Encouraging news about the number of people who feel up for travel once COVID restrictions are lifted, was revealed in a survey done by SA Tourism. In a report on the survey appearing in Tourism Update, the post-COVID preferences of the travel-ready sector are elaborated: nature and scenic outdoor experiences are rated top wishes for a first trip after COVID. For those travellers hoping to come to South Africa as their first post-COVID trip, safaris are the top drawcard. With this in mind, we list some excellent standalone, sole-use safari lodges in South Africa for post-COVID travel, where guests will stay together privately as a family or small group, and enjoy their safari quite separately from any other guests.
IN WELGEVONDEN PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Tintswalo Family Camp is an excellent choice for a group of 10 – 16 guests, or even up to 20 if the group includes younger children sharing a bathroom. Five large, freestanding luxury units are positioned on either side of the main lodge. There are two 3-bedroom units, each with 2 bathrooms and a veranda overlooking the wilderness; two 1-bedroom units with an en-suite bathroom and adjoining private lounge; and one 2-bedroom unit with en-suite bathrooms. Living spaces include lounge area with fireplaces, a deck looking out over a valley and waterhole, swimming pool, and spacious entertainment room. Welgevonden Game Reserve is a beautiful wilderness, free of malaria and about 3 hours by car from Johannesburg. Mail us
IN KAPAMA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
At Jabulani Safari, Splendid sole-use facilities for families and groups of up to six are available at Zindoga Villa. This grand 3-bedroom villa comprises a master suite, as well as the main suite, each with its own large timber deck, private heated plunge pool and traditional fireplace. The en-suite bathrooms have beautiful stone baths, as well as showers wilderness views. Adjoining the main suite is a twin-bedded suite, ideal for two children or two adults sharing. This suite has a private bathroom with separate bath and shower. Zindoga Villa also has a large lounge and dining room, and an adjoining deck for outdoor dining. Kapama Game Reserve is situated in the Greater Kruger National Park region of South Africa’s Limpopo province and is home to prolific wildlife. Mail us
IN TIMBAVATI PRIVATE NATURE RESERVE
Machaton Private Camp is a secluded safari haven in the Timbavati Game Reserve. It is both private and exclusive, and lends itself to sole use by a family or a few friends travelling together. Each of the camp’s three luxury suites has a large bedroom with king-size bed, bathroom, dayroom and private deck. The main building provides a lounge, kitchen and covered verandah. Two safari drives take place each day, and in between there is time to enjoy the plunge pool overlooking the river bed and wilderness. Spa treatments can be enjoyed in-room or at a spa nearby. An open-air boma is a wonderful venue for dinners at the fireside. Timbavati Private Nature Reserve spans more than 53 000 hectares of pristine private wilderness on the western edge of Kruger National Park, where wildlife roams free across various reserves. Mail us
IN SABI SANDS GAME RESERVE
Singita Castleton is a premier sole-use safari lodge set within 45 000 acres of private wilderness in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. This magnificent home-away-from-home consists of a main house with communal living spaces, and six individual cottages within the grounds, accommodating families and small groups of up to 12 people. Singita Castleton combines the best elements of a private safari lodge with the rustic charms of a country homestead. Castleton guests have the exclusive use of a large garden, swimming pool, wine cellar, gym, tennis court and spa room. There is also a private courtyard, boma and country-style kitchen. This private wilderness home overlooks a waterhole where animals regularly gather to drink. Guests at Castleton enjoy access to a private Land Rover, experienced field guide and tracker, and the lodge has a private staff of house manager, chef and housekeeper. The Sabi sands Game Reserve is one of the best known and much-visited wilderness areas in South Africa. The 65 000 hectare reserve shares a 50 km unfenced border with Kruger National Park and has a rich wildlife population. The reserve is known for frequent leopard sightings. Mail us
IN MADIKWE GAME RESERVE
Little Madikwe is an exclusive-use luxury lodge in Madikwe Hills Private Game Reserve. This opulent two-bedroom private villa accommodates up to 8 guests travelling together, and has its own dedicated game ranger and butler. There is also gourmet kitchen and wonderfully comfy lounge. A large swimming pool is available for guests to cool down between safari activities. Set your own pace at this exclusive and private family escape in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, tucked away on the Botswana border. Mail us
IN GRAHAMSTOWN AREA OF EASTERN CAPE
Mills Manor is a 5-star private safari villa in the Eastern Cape’s Lalibela Game Reserve. Available for the sole use of up to 10 guests, the villa is ideally suited to families or small groups wanting exclusivity and privacy on safari. The Edwardian-style manor offers spacious living areas, wraparound verandah, sun deck and swimming pool, firepit and barbeque facility. There are five air-conditioned bedrooms, all with stack doors that invite in glorious views. The villa has its own complement of staff, comprising chef, housekeeper and game ranger. With exclusive use of a safari vehicle, guests at Mills Manor can look forward to a very personalized Big Five safari in a vast, malaria-free wilderness. Mail us
Mail us to book your post-COVID safari in South Africa, or call +27 21 797 7122.