Elite Traveler Winter 2021


ol Donyo Lodge, Sambu Suite CHYULU HILLS NATIONAL PARK, KENYA Every detail of the beautiful ol Donyo Lodge, a member of the Great Plains Conservation, was designed with the local landscape, communities and wildlife in mind, making it a proud eco-tourism forerunner. The Sambu Suite, a short distance from the main building, is decked out in classic safari style, with rich wooden furnishings, antique treasures, Persian rugs and atmospheric lighting. Sambu’s two bedrooms feature oversized, outrageously comfy beds draped in Indian linens, from which guests can look out at the never-ending action of the waterhole below. For a more immersive taste of the Kenyan wilderness, guests can head up to their rooftop open-air beds for a night under the stars. Best feature Private infinity pool leading directly out to the surrounding acacia forest and plains From $2,940 per night. Contact Stella Nduta, reservations, stella@greatplainsconservation.com, +1 347 305 4201, greatplainsconservation.com

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Grootbos Villa 2 SOUTH AFRICA An award-winning private nature reserve in South Africa’s Western Cape, Grootbos offers a different kind of safari. Set among flourishing fynbos (a type of shrub only found in the Western and Eastern cape), it’s home to a staggering amount of flora and fauna. A number of endangered species thrive here, too. Guests can take botanical tours to see more of the biomes, or enjoy marine safaris with a marine biologist to seek out the Marine Big Five. The two exclusive- use Grootbos Villas are set away from the rest of the estate, providing extra privacy. Surrounded by ancient forest, each has its own infinity pool, expansive terrace, gym, indoor/ outdoor dining areas, braai (a South African style barbecue), and features the services of a private chef, butler and guide. Best feature A magic carpet of hundreds of species of flora and fauna; the Marine Big Five From $11,245 per night. Contact Sean Ingles, general manager, bookings@grootbos.co.za, +27 283 848 053, grootbos.com

Singita Sabi Sand, Singita Castleton SOUTH AFRICA

One of the world’s most cherished safari camps, Singita Castleton at Singita Sabi Sand has a considered homey vibe, which makes perfect sense as it was the former home of Singita founder Luke Bailie’s grandfather. More of an estate, Singita Castleton consists of a welcoming main house with six individual cottages — it is the perfect choice for a multigenerational safari, with tons of inviting communal spaces balanced with privacy. You’ll also find a wine cellar, impressive kitchen and full gym, as well as tennis courts and a swimming pool. Singita Sabi Sand has the largest density of leopards in any protected area in South Africa, and has taken steps to protect the magnificent big cat. The Panthera’s Furs for Life project, of which Singita is a partner, has reduced the demand for leopard skins by 50%. Singita is also a founding partner of the Lionscape Coalition, which has a goal to double wild lion numbers by 2050. Best feature Estate setup is perfect for multigenerational family safaris From $11,600 per night. Contact Graham Kennedy, operations director, enquiries@singita.com, +27 216 833 424, singita.com

Zuri Zanzibar, Oceanfront Villa ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA Zuri Zanzibar is the world’s first hotel to be awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design ‘Gold’ certification. Designed as an African village, the resort has thatched-roof villas that sit atop stilts to protect the native plants below, and each one is shaded by ancient baobab trees. Most impressive is the 5,382-sq-ft Oceanfront Three-bedroom Villa with its own private beach, a 39-ft infinity pool, hot tub and zen pond, plus lounge chairs and hammocks for lazing the days away in the sunshine. The villa is indoor/outdoor living at its finest; there are serene views of the Indian Ocean and the sublime sunset, plus an outdoor soaking tub surrounded by lush foliage to really immerse you in nature (and protect your modesty!). Inside, the decor is a fusion of African and contemporary design, with natural materials and murals painted on the walls. Best feature Outdoor soaking tub surrounded by lush foliage From $3,900 per night. Contact reservations@ zurizanzibar.com, +420 226 202 981, zurizanzibar.com

Photos AndrewHoward, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, CrookesAndJackson, DOOKPHOTO, Elsa Young

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