Adventure • December 2015
Looking for a really special safari? From mountain biking through the African wilderness for a glimpse of elephants, to a luxurious lodge inspired by the world’s greatest explorers that’s a birdwatcher’s delight, travel writer Tamara Hinson recommends six camps with that wow factor
The highlight of Singita Lebombo Lodge is the accommodation – the 15 one-bedroom suites are almost entirely created from glass, making for breathtaking views. The lodge is also popular with wine lovers, thanks to its enormous cellar. In addition to game drives, visitors can enjoy walking safaris, stargazing safaris and archery lessons. Or there’s the beautiful pool – the perfect spot for a sundowner.
Keep an eye out for: Lions, often spotted at the N’wanetsi River.
The refurbished Belmond Eagle Island Lodge boasts 12 tented rooms with plunge pools and outdoor decking. Expect nods to the golden age of exploration, with waxed-leather upholstery and minibars that resemble an explorer’s toolbox. The huge beds face the Okavango Delta for animal-spotting views.
Keep an eye out for: Colourful and varied birdlife – this part of Botswana is popular with twitchers.
At Sindabezi Island there are just five thatched chalets. The property’s location, on the banks of the Zambezi River, makes for fantastic wildlife spotting, but for an adrenaline rush head to Victoria Falls for bungee jumping, a helicopter excursion or white-water rafting adventure. The property is environmentally friendly, with solar lighting and open-air showers.
Keep an eye out for: Morris, the local hippo, often seen taking a wary look at Sindabezi’s guests.
Visitors to Katara Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park can sign up for chimp-tracking excursions, a cruise along the wildlife-filled Kazinga Channel, or simply relax on the balcony with a book from the lodge’s library. It’s also possible to take in the park’s beauty from a hot-air balloon.
Keep an eye out for: Monkeys – the park has 10 species of primate.
Stay at the Jozibanini Camp in Hwange National Park and explore the African wilderness by mountain bike. Navigate the trails made by elephants as you wind your way between the fossil-filled sand dunes. The camp also has a brilliant game-viewing blind: a steel container buried in the sand, allowing close-up sighting opportunities.
Keep an eye out for: Elephants, which can be found next to the local watering hole.
Rwanda isn’t just about gorillas: a few months ago, seven South African lions were reintroduced to Akagera National Park. Stay at the tranquil Ruzizi Tented Lodge on the banks of Lake Ihema, which can accommodate 20 people in nine tents, each with a private patio and separate dressing area.
Keep an eye out for: The lions, naturally.