Six of the best safari lodges in Africa

Saruni Samburu2

Africa is well known for its superb collection of safari lodges, from rustic safari tents to super- luxurious lodges. With so many stunning options to choose from it is hard to know where to start when planning a luxury safari holiday to Africa. Here Cox & Kings has handpicked a selection of some of its favourite safari lodges in Africa.

Beho Beho, Selous Game Reserve, Southern Tanzania

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Beho Beho is in the cooler highlands area of the beautiful Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. The camp is extremely accommodating and happy to programme a stay to suit most individual needs, from afternoon game walks to breakfast in the bush and boat trips on Lake Tagalala. You should immediately feel at home in the comfortable and luxurious surroundings, either relaxing under the thatched roof of Beho Beho’s main house, sunk low into one of the classic English armchairs while enjoying a delicious pre-afternoon safari tea. Or, by taking in the spectacular views across the Beho Beho Plain and the small lagoon with its resident pod of hippo, which attracts a large number of animals to drink. What’s more, if you don’t want to miss any wildlife viewing opportunities, the eight sumptuously furnished cottages each have a telescope on the balcony for relaxed bird and game viewing.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge combines superior, luxurious accommodation with an excellent location close to the park headquarters. Built right on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park at Ruhengeri, it has the most wonderful views of the surrounding area, including the magnificent Virunga Mountains. Built by Governors Camps, this lodge was constructed in conjunction with the local community and has a brilliant information centre about the gorillas and other conservation issues. The lodge is an excellent base to go gorilla trekking, as it is close to the action and also by being located at 7,000ft above sea level it allows you to acclimatise to the altitude before going in search of the elusive gorilla.

Saruni Samburu, Kalama Conservancy, Kenya

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Saruni Samburu is perched high on top of the Kalama Mountains and has the real ‘wow factor’ with views on a clear day reaching all the way to the snow-capped Mount Kenya. There is a beautiful waterhole right by the lodge that attracts giraffe, zebra, elephant and many other species special to Samburu. There are six breathtaking villas, two large swimming pools with dramatic views over Samburuland and a private airstrip near the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy headquarters. It is also easily served by schedule airlines that land at nearby Buffalo Springs airstrip. Activities can include night and morning game drives, visits to caves where there is ancient Samburu art on display, game walks, bush dinners and star gazing.

Kwetsani Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

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Kwetsani Camp in Botswana can be found on a truly remote tropical island and has a luxury ‘tree-house-feel’ to the place. Each tree house has its own stunning open-air bathroom and you can also sit in the comfortable lounge of the main area and enjoy superb panoramic views of the floodplain. There is a great mix of wet and dry safari activities, depending on flood levels – in the summer months activities tend to more game driven, whereas in the winter activities are more water-based. One of the best safari drives is on Hunda Island, which is a real haven for leopards.

Jamala Madikwe, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

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Jamala is an exclusive and high-end lodge, but not at all stuffy - you will arrive as guests and leave as friends. With panoramic views and only five luxury villas this is one of the most exceptional ways to experience South Africa’s 75,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve. Each villa is stylishly furnished, with private pools and outdoor showers. Guests can enjoy great waterhole wildlife activity over breakfast or a five-course dinner from the lodge’s beautiful deck, as well as morning and afternoon games drives. The waterhole is often filled with much wildlife, including elephants splashing around.

Little Kulala, Kulala Wilderness Reserve, near Sossusvlei, Namibia

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Little Kulala is a luxurious desert retreat situated in the private 37,000 hectare Kulala Wilderness Reserve. Accommodation consists of 11 climate-controlled thatched cottages, which merge beautifully into the stunning Namibian landscape, each with a private plunge pool and both indoor and outdoor showers. Even better, each cottage also has a rooftop 'skybed' for stargazing. There is a definite peacefulness to this camp - you can simply sit back in one of the swinging rope chairs and look out on to the eye-catching Dead Vlei (dead marsh or lake), with its spiky black trees backed by soft desert tones. An early morning balloon ride from the camp is highly recommended, it has got to be one of the best ways to experience all that Namibia has to offer.

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