ACE CAMPS TRAVEL COMPANY

HANDMADE IN SWAZILAND + SAFARI IN KRUGER PARK

Handmade In Swaziland | The Art Of Batik Printing + Natural Fibre Weaving + Safari In Kruger National Park | South Africa + Swaziland | March 31 - April 11, 2019 With Ace Camps Travel Company

HANDMADE IN SWAZILAND | THE ART OF BATIK PRINTING + NATURAL FIBRE WEAVING WORKSHOPS + SAFARI IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK | SOUTH AFRICA + SWAZILAND | MARCH 31 - APRIL 11, 2019

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This 11 day Ace Camp WILL EXPLORE THE INCREDIBLE HANDMADE CRAFTS OF SWAZILAND. BATIK WAX PRINTING, DYEING, WEAVING + PAPER ART, YOU WILL MEET WITH LOCAL MAKERs AND TRY YOUR HAND AT CRAFTING YOUR OWN TEXTILE PROJECTS THRU VARIOUS HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS.    

Swaziland (also known as the Kingdom of ESwatini) has managed to hold on to that slow-down-this-is-Africa feeling, it's a place where everything remains small and personable, and the atmosphere is remarkably relaxed. Lively and colourful local culture, with celebrations and ceremonies are still common practice, plus there are superb walking trails, stunning mountain and flatland scenery, and excellent, high-quality handicrafts. As one of the few remaining Executive Monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit. 

You will experience a 3 day hands-on batik workshop taught by Els Hooft of Baobab Batik at their studio in Malkerns Swaziland. You will learn the process of how to batik, where selected areas of the cloth are blocked out by brushing or drawing hot wax over them, and the cloth is then dyed. The parts covered in wax resist the dye and remain the original colour.

Our second 3-day hands-on workshop is Natural Fibre Weaving with the women of Tsandza Weaving. Every single item they produce is handmade from start to finish with beautiful natural fibres such as Mohair, Merino, Bamboo and Cotton. You will assist weave with a local artisan to create your own natural fibre scarf. You will try out setting up a looms learning to wind the large bobbins, and all the cutting and finishing techniques. Check out the video directly below to learn more about Tsandza.

 

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO PLAY VIDEO Tsandza Weaving produces unique, hand woven, high quality fashion and home décor accessories for individuals who appreciate the uniqueness of being hand made. All pieces are made from pure, natural fibres of mohair, merino, cotton and bamboo.

 
 


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WHERE WE'RE STAYING:

Bordering Mantenga Nature Reserve and tucked beneath Sheba’s Mountain in the Ezulwini Valley, Mogi Boutique Hotel offers ultimate luxury in the heart of Swaziland. Enjoy serene mountain and valley views, walking trails and al fresco breakfasts serenaded by birds. Beautiful suites and stylish modern rooms feature luxurious linens and amenities.

NEW for 2019: We will be offering two morning Yoga Sessions at Mogi Hotel during our stay in Swaziland.

This Ace Camp includes:

  • 11 nights accommodation - 8 nights in Swaziland, 2 nights in Kruger National Park, 1 night in Johannesburg (*please note occupancy info below)

  • 3 day Batik printing and dyeing workshop with Baobab Batik

  • 3 day Natural Fibres Weaving Workshop with Tsandza Weaving

  • 1.5 days of guided safaris thru Kruger National Park

  • Return Transport from Johannesburg to Swaziland

  • 11 breakfasts

  • 9 lunches

  • 11 dinners

  • Visit to the Manzini Market, Gone Rural + Quazi Design

  • 2 Morning Yoga sessions

  • All transportation during tours, workshops and to restaurants

  • All admissions to sites during the tours

  • Tips for guides, hotel staff + drivers

  • An Ace Camps Canvas Tote bag

*Our boutique hotel in Swaziland has just eight rooms, there are 4 single rooms with large king beds, and 4 shared suite rooms, with one king bed and one large sleeper sofa.

*Our riverside bungalows in Kruger National Park are double occupancy.

Group Size: Minimum 10 guests and maximum 11 guests.

Airfare to Johannesburg is not included.



TRIP FEES - There are two options for trip fees below based on accommodation preferences. Please read carefully:


OPTION 1- -SOFA SLEEPER BED SHARED ROOM - 2 spots available- Your rooms will be as follows:

- Johannesburg airport hotel: 1 night, twin bed, in a double occupancy room

- Swaziland hotel: 8 nights on large sofa sleeper bed in a double occupancy room (see photo of sofa bed below)

- Kruger National Park Safari Bungalows: 2 nights, twin bed, in double occupancy Riverside Bungalow

Fee: $3295 USD

Deposit due upon registration: $1795.00 

Final Payment of $1500.00 due January 07, 2019


OPTION 2 - KING BED IN PRIVATE OR SHARED ROOM - 6 spots available- Your rooms will be as follows:

- Johannesburg airport hotel: 1 night, twin bed, in a double occupancy room

- Swaziland hotel: 8 nights, KING bed in a private or shared room 

PRIVATE rooms will be assigned to the first 4 registrations who request one.

- Kruger National Park Safari Bungalows: 2 nights, twin bed, in double occupancy Riverside Bungalow

Fee: $3595 USD

Deposit due upon registration: $1795.00  

Final Payment of $1800.00 due January 07, 2019


 TRAVEL NOTES

Due to the remote location of this camp, you will need to arrive at the Johannesburg Intl. Airport. Our arrival night accommodation is located at a hotel nearby from where we will start our onwards journey to Swaziland. 

Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel. (side note:  If you have any pending health concerns you should contact your health care provider prior to registration of this Ace Camp)

PASSPORTS

Foreign visitors wishing to travel to Swaziland should be in possession of valid national passports valid for at least 190 days beyond April 11, 2019. 

 


BAOBAB BATIK

Baobab Batik is a social enterprise based in Swaziland, Southern Africa, founded by Els Hooft in 1991. She wished to follow her passion of creating batiks, as well as offering sustainable work opportunities for women. Since then Baobab Batik has evolved into a thriving enterprise employing 35 artisans full time. 

Every Baobab Batik product is handmade by their team; the artisans combine their skills and talents to create the finished product. Their Vision is to be; A leading example, in Swaziland and beyond, of a social enterprise using thought leadership and innovation to empower women and develop the batik art form. Learn more about Baobab Batik by visiting their website www.baobab-batik.com

CLICK IMAGE TO THE RIGHT TO PLAY VIDEO.

 

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TSANDZA WEAVING

Since 1979, Tsandza Weaving has been teaching the art of hand weaving to rural Swazi women providing them with a sustainable source of income, preserving this traditional skill, and providing consumers with ethically produced products.

Using natural fibres of mohair, merino, bamboo and cotton, their fashion and home décor accessories boast the vibrant colours of Africa, combined with inspiration from international trends. The results are distinctive creations for individuals who value the skills and uniqueness of handmade items.  A “forever” present that both tells a story and whose elegance and beauty is timeless.

Their entire process is “by hand”. With the use of traditional floor looms and spinning wheels, and biodegradable dyes, we are able to minimize their environmental impact. 

Tsandza places great focus on personal growth and wellbeing. Through their work, the Artisans gain greater self esteem and independence, and a stronger voice within their families and communities. 

Each and every one of our products is a result of commitment, teamwork and passion. 

Learn more about Tsandza Weaving by visiting their website tsandzaweaving.com

Photos by Tsandza Weaving


WE WILL ALSO VISIT ...

GONE RURAL

Gone Rural Swaziland is a social enterprise inspired by strong women and pioneering design. We work with more than 750 women artisans in rural areas, creating fair trade woven homeware sold around the globe.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH A SHORT VIDEO + LEARN MORE ABOUT GONE RURAL

QUAZI DESIGN

The story of how Quazi Design evolved from the idea of a simple rolled paper bead earring into a thriving enterprise that excels in sustainable design with a social impact. Based in Swaziland and promoting handmade one of a kind products from 100% waste magazine paper, making a positive impact in Africa. 

CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO WATCH A SHORT VIDEO + LEARN MORE ABOUT QUAZI DESIGN

 

SAFARI IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Spend 1.5 days exploring + living in Kruger National Park. In terms of wildlife, Kruger is one of the world's greatest national parks. The diversity, density and sheer numbers of animals is almost unparalleled, and all of Africa's iconic safari species – elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and zebra – live out their dramatic days here, along with a supporting cast of 137 other mammals and over 500 varieties of birds. 

Our accommodation this year will be twin-share riverside bungalows located on the banks of the Sabie River.


TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

ACE CAMPS  will email you when it is time to make your travel arrangements. This email will always be sent 60 days or more before your trip departs unless you book within 60 prior to the camp. If this Ace Camp fills prior to 60 days we will let you know right away so you can plan. 

Due to the remote location of this camp, you will need to arrive at the Johannesburg Intl. Airport. (O.R. Tambo). Our arrival night accommodation is located at a hotel nearby from where we will start our onwards journey to Swaziland. 

There will be no refunds for this Ace Camp due to the planning and logistics involved. When you register be sure to know all you can about traveling to Swaziland.

WEATHER

Swaziland’s climate is considered to be ‘temperate subtropical’, but there are significant regional differences. In general, Swaziland’s weather can never be forecast with the same certainty as a little further north in Africa, where the rainy and dry seasons are more clearly defined.

April in the Ezulwini Valley can see daytime highs up to 26C with lows in the evening to 11C and the average daily temperature of 18C. Expect a mix of sun, cloud and rain so best to pack some warmer layers and an umbrella or rain shell just incase. 

ACE CAMP TOUR LEADER

The ACE CAMP TOUR LEADER is a part of your group and are there to look out for your safety, to help resolve issues, and to make sure you get what you want from your vacation. The Tour Leader will make sure that everyone who wants company has it, including dinners when no group meal is scheduled.

They also work with the local guides to insure the right combination of pace, information, and duration - and, well...keep the ball rolling.


ITINERARY

DAY ONE

Travel Day – arrive at O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport and shuttle to our arrival hotel. (Please note each arrival night hotel room is shared with one other guest and the bed layout may differ from North American standards - two twin beds may be located closer to one another).

Meet and greet dinner this evening - at hotel.

DAY TWO

Breakfast at hotel 

After breakfast our journey to Swaziland begins! Our private bus will pick us up from the hotel.

Passing through the eastern part of South Africa we should reach the Swaziland border in about 3 hours.

After we have crossed the border, we will make our way to the studio workshop of Quazi Design in Mbabane. We will meet with their artisans, and learn about how the company has grown and their social impact within the community. We will also see first hand a few of their different paper crafting techniques and have time to shop in their stock room. 

Lunch at eDladleni Swazi Restaurant - a wonderful introduction to local cuisine.

Late afternoon ~ We will arrive in the heart of the Ezulwini valley at our hotel, Mogi. You will have some down time to refresh before we meet on the terrace for introductions, and info about the upcoming days. Dinner - at Mogi

DAY THREE

Breakfast at hotel    

Today we start the first day of our hands-on batik workshop in the studios of Baobab Batik. You will learn about Baobab Batik, their history and social impact within the community. From here you will start learning about batik wax application, and layering colour dyes. You will work one-on-one with the artisans to start developing multiple different pieces of work. 

Lunch at Vickery Seedling cafe

Afternoon, continue with batik workshop.

Dinner at Mogi

DAY FOUR

Early morning Yoga- we have an early morning beginner yoga session on site at the hotel for anyone who would like to start their day with a bit more movement.

Breakfast at hotel  

We continue with the second day of our hands-on batik workshop in the studios of Baobab Batik.

Lunch at Vickery Seedling cafe

Afternoon, continue with batik workshop

Dinner - at Mantega Lodge

DAY FIVE

Today is the final day of our hands-on batik workshop in the studios of Baobab Batik.

Lunch - picnic lunch with Baobab Batik

Afternoon, continue with batik workshop - this is your chance to complete all the projects you have been working on for the past 3 days.

Dinner at Mogi

DAY SIX

Breakfast at hotel      

This morning we will visit the Manzini Market filled with local market goods and souvenirs. On the same block is a great fabric shop to explore and buy some colourful local material and patterns. 

Lunch - Malandela's

Following lunch we take a guided tour at the Gone Rural studio. Gone Rural is constantly working with their weavers to redefine what can be made with grass and a skilled hand – from fashion, to lighting, to sculpture and accessories they have embraced the vitality and artistic spirit of women living in rural Swaziland to create innovative, high-end décor products out of local, sustainable materials.

Late afternoon we make our way to Mlilwane Park for your first wildlife experience of the trip. We will embark on a short guided wildlife walk through the diverse habitats of the region. The park is made up of grasslands, dams, mountain and forests, there are a number of animal species to be seen including hippo, crocodile, zebra, blue wildebeest, kudu, nyala, impala, blesbuck, reedbuck, warthog, grey duiker and at least 3 species of mongoose. 

Dinner at Mogi

DAY SEVEN

Breakfast at hotel    

Today we begin our hands-on Natural Fibre Weaving workshop with the women of Tsandza Weaving. We will tour through their production facility, and meet with the skilled artisans to understand all their different roles within the company. Every single item they produce is handmade from start to finish with beautiful natural fibres such as Mohair, Merino, Bamboo and Cotton.

Lunch at Tsandaza 

This afternoon you start learning about their weaving methods on large looms, you will assist weave with a local artisan over the next 3 days to create your own bamboo or cotton scarf. You will assist with the set up of the looms, learning to wind the large bobbins, and all the cutting and finishing techniques. 

Dinner at Mogi

DAY EIGHT

Breakfast at hotel    

We continue with the second day of our hands-on weaving workshop in the studios of Tsandza.

Lunch at Tsandaza 

Afternoon, continue with weaving workshop

Dinner at Mogi

DAY NINE

Early morning Yoga- we have an early morning yoga session on site at the hotel for anyone who would like to start their day with a bit more movement.

Breakfast at hotel  

Today is the final day of our hands-on natural fibre weaving workshop in the studios of Tsandza.

Lunch at Tsandaza 

Afternoon, continue working on your weaving piece, which you will learn to remove from the loom to take home with you. 

Dinner at TBD

DAY TEN

Breakfast at hotel      

This morning we depart Swaziland and make our way to Kruger National Park. Lunch will be supplied by the hotel to pack with you in the shuttle van.

From here we drive to Malelane Gate and enter Kruger National Park. Travel through the park to Skukuza Camp and check in to your accommodation. 

The bungalows at Skukuza camp are simple riverside safari cottages with two beds AC, and en-suite bathrooms. Located on the banks of the Sabie river, Skukuza Camp is an excellent rest camp from which to pursue the Big Five and birds in the vicinity. Lion are frequently spotted around this area. At night, look for the Fruit Bat that hangs under the eaves of the shop, and the Thick-tailed Bush Baby climbing the trees in search of gum. 

Early evening -You will depart on a guided sunset jeep safari

Dinner at the Camp restaurant

DAY ELEVEN

Head out on an early morning walking safari at 5:00am. Enjoy prime-time morning wildlife and return to Skukuza Camp for breakfast and the rest of the morning to relax and enjoy the camp facilities. The camp features a swimming pool, river walk, golf course, shop and 2 restaurants.

Lunch on your own at Skukuza Rest Camp Restaurant

Afternoon safari - guided jeep exploration of Kruger National Park

Dinner at Skukuza Rest Camp where our guide will prepare a traditional South African Braai meal.

DAY TWELVE

TRAVEL DAY

This morning we wake up and leave Kruger National park, we make a breakfast stop before heading to O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg to catch your flight home. Lunch+snack stop en route (on your own). (Please note: the driving time from Kruger National Park to O.R. Tambo Airport is roughly 6 hours). 

Thank you for joining us on this incredible adventure!

 

 

 

Nota Bene: this is a prospective itinerary. It is subject to modest modifications, dependent on local weather, new opportunities and the desires of the group.