With the year drawing to a close, the continent’s travel and tourism industry is finally getting back to normal, with domestic travel projected to be a year of near-full recovery, only 1.9% shy of the 2019 levels.
This year has shown that when it comes to travel and tourism, the continent is open for business. This has been evident in the continent’s leaders making strides to make travel easier in Africa.
Recently, Ghana and South Africa implemented a reciprocal visa waiver agreement for nationals of both countries, for business and tourism purposes, allowing passport holders to be able to travel between the countries for stays of up to a cumulative 90 days within a 12-month period.
Kenyan President William Ruto also announced an impending removal of visa requirements for all African visitors by the end of the year. He emphasised the need to eliminate visa restrictions among African nations, stating that such restrictions were counter-productive.
Tourism is an important key to Africa’s economic growth, and the continent knows this. It has beautiful destinations, with luxury hotels waiting to be explored.
As 2023 draws to a close, we look at some of Africa’s best luxury hotels that should be celebrated:
Diamonds Dream of Africa, Kenya
Diamonds Dream of Africa in Kenya is an all-inclusive family resort along the silver sand beach of Malindi, a two-hour drive from Mombasa International Airport and 15 minutes from Malindi Airport.
The resort has 33 junior suites and two suites customised with Italian designed furniture and elegantly furnished interiors that provide an exotic feel.
The hotel has three restaurants and three bars for visitors hoping to try out Kenyan cuisine. A stay at the hotel starts from R4 397 a night for two.
Zambezi Queen Collection, Botswana
Africa’s own floating hotel, the Zambezi Queen Collection, is a leading luxury cruise provider along the Chobe River between Namibia and Botswana.
Zambezi Queen Collection owns and operates the Zambezi Queen, a boutique 14-suite riverboat offering luxurious river safari cruises. It also operates three smaller Chobe Princess houseboats and Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, a specialist fishing and family-friendly lodge on Namibia’s Impalila Island.
A stay at a suite on the Zambezi Queen Collection starts from R6 950 a person a night sharing at local rates and from R11 104 a person a night sharing at international rate.
Fairmont Taghazout Bay, Morocco
A resort overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Fairmont Taghazout Bay is a luxury five-star wellness resort within proximity of two beaches, with exceptional leisure facilities. The resort is 700m from Imourane Beach and 700m from Taghazout Beach and has a private beach area, as well as a bar.
The hotel also offers Japanese, Mediterranean and international cuisine, vegetarian, dairy-free and vegan at its variety of restaurants. The hotel has six rooms, four suites and four villas.
A stay at Fairmont Taghazout Bay starts from R5 686 a night for two people sharing.
Cheetah Plains, South Africa
For those looking for a safari adventure in Africa, Cheetah Plains Private Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park, in the north-west corner of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
There are no fences between the two reserves, allowing game to move freely between the two areas. The intimate lodge offers friendly service with comfortable safari-style lodge accommodation, along with amazing hospitality and welcoming staff, ensuring a safari experience to be remembered.
A stay at Cheetah Plains Lodge starts from R33 869 a person a night sharing. A minimum stay of three nights is required.
One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
One&Only Nyungwe House is a five-star all inclusive resort set on a tea plantation on the edge of Nyungwe Forest National Park. The hotel offers rustic-chic rooms plus patios and fireplaces, while the two-bedroom suites add living/dining rooms.
There’s a farm-to-table restaurant and a tranquil tea lounge, along with two bars (one poolside).
Other amenities consist of an outdoor infinity pool, a gym and a spa, as well as bird watching, guided treks and wildlife tours. A stay at the hotel starts from R40 515 a night for two people sharing.
Siringit Serengeti Camp, Tanzania
Siringit Serengeti Camp offers a bespoke safari experience in the heart of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The camp is just 6km east of Seronera Airstrip and an hour’s drive from the Nabi Hill entrance to the Serengeti National Park.
The hotel has 10 exclusive luxury canvas tents designed to offer guests privacy, seclusion and intimacy in the remote setting of the Serengeti plains.
The luxury tented camp is one of the rare places on Earth where guests can enjoy a safari picnic shaded by an Acacia tree while surrounded by the great migration or forest bathing in a yellow fever forest.
A stay at a luxury tent starts from R11 722 a night for two people sharing.
Labotessa Boutique Hotel, South Africa
Settled beneath the leafy green trees, upon the ancient cobbled lanes of the architecturally affluent corners of the city centre, Labotessa harnesses its heritage with integrity.
The boutique hotel is a five-star destination in the city of Cape Town. The hotel’s seven suites embody a blend of classical European style and 21st century modernity.
With panoramic views stretching over Lions Head, Slave Lodge, Groote Kerk, Company Gardens and Church Square, the hotel is perfect for business and leisure travellers balancing functionality, comfort and convenience of home with the best of luxury hotel living.
A stay at the hotel starts from R9 709 a night for two people sharing.
The list was sourced from the World Luxury Travel Awards 2023 Africa region winners.