How to pick a great safari lodge - part 1
Image Credit: Javier Allegue Barros - unsplash

BLOG How to pick a great safari lodge - part 1

What makes for a great safari lodge? The lodges often look the same but some of those prices seem absolutely outrageous, right? The costs to travel to Southern Africa are already expensive, how can I justify spending that much on a safari (the reason for the trip), when this other lodge looks to offer the same for less? Ahhhh, Always Africa can sympathise with these questions and because we want you to have the best possible experience – we’ve spent more than 20-years investing time, energy and resources in visiting as many lodges as possible. The pictures online, simply don’t give you the full story.

Why travel to Kruger Park or the Okavango Delta or the South Luangwa when I can drive a few hours outside the city? The brochure says they have lion and other big game. Often these accessible safari areas are really just converted farms with large fenced enclosures that house some large game. The giveaway is when the lions are in a separate enclosure from the other big or exotic animals. Lions eat anything and this makes it expensive for the land owner to keep all the animals together.

You might have found a beautiful lodge, located on a large tract of land in the middle of nowhere and the website or brochure features a beautiful picture of a leopard. Unfortunately, you soon discover that leopards are a very rare sighting in this area and the majority of the game drive time is spent watching various species of antelope. Ha! Don’t be fooled with the beautiful building and a photo, if your goal is to see lots of animals.

Prime game viewing areas are large and well managed. i.e., the game can move freely, the roads within the reserve are well maintained (particularly after the wet season) even if they are dirt roads, usually there is at least one full-time conservationist trying to keep human intervention to a minimum and almost all will have an anti-poaching team, particularly if there are rhinos in the area. Keeping any area wild is expensive and this is usually reflected in either the lodge rates or ancillary charges (park fees/conservation levies/anti-poaching charges etc)

More thoughts and questions to ask in our next post....


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