5 of the most unique game lodges in Africa

Settled amidst Africa’s stunningly diverse landscapes and elusive wildlife, hundreds of luxurious lodges and camps provide an opulent space to relax in between exploring everything this unspoilt continent has to offer. Nevertheless, with cosy décor, gourmet cuisine, awe-inspiring experiences and spectacular views offered at nearly every property, sometimes you just want to find something completely different from the norm.

Cheetah viewing on safari

From nostalgic treehouses and inviting domed suites, to cave-like structures and beds nestled under the stars, Africa is home to an eclectic selection of unique lodges perfect for those looking for even more splendour on their safari holiday. Here are our top five one-of-a-kind lodges in Africa.

Kulala Desert Lodge, Namibia

The scene: Perched close-by to Sossusvlei’s dramatic backdrop of burnt orange sand dunes in Namibia’s Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Kulala Desert Lodge is certainly inspired by its barren desert surroundings. Though still luxurious, the 23 thatch and clay ‘kulalas’ blend beautifully into the landscapes, creating a desirably rustic vibe.

Walking safari Kulala Desert Lodge

Unique highlights: In the evening, as the sun starts to set and paints a golden glow over the sand dunes, walk up the stairs of your kulala and you’ll find a cosy star bed on the roof. Lighted only by ambient lanterns and the glistening stars above, sleeping up here is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa

The scene: Regarded as one of the most environmentally friendly lodges in Africa, this charming lodge effortlessly blends into the Sabi Sand Game Reserve bushveld. With 13 suites, a meditation garden, an underground wine cellar and a beautiful spa, a stay here is soothing and exclusive.

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge suite living area

Unique highlights: The out-of-the-ordinary use of rock and clay create a cave-like atmosphere, yet still with natural light flooding through the windows, and original artwork by South African artist Geoffrey Armstrong adding a pop of colour. The lodge was created with a unique use of texture, space and light in mind, offering an immersive experience that will peak anyone’s interest.

Tarangire Treetops, Tanzania

The scene: Built around a giant baobab tree within the beautiful and secluded Tarangire National Park, 20 rustic thatched roof suites stand on stilts and offer breath-taking views of the endless verdant canopies below. Night drives and guided bush walks create a classic safari experience, with a gorgeous swimming pool adding a touch of luxury.

Tarangire Treetops accommodation

Unique highlights: What could be better than adding a bit of nostalgia to your safari? The raised suites here create the feeling of a luxurious treehouse, accessed by a wooden ladder and featuring verandas that will make you feel on top of the world. The rural wooden décor will transport you back to afternoons spent in your childhood treehouse, this time with the African plains below.

The Highlands, Tanzania

The scene: Nestled on the luscious forest-clad slopes of the Olmoti Volcano in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, The Highlands evokes an incredibly cosy vibe with its roaring fireplaces, warm textures, and bundles of blankets on offer. Secluded from the more popular areas of the conservancy, life here is quiet and intimate.

The Highlands, Tanzania, Whisky Bar Sundowner

Unique highlights: The Perspex and canvas domed suites are definitely different to any other lodge in Africa. Snuggling up in your own domed semi-circle featuring contemporary décor and stunning forest views is a unique experience you’ll never forget. Speaking of experiences, The Highlands is also the only lodge to offer a hot lunch on the summit of the jaw-dropping Ngorongoro Crater.

Loisaba Star Beds, Kenya

The scene: Suspended on a rugged kopje in the rainforest-shrouded Loisaba Conservancy, Loisaba Star Beds might not look like much when you first look. Not in terms of style, but in terms of structure – the four ‘platforms’ here have a distinctive lack of walls. The main camp, though, is a cosy indoor area filled with log fires and comfy furnishings.

Loisaba Game Drives

Unique highlights: Only featuring a thatched roof, open walls, a double handcrafted bed with wheels and an extensive uncovered decking area, Loisaba Star Beds immediately paints itself as a delightfully unique property. Each night your bed draped in warm blankets is pulled out onto the deck, allowing you to sleep under the stars and totally feel at one with nature. Nothing is more relaxing than Africa’s soundtrack of faraway wildlife and trees swaying in the slight breeze.

Mags Longstaff is Product & Marketing Director at Tropical Sky.

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Comments (1)

  1. Phillip says:

    Wow, the photos here are too die for. I have been on safari but have never seen cats as close as the photo here. Thanks.

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