South Africa : Kruger Area
A leader in African conservation South Africa set aside an area the size of Wales to protect its wildlife populations and established the Kruger National Park. With the greatest variety of animals, birds and plants in Africa, Kruger provides excellent game viewing. For a truer bush experience the private game parks bordering Kruger are the place to go where you can enjoy walking and night drives as well as huge numbers of animals. The Drakensberg range runs up near to Kruger.
Garonga Safari Camp is a lovely, romantic owner-run camp on the west of the Kruger National Park in the Makalali Private Game Conservancy. Here is the place to come to enjoy an unhurried wildlife experience, and our clients love it because you can choose your own timetable and get the best of both the game and of relaxation. The camp's six Bedouin style luxury en-suite rooms sit on the banks of a dry watercourse, surrounded by ebony trees and with beautiful views. They are lavishly decorated and the bathroom has indoor and outdoor double showers. There is a large open-plan living area, a wine cellar, a 'spill over' swimming pool and a special sala for aromatherapy sessions. The activities on offer are flexible and varied, and include game drives, bush walks, tracking animals, bird watching, game viewing from hides (even the pool) and sleeping out under the stars. Garonga is a very relaxing safari lodge and perfect for honeymooners or couples looking to get away from the masses.
"We saw four of the big 5, and the guides made an effort to show us a wide range of animals. Sleeping out on deck and the safari walks were a very special experience too."
Giles and Sarah, Bristol
"This was the best part of our honeymoon - absolutely superb! The room was outstanding, the personal touches from the staff were very nice and Bernie is an excellent host."
Julian and Judith, Edinburgh
Little Garonga offers total privacy with a private deck and pool and, when possible, a private game vehicle.
Notten's Bush Camp is a small and intimate family-run camp in the Sabi-Sand Game Reserve, on the south-western side of the Kruger National Park. The area is well- known for its superb game viewing experiences and large numbers of animals, and is an ideal first time safari location. We love it because you are staying at Bambi and Gilly Notten's home, where you are made to feel extremely welcome, and the food is fantastic. There are seven suites, all with an open deck and both indoor and outdoor showers. The staff are excellent and are all part of the Notten's extended family, which makes for a lovely relaxed atmosphere at the lodge and everyone is so welcoming you really feel at home. We highly recommend Nottens as it's uncommercialised, very homely and the emphasis is on enjoying being in the bush.
"The staff went out of their way to ensure we had the best experience possible. The rangers were particularly knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour."
Sid and Patricia, Borders
With its tranquil setting on the borders of the Kruger National Park and its luxury accommodation combined with personal friendly service Singita is regarded as one of the top safari spots in Africa. The two lodges Ebony and Boulders each completely distinctive in style share the same high standards and fine cuisine and wine which brought it to the attention of the prestigious Relais and Chateau organisation. Activities include morning and evening game walks and drives. Both lodges have nine exquisite suites each with air-conditioning, a fireplace, separate living area and balcony with fantastic views.
Ebony Lodge has been built in the colonial - style with an all weather dining room and a stylish bar and Club Room which provides guests with ample space to relax, a large deck area and swimming pool with wonderful views.
Boulders Lodge reflects a more modern African contemporary style with the living room and timber dining deck area elevated and built into the branches of Jackalberry trees overlooking the Sands River.
This exclusive lodge has broken the mould of traditional game lodges and is the pride of Djuma. Vuyatela is an expression of modern South African culture. The lodge has been beautifully constructed with teak decks, private plunge pools and abstract scenes painted on the walls. The main lodge area has a large double deck and bar overlooking the waterhole, indigenous bird watching tower and a vast aquarium, stocked with indigenous fish. There are twice daily game drives and bush walks.
Thornybush is a collection of nine four- and five- star luxury lodges spread across over 10,000 hectares of wilderness in the Thornybush Nature Reserve and the northern part of the Sabi Sand. There's a lodge to suit every need and budget, from the uber-exclusive to the more rustic and authentic. Teeming with flora and fauna, the area is home to the Big Five, and game viewing can be enjoyed in a 4x4 or on foot, interspersed with good food and relaxing spa treatments at the lodges.
Shumbalala Lodge is a small lodge on the private Thornybush Reserve, in an excellent central location and offering the most exclusive accommodation on the reserve. The style is urban chic, with huge public areas, just four guest rooms and an underground wine cellar in full view of the river where you can have a romantic dinner for two.
Chapungu Luxury Tented Camp offers a different type of accommodation to the predominantly lodge-based collection. It is furnished in colonial style and the big, airy tents all have a private viewing deck and outdoor baths. The elevated main deck has great views and you can watch the wildlife coming to the waterhole from here.
Serondella Lodge is a small, intimate lodge set on the banks of the Monwana River in the heart of Big Five country. It has just four thatched rooms offering wonderful privacy, and is home to the spa. It has two waterholes and great decks and walkways where you can enjoy the views and watching the wildlife.
Leopard Hills Lodge is located in the world-renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve, set in the thick bush and a densely populated wildlife area. Each of the large rooms has glass-fronted panels for panoramic views which can also be enjoyed from your private balcony. Leopard Hills prides itself on high levels of service, fine cuisine and a new cellar brimming with racks of celebrated local and International wines. The guiding is one of the best in the area, experienced rangers conduct game drives twice a day and walking safaris can also be arranged.
Londolozi is in the Sabi Sands, adjacent to Kruger National Park, and has five small luxury camps. The reserve has been in the same family for over 70 years, and, as well as being steeped in history, it has become a wildlife success story. There’s plenty to see with high concentrations of lion and white rhino, the famous Leopards of Londolozi, and breeding herds of elephant and buffalo. Each camp has its own character but they all have access to the same game viewing activities, as well as to the wellness spa, gym and library at Varty Camp. The first three camps are aimed more at honeymooners and couples and don’t allow children under the age of 16. Varty and Founders Camp are bigger and more suitable for families and small groups, and welcome children from the age of four.
The Private Granite Suites are the most luxurious option. They are set in riverine forest on the banks of the Sand River and offer complete privacy with three elegant suites, decorated in charcoal and grey, with large doors and windows opening onto the river and a large timber deck with a private swimming pool.
Pioneer Camp also has just three suites, and offers seclusion and privacy ideal for honeymooners, or it has been designed to work really well if one family or group takes over the whole camp. It has an elegant chocolate and cream theme, with huge floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the wilderness.
Tree Camp has six air-conditioned suites each with its own cascading plunge pool overlooking the river, outdoor shower and en-suite bathroom with a huge, inviting bath tub. There is a large swimming pool set in the camp's garden.
Founders Camp has seven thatched chalets set on the riverbank, and is a relaxed camp ideal for all ages.
Varty Camp is built on the site of the Varty’s first camp in 1926 and has eight chalets and two suites, each with its own pool overlooking the river. This is home to the spa, gym and library and is also a good camp for children.
“We loved it – can’t fault it, the staff are A++ both in the lodge and on the game drives.”
Michael and Jessica, London
Royal Malewane is situated in the heart of the Thornybush Game Reserve close to the Kruger National Park. This camp defines luxury and is one of the most exclusive ways to go on safari. There are 6 luxurious 'colonial' suites each one built on rich deckwood, with a thatched gazebo shade and spillway pool. The activities here are well organised and game viewing activities occur in the early mornings and evenings, when the animals are at their most active. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy the immediate surroundings of camp. The other highlight of Royal Malewane is the cuisine, simply out of this world! Great care is taken to provide perfect mouth watering meals from your packed lunch to a 4 course dinner under the stars - all expertly prepared by the in-house award-winning chef.
Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge is a luxurious five-star family-run lodge in the Sabi Sands, with eight luxurious suites each individually designed in natural tones and materials to keep in harmony with the surrounding bush. Each suite has a timber deck with a private plunge pool from where you can watch the wildlife coming to drink from the lake which the lodge overlooks. For romantics or families, Chitwa House is a two-bedroom house with a private butler and a dedicated ranger, and is available on an exclusive-use basis. The food here is really excellent. Lunch is usually served on the pool deck, while dinner is in the restaurant or under the stars, or you can dine in your suite or on your deck. Activities include morning and afternoon game drives in 4x4s and bush walks with a ranger. You can also visit the local village. This is an outstanding lodge and great game experience at very attractive prices.