An African safari may be a daunting prospect for a solo traveller, but there are lots of reasons why it could be the perfect choice if you are single and adventurous. Bespoke trips are perfect for those who prefer their own company and would rather not stay with the same people for the duration of their holiday. A private vehicle further allows you the freedom of your own personal guide and the opportunity to travel at your own pace, which is particularly good if you are a budding photographer or have a particular interest in a lesser-known species, for example. Alternatively, you can join a group trip with a set departure date, often guided by some of the continent’s very best safari guides. In many lodges in Africa, solo travellers are subject to a single supplement, effectively paying for an extra person who isn’t there. However, there are a few very luxurious safari properties that waive this supplement – and here are our top 5…
Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Grumeti, Tanzania
This super-luxurious and intimate property is located in the exclusive private Singita Grumeti Reserve, adjacent to the Serengeti’s Western Corridor. With only eight rooms, Faru Faru is a small high-end lodge. It has a hefty price tag, but it offers extraordinary value for money thanks to undeniably the highest standards of hospitality and service in the country. The lodge looks out over a watering hole onto the Grumeti River, which means that guests do not even have to set out on safari to see a wealth of wildlife. Morning and afternoon game drives take place in open-sided vehicles usually taking a maximum of six passengers, and there are numerous other activities on offer, from night safari and horse riding to cycling and massages. With varied activities, exceptional accommodation, and good resident game, Faru Faru is a great option for solo travellers throughout the year.
Leopard Hills, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
Leopard Hills is a lodge combining extreme luxury and excellent game viewing within its own concession in South Africa’s Sabi Sands. Built on a hill overlooking a natural waterhole, the property features a very impressive central area, including a lounge and bar, a large deck for watching the wildlife visit the waterhole, a swimming pool, and a new sala and gym zone. Guest accommodation comprises eight luxurious glass-fronted suites, all spacious, stylish, and with magnificent views of the bushveld. Each suite also has a Victorian bathtub, indoor and outdoor showers, a large sundeck, and a private plunge pool. Both food and service are excellent, and the activities on offer include game drives, bush walks, and pampering spa treatments.
Tena Tena Camp, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Tena Tena stretches along the bank of the Luangwa river in the South Luangwa’s Nsefu sector, within a virtually private walking area. It has just five rooms, which are large yet cosy. Each includes an open-air bathroom, an outside shower, and a veranda with beautiful views across the river. The activities here focus on excellent guiding, with a choice of walking safaris, game drives, and night drives. Although more adventurous than luxurious in style, the overall quality of this camp is very high – and with its remote location and communal dining, it’s ideal for daring singletons who want to get away from it all and immerse themselves in nature.
Loisaba Tented Camp, Laikipia, Kenya
Loisaba is situated within the Loisaba Conservancy, in the northern region of Laikipia. It has a fabulous and iconic location on top of an escarpment, affording breathtaking views across plains as far as majestic Mount Kenya on the horizon. The communal lounge, bar, dining area, and viewing decks really make the most of this elevated outlook, and the infinity pool boasts possibly the best setting of any pool, ever! The property’s six spacious tented rooms have wooden floors and beams, and a canvas roof. They are very well appointed, with en-suite facilities including a large solar-heated rainfall shower. Food and drink is first rate, with a lot of dining choices. Loisaba offers an exciting variety of activities, such as game drives, guided bush walks, horse riding, camel trekking, mountain biking, and even fishing.
Zarafa Camp, Linyanti, Botswana
Exclusive, luxurious, and full of character, Zarafa is located in the Linyanti swamp area of northern Botswana and does not charge a single supplement outside the high season. Guests here receive a very personal and private experience, and Zarafa is undoubtedly one of the best camps in the country. All four guest rooms consist of a marquis-style tent featuring lots of windows and a private balcony. The tents have been built and furnished in a traditional ‘safari-camp style’, with doors reclaimed from Zanzibar, floors made from refashioned railway sleepers, and furniture constructed using wood from areas destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. The en-suite facilities include a copper bath, as well as both inside and outside showers. The overall effect is fabulous! Game viewing here is excellent, and activities include game drives, walking safaris (available on request), and canoe safaris, which can usually take place between April and August. The secluded accommodation is ideal for private dinners, or guests can dine together. Overall, Zarafa has plenty of options to suit solo travellers.
Julian Carter-Manning is a Co-founder and MD at Yellow Zebra Safaris. Yellow Zebra Safaris is an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in ‘Safari Africa’.