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Like nature, the world of big game luxury safari accommodation in South Africa moves fast. As fast as a cheetah. All to ensure only the finest experience for travellers in search of Africa’s Big Five animals and of a pampering rest after that search. Here are three of the best new villas that opened their doors to the most discerning of travellers in South Africa this year.
1. Singita Lebombo
In May 2016, Kruger National Park’s longtime standard-bearer Singita Lebombo debuted a four-bedroom villa with three swimming pools, a private boma, and “star beds" for adventurous overnights. Guests of the villa – which is also available as separate two-bedroom suites – explore the 33,000-acre Lebombo wildlife concession with their own private tracker, guide, and Land Rover.
2. Gondwana Game Reserve
The 27,000-acre Gondwana Game Reserve, located near the Garden Route’s rugged coastline, recently launched Ulubisi House, a three-bedroom villa adorned with handcrafted indigenous wood furniture and contemporary African art. Named after the black harrier that hunts in the surrounding grasslands, the accommodation serves as an extravagant home base for Big Five safaris, as well as fishing, biking, and hiking excursions.
3. Mhondoro Game Lodge
Opened in January 2016, Mhondoro Game Lodge’s new three-bedroom villa ensures plenty of pampering with a heated pool, a private gym and yoga room, and a staff that includes a butler, a chef, and a personal ranger. The residence is located within Limpopo province’s 86,000-acre Welgevonden Game Reserve, home to white rhinos, cheetahs, and more.