You can’t get much further from the trappings of daily life than with a once-in-a-lifetime Safari adventure.
A safari is a surefire way to enliven your senses. Imagine waking up to the sun rising over the distant horizon and illuminating the most primordial landscape, seeing a herd of majestic elephants stroll past your camp, or sitting around an open fire with the sounds of the animal kingdom all around and the clearest night sky you’ve ever seen above your head.
There’s nothing quite like it. A safari is a guaranteed adventure like no other, and for the very best experience, yethere are a number of luxurious lodges that go above and beyond to make sure your trip is the best it can possible be.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 best luxury safari lodges in the world, based on guest ratings, reliable recommendations, and editorial preferences. Enjoy!
Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa
As the original Singita lodge, Ebony epitomises the luxury safari experience. Standing amongst looming trees on the banks of the Sand River in the heart of South Africa’s 45,000-acre Singita Sabi Sands.
With a modern style and extensive facilities, Singita Ebony Lodge is a contemporary interpretation of the classic safari lodge, combining tented camp and bush lodge style. Well-polished ebony and mahogany woods set the scene for a memorable foray into South Africa’s ‘big cat country.’
Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa
Shamwari Game Reserve is renowned as one of the conservation initiatives in South Africa. The 5-star lodge has combined responsible tourism with unabating luxury to offer a unique safari experience.
Situated in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, Shamwari Game Reserve is a family-friendly property that, along with its award-winning green initiatives, boasts wild-roaming animals, daily game drives, and some of the most indulgent spa treatments around. You might also recognise the resort from the British TV series of Safari School, which was filmed here
Pondoro Game Lodge, South Africa
If you’re looking for an intimate and luxurious safari lodge, Pondoro is for you. With the perfect balance of romance and exclusivity, Pondoro Game Lodge command an idyllic location on the banks of the Olifants River in the Balule Private Game Reserve, which is Inside the greater Kruger National Park.
Complete with a rock pool and spa with waterfalls, the luxury lodge also features expansive thatched cottages rich with African art and fabrics. Cottages also have their own private wooden deck, while a delectable fusion of traditional African and modern European cuisine can be enjoyed on a wooden deck high up in the tree canopy overlooking the Olifants River.
Jock Safari Lodge, South Africa
Located in the heart of the Kruger National Park, Jock Safari Lodge is a luxurious lodge named in honour of Jock of the Bushveld, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who was the courageous and loyalty companion to the famous African pioneer Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.
Considered one of best 5-star game lodges in the Kruger National Park, especially by the troves of guests that return year after year, Jock Safari Lodge makes an ideal base in an area noted for its diversity in game, particularly the Big 5. Suitable for families, the lodge offers educational game drives and wilderness walks, decadent spa treatments, and traditional and modern cuisine to suit everyone’s palate. Just watch out for the Vervet monkeys that play in the treetops around the property. They have been known to be a bit more than inquisitive.
Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Tanzania
Another of the formidable Singita family of luxury lodges, Faru Faru is smaller and more intimate than the Ebony Lodge, but just as painstakingly beautiful. Set on the banks of the Grumeti River, Singita’s Faru Faru is located along the route of the yearly great wildebeest migration in the Grumeti Reserve, to the west of the Serengeti, providing an unbeatable vantage point for the natural spectacle.
Singita Faru Faru Lodge is a mix of contemporary luxury and rustic style. With only nine suites, the camp and its facilities will feel like they’re all yours. The facilities include two swimming pool, spa, gym, boutique and gallery. Oh, and there is no mobile phone signal and WiFi is unreliable, but with the awesome display going on around you, I’m sure you won’t mind.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
In the Northern Cape of South Africa, on the edge of the Kalahari, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is a stunning family-friendly resort that, due to its policy to never accept more than 30 guests at a time, is humble and welcoming.
With a strong commitment to the conservation of their beautiful surroundings, a stay at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve will yield an education on local and global conservation matters, whilst exploring and adventuring in what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.
Leopard Hills, South Africa
With awe-inspiring views from its lofty location atop a rocky outcrop in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Leopard Hills is an extremely comfortable place to encounter the diverse wildlife of Africa.
Keep your eyes peeled on twice-daily game drives, bush walks, and even the watering hole that the lodge overlooks, where a number of animals come to drink. The 5-star luxury lodge features eight newly renovated and decorated glass-fronted, air-conditioned suites, each with private plunge pool and spectacular views over the African bush. There is also an outdoor pool, massage services, and an outstanding fine-dining restaurant.
- Located in Mkuze, Thanda Private Game Reserve offers 5-star accommodation amid 14,000 hectares of private, well-conserved land to explore. This ensures that your chance of seeing one of the big five is high. Thanda is also home to giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, kudus, impalas, inyalas, and many more.
- As well stylish nine unique bush villas where you can enjoy privacy and absolute luxury, the resort features a well-equipped fitness centre, as well as a BBQ/picnic area, supervised childcare/activities and a kids club. Those staying at Thanda Private Game Reserve can also sit down to a unique dining experience at the in-house restaurant before winding down in the lounge bar.
- Read more, see more images and get the very best rates for your stay at Thanda Private Game Reserve here.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania
The third on our list from the Singita family of luxury safari lodges in Africa, the Sasakwa Lodge is irresistibly glamorous and offers a truly 5-star safari experience. Sat on a hill overlooking the picturesque grasslands of its surrounding 350,000 acres of private game reserve, the property offers the perfect blend of African authenticity and modern comforts.
When you’re not making use of the spa, tennis court, or infinity pool, or are relaxing in your spacious suite, you can tour the plains with expert trackers and hopefully get more than a glimpse of The Big Five and other local inhabitants.
The River Club, Zambia
The River Club is an intimate oasis located on the banks of the unforgiving Zambezi River, just 18km upstream from the spectacular Victoria Falls, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. Each glamorous chalet of the resort overlooks the river and come fully equipped with all the comforts you’d expect from a 5-star hotel.
Smiling staff, great dining, and a wide range of activities have guests raving about this small, well-run safari lodge. As a guest, you can enjoy a Rhino Walk through the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, motorboat safaris, white-water rafting, and cultural visits to nearby historic sites.