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Prime 11 Safari Lodges in South Africa


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No journey to South Africa could be full with out visiting a sport reserve or Nationwide Park. Whilst you can camp or keep at one of many great nationwide park chalets, staying at one of many safari lodges in South Africa has its benefits. They’re good to expertise the wilderness, for a household trip, a romantic escapade, or for when you must pamper your self. 

We’ve put collectively an inventory of the most effective safari lodges (with the assistance of some fellow journey writers), for anybody who’s planning their safari journey and chooses to remain at a lodge. 

Safari Lodges in Larger Kruger

The very first thing we must always word is that the Larger Kruger just isn’t the identical because the Kruger Nationwide Park. They’re two various things. The Larger Kruger is a gaggle of over 20 privately-owned sport reserves which are adjoining to the nationwide park and fall beneath an affiliate physique, the Related Personal Nature Reserves (APNR). Most of those reserves, eliminated their fences again in 1993, including about 180,000 hectares to the protected space of the park, permitting for the free motion of wildlife between the nationwide park and them. 

Sometimes a long lens is helpful. I shot this leopard with a 500mm plus 1.4X teleconverter

Among the lodges are well-known for his or her leopard sightings.

Entry to the reserves is unique for patrons, and never nationwide park guests, making the Larger Kruger the best base for a safari with no crowds.

Among the reserves that type the Larger Kruger are Balule, Klaserie, Singita, Timbavati, and Thornybush Personal Recreation Reserve. 

Naledi Recreation Lodge, Balule Personal Recreation Reserve

Naledi game lodge outdoor seating area

Naledi Recreation Lodge ©Lucy Dodsworth

Naledi Recreation Lodge is about within the 40,000-hectare Balule non-public sport reserve on the sting of Kruger Park. The boundary between the 2 is unfenced so you may see the identical wildlife as in Kruger, however entry to Balule is restricted so it by no means feels crowded. 

And it’s this sense of house that makes Naledi so particular. Their Bush Camp has solely 4 suites – although two have two bedrooms so are appropriate for households or teams of mates. However there’s solely a most of 13 friends without delay. Every suite has non-public decks and a few have non-public plunge swimming pools. There are additionally loads of communal areas, with an outside pool, terrace, and many tucked-away seating areas.

Daybreak and nightfall sport drives are included in your keep, however you too can spend the afternoon in considered one of their hides and let the wildlife come to you, or take a guided bush stroll with skilled guides. Naledi’s rangers are specialists of their area, who speak friends by the ecology of the realm in addition to uncover wildlife sightings you’d by no means see your self. For the most effective wildlife, go to within the dry winter season (June to August) when there’s much less vegetation and animals migrate to waterholes.

Two zebras neck to neck

Watch attention-grabbing zebra habits throughout a sport drive 

Naledi’s friends are a global combine and it’s a social place with drinks across the hearth and communal dinners every night. And every evening a special member of workers eats dinner with friends so yow will discover out about their lives. The meals is without doubt one of the finest issues about Naledi, with native dishes utilizing recent produce and culminating with a standard braai on the final evening. Simply be careful for the resident monkeys who may make a seize for any leftovers. 

Klaserie Drift Misava Lodge, Klaserie Personal Nature Reserve 

Klaserie Drift Misava is an unique, 5* safari lodge positioned within the coronary heart of the Larger Kruger Nationwide Park. Set on a mild cliff overlooking the Klaserie River, the spectacular pool deck is considered one of our favourite options – boasting panoramic views the place you may look out for herds of elephants, giraffes, and plentiful sport of their pure atmosphere beneath. The world itself is understood for excellent game-viewing, considerable wildlife, and numerous topography. The lodge additionally prides itself on a low-car-density, eco-conscious strategy to safari tourism. 
Swimming pool overlooking savannah

Attractive views from the pool at Klasserie ©Klaserie Drift


That includes six gorgeous suites, Klaserie Drift Misava presents an intimate setting and “informal luxurious” ethos – best for {couples}, mates and households alike. For the extra finances aware, their Backyard-view suites are charming but elegant. Nevertheless, to actually spoil your self we suggest their River-view suites for gorgeous views mixed with unequalled luxurious. 


Day or evening, their pleasant workers love to make sure your keep is a really memorable expertise – from the gifted cooks delivering scrumptious, connoisseur meals to the welcoming front-of-house workforce. On safari, their passionate guides provide interpretive sport drives and walks, weaving intriguing tales with their huge data of the wildlife as you rise up shut with Africa’s most iconic animals. Uncover the traditional artwork of monitoring, study the delicate nuances of elephant habits and be amazed on the medicinal significance of the numerous native crops and bushes.

Finding solitude on a Kruger self drive safari

Study elephants at Klaserie


For the most effective probability to see the enduring Massive-5 and extra, the dry, winter months of June to October are usually a good time to go to. Nevertheless, our favourite season is November to January when the realm comes alive with vibrant colours and exquisite birds, in addition to a good chance to nonetheless see the fabled 5.


What makes this lodge so particular? The intimate environment, pleasant workers, and fashionable twist on safari lodge design – in addition to these insane views!


Singita Boulders Lodge, Sabi Sand Recreation Reserve

Sand river at sunset

Singita Boulders lodge sits by the Sand River ©Singita

Sabi Sands Reserve is a 16,000 acres reserve adjoining Kruger Nationwide Park. There are not any fences between the reserve and the park and wildlife strikes between the 2 freely. Sabi Sands Recreation Reserve is well-known for its leopard sightings. If you wish to see leopards, that is the place!

Singita Boulders lodge sits alongside the banks of the Sand River, and it naturally blends throughout the panorama because it was constructed utilizing pure supplies like stone and wooden. 

The gorgeous lodge suites have an additional factor of luxurious as their non-public swimming pools are heated. So regardless of the season, your non-public pool can be there after an exhilarating sport drive. 

The Boulders Lodge is heaven for wine lovers as Singita is well-known for being one of the crucial influential collectors of wine in Africa. Throughout your keep, go to their wine cellar and ebook a customized wine tasting with Singita’s skilled sommeliers

plunge pool with a view

The plunge pool with a view to the Sand River on the Deluxe villa ©Singita

Boulders Lodge welcomes households with little ones, they’ve designed every kind of safari actions so children don’t get bored. Board video games, star gazing, cooking interactions, bush walks (solely over 16)…For these households with smaller children that aren’t in a position to go on sport drives simply but, the lodge presents a baby minding service. So carry your loved ones on a safari! 

Ulusaba Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Recreation Reserve

A part of the Virgin Restricted Version, Ulusaba is a non-public sport reserve inside Sabi Sand, on the sting of Kruger Nationwide Park. It’s the right vacation spot for a honeymoon or a romantic break, and a preferred spot for weddings too!

Bedroom at Ulusaba safari lodge

Contained in the Ulusaba reserve you’ll discover 13,500 hectares of untamed bush to find in addition to a few luxurious locations to remain. Safari Lodge  lies down on the banks of a dry riverbed and is the right spot for early morning wildlife viewing out of your mattress! Some rooms include plunge swimming pools, and some are accessed alongside an thrilling rope bridge stroll. There’s a spa right here too. For an actual splurge, Rock Lodge is perched up on an outcrop with excellent views out throughout the plains, which will be loved out of your non-public dipping pool. 

Leopard portrait

It’s at all times thrilling to identify a leopard.

Wildlife viewing on an Ulusaba safari is excellent, with two every day sport drives and a bush stroll for intrepid explorers. It’s an awesome place to tick off the Massive 5, in addition to the Little 5 which embody elephant shrews and rhino beetles! The reserve is famend for its leopards, and lots of friends come away having noticed greater than only one!

The meals at Ulusaba is on the prime of its sport, with every thing from elaborate bush breakfasts involving cooks and chocolate pancakes, to barbecue feasts within the boma with some native leisure. You’ll by no means go hungry right here, and there’s a well-stocked bar too. You’ll be able to go to Ulusaba at any time of 12 months, however the most effective time is Autumn to Spring, when the times are barely cooler and vegetation is sparser, making animals simpler to identify.


Tangala, Thornybush Recreation Reserve

Situated within the Thornybush Recreation Reserve, Tangala Safari Camp presents a Nice Safari expertise at an affordable value. This intimate camp is small with solely 4 bush chalets and 6 luxurious tents, and it may be an awesome journey particularly in case you have a gaggle that’s massive sufficient to take over the whole camp. They do provide the power to ebook the whole camp in case your celebration is massive sufficient.

Breakfast, brunch, Excessive-tea, and dinner are offered in the fee in addition to usually early morning and night sport drives.

Leopard laying in the grass

Spot leopards at Thornybush @Anwar Yafai

Thornybush is a non-public reserve on the outskirts of Kruger Nationwide Park, nonetheless by agreements with different reserves, in 2017 they’ve opened among the gates to permit animals to maneuver between the reserves. This provides to the advantage of the animal and the variety of the sport that’s obtainable. Since a number of camps use the identical reserve, guides share data to assist find the assorted kinds of sport to maximise the animals you’ll see in your drives.

The meals at Tangala is great with a wide range of completely different choices in addition to the power to accommodate varied dietary restrictions (together with gluten-free). Drinks are further and there are plans that enable limitless drinks of alcoholic and non-alcoholic sorts. 

Safari Lodges in Kruger Nationwide Park 

Kruger Nationwide Park might be probably the most well-known nationwide park on the earth. And it is usually the right African Nationwide Park for a primary safari. Its closeness to Johannesburg, the good community of roads, the considerable wildlife, and the huge array of kinds of lodging makes them an awesome possibility to your first African safari. 

Giraffe in the road in Kruger National Park

Get misplaced on a gravel again street in Kruger and have intimate wildlife encounters.

The Outpost 

If you’re visiting Kruger Nationwide Park and want to flee the crowds, your only option is to remain at a lodge within the park. And considered one of our favourite safari lodges in Kruger is The Outpost.

The Outpost is positioned on the north finish of the park, simply 6 miles to the Pafuri gate, in a 26,500ha concession space belonging to the Makulele individuals. This space of the park is famend for its birding (over 350 species of birds have been recorded), and we have been fortunate sufficient to see the well-known Pel’s Owl, one of many shyest owls of South Africa

Perched above the Luvuvhu River, The Outpost presents memorable views of the river plain, with rolling African sand veld sprinkled with baobabs and acacia bushes. Convey the binoculars as it isn’t tough to identify a herd of elephants or buffalo. 

The luxurious suites on the lodge are all spacious, with far-reaching views of the river. The suite wall overlooking the river is a retractable, remote-controlled display screen that gives 180º of uninterrupted views. Certainly one of my favourite moments was taking a shower whereas watching elephants down beneath. 

The greatest bathtub ever: The Outpost Lodge

The best bathtub ever: The Outpost Lodge

Convey your sweetie, as that is the right place for a romantic break. Take pleasure in a spa therapy within the privateness of your room, take a sundown sport drive, and have sundowners whereas diurnal animals put together to retire for the evening. Again on the lodge, have a candle-lit dinner by the swimming pool, whereas the bush evening awakens.  Hear…was {that a} hyena? 

The beautifully designed pool, sitting area, bar, and dining area at the Outpost.

The superbly designed pool, sitting space, bar, and eating space on the Outpost.

Safari Lodges in Kwazulu-Natal

Kwazulu-Natal is without doubt one of the finest provinces in South Africa to go on safari. All the sport reserves and nationwide parks within the province are very accessible and shut to at least one one other. Overlook driving for hours going from one place to a different.

Kwazulu-Natal can also be the right place if you’re on the lookout for a seashore and safari trip, because the Elephant Coast, with iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Kosi Bay are only a brief drive from the bush.

walking safari in south africa

Watching cheetahs on a strolling safari in Kwazulu-Natal

Thanda Safari Lodge, Thanda Safari, a Personal Recreation Reserve

With a reputation which means love within the Zulu language, there actually is far to like on the a number of award-winning Thanda Safari Lodge. Located in a 14 000 ha non-public sport reserve within the Northern a part of South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province, which is shared by the three Thanda properties solely, it’s as unique because it will get. With solely 9 bush suites, this intimate lodge presents privateness and luxurious.

Deck overlooking game reserve

Deck overlooking the sport reserve 

The design and décor of the lodges are impressed by the Zulu tradition, and workers hail from the encircling native communities. The splendid bush suites at Safari Lodge are formed like conventional Zulu homesteads, whereas the bogs are the dimensions of separate suites and have dressing rooms, stand-alone bathtubs with panoramic views, in addition to indoor and out of doors showers. Suites open onto non-public viewing decks with their very own bomas, personal non-public plunge pool with loungers, and salas with round daybeds.

Suite room at Thanda game lodge

Take pleasure in you plunge pool while you keep at Thanda

Meals at Thanda Safari are served on the open decks and are feasts for the eyes and the palate. Recreation drives are rewarding, with distinctive sightings of lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and a lot extra. Other than sport drives, you may go rhino monitoring, go on bush walks, or volunteer in wildlife conservation applications. Thanda Safari can also be the primary reserve I’ve visited with its personal resident wildlife photographer and a complimentary wildlife images lesson with him is included in your keep. For some downtime, calm down within the cozy library overlooking the waterhole, which always attracts parched wildlife.

From the rangers to the servers, the service is outstanding all-around. This, mixed with the gorgeous suites, nice meals, and appreciable expanse of game-rich bushveld nearly all to your self, will be certain that you fall in love with Thanda. We did.

Forest Lodge, Phinda Recreation Reserve

Forest Lodge is without doubt one of the six lodges positioned in Phinda Recreation Reserve, within the Kwazulu Natal state of South Africa and about 3.5 hours drive from Durban. Because the title actually suggests, this luxurious lodge is about in a thick forest, fully surrounded by nature. All rooms are literally separate cottages which have a spacious lounge, an extremely snug double mattress, a state-of-the-art rest room full with a Victorian-style bathtub, and a comfy porch to calm down as soon as you’re again from the sport drives – offered there are not any baboons hanging out!

One of the rooms with forest views at Phinda

A room with a forest view ©ClaudiaTavani

For sure, the primary perk of staying at Forest Lodge is the opportunity of recognizing wildlife. As quickly as you arrive on the lodge, your assigned ranger will meet you and sit down with you, making an attempt to find out about your particular pursuits. He (or she) will ask what animals you’d like to identify throughout your time in Phinda, and can go above and past to ensure you have the most effective animal sightings expertise. The Massive 5 are all discovered at Phinda, so put together your digicam and binoculars!

Phinda will be visited year-round, however the wildlife expertise clearly adjustments relying on what time of 12 months you go. November is a superb month if you wish to have sunny lengthy days which are heat however by no means unbearably sizzling. Usually, the summer time months are finest if you wish to see cubs; whereas the cooler temperatures of the winter months push extra animals to return out of the bush.

Bread and dips on a wooden board

Be ready for beautiful delicacies ©ClaudiaTavani

The luxurious of the lodging, the sights, and the unbelievable meals and wine you may get pleasure from whereas staying in Phinda make it a really romantic vacation spot that can also be good for honeymooners.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Recreation Reserve

Deck overlooking the savannah

The Deluxe Bush Villa at Rhino Ridge ©RhinoRidge

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Recreation Reserve is the oldest reserve in Africa. Residence to the Massive 5, populations of cheetah and African wild canine, and with over 400 hen species, the reserve is an unbelievable wildlife vacation spot. There are just a few luxurious lodges within the reserve, and considered one of them is Rhino Ridge, considered one of Isibindi Africa Lodges. 

Rhino Ridge is appropriate for all guests. Households can keep within the household room, which is 2 rooms collectively sharing a typical space. Newlyweds can benefit from the privateness and exclusivity of the honeymoon villa, which comes with a non-public plunge pool providing breathtaking views of the African bush. 

Safari vehicle and zebra

Night safaris are a should at Rhino Ridge ©RhinoRidge

Throughout your keep, the lodge presents completely different actions, like sport drives, birding, bush walks, get pleasure from a spa therapy. It additionally presents the chance to get pleasure from a homestay with a standard Zulu household to find out about their tradition, meals, and traditions. There’s at all times one thing to do at Rhino Ridge!

Safari Lodges within the Kalahari

The Kalahari, is a reputation that evokes a world of solitude and wilderness.

It’s a world of purple sand, cheetahs, and black-maned lions. t can also be among the best locations to see cheetahs of their pure habitat.  The lengthy and dusty drive to get there may be simply price it, and when you’ve been within the Kalahari you’re hooked. It’s a particular place. Everybody that visits agrees: “The Kalahari adjustments you”. 

Kalahari lion portrait

A black-maned lion, the essence of the Kalahari

!Xaus Lodge, Kgalagadi Transfontier Park

!Xaus Lodge is the one safari lodge contained in the South African facet of the  Kgalagadi Transfontier Park

Overlooking one of the crucial stunning salt pans within the area, and  with its personal watering gap, !Xaus Lodge is the place the place you come to benefit from the massive Kalahari evening skies, the Kalahari wildlife, and to study concerning the native tradition. All of this whereas disconnecting from on a regular basis life, as there is no such thing as a mobile phone sign, wifi, or television. 

The primary lodge consists of a comfy lounge space, the eating space overlooking the pan, and an artwork and craft store, the place you should buy artwork made by Bushmen artists. The remark deck is the right place to marvel and study concerning the stars. And the pool is there for any sizzling days while you want somewhat refreshment. 

There are numerous actions on the lodge, so plan your size of keep accordingly. You don’t need to miss a factor. Go to a cultural village, go on sport drives, be a part of strolling safaris, stargaze, do birdwatching (the Kalahari is legendary for its raptors), and stare on the heat fireplace after a day filled with adventures. 

The lodge has 12 rooms, every for 2 individuals, and one household room, good for 4 individuals. Come and go to the Kalahari, keep on the lodge and find out about all of the Kalahari has to supply. 


Safari Lodges in Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg Nationwide Park is the fourth largest nationwide park in South Africa. Solely a 2h drive away from Johannesburg, Pilanesberg is without doubt one of the most handy parks to go to should you fly into the town. 

With over 7,000 wildlife species, together with the large 5, and 300 hen species (and 6 hen hides), this malaria-free park is right for wildlife photographers and households. 

Ivory Tree Recreation Lodge, Pilanesberg

The Ivory Tree Recreation Lodge is a unbelievable safari lodge possibility positioned in Pilanesberg Nationwide Park. It’s one of the crucial accessible safari choices in South Africa because it’s simply a few hours’ drive from Johannesburg. It’s very simple to achieve in a automotive. The park has a wide range of animals (together with the large 5) and there’s no threat of malaria, so it’s a straightforward one to go to for a unbelievable expertise.

Pool at Ivory Tree Game lodge

Pool at Ivory Tree Recreation Lodge ©Sharon Gourlay

The easiest way to expertise this park is on the Ivory Tree Recreation Lodge. They’re a 5-star lodge with luxurious choices which make this good for honeymoons in addition to villas and suites good for households with the additional room as youngsters of all ages are welcome.

The lodge is in a phenomenal setting with a pool, day spa, archery, quad biking, and drumming circles. The suites and villas are wonderful, spacious, and a few have their very own plunge swimming pools and views over the nationwide park.

All meals and two safari drives are included a day. In addition they have specialist drives for youthful children. That is the place it’s particularly a good selection for households because it’s very laborious discovering lodges that cater to beneath 6’s. Right here, we have been in a position to do drives with our children aged 1, 5, and seven altogether. In reality, as a result of we visited within the off-season, we had our personal non-public automotive and driver for the drives.

The meals are usually buffets though dinner generally is a three-course affair with just a few selections for every dish. There’s additionally an all-day snack bar with lollies.

Whilst you can go to this park and Ivory Tree Recreation Lodge year-round, Sharon from Dive into Germany extremely recommends it in winter. It may be filled with safari autos in summer time, however in winter, we frequently felt like we had the park to ourselves.


Last ideas

We hope that after this little style of safari lodges, you’ll plan to incorporate considered one of these in your subsequent trip to South Africa. Isn’t it time you go on a south African safari? We’re at all times on the lookout for the right safari lodge. Did your favourite one make the listing? Tell us within the feedback! 


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