I’m going to exit on a limb right here and say: Africa is the most exciting luxurious vacation spot on this planet proper now. The inflow of funding in infrastructure, new flight routes, floor breaking conservation initiatives, and elevated consideration from the worldwide media are placing the nations of East and Southern Africa specifically on the tourism map. And in 2019, some completely extraordinary new properties are scheduled to open. Not solely are they extremely luxurious, however they’re imaginative, too, and can open up new areas of the continent for the most discerning of tourists.

These are the 5 openings I’m awaiting with nice anticipation this yr.

Jao Camp, Botswana (opening June 2019)

Jao Camp is about within the coronary heart of the Okavango Delta, with bushes shading the seven gorgeous tents. The resort completely mirrors the great thing about the encompassing wildlife and landscapes in all its pure glory, and when it reopens after an entire refurbishment in June, I’ve little doubt it is going to be one of many absolute best locations to remain in Botswana.

What I really like about this place is that the pure world is omnipresent and completely magical. Be certain to have dinner together with your family members beneath the open sky, as come dusk it’s lit with the brightest stars you’ve got ever seen. Continuing with the evening sky theme, you may then sleep exterior in a star mattress, falling asleep to the light squawking and grunting of birds and animals, and awaking with the primary gentle of the solar.

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia (opening October 2019)

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge boasts the most extraordinary setting in Namibia, seemingly floating between the sand dunes and the mountains. Miles from any type of human habitation, it is going to be the final word wilderness escape.

The panorama right here is nature’s journey playground. Hiking or driving on this a part of the Namib Desert you’ll definitely see ostrich, antelope, and jackal, and nothing beats the adrenaline hit of racing throughout the dunes by quad bike.

One & Only Gorilla’s Nest, Rwanda (opening late 2019)

Without doubt, Rwanda goes to be one of many hottest locations for 2019. This tiny nation is an absolute jewel, and the opening of the One & Only Gorilla Nest by the top of the yr will cement its repute for luxurious tourism.

One & Only Gorilla Nest is nestled on the foothill of the Virunga Volcano Range, one of many final locations on this planet the place you may nonetheless see the endangered mountain gorilla within the wild. Gorilla monitoring permits are exceptionally restricted in quantity — making it one of many most wanted wildlife encounters round — however spending a number of hours with a habituated household group within the forest is one thing you’ll always remember.

Tengile River Lodge, South Africa (opened December 2018)

Technically, Tengile River Lodge is a 2018 opening, however because it threw open its doorways on the very finish of the yr, I nonetheless needed to incorporate it on this spherical up. The camp is positioned close to the unfenced border of the Kruger National Park, so it advantages from a few of the absolute best recreation watching in Africa.

Each of Tengile’s 9 air-conditioned, thatched cottages has a personal deck and its personal lap pool. The cottages appear as if they’re floating on the river, and certainly the sound of the water — combined with the animal noises of the bush — will likely be your stress-free nightly lullaby.

Mbano Manor Hotel, Zimbabwe (opening early 2019)

Victoria Falls has lengthy been the epicentre of tourism in Zimbabwe, however within the final yr or so the city has been getting a significant improve, with some fabulous property openings close by. I’m delighted to search out out that there will likely be a new boutique property, Mbano Manor Hotel, opening within the first a part of this yr. With its 19 fantastically appointed suites, I’ll definitely be recommending it to company visiting Victoria Falls on a brief break, and maybe additionally to chill out on the finish of an exhilarating Zimbabwean safari.

I at all times get a buzz of pleasure visiting someplace for the primary time, and that feeling is just amplified once I know that I’m additionally one of many first company by means of the door. Everything is recent and novel, and the enthusiastic employees wish to present all the things off. Will you be a journey pioneer this yr?

Laura Burdett-Munns is Managing Director at Africa Exclusive. Africa Exclusive has been creating the best tailored safaris since 1990, specialising in luxurious lodging in lovely distant locations.

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