11 of the most luxurious safari lodges in Africa

There’s genuinely no place like Africa in the world. The stunning lush-green landscapes, a plethora of game and ultra-luxe lodges are only some of the elements making Africa one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Undoubtedly, lavish experiences come with a hefty price tag; especially if you happen to choose the spectacular wildebeest migration period from June – early September!

We’ve tirelessly scoured the entire continent to bring you the most exclusive safari lodges in the region. From Kruger National Park in beautiful South Africa to the flat plains of Tanzania and Kenya, we’ve compiled an intriguing list of 11 lodges to enhance your summer plans.

#11 Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge
One of the most intimate lodges in all of Africa, Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve is quietly nestled amidst a rainforest. Considering the property entails only eight luxurious suites, you can be well assured that the main focus here is glass-walled personal attention. Visualise glass walled bedrooms, local wood and stone interiors and private game viewing experiences from the comfort of your suite.

Although the lodge is home to only eight lodges, the property yet spans an impressive 1,800 hectares and further, it features a gorgeous infinity pool, a gym and a salon. If indoor accommodation bores you, we highly recommend experimenting with their sleep out under the stars experience! On a raised hide and second floor sleeping deck, you can sleep under the stars of the African sky. Paired with some delectable food and award winning wines, this occupies the 11th position on our list.

#10 Thanda Private Game Reserve
Bagging a no. 10 position on our list, the Thanda Private Game Reserve is a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World and multiple winner of The World’s Leading Luxury Lodge. The 14,000 hectare Big Five private game reserve is perched in the beautiful land of Zululand. Guests have a plethora of options when it comes to accommodation: Thanda Safari Lodge, Thanda Tented Camp and Villa iZulu.

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With individual plunge pools, private viewing decks and thatched outdoor day beds, the nine spacious and beautiful bush suites span 220 m² and are shaped like traditional Zulu homesteads.

The colourful public areas of the lodge feature a cute library, a curio shop, a private business area for those eager business-cum-holiday-goers, a fancy cigar bar and an impressively stocked wine cellar..

#9 Rock Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal
At the uber-fancy Phinda Private Game Reserve, there are a plethora of options to reside in; although our personal favourite is the Rock Lodge. Dramatically set into a cliff face overlooking spectacular Leopard Rock, Rock Lodge is genuinely an architectural delight with its 6 suites seemingly suspended over the deep valley below, providing unprecedented views of the plains below.

Each of the stone suites entails solid wooden shutters and doors opening onto a private plunge pool and viewing deck. The fancy outdoor showers unquestionably provide some of the most scenic al fresco bathing on the African continent. Scrumptious food further enhances your stay at the lodge, which can be complimented with unforgettable bush banquets under the African night sky.

#8 Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve
Run and managed by the owner himself, the Jamala Madikwa Royal Safari Lodge is gracefully decorated in a combination of colonial style and African authenticity. It’s detailing and luxury makes it one of the most-sought after lodges on the continent.

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Residing in one of the five private deluxe villas, you will cherish a rim flow pool, an expansive wooden deck area as well as private outdoor showers. The cozy main lodge boasts an elegant decor with a dining area, beautifully appointed interior areas, an exterior main deck and an outdoor boma area where meals are complimented with traditional dance and song rituals.

#7 Gibb’s Farm, Karatu, Tanzania
One of the most renowned properties in the Ngorongoro Highlands, the Gibb’s Farm comprises a set of quirky cottages. Set amongst an array of flowery gardens, the Farm once owned by the Gibb’s family is one of the priciest options in the highlands.

Retaining their original charm, the sturdy cottages have a very homely feel to them and command great views of the region below. The property has regularly been used as a basing point for most tourists given their beautiful and different surroundings.

Producing their own coffee, livestock and vegetables, Gibb’s Farm is popular for their luncheons.

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