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Africa’s Hidden Luxury Getaways

Luxury Getaway resort

Dying to get away this Holiday season & itching to try something new? Maybe you’ve been to some of the more classic African destinations or maybe this is your first trip to Africa  & you want to start off your love of the continent with something exclusive & unique. Either way, take a look at some of Demand Africa’s top pick destinations for a unique luxury getaway. We’ve outlined the best time to visit, top activities & attractions. We’ve also highlighted a unique & luxurious accommodation & typical flight prices at each destination. From the rolling hills of South Africa’s wine country to remote tropical islands, Africa has a destination for any imagination. So, start daydreaming about your unforgettable experience with some of the destinations below:

Praslin Island, Seychelles

Luxury Getaway Seychelles

Praslin Island is the second largest island in the Seychelles, but is much less densely populated. The population reaches a mere 6,500 people. So if you’re looking for a secluded tropical island paradise, look no further.

The Seychelles are located off the coast of Tanzania & Northeast of Madagascar. A typical flight from Johannesburg is around $700 round trip, while flights from the US tend to run around $2000 round trip, though saving a search through your preferred search engine or getting creative with your route can yield deeper discounts.

Though temperatures are typically in the 80s , the best months to visit Seychelles are April, May, October and November. During this time, the Seychelles are transitioning between the hot & humid northwest trade winds & the cooler southeast trade winds (April-October). Prime travel time to the Seychelles is typically during these ‘shoulder months’ as they’re ideal for sunbathing, scuba/snorkeling & wildlife watching. If you want to avoid the typical heavy tourist crowds, travel outside of the months of December-January & July-August; as this is peak travel season.

Attractions: Coco De Mer Plant, countless white sand beaches, luxury getaways & Anse Lazio Private Islands

Our Accommodation Pick: L’Archipel

Zanzibar

Luxury Getaway Zanzibar Cliff Waves

Fifteen miles off the coast of Tanzania, one of Africa’s top island destinations offers gorgeous clear turquoise water & white sand beaches to tourists practically year round: Zanzibar, a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean is a classic luxury getaway w/ fantastic airline rates from New York & Los Angeles ranging from $1200-$1700 round trip (on Emirates!) & from London for $900 round trip.

While the best time to visit Zanzibar is from June-October, tropical temperatures offer prime beach-time from December-Feburary, though is it hotter & dry. There are two rainy seasons that may not be the most ideal time to travel, but if you have flexible or last minute travel options, rates are deeply discounted from mid-March to late May as well as November.

Attractions: Spice Tour, Beaches, Clear Turquoise Blue Water, endless Scuba & Snorkeling

Our Accommodation Pick: Boutique Hotel Matlai

Belo Sur Mer, Madagascar

Luxury Getaway Belo Sur Mer Madagascar baobabs

The fishermans village of Belo Sur Mer is truly one of the best keep secrets of Madagascar. Sitting on the edge of a picturesque lagoon, some say that Belo Sur Mer appears as a mirage between the dunes & the heat of the mid day sun.

Travel to Madagascar varies widely by season, but typical round trip rates are around $2000 from major US destinations & starting at $1000 from London. However, the season to avoid planning your trip to Madagascar is the rainy season which is typically from January to March. There can be cyclones in February that make travel arrangements precarious.

Attractions: Scuba & Snorkeling, Wind surfing, wildlife & once-in-a-lifetime whale watching

Our Accommodation Pick: Palissandre Cote Ouest Resort & Spa

Cape Winelands, South Africa

Luxury Getaway Cape Winelands glass

A vast expanse of gorgeous rolling Winelands of South Africa near Cape Town and offer some of the most unique vacation opportunities in the country.  Travel up the scenic route 62 to the popular winemaking towns of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch & Paarl. These wine-centric hamlets as well as the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley offer countless exclusive accommodations, wine tours & tastings & luxurious spas.

The best time to visit is definitely during the hot, dry summer months of November to April but any time of year can be ideal to enjoy wine country & the annual activities at some incredible vineyards.

Accommodation: Delaire Graff Estate

Bissagos Archipelago Guinea-Bissau

Luxury Getaway Bissagos Archipelago

Guinea-Bissau is located on West Africa’s Atlantic coast; famed for it’s national parks and wildlife. The forested & sparsely populated Bissagos archiapelago offers a unique opportunity to completely immerse in nature in a protected biosphere reserve. Enjoy the endless beautiful beaches & guided wildlife viewings through the tropical forests of Bissagos. White it’s more pleasant to visit Gunea-Bissau during the dry season from December to May, the climate is consistently tropical and humid year round. So get ready for outdoor adventure with trips to the Beach & the pool to cool off. Your vacation in Gunea-Bissau will undoubtedly be unique and unforgettable.

Our Accommodation Pick: Atlantic Evasion Lodge

São Tomé & Principe

Luxury Getaway Sao Tome snorkeling

São Tomé and Príncipe situated in the Gulf of Guinea approximately 250km east of Gabon. Sao Tome & Principe make up the second smallest country in Africa after the Seychelles. The archiapelago is nicknamed the ‘Center of the World’ because it is the closest land mass to the point where the Equatorial line crosses the Zero Meridian.

Secluded & serene, you’ll need to get yourself to Portugal or the African mainland for flights starting at $900 round trip to enjoy the countless pristine beaches in the ‘center of the world’.

The most popular time to visit is during the dry seasons, of which there are two. The first dry season is between June and September & the second is around January through February. Temperatures on the islands are fairly consistent year round, but the summer months of the long dry season are the best for wildlife viewing & hiking.  The Pico Cão Grande Hiking Volcano, Obo Natural Park are great hiking & wildlife spots, while Praia Jale is the countries most photographed & truly exquisite beach.

Accommodation: Hotel Praia

KwaZulu Natal

Luxury Getaway KwaZulu Natal SAfari Sunset

KwaZulu Natal is located South Africa just south of Swaziland & this temperate sub-tropical paradise with sunshine year round offers some of the most exclusive & luxurious lodge & safari experiences in all of Africa.

The weather in KwaZulu-Natal varies between the coast and the mountains but seasons tend to run as hot & humid summers from October to April followed by mild winters between May and September. To avoid the throngs of tourists, plan your trip outside of the months of December to January when tourism is at a peak during the hotter months. The driest period is June through July. Flights from the US & Europe start at $1200 round trip in peak seasons but deals are to be had no matter what time you travel.

There are countless natural wonders & attractions to enjoy, including The uShaka Marine World, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Oribi Gorge & the Durban Botanical Gardens, just to name a few!

Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Masai Mara National Park

Luxury Getaway masi mara

Masai Mara National Park in Southwest Kenya is another Safari destination with some of the most impressive luxury lodges & accommodations there are.

The best time to visit Kenya would undoubtedly be during the peak wildlife viewing months of the Dry season from late June to October. The Great wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October. Beginning in October, the wildebeests move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. With flights beginning at $650-$700 from the US & Europe, don’t hesitate to plan your unforgettable luxury safari lodge experience in one of the most legendary National Parks in the world.

Accommodation: Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Morocco

Luxury Getaway camels

There are countless incredible ways to plan a trip to Morocco enjoying all the country has to offer. We’re going to focus on Marrakesh where round trip flights from Europe frequently drop below $100!  The country experiences four full seasons, all of which have their advantageous travel perks, but the country is truly at it’s most beautiful in the spring months of March-May. Fierce summer months in the Sahara are more bearable the though mid-level altitude cities along the coast.

In Marrakesh, immerse yourself in Moroccan culture & culinary delights at the Jemaa el-Fnaa Marketplace. Also a beautiful centrally located courtyard, one could spend an entire afternoon wandering the colorful offerings of Jemaa el-Fnaa. The Majorelle Garden is also a beautiful top tourist attraction worth an afternoon of exploration year-round.

However, Le Jardin Secret, the restored elegant & ornate 19th-century palace & gardens with traditional Islamic gardens, as well as a shop & café is considered unmissable by countless Marrakesh travelers. It’s worth a day trip & will truly take your breath away.

Our Accommodation Pick: Hotel La Maison Arabe

Bwindi Lodge Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda

Luxury Getaway Bwindi Gorilla

Located on Ugandas western border with the Democratic peoples republic of Congo, the Bwindi Impenetrable forests offers an incredible unique experience. Staying at the Bwindi Lodge, guests have the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest with guided tours with high standards of conservation & sustainability to protect these majestic endangered animals. The Gorillas are also known to lounge around the brush of the lodge itself from time to time! Flights start from $700 round trip from North America & Europe for this once-in-a-lifetime immersive opportunity.

For trip-planning: June-August and December-February are the drier months in Bwindi & ideal to visit. March to April and September to November are usually very wet months & are less than ideal for Gorilla viewings, though they make the best bird watching time.

Our Accommodation Pick: Bwindi Lodge

Reunion Island

Luxury Getaway Reunion Island infinity pool

Off the east coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is known for Volcanic rainforest

There are typically two seasons on Reunion island. Between October and March, the summer is very rainy and hurricanes happen from time to time. Winter is from April to September; it is signifigantly cooler and drier.
For the best time to avoid mass of tourists, travel in May or June. Flights start at $1200 from the US or Europe

Reunion Island is known for its lush rainforest, coral reefs and  beautiful beaches. Its most iconic landmark is the Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano that is still hikeable. Piton des Neiges, a massive extinct volcano, and Reunion’s 3 calderas (natural amphitheaters formed by collapsed volcanoes), are also typical climbing spots for active tourists.

Our Accommodation Pick: Villa Morgane