Picture this: you’ve arrived in the African Bush. Your walking boots are on, and you’re ready to explore the wilderness. But when it comes to your more immediate surroundings, what will you be doing? Bedding down under private, open-plan canvas? Cosying up to the roaring fire after an evening of secluded stargazing? Or taking tea with the local zebras on rustic decking ahead of a day’s Bush walk?
From Kenyan camps and private Namibian nature reserves to the tempting Tanzanian coast, take comfort in luxurious settings whilst also knowing just how eco-friendly you’re keeping it. No matter if you’re exploring the sights as a family, checking-in for some romantic relaxation or flying solo on your own African adventure, we’ve put together a list of our favourite 11 sustainable safari lodges to keep you looking back on your wild safari trip for years to come time and time again.
Switch off in understated luxury where natural grassland surroundings meet rustic corners for you to sink on into. Bask in the glow of splendid sundowners after unique bush walks within the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, where you might even spot the endangered black and white rhino. Here, you’ll feel right at home as you enjoy full board, filling up on tasty fruit and veg from the organic garden and quenching your thirst with fresh, mountain spring water. Sustainability is what Sirikoi is all about.
Private by name, private by nature. If you’re seeking a little peace with your safari adventure in the African bush, set foot inside a perfectly secluded suite where just four exclusive guests are welcomed into exquisite four-poster beds and charming nooks and crannies. Kick back into rustic interiors after walking with the local wildlife. Private camp boasts an open-plan design, Inviting only the most intimate safari explorers..
If you’re concerned about your ecological impact, go ‘off-grid’ and stamp your sustainable mark on this 100% solar powered safari getaway. In-between an abundance of birdwatching opportunities and African bush hopping to admire wild animals in their natural habitat, enjoy the clever eco-features of the award-winning Footsteps Eco Lodge Gambia.
Set up camp in this small, family-run accommodation in North West Laikipia. Housing eco-friendly features such as solar-powered water boilers, this semi-permanent camp is known for its vast animal spotting opportunities, which is no surprise as this 22,000-acre Conservancy plays host to 70 species of mammals, from elands to elephants. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a rare Grevy’s Zebra as you tuck into your early-morning bush breakfast.
If you like your luxury with a little bit of rugged on the side, why not relax into the exclusive plains of Boulders Safari Camp? You’ll explore the deep south of NamibRand and hear the roar of the tigers as you embark on safari walks before spreading out in your spacious tent to get some peaceful shut-eye. When the evening comes, head to the nearby mountainous rock plateau to enjoy striking sundowners at uniquely scenic heights.
Fancy a glass of full-bodied red as you curl up with your favourite read in between fantastic wildlife spotting? Porini Rhino Camp is one of the few places you can observe one of the last Northern White Rhino’s as well as elegant giraffes and regal lions. Seeking a little seclusion alongside the striking wildlife? Fall into quirky, colourful surroundings in one of only seven tents after a long day on unique safari game drives out in the bustling bush.
Maybe you feel like channelling your four-legged friends in the nearby animal kingdom by blending into your surroundings? Sitting sustainability on the tantalising Tanzanian coast, the Tembo Kijani Ecolodge immerses itself seamlessly into its beautiful backdrop, using traditional techniques to provide a pure ecological finish. Fancy falling asleep next to the gentle lull of the Indian Ocean? Enter the blissful Beach Bungalow. If you’d rather pitch up amongst the treetops and watch the world go by from the comfort of your rustic wooden decking, the Bush Bandas are for you.
Perhaps you’re seeking a little elevation? Step right inside the aptly named Mountain View Suite where spacious living quarters sit on top of dune-facing decks. This blissful accommodation boasts all the mod cons you’ll need for a safari stay to make you feel right at home. Spend a hazy hour or two swaying in the suites’ inviting hammock and spend some time on your dreamy ‘star-gazing’ bed to soak up the sights, and the summer breeze.
From modern day amenities to the old school elegance of the 20’s. Step back in time as you make your way to the timeless sights of Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp. Tucked away in a private place, across the Serengeti, Maasai Mara and Loliondo reserves, this slice of undiscovered paradise will see you relax into cool interiors whilst dipping a toe into the various wildlife watching activities – not to mention the onsite pool and spa area – for a magnificent Masai Mara Safari experience like no other.
Come for a Safari getaway but want to keep it eco-friendly? Guilt-free adventure awaits at the ultra-sustainable surroundings of The Source of The Nile Camp. Ditch the jeep and get your wilderness walking boots on as the Selous Reserve provides the beautiful backdrop for one of the few places that still allows walking safaris. Sip on your thirst quenching welcome drink before enjoying full board within this blissful boutique camp.
Where else can you witness such open-plan stargazing than at the perfectly private Dunes Lodge? Another eco-lodge set in the natural beauty of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, check into welcoming accommodation and wake up to peaceful panoramic views of the surrounding dune plateau in the privacy of your very own swimming pool, suspended above the sand. After a busy day stretching your safari legs, cosy on up to the fire with a bottle of your choice from the lodge’s charming wine cellar.