National Geographic unique lodges of Africa

Grootbos Nature Reserve:

Built on a hillside where a continent ends, two oceans collide, and the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms flourishes, the lodges of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve are uniquely positioned to capture the magic of South Africa’s Western Cape. Below, Walker Bay stretches to the horizon, home to the “marine big five”: great white sharks, southern right whales, seals, penguins, and dolphins; and vast coastal caves bear traces of a Stone Age civilization. Blanketing the hillside with bright, intricate flowers of every shade is the fynbos, or “fine bush,” a hardy, complex plant family endemic to South Africa.

:The reserve was named Grootbos—an Afrikaans word meaning “big forest”—for the enchanting milkwood forests that cover the hillside. The lodges were built into natural clearings in these gnarled, ancient trees. Both acclaimed restaurants feature excellent cuisine with a focus on local seafood, and they, like the stylish suites and the elegant common areas, are all oriented toward an expansive, breathtaking vista of mountain, fynbos, and sea.

Things to do in Grootbos Nature Reserve:

Ride a horse across hills blooming with exotic flowers or take a “flower safari” by 4×4.
Wander through the organic gardens and meet some of the horticulture students sponsored by Grootbos.
Savor a delicious breakfast with a view on the terrace at the Garden Restaurant, and enjoy a traditional braai, or barbecue, in the Milkwood boma.
Stretch out with a book on your private deck at Forest Lodge and gaze out at the mountains across the bay.

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge:

Picture a dwelling sculpted into the landscape of the South African bush so as to be barely visible, where adobe walls and rugged wood décor achieve modern elegance, and an authentic, abundant wildlife experience comes with the utmost in luxury, service, and cuisine. This is Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, in itself a celebration of place and of the senses, crafted from the elements to play up texture, light, and nature’s palette.

Set within the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, which stretches along the edge of Greater Kruger National Park, Earth Lodge offers an exceptional safari experience—on wildlife drives and bush walks, but also from the property itself, which commands excellent views of the surrounding bushveld. Each of the 13 suites, including the sumptuous Amber Presidential Suite, features glass-fronted bathrooms, indoor and alfresco showers, and a secluded plunge pool with lounging chairs facing the bushveld, so that you might catch sight of an impala or a springbok while enjoying a swim.

Things to do at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge:

Game Drives

spa treatments

unwind and enjoy the wild

Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve:

Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares. Owned by the Oppenheimer family, Tswalu takes conservation as its absolute priority; our vision is simply ‘to restore the Kalahari to itself’. No more than thirty guests at a time can discover the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.

things to do at Tswalu Game Reserve:

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is Africa at its finest. When you visit, plan at least three nights as there are so many things you need to do and see…

Sleep in one morning and indulge in a champagne breakfast in bed
Take an early morning game drive and don’t rush back for breakfast. Request a delicious gourmet picnic – breakfast in the bush is a memory to savour
Bond with the meerkats before they go foraging for the day
Spend the morning tracking the Desert Black rhino with arguably the best trackers in Africa
Witness the sheer size and power of the Kalahari black maned lion – and enjoy the playful innocence of their cubs
Enjoy an early evening safari tracking the elusive Aardvark and Pangolin – probably one of the best places in the world to view these rare animals
Get up close to the animals on horseback, and experience nature at its best
Sleep out under the stars – just you and the expanse of the Kalahari …star gazing was never like this
Be pampered in the spa – from a massage to a facial – because you deserve it
Indulge in a 5 course menu prepared by executive chef, Justin Pillay, paired with South Africa’s finest wines and served in the privacy of your own deck overlooking the bushveld
Take a trip to the wine cellar and let the wine director assist in choosing something perfect for your palate
Visit the community health centre, children’s school, and adult learning centre
Sip a sun-downer cocktail on the dunes, and experience the real Africa
See the immense benefit of the Tswalu Foundation in action – talk to the researchers about their studies
Wonder at the rock art… recent archaeological research at Tswalu suggests that some of the Bushmen carvings may be up to 380,000 years old, which would make them some of the oldest art on Earth.

Sayari Camp , Serengeti, Tanzania:

In the northern reaches of the Serengeti, set back from the banks of the Mara River and overlooking the undulating plains of the Lamai Wedge, there is a tiny village of travelers. Just 15 tented suites tucked into the hillside make up Sayari Camp, one of the few permanent safari lodges permitted in this remote wilderness. Those that come to stay are treated to an incomparable wildlife experience, including the legendary migration of the wildebeests, which fills the Lamai Wedge with more than a million creatures every year.

Whether or not you dwell here during the migration, Sayari presents an intimate and breathtaking encounter with East Africa’s iconic animals, inviting guests to explore on bushwalks and open-vehicle safaris with seasoned naturalists. In between excursions, relax on your private veranda, take a dip in the rock pool, or retire to your spacious tented suite, where elegant safari-chic décor and floor-to-ceiling windows contribute to your immersion in this spectacular East African wilderness.


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