When it comes to an all-inclusive holiday, most people picture exotic beach resorts like the ones you see in almost every travel brochure ever created. Mexico, Maldives, the Caribbean – no matter what beach destination it is, there’s something about leaving your wallet in your room and not having to worry about paying any bills at the end of your stay.
According to Trip Advisor, most of the top all-inclusive resorts in the world are priced at around $350-600 per person per night. Little does the average traveller know that for the same price tag you could go on an all-inclusive safari at some of the greatest lodges and camps in Africa.
You may not have the choice of 5 different swimming pools or restaurants, but what most of these intimate, exclusive places can offer instead is:
• Twice daily game drives – one in the morning and afternoon (prime wildlife viewing times)
• Spectacular sundowner stops (light snacks included)
• Private plunge pools to enjoy during down-time
• Divine meals under the stars, in the bush, around a boma or on a private dining deck
• Sophisticated and stylish bedrooms and bathrooms
• Time spent with the lodge owners, managers, and expert guides
• Plenty of other outdoor activities such as bush walks and boat cruises
We’re not kidding.
Here’s what $500 a day can buy you at some of Africa’s greatest safari lodges and camps:
A private island at Sindabezi, Zambia
From $520 per person/per night
Sindabezi Island is an exclusive bush camp on a private isle on the Zambezi River. With only 5 open-sided chalets on the island, guests get to proclaim Sindabezi as their own personal retreat. It has a reputation as an African hideaway, in a secluded setting completely governed by nature. Don’t let the remoteness fool you, private dining decks, same-day laundry service, sunken bathtubs, and king-sized beds are just some of the luxuries to expect.
And like their sister property Tongabezi, inclusive activities include a tour of Victoria Falls, sunrise and sunset river cruises, game drives, canoeing, and a visit to a local market and village.
Sleeping under the stars at Garonga, South Africa
From $350 per person/per night
Situated west of Kruger National Park in the Makalali Conservency, Garonga Safari Camp offers an authentic ‘safari for the soul’ experience. Daily games drives, wilderness walks, boma dinners with an outrageously lavish bar, and a massage sala make this tented camp a place to truly unwind in style amongst the wild things.
However, the most spectacular experience of all is spending a night on the sleep out deck, complete with a four-poster bed and dining table overlooking a waterhole that attracts wildlife all year round.
A horse-riding safari at The Ant Collection, South Africa
From $360 per person/per night
Set in the malaria-free region of the Waterberg, The Ant Collection has been built in harmony with the environment on their 12, 000-acre private game reserve. From grandparents to young children, both bush homes make for a great family-friendly holiday in a cosy atmosphere. Activities for all age groups include day and night game drives, bush walks, mountain biking, fishing, and of course, horseback riding.
A day in the saddle cantering with the zebra, buffalo and giraffe, followed by sundowners with the rhinos at the owner’s home is a firm-favourite amongst guests.
Undiscovered luxe chalet at Mkulumadzi, Malawi
From $360 per person/per night
Perched on the banks of the beautiful Shire River, Mkulumadzi Lodge is situated in one of the most magical areas in Malawi, the Majete Nature Reserve. Guests arrive by a footbridge suspended over the Mkulumadzi River and are welcomed by the friendly team to one of the eight luxury chalets, each with their own viewing deck, outdoor shower, en-suite bathroom, and spacious lounge.
River cruises, game drives, walking safaris, and nights dining under the stars are all inclusive. Largely undiscovered by tourists, Majete is a true wilderness where every trip into the bush will feel like an adventure.
The list of exquisite accommodation and safari experiences under $500 a day goes on and on. All-inclusive Africa is the real deal – take advantage!