The Beauty of Africa, Just For You

The captivating magic of a private villa on the grasslands of Africa is quite simply inimitable.

While we pride ourselves in arranging accommodations that offer the very best in their field, when pure luxury and absolute intimacy is your quarry, a private villa cannot be outshone by even the most remarkable of more populated venues.

Safaris offer myriad joys and appeals, but ultimately, they can be encapsulated in two distinct areas: the obvious experiences associated with Africa – the game drives, wildlife viewing, stunning cultures and so on – and the personal gratification of sharing all of this with the ones you love the most. After all, a moment shared is a moment doubled.

Wherever and however you might journey, you will always be sharing it with those you travel with; your family, your partner or your best friend since grade six. But to do so exclusively, without the clamouring crowds, the fellow guests, the communal buffets and the shared game drives, takes the experience into new and irreplicable realms.

Private villas offer a far more personal and intimate opportunity than other shared accommodations, no matter how luxurious, personal or bespoke they might be. Even the most opulent hotel must still be shared with others.

What’s more, a private villa provides a rare chance for us to unite with family in unprecedented circumstances. We are not visiting one another’s houses, there need be no ceremony or occasion, such as birthdays, anniversaries or seasonal festivities. We are on mutual territory for no other purpose than being utterly and entirely in the moment together, and this is something we so infrequently, if ever, get to enjoy and share.

Arijiju Kenya private villa
©Arijiju Kenya

Private Villas: Exclusively Yours

The benefits of electing to reside in private accommodations are multitudinous, but in my experience, it is the personal aspects that hold the true magic. To feel like the only ones in the world without a single sign of humanity as far as the eye can see is simply spectacular, the stuff of fairytales and Bryce Courtney novels. But you are also able to be yourselves. The kids can play to their heart’s content, you can listen to your own music if you choose, you can wander the property freely and reconnect with family in a way that hasn’t been possible for many years, if ever.

You are also on your own time. You can choose to do whatever you want, whenever you want, not beholden to a schedule or fellow guests. You can venture out on a game drive at any time of the day, you can explore the rich, cultural streets of Cape Town for endless hours and take a private dinner at one of the numerous world-class restaurants on a whim, your vacation becomes utterly and entirely yours.

Africa House, Royal Malewane private villa
©Africa House, Royal Malewane

All For You

On a more tangible level, private villas invariably come with a suite of physical benefits. From private staff to your own guide and personal safari vehicle, the villa’s elite team is there for you and you alone.

This is reflected multifold. Your guides will offer suggested times for a game drive based upon the activity of the habitats, but this is completely optional. When in the field, the guide and driver are at your disposal, free to answer every question and tailor the voyage to your wishes, be that seeing certain animals, entertaining youngsters or pursuing photographic opportunities. Likewise, each Kodak moment can be indulged in for as long as you wish. Very rarely, you may happen upon another tourist party and be required to accommodate their experiential needs, but for the vast majority of moments you are free to take as long as you wish to observe, track and photograph wildlife.

Returning home, your staff will welcome you specifically and invariably by name, with your choice of beverage freshly poured and as attentive as they are subliminal, catering to your arrival yet allowing you space and peace to unwind, relax and take in the wonders of the previous hours.

This bespoke catering is frequently reflected in more commodious accommodations with numerous guests, but is greatly enhanced at a private villa. It is rarely more evident than at mealtimes. Even the most unfussy of eaters has their dietary preferences, but medical or ethical requirements, such as diabetes, veganism and so on, can be impeccably catered to by a personal chef. Each dish is hand-prepared specifically for you and your guests, not simply adapted en masse.

Larger venues with multiple bookings do a wonderful job of providing for dietary prerequisites, yet when you are one of a party of six, the service is elevated significantly.

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Your Home From Home

When you book a private villa, it is – to state the blindly obvious – private. It is your home away from home. You can leave your shoes in the living room without offending anyone, the pool will never be filled with screaming children – or at least, screaming children that aren’t yours. You can wander the property in your bathrobe and you can completely relax, in your own time, in your own space, utterly and unequivocally private.

There is something to be said for mingling. Sometimes, those we meet in exceptional locations become lifelong friends, and striking up a conversation with a stranger can be an iridescent patch in the tapestry of life.

But the need to oblige others, particularly if you are celebrating a special occasion, can detract from your vacation. Honeymooners rarely wish for others to be privy to their first magical days of wedded bliss, birthday boys and girls are reluctant to share their cake with strangers, and ultimately family is family, not simply the people in the immediate vicinity.

Some may deem the luxury of a private villa an unnecessary overindulgence. Your own perspective is the only truth to that. But from my personal experience and the regaling testimonials of many, many Rothschild guests, a private villa can drastically exacerbate the thrill, connection and pure unforgetableness your African adventure. 

Whether it is a riverside retreat on the Sabi River, a contemporary abode on the Atlantic Clifftops of the Southern Cape or a tented camp between the mountainous red dunes of Namibia’s Sossusvlei, a private villa is always a worthy investment that will pay dividends in lifelong memories and intimate connections with loved ones.

If you have an imminent familial occasion or friends’ happening, or if you’re simply searching for a little more privacy of your vacation experience, talk to our Travel Designers about the possibilities of a private villa, wherever you may be wishing to explore.

Lengishu Private Villa
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Header image: lengishu house