Tanzania is the ultimate safari destination. From the world-renowned Serengeti National Park to the pristine beaches of Zanzibar to the lesser known gems of the Southern Circuit, Tanzania should be on your list. In addition to stunning scenery and plentiful game, Tanzania offers some incredible luxury accommodation if you’re hoping to treat yourself and really make this your trip of a lifetime. Because luxury doesn’t have to mean fine China and four-poster beds, we’ve divided our list into two categories, Polished Luxury and Barefoot Luxury, so you can get a taste for some of the different styles of accommodation. Enjoy!
1. Singita Grumeti Reserve
Singita is the top-of-the-line brand in African safari lodges. They also manage the Grumeti Reserve, a crucial area for the Great Migration and the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, lying adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. Singita owns five properties in the reserve: Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Singita Faru Faru Lodge, Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Singita Serengeti House (exclusive-use house), and Singita Explore (tented camp). All Singita properties offer unrivaled personal service, great guiding, and detailed accommodation with beautiful little touches. Each of these Grumeti properties has their own characteristics and style so you’re sure to find one that suits you. Additionally, Singita owns a stable in the Grumeti and horseback safaris can be a major draw for those looking to stay here. But we cannot stress enough – Singita is the best of the best for luxury accommodation in all of Africa and the Grumeti Reserve offers an incredible safari experience.
2. Chem Chem
Chem Chem has coined the term “slow safari” and, trust us, toward the end of your journey, that is exactly what you’ll want. The Chem Chem Wilderness Concession is located between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, connecting the two and thus providing an essential wildlife corridor. This means that there will be wildlife roaming outside your tents but you won’t feel the same obligation to jump in your 4x4 and follow them for hours. You can just be. By staying at either Chem Chem Safari Lodge or Chem Chem Bushcamp you will be truly immersed in the sensual ethos that the two sister properties possess. Their luxury is in their natural tones and décor, their integration with nature, the amazing food and personal service, and the unavoidable relaxation. That’s luxury.
3. Mwiba River Lodge
Mwiba River Lodge is located in the Southern Serengeti in its own private concession. It’s perfectly situated overlooking a rocky gorge on the Arugusinyai River and nestled amongst massive boulders and acacia trees. The eight canvas en-suite tents are invisible to one another, giving the guests privacy. They are beautifully decorated with a fusion of contemporary and African design that feels very wide-open and spacious. The bathrooms boast large tubs and both indoor and outdoor showers. The lodge’s infinity pool overlooks three springs where guests are encouraged to relax in luxury while watching resident game in their natural habitat. Also bordering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, game-viewing is excellent and you can witness the Great Migration from December to March.
4. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a luxury property in a prime area. Perched on the edge of the crater with magnificent views of the landscape, this is safari with style. An intriguing mix of African décor, modern touches, and European royalty, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is a gem of over-the-top opulence; it’s Africa meets Versailles! Rooms are spacious with silk curtains, chandeliers, and wood paneling. The bathtubs overlook the crater and offer prime relaxation while soaking up the vistas. Food, service, management, and attention to detail are superb. If you’re dead set on visiting the crater despite the crowds, then Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offers an incredibly luxurious experience in this fascinating area.
5. The Residence
The Residence is a luxurious and large hotel in southwest Zanzibar, offering excellent service, numerous activities, and all of the amenities and facilities one would ever want. The 66 villas are tastefully decorated and spacious, keeping maximum comfort in mind. Each has its own indoor and outdoor shower, plunge pool, butler service, and bikes for exploring the island. The Residence doesn’t have the same small and intimate feel that we love, but the facilities are impeccable, the sea-views are stunning, and the fresh and airy feel is divine.
6. Lamai Serengeti
Lamai Serengeti is one of our favorite properties in the Serengeti. It embodies natural elegance with open thatch and stone rooms with stunning views over the Northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara. Its thatched roofs and the natural rock swimming pool blend seamlessly into the hill that they’re situated on, unobtrusive to its beautiful surroundings. The rooms are decorated with understated elegance; it’s sophisticated but not over the top. And the day beds make it hard to want to leave your room! But when you do, the game-viewing is phenomenal even after the Great Migration has passed.
7. Greystoke Mahale
Greystoke Mahale is one of our favorite properties for its remote location, its mix of water and mountains, and for the inexplicable feel of the lodge. Located in the Mahale Mountains National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Greystoke has access to the largest remaining chimpanzee population in the world and countless other species of wildlife. This is a truly special place for animal lovers and you’ll feel as if you’re in Tarzan’s lost world of lush mountains and crystal clear pools and waterfalls. Nestled into the greenery on the shores of the lake, it is both romantic and inspiring. Open-fronted thatch and wood structures are positioned overlooking the beach with views of the lake from the terraces and upstairs lounges. The rustic interiors are fashioned using dhow timber. Greystoke is only accessible by a 90-minute dhow ride from the closest airstrip. If you’re able to venture off the beaten track, Greystoke is a true gem.
8. Mnemba Island Lodge
Mnemba Island Lodge is on a private island off the northeast coast of Zanzibar. That is luxury in itself. But the lodge delivers as one of the most beautiful barefoot luxury lodges in Tanzania. Each of the 10 beachfront bandas has a private stone bathroom and beach sala for lazing around during the sunny days. Elegantly simple, the rooms are comfortable and cool with stunning sea views. This island paradise is the height of romance, perfect for honeymooners and couples. Dinners are served on the beach under the stars, with the lapping of waves as the soundtrack to your gourmet meals. The location is perfect for snorkeling, diving, kayaking, or just lazing about on the beach and relaxing.
9. Sayari Camp
Sayari Camp is located in the Northern Serengeti which offers incredible Big 5 game viewing, even after the Great Migration has passed. The 15 spacious and luxurious tents are canvas and wood structures with private decks, rain showers, and incredible bathtubs with views. Décor is modern with oriental influences, clean lines, and beautifully incorporates the vistas to create lovely guest spaces. The public areas are remarkable. We love the coziness of their library, bar, lounge, fireplace, and especially the infinity pool – the perfect place to view resident game while cooling off.
Located at the northern tip of Zanzibar, Kilindi is a gorgeous property with stunning accommodation, excellent food and tropical gardens with fragrant flowering trees. It is an eco-lodge ideal for nature lovers and active people. Although it’s not located directly at the water’s edge, the beach is incredibly picturesque and clean. The 13 pavilion-style villas each have their own private plunge pools and sea views. The main areas contain a large pool and a fun hookah lounge. The property is very open and spread out, always conveying a sense of intimacy. Kilindi is romance meets adventure.