Africa is a truly gargantuan landscape, with unbelievable variation in its places and people. Tanzania and Morocco are about as similar as Canada and Mexico – maybe even less so! Cultures, languages, cuisines; there is a staggering amount to take in, no matter where you find yourself. Yet there is something about the “Mother Continent” that exudes an attraction like nowhere else. The Luxury Travel Agency has journeyed to Africa plenty of times, and each time we leave, we find ourselves planning a speedy return!
Straddling the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco has long been a land of vibrant commerce and culture. Nowhere in the country is this better displayed than in Marrakesh. At the heart of the city, the medina holds treasures both ancient and modern, with a labyrinth of markets and stalls that make any shopaholic’s dreams come true. Despite the heat, Marrakesh is renowned for its gardens, which spring up through the city like relieving oases of color. Plenty of luxury travelers want to “live like a king”, but how often can you actually stay in a king’s hotel? In Marrakesh, you can do just that at the Royal Mansour.
This one-of-a-kind property was commissioned by none other than King Mohammed VI, Morocco’s ruler. Based on the concept of “a medina within a medina”, the grounds provide a safe haven from the bustle of the city outside, with pools, gardens, and running water abundant. Each of the 53 riads are self-contained palaces of their own, spread over three floors with private rooftop pools in every one. Many hotels offer dedicated butler service, but at the Royal Mansour, each riad has a committed team of ten staff members. What’s more, the property has been designed with a system of underground service tunnels used by the staff, so you’ll notice their efforts without their presence! This is a hotel built for royalty – and a stay there will make you feel like royalty yourself.
To the east, the sprawling city of Cairo dominates the face of Egypt as the largest city in the Arab world. Built on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo is a metropolis of motion and noise, with millions of residents from all walks of life pursuing their daily duties under the watchful gaze of ancient monuments. The city is a must for history buffs; the brand-new Grand Egyptian Museum (the world’s largest archaeological museum) is slated to open within the next year, and of course, the Giza Pyramids are within eyesight.
For the best in luxury accommodation, look no further than The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo. Overlooking the life-giving river, this is a hotel of stately excellence. Rooms and suites are decorated in bright, crisp colors, with smooth wood furnishings and plenty of space. Nearly every room category overlooks the Nile, a perfect vantage point for any visitor. We highly recommend adding an upgrade to Club Lounge Access; Club guests enjoy dedicated concierge services, floor-to-ceiling windows of the river, and unique culinary perks, such as an ability to select the exact ingredients the Lounge chefs will use in your favorite dish! There’s no better address to call home in Egypt’s bustling capital.
As we move south towards East Africa, we begin to find some of the world’s most renowned safari destinations. One such spot is the nation of Kenya, which proudly claims some of the most dramatic scenery on the continent. The Masai Mara is one of the world’s most important game reserves, home to some of the largest remaining populations of Africa’s elephants and big cats, as well as the Maasai people themselves who have called this land home for centuries. The Mara plays host to the annual “Great Migration”, in which millions of animals move clockwise from the southern Serengeti up to Kenya and back, following the rains. While there are heaps of excellent properties to choose from in Kenya, one stands out for its quality in every facet of the safari experience: the &Beyond Bateleur Camp.
Set on the rim of the Great Rift Valley, in the heart of the Masai Mara, the Bateleur Camp offers everything a safari-goer could dream of. Naturally, the game drives are the premier attraction; herds of all shapes and sizes roam the open plains, where predator hunts are often visible to lucky guests. Days of spectacular adventure end in evenings of fireside meals, your table arranged under the spectacular Kenyan sunset. Another draw is the opportunity to interact with the Maasai people, many of whom are staff members at the Camp. Guests can visit a local village and learn about this incredible culture, which is so inextricably woven into our understanding of Kenya and even Africa itself.
As Kenya’s southern neighbor and “partner” in The Great Migration, Tanzania holds an equal amount of importance as a critical wilderness destination. The Serengeti National Park is perhaps the most famous of its kind, and Mount Kilimanjaro remains one of the world’s most memorable sights, its snow-capped peak towering over the plains. Visitors can choose from a wide palette of environments to explore – but for pure wildlife enthusiasts, following the Migration is a dream come true. And when it comes to that authentic wilderness experience, the Singita Explore camp is second to none.
There are other safari options that offer access to the Migration, but few actually move around to maximize that access – and none do it as well as Singita. The camp is designed for private use, with a maximum of six tents, meaning the only other guests are your own family and friends. While many of Singita’s other properties are more luxurious in the traditional sense, it’s nearly impossible to match the experiential luxury that this property provides. Guests have access to 350,000 acres of the Grumeti Reserve – entirely managed by Singita – on which massive herds of wildebeest and zebra move amongst the rarer “Big Five” (elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo). The camp is always set up in a location best suited for the wildlife viewing. Staff on hand include a personal chef, host, and Field Guide, ensuring continuity from the best in their field who can anticipate your needs at every turn. Anyone can stay at a safari lodge, but sleeping “under the stars” – in serious style – makes for the memory of a lifetime.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a “Luxurious Properties” article without including a sun-kissed beach destination! Just off the coast of Mozambique, in the stretch of ocean between Madagascar and the mainland, lie a handful of gorgeous tropical islands that rival anything in the Caribbean for their beauty. One in particular, Benguerra Island, is home to several luxury resorts that offer a perfect counterpoint to the safari adventures of the interior. The best of these? Azura Benguerra Island.
There are fewer and fewer beaches that are truly unspoilt – but the sands of Benguerra are among them, and this alone is reason enough to visit the Azura property. Each of the 20 villas are mere steps from the beach, yet secluded enough to eliminate any concern about the eyes of passerby. Personal infinity pools look out to the ocean, while the villas themselves are decorated in an “afro-contemporary” style, with gorgeous wood furnishings and plenty of space. The resort is designed in a simple, comfortable style; those keen on soaring glass walls and Japanese fusion restaurants should look elsewhere. Instead, the focus is on relaxing your mind and feeling at one with the dreamy environment. Of course, there’s no shortage of activities if you’re the type to keep busy: guided night snorkeling, kayaking through the mangroves, and island-hopping are just a few of the adventures on offer. To finish off your day with a private dinner for two on the white sands – that’s true luxury!
Finally, we come to South Africa, a nation that often deserves its own journey! So many of Africa’s climes are featured here, from the arid deserts of the north to the stunning coastlines of the south and the mountains standing between them. Some of Africa’s best wildlife opportunities are found in Kruger National Park, often the preferred choice for first-time safari-goers. Yet it’s the Winelands just outside of Cape Town that provide a unique African travel opportunity – a region just as stunning as its European counterparts. There are handfuls of gorgeous properties to choose from, but none so opulent as La Residence.
At La Residence, every single suite is uniquely designed – an indication of the care lavished upon its guests. These suites lack for nothing: size (starting at 85 square meters), style (designed by famed hotelier Liz Biden), and amenities (minibars stocked with free wine and champagne) are all in plentiful supply. Traveling families can employ the multi-room suites to keep everyone under one roof. Surrounded by vineyards, mountains, and delightful small towns, there’s plenty to explore, with bicycles the transport of choice. The dining and wine tasting here is some of the world’s best, and no matter where you look, the views are simply remarkable. A can’t-miss destination on any South African itinerary!
Each of these wondrous properties are part of The Luxury Travel Agency’s extensive Partner Hotel network, representing the elite options across Africa and around the world. At all of our Partner Hotels & Resorts, you’ll get unbeatable rates, along with complimentary benefits such as room upgrades, free breakfast, incredible guided experiences, VIP status, and much more! All for simply choosing The Luxury Travel Agency for booking your next trip.
We can help with everything from a simple hotel or resort booking to complete travel planning, including yacht and private jet charters, villas, and so much more! Contact us today via Whatsapp or telephone at +1-647-551-4560 and let’s start planning your next trip.