All posts by Swagman Tours

The Rebirth of Nantwich Lodge, Hwange

– Nantwich Lodge – Nantwich Lodge – Nantwich Lodge – 

The Rebirth of Nantwich Lodge

Nantwich Lodge, Hwange National Park

Nantwich Lodge in northern Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, has a new lease on life.  Author Tony Park and his wife Nicola, together with some friends, ambitiously took apart the dilapidated property and repurposed the materials to form the foundation of the newest luxury lodge in Hwange. Located in arguably the most wildlife-rich sector of the national Park, Nantwich has not only all the creature comforts you could possibly wish for but a stunning natural outlook. While Nantwich appears to sit in a favourite resting place for lion and leopard, its site also allows you to see why Hwange is renowned for its magnificent herds of elephant.


Nantwich Lodge as it was inherited


Within easy reach of Victoria Falls, being under 2 hours’ drive away, Nantwich Lodge is the perfect antidote for the stress of urban hustle & bustle.  With intensive hygiene protocols, Nantwich is the perfect low-density wilderness holiday you’ll appreciate after having to endure the 2020 Covid lockdown!

We have created two tailor-made packages to appeal to those who like to have (almost) everything already organised before arrival.  You could almost leave your wallet at home…  Just a couple of examples of what can be created to encompass the best of the Southern Africa region, perfect destinations in themselves or additions to other Africa arrangements.  Contact us to make a booking or to create other combinations to suit your personal preferences.


Victoria Falls


Includes shared Victoria Falls Airport arrival transfer
2 nts in the majestic Victoria Falls Hotel
Falls tour & Signature-deck Sunset cruise
Flight to Hwange Main Camp (southeast Hwange NP)
Transfer to Elephant’s Eye Lodge
3 nts Elephant’s Eye Lodge
* incl all meals, local drinks & game activities
Road transfer to Nantwich Lodge (northwestern Hwange NP)
3 nts Nantwich Lodge
* incl all meals, local drinks & game activities
Road transfer to Victoria Falls Airport for onward travel
from  $4795pp twin share


12-night package includes:
Shared Kasane Airport arrival transfer

3 nts Pangolin Photographic Hotel, Chobe
* incl all meals, local drinks, photographic tuition/review, game activities, cameras, lenses, memory cards
3 nts Pangolin Voyager Houseboat, Chobe River
* incl all meals, local drinks, photographic tuition/review, photoboat cruising, cameras, lenses, memory cards
Road transfer to Victoria Falls
2 nts Victoria Falls Hotel incl breakfasts
* incl Signature-deck sunset cruise & Falls tour
Road transfer to Nantwich Lodge
4 nts Nantwich Lodge, northwest Hwange NP
* incl all meals, local drinks & game activities
Road transfer to Victoria Falls Airport
from  $6895pp twin share

Take a Hot-Air Balloon While on Safari

Maddison flies over the Masai Mara!

IT’S 5AM at the Sarova Mara Game Camp.  We meet in the lobby to walk down to our safari vehicles, together and escorted by a guard because it is still dark.  Everyone is cold and sleepy from the early wake-up call, yet excited for what is to come.  We drive about 15-20 mins before arriving at our designated take-off area.  We all hop out of the vehicles and see shiny multi-coloured fabric spread along the ground.  The sun’s rays slowly lighten the eastern horizon and the balloon is loudly inflated by the crew, rising to become a glowing jewel.


It is now time for us to hop in.  We are asked one at a time to slide into the basket, while it is on its side.  We all squish in together and are told to hold on to the handles inside while the basket is slowly lifted.  


We stay seated in the basket while the balloon takes off.  This takes just a few minutes.  Soon enough we the basket is in the air and we are allowed to stand.  The view is breathtaking!  Nothing but plains surround us: they stretch as far as the eye can see.  Our pilot guides the balloon over herds of zebra and wildebeest.  They begin to run as the balloon glides lower.  There are so many that I don’t have time to count as we pass overhead.  As we continue our journey, we spot warthog and giraffe by the Mara River.  The sky is a beautiful streakiness of pinks and oranges as the sun itself peeks over the horizon.


We all take time to photograph what we see, but the images we view later just don’t do it justice. Too soon, it is time to begin our descent.  We are told to sit and hold on again while the balloon lands.  Once it lands, a solid but not scary bump-and-grind along the dirt, we slide out and are greeted by friendly staff holding out flutes of champagne, presenting us with a gourmet breakfast in the middle of the bush.



As we tuck into the selection of pastries, meats and cheeses, a herd of zebra surround us!  We mute our voices, and they stand watching us, chewing their grass, waiting, it seems, for some throwaway morsels…  It is the perfect ending to an unforgettable morning!  It was an exhilarating experience I will cherish forever!


If you’ve been on a hot-air balloon in Africa, we’d love you to share your experience! Where were you? And what was your favourite moment?

 If you’d like more information, email

Navigating the Covid-19 Situation

30 June 2020

Three months of no income, and staring down another three – or more – what an apparent disaster!  But there have been silver linings on the clouds of doom…  So many of our clients have deferred their bookings to next year, it’s been uplifting to postpone arrangements rather than to cancel.  We’re excited to have broadened our Australia Portfolio, so that when the borders drop for ‘safe’ countries we’re ready to send you to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands!  We’ve tidied the office and our homes; we’ve learned to look every day for something beautiful in nature, no matter how small; and, in our house anyway, we have a family activity every evening, even if it is as simple as watching Netflix together.  Good health is paramount, and we hope you are your family and friends are practising safe habits, to ensure we can all travel again soon!  The best news is that most of our suppliers are offering 2020 rates for travel throughout 2021, so we can use this time on our hands to plan the very best itinerary for any destination we offer so YOU can enjoy it to the fullest!

Luxury Rail Journey in South Africa

Travel between Cape Town & Pretoria in Style!

Take the Blue Train


3 days/2 nts – Save $$$ when you travel with a friend

The Blue Train traverses South Africa and its breath-taking scenery in a manner that befits its royal mystique.  See the spectacular and diverse landscape unfold in front of your eyes, enjoy off-board excursions to discover a gold-mining heritage, and delight in excellent personal service with fine dining which showcases South Africa’s bountiful produce and quality wines.  All-inclusive, this special deal makes it even more attractive when you compare it to the cost of airline flights, taxes, accommodation, transfers & waiting time…

Book during December 2019 for all May, June, July 2020 departures & the second person travels for only 50%.

That’s a saving of between $1000-1300 per booking, depending on the class of cabin you choose, Deluxe or Luxury.
Rush in & book now before all the suites are taken!

Call us on 1800 808 491 or email


Flash Sale – Buy one tour, get one free!



For the short sale period of 1-15 Nov 2019,
buy our Nomad Adventures 20-day Cape Town to Victoria Falls overland tour to travel Jan-Jun 2020, & you can choose a free 5-day extension tour
a) Journey to Kruger; or
b) Best of Zimbabwe,
absolutely free! 


Travellers on all northbound camping or budget-accommodated tours from Cape Town to Victoria Falls are eligible for the free 5-day tour addon, subject to availability.

Click here for itinerary details  Cape to Vic
and also the free  connectiong options, either Journey to Johannesburg + Kruger Big-5
.                                        or           Best of Zimbabwe
Ask us for Jan-Jun 2020 dates.


If you miss the sale above, don’t despair, remember that ALL Nomad camping and budget-accommodated tours running Jan-Jun will be discounted by 10% if you book & deposit by 30Nov19!
Just quote Nomad Early Bird when you call to enquire!

Phone us … 1800 808 491


Nomad Africa Adventures Flash Sale for Singles!

Book any Nomad Africa Adventure tour departing 01 Jan -30 Jun 2020 & receive your single supplement FREE!
From South Africa to Zanzibar to the gorillas in Uganda, Nomad operates overland tours for between 4 & 20 passengers using a fleet of purpose-built 4WD trucks, each with at least 2 trained guides.

Immerse yourself in the African experience for a fraction of the price of the 5-star lodges…
with no extra cost to have a single room!  Nada!  What a bonus!
This offer expires 4th October 2019, so call us, or your local travel agent, ASAP.
Singles limited as usual to 2 per tour. T’s & C’s apply.


This could be YOUR journey of a lifetime!  Book it now!

You can phone us on1800 808 491   or email

Nomad Adventure Safari Offer

Nomad Adventures Flash Sale

Get a free night on us!

Book a seat on the South African Explorer adventure overland and get one night’s free accommodation
either before or after your tour, either at Belvedere Estate in Midrand (Johannesburg) or
at 40 on Burg in the heart of Cape Town.

Book between now and September 5th 2019, to travel on any all-inclusive South African Explorer
tour departing Jan-Apr 2020, north or south, camping or accommodated, to get your free night!


Click here to see the new South Africa Explorer itinerary for 2020.
Call or email to make your booking!

Migration Discoverer – departs Arusha 16 Oct 2019

Seize the Day!
Take the opportunities as they arise…

Get in quick for this 15-day Migration Discoverer small-group tour departing Arusha 16th October.
Includes arrival transfers, superior accommodation, all meals, and an unforgettable hot-air-balloon ride, game viewing over the Masai Mara followed by a champagne bush breakfast.
Contact us for a detailed itinerary, call Alicia on 1800 808 491.

Mara Giraffe



Don’t miss the chance to see the spectacle of wildflowers in the Western Cape region of South Africa!

There are two mini-Wildflower tours scheduled to depart in August that have half-a-dozen seats available on each, which we’ve combined with a city stay in Cape Town to create this 9-day Cape & Wildflowers package.  Add a safari, a Blue Train journey, and/or a Victoria Falls extension for the perfect Winter escape!

Ask our friendly consultants for more details by calling 1800 808 491 or emailing