8 February 2013

South Africa fares well in international safari awards

South African properties made an excellent showing in the recent Good Safari Guide 2013 Safari Awards.

Lodges and elephants Singita's Lebombo camp, Kruger National Park

This is a wonderful accolade for Tswalu, coming from a panel of experienced and trusted independent safari specialist tour operators. It’s also a well-established global award, which is important to us because our market is international. – Russel Binks, Tswalu’s managing director

A number of South African lodges and safari organisations received acknowledgement in the recent 2013 Safari Awards sponsored by The Good Safari Guide and held in London. Nominations are made by thousands of luxury professionals and The Safari Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts.

The Waters of Royal Malewane Bush Spa in Thornybush Private Game Reserve in Limpopo province took first place in the Best Safari Spa in Africa category. Karkloof Spa in KwaZulu-Natal took third position (with Singita Faru Faru Lodge in Tanzania holding second place).

Singita Lebombo Lodge in a concession of the Kruger National Park walked away as the winner in the Best Safari Cuisine in Africa category. Singita, which is based in South Africa (with head offices in Cape Town) but has a number of properties in other African countries, was also runner-up in Best Safari Accommodation Group in Africa.

Tswalu’s Tarkuni Villa was named runner up in the ‘Best Safari House in Africa’ category, coming in behind Chongwe River House in Zambia. Tarkuni Villa is the Oppenheimers’ personal home at Tswalu Kalahari, the largest private game reserve in South Africa, situated in the Northern Cape province.

Tswalu’s managing director, Russel Binks said, ‘This is a wonderful accolade for Tswalu, coming from a panel of experienced and trusted independent safari specialist tour operators. It's also a well-established global award which is important to us because our market is international.’

Other South African properties which received notable mentions in the awards included Children in the Wilderness, Uthando, Wilderness Wildlife Trust and Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. South African Tourism took third place in the Best African Tourism Board category, behind Kenya and Malawi.