Hunting Accommodation - Luxury or Basic?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Leeukop Safaris, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    I would like to know our fellow hunters thoughts on the type of hunting accommodation preferred when hunting Africa.

    Over the years I have hosted clients who enjoy both the luxury and basic types of accommodation, but it seems that there are many out there who enjoy the basic bush accommodation along with the African ambiance created by it. My most memorable hunts have been with clients (who have become friends) staying in the most basic of accommodation. The best part is talking around the fire about the days successes or failures under an african sky, with the hiss of the gas lamp in the background or the smell of the ever present paraffin lamp.

    5 star accommodation has its place and there are many who enjoy it, but I don't think anything can beat that basic bush experience (getting back to our roots so to speak).

    Your thoughts on this topic?
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..Neil.. The 2 times I hunted in Africa, I hunted with Amber African Safaris. The camp is set up for 4 hunters With 2 small chalets with 2 single beds in each & a bathroom in each. They had a dining hall & pool and that was about it. Our evenings were spent around the campfire cooking meat, drinking, & B.S.ing! We had no gas lanterns or things like that but he did have lamps outside made from ostrich eggs & Gemsbuck horns that I will always remember as they looked pretty cool! Nothing very fancy but decent! I was the only hunter in camp & it was more than I needed as I only got in the pool 2 times in 2 safaris! My time there was for hunting & the 1 star faclity (in my book) was more than I needed!
    .... It felt like home, nice & comfortable and they didn't have to put on a big show for me! I suppose there are others out there who want the nice stuff and that's fine also!
  3. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Niel:

    Some of it depends on if it's your first safari or not - Judy and I hunted with Bowkers near Grahamstown in May. We had a nice, ensuite room and more luxury that we needed. We really liked it.

    As we've talked about our next hunt, we've agreed that we need to experience something "wilder". A tent camp in a less civilized place will probably be in our future. It would be a new experience.

    I'm sure there are other factors for other people. For us, it's just kind of a "progression" toward a more traditional safari.

    - browningbbr
  4. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    I've stayed in a number of five-star camps across South Africa, but my most memorable camps have been in Zambia. The hard-packed dirt floors, thatched "chalets," and running water piped from old oil drums set high on an ant heap screamed "You're in Africa" to me, especially after hearing lions in the distance the first night.

    Bill Quimby
  5. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Luxury accommodations are more suited to the occasions when I’m traveling and touring about with my wife. But when hunting, especially in Africa, I by far prefer more basic accommodations. I’ve been in a few of the 'luxury camps’, which seems to be the ever growing trend over recent years, but I feel a bit out of place. I truly feel more basic accommodations lend themselves to nostalgia and the ambiance of an 'old time' safari experience from days gone by.

    My preference is therefore; walled tents, cots, elevated drum water heaters, a thatched shower enclosure with a suspended barrel, meals cooked in combination with an open fire, a small cast iron stove and a dutch-oven and eating under a thatched canopy. Then it’s out to a campfire to sip a good Scotch whisky under the stars while listening to all the sounds which emerge from the surrounding darkness. That’s what I truly enjoy.
  6. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    I've never been, but when I go, I'll be going to hunt, not to hang out in a pool sipping fizzy drinks. Heaven forbid that wilderness hunts in North America ever start down a similar path......

    A wall tent, shower from a barrel, and lots of hard work will suit me just fine.

    If I was looking for pampering why endure the trip to Africa? The game ranches in Texas have all the same critters.
  7. BangFlop

    BangFlop AH Senior Member

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    I have not been to Africa to hunt (been there on business - though). When I am able to book my first safari, I will look for an outfitter that uses basic camps - wall tents, field shower, fire or camp stove/oven, cooking part of what was just havested and good company. I guess that 20+ years in the U.S. Marine Corps have caused me to prefer a true camp experience when outdoors and to not go for the 5-star accommodations. Just my opinion ...:thumb:
  8. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    I've had both, and prefer the luxury accommodations. Why not? If I want to rough it, I can erect a tent in my back yard and live there for a week. Absolutely nothing wrong with hot and cold pressure water, flushing toilets, a wash basin, a camp generator, comfortable double beds, white tablecloths and good China.

    I've been going to Africa for 22 years and there's nothing particularly romantic about being uncomfortable if you don't have to.
  9. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    Nearly every night I've hunted in Africa, 68 days in all, have been spent sleeping under canvas. The tents we've used have ranged from fairly basic to downright luxurious, but they've all been very comfortable. Here are a couple photos of my tent accomodations in South Africa on this year's hunt with Spear Safaris. It's kinda tough to find nicer tented living, especially since we had lions roaring around our camp nearly every night.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    You'll note that the tents sit on a concrete floor and are under thatch. There is a proper ensuite bathroom and changing room that the tent is attached to. It's a very comfortable arrangement, and still gives the feeling of sleeping under canvas.

    Attached Files:

  10. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    DLS, that looks like the type of camp I wouldn't mind spending 2-3 weeks in! :D

    When I do get there in 2011, come hell or high water, I'd like to go as "primitively luxurious" as I can. I like tent camping (all those years in the Boy Scouts!), yet I like to be comfortable and in a well appointed place when I travel. I find nothing more comfortable than relaxing around an open fire, having a drink and swapping stories, but I also don't mind retiring to high thread count sheets after!
  11. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    FFemt, Since you commented on 'primitive luxury,' I thought I'd post a few more photos of our camp. It truly was just what you describe. Indoor bathroom with nice hot shower, but step through to the sleeping area,and it was a large tent, albeit with a very comfortable, dare I say plush, bed. Spear Safaris camp consists of three of these 'tents' for guests, a dining hut, which I've pictured just below, and a boma to enjoy the fire. One of the things I liked most, though, was the lions. There was a pride that was hanging near camp that we saw several times, and they spent a lot of time roaring at night. Though we were in South Africa, it reminded me of nights that I've previously spent under canvas in Zimbabwe and Botswana, where we heard lions from time to time.

    Here's the dining hut, it was trashed one day by a troop of baboons while we were out hunting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the boma

    [​IMG]

    For South Africa, it felt decidedly more like the previous places I've hunted. I'd hunt with Spear Safaris again, in a heartbeat.

    Attached Files:

  12. FFemt5287

    FFemt5287 AH Senior Member

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    DLS, thanks for the extra pictures! I'm looking at Spear Safari's website right now. I'm going to email them this week to get some more information. Seems like quite the operation they have there!
  13. stew31r

    stew31r New Member

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    I've only been once, to Namibia, and when I was there I stayed in one of the guests rooms of the owner's ranch house. It wasn't a tent by any means, but it wasn't five star either. What it was, was enough. I had a nice bed with a bathroom attached to the guest room. I ate in their dining room with them. The food was excellent, but it wasn't fancy. They had their TV in the far side of the dining room in case their guests want to watch the news. One of the memories I have of that trip is watching a Springbucks game with Brian while the wind was howling outside and we couldn't hunt. From what I've learned since then is that alot of Namibian outfitters are like that and I have no problem with it. It's when I search webpages and look at articles in magazines and get the feeling that my money would be going more towards the accomodations than the hunting is when I have a problem.

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