A South Africa safari is a lifelong dream for many, and it’s no wonder why.

With some of the most diverse landscapes in Africa, from forests and mountains to Savannah, wildlife watching in South Africa is unbeatable. And with over 600 publicly owned reserves (including 19 national parks) and about 200 private reserves, you’re guaranteed to find your perfect safari in South Africa.

While it’s near impossible to narrow down the best safari lodges in South Africa (there are so many to choose from!), we’ve curated our top 5 for both first-time visitors and seasoned safari pros.

1. Lion Sands River Lodge

Lion Sands straddles both the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park and is home to an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. Of its four luxury riverside lodges, we love the chic interpretation of the traditional safari lodge at River. Only eight Luxury Rooms, six Superior Luxury Rooms, and four River Suites (each with a private plunge pool) are set along a path to reveal splendid river views and make for an intimate safari experience.

Why we love it:

The iconic Treehouse experiences (Chalkley Treehouse, Kingston Treehouse, and Tinyeleti Treehouse) are not to be missed. These are the ultimate bush bedrooms where romantics, adventurers, and solitude seekers can discover the magic of a night out in Africa in complete luxury, falling asleep counting the shooting stars.

2. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat

For wellness travel, Bushmans Kloof is the ultimate wilderness experience to escape, rest, heal and be at one with nature. Mirroring the reserve’s  wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear waterfalls and an abundance of flora and fauna, the beautifully proportioned rooms are designed to encourage the soothing of body and mind.

Why we love it:

Wellbeing is a state of mind, body and spirit. At Bushmans Kloof, you are invited to indulge in the renewal of all three, whether you would like to explore your adventurous nature, unwind your body or soothe your soul.

3. Jaci’s Lodge at Madikwe Game Reserve

The malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the largest, yet lesser- known, parks in South Africa. It’s also regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa, specifically for the endangered African wild dog. In line with its “hidden gem” status, the park offers an authentic, friendly and welcoming safari experience – specifically at the luxurious Jaci’s Lodge, where the focus is on personal attention and outstanding service.

Why we love it:

Jaci’s offers two lodges: one perched high up in the forest canopy, the other providing accommodation in classic safari tents. There’s no shortage of luxury: deep bathtubs, outdoor showers, plunge pools, plus private guides and game-drive vehicles. The best part though is that this is a family-friendly safari experience.

4. Londolozi Private Granite Suites

Situated on the Sand River in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park, Londolozi is one of South Africa’s first private game reserves. With an emphasis on conservation and a commitment to luxurious accommodation, excellent cuisine and exceptional service, Londolozi promises a luxury South Africa safari in a class of its own.

Why we love it:

With only 3 rooms and 6 guests, the Londolozi private Granite Suites are the most exclusive in Africa. Besides the chic décor, we love the sunset river bar and sunken cocktail lounge which is suspended high above the Sand River,  where breeding herds of elephants wander over the ancient riverways.

5.Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Rock Lodge is perched high on a koppie – an large rocky hill, with panoramic views over the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and endless opportunities to spot the roaming wildlife, all set against a backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains far in the distance.

Why we love it:

A secret bolthole for the rich and famous, each room has a different design reflecting African tribal influences and style. Plus, Rock Lodge is ideal for families with children of all ages, making this lodge a fantastic getaway for a bucket-list family safari in Africa.

Want to experience a classic South Africa safari? Browse our trips now.

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