Here's Why Your Next Vacation Should Be An African Safari
Ryan Brown of Go2Africa, a leading safari travel agency based in South Africa's Cape Town, shares a handful of his new favorite places to stay while on safari.
It’s been well documented that “experience is the new luxury,” particularly with millennials. But who doesn't want to see or feel something for the first time, no matter your age? Safari is, arguably, the ultimate experience. Imagine jumping into a vehicle at dawn to discover herds of elephants quietly grazing with their new-born calves or sipping a gin and tonic in the bush at dusk while giraffe necks stroll across the hot pink horizon. There has never been a better time to go on safari: Once forgotten areas are experiencing a rebirth; safari companies are heavily committed to conservation (by converting to Tesla solar power generators and electric vehicles); and a portion of your money continues to employ and support people in these rural communities. What’s more, architects and designers are pushing the limits, creating wonders of their own in these wild places. Here are some of new favorite architectural gems.
1) Cheetah Plains
Stefan Antoni, the renowned Cape Town-based architect of SOATA, along with AARCC has designed the new Cheetah Plains in South Africa’s Sabi Sands. Reopened in December 2018, Cheetah Plains forgoes the conventional communal lodge with three exclusive-use private bush homes—each with its own staff, multiple living areas, and art you can purchase from important South African artists.
2) Jabali Ridge
In Ruaha, Tanzania, Jabali Ridge uses traditional wooden slats or shutters for the majority of walls to create a seamless indoor-outdoor feel. It’s another feather in the cap of Nicholas Plewman Architects, the mastermind behind some of Africa’s most stunning lodges like Sandibe, Arijiju, and Bisate.
3) King Lewanika
Hidden in Zambia’s Liuwa Plains National Park near the Zambezi River is King Lewanika, featuring an incredible abstract lodge using only thatch, canvas, and steel. Designed by architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, this stunning property—with just six sleek tented rooms—is a gem for the adventurous traveller.
4) Shipwreck Lodge
One of the most celebrated new lodges to open, Shipwreck Lodge and its shipwreck-style pre-fab suites are the work of Namibian architect Nina Martiz. Nestled into the sand as if washed ashore along Namibia’s infamous Skeleton Coast, these magical chalets look out over the wild dunes along the Atlantic Ocean.