Hotels & Lodges
Serena Hotel, Zanzibar
To date TripAdvisor offers the most comprehensive listing of reviews on hotels, restaurants, flights and more. You can also look at travelers photos. In preparation for your travel this site can help you find suitable accommodations. If your travel agent or travel company has already made arrangements for you, you can read the reviews to get an idea of the services offered. Most hotels and lodges are listed, however there is a chance that some are not in their databank. TripAdvisor also runs the site Flipkey which allows you to search for private vacation rentals. To access TripAdvisor.com click on the image. To access FlipKey click HERE.
Types of Accommodation in Africa
For Africa´s tourism (dry season) Mobile Tent Camps are built to accommodate visitors. These tents are taken down during the rainy season. Semi-permanent tents are another option. These tents only close in the rainy season. Tents they can range from the very basic or very luxurious. Usually the tents have a bucket shower en-suite. See the slideshow of an example of a bucket shower. The shower is shielded from view by canvas or in semi-permanent camps built en-suite. Inside the tent is a wash basin and facilities. The water (warm or cold) is poured into a bucket from the outside. Thus, your water is limited, but usually just enough for a two persons. The tents usually, have one or two beds, as well as little night stands. Most have generator electricity at least for several hours at night. While these tents look pretty basic, they are quite comfortable! The most alluring of the tents is that you can listen to the wildlife at night, or wake-up to a lions roar. These photos depict the mobile, Oltepesi Central Camp in the Serengeti, Tanzania.
Guest houses are a good alternative when traveling solo for longer period of times, or in a large group of family members or friends. Most guest houses are simpler in their furnishings and services, but can offer all the amenities one needs. Many managers allow for special requests such as an additional bed. Moreover, the rates can be negotiated depending on the time of travel (season,) and if you are willing to pay in cash. Thus, go ahead and engage. Considering the location of your guest house is important, because unless you are renting a car or other transportation, you will want it to be in walking distance from your points of interest. These Photos depict Baitil - Aman Guest House,
Shela near Lamu Town, Kenya.
Lodges are the type of accommodations which most Africa traveler will encounter, and most likely prefer over large hotels. Lodge quality ranges greatly. You should expect, a clean room with functioning shower and water pressure. Moreover good food, and a selection of activities (game drives, walks, cultural encounters.) Most well-run lodges are situated in a scenic setting adding to your experience. Nevertheless, a remote, exotic location will add to the cost of your stay. Transporting the goods to run a lodge is a major logistical undertaking. Most "of the beaten track" lodges have to fly in their supplies. A remote lodge which also offers good food, a selection of spirits, western comforts, often also has to generate its own power and water. Expecting that special demands are met as if you are in a cosmopolitan, western, 5-star city hotel would be unreasonable. All in all, however you may be surprised what well-run lodges have to offer.
These photos depict the Rift Valley Photographic Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania.
Most people think of Safari game drives and mammals in connection with Africa. Nevertheless, Africa has more to offer! Locations along large bodies of water often offer a wide variety of water sport activities. There are many locations and resorts which offer seclusion, (I have chosen the one depicted, because it offers seclusion and safety) with first class service. This type of resort is usually located in prime location, but off the beaten path. Thus, many are self-sufficient in terms of generator power and desalinated water. Again these locations require supplies to be flown in or transferred per boat, and this alone is an amazing accomplishment. Luxury resorts of this type are very exclusive and offer highly personalized service.
These photos depict the Manda Bay Luxury Boutique Hotel Resort, Kenya
If you are traveling with a large family or a group of friends, renting a private home may be a wise choice for you. Private houses can range from basic to luxury accommodation. Depending on when you are traveling, especially during off-season, you may get to negotiate on the rental price. Private homes often have assigned staff. The staff will cater to your needs during your stay. Self-catering, in this case, means that you provide your cook with household money. The cook, in turn shops for your groceries, and documents the expenditures.
These photos depict private residences for rent by Shela House Management, Lamu, Kenya.
Mobile & Semi Permanent Tents