Three money bags
COMFORTABLE: THREE & FOUR STAR JUMP TO LODGES
Spending a bit more than in the cheapest lodges and restcamps opens up the possibilities of the private reserves offering a ‘back-to-basics’ spirit of rustic simplicity. Most lodges in this category are in the more ‘peripheral’, harder to access, parts of the Greater Kruger.
Reserves such as Klaserie, Balule and Timbavati feature here. Some of the lowest price Sabi Sand lodges are here too, offering remarkable value for the best known safari destination on the planet.
BASIC PRIVATE LODGES
These lodges offer a more exclusive safari experience than the government facilities which can sleep hundreds. Guests here are related to the number of game drive vehicles that the lodge operates. Eight to ten beds (one game viewing vehicle) is the smallest sized lodge. Some camps accommodate as few as this, and offer a rustic sort of bush experience.
The other type of lodge in this range allows for several vehicles operating at once, whilst maintaining a ‘back-to-basics’ ethos in comfort and service. They apply the benefits of private ownership without laying on too much luxury. You are there primarily for the game, after all. These lodges typically accommodate between 20 and 40 people.
INCLUSIVE ACTIVITIES, FOOD
Here you will find various inclusions in your daily rate, normally twice daily game drives in an open-sided safari vehicle, food and accommodation, but not drinks. There are other extras for your account. Do note that some of the lodges in this category achieve it by offering their facilities on a self-catering basis, although the services of a cook may be included.
Being private land owners or concessionaires, these lodges are able to traverse off-road to follow up on that hunt in progress or sighting. Operating hours are not constrained by the gate opening and closing times. There will be ten people on each vehicle most of the time.
Walking is a core part of the proposition so you get out and explore the bush in a totally different way.
Simple, rustic accommodation is provided. The emphasis is on somewhere to sleep once you have exhausted yourself out in the bush. Rooms may be fabricated from canvas and contain camp beds. A concrete platform with a thatched roof at the back offers ablutions which, in some cases, will be only a shower and not a bath. There is probably no air-conditioning or heating for the winter months.
Central communal facilities offer basic comforts, sometimes including a modest swimming pool which may double as a waterhole. There is probably an honesty bar.