Sunday, November 15, 2015

A crop of new lodges in Mozambique, the
Kalahari Desert, and Ethiopia are opening up some of the continent's most
remote corners and bringing in an unprecedented level of style.
It's a mere 10-minute helicopter ride, over
coral-reef-strewn turquoise waters, from Vilankulo Airport to the
pale-pink-tinged sands of Mozambique's Benguerra Island.
The star of this
21-square-mile marine national park is the new andBeyond property (pictured
below) of the same name (from $695 per person per night, all-inclusive).
Each
of the 13 suites and villas has its own infinity pool and beachside gazebo,
with a low-key safari-lodge vibe that does away with kids' clubs and fussy
dinners.
Spend days on a catamaran cruise, horseback riding on the beach, or
snorkeling at Two Mile Reef, where you can see tropical fish, turtles, and the
endangered, manatee-like dugong.
When the tide is low, whiz over for a picnic
on Pansy Island, a sandbar covered in seashells.
Courtesy of andBeyond
Tswalu (pictured at top) has long offered a different sort of
far-flung escape in South Africa's untrammeled sliver of the Kalahari (from
$926 per person per night, including meals and activities).
It's owned by
the Oppenheimer family, who made their fortune in the diamond business.
The
luxury camp sleeps only 18, meaning you get the private, 250,000-acre game
reserve,with its red sand dunes and quartzite hills, practically all to
yourself.
Now, travelers can also stay at the Oppenheimers' former home,
Tarkuni.
Set away from the main property, it has five suites and its own spa,
library, and full staff.
On guided outings (in a 4 x 4 or on horseback),
you'll see Kalahari lions, cheetahs, meerkat colonies, and (if you're
lucky) the rare black rhino.
It's a seven-hour drive from Johannesburg to
this part of the desert, so book the family's Pilatus jet instead—it cuts
the travel time to just 90 minutes.
Jonathan Hood
In Ethiopia, the Limalimo Lodge, which opens early next year, will be the
first upscale property to come to the slopes of Simien Mountains National
Park, a unesco World Heritage site that could be called Africa's Grand
Canyon (doubles from $300, including meals and activities).
Gelada baboons
(pictured above) and Ethiopian wolves roam the sheer peaks, wooded gullies
with waterfalls, and deep gorges.
Guests who stay in the 12-room property pay
a conservation fee that benefits the African Wildlife Foundation.
Come for
mountain hiking, biking, and camping out under the stars, along with visits to
historic rural villages, yoga lessons, and traditional foot massages.
A crop of new lodges in Mozambique, the Kalahari Desert, and
Ethiopia are opening up some of the continent's most remote corners and
bringing in an unprecedented level of style.

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