South Africa's bush veld holds a special enchantment. Seeing rhino, elephant and antelope come to drink at sunset from the porch of your lodge, the roar of lions serenading you to sleep, typical African dishes prepared on a fire and spectacular game drives create life-long memories.
Enveloped in this incredible landscape and thrilling atmosphere South African game reserve accommodation offers 5 star hospitality, extensive facilities and the perfect vantage points from where to view animals roaming the plains. It is an absolute must-do and the only question really is which will be the best bush lodges at which to book your stay. We offer a list of the top options with an abbreviated overview.
Top National Parks and Private Reserves
Balule Game Reserve
Balule Nature Reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park.
With active wildlife conservation efforts, several national parks and wildlife reservations are found across the country.
The most popular which include the Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg and Madikwe are located toward the north, north-east and north-west of the country.
The Garden Route National Park lies on the country's spectacular south-east coast and the smaller Welgevonden a 2 hour drive north of Johannesburg. Within each an extensive choice of luxury bush veld style places to stay are available.
Kruger National Park +
The most well known in Africa sporting the big 5 up-close during safari drives. But you need not leave your safari lodge for epic wildlife viewing. With accommodation near water holes and with views over rivers you will often be rewarded with photo opportunities when animals come to drink.
Access to Kruger is made easy with 3 airports, Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit and Kruger Mpumalanga International connecting with flights from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Within the greater park private reserves offer 5 star game lodges, luxury tented accommodation and cozy chalets. To your right we list the best game reserves within Kruger.
Pilanesberg National Park +
Pilanesberg is very near Johannesburg, approximately 200 kilometers away which means it is also malaria free.
It encompass the popular Sun City Hotels and Resorts featuring water parks including the Valley of the Waves, casinos and golf courses. It includes the themed Palace of the Lost City Hotel literally rising from the jungle like the lost African kingdom it depicts, The Cascades hotel with footpaths through lush gardens filled with tropical birds, the stunning Cabanas hotel as well as self catering chalets, making it one of the best family friendly places to stay.
Madikwe Game Reserve +
Bordering Botswana in north-east South Africa, Madikwe offers luxury safari lodges, some with private pools, kid friendly accommodation for families and self catering suites.
Madikwe Hills, Impodimo, Morukuru, Jaci's and Royal Madikwe are top places to stay in Madikwe for families.
Madikwe is not as well known as Kruger and Pilanesberg, but it is one of the top conservation areas in the country. It is home to the big 5, the endangered wild dog, it is Malaria free and only 3 hours from Johannesburg.
Welgevonden Game Reserve +
Welgevonden is a 2 hour drive directly north of Johannesburg near the spectacular town of Thabazimbi in the Waterberg District of Limpopo Province, the easiest accessible of all in this part of the country.
A big motivation for choosing Welgevonden for your safari experience is the fact that it is Malaria free.
This smaller, private reserve includes the big 5 and host of other animal species and bush lodge accommodation come in rustic African style luxury with spectacular views.
Popular Kruger Lodges
Hamiltons Tented Camp
Drift back in time in luxury colonial style tented lodging. Read More