What is Flycamping? Essentially it means sleeping out in the bush with minimal facilities – but all done in a more-than-acceptable manner with great food, a bucket shower and all the basic comforts. Nothing “boy scout” about Flycamping! One’s bedding might be a simple, but very comfortable, bedroll or an equally comfortable folding camp cot, often with just a mosquito net overhead or sometimes a dome tent which is usually big enough to stand in.
The camp will always be properly staffed, so your sundowner drink will be ready, your dinner or breakfast will be perfectly cooked over the camp fire coals and the staff will keep guard to ensure safety at night! But the point of Flycamping is not just to travel light (the camp is anyway moved and set up for you, nothing to carry) but more to experience the real bush as the explorers may have done by sleeping out, very much at one with the land and “in nature”. A bedroll-and-mosquito-net sleeping arrangement makes the bush especially more immediate, even when compared to a mobile camp!
We can arrange fly camping in most of the African destinations that we feature but examples include:
Kenya: where the perfect flycamp might be out in the bush up in Laikipia, driving or walking from your lodge to your chosen flycamp spot in time for sundowners, or perhaps as part of a riding safari or a trek with everything being carried on camels and walking with local Samburu guides. There are great flycamping opportunities also in the Loita Hills (often with the camp being carried out by mules), the Chyulu Hills overlooking Kilimanjaro and in the concessions surrounding the Mara.
Botswana: There are some stunning flycamp possibilities when one is in, or around, the Okavango Delta especially on a water-based or walking safari.
Zambia: The South Luangwa in Zambia offers classic walking opportunities with flycamping often being an integral part of the safari experience. There are also canoe trails on the Zambezi (also on the Zimbabwe side) where flycamping is more than possible. It is also possible to stay in a hide for a night to photograph wildlife at close hand – there are many similar possibilities scattered throughout Africa!
Tanzania: As possibly the ultimate safari destination, Tanzania’s enormous variation also lends itself to a night or two flycamping, whether when visiting the waHadzabe tribesmen down at Lake Eyasi, on the banks of the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve, or just as part of a private walking safari in the Serengeti.
Treehouses and Starbeds: Flycamping needn’t always be on the ground! A growing number of properties and camps have branched out to offer a one or two night Treehouse or “Starbed” experience to their clients, these usually taking the form of elevated semi-open platforms, or moveable beds that can be rolled out under the stars; always with bathroom facilities “en suite”. Namibia is a wonderful country to see stars!
However one goes flycamping it is an adventure and a real experience of the bush! Highly recommended!
Where? Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, South 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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