Tag Archive: accommodation


TINTSWALO SAFARI LODGE

Gemma, from our Travel Division, recently paid a visited to Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Location:

Situated within the 27 000ha Manyeleti Game Reserve – on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park – between the Sabi Sands and Timbavati. Tintswalo has a 6000ha private concession within the Manyeleti.

The Safari Lodge has 6 “Explorer Suites” and a Presidential Suite which comprises of 2 “Explorer Suites”joined by a central lounge and kitchen area. So in total 8 “Suites”. The Manor House has 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and therefore ideal for a group of friends or a family.

She said: “All 6 Explorer Suites are spread quiet far apart from each other out along a seasonal river bed, they really are very private so you can enjoy your private deck and plunge pool however you see fit.  There is no menu at Tintswalo. Your butler discusses the day’s menu with you. Breakfast starts with a choice of the standard cereals, yoghurts pastries etc, followed with a full English or the ‘special of the day’, the special changes on a daily basis. Dinner is a set menu, with the choice of 2 mains, but again they are very flexible and all requests sent to your butler who will do his utmost to accommodate if possible! The food was all DELICIOUS and the portions generous!

If you compare  the rack rate with that of other lodges in the area,  you will see it is incredibly affordable, offers fantastic value for money, 5 star accommodation and service and extremely friendly staff. I would highly recommend the lodge to any of my clients wanting an alternative to the  Sabi Sands experience. STUNNING!

The Manor House on the other hand is a simple, subtle 4 star property which is very comfortable and offers excellent value for money. The House accommodates a minimum of 6 guests and a maximum of 10 guests and is quoted on a per person sharing rate and not a per house rate. For a family or group of friends travelling together I don’t think they will get this experience anywhere else! It’s fantastic! I wouldn’t suggest the property for high end clients; I would rather accommodate these guests in the Presidential Suite. For people looking for a great family holiday in a relaxed environment this is the place to be. The House is fenced with electric fence and so is safe for the children to run around in the garden and enjoy themselves. The really nice thing about Manor House is the staff again is so flexible and will do their utmost to assist with any requests where possible. WHAT A GREAT IDEA!”

You tempted yet?

One of the newest 5* lodges on the circuit is Shepherd Tree Game Lodge.

Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge is a lodge concession awarded by the North West Parks and Tourism Board within the existing Pilanesberg Game Reserve. The entire lodge lies in an exclusive use zone in the south-western portion of the 57,250ha, “Big 5” and malaria free Reserve. Guests will enjoy both private traversing and access to all the Reserve’s public roads. The lodge offers commanding views of the distant bushveld amphitheatre and is superbly positioned adjacent to the Wilderness Area, thus offering the opportunity of walking trails in this untouched environment.

The design feature accommodates 13 family suites (136m²) and 4 spacious executive suites (86m²) situated adjacent a magnificent main lodge.

The family suites offer two en-suite master bedrooms with a shared lounge and patio. The family suites can also be configured in such a way as to offer a luxury suite option as well as a standard room option.

The executive suites offer one en-suite master bedroom with a lounge and patio. In addition, guests can savour an indoor steam shower and double outdoor shower. The placement and design of each suite ensures privacy and uninterrupted views. Each suite offers the highest quality equipment with plasma screen TV, Satellite Television and a mini-business centre.

In addition the lodge features the Amani Spa. A banquet for the soul and senses using the unique Spa product brand, Africology, made from the purest of ingredients, free from artificial preservatives, colouring & fragrances. You are guaranteed to walk out glowing from the inside out!

Numerous incentive style activities are on offer from quad biking and interactive drumming to tribal shows at the bush dinner.

This lodge is being managed by the same team as Ivory Tree, but offers more exclusive accommodation. For smaller groups it is a wonderful option.

DAY ONE:

Access to Livingstone, located at the Victoria Falls, on the Zambian side is most easy through Johannesburg. There are numerous domestic airlines which fly daily. Our suggestion is South African Airways, which departs Johannesburg at 10h40 and arrives in Livingstone at 12h30.

On arrival at Livingstone International Airport, you will be met by professional staff who will assist you with luggage and escort you to the awaiting air-conditioned vehicles. From there it is a short ride, through the bustling town of Livingstone. This is your first sight of “real Africa” with dusty, pot-holed roads, street vendors selling anything from curios to dried fish, locals carrying large water containers on their heads, and local taxis darting in and out of the traffic. After a 15minute transfer you will arrive at the Royal Landing, your first sight of the mighty Zambezi, and where the adventure really begins. Dependent on water levels, you will board the water taxi for your ride down to The Royal Livingstone or Zambezi Sun. Your luggage will proceed direct to the hotel. Take in the sights and sounds of the river, and, if you are really lucky, see elephants grazing on the river banks, hippos wallowing in the shallow pools, and most spectacular, the majestic call of the Fish Eagle, all in a 15 minute transfer.

Your motorized taxi arrives at the landing of your first nights accommodation, the impressive Royal Livingstone Hotel. Part of the Sun International Group, this hotel is perfectly situated along the banks of the Zambezi River, with all the rooms being river facing. Check-in in the cool of the lounge, where you can freshen-up with cool scented towels and a relaxing hand massage. With the SAA flight you arrive just in time for a light lunch at the restaurant.

The rest of the afternoon is time to relax at the hotel, take a well deserved nap in the air-conditioned room, relax at the pool, or enjoy a massage in the gazebos, well located at the river frontage.

Around 4pm you gather in the foyer for the short walk to view the spectacular Falls. The advantage of staying at the Sun International properties is that the entrance to the Falls is included in the room rate. It is literally a 10 minute stroll and immediately, looming in front of you, is one of the seven wonders of the world…. The Victoria Falls. The first sight will literally take your breath away as the incredible volume of water cascades over the edge creating a natural rain forest. There are numerous vantage point to view the Falls, depending on water levels (best viewing is March – May, when water levels are at their peak).  For the more adventurous there is Bungi jumping & bridge swing available.

Around 6pm its time to gather on the deck for sundowners. Sip cocktails whilst the sun dips on the horizon, the sun’s rays shining through the mist created by the falls. Magical, mystical and spiritual! Dinner is best served under the Monkey Tree, al fresco dining at its best. Lanterns in the trees and on the ground light up the lawns of the hotel, whilst white-gloved waiters serve the “Tastes of Zambia” (e.g. crocodile curry, kapenta salad and and local fish) or ala carte menu .

If you wish, enjoy a night-cap in the bar, or head straight to bed for a well earned rest.

DAY TWO:

Day two starts early with a wake up call at 07h00. Head down to the landing for the short motorized boat ride to Livingstone Island, located in the middle of the Zambezi River, touching the lip of the Victoria Falls, where the water thunders down the 103m drop.

Livingstone Island was opened in 1995 to provide exclusive and unique picnics on the edge of the Victoria Falls. This is without doubt one of the best places to witness this immense mass of water, the place where Dr David Livingstone first glimpsed Mosi-oa-Tunya (The Smoke That Thunders). For the strong-hearted enjoy a swim in Devil’s Pool, a natural pool located right on the edge of the Falls. Your local guide will explain the history of the island as well as accompany you to the pool. After this exhilarating experience enjoy a relaxed breakfast on the island.

At 09h00 head back to the hotel, navigating the currents and waterways, where you will have time to freshen-up and check-out of the hotel.

After breakfast head out to Batoka Sky’s landing site, where you will enjoy “The Flight of Angels”. Undoubtedly one of the best ways to truly understand the magnitude of the Falls, is to view by air, and what more exhilarating way to do this than by helicopter. The most popular ride is 15 minutes, which is more than enough time to take in the whole area. If you really want an adrenalin rush you could also view the Falls by microlight.

Whilst your luggage gets taken direct to Tongabezi, you will head for Natural Mystic, one of the sites from where you can launch canoes. Embark on a privately guided canoe safari which takes you through narrow channels on the mighty Zambezi River. Paddle past crossing Elephants and hippo pools and spot abundant birdlife and game as you drift past the Zambezi Game Park. Truly one of the most exciting and adventurous activities in Africa.

Your canoes will stop directly in front of Tongabezi. Enjoy a light lunch at the lodge before heading out to Sindabezi Island, by boat, your base for the last night.

Sindabezi Island is unique. An idyllic, exclusive camp on our very own private isle on the Zambezi River it is the only luxury bush camp in the Victoria Falls region and in 2008 was selected by The Sunday Times in London as one of the best remote places to stay in the world.

Sindabezi has only five open-sided thatched cottages, allowing guests to soak up the sights and sounds of the African bush in the perfect, pristine setting. Views across the flood plains of the Zambezi and into the nearby National Park complete the experience.

The main camp area is set on the sand and is a perfect place to relax, unwind and simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of this tiny isle. This area boasts two decks: the secluded mokoro deck is tucked away at the end of island; whilst the star gazing deck is a wonderful spot for dining and game watching. The new main dining area is set on an elevated deck up in the trees.

At night, the camp truly weaves its spell as you dine under a canopy of stars, with the river meandering past and the unmistakable sounds of hippos wallowing nearby: an experience never to be forgotten.

Sindabezi Island Camp now also boasts state-of-the-art solar panelling set amidst the thatch. This means that all chalets now enjoy hot water and bedside lighting, without forsaking traditional camp atmosphere.

DAY THREE:

After a relaxing morning it is time to head back to the Main Camp, Tongabezi. From here you will transfer direct to Livingstone Airport, and your flight home.

Some interesting new developments  this month on the hotel front.

Following yesterday’s announcement of a new Park Inn hotel for Cape Town, Rezidor today announces the upscale Radisson Blu Safari Resort Kruger Park: The new built property featuring 120 rooms is scheduled to welcome the first guests in Q2 2013.

“This hotel will be the first internationally branded hotel within Kruger, and will clearly strengthen the Radisson Blu brand in South Africa”, said Rezidor’s President & CEO Kurt Ritter on the occasion of the Hospitality Investment Conference Africa (HICA) in Johannesburg. “At the same time, it adds a new segment to our successful Radisson Blu portfolio: We manage city- and business hotels, airport properties, beach- and ski resorts, and are delighted to now announce our very first safari resort”, adds Ritter.

The Radisson Blu Safari Resort Kruger Park will be located within the southern border of the Kruger National Park – along the famous Crocodile River 10 kilometres from the Malelane Gate.  Besides 104 rooms and 16 suites with private terraces, the resort will offer an all day dining restaurant, a typical “Boma” (an outdoor dining and entertainment area), a cigar bar and a pool bar and terrace. For guests combining business and leisure, the Radisson Blu will have 5 conference rooms – leisure facilities will include 2 swimming pools, a spa- and wellness centre on 350 square meters, a gym, game viewing Crocodile River decks, a kids club and an environmental awareness centre.

Article courtesy of www.travelwires.com

I am the first to admit that it takes  a lot to impress me when it comes to hotels and venues. When I am, its always such a pleasant surprise. I attended the launch of one such a venue, Babylonstoren, in the Cape Winelands. The organisers, my good friened Joy from Rovos Rail, being one of them could not have asked for more perfect weather. Blue skies, bright sunshine all added to the magic. Upon arrival we were welcomed with home made ice cream and sage and orange iced tea… and serenaded by a sole accordian player. This set the scene for a relaxed and joyful day with old friends and industry players.

We were given some time to stroll through the 2.5 hectare, historical vegetable garden (dating back to 17thC), the clivia garden which contains 7000 clivia plants and the 14 cottages. Along the way we were treated further to plump strawberries and a delicious station serving roasted pecans, cheese, parma ham and probably best biltong I have ever had, and of course a lovely glass of chilled sauvignon blanc. The cottages are large and all look onto the formal gardens. The interiors are contemporary, with white and sandalwood being the dominant palette.

After a leisurely stroll we made our way to Babel Restaurant where we were treated to further delicacies, such as duck pancakes and plum sauce, marinated guava’s and delicious baguette sandwiches.

Babylonstoren the hotel opens officially in first week of December and the restaurant opens 10 November. I urge you to go take a look, stay a while and enjoy the magical atmosphere.

Grant Parker recently joined Cybele as head chef, ably supported by Antoinette Wandrag. Grant did his training in Mmbabatho at Belvoirpark Hotel School where he obtained a diploma in management. This course entailed all aspects of the hotel industry and this is where he found his passion for cooking.

Grant has worked at The Palace, The Westcliff, The Royal, The Royal Livingstone, Rattrays on MalaMala and was part of the opening team for The Durban Hilton and The Cardiff Hilton (Wales). Grant has  worked in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Kuwait, Malaysia and Zambia.

He completed his FGASA level 1 at Shamwari in the Eastern Cape.

Grant’s philosophy of cooking is using the freshest ingredients, not over complicating dishes and ensuring that the natural flavours of food are tasted and enjoyed.

Cybele is in the most fantastic area as there is a wide choice of food items, with tout and venison being very popular, Cybele only uses local produce as we believe that we have fantastic produce. Their signature dish:

herb crusted pork fillet on crushed new potatoes with roasted apple, garden peas and a spiced honey port sauce

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