There are of course different standards of luxury under the topic of Luxury African Lodges and, of course, the very word “luxury” means different things to different people. For some, just having hot water on safari is a luxury. But we are talking serious bush luxury here: luxury camping safaris (yes it is very possible) where the tented rooms are enormous and the bathrooms fully ensuite (hot and cold water and flush loos) and then, as one works up the scale from the already lovely to the uber-chic, extraordinary lodges complete with double sized bedrooms, air conditioning, hairdryers, shoe shining kits, trendy toiletries, private lounges, verandahs with enormous vistas, salas, private plunge pools, unrivalled scenery, private butlers and staff and private game drives. All this in the middle of nowhere! Some of our favourite luxury African lodges include the following:
In Rwanda there is the exceptional Sabyinyo Lodge. Situated amidst plantations the lodge sits in the foothills of the mighty Virunga Mountains with seven volcanoes stretching out into the distance. On each volcano one can trek to see mountain gorillas which is a privilege in itself.
Just over the border into Uganda is Clouds Lodge, in the Nkuringo area of Bwindi. Again this is a very comfortable haven (only eight rooms) from which to explore the area, and do gorilla trekking. At night one can also see the glow of the active Nyiragongo volcano in the Congo (DRC).
Luxury African Lodges do not come better than in Botswana and Abu’s Camp is an obvious example. Located in a very beautiful sector of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by islands and crystal clear waterways, the camp sits in a private concession covering 180,000 hectares. The camp was named after a bull elephant called Abu and is situated in a grove of magnificent hardwood trees on the edge of a large lagoon with a resident school of hippo. The property features rooms shrouded by canvas, held in place by pale coloured poles in an Afro-Bedouin style. There are elegant furnishings and fittings and the whole is surrounded by sycamore and jackalberry trees. The six tents, which are raised on wooden plinths, have their own private verandahs and high airy ceilings and are simply lovely. What makes Abu’s Camp stand out – apart from its luxury – is the specialist interaction with the elephants and their mahoots.
Also in Botswana there is Jack’s Camp in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. A visit to the pans is always a joy and the Colonial-styled tents are furnished with Persian rugs, copper basins and high canopied beds. One of the highlights is afternoon tea, in the separate tea tent, where one indulges in homemade pastries and cookies whilst lounging on giant cushions and Persian carpets under swaths of creamy canvas and curtains blowing in the wind – something completely special and quite glorious.
But we can only skim the surface in a quick blog – have a look at our “Accommodation Guide” pages for a wider look at Luxury African Lodges.