Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:37

Good news for South African Tourism UK

We are excited to announce one more win to add to our tourism mantle, proving that South Africa is still a major competitor on the tourism world stage.

The South African Safari won the National Geographic Traveller Reader Awrds 2017 in 'The Experience - The bucket-list experiences that really brought a destination to life.'category.   The British readers voted for the finalists, and the winners were announced at the National Geographic Readers Awards ceremony held on Monday the 27th November at The MayFiar Hotel.

Winners were selected by nearly 6,000 readers, who voted online for their favourite destination, airline, tour operator and more.  The industry's top executives attended the ceremony to accept their trophies.

The 2017 awards has seen categories revamped to cover a broader range of experiences, and to reflect what's new in the travel industry.  

The winners will be featured in an eight-page spread in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller UK, on newsstands 7 December 2017
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National Geographic Lodges of the World is more than a superior group of hotels. It is a collection of the world's most desirable experiences in iconic locations. This affiliation is not an expression of quality measurement, such as a five-star rating - it is a seal of authenticity and a reflection of shared values. National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World members are devoted to making a positive impact on local communities and are proven leaders in sustainable tourism practices.

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge has been a proud member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, since its inception in January 2015. We are extremely pleased to announce that the entire collection of Sabi Sabi's Lodges has now joined this prestigious brand - with our four 5-star lodges having received the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World stamp of approval, distinguishing our iconic lodges and attesting to the fact that we meet the highest international standards in terms of experience, authenticity and sustainability.

Sabi Sabi is committed to conservation of not only the environment we live in, but also our intrinsic community and cultures. We have a long-standing relationship with adjacent communities, and through tourism endeavours we can continue to assist and invest in the very homes, schools and villages from where our staff originate. Being family owned since 1979, Sabi Sabi proudly boasts the experience of offering a "luxury home in the bush". This is only possible with the pride and passion shown by those who call Sabi Sabi home and those who unite luxury, adventure and safari. We follow strict ethics of eco-tourism as custodians of this land, and through sustainable efforts protect and maintain this wilderness in its natural form. Our interpretation of the bush and its wonder stems from our respect for the fauna and flora in this unique part of the world.

Our aim is to have guests departing from Sabi Sabi with a sense of appreciation for conservation and how they, too, can be part of our journey and commitment to linking community, hospitality and conservation - an approach we have successfully followed for almost four decades.

The selection process to be awarded as a member of the renowned National Geographic brand is rigorous. An acclaimed accessor of the brand visits our lodges for an audit, ensuring that each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience, while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices.

We are proud of this continued illustrious association, and pledge our commitment to the protection of resources and wilderness areas for future generations. Sabi Sabi, together with National Geographic, will continue to unite Conservation, Community and Tourism.

Sabi Sabi is one of only four National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World situated in South Africa.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
UK & Ireland Trade enquiries:
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172

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Plettenberg Bay makes it into National Geographic Traveller (UK) Magazine’s “The Cool List: 17 must-see destinations for 2017” – featuring Plett’s Blue Flag product, Offshore Adventures and their activity, Diving with Seals.

National Geographic Traveller (UK) has announced its Cool List 2017, highlighting the 17 must-see destinations for the year ahead. Chosen by its team of editors and writers, the hotly anticipated list of countries and cities is revealed in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of the magazine — on sale today.

Pat Riddell, editor of National Geographic Traveller, said: “Travel piques our curiosity and it’s that curiosity that informs our annual Cool List — what’s happening in the world, what’s interesting and, most importantly, what’s in it for you? We aim to answer these questions, and more, with our list of 17 must-visit destinations for 2017.

“From Ireland’s forgotten county to the high temple of US hipsterism, from South America’s hottest foodie city to Germany’s art scene, we’ve selected the world’s best places to see and be seen in the coming year.” Visit

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Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Jan. 08, 2015) - Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge today announced it is a founding member of National Geographic Society's newest foray in world-class travel experiences: National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. Sabi Sabi is committed to conservation of not just the land, but also the culture and people that make our guest experience so unique and so memorable.

Selected through a rigorous evaluation process, each lodge offers an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices. The initial collection - numbering 24 properties on six continents - further builds National Geographic's travel portfolio, which includes National Geographic Expeditions, Traveler magazine, travel books, photography courses and the @NatGeoTravel digital and photography community.

"For years National Geographic has brought an authentic experience to all their readers and followers. Today we are proud to be part of that experience as we offer our guests unique and authentic experiences of South Africa under the umbrella of the National Geographic brand" said Jacques Smit, Marketing Director of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge "Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge takes conservation, community and hospitality seriously and is proud to have these practices recognized through the National Geographic lodge program."

As part of a comprehensive vetting process, every lodge in the collection was judged on the following criteria:

The Property - The design and character are unique and authentic and the property provides guests with a true sense of place by celebrating the surrounding landscape and cultural heritage.

Guest Experience and Quality of Service - Guests are offered top-quality service and exceptional and inspiring experiences - from activities that enable them to engage with local people to wildlife encounters with seasoned naturalists.

Sustainable Tourism Best Practices - The property demonstrates a commitment to conservation and green operations; it actively supports the protection of cultural heritage; and it provides tangible benefits to local communities.

National Geographic deployed experts to each site to evaluate operations, meet staff at all levels, scrutinize the lodge's impact on the local environment and community and ensure that these criteria were met.

"By creating this carefully curated group of hotels, lodges and retreats that meet internationally recognized sustainable tourism criteria while providing top-notch guest experiences, National Geographic opens a new chapter in the power of travel to protect our planet," said Costas Christ, a world-renowned sustainable tourism expert and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine, who coordinated an international team to inspect each of the lodges. "Travelers can feel confident when they stay in one of these lodges that they are helping to safeguard cultural and natural treasures in some of the world's most incredible places."

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is proud to offer guests who book their stay through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World a special "National Geographic Exclusive" experience, which includes a wine cellar dinner complete with tasting vintages from around South Africa and learning about the country's thriving viniculture, a champagne breakfast in a surprise location, and - for a three night stay or longer - a complimentary spa treatment at the Amani Spa. This is all over and above the already all-inclusive experience of luxury accommodation in a uniquely designed lodge, including all meals and Sabi Sabi beverages topped with daily safari experiences in vehicles and on foot.

"The National Geographic brand is universally recognized for its commitment to exploring and protecting the planet, so we are uniquely positioned to unite and promote these exceptional properties and to set a new standard for tourism," said Lynn Cutter, National Geographic's executive vice president for Travel. "These lodges share the Society's vision of preserving the planet for future generations and they demonstrate that sustainability and a world-class guest experience can go hand-in-hand."

National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World charter members are:
  • Fogo Island Inn, Canada
  • Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
  • Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
  • Kapari Natural Resort, Greece
  • Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
  • Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Lizard Island, Australia
  • Longitude 131°, Australia
  • Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador
  • Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Canada
  • Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica
  • Rosalie Bay Resort, Dominica
  • Rubondo Island Camp, Tanzania
  • Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa
  • Sayari Camp, Tanzania
  • Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia
  • Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysian Borneo
  • The Brando, French Polynesia
  • The Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana, United States
  • Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia
  • Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, Chile
  • Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
  • Zhiwa Ling Hotel, Bhutan
For more information about National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, visit

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 (011) 447-7172
Fax: +27 (011) 442-0728

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Last Sunday on the CBS News 60 Minutes programme, Lara Logan and her team profiled Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Great Plains Conservation's founders, Emmy award-winning wildlife filmmakers, and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, at their Great Plains Conservation camps in Botswana. Logan was in Africa to film the Jouberts’ important conservation work with Big Cats in the Duba Plains area.

Click here to view this insightful short documentary.

Dereck and Beverly Joubert founded The Big Cats Initiative with the National Geographic Society in 2009, an emergency fund to save big cats through the world. The enduring message from the Jouberts is: "Without big cats, African safaris and African ecosystems will be much poorer."

60 Minutes and the Jouberts were on a quest to film and follow the wildlife characters from their 2011 award-winning feature, "The Last Lions," released by National Geographic Entertainment. Great Plains Conservation transported the TV crew and South African correspondent Logan across swollen rivers at Duba Plains to the luxury of Zarafa Camp and Selinda Camp, and flew the film crew through storms while enduring the heat in the Okavango Delta. 

60 Minutes is the longest standing network magazine and news program in the USA, with a loyal viewership of over 30 million weekly.


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