2012 has seen lots of exciting new developments for safaris and camps around Africa. After a turbulent time for Kenya, things are definitely on the up. So promising, in fact, that two of our absolute favourite new African safari camps are in Kenya. Read on to learn more about our luxury holidays to some of these exclusive spots...
New ‘Star Camp’ for Kenya
The Sarara Tented Camp is in the enormous Namunyak tribal community, a wilderness area beneath the Mathews Mountain range in northern Kenya. Just visiting this region is an amazing experience that is way off the beaten track, but they have taken it one step further and you can now head up into the Mathews Range itself.
The Star camp is a new concept that has grown organically over the last year, and it offers a bit more variety and adventure for those who want to extend their stay in the Mathews Range. Rather than just looking, guests will actually get to camp out in this unique area up in the forested mountain range. It is therefore very different to the main camp at Sarara, and it's a great Samburu experience, with a mix of walking, camels, culture and wild nature. An unusual holiday destination, it is sold separately to the main camp and on an exclusive basis. So why not add a couple of nights at the Star Camp at the end of your stay at Sarara?
Singita Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania
Sister camp to the Sabora Camp, the new Mara River tented camp is the latest addition to Singita's incredible stable of properties in the Serengeti, and is situated on the northern banks of the world-renowned Mara River in the Lamai triangle of the Serengeti National Park. This makes it the perfect spot to try and catch the wildebeest migration in what is an 98,000-acre area, slotted between the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya and the Mara River in the south (July to October). However, it is in one of the highest year-round concentrations of wildlife in the Serengeti National Park, so you can visit year round.
Bohemian chic sets the tone for cool relaxation: spun natural fabrics, canvas, stone and raw leather blend with Maasai primary colours and elegant art pieces sourced from young African designers and craftsmen. Functional East African design encourages guests to embrace outdoors and connect with surrounding nature - without forgetting that this is undoubtedly still luxury travel at it's finest.
Changa, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
The new Changa Safari Camp is situated on the shores of Lake Kariba in a private concession area within the Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe. The camp offers luxury tented accommodation, game viewing by boat and vehicle, game walks, birding safaris, fishing safaris and similar activities within the Matusadona National Park. The tents, pool and communal areas face south looking across what is known as Hydro bay, with a view of the Matusadona Range of mountains. This is a lovely option to combine with Victoria Falls and maybe some more traditional game viewing safari in Hwange.
Botswana’s new Selinda Explorers Camp
Set away from any other camp, and in a pristine location on the Selinda Spillway's banks, this camp offers a chance for a different type of safari experience in Botswana's vast 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve. Getting out of the vehicle and onto ground and water connects guests with Africa, the motherland. This is by no means at the expense of wildlife, which remains prolific and regularly spotted. It is found under the shade of the riverine forest and you can while away afternoons under the canopy of jackelberry and mangosteen trees, interspersed with walks and canoeing, making this a respite from the 'daily grind' of a traditional safari. Get out, stretch your legs and really get back to nature.
Kipalo, Tsavo, Kenya
Opening in time for Christmas, Kipalo is a traditional safari tented camp with eight high-end tents in Southern Kenya overlooking the fabulous plains on Tsavo, and Mount Kilimanjro in the distance! The camp is within a 12,000ac conservancy which was initiated with the local community (who will receive a conservation fee from over-nighting guests) bordering Tsavo West National Park. The conservancy is an important dry season dispersal area mainly for elephant and buffalo, but there are numerous other species in the area, including the endangered African Wild Dog, and the bird life in fantastic. Kipalo has a swimming pool and because they are a conservancy they take full advantage of exploring this stunning part of the country on foot… although they also do day and night game drives and trips into the Tsavo National Parks with a picnic lunch! In the local Teita language, Kipalo means 'a place to return to again and again' which judging by the rubbings on the Baobab trees and rocks around is what herds of elephant had done for years…