The 14 Most Romantic Safari Lodges in South Africa
Published on: November 19th, 2018
Last modified: July 27th, 2023
South Africa is the perfect destination for a romantic adventure. From the bustling streets of Cape Town to the idyllic Winelands, it offers endless opportunities for exploration. Intrepid couples can take a luxury train journey or sample world-class cuisine together. But of all the incredible things to do in South Africa, there’s nothing quite like going on safari.
Imagine stargazing in wide open plains, sipping sundowners as elephants meander by or enjoying a private picnic in the bush. The country’s best spots offer an ideal mix of exciting activities and luxurious accommodation for couples. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon or just some quality time together, here are the most romantic safari lodges in South Africa.
1. Singita Lebombo – Kruger National Park
Perched atop a cliff in the gorgeous Singita Concession, Lebombo is a haven of contemporary style and modern comforts. Relax by the pool or indulge in a couples spa treatment – a tempting way to unwind after thrilling game drives and excursions into the wilderness of Kruger National Park.
2. Simbavati Hilltop Lodge – Kruger National Park
This scenic lodge is situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve on the western border of the Kruger. Simbavati Hilltop Lodge’s remote location makes it a fantastic spot for wildlife viewing and exclusive experiences. Here you can have a romantic dinner under the stars on the viewing deck or take in the surroundings from the infinity pool with your partner.
3. Saseka Tented Camp – Kruger National Park
Arriving at Saseka Tented Camp feels like stepping straight into the wild. Its panoramic windows and carefully chosen materials allow it to blend seamlessly into the landscape. Set in the private Thornybush Nature Reserve within the Kruger, it’s an ideal place to experience South Africa’s natural beauty in style.
4. Motse Camp – Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
This is the primary camp in the Tswalu Reserve: a privately owned section of the Kalahari grasslands where no more than 30 guests can stay at once. Motse Camp offers unparalleled privacy and impeccable service, making it hard to beat for a romantic safari getaway. It’s also renowned for its conservation efforts and commitment to sustainable travel.
5. Bushmans Kloof Main Lodge – Western Cape Mountains
This incredibly luxurious lodge stands in sharp contrast to the country’s other safari destinations. Bushmans Kloof is a 7,500-hectare private reserve featuring waterfalls, wildflowers and ancient rock art. At its Main Lodge you’ll find everything you need for a relaxing couples holiday, from breathtaking views to exquisite dining.
6. Phinda Vlei Lodge – KwaZulu-Natal
For such a small area, the Phinda Private Game Reserve boasts more than its share of natural beauty and biodiversity. This is where you’ll find Phinda Vlei Lodge, one of the most exclusive and intimate places to stay in South Africa. Take a walk through the nearby sand forest together and then enjoy dinner or a glass of wine on your private terrace.
7. Londolozi Granite Suites – Sabi Sands
If you want to see all of Africa’s Big Five in one trip, Sabi Sands is the place to be. Within this legendary South African reserve, Londolozi is widely renowned as one of the best places to stay. Its Granite Suites are particularly inviting for couples, thanks to their extraordinarily secluded location on the shores of the Sand River.
8. Tengile River Lodge – Sabi Sands
For a peaceful escape into South Africa’s lush forests, look no further than Tengile River Lodge. Set on the banks of the Sand River, this delightfully decorated lodge is a lovely choice for honeymooners and couples. Its ‘floating’ suites are elevated above the ground for exceptional views of the verdant surroundings.
9. Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge – Sabi Sands
Within Sabi Sands, the Sabi Sabi Reserve is a must-see destination with an unusually high concentration of wildlife. It’s home to four award-winning lodges, among which the Earth Lodge deserves special mention. Its sustainably-focused suites combine contemporary design and chic minimalism with an undeniably cosy and romantic ambience.
10. Lion Sands River Lodge – Sabi Sands
The Lion Sands Reserve has been family-run for nearly a century, lending it the kind of welcoming atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s only accessible to guests of two lodges, one of which is the fabulous Lion Sands River Lodge. Here you can book an elegant River Suite for extra privacy, and sleep out under the stars in a deluxe tree house.
11. Dulini River Lodge – Sabi Sands
At Dulini River Lodge you can watch wildlife wander by from your own private plunge pool with a cocktail in hand. This inviting lodge is set within Sabi Sands, which means you’ll have an especially good chance of spotting leopards and other iconic species. Take a break from thrilling game drives to relax with a couples massage in the comfort of your own suite.
12. Singita Ebony Lodge – Sabi Sands
Among all the luxury lodges in Sabi Sands, Singita Ebony stands out for its distinctive design. This opulent lodge features vintage furniture and a black and white colour scheme inspired by the ebony trees that surround it. Beyond its privileged location and top-notch views, it also offers refined yet simple cuisine and thoughtfully selected wines.
13. Singita Boulders Lodge – Sabi Sands
Located within a privately owned reserve, Singita Boulders is a timeless favourite for couples. Elevated slightly above the bush, it promises total immersion in the wilderness through panoramic windows and open-air decks. Venture outside after sunset for a nighttime game drive or stargazing session.
14. Molori – Madikwe
In the heart of the wonderfully remote Madikwe Game Reserve you’ll find Molori: a chic safari lodge tucked into a remote corner of South Africa. Its gorgeously decorated suites are set far enough apart to provide you and your partner with total privacy. For a truly memorable stay, choose one of the spacious presidential suites, outfitted with only the finest furnishings.