New year, new luxury safaris! From desert escapes in Namibia to legendary lodges across Botswana, we’re giving you 9 reasons to plan an African vacation next year. Check out our list of the best new lodges opening in 2020.

DUMATAU & LITTLE DUMATAU REOPENING AUGUST 2020

DumaTau, in northern Botswana’s Linyanti region, has been a favorite for many years. Its location on the fringes of a lagoon, with access to the unique “stolen river” of the Savuti Channel, provides unparalleled game viewing throughout the year. For 2020, DumaTau will be upgraded from a “classic” to a “premium” camp and will be accompanied for the first time by a smaller sister camp to be named Little DumaTau in time for the opening on 1 August 2020, in time for peak season.

MASHATU EUPHORBIA VILLAS OPENING JUNE 2020

The private Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana is set to welcome an exciting new addition in June 2020: the new Mashatu Euphorbia Villas. Rather than the more typical tented accommodation, this lodge will feature distinctive stone-built guest villas, each with sweeping views between the baobab trees and out across the Majele River. It’s not just the lodge’s clifftop position that’s getting elevated: the safari experiences on offer (all led by expert local guides) promise to set new standards. Activity offerings will naturally include game drives and guided walking safaris, as well as mountain biking and spending time in an exciting underground hide.

JACKS CAMP OPENING MAY 2020

Africa has many renowned safari lodges, but few attain legendary status. Even fewer lodges were established by legends – but Jacks Camp was. There’s an otherworldly feeling to the Makgadikgadi Pans – this lunar landscape demands nothing less than an extraordinary safari camp. That’s what the “old” Jacks Camp was, with its Bedouin-inspired, dazzlingly white marquee tents and heaps of cushions. The new camp will tap into this same epic narrative to create a reinvented legend for the 21st century. The new-look Jacks Camp will draw on the heritage of its predecessor while reinventing the classic look for a new generation of fans.

KWESSI DUNES LODGE OPENING MARCH 2020

Located in Namibia’s NamibRand Nature Reserve, this new lodge promises an immersive desert experience, including being surrounded by incredible scenery, and looking up at a star-spangled sky each night. The focus here is the landscape in addition to the unique wildlife that survives in these seemingly inhospitable habitats. With the towering dunes of Sossusvlei within range for a day excursion, Kwessi Dunes is ideally placed to let guests experience the very best of Namibia’s breath-taking dry country vistas. The intention is to offer multiple ways to explore the area, from hot air balloon scenic flights to quad biking.

SAYARI REOPENING JUNE 2020

Sayari Camp is a legendary property on the plains of the northern Serengeti plains. It’s a favorite lodge for East Africa safari aficionados thanks to its location directly in the path of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Sayari’s new look will feature outdoor showers, raised wooden pathways, and a new spa. And wait for it…drum roll please…when Sayari reopens, it will be home to the first solar-powered microbrewery in Africa, serving guests four types of beer brewed at the lodge.

XIGERA SAFARI LODGE OPENING JUNE 2020

Xigera has long been one of the Okavango’s most popular property and has always offered a perfectly pitched balance between water and land-based activities. Deep in the Moremi Game Reserve, it provides access to both game-rich islands and winding channels where hippos cavort, and the calls of fish eagles echo. Xigera will become 100% solar-powered and reopen with 12 fully air-conditioned suites.

PIONEERS LODGE OPENING APRIL 2020

As befits its name, Pioneers Lodge will be one of the first new properties on our list to open. Seclusion and peace will be assured by its location in the leafy residential suburbs of the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls. While it may be delightfully detached from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist areas, the lodge will still only be a few minutes’ drive from the Falls themselves. The manicured garden setting of this all-new 50-room lodge promises tranquility and serenity, while the fact that this is brand-new option means that it has all modern amenities and conveniences built-in from day one.

TANDA TULA SAFARI CAMP & RISHILE CAMP OPENING MAY 2020

Tanda Tula Safari Camp will channel the authentic spirit of the East African safari experience, only in the exclusive Timbavati Private Game Reserve. This luxury tented safari camp is being created to meet the needs of both honeymoon couples and families on multi-generational safari vacations. Built primarily from organic materials like wooden and thatch, the twelve guest tents will offer a very appropriate level of luxury. There will also be a sister camp: Tanda Tula Rishilé Camp in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve will also offer the warm, genuine hospitality that Tanda Tula is renowned for.

LITTLE KULALA REOPENING MAY 2020

The unique “beach villa” vibe of Little Kulala has long made this one of Namibia’s most sought-after safari destinations. The refurbished lodge will retain this sense of being cast adrift (albeit luxuriously) in a sea of sand. The new Little Kulala will also benefit from an exclusive access point to Sossusvlei, making dawn excursions to the world’s oldest and tallest dunes a very real option. It’s certainly worth the early start to watch the colors seep into the landscape and to feel the fresh desert breeze as it blows away yesterday’s tracks and makes the ancient dunes new again.