5 of the best luxury bush lodges in South Africa to get away from it all

When we say we want to “get away from it all”, what we really mean is that we want the romance and sanctuary of dwelling in nature while still having “it all”. We want the comfortable bed and plush down duvet; we love the luxury of cocktails on the balcony and having someone else do the cooking; and we definitely can’t go without hot water and a flushing loo. Luckily, there are luxury bush lodges throughout South Africa that don’t compromise on comfort.

Amakhala Bush Lodge

Amakhala Bush Lodge is situated at the Amkhala Game Reserve, in the Greater Addo region of the Eastern Cape – an area renowned for its mighty herds of elephants. Amakhala Game Reserve is an ideal Big 5 safari destination and in addition to game drives, they offer boat cruises and guided walks for you to experience the natural wealth of wildlife in the Eastern Cape. After a day outdoors, you can return to the lodge and indulge in decadent spa treatments, wine tasting, and fine dining.

Give up any preconceived notions of sleeping in a tent, because the lodge’s luxury tented suites each have a secluded private deck with an intimate plunge pool, hot and cold air-conditioning, cosy fire place, romantic bathroom with a large oval bath and double shower, and a king-sized (or twin) bed.

Motswiri Private Safari Lodge

Barely visible amidst the mature Leadwood trees, Motswiri Private Safari Lodge is an exclusive lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve, approximately 3 hours northwest of Johannesburg. With a maximum of 10 guests at any time, Motswiri offers an intimate experience that is difficult to replicate in larger groups.

Motswiri Private Safari Lodge

The 5 bush villas each have a private deck and multiple sliding doors from the bedrooms and bathrooms, affording beautiful views over the tranquil bushveld. Enjoy spa treatments, superior dining, cocktails on the main deck, and a rim-flow pool overlooking the waterhole. Motswiri also values family holidays and welcomes children of all ages; offering discounted children’s prices and an assortment of activities to keep the little ones amused.

Waterberg Lodge

Waterberg Lodge lies in an undisturbed corner of the Zebula Golf Estate and Game Reserve, at the foot of Limpopo’s Waterberg Mountains. Soak up the peaceful bushveld atmosphere and experience game drives, bush walks, pampering spa treatments, and close encounters with elephants, wild cats, and reptiles.

Each room overlooks the waterhole where antelope come to graze and drink, and the rim-flow swimming pool is the ideal spot to appreciate the towering Waterberg Mountains. As the sunset paints the sky in vivid hues, the boma fires are lit and the sumptuous aroma of cooking fills the air.

Zwahili Game Lodge

Another recommended lodge in the malaria-free Waterberg region is the exclusive Zwahili Game Lodge. Overlooking savannah bushveld that stretches to the blue mountains on the horizon, guests can relish a quiet getaway as they marvel at spectacular sunsets and spot resident wildlife from the comfort of their private timer decks. After an evening game drive, the distinct campfire smell and call of tribal drums guides you to the open-air boma where a decadent spread of culinary delights awaits.

Zwahili Game Lodge

Karkloof Spa

Karkloof Spa is a world-class spa and boutique lodge near Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, surrounded by 3 500ha of lush terrain, rolling hills, and ample wildlife. Vast open spaces, intimate exclusivity, and modern luxury are the order of the day at this vibrant yet relaxing destination.

Karkloof Spa

Fully inclusive accommodation packages include unlimited meals, snacks, and beverages (excluding French Champagne), private guided game drives, a butler, unlimited spa treatments and use of the spa hydro therapy facilities, unlimited Wi-Fi, a personally stocked mini bar, and more. Exciting outdoor activities include mountain biking, fishing, and guided walks and hikes.

There’s no reason why can’t you get away from it, while still having it all at these luxurious South African bush lodges.

Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Akshay says:

    The Karkloof Spa is pretty amazing, a friend of mine was in the area but didn’t go there, I checked their about us, there is a 30 minute Youtube clip from a travel channel that can provide more details for those interested.

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