Africa is such an incredible continent to visit and is my favourite holiday spot in the world.
I have travelled extensively in Africa, and while it has a huge diversity of reasons to visit, obviously wildlife is the big draw. Having visited a lot of lodges, reserves and hotels throughout Africa I’ve picked 5 of my favourites - distinct places to stay having visited all of these personally, and they come highly recommended, so feel free to take your pick below:
Singita Faru Faru
The location of Singita Faru Faru, close to a busy watering hole and offering views over the breath-taking plains beyond, leaves you feeling very much a part of the stunning natural world that surrounds you. Set in a private reserve in the heart of the Serengeti, Faru Faru brings a relaxed, easy going approach to luxury safari. That is not to say that staying here isn’t the height of luxury though, it’s just the feel is very laid back, and contemporary design sets the lodge apart from some of its more traditional counterparts. Certainly the airy bedroom suites with panoramic windows, offer an oasis of calm to retire to. Especially important as the lodge offers a heady mix of activities, that allow you to both relax and learn all at the same time. As well as the classic game drives, additional excursions such as local community activities and visits to anti-poaching posts, add another side to this incredible lodge. Additional facilities include a fabulous Spa and pool, making this a truly luxurious safari experience.
The famed seaside town of Hermanus is a mecca for whale watching, and there is no better place to stay than Birkenhead House. Set atop the cliffs with views over Walker Bay, the hotel couldn’t have a better location and for several months of the year Southern Right and Humpback Whales can be seen breaching from the comfort of the hotel itself. This is the perfect place to recharge your batteries after a busy trip, relax in individually styled rooms that work together to create the hotels signature opulent beach house feel. Of course, if you want to be a bit more active, or in the case of shark cage diving much more active, the opportunities exist as well. The nearby Hemel-en-Aarde Valley offers wine-tasting, while in addition to whale-watching surfing, hiking and horse-riding can all be enjoyed.
The Okavango Delta is one of the most emblematic and iconic destinations in Africa and Vumbura Plains is one of the best ways to experience it. Its location, in an area of water and dry land, offers an especially diverse wildlife experience in an region that is already renowned for its biodiversity. A wonderfully contemporary tented camp with raised, spacious rooms, offering luxurious accommodation in the heart of the delta, Vumbura Plains also offers a range of ways to get out and spot wildlife. Conventional game drives are supplemented with some more unique options, float above the delta in a hot-air balloon, paddle serenely along the channels in a traditional canoe, and even head out after dark for a nocturnal experience with the wildlife. However you decide to explore, the richness of species in the area is sure to delight.
If escaping the trials and tribulations of the modern world is your aim, look no further than Serra Cafema on the Namibian Skeleton Coast, one of the most remote camps in Southern Africa. Nestled amongst the verdant trees flanking the river Kunene, the lodges' eight chalets pay homage to the culture of the local Himba People, and indeed the lodge actively works to benefit the local community. Its no surprise therefore that experiencing the Himba Culture is a popular activity. The surrounding dunes provide a spot to really unwind and disconnect from the outside world. For those who enjoy an active exploration head out on quad bikes, while those who prefer their exploration a little more laid back can walk through these huge mountains of sand. Wildlife is still an important part of the experience, especially the myriad birdlife found on the river. Explore a quite different part of southern Africa.
Mahali Mzuri, Sir Richard Branson’s tented camp, in the heart of Kenya’s Maasai Mara provides the ultimate luxury from which to experience one of the world’s most incredible ecosystems. The camp sits within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy which covers around 13,500 hectares, and your luxury tent provides a home away from home from which to explore. The opportunities to spot wildlife are endless, you can sit back, relax, and wait for the wildlife to come to you and in fact, the private deck of your luxury tent is a grandstand to the incredible Kenyan Bush! If you can tear yourself away from the serenity of your tent, the game drives allow you to get up close and personal with the iconic species of the Maasai Mara. Return from the day to a relaxing spa treatment, before enjoying world class cuisine for dinner. If that hasn’t tired you completely out why not cap it all off with a night-time safari!