Dear Travel Partner
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF EXTRAORDINARY
Extraordinary is celebrating 10 years of creating memories this year!
Anniversaries are opportunities to recollect our memories and to cherish them again. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate our milestone with all of you. We all value your loyal support and friendship over the past ten years It is rightly said that it doesn’t matter where you go in your life, but what matters the most is whom you have beside you all the way.
Thinking back now of launching our little business on the 1st of April 2009 with only three staff and somehow waking up in 2019 with a staff of over twenty seems surreal. Moving from the Durban base to our current beautiful Bryanston, offices in Johannesburg, and with our permanent Cape Town and Mumbai presence the brand now has a distinct home for which we are very grateful.
It all started with the Extraordinary directors identifying a gap in the market for independent properties needing comprehensive and professional sales, marketing and reservations services and today the company boasts a collection of twenty excellent properties in destinations all over Southern Africa.
Our loyal team members at Extraordinary have been an integral cog in the development of Extraordinary and I am so proud of these amazing ladies, without whom we would not be here today. Our strong values of integrity, trust and teamwork have stood us in good stead thus far and we hope that the company continues along the path of success for the next ten years.
Yours in travel,
HOYO HOYO NUMBER 20 ON THE BUSINESS INSIDERS TOP 50 MOST INSTAGRAMMED
International travel company Big 7 Travel revealed a list of 50 of the most Instagrammable spots in South Africa.
They looked at hashtags, their 1.5 million readers’ votes and a panel of experts to suss out these highly sought out selfie spots.
South Africa, according to the site, has dramatic scenery, fantastic hiking trails and deserted beaches that boast spectacular ocean views. They say Cape Town is an Instagrammer’s dream location to visit: endless natural beauty and clifftop views, pastel pink neighbourhoods and turquoise waters.
“One of the best places in the whole park Kruger National Park to see elephants, with the amazing beasts even coming up to the swimming pool to try sip a sneaky drink. High-end safari lodge that is simply picture perfect.”
Located in a private concession within the Kruger National Park, this unique lodge boasts a breath-taking blend of ethnic luxury, encompassing both warmth and style. Offering luxury air conditioned suites with private game viewing decks. Centered around a sunken fire pit, and circular timber decks which offer views of the waterhole and surrounding plains.
CHOBE NATIONAL PARK’S BABY BOOM IS IN FULL BLOOM …. AGAIN!
The welcome first rains of the season have just fallen in Chobe National Park, Botswana, transforming the parched brown terrain to an emerald green, and dampening the searing heat.
But most remarkably, with these rains has come the miracle of new life – Chobe National Park is teeming with baby animals, with this incredible rebirth happening every year between November and April.
Impala calves are everywhere, and our guide Tebby Simasiku explains, as he takes us through the park on a game drive, that astonishingly, this species often hold on to their offspring until the first rains come, and then they give birth.
Situated within the Chobe Forest Reserve with panoramic views overlooking the Chobe River and Floodplain. Each of the lodge’s 8 river-facing suites offers quiet refuge in a luxurious setting, with an emphasis on space and comfort as well as a private outdoor living area with a ‘refresh and relax’ pool.
BRYONY ACUTT RE-JOINS AFRICA ALBIDA TOURISM
We are pleased to announce that Bryony Acutt re-joined the group on 9 January 2019, after leaving in 2011 to pursue her passion in advertising. Bryony re-joins the group in the role of Group Sales & Brand Manager, and will be using her extensive experience in brand management to further strengthen our corporate and product brands.
Following her departure, Bryony worked with DDH&M Advertising, and then with Zambezi Cruise and Safari Company, where she solidified her experience in the hospitality industry.
Bryony is passionate about conservation and sustainability in tourism operations, and was instrumental in the establishment of our Green Steps to Sustainable Tourism policy.
It is always gratifying to welcome back colleagues who come back to the Africa Albida Tourism family. Bryony brings energy and ideas, ambition and drive to her new role in the group, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of these attributes and skills.
The induction and transition process will of course be much quicker and smoother given her prior experience and knowledge of the properties and people, plus her recent interaction with the travel trade.
FORD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION DONATES NEW FORD RANGER TO HELP SAVE SOUTHERN GROUND-HORNBILL
The Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF) handed over a new Ford Ranger to the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project in South Africa to support its conservation efforts for the endangered Southern Ground-hornbill. The handover forms part of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA) commitment to the conservation and preservation of the environment in Southern Africa.
The Mabula project, which has been running for 19 years, operates in all four provinces where the Southern Ground-Hornbill occurs, comprising Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with the population estimated to be only 400 family groups remaining.
“The Southern Ground-Hornbill is classified as an endangered species in South Africa by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, largely due to a number of threats it faces, including persecution, indirect poisoning, loss of nest sites and electrocution,” says Dr Lucy Kemp, manager of the Mabula Ground-Hornbill Project and Africa chair for the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Hornbill Specialist Group.
This project aims to improve the current status of the species through a number of programmes, such as extensive education and awareness in schools and communities, research, as well as a breeding, wild harvest of redundant chicks and reintroduction programme to boost species numbers.
Ford Wildlife Foundation Dedication to Conservation
For the past 30 years, FMCSA has been actively involved in the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. To date, FMCSA has invested almost R40 million to support more than 170 conservation projects.
The Ford Wildlife Foundation is unique as it does not provide a cash donation to the conservation projects it supports, instead Ford’s partner organisations are equipped with Ford Rangers.
MJEJANE GAME RESERVE HOME TO THE MPONDO LION PRIDE
Some of you might remember our Mjejane boys, two of them are quite famous for being the flying lions of Mjejane as they have a million views on YouTube where they got thrown into the air by a buffalo.
They are now known as the Mpondo males, as they took over the Mpondo dam area on the s26 in Kruger. Since then they have moved north where they took over the Renosterkoppies pride. Recently they have been spotted in the Jock concession.
They are a force to be reckoned with, they were once poor hunters without a pride and now they are these huge specimens with several prides and a very large territory. Very proud of them.
Mjejane Game Lodge is perched on the banks of the Crocodile River, Mjejane Game Reserve has been absorbed into the Kruger National Park. Mjejane enjoys abundant wildlife and offers an outstanding Big 5 safari opportunity. Executive Rooms each offer a spacious air conditioned haven of well-appointed comfort with a private veranda.
BUSH BREAKFAST AT IMBALI SAFARI LODGE
An exclusive lodge within the Kruger National Park, Imbali Safari Lodge continues the safari tradition of a bygone era. The central point within a 10 000 hectare private concession, offering twelve spacious suites. Each suite has exquisite views and a private plunge pool overlooking the Nwatsitswonto riverbed and the plains beyond.
There is nothing more spectacular than enjoying a scrumptious breakfast in the bush. The French Au-Dela group got to experience during their stay at Imbali Safari Lodge.
MEET THE UNSUNG HEROES OF VICTORIA FALLS WHO RISK THEIR LIVES DAILY TO SAVE ITS WILDLIFE
Victoria Falls has 17 unsung heroes, who risk their lives daily, often in the searing heat and without adequate resources, patrolling the bush to protect the region’s precious wildlife and trees.
The Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit (VFAPU), which celebrated its 20th anniversary this month, has had a major impact – each year, arresting nearly 40 hardened poachers, removing more than 1,000 snares and rescuing ten mammals injured by the snares.
Many of these scouts were born in the rural areas outside Victoria Falls or Hwange, and have worked for VFAPU for several years, and all have a passion for protecting wildlife from poachers.
VFAPU Supervisor Greemph Tshuma says, “I enjoy saving animals… that’s my job. I can say, personally, I have removed more than 1,000 snares, that means I have saved 1,000 animals.”
The scout, who grew up in the small town of Dete, on the edge of Hwange, Zimbabwe’s largest national park, and has been with VFAPU for 15 years, says the worst part of his job is coming across animals killed by poachers.
“I’ve always loved animals since I was young, in primary school… I know that without animals, there will be no tourists, and no job for me.”
VFAPU is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the wildlife and natural resources within the Victoria Falls region. The unit works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
It was formed in 1999 by local safari operator and conservationist Charles Brightman and Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Africa Albida Tourism’s flagship property, in response to alarming levels of poaching taking place.