Accommodation whilst on safari in Africa is both varied and extensive and there is something to suit everyone’s taste. It ranges from the ultimate in sophisticated luxury options (including private safari villas, lodges and permanently sited tented camps) to traditional safaris based on a variety of tented options (including seasonal, mobile or permanent camps). A ‘tented’ camp is such a broad term used in the safari industry and can vary greatly! ‘Tented’ primarily means that all or part of the structure is made of canvas.
The permanent tented camps range from ultra luxurious ‘6-star’ accommodation with own sitting rooms, private decks, swimming pools, indoor as well as outdoor showers and are commonly referred to as ‘premier’ camps. The more classic structures, which are fully equipped with a variety of essential furnishings and all with en suite bathrooms, are commonly referred to as ‘classic’ camps.
Private Safari Houses and Villas are fast becoming a very popular option on safari. This style is perfect for families wanting to share quality time together, groups of friends travelling together and guests wanting exclusivity. Each is fully staffed, has its own wildlife guides and private vehicles for game drives and some houses offer walking, canoeing and boating. They all offer privacy and space with the flexibility to arrange your own days out exploring or simply lazing next to your own private pool as you watch the game come to you!
A mobile tented safari will be a camping style trip where tents are set up for you in remote and beautiful settings. These are more typical in East Africa where the flexibility and mobility of the camps is well suited to maximize game viewing, particularly the migrations. Actual accommodation varies from simple dome tents to luxurious, classic style safari tents. In the majority of cases there won’t be running water and facilities will comprise bucket showers and long or short drop loos. Meals will be taken outside under the stars!
The bush camps are similar to the tented safari camp but are usually in remote areas and will often be taken down at the end of a season, so they may also be known as semi-permanent camps. Bush camps are prevalent in Zambia, where seasonal walking safaris are very much the focus for travellers. Some of the camps will be canvas tents and others of timber construction. Most will have en-suite bathrooms but many will have long drop loos and bucket showers rather than running water. Most bush camps will have simple bar and dining areas for guests to congregate in at the end of the day.