Are you planning a safari holiday, and finding it hard to know where to start? There are often many different accommodation options to choose from. If you are finding it difficult to choose the right lodge then there are certainly some things you need to look so you can pick the perfect safari lodge.
You should always choose the reserve before you decide on a lodge. If you have decided on a reserve, then you need to consider the location of the lodge in regard to that reserve.
Remember, where possible to select a lodge that is actually within the reserve itself. This will maximise your safari drive time. You’ll also be able to see more wildlife in your downtime at the lodge.
Most safari lodges will have information about what animals are on the reserve. Remember to do some research to see how often certain animals are seen. If you have a specific animal that you’re more interested in seeing make sure that you choose somewhere with regular sightings.
Most of this information will be available on the lodge’s website. I recommend that you also seek reviews from previous guests. Remember to check the dates of the reviews. The reviews for the same time as year as you plan to visit will be more relevant to you.
It is essential to check what is included at the lodge. You’ll find that the majority of safari lodges in Africa will include meals and game drives. However, you should never assume that they will. Some lodges will also include drinks. If you have any dietary requirements then it is advisable to check that the lodge can cater for you, before booking.
It is important to check how many game drives are included with your stay. The ideal amount is 2 drives per night. So if you stay for 3 nights, then you should get 6 safari drives. This is provided that you arrive in time for the first one, and depart after the last one.
In general, you’ll find that safari drives are on a shared basis. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or would just prefer a private vehicle. Then you need to check it is possible to have a private vehicle, and what the associated cost would be.
This, of course, goes both ways. If you are a family travelling with young children then you will find your options limited. You might want to consider lodges with babysitting facilities, or that have specialised kids programmes. There are some fantastic safari lodges that are well suited to families with young children.
For those of you that are travelling without children, then it is advisable to avoid lodges that cater to children. Especially young children. You will find that different safari lodges will have various child polices. It is best to check what age the lodge considers to be a child.
If you have found the perfect lodge, and you notice that it caters for young children. Then you must contact the lodge and find out if the children will be on a separate vehicle to you. Many lodges will not mix up adult guests, with families. However, I would get this in writing before booking. Do not forget that the children will be around the lodge during the downtime between safari drives. This could obviously have an effect on the serenity of your surroundings!
I will always advise that you select a lodge that has a waterhole. Many safari lodges will have a waterhole close to the communal area. In some cases, they are visible from your room.
If your lodge has a waterhole then you are almost guaranteed to see more wildlife. Animals will likely come to visit throughout the day and night. If you are visiting in the dry season, then you might have more frequent visitors.
It is one of the first things that I will look for when picking a safari lodge.
Have I missed something? If there is something that I have overlooked, please add it in the comments section below.