Chobe National Park
Southern Africa Travel Tip - Where to stay on safariBooking a place to sleep in Southern Africa can be a bit of a challenge. Most importantly you have to understand the lingo. In most cities it's fairly standard, you'll have hotels, motels, apartments, pretty much the same thing you'll find in most cities, the difference comes when you're traveling to the rural areas of Southern Africa. These small towns and resorts have a slightly different lingo and understanding it before you go will help with expectations when you arrive. Many resorts offer all or some of the following accommodations, Lodges, Safari Tents, or Campsites.
Lodges are the cream de la cream of high society in the Safari living life. When you book a lodge you're getting the best accommodations available at that particular resort. The quality can vary depending on the price and location of your resort, however there are a few standards. Chances are you'll have running water, it may not be drinkable, but showers and sinks are likely. You'll also have electricity as well as lights and possibly even air conditioning. While the word lodge implies that you'll have real walls, some resorts offer extremely fancy tents and call them lodges. These tents will be fancy enough that you won't really notice that they're canvas, so don't worry.
Safari tents are the next level down. In some of the fancier resorts, these tents are really fancy, and almost, if not better than some cheaper lodges. The fancier tents will often have running water and electricity some might even have built in fans. Often the showers in safari tents are found outdoors, but in the fancier places it will still be attached to the tent and it will be private. Some will have bathrooms with flushable toilets, but there may be privacy issues as not all of them have doors on the bathrooms. You'll get all of this if you're in a high end safari tent, keep in mind that much like the lodges, there are different levels of comfort in safari tents. There are some safari tents that are simply a large military style tent on a cement slab with a pair of cots. These tents may have electricity, but no running water, so bathrooms are shared in a separate building. If you're booking a safari tent make sure to ask questions about it before you arrive.
The final, and simplest form of accommodation at these resorts is a campsite. In this case you will be renting a piece of dirt, and that's about it. Many campsites offer showers and bathrooms in separate buildings some even offer shared kitchens. In this case you will likely have to bring your own tent, some resorts do offer tent rentals, but many do not. Since these are the cheapest properties in these resorts, you'll find that location may not be the best. Many are located around or even in the parking areas for the resorts. You may find yourself surrounded by camper-vans and cars while you sleep. The main advantage to these sites is the price and you’ll always know what to expect.