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Types of accommodation you will find on safari

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Travelling on safari holidays can mean many different types of accommodation, depending on the region, budget and the length of your stay. It will also vary according to just how close to nature you want to get during your visit to Africa; however if you don’t want to give up your creature comforts, there are plenty of ways to stay in comfort while on safari.

Kicheche Mara Camp


– Fly-tents or tents made of mosquito gauze, which are lightweight and can be moved each day. Bathroom facilities will usually be limited to long drop or chemical toilets and bucket showers – perfect for those who really want to experience the great outdoors.

– Luxury mobile camps are similar to the above in that they are mobile and can be moved. However, they are far more sophisticated – tents will be larger and better furnished and invariably they will tend to have en suite bathing facilities (chemical and long drop toilets and bucket showers).

– Seasonal tented camps are more permanent in that they will remain in situ for an entire season and will additional comforts like flushing toilets, lighting and staff.

– Tented lodges fall somewhere between a tent and a building. Walls are canvas but usually with a thatch roof and built on concrete or wooden decks. This type of accommodation features en suite plumbed bathroom facilities, and though comfort levels are variable, you might happen across air-conditioning or even a private plunge pool.

Singita Boulders

Built accommodation

– Safari lodges are invariably solid structures, though there is a broad spectrum of comfort levels and design from exclusive small lodges to large hotel-like properties. Accommodation will have en suite, plumbed showers and toilets. The communal spaces are usually large, and made up of lounges, dining areas, receptions, and possibly shops. Most will feature a swimming pool. Upscale accommodation may even feature air-conditioning and private plunge pools.

– Private safari houses are large villas that will suit families and small groups travelling together and are available to be hired exclusively. Prices and comfort levels will vary but the privacy is often the drawcard for those in a group.

Some properties will be fenced off with electrified fencing to deter animals; however this is more common with larger hotel-like properties than with smaller safari lodges or seasonal camps.

Although great care should be taken when walking around lodge/camp grounds at night, there is no evidence to suggest it is unsafe to sleep in properties which are unfenced, whether tented or permanent. However, if you’re inclined to feel nervous about the idea of sleeping too close to the animals, you may want to look into built up accommodation to alleviate any concerns – the most important thing is that you’re comfortable!

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