South Africa News
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 16:52

uShaka scoops top tourism brand award

USHAKA Marine world’s diverse attractions, high standard of service excellence and contribution to the local economy resulted in it being voted the province’s top tourism brand and the second most popular overall brand during the KZN Top Business Awards 2017.

Speaking shortly after the awards ceremony, excited CEO, Stella Khumalo, thanked the staff at uShaka Marine World for their contribution.

“We believe that these awards are partly due to the offering provided and the fact that uShaka Marine World is home to the largest aquarium in Africa, the only place in South Africa where one can see dolphins, a one-of-a-kind venue with hundreds of things to do, and has also attracted over a million visitors each year, however, it is the hard work and dedication of the management and employees at uShaka that have not only kept guests returning for more but have also encouraged them to vote for it,” she said.

“We trust that our guests, staff and other stakeholders voted for us because, even after 13 years, uShaka Marine World continues to be a relevant part of the city’s tourism sector and a major draw card to Durban’s Golden Mile as well as an appealing destination in its own right,” she said.

Source: Berea Mail

Published in News
Did you know that Lalibela Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape now offers "soft" walking safaris for the whole family in the predator-free breeding section of their game reserve?  There are some epic things happening there on the conservation side - plus the "new look" Lentaba opens 1 August.  They also have a new camp and villa opening later this year.  Rates have been frozen for 2018.
Read the full story here.
Published in News
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 13:58

Send us your #DeskSelfie

Last chance to Enter!  Do you have one of our fabulous South Africa calendars sitting on your desk?  If so, please share your #DeskSelfie with us via email or on Twitter or Facebook with #WowSouthAfrica and the best, funniest or most creative one will win a lovely hamper packed with South African goodies…Read more on our website. Competition ends 30 April 2017.
Published in News
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 12:42

Ethos adds Fairlawns to its Portfolio

Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa is an exclusive 5-star oasis in Johannesburg - tucked away in the leafy suburb of Morningside Manor, but just 6kms from Sandton's business hub, exclusive shops and trendy restaurants. The hotel, surrounded by over 5 acres of park land and lush gardens, offers 41 suites including a family-friendly tree house, a stand-alone villa and its decadent new "Belle Epoque" Presidential Spa Apartment. It also boasts a superb a la carte restaurant, a brand new all-day bistro, a beautiful, recenly refurbished swimming pool and world-class Balinese Spa. They also have a funky new Champagne Room with Garden Atrium opening later this year.  Watch this space!  For the full release click here.
Published in News
When each of the ultra-luxury suites at Sabi Sabi has been completed, the finishing touch has been to give it a name which matches, or has relevance to, the lodge in which it has been built. Thus, the Amber Presidential Suite at Earth Lodge evokes the spirit of a lodge which reflects the mineral wealth of South Africa, and is a suite filled with beautiful amber beadwork. The Ivory Presidential Suite at Selati Camp reminds us that the camp is situated on an animal migratory path, a path that elephants follow day in and day out. The Mandleve Presidential Suite at Bush Lodge is in deference to the awe-inspiring great tusker of that name who spent much of his life wandering the bushveld of Sabi Sabi.

When the two magnificent Bush Lodge Villas were completed, the challenge was what to name them. What sprang to mind was the sleek, sultry, great cat for which Sabi Sabi safaris are famous - the beautiful, elusive leopard.

A highly territorial creature, the leopard is a "must see" for many guests. Two wonderful male leopards (Toms), have afforded visitors to our lodges spectacular sightings over the years.

Mahlatini (meaning "thick bush") wandered onto our reserve many years ago, and made the dense undergrowth around Bush Lodge a favoured part of his territory. A shy leopard at the onset, Mahlatini developed into an exceptionally large male - a really prize specimen. He was dominant in his prime years, but admitted defeat to a much younger Tom, Maxabeni, the ruler of the Sabi Sabi leopard empire - for now.

The sire of some of the most famous leopards in the Sabi Sand was a glorious male named "Tumbela". This leopard had a habit of digging warthogs out of their burrows, one of which eventually caused him serious injuries. Ironically he spent much of his recovery time resting inside a deserted warthog burrow. A prominent scar which left an indent on his right front paw made his spoor easily identifiable for our trackers.

Leopards are lords of the bushveld. They enjoy peace and quiet between the exciting moments of their days. They savour their meals and relax in solitude when the mood so takes them. Our two luxury villas at Bush Lodge have fittingly been named after the great Mahlatini and Tumbela, symbolising glamour, opulence and seclusion.

Each villa is extraordinarily expansive and feature two luxuriously appointed suites, each with an en-suite bathroom. The villas are sumptuously furnished, with a central lounge/library which extends through onto a huge reed-covered patio and private plunge pool. The master suite, with king size draped four-poster bed, leads into a dressing area featuring hide covered chairs and ottomans.

A little further and one steps into a unique, palatial, floor to ceiling glass walled bathroom. The two side-by-side his and her baths have sliding windows opening to the outdoors. Outside, the al-fresco shower is almost invisible, tucked away in an indigenous tree. The second bedroom is also beautiful, with twin draped beds and comfortable cushioned window box seating to relax and watch the great outdoors. This bedroom features a private en-suite bathroom, which includes a bath and rain shower.

The Mahlatini and Tumbela Villas are perfect getaway destinations for small families or couples travelling together. Children of all ages are well catered for at Bush Lodge and can enjoy the EleFun Centre, where activities are aimed at nurturing a deeper understanding and love for the surrounding bush. The exclusive use of a game drive vehicle, with a ranger and tracker team, is included in a booking at the exquisite Bush Lodge Villas.

Crafted around natural Leadwood sculptures, the idyllic suites combine a respect for the environment with all the luxuries of a world class, 5-Star destination.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
UK & Ireland Trade enquiries: [email protected]
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172 Email: [email protected]
Published in News
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve is pleased to advise that we will be attending the following travel shows, taking place in South Africa.

WE ARE AFRICA (Cape Town): 1 – 4 May 2017
Jacques Smit, Jan Scholtz and Carol Volkwyn will be representing Sabi Sabi for the full period in Cape Town.

INDABA (Durban): 16 – 18 May 2017
(Stand Number in the ICC - G03)
Our team will be available as follows:
Jan Scholtz and Carol Volkwyn - 16 - 17 May 2017
Jerry Khalo and Louise Barlow - 17 - 18 May 2017
Please contact us to set up an appointment for Indaba or visit us at our stand (ICC - G03) to collect our new marketing material for 2017/2018.

Appointments can be sent directly to: Louise Barlow - [email protected]

We look forward to seeing all our friends from far and wide.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
UK & Ireland Trade enquiries: [email protected]
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172 [email protected]
Published in News

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: [email protected]
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172  [email protected]

Published in News
Safari specialist, Acacia Africa is continuing to honour its commitment to responsible tourism by supporting one of its many ethical partners, Greenpop, and asking its adventures to join the TREEvolution. A social enterprise, Greenpop will be hosting its seventh annual ReForest Fest this March in South Africa’s Platbos Forest Reserve and the overland tour operator is providing transport from Cape Town and helping to promote the event.

Running over two weekends, ethically conscious families and adults are being targeted, the activities which include, tree planting, eco-talks, yoga, live music, helping festival goers to reconnect with nature.

Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager at Acacia Africa comments, “Tour operators can no longer afford to pay lip service to the idea of responsible tourism. We have to be actively engaged in making a positive impact on the environment. While our partnership with Greenpop has allowed us to highlight the importance of carbon offsetting with our adventurers through the organisation’s tree planting programme*,  by supporting the ReForest Fest we’re encouraging ethical travellers to play a hands on role in urban reforestation." 

A thriving success, nearly 35,000 trees have been planted through the Friends and Family weekends to date.

The Friends Weekend (March 17-19) is for people who would like to get their hands dirty and make a positive impact on the environment. As well as planting thousands of trees, ReForest Fest goers will be treated a wide range of eco flavoured activities, including live entertainment. While the Friends Weekend is tailored to adults, all ages are welcome.

The Family Weekend (March 10-12) allows parents and children to connect in nature while planting trees. An ethical way to experience Africa with the kids in tow, this is the perfect opportunity for families to unplug in the great outdoors and learn lessons about the planet. 

Misha Teasdale, Tree-E-O of Greenpop, comments, “Platbos Reforest Fest truly is Greenpop’s mission in action: (re)connecting people with nature, and getting active for the planet, all in an ancient indigenous forest. Together, we are able to see the thriving trees we planted in previous years and get our hands dirty to add to this beautiful project. It is quite the thing to be with inspiring people doing awe-inspiring work in a place that is this awesome. We are not separate from nature. We are nature. I hope to see you there in March.” 

Acacia Africa is also helping to promote Greenpop’s Zambia Festival of Action with its safari-goers and through its online channels. Every June/July, the Livingstone based event brings people together from around the globe to learn, connect, give back and get active. Over three weeks there will be the opportunity to plant trees, grow food forests, build using eco-methods, set up recycling systems, brighten up schools with eco murals, attend sustainability workshops and celebrate with live music.


Acacia Africa (020 7706 4700; [email protected] SATSA membership No. 1931, ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. 

Notes to Editors

Who is Greenpop?: Greenpop ( is a social enterprise on a mission to (re)connect people with the planet. They plant trees through urban greening and reforestation projects, spread environmental education, and activate people through green workshops and events.

Greenpop was founded in 2010 and has since planted over 70,000 indigenous and fruit trees at schools and other urban sites, community farms as well as forests across South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. More than the number of trees, Greenpop is inspired by the 132,000 hands that have helped to plant the trees and the further thousands that have joined Greenpop’s eco-education programmes and made a commitment to be custodians of our beautiful planet.

For more information on Greenpop’s ReForest Fest please watch the latest video.

Acacia Africa’s travellers have the option to add a tree to their safari booking to help compensate for the carbon they will be using on their trip. The tree is then planted by Greenpop as part of its urban greening and reforestation projects in Southern Africa. Once the tree is planted, owners receive a certificate with the GPS co-ordinates, so they know exactly where it is growing.

For more information on Greenpop’s Zambia Festival of Action please visit the website

Published in News
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:40

Acacia Africa Launches Africa Travel Catalogue

Acacia Africa has taken a fresh approach to marketing this year with the adventure travel specialist producing its first ever catalogue. A condensed version of the specialist's yearly brochure, the 2017 catalogue’s 32 pages cover the complete collection including Camping and Accommodated Overland tours, Small Group Safaris, Short Safaris & Treks, and City Breaks & Short Stays. With its eye firmly on Generations Y and Z, social media cues feature prominently and the catalogue uses bold imagery, brief tour snapshots and inspiring travel quotes throughout.

Arno Delport, Acacia’s Sales & Marketing Manager comments, “We have recently made some exciting changes. After last year’s successful launch of the Accommodated Overland program, we are now offering six new tours for 2017. In addition, we have recently added a series of new video-clips to our social media profile showcasing the Acacia Africa experience, and a further 'adventure highlight' video is scheduled to go live in March. The fresh look, slimmed down catalogue goes easy on the environment and we hope it will encourage our trade partners and consumers to explore the exciting fresh content online.”

According to the tour operator catalogues or brochures are still relevant for prospective clients especially those looking at a wider range of adventure tours and itineraries of a longer duration. Good news for its partners: Acacia’s trade bookings for 2016 were up on the previous year and the operator is already seeing encouraging signs of growth for 2017.

Arno Delport comments, “Booking with agents is popular. ‘Agent friendly’ millennials are likely to spend more than those who travel independently, and - according to a recent Skift report - they prefer the expertise and support given by the travel agent rather than the hassle of “do-it-yourself” travel. From this perspective, overland travel in Africa continues to show promise, especially in areas where the local infrastructure is less well developed and is less suited to independent travel. The reliability offered on an overland tour, and the fact that we are ABTA bonded, is also crucial for prospective clients (and their parents who in many cases are contributing) in their decision about how to experience Africa.”

Acacia Africa’s 2017 catalogue includes six new accommodated overland options for the 18-39 market including the four day Kruger Safari, seven day Kruger, Swaziland & Beach, 12 day Coast, Lesotho and Cape Town, 19 day Kruger to Cape Town, 40 day Southern Africa Adventurer and 46 day Southern Africa Explorer.  Prices start from £395pp (land only, no single supplement). 

Acacia has also introduced a new 12 day open age small group safari, the 12 day Delta & Chobe Waterways accommodated tour. The tour includes game-walks in the Polokwane Game Reserve. From £1,200pp (land only, no single supplement) + Safari Pass from £950pp including transport, accommodation (twin share en suite 10 nights, twin share pre-erected tent with en-suite one night), most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Johannesburg - ends Johannesburg.

The NEW 12 day Coast, Lesotho and Cape Town accommodated overland tour includes a visit to Lesotho (optional pony trekking) and to the Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa's third largest park. From £715pp (land only, no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £70pp including transport, twin share accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Durban - ends Cape Town.

NEW seven day Kruger, Swaziland & Beach accommodated overland tour includes Big Five game drives in the Kruger and optional mountain bike riding in Swaziland’s Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. From £485pp (land only, no single supplement) including transport, twin share accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Johannesburg - ends Durban.

To request a 2017 Acacia Africa catalogue please visit the website. Visit Acacia Africa's channel on YouTube. View one of the latest Acacia Africa “Experience” videos

All the above tours operate year round and prices exclude return flight. Acacia Africa (020 7706 4700; [email protected] SATSA membership No. 1931, ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. 

Published in News
More than 35 years ago, the concept of Bush Lodge was just a dream, an idea of designing a home in the bush and a warm, hospitable experience for visitors from around the world. The creators of this vision were Hilton and Jacqui Loon, one a pragmatic businessman, the other a talented artist, both of whom loved the excitement of travelling. The new Bush Lodge takes you on a breath-taking expedition through Africa, celebrating the adventures of the Loons, and their love for Africa, its people, its art and culture. Designers, Derrick Tabbert Interiors and Design Republic, were tasked with bringing these explorations to life and the result is a masterful amalgamation of ideas and design. This is truly the Africa of "Today".

Arriving into the reception area the journey already begins. A custom-made heavily carved wooden reception desk evokes images of wealthy Arabic traders from Northern Africa. On the other side a magnificent oversized Chesterfield couch, upholstered in green and crackled gold leather, sits in pride of place atop a black and white tiled floor, a nod to colonial travellers of the 1900's.The green touches, together with white and black, are a repeated colour focus weaving all the new décor together.

Walking from reception through the atrium towards the safari lounge, enormous brass and canvas lamps shine light upwards illuminating the high thatch and downwards onto a mass of overlapping colourful Persian and woven rugs, green vintage stools and leather tables, plus an eclectic collection of original paintings, objets d'art and artefacts, which adorn the walls.

The bar with its incredible mix of décor is an unexpected "mash up" of styles which somehow just work. Once again the black and white floor appears, together with touches of old green on intimate seating arrangements of tub chairs, leather bar stools and collectible Ardmore wing backs. A close inspection reveals that the new bar with its smooth wooden top is actually clad in copper - showcasing a collection of South African craft beers, craft gins and boutique wines. There are so many interesting ornaments but the pieces which takes pride of place are the glass fronted steel and brass whisky cabinets and the massive, beaded, calabash-shaped chandelier hanging from the high ceiling beams.

An extension of the enormous thatch roof spans the beautiful "indoor/outdoor" dining area and extends over the huge viewing deck and safari lounge, wonderful spots to kick back and watch animals meandering down to the waterhole. The deck features comfortable seat groupings of various styles of chairs and couches atop Persian rugs, and a fascinating collection of carved wooden tables from many African cultures. The centrepiece chandelier, suspended from the beams of the viewing deck, is a fascinating mix of hand-woven, mismatched baskets which have been repurposed into lights.

A few steps away the safari lounge has a more sophisticated, chic feel, with enormous round leather ottomans, built-in seating covered with leather bolsters and African scatter cushions. Antique wooden benches, interesting carved coffee tables and West African stools complete the picture.

This fabulous revamp follows the recent introduction of the ultra-luxurious 2 bedroom Villas, the renovations within the Mandleve Presidential suite and the luxury suites.

Bush Lodge has become a veritable museum, an homage to the customs of Africa, a history of Jacqui and Hilton's exploration and a celebration of their vision and passion for Africa.

Please contact [email protected] for new images.

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
Reservations: +27 11 447 7172 [email protected]
UK Trade information: [email protected]
Published in News
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