Ex­clu­sive Use Sa­fari Lodges on the Rise

With global de­mand for ex­clu­sive use va­ca­tion rentals on the rise, Lal­i­bela Game Re­serve is seizing the op­por­tu­nity by pro­vid­ing a so­lu­tion for large fam­ily and cor­po­rate sole-use en­quiries who want a Big-5 sa­fari ex­pe­ri­ence with ex­clu­siv­ity and pri­vacy.

Tourism Tattler - - EDITORIAL - By Des Langk­ilde.

“There's no bet­ter way to ex­pe­ri­ence a sa­fari when trav­el­ling as a group of friends, fam­ily or cor­po­rate team of col­leagues than hav­ing your own pri­vate villa - your own ded­i­cated chef and per­sonal but­ler, your own sa­fari ve­hi­cle with your own ded­i­cated ranger: this is the ul­ti­mate sa­fari ex­pe­ri­ence tai­lor­made to the spe­cific wishes of the va­ca­tion rentals mar­ket,” says Ver­non Wait, Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor at Lal­i­bela Pri­vate Game Re­serve in the malaria-free prov­ince of South Africa's East­ern Cape prov­ince.

And it seems that Wait is onto some­thing big here. Ac­cord­ing to LeisureLink, the $100 bil­lion va­ca­tion rental sec­tor could be go­ing into over-drive as it at­tracts grow­ing in­ter­est from in­vestors, ma­jor hos­pi­tal­ity brands and trav­el­ers seek­ing al­ter­nate ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Since the sale of Lal­i­bela to new own­ers in July 2016, the roll out of nu­mer­ous projects that in­clude game re­pop­u­la­tion, en­vi­ron­ment re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, and WiFi ser­vice up­grades, has seen oc­cu­pancy at the game re­serve's three lodges in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly.

“Thanks to strong re­la­tion­ships with tour op­er­a­tors and travel agents in the dis­tri­bu­tion chain, we have en­joyed an ab­so­lutely bumper 2016 and the first quar­ter of 2017. But we can­not rest on our lau­rels. We've re­ceived nu­mer­ous en­quiries to cater for large fam­i­lies, and while we have been able to ac­com­mo­date them at our child-friendly Mark's Camp lodge, we feel that the time is right to of­fer an ex­clu­sive use vil­lastyle op­tion in our port­fo­lio,” says Wait.

With this in mind, the his­toric 100-year old farm­house, ide­ally po­si­tioned on an el­e­vated site with sweep­ing views of game brows­ing on grass­lands over the ex­pan­sive val­ley be­low and its own wa­ter hole, is in the process of be­ing ren­o­vated.

Aptly named Hill­side Pri­vate Villa, this ex­clu­sive use home-style villa of­fer­ing is due to launch in Septem­ber 2017. Rem­i­nis­cent of South Africa's by­gone colo­nial era, a time when high wool prices and the os­trich feather boom al­lowed farm­ers to build stately fam­ily homes, the Ed­war­dian pe­riod ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures are a de­light to be­hold; stately gables, large rooms with high ceil­ings and wide wrap-around ve­ran­das re­flect the East­ern Cape's proud her­itage.

Fa­cil­i­ties in­side the Hill­side Pri­vate Villa in­clude a wel­com­ing bar, spa­cious lounge and gra­cious din­ing room. Out­side there is a swim­ming pool and sun deck, and a large fire pit and bar­beque area where al fresco din­ners can be served un­der the African sky. The wide, shady ve­randa of­fers cool respite from the sun and a place to re­lax be­tween game drives.

With 5 dou­ble or twin bed­rooms, the villa can ac­com­mo­date a max­i­mum of 10 guests. Three of the rooms have en-suite bath­rooms with bath, shower and his and her basins. These rooms have wide stack doors open­ing out onto the ve­randa and the in­dige­nous gar­dens and val­ley views be­yond. The other two bed­rooms have en-suite bath­rooms with shower and his & her basins. All bed­rooms are air-con­di­tioned.

As Lal­i­bela is a Big-5 game re­serve, where all game species roam freely, Hill­side Pri­vate Villa will be dis­creetly fenced to en­sure the safety of guests with small chil­dren. EEx­pe­ri­enced child min­ders and nan­nies are avail­able to take care of chil­dren while the adults en­joy each other's com­pany in the peace and seren­ity of Africa's veld in­ter­spersed with the oc­ca­sional plain­tive cry of a ma­jes­tic fish ea­gle or the rasp­ing call of a Knysna Tu­raco.

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