To qualify for the Classic African Portfolio, properties and safaris must display a number of characteristics. In the first place, they must offer something special and unique to the southern African experience, something that travelers could not encounter anywhere else in the world. In this regard, location is crucial, and only properties enjoying choice locations in southern Africa's most exceptional destinations qualify for the Portfolio. But good location means little if the property does not make the most of its setting through the activities that it offers; here we look for a broad range of experiences led by highly qualified and knowledgeable guides. Unobtrusive personalized service and attention to detail are likewise crucial to ensuring that special Classic African experience. We have found, almost without fail, that the smaller properties (where staff to guest ratios are often in excess of 2:1) have a distinct advantage in this respect. A wonderful sense of privacy and intimacy with the surroundings is another great advantage of the smaller camps, lodges, and boutique hotels. Finally, we look for style and comfort, favoring lodges, camps and hotels which are luxurious without being opulent, sophisticated but not stuffy. We have hand-picked properties that are tasteful, simple and elegant - those which complement their surroundings instead of overpowering or detracting from them. Recognizing the importance of appropriate ambience, we paid close attention to the "little things," the details which can make such a huge difference to a traveler's experience.
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