Top Private Safari Lodges to consider for Group Vacations

Travelling in groups can be fun yet exhausting. You have to take care of accommodation, activities to indulge in, transportation and all the other maddening little details that make group vacations fun. Of course, you could enlist the help of a travel concierge company, or you could just consider going on a safari with companies that offer private villas to families and other types of groups.

Private safari vacations are not a new concept: guests have always had the option to buy out residences whether they were on a safari or not. However, the recent global health challenges we’ve faced have increased their popularity, with more businesses coming up with interesting and enticing offers for large groups.

Whether you’re going with family, friends or colleagues, here are some top safari lodges offering excellent exclusive-use options.

&Beyond Phinda Homestead, Phinda Private Game Reserve South Africa

andBeyond is no stranger to luxury safaris, so it is no surprise one of its lodges makes the list.

The pool at andBeyond Phinda Homestead
The Phinda Homestead is a spacious private villa perfect for private group vacations. Image courtesy of andBeyond Phinda

Its Phinda Homestead, located on the edge of a forest in the northern section of Phinda Private Game Reserve, is an exclusive-use private villa that comes with a dedicated ranger and tracker team, butler, and private chef.

The lion safari at andBeyond Phinda Homestead
Activities to indulge in include the lion safari. Image courtesy of andBeyond Phinda

Its four private bedrooms and multiple communal spaces where guests can gather make it a great option for families and small groups. Other notable facilities include an interactive kitchen, gym, and spa.

Mara Bush Houses, Mara North Conservancy, Kenya
outdoor dining at the acacia mara house
The large, expansive space at the Acacia and Mara House make them a great option for a group of vacationers. Image courtesy of Mara Bush Houses

The Acacia and Mara House are 3-bedroom, fully-staffed houses whose location in a more remote part of the Mara make them the ideal private lodges for larger groups.

Safari drive at the Mara Bush Houses
And when you’re not relaxing at the lodge, you and other members of your group can explore the wildlife. Image courtesy of Mara Bush Houses

There really isn’t any set itinerary for guests, which means that working with your assigned guide, you can indulge in a myriad of new and interesting activities daily, including excursions to the nearby communities and photographic safaris.

Malilangwe House, Pamushana, Zimbabwe
The Malilangwe house is a private lodge suitable for group safari vacations
The Malilangwe House comes with a great view of its surroundings. Image courtesy of Malilangwe House

Singita Malilangwe House’s unique location on a sandstone ridge affords guests a breathtaking panoramic view of their surroundings, which includes the Malilangwe Dam.

Star gazing at Malilangwe house
There is no shortage of activities to be enjoyed at Malilangwe. Image courtesy of Malilangwe House

The exclusive-use 5-bedroom home has a private deck for each room where each guest can relax if they are not out in the pool or interacting with the wildlife. There are also wellness experiences you can indulge in such as yoga and messages that you can enjoy in the privacy of your room.

Jabali Private House, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Jabali lodge is a private safari lodge for large groups
The exclusive-use lodge is a 3-bedroom residence. Image courtesy of Asilia Jabali

Another residence from Asilia, this time in Tanzania, Jabali Private House is a 3-bedroom space set in Tanzania’s largest national park.

Apart from indulging in typical safari activities under the direction of a private guide, guests can also take walks, go to the Jabali Ridge for a soothing massage or take refreshing dips in the private plunge pool.

The bedroom at the Jabali lodge
Image courtesy of Asilia Jabali

Of course, there is a dedicated chef and vehicle to help make the experience even more exclusive.

Okavango Spirit, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Looking for a more unique safari experience? The floating Okavango Spirit houseboat might just be what you need.

The Okavago Spirit houseboat
What’s better than a water-themed, private safari vacation? Image courtesy of Okavango Spirit

The houseboat situated in one of the most remote parts of the Okavango Delta offers guests eight private en-suite cabins fitted with private decks and an ever-changing view. An additional upper deck houses a communal dining area, a small lounge, a bar, and a sundeck perfect for game viewing and sipping afternoon sundowners.

The views on the Okavango Spirit change constantly
The ever-changing views make the floating house perfect for group vacations. Image courtesy of Okavango Spirit

Guests can also explore nearby islands and go on boating trips, among other activities.

Kataza House, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Last on the list, and by no means the least is Singita’s 4-bedroom Kataza House which can comfortably accommodate eight.

The Kataza House lodge for group safari vacations
Image courtesy of Kataza House

The heated plunge pools, cinema, fitness centre and wine cellar are some of the facilities guests will have access to in addition to the gorilla trekking and other safari experiences they will indulge in.

Source: Business Insider SA

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