The Kruger area of South Africa is famous for it’s incredible wildlife viewing, it is unrivalled for leopard and lion, and fantastic for elephant too. As such this amazing luxury safari area also attracts some of the best safari guides in the business, all of these factors go into making it the most famous safari location in the world. With the current GBP ZAR exchange rate also being so heavily in our favour one can take a luxury safari in the Kruger and pay a third of what you pay to visit other areas of Africa (which is costed in USD). We don’t actually organise luxury safaris to the Kruger itself, we use the exclusive Sabi Sands and Timbavati areas – both areas border the Kruger but have better game viewing and are split into smaller conservancies, so you get none of the crowds the Kruger has become famous for. So here are our top ten luxury Sabi Sands and Timbavati safari camps and lodges, in no particular order:
This luxury Sabi Sands lodge is truly incredible, but due to it’s pricing and special offer, both of which are unbeatable value, you must book well in advance. This lodge is owned by an artist so every single room is unique, luxurious and quirky. All rooms have vast decks with sun loungers and dining tables, all of which are gently lapped by the dam on which Chitwa is built, which is home to pods of hippo and attracts elephant and other game species throughout the day. The food here is out of this world and one can expect gourmet dining throughout.
Dulini just had a major refurbishment and is now modern, fresh, inviting and one of the best luxury Sabi Sands offerings there is. It’s location is spot on and you will see abundant game, often from the camp itself. Here you will enjoy a private plunge pool and time spent on thrilling game drives seeing everything one hopes to see on a luxury safari.
Savanna is a neighbour of Dulini and so has access to the exceptional game viewing in this area too. The lodge is run by a host of welcoming and warm characters that leave you feeling immediately at home. Savanna is ideal for those wanting to know a little more about photography as the team there are very clued up – with skills that could well have seen them going professional. The lodge is a home from home with all the luxuries in the world, making this feel like a truly special luxury safari.
Leopard Hills is one of the more famous luxury safari lodges in the Sabi Sands and we’re not surprised. This amazing lodge’s main area is built elevated above the bush with stunning views, and some of the best food you will eat on any luxury safari in this area. The rooms are enormous with private pools, hammocks, sitting areas and luxury furnishings throughout. Nothing can compare to the location though, which is unrivalled for game viewing.
Everyone knows the Singita name, and it is no surprise that their offering in the Sabi Sands are of the Kruger is one of the best – this lodge has just been completely refurbished and it is no surprise that it is attracting a lot of attention from the luxury safari market. Here you will experience Michelin star standard food, with some of the best guiding anywhere in Africa.
Tanda Tula is the first luxury safari property we mention in the Timbavati region of the Kruger which has amazing game viewing all year round, and some fantastic camps, all of which are very spread out leaving plenty of space for everyone to game drive and enjoy the area. Tanda is one of the most homely and welcoming tented camps in South Africa, and luxury safaris here will see you lounging by the pool watching buffalo in the waterhole, sitting in the snug watching elephant, or enjoying delicious food made by the accomplished chefs. The luxury tents here are comfortable with roll top baths, outdoor showers and private verandahs.
7 Kings Camp
Kings Camp is a sister property of luxury Sabi Sands lodge Leopard Hills – it has the same feeling of exclusivity but with a relaxed and informal atmosphere – here you will often be able to watch the wildlife from your room, or from the comfort of the pool sun loungers. It is in a wonderful location which is the stuff of dreams.
Makanyi is the newest offering in Timbavati and is set to be a world beater – owner run this amazing property is very luxurious with vast suites and no luxury being left out. Makanyi is one of the best safari properties in all of the Sabi Sands and Timbavati and you will never want to leave, so homely is the atmosphere and so spoiling are the suites.
Londolozi, owned by the Varty family was one of the first places to set up in the Sabi Sands and as such their location is unbeatable – the game viewing they experience here is second to none and you will often come back with footage and videos that will make your eyes water. The Granite suites are exceptionally exclusive and luxurious, and have long been known as one of the best private safari options in the Sabi Sands.
10 Londolozi Pioneer Camp
Londolozi have a few other offerings in their private concession in the Sabi Sands but Pioneer Camp is our second favourite, to the Granite Suites only. Here you can experience all the history and romance of the family that own this amazing area of the Sabi Sands, and have all the amazing game viewing that goes with it.