This year sees the launch and reinvention of some wonderful safari camps and lodges across Africa, from the plains of the Masai Mara and the lush waterways of the Okavango Delta, to sultry Mozambique, to the banks of the mighty Zambezi River and into the heart of the Greater Kruger. We’ve identified 10 interesting new names, as well as a few properties that have been revamped, rebuilt or refreshed. We hope to personally experience the new ones soon.
In Zambia, the spectacular Lower Zambezi National Park, is home to the brand new ‘LOLEBEZI SAFARI LODGE’!
Lolebezi is the latest camp to be built under the African Bush Camps brand. Designed to make the most of incredible views out over the Zambezi River, Lolebezi has just over half a mile of private river frontage and offers both boat‐based game viewing activities and traditional game drives. Contemporary, chic and effortlessly incorporating luxurious accommodation and facilities into a wonderfully wild environment in this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lolebezi is perfect for families, with two double family units and four superior suites ideal for romantic escapes.
In Botswana, is the much anticipated ‘AMBER RIVER CAMP’. And we’re already getting good reviews!
This new “sister” to the lauded Camp Maru, just 30 minutes away by mokoro, is located in the heart of a community concession on the south‐eastern edge of the Okavango Delta. It offers year‐round boat‐based and land‐based activities thanks to the presence of permanent lagoons and channels. With only six tents it offers a wonderfully remote and exclusive safari experience in one of the most game‐rich regions of Southern Africa, filled with a rich variety of fauna and flora. From riparian forests and open savannah grasslands to palm‐fringed waterways dotted with islands, this is an area that’s begging to be explored!
Also in Botswana, ‘BEAGLE EXPEDITION’S KWEENE TRAILS’ is our new favorite mobile camp outfit in the Okavango Delta.
We love what founder Simon Byron has created in this wild and spectacular western corner of the Delta along a stretch of the beautiful Kweene river system. Beagle Expeditions offers the perfect way to experience an authentic African safari with the comfort and flexability of your own, exclusive mobile safari camp with a fabulous team of people on hand to make your adventure outstanding in every way! It’s remote, exclusive and only accessible by helicopter, which literally gets your mobile safari off to a flying start, starting along the southern section of the river, slowly moving northwards, allowing you to explore as you go on foot, by helicopter, mokoro and on customised open safari vehicles.
And … the brand new addition to the renowned Royal Portfolio ‐ ‘WATERSIDE at ROYAL MALEWANE’
Offering incredible safari experiences with one of the most lauded guiding teams in Southern Africa, this new lodge overlooks a beautiful waterhole and has been designed to immerse guests in its stunning environment on the western edge of the Greater Kruger. With innovative use of traditional thatch, glass and steel architecture, Waterside is unashamedly opulent and yet complements its wilderness surroundings perfectly.
The setting is lovely – overlooking a prolific waterhole surrounded by a grove of beautiful fever trees. Private decks with private plunge pools have views over the waterhole and into the surrounding bush.
There are five large luxurious suites where the focus is on the rich colours that embody contemporary African style. The four bedroomed villa, Waterside House, is ideal for families or a group of friends. The two- bedroomed Baobab suite is ideal for travellers with kids.
Liz Biden, Royal Portfolio’s creator, has waved her magic wand and the stylish flair and opulence at Waterside really is going to WOW guests lucky enough to stay there.
In the Masai Mara, ‘MARA TOTO CAMP’ has been given a makeover.
And Maro Toto looks set to continue putting Great Plains Conservation front and centre when it comes to safaris in this iconic destination. This seasonal camp is located on the 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy, sitting on a bend of the Ntiakitiak River where riverine forest meets the edge of the open savannah. With just four light and airy tents, Mara Toto adheres to the spirit of authentic African adventure that combines simple, “back to the classics” design with high levels of comfort and an off‐grid ethos.
In magnificent Mozambique, where the new ‘KISAWA SANCTUARY’ is making waves.
You’ll find it on the southern tip of Benguerra Island in the gorgeous Bazaruto Archipelago on its own sanctuary of forest, beach and sand dunes. A wonderful blend of innovative design and local tradition, Kisawa has worked with local artisans using 3D printing technology to create an out‐of‐this‐world beach destination that oozes barefoot luxury and elegant simplicity. The fabulous rooms have a separate day area with a full bar/kitchen, dining, loungers, and decent-sized swimming pools. The food is delicious and the service from private butler and chef is brilliant. Guests also have access to their own electric mini moke! Look and feel and luxury aside, Kisawa Sanctuary’s ethos is underpinned by a deep commitment to the natural environment.
Over on the Mozambican mainland, ‘SUSSURO’ has been built on the protected shores of the Nhambue peninsula, north of Vilanculos.
With stunning views out over a warm, tropical lagoon and is only accessible via the beautiful beach on which is stands. Its private bungalows are surrounded by nature and make the most of local architectural styles to create spacious, flowing living areas that are open to the ever‐present pristine coastal surroundings. It offers the chance to relax and unwind in paradise while also offering two to four day tented excursions to Gorongosa and Zinave National Parks
In Zimbabwe, the much-vaunted opening of ‘TEMBO PLAINS’ in the Sapi Private Reserve bordering Mana Pools National Park is turning heads.
This intimate camp joins its sister Réserve Collection of camps under the Great Plains Conservation banner, offering four sumptuous tents and the two‐ bedroomed Tembo Plains Suite. Each suite has its own private pool and outdoor dining area with stunning views out over the Zambezi. The game viewing is off the charts and the landscapes drop‐dead gorgeous!
In South Africa, the Simbavati Collection of lodges has refreshed ‘CAMP GEORGE’ in the Klaserie private game reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park.
This classic safari escape is positioned overlooking a dry river bed and is ideal for couples, families travelling together and groups of friends. With eight private suites offering a mix of that authentic African safari vibe and modern contemporary design, Camp George gives you a front‐row seat to the Greater Kruger wilderness and its amazing wildlife.
And …we can’t wait tor the much anticipated ‘ANGAMA AMBOSELI’ to be revealed.
The amazing Amboseli is where this marvellous Kenyan safari brand has created its latest offering on the beautiful Kimana Sanctuary ‐ a game‐rich oasis that forms a critically important corridor linking the Tsavo, Chyulu Hills and Amboseli ecosystems. Expect Angama’s renowned blend of wonderful Kenyan hospitality, superlative contemporary African design, no small amount of luxury and outstanding guiding at this exciting new development that will directly benefit 844 Masaai families who own the sanctuary’s land.