South Africa

Luxury Camps in Kruger National Park & Sabi Sands

Luxury Camps in Kruger National Park & Sabi Sands

Garonga

Garonga is an exclusive 14-bed safari camp in the private Makalali Conservancy, situated west of the Kruger National Park in South Africa's Limpopo Province.

The camp offers an intimate wildlife encounter and a relaxed 'home from home' ambience. The spacious tented rooms are situated on a dry riverbed - each with en-suite bathroom and a wooden deck that commands spectacular views.

Garonga offers excellent game drives, tracking and wilderness walks, but the emphasis is just as much on relaxation and pampering as it is on game-viewing. There is a swimming pool and a range of aromatherapy and reflexology treatments on offer, or you can just relax in your hammock with a bottle of wine and a good book.

Excellent bush cuisine inspired by local ingredients is freshly prepared each day. Altogether, Garonga offers a perfect combination of wilderness, comfort and relaxation - an oasis in the middle of the African bush.

Why We Love It

Guests can also choose to sleep out in a treehouse located 20 minutes' drive from the camp and be collected in the morning.

 

Ngala Tented Camp

Ngala Private Game Reserve was the first reserve to be incorporated into the game rich Kruger National Park (all 36,500 acres of it), and the tented camp gives guests an authentic safari experience, surrounded by wildlife.

Positioned on the banks of the Timbavati River, the nine tents are raised on wooden platforms. All are extremely spacious, have outdoor showers, oversized baths, and wooden decks overlooking the river.

Ngala private Reserve shares its borders with Kruger National Park, and the wildlife therefore is abundant. Go on game drives and walking safaris to see the prolific array that includes the Big Five, including breeding herds of elephant and plenty of lion; leopard; and wild dog which thrive due to the vast terrain.

When not on safari, there is a lap pool from where guests can view game in the seasonal Timbavati riverbed. At night, gather round the camp fire to exchange tales of the days events and eat delicious food in the open.

Why We Love It

There are a number of viewing decks dotted along the river bed; fantastic places to enjoy a sundowner whilst keeping an eye out for the abundant wildlife.

 

Notten's Bush Camp

Nine beautifully decorated private suites, with en-suite bathrooms and indoor and outdoor facilities, lead onto private decks and have stunning views over the bush. The use of electricity is kept to a minimum, with paraffin lamps and candles replacing electric lighting.

In the main area, the large open plan lounge and dining room lead onto a large wooden deck which looks over the vast plains and nearby waterhole. There is also an indoor lounge set around a large fireplace as well as a good bar and a wine cellar. In the evening, dine in the open air boma around a blazing fire while listening to the sounds of the African night.

Set within the confines of the Greater Kruger National Park, guests can enjoy some of the country's finest game viewing led by experienced guides and the game on view should include lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, wild dog, cheetah, giraffe and over 350 bird species. Alternatively, relax at the small spa or by the swimming pool when back at the lodge.

Why We Love It

This family run camp in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve was one of the first game lodges in South Africa.

 

Royal Malewane

Royal Malewane is an exclusive safari lodge in the 12,000-hectare Thornybush Game Reserve, part of the private Sabi Sands concession on the western fringe of the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

A maximum of just 20 guests are accommodated in colonial splendour, with each air-conditioned suite having its own private deck, pool and gazebo. Elevated walkways link the suites to the main camp complex, which houses a library, dining area and lounge furnished with antiques and Persian carpets. There is also a gym, a steamroom and a spa where qualified therapists offer massage, aromatherapy and other treatments.

Game viewing is either by open Land Rover or on foot, accompanied by expert rangers and trackers. All the 'big five' - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino - are present, plus a rich variety of other game and over 250-recorded bird species.

In the evenings, enjoy world-class cuisine and a selection of South Africa's finest wines.

Why We Love It

It's hard to drag yourself away from such deliciousness, but a visit to the nearby Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre - where injured and orphaned creatures are rehabilitated before being released back to the wild - is well worth it.

 

Singita Boulders

On the banks of the Sand River in the Singita Private Game Reserve, Boulders Lodge takes contemporary African style - inspired by the striking boulders on site - to new levels.

The lodge is innovatively designed to incorporate these granite masses into the structure of the buildings and the natural theme continues with the use of native wood and textured fabrics in colours drawn from the surroundings. The elegant interiors are a study in contemporary minimalism, with 12 suites in all with en suite bathrooms and river views from the outdoor showers. Each also has an indoor shower, large living area, double-sided fireplace and private wooden deck with private heated plunge pool.

The main lodge has a sitting room and timber deck dining area overlooking the Sand River, plus a bar area and traditional open boma, gymnasium, spa, library and natural subterranean wine cellar.

Why We Love It

The name Boulders comes from the enormous rocks on site, including one that sits exactly where the wine cellar was meant to be sunk. It was decided - somewhat sensibly - to build the cellar around the boulder instead.

 

Singita Lebombo

Singita Lebombo is arguably South Africa's most luxurious safari camp.

Located in the remote south-east of the Kruger National Park, on the border with Mozambique, the lodge is surrounded by more than 30,000 acres of private reserve that is home to the highest densities of game in the whole of Kruger. This includes a wealth of 'Big Five' animals, an incredible diversity of smaller animals, and abundant birdlife. Game-drives take place in the early mornings and evenings, and guided bush walks are also available. Accommodation consists of 15 suites, perched on steel stilts on the edge of a ridge, with dramatic views over the bush.

The interiors are straight from the pages of a design magazine, with floor-to-ceiling windows, bleached wood and a highly contemporary style.

A central 'village' complex houses a gym, spa, library, swimming pool and a gourmet restaurant with an excellent wine cellar. The overall effect is more chic boutique hotel than game lodge.

Why We Love It

Singita Lebombo was once voted Condé Nast Traveller's 'World's Best Hotel', and set the benchmark for luxurious safari lodges.

 

Tanda Tula

Tanda Tula is situated in the heart of the Timbavati Game Reserve adjoining the northern section of the Kruger National Park.

Tanda Tula offer two camp experiences; the Safari Camp, and the Field Camp. The Safari Camp is comprised of luxurious double/twin en-suite luxury walk-in tents on raised wooden platforms in a stunning location overlooking a dry river bed. Each of the 12 tents boasts a bathtub, outdoor shower and private deck overlooking the riverbed. There is also a pool and sitting room/bar/dining area by the lawn, surrounded by the bush.

The Field Camp is more of a glamping experience, with a just four beautiful tents for an exclusive, private safari experience. Tents are simply furnished with African textiles, and outdoor bathrooms. There is also a mess tent, and field bar at the Field Camp, but no electricity. The camp is lit by oil and solar lanterns each evening.

There is a wide variety and large concentrations of game. In particular, the area is famous for lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo; with many other mammal and bird species present too. Game drives and guided walks are conducted in the early mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Why We Love It

The Kruger National Park covers 7 million acres, one of the largest national parks in Africa.

 

Dulini Lodge

Perfectly positioned within the western sector of the Sabi Sand private game reserve, boutique Dulini Lodge offers some of the most exclusive game-viewing in South Africa.

There are six spacious cottages dotted along the banks of the Mabrak River, in the western corner of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. As a small lodge Dulini is a quiet retreat, perfect for couples and families alike. The en suite guest rooms are simple yet sophisticated in décor and all have private verandas with plunge pools looking out over the river bed.

Wildlife is at the centre of Dulini's character with animals roaming freely between the game reserve and the Kruger National Pak, so whether it is a hippo or crocodile you fancy a glimpse of by the Sand River, or a chance to say you've seen the Big Five: Elephant, Rhino, Leopard, Buffalo and Lion, the possibilities of game viewing are endless in this South African animal hot bed. Besides game drives and bush walks with experienced rangers, you can simply lounge on shady decks and soak up the simplicity of lodge life.

Dine al fresco under the ancient jackalberry tree, where you will be treated to a range of fine Pan-African cuisine, which is perfectly accompanied by a wide selection of full bodied wines from the Lodge's well-stocked wine cellar.

Why We Love It

Dulini Lodge gets a gold star for being super stylish and comfortable whilst retaining that all important bush stay feel

 

Chitwa Chitwa

On the largest lake of the Sabi Sands private reserve, this refined safari lodge harmoniously blends luxury European and African style with a great awareness of environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Privacy is key at Chitwa Chitwa, with only six suites curving around the shore of the perennial lake. The authentic safari experience is enhanced by timber decks, private plunge pools and outdoor showers, enabling up-close and personal wildlife encounters. In addition to the six one bedroom suites, the Charlsy suite has two inter-connecting rooms ideal for families, while Chitwa House accommodates two exclusive en-suite bedrooms and includes a dedicated ranger, private vehicle, butler and large pool.

Dining at Chitwa Chitwa is a culinary and social feast, with each day's itinerary formulated around mealtimes. Sample local specialities and meats under the stars in the boma, illuminated by fire and candlelight, or opt for a private table on the dry riverbed or in the bush.

The lodge has a central 'sunset deck' pool, from which guests can observe hippos and crocodiles bathing in the bush lake. Sunrise and sunset game drives are led by the lodge's rangers and trackers, who use their extensive knowledge and experience to ensure guests encounter all of the Big 5 animals, among many others. Bush walks, tribal dance performances, special dinners and hot air balloon rides are also offered.

Why We Love It

Only wild animals can freely roam between Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Private Reserve, affording guests to Chitwa Chitwa a quieter, more exclusive safari experience.