Why Stay in Guest Houses Instead of Safari Lodges?

The frequent travellers might be looking for accommodation for their next visit or stop. People who are autonomous voyagers or explorers always find it hard to locate a night stay spot. This article gives the details of different types of accommodation. It clears the doubt of whether to stay in town while going for a national park visit. Also, there is an option to stay at nearby cottages. Your stay depends on the purpose you are travelling for. Every traveller has a different purpose and has different choices of stays accordingly. People generally find the better-staying options. But they can’t understand that the word ‘better’ has different perspectives for each traveller. Some take it as a lower rate stay place option or some consider it as a lavish place to stay. For an individual explorer or traveller, it is best to stay outside the national park in the campsites. Campsites are usually outside of the park and close to the park. Such lodges come at a cheaper rate than the lodges in the inside park. You can enjoy the park environment and convenience while staying outside too. 

Pros to staying in Guesthouses

For some explorers “better place” can signify “less expensive place”. According to their definition of ‘better’, they choose their best place to stay. The stay cost varies due to the transportation cost it requires inside the park. The distance between the outside of the park and the inside centre of the park is large. Thus the transportation cost and accommodation cost varies. That’s why sometimes camping is highly preferable in nearby local guesthouses. Most parks in Kenya have campsites outside the park at a very reasonable price. Such campsites have various amenities including cold beer within US$6-10 per person per night. 

Besides cost, there are more experiential meanings of “better” to choose where to stay. The guesthouses in towns offer a more profound knowledge about nearby local culture. And if you’re lucky, you could meet a kind visitor and it becomes a good experience for you. Such meetings help one to share ideas and knowledge with each other. You both will soon become a trip partners. You can have more opportunities to explore the town more. You can then have excitement to visit nearby best restaurants to taste the local meals. Public transport to towns in Kenya is easily accessible. Thus, getting to your accommodation in a town is more straightforward. 

Cons to staying in Guesthouses

As we have seen the positive aspects of the local guesthouse for your accommodation. To counter these positive angles, there are a few interesting points. As we know every local nearby guesthouse is always packed with the locals on weekends. On occasions like a major football match, it usually has late-night meals and party events. Such guest’s houses are quite noisy at night and would disturb your relaxing time. They don’t have a quality environment that we may expect at home. 

You can notice the cleanliness is too normal. The detailed cleanliness is often avoided by such guesthouses. For instance, if there is a latrine then don’t have toilet seats in it. Many nearby foundations have just squat latrines or even only an opening in the ground. On the coast, you will be unable to find a hot water shower. You would get inland boiling water showers that are electric. So you need to make sure to flick the change to get heated water. Also, if those mosquito nets are given, they often have openings in them. Most locals stare at you if you’re a new guest in the town to visit the park. Most explorers decide to stay at nearby guesthouses. And, if you’re a woman guest in the town, you will get awkward experiencing such things around you. 

Deciding where to stay

If someone’s priority is to see the wildlife in the park then they should stay inside the park. If not inside then at least outside the park gate or in nearby the campsites. As a new traveller, you are not aware of the local languages and culture. So you should not stay in the guesthouse of the town. However, even the closest towns are not that close if you measure the distance. They are very far from the national park, about 2 hours long road distance. So you need to search for a place which is convenient for you to stay peacefully.

And, suppose you are willing to stay in the guesthouse, you should research the locality. Websites like Tripadvisor may not be so helpful for small local places. So you reach out and talk to the locals or with the ex-pats. Also, you can ask the citizens who might do daily up down for work through that town. It will assist with discovering the types of individuals who often stay there. Such kinds of people can be business voyagers or transport/truck drivers. Also, if there is anything to be particularly mindful of then stay alert and don’t visit that place. For example, a few guesthouses act as a local brothel. Such things are known only by the locals and daily transporters. Such depth of information is not known to new explorers and backpackers who just visit the place.

Get a Tour guide

Although there is no doubt that you are a great explorer. Still, you must prefer a tour guide along with you throughout the whole trip. Your tour operator can cater to your budget and needs. He/She has complete knowledge of the areas and local culture. So you would feel safe and secure with him/her. The operator will give you options to stay in the best hotels or guesthouses. So, in case after reading this article too you prefer to go alone then that’s totally your choice. And this article has given you more insight into the benefits and drawbacks of various convenience choices. 

Have you stayed in any local guesthouses in Kenya or other unfamiliar places? What has been your experience? Also, what is your proposal for individual explorers in picking their accommodation?

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