Top Game Reserves in South and East Africa

Red Carpet & Luxury

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, South Africa

You’re planning to take a life-changing journey to the Motherland and you’re dreaming of breathtaking encounters with wild lions, graceful giraffes, and gorgeous zebras. You can’t wait to traverse deep into the African savannah and come face to face with nature’s most powerful beasts. You’re so ready to take this once-in-a-lifetime trip, however, your next step is deciding exactly where to stay. We’re here to help!

In southern and eastern regions of Africa there are a wide range of lodges to choose from in various locations – each with their own features and benefits. The lodges’ proximity to wildlife reserves, quality of guides and vehicles, and level of comfort can make or break your Africa safari tour.

After many years of experience, we’ve curated a collection of the world’s best safari lodges in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. These legendary camps and safari lodges are among the most sophisticated and luxurious resorts in the world. These five-star accommodations offer supreme privacy and comfort in the African wilderness, featuring gourmet meals and unfenced lodgings that allow magnificent game animals to flow freely in and out. So if you’re looking for African safari tours that will blow your mind, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top recommendations for the African safari of your dreams.

KENYA

Cottars 1920 Camp
This sublime lodge harkens back to a “golden age” of safari. Situated just one kilometre from the legendary Masai Mara Game Reserve, Cottars 1920 Camp is surrounded by the largest concentration of terrestrial wildlife on earth. The Camp has its own 6,000 acre private conservancy, ideally situated for amazing day and night game drives, game walks, and cultural interactions with the Masai community. The world-famous camp is appointed with five-star vintage comforts, marquee tents, antique furnishings, and a breathtaking pool and spa.

Cottar's Camp
Cottar’s Camp

Mara Bushtops
Sink into a cozy lounger on your sprawling private deck and watch Africa’s most beautiful wildlife congregate before your eyes. At the elegant Mara Bushtops camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, you’ll cross the Mara plains in a fully-equipped 4×4 on morning, full day, and night game drives. The sharp eyes of Masai spotters will help you get up close and personal with the Big 5 game animals and you’ll watch leopards, giraffe, baboons, warthogs, and elephants saunter past your camp. Here you can have your butler draw your hot tub after a spectacular game drive. This place is pure heaven!

Suggested Itinerary:
7-Day Wild Bushtops Luxury

Leopard Family Suite, Mara Bushtops
Leopard Family Suite, Mara Bushtops

TANZANIA

Serengeti Bushtops
The Serengeti was proclaimed a Seventh World Wonder for good reason – the spectacle of predator versus prey captivates anyone who observes it. This five-star tented camp has a prime location with decks overlooking the Serengeti. With fabulous cooking, fine wines, hot tubs, and spacious rooms, this stylish resort has got it all. Between June and November Serengeti Bushtops can be one of the best places to catch a glimpse of a the Great Migration’s dramatic wildebeest river crossing.

Suggested Itinerary:
7-Day Wild Bushtops Luxury

Bush Breakfast at Serengeti Bushtops
Bush Breakfast at Serengeti Bushtops

Singita Faru Faru and Singita Sabora
These opulent sister properties sit in the untouched wilderness area of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem. Singita Faru Faru is a luxurious tented camp built using contemporary, organic style. Guests at the resort enjoy spectacular game drives as well as activities like mountain biking and archery. Singita Sabora is an intimate 1920s-style explorer’s camp, spanning over 350,000 acres in the wild Serengeti. Both lodges offer exquisite equestrian safaris, allowing guests to ride graceful horses across the Serengeti plains – an unforgettable experience!

Poolside, Singita Faru Faru
Poolside, Singita Faru Faru

SOUTH AFRICA

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
This National Geographic award-winning lodge was sculpted into a slope of the earth with the utmost respect for the environment. Big game roam freely on the lodge’s private game reserve at Kruger National Park. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is set in a prime location for viewing lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant, as well as cheetah, wild dog and some 200 other animal species indigenous to the area.

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge exterior
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge exterior

Singita Ebony Lodge
In the heart of South Africa’s “big cat country”, this idyllic retreat comprises of just twelve secluded suites, designed with a commitment to sustainability. Let the expert rangers and trackers at Singita Ebony Lodge take you in search of the “big five” in open vehicles, allowing you to get within feet of leopard, lion, rhino, elephant, reedbuck, hyena, hippopotamus, cheetah, wild dogs, and many types of birds. The top-notch lodge includes a spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, and more.

Outdoor Dining, Singita Ebony Lodge
Outdoor Dining, Singita Ebony Lodge

BOTSWANA

Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero
The world’s largest remaining population of elephants roam Chobe National Park, delighting visitors with their astounding size and gentle nature. From luxurious Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, you can get panoramic views across the floodplains and see as far as Namibia. This luxurious riverside retreat features fourteen thatched guest cottages and offers gourmet dinners served under the vast African sky. This family-friendly camp offers sundowner cruises on the beautiful Chobe River.

Accommodation at Chobe Chilwero
Accommodation at Chobe Chilwero

Little Mombo Camp
The first-class camp overlooks the surrounding floodplains which offer some of the best big game viewing in the famed Okavango Delta. Little Mombo Camp is situated on a bountiful hunting ground for large prides of lion and star-struck leopard. You can watch from the camp decks as the Moporota lion pride chases its prey right through camp! Game drives in open 4×4 Land Rovers accommodate a maximum of six or seven guests, allowing each guest a “window” seat to view the circle of life at its finest.

Enjoy Sunsets from the Raised Viewing Decks, Little Mombo Camp
Enjoy Sunsets from the Raised Viewing Decks, Little Mombo Camp

ZIMBABWE

The Hide Safari Camp
Situated just one hour south of the mighty Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park is a haven for Zimbabwe’s most endangered species. Over 20,000 elephants live here, along with large prides of lion and buffalo, leopard, cheetah, and spotted hyena. Once the royal hunting ground of Ndebele kings, The Hide Safari Camp offers spacious tents made of canvas and thatch. The Hide has a unique underground tunnel that allows you to get super close to animals at the nearby waterhole, while enjoying fine wines stored in a quaint underground cellar.

Wine Cellar and Waterhole Hideaway at Hide Safari Camp
Greeting an elephant at the Wine Cellar and Waterhole Hideaway at Hide Safari Camp

Little Makalolo
This gorgeous camp offers stunning views across a natural waterhole and superior hospitality. Based in the wildlife-rich Hwange National Park, Little Makalolo offers year-round wildlife viewing, elegant outdoor dining, teatime treats and light aircraft transfers to and from stunning Victoria Falls. In summer, wildebeest, zebra, and eland are found in abundance on the open plains, while in winter, elephant congregate in enormous numbers around nearby waterholes. This magical place is sure to touch your soul.

Lounge area at Little Makalolo | Photo credit: Dana Allen
Lounge area at Little Makalolo | Photo credit: Dana Allen