After you’ve done the traditional safari and slept at the picturesque seaside hotel, it’s time to take your luxury African holiday experience to the next level and travel Africa in celebrity style. How about country-hopping in a private jet, or blissing out on the ultimate private island? Here are 15 ideas to get you daydreaming.
1. Have a private safari experience
If you’re on your honeymoon and want total isolation, book a private safari. You’ll have a personal butler and custom catered meals that can be served in the bush. When it’s time for game drives, you’ll have your own vehicle and guide. Check out Kwandwe Private Game Lodge in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province for this experience.
2. Safari with a famous guide
If a private villa and personal guide isn’t enough for you, then book a safari with a world-famous expert. Abercrombie & Kent organizes safaris with the renowned Kenyan paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey.
3. Stay on a private island
Once you’ve seen the Big Five on an exclusive personalized safari, then it is time to hit up the beach on your own private island. Some choice spots: Azura Quilalea Private Island in the Indian Ocean water off Mozambique, or Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles, pictured here. Here are some more islands you’ll love.
4. Take a private jet
Luxury outfitter Abercrombie & Kent offers tours of Africa by private jet, which means you can customize your experience, visit more countries without worrying about flight connections and layovers, and hit up some of the most remote places on the continent with relative ease. The Great Tanzania Wing Safari by Great Safaris and Elewana SkySafari is another excellent choice.
5. Sleep with elephants
At Wilderness Safaris’s Abu Camp in Botswana, travelers can sleep under the stars in a bed set up near the elephant boma, and fall asleep listening to their conversations. It is a truly unique experience that is found nowhere else in Africa.
6. Pamper your children
If you’re traveling with children, head to Kwandwe’s Blue Crane Conservation Club in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Here, kids are taught about green living and encouraged to live in an eco-friendly way once they get back home. One activity involves planting spekboom, a type of thicket vegetation native to the Eastern Cape and one of the planet’s top five carbon-storing plants. It’s a way to offset the carbon footprint your family will make traveling to the reserve.
7. Save a rhino
South Africa’s Kwandwe Private Game Reserve gives guests the chance to get involved in rhino conservation in a very hands-on way. Guests can join up with a wildlife vet and the reserve’s wildlife conservation team, then head into the field to insert micro-chips into rhino horns. Guests even have the opportunity to drill the horn if they aren’t squeamish.
8. Do a picnic for two
Luxury travel isn’t only about private islands and villas. It can be as elegant as a private picnic setup in a beautiful location such as Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
9. Have a sunset dune dinner
If you can’t quite afford the private jet trip, there are other options slightly less extravagant, but still memorable such as Abercrombie & Kent’s evening sundowner and gourmet dinner experience in the Namibian desert. Candlelight tables are set up at the base of the orange-red sand dunes around Soussusvlei. Besides creative food, the experience includes fire spinners and a marimba band.
10. Visit Namibia
Namibia leapt onto the world stage once Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt elected to give birth to their daughter near Swakopmund. That’s because Namibia is a quiet yet safe destination within Africa, ideal for escaping the press and seeking solitude. So why not stay in a remote, top-end luxury safari lodge like one of these, and live the high life, even if just for a few days? Namibia is kid-friendly and happily malaria-free, and who knows–you may just run into the Jolie-Pitt family!
11. Gorilla trek in style, in Rwanda
Famous for its mountain gorillas, Rwanda is successfully moving forward from its horrific past, and forging a new and bright future. Only half the size of Scotland, it manages to continually surprise the traveler with its beauty. And Rwanda today is making the most of its natural bounty, including the gorillas. Trekking safaris are proving extremely popular. Given their remote location, it’s a great way to get away from the everyday pressures of life. It’s an amazing experience to behold the mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. And as with everything, there are levels of comfort on the treks. Abercrombie & Kent offer a safari to meet our giant relatives.
12. Help provide clean water
If you volunteer with a charity such as water.org, co-founded by Matt Damon, you’ll certainly be following in the footsteps of a celebrity, but not necessarily getting pampered like one! Conditions are spartan on volunteer sites, but you’ll know that you’re doing it for the greater good.
13. Visit the land of the pharoahs
Indulge in a sense of history, avoid the crowds and treat yourself to an experience fit for royalty in Egypt as part of an exclusive group. There are many luxurious cruises along the Nile such as this one from Uniworld, or you can opt for a more bespoke adventure in order to soak up her many charms and diverse riches. If that doesn’t suit you, select a trip that focuses on a more specific area of interest, such as Alexander the Great’s Egypt. These and more are available from Ker & Downey, among other travel providers.
14. Start a new celebrity craze
Why follow in the footsteps of others when you can be a trendsetter yourself? Mozambique is a relatively new destination, as the country slowly emerges from decades of conflict and economic strife. It offers unspoilt beaches and nature reserves. Be one of the first to experience this beautiful country, and be assured that your trip will be away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. Ker & Downey offers a custom trip to get to the heart of this oft-forgotten land.
15. Go on a luxury houseboat
Luxurious and exclusive experiences aren’t only found on land. The swanky, private Zambezi Queen is just one of many boats that offer unparalleled views of water and wildlife, along with impeccable food, service, and decor.
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