At the end of hot, dry day on safari, African travelers pause to observe the delightful safari tradition of the Sundowner – the capping of a day’s adventures by enjoying a cold drink of choice (gin and tonic is the custom) and toasting the setting sun. Sunsets in Africa vary from a single orange red ball sinking majestically on the horizon to multi-color burst of pinks, yellows, blues and reds reflected by evening haze, distant mountains and vast savannas outside your door. Every night, they provide the perfect backdrop for Africa’s unique version of cocktail hour.
In addition to the classic gin and tonic, the best safari lodges offer a choice of chilled South African white wines, cold African beer, and other mixed and soft drinks – something for everyone. Here are five lodges that are devoted to making your sunsets as memorable as your safaris.
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Botswana
Chobe Chilwero offers luxurious air conditioned cabins with spectacular views of one of the best wildlife parks in all of Africa But as night approaches, guests move toward the banks of the Chobe to embark on the delightful Sundowner cruise. The still waters of the Chobe River ripple with light from the setting sun as your watch from the comfort of a a custom fitted river boat. From your perch in the front of the boat, you can sip wine and munch on specially prepared hors d’oeuvres while you absorb the sights and sounds of the wildlife moving toward the river to drink. And don’t forget to look up – the variety of bird species along the Chobe River are a wonder in and of themselves.
Tarangire Treetops Lodge, Tanzania
What better place to experience an African sunset than from the comfort of your own room, especially when that room is is perched above the the surrounding marula and baobab trees. The Treetops Lodge borders the Tarangire National Park, home of a wonderful variety of African wildlife. Sip champagne as the sun sets and listen for the sounds of evening chanting from neighboring Massai villages. Keep and eye out for elephants (they’re pretty hard to miss!) because they frequently approach the Treetops Lodge at night.
Elsa’s Kopje Meru, Kenya
Home of one of the largest rhino sanctuaries in Africa and the Born Free Foundation, the remote Meru National Park provides an experience both intense and intimate. The Elsa Kopje Lodge Sundowner will take you out into the park where a table is set and drinks are served while you gaze upon 215,000 acres of authentic African landscape and observe most diverse animal species in all of Africa. Award winning guides will be at your side to enrich your entire experience.
Elephant Pepper Camp, Kenya
Located in one of Africa’s most exclusive game reserves, the Mara North Conservancy, Elephant Pepper Camp boasts dramatic landscapes and vast array of wildlife and, because game drives are restricted to Camp residents only, it creates the perfect private safarit experience. Sundowners here become truly unmatched during the Great Migration where thousands of wildebeest roam against the perfect backdrop of yellow haze and a brilliant sunset.
Tortilis Camp Amboseli, Kenya
Nestled in a prime location to witness the beauty of Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro, the Amboselli National Park is home to over 1,000 elements and the Tortilis Camp, perhaps the most spectacular location in Africa for a Sundowner celebration. With the exclusivity of being in a private conservancy, the Tortillis Camp is the first eco-lodges of its size and is very proudly 100% solar. You can sit by a fire pit as the African night cools the air and watch the sun set over Mount Kilimanjaro, as wildlife moves to drink at a nearby river.
Ready to experience Africa’s famous cocktail hour? Get in touch with one of our experts and start planning the trip of a lifetime! From Kenya to Zanzibar there’s always an adventure, and we know how to find it.