Loyal Turquoise guests and followers of our blog will know that we are just a little bit mad about Africa! We pride ourselves on unearthing the continent’s ‘hidden gems’ – from stunning coastal resorts to wineries and safari lodges. Sue Bell, Turquoise’s Africa expert, is unrelenting in her quest to perfect Turquoise’s African portfolio, and her travels take her far and wide across the continent as she sniffs out properties and experiences that will appeal to all our guests from honeymooners right through to young families wanting malaria free game reserves.
Mozambique and Tanzania are certainly two of our most enduringly favourite African countries, so we are particularly excited to hear that Azura Retreats, the company that has led the way in with its luxury boutique hotels in Mozambique, is expanding into Tanzania from June this year.
Amara Selous will be the first Tanzanian game reserve to be taken over by Azura. Already one of our favourite luxury safari lodges, Amara Selous is going to be given the ‘Azura’ touch, making it even more stylish and chic, if that is possible. Set in the largest game reserve in Africa, Amara Selous is the epitome of ‘boutique’, with just 12 luxury tented suites each with its own private pool and mesmerising river views (the resident hippos make themselves heard on a daily basis!). The lodge’s infinity pool actually overlooks the rapids of the Great Ruaha River. Yes, at Amara Salous it is all about location, location, location and with a setting like this, and Azura’s ‘no expense spared’ ethos , we are willing to make a wager that Amara Selous will become Africa’s most sought-after luxury safari lodge, especially as it will benefit from Azura’s ‘wow factor’ standards of cuisine and hospitality.
If you have already visited Amara Selous and fell head over heels in love with it, don’t worry, it is still going to be retaining its stylish charm and special ‘je ne sais quois’ – because the boss at Azura fell in love with it too, the very first time he stayed there. The Azura team has promised us that the old magic will be kept, while the interior design will reflect the mood and colours of the Selous, but with splashes of bold Tanzanian colours and fabrics, to give it a contemporary funky twist – quite different from what you might expect from a Safari Lodge. That’s what we love about Azura – they are not afraid to be that little bit different.
The Selous is just an hour’s flight from Dar es Salaam, and famous for its elephant, lion and wild dog. With only one vehicle per game viewing, Amara Selous prides itself on its exclusivity but it is also renowned for its walking safaris, which are hugely popular with adult guests. However as the only camp in the Selous to accept children under 12, Amara Selous also has a fantastic kids programme that teaches youngsters how to track, river fish and teach them all about the bush. A family holiday at Amara Selous really steals the show when it comes to ‘Show and Tell’ back at school!
For the ultimate bush and beach combination, you won’t do better than a few days at Amara Selous teamed up with Azura Quilalea Private Island. After a spectacular holiday on safari, you can make a short hop from the Selous to your home for the next week, one of just nine villas on an idyllic island made up of 35 acres of uninhabited pristine white sandy beaches, deep in Mozambique’s remote Quirimbas Archipelago …. Now to our mind, that’s just about heaven on earth.