With so many different camps and lodges on offer across Africa, it can be quite overwhelming to work out which camp is better than the other. Of course, budget and the time of year you are traveling come into consideration, but another important factor is the location of the camp. Some camps are located inside a national park – others may be out of the park or on their own private reserve or conservancy.
The main thing to consider about the location of the camp is the sort of experience you looking for. If you want to be immersed with wildlife, with antelope or elephant often walking through the camp, then being inside the national park is a must. These are usually located in the prime wildlife areas, with resident elephant families, buffalo herds, or prides of lion nearby. It’s a fantastic experience, and highly recommended for those who have a limited time on safari because you will save time driving to areas with denser game. Instead, it will be on your doorstep! The only downside to this location is that, implying with national park rules, you are usually limited to the type of safari activity you do. This is usually two game drives a day – one early morning and one late afternoon.
Some safari camps sit on private conservancies or reserves, such as the greater Mara Conservancies in Kenya and the Grumeti reserve in Tanzania. The benefit of a conservancy is that you have a lot more flexibility to do other safari activities – with bush walks, night drives, and fly camping offered. It can also feel more private because you can only game drive in that area if you are staying in a camp or lodge there.