The Connoisseurs Challenge

Jun 23 2015
fireside

–  Hermanus, Western Cape 

Grand safari greetings to you

I trust you are doing great and that life in the fast lane is treating you with all due respect.

No matter the industry we are in, it seems to me that we appreciate it when our work creates the desired affect on our customers – and our own lives. How much effort we apply, how much dedication to task and the intricate balance of it all can keep us fully immersed in the game of life don’t you think?

One thing for sure about this pet project of mine, the grand safari, is that it is the memorable safaris that keep me going, striving to take the experience even higher for future clients, while I redefine and streamline the internal principals of grand safari camp management.

If you ask me what have been my most memorable safari camps to date, I would have to say that it has been those where we attracted well-seasoned and well-travelled VIP groups to go off the beaten track and become fully engaged in the holistic African experience.

Creating grand safaris for such connoisseurs requires their full commitment and complete faith in our hard-won know-how gained over the last 20 years in setting up VIP tented camps in the African hinterland.

There is a specific flow to a safari event. It’s a condensed version of life and livingness itself, not unlike a well-edited movie. The event is a story from start through to change, and then to finish. Together with Mother Africa, we script the experience down to the finest detail and, when it’s ready, it exemplifies all the attributes of a great African story.

The safari embodies aesthetics in its highest form and is an art form in itself.

Fireside with Peter Hayward

When we’re tasked with outfitting and setting up a five-star safari-event camp, there are bound to be challenges in presenting Africa in all her resplendent glory. Personally, I have loved the one-on-one meetings with agent and client where they are particularly specific as to the end result they require from this once-in-a-lifetime event. This is the time one gives them the floor and listens, like never before, asking only the intermittent question to glean more vital information from them as regards their ideal scene for an African safari event.

I love that we’re trusted completely to create a distinguished, award-winning safari event for them. It’s always soul enriching to produce a chapter in a book that brings inspiration and fulfilment to everyone involved – from the land custodians, the staff and suppliers, to the crew and management – and of course our guests who often regain a new respect for understanding what true African “care” is all about.

But my most memorable safari camps have been those where we’ve explored regions in southern Africa, far from the maddening crowds of tourists. Where we’ve treasure-hunted to find the Africa of our dreams, that vast unspoiled place we cherish deep within our souls.

We hosted connoisseurs of beauty in places that abounded in more than just wildlife. We showed them places that perfectly illustrated the prehistoric – from palaeontology and archaeology, to botany and marine biology.

As true-blue safari outfitters we’ve brought our guests face-to-face with modern Africa and met with the seasoned pioneers and intrepid explorers whose work has and is changing the lives of millions of people. We’ve hunted down those special moments and introduced our guests to clans of Kalahari San-Bushmen or the royal families of the Nguni people who enrich our magnificent continent through their humanitarian programs. Our travel connoisseurs have journeyed with us to interact and support an array of incredible artists and craftsmen who come from these proud rural communities. We’ve enlightened our new western and eastern friends on the ways of the African people, and their valuable contributions to a more sustainable way of life.

Fireside with Peter Hayward

But these magical events are no longer the order of the day. In today’s world everything is on ‘instant’ and ‘automatic’. The instant ‘safari’ (which it is definitively NOT – it seems any old tour now gets sold off as a “safari”) is a worn-out concept that seems to be what some agents still want for their VIP groups nowadays. Those in need of instant gratification, are looking for low-risk, high-impact safaris where imagination and magic is replaced by the torn and forlorn pages in a tired old tourism brochure.

My most memorable safaris are real safaris, true safaris that proudly exemplify what a safari should be…

There are still a few safari operators out there flying this flag in the age old tradition of exploration and for those clients wishing to experience this authenticity its worth the hunt to track them down.

Have a wonderful day wherever you might be and enjoy every opportunity you have to get off the beaten track. I look forward to hearing from you about your explorations.

Safari MapHappy tracking

Peter Hayward

Definition of safari

[suh-fahr-ee]

noun, plural safaris.

1.  a journey or expedition, for hunting, exploration, or investigation, especially in Africa.

2. the hunters, guides, vehicles, equipment, etc., forming such an expedition.

3. any long or adventurous journey or expedition. verb (used without object), safaried, safariing.

4. to go on a safari.

 

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