There are thousands of wonderful places to stay in Southern Africa, but many are variations on the same theme - hotel, safari lodge, etc. But sometimes they offer something different and intriguing, whether it’s a boat, a train, quirky architecture or historic value. Here, in random order, is my pick of 10 unique stays in Southern Africa I’ve enjoyed over the years.
Hot tip: Watch the sun set and the stars come out to play before you turn in by candlelight for the night.
Read more about Stuurmansfontein
2. Platbos Honey Bee Suite, Western Cape, South Africa
Hot tip: Stoke the donkey boiler and enjoy an open-air shower before it gets too dark to enjoy your surroundings.
Read more about Honey Bee Camp
3. Makkedat cave, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Hot tip: The two-sleeper Dassiebak cave has a little deck that gives lovely mountain views at sunset, while the ten-sleeper Alwynbak cave is open for stargazing.
Read more about Makkedaat
4. The Old Jail, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Hot tip: There’s self-catering accommodation in the old stables for more budget-conscious families.
Read more about The Old Jail
5. Speekhout treehouse, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Hot tip: The place has a ‘magic forest’ feel to it, but it’s not a place for those who freak out about sharing space with other tiny creatures.
Read more about Speekhout treehouse
6. Spend a night on a train
Hot tip: If the hefty cost of the Rovos luxury experience is beyond your means, you can still get lulled to sleep on a train with the much more affordable Shosholoza Meyl.
7. Ngepi Camp, Zambezi, Namibia
Hot tip: Try to visit as many of the ablutions as you can; each is unique and they’re a lot of fun.
Read more about Ngepi Camp
8. Starbed at Little Kulala, Sossusvlei, Namibia
Hot tip: To experience the night sky near Sossusvlei on a tight budget, try the Gondwana Collection’s Namib Desert Campsite.
Read more about Little Kulala Camp
9. Houseboat on the Chobe River, Botswana
Hot tip: If you’re a keen photographer, grab the chance to go out with a guide in the houseboat’s custom-built photo-boat with swivel seats and adjustable camera mounts.
Read more about the Pangolin Voyager houseboat
10. Sleep out on the Makgadikgadi pans, Botswana
Hot tip: Book the following night in one of Planet Baobab’s charmingly decorated traditional huts or in the super campsite so you don’t have to rush after your magical night on the pan.
Read more about Planet Baobab
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