Luxury Big Cat Safari and the Winelands of South Africa
August 22 - September 1, 2013
About The Photographic Safari
In August 2013, Andy Biggs and Mark Dubovoy will lead a private safari into South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve to look for and photograph Africa's finest wildlife. The predator densities in the Sabi Sand are some of the highest anywhere on earth, and we have selected a luxurious camp to create a private safari geared specifically towards photography and game viewing. The Sabi Sands in South Africa is a premier 'Big Five' destination that always produces superb wildlife experiences. After our safari we will then visit South Africa's finest wine regions in the cape region, while staying at luxurious accommodations.
South Africa is a beautiful and diverse country with exotic culture and breathtaking wildlife. Filled with magnificent and picturesque landscapes, South Africa is truly a remarkable destination to experience an African Safari.
This safari will be very informal, fun and very private. We are taking sole use of Rattray's on Mala Mala camp in the Sabi Sands, which was some of the best accommodations and service anywhere in Africa. Andy and Mark will be helping you take your best photographs at all times. We will have discussion and assistance on all things related to photography and wildlife behavior.
• We have the entire use of Rattray's on Mala Mala for our own private safari
• Safari is limited to 16 travelers - very exclusive.
• Top guides will accompany us on game drives
• This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas for predators in Southern Africa, as well as all other species you have seen in books.
• This itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience - all from the surroundings of your premier accommodations.
• The Sabi Sand Game Reserve - undoubtedly the best wildlife location in South Africa.
• Game viewing is done in open 4x4 vehicles, allowing for the very best photographic opportunities.
About Rattray's on Mala Mala
- 8 luxury khayas for a maximum of 16 guests
- Private verandah with grand river views
- Indigenous private garden - a haven for the birds
- "His" & "hers" bathrooms featuring a ball and claw footed bath, double shower, & under floor heating
- Outdoor shower for a nature experience with a difference
- Heated plunge pool built into the private verandah
- Outdoor and indoor dining area for intimate in-room dining
- 24-hour temperature control - air-conditioning, heating and overhead fans
- Direct dial telephones
- A mini-bar
- A mini-safe
- Tea & coffee making facilities
- Optional satellite television, laptop computer with wireless internet connectivity and DVD player
August 21 - Depart home country (or earlier if you wish to arrive early).
August 22 - 23 (1 night) - D'Oreale Grand Hotel - Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa
Stay close to the airport at the D'oreale Grande at Emperor's Palace. On your arrival at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, and after clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you will be met by one of our representatives, who will transfer you by road to the D'oreale Grande.
The D'oreale Grande at Emperors Palace is a five-star hotel, luxuriously adorned with hand painted murals and frescos, marble floors, plush carpets, and intricate mosaics. The hotel was recently accepted as a member of Great Hotels of the World – Luxury Collection.
All rooms incorporate air-conditioning, multi-channel satellite TV, complimentary wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) and the convenience of 24-hour room services. Guests can dine at the elegant conservatory-styled Aurelia's restaurant, meet or relax in private conclaves of the reception area, absorb the gentle strains of the piano in the Aurelia's Lounge and Cocktail Bar, or sip on a cocktail while watching the African sunset from a lounge or cocktail bar in the manicured and terraced gardens of the hotel.
The group will transfer back to OR Tambo airport the next morning, where we catch our private plane to the Mala Mala airstrip. From the airstrip it is a short drive through the reserve to our camp for the next 7 nights.
August 23 - 28 (5 nights) - Rattray's on Mala Mala - Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
At nearly 40,000 acres (16,000 hectares) MalaMala Game Reserve is by far the largest piece of land within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve - the oldest conservancy of private game reserves in South Africa. Situated in the fabled Lowveld of Mpumalanga Province, MalaMala Game Reserve became the first of the tracts of privately owned game land to make the transition from hunting to photographic safaris.
But it is not just the sheer size of land that makes MalaMala so impressive. The 20 miles (32 kilometres) of open boundary, which MalaMala shares with the Kruger National Park, provides unimpeded access to animals from this world famous wildlife sanctuary. This essentially places MalaMala as part of a soon-to-be 12 or more million acres of pristine wilderness conservation area. Of constant appeal to the wildlife from the Kruger National Park is the vast array of habitat types within MalaMala - ranging from open savannahs to dense riparian zones and granite koppies. Perhaps the greatest attraction of all is the perennial Sand River – of which, approximately 36 kilometers soaks its’ way through MalaMala Game Reserve. The diversity of these habitats is the key factor behind the incredible complexity of fauna and flora for which MalaMala has become so famous, and is proven statistically by its game viewing – where it has become the exception rather than the rule for all members of the “Big 5” not to be seen on a single day on the property.
The Rattray’s camp experience is exclusive, with each of the eight comfortable suites occupying its own elevated site overlooking the Sand River. Filtered plunge pools complete each of the secluded verandahs and an outdoor dining area provides the ideal vantage point from which to enjoy bush cuisine in complete privacy. Each guest has the choice of remaining connected to the outside world from the sanctuary of their room via continuous internet connectivity (512k wireless link via sattelite connection) and satellite television.
Rattray's has a maximum capacity of 16 guests, utilizing 8 luxury suites called "khayas". Eack khaya has wooden floors with under-floor heating in the winter months and wooden ceilings. All khaya include separate his and hers luxury en-suite bathrooms and King-sized beds.
August 28 - Mala Mala to the Wine Country
Today we will depart Mala Mala for the beautiful winelands region of South Africa. We board our private aircraft to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, where we will join a commercial aircraft for Capetown. A representative will meet the group upon arrival and will transfer you to Cellars-Hohenort, a Relais & Chateaux property. You will check in to your private suite and enjoy the panoramic views and gardens until dinnertime. The hotel is adjacent to the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and minutes away from the Constantia Wine Route.
August 29 - Winelands (Constantia)
Today we will visit wineries of the famed Constantia wine region. Constantia is the location where the first vineyards in South Africa were planted. As well as being a beautiful region, the vineyards are ideally sited on the slopes of the Constantia Berg Mountains, where they are cooled by the sea breezes. Tentative locations will include Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia and Steenberg. During your visit to the winelands, we will be arranging private meetings, tours and tastings with the winemakers / proprieters (TBA). Each day The Vines of Mendoza will develop a tailored selection of private tastings for our owners with small and artesanal wineries -- and of course some amazing wine country meals. Overnight at Cellars-Hohenort.
A typical day will look something like this: 9am depart hotel, 1-2pm lunch at local wine estate/restaurant, 5 – 5:30pm drop off at the hotel. Dinner time to be flexible upon return to hotel.
August 30 - Winelands (Stellenbosch)
Today we will take the show on the road and will visit the Stellenbosch region, just a short distance east of Cape Town. This is the country's leading wine area, and is home to many of the country's leading estates. Vineyards fringed by mountains make for some lovely views. There are several different subregions, and the geology here is quite complex. Simplistically, the granite-based soils in the east are especially suited to the production of fine red wines, whereas the sandstone soils in the west are best for whites. Tentative locations will include De Toren, Ernie Els, De Trafford and Jordan. Overnight at Franschhoek Country House (Villa Suites)
August 31 - Winelands (Franschhoek)
Today we will spend time in Franschhoek Valley, and our goal is to visit La Motte, L’ormarins, Fairview and Veenwouden. The Franschoek valley is a small but significant region, inland (to the west) of Stellenbosch. Surrounded by the spooky-sounding Drakenstein mountains, the wide variety of soils and relatively high rainfall permits production of a wide variety of wine styles. It is a warmer region than Stellenbosch, and with its profusion of trendy restaurants it can rightfully claim to be the gourmet capital of the winelands. Franschoek can easily be considered the most beautiful wine growing region in the world. Overnight at Franschhoek Country House (Villa Suites)
September 1 - Depart Winelands for Home Country
NOTE: Customized extensions to this safari, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and other destinations may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired. Ask us for further information.
The cost of this safari is $16,980 per person, which assumes a group size of 16 people. If the traveling group is 14 the price will be $18,480. If the group is 12 people the cost will be $19,980. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals. A 40% deposit will be needed to secure your space(s) on the safari.
Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.
• Accommodation on a shared basis
• All in-country round-trip private airfare
• 4 x Private vehicles for our own use.
• 2 x Professional photographers leading the trip (Andy Biggs and Mark Dubovoy)
• All safari activities.
• Services of the lodge guides & staff.
• Relevant park fees.
• Daily laundry at the safari camps (not in Johannesburg).
• The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Taxes.
* All alcohol, sodas and water
* Breakfast, Lunches, Dinners and wines while in the wine country
What is Not Included?
• International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Johannesburg.
• Visas (if applicable)
• Travel Insurance
• Personal purchases (including curios, telephone calls etc.)
• Pre- and post- safari tours
What Do I Do Next?
Our groups are small, so space is limited to only 16 people. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.