The best private lodges in the African wilderness


Africa’s safari camps and lodges are renowned for being especially intimate and wild, more so than any other hospitality experience throughout the rest of the world. Take the most private and most intimate lodges across the continent and you have the best wilderness experience the world has to offer. Dotted around safari Africa are several private lodges where you and the family can go to get away from it all in the ultimate exclusive retreat. Here is a run down of the best places to do this in.

Bailey’s Banda at Beho Beho. Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

This is the ultimate old school safari experience. Dappled brick walls enclose guests in a haven of old era safari romance, with bushy views onto the raised hill which creepy up into the horizon. Watch the peaceful everchanging canvas of wilderness from your private plunge pool. This is the kind of scene which can change in a blink of an eye; a tranquil river scene can within a page of your book transform into a playground for elephants; a blank field can come alive with the howl of wild dogs in a split second. Staying at Beho Beho is as much about wildlife viewing from the luxury of your room as it is about the game drives…

Laragai House. Laikipia, Kenya

Laragai House is one of the original private venues for those who want exclusivity in a wild place. Laikipia is a haven for adventurers, and Laragai House is about as luxurious as it gets. It really does have something for everyone. Here, you feel isolated in the wild with sweeping and endless views of the undulating Borana hills below. You can be bathing by the pool admiring the view in the morning, and galloping around the below wilderness in the afternoon on your very own horse. Laragai House is the very best option on the continent for horse and wilderness lovers, all to be enjoyed from one of the finest private safari lodges on the continent.

The Motse. Tswalu, South Africa

Twenty-four of your best friends and family can enjoy this fabulous private getaway. Perhaps The Motse is suited best for older families with teenagers, who want to tear around the surrounding wilderness in activities galore which is this action packed private reserve. Guided activities include searching for pangolins, which are (incredibly) very easy to spot here; keeping wildlife enthusiast parents more than entertained. Perhaps, Tswalu is also excellent for younger families as it has no age restrictions and is, importantly, one of the only non-malarial reserves in southern Africa. For those who aren’t restricted by non-malarial zones, the nearby and easily accessible Cape Town is a perfect contrast and compliment to an exceptional Tswalu safari.

Mkombe House at Nomad Lamai. Serengeti, Tanzania

Mkombe House is the ultimate big 5 safari hideaway. The Serengeti National Park is brimming with life – time it right heading to Lamai in July to October and your could be living in amongst one of the greatest, most spectacular natural events on the planet; the Great Wildebeest Migration. Indoors, Mkombe House cosies into a huge Kjope, huge towering mysterious boulders which are typical of this beautiful part of the park. Staying here is as close to nature as anyone could get. To avoid other tourists completely, I would recommend visiting in the off-season months when the Migration is not around. You will still be greeted by some of the best wildlife on the continent which never leave this action-packed park, but for a lot less than in high season.

Chongwe House, Lower Zambezi. Zambia

Chongwe House is what safari is all about; rustic, wild and with a hint of safari romance impossible to replicate on any other continent. Set on the banks of the Zambezi, enjoy a bright pink sunset and a cold drink after a long day of exploring this beautiful region. The wildlife in the park is superb, and the boating unparalleled in the country. For those who love fishing, Chongwe is the dream with some of the very best fishing opportunities on the continent. It is a hideaway for those who love a river view, and all the activities which come with it.

Marc Harris is Managing Director of Africa Odyssey. Africa Oydssey is run by a team of award-winning experts offering tailor-made African safari holidays.

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Comments (6)

  1. Jean Hall says:

    It’s been an ambition of mine to stay at one of those top notch safari lodges for some time.

    Obviously it’s not going to happen for a while now. Over the last month we’ve cautiously restricted our travel. At the last moment we decided not to book a ski trip (that was lucky) and over the next few months we’re not going to be spending money at pubs or restaurants. We’re going to channel those savings into a savings account called “Safari” and once we can travel freely and the savings have built-up then we are going to have the holiday of a lifetime. Every cloud has a silver lining.

    • Dave says:

      I admire your positivity Jean, I think you’re working heard on making some lemonade from some pretty sour lemons. I like your idea of putting away your savings and focusing on a really great holiday when it’s all over. Staying at one of these great places would definitely be a dream to cling on to through the coming grey months

  2. Carolyn says:

    That picture that goes with Bailey’s Banda at Beho Beho brings back great memories for me – not that I’ve been to the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

    I had a similar very privileged al fresco meal in South Africa. Despite the 4 braziers burning at each corner of the table, to discourage lions from joining the feast, it was one of the most memorable meals of my life.
    I would love to add Beho Beho to my African collection of great dinners.

  3. Kevin says:

    These are places I really wish I could be at right about now. Taking in the view at the Chongwe House as the world becomes a little uneasy with anxiety and uncertainty. The Motse house looks great too, a place to relax and enjoy life with friends and family which is now more important than ever.

  4. Steven Ham says:

    After time cooped up in our houses and flats there will be a lot of us in need of the emptiness and wilderness along with the vast landscapes and skies of Africa.

  5. Charlotte Dowd says:

    I didn’t realise you could actually stay in the Serengeti National Park, that’s definitely one way to get close to the action if you’re going for the great migration. I love the small touches to some of these places, like the little lights outside and how interesting the architecture can be. Home away from home. Getting away for a break right now and to the wilderness for some stress-free days sounds perfect.

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