A safari holiday may be the ultimate bucket-list trip and it’s not just because of the wildlife. The chance to witness lions, elephants, and hippos in their wild setting is unquestionably surreal. But as Travel and Leisure so eloquently put in a recent round-up of the top safari lodges in the world, “the safari dream is also about experiencing a sort of times-past luxury in a natural environment.”
As you dream about your holiday in the bush surrounded by Acacia trees, guides in khaki, and prancing zebra, here are a few additional lodge luxuries or perks you can expect:
Scenic sundowner spots
Africa is a land of stirring sunsets. Luckily, sipping on a cocktail and watching the setting sun is one of the best traditions observed on safari and one that lodges are known to celebrate notoriously well. During the afternoon game drive or activity, don’t be surprised to find yourself in a secret spot in the bush marveling at that sunset with a gin and tonic in hand.
Guests at Tongabezi Lodge are often whisked away by boat to enjoy sundowners in the sand at a secluded picnic spot on the banks of the Zambezi River. A few blankets and pillows, a couple of lanterns, and a fully stocked mobile bar make this an idyllic way to get cozy with nature and witness a little miracle in the sky.
Bubble baths with a view
You ticked off the Big 5 and are now heading back to your tented room or chalet. As you enter the room, you may just find a warm bubble bath waiting for your arrival. On a safari holiday, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can rinse off the day’s safari dust while soaking up spectacular nature views, like this one of South Africa’s Waterberg region.
High tea with wildlife
At around 2 or 3 pm at most lodges, guests gather for an opulent high tea affair. Teas, coffees, desserts and savory yumminess are served and demand to be indulged. However, high tea on safari is even sweeter than the most delicious scone you’ve ever tasted because of the chance encounter with unexpected visitors. Located in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, guests at the hide are treated to high tea often accompanied by elephants too.
Family style dinners
After an active day out exploring the wild outdoors, you can expect to refuel with a delicious meal with a hint of African flair. However, you may not have guessed that many lodges like to dine family style where guests, guides, and lodge owners can mingle and get to know one another around one big table. Africa is an inspirational holiday and one that will leave you with stories to tell and questions to ask. The dinner table is the perfect time to reminisce about the day’s safari tales in good company. Visitors at Three Tree Hill in the Drakensberg love the appeal of dining with guests from across the globe and sharing in the common bond of a love for African travel.
Soulful bush spas
Safaris are good for the soul, especially when the lodge you’re staying at is equipped with a bush spa. It may sound too good to be true, but you can expect some luxury lodges to have massages, aromatherapy, and other pampering delights available for guests to enjoy. Unashamedly indulgent, Garonga Safari Camp, situated west of the Kruger National Park, boasts a beautiful sala where guests are spoiled to massages in a private bush setting. Listening to the sounds of the outdoors and drifting a safari dreamland is not an unusual occurrence.