7 Things to look for when choosing a game lodge
7 Things to look for when choosing a game lodge provides some helpful insight. South Africa boasts an array of incredible lodges in stunning settings. To choose the right one that provides in everything you need can be daunting and exciting at the same time.
Linksfontein Safari Lodge recommends that you write down what exactly you are looking for in a game lodge. Set up your list by point of importance. Start searching the internet, as it is the most common and informative way of finding answers. If however you know of someone that can recommend such a lodge based on their experience, the you already have a good starting point.
So here is seven things to look for when choosing the right lodge for you:
Certain styles will naturally resonate with you, and the internet is a visual medium. Are you into opulence or simplicity? Furthermore, if it is the rose petals in the bath and on the floor that draw you, then be sure when booking to ask whether these will be available if on your request.
2. Personality and ambience
Look at the guest reviews on the lodge’s website. What is it that people praise most about this lodge? The lodge owners or managers choose which reviews to post on their own sites, so you will get an idea of what is important to them. Is it food, friendliness, the wine selection, game viewing, pampering, spa therapies, technology or luxury that is high on their list? What are your three most important criteria and in what order? Would you prefer the formality of a lodge where waiters wear bow ties and call guests ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’, or the informality of a communal table where staff and guests are on first name terms and dine together?
Making any client arriving at Linksfontein feel like part of the family is a huge part of what we are about, it authenticates us to a level where we are not only a lodge providing a service, but a home that welcomes you in,
3. Game viewing
The lodge isn’t everything; the other important factor to consider is game viewing. Are you focused on seeing the Big Five and not that concerned about smaller things, or are you really looking for a bush experience with the time to absorb everything, but it would be nice to see the bigger animals too? Linksfontein offers 36 different animal species that our clients are able to view either by vehicle or by hiking.
Consider the conservation policies of the lodge as most will advertise these on their website if they are important to them. Off-road driving is the ultimate game drive for some, but extremely offensive to others. Ask the lodge or your agent about their stance if this is important to you, because it could make or break your safari.
Is value for money important to you or do you want the best that money can buy? There are some fabulous lodges for the über-wealthy, but there are also some that offer almost as much for a fraction of the price. Remember that lodges in remote areas are expensive to run as much of the budget goes to providing basic services, which are available for next to nothing in town. This means that you cannot compare the price and level of luxury between a city hotel and a game lodge.
There are many independent sites such as www.tripadvisor.com where travellers give candid reviews. Read what people have to say and whether the lodge cared enough to respond to negative reviews. If so, did they do so politely? Look at the number of ‘Excellent’ reviews, ‘Good’ reviews and ‘Poor’ reviews. Don’t be fooled by the number . Rather look at the ratio and whether it is well stacked in favour of ‘excellent’. A lodge may only have a few reviews simply because it is new.
You need to consider why you are going on safari and whether this lodge is going to give you what you want. For example, if you want to impress clients then consider famous names and places frequented by the stars. Look at rates of ZAR10,000 per person sharing and upwards. However, if you want an authentic bush experience then consider a smaller unfenced lodge, which can provide the option of walking safaris or even a camp-out night. On the other hand, if it’s a pampering holiday that you’re after, consider a lodge with a butler, spa and private plunge pool. And if you want to see the Big 5 in the shortest time possible then consider a bigger lodge in a private reserve where many vehicles traverse a limited area and guides can call sightings in to each other to get you quickly from one to another.
However you choose to make your choice, remember that quality, comfort ability, and making memories must never be compromised. Authenticity can not be bought. It is earned through preservation of history, continuing ground believes and strive to be the best. Being uniquely “one of a kind” .