Over the last couple of years Rwanda has been at the receiving end of some deservedly excellent press. Leading the way, was Wilderness’s Bisate Lodge, on the “hot list” of every glossy travel publication and reviewed by the world’s most renowned journalists. Magashi Camp, also by Wilderness, is soon to open in the north-eastern corner of Akagera National Park, overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga. One & Only followed suit with Nyungwe House – a tree plantation setting suited to rainforest walks and chimpanzee trekking in the south-western part of the country. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will follow shortly in the foothills of the Virunga mountain range. And, for those seeking the absolute crème de la crème of luxury safari experiences, August 2019 will see the openings of Singita’s Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House…Read More
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The great migration has finally arrived in Kenya where the Mara River takes centre stage each year for one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. The Masai Mara boasts the highest concentration of wildlife in Kenya and is a wish list destination for most first-time safari travellers. Yet there are many other regions to explore and some, where unlike the Mara, you’ll barely see another soul during your visit.
Against the backdrop of Mount Kenya, Laikipia is largely comprised of private ranches and conservancies, and offers some of the most exclusive accommodations in the country. Segera Retreat is one of these – a 50,000-acre eco-ranch belonging to Jochen Zeitz, philanthropist, conservationist and founder of Cape Town’s Zeitz MOCAA.
“Retreat” summarizes Segera perfectly. There are seemingly endless plains of honey-coloured grasses still long from this year’s abundant rainy season and accented by whistling thorn acacias. The entrance to the lodge is quite inconspicuous. No immediate sign of the exquisitely-planted tropical gardens, compelling collection of art and artefacts, sumptuous villas and beautifully-appointed spa. Yet this is Kenya’s most sophisticated lodge and they have spared no expense where the finest details are concerned. Guest interaction is measured with precision and private dining throughout the property means they completely avoid the communality which isn’t usually favoured by guests travelling at a certain level. Each villa has its own housekeeper, wildlife guide and assigned waiter, so the same questions need never be asked twice. Even before you’ve stepped through the doors everyone knows your name by heart and extends the welcome one might expect for a friend or guest of many years. There is just the right balance between distance and familiarity. Jens Kozany is a superb General Manager and his approach to hospitality aligns him with the very best in the industry. With an amazing ability to make everything seem completely effortless, nothing is ever too much trouble, there is no such word as “no”.
Location-wise Segera is well-placed for helicopter trips to Mount Kenya, Lake Turkana, the Suguta Valley and Matthews Range and we particularly recommend sequencing it at the end of a trip to unwind and completely self-indulge. Contact us at email@example.com to plan the ultimate Kenyan wildlife and cultural experience.
There is something thoroughly exhilarating about travelling in West Africa. It bares very little resemblance to the well-established safari circuits of East and Southern Africa, but what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in joie de vivre with some of the best music, art, culture & food on the continent. Lagos & Accra are both dynamic cities pulsating with creative energy and buzz. With young initiatives such as the first Lagos Biennial, Art X Lagos and the Chale Wote street art festival, they are fast cementing their positions as emerging contemporary art capitals of the world. Lagos has its own highly credible Fashion Week with hugely successful labels such as Maki Oh favoured by the likes of Michelle Obama, Lupita Nyong’o, and Beyoncé. Concept store Alara, designed by Sir David Adjaye, has changed the face of high end shopping with its carefully-selected combination of international & African designers. Whilst La Maison in Accra, the brainchild of Nada Moukarzel, has been compared to a Ghanaian version of Milan’s 10 Corso Como.
Gone are the days of looking to Europe for culinary influence. Current trends have seen a return to traditional local ingredients and a modern twist on home-grown recipes. Accra – with Lagos following suit - now has a happening restaurant scene with some very stylish places to eat & drink. They are both entrepreneurial hubs, evolving fast, yet still holding on to their own very distinct identities. A wave of young Ghanaians and Nigerians are now moving back to their familial homelands from NYC and London as there are great opportunities. Yes, these cities are full of contrast, frustrating to manoeuvre, sometimes overwhelming, but you’ll never endure a dull moment.
And lest we forget about music, this really is an absolute highlight for any trip to West Africa. Reggae, rap, hip hop, and Afrobeat are of course popular in Accra and Lagos, with the latter also boasting an amazing jazz scene. Ever-evolving “hiplife” is the dominant musical force in Ghana and fuses highlife with elements of hip hop. I could write an entire thesis on how electrifying and infectious the music of this region is.
We love promoting these dynamic cities, their art, shopping and music scenes, sense of concordance between old and new, traditional & contemporary. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to uncover the buzz of modern day West Africa.