Akagera Game Lodge Joins Mantis Collection

On the 10th of October 2017, The Mantis Collection and the Rwanda Social Security Board signed a Hotel Management Agreement for Akagera Game Lodge in Rwanda. Akagera Game Lodge is a 2-hour drive from Kigali and comprises of 60 rooms and a conference centre.

Akagera Game Lodge is set within the Akagera National Park (ANP) in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, on the border of Tanzania. This is the only Big 5 park in Rwanda; it is Central Africa’s largest protected wetland and the last remaining refuge for savannah-adapted species in Rwanda. Akagera National Park is characterised by swamps, lakes, open savannahs and woodlands. The park is home to more than 482 bird species such as the rare Shoebill Stork and over 12 000 large mammals including zebras, giraffes, lions, black rhinos, and elephants. Crucial to the park’s ecosystem is the vast Lake Ihema which is home to hippos and crocodiles.  Akagera National Park is considered a strategic tourist attraction in Rwanda and offers unrivalled scenic beauty. Vigourous law enforcement has seen a drastic reduction in poaching and prospering wildlife since 2010.

The Mantis Collection is a family-run collection of award-winning, privately-owned hotels, and eco-escapes located on all 7 continents of the world. Each property in the Mantis portfolio represents the finest example of its kind and celebrates the culture, gastronomy, architecture, and nature of the location in which it is found; offering guests truly authentic experiences. Officially founded by Adrian Gardiner in 2000, Mantis is committed to the spirit of conservation and restoration, and each property is sensitive to its surroundings in respect of the building, environment, and local community.

The Mantis Collection truly is the best choice for developing Akagera Game Lodge, and the tourism sector of Rwanda. The group’s global footprint lends extensive experience in tourism development, and as Mantis was also involved in formulating of the Wildlife Management plan for Akagera National Park in 2007 – it brings to the table a sound understanding of what the park has to offer.

The Mantis Collection will commence with the development, management, and marketing of Akagera Game Lodge before the end of 2017, with all renovations to be completed by the middle of 2018. Development at the lodge will start with a soft refurbishment, replacement of furniture and building maintenance, and it will remain open throughout. All operating systems will be modernised and service levels improved to the 5-star standard Mantis is renowned for. Plans for Akagera Game Lodge include the introduction of set departures from Kigali and positioning Akagera Lodge as a luxury experience in a circuit including Kigali, Lake Kivu, and the Volcanoes National Park. This is in line with the long-term strategy implemented by Rwanda Tourism.

Mantis Collection is Africa's Leading Hotel Brand in 2017

Mantis Collection’s Chairman, Adrian Gardiner attended the 24th annual World Travel Awards where the brand scooped a host of prestigious awards. The auspicious event was held on Tuesday, 10th October in Kigali, Rwanda.

World Travel Awards™ was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry. Today, the World Travel Awards™ brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire. Each year, World Travel Awards™ covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to celebrate the achievements and strengths of the travel industry, within each key geographical region.

As a leading portfolio of privately owned hotels and eco-escapes; Mantis Collection has a presence on all 7 continents of the world. This family-run luxury hospitality brand is entrenched in travel  through development, marketing, management, conservation and education. The Mantis property is almost always set off the beaten path, an example of the best of its kind, and an authentic celebration of that makes its location unique.

Mantis is honoured to receive the World Travel Award for being Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand. It is with great pride that we congratulate the other winners in our portfolio.

Ghana’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2017: Villa Monticello
Ghana’s Leading Hotel 2017: Villa Monticello
Ghana’s Leading Hotel Suite 2017: Kwame Nkrumah Suite @ Villa Monticello
Namibia’s Leading Tented Safari Camp 2017: Ichingo Chobe River Lodge

Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel Brand 2017: Mantis Collection

Prince William Salutes Africa's Wildlife Heroes

Mantis Collection is extremely proud to have been part of this year’s TUSK awards which were held for the first time on the African continent. Conservation heroes from all over the African continent converged at the prestigious award ceremony in Cape town last night, 4th October 2017.

Tusk has been working since 1990 to build a sustainable future for the African continent and its wildlife. Since its formation in 1990 Tusk Trust has raised over £35m for a wide range of projects across Africa, which not only work to protect wildlife, particularly endangered species, but also help to alleviate poverty through sustainable development and education amongst rural communities who live alongside wildlife.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Royal Patron of Tusk Trust in December 2005 and he has actively supported the charity’s work both privately and publicly on many occasions. The Tusk Awards, which were devised with the personal involvement of the Duke, were first held at the Royal Society, London in September 2013 and became the focus of the TV documentary, “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope” broadcast by ITV and CNN around the world.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu presented The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa to Rian Labuschagne. This prestigious award sponsored by Investec Asset Management, goes to a man who has dedicated his life to the preservation of some of the world’s most endangered species and important wildlife reserves. Tusk CEO, Charlie Mayhew said, “Thanks to Rian, Chad has witnessed one of conservations’ great success stories unfold with the revival of Zakouma National park and its decimated elephant population.”

The Land Rover sponsored Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa was presented to Brighton Kumchedwa by Nelson Mandela’s widow and former first lady, Mrs Graça Machel. The award recognizes his ground-breaking work in Malawi, one of southern Africa’s major illegal wildlife trade routes.

The Tusk Wildlife Ranger Award, introduced in 2015, and particularly close to Prince William’s heart, this year jointly honours the bravery and dedication of two men leading teams risking their lives day and night, on poaching’s front line. Former South African President, FW de Klerk presented the award to Solomon Chidunuka, based in Zambia’s Northern Province and to Lucky Ndlovu from Kruger National Park, South Africa.

With climate change and the increased pressure on land brought about by the growing human footprint, the threats to wildlife and wild areas are considerable.  The Prince said “I worry a great deal that our generation is not meeting our moral obligation to leave this planet in better shape than we inherited it.  Our children and grandchildren will not thank us if we fail in our duty to reverse the decline in so many species.

Hendrik du Toit, CEO of Investec Asset Management, the headline partner of the Tusk Awards, added “We congratulate each and every nominee for their outstanding achievements. Only by celebrating the successful efforts of these individuals will we inspire many more to join the struggle for the very survival of our planet as we know it.”

Mantis Collection Receives the 'Signum Virtutis' Seal of Excellence

The Mantis Collection has received the prestigious ‘Signum Virtutis’ seal of excellence at the 2017 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards ceremony held in Athens, Greece on Saturday, 23rd of September. Mantis Collection is the only hotel brand to receive an award in the Seven Stars Luxury Eco Adventure Retreats sector. There are less than 200 recipients worldwide, and a maximum of 3 winners per country, per sector.

The Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards is a global organisation which acts as the custodian of the SIGNUM VIRTUTIS seal of excellence, the most exclusive award for the pinnacle of luxury hospitality and lifestyle. The SSLHLA Luxury Panel  consists of high profile, well-travelled, affluent leaders and experts from within the Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle industry. This Luxury Panel was tasked with selecting and approving nominees. Voting for the SSLHLA took place online using the most transparent voting system across the awards industry.

Receiving the Signum Virtutis seal of excellence for our eco adventures is of special significance to Mantis as we strive to provide unique experiences in every corner of the globe. Mantis guests, in particular those who choose Mantis eXtreme experiences, get to journey off the beaten path and discover unique destinations through mind-blowing, eye-opening and body-stretching eco adventures. These luxury eco adventures are most true to our mantra: Man And Nature Together Is Sustainable. Each journey allowing our guests to reconnect with nature in the most enriching and the most sustainable way.

Magnificent Support for the 2017 Mantis Mini Indaba Series

Travel agents and tour operators came in their numbers to attend 3 trade workshops hosted by The Mantis Collection in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg during August and September.

Mantis is a family run collection of privately owned, award winning properties which offer luxurious experiences that allow guests to celebrate the culture, gastronomy, architecture and nature of unique locations around the world. Boutique hotels, game reserves, eco lodges, yachts, ski lodges and chalets which represent the finest example of their kind have been hand-picked to make up the Mantis Collection; offering guests truly authentic experiences.

The purpose of the Mantis Mini Indabas is to reintroduce the Mantis Collection to the travel trade, share on exciting developments taking place within the collection and create a space for agents to become acquainted with our Southern African properties. Each workshop started with an introduction to the soul and essence of Mantis as Chairman, Adrian Gardiner, took guests on his journey of moving to South Africa from Zimbabwe, to starting Shamwari Game Reserve and the birth of the Mantis brand. Chris Hoare, CRO of Airlink introduced guests to the Ambraer 190 aircraft which has been especially adapted to service the new St Helena route which will run from Cape Town and Johannesburg via Windhoek from the 14th of October 2017. New developments revealed at this year’s mini indabas included iMfolozi Private Big 5 Reserve due to open next year, and a sneak-peak at the Mantis brand make-over to be launched soon.

Agents took turns to sit with a general manager from each of our Southern African properties and hear from the experts how to include their properties in the perfect Mantis journey. The support we received from the trade was fantastic; and this proved to us the necessity to host these mini indabas on an annual basis. Rosie Brossy, Sales Manager for Mantis says that “these annual Mantis Mini Indabas are a vital demonstration of our principal of valuing the agents who are essentially an extension of the guests. Our aim is to retain this personal touch”.

Each event was wrapped up with a lucky draw where 3 lucky winners received amazing Mantis Journeys such as a 7-day trip to Mantis St Helena including flights from Airlink, an Eastern Cape Meander experience at Founder’s Lodge, Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve and No 5 by Mantis. Some lucky winners also received Winelands escapes including stays at one of the Last Word boutique hotels and the Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis.

Airlink Commences Flights to St Helena on 14th October 2017

Airlink will start operating the first and only flight schedule between St Helena and South Africa on Saturday, 14th October 2017. The Airlink flight will connect guests from Johannesburg and Cape Town, via Windhoek. The flight will operate on Saturdays in an Embraer 190 aircraft – the first prototype of an advanced aircraft which incorporates fly by wire technology. This aircraft model has performed many successful campaigns in some of the world’s most difficult airports, including London City. This carrier model has been approved for the St Helena Route by the UK Civil Aviation Authority as well as the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

The Embraer 190 has proven that a commercial operation in St Helena’s airport is viable and safe; this aircraft is perfectly suited to sail the winds of the Atlantic and land on the remote island with great precision. Airlink will ferry up to 114 passengers on their journey to unearthing the exceptional experiences awaiting discovery on St Helena.

The St Helena flight will be available on booking channels as soon as Airlink loads St Helena airport taxes; a process which has proven to be quite complex because St Helena has never been developed as a destination in any GDS.

The rates for the St Helena flights are projected by Airlink as follows:

Cape Town – St Helena return ZAR 15,300 / £847

Johannesburg – St Helena return ZAR 14,090/ £805

The flight rates will be all inclusive and terms & conditions will be available for viewing on the Airlink website.

Mantis Supports Rowing for Rubicon

A plucky team of 4 adventurers will set off rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in December 2017. This fantastic four includes Chris Shirley, an adventurer who set the world’s first record for the fastest marathon time while carrying a 100-pound (45kg) back pack. Chris is an endurance athlete who has completed 2 Ironman triathlons; and is also a former Royal Marines Commando Officer, and a disaster response volunteer.

This 3500 –mile (5, 633 km) row across the Atlantic Ocean is in support of Team Rubicon; a disaster response organisation that supports veterans by helping them to help others. Team Rubicon responds to emergencies on home turf and overseas; giving veterans a renewed purpose, a new community and self-worth.

As firm believers in stretching the possibilities; The Mantis Collection stands aptly in support of this great feat as one of Rowing for Rubicon’s sponsors. We are proud of this collaboration and wish Chris and his team fair winds and following seas.

The Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day 2017

The Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day tees off today, 15th September 2017 at the Burhill Golf Club in Surrey, UK. The Mantis Collection is proud to be a major sponsor of the Nedbank SA Charity Golf Day which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The patron of this prestigious charity golf day is Mr FW de Klerk, former State President of South Africa.

All proceeds go towards providing ongoing financial support for sustainable, multipurpose and life-changing projects that will simultaneously nurture holistic childhood development and help to end the poverty cycle in vulnerable communities in South Africa.

Over the past 19 years more than £1.8 Million has been raised for a number of worthy causes across South Africa including Afrika Tikkun, Food Forward SA, FW De Klerk Foundation, Saracens Foundation Kayamandi Project, LIV Village, Thuthuka and Warwick-in-Africa.

One lucky bidder will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to St Helena Island, including return flights on the new Airlink flight, 7 nights accommodation at Mantis St Helena hotel, a private dinner with the governor of St Helena and a plethora of adventures on the beautiful tropical island.

Another fortunate entrant will receive 2 nights at The Last Word Constantia in addition to experiencing the breath-taking Eastern Cape Meander which includes 2 nights at Founder’s Lodge adjacent to Shamwari Game Reserve, 2 nights at Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve just outside Port Alfred, and 2 nights at No 5 by Mantis in Port Elizabeth.

No. 5 Hotel by Mantis awarded: Best Boutique Hotel - Port Elizabeth & Excellence Award for South African Fusion Cuisine 2017

The Travel & Tour Awards 2017 shines a light on the companies and business who work tirelessly to ensure they achieve great success within the hospitality industry. From all corners of this dynamic industry, the commitment shown by these inimitable high flyers, they believe is truly deserving of great recognition.

We are so pleased to announce that No. 5 Hotel by Mantis has been awarded: Best Boutique Hotel – Port Elizabeth & Excellence Award for South African Fusion Cuisine 2017.

Nestled in the upmarket beachfront suburb of Summerstrand, No5 by Mantis is less than ten minutes from the airport and within 100 metres of the Indian Ocean.

No stone was left unturned to ensure that our ten exquisite suites are masterpieces of comfort and opulence. No5 by Mantis is superb accommodation for business conferences or pleasure, offering the service excellence that the Mantis Group is renowned for the world over.

 

Ground Breaking Agreement on Certified Bamboo for Sustainable Tourism

Deep rooted backgrounds in African conservation, as well as shared visions for sustainability and a world in which people and animals can co-exist came to light during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Mantis and EcoPlanet Bamboo last month. The executive management teams of both companies, which included Camille Rebelo COO of EcoPlanet Bamboo and Adrian Gardiner CEO of Mantis, met at No5 by Mantis, in Port Elizabeth.

EcoPlanet Bamboo, a leader in the industrialization of bamboo as a commercial fibre through the restoration of degraded land into sustainability certified global bamboo plantations, and Mantis Collection, a family run collection of award winning, privately owned, five star properties located around the world, signed a ground-breaking agreement with far reaching benefits for both the environment and for the global movement towards sustainable tourism.

During the discussions, both companies recognized a shared set of environmental values, inherent in the philosophies and daily operations of each. EcoPlanet Bamboo and Mantis Collection both recognised the necessity to develop business based solutions to contribute to the conservation and preservation of the world’s natural resources and developed business models around a deep culture of operating in a sustainable and responsible manner. Although deeply rooted in South Africa, the agreement has a global and far reaching scope.

EcoPlanet Bamboo has restored thousands of hectares of severely degraded land into sustainably certified bamboo plantations in some of the poorest parts of the globe, while providing secure livelihoods to hundreds of families thereby reducing pressure on surrounding natural resources. However it is the combination of this truly renewable bamboo resource with a commitment to the development and utilization of clean and closed loop technology in the manufacture of a suite of products that aligns itself with the goals and commitments of the Mantis Collection. This innovative group of hotels is working hard to reduce environmental footprints and maximize the positive contribution of each individual hotel across all five continents.

EcoPlanet Bamboo and Mantis are kick starting this long term relationship with the utilization of a unique bamboo charcoal air purifier in all Mantis hotel rooms aimed at improving the quality of indoor air and reducing moisture in humid locations and a specialized bamboo charcoal for the filtration of water, thereby reducing the use of plastic water bottles. Short term commitments are to move the hotel collection’s use of packaging for cosmetics, food and drinks to a renewable and compostable bamboo alternative, while the partnership’s longer term commitment is aimed at the provision of a tree free, deforestation free toilet paper and eventually the utilization of EcoPlanet’s bamboo fiber and clean pulping technology for the production of luxury textiles.

“We are thrilled to be launching this partnership with the Mantis Collection” says EcoPlanet Bamboo CEO Troy Wiseman. “Mr. Gardiner is a pioneer in the conservation of natural resources, and his family run business is an inspiration for any entrepreneur”.

Mantis awarded Best Global Luxury Hotel Group - Africa & LUX Excellence Award for Eco-Tourism 2017

We are very pleased to announce that the Mantis Collection has been awarded: Best Global Luxury Hotel Group – Africa & LUX Excellence Award for Eco-Tourism 2017.

At LUX, through this awards programme, they reward the hard-work and efforts companies within the Hospitality industry give and by hosting these awards it gives us a chance to recognise the tireless work of the firms and individuals behind the success of quality service, professionalism and growth in this challenging market.
To find out more about these prestigious awards, and the dedicated establishments that have been selected for them, please visit http://www.lux-intl.com where you can view our winners supplement and full winners list.