Since we tailor make every single trip for our traveler, we need to ensure we have a wide variety of lodges and camps on safari. There are a lot of variety of different types of accommodation to choose from. You have lodges, tented lodges, camps, semi-permanent camps, bandas, mud-huts and the list goes on and on. And within the different types of accommodation, you have all standards. For example you can have a budget lodge, and a luxury mud hut. So just because we chose a certain type of accommodation does not mean it has a specific standard. (You can also read more about this in our "Safariguide for beginners".)
Although there are all types for accommodations, we judge all places by the same parameters, but we have different expectation levels based on their prices
We have a total of over 30 elements we judge a camp or lodge by, in 5 main categories:
This starts already when we make a request to the lodge or camp. If they are late replying to us when it comes to request for rates & bookings, it often represents the attitude of the company in general. Hospitality and the welcoming feeling at the lodge is of course extremely important, but even more important is the swift response while at the lodge if something is not in order. Like no hot water, meals served on time when expected (especially breakfast and lunchboxes before safari), and also the general level of "felt-safety" while staying at a lodge.
This is of course a given, but its more than just not finding dirt in your room or tent. The most important thing here is health protocols for the place, in terms of how they prepare food, how they clean dishes etc. And on top of this health protocol is ensuring they do not use any kind of contaminated water in the preparation of food, producing ice-cubes etc.
We say that amazing food can save a mediocre safari day or a mediocre camp/lodge, but that mediocre food can destroy the whole safari experience and even the most amazing lodges (appearance wise). Food is such a big part of the whole safari experience, and we expect a lot from our accommodation partners here. As with the SERVICE, we have the element of time. Especially when you eat breakfast in the morning, good routines from the camp in how to produce quality food in a short amount of time (egg-order for instance), is VITAL as we want to get you out rolling in the safari car as early as possible each morning.
- SLEEPING QUALITY
Naturally, the quality of the mattress and the bed itself is important here. But if you don't feel safe in the environment you are in, it does not matter. So within this category comes the element of safety during night, good briefing at the lodge about "potential dangers", night watch, as well as the feeling of privacy in your own tent/room.
You have probably heard the term "location, location, location -it´s all about location" when it comes to placement of stores etc. Well, there are no industry where this is more applicable than the safari industry. If you come to Tanzania with the object to experience the wildlife and being close to nature, it does not matter if your lodge is high luxury if it is placed in the wrong location. The "location-category" is divided into 3 parts:
1. Special scenery from the lodge/camp. Like overlooking a river, great viewpoint, "bush-feel", etc.
2. Being close to wildlife experience and animal wildlife so that you don't have to spend half-the day driving to an exciting area, and half the day getting back to camp. Remember that the most special moments on safari is normally in the early morning and late afternoon when animals are most active.
3. Sensible location in terms of where you are coming from, and where you are going after this particular stay, like the next lodge etc.
Hope this short-list gave you some inputs and insights on how we choose the lodges for our traveler, and what you should think about when contemplating where to stay for your next safari adventure in Tanzania.
What kind of safari accommodation do you prefer?