Booking Local/Small Hotels in Africa
Trying to book a guesthouse or small hotel in sub-Saharan Africa is not always easy given the lack of web sites, or an inability to accept credit cards. But most smaller hotels do have an e-mail address and they are listed in guidebooks like the Lonely Planet and Bradt guides. I always e-mail hotels directly to make reservations, and have never run into any problems on arrival. Reading reviews on TripAdvisor is an invaluable tool to find out what the small hotel is like. A change of management can drastically improve or destroy a small hotel, so getting a current review is important. Search for the location you need a hotel in, and check out the B&B or Specialty Lodging sections, it's a goldmine for smaller, locally owned hotels.
Luxury Lodges and Hotels
You can still enjoy luxury if you stay in a Riad in Morocco, or a luxury eco-lodge in Kenya. It's a simple matter to check if the lodge or safari camp is eco-friendly, buys from local farmers/markets, and supports/employs the community that lives nearby. Those factors will have more impact than re-filling a pool every now and again.
In Kenya there are some very nice luxury safari camps that are built on local community lands, where the profits are shared. These conservancies have really helped benefit both wildlife and local communities, read more.
Useful Eco-Hotel Listings in Africa
- Throughout sub-Saharan Africa - Responsible Travel has a good directory of hotels in Africa listings include properties in: Gambia, Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
- Throughout sub-Saharan Africa - World Twitch - A birding site, that lists the best lodging in Africa, lots of farms, small guesthouses and luxury eco-lodges. Some links don't work, try and Google the property if that's the case.
- South Africa - Fair Trade in Tourism's Hotel Listing
- South Africa - Eco-friendly accommodation list from SA Venues.
- Egypt - Ecolodge Listing by It's a Green Green World.
- Ghana - Guesthouses and small hotel listings.