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Escape To a Reserve Where Your Spirit Roams Free

March 1st, 2016, by Sherwin Banda

Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat is an ecological oasis designed to allow guests to embrace the essence of life and restore themselves through the nature’s powerful healing energy. This malaria and predator-free reserve is situated at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, 270km from Cape Town in the heart of Rooibos country. Bushmans Kloof is best described as a family-run sanctuary of beauty and timeless tranquility set amidst wide open plains, majestic rock formations and crystal clear waterfalls.

      

Deeply rooted in nature, Bushmans Kloof focuses on offering solace to the body, mind and spirit. The intimate spa and riverside spa gazebo are inspired by the unique holistic healing qualities so special to this area and include ancient treatments and remedies complemented by indigenous rooibos, flowers and plants.

       

Walk with wildlife, breathe fresh air rich with the scent of fynbos, and enrich your mind with the tales of the ancient Bushman. Activities are literally limitless, including nature drives, walking and hiking trails, exceptional rock art sites, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing and swimming in clear rock pools.

Inhale the beauty and succumb to the peace. Arrive as you are, but depart renewed in tranquility.

 

Spring Into Africa

February 24th, 2016, by Sherwin Banda

As spring draws near, I am reminded of the annual displays of wildflowers that burst into life in South Africa. It is without a doubt my favorite time of year – the landscape is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colors as Mother Earth puts on a floral spectacle to celebrate rebirth and the changing of the seasons.

Born and raised in Cape Town, I took a regular springtime pilgrimage to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, voted one of the best gardens in the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of Kirstenbosch’s backdrop, framed along the eastern slopes of regal Table Mountain. Whenever our guests are pondering activities from September to November, I always suggest Kirstenbosch.

                    

For an even more thrilling springtime gateway, escape to Botswana’s Chobe River before venturing into the Okavango Delta. In my opinion, the Okavango is the closest thing to Eden we have left on this planet. The delta is a year-round destination filled with wildlife and the largest elephant population in the world. Native plants and animals have synchronized their biological cycles to adapt to the seasonal rains and floods, and during an afternoon game drive the road can easily become impassable as scores of elephant family herds make their way to the river to drink, bathe and play. The delta is also home to some of the world’s most endangered species of large mammals, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion.

                  

Africa is magical, inspirational, and life changing; when you visit during the spring, the experience is life changing.

 

 

My Favorite Romantic Activities

February 14th, 2016, by Sherwin Banda

It is easy to fall in love with Africa, and even easier to rekindle an existing romance on a euphoric African getaway. This majestic continent is the perfect destination for lovers, an oasis designed for rejuvenating the soul and reconnecting with nature, yourself and your loved ones. Born and raised in South Africa, my favorite Valentine’s Day activity is still a retreat to the Cape Winelands, sampling a variety of world-class wines while savoring the picturesque surroundings. To complete this ultimate escape, I love taking an evening cruise on the Atlantic Ocean to witness the awe and splendor of a Cape Town sunset. One thing I know for sure: You can leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you. Embark on an unforgettable romantic journey – anywhere in Africa will do – and you will leave a piece of your heart, but take home a lifetime of memories.

      

Whale Watching

Penguins, dolphins, great whites and more: South Africa has it all when it comes to marine-based creatures, and I’ve had many opportunities to witness them. But when it comes to the largest marine mammals, South Africa deserves a special distinction, holding the title for the world’s best land-based whale watching destination. Every year these gentle giants migrate from their chilly arctic feeding grounds to South Africa’s coastal paradise, perfect for mating, calving, and raising their young. Whale watchers enjoy spectacular displays of breaching, blowing, lobtailing and spy hopping – inspiring acrobatic feats that remind us how small we truly are. Peak calving season for the southern right whale is from July to August, but stragglers can be seen through September and October. The humpback whale is often spotted from May to December and Bryde’s whales and orca whales can be seen year-round.

        

African Sleepouts Under the Stars

Stargazers rejoice! It doesn’t get much more romantic than cuddling in the moonlight, whispering sweet nothings while wishing on shooting stars. African travelers enjoy a bevy of luxurious “star beds”, located on private roof terraces under an infinite blanket of stars. Far from the populated metropolitan cities, the African bush is free from extensive light pollution and boasts the most dazzling night skies without sacrificing material comforts.

      

Additional Stargazing Opportunities

The beauty of the African sky simply cannot be overstated and there are many opportunities to highlight its majesty. Before snuggling in the star beds, couples can enjoy open-air dining under the clear and endless skies, take a guided night tour, listen to astronomy lectures or operate research-grade telescopes. The options are as limitless as the galaxies sparkling above!

 

      

 

Witness the World’s Most Romantic Animals


These animals don’t need a holiday to celebrate their love. We’ve all heard the saying “You’re my penguin,” but did you know that there are many species in the animal kingdom that mate for life? Not only are they monogamous, but these animals frequently engage in romantic rituals that could put Romeo to shame.

  • Penguins are known for a variety of mating dances and rituals. Male Gentoo penguins spend days surveying the beach to find the smoothest pebble possible before presenting his “rock” to his (hopeful) lover.
  • Sea horses wrap their tails together to keep them from drifting apart. Each morning, they dance together for several minutes, asserting their bond and coordinating their reproductive cycles.
  • Sea otters sleep, eat and rest together. Like sea horses, they keep close by holding hands while they’re sleeping.
  • Black vultures are fierce lovers and have been known to attack other vultures who try to attract their mates.
  • Elephants in love are a special breed. These gentle giants are empathetic lovers, holding trunks and caressing one another in times of joy and duress.
  • Albatross take several years to select a mate, and from that point on they return to the same spot year after year to mate with the same partner.

 

 

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