Time off in this manic, I’m-always-available, information-driven, day and age is precious; a bracket around a few days or weeks that may be the culmination of a long period of work and a considerable amount of planning. No matter how hard we try, with all the pressures that surround us it can be a tough balancing act to make enough time to “spend” (what an apposite word that is!) with those who matter and doing the things we wish.
So, to travel with a small group of friends or family - or just as a couple! - to celebrate, simply spend some time together or make the most of a common window of opportunity is something worth savouring and maximising.
A private villa or a private house, whether in the bush, in a city or on the coast, makes the most of this opportunity and also melds a perfect measure of personalised service and location chosen specifically to fulfill planned expectations and activities into one seamless package. A private property can also be chosen with the correct blend of attributes, for example number of rooms, to suit any number of guests.
The rationale is easy to explain. The hard part – and that’s where we come in! – is choosing where to go. Of course that’s all driven by what you wish to do and is something we are very expert at achieving for our clients but private properties, houses and villas are available in more varied locations than one might expect.
In the cities - Cape Town, with it’s plethora of things to do and see, is an obvious example - a private property comes with obvious benefits: Time is totally flexible, privacy is assured and each day can be varied, tailored and dipped in to exactly according to individual whim. Somehow having your “own place”, no matter how hospitable one’s hosts may be in a small boutique hotel, makes life just that little bit more relaxed, especially when the property is fully staffed.
The very term “Villa” has connotations of the ocean or seaside and Africa’s coastline, particularly the Indian Ocean side of the continent, has a great deal of potential for private villas that is very well harnessed in some instances, in some wonderful locations. Style, flair, local influences, great service (we mainly use staffed properties but that’s not always a given), total flexibility of menu, private activities, often a private beach…..the perfect way to “spend” time, have a lot of fun and just enjoy great company.
But the bush also has its fair share of private houses and the same rationales that I allude to above apply. For instance there are private houses in (and adjoining, or very close to) some of the best game-rich areas of eastern Africa. Such properties make an excellent alternative to a private camp or mobile (and are perfect with a private guide) for those who prefer more flexibility of activity and “solid walls” whilst often also being very cost-effective as well. Private properties can also offer activities that are not “just” game viewing, such as riding or perhaps a games room, pool and so on, as well as often having acres of space in which to just relax and allow everyone time to “spend” as they wish.
A private house or villa is one of the ultimate ways to travel in Africa.
Where? South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia. Villas on the ocean in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Seychelles, Mauritius & Reunion.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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