When booking a safari in Tanzania, it is important to decide in which kind of accommodation you want to spend your holiday. If you are looking for comfort and convenience, a lodge safari is probably right up your alley. However, if you want to be a little closer to the action and experience nature first hand, it is best to book a camping safari.
Camping safaris are a great way to get up close and personal with the bush. Yes, some lodges are tented, but it still doesn’t come close to sleeping on a foldable mattress on the ground in the middle of nowhere.
Here are a few things you should know before going on a camping safari:
- Not all campsites are fenced! This is mostly the case for campsites within the national parks. The animals have right of way and it is quite common to hear or even see them in camp at night. I hope this doesn’t scare you off. The animals that reside around the campsites are fairly accustomed to us being around which means they are not necessarily interested in us. Plus, this experience really adds to the adventure!
- Public campsites are open to everyone, which means depending on the season you will not be the only people at a campsite. It is nice to meet other travellers and share stories about each other’s experiences.
- On a camping safari, you even get your own professional safari chef, who will spoil you with delicious meals throughout your trip. It is absolutely incredible what the cooks prepare in the middle of the bush!
- Good quality equipment is important and you need to make sure nothing is missing whilst on safari. When you travel with us, everything is provided: from cutlery, tables, chairs and even table clothes. As for the tents, they are large enough for most people to stand upright and there is also more than enough space for two people in a tent.
- Pretty much all campsites offer toilets and showers. However, some of the toilets are an adventure in itself. Usually, you have the choice between either squat toilets or the ones you can sit on. Water in most showers is heated up by the sun and at a few campsites they even offer hot water, for example the Simba Campsite on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
One of my favourite campsites is the Lobo Campsite in the northern part of the Serengeti. It sits nestled under a huge kopje overlooking the vast expanse of the park.
It is one of the more secluded public campsites and not as many people camp here as they prefer to camp in the central part of the park. Lobo Campsite is quite basic, but I absolutely love the wildness of it.
All in all, I think you miss out on a once in a lifetime experience, if you don’t embark on the adventure that is a camping safari. Nothing brings you closer to the bush than sleeping in a tent!
As you look up at night, you are overwhelmed by the beautiful night sky. Billions of stars that seem to multiply the longer you gaze. Then you get into your tent and as you lay there you hear the distant roar of a lion and the laughter of hyenas. You start imagining yourself as an adventurous explorer, whilst the calls of the nightjar sooth you to sleep… .