We have been on a journey to reveal the heart and soul of Mantis and the destinations discovered by Mantis. This is what we found…
Travellers today are Adventurers, Explorers, Escapists or Nomads – they are searching for moments, places, adventures and destinations that will touch their lives forever. The Mantis Collection gives them access to experiences that can shape lives, and touch souls.
Whilst each Mantis destination is completely and magnificently unique in what it offers, there’s a common thread that binds the Mantis destinations together – each destination is an exceptional place to find yourself.
Mantis. An exceptional place to find yourself.
Our new messaging and imagery shows that in a world of diminishing rarity and increasing commercialisation and ubiquity, we have the destinations and experiences for those who are still searching for the exceptional, the truly rare and the inspirational.
We are very fortunate at Mantis. By some profound force of goodness, every person who works in our offices, hotels, and lodges embodies the spirit of “Man And Nature Together Is Sustainable”. When we say #IamMantis; we mean it. We live it. The first member of our family that we would like to introduce you to is Mukupe Zulu who is a ranger at Lion Camp by Mantis, and a hero in his community.
Mukupa left teaching for the wilderness, but his love for educating young people never left him. He recognised that many young girls were dropping out of school and being married off prematurely, and decided to do something to influence a change in his community. He started the Mkasanga Hope Foundation in 2008. The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage girl child education in the communities around the Mwanya chiefdom which in that year, had only produced one girl matriculant.
Mukupa’s Mkasanga Hope Foundation grew and increased its awareness programmes to include wildlife conservation and health. His education programmes were mainly executed through theatre productions. He took his theatre group around the Mkasanga area and funded the entire operation from his own salary of just US$50 at the time. He has seen more parents become sensitised to the necessity of keeping their daughters in school for as long as possible.
After the renovations were completed at Lion Camp by Mantis, Mukupe received all the leftover wood, borrowed equipment from the camp, and spent his vacation making furniture for a school in the area.
Next time you venture out to Lion Camp, be sure to check out their listing on Pack-for-a-Purpose and see what you can pack in your luggage to assist Mukupe on his mission to be the change he desires to see in the world around him. You are also more than welcome to make donations to Mukupe’s cause by contacting Di Luden at CCFA.
A picture is worth a thousand words and world-acclaimed photographer, David Yarrow, is an iconic storyteller. In a lifetime of war against our natural world, his evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is aiding the global plight for conservation and Mantis is honoured to announce Yarrow as the Group’s strategic creative partner.
David Yarrow’s photography career spans over 30 years from working as a sports photographer for the London Times to shooting the latest TAG Heuer campaign featuring supermodel Cara Delevingne. Philanthropy and conservation have become central to Yarrow’s mission, evidenced in his passion for documenting the animal and human world in a fresh and creative way. Charitable donations from the sale of his images exceeded $2.2 million in 2018 with two pieces selling for £240,000 in just a few minutes at the Cara Delevingne TAG Heuer launch.
As Mantis’ creative partner, Yarrow will host private photographic tours across all seven continents, in the Group’s most exotic locations. He will deliver talks at Mantis’ global portfolio of boutique hotels and will collaborate in fundraising initiatives.
From its inception, Mantis has sought to beat the drum for sustainable conservation and creating strategic alliances that place weight on the call for the cause is at the forefront of the Group’s operating principles. Mantis recently merged with Accor Hotels and together, the hospitality groups founded the Community Conservation Fund for Africa (CCFA) – in response to the urgent need for the tourism industry to play a greater role in conservation and community upliftment which will benefit Africa’s wild animals and wilderness.
Mantis and CCFA have found a kindred spirit in acclaimed photographer, David Yarrow who is an ambassador for WildArk, on the advisory board of Tusk, and Ambassador to the Kevin Richardson Foundation.
Mantis is born of Africa. Founded by Adrian Gardiner in 2000 with a passion for creating destinations where man and nature could co-exist sustainably. After turning drought ravaged and degraded bushveld into a private conservation success story in the Eastern Cape, South Africa; Adrian’s pioneering spirit lead the growth of the Mantis Collection.
Mantis has unearthed hotels and eco-escapes across all seven continents; in far-flung corners, vibrant cityscapes, across vast African plains, and most places in between. Each with a unique spirit, yet all are linked by a collective obsession to be extraordinary, to nurture the natural environment, and preserve all that is meaningful.
Mantis is a Pioneer that searches for and uncovers new possibilities, and new destinations so that people can have access to more fulfilling lives. In a world of diminishing rarity, we partner with curious explorers who seek to discover truly rare destinations and life-affirming experiences.
ABOUT DAVID YARROW
David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He took up photography at an early age, and as a 20-year-old, he found himself working as a photographer for The London Times on the pitch at the World Cup Final in Mexico City. On that day, David took the famous picture of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup, and as a result, he was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. But he refused to be pigeonholed, and his interests expanded as he grew into himself. It was only many years later that he found his true comfort zone in documenting the natural world and the last eight years have been career-defining.
By the spring of 2017, he had firmly established himself as one of the bestselling fine art photographers in the world, with the limited edition prints (just 12 in an edition) regularly selling at over $40,000 a piece and his well-received recent work is now priced even higher.
In 2016, Rizzoli New York published his latest book – Wild Encounters – with a foreword written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William). The book was awarded “Art Book of 2017” by Amazon and has already sold out a second print run. All Yarrow’s royalties from the book continue to be donated to Tusk, the leading British NGO, that focuses on animal conservation in Africa.
Yarrow’s position in the industry has been rewarded with a wide range of advisory and ambassadorial roles. In conservation, he is an ambassador for WildArk, on the advisory board of Tusk and Ambassador to the Kevin Richardson Foundation (@lionwhisperersa). He is an Ambassador for Nikon Europe and has recently been integral to the company’s most anticipated camera release of the last decade. In December 2017 he shot TAG Heuer’s latest campaign with Cara Delevingne. In 2019, David was appointed as a global ambassador for UBS Bank.
We don’t take half-measures when it comes to location. When we say on the beach, we mean it and when we say close to Kirstenbosch Gardens, we mean right on top of it. Mantis Owners Collection offers private villas set in the best locations in Africa.
Boulders Beach Villa is right on Boulders Beach, Simons Town – a Marine Protected Area that forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Your family will have 4 en-suite bedrooms, large living areas, and a garden gate leading directly to the iconic granite boulders and a breeding colony of over 2000 endangered African Penguins.
It is a swimming beach and the kids can spend hours exploring the rock pools, and clambering over the boulders which protect the beach from the wind. They will be fascinated while observing a few happy feet pattering over the white sand inlets. It is a breath-taking site and an impressive education in conservation. Simon’s Town is the home of the South African Navy and a living museum in its own right. If you would like to see the town’s charming silhouette from a new perspective, hop onto the new water bikes and enjoy a safe and environmentally friendly guided tour to Long Beach. This one is best enjoyed by the taller members of the family, as you must be at least 1.5m in height to operate the water bikes.
Wake up in one of the 6 suites at Skydance Villa by Mantis in Bishopscourt, and you’ll start each morning with a personal greeting from the Table Mountain Reserve and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
Skydance is sprawled out on a hill in Constantia. Every moment here is camera-worthy. Have fun creating memories in this generous family home surrounded by stylish finishes and comfortable opulence. There are enough bolt-holes to enjoy private moments, but the best spaces are the big lounges, gardens, and pool house where the family can get familiar again.
Our guests receive free passes into the neighbouring Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, we can prepare some picnic baskets, and you can all make a day of it. Don’t resist the urge to take your shoes off. You can’t be in the heart of the Constantia Winelands and neglect the wine farms. Have long, lazy lunches on the lawns and terraces of some of the best wine farms and restaurants in the world. The endless lawns of these estates are lovely settings for gourmet lunches and board games under the trees.
*Children under 3 years old are accommodated free of charge at Skydance, while 4 to 12-year olds are charged R 595 per night if accommodated in an extra bed sharing a room with 2 adults.
Big Seven and Family Safari
It’s not often that children present a back-to-school oral about seeing seven of the greatest land and sea animals in Africa, all in one holiday! Stay at The Windermere by Mantis in Port Elizabeth, a 10-bedroom hotel offering an intimate setting in a convenient location. The Windermere is just a stone’s throw from the harbour where the entire family can hop onto a boat and go on an ocean safari.
We can arrange marine expeditions with licensed and responsible marine guides. You will have the chance to see whales, dolphins and all the other denizens of this unique bay. Named the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World in 2017, Nelson Mandela Bay has the biggest pods of Bottlenose Dolphins, year-round whale watching, a penguin colony, as well as the Big Five within a short distance. If your family stays for 2 nights or more, you will each receive a complimentary pass giving you access to free and discounted experiences around the bay. You can use your discounts towards your Big Seven experience if you book in advance.
Depart on the early flight to Johannesburg and make it in time for lunch at Jembisa Bush Home in the Waterberg region of Northern Limpopo.
Your stay at this genuine bush home will be a delightful mix of adventure and comfort. Jembisa Bush Home has 5 bedrooms as well as social spaces styled with a contemporary take on Colonial interior design. This is a rich family experience that satisfies every age group. The little ones will leave as mini rangers, and all will become more aware of the need to protect nature so that it can be enjoyed for longer.
If there was ever an immersive History lesson, St Helena is it! This is a volcanic rock formation turned island in the middle of the Atlantic. The island’s recorded history goes back 500 years when the Spanish first claimed it. Its location in the middle of the Atlantic made it a natural resting place to break up the voyages from Europe to Africa and then Asia. The island was the home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile from France. He died on the island on May 5th, 1821. King Dingizulu of the Zulu, various Bahreini Princes and prisoners of the Boer War were also held on this island.
Enthusiastic photographers will love capturing the landscape of St Helena which is a surprising mix of red earth hills, jagged stone shores, black-sand beaches, and lush green hills dotted with sheep. Mantis St Helena is the only luxury hotel on the island.
This is the stuff that memories are made from. White sand beaches with warm water and azure views for miles out. Nungwi Dreams by Mantis is an apartment-style hotel that offers practical accommodation options for different types of families. With 1- and 2-bedroom suites that can inter-lead, a large rim-flow pool, and full beach frontal; Nungwi Dreams is an ideal family destination.
The hotel’s service is fantastic yet flexible so that guests can spend as much time as they want exploring the Spice Island. There is a turtle conservancy nearby and the hotel can arrange all kinds of Zanzibari experiences.
Did you know that the origin of the word curious is “careful”? How fitting!
If you dare to pursue knowledge, step with great tact. There shouldn’t be development without replenishment, no safari without sustainable conservation. We take care so that you can defy normality, and dive into the adventures that pique your interest.
Carbon-neutral walking safaris in Zambia: Lion Camp by Mantis
Imagine trekking on the same footing as wild animals and sensing time and space on their terms. A walking safari in the South Luangwa is the kind of adventure that should be on your bucket list. You know it should be on there, but how do you wrap your head around stepping in sync with the snores of dozing hippos? Can you begin to dream about sizing up your boot print alongside the trail of an elephant parade? Yes. You. Can.
You can choose to stay at Lion Camp by Mantis and enjoy walking safaris; guilt-free. The camp is a 100% green and self-sufficient with its own water purifying plant, its own power supply, and a fully efficient recycling system and fresh produce that is locally grown by a farmer whose seeds & fertilizer is sponsored by Lion Camp. In 2018 Lion Camp by Mantis became one of the first carbon neutral safari camps in South Luangwa through purchasing verified carbon offsets from Biocarbon Partners. Going carbon neutral is the latest step in Lion Camp’s efforts to further reduce its ecological footprint and ensure minimal impact on the environment.
Port Alfred, South Africa? You must be Curious!
We love Port Alfred, and so will you. It is the perfect place for a coastal holiday and has a historical grace that makes it homely. Perfectly set on the Sunshine Coast of South Africa where you can enjoy every kind of water sport under the sun. Close to all the seaside fun is Royal St Andrews Hotel and Spa; winner of the 2018 Lilizela Best of the Best Hotels in the Eastern Cape and one of South Africa’s Top 25 Hotels in Tripadvisor’s 2019 Travellers’ Choice awards. If that does not pique your interest; then let us introduce you to their Gracious Hospitality.
Sumptuous gourmet dining paired with luxury accommodation, deep sea fishing or a spot of beach horse riding. Should you be lucky enough to catch a fish, the Chef will prepare it for your dinner. Your food experience at Royal St Andrews is guaranteed to be top-notch. From the sophisticated dinners in Thistle Restaurant to long and lavish breakfasts in The Paper Nautilus. Your stay is not complete until you have some beautifully presented pub cuisine at The Highlander Pub; all the better with a Highlander Lager.
Still not convinced to leave your armchair? Let’s Seuss it up.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!
~ Oh, the Places you will go by Dr Theodor Seuss Geisel
We are excited to announce the newest gem in our collection; EPIC Hotel & Suites in the district of Nyagatare in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. Officially opened by His Excellency, Paul Kagama, President of Rwanda in March 2018, EPIC was developed in partnership with the Eastern Province Investment Corporation LTD. The development of this hotel falls in line with the Rwandan Government’s mission to diversify socio-economic development and build sustainable economic hubs across the country.
An EPIC Impact
We are proud to be associated with EPIC Hotel & Suites by Mantis as it’s ethos for community development is aligned with Mantis’ objectives for uplifting the communities where our hotels and eco-escapes are located. Guests at EPIC Hotel & Suites will be able to book visits to the neighbouring farming villages where they can see traditional Rwandan agriculture in action, and experience a rural way of life. Guests will have the opportunity to buy goods to support the farmers. This support to the local economy is an added value to the many household benefitting from employment and skills development at the hotel.
Easy Access to Gorillas and the Big Five
EPIC Hotel & Suites by Mantis is a 77-bedroom hotel with modern aesthetic appeal. EPIC is located 149 Km from Kigali International Airport where daily international flights land from various destinations with more international flights to come soon. The northern gate of the Akagera National Park is 35km away, making it easy to experience the Big Five at any time. EPIC is situated ideally as a gateway between the Volcanoes National Park and Akagera National Park, as well as the gateway between Uganda and Rwanda.
About the Hotel
EPIC Hotel & Suites lays unobtrusively on the fertile vistas of Nyagatare. A modern building fantastic facilities including two swimming pool, 2 tennis courts and a basketball court which all have floodlights. Wellness facilities include a fitness centre, beauty salon, spa, and sauna. Guests can dine and unwind in various outlets: The Social Restaurant, Nelson’s Bar, Pool Deck Bar and Restaurant and Atrium Lounge. Business Travellers will not need for anything when it comes to corporate facilities. EPIC has 5 executive meeting rooms, a ballroom which can seat 250 people, and each room is fitted with a spacious working desk with conveniently located plug points.
The guest rooms are sleek with plush features and a minimalistic design. With all the bits and bobs and creature comforts you would expect in a metropolitan hotel. The hotel comprises various room types including 10 Executive Suites a Presidential Suite, and 7 Family Rooms matched with a fun children’s entertainment centre.
AccorHotels and Mantis are excited to announce that Bulelwa Maxam and Tumelo Daniels are the recipients of the Accor/Mantis bursary to study towards a B.Com Hospitality Management at Stenden South Africa in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape. Stenden South Africa offers a Bachelor of Commerce degrees in Hospitality and Disaster Management. Stenden is a private university and strives to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds access to education with the assistance of private companies such as AccorHotels and Mantis.
Adrian Gardiner, Chairman of Mantis, said that “education is one of the five operating pillars at Mantis, who has been involved with Stenden South Africa since its inception. It is natural that AccorHotels and Mantis’ merger brings much-needed investment in education and especially here in the Eastern Cape.” Craig Erasmus from AccorHotels added that “AccorHotels is proud to welcome Bulelwa and Tumelo to the AccorHotels family and that the partnership with Stenden University was another important step in showing our intent on the continent and helping to support the growth of local capacity in the hospitality industry”.
The students will receive infrastructural support including accommodation, a laptop, and stationery. Ronel Bartlett, Student Affairs Manager at Stenden, explained that Stenden has an effective programme in place to ensure that all new students are integrated into the campus lifestyle. They will also work at MyPond Hotel which is managed by the University to develop their skills in various aspects of hotel management. This is a fantastic opportunity for real-time learning as they will work with real hotel guests in a fully operational establishment. The students are fortunate enough to be guided by Stenden graduates and previous bursary students such as Gcobisa Gwavu, Restaurant Duty Manager at MyPond Hotel. Gcobisa said that the real world learning that takes place at MyPond Hotel allows the students to gain operational and life skills as they learn to manage their time and make the most of work, studies and play. Gcobisa said that she enjoys assisting the students who, like herself, have come from disadvantaged backgrounds because she understands what their unique journey and strives to use her personal experience to help them grow into confident hospitality professionals.
The 2019 AccorHotels and Mantis bursary students began their academic careers on Monday, 28th January. They are both from a township community outside Port Alfred.
Bulelwa matriculated in 2007 and had to immediately find work to support her family. She worked at a resort outside Port Alfred where she climbed the ranks within housekeeping, the kitchen and Front of House. When the time came for her youngest sibling to leave home and go to university, Bulelwa realised that it was time to fulfil her dreams of becoming a graduate in hospitality management. Bulelwa will play an integral part in skills upliftment in her community by introducing hospitality as a career choice among young people in the townships and training them.
Tumelo completed her schooling in 2018, and is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps, and beyond, by becoming a professional hotelier. Tumelo says she looks forward to discovering her full potential and seeing her dreams realised. She also hopes that becoming a graduate will inspire younger family members to reach their goals.
AccorHotels acquired a 50% stake in Mantis in April 2018 and one of the results of this partnership was the formation of the Community Conservation Fund Africa. The CCFA is a registered NPC which was initially funded by AccorHotels and Mantis due to their recognition of the urgent need for the tourism industry to play a greater role in conservation and community transformation in Africa. In addition to the full bursaries, Mantis also give an annual award to a Student showing academic prowess and an interest in improving communities in and around Port Alfred. On Monday, 28th January this award was given to Zimbabwean-born second-year Disaster Management student, Ashley Miller. Ashley showed great commitment to her studies and proved to a reliable team player in her class. Her contribution to community transformation in 2018 showed her up as a deserving candidate for the prize for 2019.
Imagine… immaculate beaches, clear sea waters and happy welcomes … all to yourself and your family or friends. If you’ve ever dreamed of an island-hopping holiday in the Indian Ocean, this will be hard to beat.
Thanda Island, a private paradise in Tanzania’s Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, is one of the world’s most exclusive destinations.
Circled by coral reefs and a marine reserve, the waters here teem with sea life – you can swim with gentle-giant whale sharks, and spy on turtles nesting. The villa offers a host of other activities too, such as floodlit tennis, table tennis, yoga, outstanding snorkelling, sailing, jet-skiing, kayaking, SUP-ing, water-skiing/wake-boarding and beach volleyball.
The luxurious, 5-bedroom, New England-style villa is built of sustainable materials and so that when dismantled, no trace will remain.
Looking after your every need are your own Executive Head Chef, Butlers, Hostess, Housekeepers, Cocktail Barman, Boatmen, Snorkelling Guide, Dive Instructor, Fishing Guide and Spa Therapist.
From here, it’s a lazy dhow ride to Nungwi Dreams by Mantis. This brand-new, 5 star boutique hotel lies at the northern tip of the highest rated and most pristine beach on the island of Zanzibar.
This secluded and luxurious hideaway has access to a private beach and all the convenience of every modern luxury. Contemporary architecture mingles with local Swahili and Arabic flair, giving you a complete experience on the Spice Island. Soak up the peace, or go exploring legendary Stonetown, Zanzibar’s unique island style will creep under your skin and into your heart.
Head south now to another private beach house, this time on the Mozambican island of Benguerra.
Nestled in a secluded location away from the famous Azura resort, the Presidential Villa is the epitome of style and luxury, and just a few steps from the beach. There are 3 en-suite bedrooms, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, a media room, sitting/dining area with ‘wine bar’, huge infinity pool, and a fantastic treehouse to catch the afternoon breezes and panoramic views to Bazaruto Island.
We are excited to announce that The Envoy in Abuja, Nigeria, is now open for business!
Nigeria’s renowned capital, where diplomats, businessmen and world leaders converge, is one of Africa’s foremost cities. Abuja is a city of distinction and discovery.
The Envoy sets a new precedent of urbane sophistication and unrivalled luxury for the distinguished traveller. With a modern facade, advanced technological facilities and eco-sensitive amenities, it is the perfect destination for business and leisure.
Perfect for families who seek togetherness in faraway places, Skydance is a villa that offers an elegant, relaxing retreat in beautiful Cape Town.
With views to the mountain and the ocean, Skydance Villa lies high above exclusive Bishopscourt and enjoys some of the best vistas offered in Cape Town. Here you truly get the sense that you are almost in the clouds.
Approximately 20 minutes from the centre of Cape Town, and close to the wine farms of Constantia, Skydance is less than 50m from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
This exclusive-use, 6-bedroom villa with its exquisitely tended gardens (serviced by a borehole), enjoys exceptional views of the Table Mountain chain and False Bay. Various generous reception rooms, entertainment areas and a pool room make Skydance at once an indulgent yet informal villa. It is perfect for parents, kids and grandkids who love to travel together.
Some of the amenities include:
Swimming pool with safety pool cover
Pool room for entertainment
Off-street secure parking for up to 15 cars and Double Garage
Jungle gym for Children
Select satellite TV in sitting room
Select satellite TV in bedroom
Tea and coffee-making facilities
Wood burning fireplaces
State of the art security system