|On being appointed as the
preferred accommodation venue in a bid during April 2000 to host the BMW
X5 Launch, Hayward's Luxury Mobile Safari Camp set about planning
the world's biggest safari ever conducted.
The specifics are daunting. Over 2'500 guests will visit the safari camp for an overnighter in groups of 120 persons per night over a period of 21 nights. Hayward's will provide the client with a safari encompassing the setting up of well over 60 tons of safari expedition equipment in 3 world Heritage sites (Cradle of Humankind Gauteng - West Coast National Park, Langebaan and St Lucia Wetland Park, Kwa-Zulu Natal). The distances traveled to provide this safari service will span over 10'000 kilometers of travel and from start to finish a round trip of over 56 days!
Eighty VIP guests will enjoy bathroom en-suite facilities while the balance will experience the infamous Hayward's Executive Revitalisation Centre.
Prior to departure on the 18th February 2001, clients enjoyed those special touches that have made Hayward's the world's most unique incentive destination venue - a full food tasting was provided, where the client was able to taste and test the quality of the morning off-site Reveal Breakfast, the off-site Reveal Luncheon, the 8 course in-camp White Mischief Dinner (with 64 separate taste sensations) and a full wine taste of Recommended Wines from the Hayward's Cellar.
Artist entertainment for this unique 19th century safari experience will be provided by Award Winning Event Communications company O'mage. A first ever staging of "Ama Opera" will take place under an African Night sky each evening, guaranteed to bring guests off their chairs in standing ovation.
What makes the above specification even more impressive is the fact that Hayward's are operating this immense safari with their hotel team of less than 40 staff members (If one takes into account that most 120 bed hotels run with a minimum of 120 staff ).
"This project is the epitome of our work and will allow us the opportunity of demonstrating our world first incentive concept for big groups," says Peter Hayward, founder of Hayward's.
"Over the past 10 years, we have demonstrated conclusively that we are able to make the impossible possible, the dream a reality, the experience a memory never forgotten. With this client, we have prepared a smorgasbord of pure safari experiences, that the majority of their clients would never have experienced before in regions that have never had safaris conducted before." Peter Hayward offered the client 3 tantalising locations for this launch safari :-
SKEERPOORT - Cradle of Humankind
Hayward's Luxury Mobile Safari Camp is set in an ancient Iron Age Site, estimated as one of the world's oldest, and evidence suggests over 300 - 400 people lived and worked these metallurgical outcrops thousands of years ago.
Over the past 100 years this site was used for extracting limestone from the many caves abounding in the area. It is this action that uncovered the anthropological and paleontological significance of the area.
Awarded World Heritage Site status during 1999 for paleontological significance (Gladysvale Site), headed up by renowned paleontologist, Dr Lee Berger and his Wits team, this private sanctuary also boasts crystal clear pools where fish can be easily observed as they glide lazily along. Baboons, leopard, caracal, jackal, brown hyena and various antelope species abound.
LANGEBAAN - West Coast National Park
The Hayward's Luxury Mobile Safari Camp is set on the gentle slopes of the park overlooking the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park. The Atlantic seaboard is host to thousands of seabirds roosting on sheltered islands. Pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere.
Significant paleontological and anthropological sites abound within this reserve, (112'000 year old footsteps discovered on the banks of the lagoon). Ancient evidence can be found of early man and his wanderings along the coastline (strandlopers).
During the spring the strandveld is embroidered with a tapestry of multi-hued flowers, while in the Postberg section, many antelope are to be seen in a setting that is as unique as it is idyllic.
Saldanha Bay (including the Langebaan Lagoon) is a crayfish (rock lobster) and abalone (perlemoen) reserve.
ST LUCIA WETLAND RESERVE - World Heritage Site
Hayward's Luxury Mobile Safari Camp is set on the edge of Lake St Lucia's wilderness area, sandwiched between the Big 5 game reserves of Umfolozi and Hluhluwe, and the Indian Ocean. The coastal portion of this reserve teems with big game fish such as marlin, tuna and great white shark, whale shark, dolphins and eleven whale species.
The uninterrupted coastline stretches from the St Lucia mouth northwards to Sodwana - over 250 kilometres of snow white and desolate beach and the breeding ground of leatherback and loggerhead turtles. Experience a safari that offers a playground consisting of the world's biggest wetland reserve, teeming with over 900 hippopotami, hundreds of Nile crocodile, Zambezi shark, buffalo, elephant, white rhino, leopard and various other mammal species.
Depending on location and budget, a rich smorgasbord of exclusive activities can be added to the camp experience. Among the dizzying array of choices:
This top-level, pure blood safari camp has vast appeal to the incentive market, but budgets need to be healthy to optimise all the best options. For those with lesser budgets the whole operation can be scaled down.
What a tantalising prospect!