I’m going to exit on a limb right here and say: Africa is probably the most thrilling luxurious vacation spot on the planet proper now. The inflow of funding in infrastructure, new flight routes, floor breaking conservation initiatives, and elevated consideration from the worldwide media are placing the international locations of East and Southern Africa particularly on the tourism map. And in 2019, some completely extraordinary new properties are scheduled to open. Not solely are they extremely luxurious, however they’re imaginative, too, and can open up new areas of the continent for probably the most discerning of tourists.
These are the 5 openings I’m awaiting with nice anticipation this yr.
Jao Camp, Botswana (opening June 2019)
Jao Camp is ready within the coronary heart of the Okavango Delta, with timber shading the seven beautiful tents. The resort completely mirrors the great thing about the encircling wildlife and landscapes in all its pure glory, and when it reopens after a whole refurbishment in June, I’ve little question will probably be one of many easiest locations to remain in Botswana.
What I really like about this place is that the pure world is omnipresent and completely magical. Be sure you have dinner along with your family members beneath the open sky, as come dusk it’s lit with the brightest stars you will have ever seen. Persevering with with the night time sky theme, you possibly can then sleep exterior in a star mattress, falling asleep to the mild squawking and grunting of birds and animals, and awaking with the primary gentle of the solar.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia (opening October 2019)
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge boasts probably the most extraordinary setting in Namibia, seemingly floating between the sand dunes and the mountains. Miles from any type of human habitation, will probably be the last word wilderness escape.
The panorama right here is nature’s journey playground. Mountain climbing or driving on this a part of the Namib Desert you’ll definitely see ostrich, antelope, and jackal, and nothing beats the adrenaline hit of racing throughout the dunes by quad bike.
One & Solely Gorilla’s Nest, Rwanda (opening late 2019)
Doubtless, Rwanda goes to be one of many hottest locations for 2019. This tiny nation is an absolute jewel, and the opening of the One & Solely Gorilla Nest by the tip of the yr will cement its repute for luxurious tourism.
One & Solely Gorilla Nest is nestled on the foothill of the Virunga Volcano Vary, one of many final locations on the planet the place you possibly can nonetheless see the endangered mountain gorilla within the wild. Gorilla monitoring permits are exceptionally restricted in quantity — making it some of the wanted wildlife encounters round — however spending just a few hours with a habituated household group within the forest is one thing you’ll always remember.
Tengile River Lodge, South Africa (opened December 2018)
Technically, Tengile River Lodge is a 2018 opening, however because it threw open its doorways on the very finish of the yr, I nonetheless wished to incorporate it on this spherical up. The camp is situated close to the unfenced border of the Kruger Nationwide Park, so it advantages from among the easiest recreation watching in Africa.
Every of Tengile’s 9 air-conditioned, thatched cottages has a personal deck and its personal lap pool. The cottages appear as if they’re floating on the river, and certainly the sound of the water — combined with the animal noises of the bush — will probably be your stress-free nightly lullaby.
Mbano Manor Lodge, Zimbabwe (opening early 2019)
Victoria Falls has lengthy been the epicentre of tourism in Zimbabwe, however within the final yr or so the city has been getting a significant improve, with some fabulous property openings close by. I’m delighted to search out out that there will probably be a brand new boutique property, Mbano Manor Lodge, opening within the first a part of this yr. With its 19 fantastically appointed suites, I’ll definitely be recommending it to friends visiting Victoria Falls on a brief break, and maybe additionally to calm down on the finish of an exciting Zimbabwean safari.
I at all times get a buzz of pleasure visiting someplace for the primary time, and that feeling is barely amplified once I know that I’m additionally one of many first friends by the door. Every thing is contemporary and novel, and the enthusiastic employees wish to present all the things off. Will you be a journey pioneer this yr?
Laura Burdett-Munns is Managing Director at Africa Unique. Africa Unique has been creating the best tailored safaris since 1990, specialising in luxurious lodging in lovely distant locations.
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