The best African hotel and safari openings of 2019

By Ashworth Africa, November 26, 2018

We’ve got the scoop on some of the most hotly anticipated hotel and lodge openings in 2019. Some of these will open up off-the-beaten-track destinations for the first time, whereas others are catering to increased demand in popular safari areas. Here are some of the most exciting launches of 2019. 

Tuludi
A new lodge for the Okavango Delta: Tuludi, due to open in July 2019.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, South Africa

April 2019 

In the beautiful De Hoop Nature Reserve, about three and a half hours from Cape Town, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is the newest property from Natural Selection. The ecolodge will consist of seven standalone rooms overlooking the white sands of De Hoop, one of the best destinations in the Western Cape for whale watching. From here, you can spot marine life such as southern right whales and dolphins, learn about the region’s famous fynbos and explore the beaches and nearby caves; Klipdrift Cave is where some of the earliest remains of modern human beings were found, dating back between 64,000 and 100,000 years.

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge
A rendering of Lekkerwater Beach Lodge in De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Nyamatusi Camp and Nyamatusi Mahogany, Zimbabwe

April 2019

The newest Mana Pools property from African Bush Camps, Nyamatusi will operate the same way as Somalisa and Somalisa Acacia in Hwange National Park – two high-end camps, with one specifically (though not exclusively) for families. Nyamatusi will have six tents and Nyamatusi Mahogany will have two tents and two family units. A truly wild safari destination, Mana Pools is in northern Zimbabwe by the Zambezi River and is one of the best places in Africa for bush walks. The park is closed during the wet season, from December to end of March. 

Nyamatusi Camp
A rendering of Nyamatusi Camp, Mana Pools.

Magashi Camp, Rwanda

May 2019

This is Wilderness Safaris’ second property in Rwanda, their first being the wildly popular Bisate Lodge, a gorilla trekking ecolodge in Volcanoes National Park. Magashi is in Akagera National Park, which has been managed and restored by the international conservation group African Parks. They have successfully reintroduced the Big Five back into the area and the camp will allow ecotourism to sustain their conservation initiatives. Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital Kigali, the lodge and Akagera are easily included in Rwandan itineraries, helping to make the country a destination in its own right and more than a gorilla trekking add-on to an East African safari.

Magashi Camp
A rendering of Magashi Camp in Akagera National Park.

The Farmstead, South Africa

May 2019

A new addition to Royal Portfolio’s Kruger-based Royal Malewane safari lodge, The Farmstead will open on 1 May. 12 minutes away from Royal Malewane, the new accommodation will have three suites and the Farmhouse, which is a four-bedroom exclusive-use villa with a private chef, butler, guide and tracker. The main lodge will have a gym, spa treatment room, fire pit and deck looking over a waterhole. All of this will be done up in Liz Biden’s distinctive eclectic and luxurious style. The land is leased from the local community, who receive monthly rental and a share of the profits, alongside job opportunities and training from the Royal Portfolio.

Leopard
A leopard in the Greater Kruger National Park. Credit: Royal Malewane.

Royal Gorongosa, Mozambique

June/July 2019 

The second of Royal Portfolio’s new lodges for 2019 is opening in a more unusual destination. Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park is regularly featured in National Geographic and BBC wildlife documentaries, as an incredibly biodiverse area. In central Mozambique, the park – once one of the most popular in Africa and visited by many of the Hollywood stars of the 1950s, before it was razed to the ground during the Mozambican civil war of 1977-92 – has been rewilded and restored over the past 20 years. Royal Gorongosa will be the first luxury eco-camp in Gorongosa and indeed in any Mozambican safari destination. An exciting, individual style of safari – one with conservation at its core – awaits the guests of this special park. 

Gorongosa
Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique.

Rovos Rail Copper Route, Angola–Tanzania

July 2019 

Another launch that latches onto the trend for more intrepid travel, Rovos Rail’s new route runs between Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Lobito in Angola. The two-week rail journey travels along the old copper route through Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and includes a fly-in safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park and a city tour of DRC’s second-largest city, Lubumbashi. The route runs both east to west and in reverse.

Rovos Rail
Rovos Rail will be venturing to new destinations in 2019.

Tuludi, Botswana

July 2019

Another Natural Selection camp will open in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Tuludi camp will be made up of seven tents tucked into 200,000 hectares of private wilderness. Each tent will have a private deck with its own plunge pool, with a main pool and a treehouse library in the communal area. Even better, 1.5% of the camp’s total revenue is donated to the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, which is collecting data about the leopard population around Khwai Private Reserve.

Tuludi
A rendering of the tented suites at Tuludi.

Singita Kwitonda, Rwanda

Late 2019

Singita open their first Rwanda lodge late 2019. Their first foray outside the safari space, Kwitonda will have eight suites and a four-bedroom villa called Kataza House. In Volcanoes National Park, the focus will, of course, be gorilla trekking, though Rwanda’s exciting and creative capital Kigali and the laid-back shores of Lake Kivu are within easy reach.

Gorilla trekking lodge Singita Kwitonda will open in August 2019.

Sonop, Namibia

2019 TBC

Slated to open in mid-2019, Sonop has no definite open date yet. From the same Zannier Hotels Group owners as Omaanda, which opened in Windhoek in 2018, the camp will be located in the Namib Desert. The ten tents will be designed with classic, 1920s safari style in mind, proving a luxurious base from which to see the famous Sossusvlei dunes and the Deadvlei.

Namib Desert
The dunes of the Namib Desert. Credit: Sander Wehkamp, Unsplash.

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Rwanda

2019 TBC

In the foothills of the Virunga Mountains, One&Only’s gorilla trekking lodge will have 22 tented suites, a restaurant using locally grown, organic produce and a spa with African-influenced treatments. No exact opening date has been provided as of yet, but it is expected to open within the next year.

Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

Check out the most exciting hotels, lodges and camps that opened in 2018.

Related Itineraries

From US$ 8950 pp
Migration
The Great Migration
7 days/6 nights
Kenya, Tanzania

Enjoy a front-row seat to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the annual...

View Itinerary
From US$ 4000 pp
Tanzania Bush and Beach
8 days/7 nights
Tanzania

Safari in unspoilt Selous Game Reserve and incredible diving on Pemba Island...

View Itinerary
From US$ 5000 pp
Western Tanzania
8 days/ 7 nights
Tanzania

Take the road less travelled in remote Western Tanzania, one of East...

View Itinerary
From US$ 4500 pp
Kenya Romance
8 days/ 7 nights
Kenya

Safari in unspoilt Meru, then indulge in a tropical Kenya Coast...

View Itinerary
From US$ 3000 pp
Kenya Family Safari
8 days/ 7 nights
Kenya

Experience the safari of a lifetime in the wild heart of Africa...

View Itinerary
From US$ 5000 pp
Northern Mozambique
8 days/ 7 nights
Mozambique

Escape to untouched tropical waters and some of the world's best diving...

View Itinerary
From US$ 6000 pp
Best of Namibia
11 days/ 10 nights
Namibia

Experience the highlights of one least populated countries on Earth. in comfort...

View Itinerary
From US$ 5000 pp
Best of Zimbabwe
9 days/8 nights
Zimbabwe

From the natural wonder of Victoria Falls to the game-rich wilderness of...

View Itinerary
From US$ 6000 pp
Best of Kenya
8 days/ 7 nights
Kenya

Big 5 safari through classic safari territory and following Great Wildebeest Migration...

View Itinerary
From US$ 6000 pp
Best of Tanzania
9 days/ 8 nights
Tanzania

Tanzania's Northern Safari Circuit offers thrilling Big 5 and Great Migration viewing. ...

View Itinerary
From US$ 6000 pp
East Africa Family Bush & Beach
9 days/8 nights
Kenya, Tanzania

Make lasting memories with a thrilling Kenyan safari and Zanzibar island escape...

View Itinerary
From US$ 4000 pp
Whales, wine & wilderness
11 days/ 10 nights
South Africa

We’ve got the scoop on some of the most hotly anticipated hotel and lodge openings in...

View Itinerary
From US$ 2500 pp pp
South Africa Family Adventure
9 days/ 8 nights
South Africa

We’ve got the scoop on some of the most hotly anticipated hotel and lodge openings in...

View Itinerary
From US$ 5000 pp
Rwanda Primate Safari
7 days/ 6 nights
Rwanda

Encounter endangered mountain gorilla, chimps and 12 other primate species in Rwanda’s...

View Itinerary

Create your own itinerary

Bring your wildest dreams to life – contact Ashworth Africa to start creating your bespoke safari vacation.

Enquire now