Africa’s big five safari destinations
Whether you’re a safari novice or veteran, there are few vacation experiences as exciting as getting acquainted with Africa’s wildlife. We’ve pinpointed lodges that offer exceptional service, commitment to comfort and luxury, and a connection to the continent’s animals.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge: Discover this wildlife haven
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Sitting on the rim of the majestic Ngorongoro Crater, three stilted camps of luxury suites incorporate Persian rugs, brocade sofas and hand-beaded chandeliers with banana leaf ceilings and grass roofs.
If you’re an early riser, you’ll enjoy the magical sights of mists and clouds swirling over the largest volcanic opening in the world. Home to more than 30,000 protected species, you can explore the crater floor on foot or by jeep, offering close-up encounters with wildlife. Observe Africa’s Big Five—lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and buffalo—and pink flamingos dipping into the soda lakes scattered across the conservation area. Learn about local culture by heading into the bushland with the Hadza people to immerse yourself in the ancient tribe’s time-honoured way of life.
Bateleur Camp: Sight-see from high up
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Framed by an ancient forest, this reserve’s two tented camps offer a vintage safari vibe. Leather trunks, old maps, comfy beds and modern conveniences combine the old with the new.
For an unforgettable experience with the area’s native fauna, head out on foot to observe everything from the smallest insect to the biggest predator. Venture out under the cover of darkness when leopards and aardvarks stretch their legs. For the ultimate safari outing, take off at dawn in a hot air balloon and enjoy a birds-eye view of lions, elephants and the rare black rhinoceros. Balmy evenings are best spent spotting warthogs and monkeys from the infinity pool or sampling authentic African flavours under the stars.
Zambezi Queen: Float with the hippos
Chobe National Park, Botswana
If you don’t want to miss a minute of Africa’s wildlife, cruise the Chobe River on this luxury houseboat. The suites come with sliding doors so you can see thirsty elephants from the comfort of your room.
Besides cruising with the crocodiles and hippopotamuses, you can step onto a game-viewing boat to get up close with big cats, numerous bird species and the great tiger fish. Hop on land to experience the Ijambwe village’s rich cultural heritage and catch the view from the top of the 2,000-year-old baobab tree.
The Royal Livingstone: A regal treat
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia
This hotel sits in the heart of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park where wildlife roams the grounds and you can hear the distant sounds of Victoria Falls. This regal sanctuary comes with picture-perfect river views and an expansive terrace. If you’re feeling jet lagged, try an indigenous-tinted massage on the banks of the Zambezi River.
Once you’re feeling rejuvenated, head straight for the sky on a helicopter to spot hippopotamuses and crocodiles wading in the river’s shallow waters. Enjoy getting close to elephants, rhinoceroses and buffalo from a 4x4 or sailing past bucks, giraffes and multi-coloured birdlife on a sunset cruise.
Singita Boulders Lodge: Bring the safari indoors
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, Kruger National Park
Perched on the banks of Greater Kruger’s Sand River on top of a boulder, there’s no better spot to immerse yourself with African wildlife than this tranquil lodge.
You can spot crocodiles and thirsty creatures sipping the waters from the comfort of your private swimming pool or during a signature massage. At the end of the day, indulge on excellent local cuisine with a premium bottle from the property’s renowned wine cellar.
Connect with the wild like never before. Consider an African safari for your next vacation.
Global travel and experience insights provided by our partners at TEN Group.