Top 24 Exclusive-use Safari Villas

Africa is fast becoming a favourite destination for families and groups, with exquisite private-use villas springing up around the continent’s most beautiful regions. Remote safari destinations are now more accessible to multi-generational families and groups with children than ever.

Each villa on this list is only available for sole-use bookings – ideal for those travelling with a sizable brood or who want a piece of the African wilderness all to themselves. With a fleet of staff that are at your beck and call, you’re guaranteed to be well looked after during your stay. A dedicated butler sees to your every need, a private chef cooks up whatever your heart desires, and a personal guide and vehicle are available for game drives whenever you want. And to top it all off, each villa is the epitome of luxury and style to ensure a getaway suitable for royalty..

Botswana

Botswana

1. Zarafa Dhow Suite | Okavango Delta

zarafa-dhow-suite

The Zarafa Dhow Suite provides total luxury and complete privacy from which to explore waterways of the Okavango Delta. The exclusive-use, two-bedroomed tented villa is Botswana’s first and only Relais & Chateaux property and is also one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World.

Highlights:

  • Located on the Selinda Reserve in the Okavango Delta
  • Caters for 4 adults & 1 child
  • Overlooks the tranquil waters of the Zibadianja Lagoon
  • Excellent wildlife sightings include leopard, lion and elephant
  • Cruises on the lagoon

2. Chobe Princess | Chobe National Park

chobe-princess

Chobe Princess isn’t your standard villa. For one, you’ll never wake up in the same place you went to bed. The luxury houseboat offers a different take on the safari experience that sees guests enjoying water-based game viewing in comfort and style. You’ll dock in a unique location each night, ensuring that you get to explore all the best areas of Chobe National Park.

Highlights:

  • Luxury houseboat located on the Chobe River in Chobe National Park
  • Accommodates up to 14 people in 5 to 6 rooms per boat
  • Jacuzzi & plunge pool
  • Water-based safari
  • Guaranteed elephant sightings
Kenya

Kenya

3. Mara Bush House | Masai Mara

mara-bush-house

There can’t be many things better than waking up to a family breakfast with views over the hills of the Masai Mara. And this is just one of many experiences to look forward to at Mara Bush House. This private safari villa will be your base for exploring the private Mara North Conservancy on night drives and guided nature walks – luxuries not permitted in the national reserve – as well as classic game drives through one of Africa’s most famous destinations.

Fast Facts:

  • Located on a private conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • 3-bedroom luxury villa with cosy living areas
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • View of the wildlife frequenting the nearby watering hole
  • Fantastic wildlife sightings, including zebra, leopard & lion

4. Elsa's Private House | Meru National Park

Elsas-Private-House

Elsa’s House is a decadent private safari lodge crafted on a rocky outcrop overlooking Meru National Park. Unapologetically romantic, the two-bedroom villa is ideal for smaller families or lovebirds looking to splash out for a honeymoon or special occasion. Spectacular 360-degree views often include large herds of elephant, buffalo and giraffe as they make their way across the plains to drink from a fertile spring at the bottom of the hill.

Highlights:

  • Located in Meru National Park
  • Accommodates up to 4 adults & 2 children
  • Reliable sightings of elephant & lion
  • Open-fronted bathroom with picturesque views from the tub

5. Sirikoi House at Sirikoi | Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

sirikoi-house

If a classic safari is what you’re after, then Sirikoi House is the answer. Its location in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy guarantees fantastic game viewing that includes sightings of rare species like Grevy’s zebra as well as black and white rhino. Adding to the charm of this authentic safari experience, the thatched-roof homestead with its roll-up canvas windows feels like a luxurious home away from home on arrival.

Highlights:

  • Located in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
  • 3 en-suite bedrooms sleep 6 people
  • Private deck & firepit overlooking the wetlands
  • Excellent game viewing
  • Horse riding & quad biking
  • Canopy tours & hiking in the Ngare Ndare Forest
  • Helicopter & Waco biplane flips
Namibia

Namibia

6. The Nest @ Sossus Villa | Sossusvlei

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The Nest lies in a remote corner of the Namib Desert, a short 45-minute drive away from Sossusvlei. While the rustic design of this private villa echoes the unspoilt natural beauty of its arid surroundings, comforts are far from scarce. A full fleet of staff are on call to ensure guests have all the creature comforts they need for a relaxing getaway. And when you’re not enjoying all the luxuries on offer at The Nest, you can explore Sossusvlei’s famous sand dunes, Big Daddy and Dune 45, or take in the sight of the stunningly desolate salt pans at Deadvlei.

Highlights:

  • Located in the Namib-Tsaris Conservancy, near Sossusvlei
  • 4 spacious, luxury rooms sleep up to 6 people
  • See desert-adapted wildlife like Hartmann’s zebra, springbok, and the elusive leopard
  • Explore Sossusvlei & the Namib Desert
  • Wildlife sightings at the nearby watering hole

7. Safari House | Etosha

safari-house-namibia

Safari House places a strong emphasis on unpretentious hospitality, creating a home away from home for its guests. Resembling a traditional Namibian farmstead, the house is warm and comforting without foregoing the style and class one would expect from a luxury getaway. And with only two lodges in the area, the only other beings you’ll see here are the desert-adapted wildlife.

Highlights:

  • Located in Etosha Heights Private Reserve, one of Namibia’s largest private reserves
  • 3 rooms sleep up to 6 adults & 3 children
  • Swimming pool & fully fenced garden
  • Black & white rhino can be tracked in the reserve
  • Night drives around the reserve
  • Double-tiered photography hide
Rwanda

Rwanda

8. Kataza House at Kwitonda Lodge | Volcanoes National Park

singita-kataza-house

Kataza House is ideal for those who value privacy or want plenty of space to themselves. The design of the house makes it feel like a micro resort, with state-of-art facilities ensuring your every need is catered for. While the contemporary design and elegant décor give it a tranquil atmosphere, the easy access to the gorilla-trekking routes in Volcanoes National Park are sure to evoke excitement.

Highlights:

  • Nestled on the edge of Volcanoes National Park
  • 4 lavish rooms accommodate up to 8 people
  • Uninterrupted views of volcano & forest landscape
  • Access to all Kwitonda Lodge’s facilities & amenities
  • Farm-to-table fine dining
  • Children’s activities
  • Private wine cellar, interactive kitchen & bar
  • Heated swimming pool, gym, spa room & cinema room
  • Gorilla & golden monkey trekking
  • Mount Bisoke Crater Lake hike & Musanze Caves visit
South Africa

South Africa.

9. Singita Castleton | Sabi Sands Game Reserve

singita-castleton

Singita Castleton combines the best of an exclusive safari experience with the charm of country life. The sole-use homestead is comfortable and inviting, creating a welcoming atmosphere in a contemporary, stylish space. As Castleton enjoys a prime location in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which shares unfenced borders with Kruger National Park, ensuring guests are treated to fantastic game viewing outside of this luxury retreat..

Highlights:

  • Located in the popular Sabi Sand Game Reserve bordering Kruger
  • 6 lavish bedrooms sleeps up to 12 people
  • Private gym, tennis court & trampoline
  • Private wine cellar, spa treatment room & boma
  • Overlooks a wildlife-frequented watering hole
  • Guaranteed sightings of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant & rhino)
  • Wine tasting at the nearby Singita Wine Boutique & Gallery

10. Morukuru Villas | Madikwe Game Reserve

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The Morukuru villas are made up of three stand-alone, exclusive-use houses in Madikwe Game Reserve – namely, the Owner’s House, Farm House and River House. Each villa is individually designed and showcases different aspects of the untouched natural beauty of this region, known for its Big 5 sightings.

Highlights:

  • Located in a private section of Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Malaria-free region
  • Owner’s House sleeps 4 in 2 rooms
  • Farm House sleeps 10 in 5 rooms
  • River House sleeps 6 in 3 rooms
  • Children of all ages are welcome
  • Incredible Big 5 & big game sightings

11. Royal Malewane Africa House | Thornybush Game Reserve

Africa-House

On arrival, the front door of Royal Malewane’s Africa House sets the tone for your stay. Reminiscent of a medieval castle’s entryway, the studded door leads you into an elegant and stylish living space that can only be described as Afro chic. Roughing it in the rugged, untamed plains of Africa has never looked so enticing. Not to mention Africa House’s enviable location in Thornybush Game Reserve and close proximity to the Kruger National Park means you can expect an unrivalled safari experience with exceptional game viewing.

Fast Facts:

  • Located in Thornybush Game Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park
  • Sleeps 12 guests in 6 lavish rooms
  • Heated lap pool, Jacuzzi, gym & spa treatments with incredible views
  • Fantastic Big 5 & big game sightings
  • Children of all ages are welcome

12. Tintswalo Manor House | Manyeleti Reserve

tintswalo-manor-house

A visit to Tintswalo Manor House is a must if you’re seeking a classic family safari experience. The private luxury villa welcomes children of all ages and keeps them entertained throughout their stay with a personalised kids programme, as well as a swimming pool and fenced garden for safe playtime. And, naturally, staying in one of the Kruger’s private reserves like Manyeleti ensures that you and the whole family will have some spectacular Big 5 sightings.

Highlights:

  • Located in Manyeleti Reserve, bordering the Kruger National Park
  • 5 en-suite bedrooms accommodate up to 10 people
  • Personalised children’s programme
  • Fenced garden & family-sized swimming pool
  • Outdoor bath
  • Outstanding Big 5 & big game viewing

13. Cheetah Plains | Sabi Sands Game Reserve

cheetah-plains

Cheetah Plains sets the golden standard for eco-luxe safari lodges. Consisting of three exclusive-use villas in the renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve, this uniquely designed oasis screams contemporary elegance. Guests at Cheetah Plains can expect a world-class getaway and guaranteed Big 5 sightings on this private reserve within South Africa’s premier safari destination – the Kruger National Park.

Highlights:

  • Ultra-luxurious, eco-friendly bush houses in Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • 4 lavish rooms sleep up to 8 people
  • Private swimming pool & wine cellars
  • Breathtaking views of the picturesque bushland
  • Guaranteed Big 5 sightings

14. The Homestead at Phinda | Phinda Private Game Reserve

phinda-homestead

South Africa is well-known for its lavish safari lodges and camps, and The Homestead at Phinda is no exception. The luxury sole-use villa manages to exude a homely feel without compromising on upscale modern comforts and stylish décor. The opulent lodgings are complemented by some of South Africa’s finest game viewing as guests are treated to sightings of the Big 5 and other sought-after game.

Highlights:

  • Located in Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Accommodates 10 guests in 4 rooms
  • Swimming pool, massage room, gym, library & interactive kitchen
  • Private airstrip for fly-in itineraries
  • Excellent game viewing that includes the Big 5
  • Children’s programme & child minders available
Tanzania

Tanzania

15. Singita Serengeti House | Serengeti National Park

serengeti-house-2

Singita Serengeti House is an elegant and stylish contemporary African home that offers complete privacy and exclusivity in one of Africa’s premier safari destinations – the Serengeti. Nestled in the private Grumeti Reserve, Serengeti House offers guests the opportunity to witness the phenomenal Great Wildebeest Migration up-close. And once the wildlife has passed by, there are plenty of other activities to fill your time, including tennis matches and laps in the 25-metre (82-foot) swimming pool.

Highlights:

  • Located in the private Grumeti Reserve bordering the Serengeti
  • Sleeps 8 people in 4 rooms
  • Tennis court, swimming pool & gym
  • Mini Rangers Course & other children’s activities
  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration (June to August)
  • Excellent year-round game viewing in the Serengeti

16. Jabali Private House | Ruaha National Park

jabali-private-house-2

Hidden among the giant baobab trees of Ruaha National Park, Jabali Private House is the lavish escape for a crowd-free safari. Home to one of Africa’s largest elephant population and plenty of predators – including endangered wild dog – Ruaha is an undiscovered safari gem that will provide plenty of sought-after sightings. And once the day’s game drives are done, Jabali is the perfect place to unwind until your next adventure through the savannah.

Highlights:

  • Located in Ruaha National Park
  • Sleeps 6 guests in 3 rooms
  • Guaranteed elephant sightings
  • Reliable sightings of apex predators
  • Nights drives, walking safaris & photographic safaris
  • Spa treatments in Asilia Spa
Zambia

Zambia

17. Chongwe River House | Lower Zambezi National Park

chongwe-house-2

Chongwe River House is located in the Lower Zambezi National Park, a wilderness that remains largely undisturbed by the modern world. The region is home to enormous elephant herds (up to 100-strong), which are often seen congregating on the banks of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers. The architecture of Chongwe River House is unique, following the natural shape and curve of the branches and tree trunks used in its frame. Open-sided rooms mean that you’re never separated from enchanting river and mountain views – or any game that happens to be passing by.

Highlights:

  • Located on the Chongwe River banks in Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Accommodates 8 guests in 4 lavish en-suite rooms
  • Large private pool & spectacular views of the surroundings
  • Excellent wildlife sightings, especially elephant
  • Walking safaris, boat cruises, canoeing safaris & tiger-fishing

18. Robin's House | South Luangwa National Park

robins-house

Robin’s House sits on the banks of Luangwa River in the renowned South Luangwa National Park, one of Africa’s most wildlife-rich regions. Spend your days on game drives or tracking animals on foot during walking safaris – a quintessential South Luangwa activity – before retiring to this charming two-bedroomed villa for some much-needed downtime.

Fast Facts:

  • Located in South Luangwa National Park
  • Accommodates up to 6 people in 2 en suite rooms
  • Childminding services & kids’ activities available
  • Fantastic views of the Luangwa River
  • Incredible wildlife sightings
  • Walking safaris & water-based safaris (December to April)
Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

19. Tom's Little Hide | Hwange National Park

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At Tom’s Little Hide you’re able to disconnect from the modern world and enjoy time with friends and family in a relaxed and intimate setting. The remote location in Hwange National Park and cosy, down-to-earth camp make this destination best suited to adventurous travellers or families and friends with older children. Days are yours to spend as you like – exploring the farthest reaches of the park or enjoying a day of ‘armchair safari’ by the pool, which overlooks a waterhole often frequented by elephant, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck and kudu.

Highlights:

  • Located in Hwange National Park
  • Sleeps eight people in three large rooms
  • Private splash pool
  • Secluded hide at the watering hole
  • Guided walks for guests 16+
  • Guaranteed sightings of elephant, buffalo & African wild dog

20. Malilangwe House | Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

malilangwe-house

Set in the crowd-free Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, this elegant and stylish house brings a touch of luxury to a remote region of Zimbabwe. Fitted with state-of the-art amenities and every modern comfort you could need, you’ll be loath to leave this lavish retreat. But while it might be tempting to stay home, you will be rewarded for heading out into the pristine 52 600-hectare (130 000-acre) bushland with plenty of big-game encounters.

Highlights:

  • Located in Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve
  • Sleeps 10 guests in 5 lavish rooms
  • Panoramic views of the Malilangwe Dam & surroundings
  • Private decks, interactive kitchen, bar-deli & rim-flow pool
  • Mini Rangers Course & children’s activities available
  • Sundowners cruises & spa treatments

21. Matusadona Luxury Lake Safari Cruiser | Lake Kariba

matusadona-cruiser

The Matusadona is a private houseboat that mixes the best parts of an African safari with an extravagant cruise holiday. Floating on the tranquil waters of Lake Kariba, the Matusadona offers guests water-based game viewing from the lap of luxury. Spot all your favourite animals, including lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and cheetah, as they drink at the banks of the lake. The best part? Each day will bring a new adventure as you dock at a new and exciting location each evening.

Highlights:

  • Located on Lake Kariba in Matusadona National Park
  • Caters for 6 guests in 3 lavish rooms
  • Dock at scenic locations of your choice
  • Open-air Jacuzzi
  • Water-based game viewing on speed boat or pontoon
  • Spectacular big game sightings & fishing
Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

22. Sanctuary Chuma House | Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park

chuma-house

Families and friends on a trip to Victoria Falls will relish the opportunity to have this private slice of the Zambezi River all to themselves. Sanctuary Chuma House offers intimacy and tranquillity just a short drive from the adventure and excitement of the Zambian side of the Falls. The exclusive-use safari villa has two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, as well as living and dining areas that include a deck and plunge pool. In addition to activities at Victoria Falls, guests can enjoy game drives, canoeing on the river, guided nature walks and sundowner cruises.

Highlights:

  • Located on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
  • Accommodates 8 people in 4 rooms
  • Adventure activities in Victoria Falls
  • Sunset cruises on the Zambezi
  • Exceptional game viewing in Mosi-oa-Tunya

23. Tangala House | Lower Zambezi National Park

tangala-house-2

Tangala House is the perfect getaway for families. From the playroom and child-friendly swimming pool to cruises on the Zambezi and game drives in Zambezi National Park, there’s something for every member of your brood here. The stylish house is also perfectly positioned near Africa’s Adventure Capital, Victoria Falls, for the more active traveller who wishes to explore this Natural Wonder of the World.

Highlights:

  • Located on the banks of the Zambezi River in Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Sleeps 8 in 4 lavish rooms
  • 13-metre private swimming pool, gym & children’s playroom
  • Spectacular river views
  • Water-based activities on the river
  • Guaranteed sightings of elephant & buffalo
  • Adventure activities in Victoria Falls

24. Matetsi River House | Matetsi Private Game Reserve

matetsi_riverhouse21

Matetsi River House is arguably the most lavish villa in the Victoria Falls region. The upscale abode boasts exclusive frontage and picturesque views of the Zambezi River and is just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Falls. Located in the pristine and exclusive Matetsi Private Game Reserve, guests can enjoy land- and water-based safaris in a wildlife-rich area. And when you’ve had your fill of game drives and exciting activities in Africa’s Adventure Capital, you can unwind in the lap of luxury at Matetsi River House.

Highlights:

  • Located in Matetsi Private Game Reserve close to Victoria Falls
  • Sleeps 8 people in 4 lavish rooms
  • Private swimming pool & iPads for guests to use
  • Access to lodge facilities, including a lap pool, gym, library, shopping boutique & wine cellar
  • Boat cruises & canoeing on the Zambezi River
  • Adventure activities in Africa’s Adventure Capital