Hayward’s Grand Safari Company wins big at the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company wins big at the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017

Caption: mage: (L-R) Representing Hayward’s Grand Safari Company on the night and seen here receiving the award is publicist Mercédes Westbrook of Firehorse Media with Michela Balpiaz, owner of Ayama Wines and wine sponsor of the evening, together with celebrity emcees Josie Eveleigh and Tracey Lange.
Cape Town – At the 3rd Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2017 which honours key players in SA Tourism and Hospitality, Hayward’s Grand Safari Company has been named the Winner in the Five-star Lodge category across southern Africa.

 The Sanlam Top Destination Awards was hosted at the Kelvin Grove Club in Cape Town. 35 winners from 9600 nominees walked away with the sought after title of ‘Top Destination’ in their respective categories and star grading.

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company provides private groups of 40 to 200 VIP guests with an authentic 5-star mobile tented safari camp experience in pristine wilderness reserves across the African continent. Each luxury camp guarantees corporate and celebrity clients’ total event exclusivity and superior guest comfort.
Rated as the only 5-star mobile Safari in Africa, hosts Peter Hayward and Celia du Preez, are appointed by leading multinational blue-chip companies, royal contingents, presidents and renown celebrities alike. Owner Peter Hayward said, “I am absolutely delighted to have received such high accolades from the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.
Image: Peter Hayward, Adventure Extraordinaire and owner of Hayward’s Grand Safari Company in camp with Celia du Preez on a mobile 5-star expedition in Africa

“As custodians of global Sanlam Wealthsmith investments, what better establishment to represent how to turn money into meaning and set the standard for a future vision of tourism and hospitality in South Africa and for the continent. “Together with Discount Traveler, this award is a testament to the skill and vision of its creators and sponsors.”

“Hospitality and tourism is a large driving force in our economy and we want to continue to recognise and reward one of our country’s most influential industries,” commented Jonathan Pepler, managing director of Discount Traveler and founder of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards.


Africa’s Top Chartered Incentive Destination: See the Big 5 from your Doorstep

Africa’s Top Chartered Incentive Destination: See the Big 5 from your Doorstep


Bespoke safari outfitter Peter Hayward is justifiably proud to carry the international title of ‘World’s Best’ by the World Travel Awards bequeathed to his two-decade mobile, and undoubtedly 5-star luxury, tented safari camps in South Africa, East Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

He is also renowned as the African continent’s Best Mobile Safari by the Safari Guild for four consecutive years – and not just because he’s hosted presidents and visiting heads of state, kings, queens, Hollywood stars, talk show hosts and international rock bands wanting anonymity.

Peter Hayward puts his ‘adventure extraordinaire’ work-week accolades down to his ability to produce authentic world-class safari experiences which can’t be matched by modern incentives or other so-called safari services, ones’ offering big group capacity either.

“The Hayward’s Grand Safari epitomizes the great safaris of yesteryear. You won’t find a 5-star lodge for 200 illustrious guests in the Namib Desert, in the Okavango Delta, on a beach in Mozambique or in the heart of the Kruger National Park. Our safari charters, backed by our world-class safari service team can take you there however, with as much Moet, spa treatments, 8-course silver service themed dinners, conference room and lights and staged entertainment as you need. We have a mobile luxury tented safari camp and our guests charter their own bespoke game lodge experience to take them anywhere they want it.”

Big 5 Game Lodge on the edge of Sandton

For top performers with a sharp eye on carbon credits and event planners looking to cut the heavy time-lags and costs of logistics getting incentive winners in front of a safari’s Big 5 tick list, the Hayward’s #GrandSafari is not only 100% sustainable and eco-friendly; its Safari Headquarters are in prime position for busy corporates encouraged by the only-one-hour travel commute from bustling Sandton or OR Tambo International Airport.

Set within 55 000 acres of adjacent Big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve concession and Bobbejaansberg Private Nature Reserve, the Hayward’s Safari Sanctuary hosts both Big 5 incentives for a safari experience to match the Kruger National Park;  as well as corporate events and product launches in its own private concession where you, its 1 000 mammals and prolific birdlife inhabitants are not disturbed by predators.

“At our headquarters we offer the best of both worlds. The Big 5 safari game experience is highly private, guests don’t see another game vehicle. In the private concession, the giraffe, zebra and kudu don’t mind sharing our guest’s hot air balloon, horse riding and walking safari activities,” says Peter.

Experienced Event Planning in 5-star style

As leaders of the pack in top-class safari incentives and events, any travel and corporate hospitality owner is only as good as their last guest review. With Hayward’s there’s no contest. Guest responses haven’t dropped below a 9.7 since they first set out to deliver a luxury safari experience in some of the most pristine natural reserves on the continent. And with Production Director Celia du Preez as the incentive point of contact – with her own title of Top 40 Women in MICE – each incentive event is a flawless affair from the ordering of the first crate of oysters, to the honoring of the corporate or celebrity group’s non-disclosure contract, to that very last morning as you greet the dawn glowing pink in response to your steaming cup of coffee delivered to your en-suite tented bedroom by your own safari butler on standby.

As a long-standing SATSA member, which verifies Hayward’s Grand Safari Company as a bonded travel operator, the #GrandSafari experience is your most royal welcome to unexplored Africa.

Discover more at www.haywardsafaris.com or call 0861 732 583.

Need content? Contact Mercedes Westbrook of Firehorse Media at mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za for all your corporate, travel and business communication needs, including press releases, blogs, publicity, content strategy and website design.

The Productivity to Just Be

The Productivity to Just Be

The Year 2021 started with a whimper for most… It was out of pure habit that I visited my local stationer and bought my new calendar diary to transfer my most important dates. I use the blank white pages of my still shiny 2020 diary to take notes while on the phone; okay I also doodle in it quite a bit.

Behind all the angst of the unknown in terms of both the virus and the global economy, January 2021 has been a very different month to that of the previous year – for those of us in South Africa, we couldn’t even celebrate the turning of time with a glass of champagne due to the country’s alcohol ban.

.For those lucky enough to still be employed or able to manage their businesses under #lockdown restrictions there is none of the energy usually associated with the start of a new year. For the many forced to swivel industries, the stress of trying to maintain one’s head above water while still coming up with new business ideas and marketing strategies under a whole new set of operating rules, these new landscapes make no promises and only offer a cool outlook.

I personally have had to reassess my idea of productivity.

Stress and angst are debilitating. Friends and family talk of the mind fugue and the exhaustion being experienced – for me, it feels a little like trying to run underwater, its awfully clumsy, slow and I can’t seem to hear or see ahead too well. While some in my circle try to attribute it to either old age, menopause or a doubling down on bad habits, there is no denying the mass consciousness of fear which grips the world and its a pretty heavy energy right now.

Online marketers are quick to respond to the lag with a million different hacks of how to motivate ourselves, usually accompanied by some slick copy writing which ends with a call to action to pay for your place in their race.


As the head of my family, I have to admit, I am a Do-er.

Pre-pandemic, I was an early riser who stuck to a strict timetable of chores and activities – none scheduled in for my own personal growth as I now recall – but pivotal in bootstrapping my business and ensuring my children would succeed at whatever they set out to do.

I have always believed that if you work hard you will get somewhere. This has proven true for me over the years too. I have had to pull me and my young family out of some pretty desperate places while relocating, job searching and finding a safe abode. And indeed, hard work and personal endeavour saw that I found my feet, set my course and like many, felt ready that finally 2020 was going to be the year it was all going to come together in a glorious succession of work-life-money balance.


The impact of Covid-19 has cut deep on our mental health – but more perhaps more silently. We know what to do if we get the virus but what does one do when you want to run screaming for the hills and you can’t because its lock down. Its a personal battle that we grapple with in the privacy of our four walls.

Faced with the devastation either of our own lives or those around us, finding the meaning of life each morning can become one’s greatest and something only challenge for the day. My biggest battle has been trying to find the balance between self-care, stress and the motivation to keep putting on my battle gear and heading out to the battlefield.

Difficult economic circumstances make us automatically feel we must become more productive in order to compensate for the gaps. But, for many of us, we are finding instead, the need to take mental health days as a form of self-assigned sick leave… the one’s where in early lock down, it was easier to avoid having to face the worries of the world or our personal lives by sticking our heads under the duvet, especially since we couldn’t move further than our own front door.

Yes, the New Year has been announced, the first pay day of the year has either arrived for you or it was a no show. Instead of beating yourself up about what you should be doing to engender new business, motivate yourself to get out there or do something radically different and amazing, please take a few more moments for self-care.


Our well being must be our first priority. A stressed mind can’t think clearly and no one is sure of the future agenda at this stage. Stop beating yourself up that you should be working and instead do the most self-indulgent thing you can for you. Join that hiking group, the one you’ve been meaning to for the last five years. Sit and watch the Food Channel all day, there in may lie your latent passion. Study the butterflies that come to your garden. Set up a mental self-help support group on Zoom. Find your own personal sweet spot and keep dipping back in there.

Now more than ever we are being challenged by the expectation of always having to be ‘switched on’ in our work-from-home living spaces. Its counterproductive to think you can make any Goliath changes right now.

Instead, take a breath or two, sit quietly by yourself (for at least 1 hour per day or better yet 1 hour in the morning and the afternoon) and really feel your way into this new year.

The world needs you in all your authentic self… not that old office manager persona, as an entrepreneur hotshot, or as a super earning Mom or Dad. No, the world needs real people who can watch the dawn rising from a quiet space in themselves, in order to hear the true voice inside of us. Wait patiently, we have to give this voice the space to emerge, to grow and to flow so that we can reach deep into this new place and replenish in order to go out into this Brave New World.

We shift only when we observe the chasm. Spend time learning your new landscape. This is how we learn to build bridges and roads, the one’s that lead to our future, spoken with the words of our heart.

Mercedes Westbrook is a Momtrepreneur, raising her three children in Cape Town, South Africa. Firehorse Media is her homegrown business of 6 years, offering online support with #contentcreation, #communicationsstrategy, #socialmediamanagement, #publicity, and affordable #Wordpress #websites. Visit www.firehorsemedia.co.za for more.

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company commends Mercedes Westbrook

Hayward’s Grand Safari Company commends Mercedes Westbrook

It is indeed a pleasure to commend Mercedes Westbrook for the outstanding PR and publicity expertise she has accomplished for our safari company this past year.

We have seen a significant increase across all social media and print articles and editorials, all going a long way to get Hayward’s Grand Safaris into the limelight where due.

Without a constant and dedicated outflow of industry updates and news from in-front and behind the scenes, our potential clients may not get the true story of who we are and what our safari lineage entails.

Having a professional on board such as Mercedes, who is able to encapsulate what makes us stand apart and what unique safari services we offer to our illustrious client base worldwide, is imperative to our future growth and success.

We look forward to continuing this process with Mercedes and building our brand exponentially into the future.

Peter Hayward
Founder and Chief Expeditions Officer
Tel:  086 173 2583 or +27 12 808 0442 or Cell: +27 82 606 1003
E-mail:  peterhayward@ haywardsafaris.com
Web:  www.haywardsafaris.com

Karoo Artists of the Swartberg’s quaint village of Prince Albert

Karoo Artists of the Swartberg’s quaint village of Prince Albert

Turn left off Prince Albert’s main Church Street up an unpretentious gravel road named Magrieta Prinsloo Road, Skaapies Einde and you might think you are driving into Karoo scrubland populated only by peacefully grazing sheep; after all Skaapies Einde means Sheep’s End.

Instead, the absent Ms Magrieta Prinsloo leads you to the humble edifice of Avoova’s elegant gift shop and factory, which first established this international brand with original crafted decorative items artistically rendered from ostrich shell pieces.

Today, Avoova employs 50 local artisan crafters and exports fine wares to multiple overseas destinations, elevating the repute of the the world’s largest flightless bird and its equally large but humble ostrich egg – one which can easily be likened to the Faberge egg of the Karoo.

Not only producing beautiful gift ware to adorn your home or to shower on friends and family, Avoova also looks after its community. Together with famed photographer and author Obie Oberholzer, Avoova raises funds for local education through beautiful images of the Karoo’s people and landscape with the sale of the book Karoo Story, another beautiful keepsake to take away with you. You can also visit Avoova at its four other boutique shops in and around the Cape.

Artists, Art Galleries and Giftware

With Avoova, undoubtedly the retail star in Prince Albert’s shopper’s corner, singular artistry still survives with local metal worker Kashief Booley carrying the title of Prince Albert’s blacksmith.

Not so long ago, every small town had a blacksmith who was indispensable to life from supplying tools, repairing wheels and shoeing horses. Today Booley is an artistic blacksmith who supplies locals with crafted items such as gates, burglar bars and other needful things. Perhaps in response to the sound of metal crashing on metal all day, he remains a man of few words.

Happy to fill you in with all the delectable art history and future investment possibilities of the art world however is Kurt fromWatershed. Situated inside a beautifully restored Victorian house typical of the architecturally rich town of Prince Albert, Watershed is a haven in which to browse and buy interior design, art, furniture and fashion artfully displayed throughout its four interlinked showrooms.

Along with an impressive collection of retro furniture, Watershed houses selected prints of world-renowned photographer Jürgen Schadeberg and the Karoo Collection, a showcase of local artists’ work.

From Berlin with Love

Schadeberg is the Berlin-born photographer who snapped many famous  Drum magazine covers in the 1950s, as well as almost all of the remaining photographs of Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned.

Framed copies and other memorabilia of the Drum covers are available for sale at the Watershed, which lays claim to house the only exclusive gallery of the works of internationally acclaimed photographer Jürgen Schadeberg in the world.

A Portrait of Mandela

Referred to as the ‘father of South African photography’, the Berlin-born photographer has lived and worked in South Africa for much of his life. He is particularly known for his striking portraits, including those of Nelson Mandela over several decades, the 1950s black musical and political scene while chief photographer, picture editor and art director of the magazine in the 1950s, as well as Apartheid and modern South Africa. He now lives in Germany, but Kurt is on hand for art lovers and memorabilia collectors to purchase signed and framed copies of his photographs.

Prince Albert to New York

International journalist Joseph Berger was one such collector who not only bought his own signed copy of a Schadeberg but was also moved to write a beautiful travel article about the heritage and crafting community in Prince Albert titled ‘An Artist Colony Thrives in the South Africa Desert’ for the New York Times Travel section.

Local photographer Louis Botha is another artist who finds sanctuary in Prince Albert and in the hearts of Michael and Renate, owners of the four-star De Bergkant Lodge which is highlighted in Joseph Berger’s New York Times travel piece for its beautiful heritage buildings and 4-star hospitality.

Louis Botha’s framed art works adorn De Bergkant Lodge’s dining room walls where the public is welcome to pop in and browse and buy together his two books Slow Down, Look Again andKaroo on sale as beautiful keepsakes of one’s travels through the Karoo’s vast and silent landscape populated with hardy but ultimately authentic characters. You can also pick up a pack of his beautiful photographic cards and send a message home to arrive before you do. You can read more about Louis Botha on De Bergkant Lodge’s blog here.

A Gem of a Small Town Life

Says Michael, owner of De Bergkant Lodge: “We like to believe that we bring a lot of international attention to this hidden Karoo village from the many Swiss, German, Dutch and other European travelers who like to enjoy nature blended with luxury hospitality.

“We have made a big investment in purchasing the lodge and want to share both its beauty and its tourism potential with the local towns people. We recommend all the natural and sporting adventure services and book dining arrangements for our guests at the local eateries. Wherever we can, we uplift the community and highlight the many talents and skills to be found and enjoyed here.”

De Bergkant Lodge also employs and trains local staff at De Bergkant Lodge and bring international service standards to what more sophisticated townie’s might only consider a ‘dorp’.

Renate, who heads up housekeeping says, “Michael is extremely exacting. Every little detail is considered and room preparation and set up is precise. Coming from a Swiss finance and banking industry, there is no room for error.”

“Of course,” says Michael, “we expect initiative and integrity from the people we employ. Not everyone is up to meeting our standard, but we are very lucky in having found Ashley who started with us as dining service staff and who is now promoted to front office. It is always a two-way street and expectation without effort won’t get someone stable employment. It goes without saying that theft or tardiness is not tolerated here.”

International Investment Uplifts a Small South African Town

De Bergkant Lodge’s international standards pay off not just for the upliftment of its service staff but for the town itself too. On any lazy afternoon, spent basking around one of the Lodge’s three swimming pools you can hear more than three international languages being spoken; but De Bergkant Lodge is as popular with local travelers too, hosting politicians to celebrities from across the country.

Investing in South Africa doesn’t come without its challenges as Swiss-born Michael and Renate have discovered. The village recently experience two electricity blackout of 19 hours each which impact booking systems and guest comfort.

“We are learning to adapt and unfortunately have had to go the route of generators to keep connected with our guest bookings. Luckily the South African sun makes solar an option for our geysers in our ten rooms and with most restaurants using gas to prepare foods, it means dinners are set to enjoy the romance of candlelight if Eskom brings us more blackouts. We like to call this adaption as the ‘art of living’ in the Karoo!”, chuckles Michael.

Art lovers will be interested in the upcoming Open Studios art weekend taking place from 5 – 8 July where resident artists open their studios – often located in their homes – to the public, creating the village’s very own ‘art route’.

Visitors have the chance to not only view the artists’ art, but to meet them in person and discuss their work with them. These works include mediums ranging from land art, water colors, ceramics, letter art, stone carvings, oils and acrylics.

Book your next breakaway at De Bergkant Lodge at www.debergkant.com.