In the opinion of Destinations Africa, the lodges you’ll read about in this blog represent some of the very best value for money as far as African safari lodge accommodation goes! Each lodge we’ve rated for the quality of their safari guides, the accommodation itself and the game viewing opportunities they present. Savanna Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa Among all the lodges we have visited over the years, the 5-star Savanna Lodge in the Sabi Sands of South Africa remains our favourite — so much so, we use it as a yardstick to measure all the others! The Savanna Lodge is located in the ultimate species-diverse game reserve, the Sabi Sands. The Sabi Sands lies within the greater Kruger National Park conservancy. The Savanna Lodge is the epitome of a fully-inclusive and diverse African wildlife and cultural experience. Here you’ll find memorable and exciting big game viewing and a fascinating insight into the local tribal customs of the Shangaan people. But perhaps most notable of all, you’ll meet some of the most amazing staff. These people are so genuinely sincere that a number of our clients have reported leaving in tears, while others simply have to try and return at least once a year. The Savanna Lodge strives to exceed, in every respect, guests’ expectations of quality game viewing, fine hospitality, personal service and exceptional cuisine. To this end, the management and staff of Savanna are totally committed to maintaining the highest standards of service and hospitality and do their utmost to ensure you have the most memorable African safari. This we know from experience. In short, the Savanna Lodge encompasses the very essence of an Out of Africa camp. The accommodation options include three executive and four luxury tented suites which combine the romance of a tented roof, with the sophistication of a permanent structure that ensures luxury and privacy. Savanna Lodge is true luxury tented accommodation Africa style. The Savanna Suite is the part of the Lodge well suited to families or friends travelling together. It features a traditional yet elegant thatch roofed building designed. It’s extremely comfortable comprising two separate, en suite bedrooms, each with a plunge pool and separated by a large lounge and dining room and a fully-equipped kitchen; all under thatch. There is a television with multi-channel access and a DVD player in the lounge. The three rooms are linked by corridors which make the Savanna Suite ideal for those with children. You receive your own private guide and tracker and can choose to enjoy your meals privately, or join the other guests. The Savanna Lodge organises optional walking safaris conducted daily, a local Shangaan Village tour where you can meet local villagers, optional bush breakfasts and dinners, afternoon game drives (complete with sundowners of course!) while you watch the magnificent sunset. All vehicles are modern, reliable and expertly modified to enable maximum viewing opportunities, comfort and safety. 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. In fact, one of our friends was compelled to remark that he just wanted to “stay” at the lodge not “buy it!” One of the very few exceptions in affordability is Stanleys Camp, which is located in the heritage-listed Okavango Delta. This divine camp offers both land and water activities; in fact, the only problem with this camp is finding availability. Alternatively, some people who are determined to visit the Okavango Delta without bankrupting themselves can enjoy the back-to-nature experience of a mobile safari. This is not quite as intrepid as it sounds: staff erect the accommodation and cook 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. Accommodation is in comfortable African style canvas tents, comfortably furnished, each with en suite shower and toilet facilities. The tents are protected from the sun by bamboo roofs and have a large, private, front porch area where guests may relax and view game as they wish. Meals are served at a large communal dining table. True to its name, the Hide 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. Read more about the Hide and the Hwange National Park 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. Yes, this can add to the cost (although the Hide remains good value even after conversion). However, don’t be put off travelling to Africa for this reason — we’ve written more about why you need not worry too much about the Australian dollar in a past blog. Africa really does represent some of the best value for money and bang for your buck in the world in terms of a travelling destination. We’re passionate about Africa; it’s in our blood and we’d love the chance to show you the real Africa — the Africa with a difference! If you’d like to know more, fill out our no-obligation itinerary form with some of your details and preferences, and one of our experienced team members will get back to you shortly.