Results tagged “south africa” from Loughborough Echo - On Your Travels

IN 1999, the Van Den Berg family purchased Bushfellows, a game lodge in the Marble hall / Groblersdal region of the Limpopo Province, South Africa to fulfil a desire to contribute to protecting our wildlife heritage.

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The reserve is already home to 16 species of plains game including buffalo, brown hyena, giraffe and zebra, and is a natural sanctuary for the various creatures that the Van Den Bergs have rescued and rehabilitated over the years.

"It all began when a farmer called me about an owl he had found, and although I didn't have a clue about owls, or birds for that matter, I immediately took the fletching barn owl in," says Kyne Van Den Berg. "The very next day I received a call from another farmer who had heard that we rescue owls, and by the end of that month, we were caring for seven owls!" The owls (four barn owls, two spotted eagle owls and one pearl spotted owl) have all been released onto the reserve with the exception of one that sadly didn't survive because of severe poisoning.

One of the barn owls has made itself at home close to the lodge in an owl box, and has since had two sets of four owlets much to the delight of guests at the lodge.

Kyne became so fond of learning from each owl that she enrolled in several wildlife rehabilitation courses although she continues to learn from each animal that Bushfellows has taken in, from cheetahs to wild dogs and even an African python that has already had 24 hatchlings! Two bat eared foxes have been released onto the reserve and it is hoped that they will breed this summer.

A particularly heart-warming story is that of Titan and Sahara, two lion cubs who were purpose-bred for canned hunting. At just three weeks old, Bushfellows purchased the two unrelated cubs whose future did not seem positive, and it was highly unlikely that they would ever experience the true African bush, their natural habitat. The cubs quickly adapted to family lodge life and are currently in an enclosure with the intention of releasing them onto the Bushfellows game reserve in early 2014 following a passive rehabilitation process to teach the lions to hunt and defend themselves. The lions have started hunting and have already made a few kills, including blesbok, porcupine and waterbuck.

"We believe that by the time we release them next year, their natural instincts and maturity will be at an adequate level for them to be set free for the first time ever," says Kyne. "We have launched an awareness campaign of our conservation project and would like to encourage the public to like follow Titan and Sahara's progress on our Facebook page:"

For more information about the game loge and rates please go to

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OUDE Werf Hotel in Stellenbosch is inviting guests to experience its new look after an extensive renovation and refurbishment that saw this cultural and historic gem restored to its former glory - with a few exciting modern touches.

Elanie Fourie, general manager of the Oude Werf Hotel, says the 20-month process has resulted in a truly unique property in the heart of the Cape Winelands capital. "It's been quite a journey to modernise South Africa's oldest inn without losing its old world appeal. However, the result of all this hard work is a stunning blend of classic and modern touches, a unique balance of 19th century Georgian charm and 21st century modern chic."

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The Oude Werf Hotel is built on the yard of South Africa's very first church, commissioned by then-governor Simon van der Stel in 1686. A fire destroyed the original church building, but in 1802 an inn was opened on the same site and over the years evolved into what is now one of Stellenbosch's most famous landmarks and a National Monument.

The renovations started in September 2010 with the restoration of the exterior façade to return it to its original 1802 look, the refurbishment of ten rooms and a new reception area. In 2011, work commenced on a second phase of restorations - the underground parking lot was extended, twelve new rooms were created from an existing building, and the Meiring Building was gutted and refitted with nine new bedrooms.

The result is striking - the hotel has retained its unique cultural and historic identity but has fused this with beautiful modern touches, a captivating blend of old world and new world.

Leisure travellers can capitalise on the public holidays in August and September with a long weekend special deal starting from R695 per person per night sharing. Book your stay from 9-12 August or from 21 - 24 September and have the option of staying four nights and paying for three, or staying three nights and paying for two. The special offer includes breakfast at the hotel's famous 1802 Restaurant. To make a booking or to get more information about the special deals, contact 021 887 4608 or

For more information about the Oude Werf Hotel, visit

KWANDWE Private Game Reserve, which has been part of the &Beyond stable for over 10 years, will begin to operate as an independent brand from February 1, 2012.

A handover of reservations and lodge operations has been completed and from now, all reservations will be made directly with Kwandwe. &Beyond are very confident that this will be a seamless transition and will continue to recommend Kwandwe's four lodges to clients as 3rd party properties. Kwandwe Reservations will be honouring all obligations, offers and agreements which are currently in place with the trade. In line with this repositioning Kwandwe's branding has been redesigned and a new website will also be live as of Monday 12 December 2011.

One of the largest private game reserves in South Africa's Eastern Cape, Kwandwe is owner-run and managed with a strong focus on conservation and community development. The 54,000 acre pristine wilderness extends along 30 km of privately owned Great Fish River frontage and comprises just 20 rooms split between four magnificent safari lodges making it one of the highest acre to guest ratios in South Africa: Great Fish River Lodge with thatched roofs soaring above guest areas and expansive viewing decks; Ecca Lodge, funky, yet intimate, situated on rolling slopes overlooking the lush valley; Uplands Homestead a sole use villa that takes guests back in time with its beautiful antiques and safari romance and, a bit more quirky and humorous, Melton Manor, a contemporary farmhouse with fun accents throughout.

Kwandwe is a conservation victory - former farmland which has been restored with wildlife and is now home to thousands of animals including Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Buffalo, Black and White Rhino; threatened species such as the Knysna Woodpecker, Cape Grysbok, Black Wildebeest, Crowned Eagle, Black Footed Cat and the endangered Blue Crane, from which the reserve gets its name - 'Kwandwe' means 'Place of the Blue Crane' in Xhosa.

In addition to traditional safari activities, guests can participate in rhino darting safaris, carnivore research programmes, fixed-wing flights that follow the route taken by early Settlers, historical talks and cultural visits. Kwandwe is located in a malaria-free area, making it ideal for families and more adventurous travellers alike and forms a natural conclusion to a journey along the world-famous Garden Route.

Full board accommodation including safari activities starts at R4110 (approx £325) per person.

For more information and bookings contact Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Tel: +27 46 622 7897 * *

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CAPE Grace, Cape Town's most exclusive waterfront hotel has launched a 3-night package in collaboration with Platandia, Africa's leading luxury jewellery brand.

Guests staying in one of the hotel's top suites will have the opportunity to enjoy a unique and once in a lifetime African jewellery experience and leave with a special gift of a ¼ carat diamond.

The ultimate in glamorous treats, the Rare and Extraordinary Experiences package gives guests access to view some of the Earth's rarest gems from the privacy of their room with a customised design and bespoke consultation with Platandia's Master Goldsmith. Furthermore, Platandia is also offering a personal gift of a ¼ carat diamond valued at 10% of the room accommodation rate. Guests who have purchased the package additionally receive complimentary luxury airport transfers and a bottle of sparkling wine with Cape Grace signature handmade chocolates on arrival at the hotel.

Platandia was founded in 1995, by a team who are passionate about creating personalised handmade pieces of jewellery for discerning clients to treasure for a lifetime. Working with the Earth's rarest resources of diamond, tanzanite and platinum, Platandia incorporates the client's personal taste and ideas whilst guiding them with specialist knowledge to ensure the perfect creation.

Cape Grace is one of South Africa's most renowned luxurious hotels located on its own private quay in the V+A Waterfront.

The Rare and Extraordinary Experiences Package costs from 10370 ZAR (£919) per double room per night (applicable in 1, 2, 3 Bedroom Suites and Penthouse Suites) and includes the following:

Minimum stay of 3 consecutive nights An arrival airport transfer in a luxury BMW Bottle of chilled sparkling wine and home-made chocolates in-room on arrival Luxury Chauffeur transfer to Platandia, Africa's leading luxury jewellery brand, for a private viewing of unparalleled quality gemstones or choose to have the viewing in Suite A personal gift from Platandia of a ¼ carat diamond (Colour G/I Clarity VS/SI) valued at 10% of room accommodation at Cape Grace Customised design and a bespoke consultation with the Platandia's Master Goldsmith.

Cape Grace website -