How To Pick Your Perfect Kruger Safari
Deciding between the many accommodation options in the Greater Kruger area can be a very overwhelming task – will the lodge be right for you, and how do you know?
To start with, there are a few factors you can decide on that will help you to narrow down some choices!
1. Do you want a tented camp, traditional chalet, or something else?
Tented camps are not literally tents in the middle of a field, but more luxury canvas with incredible comfort inside; large beds, beautiful decorations, a ‘luxury’ experience.
The draw card of a tented camp is the completely wild aspect of it; Hardly anywhere else in the world can you sleep under canvas with wild animals all around you. Listening to the roar of lions through material is unbeatable.
If this all sounds a little too wild for you, never fear – Traditional chalets are also on offer. Usually made of brick, and sometimes coated (and sometimes left natural), traditional chalets are often thatched and offer a real feel of Africa. Otherwise, there are also mixtures of the two, such as nThambo Tree Camp, which offers tented walls but a thatched roof. Another option is something like Nottens Bush Camp, with a modern twist on the traditional.
2. Fenced, or unfenced?
This again relates to your level of wild comfort.
Fenced camps have a full fence around them, a ‘predator fence’, or an elephant fence designed to keep the mentioned animals out.
Alternatively, you can have no fences whatsoever, but be prepared for the wildlife to make your lodge home too!
3. Traversing area size?
Ok, now this is a very important question to think about when choosing your lodge.
A traversing area is where the lodge has permission to conduct their safaris. The sizes vary from 650 hectares all the way to 20,000 hectares.
The bigger the traversing area, the higher your chance is to see a large variety of game, as your safaris can cover more ground. This also means that the lodge will have more contact with other lodges & game rangers on safari, so they can share the animal gossip as to who is where.
For example, this allows your ranger to hear that there is a leopard in a tree on the other side of the area.
Size really does matter with a traversing area!
4. Dining quality
If you are looking for a fine dining experience, or prefer something more laid back, make sure you check what kind of food you will be served during your safari experience.
Fine dining often comes with the more expensive lodges, while the laid back & home cooked style is more of a rustic lodge choice.
If you’re keen on a party safari, it might be worth it to check if beverages are included in your rate. It could work out cheaper for you.
But, if you’re more of a one-glass-at-dinner kind of safari goer, then paying extra for unlimited drinks would be a waste for you.
What kind of extras do the lodges offer?
Do they have a treehouse where you can escape to and view game? Do they offer bushwalks included in their rate, or do you want a spa where you can enjoy a massage?
Some lodges, such as Tanda Tula Luxury Tented Camp offer Star Beds – The lodge drops you off with a picnic basket and bottle of wine, and sets up a treehouse style structure (overlooking a dam) ahead of time with mozzie nets and more. You are left there with a radio and your partner, and you are allowed to even sleep over there should you wish. Otherwise, you can easily enjoy an entire afternoon game viewing with your loved one in the romance of Africa.
7. Children friendly
If you are a family, a children friendly lodge is a must, as they offer all kinds of entertaining activities for your young ones.
On the other hand, if you are on a romantic getaway or a honeymoon, you may wish to inquire about a lodge with a more romance, less kids kind of vibe.
Once you have answered these questions, you should end up with a better idea of what kind of lodge you are looking for, and you can contact Jacqui to see which options would suit you best!
*Feature image of Simbavati River Lodge.