Ker & Downey Africa > Journal > The Little Black Book of Luxury Eco Lodges in Africa – East Africa Edition
Our team of LuxVenture® experts is here to share some of our favorite eco lodges in Africa, hand-picked by us for you – the discerning adventurer.
Our exclusive Little Black Book is a personal hotlist of our top camps, lodges, and hotels across the continent. This treasury of secrets holds the key to some of the finest luxury lodges in the land, and we’ve decided to share some exciting new additions with you.
Our second edition of the Little Black Book of Eco Lodges in Africa is a collection of the finest properties in East Africa that are pushing the boundaries of sustainability while maintaining high levels of luxury and exclusivity.
Are you ready?
Bisate Lodge is located on the border of the world famous Volcanoes National Park, where Dr Dian Fossey conducted her famed research on the mountain gorillas. A natural biodiversity hotspot and home to more than half the world’s endangered mountain gorillas, it is considered the perfect base for a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trekking experience. A tribute to Rwandan architecture, Bisate Lodge is characterized by its conically shaped sleeping pods designed to mimic traditional huts.
These ultra-luxurious 91 square meter forest villas blend beautifully into the natural surroundings of the amphitheater on which they sit, and boast breathtaking views of the distant volcanoes and Afro-alpine forests. The lodge is passionate about sustainability and has established two indigenous nurseries, as well as planted over 15,000 trees as part of a massive community reforestation project. Farm to table dishes like wild honey, kale, papaya, pineapple, macadamia nuts and much more are sourced from the onsite kitchen garden and used in delectable meals for guests. Bisate embraces Rwandan culture in all aspects while offering travelers comfort, warmth and luxury all with the Earth’s best interests at heart.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge enjoys a prime location in the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti National Park. Luxurious cottages and suites provide guests with utmost privacy, as well as unrivaled savannah views – what have been described as “front-row seats to the prolific wildlife”. As with all of Singita’s properties, Sasakwa’s commitment to sustainability is at the forefront of its operations.
A range of initiatives are in place at Sasakwa to reduce its footprint and on the earth. These include carbon offsetting, the use of renewable energy, sourcing local and sustainable food, and waste reduction. Other community-focused initiatives include the awarding of scholarships to secondary school, vocational studies and university education in the conservation and tourism sectors. And of course, there is Singita’s famous Serengeti Girls Run – a multi-stage, all-women run across the pristine Grumeti private concession to raise funds for empowerment programs for girls.
Located in one of the most pristine habitats on Earth, the renowned Serengeti National Park, the Four Seasons Safari Lodge provides guests with an unparalleled safari experience. The opulent rooms, suites and villas that make up this luxurious property lie adjacent to an active waterhole that attracts large herds of elephant and other game on a regular basis. Guests have the opportunity to experience the wonders of this celebrated reserve on game drives, guided safari walks, hot air balloon safaris, picnics in the heart of the bush and more.
Sustainability and community are of the utmost importance at the Four Seasons Serengeti. Recognized as an award-winning responsible tourism operator, the lodge continuously strives to play a part in protecting and preserving the Serengeti National Park and all those who are connected to it. The lodge currently supports a range of wildlife conservation projects including the Rhino Conservation Project and Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Serengeti De-Snaring Project. They are also passionate about providing support to the community and, through their on-site Discovery Center, are able to aid and assist a Safe House in Mugumu that provides shelter to young girls and women. Trading with local suppliers, and training the talented youth of the communities is also a top priority at Four Seasons Serengeti.
Located on the east coast of Zanzibar on the famous white sands of Paje beach, Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa epitomizes barefoot luxury – without leaving a footprint. Designed and constructed entirely with sustainability in mind, this popular island resort reflects the natural beauty of the exotic archipelago, using thoughtful architecture and organic materials to blend into the environment.
Four hectares of lush, tropical gardens play host to 11 luxurious villas that complement the natural environment through the use of organic materials, textures and shapes. Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa has also committed to eradicating all single-use plastics, recycling waste, and utilizing solar and wind to power the resort. Having signed the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, which commits to actions that will reduce environmental impact, raise awareness to travelers, and help them make more sustainable choices, the resort has planted itself firmly in the top tier of eco-friendly lodges in East Africa.
Boasting spectacular views over the Kalama Conservancy and iconic Mount Kenya, Saruni Samburu is the sole lodge that inhabits over 200,000 acres of untouched wilderness. The sheer remoteness of this breathtaking property, far removed from crowds, roads and the modern world, makes it a favorite amongst true nature loving travelers. An intimate camp, Saruni comprises just six luxurious eco-villas that look out over the unspoiled wilderness of northern Kenya.
For almost 2 decades, Saruni Samburu has nurtured a close connection with the indigenous communities of the land it inhabits, and are the founding members of leading community-run conservation organizations that implement a host of important initiatives. They have also partnered with Seedballs Kenya – the revolutionary enterprise mass who are producing seedballs for low cost and efficient reintroduction of trees and grass species in the country. Guests at Saruni can purchase a box of seedballs for themselves for just USD 3 and spread them in degraded areas of the reserve during game drives.
Angama Mara sits high above the expansive Great Rift Valley, overlooking Kenya’s magnificent Masai Mara National Park. The lodge is made up of two camps of just 15 luxurious tented suites, creating a truly intimate and exclusive safari experience for guests. At Angama Mara, making a sustainable difference to the community, wildlife and land is of utmost importance and the Angama Foundation ensures that this is possible.
The Angama Foundation is active in three fields of work: Education, Healthcare, and Conservation. Projects that are in place to support the neighboring community include scalable initiatives to benefit schools, like building desks or providing books and food. An on-site clinic has also been established to provide medicine and medical advice to Angama Mara guests and staff, as well as the wider community. To ensure the longevity of the reserve, initiatives are in place to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, protect birds of prey, and safeguard endangered rhino, elephant and lion. Guests staying at Angama Mara contribute $10 each per night to the foundation and are integral in keeping the incredible work alive.
When it comes to the top eco lodges in Africa, we know best. This is just a taste of what your unforgettable safari adventure could look like. Contact a LuxVenture® Designer today and let us craft a one-of-a-kind family safari experience like no other today!