Federal Airlines (‘FedAir’) announces 50% discount ‘SA Residents fare’ to safari landing strips as part of revolutionary new approach
Federal Airlines has announced a revolutionary new approach to meet customer needs and market demands. It has introduced reduced SA Resident fares starting from Johannesburg directly to a number of landing strips within the Sabi Sand, Madikwe, Northern Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Hoedspruit lodges and Garonga. This amounts to a discount of approximately 50% of the 2020 low season fares.
Mark Hurst, group CEO of Solenta Aviation and incoming CEO of Federal Airlines, says that FedAir’s customer fares are being made simple and flexible as a future game changer within the luxury safari lodge shuttle and charter airline business.
‘We are learning to say yes. Covid-19 has caused significant disruption within the tourist and travel industry, but it has also created new opportunities for us. Our aim is to make the business more dynamic, more customer orientated and more flexible’, he says.
With immediate effect, the cancellation policy of Federal Airlines has been adjusted to be more flexible and customer orientated, offering free cancellations up to 15 days prior to departure date. There will be no charges for any changes made to FedAir bookings and clients may have unlimited changes at no cost.
‘In addition, our 2021 fares will be reset to the 2020 low season fares and we have removed all seasonality rates, offering the same low season fare throughout the 2021 year. We look forward to assisting every traveller to reach their lodge destination in a comfortable, efficient and professional manner, with our daily shuttle services from OR Tambo International Airport to the Sabi Sand, Timbavati/Kruger region, the Madikwe Game Reserves and our restarted inter-lodge flights between the safari camps, from 1 December 2020’, Hurst concluded.
The Private Charter division of Federal Airlines will continue to offer customised, exclusive charter flights to meet personal schedules and requirements as required.
Mark Hurst interview:
Perivoli Lagoon House has opened outside Stanford on the Whale Coast close to Hermanus, a 2-hour drive from Cape Town. The villa is booked on an exclusive-use basis for up to eight people with flexible booking options that include housekeeping service, as well as a choice of all-inclusive or self-catering. Special launch rates are available until 15 December 2020.
Perivoli Lagoon House is owned by the philanthropically focussed Perivoli Trust which channels all profits to conserving and restoring the land, while any surplus is donated to the charitable Perivoli Schools Trust. The secluded villa is managed by seasoned hoteliers Marcelino and Simoné Henckert and represented by the marketing team of Inspirational Places and FiveStar PR.
Designed by architect Gregg Goddard with interior design by Simoné Henckert, the ultra-contemporary open-plan design with its elegantly curved roof is a new landmark on the banks of the Klein River lagoon.
It is home to four double suites with private bathrooms and terraces, and generous living areas that spill out onto sprawling wooden decks and a heated infinity pool. The house invites complete relaxation with deep sofas and shaded views of the lagoon to immerse oneself in nature, watch the birds and breathe the scented fynbos. Geared to all-year round comfort, Perivoli is equipped with a wood-burning fireplace and efficient eco-friendly pellet stoves, as well as ceiling fans and insect screens. The kitchen is state-of-the-art, leading to spacious indoor and outdoor dining areas with a BBQ station under cover, and well-known Stanford chef Madré is available to cater by prior arrangement.
Situated on 140 hectares that is in the process of being proclaimed a nature reserve, Perivoli is a natural hideaway of wide-open spaces and breathtaking views. It is the perfect backdrop for quality time spent with family and friends where children of all ages are welcome. A myriad of adventures and activities await within the isolated wilderness, from guided fynbos walks and beach excursions to nearby Walker Bay Nature Reserve, to birdwatching, mountain biking and canoeing. Guests at Perivoli have access to a speedboat to make full use of the unique lakeside location which lends itself to water activities such as water skiing and tubing, as well as fishing. More relaxing pursuits include yoga baskets, in-room massages and lounging around the magnificent swimming pool.
On the doorstep waiting to be explored, is the surrounding area of Stanford and Hermanus. The region has received global acclaim for local culinary gems that include award-winning restaurants, craft breweries and cheeseries, as well as wine estates.
Tintswalo Boulders has introduced an exciting Marine Exploration Adventure Experience for guests to explore the fascinating underwater world of False Bay where renowned cinematographer Craig Foster filmed ‘My Octopus Teacher’.
Two nights’ luxury accommodation with breakfast is included at Tintswalo at Boulders, the uniquely located beachfront villa that is surrounded by fynbos, with unobstructed views across the world-famous Boulders Beach penguin colony and the ocean.
Sea activities are guided by the Shark Warrior Adventure Centre and take place in the marine protected area of the Table Mountain National Park. Snorkellers will glide through the mystical kelp forests to encounter the mysterious life beneath the waves where fish and other marine life sway in the flow of the currents around the reefs. A magical 2-hour kayaking excursion in single or 2-seater kayaks will include gentle paddling in the clear, turquoise sea and protected coves of Boulders Beach to watch the antics of the endangered African penguins and other seabirds.
Located on route to Cape Point, Tintswalo Boulders has a rooftop pool overlooking the ocean and a garden pathway that leads to the Boulders Beach boardwalk and the entrance to the SANParks penguin viewing area. The villa offers spacious living and dining areas, a central courtyard with a fire pit and generous terraces with sea views. The nine luxurious suites have en-suite bathrooms and are individually decorated and named after ships to pay homage to Simon’s Town maritime history.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has opened its Explorer Camp with a special offer for South African residents. Known as the Western-Cape’s premier wildlife destination, Sanbona is situated close to Montagu, a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town along Route 62. The Explorer Camp is located within the north east of the sprawling malaria-free reserve, which stretches across 58 000 hectares of the wide, open plains of the Klein Karoo.
This unique wilderness trail experience is aimed at those who enjoy walking safaris and the ambience of a tented bush camp. The camp is situated along a beautifully shaded riverbed and operates seasonally during the summer months (October to April), with departures on Fridays. The 2-night guided walking safari experience is offered on an exclusive-use basis to a small group of up to six guests (16-years and older), who are active and reasonably fit. The camp is off the grid and accommodation is provided in three double tents with comfortable beds and an outdoor bathroom that comes complete with a hot shower under a tree. The camp has an open-air lounge and dining area under canvas. Guests enjoy evenings around a campfire under the starry skies of the Karoo, and enjoy delicious, wholesome South African dishes prepared on an open fire.
It’s back to basics at Explorer Camp which offers the authenticity of the original safari on foot. Distances walked vary each day but can last up to four hours and may include opportunities to encounter the Big 5. A game viewing vehicle remains in camp and depending on where guests walk that day, the trail may start from camp or depart camp by vehicle to visit another area of the reserve.
Sanbona is a sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna, but it is the vastness of the landscape and the alluring isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains which sets it apart. Sustainability and responsible utilisation are the cornerstones of all operations.
A qualified, experienced guide hosts the Explorer Camp guests and further enhances this unique experience by sharing knowledge of birding and wildlife, as well as the cultural and natural history of the area. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the serene, wide-open spaces, engage in a meaningful connection with nature and enjoy a purposeful, perhaps even transformative wilderness experience.
Tintswalo Atlantic and Chefs Warehouse have announced an exciting joint venture partnership that will see the opening of a Liam Tomlin restaurant in the unique oceanside location of Cape Town’s iconic boutique hotel on Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic will open on Monday 2 November 2020. The team will be headed by General Manager Jami de Witt and Braam Beyers as Head Chef who are moving over from Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia, under the guidance of Liam Tomlin and Chef Patron Ivor Jones.
Says Liam Tomlin: ‘When I first walked into this incredible space, I knew that a Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic was a no brainer. This location is surely one of the best dining rooms in South Africa, if not the entire world. It is a dream come true to have a Chefs Warehouse not only close to, but right on the ocean, to complete our package of restaurants in the Cape winelands and the city. I’m very excited also by the opportunity for Jami and Braam to have their own space to work from, and to use this breathtaking location as inspiration to create a menu that will no doubt pay homage to the ocean.’
Tintswalo Atlantic’s existing restaurant area and deck will receive a complete design revamp to incorporate the Chefs Warehouse signature and personality, ranging from furniture and décor, to tableware. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner reservations seven days a week and will continue Tomlin’s ‘fine-dining quality global tapas’ concept, serving produce-driven ‘Tapas for 2’. A cheese course and a selection of dessert may be ordered in addition to the eight seasonal small plates.
For Lisa Goosen, the owner and CEO of Tintswalo, it was a natural evolution to join forces with a like-minded team who will take the restaurant to the next level. ‘It is a match made in heaven. We share a great enthusiasm for creating a special, new restaurant that will offer diners, including our resident guests, an unsurpassed, contemporary and multi-sensory fine dining experience in one of the most spectacular locations in the world.’
The South African tourism industry has received a welcome boost from an international group of companies investing an estimated R200m to develop and operate a new luxury lodge in the Nambiti Big 5 Private Game Reserve, outside Ladysmith (KZN).
Known as The Homestead, the new ‘conscious luxury’ lodge is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2021.
The Homestead will be a low-impact lodge, sustainably built and set against the backdrop of the humbling natural beauty of 23,000 acres of the Nambiti Private Game Reserve. It will combine seemingly different parts of the wonders of South Africa to create an integrated experience that links together wildlife, history, traditions, wellness, community, food, culture and conservation.
The lodge will accommodate up to 24 guests at any given time in a combination of deluxe suites with private infinity pools and luxury units, all of which will combine privacy with breathtaking views across the reserve. The main lodge is designed to offer multi-sensory dining venues and experiences, conference facilities, a lavish spa, gym with a view and swimming pool that extends over the edge of the escarpment. The Homestead will offer an unparalleled opportunity to unwind and take in the beauty and wonder of the world around us all.
The project is financed by Really Epic Dog (RED), which is headquartered in the USA. While RED already has a strong presence in Africa through its involvement in the technology, sports and entertainment industries, this new venture will see the group expand into tourism and conservation for the first time.
Having purchased the land at the end of 2019, RED has pushed ahead with plans during the Covid-19 pandemic, working closely with acclaimed Durban-based architect Dean Jay and his team. The architectural firm has received recognition globally for their work on other leading game lodges such as Singita and Lion Sands – although by his own admission, this project is unlike anything that was done before. ‘The Homestead site evokes a unique spirit of place with the juxtaposition of the existing historical ruins, the lake and escarpment,’ Dean Jay said, ‘to create a powerfully understated lodge built from endemic ironstone that will harmonise with the landscape.’
‘As a group of companies, we have a longstanding and deep-held passion for South Africa,’ said Benjamin Smith, president of the Really Epic Dog Group. ‘So, although we have all had to deal with what has been an unprecedented time, we have not wavered in our commitment to The Homestead project. We not only believe South Africa will emerge from Covid-19 and continue to attract tourists from all over the world, but we want to instill that belief and hope in others by offering our guests a place to reset and reconnect with themselves, first and foremost through experiences that help them reach a sense of understanding and peace with the world, as well as inheriting our love of South Africa.’
The Homestead is being developed on a site that is rich with history, dating back to 1838. During the Boer War, a young British Captain controversially fell in love with a Boer girl and built a home on this site. They were eventually accepted by her Boer family and The Homestead became a place where rivalries and weapons were put to one side and people came together in the spirit of peace, love and understanding. This rich history and the ethos will be at the centre of the guest experience at The Homestead.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has re-opened with an exclusive South African Residents special offer at Gondwana Family Lodge. The child-friendly lodge welcomes children of all ages and includes a Sanbona Kids on Safari programme that comprises of various educational and recreational wildlife experiences.
Sanbona stretches across 58 000 hectares of the wide, open plains of the Klein Karoo and is known as the Western-Cape’s premier wildlife destination. It is situated close to Montagu, a three-hour scenic drive from Cape Town along Route 62 and offers an authentic safari experience in a malaria-free area.
A special rate is also available for weekend walking safaris at Explorer Camp. The private camp only operates during the summer months and accommodates a group of up to six adults only. Walking safaris take place over weekends from the tented camp that is set up along a riverbed, with all meals prepared on an open fire.
Within the expansive reserve adventure activities includes twice daily game drives and wilderness walks and photographic safaris, stargazing and guided rock art walks to offer a superb safari getaway within easy reach of Cape Town.
The other two lodges within Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Dwyka Tented Camp and Tilney Manor, will re-open once demand has picked up.
Located in the heart of the Kruger National Park, private and exclusive Fitzpatrick’s Lodge at Jock Safari Lodge has re-opened with a promotional rate for South African residents. The child-friendly, private camp can accommodate up to six guests in three suites and is booked on an exclusive-use basis.
Situated on the banks of the Biyamiti River, Fitzpatrick’s presents excellent game viewing from the lodge, including regular sightings of the Big 5. Twice daily game drives are offered, as well as guided wilderness walks. The luxuriously appointed camp caters for small parties of friends or family travelling together and comes with a comfortable lounge and separate TV room, as well as indoor and outdoor dining areas, plus a private boma and swimming pool. The one unit comprises of two luxury suites with bathrooms sharing a private entrance and foyer, as well as a private deck and plunge pool. Separately located, the third suite is completely private, also boasting its own plunge pool and deck with views across the riverbed and wilderness.
Steeped in history as the first private game lodge within South Africa’s largest National Park, Jock pays tribute to the legend of Sir Percy FitzPatrick and his feisty dog, Jock. The area in and around the 6000-hectare concession is known for an abundance of birdlife and a staggering diversity of wildlife, including the Big 5 and wild dog.
Fitzpatrick’s at Jock welcomes children of all ages and offers a Kids on Safari programme that encourages educational and recreational wildlife activities. Each child receives a gift and activity pack on arrival while a range of outdoor activities, arts, crafts and games are on offer, based on the ages and preference of the children.
UNIQUE CONSERVATION OPPORTUNITY WITH TINTSWALO LAPALALA TO HELP COLLAR THE WILD DOGS OF THE WATERBERG
Conservation enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to book a safari package at Tintswalo Lapalala over the Heritage Day long weekend of 24 September 2020, to join a veterinary team and scientists from the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) while they collar a number of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) in the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve (Limpopo).
The African Wild Dog is Southern Africa’s most endangered large carnivore, with only about 438 left in all of South Africa. Conservation history was made in April (2020) when 10 adult dogs, notably one of the last free-roaming packs of the Waterberg, were successfully captured and relocated to a holding facility on the Lapalala Reserve. In the reserve they will be safe from pervasive threats such as hunting, poisons, road collisions, snaring and habitat loss, which have over the years reduced the population to near extinction.
The dogs adapted quickly in the boma at Lapalala and within a few weeks a litter of pups was born. The eleven pups are now strong enough to be released into the reserve, together with the 10 adults. The first step however is to raise funds to purchase VHS and satellite tracking collars, which has presented the unique opportunity for guests to not only donate, but physically participate as sponsors of the project.
Derek van der Merwe from the Endangered Wildlife Trust says that it is critically important to safeguard this pack within the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve. The scientific monitoring of the pack will help to secure the future conservation of the species, particularly in the Waterberg. It is essential to keep track of their movement patterns, habitat utilization, and population demographics, and to avoid snaring and poaching incidents and breakouts. He says: ‘This particular pack is very used to going through fences as the Waterberg area in general is full of game fences. However, we are hoping that the time spent in the boma has given them some respect for fences and that they won’t head straight out of the reserve after release.’
Spreading over 48 500 hectares of pristine bushveld, the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is one of South Africa’s largest private nature reserves and is recognized as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation. CEO Glenn Phillips says that this Wild Dog conservation project is another important conservation milestone for Lapalala. ‘We are however under no illusions that these dogs will eventually leave the expanse of the reserve and continue to do what they have always done. Roam free. We are very privileged to have been in a position to provide a temporary home for these wonderful, critically endangered animals, and trust that the role we played has provided them the best possible chance of survival.’
Tintswalo Lapalala’s Wild Dog Collaring Conservation package is available to 12 guests only, for the long weekend of 24 September 2020. Children are welcome. Guests will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take close-up photographs of the Wild Dog adults and pups feeding. They will also attend a briefing session by the veterinary team who will explain the collaring procedure, before they take part in the exercise which aims to collar at least two of the dogs. The release of the dogs into the reserve will take place on a later date (to be confirmed).
A new one-stop revenue and digital distribution platform has entered the tourism market with the launch of Scopic in South Africa. Led by CEO Adelbert Retief, the multi-facetted digital company forms part of Touch Down Travel Tech (TDTT), an integrated tourism technology solution business.
Scopic brings an attractive, cost-effective business model to hotels, guest houses and lodges that unlike others in the market who are retainer-based, works mostly on a shared-revenue, commission basis. This is particularly relevant as a post-Covid-19 solution while the travel industry is struggling for survival and budgets are under severe pressure.
Services include access to Conversion Based Property Management Systems that allow for the best revenue marketing experience based on rate parity, and supply and demand for all channels across all markets. It mobilises a much-improved business conversion opportunity by contracting digital marketing and service bundles via website, google and social media. Scopic also offers trade, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) and DMC (Destination Management Company) representation across the globe, as well as marketing services that include strategy, content management and digital advertising.
CEO Adelbert Retief says: ‘Revenue management for any property is based on multiple factors to make it successful, including systems, channels, OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) and various digital environments. With Scopic we bring that all together for the client, allowing them to focus on managing their business without having to worry about administering revenue.’
Scopic uses the latest technology to ensure that clients have the best systems in place and through its relationships with industry leaders, it connects clients directly with the best of the best. It is the marketing and sales partner for Inn Style PMS system in Africa, which comes with fully integrated revenue and management systems that is set to revolutionise business for small tourism providers. Scopic is also a sales agent locally for Room Raccoon, the ideal solution for those requiring a bigger Property Management System (PMS) that is fully integrated with all aspects of the property.
Retief and his board of directors including Chief Marketing Officer Greg Smith, Leonard Reyneke and Tijian Oberholzer, is a lean, seasoned professional team with over ten years travel related digital marketing experience. ‘We are excited to bring to the market this new revenue and digital distribution model as we are simply in the best position to get our clients’ content to the right people at the right time’, he concluded.