The New Safari Properties We Are Most Excited About
Staying on top of lodging trends and camp openings across Africa is one of our favorite activities here at Africa Adventure Consultants and so far this has been a banner year! There have been several camps that we’ve had our eyes on lately either for their new location, innovative design, or because they are an old favorite that has decided that a normal face lift just won’t do and they’ve put in the hours to completely rebuild their camps. Either way, even seasoned safari-goers like ourselves will receive a brand new experience on arrival as guests at one of these exciting new lodges or camps. Please read on to learn more about our top recommendations or call us today to reserve your dream room!
Camp Okavango (Botswana)
OPENED APRIL 2016Why we’re excited: Camp Okavango’s rebuild features floor-to-ceiling views into the cathedral of the Delta from its gorgeous new rooms. Looking over your feet in the morning to watch the sun paint the sky over the incredible scenery will whet the appetite to get out and explore on walks and water-based activities!
Reopened in mid-April, the complete rebuild of Camp Okavango has moved it to the edge of the Nxaragha Island to take advantage of the impressive Delta scenery. Twelve rooms accommodate up to 24 guests in eleven intimate safari suites and one family suite. The expansive open-plan rooms have a bedroom (double or twin configuration), lounge and spacious en-suite bathroom.
- Fabulous location and beautiful design
- Thoughtfully designed 2-bedroom family suite
- Eco-conscious design, including solar power and water treatment improvements
- Swimming pool
Duba Expedition Camp (Botswana)
OPENED APRIL 2016Why we’re excited: Exclusivity! Botswana intentionally keeps its tourist numbers low for maximum enjoyment, but Duba Expedition Camp takes it one step further – it’s the only camp in a huge private concession. That means you’ll have wildlife sightings to yourself – and the wildlife in this area is incredible!
The brand new Duba Expedition Camp sits in the heart of the classic Okavango Delta scenery of palm-dotted islands, flood plains and woodland. Built on a wooded island, the area is the base of many famous wildlife documentaries by National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert. It is the only camp on the concession, offering guests the ultimate opportunity for private sightings. The camp consists of six expedition-style tents of light airy canvas on raised decking, each with a small desk and private verandah plus en-suite facilities.
- Only camp in a 77,000 hectare private concession
- Small and exclusive with only 6 tents
- Fantastic wildlife, including a birdwatchers paradise. Guests have the chance to see the Okavango ‘specials,’ including the rare wattled crane, Pel’s fishing owl, white-backed night heron and marsh owl.
- The camp is a fully integrated community empowerment project on land leased directly from five local communities, who in turn receive all of the lease revenue. Capacity-building is a priority and currently 80% of the staff at Duba Expedition Camp come from these communities.
From the Okavango Delta to the Kalahari, Botswana offers an incredible array of wildlife and experiences. Contact us to find your perfect Botswana Safari!
Sanctuary Chief’s Camp (Botswana)
OPENED JUNE 2016
Why we’re excited: A long time favorite of AAC, Chief’s Camp never fails to deliver. It’s in the heart of predator country, guides are fantastic and the overall experience makes us never want to leave. The new rooms are significantly larger, and we’re thrilled about the addition of a fitness center, but we really have our eye on the new Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite for the ultimate luxury Botswana experience!
The iconic Sanctuary Chief’s Camp has been completely rebuilt to create a new, luxurious contemporary safari camp in one of the best locations in Africa. With 10 stylish new pavilions and a superb new suite, Chief’s sets new standards in the luxury safari experience. Consistently rated as one of the top safari camps in Africa, it is located on Chief’s Island in the famous Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, the ‘predator capital of Africa.’
- The new Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite – sleeps 2-6. Great for honeymooners or groups of friends or a family. Comes with a private kitchen, boma, chef, waiter, vehicle and guide!
- Eco-friendly solar power (including battery banks)
- Super luxe bathrooms
- Fitness center
The Highlands, Ngorongoro (Tanzania)
OPENED JUNE 2016“The Coolest and Most Eco-Conscious New Safari Lodge in Africa!” Forbes Magazine on Asilia Highlands in TanzaniaWhy we’re excited: The Highlands is like no other camp we’ve seen before. The canvas-domed design is incredibly innovative and modern (look at the above photo for a taste!), and the camp is remote and private, situated on the slopes of a dormant volcano. We love the addition of cozy fireplaces in each suite for those chilly highlands nights!
An intimate and stylish refuge, the camp is the perfect place to discover the wild beauty of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater Highlands. The Highlands strikes the perfect balance of a wilderness escape and a high-end tented sanctuary with all the creature comforts. Eight elegant domed suites offer king-sized beds with floor-to-canvas-ceiling bay windows opening out to the spectacular views, en-suite bathrooms with hot running water, showers and flushing toilets, and wood-burning stoves for the cold winter evenings.
- Unique camp design
- Exclusive, remote location far from other camps
- Ngorongoro Crater experience and wildlife game drives easily accessible
- A variety of activities available straight from camp including a volcano climb and more
Home to the world-renowned great migration of wildebeest and zebra for much of the year, Tanzania is the dream of Africa come to life!
Entamanu Ngorongoro (Tanzania)
AUGUST 2016Why we’re excited: There are very few accommodations on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, and there were none on the northwestern side…until now. The sneak peeks we’ve seen look amazing, but unequivocally, our favorite part about this new camp is its eco-friendliness. It’s completely removable and will disappear each year with the rains.
Entamanu sits on an incredible site – on the remote northwestern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Views from the camp are spectacular! The camp will have only six rooms – it will be the smallest and most intimate camp on the Crater rim. Two of the rooms are adjoining, an ideal setup for families with children. Gas-powered stoves in the rooms create a cozy atmosphere, while remaining environmentally friendly. Entamanu is scheduled to open in August.
- Very eco-friendly! The camp is 100% removable, 100% concrete-free.
- Smallest camp on the Crater rim
- Range of activities from catching the Big 5 on Crater game drives to scenic walks in the Highlands and genuine Maasai cultural experiences.
- Ongoing specials include this new property! Ask us about special offers!
Ngala Safari Lodge (South Africa)
OPENED JULY 2016Why we’re excited: Getting to South Africa is easy, the value of the dollar against the rand is hugely advantageous to US travelers, and it’s an easy destination with kids. Ngala Safari Lodge will make it even easier with their new 2-bedroom family suite with its own swimming pool and dedicated vehicle and ranger/tracker team. Add to that their fun WILDchild children’s program, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect family vacation. We can’t wait to take the kids!
The beautiful &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge is on course with its extensive rebuild. Classic safari cottages offer a timeless, unhurried atmosphere, combined with the quaint traditions of a bygone era, creating an aura of romance and nostalgia. This old-world haven in the midst of the African bush charms with its colonial antiques, silver cutlery and crystal glassware.
- Lighter, more spacious cottages
- Extended private verandas allow for private dinners
- Three family cottages will be available
- A re-styled pool area, which includes a new swimming pool and a spa and fitness sala
From bush to beach to cosmopolitan cities, South Africa has it all!
Little Ruckomechi (Zimbabwe)
AUGUST 2016Why we’re excited: There’s something really special about small camps, and rarely do you find one with only three tents like Little Ruckomechi. The sense of wildness and adventure is heightened in such an intimate setting. We love getting ‘back to the bush,’ and look forward to visiting Little Ruckomechi to check out the wildlife on walks, game drives and paddling a canoe – the traditional (and our favorite!) game activity in Mana Pools
Little Ruckomechi is just that – small and intimate – with three tented suites offering an exclusive safari experience. The camp’s scenic location epitomizes the beauty and wildness of Mana Pools in all its abundance. Built on wooden decks, the handsome en-suite tents are airy and elegant; a reminder of the by-gone explorer era. The main area includes a dining room and lounge as well as a plunge pool – all overlooking the Zambezi River. Little Ruckomechi is scheduled to open in August.
- Intimacy and exclusivity – only three tented suites!
- One of only two camps in a large private concession
- Activities include boating, nature walks, canoeing, fishing and game drives
OPENED JUNE 2016Why we’re excited: We know the game viewing is excellent in Hwange, and we’ve always enjoyed the skilled guiding and excellent service at Somalisa Camp. We’re super excited for their rebuild, as the level of accommodation has climbed the ladder substantially. The design and furnishings are elegant, thoughtful and beautiful, but what we really want is to fill up one of their gorgeous copper tubs and soak away with the sounds, sights and smells of the bush just outside of our screen!
Recently re-built, Somalisa Camp has upgraded its level of accommodation to that of complete comfort and luxury while still maintaining its focus on the guiding and hosting of guests to ensure the ultimate safari experience. Somalisa has seven elegantly furnished Sail Tents with gauze sliding doors, a wood-burner fireplace for the cold winter nights, and an overhead fan for the hot summer days. Each tent has en suite bathroom facilities including flush toilets, an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper slipper-style bathtub.
- We love the copper bathtubs
- A pool with a view
- Walking options as well as night drives
- Family-friendly with two family units
A destination on the rise, Zimbabwe has amazing wildlife, fantastic lodges and few tourists!
AUGUST 2016Why we’re excited: Victoria Falls is still considered one of the world’s wonders (for good reason!), and the surrounding area is lush with beauty and wildlife. Matetsi’s 17 miles of private riverfront will spoil guests for choice of water activities, or just allow you to zone out with a cool drink at the water’s edge. We’re excited for the new interactive lodge kitchen, but we’re also a bit old school and want to take advantage of High Tea with a view of the Falls.
Situated within 25 miles of Victoria Falls, the lodge offers an exceptional wildlife experience on a massive concession that boasts 17 miles of private Zambezi River frontage, as well as convenient and easy access to the magnificent sights and adrenaline adventures available at the World Heritage Site. &Beyond Matetsi River Lodge will consist of two camps of 9 river-facing suites each, including a family suite at each camp. &Beyond Matetsi River House is an exclusive-use villa for private groups of up to eight. It will have its own kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a private veranda overlooking the Zambezi, a swimming pool and its own fire pit. It comes with a dedicated guide, private vehicle, chef and butler. Scheduled to open in August.
- 17 miles of private riverfront footage
- Exclusive wine cellar
- 20-meter long rim-flow swimming pool at the Zambezi’s edge
- Suites have private plunge pools
OTHER 2016 OPENINGS OF NOTE
- Chamilandu – South Luangwa, Zambia
- Sala’s Camp – Masai Mara, Kenya
- Journeys Under Canvas – Mobile camps/safaris in Namibia
- Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa
- Roving Bushtops – Serengeti, Tanzania
- Little Machaba – Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Meno a Kweno – Makagadikgadi Pans, Botswana
- Leeu House and Leeu Estates, Franschhoek, South Africa
NEW PROPERTIES TO WATCH FOR IN 2017
- Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
- Savanna Lodge – Sabi Sand, South Africa
- Gomoti Plains Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana