Going on A Safari? Here are Some New Experiences to Check Out This Season

Safaris are to Kenya, Namibia, South Africa or Botswana, as scuba diving is to the Maldives. It is therefore not out of place to say that almost every veteran vacationer to Eastern or Southern Africa went there primarily to immerse themselves in the unique wildlife of the African bushes that continue to draw thousands yearly.

But because there is only so much you can do while on it, going on a second or third safari trip might not be very appealing. This is why some companies are switching things up to get old visitors back while drawing in new ones.

Aerial view of the Nyungwe National Park Rwanda
Travelers who have been on a safari once might be reluctant to go on another again. Companies are finding creative ways – including switching up experiences – to draw them back. Image courtesy of One&Only Nyungwe

So, if you are wondering whether another safari is a good idea, or you’re trying to decide if you should add it to your travel experience, here are some new packages and properties telling you to say yes to one.

Molori Mashuma, Zimbabwe

Situated in Northern Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, Molori Mashuma, a new property from South African company Molori Safari, has just six tents, making it the perfect choice for a quiet, tranquil getaway.

The deck at the new safari lodge in Zimbabwe, Molori Mashuma
Molori Mashuma is a new safari lodge that marries the old and new rather beautifully. Image courtesy of Lifestyle Interior Photography via Molori Mashuma

Its strategic location in the park offers visitors unobstructed views of the surroundings. “It is a game and wilderness experience unlike anything else because you are not chasing the wildlife to tick off a list, you are immersed and present in the moment, with the open landscapes, fauna and flora, and the wildlife that roam,”  explains Eric Ichikowitz, co-owner of Molori Mashuma.

While some safaris choose to submerge their guests in the full bush lifestyle by eliminating modern comforts, the tents in Molori Mashuma are fully air-conditioned with perks like private decks for game viewing and relaxation, as well as amenities such as soaking bathtubs and outdoor showers. The two-bedroom family tents in the camp are even equipped with private plunge pools for a more robust experience.

Elephant at the Mana Pools National Park
At the Molori Mashuma, the experience comes to you even before you go out to meet it. Image courtesy of Vince Sullivan via Molori Mashuma

But sitting all day can be rather boring, which is why guests have the option to go on guided walking safaris where they can observe and photograph wildlife at any of the three available locations for game viewing. Per Ichikowitz, “Walking through the fever tree forests and watching elephants in their droves; moving through the forest and interacting with big herds of eland and zebras frolicking and playing around while the monkeys jump from the trees, is one of my ultimate wilderness experiences.”

Unfortunately, the tent is not open all year: interested guests can only visit from the beginning of April to the end of October. Nightly rates start from $1,725.

Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge, South Africa

Like Molori Mashuma, South Africa’s new safari property is rather private: the Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge located in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve in Limpopo has just four suites for two guests each. If you’re planning a romantic escape with your significant other, or want to experience the wild with someone special, you may want to consider the Shekinah Lodge for the privacy and intimacy it promises.

This new safari allows you to be up close and personal with wild animals
Relaxing next to like say, a lion, is the norm at the Shekinah Lodge, not the exception. Image courtesy of Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge

Also, like its Zimbabwean counterpart, the suites have been designed to bring the outdoor experience inside seamlessly. Through reinforced glass, guests can see lions or tigers roaming freely around the property, or wake up to a beautiful sunrise illuminating the bushveld without having to sacrifice any of the luxuries they have grown accustomed to like private plunge pools and outdoor showers.

More amenities can be found outside the suites, including a spa, gym and conference room. Visitors can also go on bush walks or game drives, with the latter being a complimentary service for all guests.

A giraffe at the shekinah lodge
Touring the surroundings is easy, thanks to complimentary safari drives. Image courtesy of Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge

The Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge is set to open in the first week of November with nightly rates starting at USD $1605.

The One&Only Rwandan OneEscape Experience

One&Only might not have a new safari resort on the horizon, but they have a new kind of curated experience for adventurous travellers looking for an action-filled holiday.

The OneEscape Rwandan experience is a custom six-night itinerary that will start at the One&Only Gorilla’s Nest and culminate in a 3-night stay at the One&Only Nyungwe House.

Black man looking through a binoculars
This year, One&Only’s OneEscape has come to Rwanda. Image courtesy of One&Only

Activities at the resort’s Gorilla’s Nest include a trek in search of the endangered mountain gorillas with no guarantee of a successful sighting; a bean-to-barista master class on the art of making coffee, and, a traditional barbecue hosted at the cottage of legendary conservationist, Jack Hanna.

Switching to the One&Only Nyungwe House would involve a five-hour drive by a 4×4 through a rather hilly countryside or a 35-minute flight that costs $5,775 for just one way. Guests who would be indulging in this experience between October 1 and December 14, 2023, would enjoy a complimentary helicopter transfer thanks to a partnership between the resort and Akagera Aviation.

A new safari experience in Rwanda gives you the opportunity to sight elusive animals
Part of the deal includes sighting the elusive mountain gorilla – that is if you’re lucky. Image courtesy of One&Only

Once at the Nyungwe House, visitors will immediately get to work at a master class on tea, one of the country’s main exports, or at a crash course in archery. They can also choose to indulge in spear-throwing lessons and a nocturnal hike or stargazing.

At $6500 per night for a stay at the Gorilla’s Nest and $3,250 per night for the Nyungwe House, the OneEscape experience does not come cheap. However, it is one experience visitors will treasure, long after they are back in their home countries.

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