A luxury escape is about more than just a luxurious room. Its a sense of luxurious experience communicated through every touch point of a brand. Its an authentic, exclusive experience.
Explore with Us as we take a closer look at a few of the ULTIMATE luxury escapes we partner with.
This is the story of an ancient place; of rebirth, of family legacy, and of a lodge that is so pioneering, so authentic, that it reinvents the very idea of what it means to experience the African bush. This is Xigera (“Kee-jera”), a bold new statement in Botswana’s most unspoilt wilderness, situated on the western side of the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta.
Xigera is a labour of love, a miraculous and enchanting transformation that will create experiences that are, quite simply, extraordinary.
Using a light footprint, is just 12 suites, each an exquisite reimagining of the safari experience, showcasing the finest Southern African artisans and creating a design that is utterly in tune with its surroundings. Quietly surprising touches are everywhere, from the lily-inspired spa to the chance of a life- changing sleep-out beneath the velvet night sky.
Experiences on Land
With such a flexible approach to the game drives you will never be left unsatisfied. There is always an early start option for those eager to be the first up and out to find any predators on the move or still on the hunt from the night before, or there is a later departure for those who want to rather ease into the day with an early morning yoga or gym session or just a sleep-in before going out.
Walking safaris, in the company of Xigera’s expert guides just outside the Moremi Game Reserve, are opportunities to take you to ground level, to place your feet in the soil of the African wilderness and to bring you in touch with the microcosm of the wild. You’ll be able to truly appreciate the importance of your senses, to feel the direction of the wind, to listen to your footsteps, to notice the smaller creatures of nature and to use your own energy to explore the natural life of the Delta.
Guiding and Hosting
Xigera’s experienced safari guides are Batswana (Tswana) people of exceptional calibre, they know the area intimately and have deep ecological knowledge of Botswana’s natural world.
During the wet months, you can blunder silently through the waters on a beautiful glass-bottomed mokoro craft (a traditional canoe) or sleek motor boat to experience the intricate waterways. You might catch glimpses of dusky bream and silver squeaker fish that throng these parts when the waters are high enough, darting between waterlilies. There are some 80 species across the whole system of rivers, channels and lagoons, and in-season, catch-and-release fishing can be experienced just outside the Moremi Game Reserve. Being led by Xigera’s guides, you’ll see enough water wildlife to keep you entertained for hours.
Xigera Safari Lodge opens in June 2020
The Saxon Hotel is an intimate boutique style hotel, situated on ten acres of magnificent indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat like no other. Guest rooms are spacious, being a minimum size of 80 s/m.
The hotel has three restaurants on site, offering a wide range of dietary options to suit any pallet. Numerous dining awards have been bestowed to the property, not to mention the prestigious Diners Club International Wine list awards. Unique pieces of art can be viewed throughout the property. Mini Bars and snacks are offered on a complimentary basis across all suite types and sparkling wine / champagne are offered in suites on arrival. Should you require anything else, request it from any of the butlers that are available 24 hours a day. Each suite offers only the best in Luxury amenity products.
The Fitness centre and Spa Hydro facility is open to all guests during their stay. Guests are surrounded by beautiful rolling gardens having the feeling of being in an oasis in the city.
Shambala Private Game Reserve
Shambala Private Game Reserve (Zulu Camp and Nelson Mandela Villa) offers completely tailor-made itineraries. Shambala Private Game Reserve is located in a Malaria free region and is a privately-owned reserve in the Limpopo province.
A wide range of activities are available (Private Safari vehicles, game research and handling program) for all guests to enjoy. The Reserve has its own Private Heli-pad and is 2.5 hours away from Johannesburg by car and 45 minutes by helicopter.
Menus can be created specifically for guest’s specific needs and requirements, with fine wines and premium beverages being readily available. Luxurious French Provencal decorated chalets, each having their own private terrace sets the mood for relaxation. The property boasts a Spa situated in a secluded bush clearing along the riverside.
The Nelson Mandela villa:
“I am delighted to share my home here with you and hope you will feel refreshed and inspired by your visit to this special place.”
– Nelson Mandela
Designed specifically for President Mandela’s use during his presidency. Boasting accommodation for a maximum of 12 people, formal and informal lounge areas an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool that overlooks a private water hole. Bask in the luxury of this private villa in the bush, which is quite simply, Presidential. No wonder they form part of The Leading Hotels of the World portfolio.
The Last Word Long Beach is a beautiful five star property located on the beach in Kommetjie. There is a total of 8 kilometres of pristine white beach in front of the hotel which guarantees every guest a breath-taking view of the ocean perfectly from their room. The Last Word Long Beach forms part of the Mantis Collection and is an intimate and exclusive Boutique Hotel – perfect for that luxury getaway to enjoy peace and relaxation without the hustle and bustle of the city.
Apart from the wonderful smell of the ocean at your doorstep, you can also enjoy uninterrupted majestic mountain views. Talk about spoilt for choice and a picture worthy holiday! If the views and location aren’t enough (yeah right), why not focus on the incredible rates offered by the property which include a scrumptious seafood dinner every night as well as beverages and mini-bars.
Why would you need to go anywhere else when you can get everything you need right in the comfort of your home away from home? Luxury at its best!
With 14 000ha to explore, you’ll see diverse wildlife with an opportunity of encountering the Big Five; the animals that inspire a long-lasting connection with the African Continent. What’s more, it’s exclusively yours as Thanda Safari is a private game reserve with a maximum of 58 guests spread amongst the three property choices – within KwaZulu-Natal which has one of the country’s enviable tropical climates.
Our flagship property Thanda Safari Lodge offers nine bush suites, personifying luxurious exclusivity and African abundance. Villa iZulu is a five-bedroom homestead which offers complete privacy, elegance and indulgence. Thanda Tented Camp, with its 15 luxury safari tents, offers an evocative into Africa experience.
Thanda Safari has a highly-skilled wildlife and environment management team operating 24/7 behind the scenes to manage the reserve, to combat rhino and elephant poaching in the region and to participate in breeding and range expansion programmes for critically endangered species. The Volunteer Programme (Ulwazi) gives volunteers the opportunity of being part of conservation management on the reserve whilst also contributing to wildlife and conservation research.
Besides the early morning and afternoon game drives, Thanda Safari offers a wide variety of activities such as bush walks, rhino & cheetah tracking, cultural trips, a hippo & croc tour to St Lucia, bird watching and star gazing. Christian Sperka, Thanda’s very own Resident Wildlife Photographer offers a complimentary photography lesson to teach guests more about the art of catching the perfect wildlife moment. For those looking for the ultimate photographic safari, Christian has created photographic packages which include the game drive vehicle called the ‘Green Mamba’ which has been converted into a safari vehicle, which can take two photographers and an additional three guests.
At Thanda Safari, where most of our team members are Zulu and from the local community, we offer you a special introduction to the Zulu people who generously share their living culture, ancient traditions and stories of their founding monarch, the legendary King Shaka Zulu. Witness traditional Zulu dancing which is an important part of the Zulu culture and the dancing is something quite spectacular, especially when the men (young warriors) and women (mamas) are fully dressed in their traditional attire.
Africa is the cradle of civilization, but coming to Marataba feels as if the modern world might never have happened. It’s a land immemorial, where the Nature’s Way has survived; San rock art and Iron Age sites preserve a rich heritage, and untamed animals still roam free.
A wildlife Eden set in the middle of its vast wilderness where the safari possibilities seem as endless as the horizon itself, Marataba Safari Lodge and Marataba Mountain Lodge share 23, 000 hectares of pristine natural ground, promising a highly personal and exclusive private safari experience, free concession forming part of Marakele National Park.
Marataba Safari Lodge is a simple extension of the natural environment beyond its walls – rich, bold, organic and patently magnificent. If you sit quietly for long enough, you can feel the energy of the countless people who have made this place home since The Stone Age.
A remote retreat looking down on the breath-taking Waterfall Valley, Marataba Mountain Lodge welcomes those in search of peace and a space to breathe. This is truly a lodge ‘of the earth’, fully solar powered and with a Scandi-style architectural simplicity that seamlessly blends it into the natural environment. It’s the private location that really sets it apart, with wide-angle vistas of the Waterberg escarpment, merging into acacia savannah – a perfect wilderness all to your own.
Guests are able to enjoy a water safari in the Python Dam on board Miss Mara which presents spectacular photo opportunities! Whilst on safari, there’s no need to sacrifice comfort for the close-up – vehicles are kitted out with cushioned bucket seats and water-proof device holders.
Thabametsi at Marataba is MORE’s newest (and most luxurious) Treehouse hideout. Solar powered and built over two levels, it includes a main bedroom, full shower, lounge, and viewing decks presenting the Waterberg Mountains and verdant expanse of the reserve in all their splendour. Driven by your field guide, guests arrive as sunset gilds the landscape, and the coolness of approaching evening brings animals into the open. A gourmet, tapas-style picnic has been laid out for you at your table on the deck, from where you have front row seats to the wildest theatre.
As experts in our field, we are here to guide and advise. A consultant is just a call or email away for more details on these or other ULTIMATE Luxury Escapes.
Contact a Thompsons Africa consultant today.
Tel: +27 31 275 3500