The world-renowned Kruger National Park is flagship of South African National Parks. Home to the Big Five, at nearly 2 million hectares it is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms. The Madikwe Game Reserve, located along the Botswana border within a transition region between Lowveld bushveld and the Kalahari thornveld, is also host to an incredible diversity of species. For humans, it also benefits from being malaria free.
The Eastern Cape is home to the more specialised Addo Elephant National Park and Mountain Zebra National Park and the magical Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, offering wild serenity and exclusivity.
Singita offers four safari lodges in two private game reserves in the Kruger National Park. Choose between Singita Ebony Lodge or Singita Boulders Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve or Singita Lebombo Lodge or Singita Sweni Lodge in the unexplored N’wanetsi concession bordering Mozambique.
Ulusaba is not only distinguished by its status as Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve, but also by its location amidst 13,500 hectares of game-rich bush. Choose between two lodges - the ‘treehouse’ style Safari Lodge along the banks of a dry riverbed or the nearby Rock Lodge, an architectural marvel located high above the African savannah.
Not only one of Sabi Sand’s most exclusive lodges, but also one of its most thrilling. You don’t even have to step outside your glass-fronted suite to spot game here, their hillside location overlooking a waterhole guaranteeing a cavalcade of wildlife passes right beneath you and as the name suggests, Leopard are frequently seen in the vicinity of the unfenced camp.
This is the perfect setting for a 5-star lodge, and hopefully the Big Five too. The River Lodge has just four cool, airy suites so the wilderness is all yours, and the private chef will ensure there is a feast for the palate as well as the eyes. Luxury, tranquility and some of nature’s greatest spectacles Thornybush River Lodge is Africa at its most glorious.
Home to the Big Five, the Madikwe Game Reserve is also a great place for wild dogs. And there’s nowhere better for spotting them than from Madikwe Hills located deep in the bush amidst the age-old Tamboti trees. Ten exceedingly large glass-fronted suites are hidden away amongst the rocks with their own private plunge pool, their Afro-chic décor enhanced by their own private sitting room; additional privacy is yours for the asking at the family-friendly 2-bedroom Little Madikwe Hills.
Located about an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, the award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve is not only a natural extension to the Garden Route, but also a wonderful opportunity to spot game in a malaria-free corner of South Africa. It lies amidst verdant bush along the Bushmans River, its 25,000 hectares featuring five quite different ecosystems rich in biodiversity.
Another unmissable safari option at the end of the garden Route, Amakhala is an 18,000 acre private game reserve where you can spot anything from the Big Five to the Small Five.
One of Africa’s ‘best dressed’ lodges, Royal Malewane offers unsurpassed luxury in a surprisingly relaxed ambience. Its eight suites are so beautifully conceived that, if it weren’t for the surrounding wildlife, guests might never bother to emerge.
A safari lodge for romantics. All eight of Simbambili’s beautifully-crafted suites feature plunge pools overlooking a savannah grassland abounding with wildlife. Their Moroccan vibe contributes to the sense that you’ve finally found yourself somewhere rather special.
Owned by the Oppenheimer family, malaria-free Tswalu is the largest private game reserve in South Africa. No more than thirty guests and six Land Rovers can explore its 100,000 hectares at one time, so you can look forward to a wildlife experience that’s decidedly personal.
Where colonial elegance meets the wildness of Africa. The raised game-viewing platform of this11-suite lodge gives unrivalled views over a particularly active waterhole and whilst the wildlife here is always the main draw, King’s Camp pulls out all the stops to ensure everything else is just as memorable.
Established over eighty years ago, Londolozi has gradually evolved into a sanctuary for birds, people and wildlife - indeed the 14,000-hectare private wilderness is synonymous with the elusive leopard.
The definitive ‘Out of Africa’ experience. Not only is this tented lodge the epitome of bush chic, but Savanna’s team of experienced guides will ensure you leave a lot more clued-up about the local wildlife and culture than when you checked-in – you can anticipate game drives and walking safaris, as well as visits to the nearby Shangaan Village.
Settlers Drift offers the perfect combination of a tented safari experience and five star luxury. The lodge is located in a remote part of Kariega Game Reserve on South Africa’s malaria free Garden Route, thus forming a natural extension to Cape Town. It’s surrounded by thousands of hectares of Eastern Cape wilderness that’s home to a multitude of African wildlife including the famous Big Five as well as hippo, giraffe, zebra and birdlife.
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