- Lion Sands
We recently published a list of the 30 best hotels in the world, and many of the properties that made the list are are luxury safari lodges in Africa.
Considering that an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime trip during which most people spare no expense, it should come as no surprise that these resorts are some of the world’s most incredible.
To create this list, we aggregated five notable hotel rankings made by elite travel publications and websites: Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels, Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Hotels and Resorts, TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Hotels in the World, Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards, andJetsetter’s Best of the Best Awards. Read the full methodology here.
Check out the world’s seven most luxurious safari lodges.
7. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, Clanwilliam, South Africa
- Courtesy of Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve
The resort’s name refers to the over 130 ancient rock art sites that can be found on its 18,500 acres, which were painted by the ancient Bushman people. When you aren’t taking a tour of the art (the Bushman Kloof Wilderness Reserve is in the Cederberg Mountain area, a South African National Heritage site), and you manage to peel yourself away from your luxurious, award-winning digs, check out the heated pool, fitness center, or spa, or go hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and canoeing.
6. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
- Courtesy of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
This lodge, tucked inside a forest near the Volcanoes National Park, is dramatically located at the feet of the Virunga mountains, a chain of 15,000-foot volcanoes that stretch across Rwanda. However, the star at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is the famous silverback mountain gorilla, of which you will see plenty.
5. Singita Grumeti Reserves, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Singita Grumeti Reserves
The Singita Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania sits on the edge of Serengeti National Park, and is the perfect place to witness Africa’s Great Migration. There are four lodges and a mobile camp to choose from, the nine-cottage Sasakwa Lodge being the most luxurious, as it features private infinity pools, fireplaces, and claw-foot tubs. For the more adventurous, there’s the Sabora Tented Camp, which has nine swanky tents outfitted with antiques, or Singita Explore, a mobile camp that follows the wildlife. The resort also features a spa, yoga center, and tennis courts.
4. Londolozi Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Londolozi Game Reserve
The family-run Londolozi Game Reserve was a family farm and retreat since 1926, before being turned into one of the most luxurious resorts in Africa. Itwas the first game reserve in the world to win a Relais & Chateaux designation, and was one of the first to get into the ecotourism game. The 35,000-acre property features five plush lodges, each with vintage touches hailing back to its early days, like gramophones, and offersyoga, massages, a gym, and and fishing trips. It’s not uncommon to see elephants roaming while taking a dip in one of the plunge pools or laying out on a wooden deck at this luxe family-run property.
3. Singita Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Singita Kruger National Park
The two lodges at Singita Kruger National Park are sleek and modern, and have a distinctly resort-y vibe, with private, heated infinity pools and outdoor showers. The Lebombo Lodge has 15 loft-style suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that resemble a modern bird’s nest thanks to being suspended off a cliff on stilts, and connected by wooden walkways, while the Sweni Lodge sits grounded among trees at the edge of the Sweni River.
The resort offers twice-daily game drives with safari guides who can help point out the area’s wildlife, including lions, elephants, buffalo, zebras, and black rhinos.
2. Lion Sands, Sabi Sand, South Africa
- Lion Sands
Sitting on 10,000 private acres and on the banks of the Sabi River, Lion Sands was purchased as a private vacation home in 1933. Today, there are four super luxe lodges in which rooms have their own decks overlooking the Sands River, as well as private plunge pools and butlers. The highlight however are the resort’s tree houses, especially Chalkley Treehouse (pictured), which is literally a bed in a tree under the stars.
1. Singita Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park Area, South Africa
Three stylish lodges with wholly different vibes sit in this privately owned game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park and on the Sand River. While each lodge at the Singita Sabi Sand is decorated differently, though all by up-and-coming local designers, they all manage to blend luxury and low key, and are both modern and rustic. Ebony is a chic, vintage-looking safari lodge; Boulders is a little more contemporary; and Castleton Lodge is a private rental encompassing six cottages, a pool, tennis court, spa, and gym.