If you are looking for that essential experience in the African bush which offers perfect comfort whilst not losing the essence and feel of being properly “on safari” then a classic permanent camp fits the brief!
Imagine if you will, a large living space, about the size of a decent bedroom in a hotel and usually about twice as long as it is wide. Add canvas walls and roof and, perhaps, a wooden floored verandah to the fore as well as an en suite bathroom at the rear that is also canvas-walled and includes a proper loo, shower, often twin basins and all those “little touches”.
Mix in African-styled furniture that might include a writing desk, tables and easy chairs and, of course, large and very comfortable double or twin bed/s as well as chairs on your verandah and you will start to get the picture: Lots of space, lots of comfort, lots of privacy and, at night, the sounds of Africa outside your tented room to lull you asleep – or keep you awake!
This is the perfect mix. So real and yet so comfortable. So African and yet such a fantastic fit in terms of expectation. So easy to relax in and yet so inflammatory to the senses (a safari is all about re-learning the use of one’s core senses, hearing, smell, touch….).
Such camps usually take a maximum of sixteen guests, although some are much smaller and some may be larger. The permanent camps that we use tend to be intimate and very privately situated – and in superb locations.
As well as the guest’s own tents there will be a “mess” that includes a bar, sitting area with easy chairs and sofas, sometimes a fireplace and always a “mess”/restaurant area where meals can be either shared around one large table with other guests or taken privately at one’s own table.
Flexibility is the key at such places. Everything is usually included in the rate except sometimes laundry. Tips, premium drinks and tobacco will otherwise be extra but that’s usually all.
To return from a game drive or walk – or a ride! - to be greeted in the bar by a smiling barman with your favourite sundowner; to return in the gloaming to your room for a well-earned shower (which may be “running” or may be a “bucket” shower in some cases – we will discuss this before choosing the camp for you); to then be escorted in the dark, with the night-time noises of Africa around you, back to the mess for an excellent dinner; later to spend an hour or so letting dinner settle, perhaps swapping stories or meeting new friends with a malt or brandy around the campfire; and, finally, to retire to your tented room for a delicious, African-scented, night’s rest.
Need we say more?
Where? Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Uganda…….all over Africa….
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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