Africa's top 5 luxury lodges

Inspired by epic landscapes and a desire to experience nature at its wildest, architects have created some stunning luxury lodges in Africa. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or to treat yourself to a getaway with friends, these incredible lodges will take your breath away.

Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Bisate Lodge has to be the most extraordinary looking lodge in Africa. Set in the natural amphitheatre of an eroded volcano cone, its six forest villas are inspired by the shape of gorillas’ nests.

Just like the gorillas you are here to see, you will be living amongst the trees. Your view is of the forest, and of the volcano peaks beyond.

Natural materials and colours feature prominently in the domed villas, all of which have thatched roofs and open fireplaces inside. Imagine yourself chilling on your private terrace after a day spent tracking endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.

Book Bisate Lodge.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro Conservation area, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Jeff Lemond

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Photo Credit: Jeff Lemond

Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is one of the richest wildlife watching destinations in Africa. 25,000 large animals, including crater lions, black rhino, and wildebeest make their home here.

We love the ornate architecture and the attention to detail in the design. The lodge juxtaposes the African landscape with chandeliers, gilt mirrors, and brocade sofas.

The facilities and level of service are superb. Guests have their own butler, in room massages, and access to a remarkably well stocked wine cellar.

It’s a world class hotel in the African wilderness.

Book Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Pumulani, Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Pumulani offers a beach stay with a difference: this lodge is above a lake in a country which is completely landlocked. 

It's a fantastic place to relax, especially if you’re a watersports lover. Try water skiing or snorkelling, diving, kayaking, or sailing straight from the lodge’s private beach.

Private villas are built into the hillside, making the most of Pumulani’s views of Lake Malawi. The infinity pool and terrace restaurant both have enviable locations, and sunset over the lake is remarkable.

A great place to relax after a safari in Malawi or Zambia.

Book Pumulani.

Summerfield Resort, Manzini, eSwatini

Summerfield Resort, Eswatini

Summerfield Resort, Eswatini

Summerfield Botanical Garden is one of the most important collections of native plants in Southern Africa, and within this lush green environment you’ll find the finest lodge in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland).

The lodge’s raison d’etre is to support this botanical wonderland.

Guests stay in Garden Villas dotted around the site. They are spacious, beautifully designed and built, and maintain a sense of privacy.

You can dine by candlelight at a restaurant which appears to be floating. The food is divine, and there is also an excellent selection of South African wines and cocktails.

King Lewanikia Lodge, Liuwa Plain, Zambia

King Lewanika Lodge, Zambia

King Lewanika Lodge, Zambia

Saving the best to last, King Lewanika Lodge is a luxury lodge without equal.

Miles from anywhere, most guests arrive by helicopter. You fly above the vast expanses of the Liuwa Plain National Park. The lodge is totally immersed in its epic landscape.

Just 14 guests can stay here at a time so you'll have the park to yourself.

The canvas sides of the sumptuous canvas villas roll up, making the most of the views. Sleeping in a king size bed, you might well hear the lions roaring at night.

Book King Lewanika Lodge.

- By Sophie Ibbotson