January 5

New Luxury Lodges in Africa for Your 2022 Holiday

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January 5, 2022

If you're planning a trip in 2022, here are some new luxury lodges in Africa to add to your itinerary. Some are brand-new, others existing lodges that got a bit of a facelift or were revamped entirely, but all of these will get you excited to visit Africa!

The safari lodge you stay at can make or break your experience. That's why we hand-select (after visiting them first, of course!) only the best luxury lodges to recommend to our guests. We loved checking out these lodges, and we're confident you will too!

There's something for everyone, from the frequent flyer looking for something a bit different, couples looking for privacy, and that long-awaited family holiday.

1. Kruger Shalati, Kruger National Park

This unique new luxury lodge is the first of its kind. Yes, it's located in the Big 5 safari paradise of Kruger National Park. However, there's a twist. Kruger Shalati is no ordinary lodge. Nicknamed "The Train on the Bridge", it's one of the most exciting new offerings in South Africa.

The lodge is set within an old train permanently stationed on the historical Selati Bridge, it's a unique experience with arguably one of the best views of the surrounding bush and Sabie River.

View of the Sabie River from Kruger Shalati Lodge

The view from Kruger Shalati Lodge is one of its most spectacular features

Kruger Shalati at a Glance

  • A total of 31 rooms, consisting of 24 Carriage Rooms and 7 Bridge House Rooms
  • Interior is a celebration of local art and crafts
  • The deck and pool overlook the Sabie River, frequented by wildlife for incredible sightings 

Who's it for?

Perfect for couples or groups travelling together. It's for the traveller who's seen it all and wants something different! Please note that it's not ideal for families with small children as they must be 12 years or older to stay at Kruger Shalati.

2. Khwai Leadwood, Botswana

This new year-round safari lodge is in the famous Okavango Delta, right on the edge of the Khwai River, for incredible wildlife sightings from the lodge. Luxurious interiors offer all the modern comforts while giving you uninterrupted views of the great African outdoors.

But what really makes Khwai Leadwood shine is its location and wide range of safari activities to keep everyone happy, from gran who likes to take it easy, to dad who wants to explore, and the little ones who need extra activities to keep them engaged.

Khwai Leadwood New Luxury Lodge in Africa

There's nothing better than a deck with a view, Image Credit: Khwai Leadwood Lodge

Khwai Leadwood at a Glance

  • 6 Standard Tents and 1 Family Unit 
  • Plenty of activities on offer, from game drives, mokoro safaris (season-dependant), walking safaris, and night safaris
  • Specialised Ngwana Children Club to keep young ones occupied. Children of all ages are welcome. 

Who's it for?

It's an ideal family holiday destination with a family unit and children's club. Plus, it will delight even the most seasoned safari-goers! 

3. Tembo Plains, Zimbabwe

The new Tembo Plains Camp in Mana Pools is an eco-conscious camp right on the Zambezi River's edge. Because it's located in the private Sapi reserve, it offers a more exclusive, uncrowded experience. "Tembo" means "elephant", and you're sure to see your fair share of these gentle giants here in Mana Pools!

As the only Zimbabwean safari camp that's a proud member of Relais & Châteaux, Tembo Plains offer the next in luxury under canvas with expansive views of the surrounding vast open plains. You also get to experience more than the standard game drive, with guided walks, boating and canoeing trips for a different perspective.

New Tembo Plains

Tembo Plains offers eco-conscious luxury in the heart of Mana Pools, Image Credit: Tembo Plains

Tembo Plains at a Glance

  • Accommodates a total of 12 guests in 4 Tented Suites and the two-bedroomed Tembo Plains Suite sleeping 4 adults or a family of five. Children must be 6 years and older. 
  • Each tent has a private indoor lounge, outdoor swimming pool, verandah complete with an exercise bike, and outdoor dining area
  • Canon professional camera and lenses as well as Leica binoculars in each tent to best capture your safari memories

Who's it for?

If you're a wildlife or photography enthusiast, this is for you! Also suitable for a small family if children are older than six years old. 

 4. Little Sable (old Jackal & Hide), Botswana

Previously known as Jackal & Hyde, Little Sable is a new-and-improved safari lodge in the Khwai Private Game Reserve. With a focus on simplicity and slowing down to appreciate Botswana's finest landscapes and wildlife, Little Sable is ideal for the real wildlife or photography enthusiast.

Activities take you to experience the area in different ways, from classic game drives to exploring the bush on foot and boat and mokoro safaris. For an uncrowded, safari-focused experience in simple canvas tents, Little Sable is for you.

Little Sable Lodge Botswana

Immerse yourself in the wild, Image Credit: Little Sable

Little Sable at a Glance

  • 8 Meru-style tents with en-suites, as well as outdoor showers and a private deck
  • Many activities are offered, from mokoro and motorboat safaris to night drives and photography safaris from the hides for the best photos.
  • Main area with deck, large fire pit, lounge and dining area with incredible views

Who's it for?

Photography and wildlife enthusiasts and couples looking for privacy and simplicity in the heart of the wild. Children must be six years and older. 

 5. Nxamaseri Island Lodge (Refurbished), Botswana

Although not exactly new, the refurbished Nxamaseri Island Lodge is something to behold. In fact, it's one of the most established lodges in the Okavango Delta but recently got a bit of a facelift.

Initially opened as a fly-fishing lodge back in the 1980s, today it's operated by the esteemed Desert & Delta Safaris group. The handpicked local handcrafted décor and artwork add to the experience, and because the lodge is owner-run, you get that personalised attention to make your stay that much more special.

Nxamaseri Island Lodge

Take in remarkable views from the riverbank, Image Credit: Nxamaseri Island Lodge

Nxamaseri Island Lodge at a Glance

  • 7 Double en-suite Chalets shaded by Jackalberry trees and wild date palms 
  • The area has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the Okavango Delta and Tsodilo Hills – one of the only places in the world where two of these meet! 
  • Well-known destination and lodge for catch and release tiger fishing, mokoro and boat safaris, bird-watching, as well as rock art painting tours

Who's it for?

Those interested in fishing, birdlife and the cultural heritage of the ancient San bushman.

6. Dulini Moya (Old Dulini Lodge), South Africa

Dulini Moya, previously called Dulini Lodge, is a new-and-improved safari offering. Dating back to 1988, when it started as a simple bushcamp, it now offers re-imagined luxury in the same remarkable setting. Located within the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, it's one of the world's prime safari destinations.

After redesigning almost all of the suites, featuring structural updates and hand-selected décor items, it now goes by its new name, a Tsonga name meaning "spirit" or "wind".

Leadwood Suite at Dulini Moya

Dulini Moya is the place to be if you seek a sophisticated safari experience, Image Credit: Dulini Moya

Dulini Moya at a Glance

  • Only 6 Thatched Suites, set on the riverbank and under the ancient Ebony and Leadwood trees
  • Main viewing deck, dining boma, gym, wine cellar, wellness facilities
  • Camera and lens rental on offer for a photography safari 

Who's it for?

Ideal for photography enthusiasts and those looking for a classic, sophisticated safari experience in one of the best Big 5 safari destinations in the world. 

7. Royal Tree Lodge (Refurbished), Botswana

The refurbished Royal Tree Lodge is still located in its awe-inspiring setting but is now under Natural Selection's portfolio, bringing with it a new look and feel. The main lodge, luxury tent suites, and two air-conditioned honeymoon suites have been revamped, with an exclusive-use villa for groups and families also planned to open soon.

Here you can enjoy many activities, from traditional game drives, trail bike rides, to horseback riding, mokoro safaris, and nature walks.

Royal Tree Lodge exterior

Luxury tented suites are tucked away in tranquility between the trees, Image Credit: Royal Tree Lodge

Royal Tree Lodge at a Glance

  • Intimate lodge with 12 rooms, including tents and thatched chalets, accommodating a total of 24 guests
  • A quick 20-minute drive or 5-min helicopter ride from Maun airport
  • Located in a 250-hectare private game reserve close to the Okavango Delta and Maun town

Who's it for?

Honeymoon chalets are ideal for couples with plenty of privacy. It's also a great choice for active guests looking for various activities.

8. Jack's Camp (Refurbished), Botswana

This legendary camp has kept its original charm but now features a refreshing 21st-century look and feel. With the same Bedouin-inspired marquee tents and plenty of cushions to lounge on, there's a reason why it's such a beloved safari camp.

The new Jack's Camp features larger guest tents, now 270 square metres in size for a more luxurious experience. They've kept the same iconic interiors, with an overhead bed cooling system, en-suite bathrooms, both indoor and outdoor showers, as well as a verandah with a plunge pool. The famous Persian tea tent is also now larger, and there's a newly renovated and restocked shop.

Spectacular views from the deck at Jack's Camp

Be surrounded by the best of Botswana's spectacular views, Image Credit: Jack's Camp

Jack's Camp at a Glance

  • Plenty of activities on offer, from exploring the desert, classic game drives, horseback riding, meerkat visits, quad biking, bushman walks, and more
  • Famous for its historical artefacts, collected over the years from across the world
  • Very exclusive and uncrowded as it's one of only three camps in the one million-acre private reserve

Who's it for?

Ideal for the adventurous traveller looking for something a little bit different.

9. DumaTau (Refurbished), Botswana

This lodge has been a firm favourite for many years now. And now it's been given a bit of TLC to make it even more special. They've kept the iconic tented silhouette and essence the camp is known for but have added a layer of timber-cladded touches and design pieces to elevate the architectural and interior design. They've also added shaded decks with plunge pools to help guests cool down on sunny days.

Located in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, a premier safari destination within Botswana, you can enjoy prime wildlife sightings both from the lodge and on safari at DumaTau.

DumaTau aerial view

Nestled alongside the Linyanti River in the heart of the Okavango region, Image Credit: DumaTau

Duma Tau at a Glance

  • 7 Tents and 1 Family Unit with raised wooden decks overlooking the lagoon
  • As floating walkway takes you to a firepit on the river, the ultimate sundowner spot
  • A wide range of activities offered, including boating trips, classic game drives, night drives, nature walks, birding, and even helicopter flights

Who's it for?

Couples, families or small groups travelling together.

Visit the New Luxury Safari Lodges in 2022

Are you interested in visiting one of these lodges? Or maybe more than one? We can help you plan the ultimate African safari adventure! Contact our Travel Experts to start planning today. 

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Featured image credit: Kruger Shalati Lodge

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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