Sabi Sabi Newsletter - August 2008
Awards Pour In For Sabi Sabi | Chilly Winter And Amazing Sightings |
New Chef For Earth Lodge
| New Touches For Lodges | Sabi Sabi Teams Up With Dreamfields | Beautiful New Theme Dinners Available

Awards Pour in for Sabi Sabi

Sabi Sabi again proved worthy of its world-class status by retaining a top ten spot in the latest Travel + Leisure World's Best Hotel Awards released in July. The reserve was voted 4th best hotel in Africa and the Middle East and 8th overall in the world by discerning readers of Travel + Leisure. It was also named 7th in the world in the Small Hotels category.

Its service rating was one of the highest, underlining Sabi Sabi's commitment to providing an authentic African safari experience combined with utmost luxury and warm hospitality at its four 5-Star lodges.

In addition to being hailed as one of the world's best in terms by Travel + Leisure Sabi Sabi was also named as Africa's Leading Safari Lodge by the Africa World Travel Awards. Referred to as the "Oscars of the global travel industry" by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards recognize excellence in the travel and tourism industry and are nominated by travel professionals from 167,000 tourism-related companies in more than 160 countries.

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Chilly Winter And Amazing Sightings

Winter evenings at Sabi Sabi have been chillier than normal; and winter has yielded some spectacular wildlife sightings.

Guests at Earth Lodge were watching four Lionesses relaxing in the sun early one morning when ranger, Tim Brown, got word via the radio that four Wild Dogs had killed a female Kudu not far away. As he was conveying the message to his guests, the Lionesses sat bolt upright, sniffed the air and made off in the direction of the kill at a run. They, too, had got wind of what was happening.

Arriving at the kill, Tim saw that the Wild Dogs had obviously been chased off the carcass by three Hyenas that were gorging themselves. One Hyena saw the approaching Lionesses and made off, but the other two were not so lucky. While one Lioness chased the Hyenas off the kill and dragged what was left of the Kudu into thicker vegetation, the remaining three cats attacked the Hyenas. One Lioness took seconds to locate a Hyena's jugular and slowly squeezed the life out of it. The other Hyena fought back but was no match for two aggressive Lionesses. While the first Lioness enjoyed a free meal, the other three left two dead Hyenas before claiming what was left of the spoils.

Another memorable encounter took place in the middle of June when a small, young female Leopard killed a big Impala in a ravine. This young female has captivated rangers in recent months with her hunting technique, often bringing down prey that seems too big for her small frame. Witnessed by guests on evening safari, the Leopard dragged her heavy kill up a nearby Marula tree. Before she had taken more than a few bites, the evening calm was shattered by the hiss of a large male Leopard who scaled the tree and chased the young female away.

She was no match for his sheer size and strength and moved to the end of a branch watching and waiting, but making no attempt to join in the feast. After eating half of the carcass, the male Leopard stopped feeding; but rebuffed all attempts from the female Leopard to eat what was rightfully hers. She made small, pleading noises and tried to win him over to no avail. He wouldn't let her near the kill.

Guests were even more enthralled by the sighting when several Hyenas congregated under the tree hoping to catch any fallen scraps. One large female Hyena was rewarded and the pack's howling, whooping and yapping eerily broke the evening silence.

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New Chef For Earth Lodge

Shaniel Dinna has joined Earth Lodge as executive chef and has tackled the new lodge menus as his first project.

Fusing traditional bush fare with top international cuisine and using only the freshest, mostly local ingredients, the new menu is a feast for guests both in taste and appearance.

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New Touches For Lodges

Eight years after first enthralling visitors with its unique architecture, décor and design Earth Lodge is enhancing its interior look with new soft furnishings.

Taking great care to preserve the natural look and feel that epitomises Earth Lodge, designers are replacing linen, curtains, cushions, bedding and some upholstery with natural fabrics, muted colours and earthy textures. Every aspect of the lodge takes its cue from Nature - table legs resembling buck horns, signature furniture made from fallen trees on the reserve, leaf-shaped cushions - and the new décor is no exception. The idea is to entrench the sensation that Earth Lodge was not built but evolved from the natural surroundings.

Each suite has unique furniture and so each suite has received individual attention in terms of new soft furnishings. Luxurious linen is hand made to ensure a perfect fit for the king size beds; curtains are designed to let in natural light and blend in with the rough textured walls and upholstery is in the soft, muted shades of the surrounding environment.

Bush Lodge is also undergoing a facelift with its suites getting new cushions and linen and enormous mosquito nets being draped over the beds. The vibrant use of colour - sharp ochre, crisp green, shades of chocolate and rich sand colours - enhance the beautiful linen in each suite. The main lodge is also receiving some attention with soft furnishings - the contemporary look and feel of the lodge is the perfect backdrop for the use of a variety of fabrics for cushions such as leather, suede and natural linen which are enhanced with exquisite detail created with the use of feathers, metal inlays, hide and beadwork.

A roll-out programme to upgrade bathrooms at Selati Camp is also underway. Each en-suite bathroom will be fitted with an authentic ball and claw bath, stone hand basins, beautiful wooden furniture and soft linen drapes. Indoor and outdoor showers complete the picture, and much attention to detail has gone into ensuring the bathrooms reflect Selati Camp's nostalgic, 'Out of Africa' ambience.

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Sabi Sabi Teams Up With Dreamfields

Late July saw Sabi Sabi launching a project in conjunction with local communities to provide much need sports facilities and kit to schoolchildren.

A part of the Africa-wide Dreamfields programme, the project's vision is 'use the growing excitement generated by soccer, to bring sustainable soccer fields and equipment to disadvantaged communities across Africa, working in ways that inspire participation and partnerships that last'. Sabi Sabi has kitted our children from nine primary and four high schools in neighbouring communities with soccer and netball equipment and initiated an inter-schools league.

Sabi Sabi became involved with Dreamfields in order to offer opportunities to rural school children to get involved with team sports. The belief is that team participation builds character, teaches children to deal with winning, losing and competing, and encourages young people to get involved with sport instead of being drawn into negative influences. Watch these newsletters for updates.

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Beautiful New Theme Dinners Available

Sabi Sabi has introduced two new themed dinners for guests with exclusive use of lodges.

'Under Africa Skies' combines authentic African artefacts and vibrant colours and textures with luxurious bush touches; while 'Elegant Indulgence' epitomises classic fine dining with rich linens, opulent décor and minute attention to detail.

Each theme features an excellent, personalised menu in the best Sabi Sabi style.

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