Namibia – Okonjima farm
Okonjima farm is more than just a lodge. It is also the headquarters of AfriCats organization that works to protect Namibia’s wild cats. The reserve Okonjima, halfway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park, offers rehabilitation for leopards, lions and cheetahs.
Safari tours, on foot or by car, are arranged several times a day and nature lovers who want to experience the wilderness on their own can focuse on hiking trails in the mountains. The rustic luxury lodge has a variety of accommodation options, from basic standard rooms to large villas with a private pool, chef and car.
Ethiopia – Limalimo Lodge
Africa’s largest mountain range lives up to expectations. The Ethiopian Simien’s mountains, with kilometers deep gorges and high peaks. The mountains offer unique views of wildlife such as baboons, Ethiopian wolfs, leopards and the bearded vulture.
Hopefully you’ll see them during a stay at the newly opened Limalimo where modern design meets ancient building techniques. The morning begins preferably with a champagne breakfast at a secret location and afterwards the world’s most spectacular trekking area to be explored.
Botswana – Sandibe Okavango
Sandibe in Botswana is a hideaway for adults. Sandibe in the Okavango Delta has ignored the colonial romanticism and instead got inspired by the unique weaver bird nests. The result is a number of cocoon-like suites with no straight lines, made with a patchwork of timber. It is hard to imagine a more architecturally pioneering lodge, while it blends so well with the surroundings.
This is primarily a hideaway for adults where relaxation is as important as animal experiences. This delta has an outstanding wildlife and safari tours are organized three times a day. Those who want to see the more inaccessible parts of the area can book a helicopter ride.
Rwanda – Virunga Lodge
This is one of the last regions where wild mountain gorillas live. This is where the gorilla’s habitat are the lodge’s half day tours which promise an unforgettable experience when meeting with these powerful animals, up to three times larger than a human but distinctly peaceful and tolerant of visitors.
The lodge consists of ten generously sized bandas (guest houses) with a private terrace and panoramic views. In addition to the gorilla tours, volcano and rainforest hikes are organised where you can see rare apes if lucky.
Kenya – Sarara Camp
When zoologist Ian Craig came to Sarara in northern Kenya in the 1990s, poachers nearly eradicated the entire elephant tribe. Craig managed to persuade the local Sarara villagers to protect wildlife in exchange for future tourism revenue and the collaboration was a success. 25 years later, 4000 elephants live in the area and many other species have returned here.
Sararas intimate camp consists of six eco tents with large terraces and adorable views. The program is available for both night and daytime safari and hikes in the mountains. But it is equally wonderful to just lie and float in the lodge’s swimming pool. If you are lucky, a herd of elephants drinking at the waterhole just below.
South Africa – Jaci’s Lodges
In the sprawling Madikwe Game Reserve, four hours drive from Johannesburg, we stop at Jaci’s.
This reserve offers wonderful safari trips!
Jaci’s suites feature a private pool, patio and car, with balconies and views of the savannah.
Tanzania – The Highlands
Ngorongoro Crater Highlands are like nothing else. Millions of years of volcanic activity have created three huge calderas where a unique climate with year-round water supply and an outstanding wildlife has developed through years.
At the edge of the smallest caldera, at the breathtaking 2660 meters altitude, “The Highlands” lies with its eight futuristic luxury tents. This caldera is spared from the tourist crowds, as it lacks the big beasts, and the feeling is like having the whole of this lush, chirping and gurgling paradise all to oneself. “A glimpse of the world through the eyes of God,” as Karen Blixen wrote in “Out of Africa”.
Zimbabwe – Ruckomechi Camp
Zimbabwe is back on safari map. Ruckomechi Camp, which re-opened last spring, has ten exclusive tents surrounded by the mahogany trees in the National Park Mana Pools. Environmental consciousness runs like a red thread through the lodge – suites are made from natural materials and connected by footbridges for minimal environmental impact.
This part of Zimbabwe is known for its many elephants, hippos and antelopes. We saw them during a boat trip on the Zambezi River, a far more peaceful way to travel than the Jeep. Back at the lodge you can enjoy a sunset on the bridge followed by a three course dinner.