It List 2008
Onguma Plains, The Fort on Fisher’s Pan
Rustic Hotel. Northern Namibia is Africa’s Next Great Safari Frontier—in part owing to its incredible plethora of wildlife, but also because of its wealth of high-quality luxury lodges, like this camp on a private 50,000-acre game reserve, five minutes from Etosha National Park. While the design of most southern African lodges skews toward either safari chic or super-Modernist (Singita), Onguma takes the bush lodge in a bold new direction. All carved antique doors, billowy curtains, and reflecting pools, it’s as if a casbah were relocated to the continent’s south. The main lodge features brushed-metal sconces, Middle Eastern lanterns, and long mirrors in distressed wooden frames. Two of each guest room’s walls are made of canvas; they can be opened to reveal a mesh window that makes the plains look like an Impressionist painting. At night, the resort requires that you zip yourself snugly into your room (which can feel claustrophobic). But it’s a safety precaution, since lions roam nearby.