Looking for Africa’s best luxury safari lodges? There aren’t many travel experiences that come close to spending time in the African bush, spotting wildlife on safari. And if you’re looking for luxurious lodges and super-indulgent places from which to take it all in for a night or two, you could do a lot worse than check yourself into one of the luxury safari lodges below.
There is no shortage of luxury safari lodges on offer across Africa, so we’ve asked travel bloggers from around the world to help us out, and nominate their favourite luxury safari lodges in East and Southern Africa. The below list is made up of travel blogger nominations, plus lodges we’ve stayed at ourselves and can vouch for as providing ultimate safari luxury.
So read on below for our collection of the 25 most indulgent luxury safari lodges across the continent:
Masai Mara, Kenya
Contributed by Amanda of MarocMama
Angama Mara, overlooking the Great Rift Valley in Kenya’s Masai Mara, is truly a luxurious safari experience, and ideal for couples and families seeking an adventure. Not only do they have beautiful, private accommodations that immediately put you at ease, but their robust activity list and doting staff make sure you’re taken care of from the moment you arrive.
Every guest has an itinerary that caters to their wants and desires and that can be discussed in advance, as well as a guide who remains with them throughout their stay. Whether you want to be flying in a hot air balloon over the Masai Mara at sunrise, swimming laps in their pool, or on a bush walk there really is something for everyone.
The main lodge and rooms – all of which are tented suites – are set high on a ridge that overlooks the Mara below, giving you sweeping 360 views of nature. Exceptional food and drinks can be expected and you can’t leave without taking at least one safari picnic. When it’s time to relax the private suites feature cozy beds, impeccable design, and every amenity you could want or need.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Contributed by Giulia at giuliacimarosti.com
The Okavango River flows into the desert, evaporating and transpiring before reaching the ocean, forming a delta of water and sand with incredible biodiversity.
Among the luxury lodges in the Delta, Belmond Eagle Island Lodge – along with Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge and Belmond Khwai River Lodge – represents the ultimate luxury experience in this wild, wonderful area of the world.
The lodge – built on a private island in the Delta – was completely renewed in 2016. Its architecture blends perfectly with the surrounding landscape, with smooth lines, natural colors, and local crafts and materials.
Each of the 12 spacious accommodations has a private terrace with infinity plunge pool and a dreamy outdoor shower.
A truly unique feature of Belmond Eagle Island Lodge is the attention to the environment: electricity is supplied by solar power, toiletries and cleaning products are environmentally friendly.
The activities provided by Belmond Eagle Island Lodge include classic game drives on private vehicles, walking safaris, mokoro excursions and helicopter rides on the Okavango Delta, and water safaris by boat.
In this area the African wildlife is abundant and surprisingly easy to spot: elephants, big cats, buffalos, hippos and even rhinos call the Okavango Delta home, making this one of the very few places where all the Big Five can be seen in Botswana.
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Contributed by Jessica and jessicapascoe.com
If you’re looking for an intimate, luxury safari experience, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Chamilandu camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Chamilandu, or ‘Chami’ as it is affectionately known, is part of the Bush Camp Company, a company operating seven exclusive Bushcamps throughout the park.
Chamilandu is perfect for a luxurious stay, especially for couples; it’s secluded, intimate, and romantic, with only three stilted tree houses meaning you’re guaranteed plenty of privacy during your stay. Each treehouse is furnished with a mixture of contemporary and traditional African decorations and has a raised veranda and open-fronted en-suite bathroom, both with sweeping views over the Luangwa River (one of Africa’s finest rivers for wildlife spotting).
At the center of Chamilandu is the enclosed main area, which includes a variety of seating, the communal dining table, a well-stocked bar, and small library. There’s a campfire lit in the mornings to cook porridge and toast, also serving as a gathering spot for pre-dinner drinks. Don’t miss the ‘hide’ along the river, a thatched building on stilts with a vantage point over a small lagoon where animals will often come to drink during the heat of the day.
The food and drink options offered at Chamilandu are of high quality, including interactive brunches such as pizza making and Mongolian BBQ. The staff is incredibly friendly and professional, allowing you to truly relax and appreciate the natural beauty of this remote Zambian safari location.
House In The Wild
Greater Masai Mara, Kenya
Contributed by Anna at Twins and Travel
House in the Wild is situated in a unique location, perched on the edge of the Mara River within the Enonkishu Conservancy in the Maasai Mara Nature Reserve in Kenya, East Africa.
House in the Wild was originally a family getaway on a family commercial farm but has been restored into this amazing boutique safari lodge offering 12-14 beds between 4 cottages, each consisting of 1 or 2 bedrooms. The grounds also consist of a dining area and a swimming pool with a thatched gazebo and bar area.
The cottages offer the warmth and rustic charm of a family lodge, with all the home comforts you could ask for.
House in the Wild offers a fully catered for service whilst being on safari and the perfect luxury family-friendly safari lodge should you want to go to Kenya with kids. From bush breakfasts and sundowners overlooking the African savanna to hot lunches with warthogs running around the lawns, before a dip in the pool. After a long day on safari, treat yourself to a well deserved hot bubble bath with candles and a glass of champagne whilst admiring the hippos wallowing in the Mara River.
If you are travelling with children, House in the Wild offer a private safari vehicle and guide, allowing children of any age to experience this piece of paradise and immerse themselves in wild Kenya.
Jackalberry Treehouse at Flat Dogs Camp
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Contributed by Rachel at Children of Wanderlust
Zambia is a beautiful and welcoming country. It boasts an incredible diversity of natural treasures and wildlife, with fewer tourists to share it all with than in some of the surrounding African countries.
The best place in the country to see this wildlife on a safari holiday is in South Luangwa National Park. The park is home to over 60 species of safari animals including lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, elephants, hippos, and hyenas, and a whopping 400 species of birds. The park is also unusual in that it allows evening/night drives, giving the chance to see some of the nocturnal creatures (like the big cats) when they are at their most active.
There is nowhere better to stay than at the luxury Jackalberry Treehouse at Flat Dogs Camp. Separated from the rest of the camp, this expansive and private luxury treehouse has a beautiful outdoor terrace that serves as a private viewing gallery on which to watch the procession of wild animals that casually wander close by, as well as boasting a telescope for star-gazing.
The two en-suite bedrooms are covered, yet remain open-sided, so you can expect to see elephants and giraffes right from your bed. There is space for four people, but you retain exclusive use if only booking one of the rooms as a two (with the other left vacant).
A stay in the treehouse comes as a package that includes all of your food on demand (with the option to dine in private at the treehouse), as well as two safari drives a day and airport transfers. You even get your very own treehouse ‘keeper’ who cleans, does turn-downs and most importantly, keeps the cheeky monkeys away while you’re not there! It all contributes to a perfect stay. Why not combine a safari with a visit to the world-famous Victoria Falls, to create a truly unforgettable trip of a lifetime to Zambia?
Lemala Nanyukie Lodge
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Contributed by Rebecca at Rebecca and the World
No Tanzania itinerary is complete without a visit to the world-famous Serengeti. Meaning ‘endless plains’ in Maasai, hundreds of thousands of animals call these remote grasslands and savanna home – and many more make their way through during the great migrations.
While the Serengeti may be far from a major city, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find luxury here. And it doesn’t come more luxurious than Lemala Nanyukie.
One of Lemala’s newest properties, Nanyukie opened in 2018. The property is designed to blend into its natural surroundings – and nature is never far away. It’s common to see elephants and antelope from the restaurant, or even wake up to fresh lion pawprints on the footpath.
Because of this thrilling closeness to nature, a Maasai guard escorts guests to and from their rooms, no matter the time of day.
Each tented room is set away from the others, creating a sense of privacy. The standard rooms have a separate living room, bedroom and closet, and bathroom. There are no fewer than three ways to wash the Serengeti dust off at the end of the day: an indoor shower, an outdoor shower, and a standalone bathtub.
Each of these spaces has glass doors that lead out to the enormous balcony. A sunken lounge suite provides the perfect place to view the sunset, while a private plunge pool invites guests to take a dip.
A three-course dinner is served each night, accompanied by a superb collection of wines and liquor. Breakfast is an enormous buffet of fresh fruits, cereals, and an egg station.
Despite the glamorous surroundings, the staff is friendly and down-to-earth, and from your first step on to the property, you’ll experience the warmth of Tanzanian hospitality.
Loisaba Lodo Springs
Loisaba Conservancy, Kenya
Contributed by Jennifer & Tim at Luxe Adventure Traveler
Loisaba Lodo Springs, the latest in Elewana Collection’s portfolio of luxury safari camps situated around East Africa, sits in the heart of Loisaba Conservancy. Offering an ultra-private and luxurious safari experience, the boutique lodge offers unparalleled views over the Laikipia plains, stretching to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya from its 12-room tented camp.
The absolute epitome of luxury, Loisaba Lodo Springs is one of only three safari camps located inside Loisaba Conservancy. Not only are guests treated to top-notch service and all the comforts one could wish for at camp, but guests can also expect exclusivity with no more than around 20 safari vehicles out and about at one time in the 57,000 acre private Loisaba Conservancy.
Quickly becoming one of East Africa’s top safari destinations, Loisaba Conservancy is teeming with all the classic safari wildlife you could hope to spot (with the exception of the rhino), as well as Kenya’s Northern Five. Even the rare black panther has been spotted by conservationists inside the private game reserve. After days out surrounded by the endangered reticulated giraffe, herds of elephant, lions on the hunt, cheetahs chasing down prey on the plains and much more that can only be seen in Northern Kenya, guests can relax with sundowners at picturesque spots your dedicated guides find around the park.
With a focus on conservation and community education to help residents live in harmony with the big game wildlife, they share the Laikipia plains with, some of the activities guests won’t want to miss are the opportunity to meet the anti-poaching unit and their dogs. It’s a unique opportunity to witness how these hounds help dwindling animal populations rebound with their anti-poaching efforts. And certainly, a highlight will be the bush breakfast, an exclusive experience no guest will soon forget.
Luangwa Safari House
Luangwa Valley, Zambia
The South Luangwa Safari House undoubtedly has the most genuine design cred of any of this pick of luxury lodges. The interiors were put together by darling of the glossies, Neil Rocher, and combine plenty of stylish touches with an environmentally sound approach to the use of natural materials.
Safari-wise, it’s got impeccable credentials, too – set at the foot of the Chindeni Hills, it looks out over a seasonal lagoon. After a hot day out in the bush, you can slip into the infinity pool with a cocktail as the sun sets and watch the animals come down for their evening drink. A special moment.
The Manor at Ngorongoro
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
Contributed by Bella at Passport & Pixels
Mihingo Lodge has been widely acclaimed as one of the most stunning lodges in the whole of Uganda. Perched on a granite escarpment overlooking Lake Mburo National Park in the west of the country, the family-owned boutique lodge has been thoughtfully built using local natural materials that help it blend seamlessly into its environment.
The lodge has 12 luxurious tented rooms, each gorgeously furnished in the safari style with huge comfy double or twin beds and private bathrooms with proper flush toilets and hot showers powered by solar electricity. All the rooms have a private veranda with stunning views over the park.
Down at the main reception building there’s a restaurant serving spectacular three-course lunches and dinners made from local ingredients, a bar, and an infinity pool with one of the best views in the country. There’s also a viewing platform with 360-degree views over the park, and a telescope from which you can spot some of Uganda’s animals including bushbuck, impala, and maybe even a hippo in the nearby watering hole.
As well as being a relaxing and beautiful place to stay, Mihingo Lodge offers plenty of activities within the park, including game drives, walking safaris, cultural visits, mountain biking, and running trails. It’s also the only place in Uganda where you can do horseback safaris.
Nottens Bush Camp
Sabi Sands, South Africa
Contributed by Wendy at WorldwideWendy.be
If you are looking for a really special stay during your safari in South Africa, you should consider Nottens Bush Camp in Sabi Sand Reserve.
The lodge has, unlike many others, no fence and no electricity so you are really staying in the bush (in one of the nine exclusive, private suites). A guard brings you to your room after dark and we experienced why they do so. One night we almost stumbled over a hyena on our way to our room. We were so shocked and happy that we had a guard with us. Another night my parents woke up and heard a strange noise in front of their room. They got out of bed to take a look and there was an elephant eating the plants that stood on their porch.
From your room in African style, you are overlooking an open area with a waterhole, so sit on your porch and enjoy the panoramic views and the wildlife passing by. You will see zebra, elephants, antelopes, and many other animals pass by.
Nottens Bush Camp is one of the original game lodges in South Africa and is known for its highly experienced rangers. and the area is great for spotting leopards.
This family-owned lodge goes the extra mile. After our first safari, we entered our room. All the candles and lanterns were burning, the bathtub was filled, rose leaves everywhere and a bottle of South African Vonkelwijn (champagne) was waiting for us.
In the evening all the guests are sitting at a big table to share the most thrilling stories about their safari.
They organize two game drives a day. One at 05.30 in the morning and one at 15.30 in the afternoon. In between those safaris you can relax beside the pool or enjoy a massage at the Nature Spa.
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp is located deep in the Okavango Delta on a huge wildlife concession bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp is known for its elegant tented accommodation, which has 360-degree views of mature mopane woodlands and seasonally flooded grasslands.
The nine tented suites blend harmoniously with the environment, slightly raised on wooden platforms, with privacy ensured under the canopy of ebony trees. Each large tent features a luxurious bed, indoor and outdoor bathroom, and a private veranda with unbeatable Delta views. As one of the many luxury touches, there’s also a choice of two sherry decanters for a pre-dawn game drive pick me up!
The common areas include the main lodge with an interactive food and coffee bar, an extensive pool area (which doubles as a game viewing area for the lazy!), a dedicated massage sala, and a spectacular open-air fire pit to while away the evenings under the stars.
Okonjima Plains Camp
Okonjima Game Reserve, Namibia
Contributed by Paul Healy at Anywhere We Roam
Okonjima Plains Camp is located between Windhoek and Etosha National Park in Namibia. The camp was once a private farm that was converted into a conservation area, committed to the long-term survival of Namibia’s largest carnivores. As a 200 square kilometer private nature reserve, the camp is home to abundant wildlife.
With a unique location inside an extremely diverse conservation area, Okonjima Plains Camp is a special destination in Namibia. But, the luxurious accommodation, top quality service, and native surroundings make it a thoroughly rewarding experience. Beautiful safari-chic chalets indulge guests with unparalleled luxury. Large glass windows and canvas panels can be opened for unlimited views of the lush African savanna.
The Private Bush Suite includes a private chef, personal guide, and swimming pool in a stunning location on the edge of a water hole. The Africa Villa is 10 kilometers from the main camp in a secluded wilderness area. It can accommodate up to 8 adults and 4 children in 3 private villas and includes an infinity pool, indoor-outdoor bathrooms, chef-designed kitchen, and a private deck overlooking the water hole.
The communal areas are decorated with native African flair and include a library and fascinating contemporary modern art to peruse. The BBQ breakfast, sitting on the outdoor patio, is second to none.
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Onguma Fort is a unique safari lodge, built in the style of a Moroccan adobe fort and standing right on the edge of Etosha National Park. The lodge has the self-styled ‘best sunset views in the whole of Namibia’, overlooking a waterhole in the beautiful semi-desert of the Etosha Pans
The accommodation consists of twelve Bush Suites, each with an indoor and outdoor shower, and all with views of the waterhole and across the pan into Etosha. Accommodation inside the Fort itself is made up of the Fort Suite, inside the main tower, consisting of an enormous beautifully designed bedroom leading into a lounge area and out onto a private viewing deck.
Among the many trappings of luxury on offer at Onguma are a fully stocked wine cellar and the option of being served dinner – with a visit from the head chef – at your private viewing deck. Safari lodges just don’t come much more opulent than Onguma.
Phinda Mountain Lodge
Phinda Game Reserve, South Africa
Submitted by Claudia Tavani at My Adventures Across The World
Phinda Game Reserve, in KwaZulu Natal, is home to some of the most beautiful, luxurious lodges in Africa. The best by far is Mountain Lodge. As the name says, this is located in such a way to afford beautiful views across the bushveld to panoramic mountains.
The lodge is blissfully isolated on top of a hill. Once there, you will walk to the common areas where you will find the dining area, where a decadent breakfast and lunch, as well as afternoon tea are offered every day. So much care is taken in the selection of the ingredients that you even have a choice of several types of coffee and roasts. The common area is also where the bar is located, with a seating area directly facing the mountains, for incredible views.
On the way to your room you will find the beautiful pool and the spa, perfect for a relaxing afternoon – before you drive away on one of the game drives.
Rooms are incredibly comfortable, with large beds with a pillow menu; a sitting area with a fridge and all sorts of drinks and snacks; a deck with a plunge pool – a favorite of local wildlife which is free to roam the grounds (it is not uncommon to spot nyalas and at times even elephants drinking from the pool!), and a very spacious bathroom with a large shower and a Victorian-style bathtub.
At Phinda Mountain Lodge you will feel welcome, pampered and you will be able to fully relax while enjoying nature and the unique wildlife of this part of the country.
Greater Masai Mara, Kenya
Submitted by Jolene at Go Wander The World
In the heart of the famous Greater Masai Mara you’ll find Asilia Africa’s Rekero Camp. This camp has basically got it all: wonderful staff, great rangers, amazing tents and a view that’s one of a kind.
Upon arrival you’re welcomed with some cool drinks after which they’ll show you your luxurious tent. All tents overlook the Talek river so you can check out the wildlife right from your terrace.
Speaking about views, one of the prime features of this camp is the large deck in front of the main tent. This is where you’ll have a drink in the afternoon and where you’re meals are served. The main deck overlooks an important crossing point of the Talek river when the Great Migration of wildebeests is at its best. This means theoretically you don’t even have to go on a game drive to see the spectacle that the migration is.
When you do go on a game drive you’ll have one of the expert rangers accompanying you. Since the camp is situated quite remotely you’ve got the feeling you’ve got the park to yourself. The famous vast plains of the Mara are just outside the camp and attract grazers and thus predators. Lions, leopards, cheetahs: you name it and the rangers will try to find them for you. It’s also good to mention that they don’t just focus on the big five since there’s so much more to see, learn, and explore in such an amazing park.
Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge sits in the heart of the Delta, on the edge of a waterway in a wildlife-rich concession bordering Moremi Game Reserve.
The organic design of this luxurious safari lodge blends into the surrounding forest of wild palms and fig trees. The main lodge area features stairs opening into a high ceilinged, copper-toned and glassless space overlooking the Delta. This central dining space has areas leading off it, including wooden viewing decks, an upstairs bar and lounge, and an elevated walkway to a higher viewing platform. Other communal facilities include a gym and private massage room, along with the impressive log boma
The 12 guest suites are designed like weaver nests, peeping out from the forest canopy and raised from the papyrus-lined Delta banks. Each suite comes equipped with picture-perfect views, private plunge pool, and a fireplace for the winter evenings.
Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya
Contributed by Heather at Conversant Traveller
Saruni Samburu is a high-end luxury safari lodge in the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy on the edge of Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya.
Built high up on a ridge, this remote lodge overlooks the vast wilderness plains of the Kalama which are surrounded by the iconic dome-shaped hills of Samburu. The views here are stunning, and animals can be seen moving about in the bush without even leaving the comfort of the lodge.
There are six private villas each with their own verandas, beautifully decorated communal dining and living areas, and two infinity pools that look out over the reserve. With a stylish yet unpretentious feel, Saruni Samburu is a luxurious and friendly safari experience.
Game drives in the Kalama and Samburu are with local warrior guides who know everything there is to know about the wildlife and landscapes of this remote area. Bushwalks in the Kalama Conservancy are possible as well as night drives, because this is a private reserve rather than a national park. Samburu is well-known for its elephants, and large herds can often be seen congregating around water holes during the dry season.
Bush breakfasts on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river are a real treat too, with front row seats as the animals come to drink. A safari up here is a real contrast to ones in the Masai Mara and is far less crowded.
Serengeti Migration Camp
The clue’s in the name. Slap-bang on the wildebeest migration route, there aren’t too many better-placed safari lodges in Africa than the Serengeti Migration Camp. Sweeping herds of wildebeest aside, the camp – and a ‘camp’ in the truest sense of the word it genuinely is – is made up of the most luxurious tents imaginable, packed with comfy leather Chesterfields, hardwood floors, and safari-chic roof fans.
Singita Sweni Lodge
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Contributed by sustainable travel bloggers Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel
Located in Kruger National Park, Singita Sweni Lodge epitomizes the definition of a lux eco-safari stay. The lodge is located on 33,000 acres of exclusive concession land on the banks of the Sweni River. This meant that hippos, crocs, elephants, and other wildlife can often be spotted meandering past the lodge.
Singita Sweni Lodge offers an intimate setting far away from the crowds associated with Kruger National Park. There are only seven large luxurious suites on-site and each one is designed to bring the outdoors in. They have large floor to ceiling windows, big wooden decks, and modern decor with natural elements incorporated into the design.
For us, one of the highlights of staying at Singita Sweni was their strong focus on sustainability. They have an ethos of “touching the earth lightly” and their efforts were visible in every element of our stay. All meals are crafted with seasonal produce and sourced from local suppliers. Plus, Singita Sweni Lodge is involved in a number of conservation and social initiatives in the community. One such project was the creation of their solar power plant. Its implementation has meant the lodge can save close to 1,000 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.
Of course, we also loved the morning and afternoon game drives. We had many wonderful sightings of lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffalos, hippos, waterbucks, and other antelopes. Plus we came across the most unique sighting of them all – a unique white lion, spotted only in this part of Kruger National Park!
If you are looking into a safari in Africa we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Singita Sweni Lodge for an eco-lux experience. It’s a truly one of a kind destination.
Sossus Dune Lodge
Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Contributed by Jyoti at storyateverycorner.com
The luxurious Sossus Dune Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge in the deep red desert of Namibia’s famous Namib Naukluft National Park. It’s the only lodge within the national park, so one has to stay in this beautiful place to enjoy the sunset or sunrise in the desert. The other alternative is camping, and both the lodge and campsite are run by the Namibian government.
The lodge is located at the base of a mountain, raised several feet off the ground to allow space for tumbling rock, flash floods, wildlife, and plants. Each unit has two round rooms connected at the entrance – a luxurious bedroom and a bathroom. Both rooms have a whole section of windows looking out into the national park with no restrictions. Each unit has its own views, private balcony, self-sufficient solar panels, and water heating systems.
The large common halls include dining, social room, library, and a swimming pool. They serve a set menu for dinner which can accommodate a vegetarian diet but not vegan. We brought our own food because I’m vegan. On special request, the restaurant can pack breakfast for a sunrise trip to the dunes which is much appreciated.
Overall, it’s an excellent place to stay if you’d like to enjoy the most special times of the day in the majestic red dunes, and the chance to spot some of Namibia’s famous desert animals.
Stanley Safari Lodge
Victoria Falls, Zambia
Before you even so much as clap eyes on the rooms, Stanley Safari Lodge in Zambia has one major feather in its cap: a location right next to one of the world’s most remarkable natural phenomena, the Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls safari lodges are amongst the most coveted of all safaris experiences in Africa, and from the terrace at Stanley, you can see the spray rising from the falls into the air.
Fortunately, the rooms more than live up to the amazing setting, as well – a series of grand, colonial-style cottages with views out across the Zambian plains, they’re everything you could ask for in a luxury lodge for safaris in Africa.
Tarangire Treetops Safari Lodge
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Not many safaris in Africa give you the opportunity to spend a night up in a tree. At Tarangire Treetops Safari Lodge, however, rooms are hidden away high up in the canopies of a series of huge Marula trees. And quite apart from the novelty value, this treetop vantage point gives you amazing views out over the plains and, of course, fantastic wildlife-spotting opportunities including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebra, and giant ostriches.
Contributed by Sasha at Mog and Dog Travels
The Victoria Falls area of Zambia is home to a number of luxury safari lodges and none more so than the all-inclusive Tongabezi Lodge. Nestled on the banks of the Zambezi River, Tongabezi offers a number of lavish accommodation options, each boasting a private deck from which you can gaze out onto the river and animal spot to your heart’s content.
The lodge’s river cottages are beautifully designed, with large glass windows, high ceilings, and unique features such as bathrooms with a view. After a long day out on safari, you can sink into a bubble bath in one of their gorgeous clawfoot bathtubs, whilst watching the sunset over the river.
The houses at Tongabezi are even more opulent, with some offering private plunge pools and gardens. Both the cottages and lodges have secluded dining areas on their decks and they also each have their own attendant, who acts as a personal concierge and will take care of you for the duration of your stay.
Tongabezi’s ‘all-inclusive’ approach doesn’t just include beautiful accommodation, food, and drinks. The lodge offers a range of activities as standard, including game drives, sunrise/sunset boat trips, and romantic dining experiences.
The lodge is unique in that it also owns a private island on the Zambezi river, on which it operates a luxury eco-lodge. Sindabezi island features just five open-sided chalets, which all offer views across the Zambezi river and into the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Perfect for those who want to get away from it all, Sindabezi island is completely off-grid, but rest assured, you can still enjoy hot water and gourmet cuisine.
Zebra Hills Safari Lodge
Manyoni Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Contributed by Jo Ramani at WanderWithJo.com
Zebra Hills is nestled in the private game reserve of Manyoni in Zululand, and is a sure shot delight for wildlife enthusiasts. Being part of a private reserve gives the lodge owners and guides a lot of flexibility in terms of game watching and safari hours. This is one of the highlights, alongside the spectacular zebra themed decor in the bedrooms, common areas, bar, and dining room.
The perks of living in a private reserve are aplenty, but my favorite bit was enjoying traditional braai in the evenings whilst you wait for the lions to come for a refreshing sip of water in the adjoining water hole.
This is the only place where I have watched lions on foot. Yes, that’s right. The waterhole is just across the swimming pool/barbeque area and if you stay put, it is easy to spot a few thirsty beasts loitering around to quench their thirst.
With no restrictions on safari hours, the night safaris offered umpteen nocturnal sightings with our top game sightings of the day being three cheetah cubs on a kill followed by a charging black rhino. Such sightings are a dream for true wildlife lovers and Zebra Hills, with its ultra-luxury sleeps and skilled naturalists, made our dream vacation come true.
That’s your lot. What do you think – have you indulged in a luxury safari lodge that you think should be on this list? If so let us know by joining in on the comments section below.