There’s a buzz afoot about Seolo Africa, a new name to the Southern African tourism scene, and the soon to open Victoria Falls island property. Everybody wants to know, who are they? …and from where did they suddenly appear? Do they have any kind of a track record and even more importantly, what are their environmental ethics? What is the new property near Victoria Falls?
These are all good questions. So here are the answers:
Who is Seolo Africa?
Seolo Africa (‘Seolo’ meaning termite mound) is the name of a newly formed company, which both markets and manages lodges in Southern Africa, with focus on providing opportunities for the ordinary traveler to experience the extraordinary.
Combining accessible rates with above average experiences and service is Seolo Africa’s hallmark. Seolo Africa took over the marketing of the popular Rhino Post Safari Lodge and Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris) in the Kruger National Park early this year, and are busy developing the stunning Chundu Island lodge on the Zambezi River just 21km upstream from the world renowned Victoria Falls.
WHERE DID SEOLO AFRICA SUDDENLY APPEAR FROM ?
The people behind Seolo Africa have been involved in the travel business for many years. Their first project is the well-known Rhino Walking Safaris private concession in the Kruger National Park, comprising Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris) and the Sleepout Decks. These have been operational for 14 years and enjoy an average annual bednight occupancy of 83%. These properties were initially marketed under the Isibindi Africa Lodges Banner.
Previous marketers of the Kruger properties, Isibindi Africa Lodges are still shareholders and directors in the Kruger National Park properties (nothing has really changed there) but not in the new Chundu Island Lodge.
DO THEY HAVE A TRACK RECORD?
Yes, without question.
- Michelle Hollis, Sales Manager at Seolo Africa, has worked hard at selling the two aforementioned Kruger Park properties, as well as the other Isibindi properties (Thonga Beach Lodge, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, Kosi Forest Lodge and Isibindi Zulu lodge) for many years as the Sales Manager for Isibindi Africa Lodges.
- Regional Operations Managers, Nikki & Gerrit Meyer, have managed the Kruger National Park since they opened 14 years ago, and have a combined experience of more than 50 years in the tourism industry.
- Seolo Africa’s directors have been involved with Rhino Post Safari Lodge and Rhino Walking Safaris since the original tender process 16 years ago.
- The personalities behind Seolo Africa and the various lodge properties are veterans of the safari travel world; including Stewart Cranswick, Jann Kingsley, stalwart of Zimbabwean bushveld tourism Max Rosenfels and Terry Musiyambiri.
WHAT ARE THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS?
Seolo’s directors and management keep wildlife and conservation as a primary priority in everything we do. It is for this reason that Rhino Walking Safaris applied for, and attained Fair Trade certification earlier this year for Rhino Walking Safaris.
All waste is sorted and recycled, water usage is minimized by using slow flow shower heads, dual flush systems and re-use of towels on request, alien plants are eradicated where possible and a very light footprint is maintained – which importantly includes no off-road driving.
All Seolo Africa properties receive that same care and attention to detail in terms of conservation, and maintaining a small environmental footprint.
WHAT IS THE NEW PROPERTY NEAR VICTORIA FALLS?
Chundu Island is a 1.4km island situated in the Zambezi River 21 kilometers upstream from Victoria Falls with an uninterrupted view of the Zambezi National Park from 6 of the 8 rivers-edge suites, with the other 2 having beautiful views of Zambia on the other side of the river.
It has been designed with ‘Seychelles meets Zambezi’ in mind. It includes 6 lala palm-thatched double suites and 2 family suites, and will cater to all. There will however be a minimum age restriction of 8 and over (unless the whole lodge is booked by one family or group).
The Chundu Island experience will be a combination of water activities, safaris on vehicle and on foot, and laid-back island living. For some months of the year, there is even a gorgeous white sand beach on the island!
Seolo Africa also books and markets for our preferred partner, Masuwe lodge, which is 7km from Vic Falls, and a wonderful addition to a Vic Falls itinerary. More info on Masuwe is available on their website here, or get in touch with our bookings and sales team here.