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We bring you our very own hand-picked secret Africa bucket list for 2018 - 12 places and experiences you absolutely have to try before you die
By Jo Kromberg  ·2018-01-04

Ultra luxury:  

Maia Resort - Seychelles 

MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa, located on Mahé, Seychelles, has been recognized by the Prime Traveler Awards as the Best Island Hotel in 2017. 

Prime Traveler’s editorial members selected MAIA Luxury Resort & Spa as tops in its category for its exclusive, premium hospitality. The team highlighted MAIA’s secluded, untouched beach, gentle service and idyllic atmosphere. The place absolutely personifies bliss. 

https://www.tsogosun.com/maia 

 

Photos: Jo Kromberg and courtesy

Thanda Island - Tanzania 

Opened in 2017, Thanda Island is one of the world’s most exclusive island getaways, a paradise in complete privacy with family and friends.   

It took the owners 10 years to discover and develop this remarkably uncommon destination as a very special, totally private island getaway. Just get there… 

http://www.thandaisland.com/ 

Morukuru Ocean House - South Africa  

Cocooned in utmost luxury, adrift in your own four-bedroom oceanfront home within one of Africa’s most beautiful coastal reserves, Morukuru Ocean House in South Africa will make your jaw drop. The 36,000-hectare De Hoop Nature Reserve. De Hoop offers 51 km of pristine white beaches and dunes lapped by a warm Indian ocean, as well as limestone cliffs, rock pools, wetlands, coastal "fynbos" and the reserve is home to more than 260 species of birds. 

https://morukuru.com/places/ocean-house/  

Ultra unique: 

Tartaruga Maritima - Mozambique 

Situated in the extreme south of the pristine Mozambique coastline, alongside Ponta Malongane (16 km from the South African border), Tartaruga Maritima, a private and exclusive self-catering luxury, tented camp offers comfort, privacy and tranquility to the discerning nature lover and adventurer. Built meters from the soft wide beach, you will find yourself in another world under milk wood. Another secret southern African gem that begs to explored. And the affordability is even more astonishing.  

http://www.tartaruga.co.za/  

The Himba tribe - Namibia 

A visit to the Himba tribe at Gelbingen Lodge, situated in a mountainous valley in the middle of a Mopani tree savannah in Damaraland is a must. They are a truly beautiful and serene people and their prolific photographs in magazines and galleries all over the world are testament to just how synonymous they are with Namibia. They have settled and continue their lives as they have for thousands of years, untouched by modern day iniquities. Go say hello.   

http://www.namibiatravelcompanion.com/index.php/gelbingen-lodge-safaris-2/ 

Karoo Theatrical Hotel - South Africa 

If you are a fan of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and in the mood for something completely different to remember for a lifetime, head to the middle of nowhere.    

Welcome to the Karoo Theatrical Hotel, the home of your hosts Mark and Jacques where high-jinx, fantastic food and burlesque shows are at the order of the day – and all this in the tiny town of Steytlerville in the Karoo desert in South Africa.  

Every Saturday night "Grimaldi’s Theatre Hall" is abuzz with excitement as guests are treated to a delectable three course, candle lit "boerekos" dinner together with a sleek and glitzy show. "The Steytlerville Follies" is presented by Freddy Ferrari and stars the legendary Karoovian diva, Dame Leyla Lamborgini. 

Yes, really. 

http://www.karroohotel.co.za/ 

Kayamandi - South Africa 

Prepare for a life-changing sojourn in a "shanty town." Yes, a township tour of the Kaymandi settlement outside Cape Town will stay with you forever. The people, the atmosphere, the funny and sprightly tour guide and last but not least, the wonderful home-made meal in one of the resident’s homes will have you in awe and a few tears will be shed on leaving.  

http://www.stellenbosch.travel/township-tour  

Ultra wild:    

Kingston Tree House - South Africa 

The Kingston Treehouse in Sabi Sands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is constructed entirely from wood and glass, with contemporary décor in understated hues of greys, white, black and purple. You are given a two-way radio in case of emergency but apart from that you are left alone in the middle of the amazing African bush with the Big-Five for one night. Your friends will be green with envy. 

https://www.lionsands.com/our-treehouses/kingston-treehouse/ 

Mattanu Lodge - South Africa 

This lodge is probably the best kept secret in all of Africa. This unpretentious "uncommercial" four-star property turned out to be the most stunning experience in all of my travels. Owner-run and managed, Mattanu is a breeding reserve of rare and exotic antelope and buffalo. Guests have the opportunity to accompany the owner (veterinarian Johan Kriek) and his son in a helicopter to experience first-hand how animals are shot from the air with a tranquilizer to be examined and immunized.  One of the most unforgettable experiences ever, believe me... 

http://www.mattanu.com/ 

Basecamp explorer - Kenya 

Situated deep in the Masai Mara reserve, Basecamp Explorer is an eco-camp like no other. Entirely run and co-owned by one of the local Masai tribes, the lodge seamlessly conserves and recycles absolutely everything - not to mention being in one of the most beautiful reserves in the world with its abundance of every specie of African wildlife.  

http://www.basecampexplorer.com/kenya/ 

Helicopter ride over Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe 

No Africa bucket list is complete without a heart-stopping helicopter flip over Vic Falls. Once I overcame most of my panic attacks, I allowed the awe of the falls from this vantage point to envelop me. The sense of man’s insignificance rushes at one with visceral and raw ferocity in the face of one of the magnificent Wonders of the World beneath. The thundering falling waters go on for miles and it looked to me like a place where the earth broke.     

http://www.shearwatervictoriafalls.com/ 

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