THE PERFECT FAMILY SAFARI IN THE CHOBE ENCLAVE

Even amongst the most discerning of travellers, the Linyanti Channel is fast becoming Botswana’s most sought-after wildlife haven. Nestled between the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park, Linyanti is a rich yet diverse ecosystem that is fed by a permanent river flow.

At the core of this wildlife haven is Linyanti Ebony, this intimate camp is made up of just four tents with spectacular vistas of the surrounding wilderness. A unique place where you can embrace the “digital detox” and slip into the rhythm of an authentic and game-filled safari experience.

The camp itself offers three twin-tents that sleep two and one more spacious unit excellent for families. The two-bedroom family tent has a self-contained lounge area looking out over the wetlands and an en suite bathroom with a shower and roll-top bath. For large groups or families travelling together, Linyanti Ebony can be booked exclusively with a minimum of 8 people and is open all year round.

Bask in peaceful silence as you drift through the crystal-clear waterways in a mokoro (from ages 16 years+ at the guides discretion) and watch the birds and aquatic life. Enjoy this unique rivers-cape up close, explore the bush on foot or go on an enthralling day or night game drive. For something a little extraordinary, set out to the skies on a helicopter safari and take in the awe-inspiring waterways below.

GAME DRIVES

Lead by one of our experienced guides, you’ll see magnificent wildlife indigenous to the area. Your guide will show you the hidden spots best for game viewing and give you an insider’s knowledge. With years of experience our African Bush Camps guides are known for being some of the best in the business.

WALKING SAFARIS

Awaken your senses and discover all that the bush has to offer on a walking safari. Accompanied by one of our experienced walking guides, explore the wild for one to two hours. For a full day walking safari, a private walking guide will need to be pre-booked with us. Children under 16 can experience nature walks around the camp led by our child-certified walking guides as part of the Cub Club. Since your safety is our first priority, walking safaris are usually conducted when the bush is not too thick.

SCENIC FLIGHT

A half-hour scenic helicopter is included when you stay 3 nights or more at Linyanti Ebony from April to November. Experience the pristine wilderness from a birds-eye view.

COMMUNITY & CONSERVATION PROJECTS

The African Bush Camps Foundation identifies needs, skills and resources within communities and forges meaningful partnerships amongst stakeholders, creating opportunities to empower the communities and their members to become self-sustaining and independent, whilst also promoting conservation and community spirit.

African Bush Camps Linyanti Ebony  is another top contender for a family safari in Botswana, contact us so we can arrange this holiday of a lifetime for you.

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MANA POOLS ZIMBABWE

Mana Pools, Zimbabwe’s northernmost National Park, is the wildest experience Zimbabwe has to offer. Renowned for its incredible game-viewing and adventures, this is every safari thrill seekers perfect destination.  This is a park where elephants rule followed by a thriving cat population.

Mana Pools National Park is a WORLD HERITAGE SITE – chosen on its pristine wilderness and absolute breathtaking beauty.  It is home to a wide range of mammals, over 350 bird species and aquatic wildlife.  During the rains, most of the big game animals move away from the river and into the escarpment. They start returning to the riverine areas from around April, as the pans in the bush dry up. As the year progresses, increasingly large herds of elephants and buffalo are seen, as well as kudu, eland, waterbuck, zebra, impala and many other antelope. The game is very relaxed about people on foot, making Mana Pools one of Africa’s best national parks for walking safaris

Mana Pools is located in Mashonaland West Province. There are over 20 000 km² of wildlife protected land in the vicinity of Mana Pools. It is in the Middle Zambezi Valley covering an area of 2196 square kilometers  extending from the Zambezi River in the north to the escarpment in the south.  The park offers unique guided and self-guided walks amongst many wild animals, excellent canoeing and river fishing.  In the river, tiger fish, bream, tilapia, vundu, nkupi, chessa, electric fish, eel fish, cornish jack and lung fish sport and prey upon one another.

It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and phenomenal wildlife. Here the Zambezi River, flowing slowly eastwards for thousands of years, has left behind the remains of old river channels forming small seasonal ponds and pools spread over an area of several hundred square kilometers. These extend several kilometers back from the river where, on fertile terraces huge mahogany and acacia trees cast luxuriant shade.  Vultures, plovers, Nyasa lovebird, yellow-spotted nicator, white-collared pratincole, Livingstone’s flycatcher, banded snake-eagle, and the cliché symbol of Africa, the black and white fish eagle, haunt the riverine forest and mopane woods.

Mana Pools never fails to leave you in awe – to be able to walk freely amongst the wildlife in their natural surroundings is an unforgettable experience. Contact us so we can add this to your travel dreams.

 

ZAMBIA, THE CLASSIC SAFARI

Zambia over the last couple of years has become recognised as a significant safari destination – this is a result of an abundance of wildlife combined with top of the range safari guides and offering a wide variety of safari options and accommodation competing with its neighbours but not losing the reputation of a remote and traditional safari experience.

Named after the mighty Zambezi River that flows through the western and southern areas of Zambia, this adventurous country is home to a World Heritage Site, the renowned Victoria Falls, 17 waterfalls, a rich heritage, 4 great lakes (1 man-made) and most importantly 19 National Parks covering over 60 000sq km – all in all 32% of Zambia has been set aside for wildlife.  Zambia is a perfect destination for walking safaris, in particular North Luangwa.  The Zambezi River is fed by its Kafue and Luangwa tributaries, and forms the boundary between Zambia and Zimbabwe before flowing through Mozambique and ending off into the Indian Ocean.   The biggest tourist attractions to Zambia is of course the town of Livingstone and the 4 major parks, that being the South Luangwa National Park, North Luangwa National Park, the Lower Zambezi National Park and Kafue National Park.
The capital of Zambia is Lusaka and is the main hub for all travel.  More and more International Airlines have now started flying directly into Lusaka which is a positive step for increasing tourism to Zambia.  Alternatively many travellers will fly into South Africa and connect through Livingstone Airport or through to Lusaka.

Check out this awesome package we have running for next year. Join a private guided tour with a photographic guide and expert and enjoy the gems of Zambia.  Contact us for a quote : janine@personalcollectionbyta.com

Final Zambia Classic

 

&BEYOND PHINDA

Discover iconic Phinda Private Game Reserve. Set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities.

Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems. &Beyond Phinda is often referred to as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder.’ This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino.

We have chosen two lodges to highlight to you today :

THE PHINDA HOMESTEAD

An exclusive-use villa on a private big five reserve with a private ranger, host, butler and chef. The spirit of &Beyond Phinda Homestead

Tucked into the edge of a dappled forest, in the north of the reserve, &Beyond Phinda Homestead is a gracious sole-use safari villa. Blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings, blurring the boundaries between the guest and the bush, the lodge’s living areas consist of open spaces, flat-roofed walkways, and shaded areas opening out onto sun decks and a sparkling swimming pool.

Designed like a contemporary bush farmhouse, &Beyond Phinda Homestead is both elegant and homely. Inspired by the breathtaking landscape and the local Zulu culture, shaded, flat-roofed walkways flow into open decks, while basketwork, pottery, carpets and textiles are celebrated interior elements. Quirky design touches, like the pineapple motifs, pay homage to the history of the land, before being reclaimed and transformed into a renowned Big Five game reserve.

Private bedrooms and spacious bathrooms blend seamlessly into cool, expansive, and inviting guest spaces. An interactive kitchen brings the lodge’s private chef into the centre of the guest experience. This much-loved lodge comes with a dedicated ranger and tracker team, as well as a private safari vehicle. Game drives times, as well as meals, are tailored completely to the guests’ preference to create a fully personalised safari.

Why we love it

  • Sole-use safari villa for families or groups
  • Private open 4×4 safari vehicle with a dedicated ranger, tracker, butler and chef
  • Private fitness room, including state-of-the-art exercise equipment
  • Extra children’s room available with 2 bunk beds, accommodating an extra four kids
  • Completely customisable daily schedule
  • Day and night game drives, walking safaris
  • Phinda Adventures available – Zulu village tours, Maputaland beach adventures, night turtle drives (seasonal), scuba safaris, an ocean safari, and black rhino tracking on foot
  • Wildlife includes Big Five plus cheetah, black rhino and nyala

&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge. Zulu Zen in the heart of the sand forest, the spirit of &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge. They say that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and that is certainly true at Phinda Forest Lodge!

Our designers have created a calming atmosphere of Zulu Zen. And there’s no need to worry about the privacy of your retreat – in spite of the floor to ceiling glass walls, the towering torchwood trees and fertile forest floor that surround your suite ensure a sense of seclusion.

Set in rare and beautiful sand forest, the glass walls of Phinda Forest Lodge offer a sweeping view of one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. Phinda Forest Lodge is one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges. Floor to ceiling windows invite the forest in but the dense canopy provides privacy. The dainty forms of dwarf forest antelope dart among and below the suites, raised on stilts to float between the sandy forest floor and the leafy canopy above. Waking up to rustling forest sounds and bird song, surrounded by delicate leaf-filtered light, a pervading sense of peace and calm will set the tone for your entire day.

Why we love it

  • Day and night game drives, walking safaris
  • Secluded and romantic; light Asian inspired structures with warm African interiors
  • Phinda Adventures include Zulu village tours, Maputaland beach adventures, night turtle drives (seasonal), scuba safaris, an ocean safari, and black rhino tracking on foot
  • Specialist Safaris – birding, photographic, rhino notching, tracking, walking, family and private safaris
  • Perfect for Couples, wildlife enthusiasts, keen birders
  • Situated between two habitats, the forest and the grasslands

THE FOREST LODGE

At the heart of &Beyond Phinda Forest lodge lies a sparkling rim-flow swimming pool, as well as expansive decks in a spacious seating area, which look out onto panoramic views of an open meadow where animals frequently graze.

Daytime meals on the open air dining deck bring about their own distractions, as monkeys frolic in the branches and an ever-changing assortment of wildlife grazes on the open plain in the distance.

In the evenings, when warm firelight welcomes you to the traditional African boma, wide-eyed bush babies watch inquisitively from the dense foliage above as you in indulge in a mouth-watering, lantern-lit feast beneath a canvas of stars.

Adventures at &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge include twice-daily game drives, bush walks and seasonal river cruises. A host of additional activities can be enjoyed too. These include cultural excursions, scuba safaris and specialist safaris such as birding, photographic, tracking, family and luxury walking safaris.

Personal Collection by TA is based in

KwaZulu-Natal therefore always favour these beautiful lodges.. look out for more on &Beyond properties, on our top spot list.

Many thanks for &BeyondPhinda for providing us with all the information and gorgeous images.

WELCOME TO SCHOONE OORDT COUNTRY HOUSE

Schoone Oordt Country House is a charming country hotel in Swellendam South Africa, possibly the best of Swellendam accommodation, with 10 luxury bedrooms set separately from the Manor House in lush gardens, an intimate Conservatory restaurant, a sparkling saltwater pool and a passion for people, family, food, wine and the environment.

The emphasis here is on unpretentious unaffected luxury, elegance, quality, love and attention to detail and we aspire to make this evident in every aspect of your time with us. Here is a breakdown of their gorgeous rooms..

THE FAMILY 

There are so many funny, dramatic, emotional & heart-warming stories along our Schoone Oordt journey.  Way too many to recount here, but this is a shortened rambling for some fun reading… READ MORE

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I adore Alison passion and love for the house, but for her staff and finer things, an owner who talks about her beautiful country hotel as her child.

LUXURY ROOM

Set in the small town of Swellendam South Africa, 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town,  Schoone Oordt Country Hotel’s 6 Luxury Rooms are positioned around a fragrant rose garden, peaceful fountains and landscaped shrubbery.  Each Luxury Room has it’s own patio, exquisite bathroom, minibar, tea/coffee facility, satellite TV and DVD player. Handmade linen, goose-down duvets, pure wool carpets, open hearth and under-floor heating and heated towel rails in the bathrooms all add to the luxury. Whilst our rooms retain the Victorian feel of the Manor House, they are uncluttered and exude luxurious style and elegance.

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FAMILY COTTAGE

The Family Cottage is the restored Coach House at the top end of the property and boasts a loft area with two extended-length single beds for children and an extended-length king for parents. It is private and cosy and set apart from other guests. As well as the luxurious treats of the other rooms, it offers a small kitchenette for warming bottles and making sandwiches.

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HONEYMOON SUITE

Voted Top Romantic Hotel Swellendam, the large, unashamedly romantic Honeymoon Suite embodies all that is required for an exceptional special occasion or much-needed time away.  It is private and tucked away on the edge of a small lush and shady forest with the Koornlands River gurgling along its perimeter. Whilst it has all of the delights of the Luxury Rooms, the Honeymoon Suite is dreamy and charming with its large hearth, exquisitely carved four-poster bed and over-sized bathroom.

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THE FOOD PHILOSOPHY

Meals at Schoone Oordt are made with love.  Our country food is good, unpretentious and served with true Schoone Oordt flair and style.  We source the freshest best quality produce from small local suppliers as organically and ethically as possible and we love picking fresh herbs and vegetables out of our own garden, or finding treasures at the local farm markets. It is our talented Chef Obakeng’s dream and passion to follow in his mentor, Chef Wander’s footsteps and to build The Conservatory into one of the finest of Swellendam Restaurants.

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We asked Chef Obakeng to share the story behind his food journey:

“Food has been a part of my life for as long, as I can remember. “Feasts, mom’s Sunday roasts and family gatherings were major influences in becoming a chef and if I had not decided on this life journey, I would have been stuck behind a desk and been an accountant” (technically I am still good at numbers even though I hated maths in high school). This is what I think of when I look back to what made me decide to become a chef.

Born and bred in the beautiful city of roses (Bloemfontein), I grew up with a family that loves cooking and food brings everyone together. I remember the day that I came back from school and my late brother had made beef stew for dinner. The warm smell of the stew laced the entire house and I kept on asking him to tell me what he had put into the stew and he refused to tell me. Being a naughty boy I snuck into the kitchen one day while he was making that stew and I found out the secret ingredient. From that day, I think I knew that I wanted to be a chef and grow up to have my own restaurant. Graduated from one of the best Hotel Schools in South Africa with a Diploma in Hospitality Management specialising in Culinary (Central university of Technology Free State Hotel School) I take over from Chef Wander who has left a great food philosophy that I want to keep here at Schoone Oordt.  This is good, honest food using ethically sourced produce from the Overberg region. We pride our food on being as organic as possible and no additives nor preservatives are used in our food.

The fondest memory of my career thus far has been the travelling that I have done. It is not as extensive as I wished for but it has had a positive effect on my career as a chef. Visiting countries like the United States of America, United Arab of Emirates and more recently Qatar played a tremendous role in shaping my skills set. Working with various ingredients, meeting people from other countries and experiencing different cultures just had a great effect on my life and I am grateful for it. A definite highlight during my travels was a brief meeting with world renowned Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton months before he opened his restaurant in Dubai and he shared valuable tips and advice on the industry and what it means to be a chef. A great moment indeed.”

BEAUTIFUL BREAKFASTS AND DELICIOUS AFTERNOON TEAS

Breakfasts at The Conservatory, one of the finest restaurants in Swellendam, are made with LOVE as a gourmet 3-course set menu affair and our country hotel has developed quite a reputation for them. Beginning with a continental buffet of cereals, Alison’s famous granola, natural yoghurt, seasonal fruit salad, cheeses and a fresh bake of the day.  Followed by Chef’s choice of one starter, usually a unique, interesting baked, poached or sautéed fruit and one main.  These change daily, so if staying more than one evening, you can look forward to a surprise each morning.  Traditional bacon and eggs are always available for those that prefer. Complimentary afternoon tea with home-baked savoury and sweet goodies is served overlooking the garden on sunny summer afternoons.  In winter, complimentary snack platters and a warming welcome drink are offered on arrival.

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DELECTABLE DINNERS 

Our fledgling Swellendam Restaurant, The Conservatory, on it’s way to being one of the best restaurants in Swellendam, plays host to intimate delicious dinners either in our gorgeous Conservatory or more privately, in the manor house’s cosy Dining Room. Here guests can enjoy a carefully prepared, by Chef Obakeng himself, sophisticated South African menu with wines paired with every course. These locally sourced vintage wines are hand-picked by from the celebrated verdant regions surrounding Swellendam, Robertson and Hermanus.

Our menu evolves seasonally, depending heavily on Chef Obakeng’s inspiration and seasonality of beautiful produce, but be assured that it will always be honest, unpretentious and delicious….

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Thank you Alison for your pictures and story above.  We will most definitely continue to supporting you and your wonderful staff.  Personal Collection by TA, always makes sure we include special hand picked properties that we know and love.