There’s nothing quite like observing wild animals in their natural habitat, especially in Africa where you can witness some of the world’s most exceptional wildlife scenes. On an African safari, you might catch baby elephants playfully bathing themselves at the watering hole, spot the thrilling chase of a lion after his prey or come face to face with a giant gorilla in the misty mountains. These are memories to last a lifetime which can be made all the more special by staying at one of these top luxury safari lodges across the continent, recommended by our experts at cazenove+loyd and Volcanoes Safaris.


Leobo Private Reserve – The Waterberg, South Africa

Leobo Private Reserve is an entirely private 20,000-acre estate nestled in the beautiful Waterberg mountains and overlooking the Palala Valley, a three-hour drive north of Johannesburg. It’s home to the award winning ‘Observatory Bush Villa,’ possibly the most spectacular safari house in Africa not only from an architectural and stylistic perspective but also as the perfect home for families and small groups.

This luxury bush retreat, which sleeps up to 27, is owned by an English family as their private home and has only recently become available on a limited commercial basis. The reserve can only be rented exclusively, therefore, you won’t have to share it with any other guests, making it your personal playground for the duration of your stay. An excellent option for families, the main house has two main bedrooms facing out over the amazing view, and then at the back there is a bunk room for children and a nanny’s room right next to it. There is also a further eight bedrooms about three-minute drive from the house.

Guests are not confined to timetabled game drives, strict programs or meals at set times. Instead, they can go on game drives whenever they like, day or night. Activities include quad biking, riding safaris, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, helicopter safaris, fresh water swimming and – for the extra adventurous – skydiving from 20,000 feet above the reserve. At the end of a long day, relax in the heated infinity pool and rooftop Jacuzzi. Leobo Reserve is ideal for those seeking more than the picture perfect holiday moment, rather those in pursuit of an authentic natural experience.


Singita Castleton – Sabi Sands, South Africa

The former family home of Singita founder Luke Bailes’ grandfather, the Singita Castleton is an exclusive-use lodge set within 45,000 acres of private reserve. It is comprised of the main house with communal living spaces, and accommodation located in six individual cottages within the grounds, catering for up to 12 people.

Steeped in history, the spirit of the original Castleton house is still captured in today’s lodge which blends the best elements of a private safari lodge with the rustic charms of a country farmhouse. This is accentuated by the extensive high-end facilities, including a vast garden, swimming pool, wine cellar, gym, tennis court and spa room.

Guests can relax together in the courtyard, gather around the traditional ‘boma’ or meet in the country-style kitchen then enjoy their own privacy at the individual cottages; all this overlooking a waterhole where wild animals casually meander for a drink.

Virunga Lodge – Rwanda

It’s hard to beat the phenomenal views from the Virunga Lodge in Rwanda, perched on a ridge and overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and the twin lakes Bulera and Ruhonda. This is a premier luxury base for Rwanda gorilla safari tours and tracking the endangered mountain gorillas.

The organic, ‘bush-chic’ design of the lodge reflects the local building style while offering luxurious modern comfort. The complex includes 10 stone guesthouse “bandas” with tile roofs (two deluxe, four doubles and four twins) and en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilets, double vanity sinks, and showers with hot and cold running water. Each “banda” has its own terrace with stunning views of the Virunga volcanoes or twin lakes. The lodges incorporate eco-friendliness with low-flush toilets and solar power energy.

There is a wide array of activities to throw yourself into, such as gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking, volcano hiking, visiting local schools and communities, Dian Fossey’s grave, and massages.

Mount Gahinga Lodge – Uganda

On the Ugandan side of the Virunga Volcanoes is this exclusive Uganda adventure lodge. With the spectacular backdrop of three of the volcanoes, the lodge exudes rustic charm within a tranquil and historic atmosphere.

Each of the luxury safari lodges were built by employing local techniques and design. The main building brings guests together in its large living space with a cozy central fire and its adjoining exterior terrace and spacious sunroom. Each of the guesthouse “bandas” is reached by taking a short stroll through the large gardens and all have been renovated to offer unparalleled luxury in the region. They have all have their own fireplace and ensuite bathroom with showers and flush toilets.

In addition to guided hiking and trekking, the Gahinga Lodge has partnered with the Batwa Tribe, one of Africa’s oldest tribes, to offer interactive tours through their community.

Cottar's Private House - Main area, upstairs

Cottars Private House – Masai Mara, Kenya

Kenya has some of the top safari lodges in Africa, and the newly built ‘Cottar’s Bush Villa’ is among the best. Situated on the Olderikesi conservancy, the award-winning Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp, it borders the amazing Maasai Mara National Reserve and is just one kilometer from the world famous Tanzania Serengeti game reserve.

Designed by Calvin and Louise Cottar, it was built using indigenous and eco-friendly materials. The villa is managed by the Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, as such guests can enjoy the same levels of service and standard for which the camp is known while maintaining a completely private, luxury experience. The villa is over 10,000 square feet which includes a large living room, dining room, viewing deck, and five en-suite bedrooms. There is also a private 25-meter pool and guests have access to the Cottar’s 1920s Camp swimming pool, shop and other facilities.

The villa has exceptional views over the plains and rolling Olderikesi Hills. Many private activities can be arranged, including guided game drives (day or night), bush walks, swimming, and fishing. Cottar’s Bush Villa is rented on an exclusive basis only, and comes with a dedicated staff of eight as well as drive vehicles and guides provided to guests during their stay.

For information and booking, contact Cottar’s 1920s Bush Camp here.

Luangwa Robin Pope Safaris

Luangwa Safari House, Zambia

To experience true unspoiled African wilderness, reserve your stay at the Luangwa House, one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries on the continent. This private estate is on the edge of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, accompanied by stunning natural setting rivers, lagoons, woodlands and large plains which are home to a vast variety of game such as elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, giraffe, hippo and over 450 species of birds.

The unique and luxurious house was designed by Neil Rocher and fits perfectly into its natural surroundings. You can sit on the terrace to observe herds of elephants, impalas, giraffes and many other species passing by right in front on their way to the lagoon. The stylish design offers contemporary comforts with local design elements like its impressive thatched roof.

Inside is a large living room a vaulted ceiling, a marble dining table and plush sofas, four ensuite bedrooms and access to the viewing balcony. In addition to several sitting areas, the grounds also feature a plunge pool which you can cool down in at the end of a hot day on safari. The house has its own dedicated team of chefs, waiters and safari guides. They can also arrange private vehicles and an armed scout for walking safaris. This is an ideal safari lodge for families with children over seven.


Chongwe River House, The Lower Zambezi, Zambia

One of the most unique African safari lodges available on the rental market is this gorgeous private home designed by renowned architect Neil Rocher and located one kilometer from the Chongwe River Camp, in the South Luangwa National Park like the Luangwa House mentioned above.

The design of the house was inspired by the spires of termitarium abundantly found in the area. The organic forms of the building flow naturally through the exterior common spaces and to the pool, incorporating indigenous vegetation. Nature streams into the house through details like the furniture in the sitting room, carved from a single fallen winter thorn tree and the colored pebbles from the Chongwe river embedded into the ceiling.

The house sleeps eight guests in four, large ensuite bedrooms which feature king size or twin beds as well as bathtubs or waterfall showers and private viewing decks in each room. From various vantage points in and outside the house, you can observe the slowly passing herds of elephants and other game as they stop to drink or play in the river. The house has its own safari guide and safari vehicle for private activities and tours for the guests. There is also a dedicated house manager, a team of chefs and a full complement of support staff.

To enjoy the many delights of Marrakech from shopping at the souk to having the perfect moment of relaxation at a traditional spa – while also bearing the intense Moroccan sun – one needs to be within the comforts of the right holiday home. Our experts at Villanovo have expanded their already exceptional portfolio to include three new properties which achieve the above with supreme excellence. Be tempted by them below.marrakech-riad-tarabel-40843680656b87ee63731e5.00094625

Riad Derb Sraghna

Located in the heart of the old medina, close to the famed Jemaa el Fna square, the souk and the Dar el Bacha palace, this traditional riad was carefully renovated in 2007 and converted into a spectacular private guesthouse.

The courtyard house combines elegance and tranquility while respecting the simplicity of old colonial Riads. Admire its traditional Arab-Andalusian architecture, built around a central courtyard dotted with orange trees and a small fountain complementing the romantic atmosphere.

riad-derb-sraghnaEvery room is uniquely decorated with individually selected furnishings including family heirlooms, old prints and mirrors, large paintings and vintage photographs, these give each room a feeling of nostalgia, of travel, of encounters in far away places.

The 10 spacious bedrooms and suites all have private bathrooms. The common areas include three different salons, a spacious, sunbath kissed roof terrace and a hammam. The attentive and soft voiced staff of the property will cater to all your wishes, making your stay as comfortable and unique as possible.


Villa Deliceya

The Domaine Royal Palm was recently developed by Beachcomber. It is a luxurious private enclave in Marrakech on a gorgeous golf course facing the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountains. Villa Deliceya is one of the largest private houses in the complex offering seven bedrooms on almost one hectare of gardens, plus it’s the only property with a private tennis court.

villa deliceya

The house was decorated in a minimalist style with Moroccan touches and bright colors. It is a perfect Moroccan holiday rental for a family with small children due to numerous areas designed with kids in mind: a TV room which is also a play room, an outdoor game area with a trampoline, a filtered, shallow pool.

The villa also features a large 20-meter pool (with pool cover) which is heated in winter, a hammam, a massage room, a private tennis clay court, a covered terrace at the edge the pool for an al fresco lunch or dinner, a large outdoor terrace in front of the living room and a covered lounge area near the second pool.


Etoile des Sables

Situated in the posh Palmeraie of Marrakech, Etoile des Sables is a contemporary and luxurious villa designed by architect Helena Marczewski. The house offers 1,000 m2 of living space on two hectares of fenced land near the Ksar Char Bagh, a beautiful small hotel member of the Relais and Chateaux group.

villa etoile de sable
The villa is organized around a central courtyard which functions as a lounge. It blends organic qualities and earthy feel of traditional Moroccan homes, with strong clean lines, an abundance of natural light and an instinctive flow between inside and outside living.
There are four bedrooms in the main house and two rooms in a guest cottage.

The large swimming pool is 25 meters by five meters with a shallow range of five meters at one end. There is also a lovely spa area which includes a hammam, massage room and indoor heated pool (8×3 meters) with swimming against the current system.

For more information about any of the above villas or other options in Marrakech, contact Villanovo here.

Why spend your holiday with throngs of other holiday-goers when you can savor the tranquility of your own private beach? Fortunately, you can have the beach to yourself, at these phenomenal and perfectly private beachfront luxury villas across the spectacular seas of the South Pacific and Indian Ocean.


Bora Bora One – French Polynesia

On one of the world’s most idyllic islands, our experts at Villa Concierge have the phenomenal Bora Bora One Villa. It’s located on a private beach within a 30,000sq. meter tropical forest.

In addition to the exquisite surroundings, the property has breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean, neighboring islands and the towering Mount Otemanu. The calm safe waters of the lagoon provide opportunities for sunning or snorkeling among the offshore reefs. For bigger waves, a path through the jungle leads to a private spot on the ocean side. To go further afield, the villa has its own onsite boat and captain.

Relax right at the villa on its full-length covered terrace on the lagoon side of the house which faces the wooden decked, black marble infinity edged pool and a man-made offshore private island. There is also an outdoor living room overlooking the pool, various outdoor dining spaces, and the awe-inspiring views. The open plan interiors host elegant indoor dining, spacious seating areas, vaulted ceilings and large glass doors and windows opening to the gardens, beach and surroundings. The five en-suite bedrooms each feature a seating area, a private terrace facing the lagoon, as well as en-suite bathrooms with marble walk-in showers.

Bora Bora One is professionally staffed with a house manager, housekeeping, chef, waiter and boat captain, and a range of activities like trekking, biking, fishing, scuba diving, jet skiing, snorkeling, whale and manta ray watching, or a Polynesian island tour, can be arranged.

Have the perfect holiday at this exceptional private beach villa by reaching out to Villa Concierge here.


Villa DelanaVatuvara Private Island, Fiji

The hundreds of islands that make up the Fijian archipelago have some spectacular private beaches, though one of our ultimate favorites is in front of the Villa Delana on Vatuvara Private Island. It’s perfectly suited to couples seeking unsurpassed privacy, expansive interiors with elegant South Seas furnishings. Upon approaching the villa you can’t help but be swept up by the local magic of its commanding sea cliff location and magnificent architecture with stone columns crowned by a traditional Fijian thatch roof.

Verandahs meet at an infinity bionized heated pool serenely flowing into the ocean’s edge. A personal fragrant garden path leads to a private beach, dining gazebo, activities and outdoor shower facilities.

Villa Delana features one bedroom with double vanity ensuite, extra-large king bed, lounge with flat screen satellite television, apple tv, Wi-Fi, kitchen, stocked bar and wine fridge, additional bathroom, library with computer, and luxurious indoor spa with Jacuzzi.

In addition to its private beach, guests at Vatuvara Private Islands also have a choice of going to nearby sandbanks and Filo’s Beach, a 10-minute boat trip away, or to the infamous Vatuvara Island, a 40-minute trip on Houdini, the 11.3m naiad, from the resort.

The turquoise waters give way to the clear shallows with pristine white sand beaches which appear untouched by man – not a footprint in sight  – perfect for a romantic picnic and for snorkeling in the serene waters of Fiji.

Find out how to book this perfect holiday paradise on Vatuvara Private Islands at this link.


Villa Coloniale – Mauritius

Experience the best in colonial elegance and modern luxury at the gorgeous Mauritanian Villa Coloniale by Villanovo. New to their portfolio, the house sits directly on a long private sandy beach with a bathing area that is closed off to the public.

A colonial home, it’s the very last authentic property of the era still standing on the Northern coast of Mauritius. It has remained in the same family ever since it was built, and was faithfully restored together with its original antique furniture in 2011. It has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The interior common rooms include a living room, dining room, and den. Outside there are various covered and open terraces to enjoy. The rooms are filled with priceless original antiques from the late XVIIth to the early XXth century, this “Old Lady” is a unique reminder of the colonial period.

An imposing 1888 cast-iron gate opens onto manicured tropical gardens, filled with flowers, palm trees, and hundred-year-old flame trees. The private beach stretches for miles just below the slate pool and deck. The view from the beautiful terrace, overlooking the Indian Ocean, is simply stunning and you can start and end your days watching the sun rise to your right and set to your left above the Northern Islets of Mauritius.

Contact Villanovo here to reserve your stay at this exceptional one-of-a-kind holiday home.


Leaders in safaris and African holidays, cazenove+loyd have several exquisite villas with private beaches along the continent’s coastline, like Alfajiri’s Cliff Villa, considered by many to be one of the finest and most luxurious retreats on the Kenyan coast.

Overlooking the Indian Ocean and facing the sunrise, its high position ensures privacy and incredible views. It’s located at the gorgeous 10-mile-long Diani beach where there is a beautiful coral reef beneath its crystal waters, offering fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities plus a range of other watersports.

Envisioned by interior designer Marica Molinaro, the decor highlights local fabrics, lamps, East African artifacts, carved Lamu doors and wooden beams, which reflect the region’s link with Asia. The villa’s four bedrooms can accommodate up to eight, working well for families. The turret suite has a 270-degree view of the sea and is incredibly romantic. The large veranda with hand carved sofas dominates the front of the villa, while a swimming pool sits on the edge of a small cliff merging into the sea and the horizon.

For more information and to book this private luxury villa, see cazenove+loyd’s profile here.

Olerai beach house

Olerai Beach House – Kenya

A little further north along the coast is the Olerai Beach House, a quintessential Kenyan beach home, according to cazenove+loyd. This pretty property has plenty of local charm and is situated on a first class location on Tiwi Beach, south of Mombasa. It is a fully-staffed private, family owned home that has opened up to guests on an exclusive use basis.

Hidden amidst local vegetation, the house has a high makuti (palm-tile) roof, large breezy bedrooms, and personalized décor of wall hangings and other local artwork. The comfortable lounge is reached through a small covered outdoor area. There is also a covered terrace where you’ll find more chairs, sofas, and a hammock, with sea views between the palm trees; the perfect setting for your evening meals. The large, unique swimming pool has a backdrop of coral rock caves, and its terrace descends down to the beach.

The house features five bedrooms, including two master bedrooms. Each one has its own original decor and feel. The living room on the second floor has an open-plan, high-pitch ceiling. This floor also has two bedrooms with twin beds. In addition to the main house, there is a separate, modest ‘cottage’ in the garden.

Perfect for families or friends looking to get away from it all, you can learn more about this secluded villa through cazenove+loyd at this link.