With most of the focus in travel awards being the exclusive super luxury lodge bracket, the more rustic and affordable safari experiences sometimes go unnoticed. But this is arguably what most people are after - African safari experiences that won't break the bank. Here are our finalist nominations for Africa's finest affordable guided safari experience. Help us choose who rules the roost when it comes to cheap and affordable safari experiences.

And remember if you visited any of the nominated safari experiences then your vote counts twice (you just need to get the coupon code from the relevant lodge or contact us directly). You also stand a chance to win a 2-night stay at a luxury game lodge in South Africa. Click on each of the nominees below to find out a little more...

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Chacma Bush Camp, Balule

Why we like it: Exclusive big five safari experience; Stunning bush breakfasts; Small bush camp feel; Waterhole views from rooms

Chacma Bush Camp is found in the heart of the Balule Game Reserve in South Africa's famous Greater Kruger Park. Nestled against a spectacular rocky outcrop, this bush camp offers calm and serenity in abundance, and is perfect for small groups or for a quiet family getaway. It comfortably sleeps up to 10 people. Guests will enjoy daily game drives,…

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0 Votes

Elephant Plains, Sabi Sands

Why we like it: Superb value in the heart of the Sabi Sands; Great staff and service; Regular Big 5 sightings and leopards galore!

Elephant Plains is a family run 4 Star camp situated on the banks of the dry Manyelethi River bed in the northern sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. The camp is primarily split into 2 sections. The more affordable accommodation type is the ‘rondavel’ huts based on the setup of the original hunting camp. There are 5 rondavels set…

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3 Votes

Flatdogs Camp, South Luangwa

Why we like it: Excellent owner-managed camp; Flexible meal and activity schedules; Relaxed atmosphere; Fantastic staff

Flatdogs is located in the South Luangwa National Park - one of the last great wildlife wonders of the world. It is nine thousand square kilometers (3,475 square miles) of pristine wilderness in Zambia’s Eastern Province. Flatdogs offers one of the best safari experiences in the Luangwa Valley - with a relaxed and informal atmosphere, great game viewing, expert guides,…

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5 Votes

Gunn’s Camp, Okavango

Why we like it: Small and intimate, Perfect for Honeymoons, Stunning location in the Delta, Water based safari activities

Overlooking the legendary Chiefs Island and bordering the Moremi Game Reserve, Gunn's Camp is one of the last few remaining luxury vintage safari camps. Set under leafy palms and African Ebony to blend naturally with its unique surroundings, Gunn's Camp achieves a fine balance of comfort without isolating guests from the sights and sounds of the wilderness. On arrival at…

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0 Votes

Kapama River Lodge

Why we like it: High-capacity lodge; Excellent facilities, including gym, spa and business centre; Big 5 game-viewing

Kapama River Lodge is the largest lodge on the Kapama reserve and can comfortably accommodate 128 guests in 64 suites. The lodge successfully blends high capacity and luxury in typically stunning bush surrounds. The multi level suites offer elegant accommodation overlooking a myriad settings. The open plan, L-shaped lounge accommodates various relaxation areas – a large bar, stocked with an…

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3 Votes

Lakeside Lodge, Entabeni

Why we like it: Big 5 reserve, 5 star accommodation and facilities, Spectacular natural beauty of the region

Lakeside Lodge on the Entabeni Safari Conservancy consists of 28 rooms. Set on the banks of a 1.7 km-long lake, the thatch and stone lodge provides a memorable blend of luxury and wilderness with the ever-changing colours of the Entabeni Mountain reflecting in the Lake. Guided game drives and bush walks bring guests into close contact with a vast variety…

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0 Votes

Mabula Game Lodge, Waterberg

Why we like it: Malaria-free; 'Cubz Club' children safari programme; Proximity to Johannesburg and Pretoria

Convenient, elegant and understated luxury, an encounter with South Africa’s bushveld awaits at Mabula Game Lodge. The lodge is located just two and half hours’ drive from Johannesburg in the ‘Malaria Free’ Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province. Diverse landscapes, including grassland plains and rocky outcrops create the ideal habitat for the Big 5 as well as the little creatures…

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1 Vote

Mashatu Tent Camp

Why we like it: Rustic yet comfortable; Provides a genuine wilderness experience; Delightful outdoor shower; Vast reserve with iconic species; Exciting adventure activities

Located in the remote wilderness of Botswana’s Tuli region, Mashatu Tent Camp offers an immersive nature experience. The camp is small and intimate, and blends in seamlessly with the surrounding bushveld. It features eight luxury tents, each tucked away under the branches of enormous trees. Each tent is spacious and comfortable, and is raised off the ground on a concrete…

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0 Votes

Mayukuyuku Bush Camp, Kafue

Why we like it: Small, rustic and intimate; Luxury tents with unique open-air bathrooms; Excellent safari activities available

Mayukuyuku Bush Camp is located in Zambia’s spectacular Kafue National Park. It is set on the shores of a riverbank in this superb wilderness destination. It is a small and intimate camp, made up of only 4 luxury en-suite tents. Each features a thatched roof, veranda, and hammock- perfect for kicking back and drinking in the stunning views. Each tent…

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60 Votes

Ruaha River Lodge

Why we like it: Great value for money, Exceptional game viewing in Ruaha, Lions, lions and more lions!

Ruaha River lodge is a private game lodge in a prime location in the Ruaha National Park borders, consisting of 24 stone chalets stretching along the river bank. Ruaha is split across two locations, with one dining banda along the river, and the other perched high on a nearby kopje, offering a completely different perspective. Built out of local stone…

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34 Votes

Shindzela Tented Safari Camp

Why we like it: Fantastic rates in the heart of the Timbavati; Superb game viewing; Rustic yet comfortable camp

Shindzela is an authentic tented bush camp situated in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. The camp accommodates a maximum of 16 guests and is unfenced, making one feel very much part of the wilderness. Shindzela is not built by an award winning architect, nor is it furnished by an interior designer.…

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1 Vote

Taita Falcon Lodge, Victoria Falls

Why we like it: Great rates; Perched up on the Zambezi River's famous Batoka gorge; Loads of activities

Taita Falcon Lodge is stunningly perched 230m above the Zambezi River on the edge of the Batoka Gorge with a stunning view over the gorge and the river. The Lodge is only 11km from the Victoria Falls, and is a unique bush experience. Owner managed, the lodge’s focus is on providing personalized service to each individual client. Itis situated in…

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91 Votes

Tangala Safari Camp, Thornybush

Why we like it: Rustic and quaint little bush camp; Authentic wilderness feel; Expansive views; Top Big 5 game-viewing

Tangala Safari Camp is a rustic bush camp, located in the Big 5 Thornybush Game Reserve in South Africa. The camp overlooks a water hole and also provides sweeping views of the surrounding plains and mountains. The camp has 6 luxury safari tents, and 4 chalets, each featuring en-suite facilities accommodating up to 20 guests. The camp runs off solar…

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1 Vote

Tuskers Bush Camp, Okavango Region

Why we like it: Genuine wilderness experience; Rustic yet well-appointed accommodation; Beautiful surrounds teeming with wildlife

Tuskers Bush Camp is loacted in the Okavango and Moremi region of Botswana. It is a classic tented safari camp, located among the trees and overlooking a busy watering hole. The camp can accommodate just eight guests, and is located in its own private concession, providing an exclusive safari experience. The six Meru-style tents and made of canvas and feature…

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0 Votes

Umkumbe Safari Lodge, Sabi Sands

Why we like it: Best value lodge in the Sabi Sands; Supreme leopard viewing; Simple bush camp with no frills but great game viewing

Umkumbe Safari Lodge is ideally located in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger, considered by many to be the premier reserve within South Africa due to large concentrations of wildlife and in particular, leopard. Animals roam freely throughout as there are no fences between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sands. Umkumbe is…

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19 Votes

Wildside Safari Camp, Entabeni

Why we like it: Big 5 reserve; Close to Johannesburg; Malaria-free; Rustic yet comfortable accommodation; Top-class services and facilities

Wildside Safari Camp consists of 20 thatched and tented chalets (including 4 family rooms) and captures the essence of the unspoiled wilderness of the Waterberg. The camp combines comfort with a rustic bush setting, creating a suitably wild African atmosphere. Guided game drives and bush walks bring guests into close contact with a great variety of game species, including the…

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15 Votes
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