Tailor-made Holidays

Tailor-made Holidays

Travel Butlers will ensure you have a fantastic holiday that is tailored to your individual interests and budget.

Safari and Beach

Safari and Beach

Combine Africa's amazing wildlife with the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean for the perfect holiday

Holidays in South Africa

Holidays in South Africa

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Tanzania Safari And Beach

Migrating wildebeest, idyllic palm-fringed beaches, and snow-capped mountains ... these could be YOUR Tanzania holiday memories!

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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

Mozambique in the News

TraceyCampbell - December 4, 2014

Today in the UK’s Metro paper there was a full page in the Travel Section extolling the virtues of Mozambique.

The team at Travel Butlers will be one of the first to admit that we LOVE Mozambique! Every week, we are preparing for someone an itinerary combining a safari in South Africa with a beach stay here.

The Bazarato Archipelago is probably one of the most visited regions, as on Thursdays and Sundays, you can fly directly here from the Kruger Nelspruit Airport, which means you can go on a game drive the night before, depart the lodge early with a packed breakfast, and be on the beach in the afternoon.  Well, in theory you actually fly to Vilanculos and then you get a light aircraft, helicopter or boat to transfer you across to your island – but this just adds to the holiday fun!  Popular lodges here are Pestana Bazaruto, the newly refurbished Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort (formerly known as Indigo Bay) or the truly luxurious Azura Benguerra Island – complete with butler service and a private plunge pool in your spacious beach villa.

Another firm favourite of ours is Flamingo Bay Water Lodge, which is further south.   This normally involves an overnight stay back in Johannesburg Airport, as you need to fly from here to Inhambane in the morning.  But there are 2 things that we love about Flamingo Bay – firstly, it is priced in Rand, so you can take advantage of the current good relationship between the Rand and the Pound Sterling; and secondly they include return airport transfers from Inhambane to the lodge within their normal rates.  Flamingo Bay is ideal if you are really ‘looking to get away from it all’, and is very popular with honeymooners.

Further north, you will need to fly to Pemba, then you can explore the delights of the Quirimbas Archipelago, which consists of 32 islands that stretch for 250 km and which are pretty much unexplored and untouched.  Azura Quilalea will surpass all your dreams, or Ibo Island has a uniqueness to it and is surrounded by history.

What else do we love about Mozambique? It is a year round destination, it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and the crystal clear turquoise warm water is perfect if you want to go snorkelling or diving.  The romantic dhow trips that take you out for sunset cocktails set the scene for a delicable fresh fish dinner upon your return to land, and there is nothing better than drifting off to sleep with nothing but the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.

Where’s my passport… I’m off now!!



Azura Quilalea 2



Saruni Ocean – Kenya’s Latest Offering

TraceyCampbell - December 1, 2014

Kenya has certainly had a rough ride this year, but one company thankfully has the foresight and investment to believe that tourism will recover.

The new Saruni Ocean is due to open this month, and is the latest edition to the Saruni safari family, offering a complete solution for couples and families looking for a traditional safari and beach combo holiday.

Situated on the southern coast of Kenya, this luxury beach lodge occupies a prime position overlooking the beautiful and deserted Msambweni Beach.  There are 18 air-conditioned suites in total, split between 7 individual ‘houses’.  Each suite has its own private entrance, making your stay here totally private.

If you are feeling socialable, wander up to the main lodge areas and relax around the infinity pool, or for those in need of some pamper time, visit the Sarunity Thermae & Spa for a reinvigorating thalassotherapy treatment using the natural elements from the ocean.

Go snorkelling or diving, wander along the 6 km of white sandy beach (without worrying that you will be harrassed by beach vendors), visit traditional local villages, try your hand at big game fishing, or do a trip out to the nearby Funzi Island, the green sea turtle’s favourite nesting site.  If you haven’t had enough of a safari fix, you can also visit the Shimba Hills National Reserve to spot elephant, sable antelope and buffalo.

Only a short drive (20 km) from the Diani/Ukunda Airstrip, guests can fly here from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport if you want to start with your beach downtime, or if you are looking to end with time on the beach, you can fly directly from your safari in the Masai Mara – either way, you do not have to pass through the busy Mombasa Airport at all.  Flights back to Nairobi depart from the airstrip in the late afternoon, leaving you with a glorious last morning to spend on the beach before you battle with the masses at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as you check in for your international flight home.

We would like to wish everyone at Saruni Ocean all the very best for their new venture, and we look forward to sending Travel Butlers guests to you very soon.




UNIVISA Launched Today

TraceyCampbell - November 28, 2014

Today, Friday 28th November, sees the launch of the new tourist Kavango Zambezi Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA) UNIVISA – but let’s just call it the UNIVISA for ease!

I must say, the team at Travel Butlers are very excited about this. The UNIVISA is a comon tourist visa, which during its pilot launch (lasting 6 months), will enable tourists planning to visit Zimbabwe and Zambia to purchase just one visa, which will cover travel to both countries.  PLUS it also covers day trips into Botswana too.

So now, visitors wanting to stay on one side of Victoria Falls, and pop over the border to see the Falls from the other side, do not have to worry about expensive double entry visas.  What a result!  And what a boom for Victoria Falls tourism prospects, too.

The UNIVISA is available at the following 8 ports of entry across both countries:

Zimbabwe: Harare International Airport; Victoria Falls International Airport; Victoria Falls Land Border (to enter Zambia) and Kazangula Land Border (to enter Botswana).

Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (Lusaka); Harry Mwaanga International Airport (Livingstone); Victoria Falls Land Border (to enter Zimbabwe) and Kazangula Land Border (to enter Botswana).

The UNIVISA costs US$50 (subject to change), payable in cash only. It will be valid for 30 days as long as you remain in Zimbabwe and Zambia, so you can cross between Zimbabwe and Zambia as frequently as you like within the period. As mentioned, it also covers those who wish to visit Botswana for a day trip through the Kazangula Land Border.

Citizens from the following 40 countries listed below are eligible for the UNIVISA:

United Kingdom; United States of America; Canada; Australia; New Zealand; Belgium; France; Monaco; Italy; Portugal; Netherlands; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Norway; Poland; Germany; Austria; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Czech Republic; Denmark; Finland; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Argentina; Brazil; Brunei; Burundi; Cook Islands; Israel; Japan; Puerto Rico; Russia; Rwanda; Slovakia Republic; Slovenia Republic; UAE and Uruguay.

When you arrive at the port of entry, you will be directed to a dedicated counter where the special visa will be issued.

If you are a passport holder from another country, however, please contact your local Zambia or Zimbabwe High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements.The normal visa is issued at any Zambia/Zimbabwe Embassy, or can be issued on arrival at an entry point. Please note that visas will also be required in this case for additional entries into neighbouring countries for day trips.

Please note that the current visa processes for Zambia and Zimbabwe are still available for any passport holder, however  we believe that the new UNIVISA will definately be a more cost effective and efficient way forward for every tourist.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Zambia/Zimbabwe and have sufficient blank pages for entry/exit stamps.

Also, please note that if you are planning to enter South Africa before or after you visit Zambia or Zimbabwe, you should be aware that while South African authorities state officially that only one blank passport page is required for entry, some officials insist on 2 blank pages. Please therefore make sure you have an additional 2 blank pages in your passport if you are travelling through South Africa.

PLEASE NOTE: Travel Butlers have made every effort to ensure that the information displayed here is correct and accurate, but the onus still remains with the traveller to verify the information with their local Zambia/Zimbabwe High Commission or Embassy.

Should this initial pilot with the Zambia/Zimbabwe UNIVISA be a success, the plan is to then roll it out to include Angola, Botswana and Namibia, making travel between these SADC countries much easier.  The plan ongoing is that more countries will join the UNIVISA initiative at a later stage.

MalaMala – Exclusively Yours

TraceyCampbell - November 26, 2014

MalaMala – synonymous with the bygone era of romantic safaris, Hollywood superstars and exclusive game viewing. Celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, in 1964 the MalaMala land was sold to Michael Rattray who since then has grown the brand to be one of the most famous in the world of safari goers, and who was truly the pioneer of the photographic safari experience that we know and love today.

‘Mala Mala – it’s all about the wildlife’ is their new strapline, and anyone who has been fortunate to go on safari here will, I am sure, 100% endorse this. The privately owned MalaMala Game Reserve forms part of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and covers an immense 13,500 hectares of land.  The eastern boundary is the Kruger National Park – a stretch of 12 miles of uninterrupted, pristine bush with no physical fences, allowing the wildlife to freely cross the ‘invisible’ border between the National Park and the private game reserve. To the west, the Sand River flows unhindered through the land, offering the wildlife a plentiful supply of water at all times, expecially during the dry winter months of May to September.  Is it any wonder that the game viewing here is, one could say, absolutely fantastic all year round.

Because only the game vehicles from MalaMala’s three camps – Main Camp, Sable Camp and the exclusive Rattrays on MalaMala – are allowed to drive on the land, the game viewing experience for guests is really personal and intimate, and completely unhurried.  In 2013, the game viewing statistics were simply amazing – sightings of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) were recorded on all but 66 days!  Just to put this into slight more context:

  • Leopards were viewed on all but 20 days, and out of thse sightings, 2 or more leopards were viewed on all but 4 days.
  • Buffalo were seen on all but 8 days, and herds exceeding 100 were viewed on 154 days.
  • Lions were viewed on 308 days, and the most lions seen in a single day were 30 in 4 different sightings – in total, there are 9 resident prides that are regularly seen at MalaMala.
  • Elephant were seen on all but 10 days, and the average number of elephant sightings per week exceeded 20.

Due to the vulnerability of rhino and the current poaching problems, no statistics of rhino sightings are now released.

With the opening of the new Skukuza airstrip, it has never been easier to get to MalaMala.  Direct daily flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg with SA Airlink land at Skukuza, and it is a mere 45 minute (to an  hour) game drive from here to the camp. Alternatively, FedAir also fly directly from Johannesburg to the MalaMala Airstrip, which is only a 5 minute drive to your camp.

Families are welcome at MalaMala Main Camp, and their Junior Ranger programme continues to be a great success with the little ones.  While the parents relax, the rangers will take the children off with their special MalaMala backpack to identify animal spoor, learn about the plants and how to clean your teeth if you are ever lost in the bush, go bird watching, have a go at communicating over the radio as if they were a real ranger, and a myriad of other activities designed to educate as well as entertain.  At the end of their stay, children leave with their very own Ranger Certificate – something unique for the obligatory ‘what did you do in your holidays’ show-and-tell sessions when they return to school!

Whether you are travelling as a family, a couple or in a group (in which case, don’t forget that Sable Camp can be taken on an exclusive basis for groups of between 10-18 guests), we are sure that you will have a fantastic safari experience at MalaMala.






Seeing the Wild Dogs of Africa

TraceyCampbell - November 19, 2014

The African wild dog, or the Painted Dog as it is also called, is now unfortunately one of Africa’s endangered species. Changing habitats and disease have caused the population to drop rapidly, and it is estimated that there are now only between 3,000 and 5,000 left in the wild.

Unlike their domestic doggy cousins, the African wild dog only has 4 toes per foot (your pet at home has 5 toes on their forefeet).  They need a very large territory to roam over, and home territories can cover up to 1,500 square kilometres.  They are very sociable creatures, living in packs of up to 30.  Before a hunt, the pack will gather together to nose rub and lick each other, whilst wagging their tails and making high-pitched noises.

Seeing these beautiful creatures while on safari is a  priviledged sighting, and sometimes it can be a pretty gruesome one too, if you are unlucky (or lucky, depending on your mindset) to catch them on a kill.  Ferocious hunters, they work as a pack and will literally chase their prey to death, as the wild dog can reach speeds of up to 40-50 mph, although they can only sustain this speed for short distances.  The pack will simply pull down it’s exhausted prey, and before the poor animal has hit the ground, the pack are already starting to tear it apart.  A pack have been known to eat an entire gazelle within 15 minutes.

There are a few places where seeing wild dog can be part of your safari experience.  The Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya has an impressive 2 pack population, currently totalling 32 individuals. The Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania is home to approximately one-third of the world’s wild dogs.    The Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa has a thriving and active population, with 3 different hunting packs calling the reserve their home.  And the Kwando region of Botswana has the reputation of being the place to visit to encounter wild dog.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-african-wild-dog-hunting-dog-image12271609wild dog 1wild dog 3

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