There are a few among us who decided long ago that travel is something they prefer to do solo. Of course, we realize that the squabble quotient is reduced to zero that way, but there’s a possibility that the loneliness factor may be higher than some are comfortable with.
Our solution: let us help you travel with a group of your own choosing. You can include members of your own family; friends you met and stayed in touch with since summer camp, former college roommates and their now-burgeoning broods, or all of the above. The only qualification is a desire to travel and share experiences as a group, a coterie.
When the destination of choice is Africa, the ensemble safari experience is best satisfied by staying in one of the private villas that we think are topnotch. At these exclusive-use safari houses (as they are also called), you and yours are the absolute center of attention. You establish the schedule, you pick the activity, there’s no sharing of facilities with other guests. In the mood for breakfast in bed? At Melton Manor in South Africa’s Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, the bacon and eggs will be delivered on a tray and placed in your room’s “butler hatch.” Does someone in your party rise well before dawn? At Kenya’s Loisaba House or Loisaba Cottage, mention that tomorrow you’d like an early game drive and your private guide will meet you at the door with your own vehicle.
Do the kids want that Swiss Family Robinson feeling that comes from sleeping in a tent on the white sand banks of a river, surrounded by 450 square miles of forest? Lukula Selous on Tanzania’s Luwegu River provides every creature comfort that parents might desire, and nearly every African creature that young explorers will want to observe and photograph.
Also situated on a riverbank, Chongwe River House would be the perfect place to gently revive the spirits of a group suffering from total exhaustion (A post-world-tour string quartet? A national spelling bee champion and her family?). Observe the wildlife of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi region from the comfort of a deck chair on the patio, without lifting a finger. By the way, those enormous animals coming into view are e-l-e-p-h-a-n-t-s.
Need more suggestions? Let us recommend more of our favorite safari houses. In the meantime, we’ll be in touch again soon. Until then, may all your journeys be extraordinaire.
Marcia, Elizabeth, and Clémence
This is an old post! Not that we don't agree with it but read more about our favorite private houses here!