New Sabi Sands villa offers luxurious, stylish bush accommodations for families, small groups


The library in the main building at 1933

A family owned and managed four suite villa on the banks of the Sabie River within the large Sabi Sand Reserve and across from the, 1933 offered luxury accommodations including many creature comforts, appetizing home style meals, Big Five game viewing, and a dedicated team of staff for villa guests.

“In fact, 1933 is the family recreating the old camp,” said Nick More, partner and co-owner of the property, about the role of 1933 within the Lion Sands Reserve where it is located. The Lions Sands Reserve is situated within the larger Sabi Sand Reserve. “The old camp which was built in 1936 by my great grandfather and was called Warthog Wallow Camp. Since the great floods of the Sabie River of 2000 our family has wanted to rebuild and rekindle those memories that we created from that camp, and that was achieved late last year, 2007. We called it 1933 in memory of the year in which Lion Sands was first purchased.”


A lioness and her cubs


A view of the main building from one of the neighboring suites

“Working at this area where the word ‘no’ does not exist exaggerates the demand of the position in ensuring that every guest in catered for. A home style menu is served daily, allowing me to draw inspiration from the environment which surrounds me, resulting in classic dishes. Lunches are light and simple offering a range of flavours, influenced by combinations to compliment to each other.

Dinner varies from night to night, from home style a la carte dinners, boma, Bush Dinners, each offering a unique feel and experience with a zest of flavours. I also enjoy working with other people as it gives me an opportunity to gain experience in all levels of cooking. It allows me to experience different cultures which I can include in the preparation of my dishes,” said Sannie Mbeva, cook at 1933.


Guests view a sleepy male lion at Lion Sands

The newly built riverside rental home provided personal service and posh bush accommodations ideal for small corporate groups, celebrities and families. 1933, ensconced within the world famous Sabi Sand Reserve, was a setting of  lavish comfort in a game viewing reserve, offering guests the pleasure and space of a carefree home and exclusive access to the property for the duration of their stay. Our team’s visit was enhanced by private game drives, delicious meals and on site spa treatments. Click here to read a dedicated article about 1933.

Disappointing Delta business class service


Delta’s BusinessElite seats on a trip to South Africa

When Delta began offering direct service from the United States to South Africa, we thought the American carrier’s entry into those international skies would drive the quality of the route up prompting others to push their service to a higher standard.

The airline’s reputation for friendly and efficient service and its extensive operations with increasingly broad international reach made us think Delta would deliver a better than average or even an excellent product, especially in the usually profitable business category.

Instead, Delta’s BusinessElite service on that route was significantly below our expectations. It was the worst travel experience we have encountered aboard that large carrier. Click here to read a dedicated feature on Delta BusinessElite service from the United States to South Africa.

South Africa forest lodge designed for relaxing getaways

By Elena del Valle



The bedroom of our suite at Cybele


Our suite had a private terrace with a pool

During a three week game viewing trip to Botswana and South Africa earlier this year we included a two-day break at Cybele Forest Lodge and Spa, a secluded property near the  While there we relaxed in the landscaped forest environs, enjoyed couples spa treatments and yummy meals.

We liked the quiet elegance of this Relais and Chateaux property with friendly and service oriented staff and will recommend it to friends searching a spa oriented getaway property between Johannesburg and the Click here to read a dedicated article about the Cybele Forest Lodge and Spa.

Canon binoculars with image stabilizing technology enhanced my safari experience

By Elena del Valle


My Canon 10 x 30 IS binoculars

After years of borrowing binoculars while on safari I decided I wanted a pair of good quality binoculars to get the most out of my game viewing trips. I had tried a pair of high end binoculars at one of the luxury properties we stayed in during a trip in late 2007 and realized how much I was missing by not having my own high quality binoculars.

The challenge was that the price of the binoculars I had tried was $2,000 and up. Considering the travel time and cost of a safari trip and the effort to reach the destination I wanted as good a pair as possible and was willing to look closely at the options. At the same time, with the luggage weight restrictions and increasing pilfering problems at airports it would not be safe to pack my new binos with the checked in luggage. Our carry-on luggage allowance was severely strained already with computers, camera gear, food, emergency clothing and adding binoculars would be difficult.


My binoculars came with a carrying case, lens covers and a shoulder strap

When I first heard about the new Canon binoculars with image stabilizer, Canon 10 x 30 IS, I was skeptical. Could these new battery operated binoculars with image stabilizing technology really improve the quality of my game viewing experience without costing or weighing a ton?

After a three week safari trip to Botswana and South Africa I can answer that question confidently, yes. The image stabilizing feature came in handy many times, especially when I was viewing birds and animals in action or far away. The binoculars were light and small enough to carry with easily on game drives and in our carry-on luggage.

Using the binoculars was simple. I adjusted the lenses to my viewing preferences and whenever I wanted added clearness I pressed the image stabilizer button located in the top middle of the binoculars.  The only inconvenience was that in order for the feature to work I had to keep pressing the button. A soon as I released it the stabilizing function stopped.

An advantage was that although we brought rechargeable batteries I was able to rely on a single battery set for the entire Southern Africa trip and for another one week trip to Panama shortly after our return from Africa. Overall, the Canon 10 x 30 IS performed well, was easy to carry and well priced.