Inyati – Winner of the Wildlife Encounters category : Lilizela Tourism Awards 2016

Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve – Winner of the Wildlife Encounters category @ the Provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards 2016 – Mpumalanga.

“Being awarded the 2016 Lilizela Tourism Award for the Visitor Experience category – Wildlife Encounters in ‪#‎Mpumalanga for a third year in a row is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge ,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge. “We are proud of our knowledgeable and passionate safari guides who are experts out in the field, and are the finishing touch to the fine quality of the Inyati safari experience.”

Billed to recognise only the best in the South African tourism industry, the Lilizela Tourism Awards aim to recognise and reward the highest levels of excellence in the tourism value chain. They are the ultimate reward for entrepreneurial and service excellence that sets global benchmark standards.

The National Winners will be announced at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on 16th of October 2016.Winner of the Wildlife Encounters 2016.jpg

Rare and Endangered Pangolin — Taga Safaris Africa

The pangolin is one of the rarest creatures to see in the bush yet somehow it is poached 82 times more than rhinos and a whopping 1,000 times more than tigers!A shocking 100,000 pangolins are poached every year. As a result, all eight species of pangolin are endangered, with the IUCN recently upgrading two Asian…

via Rare and Endangered Pangolin — Taga Safaris Africa

Inyati staff receive their annual dividend from the Inyati share scheme.

Inyati staff receive their annual dividend from the Inyati share scheme.

AGM 2016In 2011, Inyati Private Game Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve issued over 12 000 phantom shares, equivalent to five percent of the company, to its employees in a bid to reward staff loyalty and retain employee talent.

In 2016 the staff have now received their 3rd dividend pay-out.

“Our staff play an important role in the success of the lodge and we look forward to sharing future growth with them”. says Carlos Dos Santos, Director of Inyati.

Inyati is set within the Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The lodge is situated on the banks of the Sand River allowing for fantastic game viewing from the lodge. Home to the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. Our highly trained and experienced guides and trackers ensure that your safari experience ranks amongst the best in Africa.

The Safari Awards 2017: Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve Nominated

The Safari Awards 2017: Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve Nominated

The Safari Awards 2017: Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve Nominated

If it weren’t for our guests continued support throughout the years we’d never be in the position we’re in today. Your positive reviews, constructive criticism and contribution to Inyati Game Lodge, has ensured we’ve secured a place in the Safari Awards, a prestigious annual award bestowed upon camps and lodges displaying excellence in specific categories. Inyati Game Lodge has been nominated in 8 categories. We’d really like to rally your support to secure an award.

Voting is easy! Here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to this page, search and click on the property: Safari Awards Voting Selection Page
  2. Log in with your username and password, or register if this is your first time voting.
  3. You will be redirected to the camp page, where you click on the big “vote” button. Follow the prompts, rate us out of 10 and leave a comment if you’d like!

Here are the categories in which Inyati Game Lodge, have been nominated in the Safari Awards:

  • 2017 Best Community Focused Safari Property     (Nominee)

Inyati is committed long term sustainability and to respecting the local community and environment in which we live. We care about our people and the communities around us. Inyati employs about 40 permanent staff, most of which are from the local community. Many of our staff has been with Inyati for more than 10 years making Inyati their home and creating that family atmosphere that the lodge has become renowned for.

  • 2017 Best Design     (Nominee)

With our veranda dining and bar area, there’s plenty of flow throughout the lodge. No fencing which means wildlife can roam freely throughout.Inyati2016KDBP(web)-99

  • 2017 Best Ecologically Responsible Safari Property     (Nominee)Impala herd
  • 2017 Best Family Safari Experience     (Nominee) INY Family Safari.JPG
  • 2017 Best Safari Cuisine     (Nominee)

Relish fascinating combinations of African dishes while sipping fabulous champagne and fine wines.Inyati2016KDBP(web)-133

  • 2017 Best Safari Guiding Team     (Nominee)

Our guides are accomplished birdwatchers, with an excellent understanding of the wildlife and its behaviour – including a very good knowledge of trees, plants, insects and reptiles. The depth and breadth of their knowledge will considerably enrich your safari.

Ellie sunset

  • 2017 Best Value Safari Property     (Nominee)INY George & Solly.JPG

Inyati offers exceptional value for money at a fraction of the price of other private lodges in the reserve. The predator sightings in the Sabi Same Game Reserve are in abundance and the sands offers unparalleled game viewing opportunities in an uncrowded reserve. Rates include game drives, walks, accommodation and meals.

  • 2017 Best Walking Safari     (Nominee) Walking safari.jpg

In between game drives if your time is not filled with relaxing, reading or swimming, guided game walks can often be the highlight of your safari it is only then that you gain a true perspective of the fauna and flora around you.

  • 2017 Best Location     (Nominee)

Inyati Game Lodge is situated in arguably one of the best game viewing areas in the world & most prestigious private conservation areas, the Sabi Sand Reserve (Wildtuin), adjoining the renowned Kruger National Park. Experience fantastic close-up’s with Africa’s wildlife on every game drive.Sensational Safari

Inyati Game Lodge receives TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 2016

Inyati Game Lodge receives TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence 2016

SABI SAND GAME RESERVE, SOUTH AFRICA – 9TH June 2016 – Inyati Game Lodge today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honours hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers”, said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travellers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travellers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

-Ends-

Inyati is set within the Sabi Sand Reserve, adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The lodge is situated on the banks of the Sand River allowing for fantastic game viewing from the lodge. Home to the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo), as well as cheetah, wild dog and hundreds of other species of animals, birds and plants indigenous to the area. Our highly trained and experienced guides and trackers ensure that your safari experience ranks amongst the best in Africa.

Welcome to Inyati

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site**, enabling travellers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travellers, and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features, with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors***, and 350 million reviews and opinions covering 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: **Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016 ***Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016

Inyati Game Lodge by Elaine McArdle

Inyati Game Lodge by Elaine McArdle

Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sands: the perfect South Africa Safari!

From the second we came across the Inyati Game Lodge in our search for the perfect South Africa safari accommodation we were certain it was the perfect luxury safari retreat for us. We had a short and undemanding list of requests: luxury accommodation, good food, drinks and company and the best chance of sighting the big 5. It’s not much to ask really! After a glorious morning spent exploring the Panorama route we arrived at Inyati. With its amazing rooms, fantastic rangers and the gorgeous surrounds of Sabi Sands we knew we were in for a treat on our first South Africa safari. We couldn’t wait to experience the best of what Inyati and Sabi Sands had to offer!

Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Inyati Game Lodge

The Inyati Game Lodge is located deep within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and is situated on the banks of the Sabi River. After a morning of sightseeing on the Panorama route we couldn’t resist the safari call any longer and set off for our stay at Inyati. The heavy, end of summer rains had taken their toll on the gravel roads and it was a slow and bumpy ride to the Newington Gate of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The drive was soon forgotten as we turned the corner into the entrance of the gorgeous Inyati where the reception staff had assembled to greet us and whisk our luggage away. Welcome drinks awaited us and we were instantly transported into holiday mode! Bliss!

Welcome to Inyati!
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe lodge:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

As we sipped our drinks we finally had the chance to absorb our incredible surroundings and we were absolutely blown away! The lodge itself is stunning and the African decor blends seamlessly with the surroundings of the Sabi Sands bush. The focal point of Inyati is the main lodge with its chill out lounge area and terrace and the views over the Sabi River are mesmerising.

Terrace views! Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe Sabi River:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground The grounds of Inyati:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Chalet time!

It was time to check out our safari home and we were escorted to our Chalet, No 1, to settle in and freshen up before our first game drive. With only 11 rooms the lodge is intimate and luxurious, with the chalets dotted in clusters around the main lodge. We opted for a family chalet as we were travelling as a trio with my lovely mum accompanying Dave and I on the trip.

Our chalet was perfect and we instantly felt at home in Inyati. The room was spacious and we were spoiled with a huge King Size bed and two spacious doubles, one of which Dave used to tuck his beloved camera equipment in at night. Seriously! The room was equipped with everything we’d expect from 5* accommodations: a walk in closet, a generous sitting area, a well equipped mini bar and a beautiful bathroom. We knew we were in for a treat!

Our chalet:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe room:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground The bathroom:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundThe view from our room:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Game Drives at Inyati

Why we chose Sabi Sands and Inyati

The quality of the game drives and the frequent reported sightings of the Big 5 were the main reason we opted to stay at Inyati. Inyati is located in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve which shares an open boundary with Kruger National Park meaning the animals roam freely between the two. Game drives take place in an open topped truck and the vehicles are allowed to go off road to get closer to the animals. It’s widely accepted that Kruger and Sabi Sands offer some of the best game drives in Africa, with Sabi Sands being particularly renowned for leopard spotting. It’s said the leopards are more relaxed in the Sabi Sands surroundings.

The Inyati game trucks:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Our Game Drives at Inyati

Our pre lunch arrival on day 1 allowed us to enjoy four game drives, two morning and two evening, during our two night stay at Inyati. Morning drives required an early start with a 5am wake up call courtesy of a gentle knock on the door from our lovely guides!

In search of greatness:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

There’s only one word to describe our game drives at Inyati: INCREDIBLE! Cheetahs, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, buffalos, impalas, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, warthogs, dung beetles, lizards and vultures. Our ranger George and tracker Solly were amazing in their pursuit to show us everything the Sabi Sands bush had to offer.

Our memories of our Inyati game drives are like scenes from a movie. It’s difficult to narrow down our favourite moments but sitting in the middle of a herd of 40 elephants as they made their way through the bush is one of our highlights. I still have to pinch myself when I think of that moment!Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Our favourite Inyati sightings:

A leopard mama and her two month old cub:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

The elusive cheetah:
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Rhino bath time:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundA softer side to the king of the bush:
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundAlways watching us, the buffalo herds:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundSniffing out a kill, the hyena:
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplaygroundMeandering across our path, the lofty giraffe:
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Wildlife on site!

Inyati is an unfenced game lodge meaning the wild animals can wander in and out of the property as they please. This was a real treat although it did mean that all our night time movements outside our room had to be accompanied by a ranger!

We woke up from a post breakfast nap to find a troop of monkeys with some bushbuck wandering among them on our private veranda. One of the monkeys went so far as to try and open our door and we were glad we’d heeded our arrival warning of locking the doors at all times! Another highlight came as we were leaving the lodge and a family of giraffe rambled alongside us! Returning guests regaled us with tales of lions wandering through the grounds on their previous stay but we weren’t so lucky. Here’s hoping for next time!

Hello there! Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Do you mind if I come in?!
Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Food and drinks

Inyati rates are all inclusive meaning breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee and water are included in the price. Bar purchases were extra but the reasonable pricing was a pleasant surprise (we spent around US $15 to US $20 each on soft and alcoholic drinks over our 48 hours at Inyati). We were totally spoiled on the food front and our biggest fear, that we would starve in the bush, was totally unfounded as we enjoyed a constant supply of food! Our food schedule went something like this:

  • 5:30am: pre game drive breakfast of pastries, fruit and museli served with tea, coffee, water and fruit juice.
  • 7:30am: morning tea in the bush! Flapjacks, tea, coffee and biscuits during a quick bush stop on the morning safari.
  • 9am: post game drive brunch with a delicious selection of cold and hot foods where we munched on salads, fruits, sausages, eggs, pastries and cereals.

As good as it looks! Brunch at Inyati:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

  • 1pm: a small lunch menu with toasted sandwiches and a snack is available during the day. Given the late breakfast indulgence it’s geared towards the arriving guests!
  • 4pm: afternoon tea is served prior to the evening game drive.

Afternoon tea time:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

  • 6:30pm: the highlight of the day for us! Sundowners and savoury snacks watching the sun go down in the bush.

Gin and tonic sundowners, amazing company and this view:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

  • 8pm: dinner time! Dinner was a 3 course communal affair with delicious soup, meat, fish, vegetables and salads choices plentiful.

One of the highlights of our dining at Inyati was the rotating locations the team used. We enjoyed breakfast and dinner on the main terrace during our first meals but the real highlight was the outdoor dinner in the Boma, where at one point the background noise was a pride of lions roaring, and breakfast on the river terrace!

Breakfast views!Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Facilities

For us, staying at Inyati was all about the safari experience but the surroundings and facilities did much to add to our stay. The communal guest areas are beautifully equipped with relaxing seating, books and a television. A small gym is located on site and the outdoor pool is a lovely spot for relaxing between the drives.

Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Wi-fi

Limited wi-fi is available around this main spot but it is very slow and this was a common occurrence across most of our South Africa travels. With all that was going on we weren’t bothered about having wi-fi so it wasn’t an issue!

The bar and chill out area:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Beautiful touches:Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Overall

We absolutely adored our stay at Inyati and from the moment we crossed the Newington Gate to enter Sabi Sands we were instantly transported into another world filled with the delightful sights and sounds of the South African Bush. The Lodge and its staff were incredible and we were totally spoiled for every second of our 2 nights in Inyati.

Staying at the lodge is a luxurious experience but the real star of the show is the Inyati game drives: the rangers and trackers are warm and funny and have an amazing safari knowledge allowing them to answer every random question we came up with! Of which there were many! Our dream of seeing the Big 5 was quickly realised and we made incredible bucket list memories which still give us goosebumps.Inyati Game Lodge Sabi Sands South Africa Review ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Worth the cost?

The private game reserves of Sabi Sands come at a price and we spent a lot of time considering our safari options. For us, the luxury, the experience and the private game drives are worth the extra cost. We couldn’t think of a more perfect spot to spend our first safari experience and, despite our reluctance to visit the same place more than once, we really, really hope to return to Inyati in the future!

Disclaimer: Inyati Game Lodge provided us with a media rate during our stay. Our opinions, as always, are our own.

 

We’re Nominated For The Lilizela Tourism Award 2016

We’re Nominated For The Lilizela Tourism Award 2016

VOTE FOR US TODAY!

Inyati Game Lodge

Unique to South Africa’s Nguni languages, Lilizela means to ululate, a sound that symbolizes joy and celebration.

The Lilizela Tourism Awards – South Africa’s premier Travel and Tourism Awards is a platform where we as safari lodge owners, are given honor for the remarkable impact we have made in the South African tourism industry.

We are delighted to inform you that we have been nominated for the Lilizela Awards, in the category: Wildlife Encounters and we couldn’t have done this without your support – Thank you.

We are proud of our knowledgeable and passionate safari guides that made this nomination possible.

In order for us to bring this award home; we need you to continue with the support by voting for us.

To vote for us visit: http://www.lilizela.co.za/InyatiGameLodge

Building South African Tourism one Award at a time.

Lilizela 2016

Important update: Sabi Sand Conservation Contribution Policy

Important update: Sabi Sand Conservation Contribution Policy

IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING THE SABI SAND CONSERVATION ssw-logo-bigCONTRIBUTION, DECEMBER 2015

To our valued partners in travel,

We would like to notify you of the implementation of a ‘Conservation Contribution (CC)’, effective 01 January 2016. All lodges within the Sabi Sand Reserve have jointly and collectively agreed to the introduction of a contribution which will go towards anti-poaching, general conservation and community initiatives within the reserve. These initiatives will be executed and managed by the Sabi Sand Wildtuin Nature Conservation Trust.
The R100.00 per person per night contribution (non-VATable) will either be added to guests’ invoice for accommodation payable prior to arrival, or to their extras account payable on departure from the lodge. Please contact the lodge in question to establish their billing policy.

The contribution will apply to all bookings confirmed from 01 January 2016, and will be allocated towards;
• Security manpower
• Upgraded fences
• Updated gate controls
• Technology and surveillance
• Flying reaction capabilities
• Investigation and prosecution capabilities
• Development projects with our neighbouring communities
• Conservation initiatives for all indigenous flora and fauna found on the reserve, including the re-introduction of species which have previously been indigenous to the region

In light of the devastating effect of poaching on our rhino and elephant populations, and the immediate threat to the long term survival of these species, we trust you will join us in supporting this critically important function within the reserve.

Should you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact the marketing teams at the supporting lodge/s.

With kind regards

The Sabi Sand Wildtuin

November 2015

November 2015

Roger one of the Inyati Trackers sharing the shade of a Sjambok pod with Khokovela.

With barely a sprinkle of rain this last month the animals are starting to feel the pinch. Grazing especially is hard, with the pathfinding females of the giant buffalo herds having to really on all their experience to lead their charges to the grass that remains, or two the grass responding to the light intensities turns green in anticipation of rain that never seems to come.Ellies at Sand River show of their new calvesImpala herd Zebra herdMatriarchal elephants lead their families to the river and often three or four herds can be seen munching away on the Phragmites reeds, the newly established sedge grasses and other pioneer species. These plants are taking advantage the newly emerging islands in the river, and as such there are swathes of green all along the river. A mighty elephant bull at Inyati Game LodgeThe crusty old dagga boys are so plentiful along the river, might as well open up a golf course for them.Buffalo herd

Monkey businessThe impalas have started lambing and it is open season for the carnivores. The wild dogs take at least three or four lambs every drive, the strategy is always the same at sunrise and sunset, the adults get up, play with the youngsters a bit and head off all in one direction and spread out. The first animal they see the chase it down and rip it apart in a few minutes, this whole process may only last 15 minutes or so as they are such efficient hunters. All you have to do is hope you are in the right place at the right time. The adults then return to the pups and regurgitate a portion of their meal for the pups. As such the dogs are always full and the pups are growing quickly as they have too; as it is a tough life to be a Painted Wolf.Wild dog posing on the rock.

Wild Dogs playingNot to be out done the leopards are working day and night to keep up with the tally of the dogs. Tlangisa has had cubs but we haven’t found them yet, so she has a few mouths to feed.

Tlangisa taking down Impala lambXhikavi’s little boy is still doing very well, he is still quite shy and takes a while to calm down to his mother’s level. He is ticking all the growth boxes though as she is a terrific hunter.

Dewane - Copy

Magnificent Dewane leopard

Dewane is constantly putting pressure on his neighbors and as such we see him in the north a lot. Torchwood is often seen killing warthogs in the south and Schotia is steadily sailing her ship into her future. The magnificent Dewane male staring at the hyenas — at Inyati Game Lodge.Basile and Khokovela are giving cameos in the north and seem to be embracing their newfound freedom with the grace we have come to expect from Tlangisa.

Basile leopard

Basile (Tlangisa’s adult cub) Her name means the light one and is situated just North of the camp.

Majingilane male lions on a buffalo carcassThe bush is really dry and the river looks like it might run dry this year. So please pray for rain.Water thick-knee, Water dikkop (Burhinus vermiculatus)

 

That’s all from Matt for this month. We thank you for spending few moments with us in the wilderness, sharing our experiences and joining our adventures. We are committed to keep you updated. Please follow our Facebook page for daily updates.

Regards, THE INYATI TEAM

Keith & Francis – Managers
George (Head Guide) & Solly (Tracker)
Khimbini (Senior Guide) & Rodger (Tracker)
Matthew (Senior Guide) & Nelson (Tracker)

This month’s sightings report compiled by Matthew Brennan. *Photographs by Khimbini, Keith and MatthewWe have had an unusually dry start to spring and summer

Lilizela Tourism Awards held on 22 October 2015

Lilizela Tourism Awards held on 22 October 2015

The South African Tourism Industry spent the better part of last night honouring the crème de la crème of the sector. The industry hosted by the esteemed Minister of Tourism, Mr Derek Hanekom, were treated to an evening of splendour and entertainment from local musicians.

Derek HanekomThe Lilizela Tourism Awards, is a platform to celebrate service excellence in the South African tourism industry, and its third instalment did not disappoint.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. South Africa has, without a doubt, among the most service-orientated tourism industry on earth. Ours is an industry that’s characterised by excellence and by an intensely guest-focussed culture. Our industry is made up of a team of committed people whose passion is on show for all to see and experience.

In such an industry that takes product and service excellence to truly world class levels, the best of the best are recognised and honoured through the annual Lilizela Tourism Awards. These awards are not only an integral part of South Africa’s strategy to remain a globally competitive destination,  but  are pivotal to setting the excellence bar for the entire sector: giving all tourism businesses standards of excellence to aspire to and building South Africa’s reputation the world over as one of the best tourism destinations on earth.

Starting in the provinces where provincial champions are rewarded for their service excellence, national Lilizela Tourism Award winners are selected from the shortlist of provincial winners for the ultimate accolade of tourism excellence in the country at a glittering national event that attracts both the attendance and the attention of the industry, reflecting on a job well done.

Lilizela JoanneHosted by former Miss South Africa, now businesswoman Joanne Strauss and musician Stoan Seate of Bongo Maffin fame, last night’s Lilizela Tourism Awards have grown substantially since they were launched in 2013. This year, over 1 100 entries were received across all categories – making these awards far reaching and widely representative of the national tourism industry.

During the country-wide provincial awards, 219 tourism product owners and service providers in the industry were recognised and rewarded for their contribution to service excellence in tourism and upholding the promise of quality assurance.

Minister Hanekom, congratulated those who work in this ever growing industry in South Africa and commended them for contributing in the transformation and growth of the South African tourism industry.Thulani Nzima

South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima also congratulated the night’s finalists and winners.

“The contribution of tourism businesses nominated for the Lilizela Tourism Awards keeps the sector on an upward trend. We congratulate all the winners and hope they will continue to serve as tourism ambassadors by continuing to showcase the best of our country to the world as tourism continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors,” said Nzima.

Multi-award winning songstress, Lira; popular music band, The Soil together with Brenda and the Band added to the entertainment for this glamorous night.

Inyati winner 2015

“Being awarded the Lilizela award for the best wildlife encounter in #Mpumalanga two years in a row is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge ,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge. “We are proud of our knowledgeable and passionate safari guides who are experts out in the field, and are the finishing touch to the fine quality of the Inyati safari experience.”

Grant Thornton were appointed as the independent auditors for this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards.

Some highlights of recipients of these prestigious industry awards were:

Lilizela Best of the BestWinner of ETEYA 2015 – Simeliza Tours
Winner of Best Social Involvement Programme – Large business – Aquila Game Reserve
Winner of the Five-star hotel  – The Oyster Box Hotel
Winner of  the Wildlife Encounters award – Inyati Game Lodge
Tourist Guides  winners  –  Nelson Maphaha and Michael Keith Jones
Recipient of the Minister’s Awards – Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo Managing Director of Birchwood Hotel.

For the full list of winners from last night’s awards ceremony, to view finalist and pictures, please visit the Lilizela Awards website, http://www.lilizela.co.za

Winners Table

Inyati – Provincial Winner of Visitor Experience of the Year 2015

Lilizela 2 3rdThe Mpumalanga Province announced the names of the provincial winners of the 2015 Lilizela Tourism Awards. The announcement was made at an awards ceremony held on September 8, 2015 at Emnotweni Arena in Mbombela where all the province’s finalists were publically honoured for their contribution to service excellence and quality assurance in the tourism industry.

“Being awarded the Lilizela award for the best wildlife encounter in ‪#‎Mpumalanga‬ two years in a row is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge ,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge. “We are proud of our knowledgeable and passionate safari guides who are experts out in the field, and are the finishing touch to the fine quality of the Inyati safari experience.”

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RHINO FRIDAY 25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos

25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos

25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos

1. The word rhinoceros is a combination of two Greek words – rhino (nose) and ceros (horn).
There are five living species of rhinoceros – white, black, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran. In addition, a number of other animals have rhinoceros as part of their names, including the rhinoceros auklet, rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros chameleon, rhinoceros cockroach, rhinoceros fish, rhinoceros hornbill, rhinoceros iguana, rhinoceros rat snake, rhino shrimp, and rhinoceros viper. All of them have horn-like appendages on their noses.

2. Rhinos have also been referred to as pachyderms.
The name pachyderm also comes from two Greek words – pachys (thick) and derma (skin). Many years ago, zoologists grouped a number of thick-skinned species together as pachyderms, including rhinos, tapirs, horses, elephants, hippos, pigs, peccaries, and hyraxes. This classification is no longer considered useful, but the name is still used every now and then.

3. Rhino is sometimes used as a nickname.
A number of people have been given the nickname Rhino. They include American professional wrestler and actor Terry Gerin (Rhyno), Mark Smith from the British show Gladiators, guitarist Larry Reinhardt (El Rhino) from the band Iron Butterfly, and David Unsworth, a former British soccer star. The national rugby teams of South Africa and Indonesia are also known as the Rhinos.

4. Rhino horns are not made of bone, but of keratin, the same material found in your hair and fingernails.
A rhino’s horn is not attached to its skull. It is actually a compacted mass of hairs that continues to grow throughout the animal’s lifetime, just like our own hair and nails. The longest horn on record belonged to a white rhino and measured just under 60 inches (five feet). By comparison, a woman from Las Vegas, Nevada is believed to have the world’s longest fingernails – about 10 feet worth on each hand – while a woman from China apparently holds the record for the world’s longest hair – over 18 feet in length! Regrettably, neither human hair nor fingernails are believed to possess the healing properties that some people believe are found in rhino horn. If people believed they did, they could chew their own nails and cut their own hair in order to feel well, and halt the needless slaughter of rhinos.

5. A fossil skull first thought to be that of a dragon, turned out to be from an extinct woolly rhinoceros.
In the city of Klagenfurt, located in southern Austria, stands the statue of a legendary dragon or Lindwurm, sporting a crocodile-like body and bat-like wings. The statue was erected around the year 1500, about thirty years after a large skull had been unearthed somewhere nearby. Sculptures used the skull as a model for the dragon’s head, but it was only centuries later that scientists identified it as belonging to the extinct woolly rhinoceros of the last Ice Age.

6. The closest living rhino relatives are tapirs, horses and zebras.

These animals are known as perissodactyls or odd-toed ungulates. Even toed-ungulates are called artiodactyls and include cattle, deer, antelopes, goats, sheep, pigs, camels and llamas. Rhinos have three toes on each foot so, in a way, their tracks resemble the Ace of Clubs.

7. A group of rhinos is called a crash.
A group of deer is called a herd, a group of fish a school, a group of bats a colony, a group of turkeys a flock, a group of bees a swarm, a group of alligators a congregation, a group of clams a bed, a group of frogs an army, a group of penguins a rookery, a group of hyenas a clan, a group of lions a pride, a group of wolves a pack, a group of coyotes a band, and a group of crows a murder. Who thinks of these names?

8. Some rhinos use their teeth – not their horns – for defense.
When an Indian rhino defends itself against a predator or another rhino, it doesn’t use its horn to gore its opponent. Instead, it slashes and gouges viciously with the long, sharp incisors and canine teeth on its lower jaw. Neither the black nor the white rhino has incisors. Only the Indian and Sumatran rhinos have canines, but all five species have three premolars and three molars on each side of their upper and lower jaws. Commit this to memory … there will be a quiz tomorrow!

9. An adult white rhino can produce as much as 50 pounds of dung per day!
That’s a lotta poo! And it’s the result of rhinos having to consume large amounts of plant material to obtain proper nutrition. Nuances in the smell of dung can tell a rhino a lot about others in the area. Each rhino’s smell is unique and identifies its owner. The dung of a young rhino smells different than that of an adult. A male’s dung smells different than a female’s, and the dung of a female in estrus gives off a different odor than that of a non-reproductive female. Multiple or communal deposits of dung are known as middens, essentially serving as local “websites” or ”Facebook pages”, allowing rhinos to keep up with their neighbors.

10. White rhinos aren’t white and black rhinos aren’t black.
The white rhino’s name is taken from the Afrikaans word “wyd,” which means “wide” and describes its mouth. Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the “wyd” for “white”. Black rhinos probably got their name from the dark wet mud in their wallows that made them appear black in color. Both species are essentially gray in color. By comparison, the famous Blue Rhino, corporate logo for the well-known propane tank company, is entirely a figment of its founder’s imagination.

11. Rhino pregnancies last 15 – 16 months!
The only animals with longer gestation periods are elephants, which carry a fetus for close to 2 years! Camels and giraffes have pregnancies lasting 13 to 14 months, while female horses, sea lions and dolphins can require up to a year to give birth. A bear’s gestation period is about seven or eight months, a lion’s less than four, and domestic dogs and cats about two. The record for the shortest mammalian pregnancy is 12 to 13 days, held jointly by the Virginia opossum, the water opossum or yapok of Central and South America, and the native cat of Australia.

12. Rhinos and elephants are not mortal enemies.
The myth of hatred between these two species dates back to ancient times. In fact, in 1515, King Manuel I of Portugal decided to see if it were true. He had been given a female Indian rhino by the name of Ganda, who was given a home in his royal menagerie, away from the elephants. One day, however, the King arranged for a battle between the beasts, held in a courtyard and attended by the royal family and their guests. The youngest elephant in the King’s menagerie was led into the arena from its stable. The tapestries hiding the rhinoceros were drawn open. An official observer wrote that the rhinoceros appeared furious and immediately charged her foe, so violently that the young elephant broke free of her chain, uttered a tremendous cry and bolted to safety through a thick set of iron bars. This incident most certainly helped sustain the myth.

13. The white rhino is the largest rhino species and the largest land mammal after the elephant.
White rhinos can grow to weigh more than 5,000 pounds, which is almost as much as a Land Rover rolling along on the Serengeti. Next in size is the Indian or greater one-horned rhino, which may actually stand taller than a white rhino, but is just a bit less massive. Then come the Javan rhino and the black rhino. The Sumatran rhino is the smallest of its kind, with the largest individuals barely reaching a ton in weight. A large male hippopotamus can actually exceed the largest rhino in size – perhaps by as much as half a ton – but because it spends most of its time in rivers and lakes, biologists consider it an aquatic, not a land mammal.

14. Perhaps the most famous rhino in the world was one named Clara.
Clara was a female Indian rhinoceros who toured Europe for 17 years during the 1700s. Clara’s mother was killed by hunters in Assam, India in 1738, after which she was adopted by Jay Albert Sichterman and became a household pet. Clara was then sold to a Dutch sea captain, Douwemunt Van der Meer, who somehow got her safely to Rotterdam, rubbing down her skin with fish oil and providing dietary supplements of beer and tobacco. Clara’s European travels are documented in a book called Clara’s Grand Tour by Glynis Ridley, and included stops in The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, Italy, Denmark, and England.

15. African rhinos have a symbiotic relationship with oxpeckers, also called “tick birds”.
In Swahili, the oxpecker is called askari wa kifaru, which means “the rhino’s guard”. The oxpecker eats ticks and other insects that it finds on the rhino, and creates a commotion when it senses danger. This helps alert the rhino. Indian or greater one-horned rhinos have similar symbiotic relationships with other bird species, including the well-known myna.

16. Throughout their history, rhinos have been a very diverse group.
Paleontologists believe that at least 30 genera and 60 different species of rhino ancestors once inhabited North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The extinct species Paraceratherium, commonly referred to as the “giraffe-rhinoceros”, was the largest land mammal that ever lived. Its head reached a height of nearly 28 feet – as tall as a three-story building – and paleontologists estimate that it may have weighed as much as 20 tons! The smallest rhino ancestors were the Hyracodontidae, which were only the size of dogs. There was also a group of aquatic, hippopotamus-like rhinos, the Amynodontidae, that lived in North America and Asia.

17. Humans are the major threat to rhinos, but several other species are also rhino predators.
The two species most often reported to prey upon rhinos – usually young ones – are lions in Africa and tigers in Asia. However, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs and Nile crocodiles are also known to kill African rhino calves on occasion. By far, though, people are rhinos’ #1 enemy.

18. Most wild rhino calves never meet their fathers.
After mating, adult male and female rhinos typically go their separate ways. After the calf is born, it will probably spend a couple of years or more in the company of its mother, and perhaps associate with other females and their calves, but the father rhino is not part of the standard social group.

19. Three of the five surviving rhino species – the black, Javan and Sumatran – are Critically Endangered.
This means there is at least a 50% chance that these species could become extinct sometime this century. Just over 5,000 black rhinos now survive in nine African countries, essentially double the number that existed only 20 years ago, so that species is actually increasing slowly. Sumatran rhinos used to be found from the foothills of the Himalayas to the island of Sumatra. Today, however, only about 100 individuals are believed to survive as scattered populations in Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia. The historic range of the Javan rhino was similar to that of the Sumatran, but the species currently numbers no more than 50 individuals, all restricted to Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java.

20. The black rhino has a prehensile upper lip that allows it to feed on trees and shrubs.
The black rhino also has no front incisor teeth, so it relies heavily on its lips to bring food to its mouth. By contrast, the white rhino, the other African species, has a long, flat upper lip that is designed more for grazing on grasses. The black rhino can be compared to a tree pruner and the white rhino to a lawn mower. The upper lips of the three Asian rhino species are also prehensile to some degree, and other mammals with prehensile lips include bears, giraffes, horses, llamas, moose and manatees.

21. Black, white and Sumatran rhinos have two horns; Javan and greater one-horned rhinos have one horn.
The Sumatran rhino, although it has two horns, is not at all closely related to Africa’s black or white rhinos. It is the oldest of the living rhinos, having appeared nearly 15 million years ago, and its closest relative is actually the extinct woolly rhinoceros. Black and white rhinos appear to have evolved from a common 6 million-year-old ancestor and remain very closely related. The evolutionary paths of the greater one-horned rhino and the Javan rhino separated a bit more recently, their common ancestor dating back perhaps two to four million years. Curiously enough, most female Javan rhinos don’t appear to have any horn at all! Is a hornless rhino an oxymoron?

22. Rhino horn has been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine, but has not been proven to cure any illness.
Powdered rhino horn has been prescribed by Asian doctors for centuries as a cure for a wide range of diseases or conditions including aging, arthritis, asthma, black magic, boils and carbuncles, chest cold, chicken pox, convulsions, coughs, demonic possession, diphtheria, dog bites, dysentery, epilepsy, fainting, fever, fits, food poisoning, hallucinations, headache, hemorrhoids, impotence, insanity, laryngitis, lumbago, malaria, measles, melancholy, memory loss, myopia, night blindness, nightmares, nose bleed, plague, polio, prescription overdoses, rectal bleeding, scorpion stings, smallpox, snake bite, toothache, typhoid, vomiting and worms. There is no evidence from western scientific studies that it has any curative powers but at least one Chinese study disputes those data. And, of course, its use is illegal.

23. Andatu was the first rhino ever born in captivity in Indonesia.
On June 23, 2012, the female Sumatran rhino known as Ratu gave birth to a 60-pound male at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, located in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. Approximately 16 months earlier, Ratu had mated with the male rhino, Andalas, who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 – the first Sumatan rhino born in captivity in over a century. Andalas’ and Ratu’s baby was named Andatu, a combination of his parents’ names, but also an expression that means “A Gift from God”, in the Indonesian language.

24. The most famous piece of rhino artwork is Albrecht Durer’s woodcut, The Rhinoceros, printed in 1515.
The fact that Durer’s rhinoceros is not entirely accurate is not surprising. Durer never laid eyes on a living rhino, but made his famous drawing based on the sketch of an unknown artist who had. The animal was originally sent as a gift from Sultan Muzafar II of India to Alfonso d’Albuquerque, the governor of Portuguese India at the time, who subsequently “re-gifted” it to Dom Manuel I I, the King of Portugal. Dom Manuelwho then “re-gifted” it again to Pope Leo X in Rome. Unfortunately, the boat carrying the unfortunate rhino sank before it reaching its final destination, but the animal’s image has been reprinted countless times over the centuries.

25. World Rhino Day is celebrated on September 22
Each year in September, people who want to help save rhinos from extinction can do so by participating in World Rhino Day