Consider Experience Over Luxury
Credit: John Warburton-Lee / Getty Images

General Tour's exclusive Lemala camp on the lip of picturesque Lake Manyara, where tens of thousands of flamingos congregate under the setting sun, rivals the view in loveliness. There are lanterns everywhere, linens are sleek, the porcelain toilets are actually pretty, and the showers are hot. Despite being surrounded by foliage and dirt, the rooms are immaculate. Tightly sealed tarps keep out filth and bugs and mesh windows ventilate the room with the savannah breeze. 

"With the intensity of training we provide to our staff, we're able to give that kind of five-star experience even though it is in a tent," Yule says of the General Tours service. "You're looked after properly."

The point is that is that the nice things – which are very nice indeed – are less important than the people who keep them nice. It takes a lot of work and a lot of specific knowledge to bring luxury to the hinterlands. Older companies tend to have it and younger companies tend to make up for that by charging more and trucking in more bodies. Ask about the team that runs the camp. However experienced they are, that’s how luxurious your trip will be.