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10 Places Where the Oh-so Wealthy Are Traveling

Africa is alive with numerous exclusive destinations that cater to the luxury traveller. Have you ever wondered where the wealthy go for their vacations in Africa?

We’ve compiled a list of some over-the-top scenic, breathtaking, memorable destinations that serve the needs of vacationers looking for a truckload of memories to cherish forever. Discover hidden gems that you never even thought existed before – destinations that have a unique and heavenly charm attached to them. If you fly first class, own a private jet, don’t mind spending thousands of dollars on a holiday, or have a thing for exclusive private holidays, then this list is for you.

Whether it is a plush beach, an idyllic island, bush lodges or a treehouse, it is clear that wealthy travellers are only interested in one thing: utmost luxury and no compromises! For those who visit these spectacular destinations, money is never a problem; however, the amenities have to befit the status of luxury and opulence. There is no doubt that a visit to any of these 10 amazing destinations will evoke wonderful, life-changing memories that will remain with you forever.

Let’s take you on an exciting journey of how the rich enjoy their summer holidays in Africa. Here are top places people go for travel Africa holidays.

Miavana Resort, Madagascar

Madagascar is a splendid paradise that nature lovers and holiday makers absolutely love. This spectacular island is known for exclusive beach resorts and private islands that cater to travellers looking for beyond-ordinary experiences. Miavana is a high-end resort located on the private island of Nosy Ankao, a truly heavenly paradise that is amongst the best beach resorts in Africa. The resort has 14 one, two, and three bedroom spacious villas that all face the sea and offer guests utmost privacy. Sitting on the western side of the island, they’ve been built using local malagasy stone and other recycled materials. Every villa has a private pool, kitchen, and butler service.

There is also an infinity pool that faces the Indian Ocean and two helicopters on standby that fly guests to the surrounding islands. The island of Nosy Ankao is surrounded by the Loky Manambato Protected Area, which is a beautiful marine filled with wonderful coral reefs. Guests can also enjoy a wide variety of watersports and offshore whale-watching. In the evenings, staff put up a private sleepout area that enables guests to sleep under the stars while enjoying the cool breeze from the ocean. This is a true experience of paradise on a private island, and definitely not one that can be found at your ordinary beach destination. Lowest rates begin at $2,500 per night: it doesn’t come cheap at all!

Fregate Private Island, Seychelles

Are you looking for a life changing vacation that you will always live to remember? Fregate Island best describes a prestigious and enchanting Indian Ocean island that is home to 2,200 giant Aldabra Tortoises. It is a safe haven for endangered Hawksbill Turtles as well. There is a rehabilitated indigenous forest that hosts thousands of trees, along with a beautiful sanctuary for thousands of tropical birds. Fregate island has 7 beaches and one of them has, on numerous occasions, been voted “the most beautiful beach in the world”. There is exclusive accommodation on the island – visitors can opt for 16 ultra-spacious and beautifully crafted residences that come with grand private pools. Alternatively, Banyan Hill estate sits on an isolated peninsula that overlooks a private harbor and beaches, and commands exotic views of a large portion of the island.

Aside from 16 top-notch residences, Banyan Hill estate has 3 sleeping villas with exquisite features. Some of the amenities include a private infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, a dining pavilion, day beds, an open living area, a private office, a personal chef and butler, a spacious TV lounge, and a mini bar among others. The views of the jungle and deep blue seas are also magnificent. Other activities on the island include diving, water sports, hiking, mountain biking, and nature walks with local conservationists to explore the island’s ecosystem. Additionally, there is a stargazing program for those looking to admire the night sky. A spa, a fully equipped gym, and tasty local and international cuisines are available as well.  Rates vary from $5,600 to $16,000 per night.  Interestingly enough, there is an option to hire out an entire island. Unbelievable!

Ellerman House, South Africa

Luxury is understatement at the Ellerman House. This property is a small luxury boutique hotel that is located in Cape Town’s upscale Bantry Bay neighborhood on the slopes of 2,000 feet Lion’s Head. Ellerman’s House is only 10 minutes from downtown Cape Town, and it is an icon of South Africa’s luxury hospitality, cuisine, wine, leisure, and art. The hotel has 11 rooms, 2 suites, as well as two large 3-bedroom villas. This is an exclusive property that is not only a hotel, but also an ultimate luxury trendsetter with a sight to behold. The main house dates back to the early 20th century when it was constructed by Sir John Ellerman, a shipping magnate. Guests here enjoy the most beautiful ocean views in South Africa, along with wonderful views of Cape Town way below. With refined elegance spread across the entire property, Ellerman House is outstanding in every way. It is truly a heavenly experience to stay here.

Many guests who’ve been here admit that it is difficult to leave once you have visited the Ellerman House. Aside from superb décor, the public rooms of the hotel are synonymous with exclusive original artwork. Everywhere you go, the stairwells and corridors overflow with incredible and priceless works of art. The property has its own spectacular champagne cellar, brandy lounge, dining terraces, over-the-top spa, and art gallery. The hotel is not open to the public, therefore allowing visitors to enjoy an experience that is exclusive, extremely quiet, and private. The rooms have excellent views of the ocean, pool, and garden. Ellerman House prides themselves in being the most exclusive boutique hotel in Africa. Seeing as rooms begin at $1,000 per night and rise to a whopping $10,000 per night for a villa, only the rich stay at this luxurious property.

Mahali Mzuri , Kenya

Mahali Mzuri is a top-class lodge located in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy within the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. If you love bush safari, this is the ultimate luxurious 12-tented safari camp located deep in the Kenyan bush. Mahali Mzuri, which in Swahili means “a nice place”, is owned by a well-known global business mogul, Sir Richard Branson. While here, guests get a unique chance to view wildlife and witness the world’s best animal spectacle- the wildlife migration, where over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and various antelope species migrate between the Maasai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania searching for greener pastures.

The luxury camp sets the pace for an interesting bush adventure, while ensuring guests are provided with a luxurious experience. The beautiful and creatively furnished tents have a private back that allows uninterrupted views – especially during the wildebeest migration. While at the facility, one can enjoy a game drive deep into the bush and view wildlife from the best vantage points. There is no doubt that this is a truly exciting holiday experience that allows tourists to get a first-hand experience of bush expeditions and luxury accommodation in the middle of nowhere. Depending on the package and season of booking, rates vary between $1,100 and $28,800 per person per night.

Gorilla Treks, Rwanda

Do you love adventure? Mountain gorillas are critically endangered as there are only about 900 of them left in the entire world. For this reason, tourists come from around the globe to have a close encounter with these large beasts. About half of the gorilla population inhabits the Rwandan mountain range where the Volcanoes National Park is located. Rwanda shares mountain gorillas with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the best trekking route is in Rwanda. Musanze, a small town that acts as the starting point of the trek, is 2 hours away from the capital city of Kigali.

Many guests come to fulfill their lifelong dreams of seeing the animals, so the trek is very exciting. Gorilla tracking safaris begin early in the morning and lead guests deep into the forest in search of gorillas, which may be found at an altitude of over 2,500m.  The trek involves ascending steep slopes and combing through a remote and rugged terrain. However, there are clear paths leading into the forest, and visitors are classified into groups led by an experienced guide. When you first see the gorillas, the experience is awesome and leaves an indelible impression; this is one of the best life encounters. Rwanda gorilla permits cost $ 1,500 for a one-hour visit, and this is alongside accommodation costs spent at nearby lodges – which are mostly luxury accommodations that charge an average of $1,000 per night.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Located deep within the Kalahari Basin, a tour of Okavango Delta can be compared to none other. Often regarded as one of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta is a true representation of Africa’s superb wilderness. This is beyond an ordinary vacation; it’s a life changing experience where you can marvel at the beauty of nature. Serene views, tranquility, big game viewing, extraordinary natural beauty, and an untouched delta are some of the best ways to describe Okavango Delta. This delta ushers guests deep into Africa’s magical interior and shows how it transitions from being a wetland to a dryland, depending on the season. Visitors traverse palm-fringed islands, thick woodland, papyrus fringed waterways, lush vegetation, and diverse wildlife. Okavango Delta is, in fact, the largest untouched inland delta in the world.

As a key ecosystem and vital wildlife area in Africa, Okavango Delta was listed as the 1000th entry to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests coming here are privileged to see a vast population of wildlife and birds. Shaped like a fan, Okavango Delta receives its water from the Okavango River. With its scenic views and key ecosystem, there are numerous luxury lodges within the delta; for example, Mombo Camp averages rates of $2,000 and $3,000 per night per person. With a staggering diversity of animals and birds, this is a spectacular choice for high-end vacationers.

Lion Sands Game Reserve, South Africa

Looking for an exotic spot that is wild, unique, quiet, and captivating? Sabi Sands Game Reserve is the oldest private reserve in South Africa, and it identifies as the origin of wildlife tourism in Southern Africa. The reserve shares a 50km border that is not fenced with the world-famous Kruger National Park. The reserve has top-notch luxurious bush lodges that give you a unique and memorable opportunity to see the Big Five and other endangered animal species at extremely close ranges. Aside from being a renowned ecosystem for leopard viewing, the reserve also allows the viewing of numerous other wild animals. Deep within the interior of the reserve and away from civilization, luxury accommodations await guests who are looking for an out-of-this-world bush experience.

Lion Sands lodges and tree houses in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve are spectacular luxury facilities that have strongly incorporated nature to design an exquisite natural lodge that blends in perfectly with the surrounding bush ecosystem. Lion Sands has 4 high-end lodges and 3 spectacular tree houses. While the exterior has thatch, glass, wood, and steel on the lodges, the interior has a contemporary feel with bold furniture and edgy décor. The architectural inspiration is spectacular, and guests can choose from various types of accommodations. All of the villas and tree houses are raised, allowing guests breathtaking views of the Sabie River and its surroundings. In addition, each lodge and treehouse is private and designed in sync with the surroundings. A spacious lounge, dining area, wooden deck overlooking the river, outdoor shower, expansive viewing deck, and private pool are some of the main highlights of this attraction. Prices per night are varied, but one should expect to spend an average of $1,400 per night per person.

Luxury Nile Cruise, Egypt

How would you feel staying on a luxury cruise for a couple of days while exploring Egypt’s ancient tourist attractions? Wealthy vacationers looking for an extraordinary summer vacation can opt for a luxury Nile cruise in Egypt. The Nile River is the world’s longest river, and there is no doubt that Egypt’s interesting ancient past is still alive. On this cruise, guests have an extraordinary opportunity to see the numerous majestic relics and monuments of Egypt. The cruise allows you to see how Egypt’s ancient and most impressive civilizations shaped the country’s culture. Most Nile cruises operate between Luxor and Aswan.  Luxor is known as the world’s largest open museum; it’s a dramatic city with more than half of Egypt’s antiquities, as well as the ancient capital of Egypt’s Pharaohs. Some of the highlights of a Nile cruise include: the spectacular Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings, The Temples of Karnak, Edfu, The West Bank, Kom Ombo, Temple of Philae, Hatshepsut’s Temple, Aswan High Dam, and the ancient trading city of Aswan.

There are various boutique and luxury ships that guests can choose to enjoy a cruise on the epic Nile River. The cruise can be anything from 2 to 7 days, and gives guests a chance to closely explore the ancient civilization that traces 5,000 years of Egypt’s history. On every cruise there is a professional Egyptologist who guides and explains to visitors the story behind each historical gem that is seen and visited during the trip. Luxury ships are fitted with modern amenities including spacious rooms, private decks, wine bars, and fine dining locations with award-winning chefs. While on the cruise, guests also experience fine Egyptian luxury hospitality and have fun while indulging in the world’s most fascinating historical sites. Prices for a Nile cruise varies depending on the length of the cruise. Typical costs exist between $500 per night and $3,000 per night, according to the type of cruise ship.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa

Located near Hermanus town, southeast of Cape Town, Grootbos is a haven for luxury accommodation while maintaining a rich African experience. The Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has the finest features that reflect opulence for the discerning guests looking for a life changing experience. While here, take time to admire both mountain and sea views as you get immersed in the unbelievable beauty of the lush surroundings. Accommodation facilities have been meticulously designed to complement an enchanting natural setting, all while ensuring that luxury standards are maintained. This exclusive property has a garden lodge, a forest lodge, and exclusive private villas. The garden lodge has 11 luxury suites with the choice of one, two, or free-standing suites – all with panoramic views of the ocean. The forest lodge has a serene and sophisticated aura, and is adorned with a contemporary design throughout the entire lodge. It is exciting to pass through the magical walkways as you enjoy views of the fynbos and the ocean. The forest lodge has 16 top-edge free-standing suites that epitomize luxury living.

Guests also have a choice of two secluded private luxury villas that offer an intuitive service for those who want utmost privacy. Many exciting activities await guests, including shark cage diving – which is a thrilling experience that allows you to go underwater, in a safe and controlled environment, to watch the predators. Another activity is a 4×4 botanical tour to see diverse species of birds, plants, and animals. By visiting the southernmost tip of Africa where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean, this award-winning lodge is the perfect start of a unique tour.

Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps, Morocco

As everyone troops to bush or beach summer vacations, some wealthy people decide to get a bit more creative and go on holiday in the middle of the desert! Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp is a spectacular desert camp that allows guests to have a first hand experience of staying in the Moroccan desert. The camp is located 30 minutes from Erfoud, an oasis town in the Sahara desert, and is located in the idyllic, quiet Erg Chebbi sand dunes. The experience found here can be compared to no other. The unique nomadic experience ushers guests into 10 exquisite and traditional camel-skin tents that offer a great sense of style, luxury, and comfort. Aside from being a top holiday spot for desert lovers, it is also a popular destination for honeymooners.

Guests have an extraordinary chance to go on desert tours, and they can also go on a camel ride during sunset or sunrise to experience the genuine feeling of being in the middle of a vast desert. One of the best moments is at night when guests have  an authentic Moroccan dinner and relax under the stars in a premium tented camp. Thanks to sleeping tents that are beautifully adorned with Moroccan décor and a contemporary flair that boosts comfort, tranquility is guaranteed. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, the experience is a true reflection of what life is like in the desert. Desert tour packages vary according to the period of stay and logistics arrangements, so it costs about $500 per night to enjoy a private luxury tent package that includes desert tours in 4×4 vehicles.

Conclusion

Now you know why the rich spend so much on their vacations. From the list, one thing stands out: summer vacations for the wealthy are not just holidays, they are an experience and a lifestyle!

Authored By: Steve Siboe

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Steve is a Kenyan-born writer and proud African. He is passionate about African affairs and takes pride in positively highlighting the continent's progress in technology, health, culture, finance and economics. When he's not working, Steve likes to spend time with his family and traveling.

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