Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Londolozi: The Best Destination for a Photographic Safari in South Africa

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Thirsty leopard drinking at Londolozi

If you are a planning photographic safari and want a luxury experience, Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa might be the destination for you.

I rented this Canon is 100-400 mm IS lens at Londolozi

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Scenes from a Game Drive at Londolozi, South Africa

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Up close with African elephants at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa

Last month I returned to Londolozi Game Reserve, where I went on my first safari in 2004. The three days I spent there reminded me of why Londolozi has such a fantastic reputation and constantly winds up on lists of the best safari lodges in the world.

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Solo rhino at Londolozi

This time my husband and I stayed at Tree Camp, the newest of the camps at Londolozi and found the room far more luxurious than we needed it to be. We appreciated all the mod cons like AC and dual vanity sinks and the hot tub, but the point of safari is to go on the game drives and see the animals. Tree Camp was amazing, but I don’t think it’s necessary to get the fanciest room at Londolozi.

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A casual encounter with an African elephant at Londolozi

We also paid for a private vehicle, so that we could go at our own pace and hang out with certain sightings as long as we wanted. If I had to pick one splurge, I’d pick the private vehicle over the largest room on safari. This gives you a more customized safari experience.

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Adorable elephant at Londolozi

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Elephants on an afternoon game drive

There have been some changes at Londolozi since I first visited, and they are great. I’ll dedicate a future post to Londolozi’s photographic studio, which rents Canon and Nikon compatible lenses. This makes Londolozi a top pick for travelers who want the best photographic safari experience.

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Pride of lions feeding on a wildebeest

Game drives at Londolozi last about three hours in the morning and another three in the afternoon. If you’ve never been on safari, six hours of game drives seems like a long time to spend in a vehicle. But the time flies on a game drive when you get to see such amazing wildlife activity up close.

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Thirsty leopard

The elephants and leopards were my favorite animals to view. And I got up close with quite a few of them.

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Londolozi is famous for the leopards

One of the highlights of any safari at Londolozi is the seeing the leopards. They are beautiful and amazing.

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Following a leaping leopard on a game drive

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Leopard on the move at Londolozi

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Leopard napping in a tree

Londolozi is located within South Africa’s Greater Kruger National park on the Sand River. This is also in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

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Up close with an elephant on a game drive at Londolozi

Londolozi Game Reserve

Phone number +27 13 735 5653
Email address news@londolozi.co.za

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Armchair Travel Read: Lost in Hotels by Michael Martin

Lost In Hotels is great airplane read

If you’re looking for a book to read this January and like arm chair travel, check out Lost in Hotels by M. Martin. Written by Michael Martin, the brains behind the luxury travel website JetSetReport, Lost in Hotels is a sexy travel romance set in some of the world’s most fabulous hotels.

Left: A day at Londolozi Right: A wounded Leopard at Londolozi

It’s not quite a bodice ripper, more like a hotel robe ripper that takes you on a thrilling ride from the beaches of Brazil to the South African game reserves of Londolozi to the shores of Sicily, and will make readers blush a few times along the way.

Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris (prior to closing for renovations)

I read Lost in Hotels during my long haul flights this holiday season and it made me long to return to Londolozi, where I first went on safari, and the Hemingway bar at the still-closed-for-renovations Hotel Ritz in Paris. It also reminded me how much I want to visit the Villa Sant’Andrea and Grand Hotel Timeo in Sicily.

Lost in Hotels is available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle versions and is a perfect airplane, beach, or armchair read for the romance loving traveler in your life.

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Mile High Food Porn: A Mobile Photography Experiment

Food on an airplane, with raisins. Cathay Pacific Business class from Jo'Burg to Hong Kong

Food on an airplane, with raisins. Cathay Pacific Business class from Jo’Burg to Hong Kong

35,000 feet above sea level remains the final frontier for foodie culture. There are good reasons for airplane food being notoriously bad. If you combine the economics of running an airline, the scale of mass catering, and the limitations of food prep in a jet galley you have reason enough for lackluster sky catering.  The fact that your taste buds are dulled at altitude doesn’t help.  Meal service has been cut back as standard on so many flights in this day of no-frills air carrier, that I take no mug of tea-that-tastes-like-coffee for granted.

As a general note, US carriers are sub-par in the in flight meal service sector, and Asian carriers are known to excel, with Singapore and Cathay always ranking high. During my recent travels Cathay Pacific had by far the best dining and beverage options, but with my 11:30 pm departure from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, I was far more interested in getting sleep than finishing my caviar.

In flight meal service is more about passing the time on a flight than gaining sustenance. So I recently decided to turn those meals into photo experiments. While the rubber eggs are inedible, they can be a lovely shade of yellow if you’ve got nice window light. So turn that airplane catering into a photo op, I say.

Mobile Photography Tip:  The three apps I like most for food porn are Hipstamatic Foodie SnapPak (the Loftus lens adds a dreamy quality to landscapes and portaits, too), Camera+ (which has a nice little “food” scene default), and ProCamera (because you can lock focus and exposure separately, which is very useful if you have strong window light).

Here are some pictures of the airplane meals I’ve been served over the past few weeks, curated into a Mile High Food Porn gallery.

Fruit and yogurt. United business class. PS service LAX-JFK

Fruit and yogurt. United business class. PS service LAX-JFK , Business class, Hipstamatic, camera+, Mobile Photography

United PS service LAX-JFK, Business class, Hipstamatic, camera+, Mobile Photography

Eggs, potato, and sausage patty. United PS service LAX-JFK, Business class, Hipstamatic, camera+, Mobile Photography

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#FriFotos- Five Star #Flowers Bloom at Five Star Hotels

In front of The Metropolitan hotel

Image of a flowering tree In front of The Metropolitan Hotel in London

Today’s #Frifotos theme is flowers and while I don’t have much of a green thumb, I do appreciate the beauty of flowers when I come across them. Spring has sprung and one of the great things about traveling is seeing the fabulous floral arrangements at the amazing luxury hotels and restaurants I’ve been lucky to visit. Flowers have filled my travels from edible violet garnishes in London to Amber hued arrangements in Hong Kong, to sexy stems in Amsterdam.

A sexy red arrangement at The Metropolitan Hotel in LondonA contemporary flower arrangement in the Lobby of The Metropolitan hotel

A sexy red and a contemporary white  flower arrangements in the Lobby of The Metropolitan Hotel in London

So remember to take some time to stop and smell the roses… and orchids, and violets… and anything other flowers that bloom in May. Or do it virtually (and pollen free) by checking out the #FriFotos hashtag on twitter and check out some beautiful pictures of flowers.

Orchids Four Seasons The Four Seasons Beverly Hills

FTD has nothing on the The Four Seasons Beverly Hills .

The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, one of LA’s uber-posh properties (which, BTW celebrated it’s 25th anniversary last month) always has stunning arrangements on display, like these orchids. It’s almost like visiting botanical gardens… without the bees.

 Hanging gardens 4 seasons Hanging gardens 4 seasons

The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills has visually stunning floral arrangements in all the public areas of the hotel. Windows Lounge currently has a hanging garden of vases on display.

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