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South Africa’s Top 10 Safari Lodges

  • January 20, 2023
  • 6 min read
South Africa’s Top 10 Safari Lodges

Remote and pristine, South Africa’s Top 10 safari lodges combine the ultimate in luxury with the tranquility of the African bushveld. Sustainable design, impeccable decor and unmatched levels of exclusivity combine to deliver safari experiences that are second to none. Get inspired with our collection of the Top 10 safari lodges in South Africa.

1. Elephant Plains

Thanks to its warm hospitality, supreme levels of personal service and attention to detail, Elephant Plains sees guests returning again and again. Here you can spot the Big Five with ease, as well as a vast array of other plains game and a stunning variety of bird species. Besides twice-daily game drives and bush walks that immerse you in the magic of the wilderness, you can indulge in stargazing adventures, fine dining and exploring the lodge’s outstanding wine cellar. Leopard sightings are common here, so if you’re after spotting this elusive big cat, you won’t be disappointed.

2. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

This lodge in the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve is a perfect example of environmentally conscious construction. Designed to blend in with its natural environment, it delivers unspoiled views of the dramatic African bushveld. Relax in a spa that offers holistic treatments, indulge in the wine cellar featuring 6000 bottles of rare wines, get in touch with yourself in the meditation garden or relax under the unique boma. Expert guides and local Shangaan trackers will share their extensive knowledge with you on unforgettable game drives as you explore the bush on a South African safari.

3. Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Tucked away in the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Ulusaba Rock Lodge forms part of the collection of Sir Richard Branson’s luxury safari lodges. Dust off the city blues as you indulge in unspoiled panoramic views of the African bush, relax at the pool, enjoy a bird’s eye view of the plains on a helicopter flip, and soak in the tranquility of the impeccable wilderness on game drives. Each suite is individually decorated, exuding style and all the creature comforts you can think of.

4. Tintswalo Safari Lodge

This beautifully secluded safari lodge is situated adjacent to Kruger National Park in the spotless Manyeleti Game Reserve. The suites exude 19-century charm, each featuring a private pool with excellent views of the local waterhole where the wildlife gathers to slake their thirst. With one of the lowest vehicle densities in the Greater Kruger, Tinstwalo provides unmatched exclusivity, with unusual trips like game walks, hot-air balloon rides and stargazing expeditions.

5. Londolozi Lodge

Located in an area of the Kruger National Park with the highest concentration of big cats, Londolozi lodge in the Londolozi Game Reserve offers up unique opportunities for the safari enthusiast. Five perfectly appointed camps in the family-run setup provide the ultimate in luxury safari experiences, and conservation efforts in the area have yielded a significant leopard population. Venture out into this gorgeous destination on game drives, soak up the bushveld in your outdoor bathtub and tuck into incredible dining on the deck.

6. Kapama Game Reserve

The Klaserie River winds its way across this unique location, bringing with it an enormous array of wildlife, including a massive 350 bird species. The game reserve’s four luxury lodges (Karula, Southern Camp, River Lodge, and Buffalo Camp) provide pristine exclusivity, the utmost in elegance and a warm welcome to the African bushveld. Catch the sunrise on an early morning game drive, kick back in the spa, or be immersed in the wild on a guided bush walk. You can even brush up on your photography skills with a workshop hosted by one of South Africa’s best wildlife photographers.

7. Lion Sands River Lodge

Lion Sands Game Reserve shares access to the perennial Sabie River with the Kruger National Park, and features stunning views with excellent opportunities for wildlife sightings. While you’ll easily get to see the Big Five here, the area is also famous for its record number of leopard sightings. Tuck into boma dinners, safari lunches, and sundowners on the deck as you unwind and soak up the wonders of the African bush. Expert trackers and guides will help you explore the wilds on twice-daily game drives, sharing their knowledge of creatures great and small. The lodge also features Kosher dining, with meals prepared in a separate kitchen.

8. Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge

Nestled on the banks of the Mluwati River, Hoyo Hoyo safari lodge features an eclectic mix of traditional Tsonga style and contemporary luxury. With a capacity of just 12 guests, you can be assured of extreme exclusivity and unrivalled hospitality. Enjoy spa treatments in the privacy of your own deck, indulge in three-course dinners and generally just soak up the pristine wilderness. This was one of the first private concessions in the Kruger National Park and its sustained conservation efforts wont’ go unnoticed, with regular spottings of the Big Five and a massive 500 bird species on offer.

9. Singita Boulders Lodge

Positioned in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, Singita gets its name from the local Shangaan phrase which translates to ‘places of miracles.’ Its 12 glass-fronted suites blend in effortlessly with the boulders along the Sand River, each featuring an outdoor shower, private deck, fireplace and heated pool. Post twice-daily game drives where you’ll spot wild dogs, lions, hippos, elephants and a wide variety of plains game, turn your tastebuds to the lodge’s delicious collection of fine wines.

10. Dulini Lodge

Intimate Dulini lodge boasts just six suites, set within a forest of ebony trees. Positioned in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and sharing a fenceless border with the Kruger National Park, this remote lodge features enthusiastic and expert guides and rangers who are always keen to share the sights and the sounds of the bush with you on game drives. Embedded as deep as it is in the bush, it’s highly likely you’ll be spotting wildlife right from the lodge’s viewing deck, including the Big Five. Leopard sightings here are not uncommon either.       

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