There is more to Africa than just amazing wildlife, fantastic sunsets and luxury lodges. The continent is full of beautiful accommodation that lends itself to mesmerising Instagram imagery so you can share your trip to Africa with all your followers. The best news is, you may be among the first to post these places to Instagram as only a handful of people from across the world are lucky enough to visit every year.
If you’re trying to convince your media-obsessed teenager to join you in Africa, then showing them just how fun, colourful and unusual the accommodation is – and how stunning their Instagram images will be – could just be what tips the trip in your favour.
These are our favourite and most Instagrammable places from across East and South Africa…
1. The Spa House
- Surrounded by mountains and pristine coastal fynbos just outside Cape Town in South Africa.
- Huge swimming pool that flows right up to the glass-and-timber house.
- Underground spa has large windows that bank the swimming pool, allowing you to watch swimmers float past as you relax.
- Views of Lion’s Head, one of the three iconic peaks of Cape Town along with Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.
- Africa’s most extravagant working farm cum luxurious boutique hotel.
- Exotic chickens and indigenous birds roam the gardens freely.
- South Africa’s Cape Dutch heritage woven through in unexpected mosiacs and other touches.
- Sensational farm-to-fork dining at Babel restaurant.
3. Chameleon Hill Lodge
- Madcap and zany but very comfortable lodge in Uganda, which offers Africa’s most affordable gorilla trekking.
- Built to echo the bright colours of traditional African fabrics and the hodge-podge nature of African villages.
- Perfect stop-over for trekking in the Virgungas.
4. Abu Camp
- One of Botswana’s most luxurious lodges with sensational game viewing in the heart of the Okavango Delta, the world’s biggest inland delta.
- Beautiful star bed platform so you can sleep under the Milky Way.
- Ethical interaction with habituated elephants.
- Freestanding outdoor copper bathtubs overlooking the bush.
5. Birkenhead House
- Probably Hermanus’s most luxurious boutique hotel, set on a cliff overlooking Walker Bay, the epicentre of the world’s best land-based whale watching from about August.
- Individidually decorated suites filled with colourful art, unusual objet and eclectic furniture.
- Gorgegous food presented in stunning locations – have lunch next to the rim-flow pool overlooking the ocean (keep your binoculars close to watch for southern right whales!).
6. Royal Malewane
- Private safari villa and lodge in the heart of South Africa’s Big 5 country with regular sightings of elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion.
- A riot of bright colours that mix colonial Africa with touches of Europe, the Far East and mid-century design.
- Your own vehicle, in-room massages and gym access allow you to mix a top-end safari with plenty of wellness and relaxation activities.
7. Banyan Tree
- Stunning villa type acommodation on Mahè, the main island in the Seychelles.
- Private pools, sunny terraces and private spaces for yoga and cocktails.
- Classic massive boulders stud the white sandy beach and thick coastal forest.
8. The Palace of the Lost City
- An extravagant, over-the-top fantasy in the middle of the South African bush and the premier hotel at Sun City, Africa’s biggest resort.
- Find Shawu, one of South Africa’s most legendary elephants, immortalised in a life-sized statue by a top sculptor.
- Enjoy the waterfalls, animal sculptures and attention to detail, all of which combine to create the idea of a long-lost civilisation straight out of the movies.
9. LUX* Belle Mare and Grand Gaube
- Gourmet ice-cream bar in a ‘limousine convertible’ plus a selection of atmospheric restaurants.
- Beach Rouge bar right on the sand – relax on huge cushions with cold drinks.
- Romantic pontoon for private dining or even wedding ceremonies.
10. Delaire Graff
- The Franschhoek Valley property of the mega-wealthy Graff diamond family, based in London.
- Exquisite cuisine, exceptional wines and superb art throughout the manicured grounds.
- Ringed by glorious mountains that are occasionally dusted by snow in the mid-year winter but bathed in full sunshine during the South African summer.
- One of Zambia’s most luxurious lodges, right on the Luangwa River.
- Private plunge pools, in-room massages and views over the riverbank where hippos, baboons and antelope come to graze.
- Perfect combination of old-school safari elements – like leather, copper and canvas – with modern design aesthetic.
- Arrive by boat and move to the sunken firepit for welcome drinks.
12. Onguma The Fort
- Dramatic, stark fortress in a private Namibian game reserve with echoes of Morocco and India.
- Wonderful vistas over Fisher’s Pan – armchair game viewing at best. Settle down with an iced drink, binoculars and your camera.
- Make the most of little extras like guided nature walks and outdoor showers – perfect to enjoy Namibia’s famous ‘star-scape’.
13. The Oyster Box
- Colonial-chic on South Africa’s sub-tropical East Coast, just a short drive from Durban, which is heavily influnced by Zulu, Indian and British history.
- Stunning designer décor throughout, from the Frangipani Room to
- Sun-splashed swimming pool overlooking the balmy Indian Ocean coast and historic lighthouse plus private cinema.
- Tuck into fresh oysters, delicious curries and even Durban specialities like ‘bunny chow’ (a rich stew in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread), samoosa, rotis and breyani.
14. Singita Pamushana
- Arguably Zimbabwe’s most luxurious lodge in the little-visited Malilangwe Game Reserve.
- Fabulous views of the lake, which is surrounded by rocky outcrops, from the swimming pool and sunny terraces.
- Visit massive baobab trees (called the ‘upside-down tree’) and ancient rock art.
15. Thanda Island
- Visit the ruins of the old jail and the picturesque village.
- Extravagant holiday villa that is big enough for a large group of family or friends.
- Copper tub on the beach, above-ground glass swimming pool, cigar humidor, helipad and every other vacation ‘toy’ you can think of!
- Swim with whale sharks in season with excellent diving visibility all year round.
16. Denis Private Island Lodge
- Stroll from your room directly onto the beach to swim in the warm Indian Ocean, a thousands miles from the mainland.
- Visit the old chapel, which dates to the 1930s, or wander through indigenous coastal forest.
- Enjoy tennis, swimming, diving and spa treatments before watching the sunset with your toes in the azure water…
17. Steenberg Hotel
- Upscale classic contemporary hotel in the middle of the Constantia Winelands, just outside Cape Town.
- Fabulous blend of old-school Cape Dutch architecture that dates to 1682 and sexy, glamorous décor.
- Enjoy wine and champagne tasting after a round of golf on the course that is ringed by forested mountains.
- Colourful, laidback lodge near the Luangwa river and home to the legendary ‘Harry the hippo’, a lone male who took up residence in the lodge’s ‘dambo’ or shallow wetland.
- Intimate lodge just steps away from the Luangwa River that is dotted with tradtional chitenge fabric.
- Gorgeous forested setting that is the perfect retreat after a day of guided walking in South Luangwa National Park – head to a hammock and simply flop down.
- Greek-inspired beach lodge built by a member of a world-famous supergroup.
- Organic lines blended with local timbers so that each room has its own pool and terrace.
- Watch the dhows sail in and out of the bay with the day’s catch in mind.
- Let your private butler make all your arrangements, even selecting a private spot for lunches and dinners.
20. Duba Plains
- Built on an island in the middle of the Delta and usually only accessible by air because of the surrounding water.
- Lions here are up to 15 percent larger than others in Botswana because hunting buffalo in deep water makes them stronger and more powerful.
- Eco-conscious design for a classic safari camp with wide open views over the Okavango’s lilies and birdlife.
21. Erongo Wilderness Lodge
- Eco-lodge in a wildlife conservancy that is part of the Erongo mountain range with cabins built amid massive boulders from ancient volcanic eruptions.
- Even non-birders will love the species found here, like adorable rosy-faced lovebirds and Verreaux’s eagles.
- Wander up to Paula’s Cave on a self-guided trail to see San Bushman roack art and take in the unspoilt landscape and crystal-clear air.
22. One&Only Cape Town
- Very extensive spa with specialist thermal suite and glass yoga pavilion.
- Stunning views of Table Mountain from every room.
- Africa’s only Nobu restaurant offering unique décor (including specially commissioned art) and sublime cuisine plus vintages from a duplex wine cellar.
- Exclusive yacht basin, villas on a secluded island and Cape Town’s largest private swimming pool.
23. Planet Baobab
- Affordable lodge near the astonishing Makgadigkadi Pans in Botswana; the gateway to the Kalahari and the site of the annual zebra migration.
- Surreal aardvark sculpture to welcome to the land of baobabs, among the biggest trees in the world.
- Lovely swimming pool in the shape of a calabash, a traditional vessel made from a dried gourd, and surrounded by a typical locally painted wall.
- Rooms heavily inspired by traditional African homesteads with thatched roofs, patterned walls, iconic blankets and local art.
24. Royal Chundu
- Gorgeous river lodge with plenty of extras like outdoor bathtubs on some balconies and private river frontage.
- Brilliant pops of colour throughout the lodge, including a magnificent fireplace mural in the communal lounge.
- Close enough to enjoy the fun at Victoria Falls but far enough for true tranquility and relaxation.
- Fabulous Morrocan-inspired open-air lodge in northern Kenya’s Samburu National Park, famous for doum palms and the curious long-necked gerenuk.
- Cool interiors feature high thatched ceilings, screed floors, intricate woodwork and plenty of open space plus alcoves dotted with North African objet.
- Each extremely spacious suite has a private plunge pool with an expansive sundeck.
- The lodge is built over several levels looking out over the Uaso Nyiro River, affording all parts of it maximum privacy.
- The spa and gym is situated around a central water feature, where you can cool yourself after a blood-pumping workout or soothing massage.
- Go on a camel-back safari with Samburu guides who dress in distinct red robes festooned with detailed beadwork.
26. Leeu Estate
- Very sleek and highly luxurious boutique overlooking the hills and vales of Franschhoek, one of South Africa’s premier wine-growing regions and the country’s first foodie hotspot.
- Manicured grounds boasting several large sculptures by local artists.
- Exceptional cuisine with the area’s very best wines on offer.
27. Nkwichi Lodge
- Down-to-earth lodge right on the shores of Lake Malawi, known as the Lake of Stars.
- Perfect for outdoorsy travellers who enjoy outdoor showers, picnics, campfires and even sleeping in one of Africa’s most romantic beds, right on the beach.
- It’s so remote that there are virtually no roads, giving you a true off-the-grid feeling.
28. Radisson Red
- Cool hotel in the V&A Waterfront, close to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa and the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.
- Rooftop pool with views of Table Mountain and a food truck.
- Funky décor inspired by urban Africa.
29. Miavana Island Sanctuary
- Expore the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’ – as Madagascar is known – from the comfort of one of its few luxurious resorts.
- Situated near Nosy Ankao, a pristine archipelago renowned for its stunning bird and marine life, including important turtle hatching spots.
- Take a helicopter safari to nearby reserves and national parks to find rare species of chameleons and lemurs.
30. The Silo
- An architectural masterpiece carved out of an old grain silo in the working section of Cape Town’s harbour.
- Stunning multi-faceted windows offer views of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head or Robben Island.
- Ecelectic décor of bright colours, subtle antiques, extravagant chandeliers and eye-catching art.
- Rooftop swimming pool and champagne bar plus easy access to the adjoining Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which is filled with modern art from across the African diaspora.