Many of the world’s most luxurious and gorgeous destinations can be found on the world’s second-largest continent, Africa. These destinations are well-known and loved. They serve as relaxation centres for tourists and tourist attractions.
Tourism is a significant contributor to global economic growth and job creation. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019, Africa’s travel and tourism business employed about 24 million people.
Tourism has been more important to African economies in the last two decades. According to WTTC, in 2011, the sector, directly and indirectly, accounts for 8.8% of the world’s jobs (258 million); 9.1% of the world’s GDP ($6 trillion); 5.8% of the world’s exports ($1.1 trillion); and 4.5% of the world’s investment ($652 billion).
In 2019, the sector accounted for roughly 7% of Africa’s GDP and provided $169 billion to Africa’s economy.
However, there was a drop in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Within three months of the pandemic, in the July 2020 report by the African Union, Africa lost approximately $55 billion in travel and tourism income and two million jobs.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Africa’s tourism-dependent countries’ real GDP shrunk by 12% by 2020.
Mossadeck Bally, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Azalaï Hotel Group, said, “The impact has been powerful. Our industry was devastated because we’ve been asked to just stop operating all of a sudden. We are a front-line sector, so we suffer first before it reaches the other industries.
I think 2021 is going to be another challenging year for the sector. The vaccination rollout will give travellers some confidence, but I don’t think people will travel much this year. The recovery will start in 2022”.
With the hope of 2022 restoring the sector to its full potential, here is a list of 5 top luxurious destinations you can visit or do business in Africa in 2022.
Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, in the middle of the Maasai Mara grasslands, is a luxurious and magnificent destination to visit in the Kenyan forest of Africa. Its well-furnished tents with lovely wooden bed frames and private verandahs are strewn around the breathtaking Maasai Mara landscape, where warthogs graze just outside your door.
The reserve has its concession, which allows you to enjoy exclusive game drives, bush meals, bush walks, and night drives. You will also enjoy an extensive view of the Great Migration, as well as sightings of the Big Five: elephants, leopards, lions, buffalos, and rhinos. Also, you will get a first-hand experience of the rich culture of the Maasai tribe.
Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is a green facility that employs a solar water system to save around 56,000 plastic bottles per year. It also serves meals from the garden to the table, preparing healthful organic dishes using veggies from their garden.
If you wish to get lost in an African adventure, the hotel provides a classic safari experience with an eco-friendly appeal amid world-class wildlife.
Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Bisate Lodge’s six thatched cottages are one of the luxurious destinations in Africa. The cottages are shaped like domed beehives and modelled after Nyanza’s King’s Palace. Volcanoes National Park surrounds the resort, which is nestled between wooded folds on the stunning slopes of an eroded volcano crater. With a hot Rwandan coffee in hand in the morning, you can catch cryptic glimpses of Mount Bisoke’s top through the mist while standing on the large open balcony.
Each villa offers a big bed with luxurious bedding, a large bathroom, a central fireplace, and a private balcony. The resort’s goal here is to ensure relaxation after returning from a prized gorilla walk. You have a glass of wine in the main building, which contains the bar, restaurant, and wine cellars, all of which are differentiated by tan, sustainably-sourced leather seats, exposed brick walls, and local artists’ accessories.
Through the restaurant’s vast floor-to-ceiling windows, you can gaze out across the country of a thousand hills. There, anticipate vibrant flavours from farm-to-table cuisine and an on-site kitchen garden. Also, the resort collaborates with the community to promote reforestation; plant a tree to aid in returning animals to the region.
Elephant Plains Lodge, Katunguru, Uganda
Elephant Plains is the newest addition to Uganda’s portfolio of luxurious lodges destinations in Africa. It is located just a stone’s throw from the Equator, high on the western escarpment of the Albertine Rift.
Elephant Plains’ timeless Rift Valley landscape is only a few minutes drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kenya’s most famous safari destination. Game drives, boat cruise safaris on the MV Kazinga, chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge, and birding among the park’s 600+ species are all available from the lodge.
A vast lounge, restaurant, and outdoor eating area with breathtaking views in every direction are adorned with professionally chosen crafts and African-inspired furnishings. Savannah grass is used to thatch the cottages, while stone from the adjacent Mukubu river is used for pathways.
Ten bright, spacious cottages with huge private verandas provide a compromise between solitude and envious views of the Lakes. In the distance, George and Edward glisten. The villas’ huge baths, showers, and eco-friendly infinity swimming pool are the right cure to adventures in the Equatorial sun.
Crater lake excursions, meaningful community activities, and Rwenzori Mountains climbs are all within walking distance of the resort. The Kasenyi plains, a breeding site for hundreds of Uganda Kob antelopes and attendant big cats, are also only a short drive away. On the way, expect to encounter elephants.
El Fenn, Marrakesh, Morocco
El Fenn means “art” in Arabic, is a favourite among fashionable residents and design-conscious tourists. It has a fantastic rooftop bar with plenty of plants, lovely jewel-hued suites with metallic bathtubs, and an excellent collection of art from both rotating exhibits and the owner’s collection.
It is a boutique riad-hotel in the centre of Marrakech’s busy medina, and it was one of the first to operate in the city. The fashionable spot comprises 12 interconnecting riads and three courtyards, making it enticing to explore the vibrant rooms rather than relax with a glass. The good thing about this is that you can combine the two. El Fenn oozes glamour without coming across as arrogant. It is home to two Siamese cats and five tortoises who believe they are honoured, visitors.
Le Mirage Resort & Spa, Sossusvlei, Namibia
You will have a royalty experience amid Namibia’s vast, empty desert in Africa through this luxurious destination. The architecturally unique Resort & Spa is located 13 kilometres from the entry gate of Sossusvlei, the world’s tallest sand dunes.
Le Mirage Resort & Spa stands out against the surrounding desert because it is shaped like a cone. The 29 rooms are wide and pleasant, with huge, inviting mattresses and a minibar. Some are open-air, with outdoor showers. The setup allows you plenty of stargazing.
Its restaurant serves delicious and healthy dishes. Breakfast is served buffet-style, lunch is served a la carte, and dinner is a five-course feast. The spa provides you with popular massage techniques for stress treatment and renewal.
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