This may be the year to unlock your adventurous side and make the trek to Africa. Here's a look at what's unfolding recently:
Extraordinary Journeys Africa has announced that it is joining with Asilia Africa to offer a series of three limited-time yoga retreats at the Sayari Camp in the northern Serengeti. Travelers will enjoy a five-night stay in this Tanzanian protected area, enjoying scenic game drives through the Serengeti National Park, luxurious amenities at Asilia's eco-conscious Sayari Camp, and daily yoga sessions, led by renowned instructor Shannon Paige. These three exclusive yoga safaris are offered in March, June and December. The package includes five nights of accommodation at the Sayari Camp, one night at Onsea House (Arusha), domestic travel within Tanzania, all meals, drinks and activities including yoga sessions and game park entrance fees. Other highlights of the package includes: game drives and bush walks through the Serengeti plains in search of the lions, elephants, and a variety of antelope; and immersion at an infinity pool, private veranda, warm fireplace and lounge at the luxurious Sayari Camp. The savannah of the Serengeti, known to the Maasai people as "the land that stretches on forever," offers environment for Paige's yoga practices. Paige emphasizes deep spaces of calm and connection with the land through her own brand of Anjali Restorative Yoga, in which meditation and synchronized breathing exercises are guided by the imagery of the natural wilderness.
Looks like the Serengeti just got a bit more swank: Singita Serengeti House, a retreat designed for group travel (multigenerational trip, anyone?), has opened in the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserves in the heart of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. Situated on the slopes of Sasakwa Hill with views of the plains of the Serengeti (which literally means “endless plains” in Swahili), we hear the lodge is Singita’s response to a growing demand from VIP travelers looking for bespoke experiences. Speaking of bespoke, itineraries, activities and meals are customized to each guest according to their interests and needs. Early-morning and late-afternoon game drives may be interspersed with swimming or lazing around the pool with a good book, a game of tennis, a cooking lesson in the private kitchen from the resident chef, spa treatments or mountain biking. And don’t forget about the nature sightings: There is a waterhole right in front of the house, which is a known meeting spot for general plains game as well as a breeding herd of elephants. Tip: The best time to witness herd migration is June, July and August. The house accommodates eight people in two suites in the main house and two further guest suites on either side of the main house, connected by pathways from a central deck with an 82-foot lap pool. There is also a private tennis court, and areas reserved for mountain biking and archery. All the suites have spacious bathrooms designed as extensions to the bedroom and living areas, with outdoor showers and terraces. Nice touch: A private kitchen and resident chef bring further bespoke options to the safari experience. The house may only be booked on an exclusive-use basis and includes all staff, a private vehicle and a safari guide. Besides guided game drives in an open-sided 4x4 vehicle, guests can also do guided walks and horseback safaris. At Singita Sasakwa Lodge, situated less than a mile away, there is also a fully equipped gym, yoga room, spa and the Singita Boutique & Gallery. Singita Sasakwa Lodge has nine cottages and one private retreat. Cool touch: Each cottage has its own private, infinity-edge pool. Reach out to Reservations Manager Linda Jean ([email protected]).
Virgin Limited Edition has announced that reservations can now be made to stay at Mahali Mzuri in Kenya from this summer—just in time for the Great Migration. Mahali Mzuri, Sir Richard Branson's Kenyan Safari Camp, will consist of 12 tents catering for a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. Ten of the tents can be configured as doubles or with twin beds sleeping two adults and two of the tents can accommodate up to two additional guests on pull out sofa beds. To celebrate its summer opening, Virgin Limited Edition will be offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a free night when they book to stay in August 2013. This special opening offer is valid for reservations made before 28th February when booking either a 5 or 4 night stay. Mahali Mzuri is situated within the Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara ecosystem of Kenya, about 240km due west of Nairobi. Mahali Mzuri consists of 12 sleeper tents and can cater for a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. Rates start from USD $590 per person per night (based on double occupancy) and are fully inclusive of all meals, drinks & daily game drives as well as unlimited access to the Olare Orok and Motorogi Conservancies.
For travelers looking to experience an African safari in Kenya this year, there’s a new tented camp in Masai Mara to put on your radar. Kempinski unveiled Olare Mara Kempinski, comprising 12 luxurious tents in the Olare Orok Conservancy. It’s a fabulous home base for catching sight of the wildlife that inhabits these protected grasslands: the world’s largest lion population, zebras, giraffes, and the famous wildebeest migration. Channeling the grand African safarais of yesteryear, tents come with four-poster beds, claw-foot bathtubs, outdoor showers, and teak decks. (Tip: One has its own private plunge pool.) What’s more- the tented camp has an eco-friendly focus: produce for meals is grown in the on-site vegetable garden, and solar panels provide 70 percent of the energy needs. Guests can discover the region with game drives in 4X4 Land Cruisers accompanied by knowledgeable guides. Also offered: escorted nature walks, Masai village visits, bush breakfast at the hippo pool, or early morning balloon safaris over the Masai Mara National Reserve. All trackers, rangers and guides have a minimum of Bronze Level KSPGA qualification. Olare Mara Kempinski is accessible via twice daily air transfer on Air Kenya or Safarilink from Nairobi (60 minutes long) and one daily flight from Mombasa (90 minutes). Note: Kempinski will open the Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi in spring 2013 and the two properties will work together to provide package itineraries for guests. The recommended itinerary is a 3 night/4 night stay in the Masai Mara. For more information, visit www.kempinski.com/en/masai-mara/olare-mara/welcome.