The Best South Africa Hotels with Animals - Travel Guide, Packages and More

South Africa hotels with animals
There are more luxury lodges and hotels than one can count in South Africa

Beautiful landscapes. Beautiful wildlife. And beautiful camps and lodges too!

From art-filled villas to contemporary lodges, South Africa is home to some of the most glamorous lodges in Africa.

In this blog post, we round up some of the best South Africa safari lodges.

But first,

Here's Where to Reach us to Start Planning Your Safari

Call us on +254-704-532-105 or +254-719-222-430 or shoot us an email on or

Here's a Collection of Some of our Best Safaris

Key Takeaways

  • Experience exceptional safari lodges and family-friendly stays in Kruger National Park.
  • Enjoy unique wildlife experiences with eco-conscious accommodations, romantic escapes, adventure outposts & coastal wonders.
  • Explore South Africa’s cultural heritage with luxurious legacy lodges situated in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Encounter the Wild: Exceptional Safari Lodges in Kruger National Park

South Africa hotels with animals
Kruger National Park is home to over 1600 lions

Stretching over two million hectares, the Kruger National Park is the largest Big Five wildife reserve in South Africa. But there’s more to this park than just its size.

Within these two million acres is a diverse wildlife population ranging from the Big Five to predators like the lion, cheetah, and hyena as well as over 250 bird species.

Kruger is also home to a diverse range of lodges which we have grouped into three;

  • Exclusive safari retreats
  • Family-friendly safari stays
  • Eco-conscious accommodations

Exclusive Safari Retreats

For those seeking a lavish safari experience, exclusive retreats such as Chitwa Chitwa Private Reserve and Lukimbi Safari Lodge provide the perfect combination of luxury and wildlife encounters. With private game drives, personalized services, and stunning accommodations, these lodges promise unforgettable wildlife adventures in the heart of Kruger National Park.

Family-Friendly Safari Stays

Accommodations such as Kapama River Lodge and Lion Sands River Lodge are ideal for families, offering engaging activities, cozy facilities, and amenities suitable for kids. These lodges also provide family suites, custom menus, and educational experiences designed for children.

Eco-Conscious Accommodations

  • For travelers who prioritize sustainability, eco-conscious accommodations such as Camp Shawu and Singita Lebombo offer an authentic and eco-friendly safari experience. By utilizing renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and supporting local communities, these lodges demonstrate a strong commitment to conservation while providing an immersive wildlife experience in Kruger National Park.

Unwind with Wildlife: Tranquil Retreats at Private Reserves

South Africa’s private wildlife reserves offer a more private and exclusive wildlife experience than national parks. These reserves accommodate a limited number of guests, offering a peaceful retreat for full immersion in nature. We’ve grouped these lodges into three;

  • Lodges suitable for romantic wilderness escapes
  • Conservation-centric getaways
  • Adventure-ready outposts

Romantic Wilderness Escapes

Couples seeking a romantic wilderness escape will find enchantment at lodges like Phinda Private Game Reserve and Madikwe Game Reserve. Nestled in pristine settings, these lodges offer intimate accommodations, private game drives, and stunning scenery.

Experience the magic of the African bush as you celebrate your love amidst the captivating beauty of nature.

Conservation-Centric Getaways

Travelers passionate about conservation will appreciate lodges like Sabi Sands Game Park, Lion Sands Game Reserve, and Shamwari Game Reserve. These conservation-centric safari parks prioritize preserving wildlife and their habitats while providing unique safari experiences. Engage in activities that support biodiversity, learn about local conservation initiatives, and create unforgettable memories in the wild at Sands Game Reserve.

Adventure-Ready Outposts

For thrill-seekers, adventure-ready outposts like Timbavati Game Reserve and Pilanesberg Game Reserve, also known as Pilanesberg National Park, cater to your adventurous spirit. Offering a wide range of adrenaline-pumping activities such as guided bushwalks, wildlife drives, and mountain biking, these lodges provide an unforgettable experience for those who crave excitement and close encounters with wild animals.

Coastal Wonders: Hotels Near Cape Peninsula’s Unique Fauna

wildlife reserve Africa
The Cape Peninsula is home to over 2500 species of plants and animals

Cape Peninsula, encompassing Cape Town and its surrounding areas, houses numerous coastal marvels and distinctive fauna. The peninsula’s list of accommodation is also as impressive too and we have all the deets.

We have classified these lodges into;

  • Penguin proximity stays
  • Marine life encounters
  • Mountain and Forest Lodgings

Penguin Proximity Stays

For a truly unique experience,stay at the the Tintswalo at Boulders which offers close encounters with African penguins at the famous Boulders Beach. Witness these charming creatures up close as they waddle along the shore, dive into the surf, or nest nearby.

Marine Life Encounters

Discover the wonders of marine life at hotels like Mount Nelson, and th A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town. With their daily excursions to observe southern right whales, dolphins, seals, and even the great white sharks in their natural habitats, these accommodations provide unforgettable marine life encounters for both seasoned and novice wildlife enthusiasts.

Mountain and Forest Lodgings

Nestled in the stunning mountains and forests of Cape Peninsula, lodges like Waterstone Lodge and Blaauwheim Guest House offer breathtaking views and access to diverse flora and fauna.

While staying in these lodges, you explore the vast Table Mountain National Park, home to various antelope species and the unique Cape Mountain Zebra.

Garden Route Gems: Safari Lodges Along the Scenic Stretch

South African safari animals
The Garden Route gets its name from the lush forests, waterfalls, streams, and rivers it houses

The Garden Route, a scenic coastal stretch in South Africa, provides an array of south african safari lodges and wildlife experiences. Find malaria-free wonders, beachfront bushveld resorts, and luxury tented camps along this picturesque route.

Malaria-Free Marvels

Malaria-free game reserves such as Shamwari Game Reserve and Gondwana Game Reserve provide a safe and unforgettable safari experience for all travelers, including families with young children. Enjoy close encounters with the Big Five and other African wildlife in these malaria-free havens, offering peace of mind during your adventure along the Garden Route.

Beachfront Bushveld Resorts

Experience the best of both worlds with beachfront bushveld resorts like The Plettenberg and The Knysna Belle. These lodges combine beach relaxation with thrilling wildlife encounters, allowing you to unwind on the sandy shores or embark on exciting game drives to spot lions, elephants, and more in their natural habitats.

Luxe Tented Camps

For an authentic yet luxurious safari experience, consider staying in a luxe tented camp along the Garden Route. Lodges like Misty Mountain Reserve and Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek offer opulent accommodations amidst stunning landscapes.

Connect with nature and immerse yourself in the African wilderness while enjoying the amenities and comfort of these exclusive tented camps.

Desert Delights: Kalahari Desert Lodges with Unique Wildlife Sightings

South African safari animas
Lodges and Camps in the Kalahari are known for their insanely gorgeous desert views

The Kalahari Desert, which extends through South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, harbors distinctive wildlife and spectacular landscapes. Enjoy desert pleasures at Kalahari Desert lodges offering:

  • Starlit safari sleepouts
  • Guided desert expeditions
  • Accommodations committed to conservation, which provide unforgettable encounters with the region’s captivating wildlife.

Starlit Safari Sleepouts

Embrace the enchantment of the desert night with starlit safari sleepouts at lodges like Tswalu Kalahari and Suricate Kalahari Tented Lodge. Sleep under the stars and let the sounds of the African bush lull you to sleep.

Guided Desert Expeditions

Embark on thrilling guided desert expeditions at lodges such as Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge. Explore the vast expanse of the desert, encountering unique wildlife such as black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetahs, African wild dog, and the elusive pangolin.

Conservation Champions

For travelers passionate about wildlife preservation, lodges like Tswalu Kalahari and Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge prioritize conservation and sustainable practices. Here are some ways you can support wildlife preservation during your stay:

  • Learn about ongoing conservation projects
  • Engage with local communities
  • Participate in activities that support the preservation of the unique wildlife and landscapes of the Kalahari Desert.

Heritage Havens: Hotels in UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Engage with the extensive cultural and historical heritage of South Africa through accommodations in UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Find hotels that offer:

  • Historical hideaways
  • The ideal mix of wildlife encounters and cultural experiences
  • Luxurious legacy lodges that provide a memorable journey through the country’s rich history. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit South Africa and experience these unique accommodations.

Historical Hideaways

Experience the charm of bygone eras with historical hideaways such as Shekinah Lion and Game Lodge, set in the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa. These unique accommodation offers an authentic window into the past while providing modern amenities and comfort, allowing guests to connect with the rich cultural and historical legacy of South Africa.

Wildlife and Culture Combos

For a perfect blend of wildlife and culture, stay in lodges like Robben Island and Cape Floral Region Protected Areas. Explore the stunning natural beauty of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites while learning about the historical and cultural significance of the region.

Luxurious Legacy Lodges

Indulge in the ultimate luxury experience at lodges such as The Falls Guesthouse, located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Augrabies Falls National Park. These high-end accommodations offer exceptional service, exquisite décor, and unforgettable wildlife experiences, all set amidst historically significant landscapes and attractions.


In conclusion, South Africa offers a diverse array of accommodations and experiences for all types of travelers. Whether you prefer the thrill of a safari in Kruger National Park, the tranquil beauty of private game reserves, the coastal wonders of Cape Peninsula, or the lush landscapes of the Garden Route, the. So why wait? Embark on your South African wildlife adventure today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Next, we look at the most booked hotels in South Africa:

Which hotel is surrounded by giraffes?

The Giraffe Manor, located in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, is an exclusive boutique hotel surrounded by 56 hectares of forest and a herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes.

Do animals roam free in Africa?

With the ever-expanding human footprint in Africa, it is now rare to find places where animals can still roam freely. The boundaries between humans and animals are increasingly blurred or non-existent across Africa, leaving very few areas for truly wild and free roaming animals.

Where can I see wild animals in South Africa?

Experience South Africa’s iconic ‘big five’ by visiting Kruger National Park or Sabi Sands Game Reserve, both renowned for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Other national parks such as KwaZulu-Natal are ideal for seeing rhinos and many other species of antelope.

What wild animal is in Africa safari?

The African Lion is the iconic predator at the top of many people’s wishlists of animals on safari. It is the second largest big cat in the world and lives in prides.

What is the best time of year to visit South Africa for wildlife viewing?

The best time for wildlife viewing in South Africa is during the dry season, which spans from May to October.