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Leading Hotels targets adventurous travelers with exotic safaris

May 8, 2013


The Leading Hotels of the World is catering to adventurous, affluent travelers through a partnership with The Shackleton & Selous Society to offer vacations and safaris in exotic destinations.

The hotel group’s Leaders Club members now have insider access to nature preserves and protected regions that is not offered to the public. To celebrate the partnership, the hotel group will host the first Leaders Club Invitational Southern African Safari Nov. 22-29.

“This partnership is a combination of wanting to offer the very best of this type of personalized adventure travel with the very best of the best of guides,” said Jennifer Oberstein, senior director of communications at The Leading Hotels of the World, New York.

“The extraordinary personal stories of each of these expert guides are fascinating and their history with each of their locations enrich the experiences all the more,” she said.

“Just as many Leading Hotels of the World hoteliers are multi-generational hotel owners, the secrets of trekking and guiding have often been passed through generations to these exceptional individuals.”

Out in the wild

On the inaugural week-long safari in Southern Africa, guests will be lead by world-renowned guide Michael Lorentz.

For the first night of the trip, guests will have an overnight accommodation at The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. They will receive sparkling wine on arrival, breakfast the next morning and complimentary mini-bar and 24-hour butler service.

The Saxon Hotel

During the first three nights on the excursion, guests will stay at the Chitabe Camp where all meals, local beverages, park fees and private game viewing activities are included.

This part of the excursion lets guests experience nature in various areas including the Okavango Delta, an ecosystem that is home to a variety of birds and wildlife such as elephant, buffalo and antelope.

Here, guests will be able to view lions and elephants from a safari vehicle or follow animal tracks on foot.

During the stay at the Chitabe Camp, Dr. Tico McNutt, founder of Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, will talk to guests about his team’s research on carnivores in the Okavango Delta.

Next, guests will stay three nights at the Vumbura Plains camp.

Mike Chase, founder of the Elephants Without Borders charity, will be available to speak with guests during their time at Vumbura Park on his work to conserve wildlife in the region.

The trip also includes all charter and local flights on the safari and private road transfer from The Saxon Hotel to O.R. Tambo International Airport.

The safari starts at $12,800 per person.

Guests may also choose to take part in post-safari experiences in Cape Town Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 for $2,080 per person.

This add-on includes three nights’ accommodation at Cape Grace in a rooftop room, morning tea and coffee, daily breakfast, access to hot spa areas, luxury chauffer transfers within an approximately six-mile radius and an orientation talk.

Cape Grace

Craving adventure

Many luxury hotels are offering more culture-focused packages that allow guests to celebrate and experience the local flavor while staying at a luxury property.

With this trend increasing across global markets, more hotels should aim to please this adventurous group (see story).

Exotic destinations can offer the unique and personalized experiences that affluent travelers are now craving.

“This is the natural progression for sophisticated travelers who regularly stay at wonderful hotels and are looking for the next evolution in truly authentic experiences,” Ms. Oberstein said.

“[Leading Hotels of the World] is putting guests in direct contact with these vetted, quality guides who will not only tailor-make each detail of their vacations and experiences, but will also accompany them personally throughout,” she said. “They can be certain and trust that they will be getting the absolute ultimate in luxury travel.

“Particularly when traveling in remote locations, trust is critical.”

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York