Africa has been a hot destination in recent months, notably with DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg traveling to Zambia and Botswana over the holiday with his family.
Now the new year has brought a new spot to check out from the Kempinski Hotel line.
Olare Mara Kempinski, which opened its doors on Jan. 15, is a hidden getaway on the banks of the Ntiakitiak River and marks Kempinski Hotels' first property in Kenya. Masai Mara is a large game reserve in the area and stands as Africa’s most famous safari destination. This new resort resides in the Olare Orok wildlife conservancy that includes the big wildcats for which the region is known.
The main lodge includes a pool, bar and restaurant, and across the rest of the conservancy lie 12 tented suites -- five twin and seven double-occupancy -- each with its own private shower and bathtub. One additional tent, the Honeymoon Suite, contains its own private plunge pool. Massage treatments are also available within the tents.
Guests can take trips to the nearby town, along with hot-air-balloon rides across the neighboring Masai Mara National Reserve. Rooms at Olare Mara Kempinski, Masai Mara start at $398 per night. Flights into Ol Kimombo, the airstrip in Masai Mara, are scheduled daily from Nairobi.
Olare Mara Kempinski follows on the heels of other must-visit African hotspots: Lupita Island in Tanzania, a 130-acre private island resort (a full-service, 13-day safari trip averages at $10,000 per person), and the Tribe Hotel of Nairobi, Kenya (from $150 per night). Beyond Ngala Tented Camp has been rebuilt and opened in August in Kruger National Park; it features nine new tented suites (from $560 per night).