Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Game Warden

How likely would you be to visit a brand new camp/lodge?

14 posts in this topic

I appreciate members here have wide ranging interests when it comes to safaris and perhaps preferred accomodation options. Likewise you may visited a number of places, or have favourite properties at which you are preferred customers.

 

So, what would it take for you to visit a brand new property, imagine the scenario that it was opening this year? What could it's owner/operator do in terms of marketing to make it appealing enough for you to make serious enquiries about staying? Or perhaps would you wait for other people to visit first, relying on them, if Safaritalkers for instance, for positive word of mouth feedback?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~ @@Game Warden

 

Positive Safaritalk member feedback would directly influence me, especially if it were located in either Kenya or South Africa.

Were there no single supplement, I'd be highly interested.

I prefer establishments which welcome families with children, particularly if priced to encourage local African families to visit.

In Kenya, that's the sort of lodgings where I typically stay.

If a Safaritalk reviewer mentioned good soups, especially vegetable soup, tomato soup, or Scotch broth, that would be attractive.

The presence of a swimming pool, no matter how small, would be of interest, especially for summer visits.

Finally, if there were pleasing photos of the beds, a fireplace in the main lodge, and of flowers around the grounds, that would stimulate my interest.

Oh...were a review or advertising to mention that Zorillas were occasionally seen at night, I'd be inquiring about room availability.

Tom K.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would depend on whether it would open up a new viewing opportunity that is better value than what came before or that improves convenience, exclusivity or comfort factor. Good reviews would help.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it were part of a group with a good reputation, in an area I was interested in and if there was an opening discount ;)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No single supplements is a big influence for me as well as 2 abreast seats in the safari vehicle.

 

I have found places to stay via reading reviews in travel mags, websites and of course SafariTalk so this would be ideal but not necessary.

 

I agree also with @TomKellie @@Tdgraves and @@kittykat23uk.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reputation of the operator; location of the camp in question would matter a lot .......

 

The most recent newish camp I visited was Namiri Plains in April 2015 (I think the camp was operational only for a few months at that point) - but, their marketing and information provided was spot on and not just a sales pitch!!! I was blown away by my experience..........

 

I visited all the newer Kwando camps almost brand spanking new - again, nothing risky there ...... very straight forward.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have no problem in giving new places a go if it was in the areA I was interested and there were photographs. I think discounts help 4 nights for 3 etc or no single supplement.

 

I think I would gain confidence if it was through an established TA.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very little interest in visiting a new camp unless it was in an area or concession that I knew well or I was invited there with some discounts..

 

Differently to @@wilddog 's thoughts a recommendation by an established TA would not fill me with confidence.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes highly likely.

 

I stayed at Makanyi in Timbavati just before it was formally opened. discounts certainly helped the decision while pictures allowed us to visualise the place. i was initially apprehensive about game viewing as the concession used to be private and the guides were new to that concession. but once we reached the concession, all those apprehensions were blown away.

 

 

lodge owners can always put up their promotions in the relevant sections so that ST members are aware of their existence. TRs certainly helps too.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new places I have been to in the past, if it is in an area where normally photographic safaris take place, I would not have an issue booking at a camp except possibly with the rates and/or operator. If the area was previously adjacent or in a hunting concession, or poaching an issue, I think I would wait till I had reviews regarding game numbers and behavior around people/vehicles. For example, in the '90's, I've been to parks where wildlife was very skittish. I can still remember in Gonarezhou seeing herds of ellies running in the opposite direction from several miles away(high viewpoints). Or like in Kafue, almost zero wildlife due to poaching, except the few in the vicinity of long established bush camps.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on a few factors: if I know the area is good and the brand is good then I would have no problem. If I know the area but not the brand and the place is expensive I would wait a bit till the first reviews come in - I am more interested in the level of guiding rather than comfort and food though. If it is part of my self drive I will give it a chance no matter how new it is, as long as it's in an area that interests me - provided I think it is fairly priced.

 

Feedback from other people would be very important for me. Failing that, a property could entice me by their social media updates - if I get a feel of how a typical game drive is like it would definitely influence my decision - how much and what kind of animals are seen, quality of the sightings etc. I would also be influenced if they can say on their website about how the guides are trained, and to what level. perhaps short bios of the guides and their experience would be nice.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be tempted to visit a new camp if it:

a) was small and tented.

b ) was owner owned and guided

c) had no baths or swimming pools

d) was situated in an ecosystem, with which I was not familiar

e) promised biodiversity and game drives that allowed limited off roading and night driving

f) where radio contact with vehicles from other camps was not used as a means of finding sightings

g) ideally, where no more than 4 tourists were vehicle sharing

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than the ones mentioned here on ST they are all new and unknown to me and I wouldn't really trust operator sales pitch without independent backup of a trip report. Having said that I will be traveling to a relatively new camp in October on the recommendation of our guide of last year. The camp is Kavinga near Chitake Spring Mana Pools. It was open last year but was still unfinished but is now fully operational. So as I say, a new camp in a known area recommended buy a trusted person.

 

It is the area it's in and the ethics of the owners that are important. I can eat and sleep anywhere and couldn't care less about swimming pools etc.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • I am looking at mainly the bush experience

nothing too elaborate

what sort of area is it in

prices and absence of a single supplement

reviews useful especially here but not essential

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.