An encounter with wildlife in its natural environment is both a privilege and a rarity as the 950 000 annual tourists to the Kruger National Park of South Africa can attest; now raising the bar for investment in sustainable tourism, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company has been granted the opportunity to take exclusive mobile safari camps in 5-star style for bespoke groups into some of its most untouched areas within the Kruger’s 19,485 square kilometre border.
Says owner and Adventure Extraordinaire Peter Hayward: “It is a great honour to be allowed access into the Kruger as a private safari outfitter. We host small, select groups of philanthropists from time to time to explore pristine portions of this vast national park. Our luxury safari camp offering sometimes covers parts of the park awarded to land custodians within a heritage trust which ensures funds are funnelled back into social responsibility programmes for school children in the area; towards the planting of forests; and rhino satellite tracking, tagging and high-tech equipment to intersect the cyber warfare of modern day poachers.”
No two Grand Safari expeditions are ever the same and private guests will be participating in a rare opportunity to engage with nature and experience South Africa’s abundant Big 5 offerings in pristine environments, away from the buzz of the day tripper tourist.
With approximately 250 new hotels built annually in South Africa, a mobile luxury safari offers guests a unique experience into new and ever-changing safari environments rather than being fixed to a static safari experience, set within the four walls of a permanent game lodge surrounded by perimeter fencing and a rigid list of activities and gastronomic hospitality.
“Our bespoke Grand Safari is exactly that,” says Peter. “Hayward’s is rated and recognised as a 5-star luxury safari experience and offers a globally-unique luxury safari camp experience to get up close and personal with big game in exceptional wilderness settings. Each blue-chip guest selects their style of hospitality offering, activity menu and pace of events. If you want a Dom Perignon breakfast brunch at 11am at the water hole, that is what we deliver with a personal butler and silver service. You select your wine list, menus with ingredients of choice and daily itineraries that gets its direction and momentum from the personal tastes and wishes of the group. For families we can create a young adult safari experience that runs in tandem with the adults (children under 14 not recommended) – everyone gets treated like royalty or exactly the way they want.
“The Kruger is a unique destination and offers a new opportunity for high profile groups of between 20 and 150 guests maximum, who have experienced most luxury offerings on offer to now cherry-pick a personal travel tour to their customised taste. A private safari expedition camp set in the Kruger National Park is a rare occasion and we take great responsibility and great pride in being able to offer this as a life changing experience.
“Everything revolves around the guest’s experience as our Guest Rating feedbacks confirms. Over a 22-point client service indicator, if there is anything under a 9.5 out of 10 rating, we handle it immediately. Possibly one of our unique selling points is our levels of staff dedication because we have their willing participation in these historic events where we are dealing with 5-star budgets for groups staying for four to six days in a private camp which offers more value for money experiences when compared to some of the five-star lodges in the region. Of course, the big win is this is your own private camp and not shared with anyone else but your exclusive group. Our staff contingent is proud of being African and showing guests African hospitality. They know how to take care of you and are not impressed with you because they are used to interacting with world leaders, serving the Mandela’s of this world, current Hollywood celebrities and opinion leaders from across the globe.
“The safari is the oldest form of accommodation, everyone has a spiritual connection to it, it’s in our DNA memory, much like the sound of soft falling rain. At Hayward’s we’re all dedicated to making unsurpassed lifetime memories front of house while behind the scenes we are always in pre-production of the task of serving an abundance of fresh oysters and champagne; managing 40 000 litres of water per day (depending on size of camp); or escorting a curious herd of elephant on their own sight-seeing expedition through the middle of our camp.”
Enriching the safari experience, guests may choose various African themed events which include a selection of archaeological, geological or anthropological experts to share knowledge of the region, with handpicked personalities brought in to enlighten and enthral guests on this regional experience bringing an addition of fascinating insights.
Thanks to the revolutionary vision of Paul Kruger in 1898, who inherited custodianship of the first reserve land from local tribal chiefs and took it a step further by proclaiming the area a game reserve – and the efforts of its first warden James Stevenson-Hamilton – South Africa has the Kruger National Park as it is today. It was men such as William Burchell, Thomas Ayres, Gustav Adolf Fischer, William Cornwallis Harris and Frederick Selous who redefined the purpose of the safari, they weren’t just hunters, they were naturists and men of science creating a new awareness for the continent and igniting the conservation movement. In the 1920s, the first cars were allowed into the Kruger; today you can select your own private expedition with Hayward’s Grand Safari Company for a bespoke Grand Safari tour fit for royalty.
Visit www.haywardsafaris.com to discuss your private celebration in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.