Six of the best: African wildlife Lodges

Africa’s vast plains are teem­ing with wildlife but where to lay your head? Lynn Houghton picks her favourite lodges for a game break

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Gi­raffe Manor

set over 140 acres in the leafy sub­urbs of nairobi, the 12-room gi­raffe manor looks more like a scot­tish coun­try pile than an African lodge – and that’s be­cause it it was built in the 1930s by sir David Dun­can of the macin­tosh clan. But the stars of the show are the wild en­dan­gered roth­schild gi­raffes that roam freely around the prop­erty. the an­ces­tors of these tall, per­ma­nent guests were res­cued by 1970s owner Betty les­lie melville. At break­fast time, the gi­raffes put their heads through win­dows to be fed by guests.

Ash­nil Mara Camp

see­ing the Wilde­beest mi­gra­tion be­tween tan­za­nia and Kenya at the be­gin­ning of ev­ery sum­mer is one of nat­ues great­est ex­pe­ri­ences. Deep in the maa­sai mara, the Ash­nil mara camp is a per­fect base for game drives and its el­e­vated lo­ca­tion on the river­bank makes for un­sur­passed wildlife spot­ting. even lions come to drink at the river’s edge. Add to that spa­cious tents and a tal­ented chef pre­sent­ing won­der­ful buf­fets.

Ele­phant’s Eye

look­ing for a lodge that is deep in the bush? you will not be dis­ap­pointed by ele­phant’s eye, a lux­ury tent camp in Zim­babwe’s Hwange na­tional park. While en­joy­ing a sump­tu­ous evening meal, there may be ele­phants ex­plor­ing just a few feet away. As part of the nearby wet­land is ar­ti­fi­cially lit, view­ing wild noc­tur­nal ac­tiv­ity is pos­si­ble. even the pool wa­ter is unchlo­ri­nated as crea­tures fre­quently use it to drink. the lux­ury tents are el­e­vated as wildlife can be present on the prop­erty at any time.

Baines’ Camp

in moremi game re­serve, Botswana, sanc­tu­ary re­treats’ small­est camp – with just five lux­ury suites – is set in a grove of trees and built on raised plat­forms above the Boro river. the own­ers en­cour­age the lo­cal com­mu­nity in maun to col­lect cans to be re­cy­cled for cash – and the cans form the back­bone of the camp’s struc­ture. star baths and sky beds on pri­vate decks help cre­ate a ro­man­tic oa­sis in the bush.

Great Fish River Lodge

though many might choose to visit the vast, well-known Kruger na­tional park, the wildlife view­ing at Kwandwe pri­vate game re­serve in the eastern cape is equally mes­meris­ing, espe­cially on an early morn­ing game drive. guests can also join a ve­teri­nary team on a con­ser­va­tion sa­fari and get up close to black and white rhino. nine sep­a­rate suites at the great fish river lodge af­ford pri­vacy with un­ob­structed views. guests can en­joy a BBQ in­side a Boma – for­merly en­clo­sures for do­mes­tic an­i­mals.

Sin­gita Sab­ora

sit­u­ated in the un­touched wilder­ness of the grumeti pre­serves in the serengeti na­tional park, sin­gita sab­ora is a 1920s in­ti­mate-style ex­plorer camp. A bas­tion of lux­u­ri­ous re­lax­ation, the camp is also an ac­tive fam­ily’s dream, with archery, tennis, game drives and guided sa­fari walks to en­joy. sin­gita be­lieves sus­tain­abil­ity is key to the fu­ture of pre­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing large ar­eas of African wilder­ness.

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