We’ve been taking inquisitive travelers to Africa since our inception over 25 years ago. In fact, we have visited one of Africa’s premiere safari destinations—Botswana—every year since 1992! One of our signature expeditions, Southern Africa’s Diversity: Namibia, Botswana & Zambia, February 14 – Mach 6, 2019, offers an overview of three amazing safari destinations where you’ll discover a variety of diverse habitats. In addition to the amazing wildlife and awe-inspiring landscapes, you’ll stay at some of Africa’s very best camps. The properties below represent our tried-and-true favorites—read on to find out what makes them so amazing:
Serra Cafema Camp, Namibia
Location: Undoubtedly one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, Serra Cafema is located in the extreme north-west of Namibia. Set on the banks of the Kunene River in the Hartmann's Valley, this intimate, peaceful camp offers the perfect mix of rustic luxury.
Your space: Spacious individual villas of wood, canvas, and thatch are set on elevated decks that blend smoothly into the picturesque surroundings, with en suite bathroom, sitting area, ceiling fans, large windows, and a private deck overlooking the river.
Amenities: The Ozonganda, or main area, comprises of elegant indoor and outdoor dining areas, a sunken lounge, library, shop, and swimming pool—all boasting spectacular views.
Why we love it: The proximity to water offers a splash of green in the desert, and the opportunity to go for cruises on the Kunene. The chance to visit with the Himba, one of Africa’s last nomadic tribes, is also a highlight.
Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia
Location: Set in a wide valley among the rolling, rocky hills of the 100,000-acre Palmwag Concession, this region is renowned for its tranquil, stark beauty, surprising wealth of desert-adapted wildlife, and the largest free-roaming black rhino population in Africa.
Your space: Your Meru-style tent (high-ceilinged canvas tents that include wooden floors, screened windows, en suite bathroom facilities, and hot water bucket showers) offers a relaxing veranda with sweeping views of vast plains backdropped by the dramatic Etendeka Mountains.
Amenities: The comfortable tented dining and lounge area are elevated with partially open sides offering panoramic views. Evening meals are often served around the fire pit. A swimming pool provides a refreshing respite during the midday heat.
Why we love it: This is one of the best areas to see the black rhino in the wild, as well as desert-adapted elephants and lions. Far from civilization, star-gazing is the perfect end to an action-packed day.
Ongava Tented Camp, Namibia
Location: Set in a grove of mopane, tucked in a hidden valley at the foot of a dolomite hill, the camp’s proximity to Etosha National Park allows for safaris in both Etosha and the Ongava Reserve.
Your space: Large, comfortable Meru-style tents offer en suite facilities, open air showers, and private verandas.
Amenities: The main dining and lounge area—built of stone, canvas, and thatch, fronts onto a much-frequented waterhole—watching wildlife coming to drink from here, or from the swimming pool is a favorite pastime.
Why we love it: In addition to high concentrations of big game, Ongava is one of the few private game reserves in southern Africa where you can see both black and white rhino.
Vumbura Plains, Botswana
Location: Set in the North Okavango Delta, Vumbura Plains is located on a private concession leased from the local community. The region has a variety of habitats, making the wildlife diverse, and the range of activities extensive.
Your space: Your luxurious room offers complete privacy and looks out over a large flood plain. Rooms are large, 30x40 feet, with an outdoor deck of equal size. Set up with a lounge area in one corner, a massive bed in another, and the bathroom taking over the remaining two corners—plus an outdoor shower. Your private sala or swimming pool is the perfect place to relax, and you may even spy a big bull elephant or other wildlife passing by.
Amenities: The main area features a huge covered deck that offers 360 degree views. In the center is a sunken lounge area with comfortable sofas and a small library with a computer.
Why we love it: Here you can explore both dry and wet areas, during traditional game drives and mokoro (dug-out canoe) cruises. Bird life is also superb as the variety in landscape and habitat changes constantly throughout the concession.
DumaTau Camp, Botswana
Location: DumaTau, meaning ‘roar of the lion,’ is located in the private Linyanti Wildlife Reserve that borders the western boundary of Chobe National Park. It is situated close to the source of the Savute Channel on Osprey Lagoon, one of the many lagoons within the Linyanti Swamp system.
Your space: DumaTau Camp is raised off the ground to take advantage of the fantastic river views. Each en suite tent is spacious, spreading out under a canvas roof, with large sliding-glass doors and windows that allow for wide-angled views of the riverfront.
Amenities: The airy, expansive dining and lounge area and a pool, all are west-facing overlooking the lagoon and its denizens. DumaTau has a very light carbon footprint and runs on solar energy.
Why we love it: The camp is set between two elephant ‘corridors’—and herds are frequently seen crossing the river, drinking, bathing, and socializing.
Location: Set in the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta, within the Moremi Game Reserve, the area boasts enormous concentrations of plains game and predators which begin virtually on Mombo’s doorstep, with the surrounding floodplains teeming with game year round.
Your space: Set at the top of one of the Okavango's most beautiful islands, guest rooms offer fantastic views over the flood plains. Your raised platform, tent is en suite, spacious and elegantly decorated, with outdoor showers, a private deck, and a thatched gazebo.
Amenities: The open-air thatched roof common areas include covered and outdoor dining, lounge, fire pit, bar, pool, and a small gym. In-room massage treatments are available, giving you the opportunity to relax and restore within the comfort of your room or private deck.
Why we love it: Mombo provides for some of the most luxurious accommodation on the continent yet manages preserve the sense of wilderness which makes a Botswana safari so special.
Chichele Lodge, Zambia
Location: This magnificent, historic game lodge (once the personal retreat of Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda) is set on top of a hill in amongst lush primeval forest and provides panoramic views across the game-rich valleys of South Luangwa National Park.
Your space: Victorian-style rooms with large French windows offer a light, airy feel and open onto private terraces overlooking the park. Air-conditioning, plush furnishings, a four-poster bed, and a luxurious bathroom might make you forget you're in the bush.
Amenities: This historic property has recently been carefully restored to maintain its original colonial style. A majestic arched entrance leads you into a huge, stylish lounge, and outside the grand dining room, a long veranda stretches with views down the valley to the Luangwa River. The main area features a comfortable lounge, with intimate fireplace and bar area. The pool is a great place to relax during the heat of mid-day.
Why we love it: With its prime position within South Luangwa National Park, this luxurious property is located in one of the best places to spot leopards in Africa.