Extraordinary September 2019 Newsletter

Dear Travel Partner

Tourism Month is an annual celebration held in September to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa. Tourism Month also aims to generate awareness on the enormous contribution that the tourism industry makes to provincial and national economic growth and job creation.

We have all been closely watching the space surrounding recent concerns for tourism upliftment, and the strong stance taken by SATSA to engage at all levels to make change possible. New Zealanders will hopefully stream in now that their visas have been waivered but let us hope that we can look forward to the implementation of e-visa’s for growing source markets like India and China.

Extraordinary will be celebrating Tourism month with some fabulous offerings to be booked during the month of September at all our properties.

Yours in travel,
Cindy

PROTECTING OUR WILDLIFE

With National Rhino day on the 22nd of September, we are reminded how important it is for us, to protect these species.

Today very few rhinos survive outside National Parks and Private Game Reserves due to persistent poaching and habitat loss over many decades. In almost all rhino conservation areas, there are other valuable plants and animals. The protection of rhinos helps protect other species including elephants, buffalo, and small game. Rhinos contribute to economic growth and sustainable development through tourism, which creates job opportunities and provides tangible benefits to local communities living alongside rhinos. Rhinos are one of the “Big Five” animals popular on African safaris.

National Parks and Private Game Reserves are devoted to the conservation of the Rhinos and are highly against interaction with Rhinos and any other wildlife due to the welfare of these species.

World Wide Fund (WWF) plays a vital role in the fight to protect rhinos. With more than 50 years of experience, they know that successful rhino conservation requires a comprehensive approach that brings together the world’s leading experts and develops global strategies to save and recover these species.

VULTURE CONSERVATION IN VICTORIA FALLS

A world without vultures would be catastrophic, says leading conservationist Kerri Wolter. “There would be huge outbreaks of disease,” Wolter, VulPro (the South African-based Vulture Conservation Programme) CEO, says. The clock is ticking as the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed all the species of vultures found in Zimbabwe as either Endangered or Critically Endangered.

The Vulture Culture Experience, where these remarkable raptors are fed on leftover meat scraps and bones from the on-site restaurants, occurs daily at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. It gives guests the opportunity to witness the spectacular sight of hundreds of vultures swooping to feed, as well as educating them about the ecological importance of vultures and the plight they are facing. Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s Vulture Culture Experience is one of 150 active vulture culture restaurants in Southern Africa, but it has something rather special about it…

The future of vultures is in our hands, and we need to act now to save them.

SAFARI EXPERIENCES IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

A private concession within the Kruger National Park comprising three lodges – Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, Imbali Safari Lodge and Hamilton’s Tented Camp, Mluwati Concession was born out of a spirit of ensuring the future sustainability of the national park. As one of the first private concessions in the Kruger National Park, Mluwati has worked tirelessly to ensure the sustainability of this pristine wilderness that for over 100 years has been a sanctuary for over 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 336 tree species and 147 mammal species, including Africa’s Big Five.

Keen birders will delight in the hundreds of bird species that call Kruger home. Over 500 species, in fact many of which occur in the Mluwati Concession including the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Barbet and Burchell’s Glossy Starling. Guests will enjoy some of Kruger’s most spectacular landscapes and an extraordinary variety of wildlife, birdlife and plant life within the Mluwati Concession, ensuring that each safari experience will be unique.

SAFARI PLAINS ACHIEVES FIVE-STAR GRADING

Extraordinary is pleased to announce that Safari Plains, the newest property in its collection of luxury hotels and lodges in southern Africa, has achieved a five-star grading.

This prestigious category, as determined by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, is based on a detailed, impartial assessment of the facilities, amenities and service offering at the property. Safari Plains, which opened in December 2018, has achieved the highest possible grading in its first assessment.

“We are proud to have achieved a five-star grading for Safari Plains,” commented Cindy Sheedy Walker, CEO of Extraordinary. “Our purpose in opening Safari Plains was to develop a luxury, family-friendly safari destination within easy reach of Johannesburg and Pretoria,” she added.

The success of Safari Plains can be attributed both to its inspired location in the shadow of the Waterberg Mountains, and to the attention to detail that has gone into every aspect of its construction and operation.

Safaris at Safari Plains are conducted on a 12 000ha private game reserve, which is itself an extension of the game rich Greater Mabula Private Game Reserve. Safari Plains offers a true malaria-free, Big Five safari experience that is accessible both to South Africans and overseas visitors.

The design of the lodge reflects Extraordinary’s decades of experience in surprising and delighting their guests with authentic bushveld hospitality and wildlife encounters. Each tented suite features a signature wraparound deck with unimpeded bush views. Inside, sunken baths, air conditioning and mini bars enable guests to tailor their experiences to their precise requirements.

Innovative features include an outdoor sala connected to each luxury tent by a raised walkway. Ideal for midday siestas, these private covered spaces continue the theme of luxury in a bush setting which is found throughout the lodge. With just twenty tented suites, Safari Plains offers both seclusion and intimacy, and a real sense of escaping the city – without giving up any creature comforts.

The family suites feature a second bedroom so that parents can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their kids are nearby, whilst still enjoying the privacy that is a hallmark of the Safari Plains experience.

“It’s an honour to have been graded as a five-star property so early in our journey,” explained Leon de Wit, General Manager of Safari Plains. “It means that we have some illustrious company, and it’s a testament to the hard work that our team puts in every day.”

Safari Plains has gained plaudits for its ‘safari chic’ interior design. The bar, overlooked as it is by a mesmerising leopard portrait, has already attained iconic status. With the five-star plaque proudly affixed to the wall, Safari Plains is well on its way to becoming a luxury safari destination of choice for people who appreciate the best of the bushveld.

THE PREFECT GEM IN THE PILANESBERG NATIONAL PARK

Black Rhino Game Reserve forms an additional ‘corner’ of the Pilanesberg National Park. It is on the North West side of the Pilanesberg, with its own secured, private entrance that is situated on the western border, and with no boundary fences – wildlife is free to roam across both areas. The above means you will be able to spot most of the animals that you would typically find in the Pilanesberg including the Big 5, the endangered African wild dog, various rare antelope, and more than 354 bird species.

This lower lying reserve’s sweet veld vegetation complements the Pilanesberg’s predominantly mixed sour veld and accommodates excellent viewing of elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. The Black Rhino Game Reserve also has full traversing rights whereby game vehicles belonging to privately-owned lodges are entitled to cross from the Black Rhino Game Reserve into the Pilanesberg National Park. This allows you to enjoy the privacy of the reserve along with the richness of the national park, and to experience the abundant sights and sounds of the bush.

PERCHED ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF

Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway is all about an African safari with sophistication. Situated three hours’ drive north of Johannesburg in the malaria-free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, you will find a fusion of modern comfort and untamed wilderness. Clifftop has eight luxury suites overlooking the Sterkstroom River below, each suite has its own private deck and plunge pool.

Sip a soothing G&T as you relax in your very own plunge pool overlooking the gorge, or disappear in to the depths of a comfortable wicker chair to watch the glorious scenery and varied wildlife. Cross rivers and climb rugged hills as you venture through the beautiful Welgevonden, a haven for the Big Five, Little Five and all manner of astounding wildlife species making this a wildlife experience to remember.

ENJOY A MAGICAL CELEBRATION AT MABULA GAME LODGE!

Join us under African skies! The ultimate Year-End Celebration can be spectacular when it is spent under an ancient fig tree lit by the stars and twinkling lanterns.

Located a mere two hours’ drive from Gauteng, Mabula Game Lodge is the perfect destination to unwind after a busy year. The surrounding beauty of the African bushveld and the presence of the Big Five is sure to bring friends and colleagues together to reminisce about the past year and prepare everyone for the start of a new year.

To book, or receive more information on a year-end function at Mabula Game Lodge, contact Mabula Game Lodge Reservations on: Telephone 011 516 4967 or email mabulaconference@extraordinary.co.za

SAFARI WEDDINGS AT KHAYA NDLOVU MANOR HOUSE

The weather in autumn could not be more perfect in the Lowveld area, with surrounding mountains, bushveld, and manicured gardens, you could not possibly find a more perfect venue than Khaya Ndlovu Manor House for your intimate wedding!

Khaya Ndlovu is situated in the Khaya Ndlovu Game Reserve, surrounded by nature, yet a stone’s throw away from Hoedspruit, gateway to the greater Kruger – wildlife haven of the Limpopo Province, South Africa.

The towering Drakensberg mountain range offers a majestic, panoramic view, which will leave you breathless as you step onto the Manor House’s alfresco dining terrace.

The luxury, colonial-style Hardwood Suites are situated within the Manor House; all have sweeping views of our tropical garden and external verandas, which can be accessed from the rooms. The resident garden monkeys provide much entertainment with their acrobatic displays amid the branches of the towering trees, sharing their glorious playground with a multitude of chattering bird species.
Game drives are conducted on our 5,500 hectare Rietspruit Game Reserve which is home to a huge variety of wildlife with wide-ranging views of the beautiful Drakensberg Mountain Range and Blyde River Canyon.

Jump aboard our open safari-vehicles with our knowledgeable guides either in the early mornings or late afternoon and discover animals species such as lions, cheetah, leopard, African wild dog, both black and white rhino as well as a host of general game.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AT OUR JOHANNESBURG AND CAPE TOWN SHOWCASES

We recently hosted our Johannesburg and Cape Town Showcases and would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that joined us.

A big thank you to the property General Manager that joined us for the event as well as Bill Harrops Original Balloon Safaris and Rovos Rails. Both showcases were a great success. Congratulations to all the prize winners.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at our 2020 showcases.