As Pliny the elder recognized, “There is always something new out of Africa” and 2000 years later, we are looking forward to several exciting, and some rather dazzling, new developments …
Since 1997, Volcanoes Safaris has been pioneering gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism in Uganda and Rwanda, and we are eagerly awaiting the opening of its fifth lodge in Kibale in May. With a community of 1,500 chimps, Kibale National Park, is known as one of the best places in all of Africa to view chimpanzees. Kibale Lodge will consist of eight deluxe rooms and a villa, and feature a spa, sauna, and a pool, not to mention magnificent views of the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) to the west, and the Queen Elizabeth plains and the Kazinga channel to the south.
Ideal for small groups with Gorilla Trekking still on the wish list, there are plans for the intimate Bisate Reserve, to open in September. The 4-thatched roof chalets built into the rolling hills will look out over the surrounding volcanoes of Volcanoes National Park. The original Bisate Lodge first opened in 2017, and with the planting of nearly 100,000 indigenous trees, a thriving forest has since been established with the long-term goal of rehabilitating the land, reconnecting this section with the national park and thereby expanding the suitable habitat for endangered mountain gorillas and other wildlife.
In time for the next winter season, Kafue National Park, one of Africa’s largest reserves at nearly 9,000 square miles, will see Anantara Kafue River Tented Camp nestling between two islands, and elevated almost 12 feet above the Kafue River. The 12 luxury tents will feature private plunge pools and come with access to a boat and skipper. The main area will include a spa and wellness area, a swimming pool, a restaurant and bar, lounge and a traditional African boma. Located approximately three hours from Victoria Falls the camp will also be accessible by helicopter.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Due to open in May on the banks of the Gomoti River in iconic Moremi Game Reserve, is Tawana, being built in collaboration with Chief Tawana, paramount chief of the Batawana tribe. His father and grandmother set aside much of their ancestral hunting grounds in the early sixties, to protect the wildlife and help establish what is today the Moremi Game Reserve. The lodge will have eight guest suites, with their plunge pools and outdoor relaxation areas, while amenities in the main area will include a walk-in wine cellar, a wood-fired pizza oven, an open-air dining area, a spa facility, a fitness center and a 16-meter lap pool.
Also in May, the five expansive guest suites of Singita Milele, perched on top of the renowned Sasakwa Hill, will form part of the Singita Private Villa Collection. Each suite is being designed to celebrate a different species of African wildlife, and a team comprising dedicated field guides, a personal chef and dedicated villa hosts will enable guests to tailor every detail of every day to their individual preferences. Over and above a boma, outdoor yoga and wellness Sala, firepit, infinity pool and jacuzzi, the 10-person movie theatre should come in handy on indoor days.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
On a 425-square-mile, private concession Moremi Game Reserve, Atzaró Okavango Camp is expected open in March. Each of twelve stunning suites will feature sumptuous antiques and original art, private star beds, air conditioning and high-speed Wi-Fi, and come with a dedicated vehicle and guide for the minimum 3-night stay. Besides enjoying the African art gallery, Ancestral Boma, wine cellar, spa, and gym, guests may opt for guided safari walks, helicopter safaris, bird watching, stargazing, yoga, community visits, fishing and Mokoro excursions.
Near Pongwe Beach on the east coast, Four Seasons Resort Zanzibar plans to be a 126-acre secluded beachfront property with 60 one-to-three-bedroom villas overlooking the Indian Ocean. Guests can unwind at an oceanfront pool and luxuriously appointed spa, or enjoy exhilarating water sports, family activities and the extensive fitness facilities. Five dining options will include a signature seafood restaurant and an all-day dining Mediterranean restaurant, featuring locally inspired cuisine. The conservation team at the dedicated on-site Discovery Centre will lead sustainability initiatives to protect Zanzibar’s habitat and promote responsible tourism.