The 20 Best African Lodges For The Trip Of Your Dreams

African Lodges

We traveled for one full year across Africa. Across empty beaches in Mozambique, dry deserts in Namibia, and the plains of the Serengeti. Dusty days in Masai Mara and Serengeti lead to the most spectacular sunsets as the sun-kissed the earth and an explosion of color would burst into the sky.

It felt as if we saw the beginning and end of time every day in the bush as the sun brought life to the earth.

The miracle of life and the fight for survival plays out in the heartlands of Africa. We witnessed the birth of a baby zebra in Zambia and the death of many at the hands of predators who were themselves fighting for life. It is the greatest show on earth.

There is nothing quite like Africa; however, there are many different places to stay while visiting the beautiful continent. We’ve narrowed down these best lodges, camps, and resorts in Africa hand-selected and tested by the two of us.

We are not magazine editors or travel agents.

We are two real people with a passion for Africa and who have stayed overnight for at least two days in each of the properties listed. The accommodation ranges from classic safari tents to beach paradises and eco-friendly lodges.

We’ll keep updating the list as we return and hope this provides some trip inspiration. These are the best lodges in Africa for romance, adventure, tranquility, and luxury.

20 Best African Lodges

Anvil Bay – Mozambique

Anvil Bay

Location: Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

Type: Beach Lodge

Activities: Fishing, Fat Bikes, Snorkel, Body Boards, Stand Up Paddleboards, Kayaks, Coastal Bush Walk, Whale Watching (seasonal), Boat Cruise, Turtle Nesting Walks (seasonal)

Avg. Price: $600 – $1000 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Anvil Bay is located in the Maputo Special Reserve and has the most stunning location on the Mozambican coast. If you want to feel like a castaway on your vacation then take a look at this place. The reserve is only a four-hour drive from Maputo. However, to get there you either have to have a 4×4 vehicle or hop on a helicopter.

With only nine thatched casinhas hidden away in the coastal mangrove, it is as intimate as it can get. The star of the show here is the wild coast, as Anvil Bay prides itself as having a minimal environmental impact. Rooms are built on stilts from local materials and the main lounge is two tents situated on the beach.

We stayed here for four days and never saw anyone asides from the lodge staff. If we were to pick a beach honeymoon as far away from everyday life as possible, this would be it.

Read About Our Time At Anvil Bay

Montusi Mountain Lodge


Location: Drakensberg, South Africa

Type: Mountain Lodge

Activities: Horse Back Riding, Fly Fishing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Spa, Tennis, Golf, Trail Running, Pool, Birding

Avg. Price: $250 – $400 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Forget about Johannesburg and Cape Town, the Drakensberg mountain range is a must see in South Africa. The Drakensberg mountains are a long range of mountains formed over 200 million years ago and they are absolutely stunning.

We spent a few days hiking and snowboarding in the dramatic mountains before we checked into Montusi Mountain Lodge for some relaxation in the South African bushveld.

Every chalet here is massive and comes complete with its own fireplace and heated flooring. All the patios have breathtaking views of the Drakensberg amphitheater, so you really can’t beat a morning here. I found Montusi to be the perfect mountain retreat for winter in South Africa – cozy, comfortable, and reasonably priced at $250 a night.

Tintswalo Atlantic

Tintswalo Atlantic

Location: Hout Bay, South Africa

Type: Boutique Coastal Lodge

Activities: Heated Pool, Spa, Cape Town, Culinary, Cape Winelands, Table Mountain National Park,

Avg. Price: $600 – $800 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Cape Town is spectacular and one of our favorites in the world. We checked into the Tintswalo Atlantic which is located within Table Mountain National Park. It’s the only private lodge inside the park and despite being so close to Cape Town it is secluded. The exclusive lodge is located along the famous Chapmans Peak drive. It’s probably the most stunning location for a property in all of Southern Africa.

The Tintswalo Atlantic is easily one of the most romantic places to stay in the city. Each room is unique and styled after different islands of the world.  Of course, each features a stunning private and views of the sunset over Hout Bay. It’s worth noting that the food served here is also some of the finest that we have had throughout all of Africa. The Tintswalo suffered a devastating fire back in 2015, but instead of calling it quits the owners decided to rebuild and now it is better than ever.

Read About Our Time At Tintswalo Atlantic

Plan A Trip To Tintswalo Atlantic

Wolwedans Collection


Location: NamibRand Reserve, Namibia

Type: Desert Safari Lodge

Activities: Desert Walk, Star Watching, Game Drives, Pool, Massage, Hot Air Balloon, Village Tour, Horse Riding, Scenic Flights

Avg. Price: $800 – $1000 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

When it comes to luxury in Namibia look no further than Wolwedans. They were pioneers in luxury tourism in Namibia and are now one of the most classic lodges in Africa. At its onset, it created the massive NamibRand Nature Reserve claiming back thousands of kilometers back from farmers. The famous collection of camps have been serving clients for decades and have an impressive guest list.

The Wolwedans Collection consists of the Dunes Lodge, Private Camp, Dune Camp, and Boulders Lodge. All four of the lodges are scattered across the NamibRand Nature Reserve and all have their own unique style and feel.

Every tent at Wolwedans has spectacular views over the dunes of Namibia, making this our favorite place for coffee in Namibia. We loved everything about Wolwedans, especially their effort towards sustainability. They’re making new efforts towards sustainability. Which includes many of their buildings out of plastic bottles, a full solar power plant, and producing organic food in the desert.

There are a handful of camps and lodges in this list that embody the essence of safari. Wolwedans is classic and timeless.

Read About Our Time At Wolwedans

Plan A Trip To Wolwedans

Zambezi Queen Collection

Zambezi Queen African Lodge Houseboat

Location: Chobe River, Botswana/Namibia

Type: Houseboat Lodge

Activities: Game Drives, River Safari, Sunset Cruise, Fishing, Birding

Avg. Price: $900 – $1100 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

The Zambezi Queen is not your average lodge, because it comes in the form of a ship on the Chobe River. Guests can call this houseboat home for a few days while taking in the views of both Namibia and the Chobe National Park in Botswana.

“The Queen” is a boutique floating hotel with lovely rooms, a pool, bar, and full dining area. During the day everyone can leave the houseboat to go on a river cruise, bird watching, or fish only to return in the evening to mingle with other guests and enjoy delicious food.

Read About Our Time On The Zambezi Queen

Plan A Trip On The Zambezi Queen

Tongabezi Lodge

Tongabezi Lodge

Location: Zambezi River, Zambia

Type: River Lodge

Activities: Game Drives, River Safari, Sunset Cruise, Fishing, Birding, Victoria Falls, School Visit, Devil’s Pool, Canoe, Sanpan Dinner, River Beach Day

Avg. Price: $1600 – $2000 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

After eating our way around Africa it’s official, Tongabezi Lodge has the best food in all of Africa. Aside from a wonderful chef, the lodge, which is located in Zambia near Livingstone is the probably the most luxurious lodge on the Zambezi River. It’s also arguably one of the best lodges in all of Africa.

Tongabezi has been in operation for over 20 years and it is apparent in their lodge management skills. Everything from the beds to the staff, to the check-in process, is top-notch. No stone is left unturned and after a long travel day the day we checked in we found a fresh bubble bath with high-end bath oils waiting to be enjoyed.

Rooms here are all unique and they include a number of stunning “houses” that you can book your for your stay. Each villa has large balconies to enjoy the Zambezi. While a personal valet is sure to make sure your comfortable at all times.

The lodge is highly involved in the community and runs their own school called the Tongabezi Trust School and now teach over 200 kids from rural Zambian villages including all the employee’s children.

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Tongabezi has been named one of the “100 Best Hotels In The World.”

Read About Our Time At Tongabezi Lodge

Plan A Trip To The Tongabezi Lodge

Kilindi Zanzibar

Kilindi Zanzibar

Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Type: Beach Lodge

Activities: Private Beach, Spa, Pool, Full Bar, Culinary, Zanzibar Day Excursions

Avg. Price: $1600 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

If you’re in the market for an adults-only, beach paradise lodge on Zanzibar then make sure to check into Kilindi. This Zanzibar hotel is run by the large Elewana Collection and unlike any other lodge, we’ve ever stayed.

The pavilions at Kilindi are one of a kind, designed tastefully with minimalistic flair.  Each “room” has three circle pavilions that open up to the tranquility of the Indian ocean. There is the main bedroom, open air bathroom, and then a private lounging deck. In each setting, you are completely at one with the Zanzibar nature.

Kilindi The Best Hotels In Zanzibar

Each room also comes with a personal valet. Seafood at the resort is sure to wow any foodie. We were served some of the finest seafood we had in all of Africa and the chef was quick to adapt local ingredients to classic dishes.

It’s safe to say that Kilindi Zanzibar is a rare retreat reserved for those who want a truly special experience. The ambiance, seclusion, and attentive staff make this one of the very top resorts to choose from on Zanzibar. We can’t wait to return one day.

Read About Our Time At Kilindi Zanzibar

Plan A Trip To The Kilindi Zanzibar

Emerson Spice Hotel

Emerson Spice Room

Location: Stonetown, Zanzibar

Type: Historic Beach Hotel

Activities: Spa, Restaurant, Stonetown

Avg. Price: $400 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Emerson Spice was once an old Merchants House that is now a restored boutique hotel. Set in the middle of Stone Town, and only steps away from Emerson on Hurumzi, all I can say is – this hotel is one of the most unique in the world. Eleven rooms make up the old building and each one is uniquely decorated.

The Secret Garden Zanzibar

Just stepping into these rooms makes you feel as if you have stepped back a century. Colorful walls, antique furniture, and floor to ceiling curtains surround guests. Small details like period books, handmade local soaps, and towels seal the deal and transport guests back in time.

The Secret Garden restaurant is also hidden away inside this hotel and is one of the best places to have dinner at in Stone Town. Be sure to make reservations – they are well known around the island! It definitely made our cut for one of the best hotels in Zanzibar.

Read About Our Time At Emerson Spice

Plan A Trip To Emerson Spice

Cottars 1920’s Camp

Masai Mara Cottars Tent

Location: Masai Mara, Kenya

Type: Tented Safari Camp

Activities: Bush Walks, Game Drives, Birding, Fly Camp, Hot Air Balloon Flight, Night Game Drives, Sundowners, Visit Masai Village, Swimming Pool, Canvas Bush Bath

Avg. Price: $2,000 – $2,500 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Desk Cottars Masai Mara

What if I told you there was a camp in Kenya where you could live out the old safari days of Africa? Well, Cottars 1920’s Camp on the edge of the famous Masai Mara is that camp.

At Cottar’s 1920s Camp guests are transported back in time to the essence of the original safari. Their guide on this journey is Calvin Cottar. The Cottar family has been guiding guests around Kenya since those early days. They are the “safari family,” and have guided a long list of celebrities, royalty, and aristocrats over a century of operating in Kenya.

safari hat at Cottars 1920

Taking up the reigns of his family heritage Calvin and his wife built the Cottar’s 1920s Camp and formed the Olderikesi Conservancy. The 22,000-acre concession is exclusive to the camp and borders both the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Game drives around the conservancy also dip into both parks providing a real sense of adventure in pursuit of wild game.

Meanwhile, the camp is filled with authentic antiques, family photos, and artifacts from a century of safaris now used decoration for the main lounge and tents. Tents at the 1920s camp are a throwback to the former golden era of safari with all the adventure, romance, and atmosphere.

Cheetahs in the Masai Mara

If there is one camp to live out the movie “Out of Africa” this is the one. The large white canvas tents roll up to reveal sweeping views down to the Serengeti and Masai Mara. The beds are four-poster and a working gramophone sits casually on an antique trunk. Bathrooms are ensuite and a woodfired hot water heater ensures guest always have a hot shower.

Experiences on offer here are unique and luxurious. Guests can partake in bush walks, game drive in the family’s 1940 Rolls Royce, bush dinners, spa services (every tent receives a complimentary 30-minute massage), and even a canvas tub bush bath. So make sure you have some nice outfits and a good pair of safari boots packed in your bag.

Not only that but the Masai Mara/Serengeti ecosystem has some of the best game density we’ve seen in all of Africa. We spent two weeks in the two Masai Mara National Reserve!

Read About Our Time At Cottar’s 1920 Camp

Plan A Trip To Cottar’s 1920 Camp

Governors Camp Collection

Governors Masai Mara Camp

Location: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Type: Tented Safari Camp

Activities: Bush Walks, Game Drives, Birding, Hot Air Balloon Flight, Sundowners,

Avg. Price: $1200 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Our other favorite camp in the Masai Mara is Governors Camp. The location of the iconic camp was once the governors of Kenya private safari camp and entertained guests like Teddy Roosevelt. The Governors Camp Collection houses a variety of different lodges around the Masai Mara.

We stayed in their main Governors Camp, which is their biggest camp with 37 tents. Each tent is simply decorated and comfortable. The location is superb in the heart of the Masai Mara with fantastic game density around it.

Balloon Safari

On two separate occasions, we had elephants and lions roaming around our at night. The elephants even used our tent poles for a nice scratch. It’s all because of its location right in the center of the Masai Mara, and by our accounts the best for wildlife in the National Reserve.

If you are into incredible game sightings and close encounters then Governors Camp should have your name written all over it. They are also one of the best companies to take a hot air balloon safari in the Mara.

Read About Our Hot Air Balloon Flight

Read About Our Time At Governor’s Camp

Plan A Trip To Governor’s Camp

Chinzombo Safari Camp

Chinzombo Bar South Luangwa

Location: South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Night Drive, Village Tour, Swimming Pool, Fly Camp

Avg. Price: $3,200 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

We’ve been asked what the absolute best camp we’ve stayed in has been. While that question is too difficult to answer, the most luxurious lodge is Chinzombo in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Chinzombo has an amazing location along the Luangwa River so you will likely find hippos and crocs lingering around night and day.

The park itself is famed for its high leopard population along the riverbanks during the dry season. It provides visitors a good chance of spotting the elusive leopard right form their villa.

Each villa has a bathtub, shower, lounge, minibar, WiFi, and a climate-controlled king-sized bed. The villas deck provides guests a large area for relaxing, take advantage of spa services, and swim in the plunge pool.

The lodge is managed by the highly regarded Norman Carr Safaris who are experts at walking safaris and have some of the best guides in Africa. It is easily the most luxurious lodge you’ll find on this list. The fact it’s located in the fabulous South Luangwa Park makes it only better! Find out why the South Luangwa is awesome!

Read About Our Time At Chinzombo

Plan A Trip To Chinzombo

Ila Safari Lodge

Kafue National Park, Zambia

Location: Kafue National Park, Zambia

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Night Drive, Village Tour, Swimming Pool,

Avg. Price: $1,200 – 1,300 (Double Occupancy)

We are both incredibly conscious about our footprint when we travel. It’s why we always recommend eco-friendly products to travel with.  That’s why we loved our stay at Ila Lodge in the Kafue National Park in Zambia.

Ila Lodge is a brand new eco-lodge that hits a home run on luxury and sustainability. We loved the solar-powered pontoon boat for cruises on the Kafue River and their electric Land Rover.

Leopard On Bank Of Kafue River
Leopard On Bank Of Kafue River

The lodge has nine tents in total all facing the beautiful Kafue River. The rooms are open and allow for a blurred line between nature and your room.

The thatched main structure offers an infinity pool, elevated dining area, lounge, coffee station, full bar, and beautiful fire pit. After our game drives in the park, we were to come back to the lodge and enjoy romantic top quality meals.

Read About Our Time At Ila Lodge

Plan A Trip To Ila Safari Lodge

Chiawa & Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Elephants inZambia

Location: Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Type: Bush Camp and Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Night Drive, Swimming Pool (Chiawa), Canoe, Bush Dinner, Fishing, Gym (Chiawa),

Avg. Price: $2,600 – $2,800 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Chiawa and Old Mondoro are owned and operated by the same family in the Lower Zambezi National Park. I would suggest anyone traveling to Lower Zambezi to try out both camps.

Chiawa is the larger of the two and in some ways slightly more luxurious. The tents are all large and comfortable with an outdoor shower and indoor bathtub and shower. The main lounge area is fit to handle at least twenty guests and features a bar, upstairs lookout, pool, and even a fitness center.

Old Mondoro is the smaller of the two and much more “back to Africa” feeling. At Old Mondoro guests are truly in the heart of the African wilderness – no WiFi, no unnecessary structures, and completely open. Both camps offer excellent guiding, food, and activities in the Lower Zambezi.

Read About Our Time At Old Mondoro and Chiawa Lodge

Plan A Trip To Old Mondoro Bushcamp

Plan A Trip To Chiawa Camp

Little Ruckomechi Camp

Little Ruckomechi

Location: Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Night Drive,

Avg. Price: $2,200 – $2,500 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

It was only five minutes after we walked into our room that three elephants walked only meters away from our tent at Little Ruckomechi. Little Ruckomechi, or “Little Ruck” is the sister camp to Ruckomechi Camp in Wilderness’s own private concession in Mana Pools.

Little Ruck has four tents and can only accommodate eight people at camp. This makes the whole feeling of being in Mana Pools much more intimate and relaxed. Mana Pools is already far removed from the madding crowds of busier parks so to stay in such an intimate camp feels wild and unique.

We loved the design of the Wilderness Safaris tents and main camp at both Ruckomechi and Little Ruck. They seemed to effortlessly blend safari and the modern touches. Safari activities are conducted on a private concession within the park so Wilderness guests have the wilderness to themselves.

Read About Our Time In Mana Pools

Plan A Trip To Little Ruckomechi

Gorges Lodge

Victoria Falls

Location: Batoka Gorge, Zimbabwe

Type: Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Night Drive, Boat Cruise, Victoria Falls (Most Are External Activities Not Included)

Avg. Price: $600 – 700 (Double Occupancy)

Built on the edge of Batoka Gorge, every room at Gorges Lodge has one of the best views we’ve ever seen. The lodges main highlight is its proximity to Victoria Falls. With only a 30 minute drive to the Vic Falls entrance, this is an ideal place to stay when viewing the magnificent falls.

However, there is much more to this area than Vic Falls. Guests here can take a stab at spotting the rare Verreaux eagle, take a trip to the local communities, or even go white water rafting.

At the end of the day nothing is better than coming back to the lodge while falling asleep to the sound of water flowing beneath them.

Read About Our Time at Gorges Lodge

Plan A Trip To Gorges Lodge

Sand Rivers Selous Camp

Safari Shorts

Location: Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Fly Camp, Fishing, Sundowners, River Cruise, Boat Cruise, Night Game Drive

Avg. Price: $2,200 – 2,500 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Tanzania is one of the best countries in the world to go on safari, and I’m not just talking about traveling to the Serengeti. Selous Game Reserve is one of the largest game reserves in the world and one of the least visited. We enjoyed a four day Selous safari with Nomad Tanzania.

The Rufiji River serves as the artery to the park and contributes to the stunning natural features of the park. Our safari in the Selous was enchanting.

Sand Rivers Selous

The eight thatched guest bandas, are set on raised wooden platforms that overlook the river. The rooms are open-fronted, low-key and permit the wilderness to drift into the villas. The sounds of the babbling Rufiji river are ever present while hippos grunt happily along the riverbanks.  

Sand Rivers Selous also offers guests the chance to go on game drives, fishing, boat cruises, walking safaris, and fly camping. Fly camping is their signature experience which we recommend for anyone that wants to go camping in Africa in comfort.

Read About Our Time In Sand Rivers Selous Camp

Plan A Trip To Sand Rivers Selous Camp

Ololo Safari Lodge

Nairobi National Park Ololo Lodge Bridge

Location: Nairobi National Park, Kenya

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Nairobi Tours, David Sheldrick Trust, Local Artists (Activities Not Included)

Avg. Price: $300 – 600 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

We arrived at Ololo Lodge not knowing what to expect. The location of the quaint country lodge is on the Southern border of Nairobi National Park. The lodge is owned and operated by a lovely Australian couple who were crazy enough to give lodge management a stab.

They have taken everything they know from their two backgrounds – farming and furniture design – to build Ololo Lodge. The lodge used to be a traditional farmhouse that was restored into comfortable stable rooms, Safari tents, and even a tower suite that all compliment the old countryside theme.

Nairobi National Park

They strive to grow as much as their food as they can from a large organic garden on the property. Which means they serve up some delicious farm to table cuisine. Even if you are not staying at Ololo you can swing by for a meal on their beautiful property. I would recommend making reservations on weekends as it gets busy.

Read About Our Time at Ololo Safari Lodge

Plan A Trip To Ololo Safari Lodge

Kinondo Kwetu

Kinondo Kwetu

Location: Diani Beach, Kenya

Type: Beach Lodge

Activities: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Sauna, Pool, Fishing, Water Activities, Gym, Horseback Riding,

Avg. Price: $1,000 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

We didn’t know much about the coast of Kenya before we got there. We landed in Mombasa after an epic safari in the Masai Mara and made our way to Diani Beach.

Our first stop was Kinondo Kwetu, a small boutique barefoot beach lodge run by a young Swedish couple. The Bohemian lodge is great for both couples and families as there is plenty to do and plenty of places to just relax on this property.

Kinondo Kwetu has not one, but two pools – one for adults and one pool large enough to hold scuba diving lessons. The property has sun beds, a sauna, and various hideaways used for meals.

There’s also a stable onsite to go horseback riding along the beach. As well as kayaks, a slack line, a yoga studio, and a fitness center to stay active. It topped our list as one of the best Diani Beach hotels. 

Read About Our Time at Kinondo Kwetu

Plan A Trip To Ololo Lodge

Kigelia Ruaha Camp

Kigelia Camp - Nomad Tanzania

Location: Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Type: Safari Camp

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Bush Walks, Sundowners, River Cruise, Boat Cruise, Night Game Drive

Avg. Price: $1,500 – 1,800 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

Kigelia Camp, like Old Mondoro in Zambia, is another African camp that is back to basics. Located along the dry riverbeds in Ruaha National Park this embodies the classic safari camp.

Coffee on a brisk morning and sundowners around a fire are what await you at Kigelia. This magical camp is one of our favorite safari lodges in all of Africa for very good reason.

Here each tent is open with a king size bed, a bucket outdoor shower, and bucket sinks. There is no hard electricity here or WiFi. Like mentioned, this is old school safari, but in a great way!

This was our last stop in Africa and it couldn’t have been more fitting. Falling asleep to the sounds of lions grunting and waking up to the sounds of fish eagles calling is exactly what we want out of an African safari.

Read About Our Time at Kigelia Ruaha Camp

Plan A Trip To Kigelia Ruaha Camp

Victoria Falls River Lodge

Victoria Falls River Lodge

Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drive, Birding, Fishing, Sundowners, River Cruise, Boat Cruise, Night Game Drive

Avg. Price: $1,000 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

When we first were shown our room at the lodge we were blown away by the size. The room was monstrous with a king-size bed,  sectional couch, coffee bar, indoor and outdoor shower, and a two-person bathtub.

The room was bigger than our one-bedroom apartment in New York. I asked them what we had done to be given the best room, and they told me that all of the rooms were the exact same! The next few days were spent enjoying a comfortable bed and taking baths while overlooking the lush bush and Zambezi River.

Every day at the lodge guests can choose to go on either a morning or afternoon game drive around the Zambezi National Park. We hit Zimbabwe at the beginning of the rainy season and all the green was refreshing to see after a month in Namibia.

We opted to wake up early, throw on some safari clothes, and catch the animals before the heat of the day. All the heavy rains and lush bush made the wildlife harder to spot, but we still managed to end our game drive with zebra, giraffe, elephant, impala, warthog, and vulture viewing.

I loved venturing around the Zambezi National Park compared to some of the more popular parks in Zimbabwe. We rarely saw other people and there was never a pile-up of cars gathering around an animal.

Read About Our Time at Victoria River Lodge

Plan A Trip To Victoria Falls River Lodge

Volcano Safaris Bwindi Lodge

Bwindi Lodge

Location: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Gorilla Trekking, Birding, Cultural Safari

Avg. Price: $1,400 – 1,600 Per Night (Double Occupancy)

It’s not something that happens often to us, but when we stepped out our Land Cruiser and arrived at Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge in Uganda we felt at ease. The individual rooms and lodge blended in with its natural surrounding.

Bandas feature windows that opened wide to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here there was no end to the lodge as the park spilled right onto the property that is frequented by mountain gorillas.

Gorilla trekking

The lodge feels secluded away, yet it is only a few minutes walk away from the Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest park entrance. It feels as if it is within the national park and makes for a relaxing wildlife experience. It’s the perfect place for a good book, coffee, and complete tranquility.

Bwindi Lodge was the perfect place to have a memorable experience while gorilla trekking in Uganda. Their environmental and conservation efforts were duly noted and appreciated.

The lodge gave clear support to the local communities and staff. At its core, the lodge is dedicated to aiding guests in gorilla trekking while ensuring general comfort, great amenities, and support.

Read About Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Read About Our Time at Bwindi Lodge

Plan A Trip To Bwindi Lodge

Chobe Water Villas

Location: Chobe River, Namibia (Botswana)

Type: Safari Lodge

Activities: Game Drives, River Safari, Sunset Cruise, Fishing, Birding

Avg. Price: $1,700 – 2,000

Chobe Water Villas sits on the wildlife-filled Chobe River.  It’s also the most modern accommodation we have seen in Africa. Walking into the main area transports you into a varying array of time zones and locations. The interior was decorated in chic white and gray décor and stark shapes.

Exploring the architecture and decoration of the hotel leads to sources of inspiration from around Namibia.  From the skeleton of a whale, to the seasonal rains that bring life.

Read About Our Time At Chobe Water Villas

Book A Stay at Chobe Water Villas

Book A Safari in Africa

African Safari

Traditionally if you wanted to book a safari you’d have to go to a travel agent and have them book your safari for you. They made suggestions for camps and lodges then presented you with a large bill. Most of the industry still operates in this fashion.

However, Timbuktu is a new platform that allows you to select the lodges you’d like and see the pricing per day that way you can select the best itinerary for yourself. They will then contact the lodges and help you through booking your safari. With experts on staff, they can also provide suggestions and arrange the little details much like a travel agent.

Plan Your Safari in Africa

What To Pack For Africa

Elephants in Zimbabwe

There are a few things that one should pack for an African Safari. We help you create your safari packing list and share some of our favorite safari products.

Things to do in Crete
Travel Insurance

We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage

SafetyWing is perfect for digital nomads. See our full review here!

Check Rates

Overland Tour in Africa

Traveling Africa on your own can be daunting to many travelers. However, there is no need to fear with overland tour companies who will show the ropes and a great time. You can check out some of them here to compare the different companies and possibly score a discount.

African Safari Tours

Grayl Waterbottle
Travel Water Bottle

Plastic pollution is a problem in Africa so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere. The tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, but a water purifier, like the Grayl waterbottle, works well!

However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.

Best Travel Water BottlesGrayl Ultralight Water Bottle

Travel in Zanzibar
Camera Gear

Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Africa. Our favorite pocket-sized point and shoot camera for quick trips are the Sony RX100V. It takes fantastic photos and video and is the size of your palm. 

For more professional photographs we use our Fuji XT-3, and LOVE IT.

Fuji X-T3

Best Cameras for SafariBest Cameras for VloggingBest Travel Cameras

Safari Hat

A good hat is both stylish and functional. In peak dry season there is little to provide shade, UV rays are intense and can easily burn the unsuspecting traveler. Check out our full break down of the best safari hats here!


I used this a lot in the on my Ruaha safari. Early mornings in the park can be pretty chilly so it helps break the cold. Once the sun comes out temperatures climb and things get very dusty. So, I use the shemagh to cover my face and electronics.

Safari Boots

If you’re wondering what necessities to bring to Africa then sturdy shoes are perhaps the most important thing you will need before you get to Africa.

I love my Merrell Moab Ventilators and have been going strong in them for two years! Check out my other recommendations on women’s shoes, and we have a post on the best safari boots.

I cannot stress a good pair of shoes enough because if you land anywhere outside of South Africa a quality pair of hiking shoes will be hard to come by. If you plan to walk around a lot get thick rubber soled shoes as acacia thorns are prone to stab through thin shoes. Cameron learned the hard way one day when he pulled a thorn out of his foot that went straight through his thin rubber sandals.

Best Binoculars for Safari


If you want to be able to spot and identify wildlife and birds then a good pair of safari binoculars is a must.

Safari Clothes for Africa

Safari Clothes

Packing the right safari clothes is always a good idea, but it’s never essential because you can wear whatever you want. We also go in-depth on the best women’s safari clothes!

Safari Bag

great daypack for travel is a solid idea to throw your stuff in for game drives and bush flights. Or you could try out a safari backpack.

Safari Pants

Lightweight pants that are made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. It’s what we wear most days when traveling around Africa as they’re comfortable, antibacterial, and protect our legs from mosquitos (malaria).

We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors. What’s great is they’re useful beyond Africa as they are a travel staple and we pack a pair everywhere we travel.

I like two pairs, one pair is made by prAna and rolls into capris and the other are convertible pants. For men, prAna makes the Stretch Zion Pant, a tremendous pair of hiking pants for a reasonable price.

Women’s PantsMen’s Pants

Safari Shirt

You’ll want a safari shirt while on safari. They are lightweight and keep the bugs away. Plus they look ideal in photos and blend into the environment around you!

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Africa Adapter


You’ll need this adaptor in Southern Africa, and this one in Eastern Africa.

Buy Before You Land

Africa Guidebook

Guide Book

Sometimes it’s nice just to have a real book in your hands when traveling. We recommend picking up a Lonely Planet to get you through the wireless nights. Are you going on safari? We always carry our Robert’s Southern Africa Bird Book and a good mammal guide.

Lonely Planet

Things to do in Crete

Rainbow Sandals

Sandals are great for walking around at night when you’re relaxing. Get yourself some Rainbow brand sandals, seriously everyone around you will be wearing them – and for a good reason. They are uber comfortable once you break them in and last forever!

Rainbow Sandals

Buff Headband


I love my buff. I usually wear it for keeping my hair back, but it’s also served its purpose as a scarf and wet rag too. Buffs last for years and aren’t only helpful in Africa. I actually wear mine every day when I’m snowboarding in the mountains. It’s been one of my top travel accessory investments ever!


Things to do in Crete


Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Africa. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.

We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.

Purchase Sunscreen

Beach Packing List Sunglasses


Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.

See Sunglasses

Best Travel Towel - REI Micro Lite towel

Travel Towel

Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.

Best Towels For Travel

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