So, you’ve visited the best tropical beach destinations and checked in to most of the luxurious ski resorts in the west. You’ve even gone on a forest retreat and experienced leafy nature at its best. So what’s next? African safari lodges.

Granted, there are many types of safari destinations around the world, but nothing quite compares to being in the heart of the African safari. Imagine waking up to a view of the bushes: a tower of giraffes grazing, a herd of elephants cooling themselves in the waterhole, running wildebeest, and more — all within a stone’s throw away. Unlike going to a zoo, being in a safari means you get to witness these beasts in their natural habitat and not caged up in a makeshift environment. At that moment, you are in their territory.

While that sounds a little too close for comfort, fret not — safari expeditions are usually conducted by an experienced safari guide who is able to read the animal’s body language and know if danger is imminent. That is something you don’t need to worry about when you engage a safari expedition directly from a reputable safari lodge.

Days begin early when you’re holidaying in a safari lodge. After all, you’re here to see the wildlife during their most active moments and that won’t do if you’re sleeping in. Thankfully, the rest of the days is yours to luxuriate in your opulent surroundings. Read a book, enjoy afternoon tea, or take a dip in the pool and continue watching the wildlife graze — you deserve it.

Click through the gallery to see our top seven picks of the most luxurious African safari lodges out there. Be sure to tap the (+) to read more about each of them.