Despite the continuing political and economic chaos in Zimbabwe, some of southern Africa’s leading safari companies are continuing to invest there. Presumably, they are awaiting better times in a post-Mugabe future. It is perfectly possible to visit Zimbabwe now — indeed, I recently enjoyed a stay at Singita Pamushana Lodge in the south of the country — but most American travelers will probably prefer to bide their time. The latest place that will one day be of considerable interest to Harper subscribers is Little Ruckomechi, located in the Zambezi Valley’s exquisite Mana Pools National Park, which opened on July 1. (The majestic view across the immense flow of the Zambezi River to the Zambezi Escarpment is one of my favorite in Africa.) Three tented suites, built on wooden decks, are complemented by a dining room, living room and plunge pool. The camp will be ideal for exclusive use by a family or a small group of friends. The main Ruckomechi Camp of 10 tented suites has also been completely rebuilt and revamped.
Belmond, a company already famous for trains such as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the Royal Scotsman, plans to launch a new train in the Peruvian Andes in May 2017. The Belmond Andean Explorer will run from Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, to Puno on Lake Titicaca (elevation 12,500 feet), and from there to the grand colonial city of Arequipa, a journey of three days and two nights. Cabins will come in suite/double, twin and bunk bed configurations, and each will have an en suite bath and shower. A Lounge Car and an Observation Car (the latter with a bar and outdoor deck) will provide a comfortable environment from which to enjoy the stupendous scenery, while two dining cars will offer locally sourced seasonal dishes created by chefs from the Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco.
Six Senses enjoys a deserved reputation for its refined resorts and spas, which are located chiefly in Asia and Europe. In 2017, a new beach property will debut on Malolo Island in the Fiji archipelago, a 10-minute flight by light aircraft from Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu. Six Senses Fiji will feature 26 Pool Villas, ranging in size from 1,200 to 1,600 square feet, set along a stretch of white sand. (Sixty residences will also be constructed.) The property will offer a restaurant (with an extensive wine cellar) serving locally sourced cuisine, plus facilities for diving and sailing (including a full-service marina for private yachts). The signature spa will provide personalized “Integrated Wellness” programs. These will include combinations of treatments and exercise regimens, plus yoga and meditation classes. The spa team will be assisted by medical doctors specializing in sleep, nutrition and overall health.
I have recently updated two of my personal travel guides, United States & Canada and Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific, which feature my hotel recommendations, regional notebooks, touring maps and restaurants. The books are available for purchase online. They are also mailed bimonthly to Premier subscribers. To upgrade your subscription, email [email protected]