Exclusive Getaway: Island Hopping off East Africa

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.

Cooling off Nungwi Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Azura Benguerra, Mozambique

Discover more here:

Thanda Island
Nungwi Dreams
The Presidential Villa

Touching Heaven in Cape Town

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
Gym
Study
Off-street secure parking for up to 15 cars and Double Garage
Jungle gym for Children
Electronic safe
Select satellite TV in sitting room
Select satellite TV in bedroom
Tea and coffee-making facilities
Wood burning fireplaces
Wi-Fi throughout
State of the art security system

Exciting things to do on St Helena

St Helena has attracted adventurers for years. The fishing is fantastic. The fauna and flora are fascinating. The views are spectacular, and it’s hard to believe that so many different eco systems can exist on one small island. Whether you’re a history buff, an avid diver, a hiker or you’re simply looking for a unique destination to explore, this remote island in the Atlantic Ocean offers a wealth of things to do.

Welcome to St Helena! Your comfort is assured – Mantis St Helena offers excellent accommodation in one of the island’s Georgian buildings with a newly built wing. Now you just need to decide what you’ll choose to do while you’re here!

Download the itineraries below for great ideas and activities that will make your stay the holiday of a lifetime. These are just a fraction of the possibilities on the island. For further ideas, read our blog about St Helena here, or visit St Helena Tourism.

Suggested General Itinerary

 

Itinerary for Hikers

 

Itinerary for Divers

 

Itinerary for History Buffs

all photographs courtesy of st helena tourism.

Join the Ultimate Conservation Voluntour 2018

See South Africa’s “Big 7. Leave with a stronger understanding of conservation issues, knowing that you have made an important contribution to the protection of these species.

Worldwide Experience, founded by Mantis director Paul Gardiner, launched the Ultimate Conservation Voluntour in 2017. This 12-day boutique voluntour is an unforgettable opportunity to view the “Big 7”, to learn about the conservation threats that these and other species face, and to be a part of the efforts to conserve them and their habitats.

A dedicated guide will host your entire Voluntour, ensuring that you have a learning adventure filled with fun. And that you leave with a stronger understanding of conservation issues, knowing that you have made an important contribution.

The Ultimate Conservation Voluntour is hosted at Mantis Collection or similar properties. Starting in Cape Town, you will follow the famous Garden Route of South Africa, staying in Mantis hotels or similar, and concluding the tour at the spectacular Founders Lodge by Mantis in the Eastern Cape. Along the way, you will gain exposure to selected conservation projects within our portfolio, giving you an incredibly diverse experience incorporating elements of:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Marine conservation
  • Conservation management
  • Game reserve activities
  • Tree planting
  • Community projects
  • Environmental awareness
  • Exploring the beauty & cultures of South Africa
  • The chance to see the “Big 7” (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, whales, and great white shark)

For more information about accommodation and the itinerary, visit Worldwide Experience.

This voluntour is presented in association with our adventure travel partner, Freewalker Adventure Travel.

Planning a holiday in Europe? Here’s your itinerary…

Just imagine exploring Europe on an adventure built around these hotels … All exceptional places to find yourself, all discovered by Mantis, all nominated for World Travel Awards.

In a world of diminishing rarity, Mantis helps you discover and experience the truly exceptional and rare.

Treehotel, in Sweden, is a unique experience where guests sleep in pine-tree-suspended rooms of whimsical, contemporary design. Treehotel is nominated for Europe’s Leading Design Hotel 2018 Award.

Tree Hotel, Sweden

Also in Sweden, Icehotel is in line for two World Travel Awards: Europe’s Leading Green Hotel 2018 and Sweden’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018.

Ice Hotel, Sweden

The Draycott Hotel, in the heart of London’s Chelsea, has been nominated for England’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018.

Draycott Hotel, London

In Paris, Hotel Keppler, just minutes away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées, is up for France’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018 Award.

Hotel Keppler, Paris

And Iconic Santorini, a boutique cave hotel on an exquisite island in the Aegean Sea, is nominated for the award for Greece’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2018.

Iconic Santorini, Greece

For trade rates, please contact Sales Manager, Danie Davids on danie.davids@mantiscollection.com

The Founders Experience: A soul-reviving safari in the malaria-free Eastern Cape

The biggest draw card are our Big Five game drives under the wide open skies of the Eastern Cape. But what makes a safari at Founders so special is that we are people of this place who love to share our insights into the conservation, culture and cuisine of our heartland…

The intimacy of Founders Lodge enables us to curate an exceptional experience for each guest staying in our 6 suites.

Authentic South African cuisine is made with love by our chef Louise, who creates delicious dishes with freshly harvested produce from our garden. We serve her wholesome soul food in different locations around the lodge so that every meal is a memorable experience with a different vista from your last repast.

You will be so taken with her creations that you may like to join one of Louise’s cooking and baking lessons in our traditional farmhouse kitchen. Unlike many great chefs, Louise is happy to share her culinary secrets.

The 400-hectare Founders Reserve is set in a rare biome that exists only in this part of the Eastern Cape. Our guides grew up here and are extremely knowledgeable about this endangered topography, home to flora and fauna found nowhere else on Earth. There are no predators on Founders Reserve, which facilitates insightful interaction and astonishing experiences within the environment that we are working so hard to conserve.

Founders Lodge was designed to give guests a sense of place and belonging. Whether you are in reclusive or social mood, the Lodge bends to fit you. All the communal spaces and guest rooms lead onto the peaceful indigenous courtyard garden, while each suite has a private verandah with never-ending views over the bushveld and out to the open African skies.

Founders offers the perfect balance between individual privacy and homely comfort, and our new managers, Mike and Leoni, can’t wait to make you welcome.

To find out more, please visit the Founders Lodge website.

Gourmet restaurant dining in Port Elizabeth hits new heights

Foodie Sam Venter attended the launch of new gourmet menu at No.5 by Mantis. Savour these sublime dishes in her wonderful review below. Better still, come and experience it for yourself!

Picture the scene: a dimly lit cellar where the gleam of silver candelabra and the sheen of wine glasses waiting to be filled reflect off a long, polished wooden table.

The furnishings are plush, antique; the art on the walls enigmatic. Sounds are muted. Racks of wines rest in temperature-controlled isolation behind a wall of glass.

A trio of chefs enter to present their masterpieces.

For a moment there, we could be anywhere in the world; the chefs most likely presenting some classics of European cuisine, perhaps with their own interpretation or a contemporary twist, a foam here, a jelly there.

Instead, what arrives are sushi and sashimi, with springbok rather than salmon, and avo in place of wasabi; pork cheeks, wildebeest fillet, oxtail potjie; rooibos tea married with fine cognac; pap and chakalaka along the way; and guavas in a dessert of rum-infused pannacotta.

We’re not in London, Paris or Singapore, but in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, being introduced to the seasonally updated menu at the Mantis Collection’s No5 boutique hotel in Brighton Drive.

Head chef Wayne Myburgh and his team of Anele Sopeni and Sipho Mbovane, put their heads – and palates – together to produce an array of world-class dishes inspired by various cultures, with distinctly South African flavours.

Myburgh said the menu was reviewed and updated every three months, with this latest incarnation showcasing the “South African fusion” direction that he is pursuing, with plenty of experiments along the way.

They include his Afro-Asian version of sushi, with “inside-out” rolls featuring smoked springbok carpaccio alongside tender seared springbok as sashimi.

Braised pork cheeks – a starter that could well serve as a main – are slow cooked, super soft, melt-in-the-mouth, given local flavour with paptert and a spicy chakalaka ragu.

The chefs’ attention to detail is clear in the selection of mains we sampled – oxtail potjie becomes a hearty filling for handmade ravioli, accompanied by an incredible oxtail jus that must have been simmered slowly over hours to achieve its glossy richness and intense flavours.

Lamb shank is no ordinary lamb shank – it’s been roasted with boerewors, which adds a subtle, unexpected dimension of flavour and is proving a big hit with diners at No5.

The standout dish? Wildebeest, perfectly cooked – a tender, juicy and slightly pink seared fillet – is served with wild mushrooms cooked with rooibos tea and cognac, a wild mushroom puree and the rooibos featuring again in the aromatic gravy.

Dessert is just the right ending, a play of flavours and textures – crispy biscuit, creamy rum panna cotta and guava ice cream, with a smear of guava cheesecake. Subtly sweet and delicious.

No5 general manager Beverley Zonneveld and Mantis Collection founder Adrian Gardiner hosted the media in the hotel’s cellar’s private dining room to share the new menu this week.

Guests can book the cellar for private functions, or enjoy the hotel’s fare in the stylish Jazz Room restaurant.

THIS REVIEW WAS PUBLISHED IN THE WEEKEND POST ON 10 FEBRUARY 2018. PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO READ IT ON THE HERALD LIVE WEBSITE.

Discover more about No. 5 by Mantis.

Don’t miss this chance to discover St Helena

Launch rates for the Mantis St Helena will be available until September 2018. Come and discover all this remote British outpost has to offer

“There are few undiscovered destinations left in the world. There are few journeys left that are firsts in the world.” Experience the extraordinary nature, history and culture of St Helena, a remote island of unique character and unspoilt beauty.

Until now, intrepid adventurers have been able to reach the tropical British territory only by ship. Thanks to the advent of commercial flights it is now more accessible but no less enchanting, peaceful and beautiful.

And waiting to welcome you is the Mantis St Helena, a 30-bedroom boutique hotel. A combination of restored historic buildings (the old East India Company’s Officers’ Barracks) and a newly built contemporary wing, it opened at the end of 2017 and the special launch rates will be available until September 2018. (In a first for this distant outpost, the hotel boasts credit card facilities!)

Activities available include the bucket list adventure of swimming with gigantic whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean. (This is offered only under careful supervision, with a monitored exclusion zone, ensuring that the gentle creatures are not disturbed.) From the nostalgia of Jamestown to the cloud forests of Diana’s Peak and the rolling hills of the island’s interior, St Helena’s contrasting and spectacular scenery, centuries-old military fortifications and graceful buildings make it the perfect place for active exploration.  Follow this link to see more things to do on St Helena …

In a world of diminishing rarity, discover and experience the truly exceptional on St Helena with Mantis.

For updated rate sheets email Liezl Meyer at Mantis Central Reservations office on liezl.meyer@mantiscollection.com.