For our clients travelling in larger groups or families or those wanting exclusivity, privacy and seclusion, a private house is the perfect choice. Many come with a dedicated team, Safari vehicle and access to larger sister camps facilities, offering the best of both worlds and ensuring your every need is catered for.
Here we present a guide to some of the best private houses East Africa has to offer;
Little Mombo is an extension of and shares the same island as the larger Mombo Camp, matching its high standards. It offers the same abundant big game viewing – some of the best in Botswana – and overlooks a floodplain that is a beautiful setting for a variety of wildlife. The camp, built under a shady canopy, has luxurious and spacious guest rooms under canvas, each with en-suite facilities, outdoor shower and individual sala.
Little Mombo has only three rooms, as well as its own dining room, kitchen, lounge and plunge pool, making it ideal for small groups. Activities include morning and afternoon game drives in open 4×4 vehicles to view the high concentrations of plains game and their predators, which include all the big cats.
An intimate, private camp perfect for small groups
Found in the Okavango’s premier wildlife viewing area
Prolific concentrations of general game and predators
Facilities include a gym, range of beauty treatments, and nearby photographic hide.
Little Tubu is situated on Hunda Island, next to its sister camp, Tubu Tree and connected to it by boardwalks. Hunda Island, which is the largest dry land environment in this area, hosts a mix of diverse habitats, which ensures a varied and spectacular game viewing experience.
Little Tubu has three traditional-style tents, all with en-suite bathroom facilities, and private decks to maximise the view. The elevated dining, bar and pool decks are shaded by a riverine tree canopy and look out over a seasonal riverbed, which ebbs and flows with the passage of a variety of game.
Activities include day and night game drives in open 4×4 vehicles with access to productive mopane and acacia woodlands. During the winter season (normally May to late September), boating, seasonal fishing and mokoro trips are also offered.
Intimate under-canvas camp – just three tents
Range of activities thanks to diverse habitats, from dry land to water
Leopards are found in good numbers, and plains game concentrations are excellent in winter
Located at the very heart of the Laikipia Plateau, nestled between the glorious Mount Kenya to the east and the Great Rift Valley to the west. A stunningly diverse and seemingly magical environment, the Laikipia region boasts woodlands, grasslands and fertile riverbeds. Segera Retreat itself is made up of two private houses, Segera House with room enough for four people and the smaller more intimate Villa Segera perfect for a honeymooning couple. The stone-clad Segera House is roomy and luxurious for a maximum of four people, with lounge, raised observation deck and private garden and salt-water pool. Vintage Landcruiser and Royce Rolls garnish dine & lounge area, additional fine antiques and art decorate the beautiful villa. Whilst Villa Segera is the perfect romantic Retreat property for two with a private veranda and lounge area, private garden and saltwater pool, sunken hide for watching wildlife, and exclusive Michael Poliza image gallery.
This latest addition to the award-winning Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp borders the latest addition to the 7 Wonders of the World, The Maasai Mara National Reserve and, is also one kilometre from the Tanzania Serengeti game reserve. The villa is managed within the same area as Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, and guests can enjoy the same levels of service and standard for which the camp is known, along with access to all facilities the Safari camp boasts. For those that want absolute privacy in the Maasai Mara, combined with dedicated and discrete staff, award-winning guides, and an abundance of wildlife, Cottar’s Bush Villa offers the only real private luxury home in the Maasai Mara.
Cottar’s Bush Villa has a breathtaking view onto the savannah plains that carry the great annual wildebeest migration, and is set amidst a backdrop of the Olderikesi Hills. Guests can enjoy privately guided game drives, night game drives, bush walks, swimming and fishing. Cottar’s Bush Villa is rented only on an exclusive basis, and comes with a dedicated staff of 8. Offering comp, eye privacy the villa is over 10,000 square feet in size, and features a large living room, dining room, a magnificent viewing deck, and 5 en-suite bedrooms, all with stunning views. The villa has internet access throughout, satellite TV and DVD, exclusive use swimming pool and is powered with electric and solar energy. A dedicated game drive vehicle and guide are provided to guests throughout their stay.
If you’re traveling as a family and want to be close to each other, one of Lewa’s family thatched cottages is perfect for you. These charming cottages, each with breathtaking views of Kenya’s Northern Frontier, are part of the original house, built using the traditional Lewa architecture of rough stone walls and thatched roofs and furnished with beautiful hardwood furniture. Cottages consist of a double and twin room, each with an en-suite bathroom. Adjoining the two bedrooms is a verandah perfect to sit and enjoy early morning biscuits and coffee before heading out into the Lewa Conservancy.
Kinondo Kwetu, Diani
Award winning Kinondo Kwetu is a small, all-inclusive luxury resort, situated on the south coast of Kenya, 1 ½ hours ride south from Mombasa, Kinondo offers a slice of peace and tranquility on the ever popular Diani Beach. Whilst the resort itself offers both luxurious cottages and spacious villas, all privately situated just a few steps from the beach, it is The Beach Cottage we recommend, beautifully designed with outstanding sea views and 3 spacious bedrooms.
North Island is a luxury private island resort, in the heart of Seychelles. Striking the perfect balance of unashamed luxury and Eco-tourism, the resort have embarked on an ambitious programme to restore North Island to its original natural glory. North Island features ten elegant yet relaxed Presidential villas, set along the sand and with direct access to the beach and ocean. Each open plan villa is completely screened from view, carefully positioned in harmony with the natural vegetation, ensuring total privacy as well as guests own exclusive stretch of North Island’s famous white sands and turquoise waters.
Though perhaps the jewel in the North Island crown at 750sqm, is the decadently spacious Villa North Island offering ample room for couples (this villa is not available for families to book) this beautifully decorated hideaway is full of surprises from the the concealed entrance across a leadwood bridge, to the wooden waterfall of decks descending to the beach. With its over-sized marble bathtub – ideal for sharing – and perfect sunrise views, this is the ultimate private Island experience and the last word in honeymoon luxury and romance.
Located in South Africa’s Sabi Sands Game Reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park, Chitwa House sits within the grounds of the Chitwa Chitwa Safari lodge. Built to meet a growing demand for greater privacy and exclusive hospitality, here, guests can enjoy a bush experience tailored to their every whim with the assistance of an experienced house butler and the enthusiasm of a dedicated ranger. Aside from the striking beauty of the African chic interior, the emphasis is on an element of familiarity as guests set the pace in their own private piece of Africa.
Chitwa House consists of two beautifully appointed en-suite rooms with private decks and out-door showers. The common areas include a spacious common lounge and dining area and a lake-view deck with swimming pool. You can go on exciting Big 5 game drives in guests own private safari vehicle with a guide and tracker.
Enjoy delicious meals, either served by us or a private chef who can cook up delights in Chitwa House’s fully-equipped kitchen. During down time, enjoy drinks from the fully stocked mini-bar and coffee/tea facilities or watch the private television in your lounge.
Fugitives’ Drift has become world-renowned for its battlefield tours to all the Zulu War battle sites in the region, particularly the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Led by the finest guides in South Africa, the thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift and in our opinion are not to be missed.
It was here that David and Nicky Rattray pioneered Heritage Tourism in South Africa and created an award-winning lodge for visitors to savour this extraordinary saga. The Rattray’s love if South Africa is evident throughout the lodge, David’s memories of childhood holidays are almost tangible and it is hard not to be caught by the nostalgia.
We recommend Umzinyathi House. This farmhouse is a charming stone and corrugated iron roof building built in the 1920’s. It was the home of George Buntting, who was an expert on the Anglo Zulu War. The farmhouse is at the top of the reserve and has a wonderful view of Isandlwana. The house offers 3 ensuite bedrooms, sitting room with a fire place, dining room, kitchen and large veranda. It should be noted that guests interested in this accommodation must be aware that this house, although having electricity, comfortable beds and hot water, is somewhat rustic. David did not want the dwelling changed on account of his special childhood memories here.
Chinzombo Safari Camp is set within 60 acres of private land with Luangwa River frontage; the views from its riverside location which teems with wildlife, plus the private, direct access into one of the most game rich areas of the National Park all combine to make this a truly special place. The lodge itself is wildly luxurious, designed by award winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens. Chinzombo brings levels of comfort, style and elegance previously unseen to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. The camp offers Five spacious and lavishly designed villas suitable for couples along with our recommendation The Family Villa – designed to accommodate a family of at least five and nestled within the shade of ancient trees on the Luangwa River just upstream of Kapani Lodge. The villa appears to float over landscape a winding foot path connects the villas and lounge/dining area through the shade of the surrounding msikzi trees. The simplicity of the modernist steel framed structures in contrast to the natural materials of the interior complements the surroundings in a unique way. The villa is equipped with wifi and there is a yoga and exercise area, spa facilities and the most senior members legendary NCS guiding team will be based at Chinzombo.
Out of Africa, and out of this world! Chongwe River House is unique; a true one-of-a-kind. Crafted by renowned architect Neil Rocher, this is award-winning safari design at its finest. This stunning private house makes a significant and unique style statement. Located approximately 1 km away from Chongwe River Camp on a quiet stretch of the river after which it was named River House sleeps eight guests in four, huge en-suite bedrooms, Upon entering Chongwe River House you are treated by the main room, open to the spectacular view and with a tinkling water feature, brings the sense of the River indoors. From this room you look out over the deck and pool to the river and mountains beyond.The bedrooms, equipped with either king-size or twin beds under huge mosquito nets, are arranged on two floors and have their own private outdoor sitting area. Bathtubs on the upper floor, allow bathers to completely immerse themselves in the wilderness experience. Innovative ‘waterfall’ showers on the upper floor echo the waterfalls of the upper river, whilst guests on the lower floor can enjoy the experience of ‘rainfall’ showers. As guests of Chongwe River House a private vehicle, boat, canoes, guide and armed scout for walking safaris are completely at your disposal.
Ruckomechi Camp, is currently the only private concession with access to the western areas of Mana Pools National Park, offering exclusive access to a spectacular stretch of the Zambezi River. All safari activities are led by highly-skilled guides, and include game drives, boating, nature walks, canoeing and catch-and-release fishing. The wildlife-rich area is home to large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are all found in the area and birdlife is abundant.
Having recently reopened following a renovation to this much loved camp, Ruckomechi now boasts ten spacious and beautifully decorated en suite tents, including 2 two bedroomed family units perfect for larger families, all of which overlook the river. The central dining, bar and lounge areas face the escarpment, and there is a separate pool deck swimming and sunbathing, and an inviting fire deck for convivial evenings under the African skies. A romantic star-bed situated nearby overlooking a productive waterhole completes the Ruckomechi experience.