A safari is an excellent opportunity to splurge … there are just so many over-the-top, best-of-the-best luxury options when it comes to safari lodges, and excellent lodges mean excellent guides, food, service, and overall experience.
Of course, Africa is full of exquisite safari lodges, so this list is FAR from complete (and it was TOUGH to whittle it down to 12)! But maybe it’ll get your juices flowing about which of these world-class options might be the special touch your upcoming safari trip might need.
One quick note before we dive in: I’m back from my month-long journey through Africa! I hope you followed along for some of my trip on Facebook and Instagram, and I can’t wait to share more of my experiences with you all.
If you were waiting for my return before reaching out for our help in planning your trips, now’s the time to get started! Availability is tight throughout Africa, as so many of our lovely clients are planning visits for 2023, so please reach out soon if you want to travel to Africa next year!
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We look forward to working with you, and, as always, thank you for trusting us with your travel to Africa!
Now, on to the good stuff …
12 Ultra-Luxurious Safari Lodges in Africa
BISATE LODGE, RWANDA
If your clients want to go gorilla trekking but they also have luxurious tastes, Bisate Lodge near Volcanoes National Park may be the perfect destination. Perched on the slopes of an eroded volcanic crater, Bisate Lodge offers not only epic primate encounters but also lavishly appointed suites, health-conscious dining, top-notch hospitality, and authentic cultural interactions.
Recently completely rebuilt, DumaTau is an absolutely stunning camp in Botswana’s Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. Gorgeous views over the Linyanti River, exceptional water-based safari experiences, luxurious suites with private plunge pools, outstanding service and guiding … all combine to make DumaTau a new favorite in the world of luxury safari lodges.
NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE, TANZANIA
When it comes to romantic luxury, andBeyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge truly can’t be beat. Each stilted, handcrafted banana thatch suite is adorned with graceful antiques and unforgettable opulence. Ensuite bathrooms, with a centerpiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views of the ancient caldera from all around. Their tagline, “Where Maasai Meets Versailles,” says it all!
ROYAL MALEWANE, SOUTH AFRICA
At Royal Malewane, there are three different accommodation options — the traditional-style Lodge, the intimate and contemporary Farmstead, and the brand-new Waterside, which offers a spacious sanctuary on the banks of a watering hole. All three options are stylish and comfortable and are situated in the perfect spot for unrivalled wildlife experiences. A luxurious spa and acclaimed dining experiences round out the offerings.
ANGAMA MARA, KENYA
Angama Mara, built on the edge of the Great Rift Valley high above the Maasai Mara, is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking views and truly exceptional year-round game viewing. On the site where some of the most iconic scenes from Out of Africa were filmed, this modern-day classic is the perfect spot for both families and romance.
Each morning, guests can watch hot air balloons sail past their 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling windows, as they luxuriate in their exquisite canvas-tented suite. Beyond just observing, this is the perfect spot to take a hot air balloon safari on their own, explore on foot with a Maasai guide, or celebrate a special occasion.
LONDOLOZI PRIVATE GRANITE SUITES, SOUTH AFRICA
A palette of silver, charcoal and elephant grey in a range of sumptuous materials creates an elegant and contemporary setting in each of the three expansive suites.
The emphasis is on space, light and privacy. A seamless integration with nature is achieved with large doors and windows all opening directly onto the Sand River. Each suite has a luxurious outdoor bath and private, heated swimming pool.
CHIEF’S CAMP, BOTSWANA
Situated on Chief’s Island in the heart of the Okavango Delta, wildlife and wilderness are as abundant as action, adrenaline, refinement and relaxation at this remarkable luxury camp. Personal service, an extraordinary setting, exceptional viewing and enthusiastic expert guides are what sets this property apart. At Sanctuary Chief’s Camp one can expect unique attention to detail and strong environmental and philanthropic credentials to ensure the ultimate luxury safari experience. The 1,500-square-foot luxury bush pavilions feature air conditioning above the beds, outdoor showers, generous tubs, private terrace pools, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
LITTLE KULALA, NAMIBIA
Situated on a dry riverbed in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Little Kulala is the perfect place to experience the splendor and solitude of the Namib Desert. Each of the 11 luxury suites features a spacious deck, sala, and private plunge pool. A private rooftop area is an excellent spot for stargazing and the lower deck is perfect for an exquisitely appointed sleepout under the stars. An exclusive-use gate takes visitors to explore the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei.
SINGITA PAMUSHANA LODGE, ZIMBABWE
With eight luxury suites, each with its own luxury plunge pool, Singita Pamushana Lodge makes for an unforgettable luxury safari, but its work with the non-profit Malilangwe Trust and its enduring purpose to contribute to the conservation of the 130,000-acre wildlife reserve in which it sits sets a new benchmark for meaningful travel experiences. Perched on a sandstone ridge overlooking the Malilangwe Dam, views from Pamushana’s luxury suites are captivating, and a clifftop fire pit and extensive outdoor dining areas make the most of the stunning setting.
MAHALI MZURI, KENYA
Named the #1 Hotel in the World in 2021 by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Mahali Mzuri is Sir Richard Branson’s tented camp in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the Maasai Mara area of Kenya. The unique design of its 12 tented suites is instantly recognizable, perched on a ridge overlooking the valley. Inside, the tents are ultra-stylish and comfortable, and outside, the breathtaking views from a private deck are the star of the show. When it comes to dining, produce is locally sources, breads are baked daily, and everything from bush BBQs to champagne picnics are included.
SINGITA GRUMETI RESERVE, TANZANIA
Singita Grumeti Reserve is home to 5 exceptional properties — Sasakwa Lodge, Faru Faru Lodge, Sabora Tented Camp, Serengeti House, and Singita Explore.
Sasakwa Lodge offers the luxury and sophisticated elegance of an Edwardian manor house, with wraparound verandahs featuring unrivalled views of the savannah, silver candelabras, and bespoke decor elements. Ten cottages and a hillside suite each feature private pools and between 1 and 4 bedrooms.
Faru Faru Lodge overlooks a busy watering hole along the Grumeti River and offers a relaxed and contemporary approach to luxury. Nine airy suites with oversized windows and an organic style bring comfortable luxury to the forefront.
For a safari under canvas, travelers can stay at Sabora Tented Camp, where adventurous luxury combines with modern interpretations of the classic African tented safari in the camp’s nine well-appointed and supremely comfortable tented suites.
Serengeti House is an exclusive-use modern African home featuring four rooms and sleeping up to 8 guests. The house features an infinity pool, outdoor dining deck, fire pit and endless views of the watering hole and the Serengeti plains.
Singita Explore offers guests the opportunity to “rough it in great style.” This private wilderness experience can be customized to your group and can include up to six 1-bedroom tents, each featuring luxury touches in leather, chrome, and canvas.
LION SANDS IVORY LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA
At Ivory Lodge, the focus is on individualized hospitality — from customized spa therapies and private dining to safaris with surprise refreshment stops —and luxury.
The lodge’s eight one-bedroom Villas, set secluded at the confluence of the Sabie and Sand rivers, are the ultimate bush retreats. Each private lounge, patio, deck, and pool invites easy relaxation, while a dedicated team of staff are always on hand to take care of every whim and fancy. Everything is included – from a champagne-stocked “maxibar,” to the washing and pressing of your favorite shirt.
The lodge also includes the two-bedroom Fish Eagle Villa for an even greater sense of privacy, luxury, and personalization. The Fish Eagle Villa includes a private pool and spa, personal chef, and private field guide and game drive vehicle.
Wow! Aren’t you just ready to visit each one of these extraordinary retreats to compare for yourself which one offers the most luxurious experience? It’s a hard job, but I think we should all give it a go!
There are simply so many ultra-luxurious, ultra-pampering properties in Africa, but I hope that this brief list gives you a glimpse into the luxurious safari destinations in Africa. There truly is something for everyone, no matter how you define luxury.
If you have any questions about any of the properties above or about any other camps, lodges, or destinations in Africa, I hope you’ll reach out to us here at Hills of Africa! Just click the button below and fill out our form to get started.