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  • Explore South Africa

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    South Africa. It's the Rainbow Nation. The land of everything. Where first world meets third. Where desert meets wetland, mountain meets beach and where the Big 5 meets 5 Star Luxury. It has a rich and fascinating history and an exciting present and future. Come to South Africa and you'll not just find what you're looking for from a holiday, but more - much more. Watch our latest video to whet your appetite:

    10 Did You Knows about South Africa

    • South Africa is twice the size of France, five times the size of Japan and three times the size of Texas, and is the 25th-largest country in the world!
    • So diverse is it that it has deserts, mountains, escarpments, plateaus, grasslands, bush, wetlands and subtropical forests.
    • South Africa has the oldest meteor scar in the world, just across the Vaal River near Parys, called the Vredefort Dome. The meteor plummeted to Earth nearly two billion years ago.
    • Mafadi in the Drakensberg at 3,450 m is the country's highest peak.
    • South Africa has the oldest wine industry outside of Europe and the Mediterranean and also the longest wine route in the world - the R62 wine route. Disney World even serves exclusively South African wine at its 73-acre Animal Kingdom Lodge in the United States.
    • Cape Town's famous Table Mountain was first floodlit in 1947 to mark the Royal Visit by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
    • The Tugela Falls is the second highest waterfall in the world, where the water tumbles down 850 metres.
    • South Africa has many famous people: Dr. Christian Barnard (a surgeon who completed the world’s first heart transplant in 1967), Miriam Makeba (singer), Nelson Mandela (former president, activist), Nadine Gordimer (writer), Athol Fugard (writer), Zola Budd (sportswoman), Charlize Theron (actress), Arnold Vosloo (actor), Alan Paton (author), Johnny Clegg (musician) and many more!
    • South Africa is the only country in the world to voluntarily abandon its nuclear weapons programme.
    • Vilakazi Street in Soweto is the only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prize winners - Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
    Now you know... Where to go South Africa's attractions are many and varied. We recommend speaking with a travel consultant to help you decide what to see and do during your holiday. But the country can basically be broken up into these main destinations:
    • Cape Town: beaches, restaurants, nature reserves, museums, galleries and events
    • Cape Winelands: wine farms, nature reserves, restaurants , galleries and events
    • Kruger National Park: Big 5 game viewing, luxury safari lodges, birdlife and unspoilt wilderness
    • Garden Route: beaches, whale watching, Route 62, Karoo, forests, nature reserves, hiking trails, birdwatching, malaria-free Big 5 safaris
    • Sun City, Madikwe Game Reserve and Pilanesburg Game Reserve: family fun, golf, casinos, waterslides and malaria-free Big 5 safaris
    • Kwazulu Natal: sub-tropical beaches, nature reserves, Big 5 game reserves, Drakensberg Mountains, battlefields and Zululand history
    • Johannesburg : restaurants, galleries, museums, shopping, Cradle of Humankind, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum
    • West Coast: spring flowers, unspoilt Atlantic Coast, Northern Cape Kalahari and Nama-Karoo
    Since we at Rhino Africa are based here in South Africa, we know it well and can answer any questions you might have - whether about accommodation, tours or activities. Click here to speak to one of our travel experts! For more facts and info about South Africa, visit our website.
    What to do Everything! Jump into the ocean and swim alongside dolphins, go shark cage diving, spot the Big 5 from a safari vehicle, bungee jump off the world's highest bungee bridge, track rhino, stroke cheetahs, play golf on luxury courses, experience township life, drink wine and sun tan on white sandy beaches and much more... To make it simpler and let you combine several activities into one holiday, we've created some great South African tour itineraries but we specialise in tailor-made itineraries and will happily create your itinerary from scratch for you. Enquire now.

  • Challenge4aCause Damaraland 2011: The Video

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    Twelve humble riders conquered the mighty Namibian Desert... This is their story.

    The challenge is now complete. The riders endured a grueling 300 kilometres through the harsh desert conditions of Namibia's Damaraland, to raise money and awareness to help save the desert-adapted black rhino and to donate to the Good Work Foundation and Wildlife ACT. It was a great success for the group, which consisted of Rhino Africa team leader, David Ryan, and riders from Singita Game Reserves, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, the Royal Portfolio, and Tintswalo Lodges. Congratulations again to all the riders and thanks to our sponsors and suppliers! An extra big thank you to our valued clients, without whose continued patronage none of this critical conservation work would be possible... Watch the video now! Read our other blogs about this year's challenge: Challenge4aCause: the cyclists are off  2011 Challenge4aCause Damaraland Challenge – A Teaser Challenge4aCause meets Lion Man

  • Meet The Big Five: Africa's Animals

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    What are the Big Five?

    No they're not some new Mafia group, although going head-to-head with them would be just as - if not more - daunting. If you've been on a safari in Africa, you'll have heard plenty about "The Big Five". It's a phrase that was coined by white hunters back in the day, referring to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot and the degree of danger involved. It's still used today but also by tourist and wildlife guides leading African wildlife safaris and more in reference to these Big Five being the continent's greatest wild animals than treacherous to hunt. 1. Lion 2. African elephant 3. Rhinoceros - technically it's the black rhino that forms part of the Big Five, but you'll see in our video below that we've featured the white rhino. For more about the difference between the two, scroll down... 4. Leopard 5. Cape Buffalo Watch our new Big Five video: The animals had and still have their moment of fame, appearing on South African rand banknotes in 1990 and later releases. Different denominations feature a different Big Five animal. Countries where you can spot members of the big five include South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana. We've featured the Big Cats before - including the Big Five's Lion and Leopard, as well as the Cheetah, which isn't part of the Big Five, - but here's more about the other members too: 1. Lion • Family Felidae • Mass ± 200 kg / ± 440 lbs • Height ± 100 cm / ± 39 inches • Walking speed 4 km/h / 2.4 mph • Charging speed 80 km/h / 50 mph • Potential longevity 20 years • Gestation period 3.5 months Read more here.
    2. African elephant • Family - Elephantidae • Mass 6000 - 7000 kg / 13000 - 15000 lbs • Height 300 - 340 cm / 118 - 134 inches • Walking speed 10 km/h / 6.2 mph • Charging speed 40 km/h / 24.8 mph • Potential longevity 65 - 70 years • Gestation period 22 months • Record length of tusks 3,5 m / 137 inches The African elephant is the largest land mammal. They're a matriarchal bunch, with an older cow leading the herd. Herds are usually family groups of up to 16. Several family groups may join when at watering sites forming large herds numbering several hundred. Their tusks are basically modified incisor teeth, used as weapons and to help acquire certain food, like the bark of trees. Their long trunks can hold up to 15 litres of water and is used to locate food by touch and smell, as an elephant cannot see down its trunk. If an elephant loses the use of its trunk it will die.
    3. Rhinoceros • Family Rhinocerotidae • Mass 3500 kg / 7717 lbs • Height 160 cm / 63 inches • Speed 45 km/h / 28 mph • Potential longevity 45 years • Gestation period 18 months • Record length of front horn 158 cm / 62 inches • Record length of rear horn 56 cm / 22 inches The herbivorous white rhino has a wide mouth perfectly adapted to a life of grazing. Its thick set body is covered by a tough leathery skin. The most distinctive feature of the rhino is the presence of 2 horns on the snout. These horns are composed of a protein which is similar to that of our own hair. Family groups of 2 - 5 individuals are protected by a dominant bull who defends his cows against other intruding bulls. A number of fixed latrine sites known as rhino middens demarcate a bull's territory. The smaller black rhino has a hooked lip.
    4. Leopard • Family Felidae • Mass ± 60 kg / 132 lbs • Height ± 60 cm / 23 inches • Charging speed 80 km/h / 50mph • Potential longevity 21 years • Gestation period 3 1/2 months Read more here.
    5. Buffalo • Family Bovidae • Mass 750 kg / 1653 lbs • Height ± 160 cm / 63 inches • Charging speed 55 km/h / 34 mph • Potential longevity 20 - 25 years • Gestation period 11 months • Record span of horns 147 cm / 58 inches Buffalo are large, cattle like animals. Once widely distributed in Southern Africa, the buffalo's numbers have been greatly reduced by large-scale hunting and sickness such as Rinderpest and foot and mouth disease. Now restricted to the eastern regions of South Africa, they are abundant in the Kruger Park and are frequently seen wallowing in muddy pools or grazing in the vicinity of dams in the reserve. The buffalo is highly gregarious and usually occurs in large herds, with the largest herd estimated to be in the region of 400. Bachelor groups and single animals are also often encountered. A dominance hierarchy occurs within buffalo herds. Although a favourite prey item of the lions, the large horns and powerful muscles of the buffalo make it a formidable adversary and it is frequently the lions who come off second best in such encounters. The Kruger National Park is a great destination where you can be sure to spot the Big Five and more. For more information about the Park, and tours and accommodation in the region, contact us. We can help you tailor make an African safari trip so you can tick these animals off the check list.

  • We recommend: Lion Sands Game Reserve

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    I hate to admit it. But I do, secretly, enjoy The Bachelor. You know that highly predictable American reality TV show where man picks wife from herd of pretty vying prey. I shouldn’t because it’s so ridiculously patronising but not unlike the animal kingdom – competing for the alpha of the pack. And pointless in that the chosen one hardly ever remains The One. Nonetheless, the romance of it all is captivating. The destination dates with bubbling hot tubs, imported French Veuve Cliquot Champagne and red rose-petalled, white linen king-size beds; sparkly jewelled gifts in Tiffany boxes and more red roses... Sickening, but captivating. I wouldn't say no... We blogged earlier this year about The 2011 Bachelor Brad Womack’s trip to South Africa, where he took the three remaining ladies on safari at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. African safaris definitely make for a romantic Honeymoon-like experience. With dates like this one, The Bachelor could be a spotty mute dweeb and I’m sure women would still fight to the end for him just to be wined and dined so. We at Rhino Africa visited Lion Sands to see if it is actually as spectacular and exciting as American TV made it appear. And yes! It's even better... Have a look:

    Where to stay

    At Rhino Africa we know Lion Sands very well; in fact we have a whole section of our website dedicated just to this reserve and its three luxury accommodation options on the banks of the Sabie River, which offer exclusive access to 3,500 hectares of game-rich African wilderness:
    • The Ivory Lodge, with its six spacious and private villas, was awarded third best hotel in the world by Tatler Magazine in 2006 and has been included in their “101 Best Hotels in the World” 2006 & 2007 listings.
    • The River Lodge includes 18 thatched bedrooms on raised wooden walkways, under the shade of ancient trees - some dating back 800 years.
    • The 1933 Safari Lodge has four spacious suites and is in a prime setting on the banks of the Sabie River.
    And then there's Chalkley Treehouse... This completely private treehouse built around a majestic 500 year-old Leadwood Tree was erected at the original site where Lion Sands founding father, Guy Aubrey Chalkley, climbed into the trees and set up camp to escape from predators roaming the plains below. It's a secure bush bedroom under the African sky, with all the comforts. Guests can visit it at sunset for drinks and a picnic dinner under the stars, before turning in for slumber. At dawn, guests are collected for a morning game drive. It's no makeshift bundle of old wooden planks like the treehouse you might have put together as a kid. It's as five-star as they come, complete with mosquito net, mattress, linen, bedside table, toilet and bush vanity table and more. Read more about this history of the long-established, award-winning Lion Sands reserve here. HOW TO GET THERE Lion Sands Private Game Reserve is located in the finest territory of the world famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Forming part of the greater Kruger National Park, the reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to traverse freely between Lion Sands and the Kruger National Park. Read here for more. Want to arrive by 4x4 or charter flight? Contact us and we'll make it happen. ACTIVITIES Wildlife lectures, safari lunches, game drive, hippo tour, bush walk, bush breakfast, and star gazing are some of the activities on offer here. The bonus is that you can see the Big Five here all year round. Daily Programme: A Day at Ivory Lodge/ River Lodge 5:30 am: Morning Game Drive 7:45 am: Coffee & tea in the bush. 9:00 am: Breakfast: return from game drive for a hearty breakfast 11:00 am: Activities: an interpretive bush walk 13:00 pm: Lunch: served on the wooden viewing deck 14:30 pm: Rest & Relaxation: enjoy a massage on the deck of your suite or relax in your private pool 16:00 pm: Evening Game Drive: high tea before evening game drive 17:30 pm: Sundowners: cocktails in the bush while watching the sun set 20:00 pm: Dinner: fires are lit in the boma for dinner under the African stars Uh, romantic much? We think yes. WE RECOMMEND Add more value to your African safari experience and include Cape Town and Vic Falls. We've laid out the itinerary here, including these three top southern African attractions. Contact us for more information and to book.

  • Explore Savanna

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    Our Rhino Africa videographer Ryan Rapaport headed out to the Savanna Private Game Reserve in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, within the greater Kruger National Park conservancy. He spent a few days travelling in the Greater Kruger area, starting at Londolozi Game Reserve and then staying over at Tinga Game Reserve before Savanna. Watch the videos he filmed while there & read what he had to say below:

    Ryan's top five highlights

    • Friendly people and service
    • Stellar game viewing
    • Luxury private accommodation
    • Boma dinner and dancers
    • Big bath tub
    Read the other benefits of staying in a private game reserve like Sabi Sand's Savanna here.

    Ryan says:

    "After some hectic and tiring tripping from Cape Town to and around Kruger, pulling into the Savanna Private Game Reserve for some R&R sounded like a great idea. I stayed in the Executive Suite, which was my first time seeing, let alone getting to sleep in, a tented camp. I really like the concept of tented camps, which basically includes brick walls and a tented roof. The rooms were very spacious, and you totally get that classic African safari feeling. I was in no rush to head back to the city and office... During the day I was taken on one of the best game drives I have ever been on and I’ve experienced a few, working for Rhino Africa. The tracker was ace! I asked to see male lion and hippo and he found them happily for me even though it was a challenge. We also saw elephant and giraffe, but the Big Five are all there. En masse! In the evening we dined in the boma. There’s subtle fencing all around the boma and your accommodation. You can hardly notice it and so still feel completely free in nature but safe too. A plus, when lions are roaming about. The buffet and overall atmosphere was excellent and we were entertained by the private Savanna choir and dancers. Returning back to my luxury tent to find a warm bath already drawn for me was a welcome surprise. I wasted no time slipping into it. Yip, work was far from my mind." ACCOMMODATION: This exclusive five star lodge is a five to six hour drive from Johannesburg, and a perfect fly-in safari destination. There are nine suites, seven of which have tented roofs. Here, the elegance of a by-gone colonial era meets modern convenience. ACTIVITIES: •    Enjoy a massage in the privacy of your suite •    Visit the curio and gift shop •    Savanna offers excursions to nearby places of interest, such as the Panorama route, where you can visit an African village, local school and traditional healer, and learn about Shangaan culture and food •    Visit an elephant sanctuary; feed and ride the gentle giants •    Golf at Skukuza or the Leopard Creek course •    Game drives: Big Five sightings are so frequent, you can spot lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino in a single game drive. Numerous nearby dams and a series of waterholes in front of the lodge attract wildlife, especially in the dry winter months when elephants visit daily. And now, for the great lion roar: Filmed by Ryan at Savanna Private Game Reserve Keen to visit Savanna? We are too... Contact us for more information and to book a trip or tailor make one that includes this Sabi Sand destination and more. We recommend, including Cape town and Vic Falls with a trip to Sabi Sand. See more here.

  • Welcome to Cape Town!

    By Tamlin Wightman |

    Lose yourself in our video and find yourself in Cape Town... For those who have yet to step foot in this melting pot of a city, Cape Town, we introduce the Mother City to you here in a new video. But this is just a teaser – you’re going to want to experience iKapa for yourself. Up close! Cape Town was recently recognised as the world's top travel destination in the TripAdvisor 2011 Travellers' Choice Destination Awards, beating international competitors such as London and New York. And it’s obvious to us why. Europe and Africa unite in this city, which is considered to be one of the most multicultural in the world. With its varied landscape, good climate and well-developed infrastructure, it attracts tourists the world over. Highlights of Cape Town include the world-famous national monument Table Mountain and the several hikes and glorious sunsets you can enjoy on its peaks. There’s the Atlantic Seaboard, known as Cape Town’s ‘Riviera’, stretching from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront on the north shore of Table Mountain all the way down the west side of the Cape Peninsula to Hout Bay. It also includes the residential suburbs of Mouille Point, Sea Point and Green Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven and Llandudno. The City Bowl is a vibey metropolis of restaurants, bars, dance clubs, residents and businesses, as is the V&A Waterfront – which is a must for holidaymakers. The Southern Suburbs, False Bay and Cape Point offer sights and sounds at a slower pace, with seascapes and ocean-side eateries, wine farms, nature reserve trails and more. For a place to rest your head in and around the city, check out our accommodation guide and browse our list of great activities and tours (day and longer).