November 16

The Top Luxury Safari Lodges in South Africa for 2024

By Hanli Matthee on November 16, 2023

South Africa is home to many top luxury safari lodges, so deciding which one to stay at can be tricky! Together with our Travel Experts, we've curated a list of our favourite luxury lodges to stay at in 2024. And there's something for everyone – from honeymooners, families with young children, multi-generational families, birders, photographers, and adventure seekers. In no particular order, here's our guide to our favourite top luxury lodges in South Africa.

Main viewing deck at Londolozi Granite Suites

Our top luxury safari lodges in South Africa are perfect for the discerning traveller, Image Credit: Londolozi

1. Silvan Safari

Silvan Safari has consistently been voted the World's Leading Luxury Lodge since 2018. And once you've stayed here, you'll undoubtedly also sing its praises! 

The luxury at Silvan Safari is unlike anything you've experienced before. It shines through in the detailed décor, super-attentive staff, premium wine selection, culinary delights, and wildlife that transcends the traditional safari experience. 

Who’s it for?

Located in Sabi Sand, Silvan Safari is perfect for anyone wanting to experience the luxury safari of a lifetime. Solo travellers, honeymooners, families, photographers, birders, and many more will enjoy the luxurious, intimate settings with plenty of privacy.

Highlights

  • State-of-the-art photo studio to enhance your photography
  • Extremely spacious, ultra-luxurious suites with bespoke artwork 
  • Big 5 game drives with highly experienced guides, trackers, and Swarovski binoculars
  • The Ansellia Spa is a sanctuary and mindful retreat offering signature treatments

Silvan Safari's  architecture is contemporary, modern, bold and alluring, Image Credit: Silvan Safari

2. Londolozi Private Granite Suites 

With only three suites, the Private Granite Suites at Londolozi are synonymous with luxury and privacy. The ultra-exclusive suites open directly onto the Sand River through French doors, and massive windows drench it in natural light.

Located in the Sabi Sand, you can relax in a remote location where wildlife abounds and time stands still. While Londolozi is well-known for setting the standard in luxury, they're best known for their reserve's dense leopard population.

Who’s it for?

The Granite Suites at Londolozi are perfect for honeymooners looking for an ultra-private stay and luxury safari experience or families if all three suites are taken exclusively.

Highlights

  • Can be booked out exclusively for a celebratory occassion 
  • Rare, up-close encounters with leopards in the wild
  • Extreme luxury, privacy and exclusivity as one of the few Relais & Châteaux safari lodges in Africa
  • One of the most exclusive lodges in the Kruger National Park
Suites privadas de granito en Londolozi

A seamless integration with nature featuring large doors and windows, Image Credit: Londolozi

3. andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge

We can highly recommend andBeyond's Phinda Vlei Lodge as one of the top luxury safari lodges in South Africa. Here, your personalised safari will be like watching a real-life wildlife documentary from the comfort of your private plunge pool. 

There are six thatched suites, each with an en suite bathroom, dressing room, and private deck. With twice-daily game drives and river cruises along the Mzinene River, you will easily spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo, and leopards.

Who’s it for?

Phinda Vlei Lodge is a birder's paradise with 200 water bird species, among many others. The romantic setting is ideal for couples and honeymooners looking for a peaceful stay.

Highlights

  • Only six suites, making the experience more exclusive
  • View game and wildlife from your private plunge pool
  • A scuba diving excursion in the nearby Indian Ocean can be arranged
  • Top activities other than game drives include riverboat cruises and rhino-tracking walks 
Phinda Vlei Lodge guest area

Phinda is a great option for a bush and beach holiday in South Africa, Image Credit: andBeyond Phinda

4. Dulini Collection

The Dulini Collection is a trio of superb safari lodges in Sabi Sand, offering seclusion and some of the best game-viewing experiences. Plus, for the ultimate bush experience, opt for a walking safari to enjoy the rich birdlife and smaller flora and fauna. With just four suites distanced to give you privacy, Dulini Leadwood Lodge is the epitome of solitude. Feel pampered in your luxury setting, complete with your private pool, wrap-around deck, and contemporary interior. When booked for exclusive use, it is fantastic for a getaway for large families or a group of friends.

On the other hand, Dulini Moya is embraced by a leafy canopy of trees on the banks of the Mabrak River. Each of the six suites has a tranquil ambience with the old-world charm of a classic safari. Relax in your plunge pool or on your private deck, and enjoy absolute privacy with your outdoor shower. Located on the banks of the Sand River, you'll find the six splendid suites of Dulini River Lodge, each with their own private plunge pool. Your classic safari experience includes an on-site wine cellar, gym, safari shop, boma, viewing deck, and staff taking care of your every need.

Who’s it for?

Dulini Leadwood Lodge is ideal for large families or a group of friends. Dulini Moya and Dulini River Lodges offer plenty of privacy, making them perfect for romantic getaways.

Highlights

  • The Dulini Collection is well-known for its luxury safari lodges in South Africa
  • Each suite has a private plunge pool so you can cool off and admire your surroundings
  • With a limited number of suites and guests, you'll feel like you have the place to yourself
  • Situated in Sabi Sand, Dulini offers one of the finest game-viewing opportunities
Views from a Dulini River Lodge suite

Pool with a view, Image Credit: Dulini River Lodge

5. Singita Lodges 

The Singita portfolio is a favourite among our Travel Experts and with good reason! Their properties are no stranger to international awards and are continually praised for their ultra-luxurious and personalised experiences. Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Singita Boulders Lodge is known for its unprecedented excellence. The lodge offers one- and two-bedroom glass-fronted suites, each with a wooden deck and private plunge pools. It's perfect for couples and families looking for a splendid safari experience.

On the other hand, located within its own private concession, Singita Lebombo Lodge sits on the remote cliffs of the Kruger National Park. The 13 luxury suites give you picturesque views of the bush and foothills. For activities, you can look forward to game drives and walking safaris led by expert guides. The lodge also offers a library, gym, health spa, and wine cellar. For families, a private villa is available with its own pool and staff.

Who’s it for

Wine enthusiasts will be impressed by Singita Boulders Lodge's comprehensive selection of over 12,000 bottles of wine from South Africa and around the world. Both lodges have great offerings for families looking for the ultimate African retreat.

Highlights 

  • Singita is a leader in conservation and sustainability 
  • Ultra-luxurious accommodation, world-class guides, and splendid views
  • Privacy, tranquillity, and comfort from each individual suite
  • Impressive wine cellars with ultra-premium wine from South African and international wine producers
Bath with a view at Singita Boulders Lodge

Enjoy a front-row seat to exceptional wildlife encounters, Image Credit: Singita Boulders Lodge

6. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Kwandwe boasts dramatic landscapes, from dense forest-like tickets on the south-facing slopes to pure African bushveld on the north-facing slopes. With the Great Fish River snaking through rolling Eastern Cape euphorbia and savannah hills, Kwandwe is a genuine Big 5 game reserve. Relax in refined elegance at one of their luxury properties. 

Who’s it for

Malaria-free and with various activities for young children, Kwandwe is an ideal family safari destination. Additionally, groups, couples and solo travellers will all find sanctuary and an enriching wilderness experience here.

Highlights

  • Kwandwe offers many family-friendly facilities and activities 
  • You could see endangered species like the crowned eagle, black-footed cat, blue crane, and more
  • Experience Africa and spot the Big 5 on early morning, late afternoon, and evening game drives
  • Enjoy a malaria-free safari with family or a group of friends at their luxury properties
The Great Fish River Lodge at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

The Great Fish River Lodge is located on the banks of the Great Fish River, Image Credit: Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

7. Jamala Madikwe

Up in the north of South Africa, you'll find an exceptional safari lodge in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. The five villas at Jamala Madikwe are palatial in size and comfort. Each has a main living area, lounge, pool, and sala wing overlooking a waterhole.

With an award-winning kitchen, owner-run care, and attention to detail, you've got one of the finest luxury safari lodges in South Africa.

Who’s it for?

Jamala Madikwe is ideal for a first-time safari experience or couples and families wanting a malaria-free, luxury safari fit for royalty.

Highlights

  • Enormous villas with plunge pools, air conditioning, living area and waterhole views
  • Malaria-free safari in a game-rich national park featuring not just the Big 5 but African wild dogs and cheetahs
  • Exceptional food from a multiple award-winning safari kitchen
  • Owner-run safari lodge means attentive, personal service
  • Photographing elephants from the deck of Jamala Madikwe

    Photographing elephants from the deck of Jamala Madikwe

    8. Tswalu Loapi Tented Camp

    Loapi Tented Camp is located in South Africa's largest private game reserve, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. Translated from Setswana, Loapi means "the space below the clouds", which is perfectly reflected in the camp's eco-conscious design. 

    Experience Tswalu's dramatic landscapes of vast wilderness and diverse habitats from game drives, nature walks, and horseback riding. Being in the middle of nowhere, the stargazing at night is out of this world! Loapi Tented Camp offers six spacious individual safari homes, each with a personal butler, private chef, expert guide and tracker, shaded decks, plunge pool, and fire pit. 

    Who’s it for

    Tswalu Loapi Tented Camp is ideal for families or friends looking for an extraordinary and adventurous safari experience.

    Highlights

    • Tswalu is home to the fine-dining restaurant Klein JAN
    • Dedicated butler, chef, guide, tracker, and private safari vehicle
    • Unparalleled access to breathtaking landscapes via safari vehicle, guided walk, or horseback riding
    • Perfect for a malaria-free safari with various wildlife species, including very rare and endangered ones

    Tswalu is one of our favourite top luxury safari lodges in South Africa, Image Credit: Tswalu Loapi Tented Camp

    Visit The Top Luxury Safari Lodges in South Africa

    Whether you're a seasoned safari enthusiast or a first-time adventurer, South Africa offers the ideal luxury safari experience. Seize the opportunity in 2024 to immerse yourself in luxury amidst breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled wildlife encounters.

    Reach out to our Travel Experts to start planning. Let your adventure begin!

    Featured Image Credit: andBeyond

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    About the author 

    Hanli Matthee

    After her studies, Hanli decided to call Cape Town home and enjoys that every corner is Instagram-worthy, combining mountains, ocean and city. When she's not living it up in Cape Town's nature, she likes escaping to Central Drakensberg, where she's been going for her family vacations for over 20 years now. It's her happy place, where she feels enveloped by valleys and high-rising giants and secretly hopes she'd get lost here where no one will find her...

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