In August this year, Asilia will open Roho ya Selous in the Selous Game Reserve, an area known for its varied landscape of grasslands and waterways and one of the largest wilderness areas on the continent. Jabali Ridge will open in September 2017 in Ruaha National Park, home to 10% of the world’s lion and the largest population of elephant on the planet. Both projects are a joint venture between Asilia and British businessman Jim Ratcliffe who has a keen interest in conservation and is committed to developing tourism in southern Tanzania as a way to protect the vast wilderness areas which are currently under threat.
Set on a hill overlooking the water, Roho ya Selous sits close to a key waterway which links Lake Manze to Lake Nzerakera, right in the heart of the core game viewing area. The eight light and airy tents are stylish and spacious, measuring an impressive 600 square feet inside. Thoughtful details include an Evening Breeze cooling system over the bed to allow guests to sleep peacefully even during the hotter months, and displays of natural history prints inspired by Frederick Courteney Selous’s passion for nature. A veranda offers a shady spot to unwind during the heat of the day and watch game as it passes through camp.
Covering an area three times the size of South Africa’s Kruger Park but with an extremely low density of safari camps, the Selous Game Reserve guarantees an exclusive and authentic safari experience. Home to an incredibly diverse array of animals, including one of the largest populations of wild dog on the continent, the reserve is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site. With a stunning landscape of rivers, waterways and grassy plains, there is a variety of activities on offer, including guided walking safaris, game drives, catch-and-release fishing and boating safaris, allowing guests to view the wildlife form a different perspective.
“These new properties in southern Tanzania will not only allow us to take guests to an entirely new region of Tanzania but also for us to have a meaningful impact on the conservation agenda in these two key wilderness areas” says Jeroen Harderwijk, co-founder and Managing Director of Asilia.
When it opens in September, Jabali Ridge will be the most sophisticated camp in Ruaha National Park. Eight spacious guest suites, designed by Caline Williams-Wynn of Cape Town based interior design firm Artichoke and Johannesburg based Nicholas Plewman Architects, blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment and the use of granite boulders in place of walls creates on open, natural and completely unique feel. The main area, rim-flow infinity pool and specialty gin bar offer spectacular views of the park below, and quiet spaces, such as the extensive library and spa, are the perfect places to unwind after game drives and bush walks.
Ruaha National Park straddles the transition area between Eastern and Southern Africa and two distinct vegetation zones. It is one of the largest wildlife conservation areas on the continent and spans multiple ecosystems that are home to great and varied number of species. A tenth of the world’s lion population hunts across the savannah and super prides of 20 or more are common.
Founded in 2004, Asilia has a strong presence in the main safari destinations in Tanzania and Kenya. Asilia aspires to grow its footprint, its positive impact and to be a leader in improving and expanding natural habitats and benefiting communities. Asilia is the first and only African safari company to achieve a 5 star rating from the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) and in 2016 was graded at the Platinum level for its impact model.
Currently, Asilia’s portfolio of camps includes:
In Tanzania: Sayari Camp, Dunia Camp, Namiri Plains, Olakira Migration Camp, Kimondo, Migration Camp, Ubuntu Migration Camp, The Highlands, Oliver’s Camp, Little Oliver’s, Kwihala Camp, Jabali Ridge, Roho ya Selous and Rubondo Island Camp.
On Zanzibar: Matemwe Lodge, Matemwe Retreat and Matemwe Beach House
In Kenya: Mara Bush Houses, Rekero Camp, Naboisho Camp, Encounter Mara, Nomadic Camp and Ol Pejeta Bush Camp.