A safari is so much more than a holiday: it is a life-changing experience that we guarantee you will remember forever. The huge continent of Africa contains a vast array of different habitats and wildlife, and your choice of lodge – or lodges – should reflect your own priorities on what landscapes, animals and birds you hope to see, and the level of comfort you wish to enjoy. We will be delighted to tailor your own dream trip for you – but, to whet your appetite, here are ten of our personal favourites for you to consider:
Wilderness Mombo Camp in the Okovango Delta of Botswana offers one of the finest big game safari experiences anywhere in the world, with the floodwaters of the Delta supporting an astonishing range of both plains game and predators, including buffalos, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, elephants, wild dogs, hyenas, cheetahs, lions and leopards. Black and white rhinos have also been successfully reintroduced to the area in one of the greatest conservation success stories of recent times. This incredible array of wildlife can be viewed directly from the Camp’s nine elevated, luxury tented suites, each with its own plunge pool, all newly rebuilt in 2019 but retaining the charming colonial feel of the original Camp.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge in the Serengeti region of Tanzania offers its guests a front row seat to enjoy the greatest wildlife show on Earth in the vast 350,000 acre private Singita Grumeti Reserve. The Lodge is one of the most luxurious anywhere in Africa, built in the style of a grand Edwardian Manor house, with guests accommodated in private cottages that combine vintage style with every modern comfort, each with a veranda providing unrivalled savannah views. In addition to the usual safari game drives, the Lodge offers a dazzling range of activities including balloon and horseback safaris, guided walks, stargazing trips and wine experiences, together with a swimming pool, fitness centre and spa.
Chinzombo Camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park tags itself as ‘wildly luxurious’ and fully lives up to that description. Designed by award winning South African architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, it fulfils their vision of being minimally intrusive into the bush, with grass and canvas walls that blend into the exquisite surroundings, while exuding super-luxury, elegance and cutting-edge style. Set within its own sixty acres of game-rich wilderness on the banks of the Luangwa River, Chinzombo also offers private access by boat to the South Luangwa National Park, noted for its profusion of elephants, leopards, lions, jackals, giraffe, hippos, spotted hyenas and buffaloes, as well as lesser game and countless bird species. Guests in the six Chinzombo villas each enjoy their own private plunge pool on an elevated deck overlooking the river, while the shared facilites include elegant lounge and dining areas, a library, firepit and pool. At Chinzombo, much wildlife comes to you to drink in the river below your deck, but guided day and night game drives and walking safaris are also naturally on offer.
Wilderness DumaTau Camp in Botswana’s 300,000 acre Linyanti Game Reserve is particularly renowned for the large herds of elephants which pass by and through the camp during the winter months. Yet DumaTau means ‘roar of the lion’ in Setswana and these are also to be seen along with leopards, cheetahs, hippos, wildebeest, zebras and impala. Day and night game drives by Land Cruiser, water-based game viewing by barge and nature walks are all on offer. DumaTau’s eight tented, elevated suites above the Osprey Lagoon were all completely reimagined in 2021, when the new Osprey Sanctuary wellness centre and spa was also added to the camp, which also prides itself on its outstanding plant-based cuisine.
Singita Ebony Lodge in the 45,000 acre Singita Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve offers world-class game viewing of species including leopards, lions, cheetah, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, hippos, hyenas, wild dogs and many different types of birds. Standing among giant trees alongside the Sand River, the Lodge has 12 luxurious suites featuring glass and canvas walls opening onto private decks with plunge pools and uninterrupted river views. The Lodge boasts a fully equipped gymnasium, health spa, swimming pool and library, and enjoys a reputation for excellent food and an outstanding vintage wine cellar. Day and night game drives, guided bush walks and stargazing are all on offer.
Wilderness Bisate Lodge in Rwanda is an award-winning rainforest lodge built in the mesmerising landscape of the Volcanoes National Park. This is a truly unique location, with the six well-equipped eco-luxury forest villas lodged like giant birds’ nests in the forest trees, and offering unforgettable vistas over the brooding Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno volcanoes. The Lodge also includes a wine cellar, library, spa, restaurant – and a tree nursery. Sustainability is the watchword of Bisate, which has a vision of reforestation and rehabilitation that allows every guest to contribute to both biodiversity conservation and enhancing the lives of the local community. Although Rwanda contains a very wide range of wildlife, Bisate is chiefly renowned for the opportunities it offers to engage with wild primates, particularly as a base for ‘bucket list’ treks to meet the iconic mountain gorillas of the Virunga massif.
Chiawa Camp in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is the country’s premier luxury safari camp, with a spectacular Safari Suite and eight newly built tents offering the perfect combination of luxurious comfort with an authentic safari experience. The Camp offers an unusually varied range of experiences including day and night game drives, walking safaris, boating, canoeing and fishing in the company of Africa’s finest guides. Close encounters with elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, waterbuck, hippos and crocodiles are possible even within the camp itself, and an even wider range of outstanding big game lies within easy reach. The Camp is also renowned for its excellent cuisine.
Wilderness Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, nestled within Namibia’s remote and rugged wilderness, is a true oasis of luxury and adventure. Located in one of Africa’s most pristine and untouched landscapes, this camp offers a unique and immersive safari experience. Surrounded by the stark beauty of the Namib Desert and the wild Skeleton Coast, the camp’s eco-friendly design harmonizes with its surroundings. Guests at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp embark on unforgettable journeys through untamed landscapes, tracking desert-adapted wildlife such as elephants, lions, and giraffes. Guided by knowledgeable local experts, visitors gain a deep understanding of this fragile ecosystem’s delicate balance and the remarkable adaptations of its inhabitants. The camp itself offers elegant accommodation, sumptuous cuisine, and breathtaking views of the starkly beautiful terrain. With its commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation, Wilderness Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is a haven for both luxury seekers and nature enthusiasts, showcasing the magic of Africa’s wildest frontiers.
Wilderness Jao Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta lies in an area of astonishing beauty and is undoubtedly one of the top camps in the country. Surrounded by riverine forests and vast floodplains, Jao is an ideal base for exploring the unique ecosystem of the Delta, where regularly sighted wildlife includes hippos, crocodiles, elephants, wildebeest, zebras, cheetahs and leopards. Birding is also excellent in the area. Water-based activities include boating, mokoro rides and seasonal catch-and-release fishing, and the camp also offers game drives, full-day excursions and sleep-outs. The top quality accommodation comprises five expansive safari suites and two villas, and the camp also features an award-winning spa, a gym and an extensive wine cellar.
Mara Plains Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara is a one-of-a-kind luxury safari camp located in the private 13,300-hectare Olare Motorogi Conservancy, just on the northern border of the Masai Mara National Reserve, home to the annual Great Migration of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles, and with the highest concentration of big cats anywhere in Africa. The camp itself is a sanctuary for resident wildlife, including many of the Masai Mara’s 300 bird species; larger animals frequent the camp after dark, and Masai warriors escort guests to their rooms. The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is reputed to have the lowest vehicle density in the region, and is therefore an unbeatable choice for those looking for prime wildlife viewing without the crowds. The camp’s guest suites were refurbished and upgraded early in 2023 and each is built on a stilted wooden platform with a veranda offering spectacular views. In addition to the usual morning, afternoon and evening game drives, the camp offers balloon safaris, wildlife walks and village visits.