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Secret and unique places to stay in Africa

Sometimes the best way to really open yourself up to new opportunities is to stay somewhere different.

Secret and unique places to stay in Africa

There are hotel brands that operate all around the world. Although they offer a reliable level of quality, they don’t always offer an immersion into the destination. Sometimes, they instead represent a removal from it. Why choose an exciting new destination and yet choose to stay in the same type of accommodation you always do? Sometimes the best way to really open yourself up to new opportunities is to stay somewhere different. Or instead stay somewhere differently, from the seemingly secretive to the flat-out unusual.

A little house on the savannah

One such type of accommodation that is rarely known is the private house, sometimes referred to as the owner’s lodge. Whilst staying in someone’s house is increasingly common around the world, these custom-built homes have been built with guests in mind. They have also been built in locations you wouldn’t suspect.

There is a house in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania that is available for private use, an experience far removed from the lodges that dot the park. Here you decide when and where you want to enjoy the natural wonders in conjunction with your guides. For your stay the house is entirely yours, including the assistance of staff and chefs. If you want a private family getaway in nature, this is one such way. We aren’t going to spoil the secret of where it is. If, however, you like the sound of it, get in touch.

These options also exist in numerous other places, including small camps adjoining lodges in places like Zimbabwe and Botswana as well as farmhouses alongside the Zambezi River in Zambia. These houses enable you to relax and enjoy the holiday with your own rhythms and pace, rather than those of the lodge or other guests. If you feel like sleeping in and going fishing, sure! Perhaps you’d prefer to look for animals in the morning and then spend time with family in the afternoon. If you’d prefer to read a good book and watch the world go past, go for it! It’s just you and your home in the wild.

Something a little different

If this exclusivity appeals to you but it sounds too traditional, then perhaps a treehouse stay is your thing. Whilst more of a night-by-night experience than a full stay, the treehouse experience (pioneered in South Africa) will see you spend the night in a luxurious treehouse as the animals go about their usual business in the bushveld below. And yes, in answer to a common question, there is a toilet in the treehouse. We did say it was luxurious. This experience is now found in various locations across Africa and usually comes complete with a bottle of wine and a radio. One of them helps to boost your courage and the other one in case you lose it and need to go back to the lodge.

As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, lodges in Africa have been at the forefront. This includes everything from high tech power and water purification systems to construction styles mimicking the natural environment. One such proponent is Green Safaris in Zambia, which as the name suggests, is leading by example. In the less commonly visited and still wild Kafue National Park they have constructed a room shaped like the nest of the local weaver birds. You may prefer to have your eggs served scrambled in the morning instead of sitting on them. Whatever you choose, from the nest you get a bird’s eye view of the local plains and the animal life that call it home. All of this from the comfort and safety of your nest, with one nest even being wheelchair accessible. But what happens when you need to leave the nest and stretch your wings? Well, you can go out for game drives in the silent electric Land Cruisers or even the electric mountain bikes.

Getting away from it all

Like the Serengeti houses above, sometimes what you need isn’t a totally new location but instead a secret pocket of a well known area. Although Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe doesn’t have the same fame or tourist numbers of somewhere like the Serengeti, it is still a wonderful park for amazing wildlife encounters. But, if even that is too busy for you, why not choose a quiet corner that not many know exist? Take Jozibanini camp for example, in the remote south west corner of the park. Located in an area that doesn’t often see visitors, except for game rangers and visitors to this camp, Jozibanini (or ‘Jozi’ as it is affectionately known) has a similar ecosystem to the Kalahari in neighbouring Botswana and enables explorers a chance to view wildlife by foot, by game vehicle or even by bicycle. Yes, bicycle. Isolated and remote, no-one here will see you puff as you try to keep up with the fleet footed gazelle.

This is only scratching the surface. There is a range of accommodation beyond the expected for people looking for something different. All that remains is for you to take on the challenge and try it.

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Why travel with us?

Travel isn’t what is used to be. It used to be undertaken with a sense of adventure and discovery. As the world shrunk, so did our imaginations and over time, manufactured experiences, sponsored travel lists and mass tourism have slowly extinguished that magic. Amazing destinations, catering to the crowds, have become overwhelmed shadows of their former selves.

And so, we established The Explorer Society to be a travel company for like‑minded travellers. It’s for those who travel for the destination and the incredible experiences to be found within, not just for the bragging rights. We are passionate about avoiding the crowds and providing real and revelatory experiences.

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We always try to maintain as open and honest a conversation with you as we can throughout the entire process. We are happy to chat about what we recommend, why, and why we do what we do.

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Do good, be good

The destinations we visit should be around for future generations to enjoy. We want the benefits of your visit go to those in the local area you visited, not some big corporation elsewhere.

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Value ≠ Cost

What something costs isn’t the same as what something is worth. We always try to get the best value for your trip, irrespective of how you choose to travel and what budget you have.

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Experience first

The experience always comes first. This might mean five‑star luxury, three‑star simplicity or a camp out under millions of stars, whatever ultimately best suits the experience you’re after.

Don’t just take our word for it

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“Seamless and perfectly executed, I would recommend The Explorer Society to anyone.”

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“I would recommend The Explorer Society and will be definitely using them in the future.”

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