Do you have a tight-knit group of friends, or a far-flung crew you don’t see often due to geographic limitations, your wedding could be the perfect opportunity for an extended catch-up session, Buddymoon safari! Buddymoon safaris is a chance for the newly weeded couple to share their love and adventure with their closest friends and family members, while also enjoying the excitement and thrill of a safari in Africa. This type of honeymoon can be a great way to combine adventure, romance, and quality time with loved ones.
East Africa is a region known for its natural beauty and diverse wildlife, making it a great destination for a buddymoon. Here are some of our best buddymoon lodges and resorts
Singita Kataza House is a luxurious private villa located in the exclusive Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Rwanda. It offers a secluded and intimate setting that is perfect for honeymooners or buddymoon want to have an exclusive getaway. The house has two private suites that are beautifully decorated and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Each suite has a spacious bedroom, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, and a private deck with a heated plunge pool. The suites are connected by a shared living area that features a fireplace, library, dining area, and a kitchenette. The house also has a private chef who can prepare delicious meals for you and your loved one. You can also enjoy a range of activities, including gorilla trekking, guided nature walks, and visits to nearby cultural attractions. Guests at Singita Kataza House can also enjoy access to the Singita Kwitonda Lodge’s amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and a heated swimming pool. Just drop us an email to spoil you with our extra activities beyond the lodge.
Carved into the bedrock, it blends so discreetly into the landscape that it’s hard to spot, even from the air. Arijiju lies in the Borana Conservancy, a vast private game reserve within Laikipia, which rolls from Mount Kenya, across the equator and up to the semi-desert plains of the north. At once contemporary and ancient, elemental and artisanal, its design was partly inspired by the monasteries of neighboring Ethiopia. The living roof and rough-hewn stone walls conceal five expansive suites, a cinema room, study, living room and dining room. Every element has been considered and refined to create an air of unassuming elegance. Furniture handcrafted by local artisans, crumpled Belgian linen, heavy campaign desks and accents of leather combine: the effect is earthy and organic. In the land is teeming with wildlife game drive is a must but Arijiju also encourages guests to explore on foot, mountain bike, or horseback with Borana’s superb operation Riding Wild
COTTAR’S PRIVATE BUSH VILLA
Located in Masai Mara, the Bush Villa provides a luxury private stay option for up to 12 guests and comes complete with its’ own private 25 meters swimming pool. Offering an abundance of wildlife, a guarantee of privacy, and the highest standards of professional guiding in a luxurious and elegant safari environment.
Cottar’s Bush Villa has a breathtaking view onto the savannah plains that carry the great annual wildebeest migration and is set a midst a backdrop of the Olderkesi Hills. Guests can enjoy privately guided wildlife drives, night wildlife drives, bush walks, swimming and fishing. Cottar’s Bush Villa is rented only on an exclusive basis and comes with a dedicated staff of 8. The villa is over 10,000 square feet in size and features a large living room, dining room, a magnificent viewing deck, and 5 en-suite bedrooms, all with stunning views. The villa has internet access throughout, satellite TV and DVD, and is powered with electric and solar energy. A dedicated wildlife drive vehicle(s) and guide(s) are provided to guests throughout their stay.
Lengishu is an exclusive-use family home offering unparalleled luxury accommodation in Laikipia at the heart of Kenya’s 32,000 acre Borana Conservancy, one of the country’s most successful rhino sanctuaries. Lengishu is built with locally sourced materials and designed to blend in with the surrounding environment. Expertly crafted by local artisans, the house features beautiful exposed Kenyan timber work while stone for the floors and intricate design features were excavated from the site itself. The interiors are tastefully decorated in neutral tones with splashes of red in a nod to the owner’s Scottish heritage and that of their neighbors; the Maasai community.
Lengishu features six beautifully appointed bedrooms within four cottages, which are all located away from the main house. All rooms face East over the valley below, offering spectacular sunrise views. All bedrooms are spacious with fireplaces or wood burning stoves for the cooler evenings, and have en-suite bathrooms with rain showers and freestanding copper bathtubs. Floor to ceiling windows provide majestic views of the undulating plains beyond, perfect for bathtub game viewing. At Lengishu, you have the freedom to choose your own itinerary and explore the many great safari adventures across the conservancy. The house features a gym, infinity pool, billiard table, private sundowner spots and pentaque pitch along with a wonderful in-house masseuse.
Overlooking the wetlands Cental Laikapia Highlands, Sirikoi House consists of a master bedroom cottage, a separate cottage with two en-suite bedrooms and with a private deck, kitchen, verandah, sitting room and dining area. Sirikoi House is sold only on an exclusive use basis and comes with its own private safari vehicle and guide, as well as a chef and team of waiting staff. Activities at Sirikoi House depend very much on guests’ needs and wants. Activities include wildlife drives, guided walks, horse riding fly camping, lion tracking, fishing, helicopter trips, homestead visits, camel treks and a biplane flight.
SERIAN THE ORIGINAL CAMP
A luxury safari camp located in the heart of the Maasai Mara in Kenya designed to offer guests an authentic and immersive safari experience in one of Africa’s most iconic wildlife reserves.
Serian consists of five vast marquees perched on beautiful hardwood decking and each is unique in its own way, but all are furnished with elegant simplicity, complemented by countless thoughtful little personal touches that make it feel like home. The beautiful bush bathrooms offer views over the river valley as you soak in your tub, and this openness simulates the delicious sensation of being outdoors. Airy and spacious, they include a shower as well as an enormous bath, twin basins, and a flushing toilet.
The thatched mess area has a stunning view over the Mara River and the Siria escarpment, and is the perfect spot to share a sundowner and stories of the dwindling day.
ALFAJILI CLIFF VILLA
Perfect for buddymoons or an exclusive family getaway the Cliff Villa can accommodate nine guests (eight adults and one child) in an impressive African-inspired residence. Perched on the edge of a cliff, you can enjoy the bliss of uninterrupted ocean views from all corners of the villa while enjoying the ultimate privacy in one of Kenya’s most sought-after destinations.
The Cliff Villa comprises of four graciously appointed suites – the spectacular top-floor Turret Suite with 270-degree ocean views (recommended for married couple), two double rooms on the first floor with a shared veranda, and one twin room on the ground floor. The generous verandah on the first floor provides the ultimate setting for sunrise yoga or breakfast while the rest of your day can be spent at the infinity pool or exploring the lush private garden at leisure.
Set in the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserve, this modern safari experience includes a full staff complement and private access to an untouched wilderness on the annual wildebeest migration route.
The villa’s four boldly proportioned guest suites – each with serene bathrooms, outdoor showers and private terraces – embody refined luxury underpinned by contemporary comfort, and this expansive property also includes an eat-in family kitchen, media room, fully-equipped fitness centre, tented massage treatment suite and tennis pavilion. Boasting endless views of the vast Serengeti plains as well as the nearby waterhole where game regularly gather to drink, this modern African home includes a 25-metre rim-flow, expansive outdoor dining decks and fire pit – ensuring continuous engagements with the wilderness.
JABARI PRIVATE HOUSE
An intimate, exclusive-use property surrounded by lofty, ancient baobab trees, Jabali Private House is perfect for families and friends. It has three bedrooms, a lounge and a dining area, plus a private pool, looking out over the dense forest that fringes the bordering Ikuka escarpment in Ruaha National Park; one of the largest national parks in Tanzania.
Jabali Private House has two master suites with king-sized beds and en suite bathrooms with showers. The wooden shutters slide open if you want to let the breeze flow into your room during the day. A third en suite bedroom has twin beds. The house comes with a private chef who can tailor meals to suit your preferences. Everything is homemade, from fresh breads and cakes to ice creams and salads. The place is yours to enjoy, regardless of whether you prefer your getaway quiet and relaxed or lively and fun-filled.
BEHO BEHO BAILEY’S BANDA
Your home in Africa – Staying in Bailey’s Banda is very much like having your own house in Africa, a luxurious haven for exploring the magnificent Selous National Park, but on your own terms – whether it is on foot, in your exclusive safari vehicle or your exclusive private boat on nearby Lake Tagalala. During the heat of the day what better than to have your own private pool, sun deck or the shade of a sun-umbrella and in the evenings dinner under the stars before settling down in the comfort of your own sitting room to enjoy some music or a movie before bed.
With two very spacious en-suite bedrooms – one of them raised up on first floor level – one with a king-sized bed and one twin bedded room, Bailey’s Banda is ideal for buddymoons.
The open-plan and open-sided main areas of the banda have many combinations of dining and relaxing spaces, together with a plunge pool and sunbathing/game viewing deck. The accent is on privacy and enjoying the quality ‘private time’ that is sometimes hard to find on safari, with dedicated staff, its own kitchen (complete with chef).
FANJOVE PRIVATE ISLAND
secluded and unspoiled paradise located off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean. The island is part of the Songo Songo Archipelago and offers guests a remote and peaceful getaway experience. The island is home to Fanjove Private Island Lodge, a luxury eco-lodge that features just six private beachfront bandas. Each banda is beautifully designed and offers stunning views of the turquoise ocean. The bandas feature comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms with hot water showers, and a private verandah with sun loungers and a hammock. Fanjove Private Island Lodge offers a range of activities for guests, including snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and guided walks around the island. The lodge also has a restaurant that serves delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients, as well as a bar and lounge area where you can relax and enjoy a drink. Guests at Fanjove Private Island Lodge can also enjoy the lodge’s amenities, including a library, a natural swimming pool, and a spa that offers a range of treatments and massages.
Rwanda is now home to some of the most spectacular eco-lodges and resorts in East Africa. To help you find the perfect accommodation for your dream safari, here’s our top 10 list…… choose the one that suits you best!
IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
1. Singita Kwitonda
Kwitonda Lodge, which was named after a legendary silverback gorilla, is located on 178 acres and shares a 1.2km border with Volcanoes National Park and Singita Kwitonda Lodge’s unrivalled position puts life-changing gorilla trekking experiences within easy reach. Each of the eight luxurious suites features a private heated plunge pool, wellness treatment area, in- and outdoor fireplaces and large timber-framed windows that welcome breathtaking scenery and volcano views inside. The lodge includes elements such as woven ceilings and hand-fired terracotta brickwork crafted by local artisans, while a dedicated Conservation Room and on-site nursery and vegetable garden which provides fresh produce for Kwitonda’s farm-to-table food journey further enhance the experience.
2. Kataza House
Singita Kataza House is set within a landscape of wetlands and lush meadows with magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. It is designed around local materials and the use of volcanic rock, river stone, handmade ceramic tiles and oven-red clay bricks made by surrounding communities connect the villa to the landscape and its culture. These influences are interpreted in a contemporary style and entirely unique architectural layout. Singita Kataza House’s two heated plunge pools, in- and outdoor fireplaces and large timber-framed windows continuously welcome the breathtaking scenery inside, ensuring a guest experience unlike any other. With features like a fully-equipped fitness center, a two-bedroom staff residence, a cinema and a wine cellar, this modern African home caters intuitively for guests’ every need, and the massage treatment room, interactive kitchen and convivial fire pit making for magical fireside evenings ensure complete comfort. Set right on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, it puts gorilla-trekking experiences within easy reach and the villa’s four luxurious suites provide comfortable, reflective and nurturing spaces in which to appreciate the transformative experience of coming face to face with the gentle giants of the forest.
3. One & Only Gorilla Nest
Sitting in the foothills of the Virunga Mountains where primatologist Dian Fossey once worked, the One& Only Gorilla’s Nest tells an unadulterated story of Rwanda and its mountain gorillas. The hotel is home to an intimate collection of 21 lodges and suites suspended over sprawling gardens at eye level with the tall eucalyptus trees and volcanic surroundings. Feel the call of the trees from your secluded sanctuary where binoculars, a library of books and local Imigongo art await.
4. Bisate Lodge
Bisate Lodge is located in the natural Amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone – the word Bisate means ‘pieces’ in Kinyarwanda, describing how the cone was once whole but worn away by natural erosion. The area has dramatic views of the peaks of the volcanoes Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno rearing up through the Afro-alpine forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park. Six sumptuous en-suite rooms maximize comfort, warmth and views while retaining environmental principles and reflecting the culture of surrounding rural Rwanda. Bisate is within easy driving distance of Park Headquarters, from where gorilla treks depart daily. Its vision of reforestation and rehabilitation means that each guest is invited to participate in biodiversity conservation efforts, as well as engage and meet the local community in addition to learning about and making a far-reaching positive impact on an iconic Critically Endangered species: the mountain gorilla.
5. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is Rwanda’s ﬁrst ever community-owned lodge. The lodge was built and is operated by Governors’ Camp Collection, but the ownership rests with a Community Trust, which uses rentals and community fees from the lodge to drive socio-economic and conservation initiatives in the communities adjacent to the National Park. The lodge is located close to the headquarters of Volcanoes National Park and offers wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge comprises six cottages, two suites, one family cottage. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en-suite bathrooms and a sheltered veranda. Three large fireplaces provide warmth while two patio areas afford wonderful and dramatic views to the Virunga Volcanoes and the surrounding countryside.
6. Virunga Lodge
Perched high on a ridge with the finest views in Africa, overlooking the Virunga Volcanoes and the Musanze valley to the west and Lake Burera and Ruhondo to the east, the iconic property has defined Rwandese Afro-chic since the lodge was built in 2004. The understated, timeless, hand-made style has been further refined to meet the needs of today’s luxury traveller. Each of our ten elegant bandas has a private terrace from which our guests can watch the sunrise over the dramatic landscape of mountains and lakes. The two deluxe bandas named after the lakes Ibirunga and Ibiyaga have their own private sitting room and more refined interiors, and a large terrace overlooking the majestic Virunga volcanoes or the twin lakes.
7. Amakoro songa Lodge
Nestled in a small village outside the town of Kinigi, the Amakoro Songa Lodge is a genuine blend of conservation and tourism. Its eight luxurious cottages are designed and built to take advantage of its serene surroundings which give every visitor a chance to escape everyday life and a sense of tranquility.
The Lodge gets its name from the black volcanic rocks that characterize this mountainous part of Rwanda that is home to the Mountain Gorillas. The lodge is set on a seven-acre plot with beautifully manicured lawns, surrounded by the Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabinyo mountain volcanoes.
All the cottages at Amakoro Songa Lodge are intentionally furnished with rustic elegance, fusing local and modern pieces that create a good warmth and comfort. The spacious rooms, each equipped with a fireplace, allow guests to opt for a post-trekking massage. The ‘must-experience’ outdoor fireplace is not to be missed and it allows guests to enjoy an evening drink while watching the traditional Intore Dance Troupe.
IN NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK
8. One& Only Nyungwe House
In a forest rich with flora that has thrived for millions of years, within the lush green expanse of a working tea plantation, one & only Nyungwe house is a serene haven of indulgence where you can disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in life’s passions and fascinations. Situated in five striking wooden villa clusters, our treetop-skimming, luxury suites and rooms are secluded in wonderfully untamed surroundings, accommodating all adventure seekers and paying homage to Rwanda’s beauty and heritage. Enjoy exceptional dining and selected beverages included in your stay, plus two signature resort experiences daily.
IN AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK
9. Magashi Camp
With superb views over Lake Rwanyakazinga set in the idyllic sanctuary of Akagera National Park, Magashi Camp is a one-of-a-kind setting in Rwanda located in its own private concession area. No other camp can be found in this vast expanse of beautiful wilderness teeming with hippo, crocodile, a plethora of birds… and incredibly rarer species such as Sitatunga antelope and the Black Rhino. A large pride of Lions can be seen on daily game drives through this pristine sanctuary making Magashi camp a perfect Big Five safari. Six spacious and airy tents offer uninterrupted views over Lake Rwanyakazinga, while Magashi’s main area comprises a luxurious lounge, dining and bar area, pool, and expansive viewing deck with a convivial fire pit. The architecture and interiors pay homage to traditional Rwandan culture.
IN KIGALI CITY
10. The Retreat by Heaven
Set in the vibrant heart of Kigali, this luxury boutique hotel and spa offer easy access to all that is happening in this dynamic city. It offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquility, Rwandan flair, and contemporary buzz. It has 20 rooms and it is Kigali’s first entirely eco-friendly solar-powered resort featuring locally crafted sustainable teak wood furniture, expansive custom-built rooms with peaked ceilings, front and rear private patios, outdoor rain showers and private salt water plunge pools.