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Unveiling Africa’s Enchantment: Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges in Africa for Your Dream 2024 Adventure

Africa – a land of captivating landscapes, diverse wildlife, and fascinating cultures – calls travellers looking for that special experience. Whether you dream of witnessing the Great Migration, exploring hidden game reserves, or simply relaxing in luxurious surroundings, this continent offers a range of unforgettable areas to enjoy. From the dancing grasslands to the mist-covered mountains, Africa is home to some of the most exceptional sights on Earth. So, to help you plan your dream African escape in 2024 we’ve curated a list of 10 luxury lodges in South Africa. All NEW, all exceptional. Each catering to unique travel styles and desires. We know that your holiday is unique. So below you will find a great selection of lodges, no matter what your passion or interest. Each one has its own story, spectacular experiences, and seamless service.

1. Gwe Gwe Lodge

Where: Wild Coast of Eastern Cape, South Africa

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges in Africa - GweGwe - beach- lodge

It’s one of the newest additions to the Natural Selection portfolio. Famed for their ability to marry eco-consciousness and luxury in an unparalleled way. The luxurious Gwe Gwe Beach Lodge sits on the Wild Coast of South Africa.

One of the few places on earth you can watch zebra’s grazing and dolphin surfing, (and even whales breaching), at the same time.

A completely unexplored tract of majestic wilderness, this new lodge can be reached by light charter, boat, or even helicopter. Set within a 5,000-hectare private concession of Mkambati Nature Reserve, GweGwe boasts only 9 suites. This includes a couple of two-bedroom family suites. A winning combination of coastal setting, nature reserve, water activities on the river and a forest spa make this a haven of tranquillity and adventure. Then top this up with top-notch cuisine and some excellent wine.  

Hike scenic trails, explore the region’s rich cultural heritage, or simply unwind in your suite. Enjoy your private plunge pool overlooking the Indian ocean. The unspoiled coastline in the extensive nature reserve means that it’s one of the few places on earth where you can enjoy wildlife sightings on land. And ocean adventures like whales and dolphins at sea. Ideal for couples, friends, and kids who want to roam free.

2. Brookdale Estate 

Where: Cape Winelands, South Africa 

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges in Africa - Brookdale Estate - aerial view

Immerse yourself in the heart of South Africa’s winelands at Brookdale Estate. Thoughtfully conceived and founded on a personalised approach to every stay. So you can relax, rest, and rediscover the beauty of the Winelands. A spa, the services of a personal chef, and an incredible passionate team mean this escape leaves you feeling unequivocally pampered.

Perfect for relaxation and indulging in the region’s culinary and artistic delights.

The Bistro at Brookdale is a must-experience. Infused with hyper locally-sourced ingredients, the menu is seasonal and a sensory delight. Pair your meal with the estate’s wines for a real culinary treat.

3. Babanango Game Reserve

Where: KwaZulu Natal, South Africa 

An aerial image of Madwaleni River Lodge in the Babanango Game Reserve

Embark on a thrilling safari adventure at Babanango’s latest lodge, Madwaleni River Lodge. This stylish lodge sits on the banks of the white Umfolozi River in the heart of Zululand.

Babanango Game Reserve is one of KwaZulu Natal’s most successful rewilding projects over the last few years. This stunning landscape, with its rugged mountains and serene valleys, not only offers the “Big 5”. But also the critically endangered blackand white rhino, as well as specials such as brown hyena and aardwolf.  

A sanctuary for an incredible variety of birds and wildlife

Madwaleni River Lodge

With its opulent safari tents, restaurant, bar, and library, this tented camp offers visitors a genuinely exclusive getaway that seamlessly combines refinement and wilderness. Because Madwaleni River Lodge is unfenced,, you are free to experience nature to the fullest. The 12 private safari tents, each with their own plunge pool, have won awards for their outstanding design. They feature a first-of-its-kind steel frame structure, and have raised the bar for luxury as well as style.

Interested in booking a Safari or Holiday?

Chat to one of our experienced consultants that’s here to help and guide you. We use our expertise to narrow down the choices and present feasible ideas, so you can relax and ENJOY the planning process! Contact us!

Tasha Eygelaar

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I’m Tasha, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

4. Mukwa River Lodge

Where: Victoria Falls, Zambia side 

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges - Mukwa River Lodge- Victoria Falls

Escape the ordinary at Mukwa, a secluded lodge nestled on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. Bush chic meets luxurious accommodations at this lodge, which exudes an air of timeless elegance and exquisite taste from a bygone safari era. But with top-notch modern bathrooms. Completely carefully, every comfort is offered, along with five-star service and fine dining on par with a top restaurant.

Fine dining on par with a top restaurant.

Located across from Zambezi National Park, you can watch the wildlife from the luxury of your private garden or plunge pool as the animals come down to the river to drink.  Adventure enthusiasts will find many choices in Zambia, including bungee jumping, white-water rafting, kayaking, sunset cruises, and helicopter trips.

5. Tuludi Lodge

Where: Khwai Game Reserve, Okavango Delta Botswana

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges in Africa - Tuludi Camp

200,000 hectares of pristine wilderness are home to a diverse array of wildlife that roams freely within the exclusive Khwai Private Reserve in the northern Okavango Delta of Botswana. From the lodge’s deep lounges, expansive deck, or lazing fire-pit, you can see breeding herds of elephants, huge groups of buffalo, countless antelope, plenty of big cats, and more.

The lions are relaxed, the leopards are at ease, and wild dogs frequently range by.

Each of the six exquisite suites (and one two-bedroomed family suite) features a plunge pool, with a larger one at the main lodge. Raised wooden walkways connect the suites, and the unfenced nature of the reserve means you feel that you have a front-row seat to this special part of Africa.

6. Lolebezi Camp

Where: Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Lolebezi lies in the breath-taking, unspoiled wilds of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park. Situated on five hectares of pristine wilderness, the lodge has been designed to embrace its enviable one-kilometre private riverfront location. This spectacular setting, well-known for its elephant herds and leopard population, is best explored on foot with one their knowledgeable guides.

Spotting Africa’s wildlife while strolling through the massive acacia woodlands is a safari highlight.

Every suite features a private plunge pool. Ideal for cooling down on hot African afternoons and taking in the great river’s leisurely flow. A unique safari offering is that the entire menu at Lolelbezi is Halaal-friendly. A yoga deck and on-site spa with expert treatment specialists complete an unforgettable safari experience.

Download our Insiders Guide to Zambia Safaris

Major attractions, sample tours & camps, and the low-down on best areas to visit! Get our free guide here

Tasha Eygelaar

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I’m Tasha, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

7. Mpala Jena

Where: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:

Mpala Jena aerial view

A boutique safari camp, Mpala Jena lies along the stunning Zambezi River’s tree-lined banks. With its smooth sand flooring, thatch roofs, and a beach bar with a view of the river and pool, this camp perfectly embodies “barefoot luxury.”   Embark on an unforgettable wilderness adventure at Mpala Jena, located within the pristine Zambezi  National Park. Situated beneath broad Sausage and Jackalberry trees, the tented suites offer ample natural light, a private deck, and an outdoor bathroom complete with shower and bath.

Mpala Jena was built with a significant emphasis on sustainability. It’s powered solely through a solar power plant and battery.

A true luxury escape with its heart in the right place. Experience wildlife on expertly guided game drives, guided bush walks or boating activities. Here you can explore the river and park’s diverse eco-systems.

8. Simbavati Waterside

Where: Klaserie Game Reserve, Greater Kruger, South Africa: 

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodge in Africa - Simbavati Waterside - Beach Boma

Simbavati Waterside offers a luxurious escape within the superb Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Witness the abundance of wildlife that gathers around the water source and enjoy the tranquillity of the bushveld. The Simbavati Waterside is the ideal setting for any type of traveller. Alongside providing complete seclusion for couples, the well-designed lodge structure also offers social areas for families and friends. A swimming pool, a ‘Beach Boma’ (with the water level at eye level), and a Bush Boma for dining under the stars, are all on offer . Then add in a wine cellar, bar, spa and gym.

This lodge is an automatic win for travellers looking for a quintessential African experience

The exquisite food, chic décor, and warm hospitality of Simbavati Waterside elevate an already excellent safari experience. Romantics will love the lodge’s several cosy areas, creative private dining options (every meal’s menu is unique), and friendly welcome.

9. Elephants Crossing Lodge

Where: Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg,  South Africa

Situated in the centre of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, home to Elephants Crossing. This World Heritage Site features distinct hilly bushveld habitats. It’s home to approximately 300 bird species and over 50 mammal species, owing to its diverse vegetation. Their expert field guides will take you on thrilling adventures to discover the magnificent beauty of the bushveld and the Big 5.

Perfect combination of easy access and ultimate bush enjoyment  in a malaria-free area

Both the luxury and tented suites, along with the Family Villa, feature plunge pools. So this lodge has the perfect combination of easy access and ultimate enjoyment of a bush — in a malaria-free area to boot!

10. Hazendal Hotel

Where: Cape Winelands, South Africa: 

Come and have some wine tasting in our Wine Country - Hazendal Hotel

Steeped in history and charm, the Hazendal Hotel offers a unique blend of luxury and tradition. Situated on a working wine farm in the Stellenbosch region, this hotel provides a luxurious escape. Plus easy access to award-winning wineries and historical sites. The hotel has a modern and sleek design, whilst the estate offers everything a family (or couple) could want. From the award-winning, and frankly stupendous, Wonderdal edutainment centre. To the Kleine Hazen putting course. Top it up with a 9-hole golf course and state-of-the-art driving range. And let’s not forget the incredible wine experience. This hotel has it all.  

A fantastic family friendly winelands paradise.

The skilled culinary team delivers world-class dining, from the relaxed The Eatery to the charming Bistro. We highly recommend enjoying one of their picnics on the beautifully manicured lawns. The vintage car collection, on-site gallery, and Spa mean the entire family will be well entertained at this striking luxury Wineland escape. If you are visiting while the estate is presenting one of its famous jazz nights, booking a ticket is a must.

Crafting Your African Escape

This hand-picked list of the Top 10 Luxury Lodges in South Africa provides a glimpse into the diverse and luxurious new options available throughout Africa. Whether you seek a thrilling safari adventure, a relaxing wine country retreat, or a combination of adventure and calm relaxation. We can help you design the perfect itinerary for your 2024 African adventure.

Contact us today to start planning your unforgettable African escape!

Our Top 10 Luxury Lodges in Africa – was written by Anja of Cedarberg Africa

Cedarberg Africa is a specialist tailor-made safari company for Southern and East Africa. We know how confusing and time-consuming it can be to plan an African safari. We discuss what YOU are looking for, then put together our safari proposal. So you get a hassle-free safari trip of a lifetime to share with your loved ones

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Sonja Brand

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