Find some of the best eco lodges in South Africa’s main drawcard, Kruger National Park, sanctuary for wildlife and unforgettable safari holiday for tourists of all budgets. For the sake of this article, “eco” means close to nature and built with little impact on nature. Luxury lodges in pristine game reserves draw visitors from across the globe to sample excellent game drives with professional guides, opulent facilities and incredible cuisine.
Opulence and Variety
The Greater Kruger National Park region is vast and encompasses several well-known game reserves and concessions, all which merge with the Park to create a huge wildlife region where conservation is key. See below for some of our recommended and best “eco” lodges in Kruger, albeit they are extremely opulent and lavish.
Start with Londolozi Pioneer Camp in the Sabie Sand Game Reserve – for thrilling predator sightings, especially leopards, this is the place to be. The Vartys are known for their love of all living things and their passion for conservation of the environment. This is their most secluded camp, and is ideal for that special family safari holiday where your playground is more than 17 000ha of wilderness.
A Safari Package for the Family
Try one of the awesome safari package deals for an easy, all-inclusive time away in nature. Your one rate pays for your luxury accommodation in 3 elegant suites and 3 chalets which radiate a Victorian aura with their delightful twinkling chandeliers, solid wooden beds, bay windows, fire places, air-conditioning, outside showers, mini bars and private plunge pools. Add to this all meals, teas and coffees, drinks, two game drives daily, nature walks and transfers and you have the most exciting bush holiday in the Kruger ever.
Experience a sophisticated bush experience at the incredibly flexible Londolozi Pioneer Camp in the Sabie Sand Game Reserve. Your family group and friends can book the entire camp as your private bush home when unique glass sky walkways link the family units. Then allow dedicated game rangers who have extensive knowledge of the biodiversity of the Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park territory to start the adventure for you.
History Preserved in Style
Another fantastic five-star bush lodge where leopard sightings are top of the list is the one and only &Beyond Kirkman’s Camp. Set off twice daily with professional game rangers and trackers to seek the Big 5 and all the tiny critters in between. Sit down to afternoon tea served by gracious staff on the wrap-around veranda with mind-blowing views of the Sabi Sands and beyond to Kruger. Enjoy sumptuous dinners in the boma around the fire while rangers share their stories of the bushveld and its wildlife.
Many years ago, Harry Kirkman lived in this old homestead and hunted wildlife with a keen conservation ethic. It is as if you are living in a real museum and can feel his spirit as you sit quietly and listen to the sounds of the environment. Step back in time to the early 1920s when this was a lived-in homestead.
Today, 18 guest suites look out over rolling lawns and inviting swimming pool, towards the Sand River. Spacious sitting, dining and bar areas are furnished with antiques and relics of Harry Kirkman’s hunting days. Spend your days watching wildlife, enjoying nature walks with armed game rangers, learning your birds and gazing at the starry skies at night. What an eco-adventure!
Leopards on the hunt
If you have never heard of Dulini River Lodge, then read on: at this premier lodge in the greater Kruger region, you enjoy traditional South African meals in the outdoor boma, early morning and late afternoon game drives to seek out animals of all shapes and sizes, the most unforgettable bush walks and bird watching outings where you learn the intricacies of nature and sightings of shy leopards on the hunt.
The best part about your safari holiday at Dulini River Lodge is the time you have to simply sit and stare at the drama unfolding around you. Elephants strolling into the river, water buck grazing on the lawns, baboons playing hide and seek and birds chattering non-stop. Eight chic suites are raised along the river under huge old ebony trees to make the most of your bushveld views.
Wellness meets Relaxation
Enjoy the luxury of a heated plunge pool and the lavish attention of a personal butler, double beds, en-suite bathroom with deep tubs and outside showers, mini bars, air-conditioning and fans. The elite Wellness Centre is waiting to treat you with mind and body enhancing therapies.
Singita Blends into Nature
Another great eco escape in the beautiful Sabi Sands Game Reserve, adjoined to Kruger, is the magnificent Singita Boulders Lodge on the banks of the Sand River. Beautifully constructed into the rocky hillside, blending in with the environment, these chalets are still brimming with mod cons to ensure your safari is as comfy as possible.
Watch the Big Five move between the Kruger and Sabi Sands Game Reserve on 4×4 safari trips through this 18 000ha wilderness. Singita Boulders Lodge is an oasis in the bushveld where nature’s raw beauty has transformed the architecture and design of this safari hotel.
Glass Walls allow the bush inside
Even the glass walls and open-air spaces ensure a continuous connection with the prolific wildlife and birdlife outside. Your suite has an en-suite bedroom, private sitting room and game viewing deck with private plunge pool overlooking the game reserve.
Appreciate the thought that has gone into the rustic furnishings hand-carved from fossilised tree stumps – merging with slabs of solid stone, wrought iron and leather, soft sheepskin rugs and natural flax bed linen. Skip a game drive or two to enjoy the swish beauty spa, gym, swimming pool, Singita Boutique and Gallery and Premier Wine Boutique.
Which one is the Best Eco Lodge
Take your pick from the best eco lodges in the Kruger – there are many more similar bush hotels offering similar facilities and activities but each one has its own special aura and history. Every wilderness setting removes you from your city life for a while, reminding you that nature needs to be conserved. Check out our safari destinations and book your special deal now.