There are many different styles of accommodation available on safari, including a variety of ‘tented’ options.
Whilst feeling comfortable and relaxed is hugely important on any holiday, we would also strongly point out that there are several other key elements to consider when assessing accommodation options. Location, views, number of rooms, management style, camp atmosphere, food quality, dining arrangements (communal or individual), service levels, variety of activities, quality of guiding, relaxation opportunities and game viewing potential are all hugely important factors to consider. Your overall safari experience will be determined by a variety of factors, and not just comfort levels.
Everyone has different priorities, and you may decide to change them for different stages of your holiday, perhaps choosing to ‘mix and match’ the styles of accommodation you experience. However, in order to give you appropriate suggestions, we will need to have a general idea how adventurous you are happy to be, and what your personal priorities are.
To begin with, you may wish to consider three particular aspects of safari accommodation which may be significant to you.
Security from wild animals at night
This may well have an impact on your choice if you are intending to stay ‘under canvas’. Some properties will be surrounded by electric fences, whilst others will offer open access to all animals. We know that you are perfectly safe sleeping in any form of tent in wild Africa, but sleeping ‘under canvas’ is clearly more adventurous and takes you ‘closer to nature’ than sleeping behind a solid wall. We see this as a huge advantage, and indeed, perhaps part of the real safari experience, allowing you to enjoy something memorable and different from home. However, it is important that you feel comfortable, and not nervous, about your choice of accommodation.
The ‘sophistication’ aspect
Having the space, degree of luxury and facilities that make you feel comfortable is important. Both tented properties and those of ‘solid structure’ vary hugely in how basic or luxurious they can be. For a truly immersive safari experience, we would encourage you to view ‘safari’ accommodation in a completely different light to any other holiday you might take. If possible, be adventurous! Having said this we would not want you to be unhappy with the level of comfort and sophistication provided.
It is very usual these days for safari camps to offer en-suite flush toilets and plumbed showers. However, more adventurous camps may have open-air bathrooms, long-drop (a hole in the ground with a box-seat over it) or chemical toilets and/or traditional ‘bucket’ showers (hot water provided on request, but a limited amount for each shower). Occasionally, facilities may be shared and/or located separately from your sleeping tent. If you are at all worried about this aspect of your accommodation on safari, then you need to decide what you feel comfortable with.