How do you experience five star luxury when on a mobile tented safari in the African bushveld?
It’s a matter of simply deciding which pristine natural wildlife reserve or Big 5 game region you would like to experience and leave the finer 5-star details to your hosts.
As the only 5-star rated mobile safari outfitter on the continent – and a World Travel Awards winner as the World’s Best Glamping Operator, Hayward Safaris has been taking big group corporate incentive groups, royalty and Hollywood celebrities on safari for 25 years.
You can be forgiven if, like one or two safari- virgin guests of the past, you are initially wary of what some might perceive as ‘ bush camping’. This perception always evaporates into open blue skies as soon as you are welcomed into camp.
What sets Hayward Safaris apart as the best safari experience in Africa?
We bring you five star reasons that will have you tracing in the footsteps of some of the most renown adventurers on the continent while hosted in complete comfort and style, while your sense take in all the colour, vibrancy and excitement Africa has to offer.
Firstly, what is 5-star in South Africa?
A five-star rating assures you your experience is outstanding. South Africa’s star system is an internationally recognised system of quality assurance evaluated by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. Five stars is the best possible quality experience you can receive in the country. According to the TGCSA, your safari is a top notch, first class safari – and Haywards Safaris is the only mobile safari outfitter to hold a 5-star lodge rating.
The Tourism Grading Council applies strict internationally acknowledged criteria to its grading process and is known as a world leader in this industry. With a single glance at the star rating, international visitors can recognize world class quality and service excellence.
“When we promote our five star graded mobile safaris to event professionals and international meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) agents, we are helping South Africa achieve the highest level of quality assurance which improves the country’s competition edge globally,” says Owner and Adventure Extraordinaire Peter Hayward.
“Our five -star rating assures international guests that they are receiving the optimal value for their money and give the customer expectation the paramount position it deserves. We are passionate about South Africa and want to show all it has to offer. We can only offer a complete experience if every detail of a guest’s safari event or expedition is delivered to the highest standards of service.”
What sets Haywards apart from other safari experiences?
We are a big group mobile safari outfitter which caters to between 40 and 200 guests either for a corporate events, product launches, safari destination weddings or exclusive private safaris. Our first question to you is, we have a 5-star safari camp, where would you like it?”
The Hayward’s 5-star experience is not accessible to just anyone. Haywards doesn’t do FIT or single tourist bookings. A mobile 5-star camp is an exclusive venue set up in remote areas for large synergistic groups. It provides an exclusive and secluded private event experience in some of the most remote and pristine nature environments to be found in the world.
Each experience is rooted in the positioning of the mobile camp and your bespoke access to the extravagance of Nature herself. A mobile safari takes you out of the four walls of a traditional safari lodge and brings you into direct commune with your environment where you wake, sleep, partake in walking safaris, game view the Big 5 in private reserves where there are no other vehicles to get in your photo frame, experience night drives, game tracking and tagging, sunset cruises, and engagement with rural communities who offer a glimpse into the vast wisdom of their heritage. Its hands-on and tangible and reminds you of your earliest origins.
For those who don’t want to waste time or budget on complicated logistics or the hassle of travelling long distance to Big 5 safari destinations in long-haul regional destinations such as Mpumalanga, Namibia, or East Africa, Haywards Safari Headquarters offers a Big 5 camp location set within a private section of the Dinokeng Wildlife Reserve just an hour’s drive from Johannesburg International Airport that surpasses the Kruger in intimate safari encounters .
Each group safari experience is distinct to the others. This is because each group is offered a bespoke event orchestrated from the start to meet the client’s specific requirements. In preparation for your arrival, Haywards have ordered and stocked your hand-picked wine list, your imported whiskies, brandies and cigars. Each evening is themed specific to the aspects particular to your event and daily activities and entertainment proceed according to your preset travel programme.
The South African Corporate experience should be at home
With strong international safari aspiration, many of the Hayward’s mobile safaris are booked by international agents for global corporate conglomerates.
“We would like to see more incentive professionals keeping our blue-chip corporate incentive groups based here in South Africa. We have an internationally recognized incentive and event offering which helps us to support our growing tourism economy in South Africa. Instead of sending corporate travel budgets and event funding over- border to Mauritius, for example, we ask event managers to consider our own exclusive incentive offerings. Many South Africans already vacation in Mauritius and it’s an experience they can book themselves on their own budget.
“We are a world class experience as evidenced by the guests we have hosted over the years and South Africans should have the opportunity of experiencing it too. While we do offer very exclusive mobile lodges in the Kruger, it is a completely private experience where you won’t see another vehicle or group as you are hosted in an exclusive area set aside just for you. The same goes for the Okavango Delta, the Cradle of Humankind or a private safari in the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site where we offer a Big 6 elite service and experience that is totally intimate and private.
Where does South Africa’s service standards play a part?
The only way to understand the level of safari service offering is to visit the Hayward’s client feedback page on their website. Every safari event is rated personally by individual guests over a 10 point service offering. Feedback is examined and anything below 9.5 out of ten points is given in-depth attention.
As a five-star offering the Haywards mobile safari camp is complete with a butler service there to prepare hot water for your en suite bathroom, a turn down service, escort you to the dining tents and bring you morning coffee and biscuits. Not just the butlers however, the entire staff crew are there to know the guest’s names, anticipate their needs, share information and advice and provide a bespoke and personalized service through attention to detail.
Your luxury accommodation features the sophistication of king-size beds, extra seating, name brand bath products and detailing which is carried through to the luxury Spa and Club lounge and gourmet 18-course dining event experiences with extravagant white nights décor and entertainment typical of safari trader experiences of days past.
“We have never received a rating below 9.5,” says Hayward, “We proudly claim to be extraordinary in every manner. I have never missed a single safari event since our inception. This is not a helicopter-style management camp. My team is a professional core outfit of game rangers, guides, highly trained, armed and experienced in working in the bush and there to protect lives. In camp we have private housekeepers, butlers, chefs and silver service waiters on 24-hours attendance necessary on safari; if you’ve never seen a herd of elephant walking through camp it can be quite staggering especially if you come from Europe or the US. We only work with the industry’s best and most renowned scientists and astrologers, entertainers and event professionals, we have even staged the Dire Straits rock band who played for a private clients 60th birthday party.
The niche mobile 5-star safari differentiation
Responsible tourism makes up a large part of Hayward Safaris offering as well as its eco and conservation focused accomplishments.
A big group Sacred Safari is a high-end safari camp which is based within local communities and generates funds for future community empowerment and education within a conservation mindset. Each safari groups participation contributes significantly to the areas visited, within schedules, special programmes and projects.
The conservation of the land through a ‘leave no trace’ principle, together with heritage tourism initiatives and Haywards own corporate social investment arm www.celiainafrica.com is what underpins the mobile safari while maintaining a sustainable tourism business offering for the international market.
“Each safari event or expedition in South Africa, or in any of the other country destinations we visit is backed by our five star grading imperative which provides a real partnership for quality and one that unlocks business growth and contributes in growing South Africa as a competitive global destination,” confirms Hayward.
Put on your pith helmet and get set to safari – and if you don’t have one, Haywards has one for you so you can immerse yourself in your once-in-a-lifetime romantic Out of Africa style safari escape.
About the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa:
The TGCSA was established in 2002 and operates as a business unit of South African Tourism and is the only officially recognised quality assurance body for tourism products in South Africa. Visit www tourismgrading.co.za for more.