Insider's View

BACK

On Location in Southern Africa

Navigating the complex world of African travel is best done with the help of an expert. We caught up with Joss Kent, CEO of andBeyond, our On Location partner and leader in conservation and sustainable travel.  It’s a fascinating read with informed ideas for your African adventure!

Q: As a leader in conservation and sustainability in African travel, tell us about the achievements you are most proud of.

We have so many, I’ll list a few including some that are happening right now:

  • Rhinos Without Borders – In 2011, the first ever private game reserve donation of rhino to another country, when we translocated six white rhino from andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. In partnership with Great Plains Conservation, the company is now preparing to translocate up to a further hundred rhino to the country in an initiative designed to help counter the scourge of poaching and preserve this African icon for future generations.
  • In August we reopened andBeyond Matetsi Private Game Reserve in Zimbabwe. We were originally involved in the conversion of Matetsi from wildlife hunting to photographic safaris. The wildlife population has also benefitted from increased security efforts, with both armed National Parks staff and privately sourced employees being utilized for anti-poaching patrols.
  • The first lion cubs to be born in Akagera in almost 20 years have been born to one of the five lionesses donated by andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to reverse a local extinction of the species in Akagera National Park.
  • A decade of leopard research resulting in regulations for sustainable leopard trophy hunting and a stricter system of permits for the control of problem animals.
  • Formation of the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area, Zanzibar in 2005. Development of its Green turtle monitoring project and breeding projects for the rare Ader’s duiker and endangered suni.

Q: Tell us about the game viewing experiences in Southern Africa and your guides who lead them.

At any time, somewhere remote in Africa, guests on safari and tour with andBeyond are enjoying spectacular wildlife sightings and indulging in the magic of Africa’s sunsets, wildlife and the trademark hospitality of its people.

South Africa is home to some of Africa’s most renowned wildlife reserves, including the massive Kruger National Park. Its exceptional game parks are spread throughout the country, offering a range of landscapes and experiences that are easily accessible and all include outstanding game viewing.

We pride ourselves on creating incredible guest experiences and are renowned for the caliber of our guides. andBeyond places a huge focus on ensuring that our in-house ranger training is world-class. We employ hard-working, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and strong-minded individuals and we train and mentor them extensively on how to deliver extraordinary experiences and superlative wildlife sightings to each and every guest that visits our lodges.

Q: Describe the features of a few of your lodges and camps in Southern Africa for those wanting "Natural Luxury" while on safari.

andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge, South Africa

The lodge exudes a colonial ambiance with safari memorabilia throughout. Spacious thatched bar, dining and sitting areas are open to the breezes of the African bushveld. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and private veranda ideal for dinners. Family Suite accommodates four and includes a private swimming pool and the use of a private vehicle. The swimming pool and sundeck overlook a natural riverine woodland, ideal for avid birdwatchers.

andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, Botswana

One of the best wildlife experiences in the Delta, the lodge combines a natural location with an unusual design. Set in a forest canopy it has spectacular Delta views. Twelve elegant suites raised above the papyrus feature private plunge pools, fireplaces and secluded nooks. There’s an interactive kitchen for Botswana beef, artisanal breads and pizzas, and a beautifully situated massage sala offers relaxing massages in a spectacular natural setting.

andBeyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp, Botswana

Elegant tented accommodation with breath-taking views of the ever-changing Delta. Nine exclusive tented suites, set on raised wooden platforms, feature a luxurious bed, en suite bathroom with an indoor shower and a veranda with a spacious sitting area. A family tent, consisting of two luxury tents joined by a walkway, offers the perfect setting for families.

Q: For families, what exactly is the "WILDchild Programme"?

Designed especially for children visiting our safari lodges and camps in Africa, the programme is filled with fun, interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Deeply rooted in the love for the African bush, it not only creates a series of unforgettable moments for the whole family but forges strong bonds between our young guests, our planet and its people. Expeditions may involve activities such as tracking and fishing, making traditional bows and arrows, beading, crafting and painting, as well as fun in the lodge garden or kitchen and more. The children’s activities available at each of andBeyond’s lodges attempt to tie in with that particular environment, as well as the local heritage of the region.

Q: Tell us about some of your tours that combine a safari with other destinations.

We have many tours combining the excitement of a safari with other destinations in Southern Africa for a comprehensive vacation. Here are a few examples:

Magine Big 5 and Big 5 Safari

This 11-day Africa safari and coastal exploration offers the unforgettable opportunity to witness the Safari Big 5 and Marine Big 5.

A Family Affair in Africa

Experience the ultimate family safari through South Africa, staying at a selection of exclusive villas and enjoying adventures with dedicated private guides.

Wild and Luxurious Southern Africa

Set in Zambia and South Africa, this incredible 12-day Southern Africa tour offers the perfect blend of safari and coastal adventures.

Q: What food and wine experiences can you recommend?

  • South (and Southern) Africa has incredible food.
  • andBeyond’s wholesome Pan African cuisine will leave you very well fed the entire time you are with us.
  • For wine, we have a Cape winelands tour which will take guests to all the best spots.

Q: What are your personal favorite travel experiences in Southern Africa?

  • Cape Town and its winelands are an absolute must!
  • For me, Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa is just the most incredible slice of earth with seven unique habitats and an incredible variety of wildlife.
  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana is an unbelievable sight.
  • The Benguerra Archipelago in Mozambique.
  • Victoria Falls.
  • Sossusvlei with its astonishing sand dunes in NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia.
  • The Sabi Sand private Game Reserve - where we have Kirkman’s Kamp and Ngala Lodge - is a leopard lover’s delight!

andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, Botswana | Photo: andBeyond
 

Vacation Side Travel




Steven Talbott
Vacation Side Travel

533 Church St Ste #278
Nashville, TN 37219
615-241-8350

 855-822-8747 (Toll-free)
 615-800-8069 (Fax)
 steven@vacationside.com
 vacationside.com

How can we help?


Please send us a message if you have any questions or comments about anything you see in the e-zine. We'd love to hear from you!