Skip to main content

The Great Plains Collective – Issue 5

By 7th Oct 2021May 6th, 2022The Great Plains Collective

Stay a little longer and marvel…

Travel bubbles, single destination holidays, private villas and spaces, are just some of the buzz words flying around post-pandemic. Showcased in this edition of ‘The Collective’ are a few of my favourite destination properties. Chosen for their unique offerings, sustainability ethos and location. One might consider staying longer at these bespoke lodges, slowing down completely, taking time to rejoice in the little things and truly taking time to marvel at the
wonders of mother nature both on land and in the ocean.


Mashatu Euphorbia Villas, a magnificent eco five-star camp, is set atop a cliff, hidden beneath towering euphorbia succulents within the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. Their 8 luxury villas have been modelled around the Mopane seed pod, with its curves and unique shape being moulded with raw materials echoing the natural beauty of the Mashatu Reserve.

What makes this luxury lodge experience even more “luxurious” is that sustainability is at the heart of everything they do. With solar-heated private plunge pools, solar air-conditioning, state-of-the-art water treatment and recycling systems, there is a thread of conservation consciousness throughout every element of this eco-camp.

Guests are able to truly savour the essence of exclusivity with only 4 guests per safari vehicle, the perfect safari bubble. All guides at Mashatu are extremely skilled with an average of 14 years of experience on Mashatu itself and share a love for showcasing daily sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hyena and general plains game with their guests.

Apart from being an oasis of conservation harmony Mashatu Euphorbia offers an abundance of activities. One is able to experience Mashatu by vehicle, on foot, on a mountain bike or on horseback or even in one of the underground photographic hides. Mashatu is a destination so dramatically different and beautiful and is the antidote to the traditional Botswana experience.

Did you know?
Mashatu has 92% rain-free days per annum making solar energy their logical choice of power.

Morukuru Ocean House is a private villa situated along the pristine coast of the De Hoop Nature Reserve. This four-bedroom luxury Ocean house is completely off the grid and perfectly tethers tourism to sustainability. With its “whatever you want, whenever you want” inspired attitude and barefoot luxury, this is the perfect multi-generational family destination. Experience guided marine walks, mountain-biking and exhilarating sandboarding on the dunes. This sanctuary will allow you to slip away from busy city schedules and Zoom calls and create unforgettable memories with your family.

Did you know?
The 36 000-ha De Hoop Nature Reserve, lapped by the Indian Ocean, is home to Africa’s Southern Right Whale. During the season from mid-July to November, about 120 whales return to these waters every year to mate and calve transforming the bay into a whale nursery, offering rare sightings of these incredible ocean mammals.

Santorini Mozambique is loved by many… but especially by kids and honeymooners! Santorini Mozambique is like a small village of three, greek inspired villas in the heart of a raw African landscape.  Its structural design makes for an utterly personal experience, whether travelling alone, with your significant other, or with family & friends. With an abundance of activities, deliciously presented meals and the friendly Santorini Family to assist, the choices to fill your precious holidays are endless. We love how the Santorini chefs bring a smile at every meal with their daily butter art!

Did you know? 
The Bazaruto Archipelago, a chain of islands strung out like a pearl necklace, is a protected National Marine Reserve (declared so in 1971) that lies parallel to the historical Mozambican channel. The archipelago consists of five islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Banque and Santa Carolina.

I fell in love all over again…..

Being a native South African, one often gets caught up in “just living here” and sometimes we forget just how privileged we are to live in such a diverse country that is both contrastingly preserving itself and decaying at the same time. As crazy as this may sound, it’s what makes South Africa so addictive. Tswalu defined everything South African for me. It is a luxurious destination situated in an extremely harsh and diverse biome but is the perfect example of restoration success and sustainable tourism. It is difficult for me to express just how much I loved my stay at Tswalu and how my experience has become a source of stored energy for me during long, Zoom-filled days. My Tswalu experience list is endless and the scrolling images above are just a ‘few” Tswalu moments that made my heart happy, my soul fly free and my feet feel deeply rooted to this beautiful earth.

This is my Tswalu love-list: 
The red, silky sand. The incredible views. The seasonal Spring blossoms. The vividly blue South African sky. The night blanket of overwhelming STARS! The dramatic, fiery sunsets. The freedom of having our very own private guide and tracker in open safari vehicle with no roof. The petroglyphs. The Klein Jan root cellar. How cleverly Chef Jan translated South African cuisine into food art. The African romance of being in the Kalahari. The meerkat experience. The kindness, generosity and warmth of the staff. The plush comfort of the rooms. KEEP (Kalahari Endangered Ecosystem Project) and their dedication to research. The tall, sun-soaked grasses resembling a lions mane blowing in the wind. Being in South Africa. Living.

Thank you Tswalu for the most incredible, life-giving memories.

Until the next time,

Keeping the dream fresh and alive,
Eluisa Di Benedetto | Product Manager