Matetsi Victoria Falls among Travel + Leisure Readers’ 8 Favourite Hotels in Africa of 2024


spiked online media

in , , ,
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready…

By Heather Richardson

From urban retreats to rural resorts, here are Travel + Leisure readers’ top picks for hotels in Africa in the “World’s Best Awards” survey of 2024.

Be it the sparkling Atlantic or lush coffee plantations, Travel + Leisure readers love waking up to gorgeous scenery. Their top city hotels and resorts in Africa — across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya — are surrounded by leafy gardens, adjacent to rushing rivers, or come with spectacular mountain views.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities
  • Location
  • Service
  • Food
  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved About City Hotels in Africa

For yet another year, Cape Town proves to be T+L readers’ favorite destination for luxury stays — the top three African hotels from this year’s World’s Best Awards are in the South African city. With stunning scenery, excellent restaurants, and historic attractions, it’s easy to see why readers love the setting of these hotels. Add “impeccable service,” as one reader wrote about Ellerman House, this year’s No. 1, and the recipe is hard to beat.

On the other side of the country, Johannesburg’s Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa (No. 4) won T+L readers’ hearts for its urban sanctuary vibes. “This property felt like a secure oasis,” said one, while others loved the lush and beautiful grounds and the large accommodations.

Readers who stayed at Giraffe Manor (No. 5) in Nairobi, Kenya, were also in awe of the property, though for different reasons — primarily, the “Rothschild’s giraffes literally knocking on your window.”

Africa City Hotels Winner

Ellerman House: Cape Town, South Africa

“One of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in the world,” declared a T+L reader of this year’s No. 1 city hotel in Africa, Ellerman House. The hotel — likened to “someone’s beautiful home” — is in the fancy Bantry Bay neighborhood of Cape Town. With a perch above the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful views aren’t restricted to the outside: The interiors are a sight to behold, too, thanks to an extensive art collection that’s partly housed in the hotel’s private gallery. Wine tastings within the on-site cellar feature a giant corkscrew art piece-cum-wine rack, too. In addition to the main house suites, there are two private villas — a win for families or visiting celebrities.

Africa City Hotels Full List

1. Ellerman House: Cape Town, South Africa

Reader Score: 98.20

2.  Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town: Cape Town, South Africa

Reader Score: 95.15

3. Cape Grace, a Fairmont Managed Hotel: Cape Town, South Africa

Reader Score: 94.95

4. Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa: Johannesburg, South Africa

Reader Score: 94.59

5. Giraffe Manor: Nairobi, Kenya

Reader Score: 94.48

What Readers Loved About Resorts in Africa 

Though all in different countries, the three African resorts T+L readers favored this year do have one thing in common: a tranquil, scenic setting. Zimbabwe’s Matetsi Victoria Falls (No. 1) is on the banks of the wild Zambezi River, while Babylonstoren (No. 2) is in South Africa’s Cape Winelands, surrounded by rugged mountains and rolling vineyards — “a beautiful hotel with so much to do,” said one reader, while another noted the “stunning location.” Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge (No. 3), in Tanzania, sits on beautiful grounds “surrounded by coffee, monkeys and sounds of nature.”

Africa Resorts Winner

Matetsi Victoria Falls: Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe

Rising from last year’s No. 2 position, Matetsi Victoria Falls is this year’s top resort in Africa, according to T+L readers. No doubt location plays a major role in its popularity. One reader described Victoria Falls as a “fantastic safari destination” — but of course the town is most known for its eponymous waterfall, aka Mosi-oa-Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders.” Set alongside the Zambezi River, about 45 minutes outside town, Matetsi takes advantage of its surroundings with boat cruises, safari excursions in the reserve, spa treatments, and of course, tours around (and helicopter flights above) the famous falls.

Africa Resorts Full List

1. Matetsi Victoria Falls, Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe

Reader Score: 97.88

2. Babylonstoren, Simondium, South Africa

Reader Score: 96.57

3. Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania

Reader Score: 92.42