What's your safari style?

Old Oct 11th, 2007, 12:10 PM
  #21  
 
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Hi all. Thought I should chime in. We decided it would be best to break lodging options down into four categories (Luxury, permanent tented camps, mobile tented camps, and national parks accomodations) to make things easier for first timers and to help them understand what they can expect in the way of lodges. When you read a description, many times these "categories" are mentioned and if you're just starting out your research, you might not know what they are.

We will also be featuring a few choice eco-friendly camps in each country, though this is not the focus of this book. Hopefully we can do an eco-friendly book in the future. i will pass along the enthusiam for this type of book to the powers that be.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 05:26 PM
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Katie,

Don't know if you should seperate luxury from permanent tented camps. If at all, you should hv maybe a category like super delux luxury or something like that .......

Almost 99% of the permanent tented camps have all the luxury one needs on safari. The 1% probably are having an off day or week and just hadn't gotten their supplies or whatever due to logistical issues!

Hari
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Old Oct 11th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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Sorry ..... reply was meant for Alexis.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Alexis -

There is
-luxury-deluxe,
-luxury,
-semi-lux,
-mid-range,
-budget and
-backpacking.

In all of these categories you will find lodges, permanent tented camps, mobile/seasonal tented camps and basic-budget camping.

Example: On the Grumeti Reserve in the Western Serengeti, all of which is super-lux, you will find a lodge and two permanent tent camps.

And luxury in one area such Southern Africa can be different than if in East Africa. Lux on the Sabi Sands (SA) vs the Okavango Delta (Bots) can be as diverse. Besides, while many properties define themselves as luxury, they may actually fall into the mid-range (lodge or camp) when it comes to price.

It's not much different than the * -rating systems you find for hotels around the world. The Burj-al-Arab classifies themselves as 7*, but in actuality, after a review done by Conde Nast back a few years... 5* is the best. Even in the States, there are actually few hotels/resorts that fall into the 5* category. Whether a hotel has a/c, a liner insider a shower curtain, smoke detectors, eco-enviroments, etc. can determine the * assigned. In France, the highest ratings are 4*Luxury or 4*Deluxe... no 5*, but they also have categories below 1* for more budget-type lodgings. For other countries, what quantifies for a rating for each type of lodging will be as diverse.

Maybe consider the category based on the daily rack rate per person, i.e, $1,500/nt - up
$1,000/nt - up
$800/nt
$500/nt
$350/nt
etc. etc.

It sure can get complicated.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 04:17 AM
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Sandi is right - star ratings are complicated, and IMHO, often a bunch of garbage as they are self-assigned by the hotel in question (ala Burj Al Arab). The only way to know what you are getting, especially in Africa, is to do lots of research.

I'm a purest. The only star ratings I accept as fact are those assigned by Mobil (the original purveyor of 5-star). It is very difficult for hotel properties to attain true 5-star status and in the US there are only about 30 such properties each year.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 04:26 AM
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Also, I don't believe Mobil rates properties in Africa so that just further complicates things and opens the field for self-assignment of stars...
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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Erica -

Thanks for the Mobil name... couldn't recall who. And, don't they rate as "diamonds" rather than stars?
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Sandi-
Didn't Mark Nolting write a book years ago that focued on rating various accommodations in Africa. Don't remember what he based his rating on.
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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AAA = Diamonds
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Old Oct 12th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Patty -

Yes, Diamonds = AAA. As I'm not a vehicle owner, I never think AAA. So guess then Mobil does the "stars" and very few 5*s at that.

Khakif -

Yes, Mark Nolting does ratings, but his is based on an alpha system: A, A+, A-, B....... etc. Even years ago when I knew nothing about specific lodgings, these made no sense and it's not much better now.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 07:05 AM
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Wow. This is a lot to chew on and may result in a few adjustments on my part. Thanks for the input guys. Keep the thoughts a coming.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2007, 09:34 AM
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Here is a question regarding the PAW designations. I saw a Wilderness guide from a few years ago (2005) with designations like that but was told by a staff member at one of their camps that they no longer publish this guide that covers all their camps. If this is true, how would one even know what the "paw" rating is for a particular Wilderness camp..I did not see this on their website..did I miss the rankings on the site?
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