African Safari Accommodations
The Ultimate Safari Accommodation Guide
While many travelers often imagine staying in a small tent in a remote location while on safari, most are surprised when they found out how many options are available. While the classic safari experience has been made popular by staying in tented camps, there are also a number of lodges and boutique accommodation ranging from the budget level all the way to the super luxurious. This page should serve you as a guide for more information on the different accommodations available and what to expect so you can choose which style suits you best.
Hotels & Resorts
Typically upon arrival, your adventure in Africa begins with the first-night stay in either a hotel or resort. Depending on your comfort level these can range from budget-friendly options to more luxurious five-star accommodations. We typically recommend staying with a lower cost option if you are budget conscious as this allows you to spend more in the various national parks you’ll be visiting. However, there are a number of boutique options as well that offer similar amenities to the higher grade accommodations but without the heavy price tag. Some popular choices include Giraffe Manor (as pictured) in Nairobi, Arusha Coffee Lodge in Arusha, among many others in both East and Southern Africa. There’s no wrong option as it all comes down to your own personal preferance.
Located in or surrounding many of Africa’s national parks and reserves, safari lodges come in a wide range of comfort levels. From the budget level, to mid-range (3-stars), to luxury and the ultra-luxury (4-5 stars). This is a great option for those that aren’t comfortable sleeping in a tent and want to have more western amenities. Depending on the lodge, there are a number of activities offered including many exclusive experiences related to its location. This can range from hot-air balloon rides over the Serengeti to exploring the waterways of the Okavango Delta by traditional mokoro. While there are plenty of options it’s important to keep in mind who is traveling with you as each lodge caters to a different kind of group. For instance if you are traveling with a family, go for a property with a pool and activities for all ages. If you are on a honeymoon, look for something a bit more remote that offers more intimate romantic experiences.
Not only are these considered one of the most popular options for a safari, but this style of accommodation offers a more intimate atmosphere with unmatched views. While most think of just a canvas tent and a cot, tented camps come with real beds with en-suite bathrooms along with private decks as dramatic landscapes create a scenic backdrop. As with lodges, you’ll find mid-range and luxury options each offering its own unique experience of the African bush. Some can be located within the various game reserves while others are only a few miles outside of the fences. While Wi-Fi is available, it depends on the camp and connection can be spotty at times. You can expect cold and hot running water, as well as running electricity to keep everything charged for your adventures ahead. Again, it all comes down to your comfort level while on safari.
Mobile Tented Camps
Used for vehicle-based mobile safaris, this style of accommodation is used as a seamless way to visit a number of different locations during an extended overland safari. Typically these are only operational during the Dry Season and once finished, are broken down until the next season. However in some cases, in many of the national parks and game reserves, mobile camps are frequently erected and taken down for group tours. Not to be mistaken for the bare basics, many provide the same comforts of a safari lodge along with the advantage of moving as you explore. While not suited for everyone, they truly off an intimate wilderness experience, without sacrificing any comfort or convenience. This style of accommodation is typically popular with Botswana but can also be found while exploring Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries in Africa.
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