I’ve been lucky with my job, going to lodges I would never normally get to.
Here are some of my all time favourites:-
Old Drift Lodge, Vic Falls, Zimbabwe
I fell in love with this place. Maybe because it’s on the Zambezi River which is magical. Maybe it was the staff who in true Zimbabwe style are so friendly. Maybe the private early morning boat trips, the sunrises and sunsets or the elephant that came to drink out our private pool. It might have been the silence. Old Drift Lodge is pure luxury but affordable, close to the Victoria Falls and the canoeing is pretty amazing.
* Luxury suites, private Zambezi boat trips, game drives, trip to the Victoria Falls and town included, walking, game viewing, just incredible.
Kulala Lodge, Sossusvlei, Namibia
We drove from Windhoek to Sossusvlei, about five hours on roads that were deserted, gravel and sometimes scary but with the most unbelievable scenery. The colours changed all the time, the odd gemsbok wandered the desert, the mountains and dunes were incredible. And then the lodge itself. We slept on the roof of our sala, the sand dunes (and I chickened out of climbing the big one) are just magnificent, and Sesriem has to be one of the best places, honestly, in the WORLD.
* Luxury suites, sit for hours and watch the sand shift, small game, beautiful birdlife, nature drives, starry nights, dunes!
Saseka, Thorynbush Game Lodge, South Africa
I was here during a giant thunderstorm and the lodge is open plan, under cover but with no ‘sides’, oh my goodness it was wild and magnificent and the decor is divine. We sheltered with the staff and cake and tea and once the storm was over, went to see lion, leopard and elephant that were all sheltering under a rainbow too!
* One of the most beautifully designed lodges I have ever been to, best bathtub, huge luxurious 'tents.' Private pools. In the Kruger area, Big Five, a leopard wandered through the dining area!
Tswalu, Southen Kalahari, South Africa.
Remote, I flew in and out in a private Tswalu jet, incredible landscapes, meerkat that were so sweet and that I could watch for hours, wondrous landscape, high or low desert I am not sure but unlike any area I have been too. Wide open sandy plains, red and brown and yellow and gold, desert animals and just beautiful.
* Luxury suites, divine pool which is necessary in the heat, good pangolin although I never got to see one, loads of meerkat, gemsbok, lion, unique, special, fab for families.
Sussi Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zambia
It was the thunderous applause of the crickets (cicadas) that were so astonishing on arrival, suites up in trees, beautiful birdsong and Zambezi River views. We rafted downstream from the Vic Falls, watching elephant cross the river, and oh my goodness, when the sky turned bright pink, orange and red at night, this place blew my mind.
*Luxury suites, on the edge of the Zambezi River, can watch elephant from the lodge pool, half day trip to Vic Falls included, meals sumptuous, great game.
Royal Chundu, Victoria Falls, Zambia
Stayed here a while ago but have never forgotten the freshly baked muffins that were placed in our HATCH, with coffee, early in the morning before safari. Game viewing, the river, elephants, canoeing, boating, all divine. And amazing decor and cosy sofas!
* Extremely luxurious suites with private pools, fantastic community initiatives, can visit the local village, all meals, safari, river excursions and colourful and possibly one of my top places in Africa, full stop.
Jack’s Camp, Makgadigadi, Botswana
Oh my goodness. It was 40 degrees or more, the salt pans glimmered, the quad bikes were amazing, our loo was built into wood with like GOLD panelling or something, but more than that, the area is just astonishing, huge herds of zebra and plains game, lion, brown hyena, beautiful birds.
Spent one overnight sleeping in the pans, a highlight of my life. Swimming while two huge male lions watched, scary. Beyond magical and beyond remote.
The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa
Utter luxury, maybe fell in love with it as Hoon the Front Office Manager was so amazing, maybe it was the shop with divine clothing, but actually, it was everything. The indulgence, but the service, position, warm rooftop pool, the velvet chairs in the bar, incredible food, and the ART, architecture, windows and oh the luxury. It’s expensive but champagne, drinks and treats are included and I would highly recommend spending the money and staying here!
* One of the best small hotels in the world, on top of the Zeitz Mocca art museum in Cape Town, first class experience.
There are more guys! I haven't mentioned Royal Malewane or Singita in Kruger, Birkenhead House in Hermanus, Babylonstoren in the Cape Winelands, the Blue Train and Rovos Rail, they are all breathtakingly beautiful.
Mail me for bookings. And itineraries. And inspiration. And mostly, for a holiday!
And remember, I don't only book luxury. I love planning and organising remote, rugged and adventurous too.