Tracking animals in the riverbed with the family at Tulela

Exclusive-use safari lodges for family travel

We’re all in search of quality time. Quality time with our loved ones and ourselves. Quality time off our devices, away from our everyday demands, close to nature and the forces that remind us to live in the moment. We’ve become more selective about who we spend time with and where we feel safe, so exclusive-use accommodation is a must.

When it comes to travelling in a post-pandemic world, our focus is on reuniting families and loved ones in special places that respect social distancing and minimise exposure to others. We’ve identified and selected exclusive-use villas and private safari lodges that cater solely for one group or family at a time, offering nothing but quality time in the rejuvenating presence of the African wilderness.

Here they are – our top recommended exclusive-use private safari destinations, ideal for families in search of quality time.

Bush breakfast with friends in Klaserie at Tulela

Tulela, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger

Brand new on South Africa’s Greater Kruger safari scene, Tulela – meaning “place of peace” – opened in May 2021 and has already generated a buzz of excitement as an exclusive-use safari lodge. It prioritises families, welcoming children of all ages and entertaining their curious minds with a host of kids activities both in the bush and around the lodge. What we love most about Tulela is its emphasis on total freedom. You choose your schedule and the expert team will happily accommodate you.

In a nutshell:

  • Five luxury bedrooms (bath tubs, outdoor showers, viewing decks)
  • Large communal guest area that overlooks a busy waterhole
  • Swimming pool, fire-pit style boma, fully equipped kitchen, lounge with fireplace, indoor and outdoor dining area, and spacious viewing deck
  • 6,000 hectares to explore on game drive or on foot
  • Star Deck sleep-out experience included in the rate
  • Located in Big Five Klaserie Nature Reserve, open to Kruger
  • Easy accessibility – 30-minute drive from Hoedspruit’s Eastgate Airport or five-hour drive from Johannesburg

Relaxing on the Star Deck overlooking Klaserie at Tulela

Amu delivering the gin and tonic poolside while kids play in the swimming pool

Nkarhi Homestead, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger

While Tulela is tucked away in a grove of trees on a riverbed, surrounded by birdsong, Nkarhi Homestead is elevated and open, commanding expansive views of the open plains below. Its Tsonga name means “time” which is incredibly fitting and inviting for the exclusive-use safari accommodation we are in search of. Time with your loved ones – something we’ve been yearning for in the last year. Time to connect – something we’ve been craving since our biggest connections of late have been online.

Nkarhi is a haven for families. Intimate and off-grid, it is entirely run on solar power and celebrates farm-style ambience. Children of all ages are welcome and guests can opt for a catered or self-catering experience.

In a nutshell:

  • Four farm-style bedrooms with room for just eight guests plus one additional child
  • Three separate cottages suiting different family setups: main cottage with kitchen and two ensuite bedrooms; family cottage with two bedrooms and big interleading bathroom; separate “entertainment” cottage with living areas, boma, and swimming pool
  • Solar-powered and off-grid for a truly immersive experience
  • Comfortable and low-key
  • Located in Big Five Timbavati Nature Reserve, open to Kruger
  • Easy accessibility – 30-minute drive from Hoedspruit’s Eastgate Airport or five-hour drive from Johannesburg



Singita Malilangwe House, Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe

Surpassing everything you might imagine as an exclusive retreat to rejuvenate the soul, Singita Malilangwe House  invites families to a sacred part of southern Africa. Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve is a testament to conservation in south-eastern Zimbabwe and is home to not only a diversity of endangered species, which find sanctuary here, but also to cherished cultural history.

Way off the beaten track, and hosting only private bookings, Singita Malilangwe House is as socially distanced as it gets. Its positioning atop a sandstone ridge overlooking the shimmering Malilangwe Dam offers more awe-inspiring views than could be imagined. Singita’s supreme reputation for service, subtlety, and sophistication means guests can only expect the best. This is where you’ll want for nothing and nothing is out of the question. Be as active or as laid-back as you like and trust that you’ll leave feeling fulfilled.

In a nutshell:

  • Five expansive bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and private decks
  • Dedicated private chef catering to guests specific needs
  • Luxury activities and amenities including fitness centre, wellness spa, Singita wine experience, kids mini ranger course, fishing, rock art sites, community visits, sundowner cruise, stargazing.
  • Located in the Big Five Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve bordering Gonarezhou National Park in south-east Zimbabwe
  • Chartered flights to private airstrip 12 minutes from the lodge, or scheduled flights to Buffalo Range airport 1 hour 45 minutes from the lodge.

Singita Malilangwe House Villa pool with a view

Singita Malilangwe House perched on a sandstone ridge above Malilangwe Dam

Singita Malilangwe House family meal times

A socially distanced safari is one that encourages a connection to nature and a connection with one another. The wide open spaces and lack of human presence allow you to feel safe and encourage you to recharge your batteries. Our selection of exclusive-use safari accommodations are fully prepared for this new era of travel and are welcoming guests from far and wide in a safe and conscious manner.

Get in touch for more information on these three iconic safari destinations geared towards reuniting families or for more options that will suit your vibe and your tribe.