South Africa is the birthplace of the luxury game lodge that has become the standard in African safaris today, and the country still boasts the top range in premier game reserve accommodation.
In the days of Hollywood-style Africa the safari was a somewhat rugged affair of long drives on bumpy or non-existent roads
and camp beds in canvas tents, albeit it with a platoon of camp staff to make things as comfortable as possible.
At the time an African safari was more about hunting, with photographic safaris confined to rough participation camping, before mindsets began to change and lodges of limited luxuries
were erected in strategic areas. Photographic safaris began to attract more and more people to Africa but many still felt the need for more luxury and comforts.
Luxury in Private South African Game Reserves
In the 1980's some of the private landowners on the boundary of the Kruger National Park in South Africa looked to redefining the concept of photographic safaris
and develop their properties for a market as yet unknown in Africa.
With a freedom of ownership, combined with the locality bordering one of Africa's greatest game parks, the landowners introduced luxury game lodge accommodation and five star service
to an already spectacular game viewing experience to sow the seeds of the future in African safari travel.
A South African safari today is synonymous with premier game reserve accommodation, and it is the private South African Game Reserves
that set the standard for the rest of the safari industry in Africa when it comes to quality of service and award winning food and luxury.
Other attractions of a private South African Game Reserve
Besides the standard setting service and hospitality the private game reserves of South Africa provide for relative freedom when it comes to activities as they are not controlled by the laws of the National Parks. Off road driving to spectacular sightings, and the tracking of animals on foot
, is allowed to provide the guests with the best sightings.
The freedom to provide extra activities such as bush dinners and bush breakfasts, as well as allowing sleep-outs under the night skies
, are added attractions of a private game reserve.
Tracking the Big Five in the private reserves
It was also in the private South African game reserves where the hunting term the Big 5 was added to the photographic safari dictionary
, a term which has also now become legend and is the benchmark for travellers to Africa.
The private reserves, although not stating it as policy, strive to provide the guests with this holy grail that the reserve owners themselves have made legend.
When deciding on an African safari and the key is luxury then a South African safari in a luxury game lodge
on a private game reserve will provide premier accommodation for the ultimate experience.