Top 5 luxury African weekend destinations

Africa is indeed a long haul destination however with flights as short as eight hours to Nairobi, and just eleven to Johannesburg, and the fact that there’s no jet lag at all due to the small one hour time difference, you can go on a luxury safari for the weekend. During three or four nights at one luxury safari property so much will happen that you will feel as if you have been there for over a week. Many of the best luxury safari properties have spas so you can even have relaxing massages in between game drives, and come home fully rejuvenated. Here we discuss the top five weekend breaks in Africa. It is worth noting that if you’re in the UAE, you can get to Africa in less than five hours.

1. The Masai Mara

The Masai Mara offers fantastic game viewing all year round, and contrary to popular belief it does not have to be a touristy or over crowded experience. There are many unfenced luxury safari conservancies that border the Masai Mara which offer wonderful game viewing and no people. What better way than to spend the weekend seeing the big cats in abundance, catching the magical wildebeest migration and being utterly pampered with delicious food in between. What more could one possibly want from a weekend than watching big game up close, and relaxing in the African sunshine.

Elephant Pepper Camp

2. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe is a malaria free heaven – with vast mountains, red Kalahari earth and phenomenal game viewing it really is a haven for wildlife lovers and luxury safari enthusiasts. This combined with the ultra luxurious lodges which reside there make it one of the world’s top wildlife destinations. Madikwe is an easy drive from Johannesburg. Madikwe is far more scenic than other parts of South Africa so not only are you witnessing some fantastic wildlife viewing, but you’re also spending the weekend in an absolutely breath-taking area.

Madikwe Hills

3. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is more of a cosmopolitan holiday as this amazing city has so much to offer you – there is everything from mornings spent watching the sunrise from Table Mountain, to excellent golf, to world renowned restaurants, to days spent in Vineyards just outside the city, as well as a huge history which is fascinating to get involved in. Cape Town is exceptionally economical and you can have a luxury weekend break there for less than many weekends in Europe, which is a fact little known!

Mannabay, Cape Town

4. The Selous, Southern Tanzania

This is one of the top safari areas in all of Africa – it is absolutely vast and offers abundant game viewing from lots of different vantage points – here you can fish, take walking safaris, boat safaris and day and night game drives and also experience some of the most exceptional luxury safari properties in Africa. The Selous is about the wildest part of Africa that one could enjoy for a weekend – it is exceptionally remote and offers the chance to feel as if you are at the ends of the earth, surrounded by African beauty, without days of travelling.

Sand Rivers

5. The Waterberg, South Africa

The Waterberg is also malaria free and incredibly wild, and is ideal for those looking for a luxury safari which is off the beaten track – this vast area is also a drive from Johannesburg so similarly to Madikwe you will arrive before lunch on day one. Here the emphasis is always on freedom to explore the bush as you wish and to relax and feel engulfed in nature. The Waterberg is great for those that want a little more action on their weekends – here walking is an absolute highlight – especially if you make it to the top of the Waterberg Mountains, as pictured.

Marataba Saf Lodge

Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of The Luxury Safari Company.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Hi Rose,

    Breathtaking trips here. Going on safari is one of my dreams. Awesome. Each looks beautiful. Living in the bush for even a weekend is an experience of a lifetime.

    The Madikwe Game Reserve looks amazing. So much green, and I imagine the wildlife viewing is something else too.

    Thanks much for sharing.

    I’ll tweet in a bit.

    Ryan

  2. Did you say Cape town was economical? I thought it was not.. Will do some research and boom.. I will be there in couple of months. Thanks for the info.

  3. Chester says:

    Hi Rose,

    Nice list and article but you may want to include the Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe).

    The spectacular Victoria Falls is truly awesome and is one of the Seven Natural Wonders.

    Its even bigger than Niagara.

    Famous visitors include Hilary and Chelsea Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Haselhoff as well as George W Bush.

    You can either go to Zambia or Zimbabwe. There are direct flights to the Zimabwean town of Victoria Falls while on the Zambian side you can connect via Cape Town in South Africa.

    On the Zambia side you can stay at two hotels owned by Sun International.

  4. Hugh says:

    I think chester is right. You have not placed Vicoria falls on your “top five” list, but it really deserves the first place. It was named after Queen Victoria of England because it’s quite a wonder, one of seven wonders of the WORLD.

    For some time it has maintained the first place as a destination for travellers. Did you know that even though there was a down trend in tourism in Zimbabwe since the late 90’s, travellers continue to flock to that wonderous place.

    If your list is based on the number of travellers who visit the places mentioned you may want to include some statistics.

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