6 of the Best Safari Lodges in South Africa



Senior Africa Travel Designer

Complete with unbelievable scenery, dynamic wildlife, and exquisite cuisine South Africa needs no explanation why it is the perfect location for a safari. But when it comes to where to stay, a helping hand is required. Below are six of the best lodges that will make your South African safari dreams come true.

Located in Kruger National Park, this bespoke safari lodge perfectly captures the fusion of African and European influences. Hidden amongst the trees alongside the Sand River, Singita Ebony Lodge promises the most authentic safari stay. Whether it’s the harmonious birdsong waking you up or the soft thumping of neighbouring elephants, prepare for the surround sound of the bush. Singita Ebony has only 12 suites assuring an intimate and peaceful time. In addition to this, they offer 2 exclusive safari drives each day; professionally guided safari walks  and an evening stargazing under the canopy of bright stars. 

Set between the vast Umbombo mountains and the Indian Ocean, Phinda Rock Lodge is ideal for bush and beach experiences. Located on the KwaZulu-Natal Phinda Rock Lodge is the most private lodge on the reserve. The 6 suites are adorned with stone floors, wooden beams and cotton sheets; each room is sophisticated yet cosy, with some benefiting from al-fresco showers. Enjoy an epic walking safari one day, a scuba diving lesson the next ending with a sunset yoga session on the balcony overlooking the valley. 

The Marataba Mountain Lodge is an ode to its surroundings. Designed to blend in with nature, the decor and architecture reflect the mountainous landscape that encompasses it. As well as this, the lodge works hard to protect the local environment by being completely sustainable, with its facilities fully powered by the sun’s energy. It is the ideal location for catching sight of an abundance of wonderful animals in their natural habitat. Set in Marakele National Park, it is home to the Big 5 and more; including rhinos, hippos, and numerous species of bird. Marataba is the perfect location for those seeking adventure and escape. After an exciting day of wandering through the Waterfall Valley or scaling the impressive mountains, guests can relax on a private deck as they watch a sky full of stars replace the warm glow of the African sun..

The Sanbona Dwyka Lodge nestles itself within the vast 54,000 hectares Sanbona Game Reserve in the Karoo ravine. Here guests will have many an opportunity to marvel at the magnificent animals that also call this place their home, on a guided nature walks, game drives or boat safaris. But what makes this place truly unique is the chance to catch sight of the majestic white lion, as the Sanbona is home to the only free-roaming white lions in the world. The lodge pays homage to the rock formations that surround it, incorporating the orange and grey stones within the lodge’s foundations. In addition to this, the lodge offers natural treatments in its Relaxation Retreat using extracts from the surrounding flora and fauna.

Another Lodge located in the  Kruger National Park, on the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, is the Londolozi Tree Camp. It stands out from the other lodges in this area as it is home to the highest concentration of leopards in Africa. Each stay is tailor-made so that guests come away having had a truly unique experience, exceeding expectations in every way. From yoga sessions and a healing house to rhino tracking and bird watching, Londolozi has it all. It is worth a mention that this stay is exclusive to adults as they only accept guests aged 16 and above. We recommend embarking on sunrise and sunset drives as they both provide epic opportunities to see wildlife against the picturesque sequence of the sun.

The Bayethe Tented Lodges are set on the Shamwari Private Game Reserve, which remains one of the most exclusive reserves in the area. The focus on the conservation of wildlife and animals forms the core of Shamwari. Visit the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, a program that cares for sick, orphaned and injured animals, which once nursed to better health, are released back into the wild. The Centre also protects endangered rhinos, who are rescued from poaching and liberated back into safer environments. Many other great activities include professional safari photography sessions, guided walking safaris, and indulging wellness treatments, perfect for completing the ultimate safari experience.

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