When traveling these days accommodation is not just a place to sleep for the night. There are many types to choose from and South Africa offers a vast range of accommodation options.
One of the most unique places to spend a night is at a 'game lodge' which can be anything from a basic 'rondawel' (round building with thatch roof) to a superbly appointed luxury suite. A game lodge is generally situated in a wildlife reserve or national park with close proximity to game viewing.
With a little homework you can enjoy exceptional value for money in some of South Africa's prime game reserves and national parks. Visit Sabi Sand Game Reserve that borders the famous Kruger National Park. This 'Big 5' game reserve offers some of the best game viewing available anywhere on the continent and is associated with very expenses luxury lodges. With a little research you'll find gems like Elephant Plains Game Lodge and Notten's Bush Camp, both offering great family offers as well as privacy and luxury at affordable rates.
Another amazing experience is found in a KwaZulu Natal game reserve called Phinda. It is one of the most fascinating regions in South Africa combining 7 distinctly different habitats that shelters an abundance of wildlife including Africa's Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo). The reserve has some of the most exclusive accommodation options, but it also offers an affordable experience not to be missed – a walking safari where you stay in spacious safari tents with ensuite bathrooms (flush w.c. & hot water!). It is one of the best ways to experience Africa and doesn't break the bank.
Ever stayed on a farm where the cows get milked in the morning and the rooster wakes you up to the smell of freshly baked bread and fresh coffee? South Africa offers exceptional accommodation known as farm stays where you enjoy life on a working farm. It is a great option as part of a road trip or a family holiday. The kids love the outdoors and enjoy the farm lifestyle, be it only for a day or two. It is an affordable way to see South Africa and to experience some local culture and cuisine. These 'farm stays' are found all over South Africa from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Great Karoo as well as the popular Garden Route and Winelands of the Western Cape.
Beach accommodation offers anything from relaxed and comfortable to luxury and exclusivity – the choice is yours. A good place to find accommodation close to the beach is renting a beach cottage. South Africa's coastline offers incredible diversity from remote villages to popular seaside town and city beaches. It is advised to book way in advance as these beach cottages fill up fast especially over the holiday seasons of April & December/January.
The 'old faithful' B&B (bed & breakfast) accommodation is still an all time favorite with more and more business travelers making use of this versatile and affordable option. It's high levels of customer service makes bed and breakfasts an excellent choice. More and more B&B owners cater for the sophisticated traveler that needs a reliable, affordable accommodation option. A new trend in the B&B circles is a 'boutique' feel with hip decorations and modern furnishings. This trend is blending studio living, boutique hotels and the B&B lifestyle to offer great options for both casual and business travelers.
Nowadays accommodation is more than just a bed and a place to have a meal. It's about what you feel like and how much you want to pay to experience it. The choice is there, just do a little homework and you'll find exactly what you're looking for.