20 Best Luxury Hotels, Lodges & Camps in South Africa

South Africa is a one-stop destination for even the most discerning travellers. Whether you’re looking to spend your days tanning on the beach, sipping on fine wines in beautiful vineyards, exploring culture-rich cosmopolitan cities, or on a classic Big 5 African safari, the Rainbow Nation has it all. Start your dream getaway in ever-popular Kruger National Park, making your way down to Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There’s no better way to explore this eclectic destination than in the lap of luxury. Our list of top luxury accommodations in South Africa covers a range of hotels, lodges and tented camps to suit any and all tastes.

Kruger National Park:

1. Londolozi Private Granite Suite

Londolozi-Private-Granite-Suite

Elegant and stylish, Londolozi Private Granite Suite sets the gold standard for an ultra-luxury safari getaway. The suite blends granite rocks with a palette of silver, charcoal and elephant grey to create a light and airy contemporary look that screams opulence. It’s the ideal space for discerning travellers who want to be in the thick of nature while still having the comforts of a 5-star hotel. Tailored services ensure that guests’ every need is met, while the location in Kruger’s popular Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve guarantees an intimate stay with fantastic game viewing.

 Highlights:

  • Ultra-luxury lodge in the private Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • Set within the famed Kruger National Park
  • Spectacular views of the Sand River
  • Superb tailored service

 Best for…
Honeymooners or small groups celebrating a special occasion.

2. Royal Malewane

Royal-Malewane

Complete privacy, tailored service and exceptional game viewing are all guaranteed when staying at the exclusive old-world haven, Royal Malewane. True to its name, you’ll feel like nobility when you’re greeted by your butler and served gourmet meals prepared by a personal chef. Everything here is top-tier, from the king-sized beds made up with Ralph Lauren linen to the award-winning spa – one of the best in South Africa. The luxurious, 5-star Royal Malewane will leave you wanting for nothing.

Highlights:

  • Home to the best safari spa in South Africa
  • Scenic helicopter & hot-air balloon flights
  • Cruise through the Blyde River Canyon
  • Golf & horseriding

Best for…
Family getaways.

3. Singita Boulders Lodge

Singita-Boulders-Lodge-

Explore one of Kruger’s game-rich private concessions, Sabi Sands, from the lap of luxury. Taking its name from the boulder-strewn banks of the Sand River, Singita’s Boulders Lodge takes inspiration from the surroundings. High thatch ceilings and raised wooden decks overlooking the glistening river incorporate nature into every inch of the space. The calming atmosphere is enhanced with authentic African décor made of granite and stone, while stylish, contemporary furnishings blend to create opulent, open front that invites outside in.

 Highlights:

  • Bike rides, stargazing & photographic editing suite
  • Fantastic game viewing in Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
  • Reliable leopard sightings
  • Fine dining & award-winning wine cellar
  • Personal butler service

Best for…
Families getaways.

4. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Sabi-Sabi-Earth-Lodge

One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Sabi Sabi’s luxury safari Earth Lodge epitomises new-world elegance and contemporary architecture with its clever use of texture, light and space. Inspired by its natural surroundings, the lodge is an eco-friendly marvel of note. The multi-award-winning camp is sculpted into a slope of the earth using organic, sustainable materials to blend seamlessly into the landscape. Staying at Earth Lodge is beyond compare; the elegant, stylish design at a spectacular location in the Kruger National Park only enhances the safari experience.

 Highlights:

  • One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World
  • Ultra-luxurious, eco-friendly lodge
  • Game viewing hide & photographic safaris
  • Night drives

Best for…
Romantic holidays & honeymoons.

5. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Lion-Sands-Ivory-Lodge

If you’re looking for a peaceful, romantic getaway in the middle of the tranquil African bush, then Lion Sands’ Ivory Lodge has everything you need. Constructed from natural materials that take inspiration from the surrounding wilderness, the open, airy design brings nature to your doorstep. Minimalist décor creates a spacious feel, while soft, ambient lighting create an intimate mood and subtle African elements serve as a reminder of your safari adventure. Exceptional spa treatments, gourmet fine dining and top-shelf wines are topped off by the Kingston Treehouse – a private, open space dedicated to a romantic night under a canopy of stars.

 Highlights:

  • Amazing views of the Sabie River
  • Golf & stargazing
  • Scenic helicopter flights
  • Kosher dining available
  • Sleepouts in a private treehouse

Best for…
Group vacations or honeymoons.

6. Thornybush Game Lodge

Thornybush-Game-Lodge

Experience an authentic African safari without foregoing any modern comforts when staying at Thornybush Game Lodge. Situated in Thornybush Private Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger, this lavish lodge offers a classic safari experience. From the game drives through a Big 5 haven to its remote location in the untamed wilderness, there’s no compromise on sophistication and comfort here. Offering something for everyone, it’s the ideal getaway for families and honeymooners alike.

 Highlights:

  • Main building overlooks a wildlife-frequented watering hole
  • Animal tracking experience
  • Child-friendly activities
  • Bush dining in beautiful areas on the private game reserve

Best for…
Family getaways & couple vacations

7. Saseka Tented Camp

Saseka-Tented-Camp

An elegant use of wood, stone, thatch and canvas lends an air of authenticity to this upscale camp. The canvas tents that allow the tranquil sounds of the wilderness to waft inside and uninterrupted views of the wildlife-frequented Monwana River guarantee that there won’t be a moment when you’ll forget you’re in the wilderness. Being in the middle of the bush doesn’t mean you’re without the 5-star comfort and style that comes with a luxury getaway, though. Saseka looks as good as being in nature feels – an inexplicable experience that engages all senses and leaves you feeling at peace with yourself and your surroundings.

 Highlights:

  • Uninterrupted views of the wildlife-frequented Monwana River
  • Private dining experiences in beautiful locations
  • Private & exclusive luxury camp

Best for…

Honeymoons & romantic getaways.

8. Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve

Cheetah-Plains-Private-Game-Reserve

Cheetah Plains leads the way in eco-luxe safari experiences. An unforgettable experience with a personal hospitality team, zero-emission game drives, riveting game viewing and an exclusive-use house, it’s modern safari at its finest. A unique, stylish abode that screams contemporary splendour, Cheetah Plains forgoes the traditional approach to African getaways while still providing guests with a regal experience of the untamed wilderness.

 Highlights:

  • Ultra-luxury, award-winning exclusive-use bush houses
  • Set in the wildlife-rich Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • Private chef & butler as well as dedicated safari vehicle & guide
  • Eco-safaris with zero-emission game drive vehicles

Best for…

Family getaways & group vacations.

Madikwe Game Reserve:

9. Madikwe Safari Lodge

Madikwe-Safari-Lodge

Authentic Africa meets 5-star hotel at Madikwe Safari Lodge. Taking inspiration from traditional African homestead and incorporating elements of thatch and wood, Madikwe emphasises its oneness with its surroundings without compromising on a high standard of luxury. Madikwe consists of three mini lodges – Lelapa for families with children under the age of 16, and Kopano and Dithaba for couples and adults only – ensuring that guests’ needs and experiences are always the focus.

 Highlights:

  • Located in a prime malaria-free private safari reserve
  • Three smaller lodges for family, couple & child-free safari experiences
  • Child-friendly activities
  • Excellent game viewing, especially of rare African wild dogs

Best for…

Families, couples & groups.

Cape Winelands:

10. Mont Rochelle Hotel

Mont-Rochelle-Hotel

Among the sprawling vineyards of the stunning Franschhoek Valley sits the charming Mont Rochelle. A sublime escape in South Africa’s ‘French corner’, guests can explore the estate’s expansive vineyard on horseback or take in views of the valley on a mountain bike. Just an hour away from Cape Town and mere minutes away from the popular Stellenbosch and Paarl wine routes, Mont Rochelle is the ideal location from which to explore the country’s western region.

Highlights:

  • Explore the vineyards on horseback or mountain bike
  • Close to wine estates & restaurants
  • Breath-taking views of surrounding mountains & vineyards
  • Golf course & tennis courts

Best for…

Romantic getaways & family vacations.

11. Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren

Babylonstoren is a charming Cape Dutch farmhouse that transports guests back to 18th century farm life. Simple yet elegant, this quaint luxury haven can be found in the heart of the renowned Cape Winelands, a wonderland for wine connoisseurs and nature lovers. Explore Babylonstoren’s grounds, marvelling at its famous garden or getting involved by helping to pick fruit. Or take a bike ride through the surrounding vineyards, tasting world-famous wines and indulging in gourmet fare at the farms in nearby Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.

 Highlights:

  • Fruit picking in vineyards & orchards (in season)
  • Biking & canoeing
  • Farm-to-table meals
  • Regular workshops, like fermenting your own kombucha

Best for…

Couple vacations & family getaways.

Cape Town:

12. Cape Grace

Cape-Grace

There’s no better place from which to explore the Mother City than the elegant Cape Grace Hotel. Situated on an old quay in the ever-popular V&A Waterfront and within walking distance from the vibrant, cosmopolitan city centre, Cape Grace is in the epicentre of Cape Town’s lively buzz. Luxury rooms blend elements of yesteryear with modern-day comforts and boast picturesque views of either Table Mountain or the Cape Town harbour, making for a delightful stay whether you choose to explore beyond your suite or not.

Highlights:

  • Located in the popular V&A Waterfront
  • Stunning views
  • Close to vibrant Cape Town city centre
  • Award-winning, 5-star hotel
  • Fine dining at Signal Restaurant
  • World-class whiskies at Bascule Bar

Best for…

Families & couples.

13. Tintswalo Atlantic

Tintswalo-Atlantic

One of Cape Town’s hidden gems, Tinswalo Atlantic is a 5-star, award-winning boutique lodge perched on the lower slopes of Chapman’s Peak. Sitting on the water’s edge, the lodge offers magnificent ocean and mountainside views, while its location ensures easy access to all the Mother City’s highlights, including Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and the V&A Waterfront. Ideal for romantic getaways, Tinswalo Atlantic offers the perfect hideaway for those looking to spoil themselves with an intimate, lavish vacation in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 Highlights:

  • A hidden gem in Cape Town
  • Set on the lower slopes of scenic Chapman’s Peak
  • Beautiful, uninterrupted ocean views
  • Access to Cape Town city centre, Cape wine route & Table Mountain
  • Horse riding, aquatic sports & shark cage diving
  • Visit Seal Island & the penguins at Boulders Beach

Best for…

Honeymoons & romantic getaways.

Garden Route:

14. Tsala Treetop Lodge

Tsala-Treetop-Lodge

Tsala Treetop Lodge is an architectural marvel of stone masonry. Exuding the air of an ancient lost city, Tsala is hidden away in a lush, verdant forest location at the heart of South Africa’s popular Garden Route. Cocooned between the treetop canopy of the Tsitsikamma Forest the 10 luxury timber suites are reminiscent of a childhood treehouse – if the treehouse was a decadently furnished, contemporary styled 5-star haven overlooking an endless stretch of greenery. This woodland wonderland’s forest location and close proximity to Plettenberg Bay means an immeasurable amount of activities on offer, from whale watching and surfing to zip lining through the jungle-like landscape and encountering Gibbons and Lemurs at Monkeyland.

Highlights:

  • Exclusive treetop suites high above the forest floor
  • Fantastic views of the Tsitsikamma Forest
  • Whale & dolphin watching
  • Swim with seals
  • Visit the Birds of Eden & Monkeyland
  • Sailing, boating & stand-up paddleboarding
  • Adventure activities like sky diving & bungee jumping

Best for…

Honeymoons, romantic getaways & family vacations.

Whale Coast:

15. Grootbos Forest Lodge

Grootbos-Forest-Lodge1

A winding path through an ancient Milkwood forest will lead you to the tranquil Grootbos Forest Lodge. Surrounded by seemingly endless plains of fynbos (flora unique to the southern tip of Africa) and overlooking the glistening ocean and majestic mountains, the eco-conscious lodge draws its inspiration from nature. Luxury suites are constructed from local sandstone and sustainably harvested timber, with large windows folding open to allow the calming sounds of the ocean and fresh air to fill every inch of the room. The lodge’s location on the Whale Coast provides the perfect opportunity to see the coastline’s eponymous sea creatures, and perhaps a few sharks, dolphins and seals.

Highlights:

  • Breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean & Overberg Mountains
  • Horse riding and hiking
  • Whale watching, shark cage diving
  • Scenic flights & river cruises
  • Farm-to-table dining
  • National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World

Best for…

Honeymoons.

KwaZulu-Natal:

16. Phinda Vlei Lodge

Phinda-Vlei-Lodge

Wetland, forest, grassland and beach can all be explored from the comfort of Phinda Vlei Lodge, nestled on the edge of the wildlife-rich Phinda Private Game Reserve. Scuba dive in the Indian Ocean, picnic on Maputaland Beach, spot cheetah and black rhino on game drives, and explore the sand forest, home to the shy suni and rare red duiker. Traversing this diverse ecosystem is exceptionally riveting. Best of all, after a day of adventure, you get to retire to a luxurious lodge that caters to your every desire.

Highlights:

  • Assist the conservation team in monitoring pangolins, rhinos & elephants
  • Visit a Zulu tribe
  • Photography safari & a night under the stars
  • Horse riding, river cruises & scenic helicopter flights
  • Scuba diving & snorkelling

Best for…

Group vacations & couples.

17. The Oyster Box

The-Oyster-Box

Exuding grandeur reminiscent of a bygone era, The Oyster Box seamlessly blends timeless elegance with contemporary conveniences. A national treasure and one of South Africa’s top hotels, it boasts views of the Indian Ocean and Umhlanga’s iconic lighthouse. From the opulent rooms with stylish furnishings and spectacular balcony views to indulgent high tea and award-winning spa set amid tropical gardens, the hotel provides a relaxing getaway sure to leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

Highlights:

  • Set on the beach
  • Incredible views of the Indian Ocean
  • Private cooking masterclass
  • Award-winning, charming old-world hotel
  • Private cinema
  • Kids Holiday Club

Best for…

Family holidays & romantic getaways.

Eastern Cape:

18. Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Kwandwe-Ecca-Lodge

In the award-winning, malaria-free Kwandwe Private Game Reserve renowned for its Big 5 game viewing experiences, sits the idyllic Kwandwe Ecca Lodge. Contemporary, stylish décor doesn’t detract from the cosy, homely atmosphere in this farmhouse-style lodge. The spacious luxury double suites accommodate up to four people and include a private vehicle and ranger. Parents can rest easy knowing their children are well looked after, participating in fun activities at the play centre. Ecca Lodge is the perfect home away from home when taking the family on holiday.

Highlights:

  • Excellent game viewing in a malaria-free private reserve
  • Reliable cheetah sightings
  • Animal tracking experience
  • Children’s play centre

Best for…

Family getaways.

Northern Cape:

19. The Motse at Tswalu

The-Motse-at-Tswalu

The Afro-chic Motse is in a remote corner of northern South Africa, on the largest privately owned reserve in the country, Tswalu Private Game Reserve. Start your days as the sun rises above the Korannaberg mountains, the first rays of light illuminating the natural beauty of the Kalahari Desert, before heading out in your private safari vehicle with a dedicated expert guide to spot black-maned Kalahari lion, cheetah, and black and white rhino as they go about their day. Then head back to you lodgings and delight in world-class fare before spending an unforgettable night under the stars on Motse’s cosy sleepout deck.

Highlights:

  • Located in South Africa’s largest private game reserve
  • Private safari vehicle & guide
  • Horse riding & helicopter flights
  • Interact with meerkats
  • Sleepout deck is perfect for a night under the stars
  • Junior Ranger programme for kids

Best for…

Family getaways.

Johannesburg:

20. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa

The-Saxon-Hotel-Villas-Spa

From the Four Seasons to The Ritz, 5-star hotels are the epitome of modern-day luxury – and The Saxon Hotel is no exception. Ideal for an overnight before or after a safari in Kruger National Park, The Saxon in Johannesburg’s leafy Sandhurst suburb is the perfect place to refresh. Its award-winning spa boasts some of the finest treatments, including a Signature Sound Therapy and ancient Arabian bathing rituals in the Rasul Chamber, making for a world-class pamper session. Culinary connoisseurs can delight in gourmet fare and fine dining at the hotel’s 5-star restaurants, Qunu and Grei. Your stay at The Saxon might be short, but the memories will be everlasting.

Highlights:

  • Award-winning spa with signature treatments
  • Fine dining at two on-site restaurants
  • Close Johannesburg’s cosmopolitan Sandton City
  • Spectacular views of the city skyline & indigenous gardens

Best for…

Families & groups