Top 5 best value safari lodges – South Africa

Here is our pick of best affordable lodges found within or beside Big 5 game reserves in South Africa. They offer value for money, excellent game viewing and a once-in-a-lifetime eco – safari experience.

1. Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp – Mabula Private Game Reserve

Situated 2.5hrs north of Johannesberg. An intimate eco-lodge in the “Out of Africa” style.
The tents are spacious with bedroom, lounge and en-suite with deep, oval bath. Mosquito net, luxury bedding, twin beds, private lounge. Main lodge with boma, bar, lounge + fireplace, plunge pool, horse riding, guided walks, laundry service, spa.
Children 14yrs plus only.
  • 5 luxury spacious tents, sleeping max 10 guests.
  • Our tip - Leopard and elephant tents are private, there is no electricity – lanterns only.
  • Price Guide: Full board(plus 2 game drives) R 1785

2. Mosethla Bush Camp - Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe’s only rustic bush camp. Eco-friendly design with elevated reed cabins set in natural bushland. The cabins have  partly opened sides. Bathrooms are not en-suite – the showers are safari-style bush showers (fenced in ) heated by wood heated (“donkey”) boilers. No electricity or running water. All meals including traditional bush style (BBQ), game drives, included in the rate. Mosethla Camp is unfenced.

  • 9 cabins sleeping max 16 guests
  • Solar power; lanterns; non-flush toilets
  • Our tip – All cabins have views. Shower + toilet set near every group of 3 cabins.
  • Price Guide: R2190pp  

3. Selous Tented Bush Camp – Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Situated in Mankwe Game Reserve near Pilanesberg. An friendly semi – luxury camp. 12 simply furnished en-suite elevated tents carefully placed for privacy. Twin or queen sprung beds, open-air hot water showers. En-suite has canvas and reed walls for privacy. The main lodge has comfortable armchairs and a dining area – all under a Bedouin-style tent. Choose from full board or Bed & breakfast

  • 12 tents, sleeping max 24guests.
  • Our tip – tent 12 has an open-air shower and a ball & claw bath.
  • Price Guide: Full board(plus game activity) R 1375pp. DB&B R950pp. B&B: R750pp.

4. Umkumbe Safari Lodge - Sabi Sand Game Reserve (Wildtuin)

Intimate lodge offering great value – affordable accommodation and a  prime location within Sabi Sand Reserve. 7 thatched chalets with canopied beds, air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. 4 chalets have inter-leading doors, catering to friends or families. The chalets are comfortable and furnished with an African theme. Pool, bar, internet facilities. Rates include meals, game activities, teas. Drinks & Park fees extra.

  • 7 chalets, sleeping max 14guests.
  • Our tips - The newest chalet has a shower & bath. Chalets 3 and 7 overlook the bush. Chalet 1 and 2 are inter-leading, farthest from the main areas & closest to the river.
  • Price Guide: 2013 from R2,050pp – R2665pp; 2014 from R2195 – R2850pp
Wildside Safari Camp - Entabeni Game Reserve

Close to Johannesburg, this intimate eco-friendly camp offers a true safari experience with great value for money. 20 elevated en-suite tented chalets (4 family chalets) with phone, fans, hair dryer. Comfortable furnishings, luxury linens, showers only.
Rates include all meals (buffet-style), 2 game drives. No business facilities.
Horse riding, boma, bar, pool.
  • 2 chalets, Tamboti sleeps max 2 guests; Marula sleeps max 6 guests.
  • Our tips - Tent 10 (good mountain views) Tent 5 (private, bush views). The camp is unfenced.
  • Price Guide:  R3300 (2 adults)
Others we love:
  • Bushwillow Lodge - near Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve
  • Elephant Plains Game Lodge - Sabi Sand game reserve.
  • Gomo Gomo Game Lodge - Klaserie game reserve.
  • Shindzela Tented Camp – Timbavati game reserve.
  • Wildside Safari Camp – Entabeni safari conservancy.
  • Woodbury Lodge -Amakhala game reserve 
Take a look at our Insider Tips for best lodges in Kruger National Park

Related posts:

  1. South Africa Game Reserve Reviews
  2. Safety Tips for South Africa
  3. Safari Camps with Fences
  4. Concerned about taking your children on safari?

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