Dreaming of spending a night at the most exotic location, surrounded by the most surreal sights (or sounds) in Africa? Here are some suggestions that might even outdo your wildest dreams.
1. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
Hearing about the world’s largest intact caldera doesn’t compare to taking in its breathtaking views on the private balcony of your stilted lodge. Perched on the rim of a caldera that’s nearly three million years old, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers panoramic views of the crater floor that drops 2000 feet below to a haven of wildlife. Suites are spacious, luxurious and are fitted with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Feel like cozying up to a fireplace with a cup of tea? A personal butler caters discreetly to your comforts, stoking your fireplace or preparing a rose-scented bubble bath in your ensuite bathroom.
2. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Uganda
Want a getaway that’s far from the hustle and bustle of other tourists? Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is literally up in the clouds. It’s high (at over 2000 metres above sea level), it’s remote and it’s intimate. Stay in your private cottage built of local volcanic stone, next to the Nkuringo trailhead for gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a wholesome, gourmet meal prepared from food grown in their organic garden.
3. The Manta Resort, Tanzania
What’s the only place in Africa where you can sleep beneath ocean waves and stargaze above them? Check out the Underwater Room of the Manta Resort. It’s an offshore suite that sits on a blue hole with plenty of coral and tropical fish. Your private floating island boasts a submerged bedroom with large windows, a lounging and dining area resting on the water surface and a sky deck for sunbathing and stargazing. Underwater spotlights illuminate surrounding waters for spectacular night-time viewing. The Manta Resort also offers seafront villas on the pristine sands of Pemba Island, a paradise with untouched territory to explore.
4. Wildwaters Lodge, Uganda
What better way to experience the great Nile than to be right on it? Nestled on a small island of thick rainforest, Wildwaters Lodge was built as part of an initiative to protect this previously over deforested area of Uganda. This exclusive, mid-stream island is only accessible by canoe. Go for an exhilarating raft ride on these thunderous rapids, take a plunge in the calm, naturally carved swimming pool, or enjoy a long soak in your claw-foot tub on your secluded deck overlooking the river! World-class luxury in a natural habitat.
5. Dodo’s Tower at Hippo Point, Kenya
A sanctuary for hippos and humans! Hippo Point is a private wonderland of wildlife, where you can walk alongside giraffes and zebras and watch hippos bathe in Kenya’s Lake Naivasha. Sleep in any of the charming bedrooms of the pagoda-like Dodo’s Tower, as the only guests of its eight stories. A gracious team of staff takes care of your needs, mind, body and spirit—a total retreat. Be pampered with massages or other therapies that use local, mineral-rich muds and oils. Adventures such as night drives, mountain biking or horseback riding can also be arranged. Just ask!
6. Greystoke Mahale, Tanzania
With no roads within 60 kilometers of camp, Greystoke Mahale is a true hideaway with only six bandas (wood and thatch dwellings) tucked into the edge of the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania. The veranda of your luxury banda opens directly onto the pristine, white sands of Kangwena Beach, which stretches along sparkling Lake Tanganyika, the only access to this remote paradise. After a day of chimp trekking, sail away in the sunset on a dhow with fresh sashimi onboard.
7. Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Hug and kiss a giraffe! This is the only place in the world where a Rothschild Giraffe would stretch its neck through the window to eat out of your hands while you’re sipping your morning coffee. Next to Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre is a breeding centre for the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. Also nearby is the former home and current museum of author Karen Blixen, who chronicled her Kenyan life in her famous book, Out of Africa. The Manor boasts ten splendid suites, mouth-watering meals and service that will not disappoint.
8. Tarangire Treetops, Tanzania
This is the treehouse of your wildest dreams! Hang out at a luxury suite hugging an ancient baobab tree, with a private balcony overlooking endless Tarangire plains. How about a scrumptious, four-course meal underneath the stars for a bush dining experience? With a water hole by the lodge, there is no shortage of animal visitors at Tarangire Treetops. Get up early to soar above these breathtaking plains of Tanzania in a balloon at sunrise.