There are a whole host of exciting luxury lodges in East Africa, making the choice of where to go seemingly impossible. We’re here to make the impossible possible. It’s what we do best.
The world of travel is constantly evolving and plugging in to the latest trends is the only way to stay relevant, exciting, and enticing. Our team of LuxVenture® experts at Ker & Downey® Africa are ahead of the game with our fingers on the pulse of everything luxury, and everything Africa. Our Little Black Book is our own personal hot list of the best 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 with you.
Our Little Black Book of luxury lodges in East Africa is a collection of the finest properties, hand-picked for the most discerning traveler. We strive to quench the thirst of those with a thirst for adventure as well as a love for the finer things in life. Here is a sneak peek into our collection and just a few of our favourite luxury lodges in East Africa.
Earth clad walls and sustainably sourced timber make up the ultra-luxurious Lengishu House – an exclusive-use family home offering unparalleled levels of style and refinement with the lowest possible environmental footprint. The sprawling home is located in Laikipia, in the heart of the 32,000 acre Borana Conservancy in the north of Kenya. This leading wildlife destination is the country’s most successful rhino sanctuary and home to the Big Five, along with a diverse selection of Africa’s wildlife.
Lengishu offers six large bedrooms within four separate cottages adjacent to the main house, each overlooking the lush valley below and surrounded by pristine Kenyan wilderness. Each bedroom has a fireplace or wood burning stove, as well as floor to ceiling windows to maximise the views of the surrounding undulating plains. The privacy and flexibility offered to guests at Lengishu is second to none with friendly private staff and the freedom to choose your own itinerary as you go. Game drives, and other safari activities on land, in the air, or on horseback are all available and designed to put you in the very heart of the action.
I believe that one of the best places in the region to kick start your East African safari is the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. And it’s here that you will find Lemala’s Mpingo Ridge Lodge, seated on the top of an escarpment with breathtaking views of the Tarangire River and green hills below. The park is scenically spectacular with huge herds of elephants, massive baobab trees and exceptional bird life. Mpingo Ridge Lodge comprises 15 ultra luxurious tents, positioned with sweeping views of the valley and Tarangire River below.
Each luxury tent comes with a sunken outdoor lounge and indulgent outdoor bathtub on a private deck. The game viewing at Mpingo Ridge Lodge is second to none and the guides are some of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the park. The high concentration of elephants and plains herds attract loads of predators. Thrilling night game drives are on offer and not to be missed. Discover the lesser-known nocturnal species like civets and genets and experience Tarangire National Park like never before. This outstanding property is one of our favorites in the distinguished Lemala collection.
What was once an untamed jungle by the sea with a quaint old house and a few outbuildings is now paradise! The stunning Cardamom House opened its doors in December 2020 and is an elegant Swahili-influenced selection of 4 luxurious villas overlooking a private beach cove amidst coconut palms and coastal wilderness. The 4 villas named Manda Toto, Lulu, The Tower and Shela can be rented exclusively or separately as rates are on a per person basis.
The House is located in the pristine marine conservation region of Kuruwitu along the Kenyan coast and is an important biodiversity hotspot with over 200 species of fish calling the blue green waters of the marine sanctuary home. Green lawns with fragrant frangipani and wild jasmine are dotted with hammocks and stylish beach bandas to relax in after a day on the beach. Relax and unwind in the gentle ocean breeze while your private butler prepares a delicious cocktail or glass of wine to enjoy as the sun goes down. This unique gem is the perfect way to end any East African safari in style.
Jabali Ridge is a chic, sophisticated camp situated in the game-rich Ruaha National Park – home to large numbers of elephant, lion and leopard, buffalo and the rare and endangered African wild dog. The luxurious suites that make up this spectacular camp are set amidst granite boulders overlooking the Mwagusi River and Ikuka escarpment. This region has far fewer tourists than other parks in Tanzania but is considered one of the most exciting areas for conservation in the country.
Enjoy twice daily game drives or even night drives, or experience the park’s wild inhabitants on foot led by a professional Maasai guide and park ranger. Back at camp, enjoy a refreshing dip in the sparkling infinity pool overlooking the plains, indulge in a hot-stone massage, or take in the views of mighty baobabs and sun-bleached plains from the private sunken lounge in your stylish safari. It doesn’t get much better than this…
We are all about exclusivity at Ker & Downey® Africa, and The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is widely considered to be one of Kenya’s most exclusive safari lodges. A collection of four luxurious private villas, The Sanctuary at Ol Lentilles sits on the flanks of the northern escarpment of Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, surrounded by an extraordinary vast untamed wilderness. The scenery is truly out of this world. Sweeping views spread all the way to the peaks of Mount Kenya, the sacred mountain of Ololokwe, and the Karisia Hills.
Each of the four private villas come with a private butler service to tend to guests’ needs when not exploring the 40,000 acres of pristine wilderness, teeming with wildlife. Safari activities, including helicopter flips, bush walks, and horse or camel safaris are all completely private and guided by knowledgeable Samburu and Maasai warriors. It really comes as no surprise that The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille has long been regarded as a space that truly embodies the “wow factor”.
Taasa Lodge is a luxurious tented camp located on the northern edge of the Serengeti National Park, nestled upon a ridge in the private Loliondo Concession. This ideal location, with stunning views of the Lobo valley, allows for a wide range of safari activities to be enjoyed. Because Taasa is not located within the boundaries of a national park, the lodge can offer exciting night drives and walking safaris to guests, while still being close enough to the Serengeti to do daily game drives – a massive perk during July – October when the Great Wildebeest Migration heads north for the dramatic Mara crossing.
Taasa Lodge also offers guests the once-in-a-lifetime experience of a hot air balloon safari to witness the vast Serengeti from above – a truly magical way to see the heaving herds of the migration. Each of the 15 spacious en-suite tents at Taasa are luxuriously appointed with modern comforts offering a touch of indulgence in the bush. Views of the lush Lobo valley can be enjoyed from your own private deck, private sitting area or from the comfort of your lush king sized bed.
Get filled in on some more secrets from our Little Black Book by contacting a LuxVenture® Designer and planning your East Africa safari adventure today! We’ve got your back all the way.
See you out there!