Africa Scores high on Best Resorts of the World 2021 – by Condé Nast Traveller
BOTSWANA: and Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge (Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp, Xaranna Okavango Delta, and Sandibe Okavango Delta)
Luxury safari outfitter andBeyond operates a trio of lodges in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, each with their own unique appeal. Set on a private concession, adjacent to wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge features a striking series of decks, indoor/outdoor lounges, pathways, and curved, wooden rooftops—all inspired by the nests of golden weaver birds—that make this a safari experience far from the ordinary. Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp, meanwhile, is secluded on its own island (arrival is by motorboat most of the year), and water lilies, hippos, and frogs provide inspiration for its playful decor. Nearby, Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp comprises nine tented suites that look out on mopane woodlands and flooded grasslands, offering unparalleled access to Botswana’s famed wildlife.
SOUTH AFRICA: Cheetah Plains — Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Eschewing traditional safari motifs, this trio of private villas in South Africa’s Sabi Sands Game Reserve is all about clean lines and ultra-modern design: Think raw concrete, rusted steel, statement blown-glass chandeliers, and colorful works of art, including portraits by Loyiso Mkize. A similarly forward-thinking approach to sustainability means the property is equipped with solar panels, a greywater recycling system, and a fleet of electric Land Cruiser safari vehicles. Prowling the surrounding landscape as stealthily as leopards, the cruisers allow guests to get surprisingly close to the Big Five, which are easier to encounter here than almost anywhere else across Africa.
ZAMBIA: Thorntree River Lodge — Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia
Twenty minutes up the Zambezi River from Victoria Falls, this tented safari camp offers direct access to the teeming wildlife of Zambia’s Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Beyond the expected game drives, safari operator African Bush Camps offers other unique ways to engage with the African fauna, including bush walks, sunrise and sunset cruises, catch-and-release fishing, and rhino tracking by foot. On a good day you only have to go as far as your tent’s front deck to come face-to-face with crocodiles, elephants, and the noisy local crew of hippopotamuses, who cut through the stillness of this lavish experience with their grunts and growls.
KENYA: Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp — Masai Mara, Kenya
On arrival at Cottar’s 1920s Camp in your open-air Land Rover, you immediately feel you’ve stepped back in time. It was established by the grandfather of the current owner, Calvin Cottar, and today, it has the highest number of Gold Level guides of any safari property in Africa. The camp has great traditional interiors, full of campaign and colonial antiques and lined with kilims, cotton dhurries, and paraphernalia from decades of African safaris. There are nine tents in total (two honeymoon tents, four double tents, and three family suites), all with bathrooms, and some even have living rooms with fireplaces.
RWANDA: One&Only Gorilla’s Nest — Ruhengeri, Rwanda
The name of this eco-minded lodge in Rwanda gives a clue to its raison d’être: the mountain gorillas. It may be the latest in a line of lodges to arrive in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes, but the 21-room property delivers much more than great apes. Mountain biking, drumming, coffee tasting, and archery are all on the agenda, along with the prerequisite jungle pool and spa. Its stilted wooden lodges are tucked among the eucalyptus forest and bamboo (and, interestingly, 3,000 species of rose). This is Tarzan’s treehouse meets high design.
KENYA:. andBeyond Bateleur Camp — Masai Mara, Kenya
Guest feedback was taken very seriously when andBeyond rebuilt its flagship camp in early 2018, which is likely why the designers didn’t make any unnecessary updates in the redo. Nothing was changed for the sake of change: vintage silver, crystal decanters, leather armchairs, and extravagantly deep sofas were reused, recycled or reupholstered, while old-world maps and brass fittings were added. New to camp is a family suite, gin bar, and safari boutique stocked exclusively with home-grown designer labels. The Mara Triangle is the sharp edge of Masai Mara safaris, and not just during migration season. On any given day, the open plains are thrumming with elephants, giraffes, zebras, jackals, and lions. Being in a private concession means guests can also go out on night drives, have silver-service bush banquets accompanied by deeply resonant Maasai chanting, and the chance to do a walk or trail run with a Maasai guide.
View the full list at source.
Source: CN Traveler