South Africa has had a long and cosy history with thatch, dating back to the Cape’s early history. The thatch trend eventually found its way all over the country, and thatch remains popular at safari lodges where thatch roofs not only create a naturalistic atmosphere, but are also environmentally friendly. The thatched, hut-shaped rondavel is a familiar sight in South Africa and a structure often seen in holiday resorts. Despite its many charms, though, thatch is not everyone’s favourite shelter – some people are just not a match for thatch! Whether you’re averse to the insects that sometimes take refuge in thatch, or hypersensitive to thatching, we’ve compiled a fabulous selection of non-thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa.

Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

In the Sabi Sand Game Reserve of Mpumalanga, Idube Game Reserve is a good bet for wonderful safari lodge rooms that are safely ceilinged and without thatch. The central facilities do, however, incorporate the use of thatch.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Guest rooms at Idube Game Lodge in Sabi Sand are not thatched

Earth Lodge in the Sabi Sands has dispensed with traditional safari lodge design and instead offers innovative and unthatched luxury lodges, all with private plunge pools, glass-fronted bathrooms and a long list of spoils.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Innovative design of suites at Earth Lodge is non-traditional

Tented safari accommodation is another way to bypass thatch in the bush. The Executive and Luxury Suites in Savanna Private Game Reserve – located in Sabi Sands – have canvas roofs and luxurious furnishings. Kindly note that the Savanna Suite is thatched, and that thatch is used in the central area of the camp. See other tented safari options.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Executive Suites in the Savanna Private Game Reserve are partially tented

Kruger National Park

Journey into the Makuleke Contractual Park in the far northern reaches of the Kruger Park, where the wilderness is vast and remote. Choose The Outpost as your safari destination – a sublime sanctuary of contemporary spaces, using mainly steel and concrete in the construction. Retractable screens open to 180 degree views and the bath tubs offer intoxicating pleasures.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Guest hideouts at The Outpost are true sanctuaries

There are two ultra-sublime Singita lodges in the Kruger National Park that are not thatched.  Visit Singita Lebombo and you’ll stay in one of fifteen loft-style suites that rest on the edge of a cliff. Spaces of supreme beauty have been created using wood, steel and glass, and they provide the most breathtaking views. Also non-thatched, Singita Sweni is located beside the Sweni River, with hundreds of trees to provide shade. Game viewing near the river is incredible, the water attracting many species of wildlife.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Light, bright and beautiful: Singita Lebombo bedroom
Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
An interior at Singita Sweni Lodge

Africa House is an elegant and eclectically decorated non-thatch option at Royal Malewane in the Thornybush Game Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park. En-suite bedrooms are furnished with Persian rugs and antiques from Mombasa,
and they have private decks and outside showers.

Eastern Cape

Shamwari Long Lee Manor is an Edwardian style manor set in manicured gardens that feature two swimming pools. Fifteen opulent guest rooms provide a luxurious stay, whilst enjoying the wildlife experience for which Shamwari has long
been well known. Another of Shamwari’s non-thatch lodges is Riverdene Family Lodge.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Edwardian style Long Lee Manor provides gracious accommodation in the Shamwari Game Reserve

In the Graaff-Reinet area of the Eastern Cape, Samara Karoo Lodge and Manor House are luxurious non-thatch safari lodge options. Samara Private Game Reserve is an award-winner for its superb wildlife experiences on 70 000 acres of wilderness.

Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
Samara Karoo Lodge – luxury lodgings in a magnificent Eastern Cape wilderness
Non thatch luxury safari accommodation in South Africa
The Manor House on Samara Private Game Reserve

Mail us to book holiday accommodation in South Africa, or call +27 21 797-7122 (international) or 0860 102 907 (local).