March 7

Private Villas & Lodges in Southern Africa


March 7, 2012

How To Stay Alone In The Wild

Well, not entirely alone, and not only in the wild…

Exclusive-use villas and lodges – they’re “the next big thing” when travelling to Africa. Instead of sharing Africa with others, and their screaming children, do it alone, or with a few special family members, or a lover or two. Whether staying on a luxury game reserve or in a bustling city, Southern Africa’s private-use villas and lodges afford privacy, flexibility, space and freedom.

We all love to be pampered, served in bed and waited on with hot towels and silver tray deliveries of caviar and champagne. Right? But there’s something special about going away on holiday and having the place all to yourself. If you still want to be slightly spoiled and the self-catering element puts you off, don’t worry – most of these properties can provide you with your own private chef, butler, housekeeper, driver, game ranger, tracker or masseuse – you name it!

View of Table Mountain
Cape Town is a beauty, day and night

Cape Town in particular has some of the most spectacular villas, mansions and apartments in the world. Private villas and lodges have become a popular way to enjoy the sunny South African lifestyle. For family holidays and groups of friends travelling together, renting a comfortable and lavish holiday home can be extremely cost-effective.

Below are some of our favourites that we recommend. Feel free to contact one of our expert travel consultants to discuss the various options available, such as including your stay with other destinations, accommodation and tours, in a greater African itinerary.

Safari Lodges

  • Ulusaba Cliff Lodge – For those seeking the utmost in exclusivity, look no further than Ulusaba Cliff Lodge, part of the Ulusaba Portfolio – a private concession inside the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger. There are two suites. Cliff Lodge is linked to Rock Lodge by a raised walkway giving you access to all the facilities of the main lodge. If you hire out Cliff Lodge exclusively (it can accommodate up to 5 adults and 4 children) you will get your own private chef, ranger and game vehicle!
Ulusaba Cliff Lodge
Ulusaba Cliff Lodge
  •  Lion Sands 1933 Lodge – Lion Sands 1933 Lodge is right on the banks of the Sabie River in the exclusive Sabi Sand Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park. It makes a great home away from home, if your home had a private chef and ranger and private 4×4 Land Rover for safari game drives.
Lion Sands 1933
Lion Sands 1933
  •  Londolozi Private Granite Suites – With a level of privacy and luxury that defies all notions of a safari lodge, the Londolozi Private Granite Suites are the most exclusive suites in a remarkable portfolio of safari accommodation in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. The three suites are available individually or as a whole camp so you and the family can have private and exclusive use of the whole camp.
Londolozi Private Granite Suites
Londolozi Private Granite Suites
  • Londolozi Pioneer Camp – This is the most secluded of Londolozi’s Luxury camps and can be converted into a private bush home for family groups of 6 – 14 through linking glass sky walkways.
  • Singita Castleton Camp – An exclusive-use property in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park, this is the ideal place to go to with a group of friends or family. It can be booked as a complete safari lodge for a maximum of 12 guests in a single group. You will have your own private chef and a personal ranger who will be at your beck and call for game drives and bush walks.
Singita Castleton
  • Tswalu Tarkuni – Built in a remote and beautiful valley in The Kalahari, offering guests a secluded and luxurious experience, Tarkuni is available for exclusive use only and is ideal for small groups and families of up to 10 guests. There are five luxury bedrooms each with en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. You’ll have a private game viewing vehicle and a dedicated chef.
Tswalu Tarkuni
Tswalu Tarkuni
Tswalu Tarkuni
Tswalu Tarkuni
  • Africa House – This is the exclusive-use bush villa at Royal Malewane, in the Thornybush Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park, which sleeps up to 12 guests in one of the most spectacular, luxurious and unique ‘houses’ in South Africa. You’ll get your own private game ranger, tracker, chef and butler. Privacy, personalised service and great game viewing – sound good?
  • Phinda Homestead – Part of the Phinda Private Game Reserve, this luxury bush villa provides an intimate and private retreat for up to 8 people, ideal for groups, families or those seeking their own piece of pristine wilderness. You will have your own private ranger and tracker, butler and chef.


  • Grootbos Villa – The latest addition to the Grootbos portfolio, this luxury villa is hidden in the natural wonderland of the Grootbos Nature Reserve with six elegant suites, a private butler, chef and guide. It has mesmerising 180°views of the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. The villa is for exclusive use only, and is truly one of the most luxurious villas in South Africa.
Grootbos Villa
Grootbos Villa
  • Kanonkop Guest House‘s Knysna Heights Villa – Up the hill from Kanonkop is a new addition to the guesthouse, Knysna Heights Villa. It is an exclusive-use villa with three double en suite bedrooms and a relaxing beachside feel. It has sensational views of the Knsyna Lagoon and offers utter privacy.
  • Cape Blue is a stylish, contemporary villa in a magnificent location in trendy Camps Bay. Situated on a quiet road in the suburb, it is within easy walking distance to the beautiful Camps Bay and Clifton beaches, local shops, bars and restaurants.
  • Mwanzoleo – George Michael, yes, George Michael, once booked this breathtaking villa in the heart of Cape Town’s magnificent Clifton beaches. In the summer, this is the place to be and if you choose to stay in this Villa, you’ll be the envy of Cape Town!
  • Seasonsfind – Seasonsfind is an immaculate two-bedroom apartment with what is probably the best view of Camps Bay beach anywhere in the suburb. Designed with the holiday visitor in mind it has everything that you could want for in a vacation apartment.
  • Camps Bay Terrace Suite – Camps Bay Terrace Suite is an ultimate one bedroom accommodation in Camps Bay that offers the perfect retreat for a couple looking for some privacy. The apartment has fantastic views of Bakoven Bay, the Twelve Apostles and the Atlantic. It has an en-suite bedroom, lounge and open plan dining room and kitchen.
  • Bali Luxury Suite – Bali Luxury Suite is a modern and ultra-luxurious three-bedroom apartment situated in one of Camps Bay’s most prime positions. You can bask in the sunlight on the terrace with views of the Atlantic Ocean, or take a dip in your private rim-flow pool. In winter snuggle in front of the warmth of the gas fire and watch as the crashing waves in the bay.
  • Bond House – It’s as slick as the name would suggest and it’s in the heart of Camps Bay – a prime location and a villas that will have your friends turning green with envy!
Bond House
Bond House
Bond House
Bond House
  •  Bakoven Sunsets – Bakoven Sunsets on the slopes of the Cape Peninsula’s famous coastline. Nestled against the sheer beauty of the Twelve Apostles Mountain range, overlooking the magnificent Atlantic Ocean a rare luxury retreat awaits!
  • Birkenhead Villa – Situated on a private cliff overlooking Walker Bay, next door to Birkenhead House in Hermanus on the Whale Route, this stunning villa has five bedrooms and is completely child friendly – ideal for exclusive use.
Birkenhead Villa
Birkenhead Villa
  • Vos House – As one of the most prominent buildings in all of De Waterkant, Vos House has been completely rebuilt with meticulous attention to design solutions and clever detail. This magnificently renovated period house is immaculate, opulent and brimful of character.
  • Bridge House – The recipient of numerous design awards, Bridge House is an icon of Cape Town’s best contemporary architecture. It has separate suites with numerous private decks set in the indigenous garden.
  • De Hoogwater Apartments – These apartments are nestled on the slopes of Signal Hill, overlooking Table Bay, in De Waterkant, between the historical Bo-Kaap area and the Waterfront in Cape Town.

For more information, visit the Private Villas section on our website. Alternatively, contact one of our travel experts. We can help you plan your ideal African safari adventure, tailor-making it to suit your needs and interests.


Africa, Camp's Bay, Knysna, Rhino Africa, Table Mountain, Tswalu Kalahari

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About the author 

Tamlin Wightman

Tamlin has been exploring, writing about and photographing Africa ever since her first job as a photojournalist for Getaway Magazine. She's lived on an island, eaten with lions, sailed catamarans in the Indian Ocean, tracked wild dogs with Kinglsey Holgate, and white water rafted down the Zambezi and has kept just about every airplane ticket that has crossed her hands.

  • Thank you for the inclusion of Africa House and Birkenhead Villa. Have a look at our gorgeous new villas at La Residence.

  • OMG beautiful villas and lodges. Grootbos Villa seems to be heaven. It is truly a luxury villa. One of my friend told me about this, i really had a dream to spend holidays in this villa of south africa

  • After reading this post I can say these villa and lodges are amzing option to stay there. The luxury private pool villas invariably features a swimming pool, sun deck, semi-open living environment, fully equipped kitchen, exclusive bathroom facilities and air-conditioned bedroom/s.

  • Very nice post. The pics of villas and lodges are awesome and after reading your post I must say that they are best service provider in Southern Africa. Thanks for sharing here.

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