Five Best: Safari lodges

The most luxurious places on earth to watch big game


Ol Malo Kenya

Ol Malo Kenya

Built into a rugged escarpment, Ol Malo's four intimate cottages have been created from the surrounding rock and ancient olive wood. Huge windows look out over a waterhole towards the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya in the distance. The pool, warmed by the searing sun, spills over the precipice. As well as safaris on foot, horseback and 4x4 you can opt for the lolloping gait of a camel safari.

Abercrombie and Kent (0845 0700 611; www.abercrombiekent.co.uk) rates start at £250 per person per night full-board

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Tanzania

Teetering on the rim of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, the lodge was inspired by the traditional Masai mud and stick manyatta. Suites are decked out with antiques, leather armchairs, and curtains of billowing raw silk; all have floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views and a butler to pack your picnic for trips down to the crater floor. Below the buttressed walls lie forests of fig trees and rolling grasslands roamed by black-maned lions, and vivid flamingos wading in a soda lake.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (00 27 11 809 4300; www.ccafrica.com), from £250 all inclusive per night per person (two sharing, with house wine, local spirits and beers, and trips into the crater)

Wolwedans Dune Lodge Namibia

Amid the shifting sands and ever-changing colours of the desert, Dune Lodge is located on a plateau in the heart of the 180,000 hectare NamibRand Nature Reserve, a privately owned conservation area just south of Sossusvlei. The name Wolwedans means "where the wolves dance". Other game found here includes leopard, baboon, mountain and plains zebra, springbok, spotted hyena, African wildcat and kudu. Each of the nine wooden chalets has huge canvas blinds that open on to the grandeur of the desert landscape.

Wolwedans Dune Lodge (00 264 61 230 616; www.wolwedans.com) costs R2,350 (£214) per person per night for full-board accommodation, including all beverages and activities (except hot-air ballooning) and the NamibRand Nature Reserve levy

Ulusaba South Africa

Salma Hayek and Will Smith have sipped sundowners at Sir Richard Branson's safari lodge in the Sabi Sands reserve. On the edge of the Kruger National Park, Ulusaba is made up of two lodges: Rock Lodge, up on a granite koppie, has panoramic views over the lowveld, while Safari Lodge sits down below on the banks of the dry Mabrak riverbed. At the former, each room is designed around a different African tribe, while Safari Lodge has rooms built on stilts linked by rope bridges. Here, right in the heart of the bush, baboons scamper across your roof as elephants amble past.

Ulusaba (00 27 13 735 5460; www.virgin.com/ulusaba) Rooms in Rock Lodge start at R9,500 (£845), for two people all inclusive including game drives

Kwandwe South Africa

"Malaria-free safari" is the USP of South Africa's Eastern Cape. And one of the most exclusive lodges here is Conservation Corporation Africa's property, Kwandwe. Originally an ostrich farm, this private game reserve has been restocked with the Big Five. The main lodge overlooking the Great Fish River has a thatched roof, chandeliers and roaring fires. The nine suites are African chic in design -think cement floors scattered with Persian rugs and spears on the walls. Each suite also has a private plunge pool.

Kwandwe (00 27 11 809 4300; www.ccafrica.com). R4,795 (£425) per person per night including full-board accommodation, drinks and game drives

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
beauty
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
transfers
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
News
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
News
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Sport
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Sport
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
tv
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice