Namibia, Botswana and some other African destinations do not have a set star system that is familiar worldwide to many countries, however, as this is widely used, we have tried to replicate this format to give you an idea of the level of comfort during your safari. For example, a mobile camping tour in Namibia is given 1* and luxury accommodation increasing to 5*. Depending on your tour, there may be a bit of a mix of levels of comfort so please check if you are not sure.
These are generally scheduled/small group or self–drive safaris (though a private–guided safari can also fall into this category if you wish to camp); the scheduled trips generally involve client participation where you may be expected to put up/take down your tent and assist with camp chores, dome tents and a ground mattress is supplied. For self–drive options this will often mean roof tents on the vehicle and all camping equipment. There may be the occasional night in simple accommodation but majority of nights are spent camping and most camp sites will have shared ablution facilities. If there is a good mix of both camping and accommodation, this may be rated at 1&2*. These are the most basic level of safaris offered and scheduled safari group sizes vary according to the trip and company – 1* tours are the most affordable option and geared for adventurous travellers who do not mind a bit of discomfort.
Standard accommodation style trips generally have no camping included (though on occasion with a specific activity such as a Delta or Serengeti excursion, or perhaps hiking, a couple of nights may be included). As a general rule this is not the case. With most small group/scheduled tours accommodation is generally 2/3* level – clean and affordable but generally without too many frills; rooms will have en–suite facilities, most will offer air con/fans in the rooms, swimming pools etc (not guaranteed), restaurant/bar facilities, though location can be a little further away from main place of interest this option offers excellent value for money for those seeking a bed each night! We try to indicate on each trip the level of comfort for the particular tour
A superior style of accommodation. Most lodges at this level will have air–conditioning or fans in the room though some accommodation establishments are technically “camps” as they may be partially build of canvas – these “camps” are permanent fixtures, generally built on a platform, and will have full and comfortable facilities – the occasional trip may have a more basic night or two involved depending on location to ensure clients can fully appreciate the region they are experiencing. Service is generally very good and most places (outside of towns/cities) will have just a few rooms/chalets. Tours in this bracket include very small group safaris (up to 8 clients), self–drive and private–guided options which are tailored to suit you. The luxury options offer a high standard of accommodation, facilities and service in the region with attention to detail – some “camps” /lodges will have private guides and vehicles, but all accommodation is the best available with personalized service and a quality or unique experience perhaps unavailable elsewhere or in a more moderate price bracket. Tours include fly–in safaris, self–drive and private–guided options.
Please note: this is a guideline only and each destination can vary – some areas in Southern Africa do not always have 5* accommodation (there are limited hotels outside of cities that have the same * grading accommodation) but will be best in the area, have limited volume of rooms and some of the best locations and experiences for clients that is outside of the normal “tourist/travel” route. This can include exclusive conservation regions and emphasis is place on clients having a unique experience rather than offering hairdresser type of facilities that may be found is hotels in cities in other countries. Please also remember that some of these locations can be remote so wifi may not always be available, nor a huge menu range.