10 safari camps in Africa sorted by your favorite way to travel

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The idea of an African safari is a dream vacation for many people. Waking up amongst zebras, bush breakfasts with elephants, witnessing a lion kill – the definition of what comprises an ideal safari experience is different for everyone. Thankfully, there’s a camp to suit every style of traveler.

Planning your epic trip to Africa and not sure where to start? Here are 10 African safari camps for every type of adventurer.

The honeymooners

Not a bad view for a honeymoon wake-up at Mahali MzuriNot a bad view for a honeymoon wake-up at Mahali Mzuri — Photo courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Safari-bound newlyweds should look no further than a camp designed by Sir Richard Branson himself. Perched atop a cliff for unobstructed views of animal migration, Mahali Mzuri is located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a private reserve within Kenya’s famed Maasai Mara ecosystem.

The en-suite soaking tubs overlooking the Mara, intimate couples spa treatments designed to help connect travelers to their partner, and endless supply of bubbly dial up the romance for honeymooners and lifelong lovers alike. All-inclusive rates begin at $1800 per couple, per night.

The off-the-grid traveler

Waking up to 180-degree views of the Ngorongoro Conservation AreaWaking up to 180-degree views of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area — Photo courtesy of Asilia Africa

Travelers seeking to truly get off-the-grid should pinpoint The Highlands, located in a remote section of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands of Tanzania. Located at the highest altitude in all of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, eight domed suites offer panoramic views of the Gol Mountains, as well as the Empakaai and Olmoti Craters.

Aside from traditional game drives and guided safari walks, guests can take part in the ‘Olmoti Climb,’ which follows an ancient Maasai cattle trail through mountainous terrain, before giving way to crater views from the top. Rates include room, board and all activities and start at $528 per person, per night.

The family

Wake up amongst resident hippos at Finch HattonsWake up amongst resident hippos at Finch Hattons — Photo courtesy of Alex Roldan

Built to capitalize on the picturesque landscape of Tsavo West National Park in Eastern Africa, Finch Hattons brings Karen Blixen’s “Out of Africa” to life with 17 sustainably-built suites. That includes two-bedroom family suites, which feature a communal lounge ideal for families or couples traveling together.

The camp welcomes children ages 6 and older to participate in the Young Explorers’ Club, which offers age-appropriate activities, such as guided safari walks and bush survival skills, and features a kid-friendly play area. Two-bedroom suite rates are all-inclusive and start at $920 per guest.

The conservationist

Zebras graze outside Sabora Tented CampZebras graze outside Sabora Tented Camp — Photo courtesy of Singita

Singita’s Sabora Tented Camp is tucked within Grumeti Game Reserve in northern Tanzania. Founded upon a promise to protect and preserve African wilderness for future generations, it incorporates the company’s conservation philosophy in everything from zero waste and carbon, to locally-sourced food and sustainable water.

Nine luxury tents, designed at the intersection of Old World charm and modern amenities, offer guests an exclusive peek into the sanctuary of the Serengeti, where resident zebras are known to congregate outside. Rates, which include lodging, meals and game drives, begin at $1,475 per adult, per night.

The luxury traveler

Accommodations fit for a king and queenAccommodations fit for a king and queen — Photo courtesy of Royal Malewane

Aptly named Royal Malewane, set in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, caters to travelers seeking a true taste of the high life. A traditional safari experience with the opportunity for game drives, coupled with top-of-the-line comforts like handmade linen on four-poster beds and Persian rugs, makes this the ultimate in luxury experiences.

Guests wishing to elevate their getaway can choose to stay in Africa House, a private bush villa on property, boasting six bedrooms, private decks, a dedicated staff and exclusive use of a safari vehicle. Rates for standard suites begin at $1,900 per person, sharing.

The adventurer

The views are only half of what makes Virunga Lodga so specialThe views are only half of what makes Virunga Lodga so special — Photo courtesy of Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge

Tucked into the northern hills of Rwanda sits Virunga Lodge, where 12 luxury bandas, all equipped with fireplaces for chilly mornings and evenings, overlook the Virunga Volcanoes and Musanze Valley. The welcoming property offers more than any guest might need, including personal butler service, but the true draw is the proximity for gorilla tracking.

With daily gorilla treks led by skilled guides, guests (ages 15 years or older) can experience gorillas in the wild while navigating the dense tropical forests of Africa. While agility is required, all fitness levels are welcomed. Rates include accommodations, as well as all meals, spirits and activities, and start at $380 per person.

The photographer

A unique animal viewing experience from The Terrapin Hide at Jaci's LodgesA unique animal viewing experience from The Terrapin Hide at Jaci’s Lodges — Photo courtesy of Jaci’s Lodges | African Secrets Management

Professional photographers or wildlife enthusiasts seeking a unique perspective should book a stay at Jaci’s Lodges, set inside Madikwe Game Reserve in northwest South Africa. Morning and evening game drives are led by an experienced guide and tracker that understands ideal lighting and vehicle positioning for optimal photography. Also, additional equipment – think telephoto lenses and camera bodies – is available for rent.

Not quite convinced? The Terrapin Hide allows guests to immerse themselves in the watering hole for once-in-a-lifetime images right at water level. Designed with photography in mind, the structure accommodates for morning light and afternoon shadows and is open to all guests 24/7. Rates, inclusive of food, drink and game drives, begin at $577 per person.

The eco-friendly traveler

"Off the beaten path" takes on a whole new meaning at Makuleke Camp“Off the beaten path” takes on a whole new meaning at Makuleke Camp — Photo courtesy of EcoTraining Makuleke Camp

Travelers seeking an off-the-beaten path safari experience should look no further than EcoTraining’s Makuleke Camp. Located within a private concession of Kruger National Park in one of the most remote locations of South Africa, Makuleke is a truly immersive safari experience where guests can roll up their shirt sleeves and learn about the budding biodiversity of Africa.

Because EcoTraining is known for ecological learning experiences and guide qualification courses, travelers can anticipate boots-on-the-ground style learning initiatives that are more in-depth than a standard safari. The EcoQuest package for seven days starts at $1400 per person sharing, or around $235 per person, per night.

The city slickers

Not an uncommon scene at Giraffe Manor...Not an uncommon scene at Giraffe Manor… — Photo courtesy of The Safari Collection

Looking for a taste of safari without ever leaving the city limits? Check out Giraffe Manor, located in Nairobi, Kenya. Situated on 140 acres, this 12-room hotel features a stately exterior, as well as enchanting terraces and courtyards, but it is best known for the resident Rothschild’s giraffes that call the property home.

While the Manor makes no guarantees on giraffe interaction with guests, it is not uncommon for the curious creatures to poke their heads in the restaurant and bedroom windows. Rates begin at $620 per person, per night and include full room and board. Determined to stay here? Reserve ASAP; the hotel is typically booked out one year in advance.

The group travelers

Grab your favorite people and head to Klaserie SandsGrab your favorite people and head to Klaserie Sands — Photo courtesy of Klaserie Sands

Opened by husband and wife duo Louis and Lee-Ann Rautenbach in 2014, Klaserie Sands River Camp is situated within the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve in South Africa. With a maximum occupancy of eight guests, it’s the ideal camp for group travelers seeking an exclusively intimate safari experience.

Four guest suites are situated on a riverbed overlooking an active watering hole, where herds of elephants and antelope make regular appearances. Morning and afternoon game drives are standard, but swimming in the rim-flow pool with direct views of the watering hole at this property are a true bonus. Rates start at $996 per couple with full room and board.

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