Club Med adds safari site to South Africa development

Serengeti, Tanzania. Image © Hu Chen / Unsplash
All-inclusive specialist Club Med is supplementing its planned South African property with a safari lodge site.

In addition to the previously-announced Club Med Tinley on the country’s Dolphin Coast, the firm wants to create a dual beach and safari experience.

Lodge lineup

An 80-room lodge is being developed at a Big-5 Game Reserve, located 3.5 hours by road or a 40-minute flight from Club Med Tinley.

The beach resort’s guests will also have the opportunity to stay at the lodge, which will be designed to Club Med standards.

Resort revealed

The all-inclusive chain has also revealed further details about its South African debut, which was originally unveiled in 2019.

A result of a collaborative partnership with Collins Residential Consortium, Club Med Tinley will take shape on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, featuring a surf-lifestyle concept for healthy beach holidays, and will be shaped by art and local culture.

Exclusive accommodation

A total of 400 keys will comprise premium rooms or exclusive collection accommodation, with guests at the latter spaces gaining access to a separate lounge area, bar, pool, and a large range of exclusive services.

The main resort centre will offer a shopping experience as well as gourmet food and beverages at either the restaurant, bar or the wine corner. In this location, entertainment, artistic performances and live music will happen both during daytime and evening.

Leisure offerings

Family facilities will include kids’ clubs with tailored facilities and certified staff for children of all ages, while active holidaymakers can expect a diverse array of land and water activities, including the first Surf School at Club Med.

Wellness offerings will encompass a spa, fitness centre with several classes every day, a yoga school and an adult-only Zen pool and bar.

Local investment

Supported by South African debt funders and equity partners, Club Med Tinley represents an investment exceeding 2 billion rand under the enterprise of Tinley Leisure Pty Ltd. The construction period is estimated to be 28 months, commencing in early 2024, with the resort opening scheduled around July 2026.

Club Med itself has already operated in South Africa for more than 38 years from a Johannesburg-based commercial office.

A notable aspect of this project is the collaboration between Club Med and Agrisud, a non-profit organisation. Together, they are committed to fostering the growth and development of local businesses within the resort’s supply chain, thereby driving inclusive growth within the community and nurturing sustainable livelihoods.

Green certification

The brand commits to eco-certifying the construction of all its new resorts with eco-construction certification BREEAM or their local equivalent. In South Africa, the aim is to achieve a four-star rating from the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA) for this development.

Club Med Tinley will also adhere to Green Globe standards: an international and independent sustainable tourism certification. This rewards establishments in the tourism sector that are committed to improving the environmental and social management of their activity in four fields: sustainable management, economic/social, cultural heritage and the environment. 100% of Club Med resorts are Green Globe Certified.

This project will also embrace environmental stewardship by spearheading the ‘bye bye plastics’ movement, which looks at progressively cutting the usage of plastic water bottles and single-use plastics in resorts, a commitment already successfully implemented in the brand’s resorts around the world. Echoing this, another eco-commitment by Club Med aims to achieve food waste reduction across all resorts by 2030.

International prestige

Henri Giscard d’Estaing, president of Club Med, said: “Since its creation in 1950, Club Med has been a pioneer in discovering new exceptional destinations. With this new project, together with our partner the Collins Residential Consortium, we aim to create value to the local communities and contribute to the international prestige of the beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal.”

Murray Collins, CEO of Collins Residential, added: “Our vision is to celebrate our natural assets in all of our experiences and offerings within the group, while maintaining the authenticity of each and every destination we deliver on.”

Elsewhere in Africa, Club Med is also planning Club Med Essaouira in western Morocco, due to deliver 350 keys in Q2 2024.