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Going on safari is like stepping into a world where the heartbeat of nature reverberates through the air, and every rustle in the bush is a whispered secret waiting to be unveiled. Amidst the untamed beauty of the African wilderness, one crucial decision stands between you and an unforgettable experience: choosing the right safari accommodation.

In the vast expanse of the savanna, types of safari accommodations are as diverse as the wildlife that graces its landscapes. From the rustic charm of tented camps to the lavish luxury of lodges, each choice has its own unique allure. We're delving into the nuances that differentiate safari accommodations, as we navigate the wild comfort of the African plains and help you decide which resonates most profoundly with you.

City Hotels & Guesthouses

City hotels and guesthouses are found in urban areas, offering you flexibility when travelling, because there are so many to choose from! They usually aren’t within national parks and reserves but close to them for easy access. They are convenient for one-nighters and are great options for the time right before and after your safari.

Hotels have diverse room options , that allow you to tailor-make your stay according to your preferences, our African Safari Experts are always on hand to find the right fit for you.  Guesthouses on the other hand, strike a balance between boutique hotels and intimate bed and breakfast settings, and they usually provide meals with a comforting ’home-away-from-home’ experience.

Why Stay at a City Hotel or Guesthouse?

  • Convenience and accessibility: Because they are central, city and airport hotels and guesthouses provide convenient starting and ending points for your safari adventure.
  • The best safari accommodation for families and couples: For many, hotels are the go-to accommodation for families as they cater to all, some with kid-friendly areas. Guesthouses tend to be a favourite amongst solo-travellers and couples because of their more intimate settings.
  • Access to amenities: Hotels will take care of all your needs with specialised attention to any additional requests you may have.
  • Variety: At a hotel, you can choose from a wide range of suite options to suit your personal preference.

Our Recommended Places to Stay:

Johannesburg, South Africa
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Hotel InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Shopping Spa treatments
Arusha, Tanzania
Rivertrees Country Inn - The Farmhouse. Rivertrees Country Inn's lush green grounds. Relax by the swimming pool. Spot the local wildlife in the trees around the estate. The River House interior. Down-to-earth comfort that invokes a warm sense of feeling at home. Dine indoors or alfresco at Rivertrees.

Rivertrees Country Inn

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Canoeing Day tours Game drives
Nairobi, Kenya
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Eka Hotel

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Spa treatments
Nairobi, Kenya
Ololo Safari Lodge at Nairobi National Park. The perfect place to relax after or before a long-haul flight. Game drives in Nairobi National Park. Private veranda of the Tented Cottage. Main lodge living room. Tented Cottage interior. Tower Room at Ololo Safari Lodge.

Ololo Safari Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Day tours Game drives Sundowners

Safari Lodges

On the edge or within a vast game reserve or national park, safari lodges emerge as an oasis of luxury in the rugged beauty of nature. They are usually surrounded by a cacophony of sounds – the distant roar of a lion, harmonious symphony of crickets or wind whooshing through ancient trees.

Safari lodges are masterpieces of design and elegance, most often blending into the surrounding landscape seamlessly, with minimal ecological disturbance. They feature permanent stone or wood structures with en-suite bathrooms, gourmet restaurants, swimming pools (sometimes rim-flow with resident game wandering past), and various elements that envelop you in luxury. They provide a secure and comfortable environment for first-time safari-goers and their intimate setting also makes them one of the best safari accommodation types for couples.

Why Stay at a Safari Lodge?

  • Luxury in the bush: they offer the opulence and amenities of a five-star hotel in the wilderness.
  • Everything you need is right here: Partake in a range of activities offered by the lodge when you’re not on a safari, from taking a swim surrounded by the African landscape to hot-air ballooning and gourmet dining.
  • Expect personalized service: The lodge staff will go out of their way to make your stay and safari adventure as smooth and hassle-free as possible by tending to all your needs.
  • Ideal for first-timers: Lodges are the best safari accommodation type for nervous first-time safari-goers because they offer a secure environment with en-suite bathrooms, and any other amenities you may want. This provides utter peace of mind while in the wild.

Our Recommended Places to Stay:

Tanzania, Tanzania
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Jabali Ridge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Bush walks
Okavango Delta, Botswana
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Camp Okavango

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Boat excursions Fishing Guided walking safaris
Kruger National Park, South Africa
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Lion Sands River Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Children's activities Game drives
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
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Mfuwe Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives Guided walking safaris Guided walks
Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe
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Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Animal tracking experience Bird watching Boat excursions Cultural visits
Matusadona National Park, Zimbabwe
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Fothergill Island

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Boat-based safaris Bush walks Day tours Fishing

Bush Camps

Kuyenda Bushcamp | Go2Africa

Escape the trappings of luxury for the charming ruggedness of bush camps. These intimate, off-grid set-ups offer a more authentic safari experience. Many across the continent are reliant on solar power or generators with an emphasis on simplicity and practicality, allowing them to blend in seamlessly with their surroundings.

Think cosy tents or chalets with en-suite facilities, dinners around the campfire, and personalized service that caters to your every need. Bush camps are the best safari accommodation type for seasoned adventurers seeking remote, exclusive wilderness exploration. It gives you the opportunity to truly connect with wild Africa. Here, the ’luxury’ lies in the magic and wonder of what surrounds you, nature in its purest form.

Why Stay at a Bush Camp?

  • True immersion in the bush: A bush camp will allow you to fully immerse yourself in your natural surroundings.
  • Intimacy and privacy: Amidst the bush, there’s a special sense of solitude and sometimes a select number of tents that provide privacy and exclusivity.
  • Off-grid living: Many bush camps across the continent are powered by solar energy or generators, allowing you to embrace a sustainable and off-grid lifestyle.
  • An authentic safari experience: Get closer to nature with open-air bathrooms and outdoor showers.
  • Rugged charm: There’s a careful balance of rustic charm and comfort in a bush camp’s layout with everything from the space to the amenities being mindfully placed.

Our Recommended Places to Stay:

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
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Kuyenda Bushcamp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives Guided walking safaris Night drives
Kenya, Kenya
A luxury bedroom offers a stunning view
A romantic dinner for two can be arranged
When the sun set into the savannah and the night kicks in you can experience a beautiful starry sky
Get to know and learn about Maasai culture
Enjoy your meal in the shade of the trees in the middle of nature
Enjoy the panoramic views straight out of bed or from your private deck Have a refreshing swim in the pool while the sun sets

Lewa Safari Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Camel-back safaris Cultural visits Day tours
Lower Zambezi, Zambia
From from your tented suite at Chongwe camp. Boma at Chongwe Camp. Elephant eating on the marula fruit. Elephnt walking through the camp. Watch the animals that pass through the river infront of your tent. Incredible sunset views. Exterior of chongwe Camp.

Time + Tide Chongwe Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Boat excursions Canoeing Cultural visits Fishing

Permanent Camps (Tented Lodges)

Luxury permanent tented camps (which are sometimes referred to as tented lodges) are where the comfort of a lodge meets the authenticity of traditional camping. Set in the bush, these permanent camps provide cosy canvas tents with twin or double beds, private bathrooms, and flush toilets. Savour features like a private deck and gourmet dining nearby and immerse yourself in the natural charm of a stay in the outdoors.

Why Stay at a Permanent Camp?

  • An experience like no other: Because they are situated in prime wildlife areas, these camps host a limited number of guests making each experience unique.
  • Intimate bush sightings: Staying in permanent camps can always maximises wildlife sightings and the sounds of nature.
  • Seclusion and space: Permanent camps are one of the best safari accommodation type for couples and those seeking exclusivity. They offer secluded, spacious canvas tents with all the amenities you might need.
  • Comfortable accommodations: Unlike traditional camps, permanent tents have real beds, private bathrooms, and high ceilings (think of them as tented lodges).
  • Safe and scenic locations: Permanent camps provide breathtaking vistas of the land where you can often spot wildlife on the move. There are also 24-hour rangers, so you have peace of mind knowing that you are taken care of.

Our Recommended Places to Stay:

Makgadikgadi, Botswana
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Jack's Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Fly camping Game drives Guided walking safaris
Kruger Private Reserves, South Africa
Exterior of Saseka Tented camp. The main guest area. Open lounge. Dining on the deck. Perched on the seasonal Monwana River. Private dining under the stars. saseka-private-pool

Saseka Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Day tours Game drives Guided walking safaris
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Exterior view of camp Famous Carmine Bee Eaters nesting Lounge with a view Be treated to delicious food and wine Electric game drive vehicles create a 'silent' safari Upstairs lounge Sheltered under the riverside trees

Shawa Luangwa Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Boat-based safaris Bush dining Game drives Guided walking safaris
Masai Mara, Kenya
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Cottar's 1920s Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Animal tracking experience Bird watching Cultural visits Fishing
Tarangire, Tanzania
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Little Chem Chem

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Full-day safaris Game drives

Mobile Tented Camps

Mobile camping is perfect if you’re looking for an authentic yet cosy safari experience in some of Africa’s greatest bush areas. Instead of lodges, you’ll stay in tented camps in private concessions, national parks, and game reserves, sometimes moving every few days to a new location. What mobile tented camps lack in amenities such as swimming pools and internet connectivity, they make up for with essential comforts like flush toilets, hot showers, charging stations, and delicious food. Mobile camping offers an intimate, crowd-free, luxury ‘glamping’ experience, making it the best safari accommodation type for adventurers who want a close connection with the wilderness.

Why Stay at a Mobile Tented Camp?

  • Comfortable tented accommodation: Mobile tented camps tend to be spacious with only the essentials. Beds with linen, electric lamps, charging stations – only what you need,
  • Toilet facilities: Fear not, personal flush toilets are available in separate private tents connected to the open-air bathrooms. Waste disposal is managed responsibly.
  • Wildlife safety: While staying in unfenced camps, guests are reminded to enjoy wildlife encounters from a safe distance. Always follow the guidance of experienced guides.
  • Carefully prepared meals: You can expect meals that have been thoughtfully prepared by a chef, with a variety of options to choose from. Fresh egg breakfasts when you wake, mid-morning snacks before your safari, brunch, tea, sundowners, and dinners served with a beverage of your choice!

Our Recommended Places to Stay:

Serengeti, Tanzania
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Ubuntu Migration Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits (additional cost)
Serengeti, Tanzania
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Olakira Migration Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
4x4 Drives Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits (additional cost)
Serengeti, Tanzania
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Serian's Serengeti Mobile - Kusini

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Cultural visits Fly camping Full-day safaris Game drives
Serengeti, Tanzania
Kichakani has sleek and stylish accommodation. Warm up at the campfire. Prime position for the annual Wildebeest Migration. Traditional safari mess tent. Enjoy coffee and the view on your private deck. Kichakani Serengeti Camp is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The lounge offers expansive views of the Serengeti.

Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives Sundowners

Fly Camps / Mobile Walking Camps

In the open bush and beneath the star-studded canopy lies the enchanting world of Fly Camping, an authentic and private safari adventure. Unlike glamping, Fly Camping is tall about immersing yourself in the experience, taking you on an afternoon-long walking safari to a secluded, temporary camp.

There, under the vast night sky, you can enjoy delicious meals cooked over an open fire, all while listening to the serenades of the bush. Walking camps are the best safari accommodation type for the adventurous. For those seeking a night under the stars in ‘fancier’ accommodation, Africa’s best star-beds offer a similar experience in more luxurious bedchambers.

Why Stay at a Fly Camp?

  • Exclusive privacy: Fly Camping is only available on a request-basis. This ensures an intimate and exclusive wilderness retreat.
  • Peace of mind under the stars: Even though you’ll be in the bush, your comfort is a priority. You can expect canvas dome tents, quality linen, and even hot water bottles to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.
  • You’ll have everything you need: Your camp comes with everything you’ll need to be a happy camper! Tent awnings, headlamps, camping gear, and an invigorating bucket shower with scenic views all await!
  • Fine bush dining: Savour three-course meals prepared over an open fire against the backdrop of Africa’s awe-inspiring landscape.

Our Recommended Places to Stay: 

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Spot wildlife from the camp. The Chikoko chalets are completely immersed in nature. Spend leisure hours reading with a view. Breakfasts are a treat. Relax & unwind. Evenings at Chikoko Tree Camp. Right on the river.

Chikoko Tree Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Guided walking safaris Guided walks

Are you Ready to Start Planning Your African Safari?

When planning your African safari adventure, remember that not all accommodations are the same. Each offers a unique experience, from dining under the stars to comfortable bedrooms and various amenities. Speak to one of our African Safari Experts to tailor-make your stay:

Tammy Straker
Written By

Tammy Straker

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