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

Introducing Saseka Tented Camp, Thornybush Game Reserve

Luke Davies - April 1, 2019

There is nothing quite as romantic and glamorous as a tented safari lodge, and so we were thrilled to hear about the 5* Saseka Tented Camp  – the latest addition to the Thornybush Game Reserve in South Africa.  Forming part of the greater Kruger National Park, Thornybush is rich and diverse with a mixture of open savannah and rolling bushveld, with the Drakensberg Mountains providing a dramatic backdrop to the west.  In addition to being home to the big-5, there are also some 142 species of mammals and 507 types of birds, all of which help to create an excellent year-round safari destination for those who are passionate about wildlife and nature.

The camp itself is a mixture of wood, stone and canvas that blends in with the surrounding wilderness.  With both an upper and lower deck, that provide open views of the riverbed, it is the perfect spot to end the day with a delicious meal, before retiring to the campfire and recounting stories of the day with your fellow guests.

Saseka has 8 separate luxurious tented rooms with open glass windows that provide spectacular views of the African bush.  Whether it be from the bedroom or the bathroom, there is always something to see.  Outside, each tent has its own private viewing deck with an outdoor shower, a plunge pool to cool off in the heat of the day and some sun loungers to bask in the African sun. The luxurious interiors provide plenty of comfort, but above all, to give every guest constant access to the untamed wilderness around them.

For families or small groups wanting an exclusive experience, then there is also the breath-taking Leadwood Villa.  With 2 separate rooms, the villa can accommodate up to 4 adults and 2 children, and a dedicated safari vehicle is also included, allowing for private game drives.  In addition it has a central area with a lounge and dining area that is perfect for private family meals. There is also a large outdoor viewing deck with a plunge pool and sun Loungers.

Guests wishing to indulge in a bit of R&R can visit the Thornybush Amani Spa, which all guests at Saseka can make use of. Just a short transfer from the camp,  the Spa  offers a variety of treatments and therapies that are designed and customised for the individual.

Within this big-5 reserve, the rich diversity of wildlife will insure the game viewing will always show something you were never expecting to see.

With its outstanding attention to detail and incredible service, Saseka shows off the romance that tented safaris in Africa are famous for, and looks to be an unforgettable experience – we can’t wait to see this incredible camp in person.

 

Saseka Tented Camp Room Exteria

Saseka Tented Camp Room Interior

Game Viewing In Thornybush

View from the main area as Saseka

South Africa – it’s the cat’s whiskers!

Paul Campbell - January 22, 2016

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In the past decade, South Africa has become established as one of the most popular long-haul destinations for visitors from all over the world. And with exchange rates and special offers meaning the majority of safari lodges and hotels are around 20% cheaper than in 2015, there’s never been a better time to book a trip to this diverse and fascinating country.

Seven nights from £655pp

Book a seven night Cape Town and Kruger trip from only £655 per person, excluding international flights (available on request).

Find out more or get inspired by South Africa!

There are world-class attractions in every part of South Africa, from Table Mountain and the beautiful city of Cape Town, to the spectacular wildlife of the Kruger National Park and countless places in between. In fact, there’s so much to see and do that South Africa is sometimes referred to as ‘the World in One Country’. If the cities and wildlife don’t appeal to you, then the weather, beaches, vineyards, history, culture, mountains, deserts or forests surely will.

Despite all this variety, there’s no denying that the crowning glories are Cape Town and Kruger

text_uploads_avatars_VA_Waterfront(1) -  - Cape Town Tourism Toolkit 5Cape Town has one of the most beautiful settings of any city in the world. At the foot of Table Mountain, surrounded by beaches and a sparkling (if chilly) ocean, it’s home to beautiful parks, imposing buildings and plenty of bars and restaurants in which you can relax and watch the world go by. On top of this, the Cape Winelands, the Cape of Good Hope, the penguin colony at Boulders Beach and the whale-watching center of Hermanus are all within easy reach as day trips.

The weather can be scorching hot between November and April (making it an ideal winter sun destination), and even in the coolest months, average highs are around 18C. There’s also plenty to do on any days when the beach doesn’t appeal.

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The Kruger Park is our top pick as the place to go in 2016 for a fantastic safari experience and unbeatable value for money. This vast area in the north east of South Africa is one of the oldest and largest wildlife reserves on the continent, and a safari here will get you incredibly close to some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet.

A stay of three or four days will mean that you’re almost guaranteed to see the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo), as well as seeing countless antelopes, giraffes,zebras and maybe some less frequently spotted birds and animals. There are lodges and camps to suit every taste and budget, from self-driving in the Park, to private three-star tented camps where all meals and game drives are included, to the most spectacular and luxurious five-star lodges. Wherever you choose to stay, a visit to Kruger will leave you with memories and photos to cherish for a lifetime.

Travel Butlers specialize in safari vacations, and our friendly team has been helping visitors plan trips to South Africa since 2003. So why not contact us and let us help you put together your ideal holiday to this stunning country – whatever your budget and bucket list.

The Travel Butlers Top Ten of … Reasons to Go To Africa Soon

TraceyCampbell - June 10, 2015

Can you believe we are half-way through the year already – it seems like only yesterday I was hanging my stocking out for Santa!

So with 2015 well under way, and 2016 rapidly approaching, now might be the time to tick a few things off your Africa bucket list.

Reason 1 to Go To Africa – Going on Safari in the Kruger National Park
We are now in the middle of the winter months in the Kruger, and this is a wonderful time for guests to visit here. Not only are these months cool and dry, but they are possibly the best for game viewing.

Water is scarcer, so the animals are more reliant on waterholes or rivers, which means greater game viewing opportunities around these areas. Although the vegetation around these areas remains lush, the grass elsewhere becomes much drier and shorter, making it easier to spot the wildlife.

Whilst the daily temperatures range from 9 degrees C to 26 degrees C, the early mornings and nights can get very cold – so our advice is to take plenty of layers with you and even consider taking scarves, hats and gloves!

Several lodges also are running Stay/Pay packages too – which coupled with the Rand exchange rate at the moment means superb value for money!

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Reason 2 to Go To Africa – Whale Watching
The first of the whales are already starting to arrive into Hermanus, the whale-watching ‘capital’ of the Western Cape. The peak time, when daily sightings are virtually guaranteed, is during September and October, so availability over these months in the various guest houses and hotels in Hermanus is already getting scarce – so do move quickly if you want to include this in your holiday over this time.

We normally recommend 2 nights in Hermanus, which not only gives you the opportunity of going on an early morning whale watching boat trip, but also gives you the chance to enjoy the whale watching from the land – good whale watching vantage points are from the Old Harbour wall, or from the 12 km cliff path. Another great spot to watch the whales is at Bientang’s Cave restaurant, where from your table you can watch the whales frolic not more than 100m away in the Old Harbour.

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Reason 3 to Go To Africa – The Greatest Show on Earth
The famous, awe-inspiring Great Migration is now fully on the move. Often referred to as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, the million or so wildebeest and accompanying zebra and gazelles are now in the Central Serengeti, heading rapidly towards Western Corridor and the Grumeti River, the first of the river crossings, where the local crocodiles have already started licking their lips in anticipation of a few freebie dinners…

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Reason 4 to Go To Africa – Mokoro Adventures
The Okavango Delta is filling rapidly with flood waters, so if you have always fancied the idea of floating through the reeds in a mokoro, the next few months is THE time to go to Botswana. Traditionally hand-carved from an ebony or sausage tree log, these shallow canoes are perfect for gliding through the calm waters in search of wildlife. A poler stands at the back of the mokoro so all you have to do is relax, look out for the wildlife and enjoy the experience.

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Reason 5 to Go To Africa – White Water Rafting down the Zambezi
You could argue that there is no ‘bad’ time to visit one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls, but between July and September is one of the most popular times for visitors, because many people combine a trip here with a safari in Kruger. For adventure seekers, August through to December are also the best/only months to go white water rafting, as this activity is not run when the river is in full flood.

In addition, the new runway and terminal expansion at Victoria Falls Airport is imminent now, which will be an added boost for tourism to the Falls, as more international airlines will be able to fly directly here.

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Reason 6 to Go To Africa – Flower Power
September is the wild flower season in SA’s Namaqualand – an extraordinary spectacle of nature which turns the otherwise uninspiring landscape into a beautiful blanket of colour.

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Reason 7 to Go To Africa – Gorilla Trekking
July through to September are the most popular months to trek gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These months fall immediately inbetween the main rainy seasons (though remember that the gorillas live in rainforests, so as the name suggests, be prepared for rain at any time!) but the real plus point are the fantastic low season permit rates – USD 350 per person per trek compared to USD 600 per person per trek outside of these months – what a fantastic saving! This almost means you can spend twice as long here (woman’s logic – what you save you can therefore immediately spend again…). Bwindi is home to almost half of the world’s surviving mountain wild gorilla population, but it is not just gorillas you can expect to see on your morning trek – watch out for duikers, bushbuck, monkeys, giant forest hogs and forest elephants, as well as a host of bird species.

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Reason 8 to Go To Africa – Southern Carmine Bee-Eaters Flock Back in their Hundreds
These stunning African migrant birds return to their homeland and set up breeding colonies along river banks. Some of the best sightings are in South Luangwa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Some colonies can have over 10,000 birds.

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Reason 9 to Go To Africa – Turtle Safaris in KwaZulu-Natal
Witnessing literally hundreds of tiny new-born baby turtles making a mad dash for the ocean is not something you get to see every day. Only 2 breeds of Maputaland turtles lay their eggs on the KwaZulu-Natal shores – the Leatherback and Loggerhead.

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Reason 10 to Go To Africa – Namibia
A trip to Namibia is an adventure that can be done anytime of the year, in all honesty. Namibia is a beautiful country, with endless highlights – the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the wild desert elephants in Damaraland, the stunning Etosha National Park…You can drive for hours and encounter only a couple of cars on the road, making you seem magically and wonderfully alone in a barely-discovered Africa. Namibia is far more than just a holiday destination – it’s somewhere really special that is guaranteed to leave you wide-eyed and open-mouthed.

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Now if these aren’t Reasons to Be Cheerful – Part 3 – I don’t know what is…(only people over a certain age will understand this reference!).

All images copyright of TravelButlers via Dreamstime.com
#takemethere

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!!

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Azura Quilalea 2

 

 

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.