South African Luxury Game Lodges

The Ideal Social Distancing Experience

Embrace the Call of the Wild in South Africa

Months of confinement owing to the global pandemic has us all itching for a refreshing getaway, and downtime to rejuvenate amidst nature. Given that the virus has changed patterns of travel to ensure social distancing, what safe-space can travellers consider for their next vacation?

 The answer is simple – South African luxury game lodges. Travellers are presented with the opportunity to escape into the wilderness, where time stands still. 

 Imagine this: a place where you are in good company – surrounded only by friends or family, and the wild. A place where you wake up to the sight of elephants drinking out of the reception pool, and begin the day with an early morning game drive; where expert rangers and trackers guide you to sightings of the majestic Big 5 (and more!), most of whom are lazing in the bush by water holes.

 You return to a delectable hearty breakfast, and then opt for a luxury spa or relax in your private infinity pool, all the while surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature, before getting ready for lunch and your evening game drive. Sundowners and laughter echoing through the African bush, make for the perfect sunset. Dinner is a spectacular affair complete with the starry sky for a canopy, delicious braais (barbeques), song and dance, drumming sessions and entertainment by traditional South African tribal dance troupes.

 Safety Measures

According to travel experts, the appeal of a safari holiday has only increased given its natural ability to support social distancing. The seclusion from concrete jungles, fresh air, and the wilderness – all aid in the perfect social distancing experience. Travel consultants are now helping couples, families and small groups plan private and safe vacations to such luxury game lodges.

 With the natural world as its stage, the essence of a safari won’t change. However, guests will experience enhanced sanitization policies, smaller camps and smaller game drive groups to ensure social distancing is maintained even in the safari vehicle.

 Virtual Tours

Until borders open up for international travel, interested travellers can avail of virtual tours, to view packages and get a virtual sampling of the experience they would have on-ground. Read on to explore two popular virtual tours of the South African bush:

 Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga and Limpopo

South Africa is home to numerous game reserves, each offering its own distinctive brand of game viewing. However, the world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. It is South Africa’s most exciting African safari destination and offers a variety of experiences such as wilderness trails, self-drive adventures and safaris. 

 Given the lockdown, virtual LIVE safaris have been made available to viewers from across the world. This virtual show also enables you to interact with an expert game ranger in real time! Safari vehicles, guides on foot, drones, balloons, rovers and remote cams all roam the terrains of the national park, to bring the best possible safari viewing experience to homes.

 LIVE safari tours are available twice a day – sunrise safari at 9:30 am and sunset safari at 7:00pm IST, and can be viewed:

 Shamwari Game Reserve, Eastern Cape

This 5-star-lodge that stretches along the Bushman’s River is based in the Eastern Cape, which was home to the great Nelson Mandela. Wrapped in settler history, this award-winning game reserve is known for its quality of game sightings, and is now bringing safaris into homes with the Head Ranger.

Singita Lebombo Lodge, Kruger, South Africa. Agency HKLM. Art Director: Paul Henriques. Stylist: Georgina Pennington. Photographer: Mark Williams. 18/11/11

 Andrew Kearney, Head Ranger, invites audiences to join him on his daily virtual game drives through the #LockdownSeries, that is published on their YouTube channel. The veteran ranger delivers a range of information – from the basics of tracking and identifying wildlife footprints to masterclasses on giraffes and interesting trivia on the indigenous flora and fauna species found on the reserve.

 It is on this Game Reserve that Tiger Woods got engaged to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren, when he popped the question during a sunset stroll. The property also hosted Brad Pitt, who wrote a review stating, “The people are as fantastic as the animals majestic. Enjoyed the food chain. Many thanks.

Join the Family
Sign up for Davenport’s Daily Digest and get the best of Davenport, tailored for you.