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

First Lion Cubs born in the Samara Private Game Reserve

Luke Davies - December 19, 2019

The Samara Private Game Reserve, in the Great Karoo, is proudly celebrating the birth of their first litter of lion cubs, less than one year after they first introduced a new pride of lions to the reserve. This is a significant milestone for the reserve, as these are the first wild lions to roam and breed freely in the region for over 180 years.

The reserve first re-introduced lion at the beginning of 2019, which was one of several initiatives undertaken by the managment team here to restore the Great Karoo’s incredible biodiversity. This huge step also meant that the reserve is the first Big 5 private game reserve in the Great Karoo.

Speaking about the recent birth, founder Sarah Tompkins says “It’s a sign that our move to develop the landscape to create the conditions for new lion populations has been successful.”

Now home to over 65 species of mammal, 220 species of bird, 50 types of reptile and amphibian, the reserve’s growing wildlife diversity has been a true success story.

In 2017, elephants were reintroduced, and the herd was completed thanks to the introduction of 2 elephant bulls in November 2018.

Other notable species in Samara apart from the Big 5 include zebra, giraffe, aardvark and cheetah.

The reserve itself is located in the Graaff Reinet region of the Eastern Cape and encompasses 27,000 hectares of spectacular malaria-free Karoo wilderness, incorporating dramatic mountain terrains, sweeping plains and ancient rock art.

For more information or if you’re interested in staying here, check out our webpage in the link below.

https://www.travelbutlers.com/south-africa/safari/eastern-cape/samara-private-game-reserve/

Home in time for Christmas

Luke Davies - October 3, 2019

With Christmas just around the corner, why not treat yourself to a well deserved break and enjoy 12 nights away, soaking up the summer sun and exploring the beautiful Cape in South Africa!

This magical journey will have you exploring the top of Table Mountain, feeling the warm sands and fresh Atlantic water inbetween your toes, tasting award winning wines, and coming face to face with an ostrich – all the while being captivated by the charm of the region’s small villages.  After taking in the breathtaking sights of the Western Cape, and the endless views of green landscapes and blue oceans, you head off on a 2 night safari in a private game reserve – home to Africa’s Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.

Taking place from the 12th to 24th December, this itinerary includes return flights from London on Ethiopian Airlines (or a similar airline), 3 nights in Cape Town, followed by a 5 night Guided Tour along the Garden Route with an English guide all the way to Port Elizabeth, where finally, you will finish with 2 nights on safari at Amakhala Woodbury Lodge in the beautiful Eastern Cape.

With prices from just £2995 per person this is a great way to beat the winter blues and be home in time for Christmas!

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Cape Town 12th–15th December

Cape Town and Table Mountain

You will depart from London Heathrow in the evening, stopping briefly in Addis Ababa before flying all the way down to Cape Town, arriving the next day in the early afternoon. After collecting your bags, you will then be transferred to Breakwater Lodge, ideally located right next to the vibrant V&A Waterfront.  Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful cities – with a magnificent mountain as its centre, miles of sandy beaches, a colourful and moving history, and countless bars and restaurants, Cape Town captures the hearts of visitors.

The Garden Route 16th–21th December

Today, the journey through the Garden Route and all its wonders begins with a wine tasting in the picturesque Hex River Valley, surrounded by magnificent mountains. The tour will then continue, taking you through Matjiesfontein and onto Prince Albert where you will spend the night at the charming Victorian styled Swartberg Hotel.  Enjoy a delicious evening meal in the Victoria Room, a room inspired by a history that dates back all the way to 1864.

The Swartberg Hotel in Prince Albert

17th December

After breakfast, enjoy the spectacular drive through the Swartberg Mountains to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is the “Ostrich Capital” of the world and is the largest town in the Klein Karoo region, a semi-desert place with a reputation for its inspiring natural splendour. Here you will be given a tour of one of the one of the world’s great natural wonders, the Cango Caves, followed by a visit to an Ostrich Farm. You will be spending the night at  La Plume Guest House  and once checked in, you can enjoy relaxing on the cool veranda of your room, with its sweeping view across the Olifant’s River Valley to the Swartberg Mountains.

La Plume Boutique Guest House View

18th–19th December

Moving down to the coast, the tour continues through the Outeniqua Pass to George (the 6th oldest town in SA) and onto Wilderness, before finally reaching Knysna. Nestled on the banks of a beautiful lagoon, Knysna is a bustling little holiday town with a lively Waterfront area. You can take part in a lagoon cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve before heading to the top of the Western Head to enjoy the panoramic views of the town and lagoon. Your 2 nights here will be spent at The Rex Hotel. The next day you will have the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Knysna area, including a visit to the Garden of Eden and the Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary. Set in a lush green forest, you will be able to see a variety of primates, roaming free. Before heading back, there is time to see the Eastern Head and Brenton on Sea.

Knysna Lagoon

20th December

Departing Knysna, the tour takes you to Plettenberg Bay (the jewel of the Garden Route) and the biggest single free flight aviary in the world, the Birds of Eden Sanctuary.  After this, you will get to see Bloukrans Bridge, home to the highest bungy jump in the world. For those who are brave enough, here’s your chance! The continues along the spectacular coastline of Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River Mouth, where you will spend the night at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn which lies just on the outskirts of the Park.

21th December

Today, you will come to the end of your Garden Route Tour by finishing with an orientation tour of Port Elizabeth. Known more fondly as just PE, the warmth of the people have earned it the well-deserved reputation as ‘The Friendly City’. When the tour has finished you will then be taken to the Amakhala Game Reserve for an incredible safari experience.

Amakhala Game Reserve 21th–23th December

This 7,200 malaria-free hectare game reserve is home to all of the Big 5 (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard), as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and plenty of antelope species. It offers a range of different landscapes and  includes breathtaking views of the Bushman’s River.

Woodbury Lodge is spectacularly set against a cliff above the Bushmans River valley, offering an intimate and tranquil experience.  There are a range of activities to enjoy during your 2 night stay here, including game drives, a river cruise, bush walks and horse trails. For those interested in soaking up the African sun, recline around the pool and enjoy some quiet bird watching.

Amakhala Woodbury Lodge

On the final morning, enjoy one more game drive before returning for breakfast, before you are collected and transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport in time for your flight home. Arrive back into London on the 24th, with some incredible stories to dazzle your family and friends with over Christmas dinner.

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Fenced or Not Fenced – that is the question

TraceyCampbell - October 16, 2013

A very common phrase that you will see when you are searching for your South African safari is the term ‘fenced reserve’.

But what exactly does this mean? For those not in the travel industry, it may seem like an extra word that has just been added to the description of the reserve, to fill out the page.  Surely everywhere has to have a fence somewhere?

Technically, yes, in South Africa every game reserve or National Park does have a fence, even Kruger and it’s neighbouring private reserves.  Somewhere along the border, there will be a fenceline that will act as a deterent to the wildlife, to stop them leaving the safe sanctuary of the reserve/Park and wandering off to visit local villages.

However, in Kruger, you are talking of an area that covers over 2 million hectares (for those reading this in the UK that is about the size of Wales (minus the sheep); for those in the States this is somewhere between the size of Conneticut and New Jersey; and for those in the rest of Europe, it is about the size of Slovenia).  So the chances of spending your entire game drive looking at a fence is fairly low, as with so much land to cover why would you?

Fenced reserves is a term therefore that is used for smaller reserves, and that is where it does actually have some significance.

For example, in the Eastern Cape, all the reserves are fenced, and in the Kruger area, you have a couple of fenced reserves, such as Kapama and Thornybush.  This is because these reserves are all independently owned, so therefore the owners have to firstly differentiate their land from their neighbours, but more importantly, they have to keep their wildlife on their land too!  As a land/reserve owner, you certainly do not want your larger game such as elephant, rhino or lions wandering off to visit another reserve, so that your guests who pay to stay at your reserve don’t get to see them!  How annoying would that be!  Equally, you don’t want your pride of lions deciding to go for a wander through the local village!

Fenced reserves tend to range vastly in size – anything from 1,500 hectares up to 25,000 hectares and upwards.  Obviously, the larger the reserve, the more wildlife the area can sustain, but this will be reflected in the rates charged.

Larger reserves can also play ‘home’ to more predators, as they equally have the space to keep the plains game and buffalo that the predators will naturally hunt for food.  Get the balance between predators and their ‘food’ incorrect and you will have a reserve full of hungry lions and no buffalo!

I have spent many a happy game drive in a fenced reserve, and to be honest, I have had some wonderful game drives and game viewing experiences.  As long as you go to a fenced reserve knowing that you will not see a herd of a million wildebeest wandering across in front of your game vehicle, or expect to see 20 different prides of lions, then there really is no reason not to have a great safari experience in a fenced reserve.

Property of the Week – Pumba Game Reserve

TraceyCampbell - August 24, 2011

One of the main attractions of the Eastern Cape is the opportunity to visit a wildlife park and see the Big 5 in a malaria-free environment.

lion-pumbaRight in the heart of the Eastern Cape’s game viewing region you will find Pumba Private Game Reserve, situated a mere 105 km from Port Elizabeth.

The reserve stretches over an area of 6,000 hectares. Home to the Big 5, the Reserve offers visitors the chance to experience the wonders of Africa – from the graceful giraffe to the seldom seen leopard. There are also 22 species of antelope and other small game.

Pumba is also home to the near extinct white lion and for bird lovers the 200 + species will delight.

pumba-water-lodgeThere are just 2 lodges on the entire reserve. The stunning Pumba Water Lodge is, as its name suggests, situated overlooking Lake Kariega and offers magnificent views from its terraced deck. The 12 air-conditioned suites lead off meandering footpaths and are set along the lake’s edge. Each suite has a unique view of the lake and opens onto a private deck with outside shower and plunge pool.

Pumba Bush Lodge overlooking a small watering hole on a flood plain. There are just 11 thatched, glass enclosed chalets here, each in it’s own private bush setting – giving the ultimate feeling and experience of an African bush safari. Each chalet is air-conditioned, and has a spacious en-suite bathroom. Outside your chalet is your own private game viewing deck and plunge pool, plus an outdoor shower.

pumba-bush-lodgeFrom NOW until the end of April 2013, Travel Butlers are delighted to offer a Stay for 3 Nights, Only Pay for 2 for any stays here (the exceptions being stays over the Xmas and New Year periods), which, coupled with attractive rates that only Travel Butlers can offer, really does make this a fabulous safari experience.

As an example … for 2 people staying at Pumba Water Lodge for 3 nights in May 2012, the total for all 3 nights would be just R13,320 / £1,210 (based on current exchange rates) – and this rates includes all meals, local beers, ciders, soft drinks and house wines, and morning / afternoon guided game drives.

AND if that isn’t enough … for any bookings between the 27th November to the 20th December THIS YEAR if you confirm with a deposit before the 30th September, we will offer you a further 10% reduction from our rates for this period. This would make our rate just R3,816 / £340 per person per night – and the Stay 3 / Pay 2 would STILL apply !!!

And finally, children of ANY age are welcome – Water Lodge has family rooms – children rates on request.

We look forward to hearing from you and booking your stay in this incredibly special game reserve.

Sibuya Refurbishments Completed

TraceyCampbell - March 2, 2010

Sibuya Tented Camp, situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, is a 3,000 hectare ‘sanctuary’ to an abundance of diverse wildlife from elephants to otters, and almost everything in between, including the other 4 members of the Big 5 – so lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino.

River Camp is ideal for families, as the children can be accommodated on fold-out sofa beds in the suites, and there is also a special ‘entertainment tent’ just for younger guests.

Rates from Travel Butlers for a stay in this camp start from just R2,130 per adult per night up until the end of August, and then increase on the 1st September to R2,420 per adult sharing. Single rooms attract a 50 supplement, and children under 3 stay free of charge, and up to 12 years pay half rate.