March 7

The Stamm Family Discover the Magic of Southern Africa

March 7, 2024

The Stamm family, globe-trotting aficionados, had yet to explore Africa's untamed allure. Enter Tara, a Rhino Africa Travel Expert, who crafted their itinerary with a sprinkle of adventure and a dash of the unexpected. The Stamm's were all set for an epic family adventure in Southern Africa...

Ken Stamm and family with their ranger and tracker at Inyati

Stamm family with their safari guide and tracker in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Image Credit: Ken Stamm

Spotted on Safari

The family's escapade kicked off at the whimsically wild Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, located in the heart of South Africa's Greater Kruger area.

This place is a superstar for its luxury safari lodges and exceptional game viewing, especially the famed Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and African buffaloes. 

Buffalo in Sabi Sand

Enjoy high calibre game viewing in classical Big 5 territory, Image Credit: Inyati Game Reserve

Their home base? The charming Inyati Game Lodge, overlooking the perennial Sand River – a real magnet for the animal A-listers. Imagine sipping your morning brew while a giraffe plays peek-a-boo behind the bushveld – yup, that's a regular morning at Inyati.

But just wait until you hop onto a 4x4 for your morning and afternoon game drives...

Sundowners by the river

The perennial Sand River runs through Inyati, drawing a variety of wildlife, Image Credit: Inyati Game Reserve

The highlight for the family? A leopard mom, sleek as a spy, guarding her hard-earned antelope dinner, while her adorable mini-me, the cub, practised its pounce with the awkward grace of a kitten. It was like being plonked right in the middle of a live-action, fur-and-claws nature show, exclusive for Stamm's.

“Tara, our consultant, followed up on us throughout our journey. It's obvious that we'll be back soon. Rhino Africa is a very good way to go for both the layout of the vacation but also the support behind it." – Ken Stamm.
Leopard mother with her cub

Sabi Sand is arguably the best place on Earth for close-up leopard sightings

World-Class City

Next up? Cape Town, a standout among global destinations and consecutively voted one of the best cities in the world. Their base? The Labotessa Luxury Lifestyle Hotel, the epitome of elegance and personalised service.

Panoramic landscape view of Cape Town and Table Mountain

It's not hard to see why our Mother City repeatedly ranks among the best cities in the world

Calling Cape Town's historic Church Square home, Labotessa is a testament to the city's charm. Here, elegance and comfort converge, creating a surprisingly homey ambience amidst its aristocratic elegance. Every corner, from the feature walls adorned with intriguing art to the plush furniture, exudes a sense of immaculate hospitality.

Labotessa Luxury Lifestyle Hotel

Labotessa embodies a blend of classical European style and 21st-century modernity, Image Credit: Labotessa

The Stamm family's exploration of Cape Town was an eclectic mix of experiences. From the dramatic scenery where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans converge at Cape Point to Bo-Kaap's narrow lanes lined with brightly painted houses, each was steeped in culture with powerful personality.

Voted the world's best coffee shop by the The Daily Telegraph, Image Credit: Truth

"Truth Coffee in Cape Town is NOT ONLY a great experience, IT IS ALMOST CERTAINLY UNIQUE!" – Ken Stamm.
Bo-Kaap's colourful houses in Cape Town

The Bo-Kaap neighbourhood of Cape Town has a rich and multicultural history

Cape Town is a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural depth, set against a backdrop of stunning Table Mountain and the vast sea, not to mention a history as rich as its local wine.

"We were not prepared for how good the food would be. We could've expected great produce, meat, fish, etc., but everywhere we stayed, the chefs were excellent. Our last two trips were to Provence and Tuscany, and we're from Montreal (which is a foodie place) – so that's telling you something!" – Jackie Khougaz.
Cape Point

With its dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views, Cape Point is truly a sight to behold, Image Credit: Ken Stamm

Water Edge Wonder

Bidding the Mother City adieu, their adventure continued as they ventured along the Whale Route to the enchanting Hermanus Lagoon, where the family discovered the serene Mosaic Lagoon Lodge. Located just a two-hour scenic drive from Cape Town, this hidden gem is embedded in vast, pristine natural beauty.

Overlooking the tranquil lagoon waters and the imposing Kleinrivier mountains, the lodge is a sanctuary amidst an ancient milkwood forest teeming with birdlife.

Mosaic Lagoon Lodge bei Hermanus

Explore the Hermanus Lagoon on kayaks or stroll down the Walker Bay dunes, Image Credit: Mosaic Lagoon Lodge

Sitting right on the water's edge, Mosaic Lagoon Lodge is a five-star retreat that warmly welcomed the Stamm's into its luxurious, thatched abodes.

The family was embraced not just by the lodge's comforts but also by a sense of profound appreciation for the majestic and unspoiled landscape they were about to explore.

"It's difficult to fully capture, even in photographs, the wild and captivating beauty of the Cape and the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. The unique blend of wind, water, diverse geology, and rich flora creates a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Having witnessed it once, I am drawn to return, not just to see it again, but to immerse myself in the environment. If possible, I would like to return one day and hike the many trails." – Ken Stamm.
Walker Bay Nature Reserve

Enjoy a variety of day hikes along the coast, Image Credit: Ken Stamm

A Feast of Flora

Wine lovers, rejoice! The next chapter for the Stamm family took place in the Cape Winelands at Babylonstoren. Positioned in the heart of the Cape Winelands, halfway between the quaint towns of Paarl and Franschhoek, the Stamm family found themselves on a historic farm that's a veritable Eden.

Spend hours exploring the gardens

Get lost in the gorgeous grounds, Image Credit: Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren, reminiscent of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon, unfolded before them as a magical, country-style oasis in the heart of the Cape Winelands. For the Stamm family, it was an enchanting journey into a living, breathing ecosystem.

"Babylonstoren's garden tour, led by the Gundula Deutschlander, frequently featured on Instagram, is a remarkable experience. She is one with her ecosystem, she KNOWS every plant in great detail and how the whole place interacts, how it lives together. It's almost out of a fairy tale, your appreciation for this part of nature opens up. She is one of those people you will never forget." – Ken Stamm.
The sprawling grounds of Babylonstoren

Although a wine estate, Babylonstoren boasts a verdant and vast fruit and vegetable garden, Image Credit: Babylonstoren

Guided through the gardens, the family felt like they had stepped into a fairy tale, led by a guide whose knowledge and passion for nature seemed surreal – knowing every plant and how they coexist... Each plant, each vine, became characters in their adventure, revealing the delicate balance of life.

Gardens of Babylonstoren

All food is made from produce grown on the farm, Image Credit: Babylonstoren

From Cascades to Classrooms

The Stamms' final destination was Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, a colossal curtain of water that plunges with a majesty that you must see to believe. 

This natural wonder, often shrouded in a misty spray, presents a spectacular display of power and beauty, where rainbows arc in the sunlight against the thundering backdrop of cascading waters.

Aerial view of Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls will have your pulse pounding!

Amidst this splendour, the family stayed at Tongabezi Lodge, a haven of tranquillity and luxury. Set on the banks of the Zambezi River, just upstream of the Falls, the lodge offered an intimate connection with this sensational UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

"The thunderous might of Victoria Falls is beyond imagination. You may think you're prepared for its magnitude, but you most definitely are not. Equally marvellous is the fact that its surroundings remain beautifully unspoiled by excessive commercialisation." – Ken Stamm.
View of Tongabezi Lodge across the river

Tongabezi Lodge is under shady ebony trees on a sweeping bend of the Zambezi River, Image Credit: Tongabezi Lodge

The itinerary here presented a great assortment of activities – a river cruise on the Zambezi, a tour of the Falls, and a visit to a local village and the Tongabezi Trust School, which turned out to be an enlightening experience.

"Having a world-class gourmet lunch and a glass of wine next to the hippos on the legendary Zambezi is an unbelievable experience." – Jackie Khougaz.
View of the Zambezi River from a private deck at dusk

Tongabezi is an award-winning eco-lodge in a hidden location on the banks of the Zambezi River, Image Credit: Tongabezi

The Tongabezi Trust

Established in 1996, the Tongabezi Trust School emerged from the aspiration to offer a comprehensive education to disadvantaged rural children in Zambia, specifically those residing within a reachable distance on foot from the school. The aim is to give youngsters a good, well-rounded education that will really make a difference in their lives.

Children with smiling faces at Tongabezi Trust School

Tongabezi offers community experiences where you can engage in education and sustainability projects, Image Credit: Tongabezi

The Stamms' visit to the school was a poignant reminder of the vibrant culture and community that thrives in the shadow of the Falls. This deeply impactful visit led to a heartfelt decision to sponsor a young boy's education, an act that forged a lasting impact on the child as well as the community.

"The village visit was pretty enlightening and, when combined with the school visit, we learned that it was very easy to help out. So we ended up supporting a four-year-old boy's education" – Ken Stamm.
Two young male students of the Tongabezi Trust School

Be inspired by how a small classroom has become a school of over 240 students from surrounding villages, Image Credit: Tongabezi

Ready for a Journey of a Lifetime?

As we close this chapter on the Stamm family's captivating journey through Southern Africa, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Ken, Jackie and their family for sharing their incredible experiences with us.

We would also like to give a special nod to Tara for curating this unforgettable adventure. Inspired by their tale? Connect with us and embark on your own African escapade. 

Featured Image Credit: Ken Stamm

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Cape Town, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Tara Beckett, Victoria Falls

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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