About Africa Safaris
We created this page for first time Safari travelers.
Safaris: Botswana South Africa Zambia Zimbabwe
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Safari Lodges vs Tented Safaris
Many travelers when they hear the words Tented Safari Package may think of a dome budget tent.
The traditional African Safari started with mobile tents and have now partly evolved into permanent tented Safari camps,as well as permanent lodge structures.
I say partly as there still is a multi day mainly about 7N or so mobile safari mainly in Botswana with tents that range from budget to large en suite tents.
The Tented Safari Camps:
A tented Safari experience usually depending on the level or class of the package which will mean a permanent usually semi screened very large tent with it own en suite bathroom and usually a outdoor Balinese type shower facilities.
An outdoor private deck usually will be part of this structure as well.
The permanent Safari tent usually will be built into the ground on a usually large wooden support usually a large A frame structure.
These tents are large spacious canvas tents with larger window areas,that roll up and down ie day or night use.
The images above is a camp in the Timbivati,part of the greater Kruger National Park.
You have all the necessities you want for the level of package you purchasing in a beautiful natural setting as most all(budget level is the exception) the tented camps have full electricity,heaters for winter,en suite bathrooms etc.
This image is of a Luxury tented Camp in Mana Pool Zimbabwe.
The furnishings that go into a safari tent are quite unique and you will be awed and impressed with the distinctive design features.
Mobile safari tented safaris are different:
Here the tents are set up every night as you enjoy a day Safari.
Generally 2 two nights in a location.
Everything is taken care of for you and many of these mobile Safaris are large walk in tents with bed,mattresses etc.
Luxury mobile tents have their own private en suite bathrooms.
Luxury mobile tent Safari Botswana-note the beds,mattress and linen.
Permanent Safari Lodges
A Tented Safari means a permanent tent built into the ground on a usually large wooden support usually a large A frame structure within a safari camp.
A lodge style unit that has the same large wooden support A frame structure.
The permanent lodge unit will have the same structure however they will be finished off generally with wood and they too are generally very spacious and large with both inside and sometimes outdoor Balinese type shower facilities.
Both types of lodging have private en suite bathrooms beds with mattresses some if not all of them have private decks.
This lodge the Outpost in Kruger Park is constructed with concrete, steel with teak wood walkways….definitely a permanent lodge.
What to wear and bring on a Safari game drive.
Generally the game drive vehicle will have water,pair of binoculars for the guest to share,some bird and game identification books,as well blankets for the early am and evening game drives.
Take a backpack with you as layer layer layer is the clothing mantra for game drives.
Layer up in the am when its colder,then layer down as its gets warmer.
For the afternoon game drive do the opposite -layer down when it begins and have warmer clothes in the backpack to layer up as the evening approaches.
A ski hat/beanie that covers the ears,for some lightweight warm gloves,a wind breaker and or lightweight rain gear if you are travelling in rainy season are all helpful
Shoes can be sandals if there is no walking involved,tennis shoes,lightweight hiking shoes what ever you prefer.
Other suggestions for you to bring for the Safari game drive:
Bird/animal identification books if you want to learn about the bush/wildlife.
Water bottle is helpful.
Camera gear with lens hoods,bean pillow for stability and a bag to protect the gear from dust.
Hat to protect from the sun as well as lip balm and or sun screen.
Insect repellent spray citronella based is helpful.
Land Safaris vs Land/Water Safaris
South Africa Safaris are generally land based Safaris.
Some of the game lodges like Phinda offer birding boating trips as part of the Safari package.At Phinda,the land safaris cover very many eco systems for example you can traverse from dense forest to open plains to scrub land all in the same Safari drive.
Botswana Safaris on the other hand offers both land and water activities.
Image above is of the Selinda explorer Camp in Botswana.
Due to the permanent waterways in the Okovango Delta, Botswana Safaris offer a variety of land Safaris as well as the opportunity for Delta boating trips.
This is a exciting way to see vast of this Wilderness area that would be otherwise unreachable.
As well Botswana safaris have the opportunity for Mokoro Safari.
The Mokoro being a traditional canoe which is a means of transportation is used as a Safari vehicle paddled by a trained guide.
Depending on the Safari lodge you are going to we will arrange scheduled air transfer or private air charters and depending on what area you are going to you may have to have 2 air transfers which is normal.
Bush planes range from very modern small planes to older plane..all quite safe no worries,or as they say in South Africa..moenie worrie nie local Afrikaans term for don’t worry everything is A OK, another local saying.
That’s your truly on a Botswana bush airstrip.The planes range from bigger
to smaller planes.
At your destination you will be met by your Safari Lodge representative, and road transferred to your lodge.
Safari lodges are generally small could be 4 lodge rooms up to about 10 or so.
Generally Safari lodges are quite far from the next lodge offering a real sense of remoteness.
They are beautifully decorated with private bathrooms and all the essentials of home in its elegant simplicity.
From Hand written welcome notes to early morning hot water flasks for tea or coffee, you will be treated like a special person as you truly are a guest and in the South African Culture a guest is to be treated well.
The vast majority of Safari packages are on a All Inclusive basis meaning:
- All meals.
- Transfers from the airport to the lodge round trip if you are flying in.
- Twice daily game drives of about 3 plus hours each gamed rive.
- Possibly a morning bush walk after breakfast.
The days are full.
Game drives are conducted in a open usually about 10 seater Jeep..here is a hint about where to sit on the jeep…mmm actually I am not going to say.
I want to see if you have read this..ask me and i will tell you.
- Early morning wake up call is usually between 430am and 530am depending on the season etc.
- A cup of tea,coffee,light snack,and then a 3 to 4 hour game drive.
- Return for breakfast.
- Some camps offer a bush walk and or a afternoon lunch.
- Free time until afternoon tea time.
- Then its the afternoon evening game drive.
- Back at about 730 to 830pm.
- Drinks,a beautiful meal,possibly sit around the fire.
Then its time to sleep,to be repeated the next day.
On both game drives you will stop for tea/drinks,a sun downer in the bush…a wonderful time of day.
Remember to drink lots of fluids,the game lodge supplies water, and take your sunscreen if you are sensitive to the sun,and a hat.
A safari meal may be as big as the wildlife itself…. incredibly presented with taste,variety,Vegetarian or special meals no problem,just let me know.
Believe me,I enjoy to eat….the love and service that goes into a meal in a Safari lodge is a experience.
Soft drinks and alcohol are usually all included that is dependent on the Lodge you go to,and are included in varied degrees.
These are very professionally well trained and adequately licensed men and women.
One does not get to have the responsibility of peoples lives in an environment like a Wild African game park without earning it.
Many of the lodges in South Africa and Botswana utilize locally born guides who have a unique history of working in and understanding nature.
I have met some amazing guides and have my own list of guides/trackers that I will try and get my clients onto there jeeps for the game drives.However guides moves round as well.
Tipping is appreciated when you leave the lodge.
South Africa Summer is from aprox Nov to May – Winter from May to October.
Summer rain in South Africa is to be expected…usually afternoon thunderstorms ie Later December to March ish
Botswana…Rainy season November to March a great time to see the Zebra migration.Hot and dry the remainder of the time.