15 African Hotels And Lodges Where You Can Sleep In Huts
Huts give African lodgings a feeling of community and authenticity. Everybody’s front door is exposed, usually facing a common courtyard, so the moment you step outside, you’re interacting. Properties with huts and hut-like rooms also tend to be one-story structures, making for an intimate and relaxed environment. Here are 15 hotels and lodges in Africa where you can stay in a hut.
Shakaland Hotel, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
At the Shakaland hotel, guests stay in bright orange, traditional beehive huts with modern amenities in close proximity to tribal Zulu villages. Rooms are spacious, with rustic-looking décor and thatched roofs.
Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, Koue Bokkeveld, South Africa
The Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is an upscale resort in the Cederberg Mountains, designed to blend in with the natural surroundings. Guests stay in a variety of unique rooms such as cave rooms, huts with high thatched ceilings, porches and walls made of stone.
Footsteps Eco-Lodge, Kombo South, Gambia
This property is a totally self-contained vacation, offering cooking lessons, batik making, drumming lessons, fruit drying and art exhibits on site. Guests stay in an area built to mimic a traditional African village, in one of nine huts with elegant interiors.
Thanda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Thanda Private Game Reserve buildings sit perched up in the lush nature and wildlife. Guests stay in beautiful hut-style rooms that are round with thatched roofs and windows all around for you to look out onto the reserve. The sounds of animals can be heard right outside your window.
Chrislin Addo Lodge, Addo, South Africa
Just steps away from the Addo Elephant National Park, the Chrislin Addo Lodge has traditional African mud huts that fit in perfectly with the citrus farms surrounding the lodge. Accommodations are humble and simple, which works well for the nature-lovers who travel here.
Shewula Mountain Camp, Lubombo, Swaziland
This eco-tourist destination is run by the local community, and is a peaceful, unassuming property with several small stone huts and incredible views of the Swaziland countryside. The hotel considers itself a back-to-basics experience, and tries to facilitate a connection with nature for its guests. Guests enjoy home-cooked meals and plenty of interaction with the locals.
Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel overlooks the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean with several gorgeous walking gardens and thatched cottages. Most cottages have four-post beds with tents over them, locally made furniture, and some have staircases that lead directly from the hut to the beach.
The African Village Hotel, Bakau, Gambia
Sitting on Bakau beach, this small hotel has a community feel with sand paths connecting every building to the beach. There are tennis courts, a small shop, two restaurants and nightly entertainment. Guests stay in blocks of stucco huts with thatched roofs. In fact, the property is covered with huts: a small poolside bar sits inside a hut, and there are several picnic and resting areas under huts.
Hotel Green Park, Antsirabe, Madagascar
The Hotel Green Park sits on a peaceful pond and features huts with open-roof bathrooms, private terraces, and lovely gardens. The restaurant is so popular that non-guests journey there for a meal.
Amakhala Safari Lodge, Kirkwood, South Africa
Sitting in the scenic Amakhala game reserve, this property overlooks rolling landscapes and wildlife. The hotel was made with African tribal design in mind. You’ll really feel it when a kudu horn calls you to dinner. There are four original safari huts, some with private plunge pools and fire pits right out front. Inside the huts are beautiful canopy beds and rustic bathrooms with free-standing bathtubs in front of large windows.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
This lodge’s location is unsurpassed, lying within the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and perched right at the edge of Ngorongoro Crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti. The huts are inspired by traditional Maasai mud-and-stick manyattas (homsteads). This is certainly one of the most spectacular safari lodges in Africa both in terms of views and architecture.
Samburu Sopa Lodge, Kenya
Located within Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya, this lodge is situated on high ground and allows panoramic views of the surrounding Samburu hills and also Mount Kenya. The architecture is designed to reflect the style of the local Samburu (close relatives of the Maasai) communities. There is a water hole on the grounds where guests can see animals as they come to drink.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Tanzania
A byword for luxury, the Serena brand offers an opulent experience in its Serengeti safari lodge located within the boundaries of the national park and near the impressive Ol Duvai archaeological site. Based on traditional tribal designs, the huts successfully melt into the landscape. Once you’ve had your fill of fossils and safaris, you can relax at the vanishing pool, gazing out on the endless plains of the Serengeti.
Banana Jungle Lodge, Marangu, Tanzania
This lodge sits in a stunning area of lush green banana and coffee plantations (giving a hint as to how it received its name) 1500 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route. The huts feature traditional Chagga architecture, with modernised interiors.
Planet Baobab, Botswana
Located on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana, there are two types of hut on offer here at Planet Baobab. Firstly there is a traditional Bakalanga hut, built from mud, in true Botswana style and adorned with local art. Or, you can select a traditional grass hut constructed in the style of huts first used by the Bushmen. These huts are not ensuite, but you will have a comfortable night nevertheless. Impressively, neither hut requires air-conditioning as they are perfectly temperature-controlled through the use of indigenous materials.
De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa
This blissfully remote nature reserve in Western Cape Province is only three hours from Cape Town, but feels like a million miles away. One of the many accommodation options is a round, single-room rondavel, which faces the vlei. They’re small but sweet, and bathroom and kitchen facilities are outside, shared with other guests. It’s a fun, low-cost self-catering option.
This article was first published April 2, 2014, at AFKInsider.com
Karen Elowitt contributed to this article.
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