6 The inaugural Good Safari Guide Awards 2008 were held at The Edward Hotel, Durban, South Africa on Friday 9th May, 2008 and were sponsored by: The Awards honoured not only the best accommodation providers in the safari industry in Africa, but also airlines, wildlife reserves and tourist boards. The winners were chosen based on the numbers of nominations from the industry, including the weighted nominations from the panel of judges ( all wholly independent and highly- regarded industry professionals with a wealth of experience in Africa). The process is fair and completely transparent; the Awards cannot be bought. The Good Safari Guide is happy to announce Singita Boulders Lodge as the winner of the prestigious ' Best Safari Property in Africa' Award. Singita Boulders also scooped the ' Best Safari Property in Southern Africa', and the Singita group won a further two awards; ' Best Safari Property Cuisine in Africa' and ' Best Safari Accommodation Group in Africa'. The Notten and Mathebula families were duly honoured in the awards for their outstanding ' Notten's Bush Camp' which won runner up in the ' Best Safari Property in Africa' award. The intimate lodge has survived at the hands of three generations of Nottens with the help of an enthusiastic team. The sophisticated ' Beho Beho' was voted winner of the ' Best Safari Property in Eastern Africa'. This is no mean feat considering the tens of thousands of lodges and camps in Eastern Africa, and is a credit to manager Sean Lues amongst others. Runners up to the Southern and Eastern ' Best Property' Awards were Londolozi and Chada Katavi respectively. Vamizi Island Lodge, located in the Quirimbas Archipelago, snatched the title of ' Best New Safari Property' in a very close competition with the other fi nalists ( Karen Blixen, Somalisa, Saadani, Mhondoro, Thadaku), with Karen Blixen camp coming a close second. The ' Best Community Safari Property' Award honours those properties which make a difference to the local community, for example through employment, education, promotion of local cultures and development of sustainable livelihoods. Winner Grootbos' ethos of conservation and development is clear and the team led by Michael Lutzeyer ensure that their vision is a reality. The ' Best Ecological Safari Property' Award honours properties which pay attention to the impact of the lodge/ camp on its natural surroundings. Ralph Bousfi eld, with his partner Catherine, has breathed life into his father's camp in the Makgadikgadi Pans, and ' Jack's Camp' has deservedly won this ' ecological' award for its attitude to and place within its surroundings. Ellis Flyte along with Marcus and Alex Lewis have toiled for over ten years to create the oasis that is Fundu Lagoon and that hard work has fi nally paid off and won them the ' Best Beach Safari Property Award'. The Good Safari Guide Awards 2008 the voice of african tourism african travel & tourism association
7 Guiding is a key factor in a guest's safari experience, and all top quality operations ensure that they have well trained and knowledgeable guides. Chiawa Camp's Grant Cumings is a born leader and his guiding team has been noted internationally, winning the ' Best Guiding Team' Award, closely followed by the fantastic team at Kwando Camps. Cuisine undoubtedly plays a significant role in the overall safari experience. Singita's standards are high and their consistency across the group has won them the ' Best Safari Cuisine' Award. Congratulations go to Mozambique's Londo Lodge, standing alone with only 5 villas, which managed to place itself firmly on the map of good food by scooping the Runner Up Award for Best Safari Cuisine. This year the Good Safari Guide Awards also included some awards in non- accommodation categories: Best International Airline, Best Charter Airline, Best Wildlife Reserve and Best Tourist Board. Particularly worth a mention for their efforts in promoting Zambia as a tourist destination is the Zambian Tourist Board. Their good work has been duly recognized by the trade and has resulted in the Zambia Tourist Board winning the ' Best African National Tourist Board' Award. Thanks go to everyone who took part in the 2008 Awards, with special thanks to all those who nominated, and our judges; Kate Bergh ( Cedarberg Travel); Primrose Stobbs ( Abercrombie & Kent); Albee Yeend ( Steppes Africa); Marc Gastaud ( Akorn); Sandy Wood ( Pulse Africa); Tony Clegg- Butt ( Travel News East Africa); Jane Durham ( Okavango Tours & Safaris).