Passion Points: Escape
Opened as an ultimate private island retreat, Lupita Island is located in western Tanzania on Lake Tanganyika, the longest and second-deepest lake in the world. The island measures 130 unspoiled acres but its developers chose to keep the human foot-print small, building a resort that has just eleven thatched-roof villas and two larger family cottages, all of which offer breathtaking views of the massive lake and its many islands.
Lupita is the passion project of Tom and Belinda Lithgow, the founders of Firelight Safaris (Tom was born into a Tanzanian safari family), and their personal commitment to the property can be seen in everything from the design details to the excursions that can be arranged. “Belinda and Tom traveled the world to bring back the best furnishings from Turkey, India and South Africa for the interiors of the rooms,” says co-director and prominent venture capitalist Tim Draper who recently spent his 50th birthday on Lupita “One of my favorite afternoon pleasures was sitting in our plunge pool outside of our room taking in the gorgeous views.” (Read Draper’s postcard rave about his stay.) Villas are large (the smallest clocks in at 1,800 square feet), elegantly appointed and make the most of the lofty views with open floor plans and lots of outdoor spaces. Each accommodation also features a personal plunge pool.
Guests are temped to leave the comfort of their lofty abodes with myriad activities, including kayaking, sailing, boating, fishing, snorkeling, bicycling and walks with a local botanist. At an additional price, excursions like private safaris and helicopter tours can also be arranged. Private, serene and off-the-beaten-path, Lupita Island offers an indulgent conclusion to a Tanzanian safari.
Getting There: Visitors fly into Arusha (the easiest connecting airport for international travelers is Kilimanjaro International Airport), then continue on a ninety-minute flight to Lupita’s airstrip. From there, it’s a seven-minute boat ride across Lake Tanganyika to arrive at the resort.
Seasons & Rates: High season runs from December 20 through February 28, and June 1 through October 15. Rates from $863 per person sharing; $1,100 single; $518 per child (under 16) for cottages; $2,600 per room, children included, for family cottages.
Read Indagare’s destination report on Tanzania
Read about the country’s best safari lodges
Read Melissa’s packing tips for a safrai vacation
Read thoughts on whether to bring the kids to East Africa
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