10 of the Coolest Hotels in East Africa

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Looking for somewhere unique and unusual to stay across East Africa? The region offers a variety of urban adventures, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and cool stays for casual globetrotter.

From magical underwater rooms in Tanzania to luxury tree houses to safari tents and fairytale castles in Kenya.

Here are some of the coolest and unique types of accommodation we found in East Africa.

1. Sarova Salt Lick Lodge – Kenya

This is a luxurious safari escape in a stunning setting smack right in the middle of Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. Built with very interesting architecture and suspended on stilts, the views from this lodge are breathtaking and unforgettable. The rooms are round and all connected through a series of walkways overlooking the wildlife below. It makes it all that easier to see animals, the landscape and enjoy sundowners. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most photographed lodges in the world.



Sarova Salt Lick Lodge

2. Kilindi Zanzibar

This resort will quite literally take your breath away! You will be stunned by the series of white-domed pavilion rooms situated in lush tropical gardens with stunning ocean views. Kilindi was originally designed for Benny Andersson, one of the members of the 1970’s pop group ABBA. It features a blend of the vivid architectural overtones of Middle Eastern heritage and Scandinavian minimalist design.



Image source: business Traveller: Kilindi Zanzibar

View Our Travel Guide on The Zanzibar Islands

3. The Highlands Ngorongoro – Tanzania

Inside the Ngorongoro Conservation area, you will find these uniquely designed dome-shaped tents with large frontal glass that paves way for spectacular views and natural lighting inside the suites. After hiking through Olmoti Crater and into the Empakaai Crater these suites and their wood burning stoves will help you keep cosy.



The Highlands Ngorongoro

4. Bisate Eco Lodge – Rwanda

With unique architecture, private luxurious rooms overlooking the volcanoes, Bisate lodge is a stunning gem nested inside the Virunga Park that will leave you enchanted every day of your stay and after. The lodge features spectacular views of the brooding Karisimbi, Mikeno and Bisoke volcanoes. It offers an amazing location for a gorilla experience in Rwanda. The lodge also provides guides for your hikes to trek gorillas and the golden monkeys.


Bisate Eco Lodge

5. Treetops Lodge –Kenya

Inside the Aberdares National Park, you will find this wooden tree-house lodge on stilts right in front of a waterhole and salt lick. It is an old, wooden lodge full of history and nostalgia. The lodge fuses nature with a rustic look and is known the world over as the place where Queen Elizabeth the second visited as a princess and left as a queen. It is especially easy to spot elephants as it lies in the path of an elephant migratory route. Large windows allow you to view game and next to the watering hole are photography hideouts created to allow one to get as close as possible to the animals. There’s an outdoor jungle bar too!



Treetops Lodge

6. The Manta Resort Underwater Room – Zanzibar

In Pemba Island, you can sleep and wake up in the sea quite literally. You can watch sea animals as they watch you too! The Manta has a floating underwater glass room and a top deck made from local hardwood to create an experience like no other. After sunbathing and having your meals on top deck, go experience the marine life down below. At night the underwater spotlights lining up all corners of the room attract the likes of squids and octopus to the glass panes. You will love the experience!



The Manta Resort Underwater Room

7. Chameleon Hill Lodge – Uganda

With Virunga volcanoes and Lake Mutanda as the backdrops, this lodge is quirky and colourful but doesn’t miss the attention to detail. With an impressive lake and volcano setting, it offers modern accommodation with an artistic touch and well-appointed with modern amenities. The views are beautiful and make for easier gorilla visits to Bwindi.



Chameleon Hill Lodge

8. Murchison River Lodge Thatched Tents – Uganda

If you’re looking for a true wilderness experience, you will enjoy staying here. The thatched tents are ready made with no electricity, no fans or air conditioning. They have private bathrooms and solar panels, lights and wooden doors. The tents are positioned close to the river bed on the southern bank of the River Nile, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park. The pathways are lamp-lit at night to guide you from your adventures.



Murchison River Lodge

9. Cormoran Lodge – Rwanda

On the shores of Lake Kivu lies this five-wood cabined gem. This tilts perched wooden bungalows provide a perfect view of a lakeside sunset and beautiful view of surrounding islands. Guests can take kayak trips or just relax and enjoy sundowner drinks at the lodge’s porch.



Cormoran Lodge

10. Tafaria Castle – Kenya

Overlooking the Laikipia planes
and just next to the Aberdares Ranges is this fairytale-like castle. It sets the pace for a unique countryside getaway and fun activities. Just like in a medieval castle you can enjoy horseback riding, scenic park drives, bowling and even archery.


Tafaria Castle class

Add Some Unique Flavour to Your Travels

If you are booking a trip to East Africa, be sure to make a stop at one of these hidden gems to make your experience so much more unforgettable!

We'd love to hear from you If you have anything to add to our list or would like to tell us about your experience give us a shout!

Share your experience with us! Tag @Tripindigo on your social posts #EastAfricaRocks or pop us a line on social@tripindigo.com.

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