Top 18 tented lodges in South Africa

Get one with the nature by sleeping in a luxury tented lodge in South Africa. Fall asleep with the sounds of the wild life and get an experience you will never forget! In this blog we love to tell you more about our favourites tented lodges in South Africa!

1. Ngama tented safari lodges, Kruger National Park

Ngama Tented Safari Lodge borders the Thornybush and Kruger National Park game reserves. The canvas tents sleep 2 or 4 people and have en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, and private decks. The main lodge overlooks the watering hole with a pool, sun deck, campfire, boma, and restaurant. Big 5 game drives are available at an extra cost.

Ngama meaning ‘place of the eagles’ is a delightfully intimate, family run tented safari lodge, that offers a true African experience. Where guests fall asleep to the sounds of the bush and are pampered with the warm hearted service that embodies the soul of Africa.

Discover a world of thrilling adventure in a place surrounded by nature and blessed with year-round sunshine. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, adrenaline junkie or simply love being in nature, there is something for everyone at Ngama Tented Safari Lodge.

2. Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, Waterberg

Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp is tucked away on the edge of the Mvubu plain in the 12,000 hectare Mabula Private Game Reserve. There are 5 luxurious en-suite tents on raised platforms, sleeping 2 people each. Meals are prepared in the thatched lapa and there is a splash pool at the edge of the savannah.

Gaze at the blazing bright starry Limpopo sky, and drift asleep to the cacophony of frogs and insects. Awake to the early morning cooing of the Cape Turtle Dove, then step outside on the deck to admire the Waterberg landscape. Nature lovers will revel from the unrivalled closeness with the Waterberg’s beautiful bush surroundings.

3. Bundox Safari Lodge, Hoedspruit

Bundox Safari Lodge has an 8-sleeper bush camp and 2 safari tents sleeping 2 people. The bush camp is private and has a communal kitchen, 2 open air bomas, a lounge, 2 elevated decks, a dining area, and a reading area – all without electricity. The safari tents have en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers, and a full board option is available. There is a swimming pool on-site.
Bundox Safari Camp is an authentic safari getaway situated in a private nature reserve, suitable for families with children, as well as couples wanting a romantic bush & spa break with also a host of activities available close by to choose from.

During the day, guests embark on their self-drive adventures or pre booked activites in the area, while those who choose to stay at the lodge can enjoy the swimming pool or the privacy of their accommodation.

The pace of life at Bundox Safari Camp is completely up to you!
Watch the video for more information here.

4. Summerfields Rose Retreat, Hazyview

This family-owned tented lodge really lives up to its name. A sanctuary on the banks of the Sabie River, amidst a gorgeous 100-hectare macadamia farm dotted with litchi trees and granadilla vines.

The tents are mostly geared for romance where you can choose a kingsize bed unit on the gurgling river or a quieter forest option that’s perfect for birding. There are two restaurants on site, using only the vegetables grown on the property, a communal lounge and pool area and roses absolutely everywhere – sprinkled on the walkways, in heart shapes on the deck and colourful bunches in all corners.

The Spa consists of private Balinese-style wooden rooms overlooking the Sabie River. Just 10 minutes from the Kruger Park and close to Panorama Route – the perfect place to relax and explore the area from.

Watch this video if you want to see more.

5. Maerua Luxury Safari Tents, Marloth Park

Maerua is an intimate refuge, secretly tucked away amongst the thickets of the lush bushveld, where you can feel one with South Africa’s nature.

Each luxury tent features a private veranda, overlooking a waterhole. Experience the total peace of unrivalled nature, while watching a variety of Warthogs, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest and Giraffes coming to feed daily. Hornbills will be chasing after insects in the nearby branches, completely unaware that they are being watched.
Maerua has three luxury safari tents, with a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, a lapa with a bar, a stone boma and plunge pool to share – there is more than enough space and amenities for a big family. Each tent has aircon, a private bathroom, bar fridge, coffee station and lockable door – just in case the baboons visit.

The camp is not equipped to take two different groups at the same time. So, even if two people book one or two tents, the entire camp is yours. From R900 for two people sharing one tent, R150 per additional guest older than three years (the camp accommodates eight adults and two extra kids on stretchers).

6. Hamilton’s Tented Safari Camp, Kruger National Park

Hamilton’s Tented Safari Camp exudes the luxury of a bygone era. There are 6 tented suites with romantic slipper baths, private verandas, air-conditioning, and outdoor showers overlooking the Ngwenyeni Dam. There is an open tented lounge and pool on-site.

Guests are accommodated in six exceptionally private luxury elevated tents overlooking the N’waswitsontso River. From your own private deck, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the bush that derives its existence from the river.

Traditional fittings and features such as old brass light switches, steamer trunks with vintage labels revealing exciting journeys and sepia-stained photographs enhance the tradition and style of this ‘turn-of-the-century’ luxury safari tent; modern comforts such as electricity, air conditioning and an outdoor shower the only clues that we live in a different time.

The décor is light and neutral; teak furniture and floors, gilded mirrors and crisp white linens deliver a classy luxury tent experience enhanced by the panoramic bush and river views that begin at the edge of the deck.

7. Gorah Tented Camps, Addo Elephant National Park

Sheltered under thatched canopies, Gorah’s tented suites are luxurious and spacious, recalling the golden era of safari in the early 1900s. Each lavish tent has its own private deck offering a panoramic view of the endless savannah plains. The plush interior of the tent is enhanced through the simplicity and the authenticity of solar power lighting and ceiling fans. The en suite bathroom with bespoke vanities and shower is discreetly situated to allow for complete privacy. To complete the experience the tented suite invites you to completely relax and unwind with a book on the comfy couch, or take an afternoon nap on the king size bed, with 300 count cotton sheets enveloping you and sending you to dreamland.

8. Kariega Game Reserve Settlers Drift, Hunters Lodge Game Farm

Located in a remote, malaria-free and untouched part of the Kariega wilderness (Eastern Cape), Settlers Drift offers a unique tented safari combined with 5-star luxury. The lodge consists of 9 spacious tented suites, each with stunning views and secluded viewing decks. Gazing down from the decks overlooking the Bushman’s River, it feels as if time has stood still since the last feet to have touched this remote valley were those of the 1820 Settlers as they guided their wagons across the river. The luxuriously appointed and perfectly positioned tented lodge delivers the ultimate guest experience.

9. Dwyka Tented Lodge, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, Hasekraal private nature reserve

Embraced by striking rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge epitomises an atmosphere of seclusion. Nine luxury tents, with private decks and heated Jacuzzis, are set in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine. The lodge stands proudly upon the beautifully weathered landscape reflecting the nomadic lifestyle of the Khoisan hunter-gatherers who once roamed this land. Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at the Relaxation Retreat, which offers an extensive menu of treatments and therapies. Dine alfresco in the boma or unwind in the communal lounge.

10. Tented Lodge at Botlierskop

With the Moordkuil River meandering lazily past them, each of the 21 spacious and elegant Botlierskop Luxury Tented Suites are spaced apart for privacy and rests gently on its wooden deck, blending seamlessly into their leafy, riverine and mountainous surrounds, offering splendid views out over the river and the mountains beyond.

Shaded by a canopy of ancient African trees, these tents are Colonial only in style. Every modern convenience and thoughtful touch will make you feel welcome and pampered.
Raised wooden walkways connect the suites to each other and the Main Lodge with its spacious lounge areas and open-plan Fireplace Restaurant that leads out on to the spacious wooden deck with wrap-around views of the valleys below.

11. Thanda Safari – Big 5 Game Reserve

Thanda Safari is a world of wilderness and wildlife, matched with a deep commitment to Zulu culture and environmental conservation. Thanda means ‘Love’ in the language of the Zulu people. Thanda Tented Camp offers an authentic safari adventure with 15 luxury safari tents in an evocative bush setting, enhanced by flickering firelight and lanterns guiding your way at night. This is bush living as nature intended: open and inviting with unparalleled closeness to the bush, its sights, smells and sounds. Each of the tents has a private sun deck and en-suite canvas bathrooms. The shared areas include a large rim-flow pool, a spa tent, atmospheric Hemingway-style lounge and dining area featuring authentic African artworks.

12. Tanda Tula, Limpopo

Tanda Tula Safari Camp is positioned amongst enormous trees on the banks of the Nhlaralumi Riverbed, in the heart of Big Five country. Visitors are welcomed into this picturesque camp which exudes “elegance with African roots”.

Tanda Tula Safari Camp is owned and run by Don and Nina Scott, together with their incredible team of staff. Guests are immediately captivated by the down-to-earth atmosphere of this family home, as well as the charm and warmth of the people that live and work here.

The camp is completely unfenced merging luxury with the natural environment.

The tented camp consists of just 12 secluded, luxury tents, each with a breathtaking view over the riverbed. The East African styled tents are the epitome of simple luxury, comfort and style mirroring the early tented camps of Africa. Each luxurious tent features its own en-suite bathroom, Victorian bathtub, outdoor shower and a spacious deck overlooking the riverbed and African bush.

13. Savanna Lodge Executive Suite, Hazyview

The beautifully appointed suites nestle amongst indigenous bush and trees that provide privacy, quiet and a haven for birds. The epitome of elegance and comfort, the décor is a blend of colonial and classic with hand crafted furniture, fine linen and beautiful artwork. Three Executive and four Luxury Suites offer a unique ‘Out of Africa’ experience with canvas roofs above draped ceilings set on permanent structures. All have magnificent bathrooms and decks looking onto waterholes in the bush. The bedrooms have plush sitting areas and glass doors that open onto covered patios with private plunge pools facing waterholes in the bush. Quite and secluded, they offer a sanctuary of peaceful relaxation after the adrenalin rush of an exciting game drive.

14. Rhino Walking Safari, Skukuza

Plains Camp backs onto the confluence of the Mutlumuvi and Tswiriri rivers. It is named after the Timbitene Plain which stretches out in front of the camp. The rivers behind the camp are usually both dry, but can flow quite strongly when heavy localized rain falls.

An exclusive specialist safari experience, Rhino Walking Safari’s base camp is comprised of four tents overlooking the plain, where a variety of general game as well as predators can be spotted. The Timbitene waterhole at the end of the plain is a popular elephant drinking place.

For something completely different and a totally unrivalled wilderness experience, guests are able to walk from Plains Camp to their Sleep outs. These are 4m high elevated wooden platforms with tents on the top level where guests will be able to literally sleep out under the stars!

15. Marataba Safari Lodge, Game reserves, Marakele national park

Marataba Safari Lodge is a simple extension of the natural environment beyond its walls – rich, bold, organic and patently magnificent. If you sit quietly for long enough, you can feel the energy of the countless people who have made this place home since The Stone Age.

Its 15 stone and canvas luxury tents are anything but basic. Each has a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom (including an oval bath you can languish in up to your chin), outdoor shower, craft bar and shaded viewing deck – while the 4 Luxury Tented Family Suites give children (and parents) their own space to be right at home.

This is a place for a couple’s getaway, family adventure, unforgettable honeymoon or travelling solo.

Want to see more? Check this video.

16. Ngala Safari Lodge, &Beyond, Kruger National Park

Set on the banks of the seasonal Timbavati River, the all-inclusive Ngala Tented Safari Camp’s light footprint minimizes impact on the environment. Track the big five without compromising on luxury. The canvas-roofed accommodations at South Africa’s Ngala Tented Safari Camp are tents in name only. The screen doors lead to a bedroom that is at once elegant and rugged. The pièce de résistance is the long, cast-iron bathtub.

The morning’s three-hour game drive starts as the sun rises, and a voice at your screen door, accompanied by a pot of strong coffee, says, “Knock Knock.” It is cold, especially speeding through the bush in an open vehicle. Gloves and hats are essential, as are glasses to protect your eyes against the cold air and “flying” branches. On your return to camp, triumphant with tales of lions and cheetahs, a huge breakfast awaits you.
After dark – and the evening drive – a guide escorts you from your tent to dinner. Ngala Tented Safari Camp’s Pan-African cuisine is served al fresco on the viewing decks or in the dry riverbed. After dinner, it’s back to your tent for a luxurious bath by candlelight and the sumptuous bed.

17. Amhakhala Bukela Game Lodge

Bukela’s Luxury Safari Tents offer a memorable tented safari experience without compromising on luxury or comfort. These large tents have all the modern conveniences including full en-suite bathrooms, air conditioners, electric blankets and minibar. At the same time, you can experience the wonder of being in a tent in the African bush, and feel the immediacy of the surrounding landscape.

The safari tent has an expansive open-plan lounge with couch and armchairs, with a minibar and tea-coffee facilities, and opens on two sides onto the viewing deck. The tents are set on a raised wooden platform, and have wraparound viewing decks, providing panoramic views over the top of the valley. From the comfort of these viewing decks, guests can spot the elephant, cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, buck, warthog, zebra and other wildlife that frequent the camp. The main deck is perfect for sunbathing and a memorable private sundowner experience.

The Bukela tents are the greenest product to date, with extremely energy efficient water and room heating facilities and a combination of LED and solar lighting.

18. Shamwari Bayethe Lodge, Eastern Cape

Wake up to the awe-inspiring sounds of an African Adventure. Overlooking a waterhole, the stone walled and thatch roofed building that is Bayethe Lodge welcomes guests to a retreat that is miles away from anything ordinary… only the most extraordinary happens here.

Your luxury tent – one of nine – will be camouflaged under native trees, keeping its beautiful interiors hidden and its convenient comforts a secret. Each one is air-conditioned and heated, and features an en-suite bathroom, shower, private plunge pool, and viewing deck.

For an extra-special stay, three premier tents at Bayethe Hills are also available. These tents offer unforgettable luxury in the African wilderness, and include a fireplace, satellite TV, plunge pool, and hammocks swaying gently on the wooden decks.

Cuban cigars, rare wines, imported champagne, incredible dishes, and more complete the list of luxuries available here. And when the time comes, the wild animals of Africa await… as patiently as possible.

Has this whet your appetite? Want to explore more of africa? Get in touch with me here and let’s satisfy your wanderlust

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