When you think of traveling to Africa for your first safari, chances are you think of visiting South Africa. This country is full of some incredible safari lodges, and indeed has the highest concentration of luxury safari lodges on the continent. So, where are the best safari lodges in South Africa? We’ve listed the 10 best of the best.
1. Singita Boulders, Sabi Sands
Set along the idyllic Sand River, Singita Boulders is one of the most sought after lodges set on the edge of the Kruger National Park. Not only is the location enviable, with game consistently spotted nearby the lodge, but the rooms are delightfully inventive. Each suite comes with a private pool, oversized deck, and the occasional elephant passing by to drink from your pool (yes, really!)
2. Ivory Lodge, Lion Sands Game Reserve
As one of the most uniquely designed lodges in the Sabi Sands, Lion Sands Game Reserve is perhaps the most photogenic safari lodge in all of South Africa. Located on the banks of the Sabi River, this lodge offers one of the most exclusive and private lodge experiences anywhere on the continent. So, what makes it so unique?
Each luxury villa is set apart from the next, by a distance of twenty metres. The bedrooms are separated from the living area in each suite, by an oversized outdoor deck. Then there are the floor to ceiling windows, which make it not only possible but likely that you will witness wildlife from the privacy of your own room.
3. Londolozi Lodge, Lion Sands Game Reserve
As one of South Africa’s original private game reserves, the legacy that is Londolozi Lodge attracts visitors from all over the world, year after year. The word Londolozi comes from a Zulu word and means ‘Protector Of All Living Things’. This accurately reflects the ambition of the lodge to commit themselves to meaningful conservation efforts, so you can rest assured your visit contributes directly to conservation of the land, wildlife and communities in the region you are visiting. Oh, and did we mention that bathtub view!?
4. Royal Malewane, Thorny Bush Game Reserve
Royal Malewane is one of the most popular all-inclusive lodges, especially for the American market. The lodge hones in on the traditional safari experience – with beautiful villas and suites that blend seamlessly into the bush surrounds. The highlight of this lodge stay was in fact an exquisite bush dinner, whereby guests were ushered to a remote tent after an evening game drive. Believe me – this lodge is something extra special, at every turn!
5. andBeyond Rock Lodge, Phinda Game Reserve
Phinda Game Reserve is a private reserve located in northern KwaZulu-Natal, not too far from the eastern coast of South Africa. Including all food, beverage, accommodation and game drives, andBeyond Rock Lodge is one of the most surreal settings with all of the trimmings attached. As far as lodges go, andBeyond possess some of my favourite lodges of all time across their collection. And their lodges in South Africa are no different – with a commitment to conservation at the same time as providing guests with the ultimate in luxury travel experiences. Truly, they can do no wrong!
6. Tree Tops Safari Lodge, Lalibela Game Reserve
Lalibela Tree Tops is one of the more ethereal safari lodges, perfect for the dreamers among us. If you’re looking for a lodge that is extra special, tree tops is your best bet. The luxury safari tents are perched high over the game reserve below, making for incredible sunrises to wake up to in the early mornings.
7. Singita Sweni, Kruger National Park
As I mentioned earlier, Singita lodges are considered the creme de la creme in luxury safari lodges. And if you are looking for a lodge that is a little more discreet and secluded, you will find just that at Singita Sweni. Overlooking the Sweni River, each of the tented suites provides an opportunity to not only listen to, but sometimes witness hippo’s down below. Being this immersed in the wildlife of the African bush is an experience that not many other things in the world can add up to!
8. Madikwe Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve
As a family owned business, Madikwe Safari Lodge pride themselves on giving guests a more grass roots experience, yet still with all the luxurious finishing touches. The lodge is also perfect for families, as there is plenty of room to bring the whole tribe. Being more family friendly, the lodge has a much more approachable feel and offers panoramic views over Madikwe Game Reserve down below.
9. Lukimbi Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
Offering a typical Kruger style safari, Lukimbi Safari Lodge is a great choice for travellers who want all the trimmings but with a slightly more appealing price tag. Lukimbi also host more than the ordinary game drive, with walking safaris on offer to discover the bush with an experienced game ranger.
10. Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Chances are you have heard of Ulusaba Rock Lodge before. And if not, let me fill you in! Ulusaba is Richard Branson’s lodge set on his Private Game Reserve in the Western sector of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. With just ten individually designed rooms and suites, this is a beautiful lodge for couples looking to get away and enjoy a private oasis. And that rounds out our list for the best safari lodges in South Africa! Happy travels in South Africa.