David Yarrow Partners with Mantis

David Yarrow – Mankind2

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

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.

David Yarrow – Africa

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.

David Yarrow – No Nearer

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.

David Yarrow – 78 Degrees North

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.


David Yarrow
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.

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IG: @davidyarrow | Twitter: @David_Yarrow | Facebook: @Davidyarrowphotography


New to Mantis: EPIC Hotel & Suites, Rwanda

EPIC Hotel & Suites by Mantis

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. 


Mantis Signs Strategic Partnership with Accor Hotels Group

At a press conference on 5 April, Mantis Founder and Chairman, Adrian Gardiner, announced a partnership with Accor Hotels, which saw the world-leading travel & lifestyle group acquire a 50% stake in Mantis.

Gardiner said, “There are numerous synergies between the two groups – both operate global hospitality networks offering rare and unique experiences, and both have a focus on conservation. This partnership  will strengthen the Mantis offering, as well as ensuring future growth and resilience in an ever evolving and increasingly competitive market.”

Sébastian Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, and Adrian Gardiner, Founder and Chairman of Mantis, at the announcement of the new partnership.

Accor Hotels is a world-leading travel-and-lifestyle group and digital innovator offering unique experiences in more than 4 000 hotels and resorts and over 2 500 of the private residences around the globe. Accor Hotels operates in 95 countries under luxury brands including Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel, Onefinestay, Pullman and Swissôtel, the popular  boutique brands of Novotel, Mercure, Mama Shelter and Adagio; and economy brands including Ibis, Grand Mercure, The Sebel and Hotel F1.

“Accor Hotels is one of the fastest growing hotel and travel operators worldwide,” Gardiner continued. “This agreement allows Mantis to utilize Accor Hotels’ distribution channels and world-wide reach to further develop the hospitality concepts and sustainability projects we have worked so tirelessly to grow.”


Olivier Granet, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of Accor Hotels Middle East and Africa (MEA), said, “Mantis is a pioneer in customized travel services in some of the most imaginative hotels across the world. This partnership provides us with access to an indigenous African brand with a strong heritage, ecological focus and noteworthy credentials in the hospitality space. This will undoubtedly accelerate Accor Hotels’ expansion across the Middle East and Africa, adding to our existing network of over 200 properties with more than 150 hotels in the pipeline across the region.”

Included in the announcement was a briefing on The Community Conservation Fund Africa, a foundation to be established by Mantis and Accor Hotels in partnership with  renowned international conservation organisations The Wilderness Foundation Global, Tusk Trust and African Parks.

The initial funding of $600 000 will be sponsored by Accor Hotels and Mantis. The official launch of the The Community Conservation Fund Africa will take place in May 2018.

More about Accor Hotels

With an unmatched collection of brands and a rich history spanning close to five decades, Accor Hotels, along with its global team of more than 250 000 dedicated women and men, has a purposeful and heartfelt mission: to make every guest Feel Welcome. Guests enjoy access to one of the world’s most rewarding hotel loyalty programs – Le Club Accor Hotels.

Accor Hotels is active in its local communities and committed to sustainable development and solidarity through Planet 21, a comprehensive programme that brings together employees, guests and partners to drive sustainable growth.

Read more on the Accor Hotels Group website.

Bernard joins the bridge of the Zambezi Queen

Bernard Kaiba shares his knowledge of animal behaviour, passion for the culture and history of local communities, and warm hospitality with all who sail with him down the Chobe River on the Zambezi Queen. Congrats on your promotion, Bernard!

Bernard Kaiba is one of the many people who make Mantis destinations exceptional places to find yourself.

His name is frequently mentioned  in compliments and reviews by guests who have enjoyed a voyage of discovery on the Zambezi Queen. It will be no surprise to those who’ve met him to hear that Bernard has been promoted to the management team.

Bernard has been with the company for 8 years and as Head Guide has always communicated his knowledge of animal behaviour with an enthusiasm that adds depth to the wonder of our water-borne safaris. Being from Ijambwe Village, he also loves to share his passion for the culture and history of the local communities we visit. And the warm hospitality he extends to our guests has ensured that all who sail with him on the Zambezi Queen enjoy an exceptional experience.

His new position as Host/Front of House Manager is richly deserved. We congratulate Bernard and wish him the best of luck in his his new role.

Airlink to operate additional flights this week


At short notice, Airlink will be operating, linked to another service, an additional special flight to St Helena departing Johannesburg this Wednesday, 24 January, and returning to Johannesburg on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

For those looking to travel urgently to or from St Helena, kindly contact Solomon & Company (St Helena) Plc’s Shipping & Travel Agency on St Helena, your travel agency or visit the Airlink website: www.flyairlink.com to purchase seats.

The flight will arrive at St Helena at 1.15pm on Wednesday, 24 January, and depart at 8am on Thursday, 25 January 2018.

#StHelena #StHelenaAirport #AdditionalFlight

St Helena Govt Facebook

St Helena Govt Twitter

22 January 2018

Zambia’s favourite camp gets a complete renovation

Lion Camp re-opens in May 2018, having retained all that made it exceptional, with a greater level of luxury, minimal impact on the environment and maximum longevity.

Situated at the end of the Great Rift Valley, Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is an exceptional place for an authentic African safari. At 9050 square-kilometres it is Zambia’s second largest national park and sustains huge concentrations of game – 60 different animal species and more than 400 different bird species.

Lion Camp is located in the northernmost reaches of the park, offering a wilderness safari with abundant game viewing and few other vehicles.  In the past year, the camp has undergone a complete renovation. Lion Camp re-opens in May 2018, having retained all that made it exceptional and with a greater level of luxury, minimal impact on the environment and maximum longevity.

The partnership with Mantis will build on past work for a more sustainable future, working with local organisations and communities to preserve this pristine eco system, which boasts the world’s highest naturally occurring population of leopard. Lion also pass through to or from the river, and guests are perfectly positioned to observe this activity, often from the comfort of our own deck.

Other animals include wild dogs, spotted hyena, huge concentrations of hippo and crocodiles, endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest and Crawshay’s zebra, great herds of Cape buffalo, large family groups of elephant,eland and other antelope such as kudu, puku and impala.


Lion Camp has always been one of Zambia’s favourite safari destinations. It is now a truly exceptional place to find yourself. Discover more on the official website.

Coming Soon: uMfolozi Big Five Game Reserve

Walk in the footsteps of giants, past and present…

Mantis is proud to announce their association with the creation of the
uMfolozi Big Five Reserve, a 6 000-hectare tract of tribal land currently being incorporated into the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal.

Opening in September 2018, the uMfolozi Big Five Reserve represents the future of forward-thinking sustainability as it blends past and present conservation models.

Two five-star lodges (25 minutes from each other) are being built for the Mantis Collection. Named after the local chiefs who contributed their land, Mthembu Lodge will open its doors in September 2018 and Biyela Lodge will be ready to welcome guests from October 2018.

Biyela Lodge, nestled on a spectacular bend on the White iMfolozi River, will have 12 luxurious 1-bedroom Private Villas (100sqm in size) each with private pool, and two 2-bedroom Family Villas (155sqm in size), sleeping 32 guests in total. Spa and Gym facilities will also be on offer.

Mthembu Lodge, with panoramic views of the water and thickets, will comprise of 7 luxurious 1-bedroom Private Villas (112sqm in size) and two 2-bedroom Family Villas (155sqm in size), sleeping a total of 22 guests.

It is named the uMfolozi Big Five Reserve as a tender nod to the early conservation pioneers who called the area uMfolozi, and also to differentiate it from the main reserve. It is in these valleys that King
Shaka of the Zulus, unbeknownst to the outside world, pioneered a culture of conservation before the concept was coined by European settlers, by proclaiming this area his royal hunting ground. This reserve is also where the very first steps with Operation Rhino were taken almost seventy years ago under the guidance of revered global conservationist, the late Dr Ian Player.

After extensive consultation between the tribal chiefs, their communities, and Ezemvelo (the public authority responsible for Hluhluwe-iMfolozi), the uMfolozi Big Five Reserve was established. This landmark agreement, whereby tribal land is incorporated into protected government land, will
increase the protected area to over 100 000 hectares and provide much needed employment.

The uMfolozi Big 5 Reserve epitomises what Mantis stands for. It also brings full circle, the friendship Adrian Gardiner, Founder of Mantis and Chairman of the Wilderness Foundation Global, had with Dr Ian Player. Dr Player was instrumental in saving the white rhino from extinction in the late 1950s, at the very same reserve to which the uMfolozi Big Five Reserve has now been added.

In the words of Adrian, “Mantis is honoured to have the opportunity to invest in and continue with conservation in the area where the monumental work of my friend and mentor, Dr Ian Player, began.”

Currently, it is underutilized land plagued by unemployment in the indigenous communities. In its new format, more land will be protected for animals to roam free in and the surrounding communities will benefit economically through either direct employment at the lodges, or outsourced services such as the growing of vegetables and laundry to name only a few.

Game drives and walks on the 000-hectares uMfolozi Big 5 Reserve will be exclusively for guests staying on the reserve. uMofolozi guests will also have the added benefit of game drives and walking safaris within the main reserve.

Children aged 6 years and older will be allowed on game drives, with children 13 years and older being able to join on walking safaris.

The Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the oldest proclaimed protected Game Reserve area in South Africa, dating back to 1895. Stretching over 96,000 hectares, it is located approximately 190km (2.5 hours) north of Durban, in central Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The reserve is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. The uMfolozi Big Five Reserve will be on the south-western border of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, overlooking the wilderness area.

To discover more, including the full list of amenities, services and activities, please download the brochure.

An Exceptional Place to Find Yourself

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.

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.