A safari in Africa isn’t just about spotting animals on a game drive during the light of the day. The experience continues through the night, as wildlife surrounds you, without your knowledge many at times. I can assure you, it is overwhelming but what adds spice to that, is the type of accommodation you will choose.
Few tourists anticipate the quality and variety of places to stay on a safari adventure. The fact of the matter is that, there are plenty of options one has, from tents to lodges, hotels to resorts , and even nice campsites. In this article, you will get to know how to choose the right accommodation for your trip, the types of accommodation in Africa, and things to consider when choosing your accommodation. Home is where you feel comfortable and safe, and if you choose the right accommodation , then you can make Africa your home away from home.
Types Of Accommodation on An African Safari
Hotel and Resorts
Before and after the safari, you’d sometimes spend a night in a hotel or resort located in or near cities or airports. The comfort level and amenities depend on safari you book, but most operators allow you to switch to a budget option or upgrade to a more luxurious one.
Lodges are permanent structures typically located in or near national parks and reserves or in remote areas. Safari lodges range in comfort level from basic. If it’s your first time on a safari or you are not comfortable sleeping in a tent, a lodge makes an excellent choice.
Camping sites come in many shapes and forms and the same goes for the experience. Adventure camping requires the guest to assist with camp duties. The comfort level depends on the campsite but one sleeps in sleeping bed. Full-serviced camping is the typical modern-day equivalent of the “traditional safari”. There are both en-suite and non en-suite options.
Tented camps are considered one of the best options for a safari and are usually small camps (5-20 tents). They come with private decks and amazing views of the surrounding area. There is always cold and hot running water, as well as electricity. The dining service is comparable to fine restaurants.
Mobile camps are also unique. They are set up for a limited time and then broken down. Mobile camps are typically set up for special events, such as the Great Migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara. They can also serve as camp as part of a walking or overland safari.
Key Things To Consider When Choosing Accommodation
The total amount of money you are able and willing to spend during your travels matters. How much of that money do you feel comfortable allocating toward lodging? How much of your money will it require for you to feel safe and comfortable? If you have a lower budget, opt for hostels or a rented room in an apartment or home. If your budget is larger, perhaps you can afford a luxurious hotel experience, and I think it's perfect.
What is the geography ? Your destination will play a large role in where you choose to stay. If you’re visiting open countryside or a small beachside village, there may be fewer feasible options for hotels, but there might be a wider selection of home rentals. If you’re visiting a large city, your options will be numerous. Don’t forget to take into consideration the safety factor of the place you plan to visit.
Do you plan on sightseeing all day or taking a day trip perhaps? This brings the question, how often you plan to actually be where you’re staying is a large factor in choosing accommodations that will give you the most for your money. If you plan to use every hour of daylight walking around a city and taking in its sights, then you can afford to be less indulgent and more practical with your choice in lodging since you won’t be there very often. If you plan to enjoy the nature and wildlife then you will have to be wise in choosing your accommodation.
Your Travel Partners
Your travel companions or lack of one or some, can have a big effect on where you will want to stay. If solo travel is your thing, you might find it more affordable to stay in a shared dorm at a hostel rather than reserve a hotel room. If you crave company but still want privacy, renting a room in an apartment is a fantastic alternative. If you’re traveling with a large family or organized group and want to share the same space, a rental is probably the best option. If you’ll be with your significant other and want a romantic, secluded space, an upscale hotel or private apartment would work best.
Do you like socializing or do you prefer to be on your own? Do you stay up late or go to sleep early? Do you set an alarm or wake up naturally? Do you like to have a set routine or be spontaneous? How do you deal with stressful situations? Hostels are wonderful options for laid-back individuals who love constant stimulation and meeting new people while rentals are ideal for those who enjoy a peaceful place and the comforts of home. If you’re a combination of the two, opt for a hotel or a private room in an apartment or hostel.
In simplicity, consider what brings you comfort and what causes you frustration during travel, then factor that in when you decide which stay is right for you. At the end of the day, it is your comfort that matters the most!