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Written by: AK on 28 February 2018

Our Mobile Explorer Camp: behind the scenes of a mobile safari

Mobile Explorer Camping

Venturing out into the wild, staying at an unfenced private campsite in the middle of the bush, separated only by the canvas of your tent from hyenas and elephants passing by at night – that’s a private mobile safari in our Mobile Explorer Camp. What sounds like and indeed is a great adventure assumes an even greater amount of trust.

You will not want to go into the unknown with anyone. You will want to go with Benedict, Ernest and Innocent, our experienced Mobile Explorer Camp Crew. When they arrive at what will be the Mobile Explorer Camp, there is nothing but a piece of empty land. Within hours, they will transform it into your home away from home, where bush camp dreams come true.

“We’ve been taking travellers out into the bush to our Mobile Explorer Camps for four years now”, explains Camp Manager Benedict. “While the experience for our guests is all about disconnecting from everyday life, letting go and reconnecting with nature, the operation behind the scenes runs like clockwork.”

115 different items are listed on the kitchen and equipment list and need to be packed by our operations team ahead of every Mobile Explorer Camp safari.

From tents, to mattresses, toilet seat, shower bucket, hand towels and pillow cases to soup spoons, steak knives, white and red wine glasses, to pepper grinders and solar lamps. Everything goes into the supply vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup, challenging the team’s Tetris skills.

“We head to the private campsite two days before the guests arrive. The first day is spent driving to the park; once we arrive, we pitch our tents before it gets dark”, explains Camp Manager Benedict. “On the second day, we set up camp. It takes nine hours to set everything up. The truck will be completely empty as everything we take has a function and a place at camp.”

The camp is set up on private special campsites. These spots in the middle of the national parks are unfenced and no permanent structures are built here. It’s not a random spot though, but a designated area chosen by national park authorities to not disturb breeding or hunting grounds of animals.

The middle of the Tanzanian bush does not sound like a place where you would expect fine-dining? Chef Ernest may quite likely convince you otherwise. His mobile bush kitchen is kitted out with everything he needs. “I wake up around 5am, get the fire going and then I get cracking”, says Ernest who will spend around four hours getting dinner ready later in the day.

For four guests and four staff, spending two nights at the Mobile Explorer Camp, he packs 5kg of flour, 40 eggs, beef and fish fillets, chicken, 2kg of rice, pasta, six boxes of fruit juice, muesli, fresh fruit, lots of veggies such as aubergines, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and more. Over gas cooker and a crackling fire, he makes pancakes, bakes fresh bread and cake, fries steaks and eggs sunny-side-up. “I never forget even one ingredient. There are no shops around, so forgetting anything is simply not an option”, says Ernest.

“Animals are attracted by the smell of the food, of course. But they wouldn’t come too close because of the fire”, Ernest says. All food scraps are burned, all kitchen utensils scrubbed, and all food packaging safely packed away for their return to Arusha where they are being recycled. Cleanliness equals safety at the Mobile Explorer Camp.

“We’re in the wilderness. We are guests here and nature is in charge”, explains Benedict. “We have to respect the animals and mustn’t disturb them. When they come close, we stay quiet, they pass by. We blend in with nature, we become one with nature. What will you do when an elephant comes? Nothing. You just slowly walk to the vehicle which is never locked and positioned so that everyone can access it quickly.”

When the Mobile Explorer Camp moves on, the crew packs up every last item. In another Tetris-challenge, they fit all equipment in the boot of the supply vehicle. The next elephant passing through what was the Mobile Explorer Camp just two hours ago, won’t even notice anyone on two legs has ever been there.

Join us on a Mobile Explorer Camp safari to get as close to the wild as never before.

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