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    safari Travel Guide

    Accommodation on safari

    Delve into planning a safari and you might find that you’re faced with more than a few types of accommodation. From bush camps to lodges, chalets to tents, there’s plenty to choose from and each has its own subtle differences, quirks and distinctions.


    The Granddaddy of types of accommodation in the bush, a lodge is usually a large, solid structure made from stone, bricks, timber and thatch, but one that still blends in beautifully with the surrounding landscape. Lodges tend to have plenty of added extras – think swimming pools, separate bar and restaurant areas, fire pits, bomas, libraries, and even gyms and spas in some cases. The bedrooms will be built in the same solid materials and the bathrooms without exception will have hot water on tap, running showers and flushing loos. 

    Bush camp

    The little sister of the camp, a bush camp is exactly that – a teeny, tiny version of a camp. Almost always tented (with the exception of Zambia, where the trend veers towards grass-and-reed chalets) and usually with a very small number of rooms, bush camps are incredibly private and designed to give you a real, return-to-the wild experience.

    Mobile tented camps

    Not to be confused with mobile walking camps (more on those later), mobile tented camps are types of accommodation usually set up for a specific event and that remain up for a relatively long period of time before moving to a new location. The camps that follow the Great Migration in the Serengeti are the best examples of mobile tented camps and they move from the north to the south, and sometimes to the east and west, following the wildebeest across the national park.

    Mobile walking camps or fly camps

    Not dissimilar to a mobile tented camp, a mobile walking camp is set up as part of an expedition for a short length of time, most often two or three nights. There’s no denying that fly camps are on the simpler side of the types of accommodation you’ll find on safari, but that’s all part of the charm. Think walk-in, no-frills tents, modest beds (usually raised off the floor) and private bucket showers in the bedroom tents. If there is a main area, it will probably be a canvas shade tent with cushions, colourful rugs and camp chairs, but very often there isn’t one and meals are enjoyed around the camp fire or in the bush.

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