The emergence of new and refurbished safari properties is always something that entices us. The possibility of discovering somewhere new, or seeing something through different eyes means that we get to continue developing and evolving our expertise and our product knowledge so that our itineraries include not only the trusted greats we work with over and over again, but that we can give our veteran clients something spectacular and new. When some of our favourite suppliers reveal their newest ventures with us, we’re all ears!
We’ve picked three new properties to share with you that are turning out sublime safari memories for our adventurous guests. Sun Safaris secrets revealed! This is one safari trifecta you don’t want to miss.
Most of our Namibia-bound guests are keen self-drivers and lovers of unending wilderness, landscapes, and stars. That is not to say they don’t head to Namibia for the wildlife – they do! Etosha is world class and world renowned – but it’s the other contributing aspects to the wildlife experience that really sets this vast, coastal-desert country apart. Take a look at our Distinctive Namibia luxury itinerary for an idea of what we’re talking about.
There is so much space to roam, a low human population for the surface area of the country, and there are lions that live on the Skeleton Coast! From the stars to the relic sand dunes to the desert elephants and black rhinos, Namibia is pure magic, and this is somewhere new we’re excited to be able to offer to our guests headed for Etosha: Safarihoek.
Afrikaans for “safari corner”, this modern-comfort lodge is in a private nature reserve bordering the national park’s southwestern boundary, where it makes the most of the staggering views. Etosha Heights is a 60 000 hectare stretch of savannah with thorny thickets, riverine forest pockets, and mopane woodland – a diverse terrain hosting a huge variation in species. Rhino, both black and white, find a stronghold here where they are protected, and what’s more is you can contribute a cash donation of N$50 towards anti-poaching teams when you opt to log on to the unlimited WiFi!
The lodge is sprawled out on top of a hill and so the views are indescribable. Wandering elephant, oryx, eland, springbok, zebra, giraffe, lion, and many others cross the plains and can be found in shady spots throughout the reserve. At night, the beauty of being in a private reserve means you can bundle up and head out on a game drive after dark when you stand a chance of seeing aardvark, leopard, and other nocturnal creatures. While you’re hanging out in the comfort of the lodge, you can enjoy the swimming pool, air conditioned facilities, and a double-tiered photography hide for some up close game viewing sneakily watching the animals at the waterhole.
The illustrious Okavango Delta – a natural wonder and a protected heritage site full of natural and cultural wealth. This vast wetland ecosystem is a hubbub of wildlife activity and we’ve made no secret about our belief in the Okavango Delta in its capacity to change lives! This emerald wetland has expansive grassy islands, dense riverine trees, fertile soils, and the ideal habitat for such a diversity of bird and animal species. Game drives, water crossings, boating and mokoro excursions, as well as exploratory walking safaris on islands makes this one versatile destination bursting with life.
Our favourite camps in the Delta are listed in a previous blog post, in which we mention our 10 favourite lodges in Botswana. Our safari experts are incredibly familiar with the country, having spent many years arranging safaris for guests and visiting these places themselves. New to our portfolio is this freshly opened addition to the Kwando family: Splash Camp.
Bordering Moremi Game Reserve, in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Splash got its name from the number of big water crossings that had to be negotiated during the building of the camp. Now, it is an inviting tented camp with plenty of organic woodwork and thatched roofs. There are 10 suites altogether with interesting, geometric, high ceilings, outdoor showers encircled by cylindrical wooden poles, and wooden beams and panels decorating the indoors.
Splash Camp also has a family-friendly Splash Enclave which can be booked exclusively by a group or family numbering 6-10 people who wish to have a personalised experience with sole-use lounge, bar, dining area, and plunge pool. This is perfect for families with younger kids who can be accommodated in personal space with private facilities to enjoy.
RWANDA: Magashi Camp
Rwanda is forging ahead in the ecotourism industry, setting an example of sophisticated, sustainable safari, and considering only 25 short years ago this small African country was going through a devastating genocide that killed a million people and would stand out as an event that would forever leave a mark in history. From the ashes, Rwanda has risen to represent the standard of luxury eco safaris and responsible travel across the continent. If you haven’t had your eye on a Rwanda safari experience before now, be sure to turn your focus to this iconic country with everything to offer, from open savannah ecosystems to exclusive gorilla trekking and other exceptional primate safari opportunities.
Rwanda’s city streets are clean and exceptionally maintained. Manicured lawns meet litter-free sidewalks, and colourful markets are a humdrum of activity. Supporting local artists, youth, women, and entrepreneurs in the community is an important part of the tourism structure. The biggest names in luxury safaris have turned their backs on grand constructions and elaborate utilities, and have achieved a level of chic sophistication through low impact, eco-conscious safari accommodations that use locally sourced materials and workmanship.
Magashi Camp is one such camp that has recently opened its doors in one of Rwanda’s most magnificent and undiscovered wildlife areas: Akagera National Park. Located in the northeastern part of the park, which is on the country’s eastern border, Magashi is situated in an area of open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains. It has one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, as well as the rare sitatunga ,and more than 520 bird species. It is teeming with game and boasts a healthy population of lion, which were reintroduced into the park in 2015 after a 20-year absence, as well as black rhino which were reintroduced in 2017.
The camp has only six luxury tents between the thick vegetation on the edge of Lake Rwanyakazinga. The main lodge has beautiful dining, lounge, and bar areas, plus a deck with a fire pit under the vast, open skies. Wooden walkways weave through the bush and connect each area and bedroom. It’s full of forest feeling, with interiors that emulate the surroundings, and every activity is an exploration of this magnificent place.
Our top operators churning out top properties
Natural Selection has dominated the private Khwai experience in Botswana, but they’ve also branched out to remote and iconic landscapes of Namibia. Kwando camps are expertly Botswana and our nurtured relationship with this team constantly turns out excellent experiences for our guests. Wilderness is reaching into the places less travelled after pioneering luxury, sustainable safari in Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, and we are most excited about their latest reveal in Rwanda.