2018 Hotlist: Top 10 New Camp Openings in Africa

By Shona 29 November 2017

Christmas has come early thanks to a series of brand new luxury camps announced for 2018. From a stylish camp designed in tribute to termite mounds, to a glass-fronted lodge where you can bathe and wildlife-spot at the same time, we cannot wait for these properties to open their canvas doors and welcome their first guests.

With several new openings in Tanzania, Botswana, and Namibia, we’ve handpicked our Top 10, so why not browse through the much-anticipated collection below and be among the first to visit these glorious properties?

1. Kichuguu Camp, Tanzania

Seating Area at Kichuguu Camp in Tanzania

Kichuguu is Swahili for ‘termite mound’. Stylishly earthy with its muted interiors, beautifully carved furniture from Arusha, and eco-friendly philosophy, this camp uses solar power and recycled materials. Its abstract wall art and futuristic light fittings are a tribute to the towering termite mounds that feature prominently in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park.

The camp is the latest addition to the Chaka Camps portfolio. Its nine tents have private verandas, slate-coloured en-suite bathrooms, and access to Tarangire’s wondrous offerings of big game. This includes a prodigious elephant population, amidst a quintessential African landscape resplendent in baobabs and, of course, termite mounds.

Opening: Kichuguu Camp welcomed its first guests in October 2017.

2. Kusini Kopjes Kambi, Tanzania

En-suit Tented Suite at Kusini Kopjes Kambi, Tanzania

Perched atop the ancient kopjes of the southern Serengeti, Kusini Kopjes Kambi is set to welcome travellers in June 2018. As it is owned and operated by Nasikia Camps, we anticipate that each of Kusini’s en-suite tents will have a private deck, super-opulent interiors, a king-sized bed, and incredible views.

From here, guests will be able to go on game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon rides followed by an extravagant champagne breakfast in the bush. This chic camp, equipped with mninga writing desks, soft patterned carpets, and standalone bathtubs, will be perfect for couples and honeymooners looking for a wildlife adventure with some seriously cosseting add-ons.

Opening: Kusini Kopjes Kambi is expected to welcome its first guests in June 2018.*

3. Ehlane Plains Camp, Tanzania

Exterior of Tented Suite at Ehlane Plains Camp, Tanzania

Meaning ‘wilderness’ in Zulu, Ehlane seems to be anything but, except for the fact that it is located in a wild and wildlife-packed pocket of the Serengeti. At its second new opening next year by Nasikia Camps, Ehlane Plains Camp will boast eight tented suites, including two star domes for gazing at the clear skies at night.

Inside every white canvas tent, guests will find a giant four-poster bed, a plush seating area, and a lattice partition that leads towards a well-appointed en-suite bathroom. With wooden flooring, African-themed décor, and a light footprint on the environment, the camp provides luxurious yet subtle features. Activities include daily game drives and guided walking safaris to spot Tanzania’s phenomenal wildebeest migration.

Opening: Ehlane Plains Camp is expected to welcome its first guests in January 2018.*

4. Zuri Zanzibar, Tanzania

Beach Bar at Zuri Zanzibar, Tanzania

Already selling very well with our clients, Zuri Zanzibar is set to open in May and to become a definite contender among Zanzibar’s luxury hotels. A member of Design Hotels, this will be the portfolio’s only beach resort in Africa. It is being built on the north shores of the island and will offer a range of stunning accommodation, from large garden bungalows to villas that overlook the Indian Ocean.

With a rejuvenating spa and a great beach-side location just a short walk from the calm sea, Zuri Zanzibar hopes to be a destination for wellness and relaxation – an aim fulfilled by its personalised yoga classes, infinity pool, and fragrant spice gardens. However, the resort also offers an impressive list of activities featuring plenty of watersports, such as diving, surfing, and swimming with dolphins, in addition to tours of Stone Tone and excursions to the mysterious Jozani Forest.

Opening: Zuri Zanzibar is expected to welcome its first guests in May 2018.*

5. Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

Tented Suite at Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

With its grand opening scheduled for this December, Qorokwe Camp has already sparked a lot of interest. Launched under the immaculate banner of Wilderness Safaris’ Botswana portfolio, the camp will provide outstanding game viewing in the high-density area of the Okavango Delta. Bordering the renowned Moremi Game Reserve but based in its own exclusive concession, Qorokwe will have eight tented suites and one spacious family unit with its own splash pool.

The camp’s magnificent main area, comprising an open-plan dining space, lounge, and bar, is the focal point and features raised views over the lagoon out of its glass side wall. Each tented suite is also elevated, about two metres off the ground, and oozes elegance with its Afro-chic interiors and freestanding bathtubs placed close to the window – you can soak and sightsee at the same time.

All safari activities here will be led by highly experienced guides and include game drives, walks, mokoro excursions, and boat trips. Guests can look forward to seeing a wide range of wildlife – lion, leopard, wild dog, hyena, and high concentrations of herbivores such as buffalo, giraffe, zebra, and antelopes. The birdlife is equally impressive, with more than 400 species recorded. Among the specials of the region are black-breasted snake eagle, pink-throated longclaw, and the delightful Pel’s fishing owl.

Opening: Qorokwe Camp is expected to welcome its first guests in December 2017.*

6. Mombo Camp, Botswana

Mombo Camp in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Mombo Camp, part of the Wilderness Safaris collection, offers arguably some of the best big game viewing in Africa. It is located on the north-west tip of Chief’s Island in Moremi Game Reserve and is currently undergoing a massive rebuild.

Described as ‘the Mombo you’ve always known and loved – only it’s new’, each tented room has been demolished and a new one built in exactly the same place – this ensures that minimal ground is disturbed and allows the vegetation to remain. A tree expert has even been brought into the camp to make sure not one tree is hurt in the rebuild.

Opening: Mombo Camp will have a rolling opening, with a few rooms available in mid-December and the remainder available by the end of February 2018.*

7. Dinaka, Botswana

Safari Guides Starting a Fire at Dinaka Camp, Botswana

Dominated by the ever-changing landscape, activities at the new Dinaka Camp revolve around the Kalahari desert and its adapted wildlife. The newest addition to the Ker & Downey collection, Dinaka was bought in mid-2017 and is set to undergo an extensive refurbishment – it’s due to reopen in March 2018.

The camp is situated in the Dinaka reserve, within the north region of the Central Kalahari. This area is home to the Kalahari lion, brown hyena, oryx, and a plethera of birdlife, such as the pale chanting goshawk and large kori bustard. As Dinaka sits under the banner of Ker & Downey, we expect high standards of service and accommodation – the camp will offer eight comfortable en-suite tents raised on wooden decks.

Opening: Dinaka Camp is expected to welcome its first guests in March 2018.*

8. Morukuru Beach Lodge, South Africa

Exterior of Morukuru Beach Lodge in South Africa

De Hoop has to be one of our favourite hidden-gem destinations in South Africa. Just a few hours’ drive from Cape Town and offering almost painfully beautiful views of turquoise waters and white sand dunes interrupted by breaching whales, De Hoop Nature Reserve is particularly fabulous for families and should be on any family’s ‘must-visit’ list.

What makes it even better is that Morukuru, a collection of luxury safari properties that are all family friendly, has just announced that it will open a boutique eco-lodge in July – this will have five glass-fronted suites. The beach lodge will be 1 kilometre west from Morukuru Ocean House, which is exclusive use only. The new property will provide a better-value yet still ultra-luxurious option.

Adventures in De Hoop include marine and fynbos walks, mountain biking, birdwatching, boat rides, sand boarding, snorkeling, and 4×4 nature drives.

Opening: Morukuru Beach Lodge is expected to welcome its first guests in July 2018.*

9. Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia

Communal Area at Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia

Leaving virtually no footprint on the fragile surrounding eco-system, Hoanib Valley Camp is certainly a welcome newcomer to Namibia’s collection of luxury tented camps. Located along the Hoanib River Valley, an oasis of vegetation that clings to the Obias River, the camp will have just six tents, all raised on spacious decks with private verandas, en-suite bathrooms, and stunning outlooks over the striking desertscape.

Hoanib Valley Camp is being built in partnership with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which gives the property a unique edge. Guests can learn about the long-running giraffe research project run by Dr Julian Fennessy, the word’s foremost expert on the species. As well as going on game drives to see the rare desert-adapted elephant, zebra, lion, and rhino, guests will be able to participate in giraffe interaction experiences and meet members of a Himba community.

This camp is for adventurers, avid safari-goers, and star-gazing enthusiasts. It pairs perfectly with a few nights’ stay in Shipwreck Lodge, which will be built in 2018.

Opening: Hoanib Valley Camp is expected to welcome its first guests in May 2018.*

10. Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia

Shipwreck on the Coast of Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Shipwreck Lodge is going to be a real first for Namibia – it will be the only lodge situated within the Skeleton Coast National Park. Though many details have yet to be confirmed, this remote lodge will boast stunning vistas of ancient sand dunes, the dramatic coast, and mountains in the distance.

The lodge will offer 10 wooden cabins, each featuring a unique shipwreck design to echo the coast’s fascinating history. It will combine well with a desert safari in the Hoanib Valley, staying at the soon-to-open Hoanib Valley Camp.

Opening: Shipwreck Lodge is expected to welcome its first guests in June 2018.*

EXTRA: Kuthengo Camp, Malawi

Floorplan of Tent at Kuthengo Camp, Malawi

Malawi may not feature as a destination on the YZ website, but that doesn’t stop us from keeping a close eye on new openings throughout Africa. A Robin Pope Safaris property set among the fever trees and baobabs in Liwonde National Park, Kuthengo Camp is a seasonal camp that will comprise just four spacious and modern en-suite tents.

In keeping with the RPS philosophy, the camp’s rustic charm and phenomenal walking safaris will be ideal for families with younger children. Liwonde is lesser known in southern Africa, making its wilderness unspoiled. In almost complete privacy, guests can enjoy boat rides along the Shire River and go on game drives to see elephant, buffalo, black rhino, sable, and thanks to recent conservation efforts, cheetah.

Opening: Kuthengo Camp is expected to welcome its first guests in April 2018.*

* This opening date is subject to change – please contact our experts for more information.