Albatros Travel Africa, Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps & Zebra Country Lodge launches its “Safety First” program, aiming to ensure a high level of cleaning standards and operational best practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we take to the skies once again and adjust to new travel standards and expectations, we remain committed to providing peace of mind when you are staying with us so you can relax and reconnect in a comfortable and safe environment.

Based upon guidance provided by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The “Safety First” program addresses everything from guest room and common area cleanliness, to streamlined processes that minimize contact between guests and associates while maintaining industry-leading customer service.

The new program includes the implementation of measures to improve safety – such as the installation of social distancing floor decals and front desk partitions – as well as the enforcement of heightened and comprehensive cleanliness standards on an ongoing basis across five key areas:

1. Front Desk and Lobby:
a. New protocols will minimize guest contact with personnel through a streamlined check-in and check-out process,
b. Social distancing measures will be implemented, wellness best practices signs will be prominently posted, and all lobby brochures, magazines, and papers will be removed
c. Enhanced sanitization procedures will be in place at the front desk, in the lobby, and across guest touchpoints throughout the hotel with disinfecting taking place regularly,
d. Sanitizing stations or wipes will be available throughout lodges & safari camps.

 

2.Guest Room and Housekeeping:
a. Unnecessary items will be removed from guest rooms, such as decorative pillows, bed scarves, paper notepads and pens,
b. Housekeeping offerings will be modified for stay-over guests, including the elimination of a turndown service unless specifically requested by guests,
c. Enhanced and thorough cleaning protocols will be implemented in guest rooms. The room/ tent, linens, and all touchpoints will be cleaned with chemicals aimed at killing COVID-19.

 

3. Temporary food Offerings:
a. All food offerings have been adapted to comply with regulations, with restaurants adapted were required to avoid unnecessary guest congregation,
b. Honeyguide Tented Safari camps & Zebra Country Lodge have adapted their offerings to provide a “served” or pre-plated breakfast, lunch & dinner to minimize guest contact with food, beverages and surfaces, and cross-contamination.

 

4. Public Amenities:
a. Frequent sanitization of high touch surfaces, high traffic areas such as receptions, welcome lounges, and waiting areas, restaurants and related facilities, washrooms, libraries, spa’s, bush hides, and meeting rooms.
b. Hand sanitizer or wipes will be provided for guests and employees in all public areas.

 

5. Lodge & Camp Employees and Staff Requirements:
a. Hotel employees will follow strict guidelines, including utilizing Personal Protective Equipment, frequent and stringent hand-washing protocols, and housekeepers/laundry staff will wear both gloves and a mask.
b. Employee workstations will be cleaned and disinfected after every shift.
c. Employees will be empowered to stay home if unwell, communicate their potential exposure to COVID-19 with management, and will be fully educated on how to maintain a safe and clean home.

What Else to Expect:

  • All safari vehicles will be equipped with social distancing protocols and a maximum of seven guests per vehicle will be allowed.
  • Social distancing will be practiced in all areas of lodges, safari camps, and during transportation.
  • Temperature checks will be necessary on arrival, as well as reduced contact at check-in, cashless payments, and frequent sanitization of all room keys.
  • Face masks and protective clothing will be used by tour guides, hosts and are available for guests too.
  • Hand sanitizing stations or dispensers placed strategically at all guest and host areas
  • Health & Safety team leaders will be appointed at all camps & lodges.

We are committed to safeguarding guests’ safety, health, and wellbeing through our ‘Safety First’ health & safety program.

As we envision and hope for a brighter future, Albatros Travel Africa, Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps & Zebra Country Lodge look forward to welcoming you back with our traditional hospitality and personalized service – connecting you to Africa’s most extraordinary destinations and landscapes, immersing you in unique cultural experiences and celebrating the freedom to explore in authentic luxury.

Wishing you well,

Regards,

Albatros Travel Africa, Honeyguide Tented Safari Camps & Zebra Country Lodge Team

There are few sights in the world that can rival the night sky of Africa

If you are planning your honeymoon in South Africa, Albatros Travel would highly suggest adding one of the below lodges to your itinerary and arrange a sleepout on your last night in the bush.

Any visit to the bush is a magical experience, but nothing is quite as magical as being able to experience the sounds of the forest while sleeping under the stars.

These unique accommodation options allow you to spend the night under the stars, complete with a luxurious bed and other amenities, in the bush and really immerse yourself in the experience

Lion Sands – Ivory Lodge Treehouse

“This is not simply a sleep-out – this is an adventure with Africa, one-on-one.”

These may be the best known and most photographed of the treehouses in Africa.

Set in the heart of the world-renowned Sabi Sands Game reserve, the Lion Sands offers several exclusive luxury tree-houses available to guests staying at Lion Sands River Lodge or Lion Sands Ivory Lodge.

Guests are transferred from the lodge to their chosen hideout by safari vehicle, guests then spend the sunset hours enjoying a gourmet picnic and spotting the animals that wander past (at a safe distance), before turning in for the night beneath a blanket of stars. This unique experience is the romantic getaway and is ideal as a honeymoon or anniversary treat. But, before you think you’re going to be left all alone you can take comfort in the fact that all three of the treehouses are securely constructed above the ground, where animals will remain at a safe and comfortable distance.

Tswalu – Malorie Sleepout Deck

“Malori, meaning dreamer in Tswana, provides a beautiful experience of sleeping under the twinkling stars with the growls, barks, patters, and rustles of the wilderness surrounding you”.

This sleepout deck offers a unique safari experience – guests can choose to sleep under the thatch or further along the deck where it is completely open. The Malori deck boasts a raised platform with a thatched overhang for protection should it rain. The sleepout also has weather-proof blinds that can be rolled up or down according to preference. There is no compromise on luxury. Guests are escorted to the sleepout by a guide on a game vehicle from the lodge or villa. The guide sets up drinks and snacks for the guests to enjoy the spectacular views over sundowners. Dinner is a relaxed meal and guests are left to enjoy a nightcap and the Kalahari at their own pace. Something extremely different is that Malorie sleepout can accommodate 2 children as well, so the whole family can enjoy an exhilarating Kalahari sleepout under the stars.

Sanctuary Makanye Safari Lodge – Sleepout

Situated on private ground within the malaria-free, “Big 5” Madikwe Game Reserve. Hidden deep in the bush on the lodge’s private ground is a secure rustic double story, the hide overlooks a waterhole and has spectacular views across the game reserve.  The enclosed first level of the hide has a covered lounge area and a balcony. The upper level is open to the sky and it is here that soft, warm beds are made up under mosquito nets for a night spent beneath a canopy of a million stars. Here guests are given the unique opportunity to spend a romantic night under the African sky, surrounded only by lanterns and the African bush, an unforgettable experience

Kagga Kamma – Sky Suite

“Far away from the city lights, in a vast open space where rock formations frame the horizon, there is a place where lovers of nature can experience a truly unique environment.”

This idyllic space offers a luxury double bed, basic bathroom amenities, lanterns, and a glowing fire where you can sit and chat the night away over drinks. With the typically crisp, clear night skies of Kagga Kamma guests love to lay back and watch shooting stars at night and in the morning be slowly awakened by the rising sun. It is a beautiful and exclusive romantic setting. The feeling of total isolation makes the Outcrop Open Air Room the perfect spot for honeymooners and couples that love nature. Expect fresh air, magnificent views, and no pollution to spoil the starlit skies above.

Little Karonga – Sleep Out

Garonga Safari Camp and Little Garonga are luxury camps set in the 22’000 ha (60’000 acres) Greater Makalali Private Nature Reserve west of the Kruger National Park. Here you can spend your honeymoon night on a beautiful deck with stunning views overlooking the veldt. A mouth-watering picnic hamper, a drinks box, and hot drinks are left for you at the deck. The deck boasts a king-size bed, table, and chairs, lanterns as well as a washbasin and toilet close by. The sleep-out is a 20-minute drive from the main camp and is said to be a truly magical experience!

Ziplining in Constantia

Zipping from one platform to another via steel cables bolted to the sides of mountains and tall trees is a unique way to experience the stunning natural scenery of Southern Africa.

A few weeks before South Africa went into lockdown, The Albatros Africa team went on a team-building excursion – Ziplining in Constantia with SA Forest Adventures.

Summer in Cape Town is all about beautiful views, good food, sunshine, and enjoying the great outdoors.

On arrival we all had to sign our lives away by completing an indemnity form, the online process was quick and efficient.

Before you go anywhere, the SA Forest Adventure guides will make sure that you are properly kitted out in a full-body harness, a safety line, a surprisingly comfortable helmet, and a pair of gloves.

Once you are all kitted up, hop into the 4×4 for a ride up the mountain to the beginning of the zipline course. SA Forest Adventures offer 12 unique platforms to complete, offering a true adrenalin junkie an exciting, fun-filled day out!

The ziplining starts at the highest point and works it way down the mountain, the views are beautiful, and it is truly an amazing experience as it offers panoramic views of Cape Town.

The course is framed by Table Mountain and looks onto the back of the awe-inspiring Twelve Apostles mountain range and down the Constantia Nek valley.

Once at the top of the course, your guides will brief you about your gear, the safety procedures, the hand signals, and most importantly, how to brake.

In the beginning, everyone braked before the time as none of the guides were showing any hand signals, it was a bit of a learning curve in the beginning but the more streamlined you can get, the faster you can go, but, be careful you don’t go so fast that you miss the breathtaking views!

At some point, you will be flying 155m (about 509ft) above the tree line for more than 500m (1 640ft) – a thrilling ride! But do not be anxious about arriving at the other side at high speed, between your own braking and your guide ‘catching’ you, you will be quite safe

After all the excitement we sat down to a late lunch at the restaurant on the Silvermist Estate where we were served fine wine while enjoying the stunning views of Cape Town.

There are several facilities on the estate including a restaurant, conference facilities, and other team-building options at the starting point for this Cape Town zipline – one of Africa’s longest and highest zipline tours.

This adventure will most certainly make you gasp for air! It certainly was a great day out!

SA Forest Adventures has already established similar sky-high expeditions in Hermanus, Caledon, and Citrusdal in the Western Cape, so they are truly the experts in adrenalin rushes!

Note: The minimum age requirement for the Cape Town Zipline Tour is eight years old, so kiddies younger than this will, unfortunately, have to sit the experience out. There is also a maximum weight limit of 120kg.

Explore the Constantia Wine Route With Albatros Travel & Beyond Touring!

If you know South African wines, you have probably heard of Stellenbosch or even Franschhoek — these tend to be the valleys most associated with wines from the Cape. But there are also plenty of other routes worth exploring, such as the lush Constantia Valley,

Boasting some of the world’s finest wines, award-winning restaurants, iconic architecture, and a commitment to excellence; Constantia Valley is a definite must for any wine and food lover. Situated approximately 30 minutes south of Cape Town central, this is the oldest wine-making region in the southern hemisphere.

Constantia is one of the lesser-known wine regions in the Western Cape, yet once you have discovered some of these hidden boutique wine farms, you will wonder how it has been kept secret for so long!

Take a scenic drive from Cape Town along the M62 taking you past Table Mountain and connect to M6 as you head to Hout Bay via Camps Bay. Enjoy the exquisite views of the ocean on one side and the mountain on the other. This stretch known as the Atlantic Seaboard is home to some of Cape Town’s most prestigious homes. Take the M63 in Hout Bay which will take you to Constantia.

Wine Stop 1:

As you get into Constantia, you will find Silvermist Wine Estate renowned for its organic wines. This estate is home to La Colombe Restaurant, rated 7th best restaurant in the world at present. Beyond the fine dining and noteworthy vineyard views, Silvermist Estate is a base for SA Forest Adventures offering Ziplining, an adventure well worth doing. There is nothing like Ziplining through twelve platforms surrounded by the natural beauty of this area along with great views of Cape Town to get your adrenalin pumping!

Be it relaxation or adventure you seek, Silvermist is the place for you.

Wine Stop 2:

Nestled at the top of Constantia Nek, Beau Constantia is a beautiful boutique winery looking at only 16 years of existence. Despite the young age, the farm has already won several awards for its excellent range of wines.

The modern architecture of this estate is something to behold! The tasting room is essentially a glass box that enables guests to fully enjoy the views of the Constantia Valley from an elevated point. Over and above the incredible architecture, guests can enjoy award-winning wines and even dine at the prestigious Chef’s Warehouse.

Wine Stop 3:

Groot Constantia, the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa, is probably the most famous wine farm in Constantia and a must-visit. Experiences here include cellar tours, wine, and chocolate pairing, exploring the original Cape Dutch Manor House, a visit to the famed Cloete Cellar: the birthplace of Grand Constance and world-class cuisine.

The estate produces a large range of wines including Sauvignon Balance, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Pinotage along with a rose and MCC brut.

Groot Constantia offers an intriguing chocolate and wine pairing which takes you through both white and reds, matching a range of flavoured white, milk and dark chocolates!

Wine Stop 4:

Steenberg Estate is another favorite of mine. While enjoying a selection of wines, you can relax by the patio with reflective water features and stunning gardens. It is the serene environment combined with the beautiful décor and an incredible landscape while sipping some delicious wines that make this experience a joyful relaxing way to end off your Constantia Valley adventure.

Steenberg is particularly renowned for its excellent Sauvignon Blanc but produces a range of other elegant wines too, including a range of MCC’s, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Shiraz.

How many vineyards are there in Constantia Valley?

There are nine lovely wine estates along the Constantia wine route, all perched within Constantia Valley, offering amazing views and of course delicious wines.

What is the best way to explore the Constantia wine route?

For full freedom over which vineyards to visit, and a boot to fill with wine, the best way to explore Constantia wine route is by car.

A full day exploring this wonderful area is highly recommended. However, if you are short of time, Constantia can easily be tailored into a full day Cape Point Tour with Albatros’ Beyond Touring on a private basis. You can also have a look at Albatros’ 7-Day Culinary Package that perfectly complements the Constantia Experience.

The Zambezi is beguiling and deceptive. It lures you in with its ever so sluggish demeanor as it wends its way to its ultimate union with the Indian Ocean on the Mozambican coast. Hippos snort, crocodiles bask on the sunny banks and vast herds of the wild game come to quench their thirst and disappear again into the surrounding wilderness. This is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful areas of Africa.

The great Zambezi River (literally meaning “Great River” in the local Tonga language) is the very lifeline of central-southern Africa, a place of legend, adventure, and breath-taking beauty.

How to get there….

We flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then from Johannesburg to Lusaka (Zambia), we then overnighted in Lusaka, spending the night at Protea Hotel Lusaka.

The following morning, we made our way back to Lusaka Airport and checked in by Royal Air Charters, for our chartered flight to Royal Zambezi Lodge. The flight takes approximately 30 minutes from Lusaka.

Upon landing at Royal Airstrip, you will be greeted by their guides who will assist you with luggage and accompany you on a 5 -10-minute drive to the lodge. Look out for baboon, impala, and elephants on this drive!

From the moment you are collected by their private Royal Air charter plane for your flight to the lodge, you will be immersed in a world of both adventure and pampering, while still being close to the pulse of the wilderness.

The Royal Zambezi Lodge is a four-star, family-owned luxury safari lodge.

Highlights

  • Excellent location on the banks of the Zambezi River
  • An expansive lodge with fantastic views
  • Elegant & sophisticated with an authentic safari feel
  • Luxurious, spacious suites – the deluxe suites are perfect for honeymooners
  • Family-owned, making it a personalized experience
  • In the Chiawa Conservancy & fantastic game viewing especially cats & elephants

Accommodation:

Royal Zambezi is one of my favorite lodges, a luxurious lodge situated on the banks of the Zambezi River. There are 15 secluded tents, each with a thatched canopy and spacious bathroom. Of the 14, eight are classic suites, four are deluxe chalets and three are presidential suites. The deluxe chalets each boast a stunning external deck with a plunge pool, bath, and shower. presidential suites are larger still, measuring 100m sq. with an additional lounge. All the suites are spaced out along the riverbank under mature trees, with private decks and views of the water. Bush noises lull you to sleep at night, and you can watch the sunrise over the river each morning, while easily spotting hippos or elephants crossing the river.

Upon our arrival at the lodge, we were gathered in the reception area for a safety briefing and signed indemnity forms and the staff explained the different activities and then escorted us to our rooms.

The phenomenal surroundings filled to the brim with African wildlife will never let you breathe a moment of boredom on your stay.

Activities:

  1. Go on a game drive in an open vehicle – a late-night drive using spotlights is even available.
  2. Some of the best freshwater angling opportunities are available on the Lower Zambezi and our knowledgeable boatmen know all the best spots!
  3. Enjoy sundowners on the water on a River Safari.
  4. Guides are available to take you on a bushwalk where you can explore the myriad flora and fauna up close.
  5. Enjoy a mountain hike suited to your skills and mood.
  6. Bask in your surroundings and take in every small sound and splash of nature on a canoe safari.

The design of Royal Zambezi Lodge allows nature and the environment to play a leading role in ensuring the relaxed pace and magical experience enjoyed by guests.

After settling into our rooms, we made our way back to the dining area, where we departed on a sunset river cruise up the Zambezi River. The area is home to a rich variety of birdlife on its banks, elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. We enjoyed sundowners on a sandy island with an elephant close by. After the river cruise, we relaxed in the main areas until supper, where we enjoyed dinner under the stars.

Food and Service:

For breakfast, the Royal Zambezi chefs prepare meals to order, served on the deck. Lunch is provided via either a gourmet picnic or a full outdoor buffet in the national park – complete with linen tableware. Dinner is served at private tables beneath the night sky or delivered by room service to the guest’s personal veranda. On special occasions, guests may find themselves eating by a campfire – or even enjoying a candlelit dinner on one of the Zambezi’s deserted islands.

On the second morning at the lodge, we departed down the river on the boat to start our early morning bush walk. I thoroughly enjoyed the bush walk, our guides were well trained, extremely knowledgeable and were born and raised in the bush, he was accompanied by an armed scout, as this is mandatory by law in Zambia. The walk was about 2 hours and ended of with scones & refreshments on the bank of the river in the bush before heading our way back to the lodge by boat.

When we arrived at the lodge, we enjoyed a full breakfast, and took the rest of the morning to relax in our tent, since it was so hot – I dipped in the splash pool and made myself a few drinks from the mini-bar. We enjoyed lunch on the veranda and high tea before departing on our afternoon game drive, where we spotted lions and leopards!

The following morning, we decided to have a late sleep and enjoyed breakfast before departing on our chartered flight from Royal Airstrip back to Lusaka Airport for homebound flight.

Royal Zambezi Lodge is an ideal place to stay when combining a visit to Victoria Falls. The proximity to Victoria Falls means that guests can experience several adventure activities. It works perfectly for a family safari holiday yet also as a romantic setting for honeymoon couples. The lodge offers the ultimate in comfort & luxury, with unrivaled game viewing accompanied by professional guides, a luxury spa, and world-class fishing and fly fishing.

View the Southern African travel experiences on offer at Albatros Travel here.

Planning family vacations is not always easy.

Durban has always been one of the top holiday destinations in South Africa. Its tropical weather, laid-back vibe, and swimmer-friendly beaches never fail to draw crowds from all over South Africa during the holidays. The east coast city still has its classic coastal charm, but the city is growing into more than just beach holiday destination.

Take an hour’s flight from Johannesburg or a two-hour trip from Cape Town to explore this historic city in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Upon much deliberation, I chose Durban well for my own reasons, one of them my love of South African history. I really wanted to visit the Nelson Mandela capture site & the Isandlwana and Rorke’s drift Battlefields.

There are few other places on earth where you can visit a battlefield area and see exactly what the soldiers of 130 years ago observed. The now-famous battles of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana are two of those places and the fact that they are in the vast, and unspoiled beauty of Zululand add to their allure.

uShaka Marine World was the main attraction for our little family, which has a bunch of shops and restaurants as well as a water park, playgrounds, and an aquarium. I opted to get a massage here, so there is a little bit of everything! I also went to the beach for my first dip in the Indian Ocean.

We chose to stay at the Southern Sun Elangeni, only meters away from the seaside city’s best beaches, which was a bonus!

The following day, my husband had his moment at the famous glide over the Moses Mabhida stadium. The Big Rush Big Swing can be found in Moses Mabhida stadium and is the world’s tallest swing! To get to the platform you will jump from, you will have to climb up the iconic stadium arch which is an experience. Once at the top you can enjoy a magnificent view of Durban before you jump 80 meters down into the famous soccer stadium. This is one for the adrenaline junkies and die-hard soccer fans.

I had to visit another world while in Durban, the spice world – one filled with the exotic smells of curries, the sounds of market vendors, and the colors of handmade jewelry and beaded clothes. The Indian Quarter includes the Victoria Street Market (where some excellent bargains are on offer) and the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere.

We ended the day at Mini Town! This is the place childhood memories are made of. This tiny to-scale rendition of the city centre of Durban allows you to walk amongst the buildings and neighbourhoods like modern-day human Godzilla. The kids enjoyed this!

I cannot forget to mention the food on this trip! Durban exceeded expectations in a different way. As a traveller, some of my fondest memories when I travel are related to the food I eat and once home I crave these dishes.

More Indians reside in Durban than any other country outside India itself. Early immigrants worked on sugar cane farms in current-day KwaZulu-Natal, and many women still wear sarees, the national dress of India, and Indian cuisine is popular. Be sure to try a samosa (a savory fried pastry filled with spiced vegetables or meat) or bunny chow (a hollow, half-loaf of bread with curry).

This family trip went to quick! With its sunny beaches and fascinating Afro-Indian culture, Durban is becoming a don’t-miss stop in South Africa.

As we boarded the plane and took our seats, I am fairly sure I could smell my spices all the way from the luggage compartment. I drifted off into asleep, it was a great reminder of the beautiful time and memorable experience we had as a family, the hospitality of the people around you, and their love and pride they have for the country which was ingrained throughout our trip.

The Best of Durban is about more than gorgeous beaches, warm water, and summer days that last almost all year. Those are some irresistible lures… So, it is hard to believe there is so much more to this epic spot in KwaZulu-Natal.

We will be sure to be back!

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