No trip to South Africa is complete without staying in a lodge. South African lodges are usually set in or close to untouched wilderness and game reserves. They are the perfect base for taking guided or self-driving safaris, in search of elusive leopards and rare rhinos. From accommodations with zebras and kudus walking right up to the window, to spots that let you take a dip in local waterfalls, here are our picks of the best lodges in South Africa.
1. Rhino Post Safari Lodge
The Rhino Post Safari Lodge is located in the stunning Kruger National Park, in a 12,000-hectare private wilderness concession within the park. The lodge offers luxury accommodations in elevated suites, with balconies overlooking the nearby river. Each suite comes complete with much-needed mosquito nets, ensuite bathrooms and outdoor showers. There’s a great shared lounge that guests can relax in and it features an extensive wine cellar and a real fireplace. The property also comes complete with an outdoor pool to help you cool off in the midday sun. You can arrange drives with the owners. Book a suite at the Rhino Post Safari Lodge.
2. Imbube Safari Lodge
Imbube is a lodge located by Crocodile River, which borders Kruger National Park. During your stay, you’ll see animals roaming freely around the lodge, including zebras and kudus that are known to walk right up to the windows to peer in. There is a large swimming pool that you can take a dip in after a busy day on safari. It’s easy to arrange guided or self-drive safaris through the park. Book a room at the Imbube Safari Lodge.
3. Roundstone Lodge
Roundstone Lodge is a great budget option in Sterkrivier. It’s located on a 1400-hectare private game farm, which is a great place for game viewing, hiking, fishing, horse riding and cycling. There are also a number of mountain bike trails leading from the lodge property. The lodge has a hot tub and onsite bar for you to chill out in. Book a room at the Roundstone Lodge in Sterkrivier.
4. Trust Lodge
Trust Lodge sits on a hill in Knysna and offers panoramic views of the nearby forest and the Outeniqua Mountains. It’s an incredibly peaceful location, with a sundeck and swimming pool to relax in. If you take a walk into the nearby forests you can find streams and waterfalls. You can also head to the nearby ‘Garden Route’ for a little mountain biking, hiking and paragliding. Plus, there are nearby wildlife sanctuaries where you can spot exotic animals in their natural habitat. Book a room at the Trust Lodge.
5. Kusudalweni Safari Lodge & Spa
Kusudalweni Safari Lodge & Spa is located in Hoedspruit in the Limpopo Region. The lodge is a stunning place to stay with an outdoor pool, hot tub, outdoor terrace and barbecue. All meals are included and the lodge makes a perfect place to kick back after a long day exploring the game reserves and nearby national parks. Book the Kusudalweni Safari Lodge & Spa.
6. Elephant Plains Game Lodge
The Elephant Plains Game Lodge is a high-end accommodation option in the Limpopo Region. The lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve making it an amazing destination for a safari experience. Guests love its spacious air-conditioned bungalows, some of which have private balconies. Book the Elephant Plains Game Lodge.
7. Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge
Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge is hidden in a riverside forest in the Madikwe Game Reserve. It’s an exclusive lodge made from locally sourced materials. The lodge features luxurious suites with all-glass bedroom walls, giving an amazing view of the surrounding national park. Each suite comes complete with its own sundeck and open bathroom, which offers views of the landscape. There is a stunning infinity pool at the lodge where you can relax after a busy day on safari, and if you’re looking for a romantic experience, there’s a two-person tent located in the lodge’s grounds, where you can arrange to sleep beneath the stars. Book the Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge.