It comes as no surprise that pandemic-weary travelers are ready to channel their wanderlust and plan epic vacations for 2022. To inspire you, our team of luxury travel experts at Ker & Downey® Africa have compiled a list of the ultimate bucket list experiences in Africa for 2022 that are at the forefront of luxury and adventure. This is Africa like you’ve never experienced her before.
Are you ready?
The ultimate remote bucket list destination, while not necessarily in Africa, is a mere 5-hour flight from Cape Town on a Gulfstream jet. Here, luxury meets adventure in the wildest and most isolated region on Earth: Antarctica. White Desert Antarctica offers two camps in this remote wilderness, each designed for the discerning adrenaline seeker. Their flagship retreat, Whichaway Camp, offers breathtaking views across the freshwater lakes of Schirmacher Oasis and utmost luxury in state-of-the-art igloo shaped sleeping pods. Their newest camp, Wolf’s Fang, is set on a glacier in the icy mountains of Queen Maud Land. Both camps offer an exhilarating range of activities for adventurous travelers.
For a different type of remote experience in a far off corner of Africa, we head to a contrasting type of desert. Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp is set amid the foothills of the towering dunes of Erg Chigaga – one of the most pristine regions of the Moroccan Sahara, 9 hours south of Marrakech. Hand-made authentic Moroccan tents with lavish decor are set around a stylish lounge and camp fire with rugs for unforgettable evenings under the stars. Here, discreet understated luxury, solitude and adventure combine to create the ultimate bucket list experience.
Take a trip back in time at the Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and experience a game drive with a difference. Located on the Olderkesi Conservancy bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve the camp, over 100 years old, is still owned and managed by the oldest established safari family in Africa. The luxurious style of the bygone era of the twenties returns to the original spirit and essence of ‘safari’. For the ultimate bucket list experience that will transport you right into the pages of Hemingway’s safari diary, take a game drive in an authentic wood-panelled car much like early generations of the Cottar family used on the reserve in its heyday.
The multi-award-winning Cheetah Plains in South Africa’s Sabi Sands Game Reserve boasts a number of exclusive-use villas that are ultimate bucket list experiences in themselves. But we’re here to share something different. At Cheetah Plains, experience a game drive with a difference on their very own innovative Land Cruiser Electric Safari Vehicles. Not only are these state-of-the-art vehicles a bold advance towards zero-emission game viewing, they also deliver unparalleled wildlife sightings. The silent approach and quiet driving experience will get you more up close and personal with Africa’s wildest creatures than ever before.
Take to the breathtaking waters of the Okavango Delta in an exclusive-use luxury houseboat for a unique ultimate bucket list experience in Africa. The Okavango Spirit is an extraordinary boat, moored on the tranquil waters of the Okavango River in one of the most remote settings in the region. Cruise the pristine waterways, weaving between islands, witnessing pods of hippos, crocodiles, elephants and other land-based game go about their daily activities. For utmost privacy and exclusivity, book the houseboat for the whole family or group of friends for an adventure you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
For those seeking the saltier waters of Africa, Mozambique’s islands are a must. Private islands that is. Situated just 11km off the coast of Mozambique, Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira is a 5-star ultra-luxury private island within the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago – Africa’s largest marine reserve, home to dugongs, green and hawksbill sea turtles. 40 private pool villas overlook the sparkling Indian Ocean offering the utmost comfort and serenity. This is the ultimate in barefoot luxury for the discerning traveler.
No ultimate bucket list experience guide is complete without a flip in a helicopter. With the doors open and the wind at your feet, you are able to explore thousands of acres of unspoiled wilderness and witness the most extraordinary beauty from above. And there is no better place to experience this than Mwiba Lodge, located on the private Mwiba Wildlife Reserve, just south of the Serengeti. Mwiba Lodge is the only safari lodge in Tanzania with its own permanent helicopter. This can be used for private scenic helicopter excursions or, for a truly thrilling adventure, it can be reserved for the full duration of your East African safari circuit. This you have your own exclusive-use helicopter from the moment you arrive in East Africa to the moment you depart. Bliss.
A hot air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara in Kenya is once in a lifetime experience that is designed for connoisseurs of adventure and romantics alike. And there is no better place to experience this ultimate bucket list adventure than Sir Richard Branson’s 12-tented luxury safari camp, Mahali Mzuri – voted the #1 Hotel in the World in the Travel + Leisure Awards 2021. Ascend high into the sky above the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the wider Maasai Mara ecosystem and witness the magic of Africa like never before.
A walking safari in Africa is one of our favourite luxury safari experiences, taking you deep into the most wild and unexplored parts of the bush. And there is nowhere better to experience the thrills of exploring the bush on foot than where it all began. It was in South Luangwa National Park, in Zambia’s Luangwa River Valley where Norman Carr first pioneered the walking safari. Trained by Norman himself, the award-winning guides of the ultra-luxurious Time + Tide Chinzombo, offer guests one of the most exciting immersive experiences in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is the ideal base for the discerning safari traveler who wants to experience one of the wildest places on the planet… on foot.
Offering a truly unique spin on the traditional walking safari is Chem Chem Safari Lodge in the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Here, guests can discover the region through the eyes of a Maasai on a legendary outdoor fitness experience like no other – a fast paced run through the wilderness, immersed in the sights, smells and sounds of the untamed landscapes.
The team at Ker & Downey® Africa are raring to start 2022 with a bang and get some truly ultimate bucket list experience trips planned for you. Get in touch with one of our LuxVenture® Designers today and plan your ultimate bucket list experience trip to Africa today.
See you out there!