“I am pretty confused, there are tours coming out of my ears and I do not know where to start. I do not know why 1 tour is 3000 and another is 10000, when on paper they look similar.” (quote from an African safari inquiry)
Does that feel familiar? It can be indeed confusing and besides choosing the right African safari destination for what you would like to experience, the accommodation question can be really tough. Fortunately there is the Internet with photo galleries of all camps nowadays, which is a great help.
First of all create some kind of funnel to come to a decision for your African safari accommodation. Determine the safari country first. If the country offers more than one top-rated safari area get information on each area to know what you can expect to see there and if that is what you have in mind. Once the country and wildlife area is determined, look at the different kinds of accommodation available. They usually range from camping to five star camps and lodges. The five star lodges and camps have mostly the best spots with their private concessions. And interesting enough the public campsites are often also very good positioned. Their facilities differ in quality and it is good to get information on that beforehand. It is recommended to do camping, if you have already experience with that. Doing camping in the African bush adds to the normal camping that there are no fences and the campsites are in Big Five areas.
If you decide to stay at a lodge or camp, the search continues. What category should you choose? This is a very personal question. Some guests feel safer in a cottage and do not choose a tented camp. Others love to stay in a luxury-tented camp and prefer them rather than a lodge. However there are the different categories and the choice is not easy. The price can be a good criteria, yet there are still a lot of options. Now the photos come in very helpful.
Go to the websites of the lodges and camps and get a feeling for what you can expect there. Also the quality of the images gives already an idea of the spirit of the accommodation. Do they care for detail and quality or are they more casual with that. From now on only your gut feeling will be able to guide you to your final decision. Trust it. A photo says more than a thousand words and all statistics and rates sheets. Go for the accommodation you fall in love with.