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Southern African Comfort

Written by  Lisa Loverro

Africa-Zim
With some of the best safaris and luxury lodges, the countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana have been gaining popularity year over year. In Zambia, for instance, authorities have expressed optimism that the country will be able to capture the targeted 1 million tourists arrivals by the end of 2015. The country’s Minister of Tourism and Arts, Jean Kapata, stated the increase was partly due to the 20th United Nation World Tourism Organization general assembly held in his country in 2013.

Zambia
The big news this past year in Zambia was the lifting of a Yellow Fever certification requirement for travel between Zambia and its regional neighbors, South Africa and Botswana. This follows on the heels of the recent announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Zambia yellow fever free.
Now more easily accessible for tourists, there are many ways to experience this beautiful country, the first being a walking safari at the famed Norman Carr Lodge (www.normancarrsafaris.com), one of the leaders in walking safaris. Walking gives an entirely new perspective from the more traditional jeep safari, whether encountering a herd of elephant or a “dazzle of zebra.” Their main lodge, Kapani, is a luxury facility accommodating up to twenty guests.
One of our favorites, and the first Relais and Chateaux lodge in the country, the Royal Chundu (www.royalchundu.com) was voted Zambia’s Leading Safari Lodge in 2015, for the fifth year running, at this past year’s World Travel Awards. Located along the banks of the Zambezi River, the Royal Chundu lies between Victoria Falls and Chobe National Park, offering the perfect balance of adventure, nature and African ambience. Consisting of two separate types of accommodations, Island Lodge and River Lodge, both lie directly on the Zambezi River. Island Lodge consists of 4 very private and secluded villas with outdoor tubs. The River Lodge, comprised of 10 riverfront suites, features large double showers, an infinity pool and outdoor dining deck.

Botswana
With November marking the start of Botswana’s green season, Uncharted Africa (www.unchartedafrica.com) is preparing for one of the greatest shows on earth. Not only does the rain transform the barren landscape into a shade of startling green, nowhere in Botswana sees a more striking migration then the Kalahari as herds of wildebeest and zebra make their way onto the Makgadikgadi grasslands.
The best place to experience the magic of Botswana in bloom is from the comfort of Jack’s Camp. All tents of Jack’s Camp are the perfect ‘migration station’ with open views of the expansive Makgadikgadi and nearby watering hole. Avoiding the peak tourist season means discounted rates, in addition to avoiding crowds and guaranteeing front row seats to the migration of zebra and wildebeest, the second biggest in Africa, and the last remaining in southern Africa.

Zimbabwe
This past year marked the reopening of Linkwasha Camp (www.wilderness-safaris.com) in this increasingly growing destination. The camp features eight classic African tents situated in the southeastern private Linkwasha Concession in the Hwange National Park, home to one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. The camp also has the best access to Ngamo Plains and offers some of the most impressive game viewing in southern Africa including lions, elephant and cheetah. The tents at Linkwasha offer a mix of traditional and contemporary design along with the original spirit and essence of a safari. 

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