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Lemarti’s Camp is rustic and homely. Run by a couple who lead and guide walks through the African bush, you’re never far from a fount of knowledge and local passion.
It doesn’t get more remote than the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Much of the 50,000 km² area is inaccessible and much of it notoriously difficult to reach, so only a handful of tourists manage to get in. In the first few months of the year, it is at its most enticing, as valleys cradled within dunes spring into a lush carpet of vegetation attracting Springbok, Ostrich and Giraffe. The Kalahari is famed for its black-maned lions and abundance of cheetah. Leopard and brown hyena can be elusive as they’re infinitely shy. Kalahari Plains Tented Camp looks out onto an immense pan of wildlife.
With more than fifty coral islands and abundant marine life, the Quirimbas Archipelago has recently been designated a National Park. The islands remain an unexplored underwater safari sanctuary.
On land, however, Gorongosa is the country’s flagship reserve. It once attracted more visitors than South Africa and Zimbabwe combined. But the harshness of war left resources depleted. Hippos, lions and elephants have recovered following restocking, helping Mozambique regain its reputation as a game-viewing destination.
Arguably the most magnificent park in Africa, the Serengeti basks in prolific amounts of game and is invigorating in its sheer vastness and dramatic staging. Guides are now teaching travellers how to minimise their impact and create cultural understanding. And Visitors are leaving with greater respect for the environment. Annually, 1.5 million wildebeest and some 250,000 zebra migrate through. Prides of lion thrive here, upwards of 3,000, spotted lazing on ‘kopje’ outcrops. Grumeti River houses some of the largest Nile crocodiles in the world.
Royal Zambezi Lodge is nature's gem. Set on its own generous magnificent portion of the Zambezi River, the lodge opens up to expansive views of game over the riverbanks. Try post-safari canoeing or fishing for Tiger fish. A quick dip in the infinity pool before a sunset massage at the Royal Bush Spa rounded off by a candlelit meal completes a perfect day. Rest your head in luxuriously appointed eco-conscious tents with bathtub, private infinity pools and stunning vistas.
Gloriously wild amidst raw nature and with decadent wildlife viewing - southern Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is a haven of hippos, elephants and birdlife. Less frequented than its neighbor, Tanzania, Zambia’s national parks are the essence of wilderness. The most popular, South Luangwa, is a distance away. Lower Zambezi spawns symmetry of exotica and expanse. Combine safari and thunderous Victoria Falls at Tongabezi Lodge, an award-winning romantic hideaway on the river.
On the fringes of Parc National des Volcans, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is minutes from walking treks. In the dramatic foothills of the Virungas, this residence is beautifully appointed and atmospheric. After a hard day’s trek, luxuriate in a massage to ease aches, enjoy a bath overlooking misty mountain views or adventure-seekers can head out on mountain bikes.
The landlocked beauty of Rwanda stuns visitors. Misty moody rainforest, forested volcanoes, undulating grasslands and tranquil lakes are ideal for trekking and dugout canoeing. The upper slopes of Virunga volcanoes conservation area comprise three national parks, encapsulating Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo – the most famous residents being 350-strong mountain gorillas.
The original eco private game reserve, Londolozi, is unashamedly family-run and winning awards for it’s quality of food, service, accommodation and ecotourism.
Kruger is a classic. Yet it's lodges are respected for implementing pioneering eco-tourism policies with fundamentals around reduction of the footprint, increase in land and a focus on the richness of experience inherent in the African bushveld.
As one of Africa’s oldest and best-maintained parks, Kruger typifies the highest variety of wildlife. It’s renowned as the easiest spot to see the Big Five, aided by its unfenced borders with Africa's finest game reserves. Sophisticated lodges offer the ultimate in lavish luxury and intimate bush hideaways.
Namibia is rousing serious safari attention with its stark beauty, rugged coastlines and evolving landscapes. Etosha National Park is home to Africa's tallest elephants, as well as the endangered black rhino, cheetah, and perennial springs luring the big cats. Unique scenes across a shimmering saltpan of mirages are seen via self-drive safaris. Upmarket lodges and camps fringe park boundaries, where guided safaris are inclusive. A stay with a difference, Onguma Treetop Camp is built amongst treetops, with panoramic views over Onguma Game reserve.
Guides ask you not to stare at the mountain gorillas, but it’s tough. The gentle giants have deep mysterious eyes that lull you into a sense of serenity. Home to roughly half the world's mountain gorillas, tracking is a highlight of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Gifted with a theatrical landscape, volcanoes intersperse the jagged valleys and waterfalls are shrouded in altitude mist. The principal birding destination bears no fewer than 23 of Uganda's 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including the spectacularly endangered African Green Broadbill.
Unrivalled guides and unique backdrops are Zimbabwe’s assets, amidst low-
lying semi-desert to lush highlands strewn with lakes and forests. Hwange
National Park in the Northwest is the largest. The elephants are world-famed
and, here, you’ll find one of the world’s largest populations. The mighty Zambezi
River, from Victoria Falls, creates waterholes for thirsty wildlife. Emerging from
recent troubles, tourists are flocking in. Somalisa is an elegant bush camp with six solar powered highly luxurious tents. The pool overlooks the entire pan of wildlife below.
Africa’s densest game concentrations lie along a brilliant peacock-blue river, making Chobe a prime game destination. Situated within the Okavango Delta, we
recommend Savute marsh: teeming with wildlife year-round, easily accessible
and with a wide range of lodgings for all budgets. Chobe is a stronghold of
endangered species such as Wild Dog, Cheetah and Brown Hyena. Indulgence is paramount at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero Lodge, with spa, gourmet food and undisturbed views.
Segregated by a millennium of war and migration, Serbia has seen turmoil. So, its emergence comes with a steely determination to gleam. The frenetic capital, Belgrade, uncovers beauty with an edge. Remnants of Soviet history are telling in architecture. A variety of eras vie for attention. Belgrade today radiates a wonderful outdoor lifestyle, with open-air concerts, pivotal to its people. At Easter the rivers, on which it depends, spring to life with cruises, river bars and clubs of Splavovi thriving. For trendsetters, Savamala is the elite spot to be seen. Don’t miss new Ada Bridge, already an iconic landmark. For tranquillity marinated in history, explore the ancient monasteries of Fruska Gora or the mosques of Novi Pazar. Music-lovers should visit Exit Festival; Serbia’s answer to Glastonbury, without the mud.