This alone is one of the biggest questions you will need to address in your itinerary design. It will have a significant impact on the overall cost of your holiday. The style of accommodation you choose will also impact the kind of experience you have. In an African Safari Consultation, I spend considerable time explaining what you can expect from each safari style and how that might change the experience and fit into your budget.
To me, the most important consideration when choosing your accommodation style is will this property allow me to experience the African wildlife and wilderness that you have come to see. This is not necessarily a question about cost. There are inexpensive ways to find yourself in the middle of a wildlife experience. However, if your budget allows, it is very nice to do this with a gin and tonic in your hand, soft sheets and a plunge pool to wash off the dust.
The Luxury Wilderness Safari. This is a style you have seen many dreamy photos of. Sleeping under canvas in a classic African safari tent between crisp linen sheets, a swimming pool overlooking busy waterholes, cold drink in hand, walking to dinner along paraffin lamp-lined paths to a candlelit table on the flood plain looking over forever. Sounds amazing, right? And it is…my heart still flutters when I reflect on my time in these camps. Luxury in the wilderness is the ultimate luxury experience.
However, you’ll need careful property choices to keep within your budget at this point of your itinerary design. Luxury Camps at the top of the scale consist of stunning canvas suites overlooking the plains or waterholes in the middle of the wilderness. These camps are often within their own wildlife concession area, keeping contact with other humans to a minimum. The price is all-inclusive of multiple game drives each day and an abundance of delicious food and drinks. These camps are often accessed by light aircraft.
If your budget doesn’t quite go there, there are less expensive ways to still get the African safari experience you have been dreaming of in what is known as Classic Camps. This is where my knowledge of the properties is beneficial. Together we can decide what you can compromise without losing the dream. Your tent or lodge experience will still be very comfortable, and the location will still have easy access to the best wildlife experiences. However, they may be less remote, and the number of people staying in the property will increase.
When I design your safari, I will create an itinerary just for you, allowing us to manage your budget and preferences. This means you will be travelling individually, not as part of a group; all your accommodation, transfers, and touring arrangements will be pre-booked, and it will be a seamless travelling experience. You will have the services of Camp Managers, local guides, and drivers along the way to provide all the assistance and information you are looking for.
Mobile Safaris – Comfortable Camping
If wildlife viewing and time in the wilderness is the highest priority, but your budget is more limited, I would suggest you consider this style of safari. Even if you would not normally consider yourself a camper at home, camping in Africa is an incredible experience and is the most inexpensive way to get the full African bush immersion.
Mobile safaris move from one wildlife region to another, allowing you to see a lot of different landscapes. You will travel in a specially modified 4WD vehicle with a small group of travellers and your safari ranger. There is a range of options from Full-service to participation camping and the inclusions will naturally change the price.
Even at the most basic level, these tours offer comfortable camping including stand-in tents, stretcher beds, ensuites with toilets and showers. While you will be asked to help, most of the hard work is done for you and you will eat delicious campfire cooked meals. At the top level, staff will set the camp up for you before you arrive and the