A Huge Salute to Africa Inscribed Private Travel

Many thanks to the Africa Inscribed team – especially Dylan Harriss and Bernadette Venter


Thank you Africa Inscribed!
Our Safari was the most memorable experience of Will’s, Lily’s and my life.
The plan went like clockwork. Not one misstep. Dylan, Bernadette and team Africa Inscribed created and planned a spectacular experience from the minute we got off the plane till we got back on.
A big shout out goes to Warren Wright, our private label guide. He was so attuned to the children, they loved him. They learned so much and a huge part of our amazing experience was because of Warren. For a family traveling with children, I heartily recommend Warren as your private label guide.
No words to thank Team Africa Inscribed enough. Treasured memories for a lifetime.

Warren Wright – amazing private guide especially for families with children

Amazing, Unique, Magical Giraffe Manor

5PM visit from the giraffes

Breakfast!

Probably the most unique hotel in the world, Giraffe Manor was created by Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville. They were very interested in animal conservation, and bought the faux Scottish hunting lodge, in 1974. That year, the amiable giraffes, who kept poking their heads interestedly through the first-floor bedroom window were about to be dispossessed, their habitat lost to farmland development and their lives threatened.
Betty persuaded her husband to allow the giraffes to live on their 15-acre estate, and the couple began the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, based in Kenya and Maryland, which later bought an additional 105 acres for the giraffes. They adopted Daisy, one of the highly endangered Rothschild’s giraffes—which can be as tall as 20 feet, making them the tallest of the species. Daisy’s descendants have since proliferated, and the Leslie – Melvilles added the Giraffe Center, open to the public, on the southern part of the property.

Angama Mara- New Glamour on the Masai Mara

Fire pit overlooking the magnificent Masai Mara


Dramatically set on the ridge overlooking the Masai Mara, Angama Mara brings glamour and extraordinary comfort to the vast Park. The Camp is within walking distance to the burial place of Denys Finch Hatton, a fittingly romantic overtone to one’s sense of Out of Africa.
Here you can live it.
The Staff is well prepared to welcome us and tries to accomplish our every request.
Meals and drinks on the vast deck is just sublime. Rooms are huge with glass windows- floor to ceiling -to capture that dramatic view.

Comfortable large rooms that give you a sense of Out of Africa

On the deck the view goes on forever

Dawn view from my tent

Highlights of ILTM Africa

Image courtesy Camp Kuzuma – Botswana


Image courtesy of Camp Kuzuma Botswana


Highlights from ILTM Africa

We found some fab new vendors and renewed friendships with our favorite suppliers that are clearly a cut above. Here are some of our favorites:

In Residence – Cape Town New villa concept. Pieter Brundyn is the founder.
Camp Kuzuma, Botswana – delightful husband and wife team running the beautiful camp.
Royal Portfolio properties :
The new Silo Hotel -Cape Town,La Residencia – Franschhoek , Royal Malewane Camp – Thornybush, and Birkenhead House -Hermanus
Delaire Graff estate near Stellenbosch
Makani Game Lodge South Africa
Mara Engai Lodge Kenya
Elewana Collection – so many great properties in the Elewana Collection
Chitwa Chitwa Camp
Cape Grace -Cape Town
Ellerman House – Cape Town
Groot Bos Lodge

Some of the great Elewana properties:
Tarangire Treetops -Tanzania, Loisaba -Kenya, Arusha Coffee Lodge among others

Image courtesy of Elewana Collection Arusha Coffee Lodge -Tanzania

-Tanzania,

Image courtesy of Elewana Collection. Loisaba

Grumeti Sunrise and Sunset

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Grumeti Cats

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&Beyond Grumeti River Camp

&Beyond Grumeti River Camp provides a private Serengeti experience with exclusive game viewing in some of the most secluded parts of Africa’s most famous game reserve. The Grumeti Reserve is located in the remote Western Corridor of the Serengeti. Its rustic yet sophisticated safari tents are tucked into the shade of an evergreen forest on the banks of a tributary of the famous Grumeti River. The staff was superb: very warm and welcoming. Food again was outstanding We had some of the best wines selections there. image Welcome song from Grumeti River camp.

image Wake up calls come with a Cheerie “Jambo” and tray of coffee with biscuits.

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Big Sky Serengeti

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Magnificent Serengeti Game

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It is easy to become caught up in the complexity of Africa: the history, the people, the camps, the tribes. To me, the magic of the continent is the interaction of the animals. Everyday is a new discovery.

Lemala Kuria Hills Camp

Taking a short flight further into the Serengeti, we visited Lemala’s Kuria Hills Camp.
No bucket showers here! Gorgeous bathtubs, blow driers, bright lighting, a completely different tented camp experience. The terrain was rocky with giant boulders, reminding me of Zimbabwe. Beautiful location. imageimageimage

Tracking the Migration in the Serengeti

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

Coffee and Amarula- yum!

 

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

&beyond Serengeti Under Canvas Camp

We have flown to the Serengeti to see a different terrain, and to follow the migration. Serengeti Under Canvas is a true mobile camp- everything is folded up, packed and moved when needed and one would never know it had been there. No fooprint!

Lake Manyara Tree House- a most pleasant surprise

href=”https://catherinewhitworth.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/image6.jpeg” rel=”attachment wp-att-3789″>Lake Manyara Tree House
We had the pleasure of staying at Lake Manyara Tree House, an And Beyond property. Rooms were spacious, luxurious, 5 star in every way. The exceptional staff made us feel so welcome. A complete pleasure and I hope to return.

&Beyond Phinda – South African Private Game Reserve

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View from the deck of &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge
Phinda Vlei cottage Phinda Vlei cottage
&Beyond Phinda’s private game reserve measures 56,800 acres. It has 7 different habitats, and 6 vastly different lodges: Vlei, Forest, and Homestead on the upper part of the property and Zuka, Rock and Mountain in the more mountainous, western part of the reserve Phinda is know for it’s abundant wildlife- especially their pride of Lion and coalition of Cheetah.
What I recognized immediately was the heartfelt care of the staff. Katherine, Grateful, Happiness, Madu, Baby Jake, Mr M, France, and Essence embody what makes African service unforgettable. They mean it from their heart.

Phinda Lion

Phinda Lion

Travel is more than a destination in mind…

It is discovering a place in your heart you’ve never been before.
Anon.
Giraffe at Phinda

I feel like I have a PHD in Safari planning!

 
As you have been reading, I recently completed a phenomenal 16 day Educational with Africa Inscribed, hosted by their Directors Dylan Harriss and Gavin Ford
 
Properties we either saw or *stayed in were:
 
*1. Saxon Hotel – Johannesburg  10+
*2. Jack’s Camp-  Salt Pans on the edge of the Kalahari Desert Botswana  9
3. Camp Kalahari- Kalahari Desert Botswana 5
*4. Wilderness – Vumbura Plains – Okavango Delta Botswana 10+
5. Wilderness – Little Vumbura_ Okavango Delta Botswana 8+
6. Duma Tau- Linyanti Reserve Botswana  9
*7. Savuti- Linyanti Reserve Botswana  9
8. Victoria Falls Hotel- Vic Falls Zimbabwe 10
*9. Singita – Pamushana- Pamushana Reserve Zimbabwe 10+
*10. Royal Malewane- Thornybush Preserve South Africa 10++
*11. & Beyond – Exeter Leadwood- Sabi Sands South Africa  9+
12. Dulini- Sabi Sands South Africa 8(under renovation)
13. & Beyond – Exeter River Lodge – Sabi Sands South Africa  9
14. Singita Ebony- Sabi San Reserve South Africa  10+
15. Singita Boulders- Sabi Sand Reserve South Africa  10+
16. Lion Sands – 1933- Sabi Sands   9+
17. Lion Sands – Ivory- Sabi Sands       10
18. Lion Sands – River Lodge- Sabi Sands 8+
*19. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  10+
20.  Selati Camp – Sabi Sabi – Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  9
21.  Little Bush Lodge- Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve  8
*22.  Singita Sweni – Kruger National Park   10+
23. Singita Lebombo _ Kruger National Park    10+
*24. Molori- Madikwe Game Reserve ( Malaria Free) South Africa    10 but expensive
25. Lion Sands – Madikwe Lodge – Madikwe  9
26. Mateya – Madikwe   10
27. Jaci’s Safari Lodge 5 and Jaci’s Tree Lodge- Madikwe    7
*28. JNB Intercontinental – Johannesburg Airport South Africa   9
 
 
The numbers after the resort names are the ratings I personally gave them -10 being the highest.
It really depends on the client but these were my personal impressions.  
I totally defer to Dylan on resort choices.  He is really picky.
 
When I say educational I really mean educational. At the beginning of the EDU we were given a manual which included all predeparture information for every country in Africa. We also received a map covering the destinations AI favor. We actually had a map session one afternoon, locating preferred camps in Botswana, SA and Zimbabwe on the map. We went over zones that were malaria free and those that were not. We went over destinations near beaches, marshes, plains, mountains, best game viewing, and best locations for particular game. Best locations for families, honeymooners, groups, couples, photographers or special interest groups.
 Each day we learned about birds, mammals(predators and grazers), birds, insects, trees, birds, grasses, seeds and the environmental impact on the climate on each area, did I mention birds? We also learned about animal conservation,  land conservation, water and the impact on the reserve we happened to be traveling in. We learned about resort management, land management, and safari planning down to details as to why one wants a private game vehicle- and the enviromental impact too many cars can have on the resort. I feel like we have a PHD in Safari planning.
We traveled in style, Dylan chartered a Pilatus PC12NG ( the largest Pilatus). And we learned what a luxury having a less pressured schedule can be.  
The biggest take away for me was the tremendous knowledge, creativeness, and passion  Dylan and Gavin have as a DMC.  Their excitement was contagious. We were on a high from the moment we landed to the moment we left. And it was so much fun!
We had the best group- we laughed all the time, and never stayed still for long. So we were the best exhausted group.
If there was a glitch, we never knew it. Dylan and Gavin travel to camps and resorts 200 days a year, so they REALLY know what they are talking about. We looked at high end, medium and low end camps. All came with value for the right client. They are very selective. 
It was a privilege to participate in this EDU with Africa Inscribed. I can’t wait to book Africa with them

Ahhhhh- visiting Singita Sweni and Lebombo, Kruger National Park

 

Located in the most famous game rich preserve in the world, Singita Sweni and Lebombo live up to all their hype. Considered as one of the top resorts in Africa, they work hard to make sure their guests are comfortable and happy.  Trackers, Rangers, Chefs and hotel staff are all top of the heap. The Wine Cellar is enormous!!  And the gift shop is one of the most comprehensive and beautiful I have seen. 
Sweni is situated on the river and more intime. Lebombo is on a ridge with vistas over the thickets with gorgeous public spaces. One can experience both properties when staying at either Sweni or Lebombo.  Rooms are similar- just a different view. 
I think Sweni is one of my personal favorites and I hope to return very soon. Anyone want to go? I’m ready!

Bath – Royal Malewane

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The Glamorous Royal Malewane – Thornybush Reserve South Africa

We are continuing our adventure with a visit to the grand dame of luxury camps, Royal Malewane. Located in Thornybush private Reserve, adjacent to greater Kruger National Park, Royal Malewane is the the standard all luxury camps wish to reach.
Family owned, the glamorous Royal Malewane offers unparalleled service, food, and the number one Spa in South Africa. Liz Biden is a very hands on proprietor; one sees her touch everywhere. Most of the staff have been there since the opening 13 years ago, which makes for a pleasant return. When they say welcome back, they mean it!

Tracking Lion with Africa Inscribed at Sabi Sands

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Welcome to Dumatau Camp!!!! Linyanti Wildlife Refuge

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Vumbra Plains – Okavango Delta Botswana. View from the tent

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Vumbura Plains – Okavango Delta Botswana

Vumbra Plains is one of Wilderness resorts’ premier properties. Each of the suites has been constructed with a totally private view of the delta floodplains, and are shaded by ancient, tall Jackalberry trees. The rooms are all open-plan in design and have a sunken lounge, spacious bedroom, over-large shower (in-door and outside too), dressing area and writing desk. The outside decks have a comfortable sala, with large comfy cushions to snooze on and of course a small plunge pool for those torridly hot days! There is 24 hour electricity and bed lights for those comfy evenings with a book just before going to sleep in spacious softness, with percale sheets and duvets. In the winter months, a hot-blanket or a hot water-bottle are available. These cabins are a luxury indeed. All of the suites are linked to the main lodge by a raised wooden walkway at the back of the suites that allows the hippo and other game unobstructed access to the river, and allows safe access for guests too. The main lodge with a large fronted service area is spacious, has a dining area, a lounge and a seating area that is slightly separate from the main lounge.
A birdwatcher’s dream, one can sit out on their private deck and be totally entertained.
We took small boats down the river late one afternoon and had sundowners on the boats all tied together. Sunsets in Africa are unforgettable.
Game drives were terrific-hippos, lions, giraffe , elephant, Kudu, Oryx, ending with an incredible leopard sighting. I really hated to leave Vumbra Plains after a very short two days.

Sunrise Botswana

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Lion sighting

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Private charter. The way to go!

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