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True Private African Experiences

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As we begin to travel and explore the world again, there’s no doubt that we’ll be looking for private experiences and every opportunity to stay away from the crowds, for that sense of true freedom. Escaping into the wilderness on an African safari is the perfect solution – and with small and intimate camps that are perfect for exclusive use, you can finally get together with family and friends for that reunion celebration. Below are my top picks for the private camps you can book out for your private slice of African wilderness.

About the Author

About the Author

I was hooked on Africa’s beauty and wildlife after my first holiday there at 8 years old, and love sharing this passion with clients looking to make their own memories there.

AFRICA SPECIALIST

Georgie

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The Manor at Samara, The Great Karoo

Samara Private Game Reserve, located in the Great Karoo, is the ideal off-the-beaten-track option in South Africa. Nowhere captures that feeling of space and complete disconnection better than Samara’s 67,000 acres of spectacular wilderness. By the time you reach your destination, you’ll most likely be some of the only humans for miles around. Easily accessible from the Garden Route, Samara is also just 40 minutes from the historical town of Graaff-Reinet, and is a fantastic choice for families as a malaria-free destination. Despite classing itself as a Big-Five Reserve, I would describe Samara as a wilderness experience with an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy, including horseback riding, mountain biking, bush walks or cheetah tracking. For ultimate exclusivity, I’d suggest booking The Manor on an exclusive-use basis to be able to enjoy private activities and a programme completely tailored to you.

Lamai Private, Northern Serengeti

This stunning exclusive-use camp located in the northernmost region of the Serengeti makes it possible to finally go on the Tanzanian safari that you have been dreaming about, whilst still avoiding the crowds. The private camp has just four bedrooms (including a children’s twin), a sitting area, dining room and pool. All being separate from the main camp (Lamai Serengeti) allows for total privacy and flexibility and is a great choice for families or a group of friends. The Lamai Wedge is a very remote area within the park and thanks to your private guide, avoiding those other vehicles won’t be a problem. The effortlessly cool and laidback East African style of this camp, combined with the outstanding service and top quality guides make this one a real winner.

Laragai House, Borana Conservancy 

What could be better than an exclusive use home located in the Borana Conservancy in the heart of Kenya? With eight bedrooms, 32,000 acres to explore and the Big Five, this is the perfect choice for a group or multi-generational family. With direct flights to Nairobi, and private charter flights easily arranged to and from Laragai’s airstrip, the logistics couldn’t be simpler. I recommend spending at least five nights here to really get the most out of the area. Laragai is an excellent base to explore Northern Kenya and there is an abundance of activities on offer. Try helicopter trips up the mountain for your hand at trout visiting, a private visit to Reteti elephant orphanage or quad biking in dry riverbeds before spending a night fly camping under the stars. The possibilities are endless!

Colina Verde, Machangulo Peninsula 

If you are looking for a family beach escape, but want to escape the busy crowds in Europe, then my top pick would definitely be Colina Verde – an exquisite private home located in the remote Machangulo Peninsula in Southern Mozambique. This is the ultimate home away from home, complete with seven bedrooms and fully serviced with a chef and an experienced resident management couple. Spend your days under the warm Mozambican sun enjoying the many activities on offer, from snorkelling and sandboarding to fat bikes and fishing! Sitting on a secluded dune with incredible 360-degree views out over the Indian Ocean, this extraordinary villa is hard to beat.

Barclay Stenner Safaris, Okavango Delta

After months spent indoors, many of us will be ready to experience true wilderness and go on a real adventure. What could be better than a week on safari with Barclay Stenner Safaris, a luxury mobile safari company in Botswana run by John Barclay and James Stenner. John and James run their safaris the way it used to be. It’s an immersive wildlife and wilderness experience, with no set schedule, and the flexibility of activities, exclusive and tailored specifically to each guest. There are no pretensions, bags of style and most of all, a huge amount of fun! Each safari is on a private basis complete with a personal guide, host and chef. Uncover remote corners of Moremi Game Reserve and enjoy a new pace of life as you experience the best of the Okavango Delta.

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The TRUE rating

INDULGENT:

These accommodations are the best of the best, showcasing top hospitality, exceptional design and world-class food, in the most exclusive locations around the world.

EXCEPTIONAL:

A very high standard of five-star properties, with top-notch service and a wide range of amenities and experiences ensuring an unforgettable stay.

EXCELLENT:

These four to five-star accommodations offer the high level of service that our team look always look for, with a range of facilities on offer.

CLASSIC:

Four-star properties which offer enough amenities for a comfortable stay. We may offer these for a more price-competitive option, or in more remote areas which don't offer the most luxe hotels.

EXPERIENTIAL:

These properties won't necessarily offer all of the typical luxurious facilities, but will always provide memorable experiences, from camping out in the bush to climbing up to a treehouse.