Take the plunge and dip a toe in our list of Africa’s 12 best safari swimming pools. Whether you’re looking to cool off after a game drive or enjoy a romantic sunset with your traveling companion, these pools all come with the chance to spot wildlife passing by.


One of the newer lodges in Ruaha National Park, Jabali Ridge is constructed entirely of organic materials – the use of granite boulders, in particular, contributes to a sense of oneness with its ridge-top location. From this elevated position, the views down to the Mwagusi River and beyond are truly breathtaking. The rim-flow infinity pool provides a fine vantage point, and given that Ruaha is known for its population of lions, could just be the ultimate spot from which to hear a distant roar.


Sasakwa effortlessly blends both East African and European styles to create a manor house ambiance that is both an authentic echo of yesteryear, and a vibrant testament to local cultures. Located in the Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti, the private plunge pool at each guest cottage provides the perfect place for a leisurely dip. The larger pool at the main area of the lodge is renowned as the place from which to watch the world go by – or the stars, if you opt for a spot of night swimming.


It would be harder to pick a more spectacular setting for a safari lodge than the hilltop site chosen for Mwiba Lodge. Nestled among giant boulders, it offers commanding views between the acacia and coral trees, down to the rocky Arugusinyai River far below. The surrounding Mwiba Wildlife Reserve is home to some of the last Tanzanian tribes still maintaining traditional lifestyles, which means that not only can you enjoy a pool with a magnificent view, but you can also immerse yourself in a sustainable Serengeti way of life.


The river in question is the Lower Zambezi, and it’s a vast body of water that is spectacular at any time of day – but especially at sunset when the reflected colors seem to transform it into a lake of fire. You can enjoy this special time of day on an afternoon canoe excursion, seated on a director’s chair around a campfire, or from the lodge pool which adjoins the river and gives you the exhilarating sense that you’re swimming with the elephants and hippos for which the area is particularly well- known.


Singita Sweni Lodge is located on the banks of the river from which it takes its name, and revels in the contemporary styling which works unexpectedly well in this beautiful location in the iconic Kruger National Park. The lodge is built on open-plan design concepts, and this applies particularly to the unique Pool Suite, which features a private swimming pool and shaded riverfront deck. This suite can be combined with the adjacent suite to create the perfect honeymoon hideaway, including the thrill of sharing wildlife sightings while swimming.


The Tarkuni Homestead was once a private family home, and it retains both a sense of exclusivity and warm welcome. It’s a model of understated elegance in the vast, and deceptively life-filled, Kalahari Desert. The uniqueness of the local wildlife is matched only by the very special experiences on offer at Tswalu, including gazing across the surrounding desert from the open-air pool. The contrast between the refreshing waters, and the invigorating aridity of the landscape, make for unforgettable moments.


This beloved camp has been reimagined in its original location on the edge of Osprey Lagoon – arguably one of the best places in Botswana to view herds of wild elephant. Midway between DumaTau and its new sister camp, Little DumaTau, is a unique getaway area that features a remarkable swimming pool. Its dark lining mirrors the naturally dark waters of the lagoon, and it has been recessed to a level that the two appear to flow into each other. The ideal spot to sneak away to as a couple on safari!


This hidden gem overlooks Lake Kariba and is close to Matusadona, one of Zimbabwe’s best wildlife destinations. Of course, with a view that’s both soothing and spectacular in equal measure, you could be forgiven for going no further than the spa at the lodge. It features an infinity pool that really does deserve the name – once you slide into it, the pool appears to be contiguous with the lake and you get the electrifying feeling that you could swim or float forever.


As you might expect in the ‘land of a thousand hills’, many of Rwanda’s lodges offer stunning vistas. Few, however, can compete with Nyungwe House – it overlooks a verdant tea plantation with a captivating backdrop of misty mountains. The serene forest spa offers soulmate experiences that are perfect for couples looking to connect on a deeper level – and speaking of depths, allowing yourself to steep in the pool is a deeply relaxing experience.


The large, kidney-shaped pool at Kyaninga forms the focal point of the lodge’s raised wooden deck and affords remarkable views not just of the towering Rwenzori Mountains, but also of the extinct volcanic crater just below the lodge. Visible through the trees, the crater lake reflects the changing moods of the elements as light and shadows chase each other across its surface. It’s the ideal place in which to cool down after a forest walk, and reflect on another remarkable chimpanzee encounter in nearby Kibale National Park.


Mashatu deserves to be as well-known as Botswana’s Okavango or Chobe regions, but African travel connoisseurs who know this area, don’t mind that it isn’t! That lets them keep secrets like Euphorbia Villas in the Northern Tuli. The eight eco-villas are hidden away in an indigenous euphorbia forest, high above a cliff face. They are designed and positioned in such a way that they are all but invisible, and yet offer entrancing views down to the Majale River. The swimming pool in particular will give you a unique perspective on this very special corner of Botswana.


Earth Lodge is named for the harmony this remarkable destination has achieved with its surroundings and can be justifiably proud of its exceptionally light footprint on the local ecosystem. Seemingly sculpted from the earth itself, this lodge offers both organic authenticity and sophisticated safari luxury – and this of course extends to the private (and therefore alluringly romantic) plunge pool at each of the 13 suites. With uninterrupted bushveld panoramas extending ahead of you, this is a spot in which to soak it all up.

Want to soak up these breathtaking views? Contact our Africa travel experts to help you plan your next adventure.