Luxury in the Bush

Written by  Lisa Loverro

AFRICA LUX
You never know what awaits you on an African safari, and with more and more luxury safari lodges popping up all over Africa, the choices are endless for a first-class experience. From luxury-tented camps, plunge pools and spa treatments; to exotic food and spiritual ceremonies, we’ve got you covered with this roundup of some of the best new choices out there. Your clients will enjoy pristine animal viewing by day while nature’s orchestra serenades them to sleep during the evening hours.

Namibia
Namibia’s unique landscape has attracted travelers who want to experience something other than your “traditional safari.” An impressive 42% of the country is protected wilderness and with the second lowest population density in the world, this is truly somewhere travelers will feel a world away from their homes. In 2018, Natural Selection
(www.naturalselection.travel), a new safari start-up company, will open new and exciting camps. The first to open will be Hoanib Valley Camp in the northwest of the country. This 6-tented camp will be opened in partnership with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the most successful long-term giraffe research organization in the world. The new camp will offer game drives, cultural experiences with the Himba and Herero people and unique interaction opportunities with the giraffe researchers.
Later in 2018, Natural Selection will also open Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia. This innovative property will consist of 12 rooms hidden in the dunes, designed as shipwrecks. With views all the way to the Atlantic and its innovative design, the camp will set a new standard in hospitality. Lastly, in the northeast of Namibia in the Caprivi area, Natural Selection will open Nkasa Linyanti Camp. The camp will be only the second (and the first luxury offering) in this lush wetland. Home to the big five game but few safari vehicles, Nkasa Linyanti Camp will offer a truly off-the-beaten-track safari experience.
And best of all, Namibia is now accessible with direct international flights from Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and Doha (Qatar), flying into Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek.

South Africa
In South Africa, Singita, a name synonymous with luxury safari, recently unveiled the reinvention of Singita Sweni Lodge (www.singita.com), in South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park, as well as a partnership with renowned chef, Liam Tomlin. The updates to the Singita Sweni Lodge included a revamped dining experience and show kitchen, a new outdoor dining deck, an indoor dining area and winter lounge, a new pool with views over the Sweni River, a fire pit, and the addition of a secluded Pool Suite. Each of the lodge’s 6 contemporary suites has been restructured to maximize open-plan living with panoramic game-viewing decks. Working with the award-winning Cape Town-based chef Liam Tomlin, Singita is taking safari dining and turning it up a notch with re-conceptualized menus at the lodges, utilizing varying flavors and cooking techniques inspired by the setting and style of each lodge.

Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, the Matetsi River Lodge (www.andbeyond.com) is one of Zimbabwe’s newest spots to indulge on a luxury safari holiday. Located on a private wildlife concession on the Zambezi River, and nearby to Victoria Falls, the lodge opened just over one year ago. There are 2 camps here, each with nine private suites and a pool that overlooks one of Africa’s most notable stretches of water.

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