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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Tintswalo Safari Lodge has launched free virtual safaris that are available on its social media channels to all its followers. Says Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo: ‘The national lock-down in South Africa has been very challenging for humans, but in the bush, nature continues undisturbed as it has since the beginning of time. The conservation of our nature reserves and protection of our precious wildlife remain a priority for the Tintswalo family. Within the greater Kruger region, the Tintswalo wildlife management team in the Manyeleti Nature Reserve is ‘on the beat’ in the bush throughout lockdown and continues to monitor and safeguard our vulnerable fauna and flora.’
Tintswalo’s conservation patrols have presented the unique opportunity to bring virtual safaris to viewers at home. ‘We invite you to enjoy the freedom to escape for a while, focus on positivity and take delight in the wonders of the African bush as inspiration for planning your next Tintswalo safari’, says Lisa Goosen.
The game rich Manyeleti Game Reserve is known world-wide for its Big 5 sightings, but also for its birdlife and many smaller species and other interesting creatures.
Tintswalo’s ‘On the Beat’ virtual safaris include video footage of actual sightings, as well as some of the exhilarating encounters experienced by its game rangers on patrol. Videos are uploaded daily on all Tintswalo’s social media channels.
FIVESTAR PR has been appointed to represent In Residence luxury villa rentals. The Cape Town based PR consultancy specializes in luxury travel and hospitality PR and is preparing a communications strategy to roll out in the much-anticipated return of local and international travel post the current COVID-19 crisis.
Following global trends, the luxury villa rental market is expecting a boom in South Africa too, as more and more affluent travellers opt out of hotel stays, to choose the exclusivity, privacy and convenience of spending their vacation in a private villa, exclusive apartment or an exceptional private home.
Says Janie van der Spuy, founder of FIVESTAR PR: ‘During this time of crisis and disruption, it is essential for the travel industry to continue with marketing activities. History has shown that during crisis times those businesses that continue to develop and adapt their business strategy by introducing creative PR and marketing campaigns, are invariably best positioned to thrive when they come out the other side.’
In Residence, one of South Africa’s leading luxury villa rental companies, represents what is widely considered the ‘top 50 villas and properties’ on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard. Other villas within the collection are located in the Cape winelands, Hermanus, the Garden Route and private game reserves. Signature In Residence properties are typically architecturally innovative, contemporary homes featuring the latest security and technological innovations, as well as truly exquisite views of South Africa’s unique landscape. Bespoke interiors are adorned with curated private art collections featuring the continent’s most talented artists. Many of these magnificent properties are exclusive to the In Residence portfolio.
The In Residence offering is completed by a professional and personalised in-house concierge service catering to all possible requirements. These range from luxury cars, chauffeurs, butlers, chefs and caterers, to babysitters, personal shoppers, yoga instructors, masseuses, personal trainers and VIP protection services. The In Residence team is available around the clock to satisfy its guests’ every recreational wish, organizing personalized tours and concerts, helicopter trips, boat rides and yacht rentals, as well as spa treatments and health-club visits – as would be provided by a world-class 5-star hotel.
In response to the international Corona Covid-19 travel restrictions, Tintswalo Lodges has introduced reduced-rate 2-night Staycation offers at each of its properties to present locals with as much as 50% discount for self-drive travel until 31 July 2020.
Each of Tintswalo’s small and exclusive luxury lodges are located in idyllic, remote locations close to nature where there are no crowds. Here the clean, fresh air affords guests the opportunity to escape, connect with nature and relax in a stress-free natural environment.
All Tintswalo lodges have child-friendly accommodation options too, making them ideal destinations for families to spend quality time together during the newly introduced extended school breaks.
Tintswalo properties offer sanctuary to humans and wildlife alike. The portfolio includes Tintswalo Atlantic in Cape Town, as well as safari destinations in the malaria-free Waterberg, Tintswalo Lapalala and the new Tintswalo Family Camp at Welgevonden, and Tintswalo Safari Lodge in the greater Kruger region.
Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo says that the South African tourism industry has been hard hit by enforced cancellations from international tourists due to the ban on air travel and the global trend to delay overseas travel plans. ‘Many South Africans too are forced to cancel their international travel plans for the year. This has created the opportunity to offer Staycation deals to locals wanting to escape some of the frenzy experienced in cities and populated areas, to enjoy a restful break with loved ones at some of South Africa’s top bucket-list destinations.’
She continued to say all Tintswalo staff have been briefed and trained and lodges have prevention action plans in place to minimise the risk of Covid-19 contamination. As a further precautionary measure, guest rooms and all communal areas and kitchens are disinfected on a regular basis and sanitation products are at the disposal of guests.
Tintswalo’s Staycation deals start from a 2-night stay for two at Tintswalo Atlantic at R10 850 – inclusive of breakfast and afternoon snacks.
Safari deals start at R26 000 and include all meals and daily game drives for a 2-night stay for a family of four (including 2 children under the age of 16) at Tintswalo Lapalala in the Waterberg, or a 2-night safari for two adults at Tintswalo Safari Lodge. In the same Manyeleti Reserve the Tintswalo Manor House is available at a special Staycation rate of R63 000 per 2-night stay for a group of 10 people, including all meals and safari activities, or at R65 000 per 2-night stay for the take-over of the Tintswalo Family Camp at Welgevonden Game Reserve, for 10 people.
In the wake of the current COVID-19 crisis which has resulted in international air travel coming to a halt, some excellent opportunities have opened-up for South African residents to make use of unprecedented discounts offered at luxury safari lodges.
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa, the award-winning 5-star safari lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province) has announced 40% discount offers that are valid with immediate effect for new, direct bookings for stays up to 31 May 2020. Discounted rates include all meals, house drinks and twice daily safari activities, and start from R3250 per person sharing per night.
The 35 000-hectare, malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve is known for frequent ‘Big 5’ sightings and offers wide-open spaces and low-density tourist numbers to present excellent opportunities for isolation, rest and relaxation. The wildlife experience is complemented by Mhondoro’s luxurious accommodation, indulgent spa treatments, fine cuisine and passionate service. Fast speed wifi is available in all suites allowing connectivity for those wanting to work remotely. All sanitation procedures and precautions have been implemented to minimize contamination and staff are trained accordingly. Public areas and guest rooms, as well as the kitchen and spa are disinfected on a regular basis and sanitation products are available to all guests and staff.
The family-friendly lodge is an easy 2h45-hour drive from Johannesburg and welcomes children of all ages. Special children’s activities are on offer along with babysitting services and short game drives may be booked for families with young children. Little travellers can run free in the dedicated open-air play area, which is protected by an elephant fence and a playroom is stocked with games.
At the main lodge two dedicated family suites with private lounges each accommodate two adults and two children. Within the same concession, Mhondoro Villa provides a luxurious yet comfortable home-away-from-home for bigger families. The Villa comes with its own heated pool and small gym and sleeps six people, but can accommodate up to 10 when the rest of the party book the adjacent 2-bedroom Family suite.
Tintswalo has extended its portfolio of family-owned luxury lodges and boutique hotels with the opening of the Tintswalo Family Camp in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in Limpopo (South Africa). The third safari location in the Tintswalo stable and its’ second in the malaria-free Waterberg, the new Family Camp is booked on an exclusive-use basis only. The camp accommodates one group of between 10 and 16 guests travelling together and welcomes children of all ages. (Rate R47 670 for up to 10 guests, including accommodation, all meals and soft drinks, twice daily safari activities and wifi in the main lodge. Six additional guests may be added at R3500 per person per night)
Tintswalo Family Camp is an ideal destination for corporates breakaways and executive retreats. Comfortably furnished, the main communal lounge area provides a warm and welcoming ambience with large fireplaces. An expansive deck overlooks the valley below and features a swimming pool with poolside loungers. The viewing deck inside the camp overlooks the waterhole and the spacious entertainment room may be converted into a conference room. There is a small gift shop and the camp is protected by electric fencing against predators and dangerous game to allow children the freedom to enjoy the outside areas.
Tintswalo Family camp is ideal for a group of 10 but can accommodate a group of up to 16 with en-suite bathrooms, and up to 20 guests when the group includes younger children sharing a bathroom. Five spacious freestanding luxury units are positioned on either side of the main lodge, comprising of two 3-bedroom units, each with 2 bathrooms and a veranda overlooking the wilderness; two 1-bedroom units with an en-suite bathroom and adjoining private lounge; and one 2-bedroom unit with en-suite bathrooms.
The Welgevonden Game Reserve comprises of 40,000 hectares of pristine bushveld and ranks amongst South Africa’s largest private game reserves, forming part of the only savanna biosphere reserve in the world, proclaimed by UNESCO in March 2001. It boasts a great variety of game and is home to South Africa’s Big Five. The Welgevonden Game Reserve is a pioneer in conservation initiatives; this ethos forming an integral part of the rich, multi-generational family experience on offer at Tintswalo’s Family Camp.
Says Tintswalo CEO Lisa Goosen: ‘Tintswalo Family Camp is strategically positioned to offer an exclusive and unique, private safari experience for a family group or friends travelling together. We are excited to bring to the market this new relaxed, family product, which offers full exclusivity for a group to spend quality time together to make the safari experience memorable and personal. The need to disconnect from everyday life and immerse oneself into nature is becoming increasingly sought after, with more and more people opting for experiences like these, that are good for the soul.’
JOCK SAFARI LODGE FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH WILDERNESS FOUNDATION AFRICA IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES AROUND THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Jock Safari Lodge has formed an official long term partnership with the Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) to further conservation education and youth development within the broader community of the Kruger National Park.
Jock Safari Lodge was the first private concession granted within the Kruger National Park. It has a long-standing commitment to both sustainable and community development and has for many years worked to upskill and uplift individuals to greater heights. The collaboration with the WFA is however positioned to take community empowerment and development to another level.
Says Louis Strauss, the General Manager & Director of Jock Safari Lodge: ‘We are extremely honoured and excited about the new prospects and possibilities that this partnership brings, which will enable us to have a greater impact in engaging with, and including those that can work alongside us to preserve this rich landscape that we are so passionate about.’
With a 48-year track record, the Wilderness Foundation Africa sets out to protect and sustain wildlife and wilderness through integrated conservation and education programmes. These range from anti-poaching and large landscape wilderness management, to developing young leaders from disadvantaged communities for a career in conservation, to interlink and close the circle between the cornerstones of the WFA, namely species, spaces and people.
The non-profit CALEO Foundation, which owns Jock Safari Lodge, has as its objective to make a legacy investment to help protect, restore and sustain threatened ecosystems, wildlife and flora resources and their habitats, as well as surrounding communities. Strauss continued: ‘As the CALEO Foundation so rightly says, small steps can make a difference, and we are eager to see the positive effects that this partnership will have on those around us, and for the Kruger region overall.’
Jock Safari Lodge has made a life-long commitment to continuous investment in the WFA projects, that will this year, be launched with a R400 000 injection in two key intervention programmes to be rolled out as part of the Jock/WFA partnership.
The Siyazenzela leadership and employability skills training programme is aimed at previously disadvantaged youth (between the ages of 18 and 26). Siyazenzela (meaning ‘We are doing it for ourselves’) training courses are run as a four-week short term project with facilitation in focus areas such as Emotional & Social Wellness; Occupational & Financial Wellness; and Physical & Environmental Wellness. Participants gain job preparedness skills and are provided with job shadowing opportunities. Upon graduation they are enrolled into a resilience support programme that ensures that they stay connected to the programme for peer mentoring purposes, monitoring and psycho-social support.
The second programme, known as the Imbewu Wilderness Trails, aims to connect youth to their cultural-environmental heritage. The trails draw attention to the resilient and healing power of nature for personal and social transformation. This often leads students to make life changing choices and lifestyle changes that equip vulnerable youth to be economically active and environmentally responsible citizens.
Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of Wilderness Foundation Africa says: ‘We are excited to be partnering with Jock Safari Lodge, with their impeccable commitment to sustainable development and leaders in nature-based tourism. There is much to learn from each other in the common cause of ensuring that our natural heritage is preserved and enjoyed by all citizens of our country.’
Tintswalo Atlantic has partnered with experienced Mindful host, Tracy Winde, to present a series of retreats during the upcoming winter months. The three ‘Mindfulness Pause Retreats’ are aimed at people who want to experience life more mindfully and who want to expand their awareness and growth; from those just beginning their journey, to those already well-travelled.
The Tintswalo Atlantic Mindfulness Pause Retreats will include luxury accommodation in Island Suites and activities within the three different programmes. All meals are included and guests may expect wholesome and fresh, seasonal cuisine and honest and uncomplicated seaside fare. During the 4-night/5-day programmes guests are invited to restore inner peace, balance and creativity. Using the three 3 p’s of ‘place, perspective and presence’, this presents the opportunity to relax and recharge, and radically enhance and shift personal growth and mindfulness practices.
Says Lisa Goosen, CEO of Tintswalo Lodges: ‘In today’s hectic world of work, noise, disruption and social media, we hardly ever give ourselves time to switch off, to re-connect, to experience the simple joy of being. This retreat is a gift of time and space where guests not only have the opportunity to experience Tintswalo’s warm hospitality, but are also held in a safe and compassionate space to experience their divine inner self. With these retreats we are aiming at presenting guests with a life-changing, soul-nourishing, and unforgettable experience’.
Activities and specialist teachers have been carefully curated and handpicked by Mindful host, Tracy Winde, and may vary from one programme to another. These range from Tai Chi facilitated by James Godwin and OM Chanting led by Carl Van Vuuren, to Sacred Drumming facilitated by the Drum Café.
Tintswalo Atlantic’s unique position overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean lends itself perfectly to a Water Ceremony facilitated by Shelley Ruth Wyndham and a Sacred Sound Experience using frequency, vibration, silence and stillness with Lindi te Water.
Tracy Winde will lead daily meditation, while interesting talks include for example, Leon Lewis’ Wisdom sharing themed ‘Connecting with the Ancient Heart’. Other highlights include the opportunity for a five-hour Silent Retreat facilitated by Mandy Johnson.
The retreats will make full use of the inspiring, natural location of the venue, while some programmes will also include an excursion to the Stellenbosch spekboom labyrinth with Terry de Vries; a picnic in nature at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and meditation on Table Mountain led by Shelley Ruth Wyndham (weather permitting).
Tracy Winde has had as a life-long interest and practice of meditation and mindfulness, including a training course in India with the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Here she received even more verification for her mission, which is to raise consciousness on the planet, moment by moment, through the practice of mindfulness.
She says: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to combine the pleasure of a luxury holiday in a breath-taking location, with joyful and delightful activities to integrate mindfulness into your life by reconnecting with Nature, with yourself, and the Universe.’
Tintswalo Lapalala has taken up the #SpekboomChallenge to champion the planting of spekboom (Portulacaria afra) within the pristine Lapalala Wilderness Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo).
The luxury tented lodge already operates off the grid, but to offset the carbon footprint of its safari vehicles and emergency generators, it has now started cultivating seedlings of these ‘super’ plants.
Information on the #SpekboomChallenge is shared with guests who are encouraged to participate in the conservation initiative. On check-out, each person receives a cutting with the invitation to plant their own spekboom. Guests have the choice to plant their spekboom around the lodge, or elsewhere within the expansive reserve that stretches across 44 500 hectares of untouched wilderness.
The spekboom is indigenous to the Eastern Cape but is also found throughout the drier parts of South Africa. One hectare of spekboom can sequester between four and ten tonnes of carbon per year. This makes it a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and the move towards a zero-carbon world. The spekboom can live up to 200 years and can grow up to five metres tall. They are equipped with a unique mechanism to adapt to their surroundings and during drought periods the water-wise plant is able to conserve and prevent water loss during the heat of the day. Spekboom is very high in nutritional value with a delicious, juicy lemon taste that is a favourite food for black rhinos, kudus and elephants.
Says lodge manager Tanja Jacobs: ‘We have had a very good response and our guests just love this conservation initiative where the spekboom is specially packaged and presented to them as a farewell gift from Tintswalo Lapalala. We are a family-friendly lodge and children especially like getting their hands dirty and choosing a spot to plant their own seedling in the reserve. After spending time here in the wilderness they are inspired to leave with a greater understanding of the shared responsibility towards conservation and the small things we can do each day to help make our earth a healthier place.’