Sumptuous or simple?
Everyone can agree that the style of accommodation is a crucial piece of your planning puzzle. Essentially, it is up to you on how to make those pieces fit together to create your masterpiece of a trip. You might choose to stay in one type of accommodation, because that’s just your thing…or you might want to stretch your comfort zone (in either direction) and try someplace a little bit different. No matter what you decide, our experts will carefully listen to your preferences and offer accommodations that suit your individual needs. Below are some broad stroke descriptions to help you visualize what’s possible for your safari.
You can count on these properties to be a bevvy of activity due to their size (typically more than 30 rooms). Think ‘resort in the wilderness’ as they offer a wide variety of activities, dining locales, and large communal areas. These are probably the closest thing to a Western-style chain hotel with strong branding and service levels. Most have incredible locations due to the fact that most of them were first on the safari scene before the trend of exclusive boutique properties. They offer a ‘soft landing’ where guests can typically find the creature comforts of home in a wilderness setting with four solid walls, swimming pools, A/C, and room service.
Permanent Camps are essentially accommodation that offers canvas tents, cabins, or bungalows in a set location. Each unit is on a permanent foundation like concrete slab or a wooden platform. You might have an indoor/outdoor bath or shower in a permanent camp and a verandah to take in the wildlife happenings just outside your door. There is usually a reception area with a lounge, bar, and dining area for guests to mingle. The size of permanent camps varies greatly from small (10 rooms) to large (50+) and can be set within a park, near a park boundary, or on private land.
With truly remote locations and intimate access to wildlife areas, these properties are anywhere from rustic to absolutely gorgeous. Typically smaller, these tented or thatched camps really have a vibe to them and often you imagine staying here forever. Your bathroom facilities could very well be ‘al fresco’ and your shower might consist of a bucket under the stars. But you will want for nothing. These camps are insanely creative in meeting guest desires and adding touches that make them unique and charming. You might be amazed at what can be created so far from civilization. Bush camps tend to be under 20 rooms and central fire pits and mess tents are set under shady trees.
These camps have the advantage of giving you optimal game viewing at your doorstep. They differ from bush camps in two ways; they either relocate every few months to follow a wildlife pattern or they only operate for a few months during the dry season. Another common trait is that these camps don’t leave a footprint–the go up and come down and you would never know that they existed in that space. These Meru style or smaller dome tent camps might be ‘pared down’ in terms of decor but again, the teams which operate them will cater to your every whim.
Like seasonal camps, these camps actually move to where the action is. Your camp crew stays with you on a portion of or your entire itinerary–moving to different reserves or parks as your journey progresses. It builds familiarity with your team of safari professionals to see the same smiling faces at each location and for the bartender to know your favorite drink after the first evening. Mobile camps can be a nostalgic experience imagining days when intrepid explorers traveled the same way–under the stars and with only canvas between them and the wild world. Mobile camps can be any size you choose, but usually less than 10 units.
Private Houses or Villas
These gems are literally your home away from home. There is an incredible array of private houses and villas available to small groups or families that offer the ultimate privacy and amenities. Everything from private chefs and butlers, private vehicles and guides, or 24-hour concierge to attend to each and every detail involved in your stay. Through our extensive network, our team can match your traveling party with the perfect exclusive-use home or villa. Some are set in wilderness areas, in cosmopolitan cities, or on the coast. No matter your destination, you may never want to leave!
We love the variety of boutique properties scattered across the continent that ooze charm and individuality. There are often rich stories behind the lovely property and details that evoke a particular ambience. Usually home to anywhere from 2 to 20 rooms, boutique hotels and lodges embody the spirit of a place and the labor of love invested by the owners.
Big Journeys Start With Small Steps
~ African Proverb