The Safari Experts



... is quite hard to come by in Africa. The facility to step out from the place at which you are staying and find separate restaurants, bars and clubs in the vicinity is actually pretty rare facility. At the vast majority of lodges and camps, there is simply nowhere else to go, or at least nowhere that could be recommended.

Generally speaking travellers are not advised to go out after dark. In fact in some countries it is actually illegal for safari operators to transport guests around after sundown. This is largely due to safety rather than security reasons, the roads tend to get very dangerous, with plenty of vehicles having few or no lights whatsoever. There are certainly plenty of places that we wouldn't go after dark, any more than we would in cities in Europe, America and elsewhere.

Travellers tend to go to bed very early in Africa, largely because most days involve very early starts and are packed with wonderful but exhausting experiences. In the vast majority of lodges guests tend to slide off to their tents shortly after dinner, from around 9pm. In some places there may be sufficient conversation taking place in the bar or around the campfire to keep you up until 10pm, but after that you are starting to distort the lodge timetable and the staff are looking to get off to bed. There is nothing worse for the staff in a safari camp than a group of guests who wants to stay up drinking into the early hours.

So if you are looking for some nightlife, then chances are you will have to specifically choose your locations. For restaurants you will need to be in certain key city locations, whilst for bars and clubs you will most likely have to head into the lower quality areas which host a younger overlander crowd.

The only places that we can think of where there really is a genuine range and quality of nightlife are the major cities of South Africa, notably Cape Town and the upmarket suburbs of Johannesburg.

For restaurants, the Cape Winelands are famous for their cuisine and have a very good range of first class dining options, most notably in the village of Franschhoek.

Out on the beaches of East Africa, nightlife tends to only be available in the more busy areas, there are some modest restaurants and bars in areas such as Nungwi, Kendwa and Paje on Zanzibar Island.

The Diani Beach area of the Kenyan Coast also offers some nightlife, but is not the most highly rated of locations for a host of other reasons.
Best Lodges for nightlife
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Tony Fishlock
Tony Fishlock, Finance Director
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