It’s exciting that the world is once again open to travel and exploring and, after 22 years of offering luxurious but sustainable travel, we are reimagining adventures. With properties on remote, historic islands to vast open wilderness areas teeming with wildlife, river safaris and beach escapes, there’s something for everyone. The common thread throughout: Uncompromising conservation, community and culture.
Vision to reality
Adrian Gardiner had a vision to re-wild wilderness areas and to preserve wildlife, the environment and our natural resources through sustainable tourism and education. And so, on July 25, 2000, Mantis was born. 22 years on we are a leading conservation-driven hotel group, with a collection of hotels, eco-lodges and waterways across the globe.
The Gardiner’s original family homestead, set within a private game reserve, was later converted into a destination for guests to enjoy and aptly named Founders Lodge. It remains a celebration of the beginning of sustainable tourism, conservation, culture and community inclusion. It is an exceptional place to find yourself.
We curate travel experiences for guests from all walks of life: Eco-adventurers and experience collectors, made up of families, honeymooners, solo or business travellers.
Most travellers to Africa are keen on a safari to see the Big 5. Whether you visit South Africa, Botswana, Namibia or Rwanda this special continent, with its different habitats, landscapes and abundance of wildlife is life altering. It may be a photographer’s dream but nothing prepares you for seeing iconic creatures up close, living in their natural environment. Whether it’s a lanky giraffe sashaying past your vehicle, zebra’s crossing your path or, a lion roaring or yawning, these encounters are exciting and exceptional. The animal sightings change with morning and evening game drives or bush walks through rare and distinct flora and fauna.
Rivers to deserts
In Botswana and Namibia, with typical burnt orange sunsets and star studded night skies, game reserves and national parks, you are spoilt for choice. Combine a luxurious river trip – on a floating boutique hotel that gently navigates the Chobe River while you watch herds of elephants, hippos, birds and more – with a stay in the Kalahari Desert. This truly spectacular and distinctive landscape has abundant wildlife and indigenous plants. Here, you can also enjoy an authentic Bushmen experience or visit the Cqwihaba Caves.
Forests and beaches
Our three properties in Rwanda offer everything from Big 5 safaris to hot air balloon excursions at Akagera National Park. Kivu Marina Bay Hotel, close to the Nyungwe Forest, is ideal for chimpanzee trekking and canopy tours. Want something different to round off the holiday – then how about some beach time at Nungwi Dreams in Zanzibar?
Zanzibar, known as ‘the spice island’, is laid back with endless white beaches and aqua blue water – ideal for snorkelling and diving. A highlight is a visit to the Baraka sea turtle conservation project, Jozani Forest or historical Stone Town.
St Helena Island
Not everything is about the safari though and for history boffs, you can take a step back in time and visit one of the world’s most remote destinations – taking in Napoleon’s house, beautiful, scenic walks or go whale shark diving.
Prefer to play golf on a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, surrounded by majestic mountains and wine farms? We have that covered too. Or if art is more your scene then visit our beautifully restored Mantis No5 Boutique Art Hotel, featuring 200 pieces of local art, including well known South African artist, William Kentridge.
To the next decade
‘We believe Mantis will continue to be an agent of change within the travel landscape,’ says Paul Gardiner, CEO. ‘Our legacy is built on my father’s dream to preserve wildlife, the environment and our natural resources.’
‘Travellers have become more environmentally conscious. Seeking destinations that fulfil their travel lust but they also want to make a positive contribution to the sustainability of the natural environment and every living thing it impacts.
‘Travelling with a purpose has been at the heart of our business for over two decades and will remain integral to our future.’
15 hotels, eco-lodges and waterways in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Zanzibar, St Helena Island and Costa Rica.
Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis (Western Cape)
Mantis No5 Boutique Art Hotel (Eastern Cape)
Mantis Founders Lodge & Railway Carriage (Eastern Cape)
Vivari Hotel & Spa by Mantis (Johannesburg)
Feline Fields Lodge
Botswana/Namibia | Chobe River
St Helena Island
Nungwi Dreams by Mantis (Zanzibar)
Mantis Akagera Game Lodge (Rwanda)
Mantis EPIC Hotel & Suites (Rwanda)
Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel (Rwanda)
Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga (Rwanda)