Thanda Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal has taken top honours at the 15th annual World Travel Awards. At the glittering ceremony held in Durban last night, Thanda won esteemed awards for `South Africa´s Leading Safari Lodge´, and `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ for the third consecutive year. The awards were presented at the Africa Gala Ceremony during this year´s tourism Indaba in Durban, South Africa. The evening was hosted by local celebrity MC and inspirational speaker Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon. Guests were entertained by Boney M´s Maizie Williams and South Africa´s all-girl electric string quartet Sterling EQ. Princess Nandi Zulu attended the event in support of Thanda.
Managing Director of Thanda Private Game Reserve, and CEO of Thanda Group, Pierre Delvaux was thrilled with Thanda´s achievements, "It is with enormous pride, honour and humility that I accept these awards on behalf of Thanda Private Game Reserve, especially `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´, which has been awarded to us for the third year running.
Although achieving awards for outstanding service and an amazing product has become synonymous with Thanda since its opening in 2004, we are forever mindful of the challenge of being able to maintain such standards and even higher expectations from guests and the trade alike. Competition is incredibly tough due to the number of world class destinations in Africa which means that we can never allow ourselves to become complacent. Essentially, what it amounts to is the experience that tour agents and operators and guests discover when they visit and stay at Thanda. I believe that service excellence is a state of mind, a consciousness that transcends formal hospitality training. This is what makes the difference: being able to anticipate what guests want. I would therefore like to thank the committed and passionate marketing and sales staff led by Anita Vernes as well as the dynamic and service-minded special staff at the lodge, led by GM Dr Tim Allen-Rowlandson. These are the magic people who make a difference and enable `team work to make the dream work´. I would lastly like to thank all the tour agents, operators and guests as well as Graham Cooke who leads the World Travel Awards and who oversees a distinguished international operation. I am truly grateful for all of their ongoing support."
The World Travel Awards was established in 1994 to recognise and reward outstanding achievements within the global travel industry and the awards are endorsed by celebrities, travel trade and press from around the world. The awards have been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as the `Oscars of the travel industry´, and winners are nominated by over 40 000 travel trade professionals world-wide.
Thanda Private Game Reserve is currently the only game reserve in the world to hold Leading Hotels of the World status.
Five-star facilities include the opulent main lodge, non-electrified tented camp, award-winning wellness centre, the cultural showcase Vula Zulu, as well the newly-introduced exclusive-use royal suite.
Thanda´s World Travel Awards History:
Winner of `Leading Safari in South Africa´ category in the 2006 World Travel Awards
Winner of `Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge´ in the 2007 World Travel Awards
Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2008 World Travel Awards
Winner of 'Africa´s Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' in the 2009 World Travel Awards