Top Tip While on an African Safari – It’s All About the Accommodations
by Tim Farren
Heading out for a game drive
The most under-appreciated elements of an African Safari are the accommodations.
Many first time visitors to Africa have visions of the fly-tented camps of the Teddy Roosevelt or Hemingway days. While perhaps romantic, these are not very practical today. The remote safari lodges located throughout Africa are every bit as authentic and far more hospitable. Although there are many tented safari camps still remaining throughout Africa they are probably not as you may envision.
Most of the lodges feature teak furniture, tiled bathrooms en suite, and in ground pools. In short, it is hard to overstate the comforts of the safari lodges located throughout southern Africa; they are truly one of the best kept secrets in resort travel.
The tented camps are really more of a luxury hotel room that is elevated on a teakwood platform which creates a beautiful hardwood floor. There is usually a permanent bathroom attached to the back of the tent that serves as the bathroom. The bathroom is often made of stucco or fieldstone and contains all the amenities of any fine hotel room bathroom. There is a large canvas tent that spans the width and length of the platform and a doorway is placed in the back of the tent to allow access to the bathroom.
All of the lodges offer safe drinking water from deep wells, private accommodations with full bathrooms with hot and cold running water. Some offer private chalets with all the amenities of a fine hotel.
All have electricity, often generated by stand-alone aggregates and solar panels. The lodges that run off generators typically have a set time each night that they shut the power off. This is usually around ten o'clock. The generators are then started up again at around five a.m. in order for the staff to begin preparations for breakfast.
Meals are freshly prepared every day by professional chefs and wine and local beers are available with every meal. You generally come back to camp around noon after a morning game drive. You are treated to a light lunch before everyone takes the mid-day naps. The African culture is one where everything pretty much comes to a screeching halt during the mid-day heat. You are usually served a high tea at around two o'clock before heading out for your evening game drives and activities.
Now for my favorite, the traditional African Sundowner. As you arrive back in camp just before dark a fire will be started in a fire pit. The camp staff will arrange several traditional safari style directors’ chairs in a circle around the fire. While waiting for dinner to be served you will be treated to drinks and hors d'oeuvres around the fire. During this time you relive the moments of the day and share the sights you saw during your game drives and other activities. The Sundowner is a Safari tradition that I look forward to each and every day I'm on safari.
Tim started Farren Safaris in 1995 after fulfilling a lifelong dream by travelling to Africa and spending close to a month on safari in Zimbabwe.
At the conclusion of this safari he set out to build a safari company that would allow him to share the authentic Africa he had come to know and love with others. Tim has spent several months in Africa over the years in order to personally visit and select the lodges we utilize for our safaris today.
You can contact Tim by visiting his Web site at http://www.farrensafaris.com
, or you can send him an email at [email protected]