Breathtaking views over the bush at Sabi Sabi Earth lodge
This fantastic safari lodge is the first of our recommended luxury lodges and was built on the principle that in the process of its creation, the local community should be empowered and uplifted while also protecting the environment and its wildlife. Xigera’s innovative concept is redefining the art of an African safari by fusing African design with exceptional luxury, fantastic cuisine with extraordinary wilderness experiences. Xigera Safari Lodge is located in the Moremi Game Reserve with private access to a 6 000-hectare (15 000-acre) wetland paradise in the heart of the Delta. Situated on one of the Okavango’s key waterways, Xigera Safari Lodge is surrounded by picturesque papyrus swamps and wooded islands and is renowned for its very high density of the rare sitatunga antelope, which guests are likely to spot when enjoying a ride on a glass-bottomed mokoro.
With a focus on fresh, seasonal produce sourced from carefully selected local suppliers, guests dining at Xigera Safari Lodge can expect cuisine that boasts a strong sense of place synonymous with their passion for both people and the planet. Guests can enjoy the lodge’s waterside lounge, stargazing boma and fire pit, spa, gym, and swimming pool, and take advantage of expertly guided morning and afternoon safaris in specially designed game drive vehicles. A stay at Xigera’s Baobab Treehouse is an excellent idea for an unforgettable sleepout experience beneath the African night sky.
Located within a vast expanse of dunes and rugged outcrops in the Sossusvlei Private Desert Reserve deep within the Namib, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge epitomizes sustainability and uncompromising luxury. Here, the fluctuating rays of the sun paint the desert in ever-changing shades of light; at night, the skies are otherworldly as the lodge borders an International Dark Sky Reserve.
A stay at any of the andBeyond luxury lodges, but especially this property, offers a host of exceptional activities in the area like helicopter flights and walking trips across age-old sand dunes that offer exquisite views while you tuck into a delectable picnic. Along the arc of the escarpment, 10 exquisitely furnished and sustainability-designed stone and glass suites open onto constant desert-shifting views. Each extensive, air-conditioned suite features a living area with a fireplace, a broad retractable skylight above the bed, an ensuite bathroom with a glass-encased rain shower that offers 180º desert views, and a private terrace with a plunge pool. The ultimate luxury lodge in Africa with a touch of desert adventure.
Inspired by nature, the Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is built to be “of the earth,” using natural materials that complement the beauty of the surrounding bush habitat. Rich yet understated furnishings, ambient lighting, and African design touches softly evoke the notion of an African safari. Ivory Lodge impresses with a raw, unadorned beauty that is only emphasized by breathtaking river views.
A private lounge, patio, deck, and pool invite you to enjoy your safari at your own pace, while the passionate team is on hand to assist with every desire. Ivory Lodge excels at crafting a highly personalized experience of a luxury African safari, enjoyed your way. Family-owned since 1933, this international award-winning private game reserve spans the world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, providing the exclusivity of a private reserve with the opportunity to explore the national park all in one. Guides and trackers are world-class, so expect to have your bucket list of animal sightings checked twice. A private chef ensures tempting snacks and languid dinners are expertly crafted, with a wide selection of fantastic wines and more to ensure every sense is thoroughly spoiled at this luxury lodge.
In the expansive Matetsi Private Game Reserve, close to Victoria Falls, this private villa which we recommend should be part of your luxury lodges itinerary, provides the ideal home away from home for friends or family traveling and exploring the beauty of Africa together. Set within a private oasis, the Matetsi Private Game Reserves offer an oasis brimming with wildlife, including the Big 5, along a 9.3-mile stretch of private Zambezi River frontage and easy access to the incredible Victoria Falls.
A dedicated team at the River House, including a butler and private chef, ensures your stay is as memorable as it is luxurious. On game drives, the personal tracker and guide will unlock the beauty and wonder of Africa for you with insightful knowledge and personal anecdotes that will allow guests to experience the ‘real’ Africa. The exclusive home has four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, an open-concept indoor and outdoor living space with large verandas, and a 20-meter-long rim-flow swimming pool that offers unparalleled views of the Zambezi. A highlight here is also the special rhino experience that can be pre-booked—a truly special encounter.
Singita Pamushana Lodge is definitely to be recommended for any luxury lodges journey. This opulent property boasts eight magnificent rooms, each with a private plunge pool and is perched atop a sandstone hill overlooking the glittering expanse of the Malilangwe Dam and are all inspired by the long tribal heritage of ancient Zimbabwe.
The main lodge area, which is constructed of a number of staggered and connected platforms, offers a range of expansive living spaces from which to take in the breathtaking natural beauty of the surroundings. A cliff-top fire pit and bar-deli combination overlook the dam, providing the ideal backdrop for al fresco dining and fireside storytelling. Pamushana Lodge is set in Zimbabwe’s remote southeast, within the 130,000-acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, and each of the eight suites features a private plunge pool with incredible views.
Through twice-daily game drives, bush walks, sundowner boat cruises, trips to rock art sites, and other activities, guests enjoy exclusive access to this unspoiled wilderness while enjoying expert advice, love, and attention from the committed team at this luxury lodge.
14 kilometers off the coast of Mozambique, you will find Kisawa Sanctuary, a 300-hectare sanctuary of forest, beach, and sand dunes, ensconced on the southern tip of Benguerra Island. Another of our recommended luxury lodges. Each of the 11 residences has been crafted in harmony with nature using local artisans and 3D printed elements—the ethos of blending rather than interrupting—providing an altogether holistically calming and rejuvenating aesthetic. Each Residence also enjoys its own private beach, an open-air deck on which to lounge, an infinity pool, and a kitchen. With an abundance of personal space, plus a program of family-friendly activities including open ocean safaris and kid’s pizza-making classes, Kisawa is a paradise for families. An extensive spa and wellness menu and activities mean that time spent here will leave guests feeling reconnected, relaxed, and inspired by the spacious beauty of Mozambique. A special experience that can be enjoyed at Kisawa is a visit to their sister property, the Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, located on the opposite end of the island. This non-profit is an innovative platform that hosts the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time series research in Africa. The young and passionate team at Kisawa is focused on the well-being of their guests and the environment. Expect to fall in love with this luxury lodge and the vibrant, caring team.
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is the Sabi Sabi of tomorrow, and unlike any lodge, you will have experienced before in both service and build, this lodge will remain beautifully etched in your memory long after you’ve left.
An architectural masterpiece of design with its curved lines and impressive artistry of light, the natural textures are a sensory experience designed to soothe and delight. Every element of the lodge, including decor, and meals, is influenced by the surrounding environment. In the atmosphere of a futuristic, luxurious African safari, the culinary staff will transport guests on a sensory trip through astounding settings with exquisite cuisine and fine wines. Whether sitting with your feet in the water at the day bar or enjoying a private dinner in the subterranean wine cellar, each moment and element has been carefully considered to offer the ultimate experience. This luxury lodge also features a well-equipped gym and a languid Spa to complete your sensory delight. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, on its one private concession, also offers a wealth of opportunities to enjoy pursuits like photographic safaris, in-depth wildlife viewing, and community outreach initiatives. This premium lodge is ideal for travelers returning to Africa and looking for the ultimate experience as part of their next luxury lodges safari.
The expert team at Ker & Downey® Africa is ready to make your ultimate luxury lodge safari experience dream a reality. Get in touch with us to secure space at any of these luxury lodges.