Sandy beaches and balmy Summer days go hand in hand with a vibrantly-coloured cocktail mirroring all the colours of whichever island one may find oneself on. And as enjoyable as that may be, you may find that a few days down the line the island life may become a bit redundant. In South Africa we are blessed with choice, so why not pick the cream of the crop of holidays that will find you reveling in nature at its finest, all found within a premium South African game reserve.
When it comes to travelling, holiday-goers are avidly hunting for the complete “package”, from scenery to hospitality. Therefore, premium South African game reserves pride themselves in providing a rounded experience of the South African terrain and culture complete with style and luxury. What would luxury be if you weren’t spoiled for choice? Travelers can choose a luxury suite ensuring absolute privacy, while still providing an uncharted panoramic view of the surrounding natural environment. At some of the top game reserves, suites are aesthetically designed according to distinct African cultural influences, going as far as Zulu or Sotho homesteads. Should one require a more authentic experience, luxury tents such as Thanda Safari’s undisputed Jubula tent to name one, combine the ambience of being immersed within nature, yet with the perks of a grand hotel suite. Concerns often arise due to the safety of tent camping while in the grasp of nature. However, complete security without a shortage of facilities is guaranteed and at one’s disposal. Only a finite of game reserves offer an expansive choice, while some only offer either camping or villa options, which do not leave much room for comfort.
Apart from comfort, a camping experience without the presence of nature is futile. As a result of a continuous depletion of biodiversity, respectable game reserves undeniably ensure an embodied commitment to conserve and maintain South Africa’s wildlife and indigenous vegetation. The revenue generated is directly pipelined into the breeding and feeding of the diverse group of animals, along with the cultivation of the African landscape. Without these efforts, what would remain of our natural and intrinsic beauty? Each safari trip given their different structures, provide relevant insight shared by educated guides into the various groups of animals and vegetation, be it through the structuring of their packs or herds, their predominant hunting grounds or thriving seasonal conditions. No stone is left unturned in efforts to promote awareness, consciousness and joint action.
Along with necessary and inviting insight, the package would not be complete without an authentic and first-hand experience of the diversity of African culture. It’s all part of an ingrained identity and aesthetic. Lucky game reserves illustrate the influence of particular cultures or tribes, be it amaZulu or isiXhosa either in the design of their interior down to the bedding or through social culture and atmosphere created by those who seek to make your stay a memorable and enjoyable one. The influence can even be seen in delectable menus of the finest, diverse African cuisine such as amandube, particularly popular within amaZulu culture. Entertainment may be the respective ancestor-tribe of the area, which to provides insight into a variety of cultural practices and traditions that take place even in a modern African context. Meanings of songs are explained, or traditional greetings are taught to those of us who are lucky enough to be front and centre. And just as the revenue is used to sustain the biodiversity of the land, recognizable game reserves also aim to uplift surrounding communities that are less fortunate, while sustaining the cultural influence within the area it is found as enforced by Thanda Safari. In a sense, unity and community should be at the core of a respectable game reserve’s structure.
As exciting and as lavishing as this may sound, one cannot help to push the financial concern at bay. However, a complete experience such as this need not burn a whole in one’s pocket. For a premium experience complete with authenticity, the ideal rate for a night in a premium luxury lodge sits comfortably at $500 to $700 per night. However, specials or seasonal deals are also part of the package with game reserves such as Thanda Safari offering a night free for winter packages, saving 20% on two nights stay. And if that is not enough, Thanda Safari offers the Thanda Combo special, which permits a two-night stay in its luxury lodge with an extra night free in the Tented Camp. Although there are more affordable rates provided other game reserves, the authentically South African experience is not always as prominent. Therefore, before a decision is made, one needs to consider what is included in its totality.
So who said that game reserves are only for the rough and ready, especially in a land rich with a multifaceted, diverse landscape? A pride never amounts to one but embodies a group. Therefore, a premium game reserve will offer you a first-hand opportunity to be part of a grander experience and plan in its entirety, one that will encompass the continued sustenance and celebration of culture, environment and unity on the finest of levels.