For a family travelling together or a larger group of friends, we love delving into the possibilities of exclusive houses and camps in some of our favourite wilderness destinations. Here is why:
- Great Value, with the right number in your party you get all the benefit of the exclusive property for less than the per person rate at a lodge or camp.
- Entirely your own timetable for activities, meals, times to chill and more, it is perfect for multiple generations travelling together.
- Private guiding and activities, these places are ideal when you choose to have your safari privately guided throughout by Nic or/and Jana
- Gorgeous style and atmosphere, they happen to be some of our favourite spots boasting stunning decor, architecture and that all important location.
- Home away from home, there is something truly wonderful about hanging out together with your loved ones in your own private space out in the bush. It transports your family and friends into moments of “out of Africa meets Swiss Family Robertson”.
Here are four of our absolute favourites. Extraordinary private properties in tremendous locations. Interested? Please just drop us a quick email on firstname.lastname@example.org , we can arrange a chat and draw up a tailor made adventure perfect for you.
Mkombe’s House, Northern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Description: There is an elegant simplicity to the style and decor that gives Mkombe’s house its unique vibe. With all the trimmings hand made in East Africa, the creative minds behind Mkombe’s stuck to their ethos coined for building the “mother-lodge” Lamai Serengeti, “to celebrate this magnificent site without taking away from it”. It is here where they really perfected that vision.
Why Nic & Jana love it: A vast, astonishing view north towards the Mara river and beyond the border with Kenya into the Maasai Mara. A fabulous location with tremendous wildlife viewing throughout the season.
Head to Mkombe’s to observe the Great Migration in its northern reaches with all the drama of the river crossings (mid July through October) or to escape the crowds and experience the other side of the Serengeti (November through March).
Perfect for: Families with smaller children or a small group of friends hoping to experience one of Mama Africa’s most iconic National Parks. Two en-suite double/twin rooms each with an adjacent children rooms (also en-suite), comfortably sleeping four adults and six children.
When to visit: From 1st June to 15th March, our favourite time of year is mid October through end of January, though the wildebeest have left the region is quieter with tourists and the wildlife viewing is extraordinary.
Combine it with: Chimpanzee Trekking in Mahale Mountains (for kids older than 12), adventures in Southern Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park, a classic Northern TZ itinerary with Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, finish with waterspouts and chilling on the Zanzibar Archipelago.
Chongwe House, Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Description: Set beautifully where the Chongwe River feeds into the mighty Zambezi, Chongwe House is quirky in design and spectacular in location. The area surrounding the house is renowned for its elephant population, large bulls and breeding herds are frequently seen from the pool.
Why Nic & Jana love it: The Lower Zambezi is one of Mama Africa’s gems. A truly authentic wilderness feel to the National Park combines with an unrivalled breadth in activities. Explore in canoes, in boats, on foot and in the game drive vehicles, all accompanied by one of the most skilled guiding teams we have ever worked with (something that Zambia is rightly renowned for).
Perfect for: Groups of friends travelling together or families with slightly older children (12+) to enjoy the full array of experiences. The house is built over two stories with four rooms, all en-suite and each can be set as a twin or a double.
When to visit: From 15th April to 15th November the Lower Zambezi is an absolute delight. We love the cooler time of year, May through August, as things dry out and heat up more and more wildlife is drawn to the river banks to drink.
Combine it with: Walking safari and sleeping under the stars in South Luangwa, Incredible bird watching and wilderness in Luiwa Plains, adventure and relaxation at Victoria Falls or even with the wine, the whales and the vibrant city culture of Cape Town, South Africa.
Arijiju, Borana Conservancy, Kenya
Description: Serenity meets luxury in the simply stunning Arijiju. The lodge is sculpted into the rugged Borana Landscape, a skilful innovative design with an incredibly natural feel. Grand rooms, beautiful courtyard gardens, an unbelievable spa and pool are just some of the fantastic features of this perfect place. Borana conservancy is host to an amazing array of wildlife, most prominently some of the best black and white rhino viewing in East Africa.
Why Nic & Jana love it: The design, the outstanding food and service, everything about Arijiju invites you to become a part of and fall in love with the central Kenyan wilderness. Fantastic opportunities to game drive, enjoy a walking safari, experience the conservancy on horseback and a perfect launching point for helicopter excursions to Kenya’s Northern Frontiers. Frida is the gorgeous lady that runs the spa here, five treatments per day are included in the total booking and should not be missed, she is truly outstanding at her craft.
Perfect for: Large families with children of any age will love it here, as well as groups of friends. Five beautiful rooms lead off the courtyard, perfect for ten adults with space for families of up to fourteen set up with some children sharing rooms.
When to visit: Borana is really a tremendous place to visit all the year round. The Laikipia region tends to get its heaviest rains in November and during this month Arijiju is often closed. We love it shortly after those rains when the grasses are flush with green and the light at its most beautiful.
Combine it with: Some of the world´s best big cat viewing in the conservancies surrounding the Maasai Mara reserve. The giant elephants of the Chyulu Hills, the Kenya coast or Zanzibar Archipelago. Even the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda can be easily reached.
Sirai Beach, Kilifi, Kenya (coast)
Description: Decadent Moorish design overlooking a sparkling Indian Ocean. Sirai Beach is the pinnacle of luxury and exclusivity on the Swahili coast. Incredible food and service accompany the perfect place to relax and party.
Why Nic & Jana love it: What a fabulous way to finish a safari in East Africa. Solidify all the memories you’ve made together while relaxing in paradise. Explore the magnificent colours beneath the surface of the Indian ocean, snorkelling or in a glass bottomed kayak. Sunset dhow cruises in the bay surrounded by your family and friends.
It’s just dreamy!
Perfect for: Large families and groups of friends, with a master suite and five garden cottages sleeping twelve people.
When to visit: Avoiding the heavy rains in April and May you can enjoy Sirai all the season through.
Expect the best clarity and calmness of the water between October and March.
Combine it with: Highlights of the savanna with the stunning wildlife of the greater Mara and the Laikipia regions. Tanzania’s vast national parks are easily combined with Kenya. Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda would also be a tremendous combination experience.