SA's luxe safari spots shine at the 2020 World Travel Awards

The overall winners of this year's 'world travel Oscars' are...

01 December 2020 - 12:47 By Toni Jaye Singer
Shambala Private Game Reserve was named the World's Leading Private Game Reserve at the 2020 World Travel Awards.
Shambala Private Game Reserve was named the World's Leading Private Game Reserve at the 2020 World Travel Awards.
Image: Supplied/The Saxon

The overall winners in the 2020 World Travel Awards have been announced, with SA taking top honours in five categories.

Given our global fame as a prime game-viewing destination, it's no surprise three of these accolades went to upmarket safari hotspots:

  • Silvan Safari, located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park, was voted World's Leading Luxury Lodge; 
  • Villa iZulu at Thanda Safari in KwaZulu-Natal was named the World's Leading Luxury Private Villa; and
  • Limpopo's Shambala Private Game Reserve was hailed as the World's Leading Private Game Reserve.

The latter is part of the hospitality group that owns another of this year's local winners, The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spas, which took the title of World's Leading Boutique Hotel.

Cape Town beat out the likes of Barcelona, Spain, and London, England, to be declared the World's Leading Festival and Event Destination.

In addition to the winners mentioned above, SA itself was contender for the World’s Leading Safari Destination and the World’s Leading Destination overall. It was unfortunately trumped by Kenya and the Maldives respectively.

The World Travel Awards started in 1993 as a way to acknowledge excellence across all key sectors in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Voting, by industry experts and the public,  takes place online and over the course of a year.

Graham Cooke, founder of the awards, said: “Our world winners represent the best in global travel and tourism. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.

“The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows the appetite for travel has never been stronger. With hope and the tourism bounce on the horizon, our industry can look forward to a resurgent and bright future.”

The overall winners of the 2020 World Travel Awards were named at ceremony in Moscow, Russia, on November 27. Visit worldtravelawards.com to see the full list.

Additional reporting Elizabeth Sleith.