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Safari Lodges We Love

South Africa is unique in that visitors can combine exploration of Cape Town with top-notch culinary touring in the Winelands with time in the bush. There are several stunning private game reserves, many great successes of eco-preservation and diverse wildlife. Our friends at Indagare compiled the ultimate to-do list for this most southern of African destinations. Read below and don't forget to shop products curated by Indagare before you set off.

South Africa is unique in that visitors can combine exploration of Cape Town with top-notch culinary touring in the Winelands with time in the bush. There are several stunning private game reserves, many great successes of eco-preservation and diverse wildlife. Our friends at Indagare compiled the ultimate to-do list for this most southern of African destinations. Read below and don't forget to shop products curated by Indagare before you set off.

 

 

 

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

 

Type: Intro to Safari.

 

Why We Love It: Located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, is a conservation success story, and its beautifully varied terrain and low-density lodges (resulting in a limited amount of visitors) make for a fantastic introduction to safari.

 

Particularly Known For: About 100 km inland from the Indian Ocean coast, Kwandwe also has the ideal climate for such rare and endangered birds as the blue crane.

 

Insider Trivia: At Kwandwe, there are never more than eight vehicles in the terrain and never more than three at any given animal sighting.

 

Good to Know: Ecca Lodge, overlooking a valley, is a popular choice for families traveling with kids thanks to the relaxed design scheme, pool and baby-sitting service.

 

Where: Eastern Cape (an 1.5-hour drive from Port Elizabeth airport).

 

 

Courtesy Kwandwe Private Reserve 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion Sands Private Game Reserve

 

Type: Sabi Romance

 

Why We Love It: Located on 10,000 acres, Lion Sands has been in the More family for four generations, and its three lodges (Ivory, River, 1933) are among South Africa?s best.

 

Particularly Known For: This is the only private reserve right on the Sabie River, the border of Kruger National Park, offering opportunities to see game even when not on a safari drive.

 

Insider Trivia: The remote Tree House, a secluded platform tricked out to host a candle-lit dinner for two (and a bed if glamping is desired), is especially popular with honeymooners and couples. It was featured on an episode of last year?s The Bachelorette.

 

Good to Know: Ivory and River lodges accept children ten years and older, while 1933 can accommodate kids of all ages.

 

Where: Sabi Sand, on the border of Kruger National Park.


Courtesy Lion Sands

  

 

 

 

 

Londolozi

 

Type: Safari Pioneer.

 

Why We Love It: This Relais & Chateaux property has been run by the Vartys for four generations, and the family?s dedication to preservation and community building is exemplary.

 

Particularly Known For: The dynasty of Londolozi leopards has been chronicled by guides over the past three decades.

 

Insider Trivia: Londolozi?s five camps truly offer something for every types of traveler. Founders Camp, on the river?s edge, is great for kids (they are allowed age four and up), while the sleek Granite Suites, each with a private plunge pool, are perfect for a romantic getaway.

 

Where: Sabi Sand, on the border of Kruger National Park.


Courtesy Londolozi

 

 

 

 

 

Phinda Private Game Reserve

 

Type: Family Friendly.

 

Why We Love It: This is one of South Africa?s most amazing conservation success stories, Phinda spans nearly 57,000 acres. Its proximity to the Indian Ocean means you can see rhino and dolphins in one day.

 

Particularly Known For: Black rhino, cheetah and 400-plus bird species. Insider Trivia: When CC Africa (now & Beyond) purchased 18,500 acres of derelict farmland in 1990, there was hardly any game on the property. Large species, including lion, elephant, rhino and giraffe all had to be reintroduced. Today all thrive on the reserve.

 

Good to Know: Children of all ages are welcome.

 

Where: KwaZulu-Natal.

 


Phinda Private Game Reserve: Getty House

 

 

 

 

 

Singita Boulders

 

Type: Classic Luxury

 

Why We Love It: Part of the luxurious Singita portfolio, Boulders has just twelve chic suites, all with decks boasting incredible views of the Sand River. Wrote an Indagare member after a stay: ?Great food, attentive staff, gorgeous setting, terrific wine cellar. Also, if the Big Five is your thing, this is an excellent place to visit?we saw all of them almost every time we went out.?

 

Particularly Known For: Big cats, including leopards, lion and cheetah.

 

Insider Trivia: The 12,000-bottle wine cellar was built around a massive boulder, inspiring the lodge?s name.

 

Where: Sabi Sand, on the border of Kruger National Park.


Courtesy Singita

 

 

 

 

 

Singita Lebombo

 

Type: Contemporary Cool.

 

Why We Love It: The lodge?s design, built to resemble an eagle?s nest and virtually suspended from Lebombo Mountain, raised the bar on chic, sustainable architecture. Guests feel immediately one with nature, thanks to massive window walls and outdoor decks with stupendous views across the park.

 

Particularly Known For: Singita Lebombo is the most luxurious place to stay in Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in all of Africa. The Lebombo region is also known for its large prides of lions. Insider Trivia: Launched in 2007, the Singita School of Cooking, developed in connection with Jamie Oliver?s Fifteen in London, has made a great impact on the lives of local youths. Selected to attend an eighteen-month training program, many find work as chefs in the kitchens of Singita properties or other Kruger lodges.

 

Good to Know: Children over the age of ten are welcome.


Courtesy Singita

 

 

 

 

 

Tswalu Kalahari
 
Type: Ultimate Privacy
 
Why We Love It: Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu is an incredibly personal, sumptuous interpretation of the safari dream. It?s one of South Africa?s most exclusive hideaways: 250,000 acres of a wilderness estate with an eight-suite lodge and a private villa.
 
Particularly Known For: The grasslands and open savannah of the Kalahari Desert make a
unique habitat for such animals as meerkat, spotted and brown hyaenas, as well as cheetah and Kalahari lions. (Note that this is not a Big Five destination.)
 
Insider Trivia: Providing the ultimate glamping experience, the estate?s Malori is a raised deck that is transformed into a luxe safari sleep out in the middle of the vast Kalahari plains.
 
Good to Know: Tswalu is located in a malaria-free zone (rare in South Africa?s game areas).
 
Where: Kalahari Desert, Northern Cape.
Courtesy Tswalu Kalahari
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This article originally appeared on one of our favorite travel sites, Indagare. Read the original article here >>