Have you always dreamed of an African adventure? Is Africa on your bucket list? Many come for the exotic animals, the elephants, the lions, and the zebras. But there is much more to see; from jewel-like islands with sandy white beaches, to mountains perfect for hiking, or buzzing cities, wilderness retreats, and more.
There is so much variety when it comes to things to see and do, and you will be equally spoiled in your choice when it comes to accommodation options.
From homes with a rustic vibe, to sleek, modern, ultra-luxurious apartments, or those that offer barefoot luxury by the sea, there really is something for everyone. Read on to find the perfect vacation rental for your African adventure.
On the southeastern coast of Zanzibar, there are two villas at the luxury Matlai Boutique Hotel. The four-bedroom Asili House is lovely. But, perhaps more relevant for the purpose of vacation rentals, there is the two-bedroom Villa Kidosho, which you can rent as a whole. It is perfect for families or friends wanting to travel together, or perhaps honeymooners looking for a bit of privacy.
The two suites, Jua (sun) and Mwesi (moon), each have their own ensuite, king-size beds and huge private terraces. In Swahili, Kidosho means “beauty,” and with its two sumptuous suites, fantastic sea views, private terraces, and infinity pool — as well as a coffee bar, library, and outdoor dining areas — the villa certainly lives up to its name.
There’s also a spa on the premises and an open-air cinema; all this just a few steps from the beach. Step onto the beach, and a short swim, and you will find yourself in a small but gorgeous patch of coral, complete with seahorses, colorful fish, and tentacle-waving anemones. This is definitely barefoot paradise at its best.
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. This unique island is sometimes referred to as the “eighth continent” because of the distinctive ecology that has evolved here, and it’s the only place on the planet where you can see lemurs.
If you want to explore this special place, a good place to start is the private Villa Domingo, located in a private residential estate in the island’s northwest, just 5 minutes from the stunning Andilana Beach. The four-bedroom villa has incredible panoramic views out of the Indian Ocean and surrounding islands. There’s an infinity pool, a fully-equipped kitchen, gas barbeque, outdoor terrace area, reading room, bar, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and more.
To make sure that you really relax, there’s an on-site housekeeper and gardener, and your round-trip road transfers from Nosy Be Fascene Airport or the port of Hell-Ville are also included. This way, there is no worrying about the transportation side of things. This is definitely the location for a picture-postcard slice of luxury in an exotic destination.
On Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard is the tiny enclave of Glen Beach and the gorgeous, fully-equipped Glen Beach Villas. They include the Beach Bungalow, which sleeps eight; and the Penthouse, which sleeps four. Staying here, you’ll only be a 2-minute walk from the beach, while enjoying breathtaking 360-degree views of the sea and mountains, along with a swimming pool, satellite TV, and Wi-Fi.
Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors open across the entire width of the property and onto a spacious balcony from the living and kitchen area, while the master bedroom has its own modest balcony. Other bedrooms open to the large deck/pool area that faces Lions Head. To the south of the Glen is the famous Camps Bay Beach that sweeps towards the lovely Bakoven Cove, and to the west, the Atlantic Ocean stretches to the horizon. The whole property nestles against the slopes of the majestic Lion’s Head Mountain.
Morocco’s Chefchaouen, or “Blue City,” is famous for its brightly-colored architecture nestled in the Rif Mountains. Row after row of buildings in the center are painted shades of blue that range from baby blue to aquamarine.
One of the best ways to experience Chefchaouen is to stay in a house like this, in the heart of the medina, just a minute’s walk form the main town square with its shops, restaurants, and cafes. With its great location, this comfortable house, spread over four stories, has two bedrooms (sleeping up to six) and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and heating units, as well as a balcony with a mountain view. A housekeeper will come and service the property every day, leaving you with nothing to do other than enjoy the beautiful blue dream that is Chefchaouen.
For something a little different, how about trying this quirky geodome overlooking a crystal clear lake and nestling against the Witzenburg mountains on a vast farm in the South African wine lands? Just an hour and a half from bustling Cape Town, this private hideaway is ideal for adventurers, and you’ll have fishing, mountain biking, and hiking right on your doorstep. The outdoor bathtub is perfect for stargazing, or just for relaxing while you take in the views.
Nearby Tulbagh — fringed by rolling mountains on three sides and boasting glorious river and valley views — is one of the most historic, culturally significant, and beautifully scenic areas in South Africa. Tulbagh’s celebrated wine route is home to some truly fine wines as well.
This is a private and outrageously romantic couple’s hideaway, but without compromising your creature comforts. Along with cozy, contemporary furnishings, the galvanized dome has a fully-equipped kitchen, including a fridge and a gas stove.
Private Lodge 118 is a five-star, self-catering lodge on the banks of the Crocodile River at the southern border of Kruger National Park in Mjejane Private Game Reserve. The nearly 10,000-acre Mjejane Reserve is fenced within the Kruger National Park, borders the southern boundary of the park, and is renowned for its superb game viewing with 6 miles of river frontage.
With elephants for your neighbors, this luxurious, self-catering, five-bedroom private lodge sleeps 10 and has a fully-equipped kitchen, a swimming pool and gym, an entertainment and barbeque area, and a huge terrace — the perfect spot for a sundowner. To make your stay a little easier and enjoyable, you can have groceries delivered and safari drives can be arranged.
Located in Nanyuki, Kenya, these private safari cottages lie within a wildlife conservancy, and it’s not unusual to see herds of elephants passing by here. The two-bedroom Mbili cottage is built of recycled wood and has a rustic feel about it, opening out onto an extensive veranda that overlooks the river to the plains beyond.
The Moja Juu and Chini cottages have one bedroom and are ideal for couples or small families. They are tucked away in the bushes away from the main areas with views across the acacia-studded river line.
Tatu is the younger “sibling” of Mbili and the two are within walking distance of one another, if groups want to take up both cottages, but they are still hidden away enough for those who want privacy from their neighbors.
Your stay here includes a private guide and customized four-wheel-drive safari vehicle, as well as a private chef to cook your food just the way you like it. The 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta conservancy is home to large prides of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and more. And you can spend hours here with your private, highly-trained, and knowledgeable guide, exploring the open plains and secret valleys. This is an unfussy, eco-friendly luxury place with superior service and top-quality food and guiding.
Located in South Sinai, Egypt, the luxurious beachside Villa Montazahhas space for 10 people. Modern, spacious, tranquil, and private, the villa is set in beautiful grounds, has a private pool with sea views, and has easy access to diving and snorkeling.
The décor is modern with a Spanish vibe. Full-length windows on the seaview side of the villa offer enchanting views, and 32-foot foldable windows open to the outdoor areas. On the seaview side, there are full-length windows with enchanting views. And if you tire of the views, the villa is in a good location for the old market with its beautiful mosque and SOHO square, a vibrant square featuring fountains, restaurants, lounges, and even an ice skating rink.
Red Coconut has a one-bedroom bungalow that sleeps two, and a two-bedroom villa with two double beds. This is an intimate location in a lovely part of Mahe, the largest of the Seychelles islands. It’s on an island of white sand beaches, granite mountain peaks, and lush rainforests. The island is also home to Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, known for its Creole architecture and its colorful covered market.
If you can bear to tear yourself away from the beaches, there are plenty of other activities to experience, including hiking, snorkeling and diving, rum tastings, ziplining through the jungle, boat trips, museums, galleries, botanic gardens, and more.
Red Coconut cottages are just a 5-minute walk from Anse Royale Beach, close to Baie Lazare Beach, and less than a mile from Anse Gouvernement and Anse Soleil Beaches. Shops and various five-star hotels are nearby, and this beautiful self-catering facility has a lovely swimming pool, terrace, and barbeque, as well as well equipped kitchens. Given its location, having a vehicle is advisable. Fortunately, a car rental service is available at Red Coconut.
There you have it, my suggestions for some vacation rentals to try on your next African odyssey. Wherever your passion lies, be it to frolic in clear, warm waters, to get off the beaten track, or perhaps to watch wonderful wildlife, there’s bound to be the perfect temporary home for you here in Africa.