Rwanda, Namibia and Zimbabwe offer several new options for design-conscious and environmentally minded travellers
5 new wilderness retreats in Africa
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
In Gisakura, western Rwanda, One&Only has opened a new 23-room “nature resort” on a working tea plantation near the mountain rainforest of Nyungwe National Park. One&Only Nyungwe House offers nature hikes and chimpanzee viewing. Rooms cost from US$1,105 (Dh4,059) per night, including taxes. Next year, the company will open One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in the north of the country.
Shipwreck Lodge and Serra Cafema Camp, Namibia
On Namibia’s wild Skeleton Coast, the 10 shipwreck-shaped chalets of Shipwreck Lodge sit between vast sand dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. Activities include seal watching, exploring abandoned diamond mines and shipwrecks, 4x4 trips along the Hoarusib River and picnics on the beach. The property is part of a communal conservancy to safeguard local people, wildlife and the environment. Rooms cost from $683 (Dh2,509) per night, with taxes.
In the extreme north-west of the country, on the Kunene River in Hartmann’s Valley and only accessible by plane, is Serra Cafema Camp, reopened after an “environmentally sensitive rebuild”. The property is completely solar-powered and operates as a joint venture with the local Himba tribe, one of the last semi-nomadic peoples on Earth. Rooms cost from 8,905 South African rand (Dh2,299) per person, per night.
Nyamatusi Camp and Chikwenya, Zimbabwe
Deep in Mana Pools National Park in northern Zimbabwe, in the Nyamatusi Wilderness Concession, Nyamatusi Camp consists of six luxury tented riverside suites with indoor/outdoor showers, bathtubs, private plunge pools and air conditioning. Activities include game drives, walking and kayak safaris, and fishing. Suites cost from $620 (Dh2,277) per night, including taxes. For more information, visit www.africanbushcamps.com.
Also in the 1.7-million-hectare Mana Pools park, and also offering six tents, is Wilderness Safaris’ Chikwenya Camp, at the confluence of the Sapi and Zambezi rivers. The area offers large concentrations of buffalo and elephants, while lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetahs, vervet monkeys and hippos are also often sighted. Rooms cost from $1,288 (Dh4,731) per person, per night, all inclusive. For more information, visit www.wilderness-safaris.com.