Stylish Safari Lodges – combine style and luxury for the perfect holiday

vumbura, stylish safari lodge, botswanaThe Style Junkies Awards of 2014 represent the world’s best in luxury travel, and several African safaris have made the cut as Africa’s most stylish safari lodges. A number of southern African hotels and lodges were nominated within the different categories, and of these, three African lodges were voted as the winners of their categories. Considering that they were running against hotels worldwide, the awards are a validation of the exceptional resorts that are within southern Africa, and reveal the many stylish safari lodges on offer. The winners include the Vumbura Plains Camp in Botswana; the Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia; and the Chongwe River Camp in Zambia – all of which are aesthetically unique and authentic.

The Winning Stylish Safari Lodges

Vumbura Plains Camp is within the wetlands of Botswana, overlooking the Okavango Delta floodplains. The camp has magnificent views of the delta, which fosters a densely green region within the Kalahari Desert. As a major water system, many wild animals thrive near the Okavango, such as the elephant, giraffe, antelope, zebra, wildebeest, and the Cape Buffalo. Hippo and crocodile live in the delta, and slightly further in the grasslands there are lion; leopard; cheetah; and hyena. With the large range of animal species that roam the region, the Okavango is the ideal location for those on safari that want to focus on the wildlife, and they offer a range of land and water-based activities that take advantage of this. Winner of the ‘Boutique Bush Home’ Style Junkies category, the camp has fourteen rooms; two of which are for families. Spacious rooms and lounges, a mix of dark and sand-coloured wood, neutral shades, and large comfortable chairs combine to create a sense of intense serenity, and easily make this one of the most stylish safari lodges. If that doesn’t paint a picture for you, see yourself floating in the plunge-pool – it’s mid-afternoon and your eyes are closed when a sound alerts you to another presence. You open your eyes to see an elephant strolling past; he calmly looks at you and saunters on.

Tongabezi Lodge is the most romantic of the stylish safari lodges. Built on the banks of the Zambezi River, the exclusive hideaway has designed each of its uniquely-themed villas to face the sunset. Winner of the ‘Best for Bed Olympics’ category, this deeply romantic safari is the perfect honeymoon destination. Each of the eleven cottages has a personal valet (such service!) and many of the activities on offer (although not all) are included in the package. Couples can glory in the sunrise by cruise, and dine under the stars on a deeply romantic Sampan floating on the river at night. Visit the Victoria Falls; canoe on the Zambezi; or take day trips to Livingstone Island and Chobe National Park. Of all the stylish safari lodges, the proximity of Tongabezi to Victoria Falls makes this one of the best destinations for adventure water sports, including jet boating; white-water rafting; and swimming on the edge of the Falls.

Chongwe River Camp is situated in Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia, and was the winner of the Style Junkies ‘Experience of a Lifetime’ category. The region is not as populated with game as other stylish safari lodges, and travellers are drawn to the region for the wild beauty of the habitat and the exquisite river views. Most commonly seen are herds of elephants, crocodiles, and hippos of the Zambezi. The camp is family-orientated, and guests stay in either the classic tents or in the luxurious tented suite. A casual atmosphere, and styled with colourful carpets, plush cushions, and African textures, Chongwe feels laid-back and organic. Stylish it may be, but this getaway is all about superior comfort and relaxation.

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