African Safari blog

5 Best Value African Safari Lodges


The lodges in this collection are in the opinion of Destinations Africa represents if not “the best” at least excellent value for money as safari lodge accommodation goes! Each provides a high quality comprehensive offering including safari guide quality, accommodation and game viewing opportunities which compare well against their competitors.

Savanna Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa
Among all the lodges we have visited over the years, Savanna remains our absolute favourite – so much so that we use it as a yardstick to measure all the others! It is the best value 5* lodge in the best species diverse game reserve in Africa, the Sabi Sands. As well as luxurious accommodation, which avoids being over the top with silly out of place embellishments such as tennis courts and great game viewing, it has the most amazing staff who are so genuinely sincere that a number of our clients have reported leaving in tears, while others simply return at least once a year.

Karen Blixen Camp, Kenya

Located on a bend in the Mara River in a conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara, this camp offers very good value for money for East African travelers. Although less luxurious than Savanna, this camp also offers a comprehensive “game package” which means clients can fly to the camp rather than endure a road trip that can only be described as arduous! Since the conservancy is home to the Masaai as well as wildlife, game drives have a cultural as well as a wildlife flavour! Day trips to the Masai Mara itself are also an option for camp guests (albeit on payment of an additional park fee.)

Stanleys Camp, Botswana

Botswana probably has THE most expensive lodge accommodation in Africa (even in low or shoulder season) which makes it largely unaffordable for many – leading one of our friends to remark that he just wanted to “stay” at the lodge not “buy” it! One of the very few exceptions is Stanleys which is located in the heritage listed Okavango Delta. Offering both land and water activities, the only problem with this camp is finding availability.

Alternatively some people who are determined to visit the Okavango without bankrupting themselves can enjoy the back to nature experience of a mobile safari (which is not quite as intrepid as it sounds with staff erecting the accommodation and obviously cooking the meals!)

The Hide, Hwange, Zimbabwe

A comfortable three hour drive south of Victoria Falls, this delightful camp is located at a waterhole frequented by animal and bird alike. It also boasts a true hide, accessible via a tunnel where guests can sit and spy on the wildlife through peep holes! Since it is located on a concession in the national park, night drives and game walks are also on the menu of activities.

Buffalo Luxury Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania

This camp is located just outside the Serengeti National Park, so it offers night drives as well as guided bush walks. Like Karen Blixen in Kenya, it offers a game package and thus can be accessed by charter aircraft. Indeed it is so remote from urban hubs, that a visit is only an option for guests who want a Tanzanian itinerary of seven days or more!

Final Word
Apart from the cost of the lodges themselves, the currency in which they do business can make a huge difference to overall affordability. Only South African and Namibian lodges charge in South African Rand which has been weak against most (if not all) first world currencies and therefore represents further added value. The other countries generally charge in US Dollars which adds significantly to the cost (though the Hide remains good value even after conversion.)


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