A baking African bush, tribal dances, and seeing breathtaking animals in the wild. These are the attractions of a safari holiday. The luxury traveler is looking for more than just spotting the big five in the African bush. Of course, wildlife remains important, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a safari in absolute luxury. In this article, I share my opinion on some of the best safari lodges in Africa for 2016, including the idea that you don’t have to miss out on the beach when booking your next African safari.
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1. Review Of Tongole Wilderness Lodge In The Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve In Malawi
Undoubtedly the best safari lodge in Malawi (in my opinion), the multi-award-winning Tongole Wilderness Lodge is designed like a raised treehouse. This Swiss Family Robinson-style camp offers the perfect observation platform to watch the local elephants that come right up to the decks of the main lodge and drink at the river.
Highlights include nature walks, adventurous hikes up Kasukusuku or Chipata mountain, canoeing and fishing on the Bua River, community visits, and the nighttime fly camps where you sleep under a blanket of stars. With just four riverside suites and a family cottage, this boutique camp has mastered the “ultimate luxury experience” by offering mammoth-sized super comfy beds surrounded by billowing netting curtains, powerful showers, and huge private sunken baths with a view. Elegant dinners are served in various settings, romantically lit by flickering lanterns. Wildlife-wise, elephants are regular visitors to the lodge; crocodiles, monkeys, and various antelope are often seen as a host of rare birds and let’s not forget those awesome stars.
2. Review Of Cottars 1920’s Safari Camp In Kenya
Cottars 1920s Safari Camp was one of Kenya’s first permanent luxury tented camps to take guests out on safaris. Little has changed since the 1920s, and it extends an era of luxury and quality, returning to the original spirit and essence of ‘safari,’ reminiscent of a golden era – an era of romance, professional guiding, adventure, and elegance. Accommodation consists of 6 Luxury Safari Tents, 1 Honeymoon Tent, and 4 Family Tents, all ensuite, very spacious, and with large private verandahs. Cottar’s Private House has five ensuite bedrooms, a private living /dining area, staff, vehicles, a guide, and a 25m swimming pool.
The camp overlooks the Mara and Serengeti Plains in its private concession bordering the Serengeti, Maasai Mara, and Loliondo reserves. The camp and the area guarantee privacy and an abundance of wildlife. Spot the big five and choose your season carefully, as the camp is the path to the great migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra. Camp guides are highly qualified and knowledgeable of the area and share an amazing insight into the reserve’s Masai culture, flora, and fauna. In the evening, bathe in your outdoor bathtub, have an amazing dinner under the stars (greens from the camp’s vegetable garden), and hug Bambi before bedtime (she is the camp’s resident baby gazelle).
3. Review Of Stanley Safari Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia
Wake up to a warm breeze, the distant roar of lions, and a symphony of birds. Step out onto your verandah and down to the infinity pool, where you can gaze at the spray from the nearby Victoria Falls. Cabins here are constructed of teak and local stone and are open-fronted, or are the more colonial style with closed brick and tiled rooms.
Take a guided tour of Victoria Falls, a game drive, or laze by the pool and marvel at the views and the mist from Victoria Falls in the distance. If you laze for long enough, the wildlife might come and find you!
4. Review Of Chinzombo Safaris South Luangwa, Zambia
Chinzombo is situated on a sweeping curve of the Luangwa River and is perfect for those looking for luxury in the bush. The unspoiled wilderness of the Luangwa River and its ox-bow lagoons attracts large volumes of hippos and crocodiles, over sixty species of mammals, and over four hundred species of birds. See leopards, the wild dog, and three endemic species – the Thornicroft Giraffe, Cookson’s Wildebeest, and Crawshay’s Zebra.
Chinzombo Camp is situated on sixty acres of private land with Luangwa River frontage. The camp is ultra-luxurious and shaded by ancient trees. Each villa at Chinzombo has an open plan design with a partially covered open deck, a private plunge pool, a cooled sleeping area, and a huge luxury bathroom. One villa is designed for families with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. This camp offers direct access to one of the most game-rich areas of the National Park, making Chinzombo a truly special place.
5. Review of Tongabezi Safari Lodge, Zambia
Tongabezi Lodge is a romantic safari hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream of Victoria Falls. Accommodation is in a selection of houses and cottages, each beautifully styled with furniture and embellishments from all over Africa. Guests can dine beside the river or on their private terrace.
Truly spectacular Victoria Falls is the ‘must do’ trip from Tongabezi — the only operator allowed on legendary Livingstone Island in the middle of the Falls. From the lodge, the inclusive river cruises will bring you up close and personal to sandy islands as you meander past the hippos and crocodiles of the Zambezi River. Your valet will bring you juice and pressed coffee in the morning and draw your al fresco bubble bath on the verandah overlooking the river in the evening. The sunsets are fabulous here. Expect wonderfully quiet nights except the grunting hippos at the river’s edge. Bliss.
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