A South Africa safari is exceptional in so many ways. Not only is the game viewing fantastic – with destinations like Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Madikwe Game Reserve offering a host of resident game including the Big Five – but the actual overall safari experience is certainly up there with the best in Africa. With some of the most stunning design and decor, the luxury hotels and tented camps in South Africa offer the utmost luxury. Here are our top 10 favorite luxury safari lodges to whet your appetite. Banner image: Dulini Lodge Suites
Tswalu is in South Africa’s Kahalari – an area of dry and arid savannah with a very distinctive ecosystem and topography. The area it sits in is often regarded the ‘green Kahalari’ because of its contrast of red dunes and expansive grasslands. Tswalu is made of two camps – Mote and Tarkuni – with a maximum of 28 guests. Staying at Tswalu gives you an authentic safari experience. With over 80 species of mammals and 264 bird species at Tswalu, the game drives are exciting, with some of the best guiding in the country. Both lodges are beautiful in their design, with contemporary interior, privacy, and exclusivity.
Situated in the 75,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve, this safari lodge is one of our favorites. The lodge itself has a wealth of amenities, including a wellness center, spa, gym, a watchtower, and an award-winning restaurant. The chef – Nico Verster – has won numerous awards, featured in many cookbooks (which can be purchased at the lodge). The main areas of the lodge offer exclusive views out to the savannah and waterhole – putting a whole new meaning to the term ‘sofa safari’.
These three exclusive private bush houses sit in the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Each of these Morukuru villas come with their own team – with a personal chef and butler, a team of housekeepers, a host, and your very own safari guide. This makes it one of the most private experiences in all South Africa, and perfect for families looking for a luxury safari at their own pace. Morukuru is also involved in several conservation and sustainability projects – a different side to the African safari.
Singita Boulders Lodge
As part of the Singita portfolio, Singita Boulders is one of their flagship lodges in South Africa. Set along the banks of the Sand River in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Boulders Lodge is a beautiful blend of raw beauty and modern comforts. The lodge is home to 12 glass-fronted suits, each with well-appointed ensuite bathrooms and private verandas with heated pools and sun loungers. The main areas are bright and airy including the Copper Bar – the perfect place to enjoy a freshly pressed juice or a local beer in the afternoon before your evening next game drive.
Singita Ebony Lodge
Another of the Singita properties is Ebony Lodge. Also located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Ebony Lodge is a stunning safari lodge surrounded by the bush and a wealth of resident wildlife. The lodge has 12 luxurious suites, each featuring plunge pools, private verandas, and uninterrupted views of the river. Sabi Sands has 45,000 acres of fantastic wildlife – with elephants, lions, hippos, crocodile, leopards, and buffalo aplenty. As well as your safari experience and Big Five sightings, you can do guided safari walks, wine experiences, and enjoy the swimming pool and wellness areas.
Londolozi Granite Suites
Located on its own private game reserve, the name Londolozi comes from a Zulu word which means ‘protector of all living things’. There are five camps, each offering an unbeatable safari experience and the most luxurious accommodation, but what is more impressive about the Londolozi portfolio is that they cater for everyone. Whether you are doing a honeymoon safari, a photographic safari, or a private safari, Londolozi offers something for everyone.
Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
The Lion Sands Private Reserve comprises 25,000 acres of private land – home to some of the most impressive wildlife experiences in all of South Africa. From Lion Sands Ivory Lodge you can witness the Big Five – the African elephant, the lion, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhino. The lodge also offers the height of luxury, with eight-one bedroom villas featuring private lounges, patios, and private plunge pools overlooking the confluence of the Sabie and Sands rivers. The design is simply breathtaking but don’t just take our word for it – head there for a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience.
Dulini Game Lodge
Dulini sits in the heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. The Dulini collection comprises three safari lodges – Dulini Moya, Dulini Leadwood, and Dulini River. At Dulini River, the facilities include a private deck, a gym, and wellness center and spa offering spa treatments. There is also a wine cellar and a beautiful dining boma offering fine dining and mouth-watering cuisine. The game viewing at Dulini is fantastic, with the Big Five and a host of other resident wildlife on offer. Enjoy game drives, walking safaris, and memorable sundowners.
Located on the exclusive 63,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is Chitwa Chitwa. The safari experience at Chitwa Chitwa is so much more than just game viewing. With experiences like village tours, photographic safaris, and a variety of activities for families with young children, Chitwa Chitwa is an extraordinary safari experience – one that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The Chitwa House is perfect for families or couples who want an exclusive safari in South Africa. The Chitwa Suites – of which there are 6 – are each designed with the utmost luxury.
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