If you’re in search of the sort of holiday that simultaneously classifies as fabulously luxurious, incomparably unique, and absolutely adventurous, Africa is the name of your game. The safari lodges are a harmonious mixture of exhilarating wildlife and posh accommodations. All in all, Africa is a destination that deserves to be awarded our full attention.
Where to safari?
The most common answer is Kruger. And yes, Kruger National Park is the prime destination in which you can check the Big 5 off your list—water buffalos, rhinos, lions, leopards, and elephants. Kruger has private game reserves within its large geographical stretch. Sabi Sands and Timbavati are both part of the National Park, and there are no borders separating them from Kruger. What this means is that wildlife can roam freely, designating these reserves majorly popular as well.
I resided in Sabi Sands at the Ulusuba Lodge. On every single game drive I saw the Big 5. In addition to that, I witnessed two leopards mating, a leopard who had her ear torn off, and wild dogs kill an impala. Damn.
The Ulusuba Safari Lodge is heaven on earth—as if guests need reminding, a large sign in front of the lodge actually reads this tagline. And its design is aesthetic heaven on earth. Complementing the visual perfection, the service, food, and living quarters are sure to please even the pickiest of travelers. As far as African safaris go, it’s where 5-star meets the Big 5.
Any lodge you choose will have everything on-site. A game drive or a pancake breakfast in the bush is the only time you’ll exit the property.
If you’ve already trekked all the way to Africa, it’s wise to add the only waterfall in the world included on the list of Natural Wonders to your itinerary. Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe, which doesn’t have much else to see. However, African lodges are built to impress and our accommodations in town were reason enough to spend extra time in the country. The Victoria Falls River Lodge is every bit as fabuluxe as the Sabi Sands lodge; the only difference being that safaris in Zimbabwe have nothing on South Africa. Victoria Falls River Lodge does, however, have safari cruises, which are lovely during the sunset. Sipping on a g&t underneath the colorful African sky, surrounded by adorable (but dangerous!) hippos and elephants, is a welcome alternative after waking up for daily 5AM game drives.
NOTE: Zimbabwe requires an on-site, full page visa. Make sure you have enough space in your passport. My husband had to get an emergency passport in Cape Town after Zimbabwe. Not fun.