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Africa Geographic Travel
There are safari accommodation options to suit all expectations and budgets ©Simon Espley
There are safari accommodation options to suit all expectations and budgets ©Simon Espley

When it comes to going on a safari in Africa, you will soon discover that the selection of accommodation options is vast. From straw huts and mobile tented camps to ultra-luxury hotels and lodges, your choice of where you’ll unload your bags will be influenced mainly by your needs and budget.

Safari accommodation types:

For accommodation options at the best prices visit our collection of camps and lodges: private travel & conservation club. If you are not yet a member, see how to JOIN below this story.


These are situated in or near main cities or airports and are often used for overnight stays before heading on to your lodge/camp, or as a base for day excursions. Usually, we select these establishments based on ease of access to airports because of grid-lock rush-hour traffic. Here are two examples of city establishments that we use: The Victoria & Alfred Hotel (Cape Town, South Africa) and Wild Dogs Safari Lodge (Lusaka, Zambia).

Victoria & Alfred Hotel, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Lodges are usually permanently situated in or near game reserves or remote wild areas. You will find all levels of comfort on offer depending on your needs and budget, from no-frills to 5-star deluxe. The building style and materials range from bricks & mortar to canvass and from thatch to tin roofs. For example, in Botswana canvass tents are the norm, whereas, in South Africa’s Greater Kruger, bricks, mortar and thatch are favoured. Examples include Tintswalo Safari Lodge (Greater Kruger, South Africa) and Machaba Camp (Khwai, Botswana).

Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Manyeleti, Greater Kruger with Africa Geographic
Tintswalo Safari Lodge, Manyeleti, Greater Kruger, South Africa ©Simon Espley
Machaba Camp, Khwai Botswana with Africa Geographic
Machaba Camp, Khwai, Botswana

These small all-season camps are often located in remote areas, and the emphasis tends towards the rustic, wholesome experience rather than on the ‘luxury’ of expensive finishings. That said, bush camps that we select focus as much on excellent service as do any other lodges. Pungwe Safari Camp (Greater Kruger, South Africa) is one such example.

Pungwe Safari Camp with Africa Geographic
Pungwe Safari Camp, Manyeleti, Greater Kruger ©Simon Espley

These camps are only in operation for a portion of each year. Seasonal camps are inaccessible during the rainy season, resulting in the camp being partially or even totally broken down and rebuilt each year. Example: Nkonzi Camp (South Luangwa, Zambia). Temporary camps are set up to take advantage of a specific natural event such as an animal migration. Example: Ewanjan Tented Camp (Serengeti, Tanzania).

Nkonzi Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia with Africa Geographic
Nkonzi Camp, South Luangwa, Zambia – a seasonal camp
Ewanjan Tented Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania. This camp is open when the Great Migration herds are in the vicinity

Mobile camps are used for vehicle-based mobile safaris (video) which usually visit several locations during an extended overland tour. Most mobile camps operate only during the prime safari seasons of May to November each year and are broken down after the safari season. Others are erected and taken down for every tour group. They are generally established in game reserves and national parks.

A typical mobile tented camp accommodation
Inside a typical mobile tented camp

For accommodation options at the best prices visit our collection of camps and lodges: private travel & conservation club. If you are not yet a member, see how to JOIN below this story.

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