Something to brighten up your day while you’re stuck at home…

This is the story of an orphan elephant named Khanyisa. 

Khanyisa had been found trapped in a snare with several severe injuries, no sign of her herd. Her wounds suggested she had been desperately trying to free herself, for days. She had serious lacerations around the back of her ears and neck that stretched around her mouth and cheeks.

She was first taken to Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in Mpumalanga, where their veterinary team attended to her wounds, waiting for The HERD Elephant Orphanage’s team to arrive and aid further. Adine roode , Founder and leading force behind HERD and Managing Director at Jabulani Safari , applied for the necessary permits to transfer Khanyisa to HERD, her new home.

HERD is the first elephant orphanage of its kind in South Africa, that serves as a facility to rehabilitate and raise elephants calves that have been displaced or orphaned. Organisations such as these are crucial to have in South Arica. With poaching as rife as it is, calves are often left alone after their mothers have been poached.

But Khanyisa is no ordinary elephant calf. She gets her name from her unique appearance. ‘Khanyisa’ means light or sunshine, in the local Shona language. Khanyisa is an albino elephant, making her more visible in the bush thus making her more susceptible to attacks by predators. HERD tells us, this also means she is more sensitive to light and can suffer health problems associated with genetic mutations.

On a happier note, Khanyisa is thriving, she is beyond happy and has settled in quickly at her new home. She’s made a loyal companion out of Lammie, a resident sheep.

“She continues to be a ray of light since coming into our care at HERD. On the 7th of January 2020, as a four month-old calf.” says HERD.

Khanyisa continues to improve each day, healing and becoming more alert. We are inspired by the work of the HERD team, all Khanyisa’s carers, the wildlife vets, Care For Wild, Provet Wildlife Services and the work of remarkable, Adine Roode.

For more updates on Khanyisa , follow
@herd_elephants on facebook and instagram.

@ HERD – Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development

We hope you enjoyed this little story.

Stay Safe,

The Personal Collection Team.

Tintswalo

Atlantic

One of a kind luxury

Towards the end of 2019, I was invited to Cape Town for the re-opening of Tintswalo Atlantic. This lodge belongs to Ernest and Gaye Corbett together with Warwick and Lisa Goosen. This family own the exclusive Tintswalo Group which consists of the following properties;

  • Tintswalo Safari Lodge
  • Tintswalo at Boulders
  • Tintswalo Atlantic
  • Tintswalo Manor House
  • Tintswalo at Lapalala
  • Tintswalo Shidzidzi

It took me around 30 minutes to get to Tintswalo Atlantic from Cape Town City bowl. It was a beautiful drive passing Camps Bay, Llandudno and through Hout Bay. The lodge is located within the Table Mountain National Park. I dropped my car off at the top, and similarly if you were being transferred you would wait here while a vehicle is sent up to collect you. The drive down to the lodge itself is steep and windy.

About a kilometre down you will find the most gorgeous lodge – tucked away between the curves of the Chapman’s Peak Mountains. It is totally hidden away and you are truly isolated. The lodge faces the bay of Hout Bay and the sound of crashing waves against the rocks literally beneath the hotel is consistent and mesmerising.

The hotel is made up of 10 individually decorated suites and a presidential suite. Each suite has a unique design and theme. All suites are sea facing and are right on the shoreline however the presidential suite is a level up and more secluded.

Robben Island – this room pays tribute to of course, Nelson Mandela. It has very calming colours yet quirky and hip.

Java Island – Java Island is an Indonesian paradise, situated between Sumatra and Bali. The Java Island Suite captures the contrast of dark wood and ocean blue, and that unmistakable magic of Indonesia.

Antigua Island – As the name says this room has very Caribbean “shabby-chic” theme – bright blues and yellows.

Madagascar Island – Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the coast of East Africa.

Cousine Island – Cousine Island is a Seychelles Island famous for the beautiful species of shells, fish and marine life. Lots of aqua colours.

Sante Marie Island – Santé Marie is a beautiful Island off the coast of Madagascar. No blue in this room but lots of glass and light. Most feminine suite.

Sicily Island – Most famous Italian island, this suite pays tribute to classic Italian Style.

Lamu Island – Lamu Island is a Swahilian Island just off the East coast of Africa and formerly a penal colony. The interior is fun, natural and organic – a distinct African feel.

Ithaca Island – Ithaca Island Suite takes its name from the Greek Island and represents the country in classic Grecian style. Has a crisp, minimalist feel with blues and indigo look and feel.

Zanzibar Island – as name says, again an East Africa look and feel. It has a vibrant historical look. (This suite is a wheelchair friendly room).

Presidential Suite (Elba and Corsica) – this suite consists of 2 island suites joined by a common living area. It is decorated in classic Atlantic style.

Although located about 30 minutes out of town, guests are privileged to the most beautiful scenes with Hout Bay Mountains and bay area. Whales and dolphins do visit the bay (whales from around late July to November but spotted often through to February). The location of the hotel is most definitely unbeatable. It is recommended for guests looking for exclusivity and privacy and is ideal for honeymooners.

When the tide goes out, you can walk a little in front of the hotel and you will be re-introduced to our beautiful natural beaches and so untouched, no litter… just crabs and shells, mussels, rocks.

On the 2nd evening I returned after a dinner in Camps Bay and was waiting at the gate for my courtesy vehicle to take me back down. I looked out towards Noordhoek and it was absolute darkness, not a light in sight – just the natural night light. Noordhoek was hidden by one of the Chapman Peaks mountains. The feeling was quite eerie knowing how the first settlers to Cape Town must have felt. So although so close to Cape Town, this hotel is really isolated and uninhabited and absolutely unforgettable and a true gem.

Janine Southwood

Head of Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa

FAMILY TRAVEL

 “The biggest lesson from Africa was that life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things. I saw time and again how much fun Africans had with their families and friends and on the sports fields; they laughed all the time.”Andrew Shue (American actor)

What more could you ask for in a destination like Southern Africa, than to enjoy some family time with your children. 

  • It brings us back to a life we knew growing up
  • 100% natural settings with trees, stars and endless savannas
  •  Install’s an appreciation of the Africa’s natural beauty
  • Educational  
  • Takes away the rush of our daily lives
  • It teach children to respect our wildlife
  • Memories lasting a lifetime , and stories for generations to come
  • Hardly any time to get bored

Southern Africa has many places that accommodate families however there are some hotels and lodges that cater perfectly for families.  Below are just 3 choices that come to mind

Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris, preferred partners of Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa , experts in Southern Africa

African Bush Camps

The Best Part About Memories is Making Them –  Travel can be a wonderful time for a family to bond and a safari is a great way to connect through disconnecting from the normal routine. Everything is new and exciting; seeing an elephant for the first time, making pizza out in nature, or learning the call of an eagle. Watch  African Bush Camps Family Adventure Safari video to see why their family-friendly camps are the best on offer.

You can see how families become a part of their family, hosts entertain children with games and activities while guides ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in the kids they teach. Their guides are experts in explaining, in fun and interactive ways, how everything in the ecosystem is interconnected, making it an enriching educational experience. 

“Travelling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

Leigh Hunt

Samara

“We did not inherit the land from our forefathers. We have simply borrowed it from our children.” – NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB

Samara offers an adventure for all ages. Family-owned and family-run, they are passionate about educating the next generation of conservationists and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild. Inspiring educational activities combined with a breathtaking malaria-free setting make Samara the epitome of a child friendly safari.

Kids Programme & Babysitting

The Samara Kids Programme, part of our child friendly safari activities, caters to children up to 12 years old.

Experienced staff will engage your children in a variety of age-appropriate, fun and educational activities whilst you relax and unwind.

Activities include:

  • ‘Outdoor classroom’ bush excursions in the lodge grounds
  • Track identification
  • Rock painting like the Khoi-San
  • African crafts
  • T-shirt making
  • Orienteering & navigating
  • Storytelling
  • Colouring-in
  • Board games

When parents are away from the lodge, babies and toddlers younger than 2 years old must be placed under the care of the experienced childminders available. This babysitting is available during game drives and over dinner. A dedicated children’s menu is available at both lodges, and special requests can be accommodated.

Activities for teenagers

Unlikely to take kindly to being grouped in with the ‘kids’, we have a host of activities ideally suited to teens and young adults.

These activities cater to those already into the Big Outdoors as well as those who simply want to get that perfect ‘Insta-worthy’ picture to show friends back home.

These include:

  • Air rifle target practice
  • Bush walks (minimum age 16 years)
  • Sleep-outs (weather dependent)
  • Conservation activities
  • Overnight trail (minimum age 16 years; subject to ranger availability)

The activities described above can also include parents, allowing you to reconnect as a family on an exciting wilderness adventures.

Sabi Sabi

ELEFUN CENTRE AT SABI SABI BUSH LODGE

Families with children are always welcomed at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, and children are afforded a bush and nature experience, from the youngest to the eldest members of the family. The EleFun Centre is a fully-fledged children’s facility within the lodge environs, which fosters awareness and an appreciation of nature.The EleFun Centre offer hands-on, interactive activities designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Age-appropriate bushveld themed activities are guided, and supervised, by qualified staff, and include bushcraft subjects such as bush survival, bugs & birds, tracks & signs of wildlife – all environmentally sensitive subjects that every child will find fascinating.  

There is time for creative hobbies, while the afternoon sessions are fun-filled with games. Selected rangers lead bush walks and talks, and the childcare professionals provide specially planned midday child-friendly game drives, based on the topics covered in the rangers course, at the time of your visit.

The beautifully designed centre also includes a wonderful, secure outdoor play area. While set itineraries will take place every morning and afternoon, children are welcome to enjoy the facility between formal sessions.  Parents and/or guardians can relax and enjoy the incredible safaris, have a pamper session in the Amani Spa or just kick back and enjoy some private time, knowing that their children are reveling in their own special bushveld experience.

JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAMME

10:00 – INTRODUCTION TO JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAMME (AGES 4- 12)

Childcare professionals will introduce the variety of activities that are required in order to qualify as a Junior Ranger. These will of course be based according to their ages.

11:00 – 12:00 – ADVENTURES WITH NATURE 

This is the time for interactive bush activity. Weather permitting, a Ranger – or the EleFun co-ordinator – will lead the children in and around the lodge grounds on a walk, and for the older children there are additional midday educational drives out into the bush. The young Junior Ranger group will learn interesting facts about the Sabi Sabi bushveld and the animals, e.g. bugs & birds, bush survival or tracks & signs of nature.

12:00 – 13:00 – HOBBIES AND CRAFTS

In cases of inclement weather, children will enjoy an arts and crafts session, where boys and girls can enjoy hands-on projects, all relating to nature and the natural world – this could get messy but they definitely won’t be bored.

13:00 – 14:00 – CLOSED FOR LUNCH WITH PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

14:00 – 15:30 – GAME TIME

We encourage all the children to join us for our indoor and outdoor afternoon games which are really fun as well as educational. There is a spacious outdoor area with an obstacle course, a maze, open field to play soccer or enjoy some water sports and jungle gyms. There are also general knowledge quizzes based on African animals and they learn different animal sounds too. 


Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

MEET THE TEAM

Who We Are 

Janine Southwood – Head of Personal Collection

Janine Southwood, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, heads up the Personal Collection team.  Janine and her team customise exclusive, creative travel itineraries, all imbued with distinctive traces of Southern Africa.

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“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”, said Aristotle and that’s something we stick to here at Personal Collection. We love what we do, we’re doing what we love.    

‘Born in Africa, I am blessed to part of a continent like no other.  For so many arriving into Africa for the first time, you almost immediately feel like your soul belongs here, and during the course of your journey, she will steal your heart as you fall in love with her.  Our history is intriguing … from the mysterious rock churches of Lalibela, the ancient pyramids of Egypt, to the reshuffling of the earth’s plates to create Ngorongoro Crater, Great Rift Valley, the Okavango Delta, to name just a few.  All of this creates a natural oasis for wildlife and their migrations across terrains.

And then, of course, there are the colours and sounds of our many cultures, each with their own traditions that will leave you on the edge of your seat, eager for more of their captivating stories.  Combine this with breathtakingly beautiful landscapes that haven’t changed at all over centuries, and you will start to understand my love of Africa and why it is most definitely worth visiting, not just once, but over and over again.

Africa won’t let you forget her gentle sounds of tranquillity and serenity and her undeniable beauty. Africans won’t let you forget how friendly and accommodating we are. And our wildlife – there is simply nothing more beautiful than the sight of wild animals on the great plains roaming free where they should be.”

Tessa Robertson – Africa Specialist

Tessa has over 14 years of experience in inbound travel.  She is passionate about her job and pays special focus to the attention to detail in a tour, ensuring all the bells and whistles are taken care of.

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  “I was fortunate to grow up with parents who had a passion for travel which helped me realise what I wanted to do with my life.  I studied hotel management and then worked in 5-star hotels in Durban, Cape Town and London. It was during my three years in the United Kingdom that I travelled so much of the world and on return to South Africa, I knew I had to see more of my home country, and wow, what an incredible country we have! I had to share this with the rest of the world and so here I am, working with a small dynamic team of ladies, sharing our love of Africa with those fortunate enough to experience it.

“Once you hear the mighty roar of a lion or watch the sun set over the grasslands,  Africa will capture your heart forever. Africa is waiting for you!”

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Shannon Powell – Africa Specialist

Senior Tour Consultant, with over 15 years of travel experience, staring in a small retail chain in the UK. Shannon has a hunger for the industry. “It’s not just a job for me, it’s my life.”  

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Her son grew up in the Mara so Shannon is personally familiar with all of the deluxe secrets into making the magic moments of your personal itinerary including wedding planning on the Mighty Zambezi River. She thrives on the little special personal touches to make the WOW in someone’s day. Her career started with her being born into her family’s safari lodge in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. She then followed the family footsteps and worked and lived in 5-star properties all through Africa. Travel is now her speciality and she excels as a Travel Counsellor. Her vivaciousness and caring dedication to her clients are invaluable assets to our Personal Collection Brand.

Shannon has designed individual tours and arranged escorted tours to Southern Africa for many clients from all over the US to Europe, Israel, Australia/New Zealand and Africa. She is also passionate about “giving back” and works closely with local orphans in and around Southern Africa.

Our team is passionate about Africa and each Africa Specialist has a deep love for what we do, thus making your trip even more meaningful or memorable. Join us to create your African legacy, with your footprint on conservation (be it wildlife, community or habitat) and spread the word about how wonderful Africa and its people are.
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 Images courtesy of Time + Tide Africa, experts in Zambia, preferred partners of Personal Collection.  

 

Next time in Africa,
The Personal Collection Team    

 

THE WILD WILDEBEEST

Wildebeest is a mammal that belongs to the family of antelopes. Wildebeests live in central, eastern and southern parts of Africa. They prefer life in green plains and open woodlands. Wildebeest is also known as gnu. These odd-looking animals have high reproduction rate and despite being targeted by numerous African predators, their number in the wild is still high and stable. Wildebeests are not listed as endangered animals.

Wildebeest is one of the largest antelopes. It can reach 8 feet in length, 4.5 feet in height and weight up to 600 pounds.
Wildebeest looks like a close relative of a bovine because of its disproportional body. It has large, box-shaped head, and strongly built front part of the body. Hindquarters are slender, just like in other antelopes.
Wildebeest has a mane just like horse. Both males and females have curved horns.
Wildebeest is a grazer. It eats mainly short grass. Wildebeest needs to drink water at least every other day.
Due to harsh climate in Africa, wildebeest is well known for its seasonal migration. They will move toward the west when sources of food and water become scarce.
During migration, wildebeests travel between 500 and 1000 miles. Timing of migration is determined by weather conditions, but it usually takes place during the May and June.
Migrations are one of the most fascinating phenomena that can be seen in Africa. Migratory group consists of 1.5 millions of wildebeest and hundreds of thousands associated animals, such as zebras and Thompson’s gazelles.
Wildebeest live in large herds, composed of animals of both sex and their offspring. Life in herd provides protection against predators.
Main predators of wildebeest are lions, hyenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs.
During mating season, breeding groups composed of around 150 animals will be created. These groups are further divided in several smaller groups, where the most dominant male performs different kind of antics to impress the females.
Male wildebeest are also known as “clowns of savanna” because of the weird behavior during mating season.
Males also attract females by rubbing a scent (produced in the preorbital and interdigital gland) into the ground. They will urinate and defecate to mark their breeding territory and to keep other males away.
Pregnancy lasts 8.5 months and it ends with a single baby. Female gives birth in the middle of the herd. 80% of calves are born during the same 2-3 week period, just before rainy season.
Calves (babies) are able to walk as soon as they are born. Few days after birth, babies can run with the rest of the herd. Calves will suckle during the first four months of their life. Milk-based diet will be enriched with grass 10 days after birth.
Wildebeest can live up to 20 years in wild.