When looking at safari options, it is helpful to know what type of accommodation you would be comfortable with but to also be open to new experiences. People are often put off by the idea of a tent because they worry about things such as insects or snakes and whether staying in a tent will keep them safe from wild animals etc. These are legitimate concerns and certainly something you need to discuss with your travel planner.
There is a wide variety of accommodation options available. Most often it is budget which determines which option you choose, however it is important to know the experiences you get from each.
Ask yourself would you feel more comfortable surrounded by brick walls with air conditioning and fences or have you dreamed of falling asleep under canvas to the sounds of the African bush right outside? You need to choose something which you will be comfortable with. A good safari travel planner will have personally visited a variety of lodges and camps and will be able to explain to you the full experience first-hand.
Safari lodges are a different experience from a tented camp. On the whole (although there are many exceptions) safari lodges are larger than tented camps, and often offer more amenities such as swimming pools, shops and perhaps a choice of restaurants, just like a large hotel. Lodges range in luxury from 3 or 4-star to 5-star deluxe.
Whilst it is not always the case, generally, within Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe the lodges are less luxurious than their tented alternatives. The opposite is true in South Africa where tented options are not really the norm and some of their lodges very luxurious.
Being passionate about safaris we would have to say that tented camps and bush camps are the perfect way to experience Africa. There is nothing more exciting than sleeping under canvas. There is no need to compromise on comfort. Most tented camps consist of large tents, with en-suite bathrooms, including all the modern amenities.
Also a popular type of accommodation are seasonal tented camps or mobile camps which are best used where seasonal migrations are the focus for game viewing. For example during the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park.