One of the most common questions our entire team receives is “What is your favorite property?” The truth is, we have lots of favorites, for different reasons, for different clients, and for different times of the year. Trying to narrow down our absolute favorites was not an easy feat, but here is the 2024 list of Hills of Africa’s Favorite Africa Properties.

  1. South Africa – Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Tintswalo Safari Lodge stands proudly within the vast expanse of the Manyeleti Nature Reserve. As the sole five-star lodge within the reserve, Tintswalo Safari Lodge distinguishes itself as a pinnacle of exclusivity and sophistication. The 66,000 acres of pristine wilderness serve as a playground for guests seeking an intimate and immersive safari encounter. Nestled along the banks of a seasonal riverbed, the lodge’s prime location enhances the overall safari experience, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding natural beauty. Tintswalo Safari Lodge invites guests to explore this remarkable landscape on exhilarating game drives led by knowledgeable guides, providing opportunities to witness the majestic Big Five and other extraordinary species in their natural habitat.

2. Botswana – Duba Plains

The renowned Duba Plains Camp sits in the heart of the Okavango Delta. A matrix of palm-dotted islands, flood plains, and woodland, the private reserve is typical of the region’s unique landscape. This is the place that the owners, and National Geographic filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, chose for their home base. Great Plains Conservation is the only operator on the concession, thereby offering guests the ultimate opportunity for private wildlife sightings. Duba Plains prides itself on its extraordinary wildlife experiences and intimate up-close exposure to the best of the best wildlife, from lions and leopards to elephants and buffalo and everything in between. Duba Plains is also known for interesting Kalahari species like Aardwolf and Pangolins. Each of their camps has executive chefs and a hand-picked wine list. While Duba Plains offers Botswana’s best land safari as well as an Okavango Delta experience, this is truly a place to find an invigorating, yet peaceful all-round set of experiences, from wildlife viewing and birding or fishing from the boat and exciting drives with knowledgeable guides and friendly hosts. 

3. Kenya – Mara Bushtops

Watching from your own 110 square meter private deck as an abundance of wildlife congregates around the adjacent salt lick is, literally, unforgettable. Having your butler draw your hot tub after a spectacular game drive is heavenly. Delving into the well-stocked wine cellar and enjoying superb cooking simply adds to the magic. The award-winning Amani African Spa Village at Mara Bushtops takes Wild Luxury to new heights. It adds luxurious pampering, peace, and tranquility to the excitement of game-watching, culinary excellence, and the comforts of the Camp. Mara Bushtops boasts a sensational location in front of the largest natural salt lick in the Masai Mara and perched on the side of a hill, with a scenic valley to one side. Set amid the Bushtops private Conservancy bordering the Masai Mara, Activities such as walking safaris, night game drives, a visit to our historic Masai cave, off-road game drives, sundowners, bush breakfasts are part of the experience. Game drives are conducted in open converted 4x4s and accompanied by a professional Ranger and local Masai spotter.

4. Tanzania – Nomad Lamai

Nomad Lamai Serengeti lies in the far north of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, just south of the border with Kenya. Look out across your private veranda as the African plains awaken for all the adventures about to take place. Experience the beauty that surrounds you and see animals run free within their natural habitat as you dine upon local cuisine and flavors. At Nomad Lamai Serengeti, every day is filled with something new to enjoy for all. It’s set high up in the beautiful Kogakuria Kopjes, with views out towards the Mara River Valley and the Lamai Wedge. Between July and October, the camp has a prime position for the great wildebeest migration and is close enough to the Mara River for guests to witness river crossings.

5. Zimbabwe – Old Drift Lodge

Old Drift Lodge is an exquisite retreat situated in the heart of Zambezi National Park, upstream from the world-renowned Victoria Falls. The lodge rests on the banks of the Zambezi River, surrounded by acres of untouched natural beauty. Old Drift Lodge offers guests an array of activities that allow them to explore the park’s wildlife by road, river, or on foot, highlighting the abundance of animals that call the park home. The main lodge area boasts breathtaking 360-degree views, with the north facing onto the Zambezi and the south overlooking a waterhole. With its proximity to the town of Victoria Falls, Old Drift Lodge is an amazing location for guests looking to explore Victoria Falls and immerse themselves in the surrounding wilderness. Old Drift Lodge accommodates safari-goers in 10 double suites and 4 family suites, all air-conditioned and decorated with stylish furnishings that complement the natural environment. The spacious canvas en-suite rooms offer a private lounge, indoor and outdoor showers, a plunge pool, and an outdoor bath that overlooks the majestic Zambezi River. It is definitely our home away from home.

6. Namibia – Shipwreck Lodge

The lodge is located in the famous Skeleton Coast Central Concession between the Hoarusib and Hoanib Rivers in the Skeleton Coast Park. Uniquely designed around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line the nearby coast, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like Shipwreck Lodge. The Skeleton Coast is a raw, rugged, and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas. Spend a day exploring the dry riverbeds, starting with a sunrise breakfast overlooking the incredible landscape and ending with a climb to the top of the great roaring dunes.

7. Zambia – Chendeni Bushcamp

In an enviable location on the edge of a lagoon where hippo chortle and elephant wallow, stands Chindeni – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful tented camps in the South Luangwa. There’s something about sleeping under canvas that ignites a sense of adventure in everyone. Gaze out from your private veranda onto the lagoon which attracts birds and animals from miles around. Or settle back with a gin-and-tonic in the central lounge and dining area – a glorious expanse of varnished decking arranged on several levels around the surrounding ebony trees, boasting, of course, the same spectacular view of the serene lagoon and its inhabitants. With stripped wooden floors, four-poster beds, cozy sitting areas, en suite bathrooms, and vaulted canvas ceilings, Chindeni’s spacious tents are so inviting that you could be forgiven for never wanting to leave your room. Especially when you can see so much wildlife just by stepping onto your own private deck jutting out over the lagoon.  All tents have convertible beds under curtained mosquito nets. Chindeni is open from May to December.

8. Uganda – Bwindi Lodge

Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and with stunning views of the forest canopy across a serene stream, Bwindi Lodge is one of Africa’s unique lodges. The property has dramatic views of the impenetrable forest and is a great place to spot the monkeys and birds hidden in the foliage. During 2021 two new deluxe bandas have opened, standard bandas have been rebuilt and upgraded, and the lounge and library have been reimagined. The award-winning Bwindi Bar, in the high street of the village nearby, is the most stylish and colorful bar in the area! Guests also enjoy informal tapas-style meals inspired by Ugandan dishes. It’s the Harry’s Bar of Bwindi! Guests can make their ‘rolex’ wrap and the delicious Gorillini Cocktail, a must-have after a gorilla tracking in Bwindi! The bar was set up by Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust to train disadvantaged local young people in hospitality.

10. Rwanda – Virunga Lodge

The magnificent Virunga Lodge in Rwanda is one of Africa’s most loved lodges. Perched high on a ridge with dramatic views overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes, Musanze Valley, Lake Bulera, and Lake Ruhondo. The iconic property has defined Rwandese Afro-chic since the lodge was built by Praveen Moman in 2004. The timeless, hand-made style makes it the first accommodation choice for tracking the endangered mountain gorilla. Exceptional hospitality, locally-inspired food, and a private butler are hallmarks of the guest experience. Each of the ten elegant bandas has a private terrace overlooking the dramatic landscape. The three deluxe bandas offer a private suite.

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