Dawn’s FAQ of the Week: What is the difference between a “Deluxe” program and a “Luxury” program?

“What is the difference between a “DELUXE” program and a “LUXURY” program?”

When looking out our website, one is likely to eventually come across the CHOOSE YOUR SAFARI section of our website.  Super!  This is a great place to start.

But as one starts perusing the options featured there, a common source for head-scratching is the various categories of programs available to choose from, specifically “DELUXE” vs “LUXURY”.

First of all, the difference between a “DELUXE” program and a “LUXURY” program is simply the accommodations; there is no difference in the quality of your vehicle or the caliber of your guide. A luxury program simply features higher-end properties compared to a deluxe program, or sometimes just a higher room category at the same lodge.

As a general rule of thumb, LUXURY venues are typically the smaller and more intimate tented lodges (10-20 rooms), with a heavier focus on atmosphere, individualized service and gourmet food.  (One exception to this is the Four Seasons Bilila Lodge, which is a large  hotel (73 rooms) but still offers a very high standard of LUXURY, so we classify it as such.  But *usually* that former ‘rule of thumb’ holds true.)

Ironically, sometimes the LUXURY venues offer less traditional amenities compared to a larger DELUXE venues.  The various ‘tented lodges’ (ie, Swala Tented Lodge, Lake Masek Tented Lodge) are a great example of this; you may not have a TV in your room, but you may hear lion’s roaring in the distance!

With regards to the sample itineraries on our website, there is sometimes overlap between the various categories of lodging.  Let’s use the October 10-day program for example, you can see Buffalo Luxury Camp is featured in both the LUXURY sample program as well as the DELUXE sample program.  This overlap happens sometimes when looking at regions with limited choices for accommodations (such as the ‘North’ Serengeti), or when a particular property offers a very high-end type of experience at a very good value.  Another example is Mbalageti Tented Lodge, which offers different categories of rooms such as their flagship “presidential suite” that is featured in our higher end programs.

Similarly, our ULTRA-LUXURY programs simply feature the highest-end properties available in any given area (such as the Crater Lodge), but may otherwise feature many of the same lodges already featured in the LUXURY program.

Sometimes the sample programs on our website offer slightly different itineraries too (ie, some may feature Tarangire National Park while others skip Tarangire and focus more time in the Serengeti), but again these are just samples to show you what is possible; we can always customize any program to spend more time in areas that hold the most interest for you.

You don’t have to stick with the sample programs on our website, but often this is a great place to start. As mentioned above, we can always customize the program to feature your priorities regarding lodges, duration, budget and parks/areas visited. Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you get started!

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