Why can't I book a hotel or lodge directly in Tanzania or Kenya?

Why can't I book a hotel or lodge directly in Tanzania or Kenya?

Tl;dr - Transportation to your hotel can be a logistical nightmare, there may be hidden costs, it ends up being more affordable booking through a local tour operator (+ the benefit of supporting local economies).

While there are exceptions, it's usual for hotels and lodges to be booked as part of a travel package. Let's walk you through a scenario: Imagine you want to book the Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge, nestled in the breathtaking Central Serengeti.

You start by booking your flight to Tanzania using airlines like Ethiopian Airlines, KLM, or Qatar Airways. You land at Kilimanjaro International Airport and... now what? You need a ride to your lodge in the vast Serengeti National Park, and that’s where the fun ends and the challenges begin.

Ride-Sharing Apps
Hoping to grab an Uber or Bolt from JRO to the Serengeti? Think again. These services are around, but drivers are as scarce as water in the desert. Bottom line: don’t count on snagging a ride upon arrival.

The Epic Drive
The trek from the airport to the Central Serengeti takes over six hours and cuts through diverse terrains. Say you fly with Ethiopian Airlines and land at 1:10 PM (or 8 PM with KLM)—while the drive itself is doable, racing against closing park gates and fading daylight makes it a real thriller. And honestly, cruising in the pitch dark on unlit Tanzanian roads isn't just challenging—it's a no-go, especially if your ride breaks down in the middle of a national park.

Unexpected Fees
Even after you've shelled out for your chic hotel in the Serengeti, get ready to dig deeper into your pockets. You've got transport costs, not to mention the park entry fees for both the Ngorongoro and Serengeti regions.

So, given all these hassles, why not just fly directly to an airstrip closer to the parks? Well, it's not that simple—there are no international airports near the national parks in Tanzania or Kenya, which means connecting through a domestic airstrip. This typically adds a day to your journey, as these flights usually take off at the crack of dawn.

Why Booking Through a Local Tour Operator Makes Sense
Opting for a full package with a local tour operator not only takes care of all these logistical nightmares but also offers you better rates than you’d find online. More than just easing your wallet, it saves you from logistical headaches and supports local economies. Why spend your vacation stressing over travel arrangements?

Looking to book? Check out the exciting trips we offer with local tour operators here!


At CloudSafaris, we're all about simplifying your travel. We're working towards a day when you can book your hotel directly without a hitch. Join us on this journey—book a trip, or reach out with questions or feedback. Thanks for your support!