November 18

Top 12 Luxury Lodges in Kruger National Park

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November 18, 2021

If you want to go on a luxury Big 5 safari, look no further than our top 12 luxury lodges in Kruger National Park. This is where the rich and the famous come for their safari fix! We don’t want to name drop or anything, but a little birdie told us that even Elton John has been to some of these lodges…

At Rhino Africa, we enjoy the finer things in life. Besides, why settle for vanilla when you can have decadent chocolate and sprinkles? And if you think you have to rough it when visiting Africa, think again. In fact, Kruger National Park is home to some of the most opulent lodges in South Africa!

As African Travel Experts, we’re lucky enough to get to test all of these luxury lodges for you, and boy, did we have fun! So, here’s where to go, why we love them and how to decide which one’s right for you.

The Allure of Private Game Reserves

All of these top luxury lodges in Kruger National Park are located in private concessions, thereby adding to the exclusivity of your experience.

Whereas the public areas within Greater Kruger can get crowded and have set times you can drive around, private game reserves offer a personalised safari experience. Therefore, when booking at a lodge in a private game reserve, you can go off-road to follow the wildlife, go on night game drives and walking safaris. And because there will only be a limited number of safari vehicles out at the same time, you don’t have to look over someone else’s shoulder to get a glimpse of the wildlife.

So, if you’re going to travel in style (and we highly recommend you do), look no further than our favourite luxury lodges in Kruger’s private game reserves.

Our Top 12 Luxury Lodges in Kruger National Park

So then, let’s get right to it. Here are the top 12 luxury lodges in Kruger National Park you should consider for your next holiday.

1. Silvan Safari, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

As the World’s Leading Luxury Lodge for four years running, Silvan Safari is all your safari dreams rolled into one ultra-glamorous lodge. And with the fitting nickname of  ‘Nature’s Stage’, you have the best view of the bush and willdife regardless of where you find yourself in the lodge.

Furthermore, if you enjoy a good G&T, you’ll be delighted to know that Silvan has one of the most extensive gin collections. We could go on, mentioning the long list of things that make Silvan special. However, a Silvan Safari is not about one thing, it’s about every single moment that adds up to the unrivalled luxury safari experience. We guess you’re just going to have to come and experience it for yourself to understand what we’re talking about!

Who’s it for?

Silvan Safari is the perfect romantic getaway destination for couples. The Leadwood Suite is also ideal for friends or families travelling together. Or, if you’re celebrating a milestone event, with only 6 Luxury Suites, why not book out the entire lodge for exclusive use.

Highlights

  • Known for its high density of the elusive leopard, and their resident leopard Tiyani
  • Silvan is ideal for wildlife photographers as it has a state-of-the-art media room
  • Each (massive) Suite is uniquely designed and inspired by the surrounding trees
  • Dining is an event of its own, from bush breakfasts to fine dining under the stars

Explore the lodge

 

The luxurious interior of Silvan Safari
Silvan is the World’s Leading Luxury Lodge for a reason. Photo credit: Silvan Safari

2. Chitwa Chitwa, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

Chitwa Chitwa is where relaxation and adventure meet – with something for the whole family! And even though there are plenty of safari activities to keep you busy, you don’t even have to leave your Suite to enjoy some game viewing as each Suite has a view of the watering hole.

Who’s it for?

This luxury lodge in Kruger is perfect for families and multi-generational groups. Children are welcome, and they offer various activities to keep them entertained.

Highlights

  • Each Suite has a view of the largest watering hole in the Sabi Sand
  • Located in a private game reserve so you can go off-road, on night safaris, and don’t have to share the road with other vehicles
  • By staying here, you’re contributing to the sustainable tourism and community upliftment work they do

Explore the lodge

 

plunge pool and deck at Chitwa Chitwa
Your own little slice of heaven. Photo credit: Chitwa Chitwa

 

3. Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Londolozi Private Game Reserve

As the name suggests, this lodge is flanked by granite, each Suite overlooking the Sand River for a truly remarkable setting. Londolozi is world-renowned for its unrivalled luxury and service, and as an established family-owned and operated lodge, every detail is meticulously curated just for you.

Who’s it for?

The Londolozi Private Granite Suites are ideal for a honeymoon or anniversary celebration. It’s also great for small groups who would like to book it for exclusive use. However, please note that children staying here must be 16 years and older. (On a side note: Londolozi does have a number of other lodges which cater for children).

Highlights

  • Member of the Relais & Châteaux portfolio
  • The Londolozi Healing House offers a unique wellness offering
  • Only 3 Luxury Suites, offering plenty of privacy and exclusivity
  • Famous for its wildlife viewings from your outdoor bath or heated pool

Explore the lodge

 

luxury interior and viewing deck at Londolozi
Luxury in the heart of the wild. Photo credit: Londolozi

 

4. Singita Sweni, Kruger National Park

If you haven’t heard the name Singita before, well, you must’ve been living under a rock. Singita sets the benchmark for luxury, with lodges around Kruger National Park and the rest of Africa. And Singita Sweni is no exception. With its open-plan Suites featuring plenty of glass, wood, and natural textures, it’s a design masterpiece complementing the surroundings.

Who’s it for?

Singita Sweni is the ideal accommodation option for families or multi-generational groups as there are children activities on offer, such as Singita’s Mini Ranger Course.

Highlights

  • There are only 7 open-plan Suites for a more exclusive experience
  • Set on a riverbank so you can enjoy wildlife sightings from your Suite
  • Singita is known for its extensive wine selection
  • Half- and full-day wellness packages are available

Explore the lodge

 

modern interior design at Singita Sweni Lodge
Modern masterpiece. Photo credit: Singita

 

5. andBeyond Tengile River Lodge, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

If you’re looking for seclusion, then andBeyond Tengile River Lodge is for you! Not only is it located on 10,500 hectares of private land (so you can go on walking safaris), but the Suites are enormous, located far away from one another for the utmost privacy.

If you’re a pro or amateur wildlife photographer, you’ll be delighted to learn that they offer photo safaris, as well as lessons. Come for the setting, but stay for the (many) activities!

Who’s it for?

andBeyond Tengile River Lodge is perfect for families as there’s a Family Suite with safe interleading rooms. However, please note that children must be 12 years or older to stay here. It’s also a great accommodation option for photography enthusiasts as they offer photography lessons and safaris.

Highlights

  • The lodge is on private property, making for the most exclusive experience
  • Photography lessons and photo safaris offered
  • Panoramic river views from the comfort of your large luxury Suite
  • Community experiences in nearby Shangaan villages

Explore the lodge

 

Private deck and plunge pool at andBeyond Tengile River Lodge
Riverside tranquility. Photo credit: andBeyond Tengile River Lodge

 

6. Thornybush Saseka Tented Camp, Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Looking for some adventure but don’t want to compromise on thread count? At Thornybush Saseka Tented Camp, you can get the atmosphere of camping without sacrificing luxury. The canvas lets the sounds of the bush filter through as you drift off to sleep, making you feel more immersed in nature.

Who’s it for?

Thornybush Saseka Tented Camp is perfect for the romantic couple, or families and multi-generational groups as there’s a Leadwood Family Villa available for exclusive use.

Highlights

  • Canvas mixed with glass and wood gives you a more immersive experience
  • Tiered main deck with incredible views of the riverbed below
  • Set on the Monwana riverbed for exceptional wildlife sights
  • Exclusive-use Leadwood Villa available, with own lounge, dining room, deck, pool, and private safari vehicle

Explore the lodge

 

outdoor setting at Thornybush Saseka Tented Camp
Relax outdoors in the bush. Photo credit: Thornybush Saseka Tented Camp

 

7. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

If you want a home away from home but in a sophisticated, modern luxury villa, then this is for you. With everything included and the team at your beck and call, as well as your own private pool, deck, patio and lounge, it’s the perfect honeymoon or romantic getaway destination.

Who’s it for?

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is the ideal luxury lodge for honeymooners or those celebrating a romantic milestone.

Highlights

  • All-inclusive luxury, from your bubbly to your laundry
  • Immersive Spa and wellness offerings
  • Exclusive-use, two-bedroom Fish Eagle Villa with own field guide, game vehicle and chef
  • Walking safaris offered

Explore the lodge

Suite with a view at Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
Room with a view. Photo credit: Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

8. Dulini River Lodge, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

As the name suggests, riverside serenity awaits at Dulini River Lodge. Here you’ve got the best seat in the Sabi Sand house, with wildlife passing all the time, which means that you don’t even have to leave to tick animals off that species list! However, trust us, you’ll still want to!

Who’s it for?

This lodge is perfect for couples or small groups looking to escape to the serenity of the bush.

Highlights

  • The Dulini portfolio promises the highest quality in safari experiences
  • Wellness and spa offerings
  • Onsite wine cellar with an extensive selection
  • Excellent cuisine, including dining alfresco around the boma

Explore the lodge

 

open air lounge with fireplace at Dulini River Lodge
Plenty of space to unwind. Photo credit: Dulini River Lodge

 

9. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve 

In a truly special setting, the Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is designed to be disguised in the bush, making you feel at one with the vast landscapes surrounding you. It’s also known as one of the most environmentally sensitive lodges in Kruger National Park. When staying at this design masterpiece, you’ll always have something to marvel at, from the interior decor to the wildlife passing by.

Who’s it for?

Sabi Sabi Earth is perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for a unique setting.

Highlights

  • Truly unique masterpiece blending into a spectacular setting
  • Environmentally sensitive lodge operations
  • Underground wine cellar with over 6,000 rare wines
  • Onsite spa offering holistic wellness treatments

Explore the lodge

 

accommodation at sabi sabi earth lodge
This could be your safari home for the holiday. Photo credit: Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

 

10. Cheetah Plains, Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve

World-famous for their exclusive sustainable safaris, Cheetah Plains has reaped multiple awards over the years. Each villa can accommodate up to eight guests, with private facilities such as a formal lounge, dining room, wine gallery, art collection, chef’s kitchen and large swimming pool deck.

Who’s it for?

It’s perfect for small groups, photography or birding enthusiasts, or those looking for an ultra-luxurious eco-safari experience.

Highlights

  • Exclusive-use Plains House Villas accommodates up to eight guests with 4 Suites
  • Utmost exclusivity on game drives with only two vehicles allowed at a time in the reserve
  • Well-known for plenty of leopard sightings
  • Photographic safaris in a specialist vehicle, as well as birding safaris, offered

Explore the lodge

outdoor pool area at Cheetah Plains
Where sustainability and luxury meet. Photo credit: Cheetah Plains

 

11. Royal Malawane, Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Old-world romance in the African wild? Sign us up! And with a private airstrip nearby, you don’t even have to sit through a long bumpy ride to get to the lodge. The Main Lodge offers a classic safari experience with 6 Luxury Suites and 2 two-bedroom Royal Suites, as well as the exclusive-use six-bedroom Africa House. On the other hand, the Farmstead is a bit further away from the Main Lodge with 3 Luxury Farm Suites and The Farmhouse, a private Villa sleeping six adults and two children (all ages allowed).

Who’s it for?

This lodge is ideal for families or groups travelling together.

Highlights

  • Part of the esteemed Royal Portfolio
  • Specialist photographic safaris on offer
  • Award-winning onsite bush spa
  • A nearby private landing strip for a luxury fly-in safari

Explore the lodge

interior setting at Royal Malawane
Romance awaits. Photo credit: Royal Malawane

 

12. Jabulani, Kapama Private Game Reserve

Jabulani offers a soulful safari experience from start to finish. And as an esteemed Relais & Châteaux member, you can therefore rest assured that they uphold the highest standard in luxury safaris. And by staying here, you also contribute to their elephant conservation and sustainable tourism efforts.

Who’s it for?

Anyone who loves elephants! It’s also perfect for families because they have a JabuJunior children’s programme.

Highlights

  • Relais & Châteaux member
  • Resident rescued elephant herds
  • Exciting activities such as helicopter flips and hot air balloon rides
  • Exceptional cuisine

Explore the lodge

two people relaxing at a private plunge pool at Jabulani lodge
Do as little or as much as you’d like. Photo credit: Jabulani

Book Your Stay at the Top Luxury Lodges in Kruger National Park Today

How on earth will you choose between all of these incredible luxury lodges in Kruger? Well, don’t worry, as our Travel Experts can help nail down exactly where and when you should go for the African safari of your dreams.

What are you waiting for? The Kruger National Park awaits! Contact our Travel Experts now, and let’s start planning!

Contact our Travel Experts


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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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