The travel industry has been hard at work refurbishing and opening brand new luxury new African lodges for those ready to cross the border once again to travel. From safari tents reminiscent of the age-old explorers in Africa to a re-envisioned luxury train set high above a wildlife riverbank, we’ve rounded up some of the best new lodges in Africa for some travel inspiration.
1. Xigera Safari Lodge
Located in the western corner of Botswana’s iconic Moremi Game Reserve, overlooking the seasonal floodplains of the Okavango Delta, Xigera Safari Lodge’s unique location offers unparalleled access to incredible safari experiences. Enjoy bush breakfasts and riverside sundowners as well as traditional mokoro canoe safaris and so much more. Xigera is designed to celebrate African creativity, design and art, a theme that is carried through to the lodge’s 12 beautiful and unique suites.
Xigera Safari Lodge is a paradise for bird watchers. Spot the slaty egret, the African skimmer, Pel’s fishing owl, the wattled crane, a wide variety of raptors and other waterbirds and colourful kingfishers. Nature enthusiasts will also be rewarded as the wildlife is awe-inspiring. Game viewing can be enjoyed by boat or in an open game vehicle within the Moremi Game Reserve directly from this incredible new African lodge.
Why we love it: The glass-bottomed mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) makes game-viewing a whole new experience.
2. Khwai Leadwood
Set in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the community-run Khwai Concession, Khwai Leadwood is tucked under the trees on the edge of the Khwai River. The Khwai is all that separates the Moremi Game Reserve and the concession, with wildlife such as lions, hippos and elephants making their way over the river to this new African lodge. The camp was designed to feel intimate, effortlessly bridging the gap between luxury accommodation and the great African outdoors and features just seven, beautifully designed rooms.
The rooms are decorated in a contemporary African style using a combination of natural textures and locally made decor alongside more modern elements. Khwai Leadwood’s biggest attraction is without a doubt the extraordinary wildlife – you’ll never be bored here! This is a place that guests can relax and have adventures in equal measure. From walking safaris at dawn, featuring the obligatory safari breakfast, to sundowners on the Khwai River, this is a place you’ll never forget.
Why we love it: Waking up to the incredible Khwai River views.
3. Tembo Plains Camp
Tucked away into a thick riverine forest on the edge of the Zambezi River lies another of our favourite new African lodges, the Tembo Plains Camp. Set in the 128,000-hectare Sapi Private Reserve, east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, this camp is home to a wide variety of game from carnivores to birds. Leopards, buffalo, lions, elephants and painted wild dogs are often sighted close to the lodge. Guests can enjoy activities such as game drives by day or night, canoeing and boating, as well as walking safaris.
Tembo Plains Camp boasts gorgeous five-star accommodation, as well as being a member of Relais & Châteaux. It has four spacious guest tents, an exquisite family unit with two bedrooms, and a private guide tent. This beautiful Camp is ideal for couples, families, and multi-generational travellers seeking an exclusive personal safari experience.
Why we love it: Each tented suite comes with a private plunge pool overlooking the Zambezi River.
4. DumaTau Camp
DumaTau Camp is a stylish tented camp in Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, close to the source of the Savute Channel. This region of Botswana is a haven for elephants, with large herds gathering along the waterways during the dry winter months. You might even spot them along the wildlife corridors that run through the camp or swimming across the river – with their trunks held high!
Elephants are incredible, but they are far from the only big game in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Guests can enjoy guided drives to get up close and personal with lions, spotted hyenas, leopards, and wild dogs. Or head out on a river cruise on the lodge’s luxury barge (water levels permitting). Keen photographers and birdwatchers will enjoy spending a few hours in one of the nearby hides. There are ten tented suites at this boutique new African lodge, divided equally to either side of the main camp, and the whole camp has a beautiful view over a hippo-filled lagoon on the Linyanti River. What bliss!
Why we love it: The fire deck has a floating walkway that takes you to the fire pit, one of the best places to watch the sun go down.
5. Habitas Namibia
Habitas Namibia is about an hour away from Windhoek, set on a private reserve previously used as a hunting estate. Today, the property has been rehabilitated as a wildlife reserve. where you’ll find plenty of elephants, giraffes, antelope and birds to spot, and the numbers keep growing with ongoing conservation efforts, although there are few carnivores. This means that days can be spent tracking animals on foot with local San tribesmen, mountain biking in the reserve, or on outings with the anti-poaching unit.
More than your ordinary safari lodge, albeit a gorgeous addition to our top new African lodges, Habitas Namibia offers a host of unique activities such as cooking and medicinal plant workshops, local live music, and even meditation sessions. The 15 rooms sit along the ridge of a hillside and are constructed mainly from sustainable materials. Each one features a deck with stunning views of the acacia-studded plains and the rolling hills beyond.
Why we love it: Habitas Namibia’s focus on the exploration of the area’s natural and cultural wonders.
6. Kruger Shalati
The old Selati Bridge crosses the beautiful Sabie River, creating the perfect home for the new Kruger Shalati. Permanently stationed on the historical bridge in South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park, Kruger Shalati offers an elevated experience combined with luxury accommodation and unparalleled views in a re-envisioned train. The refurbished train is the first of its kind in the world and provides a perfect blend of spectacular natural splendours with well-deserved luxuries in a style reminiscent of African excellence.
The one-of-a-kind new African lodge offers 31 rooms (24 in carriages and seven in the Bridge House on the banks nearby). This luxury locomotive is perfectly designed for all-out opulence and incredible comfort. To make the most of the 360-degree views, the lodge also boasts a gorgeous viewing deck as well as a swimming pool. Everything about this epic train lodge captivates the mind and the eye, creating an experience that is beyond compare.
Why we love it: The pool is suspended over the Sabie River and boasts stunning animal sightings and views.
7. Siringit Migration Camp by Mantis
The newest addition to the Siringit Collection, the Siringit Migration Camp brings five-star luxury to the mobile safari experience. Designed with elegant simplicity, the camp moves symbiosis with Tanzania‘s Great Migration from the spectacular Mara River crossings in Northern Serengeti to the calving season in the Southern Serengeti.
The eight beautifully designed Bedouin-style canvas tents are built on raised platforms to provide unobstructed views across the Serengeti. Each tent can accommodate up to two guests, while two can be linked to form a family tent which can accommodate up to four guests (two adults and two children).
What we love: The camp offers total privacy in the middle of the remote African savannah and guests can embrace the peace completely uninterrupted.
Chat to an expert consultant and start planning your tailor-made holiday.