Some of our top dreamy destinations for a once-in-a-lifetime experience
Lead image: Puku Ridge. Credit: Marsel Van Oosten
Zambia’s Puku Ridge is a tented camp inside the wildlife-rich South Luangwa National Park, featuring rooftop star beds and private plunge pools. Lions hunt on the food plains just below the camp, while you can also spot leopards, elephants, buffalo, hippos, wildebeest and the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe.
A location also renowned for its big cat viewing opportunities, Singita Boulders in South Africa is luxury encapsulated. The lodge has 12 suites, each with their own private heated swimming pool, fireplace and game-viewing decks. There’s also a spa, wine boutique, and stargazing activities if you want to wind down from all the safari excitement.
Prices at Puku Ridge start from £3,500 per person for three nights including flights from the UK. Rates at Singita Boulders start from £8,720 per person. Book through theluxurysafaricompany.com
Pack your trunk
Ghana’s Northern Region has affordable safari opportunities abound. Mole National Park is the country’s largest wildlife refuge – it’s a protected area of savannah and forest, with baboons darting around, hundreds of species of birds, warthogs, buffalo, crocodiles, and the mighty elephant.
Previously accommodation was fairly limited within the park, however the lovely Zaina Lodge opened up in 2015, billing itself as West Africa’s first luxury safari lodge. Ecotourism and sustainability are a key focus at Zaina, with all the construction materials for the 25-room lodge being sourced locally. The tented chalets have hand-carved beds with décor provided by local artisans, and all come with their own private balconies. The lodge’s knowledgeable rangers take you out for day and night safaris, by jeep or on foot.
The real luxury here though, is the tranquillity and sheer beauty of the miles of savannah you can take in from the restaurant or while having a dip in the infinity pool. In the mornings, you might be lucky enough to see elephants cooling off in the watering hole right in front of Zaina, which is truly mesmerising.
The Zaina Experience Package starts from around £410 per night for double occupancy, and includes all meals and one safari per day. Go to zainalodge-ghana.com for more info
Fierce and foremost
If you stay at Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, you can get right to the heart of tiger conservation by working alongside Tiger Watch. The NGO aims to educate traditional local communities and create awareness that tigers are actually a benefit to the local community, rather than a menace. You’ll join monitoring patrols, chart tiger movements and go on safari to lesser-visited sections of the park.
Yonder’s 15-night itinerary includes four nights in Delhi, three nights in Jodhpur, two nights in Nagaur, three nights in Jaipur and three nights at Ranthambore National Park. From £3,400 per person including flights, book at yonder.co.uk
Founded by a Kenyan native, Speke’s is a boutique camp comprising eight spacious tents located on the Maasai Mara game reserve. It offers some top game viewing, and all guests have their own private vehicle with a spotter and guide. If fortune’s on your side, you can expect to see wildebeest, leopards, giraffes, lions and elephants. There’s a dedicated vegetarian menu at lunch, with candlelit dinners in the evening, drinks by the campfire, and the option of bush breakfasts.
Speke’s is available to book from November through to March. Prices start at around £360 per person, per night, and includes meals and a private vehicle. Book at spekescamp.com