In the world of travel, South Africa’s luxury safari lodges stand in a category of their own. Despite their isolation in remote corners of the bush, these properties incorporate stylish antiques, private plunge pools and some of the finest cuisine in the country. A stay at one of these properties becomes far more than a series of unbelievable game drives – it becomes an exercise in indulgence, relaxation and total exclusivity. Some lodges will transport you back to the bygone era of early African exploration, while others take “glamping” (glamorous camping) to an entirely new level. With price points that range from $US500 to $US2000 per night, these luxury safari lodges are a lavish treat worthy of anyone’s bucket list.
Bayethe Lodge, Shamwari Private Game Reserve
This stunning canvas tent with hardwood floors is a luxurious twist on your standard bush camping experience.
A deep claw-foot bathtub and a rustic outdoor shower adds further luxury to the camping adventure.
Dulini Lodge, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
A Robinson Crusoe-style rope bridge sends you out across a dry river bed in search of leopards and lions.
Whether you opt for a leisurely soak, a lavish indoor shower or an elegant outdoor shower, you will always retain a prime wildlife viewing spot in this glass enclosed bathroom
Unwind beside the river with a cocktail on this stunning porch.
Savanna Lodge, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
Drift to sleep under a thatched roof in this impossibly comfortable bed.
Royal Malewane, Thornybush Private Game Reserve
Relaxation is taken to the ultimate level in this elegant bathroom overlooking a private pool and the unmaintained bush.
Collapse into this stunning antique bed, heated every evening with a hot water bottle.
Choose between one of three outdoor relaxation spots at your private cottage: in the infinity pool, in the shaded lounge area or on a lounge chair in the sun.
Round off the afternoon with a glass of sherry in a crystal glass, before returning to the bush for an evening of game drives.
Elephant Plains Lodge, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
The Big Five, luxury accommodation, delicious cuisine, excellent service and a picture perfect setting – Elephant Plains Lodge offers all you need and more in a luxury safari. While you will feel the luxury around you, the setup is unpretentious, allowing you to truly relax as if you were at home.
Africa on Foot, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve
At Africa on Foot you can opt to spend a night in the treehouse – a wooden structure nestled high up in the trees with an amazing view of the game below, which can be admired from the comfort of your bed. Or you can settle down for the night in one of the five chalets with indoor or outdoor shower, comfortable beds, solar-powered lamps and mosquito nets.
Lodge 23, Elephant Point Private Reserve
Lodge 23 is located on the banks of the Sabie River on a 290-hectare private reserve estate, Elephant Point, which is a five-hour drive from Johannesburg or 45 minutes from Skukuza airport. It’s got just four self-catering rooms that face the river, all styled with Indian and Moroccan themes. Each room has an en-suite bathroom with outside shower or bath, tea- and coffee-making facilities, air-conditioner and fan.
Rhino Post Safari Lodge, Kruger National Park
This luxury safari lodge features 22 rooms: eight villas, two honeymoon villas, and six two-room suites. Amenities include an infinity pool with sundeck, fireplaces in each villa, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi. Game viewing, birding, guided bush walks and day trips to iSimangaliso Wetland Park are among the activities offered.