Once you have visited Africa’s wilderness

Company Overview.

We at Chapungu-Kambako Safaris are passionate about our wildlife

our heritage, Africa and exploring the vast wilderness this continent has to offer.

Chapungu-Kambako Safaris is the brainchild of Jacques Hartzenberg

owner of Chapungu Safaris (operating for more than 18 years) and Jumbo Moore, director of Kambako Safaris Mozambique (operating for more than 13 years.) Both these outfitters have more than 45 year’s combined hunting experience behind them and this is evident in the world-class camps and safaris that they run.
In 2014, they decided to pool their resources together and started a new venture in Namibia (Chapungu-Kambako Safaris Namibia) with partners Herman Coetzee, Pieter de Lange, Louis Kotze and Uys Schickerling.
They furthermore acquired concessions in Botswana and Zimbabwe as well as partnered with Christian Weth from Uganda Wildlife Safaris.
It allowed them to provide a ‘one-stop- safari-service’ for the most discerning hunter that prefers fair-chase hunts on some of the largest and best managed hunting concessions in southern Africa.
This collaboration placed Chapungu-Kambako Safaris amongst the largest hunting safari operators in Africa and if not, the world .
With areas in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa , Zimbabwe and Uganda clients now have the opportunity to hunt various concessions and trophies but with one trusted safari company.
We offer one of the largest s elections of dangerous as well as plains game hunting.
However, our success rate is not only determine d by the quantity of trophies and the size of each but also the ability to offer the African safari of a lifetime.
Hunting is not just about getting the trophy one wants but rather an overall e xperience – from the second the booking is made to the day your trophies arrive at your home and everything in between, and we truly want to ensure that every client receives the best possible service.
We offer superior hunting ground but also first class accommodation, the best professional hunters, a large fleet of vehicles and our own aircrafts.
Furthermore, we partner with trusted and leading service providers in the industry to ensure a comfortable , hassle-free and memorable safari.
We specialise in making every safari a unique and personalised one according to the specific needs and requirements of our clients.
No request is impossible for us and we are proud of our long list of return clientele that bares testimony to our success.
We are passionate about our wildlife and our industry, therefore we want to share these experience s with you.
If you are a species collector, big game hunter or taking the family on a hunting holiday, we can guarantee you the opportunity to hunt what you are after whilst having the adventure of a lifetime.
Once you have visited Africa’s wilderness, you will find it difficult to resist going back.


Big Game Hunting .
Plains Game Hunting .
Our Team.
Trophy Gallery.
Preferred Suppliers .
Botswana Hunting Guide .
Mozambique Hunting Guide .
Namibia Hunting Guide.
South Africa Hunting Guide.
Uganda Hunting Guide.
Zimbabwe Hunting Guide.
Trophy Quest CH8 Camp.
Kambako Camp.
Litule Camp.
Pemba Beach Lodge.
Caprivi Camp.
Lindenhof Game Ranch.
South Camp.
South Africa.

Kalahari Oryx Private Nature Reserve

Aswa Lolim.
Kafu River Basin.
Binga – Lake Kariba.
Kazuma Camp.
Tsholotsho South.

10 Pandemic Perspectives from World Travelers

10 Pandemic Perspective s from World Travelers.
With so many elements out of our control during a global pandemic, it’s important to remind ourselves what we do have control over.
One of the most powerful tools we possess is the ability to shape our pandemic perspectives.

Beyond travel planning and things to do in quarantine

we have the choice to decide what lens we view the world through during these times.
I’ve asked some of my favorite jetsetters to share their thoughts.

Here’s 10 Pandemic Perspectives from World Travelers: 1


A post shared by Sarah Arnoff (@sarebear027) on Feb 22

2020 at 4:38am PST I truly believe that what you put out into the universe you get back.
If you put out true love, passion and curiosity, you will receive it back in abundance and I did that very thing.
I have loved animals since the day I was born.
I am not sure where it came from but I just knew they were my happy place .
In addition to anything fluffy, feathery or scaled, traveling and adventures were a close second in my most favorite things to do .
I have had the honor of visiting over 70 countries and working with my idol and mentor, .

Jeff Corwin for the last 6 years

One of my biggest takeaways is that you can be on an adventure no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Adventure is out there and it is everywhere, you just have to be open minded.
These times are difficult as we are all adjusting to the new normal but it won’t be this way forever because the only constant in this universe is change.
If you can live in the present moment and see everything as an adventure the world becomes a more thrilling place.  You don’t have to be in Africa to go on adventures.
Taking a walk around the block to enjoy the beautiful spring flowers, finding a new vantage point to watch the sunset, watching the hummingbird s whirl around your feeders, doing those crafts you always wanted to do, starting a small botanical garden in your own home or finding a new neighborhood to bike around can all be super fun.
I make sure I have one new adventure planned each day and that keeps things exciting.
Right now, I am off to go tie-dye all those boring white clothes in my closet.
Stay positive, keep laughing, keep up that curiosity to explore our beautiful world and always have a little fun!  2.
GET TO KNOW THE INSIDE – Rachel Rudwall.
A post shared by RACHEL RUDWALL (@rachelroams) on Apr 10, 2020 at 8:33am PDT I HAD COVID-19.
As I acknowledge the vast unknowing that all that of us face, I encourage everyone (yes—even YOU) to stay home if you’re not an essential worker.
To get to know not only the inside of whatever building you’re calling home, but also the inside of your mind, your heart, and the wide expanse of space that is Not Knowing.
To ask yourself what you feel today—every day a new day for asking—and grant permission to yourself to experience whatever natural, beautiful, and challenging feelings this whirlwind may ask of you.


A post shared by Kinga Philipps (@kingaphilipps) on Jun 9, 2019 at 5:53am PDT I would definitely say that travel gratefulness is a big part of my what’s keeping me sane among my pandemic perspectives.
Not being able to go anywhere has allowed me to revisit the magic in all the places I’ve been blessed to go… down to the details.
I’ve spent time looking at photos of the past few years of my travels and really digging into what made those spots and experiences so unique and extraordinary.
It’s also a way to project forward the things I love most into future dream trips.
My most memorable travels consist of animal encounters and warm water… so I’m already thinking ahead to swimming with sperm whales in Dominica and tiger sharks in Tahiti.
Purpose has also come up for me.
I feel more aligned with my conservation missions now more than ever.
Seeing nature thrive while we’re locked away is as sad as it is beautiful.
I’m even more eager to support the outfitters and orgs that do right by the planet and her inhabitants.
ACCEPT & SURRENDER – Laura Lawson Visconti.
A post shared by LLV (@lauralawsonvisconti) on Sep 11, 2018 at 8:40am PDT A decade ago, I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye condition that’s slowly rendering me blind.
I haven’t driven a car in 10 years.
Trust me, I know a thing or two about letting go of control, and choosing to surrender in order to allow myself mental clarity and peace.
Like so many things in life, this surrender is a choice.
To be okay.
At peace.
To accept.
Choose to see the silver lining.
The delicate balance of being a human and allowing oneself to grieve and process, alongside genuinely choosing acceptance is not easy, and is a tightrope walk I’ll forever be honing.
And while I don’t wish for global pandemics nor boredom on the couch nor degenerating blindness, I can accept this is my new normal right now.
And with that acceptance comes the lack of desire to control it in the first place.
A post shared by Mike Siegel (@traveltalespodcast) on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:44am PDT As a person who has traveled professionally and for pleasure for nearly 30 years, my main takeaway from my pandemic perspectives has been gratitude.
I’m grateful I made the choice as a young man to make travel a priority in my life.
I looked at my father, who thought he could wait until he retired to see the world, but poor health made it difficult, and then, impossible.
He died at 67, always encouraged me to travel if I was able, and knew how difficult it can be as we get older.
John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Well, life has just slapped us all upside the head.
This is global, not the problem of just one avoidable country or region.
We are all seeing how privileged those of us from wealthy Western countries really have been all this time, jetting off to anywhere in the world, widely accepted passports in hand and cash and credit in our wallets.
I know how lucky I’ve been.
As I ride out this lockdown dreaming of far-away places I’ve been and still yet to see, I’m all the more grateful for what I have.

THE IMPACT OF TRAVEL – Rebecca Holland

A post shared by Rebecca Holland (@rebeccaleeholland) on Sep 29, 2019 at 12:23pm PDT It’s very weird right now to be a travel writer who is unable to travel, but also a good time to reflect.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the impact travel has on economies and the environment.
I am encouraging others to do the same through their pandemic perspectives.
It’s never been more obvious that tourism is important for restaurants and small businesses around the world.
But with air pollution down and the clear canals in Venice , among many environmental side effects of coronavirus, it’s also never been more obvious how destructive tourism can be for the planet and places we love to visit.
I’m grappling with how to travel better in the future.
If you’re interested in conversations about these issues, subscribe to my Be a Better Traveler newsletter.
While we’re not likely planning any trips, there are still plenty of ways to get inspired for future travel.
I’m taking this downtime to read more travel essays and memoirs.

The Best American Travel Writing series is a great place to start

or online magazines like AFAR’s essay section , travel stories on Longreads , or my own Curiosity Magazine.
I’m definitely going stir crazy, but reading about travel and cooking food from around the world is helping.
I keep remembering that the sooner we all stay home, the sooner we can all travel again.
I can’t wait.  7.
A post shared by KRISTEN KELLOGG???? Film | Travel (@kristenkellogg) on Oct 16, 2019 at 9:56pm PDT I believe in spreading positivity in times of crisis.
And the best way you can start is within yourself.
While we are all forced to stay indoors, take this time to reflect, rethink and reignite, specifically around your career or business.
I’m the owner of Border Free Media – a content creation agency working with brands and destinations around the globe from film production to marketing execution.
Every single one of our agency projects was put on hold or cancelled through the rest of the year.
Instead of sulking in the loss of over more than $60,000 in 2020 revenue, I have chosen to reframe this as an opportunity to work on how to pivot – how to make our brand even stronger than before for when this is all over and how I can continue to serve my community through this tough time we are all going through.

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY – Angel Castellanos

A post shared by Angel Castellanos (@angels_travels) on Jul 5, 2018 at 2:48am PDT What’s one of my top pandemic perspectives.
Dig deep into what makes you happy and what is missing from your life.
Focus on the positive things and work on the things that will help you grow once this is over.
It’s different for everyone.
I’m walking my dog a lot longer these days at the same time each day for the routine and a break from being inside.
Virtually travel from home by feeding your wanderlust through books.
I recommend “ Baghdad Sketches” or “A Winter in Arabia” by Freya Stark, “ The Great Railway Bazaar” by Paul Theroux or “ Walking the Nile” by Levison Wood.
A post shared by Sarah Dandashy, Travel Expert (@askaconcierge) on Mar 6, 2020 at 9:36am PST I don’t believe in counting quarantine days.  There are a few reasons, but mainly I think it’s unhealthy.
Normally when we count days, we are counting towards an achievement.
For example, how many days in a row of yoga, or not consuming sugar or coffee.
These are generally things we are willingly challenging ourselves to do.
Quarantine or staying at home isn’t a challenge, it’s a mandate.
We don’t know when it’s going to end.
Normally when you count, you’re keeping track towards an end goal.
There’s no goal here.
And there’s no definite end… sadly.
Also, everyone started on different dates depending on where you are, what you do for work, etc etc.
So it’s not even like we all began at the same starting point.
Instead, these are things you should keep track of: Fitness goals.
Books that you read.
How many new recipes you tried—that were a success..
Days you go without smoking or drinking..
Days that you meditate or journal..
Basically, anything that leads to a positive push, be it professional or personal..
A post shared by Justin Walter (@atwjustin) on Mar 19, 2020 at 9:01am PDT For the first few weeks of quarantine my pandemic perspectives were focused on the idea that coronavirus stripped me of my passions including travel, human interaction, working out, nature and work.
It wasn’t until my Instagram Live Travel Chat with Rachel Rudwall that my perspective began to shift.
During our conversation I started to recognize that there is so much beauty among all the hardship and it’s up to us to decide whether or not we own it.
Over the next few days I had an internal shift in my perspective.
I began also recognizing the new opportunities that exist due to this global pause like a new connectedness with family, weekly travel chats with friends from around the world, creating an at-home talk show with two of my travel idols, developing a travel game show, not punishing myself for actually relaxing, the list goes on.
My previous mentality of doom and gloom has been replaced with excitement and hope.
I now choose to see the pandemic through this lens.
Sure, I’ll have “bad” or “low” days on this rollercoaster and it’s important to live in and feel those moments, but to not be guided by them.

Psst – did you find this post on Pandemic Perspectives informative

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9 Things To Do in Quarantine from World Travelers

Around the World with Justin April 22, 2020 at 10:04 am […] a few of my favorite globetrotters to share their coronavirus thoughts beyond travel planning and pandemic perspectives.
Here’s 9 Things to do in Quarantine from World […].
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9 Things To Do in Quarantine from World Travelers.

Middle East and Africa

Middle East and Africa Middle East and Africa.
Cape Town Eilat Haifa Jerusalem Johannesburg Kruger National Park Petra Tel Aviv.
Algeria Bahrain Benin Botswana Burundi Cameroon Côte d’Ivoire Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ghana Israel Jordan Kenya Kuwait Lebanon Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritius Morocco Namibia Nigeria Oman Qatar Rwanda Réunion Saudi Arabia Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone South Africa Sudan Tanzania Tunisia United Arab Emirates Zambia Frommer’s EasyGuide to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

We’ve Taken Our Kids on Safari and You Can, Too

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
I’ve taken my children, now aged 7 and 5-year-old twins, on safari in Africa since they were babies. People are shocked that we travel so far with such young children to go on adventures that some view as dangerous. But, I find children to be remarkably resilient on long flights and safaris to be safe if you plan properly and use common sense.
Malawi offers great safari and water-based activities. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
There’s no doubt a trip to Africa is unforgettable. The African bush is a land created in hues of red and gold. There are buttermilk yellows of sunburned grasses, ruddy skies reflecting off bronzed watering holes, honeyed ears beyond the lion’s mane and dust clouds above the topaz roads. Gazelles graze on the plains faithfully guarded by fatten warthogs, giraffes move gracefully under the shaded trees and water buffalo plop down in puddles of mud.
No other continent in the world can compare with Africa, especially when it comes to safaris. When the children were younger, South Africa was a personal favorite African destination of ours. We combined a week in Kruger with a week in Cape Town, happy in the knowledge that South Africa is moving toward the conveniences of the modern western world. As the children have grown older, we have adventured further; the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the endless sparking waters of Lake Malawi and even the sun-bleached shores of Nambia.
South Africa, aerial view of Cape Town
Nowadays, Kenya is our go-to choice, for the vastness of the landscape, quantity of animals and chance to escape to the Indian Ocean for some downtime after our adventures.

In This Post

(Photo by Sutirta Budiman / Unsplash)
Are Safaris Safe for Children?
When I tell people that our family has gone on safari multiple times, I’m always asked the same questions: “Isn’t going on a safari dangerous? Aren’t you worried about being in such a remote place surrounded by wild animals? And, is it a good idea to travel anywhere in Africa?” The fact is, armed with an understanding of the nature, culture (and sometimes a good guide), there are many safe destinations. But, just because I’m relatively confident in the bush doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes have second thoughts about our well-being. There are real safety concerns to prepare for when taking kids on a safari, but it can be done.
Some safaris will accept children of pretty much any age, but that is not true of all safaris, so do your homework. While we have taken our own children since they were young, some families like to wait until children are closer to 8 years old before heading out on safari.
The Highlight of Safari: The Animals
At night, Africa really comes alive and reminds you who is really in charge: nature. The cool night air is greeted by the tormented shriek of the rock hyrax. The small rodents’ horrific cries have certainly startled me from my gin-and-tonic-induced reverie.

From our tents, we have heard the early calls of the hyena and the rutting of a mating lion. The noises have stripped away the tentative sense of security offered by the camp’s electric fence and Maasai guards, but being in the same environment as these animals is captivating.
Lioness in the Nairobi National Park, Kenya (Photo by @nana_dei via Twenty20)
While the noises and realities can startle you, staying safe on safari isn’t all that different from staying safe anywhere else. It’s all about being aware of your surroundings and making good choices. Of course, on safari you are on the animals’ turf. That means lions, hippo, elephants, rhinos, giraffe, hyena, wild dogs, warthogs, leopards, cheetahs and all manner of birdlife are around, even if you don’t see them. You absolutely need to keep your children close whenever you are in the bush — even when you’re in camp itself.
It’s a tricky thing to prepare your children in the right way for a safari. You want them to have a healthy respect for animals and learn to keep quiet and still when one is nearby, but you don’t want to frighten them unnecessarily. Despite our kids being very small, they understand that the animals are simply looking for their next meal, and that it’s our job to make sure that we aren’t it by being safe and not provoking animals, or getting out of the car at the wrong time, etc.
(Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
Don’t forget to watch out for the smaller beasts — scorpions, spiders and snakes. Danger comes in all sizes on safari.
Malaria and Mosquitoes
Speaking of danger that comes in small packages, Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and is prominent in some, but not all, parts of Africa. If you have young children and don’t want to give them malaria tablets, stick to Kenya’s highland parks and conservancies (and consult your doctor). Ol Pejeta, the Aberdares or Nairobi’s own Nairobi National Park are all excellent and malaria-free. Many safari reserves in South Africa are also malaria-free, including Madikwe, Samara, Phinda, Kwandewe, Waterberg, Tswalu Kalahari and Amakhala.
(Image by Shutterstock)
Why We Choose Kenya, the Original Safari Destination
In a world of rules and rigidity, an African safari is an unfettered freedom. Some trappings of the 21st century have made it onto the plains; camps in Kenya are now equipped with Wi-Fi, refrigerators and the finest china. But in other ways, these spots remain ageless. Askari’s still guard the camp armed with bows and arrows and trackers still search for prey in the pre-dawn hours. It is the ability to connect at a raw level with the natural world, its prehistoric landscapes, its savagely beautiful animals and tribal people unchanged in millennia, that bring people like us to Kenya from all over the globe.
(Photo courtesy of Darren Murph / TPG)
Bringing your children on safari is one of the most rewarding experiences you can gift to them. No child will ever forget his or her first encounter with a truly wild animal. For many, this may be the last chance to see some species out of captivity. There are only two northern white rhinos left in the wild in the whole world and they are right here in Kenya.
(Photo by Nadine Murphy)
Where to Stay on Safari With Kids in Kenya
When selecting a safari experience for your family, you can go as basic or as decadent as you choose. Either way, you and your kids will spend a lot of time out and about viewing wild animals. Many camps and lodges have in-depth programs for their youngest guests. My children have been tracking lions in the bush since they were young enough to talk. They know that lion poop is white, the difference between a cheetah print and that of a leopard and not to poke a mountain of safari ants. Every safari experience has been different and what’s right for you will depend on budget and the temperament of each member of the family.
Luxury Tented Camps and Lodges
In Kenya, the tented camps and lodges are a lavish indulgence. A tent feels like the wrong word for the permanent structures that make up these camps. Canvas homes filled with antiques, 600-thread-count sheets and private plunge pools. At first, this might not seem like the best place to bring the kids, but many camps welcome children with open arms.
(Photo courtesy of Cottar’s Camp)
Cottar’s Camp, in the world famous Mara Triangle in the northwestern part of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, is still run by the oldest continuing safari family in Kenya. Cottar’s offers utter luxury in keeping with the spirit of the 1920s. There are family accommodations in vast cream canvas tents, where bespoke furnishings are juxtaposed with modern conveniences and butler delivered goodies on silver. This is the top end of safari living and it can cost a couple of thousand dollars per night.
(Photo courtesy of Cottar’s Camp)
At Cottar’s, children can attend Warrior School. Taught by venerable Maasai tribes people, children learn how to make fire, throw a spear and shoot a bow and arrow. They also learn Maasai dancing, singing and animal tracking. Children of all ages are welcome on game drives, although there is a baby-sitting service if you would rather leave them behind at camp. As a bonus, there is a sparkling blue pool for the children who want to spend their day splashing around.
(Photo courtesy of Cottar’s Camp)
Self-Catering Safari Accommodation
If you fancy a place to yourself and are more inclined toward barbecue than silver service, there are loads of self-catering options in Kenya; from Airbnb houses to cottages owned by the parks themselves.
Essentially, Kenya is one huge safari destination. You’ll see giraffes, zebra, warthogs and baboons wherever you go, but the most dangerous animals (usually) remain within the parks. The must-see destinations are the Maasai Mara, Tsavo National Park, the Aberdares, Samburu and, if you want to head north toward the desert, Turkana is otherworldly in its desolation and magnificence. Self-catering options are available within or near all of these parks.
(Photo courtesy of Ol Pejeta)
Ol Pejeta National Park is one of my favorite places for self-catering lodging. Located only three hours from Nairobi, it’s the only park in Kenya where you can see chimpanzees and it’s the famed home of the last two northern white rhinos. You can choose from the elegant Pelican House, which sleeps eight and starts at about $50 per person per night (with minimum occupancy requirements), or the more basic Stables for $45.
My favorite lodging option at this park is the Safari Cottages. They have enough space for our whole family; comfy sofas, warm log fires and lawns for the children to play. The best part is the veranda overlooking the River Ewaso. I’ve spent many an hour watching the animals bathing in the river as I sip a glass of Champagne.
Airbnbs on Safari 
Airbnb is another great option for budget travel and can be a family-friendly approach to safari. You can find fabulous houses inside the parks or just outside. The amazing Ndovo House starts at around $180 per night and is situated right in Tsavo Conservancy. This house sleeps 12 in basic accommodation and comes with its own cook. The local guides will take you on short walks around the grounds or take you out in the car to find the local animal haunts.
(Photo by Nadine Murphy)
If you go this route, be sure to have a strategy for using the best rewards credit card to secure your Airbnb lodging.
Book a Car and Guide
If you don’t stay at a full-service camp or lodge that offers transportation, trackers and guides, you’ll need to organize your own.
Choose the Right Rental Car
Kenya is known for its bumpy roads and it only gets more treacherous inside a park. My husband and I question if we have even been on safari if we haven’t dug ourselves out of the mud while watching for hyenas in the bush. You will need a very capable four-wheel drive vehicle. Sixt and Avis are the most recognizable car companies, and both are based in Nairobi. 
Work With a Tracker or Guide
At most parks, you can hire a tracker to ride with you on game drives. It’s worth spending the money, as he will show you the watering holes and increase the chances of ticking off the Big Five — lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo — from your list. Guides wait at the entrance to the park and you can simply hire them on arrival. While in my experience there is always a guide available, do call the parks and book a guide in advance for a 100% guarantee. Trackers range from 1500 KES ($15) up to 4000 KES ($39), depending on the season and the popularity of the park.
Prepare Your Children for the Pace of Safari
Safaris are amazing, but they can also be boring at times. Invariably, your kids will spend a long time in the car. Prepare your children for this ahead of time. We let our kids have iPads or Kindles for the long drive up to the parks.
The trick to minimize whining is to get them involved. Buy them binoculars or their own camera and once you are in the reserve, hand them a list of animals. Start a competition: whoever ticks off the most animals wins a prize. It’s like the ultimate game of “I Spy.”
(Photo by Nadine Murphy)
There’s More to Kenya Than Animals
When you visit Kenya with your kids, think about extending your safari with a trip to the coast. Visit Lamu for ancient Swahili architecture, Diani for endless palm-fringed beaches or Watamu for a marine park full of the ocean’s version of the Big Five. Turtle Bay Beach Resort in Watamu has a kids club and program that will see them entertained the whole day. Kids learn Maasai crafts, play beach volleyball and can even learn to dive — all under the supervision of professional child-minders.
Using Points on Safari
While you can use airline miles to get to Africa, how you use points to cover your lodging and other on-the-ground safari costs will depend on what type of selections you make. The easiest way to use points to go on safari with your family in Africa is likely to stock up on fixed-value points that you can use to wipe out a variety of travel related charges on your cards. The Discover it® Miles card makes it easy to use points on a wide variety of travel charges made to the card. The limited-time, 75,000 bonus miles currently available with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card after spending $5,000 in the first three months and the 70,000 bonus miles available with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days could both really help in reducing $700+ in out-of-pocket costs of a family safari.

Final Thoughts
Family safaris anywhere in Africa can be magical, but especially so in Kenya. Look for flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in the capital city of Nairobi. Carriers such as British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar, KLM Emirates and Kenya Airways operate into this airport.
While in Nairobi, check out the world famous David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and feed giraffes by hand at Giraffe Manor. If you aren’t ready to venture too far out of Nairobi, there’s even an “urban safari” available within 30 minutes of town.
(Photo of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy)
And, since you’ll likely be flying with at least one connection (if not more) on your way to Africa, be sure to have Priority Pass or other methods of lounge access available. In Nairobi, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Priority Pass members have a few lounge choices, so brush up on how to access Priority Pass before heading out on your trip of a lifetime.
African safaris may not be the right adventure for every single family, but they can absolutely be family-friendly if that is your goal. We’ve taken our family on safari many times, and your family can, too.

Large Luxury: A Review of The One&Only Cape Town Hotel

This fall, I had the opportunity to attend the annual PeaceJam conference near Cape Town, South Africa. It was the trip of a lifetime for me, full of unforgettable experiences. An important part of preparing for this trip was finding a hotel that could accommodate a big group of people, as we had several TPG team members, a video crew and, of course, TPG’s parents in tow.
We settled on the One&Only Cape Town, a positively massive resort that was big enough to handle all of us and all of our stuff. In past trips to Cape Town, the TPG team had stayed at properties like the Westin Cape Town and the Protea Hotel North Wharf Cape Town, so we wanted to try something new this time around. A search on Hotels.com led us to the One&Only, a property ideally located by the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. This would also be my first stay with the chain, and I was excited to test it out.

One&Only hotels aren’t part of any major points program, so we had to use cash to book my stay. And, it wasn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but Cape Town is known for its pricy hotels, and One&Only is considered to be among the world’s most exclusive hotel chains, so you get what you pay for, I guess. We paid $760 per night for a six-night stay with a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns 10x miles per dollar spent on hotel reservations when booked through the special link at hotels.com/venture. You can also stack this with Hotels.com Rewards, which awards one free night per every 10 paid nights. Since the free night is based on the average price of the 10 nights, when stacked with the 10x miles from the Venture Rewards, it effectively gave us a 20% return on this reservation. That’s one of the very best credit card returns you can get when spending cash on hotels.
Getting between the airport and hotel by taxi was easy — it was a 30-minute drive without traffic.

The location was perfect, with dozens of shops and restaurants all within walking distance, a stone’s throw away from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. In fact, the resort was actually connected to the waterfront, with a lagoon in the middle of the property. I stumbled upon the Watershed Market right next to the hotel, an airy, industrial space with lots of cool artwork, crafts and goods for sale. The location was especially ideal for leisure travelers, as I felt like I was right in the heart of everything that a tourist would want to see and do in the city. Cape Town’s version of the London Eye was even within walking distance.

For anyone worried about security in South Africa, I felt totally safe both at the hotel and in its surrounding area. There were security guards outside the hotel, but this is common for hotels in the neighborhood.
When I arrived late at night from Johannesburg, it was already dark, but even then I could tell the lobby was both palatial and gorgeous. I’d have to wait until morning to see the lobby in all its glory.

I was promptly handed a glass of sparkling wine upon checking in, which was much needed after a long day of travel. The check-in agent was friendly, and we even joked around about how readily I accepted her offer for a free glass of wine.

Then she gave me my room key, which was on the first floor. At first I assumed that the room was on the same floor as the lobby, but I soon realized that South Africa follows the European system, where the first floor is actually one level up.
Maybe I’ve been living in New York for too long, but the first thing I noticed upon entering my Marina Table Mountain room was its sheer size. It was absolutely enormous — 678 square feet, to be exact. Note that the photos of the room were taken the next day when there was natural light.

I guess I shouldn’t have been that surprised, given the proportions of the property overall, but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten a hotel room that big, especially not at the lowest room category.

The foyer was also large, providing plenty of space for my way-too-big, overstuffed Away suitcase (in my defense, I was in South Africa for 10 days). The room opened up with a large bed as the focal point, which I’d soon learn was extremely comfortable.

Decorated with chic, contemporary furniture (including a sofa and armchair) and African-inspired artwork, the room looked cool but also had all the traditional amenities.

The room had a Nespresso machine, minibar and large bottle of still water that was replaced daily. The mini-fridge was stocked with the usual, as well as a drawer with candy and salty snacks.

It was useful having plenty of outlets around the room: US, South African, British and universal, which was great. The Wi-Fi was fast throughout the hotel and was easy to connect to. The room also came with a large TV and a big desk, which was a necessity, given that this was a work trip.

Perhaps the best feature of my room, though, was the positively enormous balcony and the jaw-dropping views that accompanied it. It really didn’t get much better than waking up on a sunny Cape Town morning, opening the drapes and seeing the majestic Table Mountain towering directly over me.

The hallway provided two separate entryways to the bathroom, which was also gigantic. There was a huge soaking tub which, had there not been a water shortage in Cape Town, would have actually been tempting, even though I’m the furthest thing possible from a bath person.


There was a double vanity, a wall of closets and even more storage in the form of a large dresser to the left of the vanity. The safe was in here. I noticed a hair dryer and bathrobes, too.

The shower was huge and featured some of the best water pressure I’ve ever experienced. The hotel had a warning sign on the outside of the shower door telling guests to limit their showers to two minutes or less. As someone who should really pay more attention to his water usage, it was actually an eye-opening experience, and I did my best to adhere to the two-minute suggestion, though I’ll admit it was difficult given how awesome the shower was.

The Charlotte Rhys bath amenities smelled wonderful, and I noticed it was a brand local to Cape Town, which was a nice touch.

Food and Beverage
Since my stay was six nights long, this gave me a chance to sample most of what the resort had to offer, foodwise. On my first night there, I ordered room service, since I’d only eaten a smallish meal on my flight several hours earlier.
There’s something so very comforting about ordering a club sandwich and fries from room service no matter where you are in the world. And this one lived up to my expectations, not to mention it was delivered promptly: it arrived at my door just 20 minutes after placing the order.

My room rate came with daily breakfast included at one of the hotel’s restaurants, Reuben’s. The spread was lavish, with everything from cereals and candy (every parent’s nightmare) to made-to-order eggs.

I especially loved the fresh fruit and guava juice that I ordered every morning.
The eggs Benedict were delicious, too.

If you’re in the mood for trendy sushi and other Japanese dishes, look no further, because the hotel had a Nobu restaurant on site.

One afternoon, we had a few hours at the hotel before we needed to be anywhere, so a group of us headed to the pool to relax and order a late lunch. I got a salad of halloumi, bacon and avocado, which was probably the weakest meal I had at the hotel. We also split a pizza, which was fantastic. When in doubt, choose pizza, not salad. (I should really follow this as a life choice too, and not just at this hotel.)

Back in the lobby, the main hotel bar was actually a hip hangout that boasted phenomenal views of Table Mountain.

The drinks were good, though sometimes it took quite a while for one to arrive after ordering.

On weekend nights, the hotel provided live music in the lobby that was much better than the typical soft jazz one would expect to hear in a hotel lobby.
When I arrived at my room, I noticed that the staff had left for me as a welcome amenity a lovely bottle of South African red wine, but unfortunately I didn’t even have time to open it, given how busy we were on this trip.

Although I was staying at the hotel for six nights, I was busy with many activities and events, so I wasn’t able to explore and take advantage of all the amenities the resort had to offer. I did, however, manage to get a few hours in at the pool, which was fantastic.

It never felt crowded, and I absolutely loved the large (surprise!), comfortable loungers with their extra-puffy covers. It was odd to me, though, that the hotel didn’t have an outdoor hot tub. Also, the pool wasn’t heated, and despite the sunny skies, it was still springtime in South Africa while we were there, so the temperature of the water was on the chilly side.

There were only single-gender jacuzzis in the spa. The spa itself looked very luxurious, but I didn’t have any time to unwind there with a treatment.

There was also a fitness center, which I didn’t use; our busy days in Cape Town were enough of a workout (that’s how that works, right?). Besides the machines and cardio equipment, yoga and pilates classes were offered. Also, the hotel offered in-room fitness equipment that could be delivered to your room, including weights, an exercise ball and resistance bands.
Photo courtesy of the One&Only Cape Town.
In the afternoons, the hotel set up an elegant tea service in the lobby. Everything was arranged in the middle of the room and it looked like everything was there for the taking. I poured myself a cup of tea, and at the very moment I took my first bite of a scone, a staff member asked which room I was staying in so that she could charge me for the tea service. Oops. I sheepishly explained that I thought it was a complimentary spread and didn’t realize it was part of the afternoon tea service. They graciously didn’t charge me for it, but were sure to give me a thorough explanation of the afternoon tea so I was aware for the next time.

Overall Impression
The One&Only Cape Town was the perfect base to explore the city for this first-time visitor. Perfectly situated in the V&A Waterfront, it was a large and luxurious property that was perfect for our large crew of people (and all our stuff). The rooms were luxuriously appointed, large and afforded stunning views of Cape Town’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain. And the resort itself provided plenty of amenities and dining options to keep anyone busy for several days. On my next visit to Cape Town, I’d definitely look into staying at this property again, though I’d probably have to look for a points property, given the high price of entry at this hotel.

A Regal Respite: A Review of the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg

My recent adventure with the TPG team for the annual PeaceJam conference in Cape Town marked a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time visiting South Africa, a country that had been on my bucket list forever; my first time attending a PeaceJam conference with TPG; my first time staying at a One&Only property (Cape Town); my first time staying at a Four Seasons property (see below); and, last but certainly not least, my first time getting a massage (more on that later).
I’ve always loved staying in hotels and was very excited to finally get an opportunity to stay at a fancy Four Seasons property, the Four Seasons The Westcliff, Johannesburg. As I’d quickly find out, the chain lives up to its lofty expectations, at least in my limited experience.

In This Post

Johannesburg is a global metropolis with no shortage of hotel options for travelers of all budgets. I came across the Four Seasons, which was going for a relatively reasonable $258 a night. Compared to the much higher prices you’d see for FS properties in North America, I felt like it was quite a good deal for this caliber of hotel. Even better, I found the same room through Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program for just a few dollars more per night ($264).
Sadly, there was no option for a third night free, like you see at some FHR properties, but I booked through FHR anyway, as it entitled me to a valuable set of perks including a room upgrade (subject to availability), daily breakfast for two people, guaranteed late checkout at 4pm, early check-in at 12pm (when available), free Wi-Fi and a unique property amenity — in this case a $100 credit to be used at the spa.
In total, I paid $792 for my three-night stay with the Platinum Card® from American Express, though I only earned one Membership Rewards point per dollar on my purchase, as it was booked before Amex upped the earning to 5x points per dollar on FHR stays booked online. At the time of this writing, the FS Johannesburg wasn’t yet eligible for 5x earning, but it should be soon.
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg is in a northern suburb of Johannesburg called Westcliff, about a 30-minute drive from the airport (JNB). Upon first glance, the hotel appeared to be a sprawling Italian villlage with several different buildings. Wait, where was I again?
Anyway, the buildings were handsome and the views from almost anywhere on the property were stunning. The hotel overlooked the Johannesburg Zoo, and was close to some of the most popular shopping centers and other suburban attractions, such as Sandton, which is known as the richest square mile in Africa. But it was also not far from Johannesburg’s Central Business District and its (in)famous Hillbrow and hipster Maboneng neighborhoods.

The lobby was in its own building and featured beautiful, fresh flowers as well as comfortable, stylish furniture.

Check-in was quick and easy, and the desk agent explained my Amex FHR benefits. She told me that I’d been upgraded to a panoramic-view deluxe room, which was similar to the garden-view deluxe room I’d booked but featured a much better view.

By the time I arrived at my room, my bag was already there waiting for me. Love when that happens!
I was excited to check out my upgraded room with its panoramic views (thanks, FHR).

The decor was much more traditional than at the One&Only, but it really worked, as it felt stately, elegant and worthy of the Four Seasons name. I enjoyed the predominantly light blue and white color scheme as well as the patterned drapes and decorative pillows that gave the room a little flair. The Mandela artwork on the wall was really cool, and a nice homage to a colossus of South African history.

Although the room was beautiful, I did notice signs of age, like wear and tear on the trim and furniture, surprising for a Four Seasons. The light switches were also noticeably dated and confusingly placed. In my three days at the property, I never really figured out how they worked, or which switch turned on which light.
The room had enough outlets to make it work, but the hotel could have done a little better in catering to those who travel with a lot of devices that need to be charged. There was also a flat-screen TV atop a small dresser.

Still water and fruit were replaced daily in the room, and the fresh flowers next to the TV were also a nice touch.

There were two sets of windows, one of which was a pair of French doors that opened onto a small terrace that allowed for stunning views of the purple jacaranda trees that were in bloom during my stay.

I was able to get some work done at the traditional desk-and-chair setup.

There wasn’t actually a typical closet in the room but rather two open storage spaces in the bathroom opposite the two vanities.

The bathroom was large and luxurious, clad in marble with two pedestal vanities and a huge soaking tub.

After visiting Cape Town, which was still facing a water shortage, I will admit that I was more than ready to indulge in a long, hot shower. I found myself being a little disappointed with the (lack of) water pressure, and the water itself ran way too hot. These were small concerns though, the shower still felt amazing.
The hotel stocked rooms with amenities from Terres d’Afrique, which is the same brand that was used in the spa. I really enjoyed the smell, and actually took a set with me to give to guests at home.
Food and Beverage
With several restaurants on site, I was never far from my next meal. There were two full-service restaurants, View and Flames, and a more casual spot called the Westcliff Deli. I ended up eating at Flames several times simply because I couldn’t get enough of the view. Also, I found the food to be excellent — every meal I had there was delicious and of very high quality. As its name would suggest, the vista from the View was incredible, as it was another level higher than Flames, but I preferred the more relaxed vibe and outdoor seating of the latter.

I ordered room service one night after a long day — a cheese pizza and Caesar salad. Yes, I’m aware that that does absolutely nothing to expand the horizons of my palate, but it was exactly what I needed that night.

My room rate actually included breakfast, but I only took advantage of it once because one day I overslept (jet lag) and the other day I was out too early for it. On my last morning, I finally was able to try it out, and found the spread large and the food fresh and delicious.

There was a cold buffet as well as a la carte options. My eggs Benedict and fresh orange juice were a great start to my last day in South Africa.

The Wi-Fi was strong and didn’t lose connection at all, which was ideal when I needed to get work done. The property featured a gorgeous pool, though there weren’t as many deck chairs as I would have thought.

I definitely got good use of the loungers by the pool, but the highlight of the amenities at this hotel for me was definitely the spa. As I mentioned earlier, I’d actually never gotten a massage before this trip. I’ve lived quite a pampered life over the last few years here at TPG, complete with premium-class flights and high-end hotels, but never had I completed the trifecta of luxury and treated myself to a massage. This time, though, I vowed to change that.
I used FHR’s $100 spa credit as my excuse to book myself a massage. And it gets better. TPG also stayed at the property for a night before heading to a safari. He tried to book himself a massage, but the spa had no availability on the day that he was staying, so he couldn’t use his credit. He talked to the front desk, and they allowed him to transfer his credit to me, effectively doubling my luxury. I’d already made an appointment at the spa, and the front desk must have informed the staff at the spa that I had more money to burn, as they automatically rebooked me for a 90-minute full-body massage. Those 90 minutes were among the most relaxed that I can recall in my life — it’s safe to say I’m hooked and will be seeking out more spas in the future.

After my massage, I was invited to stay in the spa for as long as I wanted. It also featured a separate soaking pool, which was visually stunning with its infinity edge. I thought that at the very end was a hot tub, but it turned out it was the same temperature as the rest of the pool, a minor bummer.

Directly on top of the spa was a large sun deck, which featured covered tables and chairs and loungers set up for optimal tanning. I found this area to be a great spot to get work done — the chairs themselves were supremely comfortable, and I was able to order soft drinks from waiters who served guests food from the Westcliff Deli as well as drinks from the full bar on the deck.

I feel like this deck would have been a nice space for another small pool, but since it wasn’t too hot, I was fine just relaxing on the loungers and didn’t feel the need to dive into a pool.

Overall Impression
The resort was impeccable, covered with floral arrangements and beautiful landscaping at every turn.

Combine the Italian-village design that climbed the hills with the bountiful nature, and you got a property that felt very secluded. It seemed worlds away from bustling Johannesburg.

While rates for this property were on the high end for Joburg, they’re a relative steal for those used to Four Seasons prices elsewhere. The addition of the FHR perks made me feel like I got a great value for my stay — the service, amenities, spa treatments and food were all top-notch. I can say with full confidence that I’d return to this property over and over again if I find myself in Jozi again — and I certainly hope I do.

SkyTeam Launches New Metasearch Tool to Find and Book Flights Across All 20 Members

Delta loyalists, take note: You’ll be doing yourself a favor by bookmarking SkyTeam’s new Find Flights portal. Fresh out of the coding oven, the revamped metasearch tool allows you to evaluate your paid routing options across all 20 member airlines, including the likes of Delta, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, Korean Air and Aeromexico. One of the most powerful elements of the new tool is its ability to integrate and surface many airlines that are lesser-known among US-based flyers: Saudia, TAROM, Vietnam Airlines and XiamenAir, for example.
The tool, which is available now on the web via flights.skyteam.com, is a first among the major global airline alliances — at least at this level of granularity. The engine shows “real-time availability, schedule and pricing information across 1,074 destinations with clearly displayed results all in one place.” It even includes a direct link out to whichever carrier is selling the flight for the lowest fare, enabling users to purchase and complete the booking without having to reconstruct the route elsewhere.
SkyTeam airlines transporting passengers around the globe. (Photo by the author / The Points Guy)
As of now, the new tool is only available via web, though we’re told that the next iteration of the SkyTeam mobile app (due out in October 2018) will include the new functionality. It’s of particular interest to those seeking to maintain or earn Medallion status on Delta, as it removes the guesswork when it comes to answering the question: “Can I fly to this destination on airlines that I can credit back to my Delta account?”
Delta’s earning chart for partners (located here) lays out what you can expect if you decide to credit SkyTeam partner flights back to your account. It’s worth noting that it can be advantageous to book flights sold and marketed by SkyTeam partners while crediting the flight(s) back to Delta, particularly on cheaper business-class fares, which can provide a huge boost in the MQD department. Delta ranks partners on a tiered status, with its closer allies such as KLM and Air France earning more than distant partners such as Air Europa and Kenya Airways, so be sure to check those before booking.
In our testing of the new functionality, we found it both quick and accurate. It’s pretty intelligent, too. For example, in looking for a round-trip flight between St. Louis (STL) and Rome (FCO), it surfaced an outbound flight that included legs on Delta and Alitalia, while the return was best served with a one-stop journey entirely on Delta metal.

Similarly, a round-trip flight between Portland (PDX) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) surfaced an outbound itinerary involving Alaska Airlines (PDX to SFO), Korean Air (SFO to ICN) and Malaysia Airlines (ICN to KUL), while the return involved Korean Air and Delta.

Presently, the tool allows you to sort by cheapest, quickest and best, but those only apply to economy fares. There’s no option to search for the lowest fares on premium economy, business and/or first, but we’ve inquired with SkyTeam to understand if this is something that may be the product roadmap.

Lastly, the new SkyTeam portal only surfaces paid options. If you’re looking for SkyTeam award routes, Air France’s booking portal is still your best bet.
Featured image of SkyTeam livery at Atlanta (ATL) airport by the author.

It Could Be Time to Add Egypt Back to the Bucket List

Over the weekend, Egyptian archeologists unearthed a new sphinx — just the latest in a series of exciting new discoveries in a nation famous for its ancient wonders.
The more than 2,000-year-old sandstone statue was found in the temple of Kom Ombo, near the city of Aswan. And though its stature is rather diminutive compared to its more famous man-headed, lion-bodied cousin, the Great Sphinx of Giza — it’s 14 inches tall, rather than 66 feet — it may be just another reason to visit Egypt now.
Photo courtesy of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities via CNN
Returning tourists
According to Reuters, Egypt’s tourism numbers surged 41% in the first half of 2018 — a strong indicator that the sector is recovering after the 2011 revolution and years of subsequent upheaval.
Safety remains a concern. Many travelers, however, have booked trips to Egypt, or visited recently.
Jarrad H., for example, visited during a long layover. “We hired a private guide and driver for insanely little,” he said in a post on the Facebook TPG Lounge. “[We] felt perfectly safe and taken care of by them.”
Court B., who “didn’t feel super safe,” also hired an inexpensive driver and armed guard through a Marriott in Cairo this June. Despite her security concerns, she “loved” the trip.
Favorable prices
Drivers and guards aren’t the only things that are affordable in Egypt right now. At this time, a single US dollar will get you nearly 18 Egyptian pounds.
And with contagion concerns stemming from the currency disasters in Argentina and Turkey, Egypt is vulnerable to an “exchange rate crisis” of its own, the Financial Times said. For this reason, travelers interested in even deeper savings should watch the exchange rate carefully for the next 12 months.
There are also attractive discounts on cruises and attractions. Uniworld is currently offering up to $1,649 off a 12-day Nile sailing this year.
New attractions and hotels
In December, a St. Regis will open its doors in Cairo, offering Nile river views, subtle Egyptian decor and luxe elements, such as nightstands with mother-of-pearl inlay and marble and mosaic-clad bathrooms. Cash rates aren’t available yet, but the Category 5 property can be booked for a standard rate of 35,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.
As with many hotels in Egypt, the nightly room rate is significantly lower than comparable properties in other destinations. The St. Regis New York, for example, is a Category 7 property requiring an average of 70,000 points per night.
Hilton, meanwhile, has announced plans to add 2,500 hotel rooms and “take on seven more projects” in Egypt by 2022.
Of course, Egypt’s famed attractions remain a major draw for tourists around the world. In addition to the classics — the Pyramids of Giza and Great Sphinx of Giza chief among them — the nation just opened the 4,000-year-old Tomb of Mehu to the public.
And before the end of the year, Egypt expects to open the 5.2 million-square-foot Grand Egyptian Museum: the largest museum on Earth devoted to a single civilization, according to CNN.
TPG reached out to the Egyptian Tourism Authority for information on viewing the sphinx statue, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Featured image of tourists in front of the Giza pyramid complex near Cairo in March 2018 by FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images

17 Things NOT to Do in Madagascar

The island nation of Madagascar has something exciting for every traveler. Whether you have your heart set on going on a wild adventure, or you just want to relax on the gorgeous Nosy Be beach, you’ll find that Madagascar is the perfect destination to fulfill all of your needs.
Just like any travel destination, there’s a list of things you should include during your stay, such as a visit to the nation’s UNESCO World Heritage site, Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve. But many people neglect to familiarize themselves with all the things they shouldn’t do. From failing to recognize social customs to disrespecting the cultural beliefs of different villages, here are 17 things you should NOT do in Madagascar.
1. Don’t Ignore Regional Fady
A “Fady” is a local taboo, and each region has their own set of customs and rules that all visitors should follow. The Fady of a particular region may prohibit eating pork, while others may forbid you from bathing in lakes. Since there are so many to be observed, it’s best to brush up on the cultural laws of the particular village you plan on visiting. No matter how strange these taboos are, it’s best to observe and recognize them unless you’d rather run the risk of disrespecting the locals and violating their laws.
nok lek – Shutterstock

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