Botswana

The Okavango Delta resembles a gigantic starburst blossom pressed onto the landscape of northern Botswana. It is one of the planet’s greatest wetlands, a vast splash of life-nurturing channels, lagoons and ponds. Between June and August, seasonal flooding saturates severely dry region, resulting in the Delta swelling to three times its size during the dry winter months, and thereby creating one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife.

Chobe National Park is Botswana’s first national park and its most biologically diverse. Located in the north of the country, it boasts one of the greatest concentrations of game in all of Africa. The park is widely known for its large elephant population, estimated to tally around 50,000.

The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savannah in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometres (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and regions of South Africa. The Kalahari is a semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains, the Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert, such as the Namib Desert to the west. There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. Feline Fields by Mantis is located North-West of Botswana, between the Okavango Delta and the Namibian border.

Kalahari Plains lodge, by Wilderness Safaris, lies in a remote part of the diverse and productive Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa, particularly in summer. Located in the Kalahari Desert in central Botswana, this reserve is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. Its star attractions include the legendary Kalahari black-maned lion as well as some of the world’s best cheetah viewing.

Kalahari Plains overlooks an immense pan with endless horizons and beautiful skies. It comprises eight en-suite canvas units with a sleep-out platform above each from which to enjoy moonlit or star-studded nights. The main area consists of a lounge and dining area with a pool and deck. Solar power provides all the electricity and hot water in the camp and insulated canvas walls and roofs keep temperatures inside the units comfortable.

The Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve, a salt pan– with an area of 3 900 sq. kms is situated in the middle of the dry savanna of north-eastern Botswana. It is one of the largest salt flats in the world. The pan is all that remains of the formerly enormous Lake Makgadikgadi.

Lying southeast of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, Makgadikgadi is technically not a single pan but many pans with sandy desert in between, the largest being the Sua (Sowa), Nwetwe and Nxai Pans. The largest individual pan is about 1,900 sq mi (4,921.0 km2).

The pans themselves are salty desert whose only plant life is a thin layer of blue-green algae and Very little wildlife can exist here during the harsh dry season of strong hot winds and only salt water, but following rain the pan becomes an important habitat for migrating animals including wildebeest and one of Africa’s biggest zebra populations, and the large predators that prey on them. The wet season also brings migratory birds such as ducks, geese and Great White Pelicans. The pan is home of one of only two breeding populations of Greater Flamingos in southern Africa, and only on the Soa pan, which is part of the Makgadikgadi pans.

Namibia

The Etosha Pan is an extremely flat salt pan in northern Namibia, covering an area of approximately 1,900 square miles – the largest of its kind in Africa. Glimmering green in the dry season, the park has one of the largest accumulations of big-game species in the world, including lions, elephants, rhinoceros, eland, zebras and springbok. Abundant bird life includes flamingos, vultures, hawks, eagles, ostriches, guinea fowl and geese. 

Stretching 500 kilometers between the old German colonial town of Swakopmund and the Angolan border, the Skeleton Coast is virtually uninhabited and thoroughly untamed. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region “The Land God Made in Anger”, while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as “The Gates of Hell, with its name derived most probably from the huge numbers of stranded whales that lost their lives here. Numerous ships have stranded at the Skeleton Coast thanks to the thick fog, the rough sea, unpredictable currents and stormy winds. It provides unmatched vistas and invites serious contemplation.

This roughly elliptically shaped clay pan is covered in a crust of salt-rich sand. Located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park (the largest conservation area in Africa) it is dramatically surrounded by high orange dunes.

Deadvlei, close to Sossusvlei, is a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor. Its trees are estimated to be approximately 900 years old, kept from decomposing by the dry climate. The contrast between the pitch-black trees and bleached-white pans is paradise for photographers, with the rusty-red dunes and deep blue sky making for incredible images.

This coastal desert may be the oldest in the world and contains some of the earth’s driest regions, with only western South America’s Atacama Desert to challenge it for age and aridity. The sand dunes, some of which are 300 metres (980 ft) high and span 32 kilometres (20 mi) long, are the second largest in the world.

This seaside resort, founded in 1892, showcases its German origins in its beautiful European-style architecture. This is the adventure capital of Namibia, with extreme sports like sandboarding, quadbiking, dune carting, parachuting, hot air ballooning, shark fishing, deep sea fishing and beach angling on offer. For the more laid back tourist, Swakopmund offers an array of restaurants, cafes, art galleries, museums, boat cruises and a snake park.

ZAMBIA

Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River hugging the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of its largest waterfalls, based on its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres – resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. David Livingstone named the falls in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the Sotho language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya (”The Smoke That Thunders”) evokes a more vivid image. At roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of Horseshoe Falls, it is rivalled only by Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls.

Lying on the north bank of the Zambezi River in southeastern Zambia with Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park on its opposite bank, this park sits on the Zambezi flood plain ringed by mountains and is a world heritage site. In the south is the Zambezi River valley, known for abundant wildlife, including buffalo, fish eagles and herds of elephants. Canoes ply the river, which is home to hippos and crocodiles. In the east, the river passes the striking red cliffs of Mupata Gorge, with its fish-filled waters. To the north lies the steep and rugged Zambezi Escarpment.

Situated in eastern Zambia, this southernmost of three national parks in the valley of the Luangwa River is a world-renowned wildlife haven. The river teems with hippo and crocodile and is a lifeline for some of the greatest diversities of habitat and wildlife, supporting more than 60 species of mammals and over 400 species of birds. It attracts large populations of Thornicroft’s giraffe and herds of elephants and Cape buffaloes often count several hundred strong, making it one of the best-known national parks in Africa for walking safaris. 

Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia has one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa, dating back to the 19th century where the King of Barotseland, Lubosi Lewanika, appointed his people to be the custodians of the park and its wildlife. Each year, Liuwa hosts the second largest wildebeest migration on the continent, numbering around 30,000 individuals – this is one of the most glorious spectacles on the planet. Liuwa has a five-star luxury camp, Time + Tide – King Lewanika Lodge, which was featured in TIME Magazine’s 2018 – 100 Greatest Places. 

ZIMBABWE

Only a 30-minute flight south of Victoria Falls, this is Zimbabwe’s largest national park and home to some 43,000 elephants, while also being known for regular sightings of cheetah, leopard and lion, as well as one of Africa’s largest populations of the endangered wild dog and rare species such as roan and sable. Birdwatchers will be spoiled, as some 500 species have been recorded here. July to October is the optimal time to visit, as large concentrations of wildlife descend upon the area to drink from the waterholes in order to survive the dry winter months.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Zimbabwe is one of the most remote safari parks in the country. Mana bursts with bird- and wildlife, especially during the dry winter season from June to October, when large herds of animals congregate along the mighty Zambezi River. Mana, meaning “four” in Shona, refers to the park’s four large pools that are vestiges of ancient ox-bow lakes. It is one of Africa’s best places to undertake walking safaris; the thin vegetation means that visibility is excellent, so you’ll be able to get up close to big game

Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River hugging the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of its largest waterfalls, based on its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres – resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. David Livingstone named the falls in honor of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the Sotho language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya (”The Smoke That Thunders”) evokes a more vivid image. At roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of Horseshoe Falls, it is rivalled only by Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls.

The Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is located in the southern corner of Zimbabwe bordering the Gonarezhou National Park. It is home to the Singita Pamushana Lodge. Guests have exclusive access to this untouched wilderness and can immerse themselves in nature on twice-daily game drives, bush walks, sundowner boat cruises, excursions to rock art sites and more.

The reserve is dissected east to west by a range of rugged sandstone hills, within which over 80 ancient rock painting sites have been discovered. The Chiredzi River runs the length of the property from north to south, the perennial flows supporting some impressive riverine forest and eventually feeding into the Runde River.

MALAWI

Southernmost in the East African Rift system located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania, Lake Malawi is an African Great Lake and the fourth largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest lake in the world by area — and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa. It is home to more species of fish than any other lake, including at least 700 species of cichlids. The Mozambique portion of the lake was officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique on 10 June 2011, while in Malawi a portion of the lake is included in Lake Malawi National Park. 

MOZAMBIQUE

Bazaruto Island lies in Bazaruto National Park, off the coast of southern Mozambique. Resorts dot the island’s white beaches and it’s known for its marine life (such as turtles and dugong). The clear waters of Two Mile Reef are filled with colorful fish, reef sharks and moray eels, while the deeper area in Indigo Bay is home to sailfish and marlin. Traditional dhow boats run to the nearby islands of Santa Carolina and Benguerra.

Benguerra Island is the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago, which broke away from the mainland thousands of years ago. The island is approximately 55 square kilometers (11 km long x 5.5 km wide) lying 14 km offshore, and is famous for its unspoiled white beaches, dive sites, luxury resorts, horseback riding and fishing.

Madagascar

The largest island in a secluded archipelago off the northeastern coast of Madagascar, Nosy Ankao is an earthly paradise. The home to Time + Tide Miavana, it is the perfect jumping off point for exploring Northern Madagascar. This is a land still wholly wild, where you can experience nature in an authentic and immersive way.

A world of lemurs and chameleons, Madagascar is truly unlike any other place on Earth. Fascinating creatures live amid the extraordinary landscapes, including many highly endemic species. Sprawling reefs and diverse terrain create an underwater haven for impressive marine life. 

South AFRICA

SABI SANDS GAME RESERVE - adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga

Welcome to Cheetah Plains exclusive Plains Houses, home of the definitive exclusive-use luxury sustainable safari in South Africa’s most celebrated wildlife area, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Exclusively yours, the Plains Houses play host to your private safari experience of a lifetime.

Cheetah Plains is a beacon to the eco-luxe safari set and a collaborative expression of South Africa’s rich heritage. 

Each of the exclusive-use Plains Houses at Cheetah Plains accommodates a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 guests per house, offering you and your safari companions the ultimate private safari experience.

The private exclusive-use Plains Houses, each exquisitely appointed, boast a formal lounge, living room, dining area, expansive sun deck, heated swimming pool, wine gallery, chef’s kitchen and sumptuous Private Suites. Booking a Cheetah Plains House secures an exclusively private safari experience all to yourself.

THORNYBUSH NATURE RESERVE - GREATER KRUGER PARK, LIMPOPO

Suspend what you know about luxury tented camps.  The latest addition to the Thornybush Collection, Saseka Tented Camp, is state-of-the-art, luxurious and imbued with idyllic African wilderness.  Saseka is the Tsonga word for Beautiful. 

Saseka, elegantly positioned on the banks of the Monwana dry-riverbed, which sweeps through the reserve, with a distinct curve in the river being a natural catalyst for the site of the main area.  

Influenced by the romantic narrative of tented camps from yesteryear, the tents have been reimagined with a gentle nod to nostalgia, but with the emphasis very much on the 21stcentury design.  The tented suites allow the call of nature and the bush to filter in to allow for a truly immersed safari experience.  Fronted with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, each air-conditioned tent has a spacious, off-white wrap-around environmentally friendly statement deck overlooking the sand bed, a private plunge pool and an outdoor shower.  The canvas stretched high over an interior fit for an emperor.

The Leadwood Tented Villa operates as an intimate, camp-within-a-camp, servicing one, two or three tented suites exclusively. The Villa’s central entertainment area features a lounge and dining area, private and separate from the rest of the lodge.

The 14,000-hectare Thornybush nature reserve is private, ensuring our guests enjoy intimate, uncrowded encounters with the wildlife as well as extended time on sightings. The game density is exceptional and we can take you as close to the action as possible. 

An abundance of perennial rivers, good groundwater levels and a range of vegetation means a diversity of plains game is drawn to Thornybush, which, in turn, attracts predators. From trumpeting elephant herds along river beds, to the roar of a lion pride echoing through our camps to the thrill of a close encounter with a stealthy leopard, Thornybush is the ideal place to see the icons of the African bushveld.

SNAPSHOT OF THORNYBUSH NATURE RESERVE

  • Unfenced and Part of the Greater Kruger National Park
  • Great Diversity of Wildlife
  • World Class Lodging
  • Easy Access, close to Hoedspruit Airport
  • Limited Lodges and Guests

PERFECT FOR

  • Big 5 Sightings
  • Plains Game
  • Honeymoons
  • Family Holidays
  • Walking Safaris
  • Photographic Safaris
  • Fly-In Safaris
  • Celebrations, Weddings, Birthdays and more!

PHINDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE, KWAZULU NATAL

Tucked into the edge of a dappled forest in the north of Phinda Private Game Reserve, lies Phinda Homestead, a gracious sole-use safari villa, complete with a dedicated ranger, tracker, butler and chef.

Blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings, and designed like a contemporary bush farmhouse, Phinda Homestead is an elegant and homely sole-use villa, ideal for both families and small groups. Four private bedrooms and spacious bathrooms fuse harmoniously with the cool, expansive, and inviting guest spaces. An interactive kitchen brings the lodge’s private chef into the centre of the guest experience, while a fully equipped private gym and spa allow for relaxation between safaris. Game drive times, as well as meals, are tailored completely to the guests’ preference to create a fully personalised safari.

Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses an impressive 28,555 hectares (70,560 acres) of protected wildlife land in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Showcasing one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, the reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino), as well as 436 bird species.

The andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is an intimate and romantic safari lodge, overlooking a unique vlei (wetland system) on the edge of Phinda Private Game Reserve’s rare sand forest.

Phinda Vlei Lodge’s unique location offers ever-changing game viewing from the comfort of your suite. Set on the edge of a sand forest, and overlooking a vast grassy meadow. The air-conditioned suites each feature a beautiful, plantation-style bedroom, with a luxuriously spacious ensuite bathroom and dressing room that effortlessly blends a sense of old-world luxury with quirky, contemporary features. The suite’s interiors showcase a mix of curated antiques and collectables combined with bold fabrics. Take advantage of a private lap pool and game viewing deck that overlooks lush plains and observe antelope and other curious wildlife grazing nearby, as well as a variety of birdlife. Unwind in the beautiful surrounds of the main guest area, which also includes a handsome library, as well as a fire pit setting, ideal for pre-dinner drinks.

Choose from a range of exciting Phinda Adventures such as a specialist walking and tracking safaris, a sleep out under the stars, an infrared Night Eye drive, and other participative conservation experiences such rhino notching or pangolin tagging. 

Dramatically set into a cliff face, the andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge’s six intimate and private suites are seemingly suspended over the deep valley below, providing breathtaking views of Phinda Private Game Reserve.

Each romantic cottage, constructed from contoured stone, boasts solid wooden shutters and doors, which open onto a private plunge pool and viewing deck. Featuring spacious ensuite bathrooms, four of the cottages also offer outdoor showers.

The lodge’s guest areas offer the perfect vantage point for viewing the reserve’s abundant birdlife and the wildlife roaming in the bush below. French doors open onto an extended outdoor deck, the perfect setting for al fresco meals, while a rooftop terrace provides a romantic venue for dining beneath the stars.

Choose from a range of exciting Phinda Adventures such as a specialist walking and tracking safaris, a sleepout under the stars, an infrared Night Eye drive, and other participative conservation experiences such rhino notching or pangolin tagging. 

Set amongst the densely wooded Zuka Hills of Phinda Private Game Reserve, studded with aloes and overlooking a small private waterhole, lies the andBeyond Phinda Zuka Lodge, a private sole-use villa, ideal for families and small groups.

Just four individual thatched Zululand bush suites, make up this intimate lodge that can be reserved as a sole-use villa for private gatherings, or on an individual room booking. Phinda Zuka’s overall ambiance is that of cool, coastal bush-style; embodying the sophistication of simplicity. The charming suites cluster around a popular waterhole where a diversity of wildlife is regularly seen and birdlife flourishes. Each suite boasts a luxurious ensuite bathroom, complete with a circular bath chamber, double showers and twin hand basins. Comfortable lounge chairs, on private verandas, allow for gentle contemplation or an afternoon siesta.

Guest areas include an interactive café-style kitchen, indoor sitting and dining areas, an intimate library and a swimming pool with an extended wooden deck overlooking the surrounding wilderness.

Encompassing an impressive 28,555 hectares (70,560 acres) of protected wildlife land in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Phinda Private Game Reserve showcases one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences, and is home to Africa’s Big Five, as well as 436 bird species.

Perched on a hilltop, with wraparound views of the lush Lebombo foothills, the andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge is the ultimate family safari destination in Phinda Private Game Reserve.

Phinda Mountain Lodge features three room types, with 16 suites, six cottages (that can be turned into three adjoining family cottages), and one family suite. Natural light streams through the expansive glass windows of the suites and cottages, while private decks provide breathtaking views of natural beauty. Each accommodation option features an outdoor shower, well-stocked personal bars and private plunge pools.

In the main area, guests can swap safari stories around the inviting bar and enjoy meals in the interactive kitchen, complete with a pizza oven (ideal fun for the kids to create their own dinner). A traditional stone and reed boma is illuminated by dozens of candles, and lanterns, and provides the ultimate setting for al fresco dinners. A sparkling lodge rim flow pool follows the natural curves of the mountain, while a new state-of-the-art gym is ideal for fitness fanatics, and a massage sala is available for those wanting to indulge in tranquil treatments.

Nestled inside 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) of Africa’s last remaining dry sand forest lies the andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge, one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury safari lodges.

With its seven distinct habitats, Phinda Private Game Reserve is often described as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’, a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivers, marshes and pans. 

Set in a rare and beautiful sand forest, the glass walls of Phinda Forest Lodge’s 16 air-conditioned suites offer a sweeping view of one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. A dense canopy provides privacy, and floor to ceiling windows invite the forest in, with the wonderful opportunity to view wildlife roaming outside your glass “bubble”, fluttering birds nesting in the foliage and the gentle rustle of forest sounds.

On the edge of the forest, just before a clearing that overlooks a small waterhole, lies the lodge’s sparkling rim-flow swimming pool, an ideal respite in between game drives. Expansive decks in the spacious guest area, look out onto panoramic views of an open grassy meadow. In the evenings, when warm firelight welcomes you to the traditional African boma, wide-eyed bush babies watch inquisitively from the trees above, as you in indulge in a lantern-lit feast beneath a canvas of stars.

BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RESERVE & WELLNESS RETREAT, WESTERN CAPE

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is located at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, only 270 km from Cape Town.  

This multi-award-winning lodge is a proud Relais & Châteaux member, and forms part of the family-run Red Carnation Hotel Collection. Sixteen luxurious and indulgently comfortable guest rooms and suites are each individually designed with natural materials and elegant finishes, offering breathtaking views across the indigenous gardens. Koro Lodge, the private villa, is located in a secluded corner of the reserve (4 km away from the Main Lodge). Welcoming children of all ages, this independently catered for villa is ideally suited to families and friends travelling together, and includes the services of a personal chef and guide.

Lauded for its award-winning wine list and authentic Cape cuisine, Bushmans Kloof offers an extraordinary dining experience with a taste profusion of healthy, home-style comfort food served at any of the spectacular dining venues. These include cosy fireside dining in the Homestead or Makana, picnics in the fynbos amidst soaring rock formations and cascading waterfalls, and barbeques at Embers under magical starry skies. Renowned equally for its warm, caring service, exceptional hospitality, and delicious organic cuisine, no wonder Bushmans Kloof has been included on the coveted Condé Nast Traveller UK Gold List for Best Hotels for Food in Africa, Middle East and the Indian Ocean three years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012).

Bushmans Kloof is a place of natural wonder where guests may indulge in an infinite range of exhilarating activities. A South African Natural Heritage site, it boasts an abundance of indigenous flora and fauna, including many endangered species, and is home to over 150 kinds of birds, 750 plant species and over 35 species of mammals, including the rare Cape mountain zebra.

A host of enriching, relaxing and invigorating experiences are on offer, including educational talks at the Heritage Centre, and guided walks to some of 130 ancient Bushman rock art sites that are found in the reserve. This provides an extraordinary opportunity to gain deeper insight into the fascinating history of the Bushman in the Cederberg wilderness area. Guests may also participate in an assortment of exhilarating outdoor activities such as nature drives, botanical walks, mountain biking, archery and fly fishing. Or succumb to the peaceful sounds of nature at the riverside Spa Gazebo and lose yourself in a timeless world of luxury and comfort in this captivating wilderness reserve.

OUR PARTNERS

Contact us to discuss and plan a tailor-made, private flying safari.