5 Tips For Choosing The Best Luxury Safari Camp in Africa

The great wilderness areas of Africa have long been a huge draw for those seeking an extraordinary wildlife adventure. If you long to visit this fascinating continent, you will want to experience the very best of it and a key part is finding the right safari accommodation for you. There are many options, from tented bush camps to luxury safari lodges, it all depends on what you’re looking for. Here are five things you might want to consider when choosing where you’ll stay.

Tips For Choosing The Best Luxury Safari Camps in Africa

1. Seeing Africa’s Greatest Animals

Seeing Africa’s Greatest Animals

Africa has a remarkable ecosystem, home to a host of animals and birds including the famous Big Five animals and endangered gorillas. Searching for wildlife plays a key part in the wonders of an African safari and seeing any wildlife in its natural habitat is a big part of why many people visit Africa. Check out where your safari accommodation options are located – many are in prime wildlife spots in the heart of a game area, some may even overlook a waterhole where the game comes to drink, while others require a drive to the nearest wildlife viewing areas.

Best African Safari Lodges for Game Viewing

  • Governor’s Camp, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya: Located in the forest along the banks of the Mara River, it’s the ideal location to see crocodiles, hippos and birds as they gather along the river.
  • Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana: This camp is situated on the north-eastern tip of Chiefs Island, an area teeming with game and the best place for big five sightings in Botswana.
  • Sabora Tented Camp, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: Located in the centre of the majestic Serengeti Plains, this camp offers great sightings of zebra, buffaloes and the wildebeest migration.
  • Savute Elephant Lodge, Chobe National Park, Botswana: This camp provides comfortable viewing, where by you can watch elephants, hyenas and leopards as they quench their thirst at the waterhole.
  • Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa: Overlooking the southern banks of Sabie River, this camp boasts kingfishers, flycatchers, spotted hyenas, fruit bats and thick-tailed bush baby sightings.
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2. Comfortable Camp Downtime

Comfortable Camp Downtime

Africa is full of beautiful wilderness and part of a safari holiday is the bush experience, driving through scenic landscape in search of animals and birds. After a long game drive, it’s wonderful to return to a beautiful safari camp where you can enjoy all the comfort and amenities of home. There’s a huge range of luxury African safari options – some are 5-star plus level – while others have a more down-to-earth, rustic appeal. Whichever level suits you, your accommodation should give you a comfortable place to relax after an adventurous day in the bush.

Luxury African Safari Lodges With Five-Star Ratings

  • Angama Mara, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: This camp’s peaceful ambiance paired with its location suspended over the Great Rift Valley is ideal for guests to enjoy much-needed downtime.
  • Chief’s Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana: A serene camp, equipped with all amenities such as a bar, library, reception, curio shop, swimming pool and a main deck with panoramic floodplain views.
  • Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Kruger National Park, South Africa: Set on the banks of Sand River, the luxurious suites are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including indoor and outdoor showers and heated swimming pools.
  • andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania: Inspired by the African landscape, the lodge has a decadent interior and is equipped with services such as in-room massages to help unwind after a day’s safari.
  • Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: The panoramic views of the endless Serengeti Plains from the lodge are the perfect place for guests to unwind and feel a sense of freedom.

3. Finding the Perfect Stretch of Africa

Finding the Perfect Stretch of Africa

Africa is a massive continent, and while its great plains are an iconic image of an African safari, there is so much more to discover. Stay on a tropical stretch of coastline, climb huge sand dunes, explore lush jungles or walk among rugged hills and mountains. Combine one or two locations, such as bush and beach, or visit multiple landscapes, taking in the variety of Africa in one big sweep. Whatever scenic beauties you want to experience, there are many types of safaris to consider, some of which will have a wide variety of luxury African safari lodges to stay while others will be more limited.

Best African Safari Lodges with Captivating Views

  • Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda: Dramatic views of the peaks of Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes.
  • Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Kruger National Park, South Africa: Overlooking the incredible granite rocks of Sabi River.
  • Sossusvlei Lodge, Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia: Spectacular views of the beautiful desert landscape.
  • Angama Mara, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: Spellbinding views of the remarkable Great Rift Valley.
  • Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania: An iconic view of the largest intact volcanic caldera.

4. Hide or Seek?

Waterholes in front of a lodge or camp are the perfect place to sit in comfort and watch as the game comes to you. In addition, some places have a hide where you sit in a hidden location, often next to a waterhole, to watch animals coming to drink at a close, but concealed range. Watching at a waterhole or staking out a hide, are not quite the roaming adventure of the traditional African safari, but are fantastic ways to get up close to a host of animals without the need to go out and explore.

African Safari Camps Overlooking Popular Waterholes

  • Arathusa Safari Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reservem South Africa: Well-known for big five sightings, especially leopards, the camp has a swimming pool overlooking the Arathusa waterhole.
  • Halali Rest Camp, Etosha National Park, Namibia: A popular spot for elephant, leopard and rhino viewing, the camp has a floodlit waterhole which is ideal for night-time animal viewing.
  • Hippo Pools, Kruger National Park, South Africa: With a high probability of buffalo, crocodiles, elephant  and hippo sightings, the pool provides a perfect lookout for visitors.
  • Savute Safari Lodge, Chobe National Park, Botswana: A swimming pool and sundeck overlook the waterhole with regular sightings of elephant, impala, kingfishers and kudu.
  • Senyati Safari Camp, Botswana: The waterhole attracts banded mongoose, buffalo, elephants, hyena, monkey baboons, roan antelope, sable and warthogs, and if your lucky, leopard.

5. Price of Admission

The last thing to consider may be obvious, but it’s still an important consideration. What is your budget for your fantastic African safari? Luxury is often a term that gets thrown around, but more money doesn’t always mean a better experience. Having a personal butler is wonderful, but it doesn’t mean you see more elephants and beautiful scenery. So decide what level best suits you and do some research to find out what accommodation location and amenities are important to you.

Affordable African Safari Accommodations (Per Person Sharing)

The prices for every camp and lodges fluctuates during the year, with high and low season rates. Prices can sky rocket during peak season, while low season rates are much more reasonable.  We’ve found some lodges that have great rates year-round.

  • Black Rhino Game Lodge, Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa: A hidden gem in the forest at the foot of an volcanic crater in scenic surroundings.
  • Crocodile Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: In a beautiful river side location offering comfortable safari tents close to the park entrance.
  • Isibindi Zulu Lodge, Isibindi Game Reserve, South Africa: Simple huts with lovely views, close to the historic battlefields in Zululand.
  • Gomo Gomo Lodge, Klaserie Private Reserve, South Africa: Nestled in a game reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park, home of the big five.
  • Umkhumbi Safari Lodge,  Kuleni Game Park, South Africa: With delightful rooms and great dining, this bush lodge is near Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park.

Finding Your Perfect Place to Stay in Africa

Figuring out all of these details can make a perfect African safari and with your goals set, you only need to find the right accommodation in Africa. When you are ready to stat planning, SafariDeal travel partners can accommodate your budget and style. We have a host of interesting destinations and a lot of fantastic tours and safaris to allow you to experience Africa in all its splendour. Learn more today!

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About author

MD and Co-Founder. Born in Zimbabwe, Robin has a long history in Africa, and safaris in general, from running lodges to marketing. He is always on the look out for new ideas and products from around the safari world.

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