South African Budget Safari Lodges
Recommended Budget Lodges in South Africa
There is no denying that staying at a safari lodge is not cheap. However, as specialists in South African safaris, Travel Butlers are able to offer a wide range of budget safari lodges to help you find the safari you want at a price that fits.
So what's the catch? Well, there really isn't one, however it is worth considering a couple of things when deciding if a budget safari lodge is right for you.
Accommodation & Meals
The accommodation at all of these lodges is clean and comfortable, although you will not be surrounded by as many luxuries that the more expensive safari lodges will offer.
The rooms usually have en-suite bathrooms, and most of them have plenty of charm and African character.
When looking at the prices of the lodges, please keep in mind that all meals and game drives are included in the price.
It is probably fair to say that the food will tend to be simplier than in some of the more expensive lodges, but a good steak cooked on a braai (a South African BBQ), served with a salad and eaten under the stars on a warm night can sometimes be the most perfect meal imaginable.
Safari Experience And Location Of The Lodge
Very few of the cheapest lodges will be in prime locations on rivers (although many will overlook a waterhole), and there are some which are in areas which are a little less good for game viewing.
Keep in mind that smaller reserves cannot hold a vast population of animals, and so you may not see huge herds of elephants or other large animals. This will not necessarily mean that they do not offer a worthwhile experience, as you can still get very close to lions, elephants and other animals even at these smaller reserves.
Having said this, you do not necessarily have to compromise on the safari experience when you stay at a cheaper lodge. Many of these lodges are in the same reserves as lodges costing 2 or 3 times as much, and will do their game drives on the same land with the opportunity to see the same animals.
With careful research and some good advice, it is perfectly possible to plan an amazing safari without it costing an arm and a leg. You can get some inspiration from the lodges below, but if you would like a little help then please give us a call or ask us to recommend a budget safari lodge.
Guest Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 based on 7 ratings
Lakeside Lodge is situated on the banks of Lake Entabeni and offers 24 luxurious, elegantly furnished en-suite bedrooms. View Entabeni's famed hippos from the comfort of your own private deck with the ever-changing colours of the Entabeni Mountain reflecting in the lake.
Guest Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings
Ravineside Lodge comprises of tranquil thatched wooden lodges on stilts with bird's-eye views. Each lodge has 3 or 4 luxury en-suite bedrooms with an African ethnic theme, making this ideal for families or groups of people travelling together.
Guest Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 based on 23 ratings
Each chalet is tastefully decorated and furnished with the emphasis on outstanding comfort. Central facilities include a large viewing deck and splash pool with a 180 degree view of the river shaded by an old leadwood tree.
Guest Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings
Set against a backdrop of lush green mountainous vegetation, exclusive accommodation in 47 air-conditioned luxury thatched chalets and 3 suites, all with en-suite bathrooms, offer guests complete comfort and relaxation in a beautiful natural setting. Natural, bold colours stand confident and proud, enhancing an ethnic feel throughout the lodge.
Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings
Bongani's rooms are ideal for families, groups or individual travellers and are set atop the Malelane Lebombo Mountains with private decks featuring magnificent wraparound views. All chalets and suites, each with 2 en-suite bathrooms and a private deck, are a subtle blend of timber and thatch, spaciously spread out across an impressive mountain ridge, within easy walking distance from the guest areas perched above.
Chisomo Safari Camp features 22 safari tents, set in the African bushveld, under majestic apple leaf, jackalberry and tamboti trees. All tents, with en-suite bathrooms, are facing the beautiful Makhutswe River and wildlife can be viewed from the decks as it emerges from the reeds for grazing.
Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings
Relax on your own private deck, and if you are lucky you may see an elusive bushbuck or hear the cry of the African fish eagle. Each en-suite tent is equipped with military campaign style furniture similar to that used by the early explorers.
Quatermain's Camp: Stay 3 nights for the price of 2Valid: 1 May 2016 - 30 June 2016.
Guest Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 based on 22 ratings
Woodbury Tented Camp is set in the heart of the reserve, and the tranquil surroundings of the open bushveld allow you to truly experience a quiet getaway. The centre of the camp is an airy, thatched entertainment area, where you can soak up the African sun.
Woodbury Tented Camp: Stay 3 nights for the price of 2Valid: 1 May 2016 - 30 June 2016.
Guest Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 based on 1 ratings
All of the 24 en-suite and air-conditioned private chalets are beautifully furnished and fully equipped to ensure your absolute comfort. Relax on your own private patio, star gazing and listening to the sound of the bush settling for the night.
Guest Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 based on 10 ratings
Each of the spacious 40 Standard Suites all have air-conditioning, and feature a full en-suite bathroom and enjoy uninterrupted views of the game reserve. The 20 Spa Suites are positioned close to the Spa on a private setting away from the rest of the lodge, and all rooms have magnificent views into the reserve from your balcony.
Accommodation at Leeuwenbosch includes the historic Country House and the newer Shearers Lodge Suites. The Country House, built in 1908, offers 5 spacious en-suite bedrooms, and is layered with a collection of historical images, documents, and furniture dating back to the 1800s.
Leeuwenbosch: Stay 3 nights for the price of 2Valid: 2 November 2015 - 30 June 2016.
The lodge offers the choice of 6 luxury air-conditioned suites, which all have large wooden decks overlooking the bush, a spacious en-suite bathroom with double basins, and a private outside shower which is perfect for cooling off after a hot game drive. The glass fronted Honeymoon Suite offers romantic elegance, total privacy and a stunning view, as well as a private splash pool.
Guest Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 based on 3 ratings
Perfectly situated on the banks of the Kariega River, but tucked unobtrusively away into the vegetation, Forest Camp's 8 en-suite safari tents are built on expansive, slightly raised wooden decks and has long wooden walkways through pristine thicket. The smaller, more intimate River Camp has just 4 safari tents, ideal for families with children, or for sole-use specialist groups.
Guest Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 based on 4 ratings
The Mkuze Falls Game Lodge consists of 8 luxuriously appointed thatched chalets, built on raised wooden platforms with spacious private verandas, providing stunning views of the river, bush and mountains.The twin-bedded chalets all have telephone, air-conditioning, mini bar and overhead fan.
Budget Safari Tips
- Find a budget lodge
- Go in the low season
- Look for special offers
- Drive rather than fly to the reserve
- Get some good advice
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