Three key Southern African lodges the Hide Safari Camp in Zimbabwe, the Makakatana Bay Lodge within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu Natal and Ubizane near have joined the Three Cities safari collection, Exceptional Safaris.Executive Director of Exceptional Safaris, Murray Jacklin, said that the brand is about sustainability and shared services in an ever demanding economic landscape whereby individual lodge members can leverage off 24 years of hospitality management and marketing expertise. Exceptional Safaris has grown quickly from 4 lodges at the beginning of 2012 to 11 lodges today. Lodges are carefully selected in key geographical and wildlife hotspots thus ensuring guests have a wide diversity of activities from watching the sunset at Victoria Falls, walking with lions next to the Zambezi, photographing leopard in the Sabi Sands or birdwatching in the Luangwa Valley. Our goal at Exceptional Safaris is to represent lodges geographically spread across Southern Africa thereby complementing the diverse hotels and resorts under Three Cities portfolio. This enables a very easy booking and reservation system for our suppliers and independent travelers looking for a one stop shop itinerary. An extensive investment in a digital reservation platform encompassing real time connection to each lodges reservation system, a dedicated call centre, online booking engine as well as direct links into several online travel agencies and other API and GDS channels, makes the reservation process seamless. This facility is proving invaluable and cost effective for many of our lodges who dont have the technical infrastructure and marketing reach our system provides, Jacklin said.
The Hide Safari Camp was built in 1992 by the Preston family which has a passion for nature and the Hwange National Park, in particular. It comprises ten beautiful tented suites with views over the waterhole where animals congregate day and night. Between game drives and walks in the National Park, there is plenty of time to relax in a comfortable lounge or sit quietly in a hide to watch the wildlife.The four star Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately owned safari lodge set on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. Marketed as a ‘home away from home’ lodge, it combines comfort and friendship with opportunities to explore Africas largest estuary and the surrounding game parks. The Ubizane Wildlife Reserve – meaning the place of calling in isiZulu is situated four kilometres from Hluhluwe en route to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park. It comprises the luxury Zululand Tree Lodge within the surrounding Fever Trees and the self-catering Zululand Safari Lodge, stretched out across rolling lawns under the Acacia Canopies. Chief executive of Three Cities, Mike Lambert, said that each of these beautiful lodges was an asset to the Southern African hospitality sector and the perfect fit for Exceptional Safaris expanding portfolio of lodges. We are proud to represent these lodges as we continuously strive to ensure that the brand remains at the forefront of the four and five star hospitality offering.