situated in the Langata suburb of Nairobi with an all-year-round warm climate, the gorgeous Old Scottish countryhouse dates back to the 1930s and is steeped in colonial history. The dedicated staff aims to create memories through bespoke itineraries that suit their guests’ requirements, whether it is a family holiday, a honeymooning couple or a work incentive trip. But the highlight has to be the herd of Rothschild giraffes, who think nothing of joining you for breakfast or dinner.

OLD AND NEW Giraffe Manor has an open-invitation feel, with dinner served at a long table in the dining room followed by drinks by the fire on the terrace, overlooking the rolling lawns. The original five rooms in the main house retain the character of bygone days, while the new extension (with five more rooms) has been designed in keeping with the old-school elegance of the house.

THE STARS OF YOUR STAY The big drawcard at Giraffe Manor is, of course, the nine endangered Rothschild species of giraffe that are thoroughly habituated to living on the hotel compound. You’ll soon get the hang of holding a drink in one hand, while your other hand gives nuts and food to the graceful creatures, until they decide to wander back into the woods. Right next door to the manor you will find the Giraffe Centre, which supports education and conservation. The giraffes are nurtured within the 140 acres of the lodge, until they are ready to be reintroduced into the wilds of safer national parks and game reserves wherever possible. Between the endless legs of their long-necked friends, guests will find the much shorter ones of warthogs and the ever-impressive peacocks with their feathery displays. A little further afield

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is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where twice a day you can watch staff feed baby elephants as they wallow in mud pits. Alternatively, you can choose from horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, fly camping under the stars, camel trekking and visiting villages to learn about local traditions. Nature and animal lovers will find solace at Giraffe Manor, which has enough to keep you busy during the day, while allowing you to unwind in the warmth of Kenya’s nature palace. For more information, visit: www. thesafaricollection.com/properties/ giraffe-manor.

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WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGES: SUPPLIED BY THE SAFARI COLLECTION.

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Enjoy lunch, sundowners or alfresco dining at the pool and terrace areas with spectacular views of the ocean overlooking the rim-flow pool I An extensive wine list boasting over 60 award-winning wines and 20 cocktails Set menu and buffet options, gourmet add-ons and unlimited beverage packages on request I Cash bar facilities Exclusive venues and wet weather options I Add-on adventure and entertainment options available

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LUXURY GUARANTEED The President Hotel guarantees you won’t easily find a combination of pleasure, convenience, professionalism, comfort, luxury and excitement anywhere else

ape Town is globally renowned on the business and tourist map for its beauty and kaleidoscope of cultural events, as well as its efficient modernity that contrasts so strikingly with the weight of its historic heritage. So it’s vital that your choice of accommodation in South Africa’s Mother City enriches your experience to create fond memories. You need to be where the buzz is, yet want to relax in an oasis of comfort and peace. You must have access to all the business facilities and amenities, with peace of mind that the nitty-gritty details have been taken care of. You need to know where the action is, but don’t need the hassle of tracking down people, transport and events.

A PLACE TO BE “People call it ‘iconic’,” says Nikki Vardan, sales and marketing manager of the President Hotel, “and it is, in the sense that it represents the best, most gracious, most beautiful and most fulfilling of what Cape Town lays out for the visitor – but it is an icon not to be admired at a distance, as something remote and impersonal. It is a hotel to be experienced, embraced and appreciated first-hand.”

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Beautifully designed for maximum light and a sense of space and tranquillity, the President Hotel offers an enticing selection of restaurants, bars, lounges and gardens to suit your changing moods and desires. “Few hotels have so expertly combined the often contrasting requirements of business and tourism,” comments Jeremy Clayton, general manager. “Conference and event facilities lend themselves to an almost inexhaustible range of adaptations to suit varying requisites, and the inhouse events team is at hand for smooth organisation and preparation.” The hotel recently launched their newly refurbished, stateof-the-art conference centre, making it the perfect location for your conferencing needs. Their superior facilities include cutting edge AV technology, exciting food and beverage menus, as well as a professional onsite team. Moreover, they have recently launched the latest in intelligent Wi-Fi technology offering the fastest hotel speeds available in the country. Guests can enjoy 200MB of the fastest Wi-Fi in the comfort of the hotel, with no restrictions. With the superior conferencing facilities consisting of the dedicated fibre speeds, the hotel is the perfect location for online content-driven product launches or high-end media events with specially designed packages providing an uninhibited Internet experience.

SCENIC BEAUTY All of this convenience and sophistication is situated in a spectacular setting, where guests enjoy breath-taking views

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of endless ocean horizons set against the backdrop of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, or take in the salty sea air before conveniently slipping down to the Sea Point promenade for a stroll along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

WORDS: LEIGH NEWLANDS. IMAGES SUPPLIED BY THE PRESIDENT HOTEL.

A TASTE OF HEAVEN The Botany Café is a burst of freshness and innovation in the deli scene and is becoming increasingly popular not only with guests, but with growing numbers of Capetonians who are quickly discovering its culinary pleasures. The focus is on all things fresh out the garden and farm: organic, artisanal, seasonal and bursting with flavour. The menu boasts enticing options that range from light and healthy to hearty and filling. There is a fantasy of mouthwatering wraps, constantly varied salads that rock with the season and juices that positively sparkle with newly squeezed flavour. And the coffee lover will think he has arrived in the preliminary stages of paradise! The warm-roasted aroma fills the atmosphere with that sense of wellbeing and satisfaction that only select blends of coffee can provide. Armed with a choice of these tantalising dishes, guests can stroll out to the terrace overlooking the infinity pool and the limitless reaches of the Atlantic ocean, enjoy a variation of drinks from their newly launched cocktail menu, or relax inside and savour the experience. “The Botany Café is not the only menu from which guests can make their selections,” Vardan points out. “There is also a new terrace menu, a revamped à la Carte menu and, of course, the upgraded room-service menu. We have also changed the buffet menus to add spice and variety to the dishes.” “However, while we have focused on the healthier options,” she says, “we have definitely not banished those sinful treats that lead us all astray – we all need to indulge from time to time! So you can still sneak an ice cream or chocolate sundae – and then make up for your guilty conscience with some raw juice or a smoothie!” “The inspiration behind this culinary effervescence is Craig Paterson, our highly renowned new executive chef, who comes to us with a weight and depth of expertise that adds incredible value to our brand,” explains Clayton. There are several packages to choose from, not only for local events but to cater for those never-to-be-forgotten occasions, such as honeymoons. You can browse the website or enquire from the friendly staff at the President Hotel. “The next time you come, you will be even more impressed,” concludes Clayton. “We move, we adjust, we change; we are constantly improving and each visit must be memorable and unique!” For more information, contact: +27 (0)21 462 6393 or visit: www.presidenthotel.co.za.

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adisson Blu Sea Plaza Hotel in Dakar defines Senegalese beauty, both natural and manmade. Located in the centre of the bustling capital city of Dakar, a mere 13 kilometres from the Dakar Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, the hotel is within walking distance of international embassies and striking designer boutiques. The country’s vibrant and complex culture, combined with its warm climate cooled by ocean breezes, is perfect for outdoor activities and discovering the hospitality of the people. For a true sense of Senegalese culture, head to the city centre to indulge in local cuisine or spend an afternoon at the Île de Gorée beach. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this culturally significant location is a museum of the history of the island. Be sure to visit the IFAN Museum of West African Art and make a stop by the Grand Mosque. The Radisson Blu Sea Plaza Hotel offers many opportunities for outdoor adventures, downtown cultural attractions or unique boutique shopping. If staying on-site is more your style, take a swim in the Olympic-sized infinity pool or retreat to the Buddhattitude Spa for a relaxing massage or beauty treatments. The spa also offers a hammam, sauna and a fully equipped fitness centre. Not far from the hotel you will find an impressive mall with clothing stores, a delicious range of restaurants, a movie theatre and a bowling alley.

CULTURAL CUISINE L’Avenue Restaurant in Dakar is a one-stopshop to experience Senegal’s flavours that also offers Mediterranean, African, Dutch and French cuisines. With great service and an extensive selection of wines on offer, your dining experience is guaranteed to be a truly memorable one. Alternatively, you can dine at the Pool Side Restaurant, which offers not only the perfect meal but a breath-taking view. Focusing on the art of grilled flavours, the restaurant serves a variety of steak, seafood and local Senegalese food. At Little Buddha Dakar, chefs prepare a choice of dishes as varied as the culinary influences that inspire them, from Japanese

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RADISSON BLU

DAKAR

From the colliding ocean waves of the Atlantic, to the glittering Dakar city skyline, the Radisson Blu offers guests a perfect, opulent experience of a lifetime

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sushi to traditional Chinese fair. Inspired by Asia’s sleepless nightlife, Little Buddha Dakar also features a lounge bar, where a professional DJ sets a dance mood until the the crack of dawn.

A BUSINESS HUB The conference rooms in the Radisson Blu Sea Plaza Hotel offer the perfect location for seminars, corporate retreats, banquets or celebrations. Conference rooms boast the latest in conference technology, including free high-speed, wireless Internet, state-ofthe-art audiovisual equipment, and a knowledgeable meetings and events staff to assist organisers every step of the way. Deliver the perfect presentation or host a flawless event in these stylish, modern settings. For more information and bookings, visit: www.radissonblu.com/ en/hotel-dakar.

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WORDS: KATI DIJAne. IMAGES SUPPLIED BY RADISSON BLU HOTEL DAKAR.

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MANGWANANI

AFRICAN SPA Tourist attraction; unique experience; relaxation; alone time; healing; rejuvenation; quality time with a loved one; a peaceful retreat; added value to a corporate event; amazing venue for any occasion – these are the reasons that guests come to Mangwanani African Spa

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ounded on the principle of women empowerment, Mangwanani African Spa is renowned for its African ambiance, beneficial therapies, great hospitality, an unparalleled African Spa experience and, of course, the spa with the African face-paint dots. Started in 2002 by the dynamic founder and current CEO, Erin Limbert, Mangwanani has grown to a nationwide footprint of 22 branches today, located in tourist areas of South Africa. Back then, Limbert had the notion to help improve the lives of rural South African women through empowerment initiatives, and so the heart of the original African spa was born. Mangwanani is the only spa in the country that focuses on the empowerment of women. All therapists are previously disadvantaged, rural women with mostly very basic education, who have been trained in various therapies and developed in certain skills needed to progress within the company. Guests of the spa receive so much more than just an ordinary massage. When visiting any of the Traditional or Orange spas, as they have become known, you can expect to be immersed in an unforgettable African spa experience. African drumming and singing by the therapists, clothed in African attire, welcomes you to the spa and sets the tone for your time there. SPA EXPERIENCE It is Mangwanani’s aim to give everyone an opportunity to experience what the spa has to offer, no matter their age, budget or spa preference. It is for this reason that their impressive list of branches is not only made up of Traditional and Boutique spas, but also includes two High Tea rooms and two Kids’ Spas. Traditional: The experiences on offer at the Traditional Spas include an African Revitalisation Full-Day Spa, a Half-Day Spa or a Moonlight Night Spa. Each includes a select number of massage treatments, which have been inspired by African rituals and are carried out by the inherent healing hands of the therapists with beneficial massage oils, plus you are treated to a delicious meal and drinks. Boutique: For those who do not have the luxury of time or who prefer a more intimate setting, Mangwanani has a number of Boutique Spas around the country which offer this, without compromising the African Spa experience. These spas are mostly located in well-known hotels and venues around South Africa. High Tea Rooms: Located in Sibaya KZN and Cape Winelands, one can indulge in a High Tea with treatments. Kids’ Spas: Located in Wild Coast Eastern Cape and uShaka KwaZulu-Natal, these are delightful for little ones’ to celebrate their birthday parties at.

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WORDS AND IMAGES: MANGWANANI SPAS.

It is no wonder that guests to the spa range from children, teenagers, individuals, couples, pregnant women; groups, corporate teams and even individuals attending outside events where Mangwanani has set up a nomadic spa. Added to its remarkable offerings, Mangwanani also boasts its own ranges of products, such as body butters, massage oils, body spritzers, hand crèmes and shower gels – each with their own unique benefits. The favourites of the Mangwanani product ranges are the collections of natural products recently launched. A visit to Mangwanani spa is certainly a must on any traveller’s itinerary and makes an amazing location for any special occasion for individuals, groups and corporates. Many marriage proposals have been witnessed at Mangwanani spas, not to mention baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays and many more. They look forward to welcoming you soon!

CONTACT INFORMATION For more information and bookings, visit: www. mangwanani.co.za, e-mail: info@mangwanani.co.za or call +27 (0) 860 55 00 55.

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impopo is a region of infinite scenic beauty with a great diversity of both natural and man-made attractions, rich cultural heritage and an abundance of wildlife and nature-based tourism opportunities. Adventure tourism in Limpopo is a thriving niche market, and the world is sitting up and taking notice. Certainly there’s nothing to beat having a business meeting or conference, followed by a range of fun activities to get the heartrate going. Adventure tours are an excellent option for business delegates visiting the various provinces in South Africa. Limpopo is known for its challenging Ivory Route 4x4 trail and numerous outdoor adventure activities in the bush. The province has the potential to benefit from the growing adventure tourism market, but more needs to be done to market the province, and indeed the country as a whole, as an adventure destination. The growth in adventure tourism is being driven by travellers’ desire for experience-based holidays. They want to be partakers rather than observers. Tourists are increasingly looking for authentic experiences, interactions with local communities and to connect with the heart and soul of the places they visit. The perception exists that adventure tourism focuses on adrenalin-related activities but this should not be the

LIMPOPO THE LAND OF LEGENDS Limpopo is a province of great diversity, offering a wealth of adventure, biosphere and cultural experiences

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case. There are many aspects to an adventurous itinerary and the broad sector caters for all market segments, from backpackers to affluent travellers. In addition to the growing demand for this type of experience, adventure tourism promotes geographical spread. Adventure activities are outside cities, therefore this travel sector promotes job creation in rural areas. Operators also point out that the sector has the potential to drive transformation. A great many adventure guides currently being trained are from previously disadvantaged groups. This is certainly happening more aggressively in the rural areas, where many adventure operations are based. It would be from these ranks (guides) that the future adventure operator owners will be born. Almost all current adventure company owners started off as guides. The growth of the adventure tour industry is being driven by entrepreneurs, young and old. A new community-based hiking trail has been opened in the Blouberg Mountain, bordering the beautiful Blouberg Nature Reserve. The trail was developed by four young, entrepreneurial interns who were appointed at Open Africa’s Seraki Blouberg Route as part of a youth development project, giving travellers the opportunity to explore this mountain in a new way. A short day hike up to the rock pools is on offer, while those who are keen to spend more time exploring the mountain can hike three kilometres to the community-owned cultural camp on top of the mountain, where they can spend either one or two nights camping in rustic, self-catering chalets. Local non-profit organisation, Open Africa, has been working with communities in the area on a project funded by the Finnish Embassy’s Local Cooperation Fund and Barclays Africa. The project aims to develop entrepreneurship skills for youth and rural enterprises. Open Africa works with small businesses to establish rural tourism routes that offer travellers authentic experiences, while generating

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an income and jobs for local people. Its rural tourism routes are being used as platforms for local young people to gain a broad understanding of the tourism industry, while giving them hands-on business experience. Each route employs up to five youth interns between the ages of 18 and 35, and route members offer them a variety of opportunities to gain experience. Head north to Limpopo, the Rainbow Nation’s most unexplored province, and you are sure to discover some mountain bike destinations of note. The Fundudzi Camp, one of the camps making up the African Ivory Route, is a case in point. Driving into the Thohoyandou region is a bit like blinking and waking up in Rwanda – in a good way, though. People who know East Africa will appreciate the similarity – forested hills, verdant tea plantations, clear streams and high-density rural spread. The camp itself is in close proximity to the surrounding traditional villages, so expect to hear some tavern revelry on the weekends. Do not let this bother you, as Fundudzi comes packaged with heaps of plus-points. Head straight into their mountainous backyard to lose yourself in a mix of Mondi plantations and huge swathes of indigenous forest. Pristine streams and placid lakes shimmer amidst dense vegetation and the birding, biking and running opportunities here are off the charts. Fundudzi is set in the Vhembe Region of Limpopo Province, within the highlying reaches of the Soutpansberg, and the area is better known as the ‘Land of Legends’. Their Venda language and culture can be traced back to Central Africa, from where the original people moved south centuries ago.

TRAIL LOW-DOWN Wham bam, thank you ma’am! Anything goes, from a five-kilometre quickie outride to a thumping 100-kilometreplus outback trail mission. For one of the prettiest three-hour mountain bike rides you can imagine, head out of the entrance to Fundudzi Camp and turn left up the steep and rutted gravel road.

Bite the bullet, as the surface is loose and slippery when wet, but the pain and suffering will only last for a few hundred metres. Crank hard until you reach the summit and continue to a scenic mountain stream (1.2km), then cross it and into the Mondi plantations along a faint forestry track. Keep looping left onto both footpaths and forestry tracks as you ascend, passing through some indigenous forest, before eventually dropping down to the dam (8.1km). Keep in mind that these are working plantations, so some areas may be felled, with trucks and work teams on location. Pass along the northern shoreline of the dam until you reach the inlet stream, where a bridge allows you to cross onto a winding gravel road meandering to the Holy Forest, a sacred site to the local Venda people. Should you decide to head upwards and onwards along these remote dirt roads, you will be best off with a GPS or a good map, as there is very limited signage along the way. For those of you keen on keeping the ride shorter, ascend back from here into the pine plantations above the dam inlet. Continue into a gradual climb en route back to Fundudzi, with the anticlockwise loop leading back parallel to the valley. Exceptional views across to Thohoyandou and the surrounding tea plantations will open up on your right, with various route options dipping into the valley. If you kept going beyond the dam bridge, keep an eye out for occasional signs indicating the way to the Holy Forest. You will cross two more streams before reaching the entrance at a sign welcoming you to the Sacred Forest. For the next three to four kilometres, it is important to stick to the main dirt road, as it is taboo to venture into the forest where the spirits dwell. Depending on your route choice, you can bank on anything from an easy 10-kilometre gravel ride to a 100-kilometre-plus marathon out to the Holy Forest and back. Whichever way you choose, you’re guaranteed a ride of note here in the Land of Legends.

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Next up is the Waterberg Meander, which is a network of fascinating people and places bound together by this vast conservation area. There are private lodges, cultural villages, craft projects, social upliftment initiatives and national parks. The Waterberg Biosphere protects everyone’s wellbeing and livelihoods in this vast area. People here celebrate their cultural heritage and adventurous spirit. Of special note, the Waterberg also protects the only savannah biosphere in the world. The Waterberg Biosphere sprawls over a mountain wonderland only three hours’ leisurely drive from Johannesburg. Including national parks, wilderness areas, private game reserves and tribal areas, one of its greatest developments is the Waterberg Meander. The Waterberg Meander is not just your average map of coffee-shops and tourist tat. Here social upliftment projects are part of a fascinating mountain destination in and around the Waterberg Biosphere. From landscape to landscape, you can go from person to person, seeing craft shops and visiting cultural villages and ancient archaeological sites. You can spend a morning with a family of Pedi potters, who still produce their wares in the same way that their ancestors did – born out by the fact that archaeologists have found examples of these traditional pots in digs around the area. You could visit the now rather famous Beadle crafts, where a group of (mostly) women have a social upliftment project, affixing decorative beads to leatherwork and making unusual bridles, belts and sandals. If you’re interested in embroidered goods, head to Kamotsogo Craft Art in the little town of Vaalwater. This is a project that empowers women through skills development. The goods are exquisite and produced on site. The Waterberg is a breath-taking, magnificent part of Limpopo. Rich with immense natural resources, scenic beauty and flora and fauna, its pleasant weather, beautiful diverse cultures and warm, welcoming people

make the Waterberg an ideal place to live, invest and spend leisure time. The district composes of six local municipalities, namely Bela Bela, Lephalale, Modimolle, Mookgophong, Mogalakwena and Thabazimbi. The Waterberg is home to internationally renowned icons such as the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, Nylsvley Wetlands, Makapans Valley World Heritage Site, the ever-sopopular Bela Bela Hot Springs, Marakele National Park and the Waterberg Meander. Become one with nature and enjoy the outdoor and adventure experiences – game drives at abundant privately owned and provincial game and nature reserves such as D`nyala Nature Reserve, Marakele National Park, Percy Fife Nature Reserve, to name a few. Experience birding at its best at the internationally renowned RAMSAR site, Nylsvley Nature Reserve. Elephant-back safaris, hot-air ballooning, white-water rafting, quad biking, horseback safaris, parachuting, skydiving, and the Zipline are some of the outdoor adventure activities the Waterberg has to offer. Go boating; angling, canoeing and skiing at one of the dams: Doorndraai, Mokolo or Rust de Winter. These dams are also perfect weekend getaway camping destinations. Makapans Valley World Heritage Site is a site of one of the most dramatic incidents in the province’s long and fascinating local history. It is also one of the most notable archaeologically significant sites in the country. Today the caves are a fascinating area that continues to provide clues to the way the ancient Africans once lived. Modimolle Mountain, with Modimolle meaning ‘the gods have eaten’, is a prominent hill in Modimolle town. It is of significant cultural importance to the local people and is referred to as a ‘place of spirits’. Telekishi Ramasobana Cultural Village is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the Waterberg. The village is built in an enchanting traditional Pedi-style with earth-covered walls, enclosed courtyards, eco-toilets and

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ridged thatching. It is decorated using local techniques in patterns of coloured soils and cow dung. Enjoy hiking along the escarpment and enjoy the pristine scenery, this destination offers a truly memorable and highly educational experience. Lehlabile Cultural Tours is run by four elderly women who have opened their Pedi-style homes, and they conduct tours giving visitors a great insight into local lifestyles, food, décor, song and dance and oral history. Tours start with viewing of the community crèche and school, moving through the village and ending with an optional lunch in a traditional Pedi homestead. Limpopo Golf & Safari Route is the ultimate African golf and safari experience. The route is fast becoming a very popular golfing experience, for both locals and internationals. The appeal of high-quality golf courses, combined with luxury accommodation and amazing safari experiences, makes the route an annual event for South Africans, and a once in a lifetime experience for international golfers. Golfers can enjoy on-course wildlife, with many off-course activities such as dinner under the stars, horseback safaris, spa treatments and helicopter trips. The African Ivory Route was established with an adventure traveller in mind. A selection of unique and off-the-beaten track destinations were therefore of more consideration than ease of access. Access to some of the camps is adventurous and may require 4x4 vehicles, while others can be conveniently accessed with an ordinary vehicle. For the less adventurous, or partners of the intrepid, there are many well-equipped health and beauty spas in the area. Most lodges offer the latest health and beauty treatments and techniques, designed to revitalise drained bodies and minds. Take a Sho’t Left because you can. Explore Limpopo and discover #TourismForAll #GoLimpopo. For special Sho’t Left offers and more information, visit: www.golimpopo.com.

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WORDS AND IMAGES SUPPLIED BY LIMPOPO TOURISM.

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TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

Kaingu Safari Lodge is deep in the heart of Kafue National Park in Zambia, the second biggest park in Africa and Zambia’s oldest. This luxury tented camp overlooks the Kafue River, which cuts its ancient course through the length of the park. From the gentle spaces of Kaingu, you can get up close and personal with the mighty river and her creatures, writes Bridget Hilton-Barber. 72 | African Travel Market

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fter a short flight from the capital, Lusaka, then a slow game drive into the park, during which we saw some very sleepy and full lions, we climbed into a small boat and headed down the river to Kaingu Lodge. Welcome to the wild Kafue River, lifeblood of the Kafue National Park. She – this river is definitely a she – is big and long and flows for nearly a thousand kilometres through Zambia before joining the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe. With her myriad of islands, rapids and channels, she is constantly changing. Some days the river is choppy and grey with low scudding fat-bottomed clouds, the Kafue park is 1 100m above sea level and generally cooler than the Luangwa and Zambezi Valley; other days she is sunny and still, offering up Zen-like reflections that are pure poetry. By the time we arrived at Kaingu we had passed pods of hippos, graceful birds, sleeping crocodiles and curious antelopes on the banks – and stepped into a magical wilderness water world where it felt like it was just us tiny insignificant mortals and the eternal river. Time for a cold Mosi a Tunya – the fabulous Zambian beer – and to chill out on the wooden deck at Kaingu. With its river views and generous fireplace for night times and cold days, the deck is the main meeting, eating and gathering spot for the lodge. There is also a shaded lounge area and, of course, a lovely little bar with interesting signs and bits of bush décor. The tents are simple and charming, with indoor and outdoor showers and charming wooden furniture. Each has a deck

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IMAGES BY BRIDGET HILTON-BARBER.

overlooking the river and offering primetime viewing. From my deck I heard the cries of fish eagles, the hippos that sounded like they were playing the oboe. Essentially Kaingu is a water experience with wildlife, the chance to take boat cruises, canoe trips and riverside rambles. We did two boat cruises – encountering hippos and birds (the Kafue is a world-renowned birding destination with nearly 500 species) and just the right island for sundowners and the chance to get quietly behind a pair of binoculars with a G&T. There are plenty of kingfishers, sunbirds, paradise flycatchers, chats, eagles, hawks and vultures that look like they’re about to have a bar room brawl. We also had a spectacular canoe trip, hugging the banks, dodging the hippos and listening to sounds of water and life. I saw a croc take out a young male puku (like a chunky impala) that was chased into the river by predators. A crash, a struggle, bubbles… then the mystic river closed over. That night our fabulous hosts, Gill and Julia, regaled us with exciting tales of sightings from hippos and elephants to cheetahs and crocs. The reason Kafue feels so wild, they explained, is that it’s massive – covering more

than 22 000 square kilometres – and while it’s bigger than our own Kruger National Park (KNP), it only gets around 10 thousand visitors a year compared to the KNP’s million, which makes it feel so remote and exclusive. One night we dined alongside the river under the stars, listening to the thrum of nearby rapids. One morning we did a gentle wilderness walk into the surrounding bush. Kaingu’s camp is set close to grasslands that seasonally flood (the summer months here are known as ‘green season’ due to the rain and camps like Kaingu close then). Beyond the camp lie miombo woodlands, kasakasaka thickets, termitaria, riverine vegetation and large open sandy grasslands. We walked with our guide Kaley, from Kaingu, and Moonga from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), discussing the habits of the birds, the life of the antelope, the smell of the bush, and the medicinal uses of trees and plants. On our final afternoon we did a walk to the top of the biggest granite boulder in the area, offering a sense of the ancients and 360-degree views of golden plains and the beautiful She River beyond.

KAFUE 101 Getting there: Fly in with Wild Dog Air (www.kaingu-lodge.com) or drive from Livingstone (eight hours) or Lusaka (four hours). The park is well serviced by a number of all-year-round airstrips. The Kafue is dissected by the main M9 or Mongu Road, a tar road that allows for easy access, even by two-wheel drive vehicle to the park. However, use a 4x4 when exploring the extensive internal network of dirt roads. When to visit: June to October, during the cold dry months; although the wet summers may be done with 4x4 and guides. Some camps in the centre and north of the park remain open in the summer. The Kafue is 1 100m above sea level and generally cooler than Luangwa or the Zambezi Valley. For more information: www. kaingu-lodge.com, or e-mail: info@ kaingu-lodge.com or reservations@ kaingu-lodge.com. KaingU Safari Lodge, P.O.Box 160, P/Bag E891, Postnet Manda Hill, Lusaka, Zambia. Check out www.zambiatourism.com.

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FAIRMONT MARA SAFARI CLUB WELCOMES YOU Following extensive renovations in 2009, this Maasai Mara resort epitomises tented Kenyan luxury for a well-deserved retreat

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he tented resort is located on the edge of the Seventh ‘New’ Wonder of the World, comprising the Maasai Mara in the heart of Kenya – one of the world’s richest wildlife reserves where you can find the Big Five. It overlooks the Mara River, which cuts across Kenya and Tanzania and teams with hippo and crocodile. Standing on 100 acres of land leased from the late Senior Chief Lerionka Ole Ntutu, this old hunting camp lies at the foot of the Aitong Hills and has been converted to accommodate photographic safaris since the 1976 ban on hunting in Kenya. The luxury resort has come a long way since opening its doors 26 years ago with 40 tents. There are now a total of 50 tents with four-poster, pillow-top beds, as well as a veranda with superb views of the land and the mighty river. The retreat centre has since offered observation areas for guests to view the incredible fauna and bird life that inhabits this part of Kenya.

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When you check into the main tented sanctuary of the camp, a burst of Kenyan colours celebrates your entrance, as the friendly staff welcomes you. Dominated by reds, browns and tans, the dĂŠcor cleverly combines a touch of African flavour and modern contemporary furniture, while distinct wall hangings and artistic leather, beadwork and calabashes give the lodge a touch of warmth. Beautifully beaded screens for partitions, safari chairs, authentic lampshades, stools, wall hangings and floor rugs reflect the proudly Kenyan, and African, ethos.

BEAUTY, NATURE, UNWINDING The main Mara lodge hosts an internationally acclaimed indoor restaurant, a bar to unwind with drinks and a library with Wi-Fi access to keep loved ones up to date with your adventures. It leads onto a spacious outside deck, with a picture-perfect view of the red sky meeting the ocean during sunset. Rated as one of the top 20 Luxury Resorts by Travel & Leisure Magazine, all the tents are superbly furnished with their own private, three-piece bathroom and selected tents offer an outdoor shower. A new service introduced to the resort is private dining at the larger-sized accommodations, with expanded decks. Treat your taste buds to cultural outdoor dining, with African cuisine in a rich musical ambiance. There is a wide range of activities at Fairmont Mara Safari Club resort for guests to choose from. On your bucket list you can tick off game drives and balloon safaris over the Mara plains, with breakfast on the savannah, or walk in the footprints of the hippo-trodden path accompanied by a Maasai tour guide. Reconnect with all that nature has to offer on guided safari game drives, before sampling the buffet lunches and ending off the day with a cultural twist, to the dancing of traditional Maasai dancers. CONTACT INFO To make a reservation, e-mail kenya.reservations@fairmont.com, call +254 (0) 20 226 5000 or fax +254 (0) 20 221 6796.

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WORDS: KATi dijane. IMAGES: fairmount.com.

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The Wolwedans Dune Camp, just waiting to be discovered in the heart of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, highlights why Namibia is dubbed the gem of Africa

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amibia is a land of natural wonders because it is today as it was centuries ago, and it remains one of the least populated countries in Africa. The breathtaking landscape provides the perfect setting for unwinding and creating memories framed only by nature. Wolwedans Dune Camp is the first camp to be built in the Wolwedans Collection and is located approximately 400 kilometres southwest of Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. With only six tents, the small and intimate camp sits on the edge of a 250-metre-high dune in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, within the Namib Desert and has evolved from a simple camp to something more luxurious, while offering an old-style camp feel.

AN INTIMATE AFFAIR Follow the signs from the gate for about 20 kilometres to the Wolwedans reception, where you will meet your guide for your short transfer to the camp. After a welldeserved night’s rest, enjoy a full buffet breakfast, before heading out on your day’s activities. There are several picnic spots in the reserve to deliciously replenish your energy during the day. The camp is unfenced and wildlife occasionally wanders through, but there is no cause for concern as your experienced tour guide will take you through your activities. The camp promises a tranquil, intimate atmosphere for that romantic desert getaway, with the main area nestling into the side of the dune. The main tent comprises a cosy lounge decorated with interesting antique-style furniture, a small bar and an open-plan kitchen, where guests can watch how the local chefs prepare Namibian cuisine. Enjoy your meal, served on a long dining table set under candlelit chandeliers, or meet up with other travellers by the campfire on the sundowner deck and share your day’s experiences, which can range from scenic dives, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning and massages to picnics and village tours.

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS The spacious en-suite bathrooms, constructed of wood and canvas, are fitted out with a shower, flush toilet and his-and-hers basins. The fabrics, fluffy towels and terracotta pots planted with cactuses bring the deep velvety wood and desert dune colours of the outdoors inside, while complementary soaps and lotions add a touch of luxury. A recent addition to the camp is the private suite with two en-suite double rooms, one on each side of a shared platform, with a classic sitting room where tea is served each morning.

NO SECOND INVITATION NEEDED Diarise two nights to make the most of the activities on offer and enjoy the stunning desert scenery. The best time to be sleeping under the velvety Namib Desert sky is during the warmer months, from September to April. With 17 years under the belt, it’s little wonder the camp has bagged the TripAdvisor – Travellers Award and the Namibian Eco Awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGES SUPPLIED BY THE WOLWEDANS COLLECTION.

For more information and bookings, visit: www.wolwedans.com.

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IN AFRICA

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What better way to experience the bush than as close to it as possible? Don’t worry, we wouldn’t dare recommend you go on safari without all of the luxuries you’ve become accustomed to at home.

lamping, a term coined in recent years, is the ultimate way to get out into the wild without feeling like you’ve gone on an intrepid camping trip and forgotten to pack half of what you need. The word itself, a combo of ‘glamourous’ and ‘camping’ says it all: luxurious tented camps that cater to your every need, making sure your excursion into the African bush is nothing but opulent, of course! If you’re a fan of spending time as close to nature as you can get, but still want to enjoy the comfort of a proper bed, the refreshment of a shower and the taste of delicious fare, tented camps could be your thing. Mostly constructed out of timber and canvas, these camps typically do little to no harm to their surrounding areas and often shift location according to seasons. We’ve rounded up a selection of Africa’s finest tented accommodations across the continent, each displaying positioned in an array of incredible wildlife sanctuaries, while displaying a unique sense of style and luxury.

1. JOHN CHASE SAFARIS, Botswana The beauty of John Chase Safaris is that the camp is completely mobile. The camp is shifted according to where the best possible area for prolific wildlife sightings are. Touted as a ‘mobile adventure’, guests at John Chase will have everything taken care of by the attentive camp staff. Meru-style canvas tents create private campsites, isolated from busy tourist routes, offer en-suite bathrooms and bucket showers. They are luxuriously decorated and even come complete with a small verandah area. Itineraries include luxury camping or lodging in Moremi Game Reserve, Central Kalahari, Makgadikgadi Pans, Nxai Pan and Chobe National Park.

2. NOMADIC CAMP, Kenya Operated by Asilia Africa, Nomadic Camp is an incredibly exclusive

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roaming camp that sets up in various locations in the Maasai Mara according to season. The spacious tents are set up according to how many guests may be present at any time, from as few as two tents up to 10. The large tents each have their own en-suite bathroom with hot water, bucket showers and flushing toilets. A stay at Nomadic Camp is also designed around the specific interests of your group, with top local rangers that will create a bespoke safari experience just for you.

3. Thanda Tented Camp, South Africa At Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve, you’ll find one of the most intimate hideaways in the form of Thanda Tented Camp. Focused on highlighting the natural beauty of northern KwaZulu-Natal, the camp has minimal lighting and as little artificial materials as possible. There is no electricity here, except for limited solar power. With just 14 spacious tents in the camp, joined by lantern-lit walkways, guests will ease comfortably into nature. Each tent has a private sundeck and en-suite bathroom, while an additional tent is ideal for honeymoon couples and romantic getaways.

4. SINGITA SABORA TENTED CAMP, Tanzania Deep in the untouched wilderness of Tanzania’s Grumeti Reserve lies the Singita Sabora Tented Camp. Remniscent of a 1920’s explorer camp, the opulence of this nostalgic camp is unparalleled, offering the complete opposite to the rugged terrain around it. With only nine tents on site, each has been painstakingly decorated with antique treasures and artefacts including Zanzibari chests, Persian rugs, and traditional beadwork.

5. RUZIZI TENTED CAMP, Rwanda Lounging on the banks of Rwanda’s Lake Ihema, you will find the eco-friendly Ruzizi Tented Camp. Opened in 2012, the camp was designed to leave as little impact on its surrounding environment as possible. The seven tents here are linked through raised wooden walkways, each designed around trees that had grown here for decades before a camp was even imagined in this spectacular spot. Powered entirely by solar energy, each tent has an ensuite bathroom with hot, running water. A large viewing platform overlooks the lake in the common area of the camp, which allows guests to enjoy what the lake is famous for – bird watching.

6. SOMALISA CAMP, Zimbabwe In the heart of the Hwange National Park, an area known for its elephants, you’ll find Somalisa Camp. Set on the edge of a seasonal flood plain, seven sail tents offer chic bush accommodation including gauze sliding doors, a glass fireplace, flush toilets, a copper bath and both an indoor and outdoor shower. The deck encompasses a lounge and dining area, as well as a small splash pool that overlooks a waterhole in front of the camp. Guests at Somalisa Camp can also experience wildlife from a completely different aspect with guided bush walks.

7. ANABEZI CAMP, Zambia Built on the foundations of an older camp that once stood in the lower end of the Zambezi National Park, the tents at Anabezi Camp have been raised off the ground on a large, wooden deck. Each overlooks the Zambezi River and guests

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WORDS: KATE ELS. iMAGES: JOHN CHASE SAFARIS, NOMADIC CAMP, THANDA TENTED CAMP, SINGITA SABORA TENTED CAMP, RUZIZI TENTED CAMP, SOMALISA CAMP, ANABEZI CAMP, DWYKA TENTED LODGE, WOLWEDANS PRIVATE CAMP, MUMBO ISLAND CAMP.

are often treated to game sightings when wild animals wonder through the camp. Each of the luxury tents has an indoor and outdoor bathroom, a sitting area, glass sliding doors opening onto a private deck, and a plunge pool set into the deck. This location owes its popularity to the yellow corn pods that drop from the nearby Ana trees.

8. DWYKA TENTED LODGE, South Africa Set amongst the secluded, striking rock formations of the Sanbona Private Game Reserve, Dwyka Tented Lodge consists of only nine luxurious tents set in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine. Each tent has its own private deck and spa bath and is a reflection of the nomadic lifestyle of the Khoisan hunter-gatherers in this beautifully weathered landscape. Guests will feast on local cuisine each evening in an open-air dining boma, while enjoying some of South Africa’s finest wines picked from the lodge’s wine cellar. A relaxation retreat with two therapy rooms is available for guests that wish to unwind with a spa treatment.

9. WOLWEDANS PRIVATE CAMP, Namibia The most exclusive of all our selected camps, Wolwedans Private Camp only caters for four adults and two children at one time. Constructed from wood and canvas, this open-plan villa has multiple decks flanking its sides to enjoy the spectacular Namibian desert scenery. Guests enjoying the privacy of Wolwedans can enjoy guided walks through the surrounding areas, game drives and even hot-airballoon rides. When not out on the trails, the homely feel of the camp allows guests to relax among friends and family.

10. MUMBO ISLAND CAMP, Malawi Mumbo, a tropical island within the surrounding waters of Lake

Malawi, is one of Africa’s most pristine destinations. Clear waters, brightly coloured fish and an underwater maze of boulders await guests to Mumbo Island Camp. Only accommodating 14 guests, this camp is built from timber, thatch and canvas, and offers tents with shaded decks, hammocks, hot bucket showers and eco-toilets. The ethos behind the camp focuses on ecology, meaning everything you find here has been sourced locally.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR TENTED CAMP? 1. Think about what you want to see on safari. If it’s the migration in East Africa, then select a camp that will be set up during that season. You’d hate to be on the other side of the Serengeti when the wildebeest do their renowned run. 2. Is the camp you’re choosing ecologically sound? Many camps may claim to care for their surrounding environment, but how exactly do they do that? Genuine ecowarriors will only be too glad to answer any questions you may have. 3. Pack appropriately. Many tented camps have rocky walkways and may not have air-conditioning, so pack light and pack right – and definitely don’t forget the sunscreen! 4. Remember to tip your guides and the camp staff. While not compulsory, the staff works incredibly hard under difficult circumstances to make sure your stay is perfect. 5. Be safe. Although some of these camps are quite formal in structure, you’re still out in the wild and won’t always be able to walk to and from your tent without a guide.

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Indulge IN NATURE’S GIFT

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Garonga Safari is the best place that offers a bush breakfast as well as fine dining in an authentic African setting ound 90 minutes from South Africa’s Kruger National Park’s Palaborwa gate this safari defines luxury while offering a natural experience for its guests. Offered at this luxurious safari are six tents that blend class, comfort and exceptional service. After a three-month long revamp Garonga opened its doors to guests in June 2016. The camp has a fresh new look that has a home away from home feel to it. Garonga has three fully en-suite, thatched and air-conditioned suites, all situated around centralised indoor/outdoor lounge areas, a swimming pool and built-in braai area. Each suite has its own platform deck, complete with hammock. The suite is built cleverly to allow sunlight to stream in, while offering magnificent views of the reserve. With the warm spring South Africa has welcomed, Garonga is a place to be to soak in the sun during a game drive, while cooling off at the reserve’s swimming pool during the evening.

The perfect suites Like any other lodge, Garonga offers three suites for your sleeping pleasure. The Hambleden Suite is an exclusive private villa complete with a raised deck, two separate rooms, its own swimming pool, private indoor/outdoor lounge areas and a huge bathroom with a beautiful copper bathtub and indoor/outdoor showers. The suite has its own mini-bar, is fully air-conditioned and is perfect for a couple in search of total luxury and exclusivity. It can also accommodate a family of up to four. African Travel Market | 93

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The Chiltern and Buckingham Suites are set overlooking the bushveld and are each suitable for a couple sharing. The suites have their own platform deck with hammock, and a lounge with writing desk. There is a seating area in the main bedroom consisting of a mini-bar, an air-conditioning unit, as well as ceiling fans. The bathroom consists of a bath, two basins, an indoor shower, and large outdoor shower.

Memorable experience Food is the heartbeat of any occasion and holiday destinations are not immune to this. Indulge in South African cuisine, starting your day with breakfast on the breakfast deck. Enjoy lunch inside the main lounge, and dinner either outside on the swimming pool deck by the fire or inside the main lounge. At the start of the day enjoy tea, coffee and snacks during a game drive and watch animals wake up. After a day’s long activities, soak your body with your group of friends, or your better half, with a glass of wine and the sounds of the bush from the comfort of a warm bush bubble bath. The outdoor bush bath overlooks the beautiful surrounding landscape. Another experience to enjoy is the game drive, which is the heart of the Garonga experience, allowing guests to encounter the Big Five up close. Your stay will typically include a morning and afternoon game drive on the safari’s open-air Landrovers. Unwind and soak in the warm sunset over cocktails or a glass of wine as the sun dips below the horizon. In addition to the Big Five, which is the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, white and black rhino, you are sure to see cheetah, hippo, crocodiles, spotted hyenas, wild dog, and plains animals like zebras, giraffes, and several species of buck. For more information garonga.com.

visit:

www.

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WORDS: Kati Dijane. Additional information AND IMAGES: garonga.com.


An experience

to remember Unwinding and enjoying the beauty and serenity that only nature can offer should take priority, especially at Wilderness Safari’s Little Mombo Camp

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frica welcomes those in need of a well-deserved break and safaris are a busy person’s best friend, allowing you the opportunity to reconnect with nature. Wilderness Safari’s Little Mombo Camp, situated on Mombo Island within a private concession of the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, should be top of mind as it is one of the best big game viewing areas on the continent. Little Mombo is smaller and more intimate than its sister, Mombo Camp, and is connected to the latter via a raised walkway. Little Mombo camp is

all about privacy and three luxury tented rooms come with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers, all with the same design and feel as Mombo Camp, which has nine spacious tents raised off the ground, all built to maximise the vistas over the plains. The tent interiors are elegantly furnished with polished geometric mosaic wooden floors, complete with an outdoor thatched sala – an ideal position from which to watch passing game. The main living and dining area is under thatch and there is a boma for traditional dinners, a small library and a plunge pool to relax in the heat of the day. The camp adjoins the northern tip of Chief’s Island and overlooks the

surrounding lily-scattered floodplains, which offer some of the best big game viewing in this part of Botswana. Guests have a pavilion, large veranda and lounge area, which provide ample place to relax and enjoy the view.

What to do The camp has a new fleet of six-seater Land Cruiser game viewers, which boast all the comfort to go with their good looks. Informative game drives allow you to explore the savannah during the day, or enjoy an evening session about the plight of rhinos and their return to Botswana. Led by rhino conservation experts, these sessions share how

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Wilderness Safaris is helping to protect these endangered animals. Hippos and elephants wander across the floodplain for all to enjoy, and the camp affords sightings of some of the Big Five, including lion prides. The wild dog den created in 1992 is home to Africa’s endangered wild dogs, which since their reintroduction to the area have allowed visitors to witness their spectacular hunts. No holiday is complete without a spa treatment to rejuvenate your body and mind, with massages offered in the comfort of your room or on your private deck. WHY WILDERNESS SAFARI’S MOMBO AND LITTLE MOMBO? The answer lies in its recognition as one of the best safaris in Africa. Winner of World Travel Awards 2014 – Botswana’s Leading Tented Safari Camp. Also, ranking ninth place by the Condé Nast Traveler Top 30 Resorts in Africa: Reader’s Choice Awards 2015, it is a great holiday destination for family, honeymooners and small groups.

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WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGES SUPPLIED BY WILDERNESS SAFARIS, BUSHTRACKS.COM.

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Latitude WITH

ATTITUDE Latitude 15 is Lusaka’s hippest boutique hotel. Set in a pleasant suburb in the Zambian capital, everything from the artworks to the appetisers is a wonderful combination of homegrown Zambia, with a contemporary international twist.

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he hotel features interesting African artworks and photographs, an eclectic mix of furniture and funky décor such as recycled glass chandeliers, tables made from ancient wooden doors and brightly coloured ostrich feather hats that line the walls. At last, a place with style and content. “Latitude 15 was designed for travellers,” says James Lightfoot, one of the directors of the Latitude group. “And artwork is one of our defining concepts.” They saw a gap in the market for hip and happening boutique hotels in Africa, he says, and first started Latitude 13 in Lilongwe, Malawi then Latitude 15 in Lusaka, Zambia – both renovated houses with great style and spirited hospitality. The group has recently purchased properties in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Nairobi in Kenya. The Latitude 15 is popular with both leisure and business travellers who, after a busy day or a fabulous safari, slip happily off to airy, spacious rooms. Cool in summer and toasty in winter, the rooms feature luxurious linen and bedding, tailor-made artworks and all the necessities to stay in touch and connected – not to mention the mini bar. Latitude 15’s food philosophy is taking the best of Zambia and mixing it with international ingredients. Add an inspired wine list and you’ll see a lot of people eating out at the hotel’s sexy restaurant. There’s a generous lounge with fireplaces and an outdoor veranda overlooking the pool. “The Latitude brand,” says Lightfoot, “is all about social engagement and meeting people.” So right next door to Latitude 15, they’ve just opened a club called The Other Side, which is a first for Lusaka – a collaborative and dedicated office space offering pods with hot desking and bean bagging, similar to Soho Works in London, or We Work in New York. The idea is for professionals, entrepreneurs and freelancers to be able to work in a private club with high speed Wi-Fi, healthy food and spa and gym facilities. Like its sister hotel in Lusaka, the Latitude 13 in Lilongwe is all about vibrant décor, progressive architecture and a creative atmosphere. It’s hi-tech, with good food and wine and always a Malawian smile. Once the home of a dignitary, this hotel’s contemporary décor and Afro-chic vibe make it popular with business travellers, NGOs and tourists. The Latitude 13 has nine boutique bedrooms that are fabulous chill pads. Each of the rooms is significantly bigger than your standard hotel room – so you get

sumptuous sprung beds, giant pillows, enormous sofas and hisand-her basins in the huge bathrooms! The Latitude 13 restaurant has been expanded and is French brasserie-style, offering creative cuisine using fresh herbs and locally grown vegetables and fruit. Take your pick from light fare, creative vegetarian cuisine, tapas and nourishing à la carte meals, all beautifully presented. And far, far away from the buzz of the capital city is the gem of the Latitude Group – Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island in the north east of Lake Malawi, one of the most stylish places you could hope to visit. Likoma Island is a great address. To its north is Tanzania, to its west Mozambique, east is Zambia, and all around, Malawi. The island itself is a tiny, charming spot in the north east of Lake Malawi. From the air it is hard to tell what’s water, island or sky, and rainbows appear without warning. The island’s finest spot is Kaya Mawa, voted one of the planet’s 10 most romantic destinations by Condé Naste magazine. All of the designer houses overlook the beach and lake; there’s a trendy bar, lounge and restaurant with lake views, and a fabulous spa set over rocks on the beach edge. The décor is amazing – driftwood, stone, local craft and fabrics. No room anywhere else, is like a Kaya room, says Latitude, and they’re right. The chalets are moulded into the island boulders and each room has something special, along with decks for chilling out and admiring the lake views and sunsets. They’ve got outdoor lounges, private al-fresco lounges, and outdoor baths and showers. One of Kaya Mawa’s premier rooms has 180-degree views of the lake and across to Mozambique, highlighting three split-level decks and a plunge pool just for two. Another premium chalet is reached across a little wooden bridge – and has a wooden deck and jetty overlooking the lake with amazing views of Mozambique. And if you’re after complete privacy – head for Ndomo House, perfect for either families or honeymooners. The house has four rooms, three terraces, a courtyard for outside dining and a private pool. Start your day island-style with a fresh Malawian coffee and head barefoot across the sand to their beachfront restaurant. Kaya Mawa spoils you with different dining spots – there are baobab trees for romance, high-up view points for afternoon tea and relaxed candlelit beach dinners. Kaya Mawa means ‘maybe tomorrow’ in the local Chichewa language, and was so named in the building of the lodge and the African-style logistics that came with getting building materials from a mainland to an island.

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words and IMAGES SUPPLIED BY BRIDGET HILTON-BARBER.

For example, when will the bricks be arriving? Kaya mawa, maybe tomorrow. When will we get that last bag of cement? Kaya mawa, maybe tomorrow. When we will ever leave? Kaya mawa, maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. Sigh! CONTACT INFORMATION For more information, visit: www.latitudehotels.com. Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island, Malawi, e-mail: enquiries@kayamawa.com or call +44 (0) 745 332 6398. Latitude 13 in Lilongwe, Malawi, e-mail: 13@thelatitudehotels.com; or call +26 (0) 599 640 3159. Latitude 15 in Lusaka, Zambia, e-mail: 15@ thelatitudehotels.com or call +26 (0) 211 268 802/3/4.

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WELLNESS

A NEW HOTEL TREND The new generation of travellers is shaping the hotels of tomorrow

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s the millennial generation (born between 1980 and 2000) ages and they start filling more senior roles in business and society, they’ll become the dominant market for service providers. It’s for this reason that businesses are finding out what this generation expects, so they can provide accordingly. Not doing so could spell the end of many a business. As Nicholas Barenblatt, Group Marketing Manager of Protea Hotels by Marriott®, explains, “Strong hospitality brands are listening very closely to what millennials want. One of the trends we know of among this group is their dedication to wellness. This is why the focus on exercise options and healthy food offerings in hotels has become far more of a priority than it was in the past.”

This view is endorsed by a great deal of research. For instance, leading international financial services company, Goldman Sachs, says of millennials: “They are exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data and online information to find healthier food. And this is one space where they are willing to spend money on compelling brands.” Since part of wellness comes from a consistent approach to exercising and eating in a healthy way, travellers are looking for the sorts of exercise options that will assist them to continue with their usual routines even when they are travelling. While some local hotels are slower to change what they offer than their counterparts in the USA, where the millennial market is far larger, the demand for alternatives is certainly on the rise, according to Barenblatt.

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THE FITNESS TRENDS “Traditionally the hospitality industry has focused on providing small gyms in hotels for guests to use,” he says, “but there is now a demand for other exercise options among guests. A hotel swimming pool, for instance, is no longer just the place to bake in the sun so you can emerge with a bronzed skin; pools are more regularly used for exercising, most often early in the morning when the leisure users are not around.” Similarly, cycling is popular among South Africans – it’s sometimes referred to as ‘the new golf’ – and so some local hotels have responded to this. The mountain bike centre, the Cog & Sprocket, at the African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa in Magaliesburg is a case in point. The Cape’s Arabella Hotel & Spa also offers dedicated routes in nearby proximity to the estate which are accessible directly from the hotel grounds, and offer great routes for both mountain bike and running enthusiasts. For those who focus on running only, hotels actively promote the local weekly Park Runs which are hosted in most cities to their in-house leisure guests who are looking to start their day with a fun fivekilometre run.

FOOD FOR A PURPOSE With food, the change is seen largely in the evolution of conference meals. It used to be that the greater the number of sweet pastries, heavy meat dishes, fried potatoes and rice that were provided, the greater the client satisfaction. However, todays chefs are thinking in-depth about ways of adapting recipes to put more healthy options on the buffet table. With more fish, chicken and salad on the menu, those who want to stay healthy now have more choice than ever before. The shift towards health and wellness cannot be ignored. The modern traveller does not stop being healthy for the duration of his or her trip, because the mindset towards wellness has changed. Fad diets and sporadic sport has been replaced with a consistent approach towards living a good life.

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WORDS IMAGES: PROTEA HOTELS BY MARRIOTT®.

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Is tourism the economic driver South Africa is looking for?

t’s an unfortunate reality that South Africa’s economy has slowed down significantly in recent years, and with the value of the Rand suffering, the prospect of an international ratings agency downgrade hangs over the country’s head. We see the impact most notably in the rising levels of unemployment, especially among our youth. The most recent unemployment figures stand at 26.6 percent. So, where can we look for an alternative? One industry that definitely offers the prospect of a far more positive outlook is tourism. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry is set to outperform the global economy for the next decade at least, providing annual growth of around four percent on average. This prediction follows six previous years of growth, so the long-term outlook is certainly positive. According to South Africa’s Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, “The WTTC estimates Tourism will earn R120 billion in export earnings, and contribute more than R380 billion to the economy… [in the 2016/17 year].” Furthermore, the WTTC also recorded the contribution of the sector to employment at approximately 1.5 million jobs in 2015, and predicts it will increase significantly in the years ahead. Danny Bryer, the Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management at South African-based Protea Hotels by Marriott®, says, “There are a number of indicators that our travel industry is performing better than the economy more generally. Consider the latest air passenger numbers revealed by the Airports Company South Africa in its new Aviation Barometer.” Bryer continues, “It reflects that there was an increase in passenger numbers at South African airports year-on-year in the first and second quarters this year, as opposed to 2015. It’s encouraging to note that the increase was across all traveller groups – domestic, regional and international – and it applies to arrival as well as departure traffic.” Greater air passenger numbers are also reflected

in the new international and regional routes that have been introduced by a number of airlines, as well as the announcement of planned extensions to the domestic air terminals in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Bryer also refers to the confidence shown in the future of tourism by the private sector. With the construction of new hotels and new conference facilities in a number of parts of the country, the commitment is clear. “Recently we’ve seen new major conference venues opening in Cape Town, and the current construction of the additions to the Cape Town International Convention Centre also reflects the strong prospects that have been identified for this sector,” he says. “There is a similar belief in the positive outlook for the accommodation sector. For instance, Marriott ® International, our parent company, announced the development of two new properties in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg.” Government’s acknowledgement of the negative impact on the industry of the visa restrictions is a positive development, especially as is evidenced in the setting up of a forum to resolve the issues that the industry faces. One of the reasons for the uptick in visitors to the country is our weak Rand, which makes a trip to the country one of the most cost-efficient anywhere in the world, especially for travellers with US Dollars, Euros, and the British Pound (despite its decline in value since the Brexit vote). “This is a double-edged sword, however,” cautions Bryer. “The currency could potentially strengthen and that is why we should not base the attractiveness of the country on this alone. It’s very important for us to make it an appealing destination no matter the value of our currency. Cape Town and the Kruger National Park area are consistently identified as top destinations for both the international and domestic traveller, and we need to replicate the popularity of these destinations in other spots, too.” Bryer further believes that there is an opportunity for the industry in South Africa to benefit from the likely increase

“As an industry, we have to understand what appeals to this generation so that we can make South Africa an attractive destination. This will provide the buoyancy we need to grow the sector over the next decade.”

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WORDS: PROTEA HOTELS BY MARRIOTT®. IMAGES: airportdata.com, defenceweb.co.za, journeyinstyle.co.za, southafrica.to, sunsafaris.com, herobo.com.

in international travellers visiting the southern part of the continent since the construction of the new international airport at Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls – it could serve as another gateway to southern Africa, and thereby further boost tourism. Protea Hotels and its parent company, Marriott® International, look to the value of the millennial market as a source of business in the future. Research consistently shows that millennials have a big focus on leisure travel, taking more trips on average than their parents’ generation. “As an industry, we have to understand what appeals to this generation so that we can make South Africa an attractive destination. This will provide the buoyancy we need to grow the sector over the next decade,” Bryer advises. These factors confirm the potential for tourism to be the driver of growth in the country. The industry currently accounts for one in 12 jobs in South Africa; internationally, the figure is one in 11. With regards to employment, a positive for South Africa is that it is an industry that offers many entrylevel positions, so our low-skills environment need not be a limiting factor. In addition, as local hospitality companies are acquired by global companies, employment beyond South Africa’s borders becomes an option. According to Bryer, this is certainly true for Protea Hotels. “Being part of the Marriott® Middle East and Africa region opens up the opportunity for South African staff to work in hotels anywhere in this region. And, since the region is viewed by Marriott® as an area for significant expansion, there will be substantial job creation over the next five years.” There is every reason to conclude that tourism can play a significant role in improving the economy of South Africa. What will help in this goal is for government to facilitate an environment that allows for ease of travel, for the country to improve its image with regards to safety and security, and for the industry itself to focus on service standards and skills.

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Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa is not only firmly behind the empowerment of women in the tourism industry, but also personally invested in the success of several projects in the sector roudly bearing a torch for accomplished and successful South African women, the deputy minister is a difficult lady to keep up with. Her relentless dedication to the tourism industry keeps her on the move, not only promoting South Africa as a destination for overseas visitors, but also as an ambassador for domestic travel. Other than encouraging travellers to explore Mzansi, Xasa is also behind several long-term initiatives intended to grow awareness of the tourism sector as a viable career option for the youth, and gain recognition for women in tourism. Born in the Eastern Cape, Xasa began her career as a high school teacher. Leading up to her entry as Deputy Minster of Tourism in 2009, she led as one of the first female mayors in South Africa and has served in various governmental portfolios. When asked what it means for her to be in the position of deputy minister, Xasa modestly replies, “Firstly, it’s an opportunity to join the leading team in government tasked with growing the country’s GDP and create jobs in prioritised sectors among the six identified.” “Secondly,” she adds, “it’s an opportunity to market and promote my country internationally so that more tourists visit the country, and domestically for South Africans to travel and appreciate their own country. Thirdly, it’s an opportunity to drive transformation through developing mechanisms and programmes meant to address this.”

Xasa shares that she has an obligation and strong commitment to the people of South Africa to exercise her mandate in working towards making tourism accessible for all, while at the same time ensuring that South Africa is positioned as a destination of choice. The bottom line: her eye is keenly fixed on economic growth and job creation using tourism as a vehicle. With so many projects falling under the umbrella of the National Department of Tourism, it would be easy to imagine that Xasa battles to keep track of them all, but this isn’t the case at all. Her knowledge and passion of the industry drives her to maintain

But what does this mean in laymen’s terms for women in the industry? It’s all about growing the share of executive positions held by women in industry, says Xasa. “Women make up 70 percent of the tourism workforce, yet many of these women are still relegated to the kitchens, cleaning departments and front desks of many of our tourism establishments.” “There is a marked underrepresentation of women in senior positions, with women holding less than 40 percent of managerial positions, less than 20 percent of general management roles and between five and eight percent of board positions. We need to work together to ensure that women in Africa are adequately capacitated and elevated to make a meaningful contribution to the tourism economy,” says the deputy minister. Beyond the Women in Tourism Conference, Xasa is also heavily invested in the Executive Development Programme for Women, which is a partnership between the Department of Tourism and UNISA Graduate School for Business Leadership. It aims to redress the skewed socio-economic landscape of the tourism industry with the objective to capacitate black women managers within the tourism sector. While the projects that Xasa is involved in are many and varied in their causes, it is very apparent that the deputy minister is paying more than just lip service to one of South Africa’s major GDP contributors. Her appetite for growth within the sector is refreshing and inspiring, in turn driving others to roll up their sleeves and get involved.

WORDS: KATE ELS. IMAGE SUPPLIED BY DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM, TOKOZILE XASA.

“We need to work together to ensure that women in Africa are adequately capacitated and elevated to make a meaningful contribution to the tourism economy.” focus on multiple projects all at once. Included among these are the Women in Tourism Conference held in October, the annual National Tourism Careers Expo, Tourism Indaba, the Tourism Research Seminar and the Tourism Incentive Programme. All these various projects, and a number of smaller projects, aim to address shortfalls within the tourism industry, but Xasa is understandably most passionate about the representation of women in this burgeoning sector. “Women In Tourism is aimed at addressing the economic inequalities and challenges faced by women within the sector,” she explains. “The WIT agenda is centered on commanding respect, ascertaining recognition of women contribution in the sector, encouraging representation in economic activities and leadership, and producing results that will enhance the supply and demand for domestic tourism.”

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SEAL THE DEAL

IN THE ISLAND OF MEMORIES Mauritius is synonymous with holiday destination, but there is more to it than meets the eye his island, just 900 kilometres from Madagascar and cushioned in the Indian Ocean is a preferred holiday destination. With weather as warm as its people, white sand beaches as well as exquisite places to host meetings, conferences and events, there is a huge shopping list you can tick off for the MICE market. This tropical island is one of the best places to consider when taking your business or incentive travel to the next level. Mauritius is known for its pleasant weather, mouth-watering dishes and historical landmarks such as the Chamarel Coloured Earth. There are memorable things to do and places to discover on this island. As an organiser for MICE or incentive travel, help your clients unearth the gems of Mauritius, especially through destination management companies that are as passionate about the island as they are about your clients. Mauritius Incentive Connection (MIC) is one such, established with a vision to curate and execute unforgettable experiences. With years of experience in the industry, MIC is a oneof-its kind consortium of 12 leading hotels that stretch across the island, a production company and a first-class Destination Management Company (DMC).

A PROFITABLE PARTNERSHIP What makes MIC unique is that it caters to any budget, packaging a wide range of

MICE services, including accommodation, excursions, team-building activities, conferencing and creative events. No matter the preference of location on the island, there are hotels under MIC that will host your guests. Hermina Sennelo, sales and marketing manager at MIC South Africa, says that MIC aims at doing things differently. “Mauritius is a destination where many clients and corporates have been and feel like they know it well. They have been to the same hotels and engaged in the same activities on every trip. With MIC we aim to showcase properties that many corporate clients are not aware are in Mauritius, we do activities known for the destination, but with exciting twists and add-ons to help create new experiences.” “Together with the agencies based in South Africa we have hosted many clients events,” she adds. Furthermore, Sennelo emphasises that incentive travel is designed to motivate or act as a reward for employees or business partners to continue to bring business to a company, which contributes to the economy. MIC targets anyone who plans incentive travel programmes, events and conferences. Together with the mentioned planners, MIC targets corporates to host their events in Mauritius. “We propose group travel packages starting from R8 625 for four nights and work the programme from there, or as per the client’s request,” says Sennelo.

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To showcase its promise of delivering memorable experiences MIC invited 10 guests to a five-day business development trip to discover the island from 2 to 6 August 2016. A jam-packed itinerary included a sight visit to all its exquisite hotels that are matched with great conference facilities; a unique programme that included discovering the pineapple farmland, cruising across the island by speedboat and catamaran and lunch at an authentic Mauritian home. Our stay at the five-star Hilton Mauritius Resort and Intercontinental Mauritius was a memorable one. The rooms are airy and spacious, but what stood out the most was the great service from friendly staff, as well as the incredible buffet meals. Every experience was executed to the last detail, and adding its magical touch to this exceptional team was South African-based events management company, Divaz Events Management. Divaz Events founder Fatima Omar says, “The main reason for us partnering with MIC on the Corporate Educational was to showcase Mauritius as an incentive destination to the corporate market. Divaz partnered with MIC due to its association with Connection DMC – one of the leading DMCs in Mauritius.” Imprinting great memories in the minds of clients and incentive groups is the fuel that drives the team behind MIC. Hermina, who has been with the organisation since December 2011, “What I love about being part of MIC is working with 12 properties that are unique and cater well to groups and conferences, Connections DMC – a destination management company that ensures seamless arrangements of events or conferences and, finally, Impact P Production that has its guests in awe at spectacular displays they can create. This dynamic portfolio will make sure no day is the same and has me beaming with pride to be associated with it.”

HOTEL PARTNERS OF MIC MIC has partnered with great hotels across the island to ensure that you have a great time mixing business with pleasure.

1. In the north

• Intercontinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort: Just 15 minutes away from the main touristic region of

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Grand Baie and Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, the hotel has 210 ocean view rooms and one of the biggest conference room capacities on the island. Approximately 600 guests can be hosted for a conference meeting or unwind to a gala dinner. With an all-inclusive package, your guests can have access to all five restaurants, ranging from Asian tastes to Mediterranean cuisine. • The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa: Everything at this bright and trendy hotel is designed to help guests feel pampered, from the exquisite furniture to the food. The resort has 190 rooms and one large ballroom, which can accommodate up to 300 guests. Guests are spoiled with a choice of five restaurants each with different cuisines. • Maritim Resort & Spa: Maritim Hotel Mauritius is a great venue for nature lovers, as it covers close to 25 hectares of green tropical gardens. Interestingly, it hosts a refurbished historical Ruins of Balaclava, which makes a stunning venue for spectacular themed group evenings. With 215 rooms, a ballroom that accommodates 300 people and the amazing Chateau Mon Désir restaurant, the remarkable resort has the know-how to make your incentive a real success. • Le Méridien Ile Maurice: Located close to Port Louis and Grand Baie, a shopping and nightlife capital, Le Méridien Ile Maurice has 265 rooms and a ballroom accommodating up to 550 people. The outside venues are perfect for group dinners and perfect themed events. Enjoy a wide range of meals from four restaurants and four bars and unwind at an outdoor pool.

2. When travelling west • St. Regis Mauritius: This colonial style, five-star property is situated on the Le Morne Peninsula, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and eight kilometres from the Seven Coloured Earth, another beautiful heritage landmark. The hotel, which is about 75 minutes from the airport, has 172 rooms – all facing the majestic ocean. The hotel has a choice of six restaurants, which can be privatised, depending on group size. • Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa: This

beach resort is only a 10-minute walking distance to the bustling tourist village of Flic en Flac. The Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa has 193 rooms and a conference centre, accommodating 350 people. Guests can enjoy the ocean views and the island-inspired rooms to unwind, or catch up on their e-mails with free Wi-Fi. Complementary water-based activities include snorkelling, waterskiing and dolphin watching.

3. On the east coast •C onstance Le Prince Maurice: This all-suite boutique hotel is set in lush tropical greenery and is the only hotel on the island that has rooms on stilts. With its 89 suites and a helipad, it is perfect for top end executive groups. Some of the hotel features include deep-sea fishing, boat excursions, scuba diving and parasailing. Indulge in a variety of four restaurants, four bars and toast to the biggest wine cellar of the Indian Ocean region. •C  onstance Belle Mare Plage: Set along a two-kilometre white-sand beach, Constance Belle Mare Plage is chic and beautifully balanced with a tropical environment. The hotel boasts 256 rooms and one conference facility that accommodates up to 100 guests. Also part of a two 18-hole championship golf courses estate, it has seven restaurants and six bars to choose from and stunning venues for incredible groups events. • Maritim Crystals Beach: This elegant, yet contemporary hotel has 181 spacious airy and rooms, all facing the sea. It houses the largest conference facility on the east coast that accommodates up to 375 guests.

4. The south coast • Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort: Nestled in the nature reserve of Bel Ombre, the resort is sophisticated yet brings a relaxed atmosphere with its sandy pathways. The hotel has 181 rooms, with a beautiful ocean view. •H  eritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort: This all-inclusive African-style hotel is located on the amazing Domaine de Bel Ombre. Let your guests enjoy excellent off-site dinner venues on

the estate. There are 160 rooms, with a choice of four restaurants and two bars. •H  eritage Telfair Golf & Spa Resort: This resort is situated at the heart of the Domaine de Bel Ombre on colonial style architecture. With 158 rooms, a choice of five restaurants and possible access to Heritage Awali outlets, this venue will leave a memorable statement with your guests. For more information, contact Hermina Sennelo at hermina@mic-mauritius.com or visit: www.mic-mauritius.com. Contact Fatima Omar at fatima@dadivaz.co.za or visit: www.dadivaz.co.za.

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WORDS: KATI DIJANE. IMAGES: outrigger.com, mauritius-touristguide.mu.

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Africa By The Sea

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