As the saying goes, there is always something new out of Africa, and 2019 promises to be a landmark year in terms of new safari camps and lodges opening in some of Africa’s most alluring destinations. We’ve been keeping our ear to the ground to gather as much information as we can about all the new places to stay on safari that will be welcoming their first guests during 2019. As we kick off the new year, we’re delighted to be able to present our guide to the best new safari camps and lodges due to open in the next twelve months. Of course, as we learn more, we’ll be sharing it via our website and social media channels, so watch this space and don’t go anywhere – unless it’s to Africa on safari with Alluring Africa!
Rwanda’s remarkable renaissance continues, and the safari industry’s leading operators have not been slow to develop a presence in the land of a thousand hills. Singita Kwitonda is named after a legendary silverback gorilla – which is entirely appropriate, given the lodge’s location at the very edge of the Volcanoes National Park, home to Rwanda’s population of endangered mountain gorillas. As a small country with a growing population, land in Rwanda is at a premium, and Singita Kwitonda will create a natural space between the National Park and community farmland, with sustainability achieved through reforestation and using local building techniques.
One & Only Gorilla’s Nest
Reflecting the growing popularity of mountain gorilla trekking, this new Rwandan lodge is also ideally situated for great ape encounters, being right up against the towering Virunga volcanoes. This grass-thatched lodge is being built in traditional Rwandan architectural style, offering authentic style and modern comforts in the lofty realm that the gorillas call home. While hot showers and spa treatments inspired by local herbal knowledge might be expected at a modern luxury safari lodge, the 9-hole golf course is more of a surprise – but the perfect way to relax after a morning trekking to find gorillas.
One & Only Nyungwe House
One & Only Nyungwe House opened in October 2018, but is still a worthy addition to our list. Nyungwe House has been converted from an existing property in the midst of a working tea plantation, and offers visitors access to Nyungwe National Park in southwestern reserve. Gorillas are not found here; rather, the emphasis is on the opportunity to encounter the many species of primates (including chimpanzees) and other animals that live in this ancient forest environment. Nyungwe House offers incredible views out over the trees, with wild orchids adding pops of color.
Wilderness Safaris Magashi
Following on from the successful opening of Bisate Lodge, Magashi Camp represents Wilderness Safaris’ second venture in Rwanda. Situated in Akagera National Park, Magashi will overlook the wonderfully named Lake Rwanyakazinga, and is ideally placed to offer guests an unforgettable introduction to this previously little-visited National Park. Akagera is coming back to life thanks to the reintroduction of both lions and black rhinos, which now live alongside resident hippos, crocodiles, plains game and more elusive species such as sitatunga and shoebills. Akagera’s mosaic of habitats includes open plains, woodlands, lakes, and swamps.
Andersson’s at Ongava
Due to open in April 2019, Andersson’s at Ongava represents the next generation of Namibian ecotourism destination. More than just a place to stay, this lodge will offer guests the opportunity to get involved in cutting edge conservation science, through a unique combination of modern technology and hands-on research. Interacting with resident and visiting scientists, researchers and rhino security teams will let guests participate in the most important conservation conversations currently taking place in Africa, as well as experiencing the natural wonders of this wild and remote part of Namibia.
Nkasa Linyanti Camp
This new Natural Selections Camp is situated in the Caprivi Strip – an area that more closely resembles Botswana’s Okavango Delta than the more typical desert landscapes of much of the rest of Namibia. From Nkasa Linyanti, guests will be able to explore this long, narrow spur of territory which came into being through a quirk of colonial-era mapmaking. Today, with the prolific wildlife and birdlife being protected by the Nkasa Rupara National Park, a visit to the Caprivi offers a wonderful counterpoint to time spent in the drier, sandier parts of Namibia and proves that this truly is a country of contrasts.
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge
This new coastal lodge, situated in the De Hoop Nature Reserve (just three hours’ drive from Cape Town) is firmly focused on giving guests a phenomenal marine wildlife experience. Just a stone’s throw from the ocean, Lekkerwater faces out onto a 4-mile long swathe of sandy beach, with the waves ceaselessly rolling in. At low tide, prolific rockpools are revealed, while between July and November, rather larger creatures take centre stage as southern right whales migrate along this coast with their calves. Pods of dolphins are also frequently spotted, and fynbos walks begin right at the lodge.
The Farmstead at Royal Malewane
Royal Malewane is a name that has long been synonymous with exceptional safari experiences in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. 2019 will see the opening of the newest venture in this remarkable, game-rich area. The Farmstead is a mere 12-minute drive from the existing lodge, with a main farmhouse and just three luxury farm suites facing out over a productive waterhole. The elevated position of The Farmstead permits incredible canopy-level Kruger views, while the service, cuisine – and, crucially – the guiding will be every bit as good as you would expect.
ABC Nyamatusi Camp
All that is best about Zimbabwe’s wild places can be summed up by Mana Pools, and, beginning next year, guests visiting this legendary National Park will have one more way to experience it. Located on the banks of the Zambezi River, this new safari camp will open a window into the world of Mana Pools, through game drives, walking safaris and canoe excursions on the river. Mana Pools is known especially for its escarpment views and elephant encounters, and Nyamatusi Camp is bound to deliver on both, making it a must-visit lodge for 2019.
ABC Nyamatusi Mahogany
Nyamatusi Mahogany takes its name from the massive, ancient trees under which the camp is being built, but it actually concentrates more on young shoots. That is to say, this family-focused new safari camp is designed to offer children (and their parents) a wonderful introduction into the world of Mana Pools. This is the ultimately family-friendly safari destination, with half of the four rooms being family suites. Kids are catered for through a range of fun yet educational “Core Club” activities, designed to create lasting family memories of this very special place.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta needs no introduction, but this new safari camp certainly deserves one. The Khwai Private Reserve is renowned as one of the richest wildlife areas within the Delta, and Tuludi will offer both the excitement and serenity that comes with being in remote, beautiful corners of Africa. Raised on stilts for optimum views, Tuludi will offer guests a tranquil sanctuary in which to reflect on the wonders of Nature that they’ll inevitably experience. Certain to join the ranks of the Delta’s most iconic camps, Tuludi will offer a perfectly balanced programme of land and water activities.
For help with a trip that includes these exciting new properties, contact Alluring Africa today.