Top 5 luxurious safari tours to visit in Africa
Get up close and personal with southern Africa’s big five—lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino—in the lap of safari luxury.
Love the great outdoors where southern Africa’s big five – lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino – roam free? Then these five places are just perfect for you from Lion Sands, the decadent private game reserve in Sabi Sands to The Hide, a family-owned reserve in Zimbabwe – all in the lap of luxury.
Lion Sands at Sabi Sands, South Africa
This ultra-luxurious, elegantly designed property is in a private game reserve bordering South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park. The area’s low-lying bush is perfect for lion, rhino and elephant spotting. Safari trucks are kept to a minimum at the private reserve and you rarely see other groups—in contrast, up to 20 trucks can descend on a single pride of lions in Kruger. Lion Sands and its sister properties also contribute a percentage of their revenue to rhino conservation. (www.lionsands.com/)
Jack' Camp, Botswana
This premium tented camp lies on the edge of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi salt pan, a white desert the size of Switzerland. There’s no electricity during the day, so it’s toasty in the dry season, but there are plenty of bathing pools for cooling off. A highlight is the resident colony of meerkats. You’ll have to be up at 5am to see them rummaging around for breakfast: hearty grubs or crackly scorpions. Thousands of pink flamingos flock to the waterholes during the wet season, providing a magical sight. (www.unchartedafrica.com)
Goliath Safaris at Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
One of the most acclaimed luxury tented camps, Goliath Safaris sits on the banks of the Zambezi River and takes only 12 guests. Game spotting is led by one of Africa’s most renowned guides, Stretch Ferreira, whose speciality is tracking animals on foot. Once he’s found them, he’ll get you within a few feet of them. (www.goliathsafaris.com)
Ulusaba at Sabi Sands, South Africa
Owned by Richard Branson, this luxury private game reserve is ideal for spotting rhino, difficult to find in other reserves. For stunning views, stay at the Rock Lodges, which are set on a spectacular vantage point. If you’re more of a river person, you’ll prefer the Safari Lodges, where antelope roam freely and you’re just as likely to see a visiting celebrity (or Branson himself) wandering the walkways. (www.ulusaba.virgin.com)
The Hide, Zimbabwe
As the name suggests, this family-owned property in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park is all about staying incognito. It’s ideal for elephant spotting. Hides built on two waterholes guarantee front-row seats as all manner of wildlife come to drink. The close proximity of the animals and the relaxed, comfortable environment have won this property many accolades, including Best Safari Camp in Zimbabwe. (www.thehide.com)
To read more about travelling in Africa, get a copy of Malaysia Tatler April 2013 issue, available on newsstands now or click here to purchase the digital version.