XO Africa - Newsletter 005 - Red Earth

004 - Edito

Let’s start with excellent news: our newsletter is being thoroughly read.

The bad news… We have been asked to remove our Club Incentives stories, which had the purpose to tell the inside story of an incentive trip.

Of course, we apologise to those companies whose names were mentioned and did not mean to offend anyone in this regard. The Anglo-Saxons will be disappointed to not have this modern and informative way included...

But let’s turn the page – this one is number 005...

Sebastien Charrieras - Director of XO Africa


Mysterious and enigmatic, Namibia possesses a unique beauty. From the harshly inhospitable Skeleton Coast with its shipwrecks to the vast salt pans of Etosha National Park, Namibia is one of the most amazing countries in Africa.

Massive, shifting sand dunes, said to be the highest in the world, form an ever changing interplay of light and shade under the hot Namib Desert sun at Sossusvlei. This area is a must for photographers. Not only are the dramatic shapes of the red sands wonderfully photogenic but here you may get a picture of the magnificent desert oryx.

Botanists and zoologists are often keen to observe the adaptation of both animal and plant species to the apparently hostile environment. Namibia offers a rare chance to see fascinating animals such as the oryx, known as ‘’master of the desert’’, and the endangered desert elephant, both of which are very specialised. The Huab Valley also has rare specimens of Welwitschia mirabilis, a strange tree that has been stunted by the desert climate and is a supreme example of evolutionary adaptation.

In Etosha National Park you will see more familiar wildlife, indeed all of the ‘’big five’’ (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) may be found here. Springbok, wildebeest, eland and zebra range the park and congregate at the water holes in far larger numbers during the dry months of June to December. There are good numbers of lion and leopard and black rhino. Ongava Game Reserve, next to the Park, even has white rhino.

Swakopmund is a quiet seaside town with considerable charm. An extremely comfortable base from which to explore the desert and coast, this is a wonderful place from which to take exciting dune rides on quad bikes, to dune board at speeds of up to eighty kilometres per hour or, perhaps take a trip to the Cape Cross seal colony, There is even one of the only four desert golf courses in the world.

The desert is a wonderful place for those seeking solitude and the time in which to reflect, yet Namibia also offers so much more. Fascinating animals, a strange and interesting plant world, the heart-pounding thrill of adrenaline sports and some of the most strangely haunting landscapes in the world.

by Eric Duchaine - XO Namibia Manager

Lodge Actually - Earth Lodge : Sabi Sabi private Game Reserve Visit the website  

Earth Lodge is a sanctuary symbolising a new era in luxury South African safari lodges. Sculpted into a slope of the earth, almost invisible in the landscape, the lodge uses texture, light and space to present a lodge like no other. Taking its cue from the surrounding environment, it has been described as the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa.

Earth Lodge reveals itself in a series of sensory revelations. On arrival a hidden corridor leads you down on a journey to a unique and unforgettable experience. The unexpected entrance opens to a panorama of uninterrupted bushveld. As in nature everything at Earth Lodge exists in harmony and you are immediately aware of a sense of calm and a restoring spirit. Home to 13 ultra-luxurious suites including the Amber Presidential Suite, the lodge breaks with traditional bush lodge style to create a masterpiece of artistry and innovation. Each of the suites at this luxury lodge features individually designed furniture, private plunge pool, en-suite glass fronted bathroom, indoor and outdoor shower and butler services. The natural wooden sculptures by renowned South African artist Geoffrey Armstrong add a powerful magic.

The Amber Suite is a glorious celebration of generous size and space. Beyond belief in its beauty, from the magnificent carved wooden headboard to the deep egg-shaped bath, the suite boasts its own exercise room, steam room, study and kitchen. It captures the spirit of nature and luxury in one unique experience.

The outdoor boma, its walls sculpted from tree roots and piled up piece by piece, captures the drama of the African night and evokes the power of the wilderness. An indoor/outdoor dining area overlooking a waterhole and unending bushveld, a secluded library, art gallery, meditation garden; and an underground wine cellar with a collection of over 6000 bottles of rare wines, the venue for an unforgettable dining experience - everything at this luxury lodge has been created for your indulgence. While on safari escape to the Amani Spa at Earth Lodge and indulge in holistic body, skin and beauty rituals, treatments and massages.

Each morning and evening you will depart from this luxury safari lodge into the wilderness, either by open Land Rover or on foot for a walking safari, accompanied by your armed and knowledgeable Game Ranger and Shangaan Tracker. Close enough to share in a thrilling encounter with Africa's beautiful wild creatures.

by Rolene Enright - DMC Manager

Earth Touch - From an animal point of view  

At any moment in time, a complex cycle of natural wonder is playing out somewhere on this planet:

Earth-Touch strives to capture the best of this activity every day – quickly, simply, and in the highest quality possible, and to relay it to audiences worldwide, within 48 hours of it being filmed whenever possible.
While a butterfly flits about in the Amazon, a lion roars in the African night, a great white shark moves silently through the Indian Ocean, a polar bear hunts in an icy landscape, the Video Crew strives to convey the truth and beauty of life on Earth, and to put people in touch with our natural heritage.

Earth-Touch puts people in touch with the Earth, now.

Earth-Touch’s mission is to celebrate the beauty of nature and to reflect what happens in the natural world truthfully and instantaneously. We are committed to respecting the environment and to scrupulously avoid harming or disturbing our subjects or their habitats.

by Sebastien Rombi - FIT Consultant

Elephant and giraffe in timeless Etosha

Earth Touch