10 Amazing Game Lodges (in no particular order):
- Safari Lodge at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
- Bayethe Lodge at Shamwari Private Game Reserve
- Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve
- Tree Camp at Londolozi Private Game Reserve
- Msenge Bush Lodge at Pumba Private Game Reserve
- The Motse at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
- Gorah Elephant Camp
- Dwyka Lodge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
- Jock Safari Lodge
- Botsebotse Luxury Retreat
Please bare in mind that this is a subjective list, not a definitive list – there are hundreds of outstanding game lodges in South Africa. It is not my intention to offend other game lodge owners, but rather to inspire travellers with the beauty of our country.
1. Safari Lodge at Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Safari Lodge is located beneath a canopy of ancient trees on the edge of a dry riverbed. The rooms are built ‘tree house’ style and you really get the feeling of being at the heart of life in the bush. Your room will provide fascinating views of the animals as they stroll past on their way to the nearby watering hole. Owned by Sir Richard Branson, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is set in the heart of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, bordering the sprawling Kruger National Park.
2. Bayethe Lodge at Shamwari Private Game Reserve
Immerse yourself into nature and take pleasure in exquisite tented accommodation at the Bayethe Lodge. Surrounded by African bush, this secluded lodge is rich in vegetation and offers incredible views. The tents have all the comforts needed to make your stay that much more enjoyable and comprise of indoor baths, outdoor showers, plunge pools, private mini bars and so much more. Relax on the deck by the swimming pool and dine alfresco, under the stars in this serene and tranquil retreat with only the sound of wildlife around you.
3. Ivory Lodge at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve
The international award winning Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is ultra luxurious, yet simple and uncluttered. The Lodge comprises six generously sized privately situated villas, each with a separate living room, heated swimming pool and an open plan en-suite bathroom with an enclosure for the outdoor shower – 6-star luxury in the middle of the bush – with breathtaking views of the Sabie River.
4. Tree Camp at Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve is an unashamedly exclusive and luxurious safari destination covering 14 000 hectares in the heart of the game-rich 56 000 hectare Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Tree Camp is so named because of the dense riverine forest environment and most notably the ancient Ebony Tree shading the camp and offers six lavish suites elevated 70 feet above the Sand River.
5. Msenge Bush Lodge at Pumba Private Game Reserve
Nestled in the heart of the malaria-free Eastern Cape, Pumba Private Game Reserve is a hidden gem offering the ultimate in African Safari luxury. Msenge Bush Lodge offers 11 exclusive chalets, which flow naturally into the African bushveld, allowing you to become one with nature. Dreamy bathrooms with magnificent views, luxury bedrooms opening onto private timber decks complete with plunge pools and outdoor showers.
6. The Motse at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest privately owned game reserve, situated in the heart of the malaria-free Northern Cape. Designed to blend inconspicuously into the mountain range surrounding the game reserve, the Motse consists of eight spacious suites, all designed with a distinct and elegant African character.
The incomparable thrill of quietly observing a passing herd of elephant while being served tea on the verandah of a stately Colonial manor house is the stuff of dreams and legends – at Gorah it’s an everyday occurrence. Sheltered beneath thatched canopies, Gorah’s 11 tented suites are luxurious and spacious, recalling the golden era of safari in the early 1900s.
8. Dwyka Lodge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
The sheer expanse (54,000 hectares) and stark beauty of Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, in the Klein Karoo of the Western Cape, gives one a sense of humbleness. Dwyka Lodge comprises of 9 luxurious and secluded tents, which exude an atmosphere of pioneering adventure in this vast landscape. Each luxury tent has its own private deck, outdoor shower and plunge pool.
Right on the Southern edge of the Kruger National Park, is the magnificent Jock Safari Lodge. This exceptional five star lodge oozes luxury while offering you an unforgettable wildlife experience. Each Suite has its own private viewing deck, plunge pool and outdoor shower. There is a very romantic feel about this beautiful place and the spectacular trees filled with birdlife surrounding the lodge add to the wonderful atmosphere. Enjoy sightings of the Big Five on a game walk or drive and pamper yourself at the rejuvenating spa.
10. Botsebotse Luxury Retreat
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Africa at the Botsebotse Luxury Retreat. This boutique lodge is situated at the Zebula Golf Estate & Game Reserve and is surrounded by a vast number of birdlife and wildlife, including the Big Five. Each room is uniquely decorated, but all are luxurious and include a private, screened courtyard and outdoor shower. Relax in the Boma next to the cozy fire or under the night sky and enjoy an exceptional dinner. Get pampered at the spa or go for a walk, cycle or drive on the Eco-Safari and explore the open bush your way.