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The Robb Report 100 Resorts: Africa & The Middle East

BOTSWANA 

Abu Camp 
OKAVANGO DELTA 
Completely revamped in 2011, this 20-year-old camp remains the best lodge for hands-on interaction with African elephants. Join Abu’s herd for a ride or walk through the astounding 450,000-acre Abu Concession, observe an elephant mud bath, and dine with mahouts before retiring to one of six tented suites. ($1,950 per person, all-inclusive) www.abucamp.com

San Camp
MAKGADIKGADI PANS
An oasis of British Colonial campaign tents–turned–luxury lodgings set on the edge of a salt pan the size of Switzerland. As many as 14 guests explore the desolate, otherworldly landscape while hunting for fossils and learning about the origins of early man. Open April through October. ($1,000 per person, all-inclusive) www.unchartedafrica.com

Zarafa Camp
SELINDA RESERVE
National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert conceived this intimate four-tent camp on a private 320,000-acre reserve. Bedrooms overlook a lagoon teeming with hippos and elephants. Spot big cats, wild dogs, and more from Toyota Land Cruisers specially designed by the Jouberts for visibility. ($1,150–$1,800 per person, all-inclusive) www.greatplainsconservation.com

KENYA

ol Donyo Lodge
MBIRIKANI GROUP RANCH
This implausibly luxurious 10-suite lodge sits within view of Mount Kilimanjaro, in the Chyulu Hills. Enjoy horseback safaris, mountain-bike rides, bush walks, Maasai-village stopovers, and 4x4 wildlife excursions throughout the 275,000-acre ranch that, like Zarafa Camp, is one of the Jouberts’ Great Plains Conservation properties. ($425–$850 per person, all-inclusive) www.greatplainsconservation.com

MOROCCO

Dar Ahlam
OUARZAZATE
A collection of sandcastle-like structures in Ouarzazate, "the door of the desert," in central Morocco. The resort is owned by a French theater director, whose team choreographs meals in locations ranging from olive groves to rooftops. Guest can choose from Dar Ahlam’s 13 suites, villa, or tent for two among the dunes. ($925–$2,475, all-inclusive) www.maisondesreves.com

SEYCHELLES

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
MAHÉ
Everyday activities on the Seychelles islands...MORE

Frégate Island Private
A 740-acre sanctuary of dense jungles, powder-sand beaches, and rare Seychelles giant tortoises and other wildlife. The 17 ocean-view villas, each with a private infinity-edge pool, are ideal for couples seeking privacy. Buyouts are encouraged. (Three-night packages from $4,425 to $16,350, all-inclusive) www.fregate.com

North Island
This 519-acre former coconut-and-spice plantation is now home to 11 expansive, eco-chic villas hidden among restored plant life and tended by butlers. A private island with few peers. ($3,000–$4,725 per person, all-inclusive) www.north-island.com

SOUTH AFRICA

Birkenhead House
HERMANUS
Perched above Walker Bay, this grand and urbane 11-room mansion is the ultimate address in the seaside resort town of Hermanus and serves as a perfect post-safari retreat. From May through December, sit on the back patio to watch the migration of the southern right whale. ($350–$550 per person, including meals) www.birkenheadhouse.com

Delaire Graff Estate
STELLENBOSCH
British jeweler Laurence Graff’s 100-acre wine estate delivers all the services of a mega-resort for just 10 stand-alone lodges—each with a private pool and vineyard views. Mr. Graff’s contemporary art collection alone is worth the trip. ($950–$3,500) www.delaire.co.za

La Residence
FRANSCHHOEK
Hotelier Liz Biden’s Alice in Wonderland dream in the Cape Winelands. Each of the 11 suites and five villas showcases Biden’s imaginative aesthetic, while farm-fresh dining and nearby wineries highlight the region’s bounty. (From $525 per person, including breakfast) www.laresidence.co.za

Royal Malewane
THORNYBUSH RESERVE
Safari-goers reside in eight exquisite one- and two-bedroom suites or in a private residence that sleeps 12. Big Five sightings are the norm during excursions into the private reserve, which is set adjacent to Kruger National Park. (Suites from $1,400 per person, Africa House from $13,750, both all-inclusive) www.royalmalewane.com

Singita Lebombo & Sweni Lodges
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Singita’s Lebombo and Sweni lodges...MORE

TANZANIA

Singita Grumeti Reserves
SERENGETI
Private access to 350,000 protected acres along the Great Migration path in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Track wildebeests, impalas, and gazelles, as well as carnivores large and small. Guests of the 36-room reserve choose among three lodges and a new villa that opens this June. ($850–$1,700 per person, all-inclusive) www.singita.com

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
ABU DHABI
Set among 500-foot-tall sand dunes in the Arabian Peninsula’s aptly named Empty Quarter, Qasr Al Sarab was developed by the UAE’s ruling family. The resort’s 206 rooms, suites, and villas are served by 430 employees and decorated with locally sourced artworks. ($425–$2,075) www.anantara.com

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Photo by Janos Grapow