Wildly Popular: Africa's 10 Most Visited Safari Lodges

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Going on safari in Africa is wildly popular and generally very high on the bucket list of travelers looking for that adventure of a lifetime. Destinations such as Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Botswana are renowned for their exotic wildlife and luxurious safari stays. Whether you are looking for a romantic sleep-out under the stars, tranquil mokoro safari or a ride in a hot air balloon; Africa offers one of the most unique vacations you’ll ever experience. We’ve explored all corners of Africa and have put together this list of the 10 most visited safari lodges and why they stand out above the rest.

10 Most Visited Safari Lodges in Africa

1. Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Deck views of the suites at Ulusaba Rock Lodge - Most visited safari lodges

The elevated decks of the suites at Ulusaba Rock Lodge are perfect for those afternoon siestas and morning coffee's at sunrise.Location: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South Africa Number of rooms: 8 rooms at Rock Lodge Why it's special: Ulusaba Rock Lodge has a unique architectural design, set into the cliff face and equipped with world-class facilities; including a gorgeous lounge, wine cellar, gym, outdoor boma for dinners under the stars, spa, swimming pool and a private deck overlooking the bushveld. The safari experience is exclusive, with dawn and dusk open-vehicle game drives that offer up-close encounters with the Big 5 and guided bush walks that discover different flora species and the smaller wondrous creatures of the bushveld. Other popular activities on offer include visits to a local village, helicopter flights and tours of the scenic panorama route.

2. Thorntree River Lodge

Main guest area and swimming pool at Thorntree River Lodge

There are plenty of relaxation areas at Thorntree River Lodge in which to sit and enjoy the spectacular river views.Location: Victoria Falls, ZambiaNumber of rooms: 8 Twin Rooms and 2 Family UnitsWhy it’s special: Thorntree River Lodge offers the best of both worlds - visits to the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls and a safari in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. Nestled beside the mighty Zambezi River, the lodge offers tranquility and a range of activities, including visits to Victoria Falls, game drives in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, rhino trekking on foot, cultural village visits, private sunset river cruises, fishing excursions, canoeing and visits to the Livingstone Museum. Exceptional service and state of the art facilities such as a gym, spa, infinity swimming pool and sunken boma make this lodge one of the favorites when visiting Victoria Falls.

3. Nyamatusi Camp

Deck and plunge pool in the suites at Nyamatusi Camp

The suites at Nyamatusi Camp are positioned to savor the beauty of the natural surroundings with no obstructions.Location: Mana Pools National Park, ZimbabweNumber of rooms: 6 Luxury Tented SuitesWhy it’s special: Nyamatusi is an intimate tented camp that nestles in a park that has been internationally recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a phenomenal Big 5 safari destination. The tented suites at Nyamatusi are luxurious; featuring opulent en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, private viewing decks with plunge pools and spectacular views of the Zambezi River. The safari experience at Nyamatusi is exceptional, with open-vehicle game drives that offer up-close encounters with various wildlife species, walking safaris, canoeing safaris, bird watching and fishing expeditions.

4. Sanctuary Chief's Camp

Swimming pools and bathroom at Sanctuary Chief's Camp

There is no experience quite like the one Sanctuary Chief's Camp offers - taking a private bath in the open air with nothing but the bushveld surrounding you.Location: Okavango Delta, BotswanaNumber of rooms: 10 Luxury Pavilions and 1 Luxury SuiteWhy it’s special: The luxurious Chief’s Camp nestles in an area known for its fantastic year-round predator sightings. Dawn and dusk game drives offer some of Africa’s best Big 5 sightings and encounters with rare and endangered species. The camp also offers traditional mokoro safaris during the flood season and scenic helicopter flights over the Delta can be arranged. The rooms at Chief’s Camp are ultra-luxurious; featuring en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, private dining areas and viewing decks with terrace pools. The luxury comforts of the rooms is met with a personalized service that is nothing less than extraordinary.

5. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Private dining experience and views at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is the perfect destination for those romantic getaways, with uncomparable private dining experiences and breathtaking vistas.Location: Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, TanzaniaNumber of Rooms: Two camps with 12 Suites and 1 with 6 SuitesWhy it’s special: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge nestles on the rim of an ancient volcanic crater that provides sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife, particularly the sought-after Big 5. With a dense population of lions, Ngorongoro is one of the best places in Africa to encounter these remarkable creatures. Game drives, walks within the lodge grounds, crater floor banquets, walking safaris and day trips to Olduvai Gorge and Shifting Sands are all part of the experience. The lodge itself reflects a stylish elegance, boasting suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that invite nature indoors and a comfortable lounge with fireplace to create an intimate setting.

6. Singita Boulders Lodge

Suites at Singita Boulders Lodge

Every area of the suite at Singita Boulders Lodge was designed to take full advantage of the bushveld views, with glass walls and open spaces.Location: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South AfricaNumber of rooms: 12 Luxury SuitesWhy it’s special: This superior stone and thatch safari lodge nestles on huge boulders from which the design was inspired and boasts glass-front windows that look out onto the Big 5 reserve. The suites are perfect for those romantic getaways; featuring double-sided fireplaces, outdoor showers and viewing decks with heated plunge pools. The safari experience is exclusive and includes off-road game drives in open safari vehicles, guided walking safaris, mountain biking and fishing excursions. It is one of the very few lodges in South Africa to offer mountain biking on a big game reserve.

7. Londolozi Varty Camp

Main guest area of Londolozi Varty Camp

The main dining deck at Londolozi Varty Camp has been built around a massive tree, creating this feeling of being high up in a treehouse.Location: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South Africa Number of rooms: 8 Standard Chalets and 2 Superior ChaletsWhy it’s special: Bordering with the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sands shares the Kruger’s abundant wildlife and is a reserve favored by Africa’s Big Cats, particularly leopard. The private concession within the Sabi Sands offers an exciting adventure, with open-vehicle game drives, guided bush walks, wildlife tracking, yoga, astronomy lectures, spa treatments, bird watching and photographic safaris all part of the Singita experience.Although the Londolozi Game Reserve is home to five unique and ultra-luxurious camps, Varty Camp is a popular choice because it’s Londolozi’s most affordable option and welcomes families with children.

8. Kapama Karula Lodge

Suites at Kapama Karula Lodge

The open-plan design and glass doors that lead out onto the deck of the suites at Kapama Karula Lodge ensure that guests to feel at one with nature - enjoying the beautiful surrounds.Location: Greater Kruger Park, South AfricaNumber of rooms: 10 Superior Villas and 2 Family Villas Why it is special: Kapama Karula Lodge is the flagship property of the four lodges on Kapama Private Game Reserve, boasting spacious villas that are equipped with modern comforts such as iPod docking stations, gas-heated fireplaces, Nespresso coffee machines and heated swimming pools. The opulent accommodation is complemented with state of the art facilities which include an outdoor boma, wine cellar, spa, fitness center and boutique shop. The safari experience at Kapama is exclusive and memorable with open-vehicle game drives conducted at dawn and dusk by expert guides and trackers, along with bush walks that discover the flora and smaller animals of the reserve. Other memorable activities offered on the reserve include elephant interactions, hot air ballooning and romantic sleep-out experiences in the bush.

9. Dulini River Lodge

Main guest area at Dulini River Lodge

The elevated guest area at Dulini River Lodge offers plenty of relaxation areas from which to enjoy the unrivaled views of the Sand River and the surrounding wildlife.Location: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, South AfricaNumber of rooms: 6 SuitesWhy it’s special: Dulini River Lodge nestles on the banks of the Sands River, providing plenty of opportunities to view game from the comfort of the lodge. Being a smaller lodge, Dulini provides a more intimate safari experience and is a perfect location for romantic getaways. Bush walks and open-vehicle game drives are led by some of the best guides in the country and are the best way to view the lion prides and elusive leopards who thrive in this region. It is possible to see all of the Big 5 in just one day. The accommodation at Dulini is well-appointed, featuring gorgeous en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, air conditioning and a private viewing deck with a plunge pool and loungers. The accommodation is complemented with sumptuous cuisine and personalized service.

10. Camp Moremi

Outdoor mbma area at Camp Moremi

Evenings at Camp Moremi are spectacular - lanterns, a roaring fire, and perfectly prepared dinners served beneath the stars.Location: Okavango Delta, BotswanaNumber of rooms: 12 Tents Why it’s special: Camp Moremi nestles on the banks of the Xakakaxa Lagoon, providing plenty of opportunities to spot birdlife, crocodiles and the resident hippo. Being a main source of water for the wildlife of the reserve, animal sightings are exceptional in the area surrounding the camp all year round - predators and the famous Big 5 included. The birdlife in the area surrounding the camp is just as fantastic, with over 400 species recorded. Camp Moremi offers morning and afternoon game drives, as well as boating safaris.The camp itself caters to the needs of couples and families alike, with elevated luxury tents that offer spectacular views of the lagoon and exceptional guest facilities - including a lounge, bar, outdoor boma, firepit, swimming pool and deck overlooking the lagoon.


11. Mombo Camp

Outdoor boma at Mombo Camp

The guest areas at Mombo Camp create this feeling of being on an island, with its thatched roof, comfortable relaxation areas and sand between your toes.Location: Okavango Delta, BotswanaNumber of rooms: 9 SuitesWhy it’s special: Mombo Camp is a small luxury camp that caters to the needs of even the most discerning traveler. The raised suites are generous in size and feature an opulent bathroom with his and her basins, outdoor shower, minibar, lounge area and an expansive deck with a thatched sala and daybed for those mid-morning naps.Chief’s Island on which Mombo nestles is renowned for its predator sightings, so generally one doesn’t need to travel far in order to see lion prides, hyenas and leopards. Visits to a nearby hide also offer incredible photographic opportunities of various birds and animals. After the excitement of a morning game drive, there is nothing better than a relaxing massage on the deck of your suite. Finding the right lodge to suit your tastes and interests can be challenging so why not let one of our Africa Travel Experts help you plan that dream safari vacation.

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