Africa offers many incredible places to stay, from luxury tented safari camps to boutique hotels in wine estates. Beautiful and indulgent as these options are, we’ve noticed experienced travelers are requesting unique experiences in unusual accommodations. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most unique places to stay in Africa, but you may want to proceed with caution as your bucket list will grow after reading this blog post.
BIRDS NEST AT SEGERA, KENYA
Staying at Segera Retreat is an uplifting experience, including the chance to rest like a bird in the incredible NAY PALAD star bed. Perched atop a tower, it offers a bird’s eye view of the surrounding terrain. From the outside, the star bed looks like the untidy eyrie of a giant eagle; once inside, it is revealed to be a perfectly luxurious mini-lodge for two, with the option to sleep out under the Kenyan night skies – a truly magical experience you’ll want to share with someone very special.
HIGHLANDS CAMP, NGORONGORO CRATER, TANZANIA
The Maasai are as iconic as the animals with which they share their East African savannah home, and their fiercely independent sense of style has long inspired photographers and designers. This influence has now extended to the architecture of safari lodges, with Highlands Camp featuring guest tents inspired by the shape of traditional Maasai homes. Staying the same shape of accommodation that has been used locally for centuries adds an extra layer of authenticity to the experience.
BISATE LODGE, RWANDA
Staying at Bisate Lodge, you could be forgiven for thinking you were being treated like royalty. This may well be the case, as this lodge – in the epicenter of mountain gorilla country – was inspired by the Rwandan Royal Palace. By employing local artisans to construct much of the lodge, vanishing skills have been retained within the community for at least another generation. The woven surfaces and rich textures tempt the fingertips as much as the eyes.
ONEFORTYEIGHT, NAIROBI, KENYA
Nairobi’s newest boutique hotel – set in the lovely, leafy Langata suburb – is almost literally a work of art. Formerly an artist’s studio, its walls are decorated with original artworks and it’s easy to feel inspired to be more creative while staying there – whether by the fact that you have giraffes for neighbors (there’s a sanctuary next door) or by the nocturnal calls of lions and hyaenas from the nearby Nairobi National Park. OneFortyEight is the city hotel with a bush soul.
TREE HOUSE AT TONGABEZI, ZAMBIA
Tongabezi is legendary in Zambia, as much for its quirky décor and warm hospitality as for its stunning Zambesi riverfront location. The Treehouses let adults live out the ultimate childhood fantasy, only with the addition of hippos grunting and chortling nearby. Watch the setting sun sink into the mighty river from your al fresco bath, as birds fly to their roosts and the first stars start twinkling, then enjoy a romantic dinner on your private deck.
THE SILO, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
A landmark building in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront district, the Silo was once a grain store but is now a remarkable hotel where guests come to harvest dreams. Offering astonishing views over the working harbor and across to Table Mountain, the Silo has been converted into six floors of contemporary hotel space. Above it, only sky; below it, you’ll find the Zeitz MOCAA – the Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – the world’s single most important collection of the voices of today’s African artists.
UNDERWATER ROOM AT MANTA RESORT, TANZANIA
Fans of The Sopranos will leap at the chance to “sleep with the fishes” in the underwater room at Manta Resort – and there’s no need to be fitted for a pair of concrete boots. This unique, triple-layer room is anchored by a prolific tropical reef with picture windows that allow you to immerse yourself in a stunning “blue hole”, with coral heads and colorful shoals of fish. The room extends above the surface, too, creating a private floating island.
SHIPWRECK LODGE, NAMIBIA
Namibia’s Skeleton Coast has always had a fearsome reputation amongst sailors, and its beaches are littered with reminders of how treacherous the Atlantic Ocean can be. In contrast to the cold waters, Shipwreck Lodge offers warm desert hospitality, while its architecture – with prominent wooden “ribs” and planking – makes more than a nod to the history of the area, and the ships that ran aground there. It’s the perfect place from which to explore this fascinating, remote region.
For help with a trip that includes unusual and unique places to stay in Africa, contact Alluring Africa today.