Africa, luxury and adventure
The traditional big five attractions of the savannah (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses and buffalo), have competition: the five best lodges, otherwise known as luxury accommodation options.
The southern part of Africa, a wild stop, where you will find the most luxurious lodges in the world, is also the perfect destination for adventurous couples, because a safari does not have to be at odds with comfort. Dipping your toes in the infinity pool at Faru Faru Lodge, Tanzania; sampling a dinner worthy of a Michelin star while immersed in nature, and relaxing on a welcoming bed under a tent that is larger than an apartment, are the best ways to end a day roaming the savannah in a Jeep. Here are the ideal lodges to enjoy adventure by day, and the intimacy of remote nature at its wildest by night.
It is worth getting up early for a bird’s-eye view of the immense Serengeti. Photo: Singita Sabora
SAFARI IN HOT AIR BALLOON
At dawn, the hot air balloon lifts off, to provide a bird’s-eye view of the Serengeti. After watching gnus, zebras, lions and elephants for an hour and a half, landing is accompanied by a champagne toast and English breakfast, before going back to camp. Almost all the luxury lodges offer this experience.
Home of the Big Five, Mombo Camp, Moremi Reserve, Botswana
Mombo Camp combines exclusive rooms with an unbeatable location, inside the Moremi Game Reserve. Surrounded by several rivers, it boasts of being one of the best game reserves in Africa, for lions, leopards and the African wild dog, in danger of extinction.
Romance from a Different Time, Sabora Tented Camp and Sasakwa Lodge, Singita Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania
The Singita Grumeti Reserve was created in 1994, to protect the Great Migration path to the Maasai Mara. More than 2 million gnus, zebras and gazelles follow this route each year. One of the most exclusive lodges inside the reserve is Sabora Tented Camp, inspired by the tents used by explorers in the 1920s. Another of the options, Sasakwa Lodge, lets you end your safari in a 4×4 with a private dinner, in the middle of nature.
The Okavango Delta is a unique place to enjoy a romantic dinner. Photo: Jao Camp, Wilderness Safari
Colonial Charm, Sabi Sabi Selati Camp, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Selati Camp is perfect for safari lovers. Situated in a bend of the river Msuthlu, surrounded by giant trees, this is a starting point for hiking trails and Land Rover routes. More than 200 species of mammal live in the area, and there are more than 300 birds to discover. An outside bathroom on each suite will ensure relaxation at the end of the day, under the light of oil lamps and the stars.
The rooms at Tarangire Tree Tops are the biggest of the east African lodges, measuring 65 m². Photo: Tangarire Tree Tops
Return to Childhood, Tarangire Tree Tops, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Located in the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, Tarangire Tree Tops offers accommodation surrounded by elephants and baobabs. The rooms have been constructed several metres above the ground, and offer incredible views over the treetops. Its services include a night-time tour by car, and dinner among a Maasai tribe.
The Nerve Centre of the Savannah, Elephant Pepper Camp, Mara North Conservacy, Kenya
To the north of the Maasai Mara reserve, Kenya, you will find Mara North Conservacy, a private area measuring more than 30,000 ha. It is an essential part of the reserve ecosystem, and home to endangered species, like the black rhinoceros, hippopotamus and leopard. However, the true protagonist of the park is the gnu. Millions of specimens of this animal migrate here each year from the Serengeti plain. If you want to listen to the sound of the animals by night, Elephant Pepper Camp is the ideal choice. It is also perfect for lovers of glamping.