Relais & ChÌ¢teaux Southern Africa & Indian Ocean takes pleasure in announcing a new member for 2003, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, situated on 42 kilometres of the Great Fish River in the Eastern Cape. This is the only new member for Africa for 2003, as announced at the Relais & ChÌ¢teaux international general meeting held in St Petersburg, Russia on 24 November 2002.
The malaria-free game reserve sports nine luxurious glass and thatch suites overlooking the winding Great Fish River and the sub-tropical vegetation of this region, steeped in 1820 Settler history and architecture, where the San and Khoi people left their rich legacy of rock paintings, artefacts and stone tools over thousands of years.
Accommodation at its two magnificent lodges, Kwandwe Lodge just nine suites) and Uplands Homestead (a three-bedroom private-use villa), is intimate and stylish, offering ‘Pan African meets Settler’ cuisine, matched with the Cape’s finest wine, fulfilling Relais & Ch‰teaux’s superior five-C requirements: Courtesy, Charm, Character, Calm and Cuisine.
Kwandwe, in Xhosa means ‘Place of the Blue Crane,’ is home to its endangered namesake, the beautiful blue crane, and thousands of wild animals and the Big Five have been reintroduced to the region. Cheetah is now breeding in the region again for the first time since 1888!
The 15,000 hectare Reserve is set on the edge of the Karoo Basin, which received the heaviest snow falls in 70 years, with the rainy season bringing up to 140mm of rain. This created the most wonderful waterfalls in the hills opposite the lodge.
Kwandwe is the brainchild of Carl DeSantis, a Florida-based pharmaceutical tycoon, and Angus Sholto-Douglas, a South African naturalist with ten years of game-reserve management experience. In November 2001 DeSantis signed a management contract with CC Africa, while Sholto-Douglas is now reserve manager and partner in this extraordinary project of saving the bio-diversity of the planet, whilst simultaneously uplifting the adjacent rural communities.
Kwandwe can be contacted for further details on: 011-809 4300 or perused on www.relaischateaux.com/sa
Le Prince Maurice, one of 18 hotels worldwide to be awarded palace status by Relais & Ch‰teaux, has received further recognition for excellence by the Swiss financial publication, Bilanz. The five-star hotel was voted 4th best hotel in the world by research among leading Swiss Hoteliers. Conde Nast Traveller UK readers voted Le Prince Maurice one of the top ten hotels in the world for Africa and the Middle East for 2002. Other accolades achieved in the four years since its inception include: 1999 Architect, Jean Marc Eynaud was awarded 1st prize for the architecture of Le Prince Maurice in the Southern Hemisphere Awards; 2000 Relais & Chateaux - Palace Award.
Le Prince Maurice has appointed a new General Manager, Andrew Milton, who launched Hotels Constance’s 5 star De Luxe hotel, Lémuria Resort in Praslin, Seychelles.
Londolozi Private Game Reserve has scooped a top 10 placing in the UK Conde Nast Traveller’s 2002 poll of top 100 properties in the world. Published in the October issue of the prestigious magazine, this was the fifth annual readers’ travel awards, in which Londolozi was rated the eighth best holiday destination in the Best Overseas Hotels: Africa & Middle East category.
Since the early 1980s, Londolozi, meaning “protector of all living things” in Zulu, has been committed to CC Africa’s maxim of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People.
On December 4 2002 a total solar eclipse will pass across South Africa, lasting over two minutes at its maximum from 08h18 to 08h21. This, the last total eclipse in this region for 28 years, the next being in 2030, will be visible throughout the country but only in the Limpopo Province will there be a total eclipse. Guests at Clearwater Lodges will be taken on an extraordinary morning game drive to admire this spectacular event in the Waterberg, Limpopo Province. Guests will be provided with special eye protection, pre-breakfast snacks and Champagne, the special eclipse rate: R2,925 pp per night sharing.
Singita Private Game Reserve has scored another world first by taking top honours in the prestigious Conde Nast Travelers’ Choice Awards in the USA for the second consecutive year. Scoring the highest marks of 96% overall, it was named best resort in Africa and the Middle East at the awards ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii in November. The Singita group is regarded internationally as a forerunner in the luxury ecotourism market, constantly setting new standards for the ultimate African bush and wildlife experience, and certainly deserving of its prestigious Purple Shield from Relais & Ch‰teaux: the highest accolade awarded by this international association.
Singita also found itself among the UK Conde Nast Traveller’s top ten holiday destinations in the Africa & Middle East category, whilst also being rated world number 1 by Harper’s Hideaway Report in the category International Resort Hideaway with less than 50 rooms. Singita’s Premier Wine Direct enables Singita guests to acquire rare South African wines directly from its famous bush cellar. The new Lebombo Lodge, situated on a private wilderness concession area within the Kruger National Park, is now scheduled to open in March 2003.
Celebrating 10 years of achievement, Grande Roche, the five-star hotel in Paarl, was recently selected by Wine Enthusiast magazine in the Unites States, as one of the top eight resorts worldwide with great winelists. Bosman’s received the Business Day award for Restaurant of the Year 2002 and was the only South African restaurant to make the top ten in the world listings compiled by Hannah Abisheganaden, director of ‘foodies ‘n friends’, in a three-part series on the world’s best restaurants featured in the New Straits Times newspaper in Malaysia.