ACE CAMPS TRAVEL COMPANY

HANDMADE IN ESWATINI

Handmade In Swaziland | The Art Of Batik Printing + Natural Fibre Weaving + Safari In Kruger National Park | South Africa + Swaziland | APRIL 24 - MAY 5, 2020 With Ace Camps Travel Company

HANDMADE IN ESWATINI (SWAZILAND) | THE ART OF BATIK PRINTING + NATURAL FIBRE WEAVING WORKSHOPS + SAFARI IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK | SOUTH AFRICA + ESWATINI | APRIL 24 - MAY 5, 2020

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ABOUT THIS ACE CAMP

This 11 DAY ACE CAMP WILL EXPLORE THE INCREDIBLE HANDMADE CRAFTS OF ESWATINI, ALSO KNOWN AS SWAZILAND. BATIK WAX PRINTING, DYEING, WEAVING + BASKETRY, 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 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.

Photos by @clothandprint during our 2019 trip to 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)

  • 11 breakfasts

  • 10 lunches

  • 11 dinners

  • 3 day Batik printing and dyeing workshop with Baobab Batik

  • 2.5 day Natural Fibres Weaving Workshop with Tsandza Weaving

  • Guided safaris thru Kruger National Park

  • Return Transport from Johannesburg to Swaziland

  • Visit to the Manzini Market, Gone Rural + Ngwenya Glass

  • 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 4-star 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.

Group Size: Minimum 8 guests and maximum 11 guests.

Airfare to Johannesburg is not included.


-ACCOMMODATION DETAILS-

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS ON THIS TRIP (SHARED OR PRIVATE ROOMS).


—OPTION 1—SHARED ROOMS WITH SOFA SLEEPER

PRICE: $3395 USD - This option is limited to 3 rooms only!

Your rooming will be as follows:

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

- Swaziland hotel: 8 nights, Queen Sofa Bed in a SHARED room or suite

- Kruger National Park: 2 nights, twin bed, in shared double occupancy 4-star lodge and hotel

DEPOSIT- due immediately to secure your place: $1995

FINAL PAYMENT - due January 15, 2020: $1400


—OPTION 2— SHARED ROOMS WITH KING BED

PRICE: $3695 USD - Only 3 spots left!

Your rooming will be as follows:

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

- Swaziland hotel: 8 nights, KING bed in a SHARED room 

- Kruger National Park: 2 nights, twin bed, in shared double occupancy 4-star lodge and hotel

DEPOSIT- due immediately to secure your place: $1995

FINAL PAYMENT - due January 15, 2020: $1700


—OPTION 3— PRIVATE ROOMS

ADDITIONAL SINGLE SUPPLEMENT OF $550 USD FOR 11 NIGHTS - Only 1 spot left!

Your rooming will be as follows:

- Johannesburg airport hotel: 1 night, in a single PRIVATE room

- Swaziland hotel: 8 nights, KING bed in a PRIVATE room 

- Kruger National Park: 2 nights, single PRIVATE room in 4-star lodge and hotel

DEPOSIT- due immediately to secure your place: $1995

FINAL PAYMENT - due January 15, 2020: $1700 + SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $550


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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 May 5, 2020. 

 


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

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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 @clothandprint during our 2019 trip to Swaziland


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.


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 a 4* star bush lodge and hotel.


WHO IS THIS TRIP FOR?

This trip is for the open minded and patient traveler (things can move a little slower here). You should be eager to learn and work hands-on with a local community of skilled artisans and curious about regional culture and cuisine. This is an immersive group adventure!

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 - FRIDAY APRIL 24

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 - SATURDAY APRIL 25

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 Ngwenya Glass. Here you will be able to see artisans at work as well as shop their supply room for the perfect gifts to take home.

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 - SUNDAY APRIL 26

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 such as aprons, scarves, clothing or housewares (you will have options to choose from). 

Lunch at Vickery Seedling cafe

Afternoon, continue with batik workshop.

Dinner at Mogi

DAY FOUR - MONDAY APRIL 27

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 - TUESDAY APRIL 28

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

Lunch - Special picnic lunch with the women of 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 - WEDNESDAY APRIL 29

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 at one of our favourite local restaurants

After the market we will visit the Gone Rural shop. 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 - THURSDAY APRIL 30

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 - FRIDAY MAY 1

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 Vesuvius Restaurant

DAY NINE - SATURDAY MAY 2

Breakfast at hotel  

Today is the final day of our hands-on natural fibre weaving workshop in the studios of Tsandza. Later this morning you will learn to remove your weaving piece from the loom to take home with you. 

Lunch - Special picnic lunch with the women of Tsandaza 

Mid-afternoon we say goodbye to the women of Tsandza and return back to Mogi hotel. Here you can choose to relax by the pool or perhaps hire a driver to take you on one final shopping adventure.

Dinner at Mogi

DAY TEN - SUNDAY MAY 3

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.

Travel across the South Africa border at Jeppe's Reef towards Kruger National Park. Head into Marloth Park for your stay at Needles Lodge (4*). Here you can take a dip in the pool or take a walk around the grounds, or just watch as the animals that regularly visit the lodge wander right past your suite. 

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

Dinner at the Lodge restaurant

DAY ELEVEN - MONDAY MAY 4

After an early breakfast meet up with your All Out Africa Safari Guides, board the Open Safari Vehicle and begin your safari through Crocodile Bridge (an amazing area to spot wildlife). 

Late morning head to Mlondozi where you will have a picnic lunch. This afternoon you continue with your open air safari through Kruger park where you will start your drive towards a new section of the park, and head for Paul Kruger Gate - here you will check-in to the Protea Kruger Hotel (4*).

Final group dinner at Hotel

DAY TWELVE - TUESDAY MAY 5

TRAVEL DAY

This morning we wake up and leave Kruger National park, after breakfast depart your hotel and drive to ‘God's Window’ on the Panorama Route. Take in the incredible landscapes and gain an insight into this stunning area before boarding the vehicle for your onward trip 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 5-6 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.