When we think about Africa we think of luxury lodges, safari camps and all-encompassing game reserves, but what happens if you wish to view Africa from a slightly different perspective, perhaps from a somewhat elevated position? Our newly appointed Africa Specialist Jonny Stage shares his thoughts on two places that truly stand out for him, two places that allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the incredible habitats that surround them. Having traveled tirelessly throughout Africa, Jonny states that one of the most incredible experiences is to sleep beneath the stars. Picture an incredible luxury treehouse, fully open to the elements. Imagine a room built around the ancient sturdy roots of a tall reaching tree, experiencing the feeling of true solace as you lie beneath the scattered starry sky. Envisage a peaceful slumber aided by the throaty chuckling of hippos in your discreet abode, tucked neatly within the branches of an ancient tree. Imagine the seemingly endless vistas of Lake Malawi and the Sabi Sands laid out before your very eyes in the most unusual of ways.
There are two places that Jonny recommends that offer this wonderful experience and we wanted to capture the feeling of staying somewhere so unique and crafted to give you a very different view of Africa. One of Jonny’s picks this week is Chalkely Tree House. Here you will notice the African landscape stretches as far as the eye can see and knowing the splendour and magic of such views, its owners simply knew they had to capture its majesty and beauty in a truly unique way. Guy Aubrey Chalkley once set up camp in a majestic centuries-old Leadwood Tree to escape predators roaming the plains below, so the current owners decided that this would be the ideal place to build the ultimate bush bedroom, giving you the chance to follow in Guy Aubrey Chalkely’s footsteps.
This incredible tree house is a secure and lavish platform under the African stars, with all the comforts that a guest can wish for. Formerly a photographer’s platform, this incredible accommodation borders the Kruger National Park capturing some truly spectacular views simply not to be missed. Donned with insect repellent, a cosy double bed, dressing gowns, hot water bottles and a basin, this sumptuous abode is well decked out to ensure your evening in the wild is steeped in luxury. As you gaze at the Northern Cross and the spectacular starry skies above, do not be surprised to encounter the mighty roar of a lion nearby. You may also hear the animated chatter of Hyenas and Jackles alongside the beautiful chiming of birds and insects. With a full moon hanging blissfully above, you may also spot the light reflecting off elephants some 200m below as they silently traverse the plains in slow motion.
Another spot recommended by Jonny this week is Nkwichi Lodge on the shores of Lake Malawi. With 8 secluded beaches set on 4 km of Rift Valley coastline, Jonny feels that Nkwichi is the perfect setting to discover an untouched Africa. He also feels that a very special way to savour Lake Malawi, is by sleeping on Nkwichi’s ‘Lake of Stars’ Bed’ citing this as a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Set on a deserted beach surrounded by baobab trees, or on a private rock based island close to the shore, it is from here you may spot fish eagles soaring overhead and ponder at the beauty of the African night-sky. Surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of Africa’s most bio-diverse lake, you will spend your days exploring secluded bays, traversing untouched beaches, spotting towering monuments and exploring the underwater world.
One thing Jonny finds particularly inspiring about Nkwichi is its strong links to the surrounding communities and their natural environment. Dedicated to conserving the pristine lake-shore and its pristine virgin wilderness, Nkwichi works with the local Nyanja people, who in turn help to preserve and enhance their colourful culture for exclusive guests to see and experience for themselves.
both of these magical dwellings, you will be sure to experience and see how they have beautifully woven the fabric of local life into your surroundings and you will leave Africa with the indelible imprint of an authentic African experience which only you can tell. This is precisely why Brown + Hudson wish to craft richer travel stories, ensuring we cross the border of the mundane and provide opportunities and experiences that you will always remember. If you are keen to include one of Jonny’s suggestions in your next African adventure, speak to Jonny Stage to arrange your highly personalised visit to Africa on Jonny@brownandhudson.com or call us on +44 203 358 0110.