For families who don’t want to spend a fortune. One of the pioneers of ecotourism in Tanzania, this outfitter expertly organizes everything from walking safaris along the banks of the Great Ruaha River to motorbiking on the shores of Lake Eyasi. The common thread: singular experiences that draw on long-established connections with Maasai villages and other local cultures to provide off-the-beaten-path authenticity.
For stylish adventurers. Ten tents with muslin-draped walls, Persian rugs, and Bedouin furnishings epitomize old-world safari glamour at this exquisite escape in the Makgadikgadi Pans of the Kalahari Basin. Guided game drives provide glimpses of rare residents like brown hyaenas and black-maned Kalahari lions, while traditional afternoon tea and elegant candlelit dinners transport guests back in time.
For families looking for all-out luxury. Start with a spectacular setting in the southern Serengeti: Ten tented suites set among massive boulders, with linen-dressed sofas and soaking tubs with incredible views of the 134,000-acre reserve. Family-focused fun includes kids’ safaris—complete with a checklist of animals and trees to scout for—and bow-and-arrow making with the local Hadzabe tribe.
For a big, splashy group party. On the banks of the Niageteck River in the heart of the Masai Mara, this casually luxurious eight-tent getaway is ideal for gatherings of up to 16 (and slightly larger groups upon request), replete with rounds of sundowners and festive bush dinners under the stars. (A nearby spring attracts a resident lion pride, also looking for a cool drink.) Meanwhile, the gracious staff and expert guides earn rave reviews from guests.
For multi-gen trips. A range of lodging options make this sprawling, sustainability-minded sanctuary in the Laikipia Plateau a top pick for big family getaways. Guided nature walks and visits with local tribes are eye-opening outings for kids, and the adults will love regular exhibitions of the owner’s African art collection and dinners for two in the solar-powered “wine tower,” home to a vast collection of exclusively African wines.
For unbeatable wildlife. This family-run eco-lodge within the 62,000-acre Lewa Wildlife Conservancy offers guests a range of rarefied experiences, including visits with orphaned baby rhinos and safaris by quad bike. Four luxurious tented rooms overlooking a waterhole make the most of armchair game viewing, while a charming two-bedroom cottage and private house complex are perfect for families or small groups.
For next-level bragging rights. Top-tier service and trees hung with lanterns create upscale ambience at this tented mobile camp in the little-visited country’s southeast, but the real luxury is the standalone setting: guests have nearly 2,200 square miles of true wilderness in Zakouma National Park to themselves to explore in the company of some of the continent’s best conservationists, who have transformed the area into one of Africa’s great turnaround stories. Other activities include walking with elephants and unrivaled birding.