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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Once a thriving safari destination, Zimbabwe’s political instability and dire economy under Mugabe’s rule didn’t exactly do any great wonders for its appeal. However, over the last few years it has started to emerge once again, most significantly in 2016 when Mugabe reopened Victoria Falls International Airport. Although tourists already flocked in droves to see the falls from the more impressive Zimbabwean side, this really helped put it back on the map. The international press were hot on the heels of the country’s latest upscale tourism developments including the openings of Wilderness’s Little Rukomechi in Mana Pools and Matetsi Lodge near Victoria Falls. Fast forward a couple of years and Singita Pamushana is due to reopen this month following extensive renovations and the addition of two new two-bedroom suites. Another of our favourite safari brands, Great Plains Conservation, are soon to open Mpala Jena Camp and Mpala Jena Suite on a private concession within the Zambezi National Park. They are also launching a 6-night exploration safari experience in Mana Pools National Park.
So what other reasons should you visit Zimbabwe? This is a country emerging from the ashes in many respects. It has always been a jewel in Africa’s crown but was stifled under a hugely oppressive regime and economic disaster. At long last there is the opportunity to reinvent itself and we’re excited to see what that entails. Galleries such as First Floor Gallery Harare have helped set the scene for independent international contemporary art and we’re certain this will continue to expand and thrive. Already the country's great talent is showcased at world-renowned art fairs such as the Venice Biennale. Zimbabwe Fashion week takes place annually at the end of August, there’s a lively food scene, music, crafts… but most of all Zimbabwe is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful countries on the continent with some of the best guiding.
In the northwest part of the country, Hwange National Park is renowned for its elephant population, substantial concentrations of game and for being the largest national park in the country. The mighty Victoria Falls are widely considered to be best seen from the Zimbabwean side due to the greater number of viewing points. Lake Kariba is spectacular and one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. From here the Zambezi continues east through the lower Zambezi valley with Mana Pools National Park to the south - one of Africa’s most exquisite parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Zimbabwe combines perfectly with Botswana and/or Zambia for those with extra time to spare. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to plan something beyond your wildest dreams.
True to its name, which translated from Shangaan means “place of miracles”, Singita’s accomplishments are almost implausibly outstanding across the board.Read More
There is something very special about landing in Livingstone – a town in southwestern Zambia on the border with Zimbabwe and gateway to the great Zambezi River and Victoria Falls. It immediately feels like a journey back in time where something spectacular is about to unfold.
An hour or so upstream from Victoria Falls, the last part of the journey down a dirt track road, and we reach Royal Chundu – a remote, privately-owned property made up of two lodges – River Lodge and Island Lodge. The latter is the more exclusive of the two with four very private suites on Katombora Island, accessed by boat and overlooking a scenic waterway of the Zambezi River. Benefitting from more spacious open plan suites, Island Lodge has the higher price point, which in our view is well worth it for the sheer privacy. Best of all is to take over all four suites for a family or group of friends and feel like you’re staying on your own private island complete with dedicated staff. Either way, the setting of both lodges is spectacular. At River Lodge you have front-facing views of the Zambezi River, a vibrantly-coloured lounge and dining area, and attractive swimming pool with deck and sun loungers. The ten suites are smaller than those at Island Lodge, and without the freestanding bath tubs on the sun decks, but with equally pretty views. As dusk draws in, with indescribably beautiful dusky purple skies and the sounds of hippo in the distance, the real magic starts to illuminate.
Where they really score at Royal Chundu is with a team of some of the most delightful people you could wish to meet. We were greeted every day by the warmest of smiles amongst staff who went above and beyond to ensure we were happy. Particularly impressive is Lodge Manager, Aggie Maseko Banda, who has what can only be described as a completely natural flair for hospitality. The sort of person who knows instinctively when to be around without being intrusive or overbearing. This is a fine art and actually quite rare on the safari circuit which is designed to have you programmed to set schedules (something we try wherever possible to avoid).
We particularly loved our canoeing experience which began at the Katombora rapids and continued through the channels of the Zambezi past endless jackalberry and baobab trees. The island lunch they set up for us at the end of the trip was spectacular and a definite highlight of the trip. Not to mention the exhilarating 30-minute helicopter ride over Victoria Falls and down into Batoka Gorge (well worth doing this and not the shorter, 15-minute version).
For more on how to plan the optimum experience of Victoria Falls, the great Zambezi River, and wider travel throughout Zambia, contact us at email@example.com
There is an enormous sense of indulgence at being left to one's own devices. All the bells & whistles of a beautiful hotel suite cannot substitute time spent carte blanche. Yet even whilst travelling we are constantly harmonizing with someone else's programme, whether set hours for breakfast, evening turn down, check out time, or an unwanted call from the front desk. It's rare to feel completely in control of our own time & space.Read More
An interest in contemporary African art has been on the incline for the last 10 years or so but never has it experienced such dynamic momentum as is currently underway. Last year saw the first edition of ART X Lagos, a new art fair designed to greater connect Nigeria to the contemporary art scene both internationally and across Africa. Biennales like those in Casablanca, Marrakech, Dakar, Kampala, and Bamako are gaining more recognition. For the first time ever, Nigeria had its own pavilion at this year's 57th Venice Biennale, represented by Victor Ehikhamenor, Peju Alatise and Qudus Onikeku...Read More
Kenya is a pioneer of the “original” wildlife safari. Popularised throughout the 20th century, with great novels and films depicting an era of romance and high adventure, it remains to this day a destination of great diversity. An impressive cross section of landscapes makes this a compelling country to explore – wild savannah, interminable grassy plains, the snow capped peaks of Mount Kenya, forests suffused with birdsong, huge deserts, ancient Swahili settlements, and vast private ranches. Tourists flock in their droves each year for a sighting of the great wildebeest migration – the 8th named wonder of the world - and there is a seemingly endless and ever-expanding choice of lodges, tented camps, and safari operators. Yet when it comes to the calibre of seriously world class luxury at the very top end, there is relatively, and surprisingly, little to choose from...Read More