Best Five Properties for Solo Travellers: No Single Supplement

By Shona 29 May 2018

The decision to go on a safari is a big one. For couples, endless lists of possible destinations, camps, and activities must be discussed. For families, timing can be a limiting factor, as often it’s necessary to be mindful of the hike in prices during school holidays, which usually fall in peak seasons. For a solo traveller, things can be even tougher. Some might wonder why, when a single explorer could go on a city break or a group-guided tour, he or she opts instead to go alone to a far-flung country, especially when most of the lodges and camps charge a single supplement!

However, if you’ve ever been on a safari or seen any National Geographic documentary on Africa, you’ll know the safari experience speaks for itself – and that’s why we’re going to address the challenge of the single supplement. For the following by-no-means-exhaustive list of properties suited to a solo safari, our experts have divulged their favourite properties in Safari Africa that waive the single supplement. There has really never been a better time for a self-discovery adventure to Africa!

1. Tena Tena, Zambia

Robin Pope opened Tena Tena, his first camp, on the north side of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park in 1986, the start date for the formation of Robin Pope Safaris. Although the company has since grown and expanded – today it has a collection of 11 camps and lodges – there is something about Tena Tena that will always make it special. Stretched along the banks of the Luangwa River yet shaded under a magnificent grove of mahogany trees, it is the most adventurous of the RPS properties in the valley and is a top camp for an authentic safari.

Just six tents make up the ‘temporary home’ (the meaning of Tena Tena in the local language), each with its own window overlooking this remote and stunning stretch of pristine riverscape. As none of the Robin Pope properties requests a single supplement, any one of the camps is suitable for a solo traveller. However, as it offers the Nsefu sector and its wildlife at your fingertips, this smaller and more intimate camp comes highly recommended.

2. Sand River, Kenya

Overlooking its namesake, the Sand River, this Elewana Collection camp lies within the Maasai Mara National Reserve, closely bordering the Serengeti. Trumpeting the olde-worlde charm of 1920s camping, Sand River's canvas suites take guests back in time to the heydays of Hollywood glamour and of course the iconic Out of Africa film. With leather seating, giant Persian rugs, and gorgeous dark-wood four-poster beds, the tents have benefited from some serious attention to design detail – including keeping an eye on being low impact and promoting sustainable living.

This area of the Maasai Mara is a year-round destination, famous for its high density of big cats and the phenomenal wildebeest Great Migration. If it is your first time to Kenya, you could tick off a bucket list adventure and go hot air ballooning. Alternatively, if you are already well versed in the ways of safari, make sure you pack your binoculars and seek out some of the 470 species of birds in the region, such as ostriches, secretary birds, herons, egrets, storks, vultures, and so many more.

3. Lemala Kuria Hills, Tanzania

The Lemala camps, a collection of tented properties in the Serengeti, are a superb option for a safari in Tanzania, especially when combined with their special offers catering towards families and solo travellers. Lemala Kuria Hills is the most luxurious of the Lemala camps. It has 15 glass-fronted suites with outdoor decking and private plunge pools, so you can enjoy cascading views down towards the Serengeti in between game drives to see the Big Five. Also, it is perched on the topside of a hill surrounded by huge boulders and rocky outcrops, which are perfect for a scenic spot at sunset!

Lemala Kuria Hills waives the single supplement from 1st January to 30th June and from 1st November to 31st December.

4. Mwaleshi, Zambia

Everything about Mwaleshi is magical to us. It’s rustic, remote, and so authentic it reshapes your expectations of what a safari should be. Located in the vast and far-flung wilderness of North Luangwa National Park, one reason it feels remote is that there are so few roads in this area. Apart from the brief game drive into camp from Mwaleshi’s airstrip, a walking safari is the only safari activity here – and this is just the way it should be in the North Luangwa wilderness. Big game is not guaranteed, but what we are certain of is that any guest to Mwaleshi will experience a once-in-a-lifetime safari. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide and an armed National Park scout, you’ll head out into the bush to encounter lions on a hunt, buffalo in their hundreds, and elephant families roaming across the landscapes – and meeting these great beasts on foot adds a whole new level of thrill to the experience.

The camp is made up of just four reed-and-thatch chalets that are furnished pretty simply – the main area is the focus here. Sit with a drink in hand, and soon enough you’ll see some eles emerge from the thicket, wade into the river, and cross right in front of you.

5. Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, Botswana

The 10 bush pavilions at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp are some of the largest in the Okavango Delta, and each has its own private dining area, outside seating space, and terrace pool. The bedrooms are decorated in stylish but muted hues and are exquisitely deluxe. Although its luxuries come with a hefty price tag, Chief’s suddenly becomes a much more affordable option from 5th January to 14th June and from 1st November to 20th December, when no single supplement is charged. It’s a great choice for an opulent safari in Botswana during these periods.

Located within the Moremi Game Reserve yet on its own island, Chief’s Camp has a list of activities that benefit massively from its setting. Guests can go on morning and afternoon game drives to spot lion, wild dog, leopard, elephants, red lechwe, and countless other species. You can also climb into a mokoro to explore the lily-filled lagoons, take scenic helicopter flights over the Okavango Delta, and then relax in the open-air spa with a rejuvenating back massage – why not?