The big five doesn't have to take big bucks
Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris Rocktail Beach Camp, in South Africa
| Credit: Rocktail Beach Camp, in South Africa

Seeing Africa’s big five doesn’t need to be a five-digit investment. This spring, Safari & Adventure Co. (800/327-0373; from $175 per person, per night), an affordable spin-off of luxury ecotourism operator Wilderness Safaris, is opening nine rustic lodges and tented camps in some of the continent’s most ecologically diverse regions. The first property, Rocktail Beach Camp, in South Africa’s Maputaland Coastal Forest, has 12 airy tents, each with an en suite bathroom and a private veranda. The bar is next to a lush pool, which sits on an oceanside stretch of Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Next up is the 20-room Andersson’s Camp, a restored farmstead right outside Namibia’s Etosha National Park, where 114 different mammal species roam the vast salt pan–covered terrain.