2016: A Year In Review

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2016 has been a busy and exciting year for the team at Sanctuary Retreats but here’s some of the highlights:

Redefining Luxury:

Not one to rest on our laurels, we have spent much of 2016 refining elegance and redefining luxury across our portfolio. In March of this year Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer started her season on the Yangtze River after receiving a stylish restaurant renovation. Using a combination of contemporary Chinese design and chic, modern furnishings, the restaurant brings a classic East meets West style to the whole ship.

In June, we were unashamedly excited to unveil our stunning new Sanctuary Chief’s Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Rebuilt to create a new, luxurious contemporary safari camp in one of the best locations in Africa, the camp now boasts 10 brand new stylish pavilions and a superb new suite – the Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite. Setting new standards, the suite features a private plunge pool, kitchen, indoor lounge, private boma and secluded deck areas. Included in the perks of this luxurious suite is superb service, which includes your own vehicle and dedicated guide, as well as a personal chef, waiter and a housekeeper.

Two of our classic safari camps in Tanzania also received an upgrade, with the tents at both properties being raised off the ground using sleek new wooden flooring with the aim of improving comfort and reducing the camps’ impact on the surrounding environment.

Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer Redefining Luxury New Restaurant

Responsible Tourism:

Responsible tourism is part of our soul here at Sanctuary Retreats, and 2016 has been a huge year for our philanthropic arm. As well as some smaller projects such as building Sanctuary Chief’s Camp’s very own solar farm, we have successfully run some fantastic projects across our destinations, including Zambia and Botswana.

In Nakatindi village in Zambia we have been involved in various community development projects, including sponsoring orphaned or vulnerable children’s schooling and providing bikes so that they can get to school. Separate to this, we are delighted to announce that we have started work on building a new maternity ward in Nakatindi village as well as many other projects such as community clean ups, educational events and providing e-readers for use at Nakatindi Primary School.

Botswana has also played host to some inspiring philanthropy project throughout 2016, including the launching of Kasane Bike Shop near Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero and our involvement in a rhino relocation programme in the Okavango Delta.

Sanctuary Sussi Chuma Philanthropy Projects Nakantindi Community Tour

What People Have Said:

While we’re all extremely proud of our achievement in 2016, we know you can’t just take our word for it, so here’s just some of the things our guests and the press has said this year…

“From the moment we arrived we felt welcome and at home.” – Tracie from Chicago on Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp

“The food was superb and the accommodation and facilities amazingly good given that we were in the middle of the African bush. We felt totally at home in a most friendly and comfortable atmosphere.” – Guest from Dublin on Sanctuary Kusini

“Sanctuary Retreats is a byword for luxury and comfort in Zambia (and many other African countries), offering exemplary service at their many high-end camps and lodges.” – Guest from Spain on Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma

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Sanctuary Retreats Olonana Wildlife Masai Mara

“If the wildlife’s sensational, so is my camp… Interiors are a chic riot of muted earth tones, screens of hanging white stones and pebble chandeliers alongside tangled twig uplighters and floor-to-ceiling windows that fold back for a soap-sud safari from your bath.” – Ian Belcher on Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

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“It wasn’t until I got inside my lodge that I realised just how luxurious this place really is. The rooms are enormous, beautifully built, and have every modern convenience your heart could wish for: soft beds, body-drenching showers, a private veranda that faces out over the lagoon, and even Wi-Fi.” – Stan Cullimore on Sanctuary Baines’ Camp

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"The most luxurious safari camp in Africa has just reopened after an extensive makeover to offer even more conspicuous consumption in the bush." – The Sunday Times on Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

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"This is one of the top adventure travel and eco-tourism experiences, and spending 60 minutes with 20 or so gorillas, well, that's pure magic." – Huffington Post on Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

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“There are dozens of options for Nile cruises, but Sanctuary Retreats has a deserved reputation for luxury.” – Travel + Leisure on Sanctuary Sun Boat IV

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“Inside and out, the boat is a beauty, and when moored among local fishing boats – tiny things held together with rust and prayer – the good ship Sanctuary Ananda looks like an emperor penguin dumped into a pen of scratty old hens.” – Esquire on Sanctuary Ananda

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Sanctuary Chiefs Camp Redefining Luxury Geoffrey Kent Suite


Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp was voted Uganda's Leading Tented Safari Camp in the 2016 World Travel Awards

Sanctuary Olonana was voted into the Top Resorts in Africa in Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards 2016

Sanctuary Chief's Camp was included in Tatler Travel Guide's 101 Best Hotels in the World 2017

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp World Travel Awards

 Discover our New Year's resolutions for 2017.