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Our Best Safari Lodge Views

Sure, every safari lodge in Africa has a view but there are views and there are views. The one from your kitchen window compared to the one from the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, for example. And the view from a safari lodge, as beautiful as it is, can tell you a lot. Not just about the landscape but the experience too. So sit back – with a cold drink if appropriate – and enjoy the view.

MAGNIFICENT MOUNTAINS – MARATABA

Our best safari lodges with a view

A private wildlife reserve in the malaria-free Waterberg region of South Africa, Marataba has four luxury safari lodges with grand views of ancient, eroded mountains. But these mountains are more than just a pretty face: they mark the meeting of the Kruger-style ‘bushveld’ and the red sands of the Kalahari Desert. This means not just the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard) but a great wealth of other animals and birds too.

It’s an ideal destination for families and less than a four-hour drive – or a 45-minute flight – from Johannesburg. Go on game drives, guided hikes and spend a night under the stars in their open-air treehouse.

IN THE RAINFOREST CANOPY – BISATE LODGE

Our best safari lodges with a view

Lying in a natural amphitheatre, the unique thatched suites of Bisate Lodge resemble giant birds’ nests and for good reason. Set among the forest trees, they offer unspoiled views over the steaming rainforest of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, signalling tough hiking to come but a great reward. This is home to Africa’s most accessible gorilla trekking.

With views of no fewer than three volcanoes, Bisate Lodge also stakes a claim as one of the most comfortable gorilla-trekking lodges: the accommodation is first-class, as is the food and wine list, and there’s also a spa. But this is also a lodge which offers nature walks and interactions with local communities and conservation projects.

ON THE EDGE – NGORONGORO CRATER

Our best safari lodges with a view

The cliché is that it’s the best view in Africa but the problem with clichés is that they are often true. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge sits on the edge of the world’s biggest intact caldera, an ancient collapsed volcano, and the view will make you dizzy with wonder. The Big Five roam on the crater floor – you’ll see them soon enough on game drives – but the view from the top is the one you’ll remember.

Crater Lodge is one of the bigger lodges in Tanzania – 30 suites spread between three camps – but the ambience is exclusive and sumptuous. It’s great for families as well as honeymooners – offering a 50% discount to one of the newly-weds and combines easily with the Serengeti.

GREAT RIFT VALLEY – THE MASAI MARA

Our best safari lodges with a view

We cheated here and chosen two lodges because the view from each encapsulates a different aspect of the Masai Mara. Angama Mara lies high on the Rift Valley escarpment itself and has panoramic views over a flat tree-studded savannah below, promising excellent wildlife watching and – in season – the wildebeest migration.

Set under trees, Governor’s Camp lies on the Mara River and that can only mean one thing: prime location for the most dramatic chapter of the wildebeest migration: the river crossings, complete with giant crocodiles and panicking wildebeest herds. Go between July and November to see the migration but the wildlife viewing at both camps is always first class.

BIG RIVER – CHINZOMBO, SOUTH LUANGWA

Given the attraction of water, there are many lodges looking out over African rivers so it’s hard to choose a riverside winner but Chinzombo lies on Zambia’s Luangwa River in an especially animal-rich area of the South Luangwa National Park. This is one of Africa’s premier heavyweight destinations and famous for its dry-season game viewing when animals cluster at the river’s edge.

The mixed terrain means a variety of safari activities – game drives and boat safaris – but this is an open landscape and one of the best places in Africa for walking safaris with highly trained and experienced guides. Chinzombo is sleek and modern with amazing suites and it is a lodge comfortable with children of all ages.

TOP OF THE WORLD – ULUSABA, SABI SANDS

Sabi Sand safari lodge with a view

Perched on what used to be a warriors’ lookout hill, Ulusaba Rock Lodge has the best view in the South Africa’s Sabi Sands Private Reserve, set adjoining the mighty Kruger Park. You’ll look out over miles and miles of uninterrupted bushveld – a type of bushy savannah – with the knowledge that Sabi Sands has a reputation as perhaps the best destination in Africa to see the Big Five.

The lodge is subtly set into the boulders and trees of the koppie – the hill – and with its stilted building and pointed thatched roofs has a fairy tale-appearance. Activities are vehicle-based but walks are offered and there is everything at the lodge from tennis courts and a gym to a spa and wine tasting lounge.

FOREST OF GIANTS – JABALI RIDGE, RUAHA

Tanzania safari lodge with a view

Trees feature heavily at African lodges: they provide shade, refuge for birds and small animals, and are often worked into the architecture. Thorn trees, mahogany and teak are among the ones you may recognise but you’ll know the trees at Jabali Ridge straight away: baobabs.

Set on an escarpment, Jabali Ridge has stunning views over a forest of baobab trees, their characteristic swollen trunks supporting a horizontal crown of branches. They are part of what makes Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park a bit different to the rest of the country – this is where the East African savannahs meet the woodlands of Southern Africa and the result is a highly diverse range of animals and birds.

SILENCE & STARS – THE NAMIB DESERT

Family friendly lodges always have a swimming pool

Who would have thought that silence could be so … overpowering? But when the sun sets in Namibia’s Namib Desert, the silence falls like a blanket and you find yourself talking in a hushed tone. And then the stars come out – and with no light pollution to worry about, the night-time skies really are something to see.

Try it from Sossusvlei Desert Lodge: it’s the only lodge in a private Sossusvlei Reserve and has a host of activities led by expert guides, including stargazing. You’ll want to see the famously massive Sossousvlei sand dunes nearby but this lodge has its own dunes as well as opportunities to see the desert from helicopter. Suites are perfect for two and have a large skylight; there’s also a two-bedroomed family suite.

SAVUTI REVEALED – GHOHA HILLS, BOTSWANA

Savute safari lodge with a view

The view from Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge is unique. Not that it has a special angle, it’s just that the view from Ghoha Hills is the only view in Savuti. A singular set of boulder-strewn hills clustered together, the Ghoha Hills look out over the pancake-flat Chobe National Park. Most of the view is of open woodland but a swathe of grassland shows the famous Savuti Marsh, fed by an ephemeral river. And if you’re looking at Savuti, you’re looking at one of the best wildlife destinations in Africa.

This is big predator country, where lions battle hyenas and where cheetah, leopard and wild dog range. In the Green Season the area attracts huge herds of migrating zebra while the dry season is when large numbers of elephant and buffalo crowd Savuti’s water sources.

PRIVATE ISLAND – WILDWATERS LODGE, UGANDA

Dramatic view from Wildwaters Lodge

There are plenty of private island lodges but only one mid-stream in the River Nile. Accessible only by boat, Wildwaters Lodge lives up to its name: with the Nile roaring away on either side, the lodge has ten suites with river views and is aimed at the adventurous traveller with an eye for style and fine food. Activities range from bungee jumping and white-water rafting to horse riding, kayaking and fishing.

Set in eastern Uganda and close to Lake Victoria, Wildwaters Lodge is a little out of the way for the more familiar safari itineraries but combines well with a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and the country’s big game reserves such as Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

WATER, LAND & SKY – KANANA, OKAVANGO DELTA

Safari lodge with view over the Okavango Delta

A wetland, a river, a patch of forest, dry grasslands and flooded meadows – the ever-changing landscape of the Okavango Delta promises a highly diverse experience and that is reflected in the animals you’ll see – from lions and elephants to hippos and otters – as well as the birds and safari activities – drives, walks, boat trips and river safaris in glass-bottomed canoes. Kanana lies in a private reserve and also allows spot-lit night drives to complete your safari experience.

Go in the dry season (ironically) for the highest water levels – May through July – but the wildlife viewing is always good here: local specials include great sightings of leopard and wild dog. Accommodation is in tented suites with a family room available as well as a sleep-out deck.

OCEAN BLUE – CORAL LODGE, MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique lodge with Indian Ocean view

The Indian Ocean has its fair share of lovely views – the Seychelles, Mauritius, Zanzibar – but we just love the more down-to-earth ambience of Mozambique and Coral Lodge has views as good as the swankiest beachfront hotel. Lying on a quiet peninsula and ticking all the right boxes (pristine beaches – check, palm trees – check, hammock – check), Coral Lodge offers views over an impossibly blue Indian Ocean and that means it’s time to get your swimming things on.

Go snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or let someone else do the hard work and sit back on a traditional sailing dhow; there are cultural trips to enjoy, whale and dolphin watching as well as great food, much of which is harvested locally. It’s the perfect combination with a safari in either Southern or East Africa.

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Ann and Mario (Canada)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

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From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

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Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
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Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
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Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

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Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

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