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Explore the Wilds of Africa in Luxury

by Valerie Demetros

An African safari is more than camping and sweating while waiting for just the right sighting. Lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes and rhinos — just what an African safari should look like. But luxury lodges are redefining encounters and revealing Africa’s wild riches.

For a safari like no other, read on.

The Hemingway Wing Safari, East Africa

This classic safari spans from Kenya’s dramatic Laikipia Plateau and Maasai Mara-Serengeti to Tanzania’s epic Ngorongoro Crater and Hemingway’s beloved Lake Manyara.

A tribute to the old-fashioned safaris of Hemingway’s time, albeit a bit more deluxe, you’ll visit East Africa’s legendary game parks and a few lesser-known gems.

Take five flights over Africa’s breathtaking landscapes and visit the remote Laikipia Plateau, home to Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, gerenuk, beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe.

You’ll get a glimpse of nomadic Maasai warrior clan’s daily life and meet with tribal leaders to discuss rituals and ancient customs.

Stay in stunning accommodations like The Norfolk, Nairobi’s most revered hotel since 1904, where Churchill and Roosevelt stayed. You’ll have a personal safari director from start to finish and round-the-clock access to a concierge.

14 days from $26,400 per person; www.micato.com

Tswalu, South Africa

Tswalu, one of South Africa’s largest privately owned reserves, offers a safari experience in one of three luxury safari camps. At all three, a private safari vehicle, guide and tracker comes with each booking.

Elusive species like aardvark, aardwolf and pangolin show up during winter evenings, June through August. Walk to meet meerkats up close and travel by Land Rover to see roan antelopes, lounging black-maned lions, camouflaged cheetahs and lurking hyenas. Take a helicopter to catch a bird’s-eye view of rhinos.

The Motse camp offers nine legae (Tswana for “home”) with meals prepared by a Michelin-star chef and each with an open room overlooking the terrain.

Six nights from $2,062/person/night, all-inclusive; www.tswalu.com

Tuludi Camp, Botswana

This camp offers a private experience for two, worthy of a honeymoon or anniversary celebration. Start at the Khwai Private Reserve for magical forests and clear waters.

Watch saddle-billed storks and see the colossal marabou storks takeoff. Land Rovers push through the marshes following herds of red lechwe and sitatunga; find African painted dogs (sometimes up to 21 in a pack). Helicopter rides reveal stocky elephants playing in the floodplains.

Spot wildlife along the plains on your way to each camp along your safari trail. Each more romantic than the next. Sleep in a tree-house style room with sophisticated interiors of contemporary with traditional style. Your next stop after another day finds cakes and scones piled high, drinks in crystal glasses and a sparkling swimming pool and yoga pavilion.

Experience a romantic fine-dining dinner for two on your private deck, under a canopy of a billion stars.

Seven days from $10,730 for two, all-inclusive; www.naturalselection.travel

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