At Safari In Style we are a little obsessed with the safari experience, and our 2018 top ten list is full of incredible experiences! We know there is a lot of choice out there when it comes to wildlife safaris. We’ve scoured the continent for exceptional lodges and camps. Ones that offer you that little something extra, that really set them apart. Our 2018 list has something for everyone, from the adventure seeker to those who really appreciate the finest things in life. Are you ready to go on safari?
1. Jamala Madikwe, Madikwe , South Africa
Jamala Madikwe is a perennial favourite of ours. This is one of those rare places that just get everything right. Incredible attention to detail, wonderful warm hospitality, unashamed luxury accommodation and an exceptional safari experience.
Jamala is situated in the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. An easy four and a half hour drive, or one hour flight from Johannesburg. With only 5 beautifully appointed suites, you are assured of personalised attention. All suites overlook the bush, with private decks and plunge pools.
The lodge overlooks an open plain with a very popular waterhole in front of the main area. A raised tower allows for the lodges famous “sofa safaris” and the brand new main deck pool, offering “pool safaris”! Did we mention the award winning cuise?
2. Mashatu Tented Camp, Tuli Block, Botswana
Tucked into a remote corner of Botswana, where it meets with South Africa and Zimbabwe, is the Tuli Block. The areas is famed for its giants – elephants, baobabs, elands and great predators.
This is home to the excellent Mashatu Tented Camp. The camp really captures the spirit of adventure. The very comfortable en-suite tents provide the perfect base for all the exciting safari options available. Mashatu invites you to get out there and really experience the bush. Beyond the 4×4 safaris, they offer walking, mountain biking and horseback safaris where you truly feel part of nature. They also have specialist photographic hides (and you can hire specialist photographic equipment on site), allowing you to get incredibly close to the action.
Throw in a dramatic landscapes, ancient archeological sites and 92% rain free days…..what more could the adventure seeker want?
3. Somalisa Camp, Hwange, Zimbabwe
Deep in the heart of Zimbabwe’s famous Hwange National Park lies Somalisa Camp. 7 luxury tents, complete with indoor and outdoor showers, overlook seasonal floodplains teaming with game.
A short drive from the mighty Victoria Falls, Hwange is famed for its large herds of elephants and buffalo, as well as rare sable and roan antelope, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra. These in turn attract the predators in large numbers. The “Elephant Pool” a natural waterhole, in front of the camp attracts large numbers of game throughout the year. Sit back with a G&T or taking a refreshing dip in the pool, while looking out at Africa’s wildlife.
Guided walks and 4×4 safaris are undertaken by excellent local guides, and when back at camp, the excellence continues, with award-winning hospitality.
4. Old Mondoro, Lower Zambezi, Zambia
There are few places that capture the very essence of safari as well as Old Mondoro. This intimate bushcamp, with only 4 chalets, is a true safari legend. Built in a style that blurs the boundaries of inside and outside, but doesn’t sacrifice on comfort. Here you are at one with your environment.
The Lower Zambezi National Park is one of the great wilderness areas of Africa. The languid Zambezi River provides life giving water year round, and sustains huge herds of game. Head out in 4×4 vehicles, on foot, on boats or even in canoes, with outstanding guides. Whatever you choose you know you are in for the experience of a lifetime.
5. Singita Sabora, Grumeti, Serengeti, Tanzania
Having been voted the Number 1 in the world by Condé Naste (USA) and Best Hotel Service in the World by Condé Naste (UK), you know you are going somewhere special. This 1920’s explorer style camp on the plains of the greater Serengeti, is part of the renowned Singita group. There are few safari operations that can begin to match the luxury experience offered by the stable of Singita Lodges and Camps.
Singita Sabora, typifies the Singita ethos, take something and make it the best in class. Here on the rolling plains of Tanzania, a tented safari camp is raised to new heights, with the little touches that make all the difference. Like these day beds, set out where the game passes by. Imagine relaxing on your daybed and having zebras pass within feet of you.
We could go on and on, but for the lucky few who get to go, the words we write can not truly describe the experience.
6. The Outpost, Makuleke, Kruger, South Africa
In the far north of the Kruger National Park, is an areas known as the Makuleke Contractual Park. This area of Kruger is managed by the local Makuleke tribe, and arguable is one of the most beautiful areas of Kruger.
Much less visited than the south of the park, this is the perfect escape. Visit Crook’s Corner, where South Africa, the Limpopo River, Zimbabwe and Mozambique all meet. Enchanting forests of fever trees, great baobabs and the heady heights of Lanner Gorge await visitors.
The unique design of the lodge, with it’s 12 “spaces”, fits perfectly into this rugged landscape. Completely open fronted, perching on a cliffside, the seemingly endless wilderness feels like an extension of your room.
And talk about a bath with a view!!!
7. Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia
Set in the very heart of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, is the intimate 6 roomed Kaingo bushcamp. This family run camp, is remote, in one of the richest game viewing areas in the country. The ethos is all about conservations, treading lightly and ensuring all benefit from tourism, the animals, the local tribes and visitors alike.
Each of the 6 comfortable en-suite chalets has an outdoor bath tub looking out to the river, with a private deck built out over the river bank. Your own private little piece of river frontage in the African bush!
Perhaps more than the wonderful hospitality, comfortable private hideaways and exceptional game viewing, Kaingo is famous for its photographic hides! The Carmine Bee Eater Hide, The Hippo Hide, The Elephant Hide and The Mwamba’s Last Waterhole Hide really get you up close to the action. Don’t just take our word for it, the hides have attracted the likes of National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Africa Geographic and the BBC. You can even arrange for a sleep out in The Elephant Hide, incredible at full moon!
8. Jabali Ridge, Ruaha, Tanzania
Ask most people to name a park in Tanzania and you will hear Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and maybe even Tarangire. All making up Tanzania’s famous “northern circuit”. Some may mention the Selous Game Reserve, but very few will even know of Ruaha. Amazing really, when you consider this is Tanzania’s largest National Park!
Ruaha in southern Tanzania is one of those great hidden treasures. A vast area with majestic baobas, swaying palms, great herds of elephants, and an estimated 10% of the entire world population of lions! That’s before we talk about the buffalos, leopards, cheetahs, giraffe, sable etc etc.
And now, a brand new addition to this incredible park, Jabali Ridge. The first true luxury lodge in Ruaha. There are just 8 suites and 1 private house, set high on a kopje overlooking Ruaha. Understated luxury, so nothing detracts from the wilderness around you, but not foregoing any comfort. Jabali Ridge, has ushered in a new era for this hidden gem called Ruaha!
And did we mention that infinity pool (picture top) high above the African savannah??
9. Motswari, Timbavati, Kruger, South Africa
Think of something that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe your granny’s home cooking or your favourite neighbourhood Italian restaurant where everyone knows your name. Well, Motswari is the game lodge equivalent. Guests return time and time again to Motswari, because it makes everyone feel welcome and cared for. It is a place to relax and rejuvenate.
15 en-suite chalets, in classic safari style are scattered around, under shady trees and unadulterated bush views at every turn.
Like with most things though, that feeling of warmth and comfort come from the people around you, and Motswari is no exception. At the very heart of the Motswari experience are the incredible staff and guides.
But don’t think that Motswari is just a lovely lodge with friendly people. It is also a prime safari destination. The Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, is one of the best and oldest safari areas in Africa. Renowned for exceptional safaris, you are bound to leave Motswari with ever lasting memories and a warm fuzzy feeling! Motswari really has found the perfect balance.
10. Sala’s Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
Sala’s Camp really has it all. In the world famous Masai Mara in Kenya, with views over the equally famous Serengeti in Tanzania. River frontage, where the great wildebeest migration passes through as they arrive in Kenya. Beautifully appointed luxury suites strung out along the river. The list goes on…..and on!
Set in one of the most magical locations in the Masai Mara, Sala’s is a true wildlife haven. Surrounded by some of the finest game viewing on the planet, away from the more popular areas of the park. Thanks to its location, it is also one of the first camps to witness the annual wildebeest migration as it crosses into Kenya from Tanzania every year between June and September.
If you are travelling with children this is the perfect spot. Family suites and specialised guiding for children of all ages are offered (as well as babysitting to give mom and dad a holiday as well as the youngsters!).