Photo Lodges we Love
We have travelled throughout Southern and East Africa and photographed and evaluated every one of the lodges that are listed in this directory. All of the lodges listed here earned our Photos & Africa stamp of approval. We have rated the lodges with stars so that you can find out each lodge’s particular strengths – and in some cases, its weaknesses. Please note that these are our own true personal experiences; no sponsorship of these entries has occurred. Our star rating works as below:
What concentrations of animals occur in an area? Are you likely to drive endlessly seeing very few animals, or are you likely to fill memory cards quite quickly? We look at the abundance of game coupled with the ease in finding it and viewing it. Please note that sightings do differ greatly according to the time of year that you visit an area, and good fortune can play a role.
How large and wild is the area and how much human disturbance is there? Are there reminders of human civilization like power lines, national roads and noise and light pollution? Are you likely to run across other vehicles, or will you be the only ones at a sighting? Are there fences, or does the wildlife move freely. These will all affect the ratings in this category.
A lodge will receive its rating based on excellence of location, design, facilities, service, food and management. We look also at its access to great game viewing areas and its privacy from other lodges and passing vehicles. We take into consideration the special features and added value activities for photographers such as flexible meal times, media centers, free use of cameras and projectors.
The state of the game drive vehicle can affect your game viewing experience considerably. We check that the vehicles are in good running order and are not noisy. Are they comfortable, with plenty of pockets and good rest areas for cameras? Do they offer gimbal heads and bean bags?
Your guide will make or break your experience as a photographer. Guides should know the area intimately and be familiar with positioning of the vehicle and best times of day to be in certain areas to get certain shots. They should also be sensitive to the needs of photographers and understand how to host a mix of guests with different interests. We have identified those guides in each place.
We love lodges that feel authentic and give the highest ratings when the lodge finds the fine line between comfort and the true safari experience. This may mean that the facilities and accommodation are not luxurious, but it will certainly mean that the relationships with the people and the area will be extraordinary.
Have your say
Is there a lodge or experience that you think we have missed? If you know of a lodge that you feel must be listed, please let us know, and we will arrange to conduct an independent review when we are next in the area. Please note that we are most interested in covering geographical areas where we are not represented.