The Best Exclusive-use Safari Lodges in Africa

Has your family or group of friends discussed going on an African safari? You are not alone! Africa is increasingly becoming a favorite destination for families and friends alike. And to accommodate this, absolutely beautiful private-use villas have been built in the most iconic and wild safari destinations. 

Each exclusive-use lodge on this list aims to provide a more flexible and personalized safari experience. With each sole-use villa comes your own personal dedicated hospitality and guiding team, allowing you to enjoy your stay in the way you would prefer. Guaranteeing an even more private, relaxed and individualized safari experience for the whole family or private group. Explore our guide and discover the best exclusive-use safari lodges in Africa. 

andBeyond Phinda Homestead

Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa 

Ubuntu Travel Co-founder, Leah Green, once expressed that “andBeyond Phinda Homestead would be the ideal choice to someday introduce our daughter, Charlie, to Africa’s beauty and wildlife…” And it is easy to understand why, this exclusive-use villa truly has everything you would want from a safari experience. andBeyond Phinda Homestead is located inside Phinda Private Game Reserve, a 73,800 acre private reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Known for its incredible cheetah and rhino sightings, this protected wilderness is home to the big five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo), seven distinct habitats and an inspiring conservation and community development story going beyond 30 years!

Phinda Homestead is a sole-use safari villa, with four spacious bedrooms, interactive kitchen, fully equipped gym and boma. But it is the private rim-flow pool that will bring the herds together, literally! In the drier months of the year, herds of elephants are known to consistently visit the pool to have a drink. Imagine it! Sitting between game drives with your family or friends watching a herd of elephants on your doorstep. 

For private groups or multi generational families, Phinda’s unique Impact Experiences need to be highlighted. During your stay at Phinda, you can organize authentic conservation experiences like rhino notching, elephant collaring, bird tagging and pangolin research with the dedicated Phinda Conservation team. Co-founder, Kyle Green, experienced a rhino conservation experience first-hand. Watch our video below for a glimpse of the experience with him and Les Carlisle, andBeyond’s former Group Conservation Manager.

  • Why do we love it! 

    • Dedicated guide, tracker, butler and chef during your stay
    • Phinda Adventure activities (Maputaland beach excursions)
    • Phinda Impact Experiences (rhino;elephant;pangolin)
    • Rim-flow pool with regular visitors (elephants) 
    • Big Five with exceptional cheetah and rhino viewing

Suggested Itinerary – Conservation Safari South Africas 

Arijiju Retreat

Borana Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya  


Imagine a world where your two favorite ways to travel collide. Arijiju is not just a safari lodge, but a wellness retreat, too. This exclusive-use villa in Kenya’s rolling hills of Laikipia is an oasis you didn’t even know you could dream up. Unbelievably surreal, this lodge is the perfect place to take a group of friends or celebrate a special family occasion.

Sleeping up to 10 guests in 5 bedrooms, the lodge features plenty of in-house activities to keep the young ones (and young at heart!) entertained. There’s a clay tennis court on-site, a large infinity pool, a library, games room, ample outdoor terraces and a full service staff of 14 to service the retreat.


The Laikipia area is known for its incredible variety of wildlife, including rhino, elephant, leopard, cheetah and lion. Away from your twice daily game drives, you can explore the region on horseback, mountain biking and even go rhino tracking with your guide!

Why do we love it! 

  • Big Five game drives (including cheetah and wild dogs)
  • Adventure activities like rhino tracking and horseback riding 
  • Expansive infinity pool overlooking the Borana Conservancy 
  • Cinema and games rooms for family entertainment
  • Dedicated conservation and community development program

Colina Verde Luxury Home 

Machangulo Peninsula, Mozambique

Situated in Mozambique’s remote Machangulo Peninsula, just south of the Kruger National Park, is the perfect sole-use beach house for any family or private group looking for some beach time after a safari in South Africa. Colina Verde is a private home positioned on a forested dune overlooking the warm Indian Ocean. With 7 uniquely styled rooms, it can accommodate 6 to 18 guests. The house is fully serviced with a chef, experienced resident hosts and supporting staff. So you can completely relax and take advantage of the many activities offered during your stay. 


Because you are on a peninsula. On the one side, you can enjoy calm water activities like snorkeling, kayaking and beach picnics. While on the other, towards the open ocean, you can go deep sea fishing, watch migrating whales and monitor sea turtles (seasonal). While back at your Mozambique home, there is a large oval heated pool, hot tub, shaded bar and panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. We know, perfect right!


Why do we love it! 

  • Easy access from Maputo after a safari 
  • Fully serviced with chef, host and supporting staff
  • A variety of water and beach activities 
  • Giant Trevally tagging for the ocean conservationist 
  • 360 panoramic views of the Indian Ocean

Cheetah Plains

Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa 

The prestigious Sabi Sand Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s most celebrated wilderness areas. Known for its exceptional leopard viewing and predator interactions, the Sabi Sands provides a unique big five safari experience. 

Located in the north-east of the reserve, Cheetah Plains provides a completely exclusive experience with its unique ultra-luxury villas. Celebrating sophistication and innovation, each of the three four-bedroom villas can accommodate a maximum of 8 guests. Complete with a shared living space, swimming pool, outdoor boma, climate controlled gym, wine gallery and fully equipped chef’s kitchen. All with a complete hospitality team to make sure you are looked after. Absolutely perfect for multi-generational families or a private group. While on safari, enjoy the sounds of bush completely undisturbed while cruising on their electric vehicles with your dedicated guide and tracker.


Why do we love it! 

  • Situated inside the Sabi Sand Game Reserve
  • A “green safari” in electric 4×4 safari vehicles
  • Complete hospitality team including culinary team 
  • Swimming pool with deck area overlooking the reserve 
  • Renewable energy source (two villas 100% off the grid)


Asilia Jabali Private House

Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

A private safari experience in a rugged reserve where 10% of the world’s wild lion population live… with practically no crowds. This is the type of (natural) luxury you can expect during your stay at the intimate Asilia Jabali Private House in the Ruaha National Park, Tanzania.  

Surrounded by ancient baobab trees, Jabali Private House has just three bedrooms, an open lounge, dining area and (of course) a pool overlooking the Ruaha National Park. You will be looked after by a dedicated team – including a private chef, guide and tracker – allowing you to design your day as you would like. Besides watching a pride of 20 plus lions all by yourself, the park also boasts the largest population of elephants in Tanzania. Cheetah and wild dogs can also be seen here with over 570 bird species recorded.


Why do we love it! 

  • Remote destination without the crowds 
  • 10% of the world’s wild lion population 
  • Dedicated hospitality team – including guide and tracker 
  • Specially designed photographic vehicle for professionals and enthusiasts
  • Night drives and walking safaris available

Morukuru River House

Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Situated on a private concession inside the wildlife-rich and malaria-free Madikwe Private Game Reserve, Morukuru River House is the perfect exclusive-use safari house for a family escape. Perched quite beautifully on the perennial Marico River, the lodge has three double ensuite bedrooms. With the private swimming pool providing the perfect spot to cool off and relax between your game drives. Quite naturally, the house also comes complete with a dedicated staff team, including a chef, butler, host, nanny, housekeeper and private safari guide and tracker team.


Besides searching for the “magnificent seven” (lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo, elephant, cheetah and wild dogs) the Morukuru “Safari with a Purpose” program also provides a unique opportunity to participate in conservation work, like elephant collaring and rhino notching. The unique Morukuru hide provides a wonderful spot to enjoy some game viewing of a frequently visited waterhole. For the adventurous romantics, however, you can arrange a sleepout at the hide with no extra costs.  *Please Note: conservation experiences need to be arranged in advance.

Why do we love it! 

  • Malaria-free safari in Madikwe 
  • “Safari with a Purpose” program 
  • Private concession – meaning fewer crowds 
  • Big Five game viewing with cheetah and wild dog
  • Morukuru hide and sleepout

Royal Malewane Farmhouse

Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa

The Royal Malewane Farmhouse is a three and half bedroom exclusive-use villa inside a private concession within the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa. Just perfect for those planning a get-together with lifelong friends. And just look at that pool and outside area! 


As the name suggests the Greater Kruger forms part of the iconic Kruger National Park, with animals moving across fenceless borders. The only difference is, you will be viewing the big five without the crowds. And with ethical offroading practices, you will be able to follow the natural drama of this unique and wild area. A stay at the Farmhouse is naturally complemented with a dedicated safari guide, tracker and hospitality staff to make sure your group or family are well looked after.

Why do we love it! 

  • Big Five safaris in the Greater Kruger National Park 
  • Ethical off roading practices 
  • Dedicated guide and tracker for entire stay 
  • Personalized dining with the finest South African wines 
  • Cookery demonstrations and wine tasting activities 

 Suggested Itinerary – A Group Escape to South Arica 

Zanzibar White Sand 

Paje Beachfront, Zanzibar, Tanzania

With all these wonderful exclusive-use safari lodges. We need to dive back into the warm Indian Ocean once more! And where better than Zanzibar White Sand, the only Relais & Chateaux member in Tanzania. Zanzibar White Sand offers an incredible five bedroom villa with a private pool, hot tube, home cinema and fully equipped kitchen.


You also have access to two restaurants to choose from, both right on the white sandy Paje beachfront! Enjoy island life with a variety of activities from kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, champagne cruises, sailing and even learn to kitesurf at the resort’s watersport center.

Why do we love it! 

  • Tropical beach location with warm sea temperatures
  • A variety of island activities and watersports
  • Kitesurfing classes for the more active traveler
  • Only Relais & Chateaux member in Tanzania 
  • Two resort restaurants and in house dining experience

Suggested Itinerary – A Family Escape to Kenya and Zanzibar 

Singita Kataza House 

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda 

A private house, surrounded by ancient volcanoes, on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.  Singita Kataza House puts you quite literally just footsteps away from a life changing gorilla trekking experience! Take a moment to watch their video. It is just incredible!

The sole-use private house has four luxury suites, sleeping eight people, all with views of the Virunga Mountains and surrounding area.  The main areas feature two heated swimming pools, in and outdoor fireplaces, fully equipped fitness center, home cinema, wine cellar and interactive kitchen. All while being complimented by a dedicated staff to look after you and family or friends. 


We will quickly argue that gorilla trekking is the most humbling wildlife encounter one could experience. But please remember that the age limit for a gorilla permit is 15 and older. However, Singita Kataza House does provide childminding services,  so don’t let this stop you if you have a child younger than fifteen. 

Why do we love it! 

  • Gorilla trekking from your “home” in Rwanda 
  • Situated on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park 
  • Two heated swimming pools with Volcano views 
  • Fully dedicated staff throughout your stay (childminding) 
  • A nourishing farm-to-table dining experience

Suggested itineraryRwanda Gorilla Trekking 


Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime?

If you’re thinking of planning a trip, we’re here to help! Our team of travel designers will create an itinerary just for you to create memories to last a lifetime and conquer your bucket list. Get in touch with us today to start planning your adventure in Africa.

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