If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, the festive season usually involves revelling in dramatic, icy landscapes and breathing in the smell of fresh pine trees. It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but brrrrr, is it cold outside!
If you’re in need of a little vitamin D and feeling impulsive, you’re in luck. Treat yourself to a last-minute getaway in Africa where the sun (almost) never stops shining – and take advantage of some incredible deals.
Here’s a little inspiration to get you started, regardless of what type of traveller you are (or who you’re travelling with).
For couples and honeymooners
Reconnecting in a romantic, secluded setting
1. Chisa Busanga Camp
Where: Mumbwa, Zambia.
Why we love this for couples: Chisa Busanga Camp gives a whole new meaning to the term “love nest”. Its rooms are inspired by weaver bird nests, creating the most romantic little hideaway for lovebirds looking to spend some quality time together.
A highlight to look forward to: A hot air balloon ride at sunrise – an encounter guaranteed to become a magical memory you’ll both treasure for many years to come.
2. Monwana Residence
Where: Thornybush Game Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Why we love this for couples: The space is reserved for your exclusive use, so it’ll be just the two of you reconnecting with nature and each other. There are two private rooms, an open-plan living room, a sparkling pool and a private fire pit for evening cuddles under the stars.
A highlight to look forward to: Two private game drives every day, with a FGASA-accredited field guide by your side.
For families with young children
Introduce the littles to the Big 5
1. Simbavati Waterside
Where: Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa.
Why we love this for families: The Simbavati Collection is passionate about family safaris and introducing young kids to the wonders of untouched nature. At Simbavati Waterside, there are four family suites, each with two bedrooms (one with a set of twin beds for the kiddos) and a game viewing deck. The kids will love spending time out there trying to spot the wildlife while you and your partner relax with a refreshing beverage in hand.
A highlight to look forward to: Game drives, followed by an evening spent dining and relaxing by the campfire.
2. Loapi Tented Camp
Where: Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Why we love this for families: This camp, set to open to guests for the first time in March 2023, comprises six individual tented safari homes designed for exclusive use, giving you and the children plenty of space to relax, explore and enjoy. You’ll also have plenty of extra hands to help, in the form of a dedicated Homathi (on-site butler) and a private chef.
A highlight to look forward to: The Junior Ranger programme. The programme empowers the children to learn new skills, such as archery, spoor identification and casting, and animal tracking.
For families with older children
Enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences and creating forever-memories
1. Sable Alley
Where: Khwai Private Reserve, Botswana.
Why we love this for families: You’ll have the space to enjoy incredible game viewing, with a maximum of seven guests per game drive vehicle. There are also two special family tents (suitable for families with children 6 years and older) and a swimming pool for the kids to splash around in for hours on those hot days. Don’t forget your sunblock!
A highlight to look forward to: A closer look at the Okavango Delta on a mokoro (dugout canoe) excursion or boat trip.
2. Okavango Explorers Camp
Where: Selinda Reserve, Botswana.
Why we love this for families: It’s an ideal option to book as an exclusive use camp. If you’re headed to Africa so that your kids can experience the continent’s amazing wildlife (of course you are!), it’s also worth nothing that this camp’s location was handpicked specifically for its access to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the region, along the southernmost section of Selinda Spillway.
A highlight to look forward to: Canoeing together as a family, gaining a new perspective on your spectacular surroundings.
For solo travellers
Taking some time out for you – and only you
1. Jack’s Camp
Where: Makgadikgadi National Park, Botswana.
Why we love this for solo travellers: Following its recent rebuild, Jack’s Camp is more beautiful than ever before. It’s an unrivalled haven for peace, quiet and solitude, and is one of just three camps in a one-million-acre private wildlife reserve. There’s also plenty on offer to keep you busy, including desert game drives, quad biking and the chance to explore one of the most comprehensive collections of ancient artefacts in Botswana.
A highlight to look forward to: Soaking up the afternoon sunshine in your private plunge pool, overlooking the salt pans.
Where: Sabi Sand Reserve, South Africa.
Why we love this for solo travellers: If you’re travelling solo but don’t want to skimp on space or experience, a stay at any one of the Dulini lodges is sure to tick all the boxes. They’re all peaceful sanctuaries for anyone desperate for solitude (and jaw-dropping views).
A highlight to look forward to: Authentic African cuisine served under the stars in a traditional Boma.
Making the most of Africa
1. Kamara House
Where: Thornybush Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Why we love this for adventurous travellers: Opening in May 2023, this all-new private house boasts a rim-flow plunge pool and loads of resources for the young, active and adventurous. Scope out the Big 5 on game drives, head off on a bush walk, interact with the local community, go fishing – let your curiosity guide you!
A highlight to look forward to: Sipping pre-lunch drinks on the main deck after an active morning out in the bush.
2. Duke’s Camp
Where: Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Why we love this for adventurous travellers: Everything about Duke’s Camp screams adventure – even where you stay. The safari tents are pitched on raised wooden decks beneath a canopy of trees, giving you ample opportunity to appreciate the surrounding wildlife from within the unfenced camp. You’ll also have the chance to savour longer game drives, sleep out under the stars on a neighbouring island, hop aboard a helicopter to admire the stunning views and enjoy many more enthralling experiences.
A highlight to look forward to: Game drives and bush walks led by world-class guides, trained by safari legend Ralph Bousfield himself.
For wellness seekers
Indulging in Africa’s greatest pleasures
1. Tintswalo at Siankaba
Where: Livingstone, Zambia.
Why we love this for wellness-focused travellers: The ultra-luxurious furnishings make the tented suites at Tintswalo pop, and the private viewing decks are the cherry on top. The decks are ideal for doing yoga, meditating or simply enjoying the warmth of the sunshine on your skin and the soft breeze in your hair. You’ll also be able to revel in spa treatments from the comfort of your room, lulled into a blissfully relaxed state by the sound of the flowing Zambezi River and the gentle surrounding birdsong drifting through the trees. It’s just so easy to de-stress here.
A highlight to look forward to: A secluded, intimate picnic island lunch.
2. Saseka Tented Camp
Where: Thornybush Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Why we love this for wellness-focused travellers: The tented suites at Saseka Tented Camp are the epitome of luxe African living. You’ll have your own outside shower, plunge pool and spacious game-viewing deck overlooking the riverbed. Savour leisurely bush breakfasts, wind down at the spa, relax by the pool or venture out on a relaxed sunset game drive.
A highlight to look forward to: The food. Look forward to shakshuka for brekkie, health bowls for lunch and macaroons for tea.
Now’s the time to book your last-minute getaway at some of Africa’s newest and newly refurbished lodges. You deserve the break! Contact team GILTEDGE for assistance today.