From the family behind Africa’s iconic silverware brand Patrick Mavros, comes Mavros Safaris. As fifth-generation Zimbabweans, the Mavros family have tapped into their extensive contacts across the continent to offer unrivalled insight and access to the most exciting developments across Africa.
Says Mavros Safaris founder Alexander Mavros: “In 2019, our clients are opting for more adventurous, multi-destination safaris due to an increase in international and regional flights. And, with a growing awareness of sustainability, demand for eco-conscious trips continue to soar. There’s greater focus on experience too, including involvement in wildlife conservation projects such as rhino tracking.”
With this in mind, Mavros Safaris has put together a definitive list of the hottest destinations and itineraries throughout Africa to book now.
GO OFF-GRID IN NAMIBIA: A GOURMET ROADTRIP TO THE COUNTRY’S NEWEST OPENINGS LED BY THE SAFARI BUTLER
The travel industry kept a close eye on Namibia throughout 2018 as new places to stay opened in the form of spectacular lodges and luxe desert camps. The glare is set to intensify in 2019 as opportunities to go off-grid are coming to light, making the most of the remarkable landscapes Namibia has to offer.
Exclusively available through Mavros Safaris, travellers can explore Namibia on an off-road foodie adventure with Dean Dowdney as the Safari Butler – in a brand new itinerary for 2019.
Accompanied by his gourmet bush kitchen and craft gin bar on the back of his 4×4, guests will travel through Namibia’s vast landscape, meeting locals and dining at places no person has ever dined at before.
Dean’s passion for Africa and bush fire cuisine will see guests enjoy entertaining stories around the campfire, while dining on delicious dishes such as thick rump steaks cooked on mopani wood kindling, freshly caught bream and traditional sadza and stew.
This expedition-style journey includes a mixture of stays in campsites and lodges, and with a grande finale in Wolwedans Lodge in the Namib Desert.
Wolwedans Dune Lodge is positioned on the edge of a 250 metre high dune, and offers magnificent views of the surrounding environment.
HOW: Rates for the 12-night Namibia Safari Butler itinerary start from £5,777 per person based on two people travelling. This includes return flights from London, accommodation on a full-board basis and all transport. For enquiries please call +442038246000 or email explore@mavrossafaris.
WITH RWANDA ON THE RISE, LOOK TO CONGO FOR LESSER-KNOWN GORILLA TREKS & PIONEERING CONSERVATION INITIATIVES
Rwanda is fast emerging as the epicentre of progressive sustainability in East Africa, with multiple sustainably-minded, luxury lodges opening up in 2019. However, for an intrepid travellers seeking a primate experience beyond this hotspot, an often overlooked experience can be found in the neighbouring Republic of the Congo.
The Virunga National Park re-opened for tourism in February 2019 and is one of the most biodiverse environments in the world. There are many habituated gorilla groups here, the viewing is superb and low visitor numbers mean that it’s common to have only one or two other tourists visiting the lowland gorillas.
Incredible visionaries and scientists have gathered to protect this species, which is critically endagered due to poaching, and they have created a truly exceptional guest experience to accompany it – exclusive to Mavros Safaris guests.
The suggested seven-night itinerary with Odzala leads guests on expeditions into the Marantaceae forest in. Treks are limited to a maximum of four guests as well as a guide and a tracker from a team of researchers in an untamed forest environment.
The itinerary includes stays in three camps with activities including daily gorilla treks, time with the gorilla research team, forests walks, night walks to view nocturnal forest life and river sundowners.
It is an incredibly conservation focused style of tracking and the guests become an extension of the research team in this way. One special experience for Mavros Safaris guests includes guiding by Magdalena Bermejo. Bermejo is the lead researcher at Ngaga Camp and was among the first group ever to study lowland western gorillas.
HOW: Rates for the seven-night gorilla conservation experience with Odzala starts from £7,650 based on two people sharing. This includes international flights from London, domestic flights and all accommodation on a full board basis as well as gorilla trekking permits and conservation fees. For enquiries please call +442038246000 or email explore@mavrossafaris.
BUSH & BEACH
Visit to the only community-owned elephant orphanage in Africa, a treehouse stay in Kenya and a privately guided tour of the brand new Patrick Mavros Atelier in Mauritius
For the ultimate bush and beach itinerary, begin in Kenya at the incredible Sarara properties. Arrive at the main Sarara camp in the Northern frontier of Kenya and utilise the next four nights to take in the rich Samburu landscape.
On arrival, guests will walk to the famous Sarara singing wells, where Mavros Safaris’ expert guides will bring the history and magic of the wells and Samburu tribe to life. In the afternoon, guests will return to singing wells by game drive to watch the wildlife stream in to share the same water point, in the hopes of finding big northern elephant herds and the elusive leopard.
The following morning, guests will enjoy a picnic breakfast at the nearby rock pools and hunt for honey with the Samburu Warriors, before taking a two-hour camel trek to Sarara Tree. Here, guests will stay at Sarara’s incredible treehouses for two nights.
These beautifully-appointed treehouses are raised 30 feet up into the forest canopy, with wildlife roaming below – offering a wilderness experience like no other. The next day, guests will enjoy an exclusive Mavros Safaris experience with a morning visit to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary – the only community-owned elephant orphanage in Africa.
To top off the bush experience, that evening guests will dress up in Kikoy chique for an evening bush dinner and Samburu dance under the stars.
From Tanzania, it’s a short hop to Mauritius for three nights at the iconic Royal Palm. Three nights of island relaxation will be spent in style at the Grand Dame of Mauritius. Guests can relax by the beach or explore the island with fishing, snorkelling and diving.
Exclusive to Mavros Safaris, guests will also experience a privately guided tour by Kate and Forbes Mavros of the new Patrick Mavros Atelier. The impressive new showroom, in the heart of the Beau Plan historical sugar estate, is a working jewellery Atelier, where guests are invited to meet the team of master craftsmen who create intricate pieces of art inspired by nature.
HOW: Rates for the Bush & Beach itinerary start from £7,600 per person based on four people travelling. This includes return flights from London, four nights at Sarara including meals, drinks, activities, private viewing at Retiti, camel trek, conservation fees, and domestic flights, and three nights at the Royal Palm including breakfast, airport transfers and a day at the Patrick Mavros Atelier. For enquiries please call +442038246000 or email explore@mavrossafaris.
UNLOCK THE PRIVATE HOMES OF ZIMBABWE’S MOST ILLUSTROUS FAMILIES
Retreat to the country estate of Lord Tyrone and Lady Lucy Plunkett and hike the Chimanimani quartzite mountains, uncovering natural rose quartz caves and secluded waterfalls for wild swimming
Brand new for 2019, the Mavros family have put together an unrivalled itinerary unlocking access to the (normally firmly-shut) doors of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful private homes.
This itinerary begins with a stay at the Mavros Family Estate in Harare, staying at the private home of the Mavros Family – M’pata Farm. Here, Patrick and Catja Mavros invite guests to experience their top spots in Harare and will guide a personal tour of the original Patrick Mavros workshop, as well as host guests for supper and an overnight stay at the farm.
From Harare, guests will take a private charter to the Chimanimani mountains and stay at Rathmore Estate – the private home of Lord Tyrone and Lady Lucy Plunkett. The estate is incredibly historic and has been home to the Anglo-Irish Plunkett aristocratic family for nearly a century.
Here, Mavros Safaris has cherry-picked the very best mountaineering guide, Collen Sibanda ,who will guide guests up the Chimanimani quartzite mountains, telling stories of local legend and uncovering secrets such as natural rose quartz caves and secluded waterfalls for wild swimming.
A private charter to Matobo Hills will then lead guests to Khayelitshe House – the private weekend retreat of Professional Guide and African Bush Camps’ CEO Beks Ndlovu and his family. Drawing inspiration from Beks’ travels throughout Africa, the house’s interior design is both eclectic and entirely personal.
Staying at Khayelitshe, guests will also have access to Beks’ private land, which covers over 1,200 acres of breath-taking wilderness. Three nights at the property will offer guests an opportunity to explore the iconic rock kopjes with a noted historian in search of ancient cave art, as well as a rhino trek in search of highly endangered black and white rhino.
Guests will then fly over to west Lake Kariba to stay at Halsted Safaris Camp, which is owned by members of the Mavros family. Based in the Zambezi Valley and situated on the banks of the lower Zambezi River – the camp is situated within Zimbabwe’s most beautiful and exclusive wildlife conservancies known as the Nyakasanga
HOW: Rates for the nine-night insider itinerary of Zimbabwe start from £10,500 per person. This includes all accommodation on a full board basis, all guiding and activities. This price also includes transfers, charter flights in Zimbabwe and international flights from London to Victoria Falls. For enquiries please email explore@mavrossafaris.