South Africa’s top 8 private game lodges

Luxury African Safaris

The pride of Africa and its vast planes can be enjoyed in ultimate luxury. If you want the game park experience but desire something with a more private edge, check out these gorgeous lodges to get tight and personal with a Simba and Mufasa of your own.

  1. Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge- this lodge can be found in the Madikwe Game reserve and offers a once in a lifetime experience (unless of course you can’t resist returning!), the lodge has a secure, raised sleeping deck hidden into deep into the magic of the bush where you and one other can sleep under the stars with each other, the gentle breeze and the distant call of being in the wild for company. Who says Tarzan and Jane only exist as a Disney story. Although, if this isn’t for you, there are still 8 other luxury lodges available made to blend into the rustic atmosphere and be environmentally friendly as well as beautiful.
  2. Leopards Hill Game Reserve- Found in the western part of the Sabi Sand game reserve right next to the famous Kruger National Park. The game Reserve offers exquisite landscape views but also promises up close views of the big 5, of course with extra special leopard viewings. Along with the game drive they offer the opportunity for intimate bush weddings and world class cuisine on the deck of your own private lodge.
  3. Tswalu Kalahari- covering over 110,000 hectares of grasslands and mountains, Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve where only 30 guests are allowed at a time in order to preserve the authenticity and magic of South Africa’s deep wildlife. Through a combined effort of conservation from the lodge and its guests the aim is to leave behind a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Tswalu offers personalised and tailor-made experiences, the exploration of endangered wildlife, diverse habitats and of course conservation. All from the breath-taking private accommodation.
  4. Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge- Madikwe game reserve is home to this exquisite private lodge that offers 75000 hectares of land, home to the big 5 and much more. Not only is the lodge set amongst boulders and a beautiful landscape but is strategically placed in the centre of the reserve so that guests get the upper hand in order to see the best that the reserve has to offer. Another important bonus is that Madikwe is a malaria free game reserve!
  5. Singita Lebombo Lodge– Lebombo Lodge offers “front row seats” to the Kruger National park and is unique in its design and structure- juxtaposing contemporary with African for a dramatic and authentic twist. The private villa boasts a roof terrace, a wine studio, a rooftop view area, friendly staff and a pool. It also has a spa, private game walks, archery, a gym, a boutique and gallery, photography, cooking classes and game drives. This lodge gives definition to exploring wildlife in style.
  6. Royale Malewane- The Kruger National Park is home to phenomenal wildlife butt also to this luxury lodge which is situated in the greater areas of the park in the Thorny Bush Private Game Reserve. Royale Malewane offers modern luxuries in an authentic setting. The game viewings cannot be rivalled as the guides are some of the best there is and are known for getting right up close to the big 5. After a long day of sight seating guests are invited to unwind at the luxury spa. The combination of relaxation and exploration is perfection.
  7. Ivory Lodge Lion Sands- situated in Mpumalanga, Ivory Lodge is not only heaven on earth but built from earth. Steel, wood, thatch, grass, water and sand is used to create the lodge and connect guests to nature in every possible way causing the experience to be holistic and multi- dimensional. Many of the Villa’s over look the Sabie River and other comforts include a lounge and dining area, a gym, an art gallery and a spa.
  8. Thanda Safari- “Thanda” means “love” in isiZulu and that’s exactly what it portrays. A love for nature, a love for animals and a love for the Zulu culture. The experience, which can be found in the KwaZulu Natal, includes wildlife at its finest, magnificent staying quarters and an immersive experience in the culture. There is also a strong emphasis on conservation for future generations, because beauty like this should last many lifetimes!

There are so many exotic options to choose from when it comes to luxury lodges but rest assured, where ever you land up will be an experience to treasure.