The top 5 luxury safari camps that won't break the bank

The term luxury safaris has begun to change – it’s no longer just about the products in the bathroom or the size of the suite, but is also about the location and atmosphere of a camp, here are our top five luxury safari camps who offer luxury safaris, but don’t require you to remortgage the house to cover the costs:

Offbeat Meru – Meru, Kenya

Meru is a thriving area of stunning wilderness which is home to the ‘Big Five’ as well as a number of other species including the giraffe, gerenuk, lesser and oryx. With 13 rivers flowing through the park it is no wonder that bird life is huge in this area. This luxury safari camp consists of only 7 tents, each with a large iron bed, en-suite bathroom, traditional hot bucket and toilet. New for 2014 is a family tent. Activities include game driving, bush breakfasts and sundowner, evening walks with trained armed guards, fishing and visits to the Boran community. The wonderful infinity swimming pool will be just right after a long day in the Kenyan heat.

Offbeat Meru Camp

Machaba – Okavango Delta, Botswana

Machaba is situated in the luxurious wilderness area of Khwai, on the Eastern tongue of the Okavango Delta, Machaba acquired its name from the local Setswana name for the Sycamore Fig Tree; the tree of life. This luxury safari camp has a superb swimming pool with loungers, a library, tented main area and perfect picturesque view over the Moremi and Khwai River; fantastic for photography. The Machaba Camp was lately nominated for “Botswana’s Leading Tented Safari Camp” in the 2013 World Travel Awards.

Machaba Camp

Selous Impala – Southern Tanzania

Selous Impala is set between Lakes Mizima and Siwandu on the banks of the mighty Rufiji River. Guests staying at this luxury camp will get the chance to see giraffes, leopards, kudos, lions, impala and a vast variety of birdlife in Tanzania. The camp offers game drives, walking and boat safaris as part of the daily activities. Impala is one of the smallest camps in Selous, with just 8 tents subtly spaced apart and camouflaged looking over the river or lagoon. You will be escorted to your tent by Masaai askaris, who will be your protector throughout your time as animals do wander through this camp regularly.

Selous Impala Camp

Savannah Camp Serengeti – Tanzania

The luxury Serengeti Savannah Camps are remote and secluded camps scattered around Serengeti National Park; one of the best known wildlife sanctuary’s in the world. It has more than 2 million wildebeest, half a million Thomson’s gazelle and a quarter of a million zebra. Savannah Camps move with the Migration, so you know you’ll always be in the thick of it. The camps are located with picturesque views over Lake Ndutu.

Serengeti Savannah Camp

Offbeat Mara Camp – Masai Mara, Kenya

Offbeat Mara Camp consists of 6 tents and due to its primary location on the Olare Orok guests can often watch wildlife from the comfort of their verandah. The camp is positioned close to the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Mara North Conservancy is exceedingly rich in wildlife, including 4 of the “Big 5”, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. With no vehicles in sight, guest regularly see lions wondering around the valley. The tents are furnished with handmade cedar beds, 24 hour solar lighting and the finest linen. The camp offers trips to the wildebeest crossing points on the Mara River, Maasai village visits, the rhino Sanctuary, Koiyaki Gilding School, scenic flights and hot air balloon safaris.

Offbeat Mara Camp

Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of The Luxury Safari Company.

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Comments (4)

  1. Veronika says:

    This is a great list! I’m bookmarking it for the time when I finally get to a safari :) Affordable glamping is the way to go!

  2. Charles says:

    I went and had a look at the price for the camp in Botswana on their website and $750 pppns (high season) is not exactly inexpensive. I know of some other camps which are in the region of $540 pppns (high season) and I was rather hoping from something less than that when you said it won’t break the bank!

  3. Rose Hipwood says:

    Charles thank you for your comments. It is all relative isn’t it? The article is based on value for money for which Machaba Camp is unrivalled when you look at the level of comfort and quality of guides they have there, compared to other more expensive camps. Most camps in Botswana cost around $1,000 per person per night. This article by no means lists the ‘cheapest’ camps, but lists the best value for money. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the definition of ‘inexpensive’. As mentioned, it is certainly all relative.

  4. Charles says:

    OK – I get your point and agree, thanks for your quick reply. It does make sense when you put it into context like that, many thanks. :-)

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