Wild About Africa

written by | Posted on July 23rd, 2014

The pool bar at Hôtel Des Milles Collines in Rwanda.

The pool bar at Hôtel Des Milles Collines in Rwanda.

Travelers are wild about African safaris, exploring this rugged continent while viewing wildlife—sounds very rustic, but actually it’s quite luxurious as these three new accommodations illustrate.

Kempinski Hotels took over Hotel Des Milles Collines in Rwanda this month, marking the brand’s ninth hotel in Africa, with three more scheduled to open in the next six months.

The property, which was made famous by the film, “Hotel Rwanda,” will be undergoing renovations to the rooms and restaurants over the next 18 months. The name of the hotel translates to “hotel of a thousand hills,” which is fitting since it’s located atop a hill in the center of Kigali. The property features 112 rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, a recreation area, and seven boutiques. The hotel is located near the Kigali Memorial Centre, the Inema Arts Centre, and is ideal for travelers staying for pre- or post-gorilla treks. Home to a third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas, Rwanda offers tourists the chance to see them in their natural habitat on the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park, which is about a 2-hour drive from the hotel.

For more information, visit kempinski.com/kigali.

The Nut House exterior deck.

The Nut House exterior deck.

A romantic eco-luxe lodge on the Zambezi River, Tongabezi has rebuilt the chalet known at the Nut House with new furnishings and accessories created by African artisans. The revamping includes recycled glass chandeliers and baobab string wall lamp shades from Malawian workshop, Katundu; African raffia lamp shades, Hessian blue lamps, mud cloth rugs, Zambian leather cushions, and Indigo fabrics from Mali. The color palette in the room is neutral with pops of blue, and dark chocolate-colored accessories. The 1,000-sq.-ft. Nut House includes a patio with a pool, lounge chairs, and a dining area overlooking the Zambezi river.

“Having upgraded the Dog House to be our flagship chalet, I felt that we had left the Nut House a little behind—so, we decided to bring the Nut House up to the same or even higher level as the Dog House,” says Ben Parker, managing director of Tongabezi. ”Also, it’s fun to be continually moving forward.”

Tongabezi was built with romance in mind and is made up of six houses, five river cottages, and a villa. Each house and cottage has its own valet who takes care of guests throughout their stay and serves as a private concierge. Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, can be viewed on foot in the national park, from inside the gorge, from Livingstone Island, and from the air.

Rates are all-inclusive—game drives, bush walks, and boating trips are included—and start at $831 pp per night. For more information, visit tongabezi.com.

Opening in May 2015 in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, Linkwasha Camp promises to be one of the most luxurious accommodations in the area. The new camp is located far from public access areas, but close to Ngamo, which offers summertime game viewing.

Linkwasha Camp complements Wilderness Safaris’ two other properties, Little Makalolo and Davison’s Camp, each catering to different markets. Linkwasha will offer seven en-suite double or twin luxury tents, and one family tent, accommodating a total of 18 guests. All rooms will include tea and coffee making facilities, mini-bar fridges, ceiling fans, and outdoor showers. Wildlife can be viewed year-round including herds of elephant and buffalo, and prides of lion. Other activities offered are visits to the Ngamo community, fresh pizzas and sundowners in the bush, and a night spent under the stars at a nearby sleep-out deck.

For more information, visit wilderness-safaris.com.

 Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in Franschhoek opens.

Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in Franschhoek opens.

In celebration of the opening of Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in Franschhoek, South Africa, Virgin Limited Edition is offering a complimentary night when booking a minimum of four nights. The offer includes accommodations, daily breakfast, a selection of drinks and snacks from the mini-bar, and WiFi.

The property is located on a hilltop and features 96 acres of private vineyard. The 22-bedroom hotel, with a mountain backdrop, is just 45 minutes from downtown Cape Town, and the perfect add-on for travelers staying at the Private Game Reserve. Guests can experience a wine tasting at the onsite wine cellar, picnics on the property, a spa treatment, and horseback riding. The property also has a pool, a gym, and a spa.

The offer is valid for arrivals from Sept. 1 to Dec. 21, 2014. Rates start at $420 per room, per night dbl. For more information, visit montrochelle.virgin.com.