South Africa News
This month, Travel Butlers has been cracking open the bubbly to celebrate 10 years in the safari business. A decade ago, this bespoke safari holiday specialist opened its virtual doors to sell unique, personalised wildlife adventures across Southern and East Africa. Now recognised as a leading African travel expert, it was awarded the prestigious SATOA best tour operator of the year award in both 2012 and 2013. In celebration of this landmark anniversary, the company is offering an amazing one-off special offer to make incredible safari holidays accessible to all.

This week, Managing Director Paul Campbell spoke about the personal and professional journey that he and his wife Tracey have had with Travel Butlers. “Eleven years ago, we set off on a career break adventure that turned our lives upside down. We were all set to travel the world and we spent several months in South America, but as soon as we arrived in South Africa, we were hooked.”

Before long, they had decided to build a company that could bring the best wildlife experiences of Southern Africa to the UK market. As Paul explains, “We knew that we wanted to be true leaders in our field, so we spent a year travelling throughout Southern Africa to discover the perfect locations and safari holidays to offer our customers. We even trained as professional safari guides, sleeping in a basic tent in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve for a month, and tracking animals on foot for hours each day. As you can probably tell, we don’t do things by halves!”

After setting up their website from Cape Town, Paul and Tracey sold their first trip to South Africa in November 2003. Since then, they have moved back to the UK and Travel Butlers has grown and expanded to cover the whole of Southern Africa as well as Kenya, Tanzania, and the Indian Ocean. The couple still travel at every opportunity to keep their expert safari knowledge current for their customers.

Paul and Tracey are both hugely grateful to their customers, without whom Travel Butlers wouldn’t be possible. So, to celebrate their tenth anniversary, they have come up with a special offer. Right now, Travel Butlers is offering wildlife lovers the chance to pay a deposit of only £100 per person to secure their safari holiday to South Africa or Namibia in 2014. The offer is valid for all new bookings confirmed between 12 November and 31 December 2013.

This £100 deposit per person (or equivalent amount in USD, EUR or ZAR) will secure the safari lodge, hotel bookings and transfers or hire car rental in South Africa or Namibia. The balance for the holiday will be due 8 weeks before travel. If customers wish to book international flights with Travel Butlers, these will need to be paid for in full at the time of booking. On top of all this, there is no surcharge for card payments of any kind.

Find out more at

Paul and Tracey would like to thank everyone that has played a part in their Travel Butlers adventure so far, from agents to lodges to customers. They are both looking forward to bringing their amazing wildlife adventures to their customers for another decade.

Published in News
Friday, 18 October 2013 16:25

Kruger Horse Safaris

Out in Africa take guests off the beaten track and close to nature.

Significant distances are covered on a daily basis on paths used only by animals. The rides take your clients through the bush, onto open plains and along the meander of the river where nothing can be heard, but the horse’s hooves on the ground and the sound of nature calling.

Their qualified and experienced guides will take riders up close to Africa’s wildlife. Nights are spent at luxury lodges along the route combined with nights out in the bush in mobile-tented camps. At every stop the team will have set up camp ready for the guests and their masseuse will be ready to work away any sore muscles after a day in the saddle, and a skilled cook will prepare delicious meals over the fire.

The horses:
Out in Africa use Boerpherd and thoroughbred crosses mainly. They are responsive and well accustomed to terrain and wildlife in the area. They have horses for all levels of riding, although they will only take guests that are confident in all paces.

Where they ride:
The Selwane Nature Reserve area is a mixture of broad leafed woodland with Bush willows and Mopane being the dominant trees, this is a habitat well suited to grazing and browsing animals such as giraffe, kudu, impala, wildebeest and zebra. This reserve is in a quiet and peaceful area, mostly surrounded by private game farms and some rural African villages. Their stables overlook a dry riverbed in the middle of the reserve and the lodges are conveniently situated close by.

The Letaba Ranch area, about twenty minutes away, is open to Kruger, here the Mopane woodland habitat and the Letaba River attracts big herds of buffalo and elephant in the dry season, mostly from June to October.

Out in Africa set up fly camps at beautiful scenes in the heart of the bush. Sites are chosen for their natural beauty, safety and ambiance. It is a special experience to spend a day in the saddle out in the wilderness, have a hearty meal and hot shower and then rest snuggly in your tent while the African night unfolds under the brilliant night sky.

2014 Rack Rates
Horseback Safari - 6 nights €1800 / 7 nights €2400 (extra night €90)
Kondowe Safari – 6 nights €1575 / 7 nights €1800 (extra night €90)

Published in News
Staying fit and healthy while working as a game ranger or tracker in a game reserve is not as easy as it sounds. Forget about putting on a pair of trainers and heading out for a run or hopping onto a bike for a quick ride. Potentially dangerous animals are right outside the door and not even the fittest or fastest runner could ever be a match for a hungry lion or an opportunistic leopard. When they do go on leave, many of the guiding staff make straight for a bike or hiking trail to satisfy their training needs; while others opt for more adventurous pastimes - diving, sailing, fishing, and canoeing - although of course, nothing is quite as adventurous as a Sabi Sabi safari!

The mouth-watering cuisine at Earth Lodge is so sensational that it is easy to overindulge. Over the years many guests have expressed an interest in burning off a few of the "chef-induced" calories and now they have the opportunity of doing just that, thanks to the newly opened gym at Earth Lodge. Glass-fronted and looking out onto the unspoilt bushveld so as not to miss a minute of the action, the gym is a perfect place to exercise.

Small and intimate, the gym can house just a few people at a time and is equipped with a state of the art rowing machine, treadmills, training bike, mats, weights and exercise balls. Sweat towels and bottles of ice cold water are provided; while back at the suite after a workout there is always the promise of a refreshing dip in the private plunge pool or a cool-down under the outdoor shower.
Published in News
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 10:38

The only Camp in Kruger...

And could it be South Africa's most beautiful?

It surprises many to learn that Plains Camp is the only place where you can stay under canvas in the whole of Kruger. With just four guest tents, the camp is part of Rhino Walking Safaris, and usually combined with the luxurious Rhino Post Safari Lodge, which also sits within their private concession inside the Park.

At Plains Camp, the focus is fully upon walking safaris, despite the offer of game drives from the lodges in their concession and within the public areas of the National Park (which are available exclusively after hours allowing clients to experience some fabulous night drives.)

For the more adventurous client, there is also the option to stay overnight at ‘Sleepouts’ where guests literally sleep out on raised platforms under just mosquito nets and the African Sky! Everyone who “braves it” comes back saying how exciting the experience is.

And don’t forget to combine these in with Isibindi African Lodges other properties: Thonga, Kosi Forest and Isibindi Zulu Lodge for some truly incredible package prices.

Published in News
June 2013: The Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, which is located on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park, is donating 1% of its accommodation bookings to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) specifically for its rhino anti-poaching projects.

The newly refurbished hotel on the banks of the Sabie River in Mpumalanga offers an affordable luxury getaway. 
Situated only 100 metres from the Paul Kruger Gate of the Kruger National Park, the luxurious Protea Hotel Kruger Gate provides GUESTS with the ideal location from which to experience wildlife first-hand, including rhino whose numbers are increasingly threatened by poaching.

Protea Hospitality Group Marketing Manager Nicholas Barenblatt says the hotel’s proximity to these magnificent animals prompted the STAFF’s desire to contribute to their conservation.

“All the money they raise will be given to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, which has various programmes that support rhino conservation. Among their projects are a 5-day law enforcement training course, a rhino orphan response project, providing logistical and financial support for various provincial rhino conservation efforts, running awareness campaigns in rhino horn demand countries such as Viet Nam,  and the training and deployment of sniffer dogs to locate rhino horn and track poachers.

“One of the main reasons we decided to work with the EWT is because of their broad-based approach to ensuring the survival of the rhino species so that our children and their children in turn can one day see a live rhino, rather than just hear about these magnificent creatures that used to roam the African bush.”

Barenblatt says besides the accommodation spend donation, the hotel will also be selling a number of novelty items to raise additional funds, such as shirts and caps.  The hotel has also formulated an educational programme around rhino conservation which is communicated to GUESTS and children through various activations within the hotel experience.

“We are privileged to have a hotel in such an incredible location and as a company the Protea Hospitality Group feels compelled to lead the battle against rhino poaching.

“The hotel is extremely popular and this money and energy that is being put into raising the funds and awareness will make a difference.   Our GUESTS are the heroes of the day as just by them staying at the hotel whether it be on leisure or for a conference is helping us support this campaign.”

Published in News
If you have clients staying at Idube Game Reserve please note that there are new controls for entering the Sabi Sands Reserve.

Due to the rapid increase in rhino poaching, the Sabi Reserve has implemented an additional contro lfor guests arriving at the Sabi gates.  Guests will now need to produce proof of their reservation at any of the Private lodges before entering the reserve.  If they cannot produce the required documentation they will be delayed at the gate while authenticity of the booking is checked with the lodge.

Andrew Parker, the CEO of the Sabi Wildtuin, says, “ Based on losses for the year to date, the projection is that South Africa will lose 1000 rhino to poachers this year alone. Already this year we have lost more than were lost in 2009, which in itself represented a year of record losses which have only been surpassed each subsequent year since. Despite everything that is being done, South Africa is losing the war against rhino poaching. Strategically, the SSW has adopted any number of measures to try and proactively counter the threat but these have been rendered largely ineffective due to the tactical advantage that the poachers enjoy – they are dictating the time, place and scale of engagement and can hide in plain sight within the neighbouring communities. They also have easy access to our entire 75km perimeter. Almost all of the SSW’s losses have been within 1km of the fence which means our window of opportunity to catch the poachers is very narrow indeed. This is compounded by the fact that we have no jurisdiction beyond the perimeter fence. Hence, unless we get advance warning of a planned incursion, our ability to deflect the threat is greatly constrained. In any war where the terms of engagement are dictated entirely by an enemy that is not constrained by any rules whatsoever, there can sadly be only one winner. The loss of over 150 rhino this year alone is testimony to this reality.

For more information or advice, please contact Boutique Travel Marketing on [email protected] or call Tolene on 079 839 56739
Published in News
After many months of planning, Hamiltons Tented Camp has proudly unveiled their biggest green initiative to date – an entirely solar powered camp! The luxury tented camp is situated in a remote area within the Kruger National Park. Hamiltons Tented Camp, a member of Extraordinary is located within the Imbali Private Concession, approximately 50km South East of Orpen Gate in the Central Kruger Park. Set within a wilderness zone the camp was too remote to be electrified with Eskom power and to date has relied entirely on generator power. Wouter Pienaar General Manager of Hamiltons Tented Campand the Imbali Private Concession said “this is truly a giant green step in the right direction, we foresee a saving of around 54 000 litres of diesel per year which impacts on our pristine environment. Although noise pollution has always been kept to a minimum by ensuring that the generator housing was sound proof, we can almost hear the silence now”  

The solar powered system is capable of generating sufficient power to run all the camp’s 220 V electricity demands including the six luxury tented suites air conditioning, ceiling fans, geysers, lighting and of course boreholes and pumps.

Other Green initiatives at Hamiltons Tented Camp include reed beds, a unique design which minimizes the footprint, water saving mechanisms on all taps, removal of all waste from the park to approved recycling operations amongst others.

Hamiltons Tented Camp is the first premium camp in the Kruger National Park to be completely powered by solar energy.

“This is really good news for our “conservation minded” guests who are definitely growing in numbers annually. Hamiltons Tented Camp is fully committed to sustainable and eco-friendly practices and will be focusing on capturing the environmentally aware market segments going forward” says Cindy Sheedy Walker Director of Extraordinary.


Published in News
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 12:40

Glen Avon Lodge - Cape Town - New Website

Glen Avon Lodge in Constantia Cape Town has a new and vibrant website.  With much more detailed information and online availability now as an option, it makes for easier quoting to your client.

Glen Avon Lodge, a client of Boutique Travel Marketing is one of Cape Town's premier guest houses.  With 15 superior luxury rooms and easy access to top desitantions like the Cape Town waterfront, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch gardens and The wine route, White sandy beaches and so much more.

Ranked 3 of 28 Constantia B&B's, you know your clients will have the best stay here with excellent cuisine. One trip advisor user rated the food of a higher quality than one of the top restaurants in Franschhoek and less expensive.  

Visit the website on for more information and images.
For constant information and something you can share with your clients - view and save the IBROCHURE

For more information, brochures and training, please contact the UK marketing office of Boutique Travel Marketing on [email protected] 
Published in News
Bush dinners were introduced earlier this year in the Imbali Safari Lodges private concession, a private concession within the Kruger National Park. This is an exciting new experience that is part of an initiative to enhance the guest experience at all three the lodges within the concession namely Imbali Safari Lodge, Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge and Hamiltons Tented Camp.

Published in News
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