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Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

Explore Gorongosa is not your typical neocolonial safari lodge. Instead, the atmosphere is decidedly laidback and familial. Owners Jos and Rob Janisch have set up four quirky tented suites with outdoor bucket showers and canopy beds with cozy down duvets in a camp they call Explorers. Nearby there's a mess tent, library, and open-air lounge with hammocks and a campfire for taking an evening...

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Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Namibia

The deserts of Namibia are some of the oldest on the planet, and at first glance, they may seem stark and unforgiving. But a closer inspection reveals a cornucopia of flora and fauna that are uniquely adapted to this harsh environment. One of the best places from which to experience this desert vitality is Little Kulala, a camp of 11 luxurious thatched suites situated in a dry riverbed amidst...

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Livingstone, Zambia

Perched on the banks of the wide Zambezi River a mere seven miles upstream from Victoria Falls, Toka Leya is often the first camp safari-goers hit on their tours of southern Africa. It's no surprise why: it's the perfect introduction to the African way of life.

Twelve canvas-and-wood tented suites sit amongst jackalberry, waterberry, and baobab trees and feature outdoor showers and...

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KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

In the 1980s, the land that is now Phinda Private Game Reserve was ravaged by the ill effects of pineapple plantations, big-game hunting, and cattle ranches. Safari company CC Africa, now known as &Beyond, bought the land and, with the help of its conservationists and scientists, painstakingly resuscitated it over 17 years. Now the 57,000-acre reserve, sandwiched between the Indian Ocean and...

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South of Salima, Malawi

Lake Malawi is smack in the middle of prime safari country, between Zambia's South Luanwa National Park and the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Selous Game Reserve of Tanzania. Though one might sooner call Pumulani a beach lodge than a safari camp, owner Robin Pope Safaris has expertly melded the best of both worlds at this stylish high-end resort, opened in 2008.

The lodge is the...

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Clanwilliam, Western Cape, South Africa

Safaris may be synonymous with spotting charismatic cats and marquee mammals, but you won't see any predators at one of the best and most distinctive safari lodges in South Africa, Bushmans Kloof. Situated in the Cederberg Mountains about 170 miles from Cape Town, the lodge is a pinnacle of luxury surrounded by unique wilderness.

It wasn't always so. This area, part of the Western...

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Mpumulanga, South Africa

Founded in 2004 by Lisa and Warrick Goosen, Tintswalo feels like a private family bush retreat, probably because the Goosens have personally attended to every detail, from the prints hanging in the suites to the books on the coffee tables in the main lodge. The sum is a chic neo-colonial lodge that is extravagantly luxurious yet eminently welcoming.

Connected by boardwalks, the seven...

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Namib Desert, Namibia

What perhaps strikes visitors most upon arrival at the NamibRand Nature Reserve, a 445,000-acre desert conservation area the size of some small countries, is the quiet solitude and utter enormity of the desert, one of the oldest in the world.

The four camps on the reserve share one overarching philosophy: exist in harmony with this landscape. At the tastefully posh Dunes Lodge, which...

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Moremi, Botswana

It is the world's largest inland delta and Botswana's premier wildlife-watching area. For birdwatchers and wildlife aficionados, the Okavango Delta is not to be missed, and one of the most comfortable places to stay is the elegant Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge, which opened in 2008.

Situated on a 62,000-acre private concession in northern Botswana, the lodge's nine suites have views over...

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Deception Valley area, Botswana

With relatively few people, a preponderance of diverse public lands, and a government sympathetic to conservation, Botswana is an ideal location in which to witness thriving populations of wildlife. One such spot is the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a 12-million-acre tract of desert and plains that is the largest conservation area in the country and one of the largest in the world. In years...

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