While scouring the internet for the best SAA flight option for your trip to, or across South Africa, and where to go on Safari, you might just be knocked for sixby the selection of safari accommodation options available to you. It’s at this point that you will realise that finding affordable flights is perhaps the easiest part of planning your trip.
Different Types of Safari Accommodation
Understanding what to expect from the various safari accommodation on offer is essential if you want your trip to be as enjoyable as it is affordable. While your budget will best determine the type of accommodation you can afford, it’s always nice to know what’s out there – besides the animals that is! Here is a breakdown of where you can lay your hat when you book a South African safari holiday.
- City centre hotels | Guest houses | Bed & Breakfasts
Usually foundin the main city centre, or close to it, these are the most convenient accommodation options for those looking for something close to the airport or not far from the city amenities. If you are heading to a game reserve or national park, you may choose to use this as a base for day excursions to different parks, or stay at one of these options overnight, before heading off to your lodge.
- Game lodges
Many people are inspired to search and book SAA flights to South Africa simply because they have seen online or heard via word-of-mouth,just what 5-star luxury in the bush looks like – and of course, they want to experience it first-hand.
Fully catered game lodges are the number one choice for foreigners visiting the country as most offer scheduled game drives, bush walks, and animal encounters for guests. It’s important to note that not all game lodges are the same. Some offer 5-star opulence while at others, you will find only the bare necessities of a rustic safari experience. It is important to make sure you know the star-grading of the establishment before you book your stay. It also won’t hurt to ask for a detailed list of what is included in their services and your bill.
- Bush camps
Don’t get bush camps and game lodges confused. Bush camps are usually very small camps that are most often erected in the remote areas. They are far from civilisation in most instances and provide travellers with an opportunity to escape the city and experience the wild in its most authentic form. Bush camps usually offer camping facilities, huts, rondavels, or basic chalets for guests to stay in.
- Mobile and tented camps
Mobileand tented camps are small temporary structures constructed onlyfor a short period of time. They are usually erected within national parks and game reserves for specific wildlife experiences such as the migrations, as part of a safari trail adventure, or rustic bush experience.
Guests stay in tented accommodation provided by the park or reserve, but the different levels of luxuryon offer can make one tented camp stay completely different from another. Glamping (a very luxurious and glamorous form of camping) has become quite popular in mobile and tented camps in national parks in South Africa, evoking the ideal safari ambience.
What Comfort Level Can You Expect?
How would you feel if you booked a rustic tented camp accommodation only to find your rustic experience to bea night sleeping under the stars, with a small tent for ablutions and with little to no supplies provided? Not quite your idea of a luxury safari camping holiday! So, before you book your SAA flights, and before you book your stay at any southern Africa safari, be sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
If you want to know which accommodation type is best for you, be sure to pay attention to how each is officially categorised and familiarise yourself with the terminology used to describe the vast options available to you.
Rustic accommodation – this is the type of accommodation that provides the bare basics. Most remote lodges and camps offer this type of accommodation. When staying in rustic accommodation, you can expect the likes of long drop toilets, thatched roof huts (or even tents), bucket showers, minimal water, and potentially even no electricity. If you want to know if a rustic accommodation optionhas lights and water and a few other luxuries, make sure that you ask, before you book your stay. While only the basics are provided, you can still expect for all of your daily needs to be catered to.
Comfortable accommodation – this is standard comfort-level accommodation. This means you can expect private bathrooms, flushing toilets, running water, electricity, and lovely furnishings. The establishment will be considered a 3-star and up in most instances. The majority of safari accommodation options in South Africa are considered “comfortable”.
Luxury accommodation – this type of safari accommodation is the equivalent of international 4-star and 5-star establishments. Most luxury lodges and tents aremodern, furnished with high-end items, and provide a variety of luxuries including internet access, and private suites, guest services (walks, game drives) and more.
Choose Your African Safari Accommodation Options Wisely
Keep in mind that you can get rustic, comfortable, and luxury accommodation types in the city and in remote areas, so it is important to browse wisely when booking online for places to stay. To book SA Airlines flights for your upcoming Safari, use our quick flight search feature above.