From yoga safaris, to photography classes, new openings and multi-generational travel - here are some ideas on what’s getting people excited right now in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya and Botswana
A Destination in its own right: MALAWI
Significant development in Malawi has created a real buzz about the country. Historically thought of as more of an afterthought or add on to Zambia, tricky to get to and lacking in decent accommodation when not on the lake, things have definitely changed. Accommodation has improved with some great new lodges and some of Africa’s best safari operators are moving in making a top quality Malawian experience increasingly viable. It is also leaps forward in terms of access with new flights to Kaya Mawa from Lilongwe International Airport available from April. Connecting with international flights from Johannesburg (ADDIS ABBABA) and Nairobi, the region has never been so accessible. Return fares from Lilongwe to Kaya Mawa start from $275 per person. Previously, the only way to get there was by charter plane transfers that cost approximately £1,500 per person based on 2 travelling, return.
· NEW – Mkulumadzi, Malawi - opening 15 July 2011
The perfect combination of luxury and isolation, Mkulumadzi will boast eight chalets set on the banks of the magnificent Shire River in Southern Malawi. Set in 7,000 hectares of private concession, Mkulumadzi enjoys an ideal location at the confluence of two rivers just a few kilometres from the point where the river plunges into the Kapichira Falls.
The cross-generational journey: ZAMBIA
Multi-generation safaris are extremely popular at the moment. It’s one of the few holidays which really works for different generations. We are talking Grandparent, parent and grandchild trips and even recently one with four generations and a great grandmother! For Exsus these trips work best in Zambia where the safari houses work brilliantly for families. Here a family can have total autonomy and a schedule that suits a multi-age group. Exsus recommends Chongwe River House or Luangwa Safari House with Shiwa Ng’andu as an ideal add on at the end.
The unsung hero: GORONGOSA WILDLIFE PARK, MOZAMBIQUE
After a major incentive to restore its former glory after years of war and poaching, the Gorongosa Wildlife Park, Mozambique (known as “the place where Noah left his Ark”), is a true story of a wildlife rejuvenation. Leading conservationists including the highly proactive team behind Explore Gorongosa, are restoring the park and the annual opening of a luxury camp in the region is helping to create a very unique wildlife experience that is the perfect twin centre with the beaches of Mozambique.
· NEW – White Pearl Resorts, Mozambique – opening 20 June 2011
White Pearl Resorts, situated on a private magnificent sandy white beach in southern Mozambique (south of Maputo and almost on the border with South Africa) will bring a fresh and cool experience to the beaches of Southern Mozambique. This new resort will comprise of 22 ocean-facing suites, each with private plunge pools. The suites and guest areas have been designed for relaxation, comfort and beachside romance, making the most of the magnificent views.
The healthy safari: YOGA SAFARIS, LONDOLOZI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE SOUTH AFRICA
Boasting over eighty years of great wildlife-viewing, this hotspot is a luxury escape where wellness is the watchword. Comprising four separate camps over 14,000 game-rich hectares in the heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Londolozi is a thoroughly luxurious but down to earth destination. When guests are not doing sun salutations or marvelling at spotting the big five guests can take part in yoga classes on a deck high in the trees.
A new hobby: PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARIS, LELESHWA CAMP - KENYA
Leleshwa Camp is an intimate tented camp situated on the Siana Community Conservation area on the north eastern ridge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Guests will love the wide range of activities on offer from village and school visits, hiking in the Loita Hills, bush meals, balloon rides and photography workshops. Its dedicated Photography Workshop & Digital Imaging Centre offers a comfortable learning environment with facilities that include multimedia equipment. To add further convenience the camp is now home to the region’s first Mac centre making the area even more accessible to photographers. Workshops are led by Mike North, an accomplished wildlife photographer with over 20 years experience in East African photography.
· NEW – Hogmead, Nairobi - opened February 2011
Hogmead offers a boutique experience in the suburbs of Nairobi. Set on ten acres in a quiet area of Nairobi, but with easy access to Nairobi National Park and both the international and domestic airports, Hogmead is perfectly positioned for an overnight stay either before or after safari, as well as for business travel. Consisting of six enormous rooms each with views over the beautifully maintained gardens towards the famous Ngong Hills in the distance it makes for a great Giraffe Manor alternative.
The give back experience: THE LAST LION PACKAGE, BOTSWANA
National Geographic’s recent film “The Last Lions”, by renowned filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, is set in the lush floodplaIns of the Okavango Delta and follows a lioness as she battles to ensure the survival of her cubs. In celebration of the new film, Sanctuary Retreats has created this 6 night package exploring Botswana’s prime game viewing areas at Sanctuary Stanley’s, Chief’s and Chobe Chilowero Camps . A donation of US$255 per person will go to Sanctuary Retreats’ Philanthropy.
· NEW- Linyanti Ebony Camp, Botswana –opening on 1 May 2011
Built on raised decking over looking the Linyanti marsh, it offers stunning views of the endless vistas and lagoons of the Linyanti river system. The camp’s well appointed accommodation includes 3 twin bedded tents and 1 luxury family room. Its own main dinning and lounge area with a splash pool makes for a perfect destination for those looking for a family holiday or private and exclusive use of a camp