Africa is full of truly unique places to stay — luxurious tented camps, stunning lodges, 5-star city hotels — but if you’re looking for something different, something completely unlike anything you’ve seen before, well, Africa delivers there too! Here are 12 BEYOND unique places to stay in Africa that will make your trip even more breathtaking and special.
1. Underwater Room at Manta Resort (Tanzania)
Spend a night in this three-level room anchored in a blue hole, at a prime spot for watching shoals of reef fish swim by. When you’re not in the underwater bedroom, you can relax in the lounge or climb up to sunbathe or star gaze from the top level.
2. Bisate Lodge (Rwanda)
Perched on the slopes of an eroded volcanic crater, the six thatched forest villas of Bisate Lodge are a sight to see. With dramatic interiors matched only by the dramatic views over Volcanoes National Park, it’s definitely a unique place to spend the night.
3. Kagga Kamma Lodge (South Africa)
Kagga Kamma Lodge offers two open-air suites — the Star Suite and the Sky Suite — that are located a short distance from the main lodge yet are miles away from from your average suite. Outdoor showers and baths, firepits and seclusion are all a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. Giraffe Manor (Kenya)
Chances are, you’ve probably heard of Giraffe Manor (it’s considered one of the most Instagrammed properties in the world), but its uniqueness is in no way diminished by its popularity! The manor house itself is stunning, but the true attraction here are the Rothschild’s giraffes that have a tendency to poke their necks through the manor house windows in search of a treat. Breakfast with giraffes is definitely a bucket-list-worthy experience!
5. Shipwreck Lodge (Namibia)
The Skeleton Coast of Namibia is infamous for its shipwrecks, and Shipwreck Lodge takes that dubious superlative and turns it into something truly spectacular. Ten chalets designed to resemble shipwrecks are spread out along the dunes, offering breathtaking views of the desert surrounding the lodge.
6. The Silo (South Africa)
Even though The Silo falls in the more traditional “hotel” category than some of the other properties on this list, it is absolutely stunning and deserves a spot on every traveler’s bucket list. It was built in the grain elevator portion of a historic grain silo complex (so hardly a typical hotel!), and the views, design, and service are truly unique. Plus, check out those windows!
7. Pelican Point Lodge (Namibia)
The secluded Pelican Point Lodge is located near the end of a long, flat peninsula, and while some might find the isolation and lack of protection from the elements intimidating, staying here is truly an experience like no other. For 360° views of the area, with the Atlantic Ocean’s beaches on one side and the lagoon of Walvis Bay on the other, book the Captain’s Cove Suite, which is located in the former harbor control tower.
8. The Highlands (Tanzania)
Situated just north of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, The Highlands offers one-of-a-kind domed tents which are said to be inspired by the houses in Maasai bomas. The seclusion and design of this property makes it the perfect addition to the list.
9. Rovos Rail
Called “The Most Luxurious Train in the World,” a Rovos Rail journey definitely qualifies as a unique way to explore Southern and Eastern Africa. Whether you want to spend 48 hours or 15 days on board, the vintage luxury of Rovos Rail makes it a journey like no other.
10. Nkwichi Lodge Star Bed (Mozambique)
Star Beds are quite common in Africa, but the Star Bed at Nkwichi Lodge in Mozambique is entirely unique. Set on a deserted, virgin beach surrounded by breathtaking baobabs, or on a private rock island close to the shore with Fish Eagles soaring overhead, this is the perfect way to see the wonders of an African night sky.
11. Dodo’s Folly at Hippo Point (Kenya)
When you see an 8-story, 120-foot tower rising out of the surrounding area, well, you know you’ve found something unique. Dodo’s Folly boasts 5 bedrooms and sleeps up to 9 guests, and it features stunning views over Oloidien Bay from its top-floor observation lookout.
12. Bird Nest at Nay Palad Hideaway (Kenya)
We’ve featured the Bird Nest recently when we were highlighting places to sleep out under the stars, but a list of unique accommodations would be incomplete without at least a passing mention of this stunning spot. The combination of modern luxuries and 360° views of the surrounding wildlife and the chance to snuggle down into a simulated bird’s nest for the night make this a truly unique spot to spend the evening.
If you’re ready to check these destinations (or others in Africa) off of your bucket list and start planning your incredible journey to Africa, we’d love to help! Our specialty is custom designing every detail of your trip so that you are surprised and delighted at every turn. Reach out to us today via email (email@example.com) or phone (1.800.940.9344) and let’s get planning!
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