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Where are the best adult-only holidays in the world?

Nicola Shepherd By Nicola Shepherd
22 Aug 2022
Sabi Sands Lion Sands Chalkley Treehouse MORE

A luxury holiday or safari 'a deux' is an ideal choice for a romantic escape or child-free adventure where you can completely refresh and explore the wonders of this continent. Nicola Shepherd shares her top selections for a perfect adults-only safari.

I confess, the idea of retreating to somewhere special where nobody can reach you and shutting down all communication is more than appealing to me! There are so many options in Africa, Asia or Latin America for you to escape with friends or as a couple, on a romantic getaway or an adventurous expedition, or just fun with no responsibilities in sight!

Why Take A Luxury Safari or Vacation, Just For Adults?

Thowing off the adult shoes and forgetting your responsibilities is the dream of many! A romantic couple’s holiday means that you can spend languid mornings in bed, planning days around yourselves and nobody else. You can drink that one cocktail too many whilst sitting atop a sailing boat looking out over the bow, watching the sun set over the horizon, or perhaps enjoying a glass of champagne whilst playing a game of cards at a chic, Bohemian style Robinson Crusoe retreat.

For the adventurous, a child-free safari means that you can get off the beaten track and explore parts of Africa that wouldn’t be suitable for a safari with younger children. You can walk silently through the bush to game view on foot with your private safari guide, staying in a beautiful mobile camp at night that moves with you. Or spend time in pursuit of your own interests, such as riding, mountain climbing or wine tasting. You are completely free to do exactly as you please!


Design your perfect adult-only African safari


My top 5 adult-only safari holidays to Africa

  • Private walking safari staying in a beautiful tented camp at night
  • Intrepid adventures off the beaten track to Ennedi (Chad) or Odzala (The Republic of Congo)
  • Sleeping out at night in a romantic star bed or treehouse
  • Staying on a luxury paradise island or sailing in the Indian Ocean
  • A private safari lodge or villa just for you


Africa walking safaris in the wilderness

Explore Africa on foot with your private guides to get a more immersive wildlife experience. By their nature walking safaris are often not suitable for young children, as you are out in the wilderness and often walk from camp to camp, spotting wildlife as you go. There are so many options for phenomenal walking safaris in Africa, but my favourites include:

  • Taking a walking safari through a Maasai sacred forest in the Loita Hills in Kenya, accompanied solely by your guides and a pack of mules carrying your essentials.
  • Walking through the stunning Lower Zambezi National Park with your private guide, staying in beautiful, tented camps along the way and finishing your Zambia walking safari in a beautiful lodge to unwind for a few days.
  • Walking with one of my favourite private guides, Moli, in Ruaha National Park (Southern Tanzania), and fly camping beneath the stars. Listen to the sound of the birds serenading you at dusk before taking to their coops as you await your private bush dinner beneath the stars - a memorable experience.

Alternatively why not spend a few days canoeing privately with your guide down the Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe, sleeping on different islands as you go and viewing wildlife from the river?


Intrepid adventure safaris to Africa

Do something truly off-the-beaten track for your African safari and venture where few others travel. These adult-only safaris are more adventurous and the accommodation often more rustic, but the ‘luxury’ comes from the exclusivity and the ability to experience things that few safari travellers ever see.

  • Go western lowland gorilla trekking in the Republic of Congo to witness the arboreal lowland gorillas and trek through the bais of Odzala National Park, returning to fabulous cuisine at the end of each evening, lovingly created by Michelin starred chefs. An extraordinary wildlife safari adventure, just for adults.
  • A desert safari adventure in Chad. Fly into Ennedi in the Sahara Desert and explore by private helicopter (allowing you to cover a greater area and see more of the region with your private pilot-guide), or, for those that enjoy slow travel, head into the sands by camel, sleeping at night beneath the bejewelled sky whilst observing camel trains driven aloft by their Bedouin tribes.


Romantic sleep outs and star beds

  • Zim Island Treehouse Suites Starbed
  • Zim Island Treehouse Suites Exterior
  • South Africa Lion Sands Kingston Treehouse MORE

What could be more romantic on your safari to Africa than to lay under the vast southern skies with the stars above you and the noises of the African wilderness all around? Perched safely in a treehouse with billowing fabrics around you or on a private verandah where your four-poster bed is rolled out onto the deck, this is something you absolutely must do at least once during your luxury safari!

  • Ol Donyo Lodge makes for a wonderful adults-only Kenyan safari. Perched on a hillside in the Chyulu Hills, the lodge has views across the savannah to Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. Each suite has its own star bed, allowing you to sleep out under a canopy whenever you choose.
  • Tswalu Kalahari in South Africa has a private Malori Sleepout Deck on the vast Kalahari Desert savannah.
  • Sleep out under the vast skies in the Namib Desert with absolutely no light pollution, waking in the morning to the changing hues of the sand dunes as the sun rises.
  • The Victoria Falls River Lodge ‘Island Treehouse Suites’ are perched on a private island in the Zambezi River just upstream from the Falls. The suites accommodate just two adults and some have a starbed on the top level where you can sleep out with the sounds of the river surrounding you.
  • The Chalkley Treehouse and Kingston Treehouse are beautiful, romantic treehouse suites at Lion Sands Game Reserve in the Sabi Sands, South Africa. With lanterns hung from the tree branches all around you, this is one of the most romantic places to sleep on your couple’s safari to Africa!


Exclusive island and sailing holidays in the Indian Ocean

Staying on an exclusive or completely private island, either as the main focus of your vacation or for a few nights after a wildlife safari, is one of the most wonderful way to relax and unwind. One of my favourite picks for an adults-only island holiday is Mnemba Island Lodge, Tanzania.

This exclusive island lodge is simply sublime and makes a wonderful choice for a romantic holiday. Stay in a beachside ‘banda’ and spend your days in a barefoot paradise. Snorkel and scuba dive, swim straight from the beach, set sail on a traditional dhow to have a picnic on a deserted beach, or explore nearby Zanzibar. You can enjoy the catch of the day for dinner, such as lobster served with fresh linguine, with the powdery white sand soft between your toes and the ebb and flow of the waves hugging the shore.

Alternatively, charter a catamaran around Madagascar to maximise your marine adventures, spending the time diving and snorkelling. In the evenings dine on freshly caught tuna with a glass of crisp, white wine!

Discover your private island escape or private yacht charter holiday.


Private safari villa or house in Africa

For complete escapism, choose a private villa for your safari to Africa. There are many top-notch options for an adult-only exclusive safari with no other tourists in sight, just complete privacy to do as you please. I highly recommend taking a private villa in Kenya’s Laikipia. For romantic escapes as a couple, The Eyrie at Ol Lentille or a private villa at Alfajiri are delightfully intimate villas for couples. If you would like a child-free escape with a larger group of adults, or perhaps a multi-generational family of adults, private villas such as Lengishu House, Laragai House or Sirikoi Lodge are simply sublime! 

These are wonderful options both for a romantic safari for a couple, but equally would suit a group of adults travelling together or a grown-up family seeking adventure!

Find your ideal private safari house >>  Private Villas in Africa

Where else in the world can you experience the best adult-only holidays and vacations? 

Countries like Colombia with their salsa dancing, beautiful boutique hotels and fabulous music and  cuisine are a wonderful option for a more urban style break. And then perhaps end up somewhere stylish after your adventurous foray? 

Or, what can be more indulgent than taking a private boat for just the two of you in Indonesia exploring the islands? End up at 360 degrees Leti in the Himalayas in India where you can see snow-capped Nanda Devi, thought to be the highest mountain prior to Everest being discovered. Private, 'a deux', rediscovering your loved one with gay abandon. What is more romantic than that?

I hope these help to inspire you when planning your own safari to Africa (or luxury vacation in Asia or Latin America), just for adults! There are so many options to choose from so please do feel free to get in touch if you would like advice from experts that know our destinations inside-out. Our specialists will help you tailor your safari or holiday exactly to your requirements. What did Mark Twain opine? “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ”


Let us tailor your adults-only luxury safari

Images by kind courtesy of:

S.V.S. Societé de Voyages Sahariens, Odzala Discovery Camps, &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge, Lion Sands, Victoria Falls River Lodge, Lengishu House, Kichaka Expeditions