The mention of Africa conjures up thoughts of wildly beautiful landscapes teeming with the contrast of black and white zebra stripes against deep green savanna, the arch of an elephant’s grey trunk, and a proud lion shaking out his mane. Besides the animals, there are a wonderful array of diverse terrains—the crashing Atlantic surf in Namibia, the bizarre forests of Madagascar, and the romantic expanses of Kenya’s Masai Mara. Trust us, narrowing in on where to go in Africa is never easy. But we’ve done the hard part; now all you have to do is pack.
Bring your desert dreams to life on a family adventure in Namibia. Search for beach treasures on the raw Atlantic coast. This wind-whipped and wild pocket of Namibia is primed for child-friendly adventures. Spot Cape fur seals lounging on the rocks and diving into the frothy surf. Farther inland, see desert adapted lions and traverse the dry riverbeds looking for tok-tokkie beetles, or jump into a 4×4 for a drive to visit ancient clay castles. Fly away into a wonderfully unique world at The Nest @ Sossus, built to resemble the work of weaver birds. Whenever your little one feels hungry, just call up the gourmet chef and butler. There’s a playground discreetly tucked within the trees and a swimming pool for a leisurely splash. Ask your child to count how many spotted hyenas, leopards, and cheetah are at the watering hole. At night, gather around the fire, gazing up at the twinkling stars, sharing the stories of the day’s adventures as a family.
This African island remains a bit of an enigma for many. The place itself elicits a kind of wonder and mystery, but that’s exactly why you should visit. If adventure is what you seek, search no more. Madagascar’s wild and otherworldly nature is something that’s hard to find elsewhere on the planet. Lemurs are endemic to the island and can be seen during a safari. Because of its incredible size (it’s twice as large as Great Britain) there are many different corners of the island with varying climates and terrains. If it’s beaches you want, head to the white sands and coral reefs. The towering baobabs in the west feel like they are dreamed up by Dr. Seuss himself. Because Madagascar so often overlooked, you will often find yourself in national parks all to yourself. And although Madagascar isn’t teeming with luxury properties, there is one we recommend: Miavana. Located on the island of Nosy Ankao on the northeast corner, this property has a spa and only a handful of villas set amid pristine beaches. It’s just the place to take a seat when the sun sets the sky ablaze with color.
Kenya is where Ker & Downey was born, and it’s a frequent favorite. Eco-conscious travelers don’t have to look far to find environmentally friendly properties in Kenya. It will be hard not to succumb to the romance of the incredible diversity of this east African gem. A lion’s roar thunders across the sky as dark clouds rumble in the distance. A giraffe’s slender neck reaches for faraway foliage. A hot air balloon ride reveals a magnificent real-life painting below. May we suggest a stay at Mara Nyika, a place that takes you on a time traveling trip to safaris of days gone by. You certainly won’t be roughing it when you lay your head in one of the spacious suites overlooking the dramatic Masai Mara.
Get ready to plan your trip to Africa in 2020 by contacting a Ker & Downey designer so we can help you go on a handcrafted journey.