Adventure Safaris In Africa

8 Unique Places to Stay in Africa Like a Royalty

Bisate Lodge Rwanda
Written by Jesca

There are loads of unique places to stay in Africa – from luxurious tented camps to stunning lodges and 5-star city hotels.

If you wish to stay in a place looking like nothing you ever saw before, Africa is the place. It could be a departure from the usual safari lodge or campsite; be certain to get it in Africa.

Some of the continent’s landscapes, habitats, and wildlife are unique and iconic. So if ‘different’, ‘eccentric’ and ‘quirky’ delights you, why not stay in a quirky, unique place on your next safari to Africa?

Where is the Best Place to do a Safari in Africa?

Serengeti National Park is an icon of Africa and one of the best places to do a safari. The park is the number one spot for the big five and so much more. Located in northern Tanzania, this UNESCO-listed park is one of the oldest ecosystems in the world.

On the other hand, Maasai Mara in Kenya is also a perfect safari destination.

Which African Country has the Cheapest Safari?

Malawi is the cheapest African country for a wild safari, whereas Ethiopia is for food! Namibia and South Africa are also affordable destinations because you can rent a vehicle and drive yourself around, and stay in self-catering accommodation.

Below are some unique places on the continent. Enjoy stick and grass thatched rooms that look like giant bird nests and star beds on a deserted beach.  Soak in the breathtaking scenery that will make your safari special.

Star bed, Nkwichi Lodge, Mozambique

Unique Places to Stay in Africa

Star bed, Nkwichi Lodge, Mozambique. Photo/

Sleeping under the stars is one of the most exciting and romantic experiences possible. And, Nkwichi Lodge, on Lake Malawi, has made the experience available on one of their “room” options.

Their “Lake of Stars” bed is set either on a deserted beach surrounded by baobabs or on a private rock island close to the shore with fish eagles flying over you.

Whether you choose to sleep on the beach or on the island, your night under the sky is always awash with shooting stars.  This undoubtedly ranks top among the most unique places to stay in Africa.

Underwater Room at Manta Resort (Tanzania)

Unique Places to Stay in Africa

Visitors enjoying the Underwater Room at Manta Resort. Photo/

At this lovely underwater hotel in Zanzibar, you can get up close and personal with aquatic life in your bedroom. The accommodation at Manta Resort includes a rooftop terrace for sunbathing and is moored 250 meters off Pemba Island.

It sleeps just two people and has a deck at sea level with a sofa. The bedroom is located downstairs below sea level. Key features are a double bed enclosed by four glass walls that provide 360-degree views of tropical reef fish.

You can also see a trumpet fish named Nick and a few other local batfish swimming around the lodge. That’s what makes it one of the most unique places to stay in Africa. The night also draws strange animals like squid to the room’s underwater spotlights.

When you’re not in the underwater bedroom, you can climb up to sunbathe, or relax in the lounge or star gaze from the top level.

Bisate Lodge (Rwanda)

Bisate Lodge Rwanda

The interior of Bisate Lodge Rwanda. Photo/KT PRESS.

The six thatched forest villas of Bisate Lodge are stunning, perched on the rim of an eroded volcano crater.  Bisate is definitely a unique place to stay for a night. Dramatic interiors matched by stunning views of Volcanoes National Park dot the lodge’s experience.

Bisate Lodge was inspired by the former Rwandan Royal Palace. Staying at Bisate Lodge, you could be forgiven for thinking you were being treated like royalty. 

Kagga Kamma Lodge (South Africa)

Unique Places to Stay in Africa

Kagga Kamma Lodge South Africa. Photo/

A few hours’ drive from Cape Town, in the stunning Cederberg region is the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve. Here you can spend the night in a cave or on a rock under the stars.

The Lodge offers two open-air suites — the Star Suite and the Sky Suite. The suites are located a short distance from the main lodge, yet are miles away from your average suite.

The 10 luxurious cave suites have big comfortable beds, ensuite bathrooms and glass-walled doors looking out onto private terraces.

If the weather is favourable, you can sleep on a bed set up for you on a private rocky outcrop far from the lodge under the nighttime canopy of stars. 

Shipwreck Lodge (Namibia)

Unique Places to Stay in Africa

Shipwreck lodge. Photo/seeafricatoday.

Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is well-known for its shipwrecks. And Shipwreck Lodge transforms that dubious accolade into something absolutely amazing. There are ten chalets scattered along the dunes that are built to resemble shipwrecks and provide beautiful views of the desert.

Sailors have long feared Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, and its beaches are littered with evidence of how perilous the Atlantic Ocean can be.

The lodge’s architecture, which features noticeable wooden “ribs” and planking, more than pays homage to its illustrious past and the ships that ran aground there. It’s the ideal distinctive location from which to explore this enthralling, far-off region.

Naries Namakwa Retreat, South Africa

Naries Namakwa Retreat

Naries Namakwa Retreat, South Africa. Photo/SafariNow.

In the heart of Namaqualand, close to Springbok in the Northern Cape, is a country retreat with a difference. Guests stay in domed suites that resemble round granite koppies and are decorated like traditional Nama homes.

These suites at this unique Place to stay in South Africa have spacious interiors that command spectacular views from the hilltop. Visit this semi-desert area in the spring to observe the well-known carpets of wildflowers that cover the land.

Dodo’s Folly at Hippo Point (Kenya)

Dodo’s Folly at Hippo Point

Dodo’s Folly at Hippo Point. Photo/

You know you’ve found something special when you witness an 8-story, 120-foot structure sprouting out of the surrounding area. Dodo’s Folly has 5 bedrooms and can accommodate about 9 guests. From its top level, the Hippo point offers breathtaking views of Oloidien Bay.

Bird Nest at Nay Palad Hideaway (Kenya)

Bird Nest at Nay Palad Hideaway

Bird Nest at Nay Palad Hideaway. Photo/ Natural World Safari.

An uplifting experience on a safari is having a stay at Segera Retreat which offers you the opportunity to sleep like a bird in the amazing, one-of-a-kind NAY PALAD star bed.

The Bird Nest, perched atop a tower, provides a birds-eye perspective of the landscape below. From the outside, the star bed looks like the untidy eyrie of a giant eagle.

However, once inside, it turns out to be a rather luxurious mini-lodge for two. Guests at the Bird Nest also have the option of spending the night outside under the stars, which is a very romantic experience that you’ll want to share with someone very special.

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