Luxury Africa Safari Tour Operators | Africa Odyssey

Africa is home to the world’s most spoiling, luxurious, intimate and exclusive yet astonishingly wild holiday destinations in the world. We have been fine tuning luxury safari itinerary planning in Africa since we began in 1998, so the world of luxury African holidays was our first love and remains to this day our forte. 
You will not find the most luxurious lodges Africa has to offer in a quick internet search, but from the experts who have scoured the African wilds to find the most luxurious yet authentic experiences on the continent. When it comes to safari, luxury doesn’t always mean big 5-star hotels with all the mod cons but is better characterised by intimate (yet very indulgent!) home-away-from-homes in undeniably magical locations. 

luxury african safari parks


Every country in “safari Africa” has luxurious lodges – even in the most basic sense safaris tend to be very luxurious. Even the least expensive lodges in Africa offer a different level of exceptional hospitality which you cannot easily find anywhere else in the world. However, there are some lodges which almost redefine the meaning of luxury accommodation...

The following safari destinations offer the most opulent and exclusive holiday experiences the world has to offer:

  • Botswana's Okavango Delta,must be the most pristine wildernesses on earth and is certainly home to the most luxurious lodges. Mombo Camp has long been heralded as the most luxurious lodge in Africa, and its abundance of wildlife makes it the ultimate “place of plenty”. Being at Mombo feels as though Noah’s Arks has capsized in the middle of a watery paradise, and with it so has private plunge pools, delicious cuisine and all in all one of the top luxury experiences in the world.
  • The Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania is a place of astonishing luxury and diverse wildlife opportunities. Honeymoon in Singita Sabora for a romantic 1920’s themed safari experience, visit the unbelievable Faru Faru in June and listen to the rumble of hooves as the Great Wildebeest Migration passes in the distance, or simply sink into the grand old safari elegance of Singita Sasakwa with a cold complimentary gin and tonic. This private Singita reserve is the stuff of safari dreams.
  • A surprising and new form of luxury African safari comes in King Lewanika which sits on the vast, watery and enchanting Liuwa Plains in Zambia. This is true wilderness. As the most exclusive lodge in Zambia, it is not easy to get to. Once you are there though, what awaits is truly incredible and singular across the continent. For lovers of the finer things in life who want to experience off the beaten track African wilderness, Lewanika really is King. 

  • How much does a luxury African safari cost? 

    The above options are the serious crème de la crème of luxury safaris. They begin from roughly around $2,500 per person per night. Rest assured though, service, food, guiding, wildlife and quality accommodation can all be obtained and for quarter of the price! The height of luxury safaris are some of the best hotel experiences in the world, but you can still have an unbelievable and memorable time without spending a premium. Even the most basic of safari camps we love to recommend (see Chaka at $600 per person per night) are surprisingly luxurious. No safari with us will see you leaving camp without having made a second family, gained a few pounds and experienced some of the finest wildlife encounters the world has to offer.  

    most luxurious african safari lodges


    Top 5 East Africa luxury safari lodges

  • Bisate, Rwanda. Nestled in the hills of Volcanoes National Park sits pure luxury. Newly built, Bisate pushes the boundaries of sleek architecture in the wilderness.  
  • Singita Faru Faru, Tanzania. In the private Grumeti Reserve, here you benefit from the world famous Serengeti wildlife, and you get it all to yourself. Everything from the guiding to the food will blow your mind… And the lodge is not bad either!
  • Jabali Ridge, Tanzania. Jabali Ridge is Asilia’s flagship property. Inside you have everything you need for a wholly luxurious stay; an infinity pool, huge rooms, amazing views, excellent food and fascinating guides. Outside, you have the beautiful and action-packed Ruaha National Park. Though not a private reserve, Ruaha has so little tourists so you get a sense of wilderness and exclusivity here too.
  • Angama Mara, Kenya. One of the last remaining seriously luxurious owner ran properties in East Africa; Angama Mara is truly one of a kind. The view from the lodge is simply breath-taking, and the wildlife is of course phenomenal as it sits in the world famous Masai Mara.
  • Beho Beho, Tanzania. Surrounded by the watery and beautiful Selous Game Reserve, Beho Beho is pure luxury in the wilderness. Private plunge pools and an owner ran feel; it is an old school safari favourite which has modernised over the years to keep up with its reputation as one of the finest safari lodges in Tanzania.

  • Top 5 East Africa luxury beach hotels  

  • Thanda Island is the ultimate private beach getaway. It is the most exclusive experience in Africa, and probably even the world. At $25,000 per night, taking up to 10 adults in the only villa on the island… So it should be!
  • Mnemba Private Island is a private island with only Mnemba Lodge guests accessing it. It is the ultimate honeymoon destination – beach shack chic barefoot luxury; it is all about quality but is also incredibly authentic.
  • Xanadu Villas, Zanzibar. With only 12 extremely spacious villas appointed beautifully in its leafy gardens, and an ex-Michelin star chef; everyone who visits Xanadu has an exceptional time. It is relaxed yet by far the most luxurious option on Zanzibar, and the only one which offers more of a villa and less of a hotel experience.  
  • Zawadi is a pristine beach lodge which sits above a beautiful white sand beach below. The food is exquisite, the rooms excellent and the atmosphere very romantic and it is all about relaxation.
  • Zuri Zanzibar is the newest addition on the island. At 55 rooms it is slightly bigger than the more intimate options above, but it has the best beach on the island and has become the most desirable option for the very best price in the whole archipelago. It is simply gorgeous and perfect for all kinds of beach lovers. We absolutely love it but unfortunately so does everyone else, so get in early if you would like to stay here!

  • Top 5 Southern Africa luxury safari lodges

  • Mombo Camp, Botswana. The Okavango and Wilderness Safari’s flagship property, Mombo Camp is the best of the best. It lives up to its name as the “place of plenty” in terms of service, accommodation and wildlife; everything about it is over the top yet ever so tastefully done.
  • Zarafa Dhow Suites, Botswana. In the private Selinda Reserve, these suites are all about living the life of exclusive luxury, and one which is completely immersed in the fantastic wilderness and abundant wildlife which characterises the Linyanti area.  
  • Londolozi Granite, South Africa. Located in the famed Sabi Sands, you are well situated here for a safari of a lifetime. The unbelievable surrounding wildlife isn’t all that’s on offer here though as Londolozi offers the most luxurious wilderness experiences in the world. Often clients return year after year.
  • Chinzombo, Zambia. Just inside the South Luangwa National Park, Chinzombo has set the bar for luxury South Luwnagwa safaris. Elegance and comfort with a view is what awaits when staying in this beautiful lodge.  
  • Singita Boulders, South Africa. Also situated in the Sabi Sands sits this beautifully intimate yet ever so Singita-opulent lodge. Singita Boulders has long been recognised as one of Africa’s finest safari properties.

  • Top 5 Southern Africa luxury beach hotels  

  • North Island, Seychelles is the crème de la crème of beach getaways. It is the most exclusive and beautiful of all the Seychelles properties. In a place where romantic luxury and white sand beaches are the norm, North Island is miles ahead of the crowds.
  • Tsarabanjina Island, Madagascar is a singular destination. Located on a faraway island off Madagascar, it is the definition of a remote Indian Ocean beach getaway. Luxurious as they come, and for those who want to experience somewhere completely different.
  • The Oberoi, Mautirius is one of the very best beach hotels in the world. Less of a small boutique hotel, it is a classically bigger accommodation option with 76 villas. However, the service is world class and the facilities truly 5 star.
  • Quilalea Mozambique is a fabulous little lodge set on its own private island. With 9 beautiful and authentic villas, it is one of the best Indian Ocean experiences out there and the staff go above and beyond to ensure their clients have an unbelievable time.
  • Our Favourite luxury Itineraries


    Luxury Safaris 

    Luxury safaris are the main component of an African holiday. You can do safaris cheaply by going through “drive  in” operators and in big groups to the national parks and stay in very rustic lodges for £30 per person per night… Though this is not a very wild or authentic experience! On an Africa Odyssey trip, the luxury comes first and foremost in the quality of wilderness, guides and safari experience. The prices get higher as you up the luxury; but good food, comfortable accommodation, excellent wilderness, good guiding and wildlife is the bare minimum on an Odyssey safari. As the costs go up, of course quality does naturally increase, but as does the added extras like private pools, spas, gyms and anything you could ever imagine… And probably more! 

    Luxury Indian Ocean Holidays 

    Beach holidays are also a popular choice for clients looking for a luxury holiday in Africa. Luxury on the beach begins with little boutique hotels which are characterful, authentic and relaxing. Even the best value beach options in Africa (from around $180 per person per night) do sometimes have private plunge pools and all you can want from a luxury holiday without paying  apremium. As with safari, as the price increases so does the quality – of the food, the facilities, the size of the pool, the furniture, the spaciousness of your room. Luxury can sometimes be hard to explain on the beach, as some of the most expensive beach lodges like Mnemba does not even have aircon, though the overall experience is absolute barefoot luxury perfection. So luxury definitely in some cases is defined on what is important to you!

    Luxury Cape Town Holidays 

    Luxury city breaks in Africa are rarely done anywhere other than the wonderful and enticing Cape Town. You can stay in some of the most iconic hotels in Africa here (Mount Nelson or Cape Grace), and combining the city lights with a safari really is a one of a kind combination for honeymooners and families alike. As well as luxury in your accommodation, Cape Town offers some of the best dining experiences and the most delicious wines in the world… For lovers of laid-back luxury, sauntering down colourful streets and beautiful cities, Cape Town is perfect.

    Luxury Family Safaris: 

    Luxury family safaris are the ultimate adventure. The beauty of safari is that all ages are engaged and happy when surrounded by unbelievable African wildlife. Add a big of luxury with a private pool for the kids to splash around in freely and you have yourself the most exciting, relaxing and fun family holidays you will ever go on. The age minimum for safaris across the board is generally 6 years old. If you want to do things a bit more privately, we would recommend some exceptional private lodge set ups to make your holiday as relaxing as possible. There are so many exceptional private villas, so we have compiled our favourites in a blog post on the best “framily” private safari lodges.

    Luxury African Safari Honeymoons: 

    For a luxury African honeymoon the possibilities seriously are endless! Every single safari lodge we love to recommend is fit for an exceptional honeymoon experience. Many of the safari lodges have special honeymoon rooms, which we will always request for our clients at no extra cost to you. Often these have an outside bathtub, or a private plunge pool, or are just more spacious and set apart from the rest of the rooms. Another perk we are certain of is that safari camps do honeymoons in serious style! Make sure you tell us it is your honeymoon and on the ground the staff will pepper your stay with little romantic gestures making your special safari that bit more memorable. 

    Luxury Horse Riding Safaris: 

    Horse riding in Africa is best done in either Kenya, Botswana or South Africa. Sometimes, people go less to the land of luxury on their riding safaris and “fly camp”, which means moving camp every day and sleeping in a very nice but very intrepid tents. To up the luxury, you can either stay at a permanent lodge which offers horse riding, such as Borana in Kenya. Or, for a mixture of adventure and luxury you can incorporate fly camping with a stay in a permanent lodge, or you can move to a different permanent lodge every day. Options like this are available with Okavango Horse Safaris in Botswana. Call us up for a run down of the best riding options throughout the country.  

    Luxury Walking Safaris: 

    Many intrepid travellers are looking for a luxurious, yet adventurous walking safari. There is nowhere else to do this properly than in either Zambia or Zimbabwe. Chikwenya in Mana Pools is the ultimate luxury walking safari spot and the area is up there with Zambia in terms of some of the best walking and guides on the continent. For something more intrepid yet still luxurious you can look at the South Luangwa, walking daily in-between the Norman Carr camps Kakuli and Mchenja. Whichever you like the look of, luxury is possible even for a seriously adventurous safari.


    Luxury Africa safari trips with Africa Odyssey

    As with any destination, new lodges do crop up and our old favourites can change so the best thing to do when deciding on a luxury safari is to give us a call and chat to an expert. All the Africa experts in our team have visited their specialist countries extensively, and regularly re-visit to ensure our favourite luxurious spots are still offering exceptional experiences. If you would like to have a play around with some different options, look at our new itinerary building tool Odyssey Explorer. This is not meant to replace our invaluable advice and recommendations but is great for your own research to see exactly the kind of luxury you can get for your money.

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