Tintswalo Atlantic will be opening a new restaurant on Wednesday 29 July 2020. The Tintswalo Kitchen will welcome both resident guests, as well as casual diners with bookings taken for lunch and dinners from Tuesday to Saturday, as well as Sunday family lunch. (Closed Monday and Sunday dinner. Last sitting for non-residents’ dinner is 6pm, due to current Covid-19 curfew)
Reservations are essential, via Dineplan.
With an experienced, newly appointed kitchen team at the helm, the dining concept will feature fresh, seasonal cuisine, presented as Small Plates. The fixed-price menu of R650 per person offers diners their choice of 5 items selected from the menu that will list a variety of Small Plates, including seafood, vegetarian and vegan options, as well as desserts.
The Tintswalo Kitchen experience can be enjoyed in a relaxed seaside environment with a choice of cosy fireside dining, or outdoor seating on the deck above the crashing waves. The menu will be complemented by an award-winning wine list – pending Covid-19 alcohol restrictions. Health and safety protocols will be of the highest standard and during the current Covid-19 restrictions, no more than 40 diners will be accommodated.
The Tintswalo Atlantic boutique hotel is uniquely situated on a pebbled beach below Chapmans Peak Drive in Cape Town. It is renowned as one of the city’s most precious hidden gems and is lauded for its romantic setting and spectacular sunsets. The current hotel dining area will be more than doubled in size for the new restaurant, incorporating the generous space that is currently the hotel lounge and bar area.
Two of the guest rooms are being converted into a private bar and lounge area for in-house guests only. Situated on the opposite side of the property, this exclusive relaxation area for resident guests will make the most of the breathtaking sea views, overlooking the hotel swimming pool, deck and private beach. When the hotel re-opens on 29 July 2020, it will have 10 guest suites, including a 2-bedroom Presidential Suite, all individually decorated and named after famous islands around the world.
Coinciding with the launch of the new restaurant concept, a special 50% discount offer on accommodation is available to South Africans residents when booking a luxurious 2-night Staycation.
An orphaned rhino calf is recovering in an enclosure at the Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary in Mpumalanga after an epic rescue mission took place in the southern parts of the Kruger National Park on Sunday 5 July 2020.
The male calf, who is estimated to be between six and eight months old, was spotted by pure chance by a member of JEMU, the Environmental Monitoring Unit of Jock Safari Lodge, who was on his way to the Concession. Owned and managed by the non-profit Caleo Foundation, Jock Safari Lodge was the first private concession within the Kruger National Park. Over the past 20 years Jock has worked closely with SANParks in support of various conservation initiatives, including the protection of endangered species such rhinos.
When it was found, the calf was clearly in distress, wandering around on his own just off a main tourist road. Rhino mothers very rarely leave their calves, which indicated that the mother was most likely already dead. The Kruger National Park Regional Ranger was immediately alerted to the baby rhino, who instantly assembled a Reaction Team in a combined effort to save the orphaned calf.
The rhino calf was however moving deeper into the bush and fearing that the Reaction Team might not find the calf if visual was lost, the JEMU member started tracking the baby rhino on foot. After about 2km, the calf suddenly came into contact with a herd of about 15 elephants. The elephants were aggressive and repeatedly charged towards the baby rhino with the obvious intent to kill it. Supported by a Kruger Park official that caught up with him, they distracted the herd by shouting and clapping hands to draw attention away from the rhino calf. WATCH SHORT VIDEO CLIP HERE: https://youtu.be/qVSA3xYQBJc
Clearly dazed and confused, the baby rhino continued to follow the elephants, with the aggressive matriarch charging continuing, placing the calf in grave danger. After several charges, the calf fortunately ran off into another direction, where he was later found standing next to the carcass of his mother. The mother had been killed by poachers and her horns had been removed. She was left to die, unable to provide for her baby or defend the vulnerable calf.
There was a flurry of activity, not only with the elephants in hot pursuit of the calf, but by now there were several lions very close to the carcass, making several advances on the calf. The lions spotted the JEMU member and left the calf to stare down the JEMU member with growls and tail whipping. The team retreated to a large termite mound, where they communicated a new GPS Coordinate to the Reaction Team and kept lock on the baby rhino until the helicopter had visual on the site.
Instinctively, the exhausted baby rhino gave one last chase with the arrival of the chopper, closely followed by an enraged elephant cow. Thanks to his excellent flying skills, the helicopter pilot managed to separate the calf from the herd of elephants to give the Vet the opportunity to dart the baby. After a few minutes, the calf was tranquilised, giving space for the Reaction Team to move in and perform vital lifesaving first-aid on the baby. A drip was inserted to treat its obvious dehydration and the calf was safely transferred by helicopter to the Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary, where its founder Petronel Nieuwoudt and her team were on standby to meet the precious new arrival. WATCH A SHORT VIDEO CLIP HERE: https://youtu.be/2IgqCpkQngQ
The baby rhino was taken into the ICU for monitoring and to receive vital fluids through the line that was administered in the field earlier that day. The calf was assessed for wounds, but apart from lion scratch marks, he seemed to have escaped relatively unscathed. The calf was clearly very traumatised after its ordeal and the sanctuary team spent the first night in the enclosure with him to monitor his progress.
In a recent update, it was reported that the calf has accepted the bottle of specialised, formulated milk and is drinking about 16 litres per day. He remains in a small enclosure and is still on a drip to monitor his vitals and organs. To recover from severe trauma like this, the first 24 to 72 hours are the most critical and it is therefore estimated that he should have a good chance of survival. WATCH A SHORT VIDEO CLIP HERE: https://youtu.be/iFqV7E7D3mk
Having survived all of this, he’s been dubbed Nhlanhla, ‘the lucky one’ in local Shangaan language.
Tintswalo Lapalala will be introducing fly-fishing on a ‘catch, release and research’ basis as a new activity within the pristine Waterberg reserve. Located three hours’ drive from Johannesburg, the sprawling 48 500 ha Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is a malaria-free sanctuary for many plant and animal species. These include the Big 5, but it is the spectacular Palala river that runs 37 kilometers through the reserve that sets it apart. With riverside locations that are easily accessible on foot, rocky rapids as well as deep, calm pools of clear and unpolluted water present exhilarating fishing opportunities suitable for all competency levels.
The Palala river is teeming with fish that includes healthy populations of a wide variety of species such as yellow fish, barbel, largemouth bass, red breasted and blue tilapia to offer excellent nymph style fly-fishing. In the dam, carp, yellow fish, silver catfish, barbel and tilapia offer sinking-line fishing for novices, including children.
The Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in South Africa and was founded in 1981 by conservation champions, Dale Parker and Clive Walker. It is recognised as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation with the vision to leave a legacy for generations to come. Fishing is scientifically monitored and operated strictly on a catch-and-release basis. Led by qualified nature guides who are passionate and competent anglers, data is collected for ongoing scientific research projects.
During the drier months, April through to October provide the best fishing opportunities when the river is calmer and more accessible. During the summer months fishing excursions take place in the south of the reserve where the deep pools may yield feisty yellow fish of more than a kilogram.
Specialist fly-fishing packages are customized for keen anglers, while regular guests may opt for early morning or late afternoon fishing excursions. Guests may also choose to spend the day out in the reserve fishing at leisure and enjoying the tranquility of a river picnic at lunch.
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has successfully started organic food production at Platbank, its newly acquired farm bordering the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province). In line with Mhondoro’s food philosophy of ‘fresh, simple and organic’, its chefs take pride in offering a ‘healthy food’ concept, incorporating international culinary trends presented with local flair. Establishing its own fresh produce farm right outside the reserve has enabled Mhondoro to bring to the table the freshest possible organic ingredients, as well as unique guest experiences such as the opportunity for guests to select their own free-range eggs for breakfast.
The farming of free-range chickens has been a great success and its brood of Koekoek and Australorp chickens are well established and thriving, producing eggs in abundance. Within the 70ha farm, a 300m² greenhouse is planted with a wide variety of vegetables that include spinach, beetroot, pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes, peppers and onions, as well as herbs and salad greens. Future plans for the farm include planting crops once an animal-friendly fence has been erected to keep out warthogs, porcupines and other curious animals who may be tempted by the delicious fresh produce.
With the lodge currently closed under COVID-19 lockdown regulations, all vegetables and free-range eggs are being donated to the local community, including to the Bushveld Mission Children’s Home outside Vaalwater. It is home to sixty orphaned, abandoned, abused and starving children between the ages of newborn to 18 years old and is staffed by 15 volunteers who have a mission to ‘love the children back to life’.
Mhondoro lodge manager Ronel Breytenbach says: ‘Charity starts at home and we are pleased to be able to supply food parcels to the local community where our 20 staff members come from. Many of our people have family members who have lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic crisis, whilst other employees are sole breadwinners for families of up to nine people. The need is great – and we are grateful to be able to lend a helping hand in these difficult times.’
Tintswalo Lodges has introduced a self-catering option for families and friends to stimulate local travel and accommodate South African residents within the current lockdown restrictions. Exclusive-use, self-catering options are available at three of the Tintswalo properties, offering a choice between a safari or coastal breakaway for a group of up to 10 people.
The R25 000 per night deal for 10 people (2-night minimum stay) offers excellent value to South Africans seeking a luxury destination for a self-drive reunion close to home, or further afield once inter-provincial travel is allowed.
Options include the Manor House at Tintswalo Safari Lodge in the greater Kruger area; the Tintswalo Family Camp in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg; and Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa in Simon’s Town, Cape Town. Lodges are fully serviced and all health precautions and safety protocols are fully complied with. Safari options also include two safari activities a day, a safari vehicle and the services of guide, as well as a private chef, housekeeping, laundry and wifi. (T’s & C’s apply. Excluded are food and beverages and gratuities)
With unobstructed views across Boulders Beach and its world-famous resident colony of endangered African penguins, Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa boasts a unique beachfront location. Paying homage to maritime history and the villa’s location in Simon’s Town, the luxurious suites are individually decorated, some with private balconies. Ideally equipped for a group travelling together, the villa features open-plan lounges with fireplaces, a TV-room and two fully equipped kitchens and indoor dining areas. There are spacious outdoor terraces, as well as a wind-protected courtyard with a fire pit, and a sea view pool on the top deck.
Tintswalo Family Camp Welgevonden is located in the malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province). It ranks amongst SA’s largest private game reserves and boasts a great variety of game, including the Big Five. Five spacious freestanding luxury units are positioned on either side of the main lodge, which is comfortably furnished with spacious entertainment and lounge areas with fireplaces. The camp features a swimming pool with poolside loungers and a viewing deck overlooking the waterhole. It is child-friendly and protected by electric fencing against predators and dangerous game to allow children the freedom to enjoy the outside areas.
Situated in the pristine Manyeleti Private Nature Reserve, the Manor House at Tintswalo Safari Lodge features spacious lounge and dining areas and deep, shady patios that are ideal for relaxation and entertaining. The 56,000 acre Manyeleti Reserve is known as the “Place of the Stars” and has fenceless boundaries to the Kruger National Park. The traditionally styled private villa has 5 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, two with outside baths for indulgent soaks under starlit skies. Welcoming children of all ages, the family-friendly destination comes with a swimming pool and rolling lawns protected by game fencing, overlooking a waterhole that offers excellent game viewing 24/7.
(Photograph: Annemieke Muller)
In a joint effort by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Lapalala Wilderness Reserve and Tintswalo Lapalala, a free-roaming pack of 10 wild dogs was successfully captured and relocated to Lapalala Wilderness Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo).
According to Glenn Phillips, Chief Executive of Lapalala Wilderness, the dogs, which are currently in a boma on the reserve, have adjusted well: ‘So much so, that we are delighted to announce that the alpha female has produced a litter of pups. The birth of this litter of pups provides a welcome boost to the survival of this endangered species and we look forward to setting them free in the reserve together as a pack when the pups are strong enough, probably around the end of August (2020)’.
WEBCAM – WATCH THE WILD DOGS LIVE HERE:
Further exciting news is the live streaming from the reserve, where technology driven wildlife and conservation media company Painted Dog TV has installed bush cameras allowing viewers 24/7 insight into the daily life and behaviour of the pack. Three individual bush cameras have been positioned to focus on the den site, the feeding site and the waterhole.
Due to ongoing habitat fragmentation and conflict with human and agricultural activities, the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. According to the latest estimates, there are only around 6500 individuals left in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018, this particular pack had only numbered two individuals. Since then, the pack has successfully raised two litters in the Vrymanrust area of the Waterberg. Unfortunately, the pack started predating on livestock as there was potentially not sufficient numbers of natural prey in the relatively small area they were utilizing. A decision was therefore taken by the Wild Dog Advisory Group (WAG) to capture and relocate the pack to a safe area within the Waterberg.
Phillips continues: ‘Growing human populations and the shrinking of habitat suitable for endangered species such as wild dog, makes this conservation project vital for the survival of the species. Lapalala Wilderness is therefore honoured to be part of such an important conservation project.’
The Reserve ecologists have been carefully monitoring the animals in Lapalala’s predator bomas during the post-release period. ‘By keeping the wild dogs in a large holding boma for a few months, we are attempting to break their inherent instinct to return to the area they originated from, as well as teaching the animals to respect electric fences’, says Herman Muller, Biodiversity Manager at Lapalala Wilderness.
Founded in 1981 by conservation champions, Dale Parker and Clive Walker, the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in SA. It is recognized as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation with the vision to leave a legacy for generations to come.
The Reserve stretches across 48 500 hectares of pristine bushveld and will provide ample hunting opportunities for the wild dogs. Wild dogs are highly effective predators and form an essential part of natural ecosystems by keeping herbivore numbers in check. Home to the Big 5, Lapalala is a unique landscape and offers opportunities to see numerous endangered species such as Roan antelope and Black rhinoceros. Boasting breath-taking scenery amongst classic savannah biomes, it offers 27 kilometers of perennial river frontage in the form of the Palala river, 800km of game viewing vehicle tracks, and excellent game viewing. The wildlife in this region is staggering in numbers, including 290 bird species, 60 mammal species, 97 reptile, 19 fish and 17 amphibian species, as well as 169 different types of trees and 25 species of aloe.
Says Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo Lodges: ‘Our luxury tented camp Tinstwalo Lapalala is operated off the grid and is one of only two lodges within the reserve. It is family friendly and accommodates only 16 adults and four children. The guest experience is unique as one really feels as if you have the reserve all to yourself when out on game drives or wilderness walks. We are very excited about the arrival of the wild dogs in the reserve and soon, we hope our guests will have the opportunity to view the wild dog in their natural habitat within the reserve’.
Within the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, excursions are also offered to an iron age site to view ancient artefacts and Bushmen rock art paintings. Visits may also be arranged to the famous community based Lapalala Wilderness School, which to date has hosted more than 100 000 children and young adults in its Environmental Education programme.
In the spirit of giving back during the global pandemic #lockdown, the Caleo Foundation has launched a #bednightsforfoodparcels fundraising initiative to support vulnerable communities in South Africa. The Caleo Foundation is a non-profit conservation organisation established in Switzerland. In South Africa the Caleo Foundation is custodian of both Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and Jock Safari Lodge.
Using the format of a Silent Auction that will run for five days between 18 and 22 May 2020, members of the public are invited to bid on luxury getaways via Facebook, Instagram or email.
Auction items include an all-inclusive 2-night stay at Jock Safari Lodge for two persons sharing. All proceeds from this highest bid will be donated to food parcels for the Do More Foundation. Jock Safari Lodge is situated in the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park. Steeped in history, it is known for its warm hospitality and unforgettable wildlife encounters. Accommodating only 30 guests at two unique lodges – Main Jock and Fitzpatrick’s at Jock – it is a perfect choice when planning a post-lockdown safari adventure, a special occasion, or a vacation the whole family can enjoy.
Sister-property Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has sponsored an auction item of a 2-night stay at flagship Dwyka Tented Lodge within the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, including all meals and safari activities for two persons sharing. All funds raised from this winning bid will be donated to two worthy causes in the Little Karoo – Breede River Hospice and Helpende Handjies. Sanbona is situated an easy three hour drive from Cape Town, providing an authentic safari wilderness experience with a choice of three different lodges, including the child-friendly Gondwana Family Lodge, as well as the seasonal Explorer Camp.
The value of social media during times of crisis was highlighted by a new travel trade community initiative that was launched on a facebook platform during South Africa’s lockdown, called #tourisminmyblood.
The facebook group has received global attention. Within the first 10 days, membership had grown to more than 10 400 travel industry professionals in 99 countries, with more than 100 member posts per day.
The group is open to all people in Tourism. The forum is the brainchild of Greg Smith, Sales & Marketing Director of Johannesburg digital marketing agency Zebra360Online. and Richard de la Rey from Dark Giraffe Marketing. Smith says: ‘The Travel and Tourism industry is in survival mode and we need to stick together and share ideas on how to best deal with this global crisis. The #tourisminmyblood network focuses on sharing positive stories and marketing initiatives through creating a platform for industry colleagues to help and support one another. Information is exchanged about a wide range of topics, from member surveys and technology platform recommendations, to health and safety tips for hotels and lodges post-Corona. We can learn from one another’s experiences in how to cope and build strategies to survive the disastrous impact that the pandemic is having on the travel industry.’
While the world is in chaos and industry has ground to a halt, the travel trade is preparing for post-lockdown and looking at ways to promote travel products and stimulate sales, including boosting domestic travel in the short and medium term. ‘During times like these, the human factor comes to the forefront. Travel is all about people and experiences. This is a time to re-connect with acquaintances, re-establish business connections and explore new opportunities’, Smith says. The #tourisminmyblood platform invites agents and operators to share information on destinations and products within this network, with the view to forging solid working relationships that will be mutually beneficial to all parties in time to come.
‘It may be too early to say, and of course people are bound to have more frugal spending habits post-Covid-19, but there is potential for the rise in free independent travellers (FIT) business. With an influx of irresistible travel deals coming on line, we could even hope for some ‘revenge spending’ on travel. Either way, the travel industry has to be ready’, Smith concluded.
One of the liberties South Africans are most looking forward to post-lockdown, is probably the freedom to be outside, enjoying nature and exercising in the great outdoors. Tintswalo Lodges has identified this as a unique safari opportunity for South Africans and have stepped up to the plate with the introduction of walking safaris offered at excellent rates.
Walking safari packages will be on offer at Tintswalo Safari Lodge in the Manyeleti Nature Reserve in the greater Kruger region, and Tintswalo Lapalala in the malaria-free Waterberg, an easy 3-hour drive from Johannesburg.
The 3-day/2-night packages include luxury accommodation with all meals, as well as four guided bush walks. These range from a 3-hour walk with a bush brunch followed by a game drive in an open safari vehicle to return to the lodge, to 2-hour excursions setting out on foot from the lodge, and a shorter one–hour walk on the morning of departure. Walking safari packages are available from R12 000 per person sharing for a group of maximum six people. Children can be accommodated from the age of 16 and older. (Rates valid from 1 June to 31 July 2020)
Lisa Goosen, the owner and CEO of Tintswalo Lodges says that there has been a surge in interest from viewers following Tintswalo’s lockdown virtual safaris that is broadcast daily on its social media channels. ‘We have had a phenomenal response to the virtual safaris and positive feedback from South Africans who have been inspired to tick that safari bucket list. Bush walks in Big 5 territory is a specialized activity that is not that widely available and so we are fortunate that we can offer this in both these pristine reserves, as Tintswalo’s experienced rangers are qualified as walking trails guides too.’
There is no safer place to escape the Corona virus than being away from crowds, out in the bush. In addition, the idea of a walking safari instead of driving around in a vehicle for game viewing appeals to many South Africans who have been cooped up for weeks during lockdown.
‘Walking safaris offer a very real, multi-sensory experience as you are much more connected to nature when you are on foot. Our lodges are looking spic and span after we have had lots of time for maintenance work and our service staff are eagerly anticipating their return to work. We simply can’t wait to open our doors again to welcome our guests.’
The world is reeling from the startling effects of the global pandemic COVID-19, and here in South Africa poverty-stricken children are amongst the most vulnerable in the community. Since schools have been forced to close, children are already experiencing the devastating impact of the temporary termination of the National Schools feeding scheme, as the majority of these children rely on this one meal a day as their sole source of nutrition.
Tintswalo Lodges has launched its #TintswaloCares campaign and taken on the Cans with Purpose, a Superiate initiative. The non-profit company, Friends of Tintswalo was founded to provide financial support to various charities. Each Tintswalo Lodge is connected to a specific beneficiary – ranging from rhino, wild dog and shark conservation projects, to community support programmes that include a performing arts foundation for children and now, Cans with Purpose. Tintswalo encourages its friends and fellow South Africans to donate to this worthy cause, which can help save lives during these trying times.
Monetary donations are welcomed via the Afrika Tikkun organization who through its national network assist more than 9000 children and their families in need with food and care packs.
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