The best new African safari camps for 2023

Written by Travel Adventures

South Africa

Loapi is the newest and smartest addition to Tswalu, South Africa’s largest privately owned reserve, in the arid Kalahari. The reserve has been a 25-year passion project for the South African Oppenheimer family, involving three high-end properties, as well as land restoration and conservation initiatives focusing on animals such as rhinos, pangolins and meerkats. Loapi is the most ambitious arrival yet: a collection of six sustainable standalone homes with private house managers, chefs, guides and trackers. Gapp Architects’ striking glass, steel and canvas houses, spaced at least 165 feet apart, are self-sufficient and can be dismantled and moved, leaving the land untouched. Inside, interiors by Cape Town’s Gregory Mellor are flecked with mohair tapestries, clay sculptures, carved wooden panels and textured umber and cream sofas. But it’s all just backdrop for the main view of golden grassy plains and rust earth that bleeds into distant mountains and a cloudless, electric-blue sky. Tswalu is not for the first-time safarigoer who wants to see the Big Five all in one day. But those searching for rare pangolins or aardvarks, black and white rhinos, wild dogs and cheetahs, may be rewarded. At night, guests eat alfresco – a private chef prepares bright butternut salads, droëwors and biltong, tapas treats or cauliflower soup next to a roaring fireplace – so as to stay in nature. It’s big and bold, and, without another soul to be seen, invites introspection. Mary Holland

Red Savannah offers six nights in South Africa from £7,962 per person all-inclusive, with four nights at Loapi Tented Camp, including international flights and transfers.

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