We’ve got a sprinkling of new tours and lodges in Southern Africa for a range of clients, whether they’re looking for a dream safari vacation, a budget-friendly travel experience, or tours made specifically for those with a disability.
Goway Makes Africa Accessible
For clients with a disability, be it mobility, visual, hearing impairment, or even those needing oxygen or kidney dialysis, recommend Goway’s Accessible Africa tours, offering scheduled departure tours, including on the 10-day Best of Botswana Accessible Safari (starting at $7,458). These tours allow an individual or group to join a set itinerary, and then have the option for private safaris tailored to fit the guest’s specific needs.
According to Moira Smith, Goway’s general manager, Africa, Europe & Middle East, these tours are made for those who have “dreamed of going on safari, but due to the accessibility of the region, may not have thought it possible. We [now] have exciting offers that can be tailor-made to the customer’s needs.”
Goway has also enhanced its 2016 12-day Magic of Africa itinerary, which now includes two nights aboard the Zambezi Queen, offering guests a different view of the Chobe River. Guests stay in a private suite and enjoy experiences such as water-based game viewing on smaller boats that enable up-close viewing, as well as land-based 4×4 game-viewing in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, seasonal tiger fishing, and cultural tours of local villages. Rates start at $10,309 with dates departing on July 15 and Aug. 26, 2016, as well as Jan. 15 and Feb. 24, 2017.
In addition, Spectacular South Africa was recently launched to meet the demand for small group experiences. This journey is unique because it’s limited to seven guests who explore the area in a luxury vehicle; and accommodations are in exclusively selected boutique-class properties and lodges. This 15-day itinerary offers exclusive value-adds for the first two bookings on each departure, including a complimentary curry buffet at Oyster Box, a complimentary bottle of local wine over dinner at Lone Creek River Lodge, a complimentary upgrade to Spa Suites at Kapama River Lodge, plus a 45-minute head, neck and shoulder spa treatment. Rates start at $2,801 including accommodations, sightseeing and some meals.
Explore & Stay in Botswana
This spring, Desert & Delta Safaris is expected to complete the rebuild of Camp Okavango, a new camp located in Botswana.
Camp Okavango’s guestrooms feature a blend of timber and canvas that helps achieve the best use of ventilation and light, and all are raised off the ground to offer guests expansive views of the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Clients can spread out in a foyer and lounge, a bedroom and an en-suite bathroom with a double vanity and shower, as well as their own deck. And for families, the Family Suite comes with an additional bedroom with its own entrance to the bathroom area. While exploring the camp, guests meander through lush trees as they walk along elevated walkways that connect the rooms and the public areas.
This year, Botswana is celebrating 50 years of freedom, and to honor that important milestone, CW Safaris is highlighting two immersive safari packages with departures May to November 2016. The 9-day Best of Botswana itinerary is an ideal choice for the active group. This program provides travelers with an up-close view of African wildlife: there are canoe rides among hippos and bathing elephants; walking tours across the savannah; and excursions among lions, hyenas and other predators. Guests will also take part in night drives, nature walks, and boating among open lagoons and papyrus-covered islands viewing over 400 animals and the unique fauna of the Okavango Delta. On excursions to nearby villages and schools, guests will learn about local culture and traditional tribal life. Rates start at $5,498 pp; a 14-day option including flight and a safari combo starts at $7,598 pp.
The Okavango Delta, Chobe & Nxai Pan itinerary, meanwhile, is a private safari option with trips to the Okavango Delta where guests experience big game viewing paired with the peacefulness of an untouched delta; they’ll participate in game drives, river cruises, and nature walks with Bushmen trackers, and observe herds of zebra and elephant bulls as they meander past the private camp deck to the nearby waterhole. The 9-night itinerary starts at $5,898 pp.
Luxe Stays in Zimbabwe
The Matetsi River Lodge in Zimbabwe will rejoin the andBeyond portfolio this July, following a $10 million rebuild and renovation. Offering a prime riverfront setting, the property, the only andBeyond lodge in the country, is located on the Zambezi River, 25 miles upstream from Victoria Falls on one of the largest wildlife concessions in the area. The lodge is composed of two camps, each featuring nine suites, with a Family Suite at each, and a private 4-bedroom villa that can accommodate groups of up to eight guests. The main lodge houses a Safari Shop, a gym, a massage sala, an 82-ft.-long rim flow pool that stretches along the river bank, and an underground wine cellar looking out onto the Zambezi River. The aforementioned villa, ideal for multigenerational groups, comes with its own kitchen, indoor/outdoor dining areas, a verandah that overlooks the river, a pool and a fire pit, not to mention a guide, private vehicle, chef, and butler. In addition to twice daily game drives, guests can also participate in interpretive bush walks, riverboat cruises and canoeing, plus there are exclusive game viewing experiences near Victoria Falls, with elephant herds and the rare sable antelope. For families, the WILDchild kids program immerses children in the local culture with activities such as casting animal tracks in plaster and making fishing rods.
Spotlight on Namibia
Extraordinary Journeys announced earlier this year the acquisition of Game Plan Africa. Through this partnership, safaris to Namibia, such as the 10-day Desert Dune Safari, will be offered. This itinerary highlights the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast National Park, and the Palmwag Concession. Rates through May 21, 2016 and Nov. 1-Jan. 2, 2017 start at $3,148 pp dbl with a single supplement of $335; and $3,647 pp dbl for travel June 1-Oct. 21, 2016. Another option is the 10-day Diverse Namibia itinerary, highlighting Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Etosha National Park. Rates start at $5,212 pp dbl through May 31 and Nov. 1-20, 2016; from June 1-Oct. 21, 2016 rates start at $5,916 pp dbl.
CW Safaris: cwsafaris.com
Desert & Delta Safaris: desertdelta.com
Extraordinary Journeys: extraordinaryjourneys.com
Stay in Style in South Africa
The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is offering guests staying at all Red Carnation South Africa hotels one night free for every four nights of their stay. The Stay Four Nights, Only Pay for Three package is valid through Dec. 19. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa package also includes complimentary South African breakfasts, plus a 1-hour session in the temperature-controlled plunge pool and saltwater flotation pool. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat has also amped up its offering by including all meals, a variety of outdoor activities such as nature drives, botanical walks, guided rock and art excursions, canoeing, archery, fly fishing, and kayaking, plus a complimentary welcome drink. redcarnationhotels.com
CroisiEurope Heads to Africa
European river cruise line CroisiEurope is now headed to Africa. Starting in 2017, a new, luxurious river cruise ship with capacity for up to 16 guests in eight exterior-facing deluxe suites with balconies will be sailing the Chobe and Zambezi rivers on 6-day itineraries. This new destination added to CroisiEurope’s portfolio comes as the company celebrates its 40th year anniversary.
“This is an evolution for cruisers.…With the growth in river cruising, which has been booming in the past 10 years, we always try to bring what is next. That is why we try to bring the average traveler to continue and experience river cruising, a more upscale and intimate experience,” says Nicola Iannone, executive v.p., USA and Canada, for CroisiEurope.
Guests sailing on the new Africa itineraries will also be able to take part in 4-day post-cruise stays at five-star lodges owned by CroisiEurope, featuring planned safaris and a day at Victoria Falls. Stay tuned for the new ship’s name, itinerary details and rates that will all be released in the coming months. croisieuroperivercruises.com