Top 10 Luxury, Private Villas in Africa
After the Covid-19 Pandemic, we found more and more people wanting to experience Africa in their own space, at their own rhythm, and away from crowds, so in this blog, we explore our Top 10 Luxury, private villas throughout Africa, from Safaris to beaches to wine estates.
Africa – the home of spectacular wildlife and some of the last truly unadulterated natural havens on earth. We know and love this enormous, often underappreciated continent for its magnificent natural wonders, but when it comes to luxury and exclusivity, we think more of the south of France or the Amalfi coast. Unknown to many, Africa features of the most spectacular private accommodation options for those wishing to experience the wonder of this continent in the most exclusive way possible. In this blog post, we’ll share our top 10 private accommodation options across Africa. Whether you are looking for an exclusive family safari or a private safari for you and some friends, this list is sure to offer the ultimate in exclusive safaris across Africa.
1. Boschendal Wine Farm Mountain Villa - South Africa
Located in South Africa’s Winelands Region, Boschendal is one of the country’s oldest wine estates. This enormous farm is home to a wide variety of vineyards, orchards and gardens, meaning that there’s always lots happening in the area, and plenty to do for all members of the family. There are regular markets, drive-in movies and picnics, hiking and mountain biking trails, and of course great restaurants too.
Boschendal’s Mountain Villa is one of our favorite properties in the Cape, if not in the whole of Africa. The stunning house boasts spectacular views of the rolling hills and towering mountains from its wrap-around deck. There’s ample living space, as well as 6 bedrooms sleeping 12 guests. For a multigenerational family or a group of friends looking to indulge in the region’s finest private luxury accommodation, Boschendal’s Mountain Villa is the place to be.
2. Zarafa Dhow Suite - Botswana
For completely exclusive luxury accommodation in Botswana, we recommend the Zarafa Dhow Suite in the Selinda Reserve, situated in the north of the country. Nestled between the famous Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta, this private reserve is full of Africa’s iconic wildlife, including predators like leopards, lions and cheetah, as well as giraffes, elephants and so much more.
Staying in the Selinda Reserve is an incredible experience, but when the Zarafa Dhow Suite is your base, you’re sure to take your safari to the next level in luxury and exclusivity. The suite itself holds just two bedrooms but is 210 square meters (2 260 square feet) of pure, indulgent luxury. Perched on a raised deck and made from flowing canvas, you have everything you could possibly need, including the services of a dedicated butler, chef, and guide. Supremely comfortable furnishings, copper claw foot baths, a fire pit, and a private swimming pool all add to the experience of world-class luxury in the heart of Botswana’s wilderness. It’s no wonder this property has received Relais & Châteaux status!
3. Jao Private Villa - Botswana
Next on our list is Jao Camp’s two-bedroom villa, also found in Botswana. This camp is a marvel of architecture and engineering, using natural and recycled materials to create an airy, flowing space. Jao is located in the heart of the Okavango Delta, where land and water meet. Glide along the waterways in a mokoro or spy hippos bathing while you enjoy a delicate and beautiful meal. There’s so much to do and see at Jao.
The private villa, secluded from the rest of the camp, is everything a discerning traveler looking for ultimate privacy and luxury could need. Towering ceilings give you space while still creating an intimate, cozy environment. The villa comes complete with a butler, private chef, and personal guide, all there to ensure you have the most comfortable, memorable stay possible. Ample living space, a fire deck, and a plunge pool complete the opulent and beautiful villa. For guests looking to travel as a small group or desiring ultimate privacy – Jao Camp’s villa is the perfect base from which to explore the wonder of Botswana’s incredible waterways.
4. Singita Serengeti House - Tanzania
Anyone who has witnessed the Great Migration of over 2 million wildebeest, agrees that it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania’s Serengeti is one of the best places to see it. This private 350 000 acre reserve offers you exclusive, up-close access to the many animals who play a role in the migration.
Nestled into a sloping hill, you’ll find Singita’s Serengeti House. This 4 bedroom, exclusive-use homestead offers the perfect base from which to enjoy an authentic, supremely luxurious, and most importantly private, safari as a family or group of friends. There is ample outside living space, including decks and a firepit, perfect for interacting with nature in a spectacular setting. The 25-meter pool offers excellent views of the Serengeti plains beyond. There’s a huge amount to do at this camp as well – including game drives, community visits, use of a gym and spa, as well as the incredible Singita Balloon Safari. For action-packed adventure, this small, intimate location is everything you need to make your Tanzanian safari dreams a reality.
5. Thanda Island - Tanzania
The islands off Tanzania’s coast are famous for being some of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world. They’re the perfect place to enjoy some rest and relaxation after the excitement of your African safari. Thanda Island, found in the stretch of ocean between Tanzania’s mainland and Mafia Island, is a private paradise waiting to be discovered by the discerning traveler.
Located in the Indian Ocean’s largest protected marine reserve, this exclusive island features nine rooms in total – five in the luxury villa and two in each of the two beach bandas. The villa is the ultimate luxurious beach house. High ceilings, exposed beams, and wraparound decks facing the crystal ocean give an intimate, relaxed, holiday feel to the whole property. Here, the worries of life fade away into the horizon where the sky meets the sea.
Guests can enjoy a large variety of water-based experiences, including swimming with whale sharks and scuba diving, alongside other activities like riding the wind in a traditional dhow, playing a game of tennis, or exploring the islands surrounding Thanda. Whatever your desire, your wishes will be catered to in style on this stunning private island.
6. Alphonse Island 4-bedroom Villa - Seychelles
Heading further east into the Indian Ocean, you’ll come across the spectacular granite islands known as the Seychelles. Here, there’s a wide variety of beautiful accommodation options, but for exclusive luxury, we recommend the four-bedroom villa on Alphonse Island.
Alphonse is a pristine natural haven just an hour’s flight from the main island of Mahé. The island is home to just one resort with a variety of beach bungalow options. The two private villas sleep 8 guests and have all the amenities you could need, including an expansive living area, pool, incredible views of the ocean, and your own stretch of white sandy beach.
Although the villa is the perfect place to relax and you may not wish to leave it, Alphonse is famous for its huge selection of activities on offer. The island is well known for some of the best saltwater fly fishing on earth, as well as great deep-sea fishing. There’s also great scuba diving and snorkeling, paddle boarding, or kayaking available in the waters around the island. A popular outing is the blue safari experience where guides will take you in search of some of the ocean’s fascinating inhabitants, like dolphins or manta rays. Whether you want an action-packed vacation or a chance to simply relax and unwind in a beautiful setting surrounded by your loved ones, Alphonse offers it all.
7. Cottars Bush Villa - Kenya
Venturing back towards the continent, our next property is found on the savannah plains of Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The great migration of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara is among the wonders of the natural world, and Cottar’s Private Bush Villa, the next property on our list, is a perfect place in Kenya to experience it.
This five-bedroom villa, perched on a hill overlooking the rolling savannah, has been lovingly hand-built using indigenous and natural materials to create 10 000 square feet of truly authentic luxury accommodation, ideal for the multi-generational family or group of friends wishing to experience Kenya in the most exclusive way possible. Towering ceilings give the homestead an airy feel, with the open plan living and dining areas bleeding into one another and finally out onto the spectacular viewing deck from which you can see for miles. The property also boasts a 25-meter swimming pool, perfect for warmer days.
You can expect only the best-dedicated hospitality at Cottar’s Villa, with a team of eight looking after you. Enjoy expertly prepared meals as well as completely private game drives during the day and at night, and guided walking safaris, should you wish. This property sets high standards and is sure to exceed expectations for your private safari experience in Kenya.
8. Singita Kataza House - Rwanda
Found in the foothills of the Virunga mountains on the edge of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Singita Kataza House offers exclusive accommodation in one of the most spectacular parts of the continent. Here, the misty volcanoes roll into meadows and lush wetlands, creating a dreamy landscape that doesn’t feel fully real.
The house blends in perfectly with its surroundings, natural timber, and stone creating a welcoming yet perfectly neutral environment, taking nothing away from the beauty of the location. Kataza House sleeps eight guests in four spacious bedrooms. There’s ample living space, two heated pools, in and outdoor fireplaces, as well as a cinema room, fully equipped gym, and small wine cellar – everything a discerning traveler could require.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Kataza House is the perfect base from which to do this. This mesmerizing property is the perfect private base to explore Rwanda’s beauty.
9. Chongwe House - Zambia
Perched on the banks of the mighty Chongwe River in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, you’ll discover Chongwe House. This four-bedroom homestead is unlike anything else. Uniquely designed to be completely one with its surroundings, the property features open-air bathtubs, a pool that feels as if it’s built into the house, and spectacular views of the river and all the animals that frequent it.
Chongwe House is the ideal exclusive accommodation option for groups of travelers doing a Zambian safari in style. Guests have access to a private staff, tasked with making their stay at this beautiful home as special as possible. Your private chef will wow you at meal times, and your guide will share the wonders of this land on day and night game drives, walking safaris, canoeing trips, boat cruises, and tiger fishing excursions, if you so wish. The area around Chongwe House is known for its lion, leopard, and wild dog sightings, as well as the 370 bird species and so much more that make this track of wilderness home.
10. Wolwedans Plains Camp - Namibia
Last, but certainly not least on our list, we head south to the raw, open expanse of Namibia’s deserts. Our pick for exclusive accommodation here is a property that encapsulates its surroundings in every way – simplistic, isolated, and supremely beautiful. Wolwedans Plains Camp is everything you’d want when visiting this spectacular country.
The private, four-bedroom camp is designed to complement its location. Timber and canvas are used to create a seamless flow between in and outdoor spaces. Guests can enjoy mesmerizing views from all areas of the house, from the bedrooms to the central living area, dining room, various decks, and swimming pool.
Activities at the villa are entirely dependent on the family or group of friends in residence. If you wish to simply wine and dine with your private chef and enjoy the villa, you are more than welcome to do so. Guests wishing to venture out and experience what the land has to offer to have access to scenic drives in the morning and evening, sundowners, village tours, star safaris, bushwalks, e-biking, and more.
Africa offers spectacular private accommodations for discerning travelers wishing to explore this incredible continent on their own terms. Does one of these properties stand out to you? Get in touch with Stanley Safaris for a bespoke safari experience, meticulously designed to be perfect for you and your loved ones.