How to Camp in Africa: Three Essential Options You Should Consider

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Imagine falling asleep under the stars, and waking the next day to the cool morning air with the sunrise softly streaming into the tent. The birds are calling, and you listen to the sounds of the world as it slowly starts to awake…

Camping in Africa is a great chance to get up close and personal with nature in a safe, yet enjoyable setting. Whether you choose a guided or a self-drive safari, camping is an exciting experience and one that you’ll enjoy, no matter what your comfort level and preferences are.

From rooftop camping to luxury tents, when it comes to modern day camping, there’s something for everyone. Your options are as varied as the vast African landscape!

While some people prefer a lodge with its modern conveniences more than a tent, for many people there’s nothing quite like being out in the wild, staying in a tent whilst listening to jackals howling and lions growling in the distance.

There’s More Than One Way to Camp in Africa

Don’t feel as though you are limited to traditional camping, either. If you prefer luxury accommodation over roughing it, there are camping options that are able to accommodate your needs.

Camping in Africa ranges from self-catering to luxury accommodation so no matter how catered you prefer your trip to be, you’ll be able to find something that’s perfect for you.

Let’s explore three popular camping options that you can choose from when you book a safari holiday

Camping in a Public Campsite Is a Solid Option

Camping in a public campsite is a popular option. At Safari Drive, we provide 4×4 vehicles with rooftop tents that are practical and easy to set up.

Rooftop tents are very comfortable and they also provide a great platform from which you can lie in bed and admire the view.

Some game reserves have camping sites, and you’ll be able to plan your safari so that you can spend the night at these locations. When camping in Namibia, for instance, rooftop camping is especially ideal. Namibia also has a number of excellent fenced campsites that you’ll be able to camp in, and many of them have good facilities including showers, loos, and a braai area or barbeque.

Camping in Special Campsites Lets You Experience Wildlife

With many safaris in Tanzania, for example, you’ll also have the option to camp in special campsites out in the wild, with no fences or boundaries. Instead, you’ll be an area in the middle of the park with wildlife all around.

When camping in these remote areas, you’ll want to ensure that you go prepared, and bring into camp everything that you’ll need.

When you book a self-drive tour through Safari Drive, we’ll give you your very own fully-equipped 4×4 vehicle, either a Land Rover Defender or Toyota Land Cruiser that will contain everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.

In addition to the rooftop tents, our vehicles also contain a refrigerator. You’ll be able to store food and wash, as well as set up a fire for cooking. It’s a remarkable experience for those who are looking for adventure.

When camping in these areas, it’s important to disturb the environment as little as possible. Always camp in designated areas, and never camp near a waterhole. It’s also important to keep an eye out for animal trails and to avoid camping in the paths.

Tented Camps Are the Ultimate Luxury

Finally, those who are looking for something a bit more luxury can choose tented camps; luxury tents are the already set up in the bush. These camps can hardly be referred to as camping in the traditional sense, because although you sleep under canvas, you have a lovely comfortable bed and many of the same amenities that you would have when staying in a lodge.

This includes hot showers, and superb cuisine. Some luxury tented camps even include elegant but rustic décor, private bathrooms, spacious decks, and on-site massages.

One of the great things about planning a safari through a company like Safari Drive is the flexibility to choose accommodation that’s as basic or luxurious as you’d like, and luxury tented camps really are one of the best option if you’re looking to travel in style. Or you can choose a mixture of all three…!

What Camping Options Will Suit You?

The accommodation that you’re hoping for will help you to determine which route and itinerary you’ll want to take. While some areas are very catered and upscale, others are off the beaten path and require more of an adventurous spirit in order to appreciate them.

Many safari-goers choose a mix of the above options, to get the most out of their experience and to enjoy at least a few nights in luxury accommodation.

One of the best ways to see Africa is on a self-drive safari. With a self-drive itinerary, you’ll be able to drive from campsite to campsite, or even alternate between luxury tented camps or lodges if you prefer.

This allows you a chance to experience the best of both worlds, the freedom of a self-drive as well as the experience of a guided tour should you choose to go on a guided safari during your stay at a lodge.

Start Planning Your Trip

No matter which option you choose, you’ll find that camping on a safari in Africa is a truly remarkable experience. The beauty of sleeping outside close to nature and the simple enjoyment of being immersed in the great outdoors really is one of the best ways to enjoy this amazing continent.

Whilst you’re huddled around the campfire, enjoying the cool air that comes after a hot, dry day, don’t forget to look up at the stars. It’s said that you’ll be able to see more in Africa than you can see anywhere else on earth…

If you’re ready to take action towards organising a trip, get a free safari consultation with one of our team and start planning the trip to Africa with the camping options that suit you best. Good luck!

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Photos by Rutger and Serengeti Safari Camp

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