Ethos African Snippets

May is the month of fam trips and shows in South Africa.  Alison and Amanda both attended Indaba in Durban this year along with the largest British contingent seen in a number of years (including pre pandemic).  As always, Indaba excelled in its enthusiasm to give your senses a sensory overload – colour and music in abundance!  It was seen by many, us included, as one of the most successful Indaba’s.  Long may in continue.  Pre Indaba Amanda hosted a hugely successful fam trip covering all the Ethos safari clients in South Africa.  Looking forward we have Experience Africa in London, a show that will be attended by MalaMala, so please request a meeting and hear and see all about the new look Rattrays Camp.

Try before you Buy

Try before you buy.  Quite a good concept really and one that you come to expect in the car industry.  Not always so easy when it comes to the travel industry, however we will all agree that once you have stayed and truly experienced a property, your passion for selling it is unrivalled.

That was how I felt earlier this month as I sat waiting in OR Tambo Airport for my group of tour operators that I would be spending the next 5 nights on safari with.   An odd concept really – a fam trip.  It shows the true nature of those in travel - that they are happy and even excited about spending a week in the company of people that they have probably never met before!  Ask anyone not in travel – they find it very odd!

However, I find it enables you to not only “try before you buy” or in this case “before you sell” but also to hear others views on what they like and look for.  So with that in mind, I wanted to highlight some key pointers that a very experienced group of tour operators expressed to me on our week’s safari adventure to South Africa.  I found them to be very insightful…

Kambaku River Sands

Authentically African in its décor making the suites feel warm and welcoming.

An incredible sleepout hide that must be showcased to guests before they travel so that it can be booked in for their stay.

A beautiful boma with a true “wow” feeling to the experience.

A spa that really should be highlighted, particularly to couples, to book in for a few hours of relaxation.  The private pool, gym and treatment rooms offer a great balance of exercise and restoring.

Voted “best quiche of the trip!”

Kambaku Safari Lodge

An immediate feeling of “cosiness” and “homeliness” on arrival.

Room number 2 was a particular favourite for those wanting a more affordable option for couples! 

The number of inter-connecting and family rooms for the size of the property (nearly half the room inventory) really was a strong selling point for the family market.

MCH @ Garonga Safari Co.

A true “wow” feeling on arrival when you see the incredible views over the bush and the mountains

A stunning complimentary sleepout deck where your guests can enjoy sundowners and then dinner before sleeping under the stars.  Advise guests that they can book before they travel.

A beautiful pool and relaxation area with enough colour to give the area a slight feel of a villa in the med – until you take in the tented suites and the view.

Voted “best muffins of the trip!”

Little Garonga @ Garonga Safari Co.

The focus here was very much on the Hambleden Suite and its versatility for different target markets.

With its own private pool it makes for the perfect couples retreat.

With its second bedroom containing full sized twin beds – yes, we got on the beds and checked the length – and ensuite bathroom, it is perfect for a family.  Add in that children under 16 years old stay for free, it is a very exciting and affordable family option.

Garonga Safari Camp @ Garonga Safari Co.

For those that had been selling it for years – it didn’t disappoint! 

As one said “you can tell that the Garonga Magic has been sprinkled here.”

The tents oozed authenticity and special little touches such as the Help for Heroes bears on the beds.

Beautiful views over the waterhole and a feeling of relaxation on arrival.

MalaMala Camp @ MalaMala

As expected the game just delivers.  What more could you want than a herd of elephants with little ones frolicking in the river whilst you view them from the pool!  Location, location, location.

Loved the personal and friendly service – a real testament to how the team at MalaMala are training their staff.

Incredible versatility in the room configurations to suit all types of high end travellers.

Voted best “evening meal” of the trip!

Sable Camp @ MalaMala

Lovely personal welcome from the Camp Manager

An intimate feel from a smaller Camp

Rattrays Camp @ MalaMala

Exciting to see the new look Rattrays and it did not disappoint with its lighter décor and incredible African artwork and design features.

The epitome of what a high end client would expect from luxury in their new décor.  Very “boujee!”

In summary we were also able to see first-hand, how easy it is to twin Kambaku with Garonga or Garonga with MalaMala.  The proximity of Kambaku to Hoedspruit airport and the ease in which Fed Air offers lodge hops ensures that guests can enjoy the tranquillity of Garonga and the true skill of game tracking with the high game density of Kambaku and MalaMala.  The perfect pairing for those looking for a slightly longer South African Bush experience.

Don’t Just take our word for it….

This month it is all about what other people say.  Don’t just take our word for it, but take the words of those that have travelled and stayed at Machaba Camp and Little Machaba.  Machaba Safaris prides themselves on offering a truly authentic African experience.  One that creates memories not only because of the wildlife and the amazing untouched landscapes, but also because of the team of people that make each and every trip special and memorable.  So here are a few comments from guests who have left Botswana with very happy memories.  READ MORE

Image of the Month

Indaba 2023 was a huge success with over 30 UK tour operators attending


Cape St Francis not to be confused with next-door St. Francis Bay, which was made famous by the '60s surf classic Endless Summer. The latter is unbeatable when the reticent wave known as Bruce's Beauties is pumping down the arm of the bay, creating barrels that literally roll for kilometers. At any other time, Cape St Francis is a much better destination with a variety of point and shore breaks, the best of which is Seal Point near the lighthouse.
Thanks to Tripsavvy.


Kambaku River Sands shutdown 2024
Please be advised that we will be closing Kambaku River Sands from the 10 February
2024 until the 10 April 2024.

This is to do major building work to the main lodge. Unfortunately, we cannot complete
the work with guests in camp as the work directly affects our kitchen.
Luckily, we currently have no guests booked into the lodge over these dates, so no-one
is inconvenienced.
Safari Lodge will still be operating as usual. 

Rattrays @ MalaMala has just reopened after a major refurb, HERE are some images