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Virgin joins other chains with new Africa hotel

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As African hotels continue to boom, Virgin has announced that it is to become the latest name to move into the continent.

Virgin Limited Edition, Richard Branson’s luxury travel brand, is set to open a 12-tented camp in the Masai Maara Game Reserve next year.

The Mahali Mzuri camp will hold double-occupancy tents, meaning a maximum of 24 people at one time, with fully inclusive services set to include meals, drinks and daily game drives around the area.

The small numbers are a nod to what Virgin describes as “low density tourism,” with the firm promising that environmental footprint will be minimized, despite the creation of jobs for 50 people. Rates will start at $580 per person, per night, the firm said.

Rapidly developing Africa has become among the world’s top destinations for hotel firms, with 208 new hotels set to open over the next five years.

According to a report released by the W Hospitality Group, Accor is the fastest builder in Africa by a fair distance, building 36 hotels over the coming five years.

After Accor is Carlson Rezidor with 25 hotels, followed by Marriott with 14, Movenpick with 12, Hilton with 11, InterContinental with nine, and Starwood with six hotels.

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