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Nomad’s Notebook: Three islands and a safari

Your eco escape awaits. Join us as we try the best barefoot luxury destinations from a private island off Ibiza to Zanzibar and from Fiji to a game reserve in Zimbabwe

It is from the air that I first spot Tagomago almost ten years ago. A flick of gnarly grey rock jutting out of the sea splattered in glossy bluey-green pines. Now, here I am in the glorious sunshine, being greeted with typical Ibiçencan warmth at Pou des Léo, a tiny cove near Santa Eulàlia, Ibiza, by bubbly Natalia and captain Andrés.

Not entirely brand new but totally reimagined in 2014, and with some seriously enviable panoramas, this 148-acre, off-radar private island — just ten miles off the west coast of Ibiza — is most definitely noteworthy.


As we tether up, the island’s majestic 33m Mangusta yacht bobs up and down gently, glistening proudly above the cobalt blue water. We meander up a gentle hill and observe the island’s single elegant-contemporary villa standing boldly; it houses five bright suites, each with showstopping floor-to-ceiling windows and sublime views.

The chef tailors a menu to the group’s requirements, and orders the necessary provisions. At present, all food and drinks are included in the nightly rate, as well as house champagne and spirits. The island can be let on an exclusive-use basis for three nights, but can also be taken for a week or more.

I bid farewell knowing I’ll return soon, and can’t help but be reminded of terrific Thanda Island, in the Indian Ocean, and its distinctly decadent allure.

Not since rustic-luxe safari outfit andBeyond took over the dreamy Mnemba Island has there been such fanfare on Zanzibar. There’s a new kid on the block and it’s shaping up to be quite a looker. Zuri Zanzibar, part of the Design Hotels collective, is hidden away on the largely untouched north-west coast.

Indeed, there are similarities between the two properties. Zuri, like Mnemba, has spent time considering its impact on the local environment — accommodation uses as many local products as possible and organic, locally made bathroom amenities. Various enticing dining options include Upendo, offering an international menu with an African-Indian Ocean twist. Just 55 creatively styled bungalows, suites and beach villas promise west facing views moments from the powder-soft sand beach.

A day trip to learn about the conservation work ecologists are engaging in to protect the endangered dugongs and a swim with the incredible whale sharks on nearby Mafia Island is a must for all eco-thrill-seekers.


Things are seriously heating up over in the preposterously pretty South Pacific archipelago with a new launch from serial big-hitter Six Senses. Located just off the west coast of Fiji, in the largely uncharted Mamanuca Islands, Six Senses Fiji boasts 24 generously proportioned villas, all equipped with private pools — and a handful of other charming two- to five-bedroom residences — each with intricately thatched roofs that blend into the surrounding dense nature.

The luxurious Six Senses Spa, admired the world over, will administer all kinds of restorative treatments and potions. Here, guests will be offered the chance to prepare their very own scented oil in the Alchemy Bar. Bliss.

Staying in the Southern Hemisphere but with an altogether more rugged terrain, Singita, one of Africa’s most luxurious of safari lodges, has unveiled a fresh new look for one of its much-loved outposts. Singita Pamushana, located within the 130,000-acre Malilangwe Reserve in south-east Zimbabwe, welcomes the addition of two new two-bedroom suites, grand in proportion while remaining reassuringly in tune with the brand’s refined-elegant design aesthetic.

Six existing suites — think ochre tan cushions and statement brass curios — and an exclusive-use, five-bedroom villa, all come with a private pool and extraordinary views across one of Africa’s largest bio-refuges. It would be foolish not to mention the great extent to which the brand is considering its impact on the landscape and its hugely successful reintroduction of both white and black rhino into the reserve.

Prepare for eco-safari-chic overload.

The writer is the founder of NINE, a private concierge club providing tailored travel solutions globally

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