From Conservation Initiatives to New Lodges, Here’s What’s New in Africa

A Belmond Safari
A Belmond Safari

Numerous travel companies including andBeyond, Eagle Island Lodge, and Ponant are helping travellers cross off items their bucket lists by offering new expeditions, renovated lodges, and hands-on conservation initiatives in Africa.

Conservation Initiatives

andBeyond | South Africa

andBeyond works closely with its community development partner, Africa Foundation to make a positive impact in the local communities surrounding its lodges. The most recent initiative from the duo is the Community Conservation Course, which launched in October 2020. The six-month program allows five young aspiring conservationists from neighboring rural communities to gain the hands-on experience required to pursue a career in wildlife. Experiences for the students ages 20-30 include research and monitoring (like pangolin tagging and rhino dehorning), land management, wildlife management, and field guiding.

Eagle Island Lodge, A Belmond Safari | Botswana

Eagle Island Lodge, A Belmond Safari, Botswana has worked with the nearby community village of Xaxaba Island in Botswana to ensure potable drinking water for the community. Belmond donated a Jojo water tank, a leading solution in South Africa to provide safe water, as well as a bowser water tank to ensure a clean water source. Water is then regularly transported from the lodge to the village.

andBeyond | South Africa

While more well-known animals like rhinos and elephants are front and center in poaching discussions, the little-known pangolin is actually the world’s most trafficked mammal. Poached at a rate of one every five minutes, they are wanted for their scales, similar to the hunger for the rhino horn. andBeyond has been working alongside the African Pangolin Working Group and the Stock and Theft Unit of the South African Police Service to launch a reintroduction program at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to reintroduce pangolins to the wild, reversing the local extinction. Guests at Phinda’s lodges can get up close to these pangolins while assisting the team with tagging and monitoring.

New Experiences & Lodges

Royal Mansour Marrakech | Morocco

A palatial oasis crafted by over 1,500 local artisans, Royal Mansour Marrakech is an ode to traditional Moroccan architecture. The property includes a three-story 27,000 square-foot Spa resembling a white birdcage.

New this year, Royal Mansour is launching new multi-day wellness retreats in September 2021. Available as three-, five-, seven- or 14-day retreats, guests can choose between the Rebalance, Rejuvenation, Immunity Boost, and Weight Control programs – with the goal of improving both mental and physical health. The program offers a 360-degree approach with treatments, nutrition (eating healthy but well at the property’s restaurants led by Michelin-starred chefs) and activities including cooking classes and Pilates.

PONANT | East Africa

PONANT announced a new expedition cruise through the Seychelles and islands of Tanzania, sailing from Victoria, Mahé to Zanzibar. The cruise will visit 10 islands in 13 days onboard Le Bellot. Ports of call include La Digue Island, Anse Source d’Angent Beach, and Astove Island. In addition to exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites including Kilwa Kisiwani Island, there will be opportunities to spot wildlife, like the indigenous Aldabra tortoises, weighing up to 550 pounds. There are two departures available on 16DEC, 2021 and 28DEC, 2021.

andBeyond | South Africa

Kirkman’s Kamp Lodge is part of andBeyond’s collection of 29 lodges where its known for its unmatched leopard sightings. In FEB 2021,  Kirkman’s Kamp relaunched following a redesign of its cottages, public spaces, and dining and bar areas. The camp’s 12 cottages have been redesigned to feature large private bars, outdoor seating areas, and wallpaper murals featuring a bushveld scene. Bathrooms have been entirely redone, adding extra-large showers and double vanities. The finishes were made in keeping the 1920s style of the hotel in mind – think embossed tiles, ribbed glass and marble.


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