The campsite is only allowed on the sites provided for this purpose. Small hotel structures in the city accept to plant a tent in the garden. It is imperative to book in advance with the management of the park through your safari operator.
The public campsites: they are in the parks, near the lodges. They are simple sites – in fact, a large area of lawn cleaned – surrounded by bush and savannah, without any equipment. Unravel to enlighten, wash, feed. It is the job of the agencies to prepare enough supplies, including water. In some public camps, there are one or two showers and toilets (actually a simple hole).
Special camps: the difference with previous ones is that these are small areas that you are the only ones to occupy. Once the place is reserved for your group, no one else will come. They are better placed (even wilder site) but not better equipped (neither water nor electricity) than the public campsites. Again, your agency will have everything planned.
The lodge: This bush hotel can be a simple rustic and secluded but also a large hotel located in the heart of a national park. The lodges are always nestled in the countryside.
With the opening of the country to tourism and the development of safaris, lodges have multiplied with more and more comfortable rooms.
In most lodges, with electricity supplied by generators, there is hot water only at certain times of the day (before 10 am, and after 5 pm). In addition, over 1,500 m in parks in northern Tanzania, the rooms do not have a fan or mosquito net. It may even be cold.
All lodges have their own restaurant. The lodges also provide cold lunchboxes for the safari picnic. You have to ask them the day before. Ask them to be included in the price.
The tented camps (tent camps): they are much more a luxury hotel than camping. A camp consists of several large fixed tents, covered with a double palm leaf roof, their foundations usually being made of wood, with a cemented part for the bathroom. Inside the tent there is a certain comfort. Lighting is provided by an oil lamp or a gas lamp. They are practically always reserved for half-board or full-board. This formula is as expensive as the lodges, and sometimes much more.
They vary according to the comfort and the season. Hire $ 150-500 or more (if you choose the super luxury) for 2 people on half board (that’s why safaris are expensive). And some display these rates … per person! Depending on the annual volume of nights purchased by a given agency, the price proposed to them drops from 20 to 60% depending on the season compared to the “official” rate, which nobody pays at all.
The prices of the lodges are also more interesting in low season (from April to June and in November).
There are two official rates: the “resident” tariff and the “non-resident” tariff. A visiting visitor pays the same room more expensive than a person living in Tanzania.
Cheap hotels: this type of hotels is quite common in the cities inside (in Arusha in particular) and on the coast, as well as in Zanzibar. There are good rooms with fan, shower (hot water) and sometimes a mosquito net. The toilet is usually outside the room. Avoid very cheap hotels in big cities: they are dirty and not very reassuring.
Medium-priced hotels: this category does not exist in parks, and barely in cities (especially not in Dar es Salaam). Between the lodge category at over $ 150 a night and the $ 20 room in a cheap guesthouse, there is a big void! Zanzibar and Arusha are exceptional, and all categories of hotels are represented. The price range is quite broad.
Youth hostels: They are not always up to international standards, to say the least. The AJs are generally well-kept and managed by religious associations (Lutheran Church in particular). Among others, see the YMCA (although a room in a YMCA costs the price of a room in a mid-priced hotel).