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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

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.

Kichaka plays host to Vanessa Haywood

TraceyCampbell - October 14, 2009

The Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge, in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, recently played host to one of South Africa’s newest stars, the actress Vanessa Haywood, who enjoyed a weekend here with her family and team from the SA TV show, Top Billing.

img_3285light20com1Vanessa stars in District 9, which has just been released worldwide, and has topped the US box office with over $160 m takings in just the first week. Movie buffs may also remember Vanessa from other movies such as Hey Boy and Blood Diamond.

Kichaka really made an impression on Vanessa. She was very impressed with the accommodation, cuisine and friendly service she received, and was blown away by the game viewing – she saw cheetah, elephants, lion, aardwolf to name a few !

Kichaka Lodge is ideally situated just over one hour from Port Elizabeth airport. Experienced rangers maximise every opportunity to ensure exceptional viewing during game drives on this established 7,500 hectare game reserve. Each of the 10 luxurious suites have been designed to provide every amenity and privacy. Each suite has a lounge area with large glass sliding doors on two sides which open wide, making these rooms part of the surrounding bush. There is also a large private viewing deck and private heated plunge pool.

Sibuya Tented Camp

TraceyCampbell - October 10, 2009

Travel Butlers are pleased to now be working with Sibuya Tented Camp, in the malaria-free Eastern Cape.

2757The 3,000 hectare malaria-free reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the Big 5 of the African bush – elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo. Over 400 bird species have also been recorded.

A wide range of activities await guests, including guided game drives, fishing, canoeing, and horseback safaris. But the most unique part of a stay here is the 30 minute boat transfer to River or Forest Camp from the main reception area – during which, if you are lucky, you may see dolphins and turtles in the river mouth.

Accommodation is in safari tents, split between 2 camps – Forest and River. Children are welcome at River Camp.