New Southern Africa Hotel Openings for 2019
Africa is a continent unlike any other place on earth; its vast scope and richness of landscapes offers a lifetime of adventures. We are passionate about sharing our discoveries and our recently-launched Southern Africa portfolio introduces travellers to the newest and most rewarding jewels opening each year. From the Atlantic coast of Namibia to the wildlife-filled deltas of Botswana and the historic and scenery-rich road trips of South Africa, we scale the continent to discover the most exciting and gasp-worthy destinations. Below is a selection of hot new and upcoming openings across the southern stretches of Africa.
Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia - Recently Opened
We love any property that engages with its surrounding peoples. The remote Hoanib Valley Camp is leading the field in the Kaokoland area of Namibia. One of the globe’s few remaining true wildernesses, the region has an otherworldly quality with its rare Desert Elephant sightings, glowing pastel colours at dusk, drifting inland sea mists of the Hartmann’s Valley and local Himba bushmen. Vast and largely empty, this is a terrain of true once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The new Hoanib Valley Camp is a tented and stylish retreat, a venture of local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. This merging of hospitality and local conservation allows for a unique glimpse into the surrounding culture - primitive, bewitching and startlingly other. The solar-powered accommodation is filled with Namibian craftsmanship - from the furniture to beaded pillows created by local tribal ladies. Spend evenings gathered around a fire pit sending its flames up to the inky-black desert sky alongside fellow guests. Wake up with the sun at dawn and track desert rhino, elephants, lions and giraffes - the game-viewing is spine-tinglingly good set against an unforgettable backdrop.
Sonop by Zannier Hotels, Namibia - Opening Summer 2019
Sonop is called one of 2019’s most exciting new openings in Southern Africa. A supremely comfortable tented camp in the picturesque Namib desert (the oldest in the world), Sonop by Zannier is a step into the 1920's colonial era with all the style of Out of Africa. Perched on top of ancient boulders, the ten generous tents are lavishly decorated with antiques, jaunty carpets and carved wood - offering a beguiling contrast to the rugged terrain. Sonop is a place in love with its desert. Come here and explore the mysteries (it has its own stables - swoon), wildlife and breathtaking night sky. Enjoy dinner with silver, candelabra and black-tied, white-gloved service - this is no longer 2019 but languid, adventurous 1929 with all the civilised touches of the era in place. Champagne cocktails and the promise of Africa - what more could you want for a true escape from reality?
Tuludi, Okavango Delta, Botswana – Opening July 2019
An exclusive paradise of seven tents in 200,000 hectares of Botswana wilderness, Tuludi offers the Africa of the old explorers with modern comforts. Set in the Khwai Private Reserve in the northern fringes of the scenic Okavango, all of the tree-house style tented rooms open up on to Delta panorama. The floodplains, glistening green forests and lily-pad-covered waterways can be explored on a mokoro safari. The name ‘Tuludi’ is a local Tswana word that describes the markings of the leopard as the site was discovered while a magnificent female leopard stalked the area. The unique ecosystem surrounding the camp is home to a bounty of safari wildlife, birds and cool Leadwood trees. The interiors are beautifully decorated with framed maps, botanicals and private plunge pools on the wide decks. The winter dry season from June to October brings the flooding of the Delta, with its flowing waters and superb wildlife spotting. The summer season is blessed with rains, otherworldly sunsets and exhilarating thunderstorms, as well as the heartwarming sight of newborns leaping their first steps around the plains. An authentic taste of outback Africa.
Deteema Springs Camp, Zimbabwe - Opening May 2019
Zimbabwe has opened up again to tourism in an exciting way. This May sees the launch of Deteema Springs Camp, deep in the wildly splendid Hwange National Park. Perched overlooking the Deteema Springs, the accompanying spectacle of wildlife includes a resident pride of lions who lead the charge alongside stately parades of elephant families. The camp is an intimate gathering of eight raised and elegantly-decorated tents with the traditional verandas for horizon-gazing and steaming cups of morning coffee serenaded by birdsong. A naturalist’s dream, the region offers fabulous walking trails with seeps and springs, vegetation and the guarantee of excellent game spotting. Nearby Deteema Dam offers a menagerie of hippos, watering giraffes and painted dogs. We cannot wait to experience the magic of rural Zimbabwe here.
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa – Opening April 2019
Launching this month, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is a seven-room boutique eco-haven set in a fabulous beach setting. The De Hoop Nature Reserve is a paradise for whale watching as they migrate by the thousands from the antarctic (as well as dolphin pods and other marine life), and coastal walking, three hours from Cape Town, near Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa. With every charming room bathed in ocean views from full height windows, this lodge is a place to linger and dream where the horizon stretches an endless blue. Lekkerwater means ‘the good water’ and the property has been created with a loving respect for its surroundings. Power is solar and wind generated, plastic use is zero. Even the wine list is curated from local suppliers.
Images: Natural Selection Travel