Exclusive Use Safari Camps in Southern Africa
One of the fastest growing travel trends in Southern Africa is for exclusive use safari camps. Imagine being on safari with friends and family in your own private lodge. There’s a chef to take care of all the catering and a private guide with vehicle – and perhaps a boat – to take you out on game drives and nature walks. The swimming pool is yours and so is the view of the sunset from the bar.
Fully serviced and very comfortable, these camps are found across Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and give groups of travellers an excellent accommodation option for a safari. The advantages are obvious – complete privacy and exclusive activities based on your interests and timetable – but how does the price of exclusive use camps compare to normal safari lodges?
Booking an exclusive use safari camps may not be cheaper than booking a series of rooms at a normal lodge but neither is it much more expensive plus you get so much more with private camps. For a group of friends or an inter-generational family, this added value is well worth it – have a look at our favourite exclusive use camps in Southern Africa.
MALARIA-FREE SAFARIS & PRIVATE KRUGER RESERVES
Jaci’s Nare Suite – Family Comfort in Malaria-Free Madikwe
Close to the Botswana border, the Madikwe Private Game Reserve is the setting for the Nare Suite, named after the buffalo that wallow in the waterhole in front of camp. Sleeping up to six, the air-conditioned Nare Suite has its own plunge pool and viewing deck overlooking the waterhole while the similarly equipped Safari Suite is larger and sleeps up to eight. Popular with families, malaria-free Madikwe is home to lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino plus fascinating Kalahari animals – including meerkats. It’s highly recommended for nature-loving families with young children.
iBrochure: Jaci’s Nare Suite
Morukuru Family Houses – Versatile Accommodation in Big 5 Madikwe
A trio of exclusive use houses in the malaria-free Madikwe Private Reserve, the Morukuru family houses are run according to the principle of “whatever you want, whenever you want”. Lying under riverside trees, the Owner’s House is the smallest of the three lodges and sleeps up to four; if you need more space, the River House is next door and sleeps up to six. Larger groups and families up to ten are accommodated at the Morukuru Farm House, lying deeper in the reserve. Like all the Morukuru Houses, the Farm House has air-conditioned bedrooms, a plunge pool and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Jaci’s Sabi House – the Classic ‘Private Kruger’ Experience
A visit to the Sabi Sands Private Reserve ensures an unparalleled safari experience. Adjoining the Kruger Park, Sabi is where you’ll sit back to some of the best Big 5 game viewing in Africa and you’ll be enjoying it from the comfort of your own thatched safari camp. Built around a main lodge with two guest cottages, Jaci’s Sabi House sleeps up to six in air-conditioned comfort and you enjoy delicious home-cooked food around a fire every night. A private guide and tracker will help plan your day around game viewing and walks, and if you have young children then there’s lots of entertainment and activities for them too – from bush skills to baking!
iBrochure: Jaci’s Sabi House
CHOBE RIVER & OKAVANGO DELTA ADVENTURES
Chobe Princess – Luxurious Houseboat on wildlife-rich Chobe River
Botswana’s Chobe River is one of Africa’s most rewarding dry-season destinations: thousands of elephant and buffalo crowd the river banks along with many species of antelope and their attendant predators – lions, leopards and crocodiles. See it all from the vantage of a luxurious houseboat, sleeping up to ten in air-conditioned cabins and providing a unique views of life on the Chobe. You’ll explore by smaller motor boat, your guide on the lookout for big game and maybe a place to throw in a fishing line – the angling is good here – and the bird watching is nothing short of sensational.
iBrochure: Chobe Princess
Shinde Enclave – Explore by Land & Water in Okavango Reserve
Famous for its wildlife – especially for leopards – in the Shinde region of the Okavango Delta you’ll enjoy private game drives as well as wildlife viewing by traditional canoe – a mokoro – perhaps the best way to explore the tranquil waterways of the delta. And Shinde’s location in a privately managed reserve also means you can look forward to additional safari activities such as guided bush walks and spot-lit night drives – highly recommended for adventurous groups and families with older children.
iBrochure: Shinde Enclave
Little Tubu – Intimate Island Camp in the Okavango Delta
Little Tubu is set on an island at the heart of the Okavango Delta, this exclusive use camp lies in an area of great natural diversity which is reflected in the activities available: there are day and night game drives, guided bush walks, catch-and-release fishing trips plus canoe and motorboat safaris for most of the year. The wildlife viewing is good and the region is known for its rarities – leopard and wild dog especially – along with a great range of birds. A good choice for families with older children.
iBrochure: Little Tubu
LEGENDARY LUANGWA & THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
Robins House – Luangwa Safaris for Small Groups & Families
Overlooking the Luangwa River, this intimate, two-bedroom exclusive use lodge is ideal for two couples travelling together or a family – it sleeps up to six. Set under trees with a cooling breeze coming off the river, Robin’s House is your base to explore the famous Luangwa Valley on game drives and on foot with seasonal boating on the river to augment the wildlife experience. Child minders are on hand to look after young ones while parents enjoy early morning drives, and there are also opportunities to learn about and contribute to the local community on village and market tours.
iBrochure: Robins House
Luangwa Safari House – Grand Private Living in Luangwa
Luangwa Safari House sleeps up to eight guests in its four suites. Blending local materials with a manorial design, Luangwa Safari House is the sort of place you can sit on the viewing deck and watch elephants at the water below you but there are day and night game drives plus bush walks and seasonal boating to look forward to as well. It’s one of Zambia’s more luxurious accommodations and welcomes families with children aged seven and over.
iBrochure: Luangwa Safari House
Chongwe River House – Zambezi Adventures by 4X4, Boat & Canoe
The Chongwe River flows into the mighty Zambezi River but not before it has meandered past Chongwe River House. Sleeping up to eight, the River House lies next to the Lower Zambezi National Park, a conservation area noted for its elephants, buffalo and lion as well as the classic aquatic heavyweights – hippo and crocodile – and amazing birdwatching. You’ll have a private guide with a vehicle, boat and canoes at your disposal plus an armed scout for your walking safaris.
iBrochure: Chongwe River House
VICTORIA FALLS & BIG GAME COUNTRY
Tom’s Little Hide – Classic Big Game Viewing
Set in a private concession adjoining Hwange National Park, Little Tom’s Hide is your chance to see why Hwange has maintained its reputation for great game viewing over the years. Hwange is classic elephant country with healthy populations of buffalo, giraffe and antelope; it’s good predator country too – big cats, hyenas and wild dogs. Sleeping up to six and with another eight accommodated at the next-door Private Hide, this is a great exclusive use option for larger groups and families (the camp welcomes children of all ages).
iBrochure: Tom’s Little Hide
Matetsi River House – Private Safari Experience near Victoria Falls
Matetsi Victoria Falls sleeps up to eight, Matetsi River House lies in its own wildlife reserve a short drive from Victoria Falls and gives you the opportunity to enjoy all that the world wonder has to offer while returning to a fire-lit safari camp and the sounds of the African night. There’s plenty to do in Victoria Falls – white-water rafting, scenic flights and Devil’s Pool adventures – but back at camp you have a guide and vehicle for game drives and walks plus a private pool, Wi-Fi and iPads.
iBrochure: Matetsi River House
Little Ruckomechi – Explore a Zambezi Wilderness
Watch the Zambezi River slip past you at Little Ruckomechi, a long-established accommodation of choice for Zimbabwe’s wild and wonderful Mana Pools National Park. The camp sleeps up to eight and enjoys a private concession setting which enables your guide to drive off-road for exceptional sightings plus conduct night drives and bush walks. It’s a birdwatching paradise as well as great for big game: the permanent waters ensure large populations of animals and their predators.
iBrochure: Little Ruckomechi