Wildlife Holidays

Best luxury African safaris: Top wildlife national parks and game reserves

An African Safari is life changing and that is why in spite of its high costs people keep coming back for a bigger and better piece of Africa. This is why, for people for whom cost isn’t prohibitive, people like you, we have created a list of the best luxury African Safaris.

There has been no definitive list on the best luxury African Safaris, but we have given it a try in this article. If you know of any list, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or if we have left some good African Safari destination out please let us know and we will add it.

Before you proceed, do note that this list of luxury safaris in Africa has been complied basis feedback from local African and non-local travellers. Just so you know why we call them luxury African safaris – it is basis three things – the quality of the Safari, the amenities one can expect when on this safari and the high cost of the Safari. For seven days, these safaris can cost anywhere between 5,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars. If you are a real wildlife lover you will know that this cost is nothing when compared to the wildlife that one will be exposed to on such Luxury African Safaris.

1. Maasai Mara, Kenya

For all cat lovers Maasai Mara is the best place to be – whatever be the season. This is why Maasai Mara is the base for BBC’s Big Cat Diary television series. There are lots of leopards, cheetahs, lions, zebras and elephants all over. The best thing to witness here is the migrating wildebeest and zebra herds arriving from Serengeti – this has been dubbed the biggest wildlife entertainment ever. Our advice will be to plan your African safari during this wildlife migration, which happens in July.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: The cost of this Luxury African Safari will be anywhere from 4500 dollars to 6500 dollars.

2. Duba, Botswana

If you want to see huge African lions, which hunt in daytime, Duba in Botswana is the place to be. This place is a 60,000-acre forest area where normal people can’t go by road. Most of the National Geographic documentaries or BBC films you see on African lions are shot at Duba, Botswana. To get an idea about this luxury Wildlife Safari in Africa, watch this documentary called “Relentless Enemies” – a film on the fights between lions and buffaloes.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: Approximately 6500 dollars/person on twin sharing.

3. Zambezi Valley, Zambia

Safari in Zambia
A herd of African buffaloes come together against attacking lions. Seyms Brugger / Shutterstock.com

For having the wildest and densest vegetation you need a river nearby and the Zambezi valley has its own Zambezi river which flows sluggishly through these parts. The wild is untouched and plays host to a lot of animals you don’t find anywhere else. If you decide to stay in tents, you may even be able to hear the lions moan and groan around you – this safari can get that intense. There are leopards and elephants, crocodiles, hyenas etc everywhere and can be seen at close quarters in this luxury safari. If you are going as a wildlife loving couple or a single, you can still enjoy the activities this safari offers – early morning angling for tiger fish, boating, canoeing etc.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: For a little more than 5000 dollars per person you can enjoy this luxury safari. This can be all inclusive deal, so you don’t have to worry about hidden costs at all. Of course, if you want to stretch your luxury and want business class travel you will have to shell out more for the air tickets.

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4. Mundulea Reserve, Namibia

This is a private luxury safari which can help you see lions, leopards, rhinos and elephants, not to mention a host of other wild animals of Africa. Bruno Nebe has spent years nurturing both the flora and fauna of the reserve and making it as wild as possible. He is considered to be the finest guide in the whole of Africa – at least that is what people who have been on African Safaris multiple times and have seen multiple guides say.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: Generally a luxury trip to Mundulea will cost you anywhere from 5000 dollars to 7000 dollars on twin sharing. If you want to extend the luxury in the flight as well, business class return ticket increases the cost further up.

5. Northern Kenya

Safari in Kenya
Wildlife lovers in safari jeeps snap photos of a big wild elephant crossing dirt road in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Matej Kastelic / Shutterstock.com

In Northern Kenya right next to the Ethiopian border you can find one of the finest African wildlife centers. Amongst the local folks that live there on this safari you will be able to spot lions, elephants, wild goats and wild cows. Anna Trzebinski and her husband Lemarti (who manage this property) during every safari tour manage to show you an Africa, which just doesn’t exist anywhere else. Most dinners are around the camp fire and most tea sessions are around a kettle hung over a wild fire – so you will be close to wilderness even when you aren’t close to the animals.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: The all inclusive cost of a luxury Safari in Kenya will set you back by about 6000 dollars on twin sharing basis.

6. Gorillas, Rwanda

After the Genocide, which once earmarked Rwanda on the World map, (haven’t you seen the Hollywood movie ‘Hotel Rwanda’?) it has now come a long way. The incomes are rising and people have moved on. The basis of this progress has been the tourism industry, at the core of which lies wildlife safaris organized by the tour operators, through their forests. In Rwanda, the hikes are the best – they are costly because they are luxurious but they are worth it. You can see a lot of gorillas here.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: We recommend you divide your time between two places during your safari – the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge and the Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Uganda. Such a division of your time ensures you make the most of your luxury African safari. The cost for this two-stop tour, which you can book with any good African tour operator will be around 5500 dollars on twin sharing basis.

7. Kruger, South Africa

Safari in South Africa
A leopard (Panthera Pardus) crosses the road as wildlife lovers watch from their safari jeep. This was in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

Kruger Park has the best rated luxury African Safaris there are – dominated by expensive luxury lodges with great food and wine. The best part of Kruger National Park is the northernmost part where South Africa shares the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. If you are in this area it will be worthwhile to learn about a tented camp called Pafuri. Kruger is known for abu the dance of wildlife which will make every dollar spent on this wildlife safari make it a great holiday.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: For a weeklong stay at the Pafuri camp, you may end up paying somewhere between 4500 dollars to 5500 dollars. These prices will be all inclusive what with accommodation, three meals, drinks, game safaris, and other activities.

8. South Luangwa, Zambia

This wildlife park in Zambia isn’t for the sissies. Please embark on this luxury wildlife African safari only if you have the balls to do so. This Safari is conducted by walking and sometimes the wild animals may head towards you and you may have to run for your lives. On this safari you live life as the real sons-of-the-soils have lived their life for centuries. This is a very hot destination with the average temperature being around 40 degree Celsius.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: The cost of a safari here is around 4750 dollars per week – on twin sharing. So it is great for both singles and couples.

9. Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Safari in Botswana
A 4×4 safari van comes face2face with a huge African elephant at one of the National parks in Botswana. Josep Pena Llorens / Shutterstock.com

Kalahari has two sides – desert, dust, heat, thirst and deprivation on one side and on the other there is the amazing brown grass, acacia trees, snakes, the African hare, the dung beetle in the mud, the jackal, springbok, ostrich and the gemsbok. Not to mention the big-roaring and black maned Kalahari lion. In here you can create your own luxury safari all you got to do is hire sophisticated camper vans (which exist in the Kalahari) and drive through the Kalahari. No other Luxury Safari can give you the amount of fun you can get when you are on your own in an unknown land. Don’t worry, these camper vans come with fridges, swanky tents you can set up and various other luxury amenities you are used to.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: If you don’t hire the luxury camper vans, the cost of your week-long holiday in Kalahari will be approximately 6000 dollars. But if you do hire, and you get a good deal. It may cost you upwards of 500 dollars per day for rent of the camper alone.

10. Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

If you want to see huge lions and get scared by them, Tanzania is your safari place. If you have been to all the luxury safaris in Africa, you may end up selecting this one as the best – you just might. There are cheetahs, leopards and lions to be seen often. Ruaha isn’t your pleasing to the eye beauty, it is the real wilderness – the one that Africa was and should have been. If moaning and groaning lions during the night scare you, this might not be the place for you.

Cost of this Luxury African Safari: This safari is in the higher luxury range what with a single person ending up shelling as much as 6000 dollars for a weeklong safari experience.

Now you know so much, which of the ones explained above is the Best Luxury African Safari?

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