Unforgettable ways to travel in the age of COVID-19, South African Mamma style

We know the feeling of apprehension when it comes to the thought of traveling after all that 2020 has thrown at us. Luckily, however, there will be plenty of safe ways to get back out there as the world gradually mends itself. While the rest of the year is looking like a bit of a wash, we have high hopes for next year. When you’re feeling comfortable and the borders are reopened in your favor, we’ll be ready to take you there. Here’s how we envision the future of travel in the age of COVID-19:

Travel within your bubble, including family and friends you trust

If you’ve been keeping a “social bubble” this year for social distancing purposes, you’re not alone. For us, that’s mostly been our family and a few trusted friends — and we’ve heard of a lot of other friends and family circles doing the same. Even though it seems like a semi-impossible feat, you can definitely vacation with your bubble in destinations that allow for limited contact with other travelers.

Londolozi Safari 2

Try a private game lodge in South Africa

The majority of your companions out in the secluded bush will be animals: Think Big 5 fellows like lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo! Private game lodges are an excellent way to maintain some social distance while taking a break from the hectic nature of modern day society. Here, you can dine in the boma (an enchanting, authentically South African outdoor gathering space), putting you face-to-face with the soothing sounds of wildlife.

Game lodges are an excellent choice for social distancing. With limited bungalows on the property, usually between 8 and 10, you’ll never have more than twenty travelers at one lodge. The majority of dining takes place outside, keeping you in the open air while also providing a stellar natural experience (it’s my favorite way to dine). Some suites have their own splash pools, giving travelers the opportunity to take a dip while overlooking a river or the impressive vastness of the South African bush.

I’ll never forget staying at the luxurious Londolozi Game Reserve in 2018 with my family, where our kids could see elephants eating from the trees as they swam in the splash pool. It was something out of a safari movie. We even had a private game vehicle for our own usage, no need to mingle with other guests. So what I’m trying to say is: It’s exclusive as can be — and even just writing about it makes me want to skip town for a getaway. That’s the South African Mamma way, of course!

Londolozi Splash Pool

Let us find a game lodge that fits your taste perfectly

At South Africa Travel and Tours, our services provide you with the best fit when it comes to luxury lodges, and all of the fun extras, too. Spend your days embarking on exciting game drives on open-vehicles. You’ll be able to use one vehicle per family, or hire your own if you’re feeling extra adventurous (we can attest; it’s a blast).

Note: Some game lodges are small enough to be completely booked out, giving you 100% exclusivity. For travel groups, this is your best opportunity! fplent has been booked out by multiple families in the past, with rave reviews.

Enjoy South African city life in self-catering apartments or apartment hotels

If you’re not familiar with the concept of apartment hotels, allow us to back up for a second. These highly comfortable, full-serviced apartments offer all of the same amenities as a hotel, but with a greater level of autonomy and space to yourself. Cooking facilities are at your disposal just like at home, so you can choose to have a home-cooked meal and lounge around without feeling caged in by a small room. If you’re not feeling like a chef, you can still order room service or choose from one of plenty nearby dining options. The options are limitless, and sometimes travelers even have a challenging time deciding with all that’s available dinner-wise. Say hello to your own bachelor pad within steps of all the best city attractions.

Curious to take a peek before committing? Check out Cape Royale Hotel and Aparthotel — they’re two all-time favorites that we’ve been sharing with our travelers for years. I stayed in one Cape Royal’s beautiful, spacious apartments with in-home dining service, which also included easy access to a rooftop pool and bar. Not only was it close to local supermarkets and shops galore, it had all of the little design touches that make a space feel as comfortable as home.

Cape Royale Hotel

Indulge in luxury at one of South Africa’s Waterfront Self-Catering Villages

Step into waterfront luxury at Cape Town’s Waterfront Village Apartments, a gorgeous marina-side complex with views of the water and beyond. These self-catering stays are replete with all the amenities you could possibly need, and none of the crowds or hustle and bustle that you’d encounter in a regular hotel stay. At Waterfront Village, you’re seconds away from the oh-so-tempting V&A Waterfront shops, bars and restaurants, and dare I say some of the city’s best people-watching opportunities. This spot makes a formidable base for exploring the city without being smack dab in the middle of it, giving you some breathing room while keeping you close to the action. We’re talking exclusivity, privacy, and safety — all wrapped up into one waterside package.

Head to Italy to stay in a villa or an apartment in a less-crowded area

Picture yourself in Italy’s Tuscan region, where the wine tasting is abundant and the villages are charmingly quaint…now imagine having an entire villa to yourself to unwind at when the sun goes down. In Tuscany, you can have it all: countryside walks, cycling, and some of Italy’s finest beaches, to name just a few. Leave it to us to get you a private villa or apartment in a less-crowded part of the country and save your energy for exploration. Our private tours and airport transfers with dedicated drivers ensure minimal contact with other travelers, keeping you safe while still experiencing all that the country has to offer.

Back in 2015, we vacationed in tandem with another family and their kid, hiring out a villa in one of Tuscany’s more remote villages. We treated ourselves to robust Italian recipes crafted by a private chef who cooked for us every night, taking in the little moments and savoring them as much as we could (with some wine in hand, of course). With our tour company’s prearranged airport transfers, coming and going was an absolute breeze.

Learn from our local experts who will provide personally-tailored suggestions about things to do in the area, while staying mindful about health and safety protocols. We highly recommend taking a pre-booked tour instead of piecing your itinerary together along the way; it’ll minimize crowd exposure, not to mention the occasional headache that comes with travel planning.

Camaiore, Tuscany - Remote Villa