Vast differences in accommodations within Africa??

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Jul 29th, 2004, 05:09 PM
  #1
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Vast differences in accommodations within Africa??

I have been browsing through brochures (Micato, Ker & Downey and A & K) covering tours of South Africa, East Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania...etc). What stands out is such a huge difference in the accommodations. The camps in South Africa look and sound so luxurious while those outside of South Africa look more like a Motel 6 of sorts. I can only guess that these camps would only submit their BEST photographs for publication. In order to stay in a more luxurious camp, should we limit ourselves to South Africa? Nice accommodations are important to me. Are there luxurious camps in other areas...maybe I'm missing something here.
Thank you.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 05:35 PM
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Yeah, I would say you are missing something. Kenya and Tanzania have unbelievably luxurious accommodations. For luxury, Mara Explorer in the Masai Mara, Tortilis Camp in Amboseli, Elsa's Kopje in Meru, Kiwayu Safari Village in the Lamu Archipelago, Sabuk in northern Laikipia, Kikoti and Treetops in Tarangire, Kleins Camp in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge at the crater, Grumeti River Camp, Maji Moto in Manyara, Kirawira in the Serengeti, Sand Rivers in Selous, Jongomero in Ruaha, Mnemba Island Lodge .. the list goes on and on. I don't know which A&K, Micato or Ker&Downey brochures you are looking at, but all three of those operators use the above-mentioned camps.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 06:02 PM
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A couple more you might want to throw in are:
Governor's Il Moran Camp and Cottar's 1920's camp in the Mara.

Ol Donyo Wuas and Finch Hattons in Chyulu Hills & Tsavo areas

Olonana and Kusini Camp both operated by A&K and in the Mara & Serengeti respectively.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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Lest I forget, Campi Ya Kanzi in Chyulu Hills in Kenya.
Not the most luxurious camp but very comfortable and owned by a great Italian couple who will treat you like gold and go out of their way to make sure you feel like one of the family.
I'd go back there just to spend time with them.

And on a clear day, you have a great view of Mt. Kili.
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Jul 29th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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petlover,

Go to www.star-of-africa.com and let me know if you think any of these Zambian lodges look like a Motel 6.

Chichele Presidential Lodge, in my opinion, is on the same level as Singita (which is widely regarded as possibly the best lodge in all of Africa and a multiple time winner of #1 destination in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and now also by Travel & Leisure). I have stayed at both and really the biggest difference is the price, with Singita charging an extra $1,300 USD per night than Chichele Presidential Lodge ($2,200 USD vs. $900 USD).

There are other great looking lodges in Zambia available for much less than those in the same class in South Africa. These lodges include Sausage Tree Camp, Puku Ridge, Chiawa and Kasaka River Lodge. Additionally, there are great places in Victoria Falls such as Sussi Lodge, Tongabezi and Chuma House.

Botswana has countless great looking places, as can be seen at www.wilderness-safaris.com. However, these lodges are about equally priced to those you will find in South Africa.

The only true bargain remaining in Southern Africa is at the Zambian camps. Besides the very exclusive lodges that I mentioned, there are other very good lodges such as Kaingo and Kafunta, which will cost you no more than about $250 per person per night sharing in high season!

Here are some websites that may serve you well:

www.star-of-africa.com
www.luangwa.com
www.kaingo.com
www.luangwariverlodge.com

Best of luck.
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Jul 30th, 2004, 01:26 AM
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In Botswana you could look into Jao, Mombo, Kings Pool, all Wilderness Safaris Camps.

These are beautiful beautiful camps but they are not intended to be designer hotels in the bush - they are carefully designed to ensure that guests still get the feeling of a luxury TENTED safari.

Mombo is best for game viewing - both visits for us have meant lots of time (during daylight hours) with leopards, cheetahs, lions etc.

Jao is mainly a water camp although game drives can be enjoyed too - we stayed at Jacana just a few moments away in boat and passed Jao numerous times. For us, experience, not accommodation is the key, so when there is a classic camp in the same area we prefer to opt for that.

Kings Pool is another camp good for game viewing - we stayed at Savuti but roamed right over to KP during drives. Had incredible wild dog sightings here as well as cheetah and other game.
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Jul 30th, 2004, 02:01 AM
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Forgot to add Galdessa Lodge in Tsavo! And Tarangire Tree Tops in Tanzania!
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Jul 30th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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sandi
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Not a single camp/lodge mentioned my SusanLynne or divewop re accommodations in East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) would one consider "like a Motel 6"; nor those in Botswana mentioned by Kavey. And while I haven't visited Zambia and can't speak specifically about those mentioned by Roccco, but from his personal photos - neither would these come under the heading of "like a Motel 6."

As each of these countries are different experiences, so are the requirements for building accommodations to meet government rulings as they effect the environment and, in turn, the needs of travelers looking for higher-end accommodations.

A few more to add to Kenya are Loisaba in the Northern Frontier; Mukatan on Kuki Gallman's (of "I Dream of Africa" fame)ranch in Laikipia; Saruni at the Mara and Shompole between Namanga and the Mara. And in Tanzania, there is Swala Camp near Tarangire.

So you see, there are a wide variety of "luxurious" camps/lodges throughout - some may be different in appearance than those in South Africa, but not necessarily any less luxurious, certainly not Motel 6-types.
 
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Jul 30th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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Sandi-
Thanks for catching those last few. I remembered them late last night and was going to add them to the mix.

PetLover-
You will not be sacrificing any comfort what-so-ever in any of the aforementioned camps in any of the countries. Actually you will be very spoiled by the time you leave.

Not only are the camps wonderful, but most of the staffs will cater to your every whim.

Also, you might want to visit

www.unchartedoutposts.com

They specialize in very unique properties in Africa and other continents as well. It will give you a good idea of some of the quality camps out there.
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Jul 30th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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petlover -

Further to the comment from divewop re uncharteredoutpost, you might want to look at

www.bushhomes.com

- these are some of the properties that uncharted handles, specifically in East Africa (Kenya).

Bush Homes are accommodations established and mostly situated on properties (ranches) that are privately owned. They are relatively small (from 4 - 12 guests, max), provide a bit of "off the beaten path" opportunities, where visitors are treated more as house guests rather than tourists. Associated with this one will also find higher prices, but nowhere as high as those in South Africa.

Take at look at the site and see what we're talking about.
 
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Jul 30th, 2004, 06:26 AM
  #11
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Thank you all so much. I'm so happy to hear about all of these nice camps through out several countries. Now to try to chose...WOW, it can sure be overwelming!
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