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Pool at Singita Boulders Lodge, South Africa - Courtesy of Singita

Readers' Choice 2014: Top 20 Safari Lodges and Camps

By Andrew Harper

The Hideaway Report | September 1, 2014

Each year, we ask our readers to vote for the best safari lodges and camps in the world. From elephant camps to tiger reserves, take a look at our readers’ favorite lodges and camps.


1. Singita Boulders Lodge

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa — Superb luxury lodge on a private tract of riverfront land in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve bordering the unfenced boundary of Kruger National Park.

2. Jack’s Camp

Kalahari Desert, Botswana — Unique, extremely well-run camp at the edge of the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi salt pans, an hour by air southeast of Maun.

3. Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp

Okavango Delta, Botswana — Lavish enclave facing a picturesque savannah floodplain in an area teeming with wildlife near the northwest tip of Chief’s Island. The camp consists of two separate facilities connected by elevated walkways: Mombo, with nine stylish guest quarters; and Little Mombo, with three.

4. Singita Ebony Lodge

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa — Refined riverside enclave about five minutes’ drive from Singita Boulders Lodge, comprising 12 expansive air-conditioned suites that evoke the colonial era with antique furniture, handwoven fabrics, 19th-century prints, wood fires and African artifacts.

5. Royal Malewane

Kruger National Park, South Africa — The design of Royal Malewane evokes a colonial atmosphere, with English furnishings, Persian carpets and African tribal artifacts.

6. Singita Mara River Tented Camp

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania — Intimate, comfortable camp of just six tents overlooking a huge U-shaped bend of the Mara River and providing a front-row seat from which to observe the annual wildebeest river crossings.

7. Londolozi

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa — Deluxe riverside enclave under a canopy of ebony trees on its own private game reserve adjacent to Singita. The five independent, family-run camps (totaling 32 chalets and suites) are connected by trails.

8. &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania — Luxurious and imaginatively designed safari lodge perched in a cloud forest on the panoramic 7,000-foot rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

9. Sanctuary Chief’s Camp

Okavango Delta, Botswana — Luxury camp amid a shady grove of trees overlooking an immense lagoon on Chief’s Island.  Pavilions are raised on stilts and feature polished teakwood floors, sturdy canvas ceilings and siding, insect-proof net windows and French doors offering access to private verandas.

10. Zarafa Camp

Chobe National Park, Botswana — Classically styled safari camp in the private 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve, overlooking picturesque Zibadianja Lagoon.

11. Singita Sasakwa Lodge

Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania — Unrivaled luxury safari lodge in a 350,000-acre private concession, set on a hilltop overlooking the Serengeti plains and offering one of the grandest views in Africa. 

12. Singita Lebombo Lodge

Kruger National Park, South Africa — Set on a 37,000-acre private concession, this extraordinary safari lodge comprises 15 dramatic suites constructed almost entirely from glass.

13. Abu Camp

Okavango Delta, Botswana — Distinctive camp known as the preeminent place to ride African elephants, set on a 500,000-acre private concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta.

14. Zulu Camp at Shambala Private Game Reserve

South Africa — Eight atmospheric thatched cottages overlook the Sterkstroom River on the 30,000-acre Shambala Private Game Reserve, a three-hour drive north of Johannesburg.

15. Aman-i-Khas

Ranthambore National Park, India — Wilderness camp at the edge of Ranthambore National Park, three hours by train south of Delhi and four hours by car southeast of Jaipur.

16. Sanctuary Olonana

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya — Ideally located on the exclusive western side of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, this idyllic camp, comprised of 14 “tented” bungalows, overlooks the Mara River.

17. Sirikoi Lodge

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya — Sumptuous property with four elegantly appointed tents, a two-bedroom cottage and a self-contained three-bedroom house within private 100-square-mile conservancy on Lewa Downs with clear-day views of snowy Mount Kenya.

18. The Oberoi Vanyavilas

Rajasthan, India — Luxury camp at the edge of Ranthambore National Park. Its 25 air-conditioned tents come with teak floors, embroidered canopies, luxurious baths, DVD players and broadband Wi-Fi, plus private walled gardens.

19. Tswalu Kalahari

Kalahari Desert, South Africa — Distinctive game reserve in a 220,000-acre conservation area owned by the Oppenheimer family at the edge of the Kalahari.

20. Kings Pool Camp

Chobe National Park, Botswana — Comfortable camp overlooking an oxbow lagoon in the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve (on the western boundary of Chobe National Park), with excellent wildlife-viewing and a large elephant population, especially during winter.

1. Singita Boulders Lodge - Courtesy of Singita 2. Jacks Camp - © David Crookes 3. Mombo Camp - © Dana Allen 4. Singita Ebony Lodge - Courtesy of Singita / © Mark Williams 6. Singita Mara Tented Camp - Courtesy of Singita / © Mark Williams 9. Sanctuary Chiefs Camp - © Sanctuary Retreats 10. Zarafa Camp - © DOOK 11. Singita Sasakwa Lodge - Courtesy of Singita / © Mark Williams 12. Singita Lebombo Lodge - Courtesy of Singita / © Mark Williams 13. Abu Camp - © Wilderness Safaris / Mickey Hoyle 15. Aman i Khas - Courtesy of Amanresorts 16. Sanctuary Olonana - © Sanctuary Retreats 19. Tswalu Kalahari - © Michael Poliza 20. Kings Pool Camp - © Wilderness Safaris / Mickey Hoyle

 Sneak Peek

This article appeared in The Hideaway Report, a monthly newsletters exclusively for members.

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Andrew Harper Photo Our editors write under the Andrew Harper byline so they can travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who they are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.

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