TOP 10: LUXURY SAFARI LODGES FOR ESCAPISM
Well what a year 2020 has been so far – we hope you are all safe, healthy and surviving at this time – you’d be forgiven for thinking the year has been a write off. But we’re here to help fix that (at least in a travelling sense)!
The remainder of 2020 is a great time to get your thinking cap on for your travel plans in 2021 and what better way to escape 2020’s pandemic, than to book a safari to some incredible, safe and spacious wilderness. Nature is often the perfect tonic to revitalise and reboot our minds, muscles and health.
So let us offer you some of our top picks for safari lodges that offer pure escapism, away from the crowds of tourists, within wide open spaces and exciting wildlife viewing that would have Sir David Attenborough vying to accompany you on your trip. Our safaris focus on sustainable tourism, with an ethos of #safariforchange that ensures where you travel to benefits the land, wildlife and local people, it’s an ethos which gives back whilst providing you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Is Africa ready for you?
- Countries currently fully open to all international travellers include: Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe (travellers must hold a valid medically approved negative covid-test certificate upon entry – full details for each country will be provided on quotation)
- Countries in the process of reopening to international travellers are Botswana and South Africa
- Open countries have seen low number of covid-19 cases, with exemplary health and safety protocols at airports, transportation and accommodations
- Our safaris focus on sustainable, low-impact tourism and safari properties, ensuring guest numbers remain low
We’re confident that whatever your choice of safari lodge, within this short list or from another one of our recommendations, that you’ll have the experience of a lifetime.
So what are (some) of our top picks to escape to?
LODGE: SAPI EXPLORERS CAMP
Location: Sapi Concession, Zimbabwe | Price: from $590 pppn
2021 Promotion: Stay 4 nights, pay for 3
The 118,000 hectare private Sapi Concession, along with the neighbouring Mana Pools National Park, comprise over 337,000 hectares of prime protected wilderness estate and is recognised as one of the finest destinations in Africa. Sapi Explorers Camp, located along the Zambezi River, creates a safari experience reminiscent of the old African explorers with a romance of yester-year, whilst ensuring that adventure and discovery are essentially part of the journey. The safari experiences on offer will certainly appeal to any safari guest who is looking to truly enjoy and partake in the excitement of wildlife viewing game drives, boating and canoeing or tracking and exploring the interior of the private reserve, being one of Africa’s remote wilderness areas. * For guests staying 3 nights or more, the opportunity to visit the Mana Pools National Park is included in the nightly rates.
LODGE: NAMIRI PLAINS CAMP
Location: Eastern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania | Price: from $966 pppn
2021 Promotion: Healthcare workers get up to 70% off, Under 18’s go free – travel by 31 May 2021
Completely refurbished and upgraded in 2019, Namiri Plains is in Tanzania’s eastern Serengeti. This remote camp is also a conservation initiative, protecting an area crucial to cheetah and other big cats. When not out in the bush spotting lion and other big cats or watching huge wildebeest herds, while away an afternoon around the pool or schedule a massage in our spa. Feed your mind in the library and information centre, or simply chill out and soak up the views from your own private deck.
LODGE: ANGAMA MARA
Location: Great Rift Valley, Masai Mara, Kenya | Price: from $1,250 pppn
2021 Promotion: Stay 4 nights, pay for 3
Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air’, Angama Mara is located high above the floor of Africa’s Great Rift Valley and is a remarkable owner-run safari lodge overlooking Kenya’s Maasai Mara, considered by many as the loveliest game reserve on the continent. Here guests will find a lodge where everything is as it ought to be: an intimate lodge of just fifteen tented suites each, a private airfield and access to the majestic Mara below ~ tailor-made safari days and a famously warm Kenyan welcome await. Angama hosts exceptional year-round game viewing, or take in the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra between July-October each year.
LODGE: DUBA EXPLORERS CAMP
Location: Duba Concession, Okavango Delta, Botswana | Price: from $913 pppn
2021 Promotion: Stay 4 nights, pay for 3
Duba Explorers Camp is a wildlife connoisseur’s getaway; situated on an island in the northern reaches of the 33,000 hectare Duba concession and surrounded on all sides by pristine Okavango Delta. This intimate camp, with its own private traversing area within the concession, consists of five expedition-style tents of light airy canvas on slightly raised decking, each with views of the surrounding floodplain. Enjoy regular sightings of a diverse range of species, including lechwe, kudu, tsessebe and giraffe, herds of elephants, buffalo and hippo. Lions, leopards and even African wild (painted) dogs are spotted regularly. Birds abound, and the area is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
LODGE: TSWALU KALAHARI ‘THE MOTSE’
Location: Kalahari Desert, South Africa | Price: from $1,675 pppn
2021 Promotion: Stay 5 nights, pay for 4
Situated in the Savannah Biome, Tswalu lies in a transition zone between the true Kalahari ecotype and arid savannah. The undulating dunes are punctuated by the Korannaberg hills which contribute to greater habitat diversity than elsewhere in the Kalahari. In the shelter of the mountains – which also provide a dramatic backdrop to wildlife sightings – you can encounter Tswalu’s 240 bird and 80 mammal species, including Hartmann’s mountain zebra and wild dog. Tswalu land is not shared with guests from other concessions or lodges. This means that there are no areas that are off-limits, and you can spend as long as you wish at sightings or indulging in your own particular interests, whether they are creatures large or small. A private guide, vehicle and tracker are assigned to each booking, allowing for a completely personalised Tswalu experience.
LODGE: BISATE LODGE
Location: Bisate Community, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda | Price: from $1,750 pppn
Bisate Lodge has dramatic views of the Bisoke and Karisimbi volcano peaks rising through the forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park. Bisate is a model of sustainable ecotourism in Rwanda. Its reforestation and rehabilitation project has each guest contributes to this conservation and local community upliftment, with a positive impact on the iconic endangered mountain gorilla. Gorilla treks are done within Volcanoes National Park and exploring around Bisate includes community visits, birding, golden monkey tracking, and helping reforest the area, Gorilla Guardian Village, the Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Burera, as well as Dian Fossey’s burial site.
LODGE: KUTHENGO CAMP
Location: Liwonde National Park, Malawi | Price: from $370 pppn
2021 Promotion: Circuit discounts available when combined with Zambia and other Malawi properties
Located on a large open plain stretching towards the Shire River in Liwonde National Park, you will find Kuthengo Camp nestled among Fever trees and Baobabs. The unspoiled Liwonde National Park promises an ultimate retreat where you can experience the many activities on offer with complete privacy; from adventurous game drives, breath-taking walking safaris or tranquil boat cruises along the grand Shire River, there is something for everyone.
LODGE: SERRA CAFEMA CAMP
Location: Kunene, Namibia | Price: from $695 pppn
Set under trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa. Guests can truly disconnect, unwind and relax to the sound of rushing water, and explore one of the driest deserts in the world. Respectful interaction with the semi-nomadic Himba community, fascinating nature walks, boating (water levels permitting) and low-impact eco-sensitive guided quad-bike excursions complete the experience. Serra Cafema has a mutually-beneficial partnership with the Marienfluss Conservancy, which is owned primarily by the Himba people; the benefits include lease fees, employment and skills transfers.
LODGE: NGAGA CAMP
Location: Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Congo | Price: from $7,260 4-night Gorilla Discovery, $12,720 10-night Odzala Discovery – other packages available
2021 Promotion: 10% accommodation discount for groups of 7-8 guests – more promotions available
A focal point for world-class primate research, as well as unforgettable primate encounters, Ngaga Camp overlooks a canopy of primary forest. The unique design evokes the fun and mystery of childhood treehouses, with wraparound walkways to gaze directly into the forest. Ngaga Camp is home to our Western Lowland Gorilla research team who has spent the past few decades in the forest navigating its trails and understanding its rhythms. Guests come here to share in their knowledge and experience this intact rainforest. Forest walks, night walks, night drives and more are available.
LODGE: KING LEWANIKA
Location: Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia | Price: from $1,400 pppn
2021 Promotions: 50% off for your partner when travelling within 8 weeks of booking, 50% off under 18’s, 50% off honeymooning bride (or groom)
The only permanent camp in Liuwa Plain National Park, its six open-front villas (including a two-bedroom, two-bathroom family villa) are the essence of pure and simple luxury. Built using local techniques and sustainable materials, they run on solar power and are furnished using vintage leather, cotton and canvas—a nod to old-world safari days. Designed to completely immerse you in the vast landscape, each has an indoor and outdoor shower, a comfortable lounge and a verandah, all with stunning views over the plains. The area is a photographer’s dream, with every season offering a different backdrop for capturing the robust wildlife. Join our award-winning guides on an intimate safari excursion to admire some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife—including a growing cheetah population—on foot, in a vehicle or by canoe (in season).
*All rates pppn (per person per night), in US Dollars and subject to change depending upon season of travel. Single supplements may apply to high season dates of travel.
**All inclusive rates include daily activities, meals and house drinks, full inclusions & exclusions provided upon quotation
Booking terms and conditions apply.
HOW TO BOOK
Speak to us today and you’ll be on your way to a ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure.
Thank you for travelling ethically with Captured In Africa