Africa is home to some of the most unique, luxurious, and remote holiday destinations on Earth. It’s no wonder that A-list celebrities are drawn to the far corners of Africa to experience its amazing wildlife, pristine beaches, and secluded 5-star properties for their vacations. Most of the tabloid superstars are able to keep their African getaways well under wraps as they remain hidden from the public eye. However, we at Extraordinary Journeys are well aware of the famed guests that visit the very lodges that we send our clients. Do you want to know where you can stay to get the ultimate celebrity treatment?
Tanzania has been getting a lot of celebrity action recently. In November of 2012, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel spent their honeymoon in the Singita Grumeti Reserves on the western edge of the Serengeti. Singita owns ultra-luxury properties in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. Biel had actually visited Tanzania back in 2010 when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro after a week-long charity initiative for the global clean water crisis where they filmed Summit on the Summit for the cause. In July of 2013, Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham also visited Grumeti where they stayed at Singita Sabora Tented Camp. She loved her guide Alf Ngwarai, who is just one of the many guides featured in our private guide profile series here on the blog. Most recently, George Clooney and fiancé Amal Alamuddin went on safari to Tanzania and the Seychelles in March this year.
To Tanzania’s north, Kenya is a major recipient of A-List attention. The royal family has been frequenting Kenya for years. Queen Elizabeth famously went from a Princess to Queen while staying at Treetops Lodge in Aberdares National Park. Prince William and Katherine, Dutchess of Cambridge, got engaged in a cottage on Lake Rutundo and he has also visited Lewa Downs, one of our favorite areas. Bill Gates has stayed at Sanctuary Olonana in the Masai Mara. Kenya is also home to numerous community and wildlife projects which draw some big-name support. Edward Norton is a major advocate and backer for the work being done at Campi Ya Kanzi, an eco-lodge and community project in the Chyulu Hills and Sex and the City’s Kristin Davis has been to Kenya on numerous occasions to work with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. [Davis recently helped purchase a helicopter for the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to aid their aerial surveillance unit.]
The Seychelles is another incredibly popular holiday destination among the rich and famous, particularly Seychelles’ North Island for its exclusivity and privacy. In 2011, Prince William and Katherine, Dutchess of Cambridge, spent their honeymoon there, as did Selma Hayek in 2009. Victoria and David Beckham also spent their 10-year wedding anniversary on North Island. Other noteworthy visitors to the Seychelles are Bill Gates, Julia Roberts, Janet Jackson, Pierce Brosnan, Richard Brandson, Hugh Grant, and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Another beach destination that attracts the big stars is Vamizi Island, just off the coast of the northernmost tip of Mozambique. Vamizi is a private island, much like Seychelles’ North Island. Vamizi has been visited by Nelson Mandela with Graca Machel, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabana, Prince Albert of Monaco, Emma Watson, and Tom Hanks.
Over the last few years, Namibia has become an ultimate vacation destination. Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie’s visit there in 2006 certainly helped put Okonjima Villa on the map when they stayed there immediately prior to Jolie giving birth to their first biological child, Shiloh, at a small hospital near Swakopmund. In 2010, Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc Mezvinsky spent their honeymoon in Namibia and were rumored to have stayed at Little Ongava.
South Africa is also a popular destination among those in show business. In 2013, Katie Holmes and daughter Suri Cruise stayed at the Aquila Private Game Reserve, as did Rihanna and Paris Hilton. The Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve has hosted George Michael, Vanessa Williams, Ethan Hawke, and Ivanka Trump. Miranda Kerr stayed at Kruger National Park’s Singita Lodges (Sweni and Lebombo). Beyonce and Jay-Z stayed at Mateya Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve when they went on safari. They left glowing reviews of the property on Mateya’s website. Beyonce said that “Mateya was beautiful” and Jay-Z said “What a lovely and delightful place, the people here are too polite.” In Johannesburg, Bill Clinton and Oprah have been known to stay at the Saxon Hotel which is also where Nelson Mandela wrote the final words to his autobiography, A Long Walk to Freedom.
Africa is becoming an increasingly popular destination and the biggest names in show business are keeping it on the map by staying at the most luxurious and exclusive properties. This experience can be yours, too!