Best African Safari Lodges: How to Choose the Right Camp

When you’re planning an African safari, there’s an overwhelming abundance of safari lodges and camps to choose from. And it’s an important choice, because out in the remote corners of Africa, where you stay will truly make or break your trip.

After you’ve woken up at the crack of dawn and spent several hours on the day’s safari activities, your camp is a relaxing oasis. You’ll want a comfortable, refreshing place that makes you feel at home so that your vacation actually feels like a vacation.

Whether you want all the bells and whistles or a more intimate nature experience, our Africa safari experts can help you find the perfect safari camp to fit your needs!

Africa Safari Camp Types

While each place has its unique offerings, most safari properties fall into one of these categories. Amenities like WiFi, air conditioning, and pools are offered on a camp-by-camp basis; it’s a good rule to make sure your safari property has them if it’s important to you. Each property will also have its own style, ranging from romantic colonial-era décor to sleek modern design.

Safari Lodge

  • Permanent structure allows more amenities like running water, electricity, and WiFi
  • Rooms have 4 solid walls, providing more sound insulation from the active nocturnal animals
  • Has full ensuite bathrooms with flush toilets
  • Often has luxurious extras like spa and gym
  • Good for guests who don’t want to feel too immersed in nature
  • Best option for light sleepers

Semi-Permanent Tented Camp

  • Large, tented rooms with canvas walls and real beds
  • Built on elevated wooden decking
  • Typically offers running water and WiFi, but not A/C
  • Usually has private flush toilets
  • Good mix of nature and amenities

Mobile Camp

  • Changes location a few times throughout the year to follow the wildlife
  • Rooms are tented, and sometimes built on wooden decking
  • Rooms have real beds or cots
  • Typically uses solar power and has bucket showers (a bucket shower is not as scary as it sounds, we promise!)
  • Usually has private compost toilets
  • Good for adventurous travelers

Fly Camping

  • Offered by select properties for 1-2 nights of your stay (additional cost)
  • Basic tented camping in very remote areas with no one else around
  • May have private compost toilets and bucket showers
  • Often led by a local guide who grew up in the region; offers an authentic cultural interaction with your guide
  • A great way to break up your trip with something unique

All of the Properties We Recommend Have

  • Great game viewing
  • Delicious gourmet meals and beverages included
  • Excellent, friendly staff
  • Quality safari guides

Ready to start planning your African safari vacation? Use our trip planner to browse sample itineraries, or match with an Africa expert!