21 September 2014

How to choose your best African safari lodge

The best African safari lodge is something very personal. What makes you feel comfortable? Do you need a real room or do you like staying in a tent? Would you prefer a hotel like feeling or rather a small intimate safari camp/lodge? It is not easy to answer these questions when you have never been to the African bush, but trust your feeling about accommodation in general and what makes you feel good at your own home.

safari budget is another parameter when choosing your lodge or camp. The smaller and intimate the safari camp the higher the rate, mostly, unless it is very basic and rather camping than a proper permanent or semi-permanent camp or lodge. In general a small camp provides the better safari experience and any kind of tent is very close to the ultimate bush experience when you can hear the hippo grazing at night or maybe even a leopard calling next to your tent. Tents are safe, yet allow to be as close as possible to nature.

location of the camp/lodge is one of the most important criteria when choosing your safari accommodation. Staying inside or outside the park or game reserve makes a big difference in the costs, but you should not be too far away to avoid long drives to get into the park. Choose your African safari destination carefully. There are big differences in the quality of wildlife sightings and you want to see the Big Five when you go on safari, unless you have seen them already very often.

last but mot least the quality of the beds, bathrooms, decoration, food and service will influence your decision. Look at the images of the lodge or camp and trust your feeling about it. Your intuition is usually always right.

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

5 Essentials to bring on African safari

There are many packing lists for African Safaris and there are essentials, which make sure you feel comfortable and happy. They also ensure you pack weight wise with regards to your light aircraft transfers. And for emergencies the safari camps offer laundry service, mostly ready on the same day.

Bring one pair of
closed shoes you are very comfortable with, light and easy drying. Sneakers are fine or light walking shoes. You don’t need mountain boots on safari.

Bring a
light rain jacket. This is comfortable of course when it rains, but also for wind. It can get chilly on open game drive vehicles and it helps a lot when you have a light jacket to break the wind.

Bring a
fleece jersey. They are very light, dry very quickly and are cozy and comfortable when you feel a bit cold or very cold. Even in summer it gets chilly after rain and in winter they are just great.

outdoor trousers rather than jeans. In the hot and humid summer the jeans will be much too warm and uncomfortable on the game drives. Outdoor trousers are the best and work well in winter with warm underwear.

one fast camera and lens you can use for everything. Changing lenses or having several cameras with you can become stressful on game drives. Don’t end up being too busy with your photo gear and missing wildlife and nature around you.

These essentials might sound obvious, but one can get lost when packing for an
African safari. Keep it simple, light and practical. Have items, that combined are suitable for all situations you might encounter on safari. Don’t worry about fashion, hairdryer or makeup. That will cause only stress and will not make any difference to the bush and the Big Five.

Happy safari travel!

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Top African safari tour: Best of Botswana fly-in

This African safari package offers the best of Botswana with excellent camps and all inter-camp flights for free. The safari takes you to the Okavango Delta and Chobe, both famous for their beauty and abundance of wildlife. Guests can choose from a selection of luxury camps at great safari destinations with outstanding service. The camps are beautiful and provide a great safari experience with comfortable accommodation to rewind and relax.

Okavango Delta is where the river Okavango disappears in the Kalahari Desert. The Okavango never reaches the ocean and creates the most magical environment for the wildlife including the Big Five. Waterborne and land safari activities are available and allow guests to experience all aspects of the delta. Its incredible birdlife, special species of wildlife adapted to water and a colorful landscape are heaven for photography enthusiasts.

Chobe with its
big herds of elephants offers some more memorable safari experiences. Also there waterborne and land safari activities are available. However, Chobe is different from the Okavango Delta and makes a good combination. Last but not least Chobe is very close to the Victoria Falls and an extension to visit the falls is available to round up the exclusive safari experience.

View and download the itinerary

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa