Travelling as a family? Perhaps a small group of friends or just two couples spending some time together on holiday? Wanting to be able to get “close to the action” in terms of game, or be near a specific activity? Do you feel a yearning for something authentic in terms of Africa-bush-living and yet not wanting to give up any basic comforts (Heaven forbid!)?
If the answer to any - or all - of the above is “yes” then a private, mobile, tented camp (usually referred to a just a “private mobile”) is the answer. And, at the same time, you’ve stumbled upon one of the best ways to experience Africa properly and spend time in the bush whilst creating memories that will last for ever.
A private mobile is a small, very intimate, camp that is set up just for the party concerned. As such, therefore, there is no “size” because the number of guest tents exactly meets the requirements of the family or party concerned. Tents can be double or twin in configuration.
There the similarities tend to end although all private mobiles will usually be set up in the best possible locations and often closer to the “action” than their larger, more permanent, counterparts.
Private mobiles range from what is, in essence, a very luxurious private mobile camping safari where the camp is close to the epitome of authentic African safari style to something considerably more basic - you and the situation will choose what suits you best.
So this can either be the best in luxury African safaris – i.e.: complete with tea/mess tent, damask linen tableware, amazing chefs, candelabra, huge guest tents, Persian carpets etc and all fully ensuite in terms of the loo and bathroom (although nearly always with bucket-style showers which are wonderful).
Or there are more basic forms of camping, which are less expensive, whereby tents can be of varying sizes – from the smaller tents to a full 3m x 3m or larger. The toilets might be en suite or separate and they can either be long-drop with a “throne”, or they can be a flush loo, and the showers may not be en suite – showering in an open-to-the-skies bucket shower beneath the starlit African sky is perfection!
For us, a commonality that is the norm with private mobiles is the ability to match our clients with the very best – the cream – of professional guides. This is something we are, again, rather good at as, given that most of us come from Africa or have worked there with our own businesses, we do know “who’s who”! And having the best guide creates not only the best possible situation intellectually and experientially: it is also an investment, especially for a family.
If you have your own camp, your own vehicle/s, your own private guide who has in-depth knowledge and is able to impart that knowledge as well a locate the camp in the best places – and can share the best stories and have the most fun with the most flexibility; what more could one want? Need we say more?
Finally, private mobiles have the enormous benefit of….being mobile. As such they make the perfect adjunct to a vehicle-based adventure (Namibia perhaps), a canoe trip (Zambia or Zimbabwe perhaps), a walking safari in Kenya or Tanzania – where some of the best private mobiles I’ve tried are part of a new riding outfit that has some superb horses and terrain that are perfect for game viewing and scenery - or just a safari for a family that allows the chance to be close to game, experience the reality of the African bush and offers an adventure of a lifetime – without all the comforts that one might need and none of the discomfort that we in the northern hemisphere associate with “camping”.
A private mobile is fun! The best!
Where? Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia,
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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