Lodge Accommodated Safaris vs Overland Camping in Namibia

Lodge Accommodated Safaris vs Overland Camping in Namibia

Jun 17, 2022

Lodge Accommodated Safaris vs Overland Camping in Namibia

Namibia in Southwest Africa is one of the preeminent safari destinations on the entire African continent. From hiking the incredible Fish River Canyon, heading out on a game drive through the famous Etosha National Park or climbing the red Dunes of the Soussusvlei, there’s so much to see and experience.

Here at Secret Namibia we get asked dozens of questions about what to expect on a Namibian safari adventure, everything from queries about transportation through to inquiries about food. However, one of the most common questions we receive centres on accommodation; should I opt for lodge accommodation or overland camping during my trip?

Although the answer to that question depends on your budget, tastes and sleeping preferences, in this guide we will attempt to shed some light on both options. Read on below as we compare lodge accommodated safaris and overland camping safaris in Namibia.

Comparing Accommodation

Comparing Accommodation

Overland Camping Safari

As the name aptly suggest, on an overland camping safari you will spending plenty of time in the great Namibian outdoors camping. Typically speaking your tent will accommodate up to two people, as well as your luggage, and they are sturdy enough to protect you against the elements.

On an overland safari you will usually be provided with a padded roll mat although you will have to pack your own sleeping bag and pillows- so keep that in mind!

In terms of where you’ll pitch up for the night, depending on where you travel you could be sleeping in bush lands with little or no facilities nearby or you could be pitching up at a camp site that boasts a range of amenities including bars, dining areas and even swimming pools.

The best part about overland camping is that every day is a new adventure and it’s a great way for you to immerse yourself in Namibia’s spectacular landscapes.

Lodge Accommodated Safari

Lodge Accommodated Safari

If the thought of camping isn’t quite your thing, then you may want to consider a lodge accommodated safari.

As the name suggests, during this type of safari trip you will stay in a plethora of lodges that range from luxury through to more modest abodes.

Most of the lodges in Namibia provide a great range of amenities that are guaranteed to make your stay comfortable, including stylishly-decorated bedrooms, dining areas, ensuite bathrooms and swimming pools.

Generally, you’ll be staying in lodges nestled in national parks, or in areas close to some of Namibia’s famous landmarks. If you’re worried that your stay in a lodge will dilute your safari experience fear not; many of the lodges have private decking areas so you can marvel at the striking landscapes around you, whilst some even have netted windows that enable the sounds of wildlife to breeze through.

Comparing Transport

Comparing Transport

Overland Camping Safari

If you’re heading on an overland camping safari you will be transported around in a large, safari-adapted truck. These big vehicles are sturdy, robust, and typically accommodate up to 30 people, as well as luggage, camping equipment and cooking utensils.

With large windows, overland trucks provide ample and unobstructed views of the local wildlife and you will be mounted quite high off the ground, meaning you’ll have a great vantage point as you gaze out across the vast Namibian landscapes.

The atmosphere on an overland camping trip is usually really fun and good-intentioned; it’s not unusual to find passengers playing cards together, swapping wildlife photos, or even singing along to music.

Lodge Accommodated Safari

Lodge Accommodated Safari

If you opt for a lodge-accommodated safari it’s likely you will form part of a much smaller group, and as a result you will travel in a smaller vehicle.

Typically, 4x4 safari vehicles are used to transport passengers from A to B in Namibia, and these 4x4s boast comfy seats, big windows with slide openings, and even a pop-up roof (which comes in really handy if you want to get a better view of some incredible wildlife on a game drive).

To keep you cool, especially during the dry season, 4x4s are fitted with air conditioning and all your luggage will be neatly stored in a compartment at the back of the vehicle.

As well as 4x4s, you may be journeyed around in a Land Cruiser; these vehicles can accommodate up to 10 passengers and they typically feature bigger windows.

Comparing Food

Overland Camping Safari

Mealtimes during an overland camping safari are a true ‘all hands-on deck experience’. Generally, all three of your daily meals are prepared by a chef that accompanies you on your trip, although all members of the party are invited to get involved when it comes to chopping vegetables or cleaning dishes.

If you have specific dietary requirements your cook will do their very best to accommodate you and you’ll even get the chance to join the group on a shopping trip to a local market. Here you’ll be able to act like a Namibian local, exploring the range of fresh meat and vegetable stands in search of ingredients.

If a trip to a big city, such as the capital Windhoek, forms part of your overland camping safari itinerary then you’ll have the chance to dine out at one of the city’s many fabulous restaurants.

Lodge Accommodated Safari

Similar to what you might expect from a well-run hotel, on a lodge-accommodated safari most of the meals will be prepared and served by the helpful staff at your lodge.

Breakfast usually consists of a buffet, with both continental and South African-style options available to choose from.

Lunchtimes are very different, especially if you’re heading out on a game drive that day. Typically, your safari guide, or the lodge staff, will prepare you a fresh lunch that consists of everything from pasta and rise dishes to sandwiches. Depending on your schedule for the day you may be taken to an idyllic spot where you can lay down a picnic blanket and feasts amongst the incredible surroundings.

When the evening draws, you’re in for a treat because most lodges have a dedicated chef and kitchen on site that prepare an A La Carte menu. Indulge in a scrumptious three-course meal, washed down with a bottle of wine. After dinner retreat to your cosy bedroom or find a great spot to perch down and gaze up at the star-studded Namibian sky.

Comparing costs

The cost of booking overland camping safaris, compared to lodge-accommodated trips, can vary significantly- but this depends on a variety of factors including the time of year you wish to travel.

Before booking any safari trip to Namibia always consult with a trusted safari expert. Get in touch with Secret Namibia today or check out some of the best accommodation options Namibia has to offer here.