Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Kusini Weekly Update - March 29th

There's not a bad seat in the house
at Angama Mara
People might wonder if you've been living under a rock if you haven't heard about Kenya's new Angama Mara camp. It's been open for several months and is receiving rave reviews. With two 15-tent camps, each with its own guest area, kitchen and dedicated staff, this 'Out of Africa' spot will wow your clients. Its proximity to the Mara Triangle ensures epic wildlife sightings, though guests may be tempted to stick around the gorgeous lodge. The level of luxury and exclusivity at Angama Mara would pair well with a stay at The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille in Laikipia. Contact Juliet at Albatros Travel to craft a bespoke itinerary for your pax.

Sunset in the Galapagos from the
Deck of the MV Origin
Tropic Journeys is pleased to report the maiden voyage of the MV Origin - the newest vessel cruising the Galapagos. With only 10 cabins, the yacht has a high level of comfort and service. Gourmet meals, a fitness center and water sports equipment (including kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, snorkeling gear, wetsuits and life vests) are just some of the amenities available on board. The Origin not only has the most favorable pax-to-crew ratio with 13 crew, it also boasts the best guide-to-pax ratio with just 10 guests/guide. Contact Andrea to learn more about the Origin or to include it as part of an Ecuador journey for your clients.

Artist's rendering of one of the
rooms at Limalimo Lodge
While we love the rustic Simien Lodge, there's soon to be another accommodation option in Ethiopia's Simien Mountains! Perched on the edge of the escarpment, the beautiful 12-room Limalimo Lodge will operate with minimal environmental impact, using renewable energy and recycling their wastewater. This boutique lodge will be a great base for trekking the Simiens, whether for day trips or as a starting and finishing point for a longer trip. Additionally, Limalimo will offer village visits, birding, Champagne breakfasts, yoga and massage (very welcome after a long trek!). Travel Ethiopia will share a full report upon its opening later this year.

Refurbed rooms at Primate Lodge offer
luxury after a day of chimp trekking
Primate Lodge in Kibale NP has undergone a major facelift. Tents were replaced by luxury cottages with lavish bathrooms, huge windows and sliding glass doors allowing light to come pouring in. Forest Cottages and the Treehouse have also been refurbed. Finally, the reception, kitchen, restaurant, bar, office and lounge have also been upgraded with an enlarged kitchen and expanded bar, a new lounge, and new curio shop. Primate is the only property inside Kibale NP and is Classic Africa Safaris' preferred accommodation for those interested in the full day chimp habituation experience.

With just four tents, Little Machaba will
offer exclusivity and luxury in the Delta
Wow, there's a lot of camp refurbing and building going on in Botswana! New Frontiers reports that Little Machaba opens next month on the same island as Machaba Camp in the Khwai Concession. It offers a similar experience but is more exclusive, hosting only 8 pax. From Little Machaba, a stay at Gomoti Plains Camp (opening in July) would be a great segue. Its ensuite luxury tents (including 2 lux family tents) will be situated on the edge of the Gomoti river system with its large concentrations of wildlife. Visiting both independently owned and run camps will give the experience of two contrasting Okavango ecosystems. New SA Airlink flights from Cape Town to Maun make getting there even easier.

Glamping takes on a whole new streamlined
look in Antigua, Guatemala
Glamping in Guatemala? Sign us up! Maya Trails tells us that Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua has a well-kept secret - not-exactly-roughing-it fully remodeled luxury AirStream RV's perched up on the mountainside above town. The interiors of the RVs are very comfortable (yet cozy) and each comes with their own spacious deck (complete with lounging spaces and fabulous view) and hot tub. They have also recently added repurposed shipping containers with the same set up and amenities. If you think your pax would enjoy something fun and unique in Antigua, contact Adriana to learn more about a glamping experience at 'Santo Cielo.'

Artist's rendering of the unique tented
domes at The Highlands Ngorongoro
There's lots of buzz around the opening of Asilia's The Highlands at Ngorongoro later this year. This lux option offers an exclusive location far from other camps but with the all-important dawn access to the Crater floor. 2016 specials include a stay 3/pay 2 offer, and camp-based activities (such as cultural visits and hikes at Olmoti and Empakaai) are included in the rate. With double, triple, family and honeymoon room configs, there's a spot for all of your high-end travelers. Contact Juliet at Albatros Travel to craft an FIT itinerary with a stay at The Highlands for your pax.

The exterior of gorgeous Sorris Sorris
Lodge in Damaraland
The opening of Sorris Sorris in Damaraland has caused lots of excitement. With views of the starkly beautiful Brandberg Massif, the 9-room lodge offers fantastic gourmet food served by an attentive staff. Guests can work off their meals with guided walks, or hoard calories with exciting game drives to seek desert-adapted wildlife along the nearby Ugab river. Even the views from the pool will take travelers' breath away. Contact Birgit at Ultimate Safaris for availability or with questions.

Breathtaking views and lots of elbow
room are just a few features of the new
Little Gorges Lodge
A few weeks back we let you know about the opening of Imvelo Safari Lodges' Little Gorges Lodge. A tented extension of Gorges Lodge, the 60 sq m tents are spacious and sublime - bedrooms are under canvas and lead out to a private verandah overlooking the Batoka gorge, while bathrooms are cut back into the terrain and are constructed from brick under canvas. Guests can use the main Gorges facilities (pool, wifi, dining), or enjoy meals and drinks at the Little Gorges dining area. Little Gorges can be booked on an FIT basis or is a great option for exclusive groups of 8-10 pax. More photos of the tents and stunning views here.

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