Written by Julie Graham
After a year of global travel restrictions, a luxury African holiday with an out-of-this-world twist has never looked more appealing. From marveling at faraway galaxies from one of the least light-polluted areas in the world, to a Michelin-star chef’s restaurant in the Kalahari desert and a floating hotel in Rwanda, Ker & Downey® Africa’s team of luxury travel experts have put forward a range of bucket list travel experiences that are at the forefront of luxury travel to Africa. Welcome to a new age of travel in 2021!
Ideally situated between Lake Manyara and the wildlife abundant Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, Chem Chem Lodge blends seamlessly into the natural beauty of its pristine surroundings. Here, the focus is on privacy, tranquillity, and luxury without lavishness.
Here, you have the absolute privilege of discovering the region through the eyes of the Maasai, who have lived and breathed the wilderness for centuries, living in harmony with the wild animals that inhabit the bush. A bucket list travel experience of note, explore the bush by foot by joining a Maasai warrior for 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.
Launching in March 2021, the Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga is an intimate luxury houseboat that floats along one of Africa’s great lakes – Lake Kivu in Rwanda. This one-of-a-kind floating hotel is a boat experience like no other, and a definite must for any bucket list travel ideas. The boat boasts ten luxury cabins, a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, hot tub, viewing deck and onboard wellness centre, as well as a local staff complement which gives back to the local community. Lake Kivu is a true marvel, with crystal clear, clean waters stretching 90km long alongside one of the most biodiverse ecozones on the planet – Africa’s Great Rift Valley.
The NamibRand Nature Reserve is a vast desert wilderness, and Africa’s first ever designated International Dark Sky Reserves, meaning that it is one of the least light-polluted areas in the world. As a result, the stargazing opportunities here are quite simply out of this world.
Located deep in the reserve, Kwessi Dunes offers the most ideal space to enjoy this extraordinary celestial show with each of the 12 chalets coming with their own separate stargazing room, completely open to the night sky. Surrounded by rolling desert plains, craggy mountains and Namibia’s iconic red sand dunes, this is a must for the bucket list!
Situated in the heart of vast Kalahari, on one of South Africa’s leading private game reserves, Tswalu Kalahari, KLEIN JAN is the culinary brainchild of Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen – South Africa’s very first Michelin-Star chef. Delving into totally unexplored culinary territory, KLEIN JAN aims to take the region’s unique local offerings and transform them into world-class cuisine, packed with truly authentic flavours that celebrate the magical land of the Kalahari. Experience a truly magnificent taste experience, while indulging in the refuge of Tswalu – an untamed, untouched, and unspoiled paradise.
South Africa is home to the Tracker Academy – a ground-breaking programme founded with a vision to restore the ancient form of tracking by offering a formal qualification to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Trackers are integral parts of the safari and conservation experience in Africa, and Ker & Downey® Africa have put together a 12-day conservation safari offering travelers a unique opportunity to leave a positive legacy behind by actively partaking in conservation experiences alongside the students and graduates of this pioneering programme. The journey begins in Cape Town, continues at Tswalu Kalahari and concludes at Londolozi Varty Camp in the heart of the famous Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.
Located in Botswana’s most unspoilt wilderness, the ever-changing waterways of the Okavango Delta, Xigera Safari Lodge offers full immersion into nature, providing a space to not only soak up the magic of the delta and its inhabitants, but also to heal and revive.
The spectacular in-house spa is a tranquil haven, designed by architect, Anton de Kock, to work in harmony with the breath-taking riverine forests and water channels. Tapping into the natural transformative powers of the African bush, a wellness journey at Xigera is guaranteed to be a healing experience of the mind, body, and spirit.
The team at Ker & Downey® Africa are raring to go to welcome you to Africa in 2021 and get some truly epic experiences ticked off your ever-expanding bucket list. Get in touch with one of our LuxVenture® Designers today and plan your dream bucket list travel experience today!