luxury south africa safari lodges

Best South Africa Safari Lodges Our Curated Selection Of The Best Safari Lodges in South Africa

South Africa has some of the best safari lodges in Africa, as well as spectacular city and seaside hotels. Whether you’re headed for the bush or beach on your South Africa safari, you’ll find something on Art of Safari’s shortlist of the best South Africa safari lodges that will get you excited about visiting the rainbow nation.

South Africa has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you by curating a collection of the very best South Africa safari lodges. While it’s hard to resist the call of the wild at the southern tip of the continent, civilisation also beckons in the shape of grand old city hotels, and their slick boutique neighbours.

Where you choose to stay is often a matter of taste, which makes Cape Town and the nearby Cape Winelands a standout on the menu. Unrivalled as a gastronomic destination, Cape Town also features some delightful accommodation options. They’re not all in the city proper – some can be found along the rugged coastline of the Cape Peninsula.

Many of South Africa’s best private game reserves were once farms, and this rural tradition of warm hospitality still prevails. No matter whether you stay in a luxury tented camp (where, ostensibly, nothing has changed in generations) or in a modern glass-fronted lodge juxtaposed with the wilderness, you’ll feel both cossetted and close to nature.

It’s this combination of innovation and outstanding service that has kept South Africa at the forefront of safari travel. Then there’s the fact that the best South Africa safari lodges tick every box, from divine dining experiences to exceptional wildlife viewing.

This beach deck at Thonga Beach Lodge has prime sea views.

Thonga Beach Lodge | Maputaland

iSimangaliso Wetland Park was South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, and with good reason. It’s a mosaic of interwoven habitats – estuary, beach, dune, forest and reef – and possessesContinue Exploring…...

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Tintswalo Atlantic has a moody seaside location.

Tintswalo Atlantic | Cape Town

Lying within Table Mountain National Park, on the foothills of Chapman’s Peak, Tintswalo Atlantic – one of South Africa's best hotels – offers an intimate beachfront escape. Enjoy watersports, natureContinue Exploring…...

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The kids will learn loads when staying in the family suite at Phinda Mountain Lodge.

Phinda Mountain Lodge | Family Safari | Maputaland

The family suite at Phinda Mountain Lodge, in Phinda Private Game Reserve, offers the ideal place for kids and parents to discover nature – and rediscover each other. With aContinue Exploring…...

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Tanda Tula Field Camp is an exclusive-use camp. © Classic Portfolio

Tanda Tula Field Camp | Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Tanda Tula Field Camp, with its emphasis on family safaris and guided walking safaris, makes a big impact on all its guests – but not on its pristine setting inContinue Exploring…...

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Tsala Treetop Lodge offers 10 treetop suites and six two-bedroomed villas. © Hunter Hotels

Tsala Treetop Lodge | Garden Route

Whether you’re looking to simply unwind or are after some excitement, Tsala Treetop Lodge – one of South Africa's best safari lodges – will meet your needs. Enjoy pampering spaContinue Exploring…...

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Stop for refreshments and enjoy the views when on game drives from Ivory Lodge.

Ivory Lodge | Sabi Sand game reserve

A family-owned ‘home made to order by Mother Nature’, Ivory Lodge fuses style and substance to create one of South Africa's best safari lodges. The More family’s role as custodiansContinue Exploring…...

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Lekkerwater Beach Lodge is set right on the coast. © Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge | Garden Route

From the moment you arrive at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge – one of South Africa's best safari lodges – you’ll know that it will be difficult to wave goodbye. Its nameContinue Exploring…...

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RockFig Safari Lodge | Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Heading to the bush is always a pleasure – especially when your destination is Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and RockFig Safari Lodge, one of South Africa's best safari lodges. BetweenContinue Exploring…...

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What a beautiful pride of lion, spotted near Londolozi Tree Camp.

Londolozi Tree Camp | Sabi Sand game reserve

Follow the spoor of leopard, lion, elephant, rhino or buffalo on game drives or interpretive walking safaris, do outdoor yoga or dine in the wild at Londolozi Tree Camp, oneContinue Exploring…...

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Dine privately next to your pool at Melton Manor.

Melton Manor | Family Safari | Garden Route

Melton Manor – one of South Africa's best safari houses – offers a break from the tyranny of the school run, as you get to set the schedule (or haveContinue Exploring…...

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Cape Grace is set in the heart of Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

Cape Grace | Cape Town

Set on a private quay at the V&A waterfront, Cape Grace is one of South Africa's best hotels offering an elegant experience that combines the history of the Cape with understatedContinue Exploring…...

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Cape Cadogan is an exclusive boutique hotel in the heart of Cape Town.

Cape Cadogan | Cape Town

Feel the heartbeat of Cape Town at Cape Cadogan, one of South Africa's best hotels in the City Bowl surrounded by vibrant bars, restaurants, boutiques and nightlife. Enjoy stunning viewsContinue Exploring…...

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Marataba Trails Lodge has a maximum of eight guests at any one time.

Marataba Mountain Lodge | Marakele National Park

Be one of just eight people to enjoy the unadulterated wilderness of the off-the-grid Marataba Mountain Lodge, one of South Africa's best safari lodges. Tucked into a valley in aContinue Exploring…...

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Tswalu The Motse | The majestic oryx (or gemsbok) can be found in the arid Kalahari.

Tswalu The Motse | Kalahari

Located on the distinctive red sands of the Kalahari, with unique wildlife from desert black rhino to meerkat and pangolin, Tswalu The Motse offers a safari experience like no other.Continue Exploring…...

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At this time of year, Singita Sabi Sand is lush and green.

Ebony Lodge | Sabi Sand game reserve

Explore big-cat country at Ebony Lodge, one of South Africa's best safari lodges located along the Sand River in an exclusive reserve within Sabi Sand game reserve. Experience the warmthContinue Exploring…...

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Ocean House is set in the pristine De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Morukuru Ocean House | Family Safari | Garden Route

Morukuru Ocean House, one of South Africa's best safari houses, has a full team of staff accommodating your needs, so you can spend quality time with your family. Set inContinue Exploring…...

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The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is tucked between ocean and mountain.

The 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa | Cape Town

Stay on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, with the peaks of Cape Town's 12 Apostles mountains guarding your back. Watch whale and dolphin traverse the sea while you dineContinue Exploring…...

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Pause to watch the sun set while on game drives from Gorah Elephant Camp.

Gorah Elephant Camp | Addo Elephant National Park

Encounter one of the world’s densest population of elephant at Gorah Elephant Camp, one of South Africa's best safari lodges set on a private conservancy in Addo Elephant National Park.Continue Exploring…...

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Grootbos Forest Lodge overlooks Walker Bay.

Grootbos Forest Lodge | Garden Route

Follow the flower trail from Grootbos Forest Lodge, which is situated on 2,500ha of fynbos-dotted private land overlooking Walker Bay, just two hours from Cape Town. From birdwatching to MarineContinue Exploring…...

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Phinda Vlei Lodge is home to cheetah.

Phinda Vlei Lodge | Maputaland

From Phinda Vlei Lodge – one of South Africa's best safari lodges – you can explore the mosaic of different habitats that lend such variety to Phinda Private Game Reserve. TheContinue Exploring…...

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Le Quartier Français is centrally located in Franschhoek.

Le Quartier Français | Franschhoek

Explore the quaint village of Franschhoek from Le Quartier Français, a country-style boutique hotel – one of South Africa's best – in the centre of town. Hike, bike or horseContinue Exploring…...

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Bushmans Kloof is set in 7,500ha of private wilderness.

Bushmans Kloof | Cedarberg Mountains

Discover an ancient art gallery at Bushmans Kloof, one of South Africa's best safari lodges set on 7,500ha of private wilderness where the San once roamed. Visit some of the 130Continue Exploring…...

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Enjoy rooftop dining at Phinda Rock Lodge.

Phinda Rock Lodge | Maputaland

One of South Africa's best safari lodges, Phinda Rock Lodge combines getting away from it all with being immersed in dramatic, untouched landscapes. The unique adobe-style stone suites resemble smallContinue Exploring…...

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Stop for sundowners in the bush while on game drives from Kirkman’s Camp.

Kirkman's Kamp | Sabi Sand game reserve

Travel back in time to the colonial era of the 1920s, when intrepid explorers came to test their mettle in the South African bush. With candlelit baths, extravagant meals andContinue Exploring…...

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You’ll enjoy spectacular, unimpeded game viewing at Madikwe Lelapa Lodge.

Madikwe Lelapa Lodge | Madikwe Game Reserve

Set on 76,000ha of conserved land with a well-visited waterhole, Madikwe Lelapa Lodge is one of South Africa's best safari lodges. It offers plenty of safari activities, as well as opportunitiesContinue Exploring…...

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Comfortable egg chairs invite lazy afternoons watching wildlife right from the guest deck at Ngala Tented Camp.

Ngala Tented Camp | Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

The clean lines and uncluttered style of Ngala Tented Camp mean that there are very few distractions from the ultimate luxury – spending time in the wilderness and enjoying closeContinue Exploring…...

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